Spring Week 4: March 25-29
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
Model Birds Nest & Eggs
For so long I saw play dough as just another “toy” to pull out occasionally, when I was mentally prepared for the mess. 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. Please… don’t get overly focused on the objective to model birds nests and eggs! Because if you do you will be pretty frustrated. 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. There are great rolling, squishing, and patting fine motor motions in that process, so it doesn’t hurt to show them! 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… always a great one when there’s nothing hot or sharp! 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