Summer Week 4: June 26-30

I look forward to so many of these summer activities! I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s just the nostalgia of summer. This week we are starting to get patriotic… doing some repeats… and making one of our favorite summer treats… Popsicles!

Art

IMG_0194Patriotic Hat

Adult prep (optional): Staple an elastic chin strap fitted for your child to the top of a plastic cup. Set aside for later

Let your child decorate a full size sheet of red, blue, or white construction paper with patriotic decorations. You can have red, white, and blue paint, markers, or fat crayons, glitter, star stickers or cutouts, stripes, or anything else they would like. When they are finished roll it into a cylinder and tape or staple the two edges together. Now you can drop the cylinder onto the plastic cup and tape, or staple, the edges at the bottom of the hat (to keep the paper from coming off of the plastic cup; using the plastic cup is optional to keep the bottom more stable, add elastic to the paper cylinder if not using a cup). Now it is ready to wear and get excited for the 4th of July!

Stuff to Have

-Red, white, or blue construction paper

-1 wide mouth, disposable plastic cup

-Decorations: stars, stickers, paints, colors, glitter, etc.

-Glue, tape, and/or staples

-Piece of elastic fitted for your child

Developing Skills

Fine motor, planning, colors, arts and crafts

Fine Motor

Tear Stripes

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)

Developing Skills

Fine motor

Problem Solving

Find the Star

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!

IMG_0024

Stuff to Have

-1 medium size star (cut from construction paper or stiff fabric like felt)

Developing Skills

Problem solving, follow through

Science & Math

Who’s My Mommy Fish Match

Make 5 large fish in different colors of construction paper, and make 5 small fish to correspond to the colors of the large fish. This is an activity of matching. Matching the mommy fish to the baby fish based on color. Let your child play with how to match the fish together, all along describe what they are doing and what you are doing. If they enjoy matching, they can also sort by size, putting all of the big fish together and all of the little fish together.

IMG_0020

Stuff to Have

-Mommy fish: 5 large construction paper fish (all different colors)

-Baby fish: 5 smaller construction paper fish (corresponding to the mommy colors)

Developing Skills

Early math (matching and sorting), fine motor, problem solving

Cooking & Baking

Strawberry Popsicles

Blend strawberries in a blender until smooth with a few chunks. Add A little honey to taste (or your sweetener of choice) only as necessary if strawberries are tart. Pour the strawberry mixture into the popsicle molds (or paper cups) place sticks in the middle. Let freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen through.

Stuff to Have

2 c. Strawberries

Water

Honey, to taste

Popsicle molds, or small paper cups and popsicle sticks

Developing Skills

Science, fine motor


Make sure you’re sprinkling in a good dose of these too…

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities. One activity that kids will never turn down is getting out the bubbles! And it’s a great chance to work out energy and strengthen large muscle groups by chasing after the bubbles.

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that focus on summertime, maybe going to the beach or camping, Fourth of July, and playing outside.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Summer Week 3: June 19-23

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

Add On Activities

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities would include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling…

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that focus on summertime, water play, and playing outside.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Summer Week 2: June 12-16

Art

Make Daddy A Card

Let your child design and decorate their own card for their dad, or someone special in their life, for Father’s Day. Fold the paper in half for a traditional looking card or keep it big for a full page picture. Let you child pick the materials and decide how to decorate it.

IMG_0074

Stuff to Have

-Construction paper

-Pens, crayons, markers, paints (let your child choose)

-Miscellaneous decorations: Stickers, glue, glitter, yarn, etc., optional

Developing Skills

Art, colors, planning, follow through, experience with art materials

Fine Motor

Balance a Golf Ball

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.

IMG_0082

Stuff to Have

-Cereal or soup spoon

-Golf balls (or similar size ball)

Developing Skills

Fine motor, hand-eye coordination

Problem Solving

Go Fishing

Adult prep:

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.IMG_0099

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!

IMG_0114

Stuff to Have

-1 empty paper towel roll

-1 pipe cleaner

-Tape/glue

-6 magnets

-Construction paper fish

Developing Skills

Problem solving, follow through, fine motor

Science & Math

Float or Sink?

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!

IMG_0122

Stuff to Have

-Various objects that will sink in water

-Various objects that will float in water

-Tub or large plastic container of water

Developing Skills

Early math, early science

Cooking & Baking

Daddy’s favorite treat

With your child, choose a treat to make with them for daddy (or other special father figure) for Father’s Day… I do believe we will be making caramel rice crispy treats!


Here are other developmentally important areas for activities!

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups! Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities. With Father’s Day approaching also consider something like golfing with daddy. Use wrapping paper rolls cut to your child’s size and a small plastic ball like a ping pong ball or golf ball. Your child will enjoy this large motor activity with daddy (or mommy) while at the same time working on their hand-eye coordination.

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Right now I like to look for some that focus on summertime, dads (for Father’s Day), and playing outside.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Happy Playing! 

Summer week 1: June 5-9

Art

Make a Tie like Daddy’s

Parent prep: From white construction paper, cut out a tie shape. From other various colors of construction paper cut out fun shapes for your child to glue onto the tie. It could be stripes, circles, zig zags, hearts, stars, anything that will be fun for the tie.

