Fine Motor Activity: Playdough Spaghetti Threading
Supplies: Playdough, Spaghetti and Cheerios or Any Round Cereal
Directions: Place the Playdough on the table. Add a piece of spaghetti into the Playdough and have your child thread the cereal onto the spaghetti. Encourage your child to count the cereal as they add it or remove it.
Skills Learned: Allows exploration and investigation of new materials. Promotes creativity and independent thinking. Sensory and tactile play. Hand-eye coordination and control. Develops fine motor skills by using movement and concentration. Word development by describing the textures of the materials and description of their colors. Math and quantity recognition.
Math & Manipulative Activity: Building With Blocks
Supplies: Different Colors and Shapes of Blocks or Legos
Directions: Give your child the blocks and ask them to build you something. Extend the activity by asking them to sort the blocks by color or shape. Ask them to hand you a block and ask what color the block is. For younger children, ask them to hand you a block and have them repeat the color of the block after you say it.
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. Math and quantity recognition. Develops color recognition skills.
Gross Motor Activity: Obstacle Course
Supplies: Blocks and Other Household Items
Directions: Give those gross motor skills a workout and have your little one stack 2-3 blocks in a few places around the room. Once you have a few “hurdles” set up, place your child at the starting line (an easy to remember place in the room) and say GO! Have them jump, step, hop, go up and over their stack of blocks. The varying heights will encourage motor planning. Change it up by placing a few other household objects within this child created obstacle course. For example, put a pillow down and have them step on and off of it before hitting the next stack of blocks. Place pool noodles between two chair seats and have them crawl under the noodle. This activity is also great to do outdoors if the weather permits!
Skills Learned: Develops gross motor skills by using coordination and movement. Strengthens motor control and balance. Encourages visual motor integration.
Creative Expression Activity: Raised Salt Painting
Supplies: Epsom Salt, Food Coloring, Glue, Drawing Paper, Pencil and Paper Plates
Directions: On a paper plate, add a few drops of food coloring on some Epsom salt and mix. Repeat the process for all of the colors your child wants to use. Let your child draw their favorite shapes and patterns on the drawing paper with the pencil. Help them apply glue on the designs and then pour the colored salt over the glued areas. Let it dry.
Skills Learned: Builds their creativity and confidence. Language development using descriptive words by describing the color, shape, and size of the shapes. Develops color recognition skills.
Science & Sensory Activity: Scented Rice Sensory Play
Supplies: Rice, Strawberry Essence or Any Food Extract Scent, Food Coloring, A Range of Scoops, Shovels, Sifters, Funnels, or Any Other Containers and A Large Plastic Container
Directions: Mix the rice, essence or food extract and food coloring together. Once you have it at the color you want, place the mixture in the large container, paper or sensory table. Add the shovels, funnels, sifters, scoops or any other items you want to add and let your kiddos go crazy!
Skills Learned: Encourages children to manipulate and mold materials. Builds fine motor skills and coordination. Explores their sense of smell. Sensory play uses all 5 senses, but the sense of touch is often the most frequent. Toddler process information through their senses and learn through exploring these.
Note: If you don’t have a container big enough please newspaper, wrapping paper or cut open a garbage bag and place it on the sidewalk or ground. When you’re done just fold it up to use another day!
Language Learning Activity: Telephone Play
Supplies: Two Toy Phones
Directions: Set up the two toy phones in the play area. You can also decorate a phone booth made from cardboard boxes with funky colors, to appeal to your little one’s imagination. Now act as if you are calling your child and the phone is ringing. Encourage your toddler to answer the phone and talk to you.
Skills Learned: Word development. Social development.