I can’t believe we are so far into summer! The weeks are flying by. Here is next week’s plan of activities. Last week we had a lot of camping activities, this week there are several ocean themed activities!
Paint the Ocean
Give your child the freedom to experiment with finger paint. With this activity they can mix colors and completely explore painting with their hands and experience what happens on the paper. They can mix colors, they can smear it all over the paper, whatever they feel like. Guide them along the way. It’s our job to talk about what they are doing and describe what the real ocean looks like… maybe even looking at some pictures. If you want you can cut out fish from magazines or pictures to glue on after the paint had dried.
Stuff to Have
-Blue, green, and white non-toxic finger paint
Colors, fine motor, sensory, art, painting
Hold a spoon with one hand. Place the golf ball on the large part of the spoon and demonstrate to your little one how it can balance if you keep it steady. Now, show them what happens with you tip it. It falls off. Let them try balancing the golf ball while walking around. Too easy for your older toddler? Let them try holding the golf ball on a smaller spoon or between a large pair of tongs.
Stuff to Have
-Cereal or soup spoon
-Golf balls (or similar size ball)
Fine motor, hand-eye coordination
Fishing pole: Make a small hole in one end of the paper towel role. Then, to attach the pipe cleaner, stick about an inch through the hole, bend the pipe cleaner over and tape the piece inside of the towel roll. On the other end of the pipe cleaner attach a strong magnet, or glue the tip of the pipe cleaner between two magnets.
Fish: On construction paper draw about a 3-inch circle or oval then add a triangle to one side to make the tail of the fish. Cut it out and add an eye and a line for the mouth. On the back of the fish glue a magnet.
Set-up: Set the fish out, magnet side up, on the floor, on a table, or in a shallow plastic container. Then your child can sit nearby and “fish” with their magnet fishing pole. This is a problem solving activity so you might start by asking how they can pick up the fish with their new pole. Let them experiment some and see if it works to pick up a fish. This might require a little help from you if they aren’t catching any, but once they start to pull up fish they will be excited to catch more!
Stuff to Have
-1 empty paper towel roll
-1 pipe cleaner
-Construction paper fish
Problem solving, follow through, fine motor
Science & Math
Fruits and Veggies
Comparing and classifying objects is an early math and science concept. For this activity collect various fruits and veggies of different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. Let your child feel them smell them, and if they’re up to it they can even taste them! This is an activity to use all of their senses to discover how these fruits and veggies are the same and how they are different. For younger children this can be a type of sensory activity with lots of description from you about the sizes, shapes, and colors that they see.
Stuff to Have
Various fruits and vegetables
Early science and math, fine motor, sensory
Cooking & Baking
Here is a fun beachy themed snack to make this week! Start by blending graham crackers and chocolate cracker in a food processor until it resembles sand. In a different bowl, whisk together pudding and milk until it begins to thicken, set aside. Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Now, combine the pudding mixture with cream cheese & butter mixture. Finally, fold in cool whip to pudding mixture. Now to assemble, cover the bottom of dish with a layer of pudding mixture, then a layer of “sand.” Repeat layers until it is all used up. It can be assembled in individual dishes or in a large dish.
Stuff to Have
1 small box vanilla pudding
1 1/2 c milk
1 container cool whip
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
9 graham crackers
1 chocolate graham cracker
Cooking & baking, fine motor, early science and math
Along with these different activities make sure there is plenty of opportunity for large muscle movement, reading books, singing and rhyming every day.
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. Maybe you could walk like a crab and then have some sand pudding for a treat!
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. Maybe this week you could pick stories about friends who go to the ocean or play at the beach! 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!