Summer Week 3

Summer Week 3: June 18-22

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

Art

Summertime Collage

This is a two part activity that will touch on a lot of areas of development. First, go on a nature walk and talk about the changes that are happening now that it is summer. Is the temperature different? What things are growing? What colors do you see? While on your walk, encourage your child to collect nature items that look interesting to them. Then, you can glue the nature items onto a piece of paper and create a collage.

Stuff to Have

IMG_1686

-Construction paper

-Glue

-Items from nature: leaves, flowers, twigs, grass, small pebbles…

Developing Skills

Fine motor, large motor, art, planning and follow through, early science

Fine Motor

Ping Pong Ball Drop

Set out your jar and ping pong balls (or similar small ball) and ask your child how to put the balls in the jar. Let your child try dropping the balls in. If your child is young or not interested, demonstrate to them how to drop the balls in. Can they get it out? If it’s too easy for your child, make it more difficult by trying to drop the ball in from a higher point. Or, try something different by dropping a smaller object into a container with a smaller opening.

IMG_1698

Stuff to Have

-Ping pong balls, or ball similar in size

-Jar or plastic container with opening wide enough to fit ball

-Craft balls (smaller than ping pong balls), optional

-Jar or container with smaller opening, optional

Developing Skills

Fine motor, hand eye coordination, problem solving

Sensory

Splash Time! Water Play

Every child loves water play, and playing outside in water is a natural option in the summer. It is also a great learning opportunity! Fill a small pool or a large shallow container with water, or use a hose attached to a gentle sprinkler. Not only is it a sensory activity, it is science (water properties), fine motor (playing with spoons, cups, etc.), math (volume and measuring), and of course one of the most fun things for kids! Capitalize on the chance to play in water by adding anything that will enhance their play and their learning. This could be plastic cups, bowls, spoons, ladles, colanders, sponges, etc. Be creative and have fun!

Stuff to Have

-Small pool, hose with a gentle sprinkler, small shallow tub

-Cups, spoons, sponges, bowls, colanders, etc.

Developing Skills

Sensory and texture, early math, early science, problem solving, colors, fine motor

*Safety Note: Please stay with kids no mater their age while doing activities with water. Close supervision is a must even with older toddlers and preschoolers. I also do not recommend the use of a large bucket filled with water, as small children could tip in while reaching down to the water and not be able to get back out.

Science and Math

Melt an Ice Cube

Take your child outside, preferably a hot one to see the change happen quickly. Set your ice cubes in various locations and see how they melt. One could be on the sidewalk in the direct sun, one could be in the shade, and one could be left inside… be creative! Your older child may be able to describe the differences in the melting ice cube. Younger children might enjoy playing with the ice as it melts. Either way, ask questions, describe what you see, give your child a chance to make their own observations, and let them experience the changing ice cube by touching, splashing, maybe even tasting the melting ice.

Stuff to Have

Ice cubes

Developing Skills

Early science, sensory, fine motor

Cooking and Baking

Peanut Butter Balls 

Using a food processor or blender, grind oats to medium coarseness. Blend oats, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla with a mixer until combined. Scoop 1-2t of the mixture and roll into balls with hands. Place peanut butter balls on parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1.5-2 hours or until firm. Kids can get their hands messy helping measure, dump, mix, and roll with this activity! I encourage you to let your child take part with as much as they can, they will absolutely love it and will have so much pride in getting to snack on their own creation when it is ready!

IMG_0050

Stuff to Have

1/2 c. peanut butter (or other nut butter)

2 c. oats

3 T honey or maple syrup (or to taste)

1 t. vanilla

Developing Skills

Fine motor, early science, early math, following instructions

Happy Playing!

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