Fine Motor Activity: Spring Flower Tray
Supplies: Colander, Different Color Silk Flowers, Floral Foam In Half Circle (optional) and A Tray (optional)
Directions: Cut flower stems apart, flip colander over. Place stem in hole and encourage them to do the same. If using floral foam, place under colander and have them “pinch” stems as they put it in the hole and push in. Use descriptive words for placement of the flowers such as, on top, side, behind, in, out, colors and counting as they put them in. Have them make a pattern with the colors or group them together. For example, put all the pink flowers on top and yellow flowers on the sides.
Skills Learned: Language development by using descriptive and positional words such as up, over, under, beside, in front, behind, etc. Hand-eye coordination and control. Develops color recognition skills. Math, sorting, grouping, patterning and counting recognition. Develops fine motor skills by using movement and concentration.
Math & Manipulative Activity: String…Stack…Float!
Supplies: Pool Noodles (at least 2 colors), Jump Rope, Serrated Knife and Ruler
Directions: Use the ruler to mark every 2 in. on the pool noodle. Then use knife to cut slices. Tie a slice to one end of rope so that they don’t fall off when stringing. Show your little one how to put one on and encourage them to do the same. Count them when they have some on. Ask what colors they are. Can they make a pattern? Stack them as blocks and use the same questions. Float them in water, add funnels and cups for some outdoor water play.
Skills Learned: Develops fine motor skills by using movement and concentration. Hand-eye coordination and control. Counting and color recognition.
Gross Motor Activity: Glow in the Dark Bowling
Supplies: Glow Sticks, Empty Water Bottles (at least 3) and A Ball
Directions: Activate the glow sticks. If using the bracelet ones, place two of the same color in one bottle. If using the chunky glow sticks, then place only one in each bottle. This can be played inside or out. As it starts to get dark, place bottles in a triangle shape like bowling pins. Show your little one how to roll the ball. You can use a glow ball or make one by taping thin glow sticks inside a hamster ball or putting them into a beach ball. Ask them what colors or how many they knocked down.
Skills Learned: Develops gross motor skills by using coordination and movement. Hand-eye coordination and control. Strengthens motor control and balance. Counting and color recognition.
Creative Expression Activity: Nature Painting
Supplies: Nature Items (flowers, twigs, leaves, pine branch, etc.), Paint, Paper, Empty Tray and Bag For Collecting
Directions: No paint? No problem! Take it outside and use dirt, water and nature paintbrush or hands.
Take a nature walk to find your items. Place different colors of paint on a tray. Encourage your little one to dip the nature items in the paint and use it like a paintbrush or make prints by stamping it on the paper. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, just have fun. This activity can be done indoors or out. Talk about what they are making, how it feels and what the nature item or color they’re using or going to use next.
Skills Learned: Builds their creativity and confidence. Evokes self expression and individuality. Language development using descriptive words by describing the color, shape, and size of the objects. Develops color recognition and decision making skills.
Science & Sensory Activity: Garden Sensory Bin
Supplies: Plastic Container, Black or Pinto Beans, Different Color Silk Flowers, Small Pails or Flower Pots, Kids Garden or Sand Tools and Large Bugs (optional)
Directions: You’ll want a container with enough room to play, but not too big as you will need enough beans to fill it. This can also be used for other themed items like Easter, Halloween or just bowls, cups and scoops. Cut the flower stems apart and to a height that fits the pots. Little ones love to scoop and pour, so don’t forget the shovels. While they are exploring, ask what colors the flowers are. Encourage them to count with you as they put them in each pot. Count the petals or how many scoops they put in. Ask them to put all the same color flowers in each pot. If beans are not an option, take this outdoors and use dirt.
Skills Learned: Develops fine motor skills by using movement and concentration. Hand-eye coordination and control. Word development by describing the colors and textures of the materials. Math, sorting, grouping and counting recognition. Evokes their imaginations and dramatic play skills.
Language Learning Activity: I Spy Sensory Bottle
Supplies: Empty Water Bottle With Smooth Sides, Rice, Small Objects and Glue
Directions: Fill bottle by alternating rice and objects till 3/4 full. Glue cap securely. Turn bottle horizontally, shake and roll bottle to find the items. Ask, “what is this?” or “what color is it?” If it’s an animal ask, “what sound does it make?” If your toddler is not quite vocal, ask “where is…?” and encourage them to point to it. Another version is I Spy Someone I Love. Use heart shaped pony beads and pictures of faces of family and friends.
Skills Learned: Enhances language and listening skills. Color recognition.