Spring Week 1: March 4-8
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
Here is a fun craft to kick off the Spring/Easter season. I chose a lamb because it’s a nice way to use some different materials and get several fine motor movements. You can make a lamb like we do, or you could easily make a bunny, lion, or any other furry animal. Just change up the pre-made body parts to match whichever animal you choose.
First, your child can start by gluing the lamb face parts onto the black lamb face cut out. Some children may need more assistance putting together the characteristics of a face. To look at a face is one of a baby’s favorite things to do… putting together a face, on the other hand, is very abstract and is a concept that comes with time! Only get involved as much as you need to, to avoid frustration, and let your child experiment even if it isn’t “right.” Next, your child can glue cotton balls all over the plate for the wool. They can use as many as they would like. If it feels like it is taking a long time, or seems overwhelming for your child, it may help to stretch the cotton balls out to cover more surface area. Do what you need to, to avoid them getting bored or overwhelmed with this part of the activity. Finally, glue the lamb face to the top of the plate, and finish it off with a few cotton balls on the top of the lamb face.
Stuff to Have
Lamb eyes cut from black construction paper or craft eyes
A lamb face with ears attached
Fine motor, sensory, art, anatomy of a face
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
Little children are natural born little scientists and this is a fun way to use those budding skills. Remember, younger children probably aren’t going to sort them exactly the way we would, but they will experience the differences through feeling them and noticing difference in color and shape. Older kids might sort them by size, shape, or color, or they might not. It isn’t a big deal because no matter their age, they will benefit a ton from you talking about colors, shapes, and any other characteristics you notice as your child plays. What color are they? Which one is the biggest? The smallest? The weirdest? What are these seeds for? What do they look like? Take advantage of simple activities like this, and draw out learning experiences from all areas of development!
Stuff to Have
Various seeds (larger seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, and corn seeds are good for this)
muffin tin or ice tray
Utensils: spoons, cups, tweezers, tongs, etc. (optional)
Fine motor, math (sorting), sensory
Cooking & Baking
These make the sweetest little Springy, Eastery cookie! Mix your cookie dough with orange food coloring until dough is completely orange- this may take some help from you to get it even, but it’s also a good chance to let your child get some sensory play and autonomy in this activity. Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball, then shape into the shape of a small carrot. Adult, stick a toothpick into the top of the carrot (this will be where you tie the ribbon after the cookies are baked). Bake according to recipe or package. Once baked let cool and tie green ribbon into a bow on the toothpick.
Stuff to Have
Sugar cookie dough, homemade or store bought
Orange food color
¼” green ribbon
Colors, baking, fine motor
Read, cuddle, sing, dance, move, play!