Fun Activities at Home for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Are you a parent of a toddler or a preschooler? Like you, I have a curious and active preschooler. The toddler and preschooler stage is the most fun and exciting period of the kids' development.
During these years, they begin learning more and practice new skills. The more opportunity they have to explore, engage, and play, the more they learn and improve. During these years, it is critical to support their physical, cognitive, language, and emotional development by providing them a safe environment to play and discover. Making your presence felt through hugging them, and being a good example for them will also help them grow and develop.
Let me share with you some of the play and arts and crafts activities that we have done at home. These activities require little to no preparation at all. Most of the materials that we used can be found at home.
Fun Activities To Do at Home
1. Play with Bubbles
For young kids and adults alike, bubbles are magical and a sure-hit. For toddlers, you can start by blowing bubbles for them follow and pop it. This simple yet fun activity offers lots of benefits for the kids.
As you may have read in the Tiny Steps article, Mindfulness Activities for Kids to Cope with the COVID-19 Outbreak, blowing bubbles is a mindful activity that can help children calm down.
It is also a subtle way of practicing their focus, spatial awareness, and eye-and-hand coordination. You may also allow them to hold the wand and blow the bubbles. Their grasp of the bubble wand helps their pincher grip too.
In case you don't have any bubble solution at home, you can easily make one at home. All you need to do is mix dishwashing liquid, sugar and water. Have fun!
2. Make Bubble Art
Make your bubbles lasting memories by making a colorful artwork out of it. Using your bubble solution, mix in food coloring or tempera paint into the mixture. You can let your child blow bubbles towards the paper that is either placed on a table or posted on the wall.
This can get a little messy, so it might be best to do it in your backyard and let your child wear apron or gloves if he/she has. Remember that your child has to be able to hold the wand properly and blow the bubbles without his/her lips touching the want before doing this.
3. Paint an Art Work
Painting is an excellent way to unleash creativity. There are no rules to follow, and only the imagination can limit the creation. The child could choose any color, dictate the brushstroke, or even use his hands if he/she wanted to.
My little girl started tinkering with tempera paint inside a ziplock bag when she was around 8 months old and started using paintbrush when she was around one year old.
Through constant exposure to art and art materials, she has become comfortable in making her own art. Her work has evolved from random splatter and lines to a more defined subject like her family and nature.
4. Explore Sensory Painting
Add a twist in the painting experience by making it more sensorial by using Ice Paint. It is a good way to introduce cold temperatures and different consistency to kids. You can simply do this by freezing water with food coloring or tempera paint. Pop the ice color out of the freezer a few minutes before the painting session to allow the ice to melt a little.
5. Salt Art Painting
Water transferring activities are a good exercise for the little one's grasp and pincer grip. A toddler can start his practice using cups, spoons, and a dropper for moving water from one container to another.
Another way to strengthen the pincer grip is through the Salt Art Painting. Prepare your "canvas" by drawing an object using glue into a cardstock. Cover the paper with salt and let it dry. Shake off the excess salt, and your canvas is ready for painting.
Once you have the colored water, let your child paint by dropping water into the salt. Let the child observe how the water moves through the grain of salt and how the salt seems to absorb it.
6. Host a Mini Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is an exciting game that gives ample opportunity to practice gross motor skills and object recognition. For toddlers, the scavenger hunt guide should start with a few simple objects that are listed by pictures. My daughter cannot read yet, so her guide had both an image and words so that she can follow it. This game can be hosted for older kids too.
If you have printers at home, you can easily print your own scavenger hunt guide, or like in my case, I just drew them. I had it placed in a plastic card case so it can be reusable anytime. I just need to change the location of the object during each game.
7. Conduct an Experiment
Kids are natural explorer, and they love to discover new things. Giving them activities that will intensify their interest is a must to foster their love for discovery. Start engaging them with simple science experiments and use this as an opportunity to talk to them about what their senses are telling them. By giving them the freedom to explore, you help them learn new concepts, tickle their curiosity, and develop their problem-solving skills.
Vinegar and Baking Soda Experiment
This is a classic! In a tray, pour out the baking soda and ensure all of the areas are covered. You may choose to let your child drop vinegar directly to the baking dish. To make it more appealing, put food coloring to the vinegar so that the baking soda fizzles with different colors.
We hope that you try and enjoy the fun activities in the comfort of your home. We would love to hear your experiences once you have tried it at home too. Keep your response coming in the comment box below.
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