Summer Week 5: July 2-6
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
Your child is going to make an American Flag with the pieces you have precut. You may set up a picture of a flag for them to try and copy, or you may be very hands on with your younger child. Keep in mind your children are practicing their artistic abilities at their level. So, if it’s not exactly an American Flag, they still learned a lot! Start by drawing a rectangle in the upper left hand corner of the half sheet of blue construction paper. This will be the area that the stars go. Then add the stripes (starting and ending with red). Talk about the colors and talk about the patterning of the two colors of stripes. Once those are glued down, your child can add stars to the open blue section. 50 is a lot, so this is definitely a good opportunity for an adult to help out, or just get as many on as you can. Finally, trim the stripes that are too long to fit the edge of the flag.
Stuff to Have
7- 1/2” x 9” Red stripes
6- ½” x 9” White stripes
1/2 sheet blue construction paper, (cut width-wise)
Small sticker stars
Fine motor, patterning, arts and crafts
Tearing… an amazingly simple concept that is actually quite difficult for our little ones. Now, it’s ok if you really don’t end up with stripes, but give this fine motor activity a try with your child. They will find it fun when they get their fingers to work at tearing apart the paper. It really is a good fine motor workout for their little forearm and hand muscles. You may need to help your younger toddler get their tears started, but once they go it will be fun to see what they can do.
If your child is on the older end of the toddler/preschool years and seems ready to try cutting, pull out a pair of safety scissors to give cutting a try. If it gets to frustrating, don’t force it. Trust me, they won’t go to college without the ability to cut with scissors. It will come! There’s no use forcing these types of things on our kids, they’ll just learn to not like it!
Stuff to Have
-Red and white construction paper
-Children’s safety scissors (optional)
Fine motor, sensory
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
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
Early science, sensory, fine motor
Cooking & Baking
With your child bake angel food cupcakes according to the package instructions for angel food cupcakes. Dumping and stirring are great jobs for little ones!
Once the cupcakes are cool top with a dollop of whipped topping, strawberries, and blueberries for delicious a red, white, and blue treat!
Optional Variation: Fresh whipped cream is so easy to make and can be a fun job to get some energy out. Take heavy whipping cream and pour about halfway into an empty (and clean) glass baby food jar, or other small plastic container (it just needs to be small enough for their hands and with a lid). Now they can get busy shaking it up! It will take a little time, but that heavy cream will start to turn into yummy whipped cream!
Stuff to Have
-Angel food cake mix
-Whipped topping (or heavy whipping cream)
-Strawberries and blueberries
Fine motor, early science, following directions