This week is a mix of fruits and veggies and some old favorites from earlier this summer. Get creative and tailor each of these activities to make it interesting for your child. We will try and post our experience with each of the activities as we do them!
Fruit & Veggie Stamps
Adult Prep: First, you need to get the fruits and vegetables into a “stamplike” shape. Cut carrots in half for a circle “stamp,” cut apples in half lengthwise or widthwise, or leave them whole and use the bottom “feet” of the apple as a stamp. The “stamps” need to be big enough to hold onto, but they also need to work to dip in a blob of paint and put on the paper. Get creative with the fruits and veggies that you use. Pick things that are familiar and also pick new types of fruits and veggies!
Have fun with your little one! There’s no right or wrong way to do this activity. Think about where your child is at, what they are learning, and what they are interested in. The littlest ones are forming the foundation of what they know about these foods, the paper, the paint, and the whole process… With any age you can talk about colors, shapes, and size. You can talk about the insides of the fruits and veggies. They are learning how they feel, the texture, the temperature… Their fingers and hands are learning how to hold them. What happens when they dip it in the paint? What happens when they put it on the paper? Each step of the way, they are forming concepts for what they are doing. Demonstrate a couple of times, or work alongside them giving them ideas for what they could do, but let them experiment with the fruits and veggies, paint, and paper. For older children you could even talk about what the shapes look like.
Stuff to Have
-Assorted fruits and veggies, choose fruits and veggies of different shapes and sizes, be creative!
-Non-toxic paint (in a size easy for dipping fruits and veggies, ie. a paper plate, pie plate, plastic container or lid, etc.)
Colors, shapes, texture/temperature, fruit and vegetable names, painting, stamping, art
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.
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
Fine motor, hand eye coordination, problem solving
Play a game of hide and seek, only in this version hide a construction paper star for your child to find. For younger children keep it pretty easy, at their eye level and not too hidden. Also keep their level of mobility in mind. For older children, make it a little tougher, but not so much that they get frustrated. Children will love getting to use their problem solving skills to find the star. They will also love getting to take some turns hiding it from you!
Stuff to Have
-1 medium size star (cut from construction paper or stiff fabric like felt)
Problem solving, follow through
Early Science & Math
Collect items from around the house that will sink and float. If your child is older they can help you collect objects and you can talk about what you each think will happen. Once you have collected the objects fill a tub or container with water to test each of the objects. One by one let your child put them in. Be descriptive about what is happening and ask a lot of questions, especially to your older child. Remember, even if they aren’t answering doesn’t mean they aren’t learning!
Stuff to Have
-Various objects that will sink in water
-Various objects that will float in water
-Tub or large plastic container of water
Early math, early science
Cooking and Baking
Unroll crescent roll dough into a 9×13 pan (seal seams). Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes. Cool completely. Mix greek yogurt and ranch dressing mix together. Spread over cooled crust. Sprinkle with cut vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
This is a great cooking activity for kids. A fun way to get some veggies in their diet, plus they can help patting the dough, pouring, mixing, spreading the sauce, and sprinkling on the vegetables.
Stuff to Have
1 package crescent rolls
8 oz greek yogurt
ranch dressing mix
Fine motor, cooking, science
If you’ve been following along you know I always end with talking about the importance of large muscle movement, reading, and singing! Maybe someday soon I’ll get around to writing specifically about these and their importance. You know… when I’m not busy…
To get large muscle groups working you can do things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler… get creative and have fun doing this together.
Get lot’s of reading in too. I’m sure you have a lot of favorite books, we do too! We also like to go to the library and pick up books that relate to what we are doing, and offer us something fresh and new from the books we have at home. Read the books, talk about the pictures, the colors, and what things are similar to your child’s world.
And don’t forget music and rhymes! Even if you don’t consider yourself musical try to have fun and include music and rhymes in your day, your kids aren’t judging you and there’s no one else listening! The sing songy-ness of music and rhymes is instrumental in literacy and language development (think future reading), plus it’s fun, it gets kids moving, and it can be a great way to change a rough day into a happy one!