Week 8: October 22-26
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
Decorate a Pumpkin
By now those perfect and cute little craft pumpkins at the craft store should be on sale. We have painted a pumpkin, we’ve made our own pumpkin, our carved pumpkins are out on the step… we have some super cute and decorated pumpkins. A couple of years ago we decorated craft pumpkins with stickers that matched my kids interests. For some reason, that fun activity stuck with us and we have done it ever since. So, I thought I’d share this simple idea with you to add to your own pumpkin collection! Use a craft pumpkin, a real pumpkin, or just decorate a print out of a pumpkin. Then gather stickers that match your child’s interest, along with other craft supplies if they would like and let them decorate to their hearts desire. What a great way to practice their independence, creativity, and get a great fine motor workout!
Stuff to have
1 pumpkin (craft pumpkin, real pumpkin, or print out)
Other craft supplies/decorations, optional
Independence, creativity, art, fine motor
Let your child experiment and get creative moving pumpkin seeds from different containers with various utensils. Try and make it interesting by giving them containers with different sized openings. For instance, give them a bottle with a small opening to work on getting the seeds into. Can they get it back out? Also change up the utensils they use. Try giving them tweezers, tongs, clothespins, etc. to make it interesting and further fine motor movement.
Stuff to Have
Pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried from pumpkin carving
Utensils: spoons, ladles, serving spoons, bowls, etc.
Fine motor, Problem solving
I find it fun to include activities that for the most part fall within the season we are in. We don’t have a fall puzzle, so I decided it should be easy enough to make one. If you don’t want to make a puzzle, no problem. Just do some of the puzzles that you have together. To make our puzzle I freehanded 4 different colored and different shaped pumpkins (you could also do leaves or apples if you want to keep it in the fall theme). I cut out the 1st 4 pumpkins and traced each of them on the same color paper. So, my result was 2 of each color of mathcing pumpkin. Then, I glued one of each color onto a sheet of paper, and the other 4 pumpkins are left to match up for the puzzle. Whether you are doing your own puzzle or this fall puzzle be interactive and encouraging. If your child becomes frustrated give them some hints- this isn’t a test!
Stuff to Have
8 pumpkins (4 different shapes/sizes, 4 different colors)
1 Piece construction paper
Problem solving, follow through
Early Science & Math
Pumpkin Patch Match
Prep your paper pumpkins in various shapes and sizes. Have between 3 and 5 of each color and several different sizes. You can lay out the pumpkins and your child can match pumpkins based on size and/or color.
Stuff to Have
Paper pumpkins, various sizes and colors (I free hand my pumpkins and cut out)
Butcher paper (optional)
Early math, color recognition, fine motor
Cooking & Baking
This is about as “spooky” as things get at our house around Halloween. I’ll do cute costumes and go for candy, but I’m not a big fan of the scary stuff. Even if you’re not at all into Halloween festivities, still do this fun activity in the kitchen. It is one that allows so many opportunities for independence, sensory, and fine motor!
To get started, preheat your oven to 375. Then, let your child have fun creating their own pizza, using their independence to choose what toppings to use. Finish off with strands of string cheese laid across the pizzas and the finished product will make it look like a mummy (or not if you’re not into that kind of thing). It might be a little messier, but try and let your child take charge, practicing their fine motor movements, making their own decisions, and learning from everything they are doing. They will love it!
Stuff to Have
Favorite Pizza toppings: pepperoni, sausage, vegetables… whatever you and your child choose!
Cooking/baking, fine motor, science, math