Spring Week 8: April 23-27
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
Put dots of various colors of paint all over the open coffee filter. Let children use wet sponges to dab and squish all over the wings. Colors will bleed together to form new colors and create a watercolor looking butterfly. Let the coffee filter dry. Once it is dry, twist the pipe cleaner around the middle so that it creates two equal size “wings” on either side. Trim the pipe cleaner so that the two ends form the antennae. This will go so fast you and your child might even want to make a couple butterfly friends!
This is a nice follow-up activity to last weeks egg carton caterpillar! It will be a lot of fun for your child to get messy and experiment with this new method of sponge painting and to see all of the new colors that come about.
Stuff to Have
1 Coffee filter
Various paint colors
Damp sponges (just wet enough that the water will help the paint bleed together)
Colors, fine motor, color recognition and mixing
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
Sorting by color, shape, size etc. is an early math concept. It is something that younger kids might not grasp yet, but just talk about what the activity is, talk about the differences and similarities in the seeds, demonstrate for them, and let them try. Don’t expect perfection, but let them experiment, mess up and occasionally get some right! I start my kids out by putting one of each seeds in an ice tray or muffin tin compartment, and then I let them try. With younger kids like I mentioned earlier describe what you see, help them notice differences and demonstrate what to do. With older kids, you can start the same, and then let them give it a try. Keep talking about colors, shapes, and any other characteristics you notice as your child goes through this. What are these seeds for? What do they look like? Are they big or little? Smooth or bumpy?
Cooking & Baking
Cooking and baking activities don’t have to be complicated or too messy, but they can definitely be great fine motor activities and even artistic! When you stick two mini pretzels together they take on the look of a butterfly. Set out a bowl of pretzels, a bowl of M&M’s, and a scoop of peanut butter, along with a plate to build on and a plastic knife or back of a spoon to spread peanut butter. Demonstrate how the peanut butter makes the pretzels stick together and how you can make a butterfly with all of the ingredients. Then, let your child take over and experiment with everything. It’s ok if it doesn’t end up looking like a butterfly, let them try, get a little messy, and learn a bunch through it all!
Stuff to Have
Mini pretzels (the classic pretzel shape)
Chocolate M&M candies
Fine motor, problem solving, follow through, sensory