Spring Week 2: March 11-15
At Real. Meaningful. Family. my goal is to provide information based on research for parents and caregivers, and to create regular opportunity for you to have special together time with your child. Toddlers and preschoolers learn from the environment and daily interactions. We are in no way seeking to create a school-like setting for your young child. Research has clearly indicated that academic learning (think reading, writing, and arithmetic) for these young children is not developmentally appropriate, learning for this age is in the every day details. The activities below have been created as a time to set aside specifically for parents and care givers to have a fun interaction with their children. I would recommend you first prioritize time to read, snuggle, dance, sing, move, rhyme, play, and then add these activities in as you can. Don’t stress… keep it simple, and just be together!
“The work will wait while you show your child the rainbow. But the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.” -Erik Erikson
I always picture March as a blustery, half spring, half winter sort of month, and the kind of month that kite flying is optimal. I don’t know if it really is, but why not make a cute kite craft in March! I start by cutting out a kite shape from white construction paper, and from there it is pretty simple. Let your child decorate their kite with various materials as they choose (ideas below in the materials list). Just like other activities you are the judge of what they can and can’t do. Our youngest toddlers are going to need help and might only experience the materials. Older kids will need less help. The key is to help with what they need help with, without taking over. Let your child practice their creativity, their ideas, let them mess up, get glue on their hands, and see what works and what doesn’t. To finish off, hang yarn or strips of fabric or paper at the bottom of the kite for the tail. Hang up to enjoy!
Stuff to Have
Construction paper cut into a kite shape
Decorations for the kite: paint, colors, markers, stickers, extra fabric, yarn, pipe cleaners, etc. Anything your child will enjoy decorating their kite with.
Fine motor, art, gluing skills
How about an absolute, zero prep activity that the kids will love!?! These Easter eggs are a great fine motor sorting activity. As simple as it sounds, my kids have always loved doing this. It’s so simple, I really don’t even need to provide instructions, other than… play along, demonstrate, maybe match by color maybe you don’t, and help out with younger children to keep from getting frustrated.
Stuff to Have
Plastic Easter Eggs
Fine motor, math (sorting), problem solving
Early Science & Math
Make A Nest
Gather items from around the house and outside to spread around for birds to collect. Birds begin their nesting search well before we see many birds or nests starting to appear. Use the opportunity to talk about what process a bird goes through to make a nest and why they do it. Talk about what your “nest” is like, and how it is the same or different.
Stuff to Have
Yarn, scraps of fabric, grass, other light materials (be sure to use materials that are natural and not harmful to birds)
Early science, sensory
Cooking & Baking
Well, if you do your cooking activity on Friday, it will be St. Patrick’s Day! So, you’ve got to do something green at least, and how about some Shamrock sugar cookies! Let your child roll out the prepared cookie dough to about ¼ inch thick (with some assistance of course, this can be a tricky task for adults at times!) Be sure to keep plenty of flour underneath the dough to prevent it from sticking. When the dough is rolled out, use the cookie cutter to cut out shamrock shapes. Bake according to the package or your recipe instructions. Let the cookies cool. Meanwhile, mix up your frosting with green food coloring. This is so fun for kids to be involved in and watch the transformation of white frosting to bright green! Make it as bright or muted as they would like. When the cookies are cool and frosting is made, let your child smear on the green frosting. Activities like this are packed with science, math, and fine motor experiences! Plus, if it is just for them, your child gets to have so much freedom in creating the finished product giving them such feelings of accomplishment and pride.
Stuff to Have
Sugar cookie dough, store bought or homemade
Frosting, store bought or homemade (but add your own food color for the fun of it!)
Green food color
Shamrock cookie cutter
Cooking and baking, science, math, fine motor