Model Birds Nest & Eggs
For so long I saw play dough as just another “toy” to pull out occasionally. Then, I realized it’s really a form of art, and I started trying to regularly include it in my activity plan with my kids. Now, don’t get overly focused on the objective to model birds nests and eggs! Really this is just a chance to make sure we are pulling out the play dough. Go ahead and demonstrate with how to make a birds nest and eggs to go inside of it. Then, let your child try to create their own version. Maybe you will end up with something that looks like a nest or a bird, maybe they’ll want to do their own thing, or maybe they’ll just experience what it’s like to play with play dough… all of the above are great!
This will involve a lot of pinching, rolling, patting, and flattening. You can also talk about how the nest is the house for the bird and the eggs, it keeps them safe, it is where the baby birds will hatch out of their eggs, and the mommy bird creates it out of different materials she finds outside. Keep up talking about what your child is doing and what you are doing throughout the process.
Stuff to Have
Play dough, homemade or purchased
Tools: spoons, straight edges (not sharp), cups, rolling pins, etc.
Fine motor, modeling
Lay out buttons and pipe cleaners. Demonstrate to children how the pipe cleaner can go through the button-holes. Let your child try to put pipe cleaners through the button-holes and make a button “flower.” If it starts to get frustrating for your child help them out. The point is to have fun and try something new. If you do help, try to find the balance between letting them experiment, and assisting them.
Stuff to Have
Buttons- various shapes, sizes, and colors
Fine motor, colors
Early Science & Math
A big part of seasons like spring and fall are the amount of change that gradually happens. In the beginning, it isn’t much different from winter months, but by the end of spring the scenery and temperature have completely changed. This is a good point to go on a nature walk to observe what changes are beginning. Are there buds on the trees? Is grass getting greener? Check for buds in the flower beds, and early flowers like daffodils and tulips will be making big progress. What is the temperature like? How is it changing? There are so many changes, a nature walk outside to observe the changes will be a fun hands on way to experience them.
Early science, observation, large motor
Cooking & Baking
Dirt Cake & Worms
With lots of supervision and helping hands, this is a kid activity that they can be very involved with. Let your child dump in the pudding mix, and the 2 c milk (insert helping hands here for sure!). Then, they can whisk it together until it is smooth. Let the pudding sit for 5 minutes. This would be a good time to put the chocolate cookies into a gallon bag and let your child crush them with a heavy spoon or other semi-heavy object. Next, mix in cool whip with the pudding. Then, add about a half-cup of the crushed chocolate cookies into the pudding mixture. Now, place the pudding mixture into individual cups or bowls (approx. 10), or into a larger bowl or container. Put the rest of the chocolate cookies on top of the pudding and refrigerate for 1 hour. Top with gummy worms and enjoy this Spring treat!
Stuff to Have
1-3.9oz package instant chocolate pudding
2 c milk
15 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
Cooking and baking, fine motor
On top of all this fun, make sure you are getting in lot’s of large motor, reading, and music! All things I need to do better at next week!
Large Motor: Run, jump, leap frog, have a dance party, ride a trike, climb a slide, jump on a trampoline…
Reading: One book, two books, red book, blue book; books that are high, books that are low, books from here to here to there, books that are everywhere… Ok, I’m no Dr. Seuss but you get my drift! Reading is so important! And you know what, you don’t even have to read the words. Talk about the pictures, point out colors, relate the book to your child’s life. Talking, conversing, hearing new words being tied to familiar things… that is how your child is making new connections.
And finally music and rhymes! Another great way for kids to hear the sounds in words! These are skills that will come back to them when they are learning to read later on. Do an internet search for Spring songs for kids. You will find a lot of great little rhymes and songs to add throughout the day. You don’t need to have a set “music time” that you sit down and sing, just sing them as you go about the day!