Let your children decorate daddy’s tie. For younger children it is sometimes easier to dip the decorations into a small puddle of glue. Older children get get their fine motor muscles working by using a stick of glue or squeezing liquid glue onto the paper. It’s ok if it gets messy! Let them decorate their tie as much as they like. Describe what they are doing and ask them to describe back to you as much as they can.

Stuff to Have

IMG_1717

-Construction paper, for tie

-Construction paper decorations

-Stickers, optional

-Glue

Developing Skills

Fine motor, art, gluing

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.

Stuff to Have

IMG_1698

-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

Problem Solving

Find The Star

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!

IMG_0024

Stuff to Have

-1 medium size star (cut from construction paper or stiff fabric like felt)

Developing Skills

Problem solving, follow through

Early Science & Math

Who’s my mommy: Fish Match

Make 5 large fish in different colors of construction paper, and make 5 small fish to correspond to the colors of the large fish. This is an activity of matching. Matching the mommy fish to the baby fish based on color. Let your child play with how to match the fish together, all along describe what they are doing and what you are doing. If they enjoy matching, they can also sort by size, putting all of the big fish together and all of the little fish together.

IMG_0020

Stuff to Have

-Mommy fish: 5 large construction paper fish (all different colors)

-Baby fish: 5 smaller construction paper fish (corresponding to the mommy colors)

Developing Skills:

Early math (matching and sorting), fine motor, problem solving

Cooking and Baking

Choose a Summer Favorite:

Take this opportunity to make something that is really special to you and your family. Maybe a cold treat that you always like to make in the summertime, a favorite cookie, or maybe you have some June fruits or vegetables to harvest and make something delicious!


Along with these fun activities, it’s just as important to make sure you are getting in large motor movement, reading, and even some music and rhymes! Here’s more information about those things:

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities. With Father’s Day approaching also consider something like golfing with daddy. Use wrapping paper rolls cut to your child’s size and a small plastic ball like a ping pong ball or golf ball. Your child will enjoy this large motor activity with daddy (or mommy) while at the same time working on their hand-eye coordination.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that focus on summertime, dads (for Father’s Day), and playing outside.

Summer Week 13: August 28-September 1

Art

Sidewalk Chalk or Paint

Sometimes it’s good to just get back to the basics! Take art outside and use sidewalk chalk or paint to create something new. Let younger children experiment with this new concept, and let older children stretch their creativity on the pavement. You can join in and make your own creations too. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and describe what you see!

Stuff to Have

-Sidewalk chalk or sidewalk paint

-Concrete sidewalk, driveway, or patio

Developing Skills

Fine motor, planning and follow through, sensory, colors

Fine Motor

Balance a Golf Ball

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.IMG_0374

Stuff to Have

-Cereal or soup spoon

-Golf balls (or similar size ball)

Developing Skills

Fine motor, hand-eye coordination

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.

Early Science & Math

Who’s My Mommy: Fish Match

Make 5 large fish in different colors of construction paper, and make 5 small fish to correspond to the colors of the large fish. This is an activity of matching. Matching the mommy fish to the baby fish based on color. Let your child play with how to match the fish together, all along describe what they are doing and what you are doing. If they enjoy matching, they can also sort by size, putting all of the big fish together and all of the little fish together.

IMG_0020

Stuff to Have

-Mommy fish: 5 large construction paper fish (all different colors)

-Baby fish: 5 smaller construction paper fish (corresponding to the mommy colors)

Developing Skills:

Early math (matching and sorting), fine motor, problem solving

Cooking & Baking

Free

Take a break or pick a favorite treat for this activity!

Add on Activities

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities. The end of summer is coming close! Get those last summery activities in as much as possible!

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that have some summertime themes like swimming, camping, playing outside, summertime fruits and veggies, and other fun summer activities that apply to your family.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Summer Week 12: August 21-25

Art

Nature Rubbing

Go on a nature walk. Take along a couple pieces of paper and crayons with the paper taken off. Find objects with interesting textures like concrete, wood, tree bark, rocks or pebbles, and leaves. Set the paper on top of the item. First, demonstrate how to create a rubbing by turning the crayon on its side and rubbing it back and forth. Point out to your child how the texture is showing through on the paper. Let them feel the object and talk about what the texture feels like (bumpy, scratchy, smooth, soft, etc.) then let them make a rubbing and observe the texture. For younger children you might need to help them push the crayon back and forth. Do this with several things and talk about how the textures for each object are different.

Stuff to Have

-Construction paper

-Crayons with paper taken off

Developing Skills

Science, sensory/texture, colors, fine motor

Fine Motor

Balance a Golf Ball

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.

IMG_0082

Stuff to Have

-Cereal or soup spoon

-Golf balls (or similar size ball)

Developing Skills

Fine motor, hand-eye coordination

Problem Solving

Build a Tent

What kids doesn’t love a tent. And tents are a big part of summer for some families. Why not set up a tent, inside or outside, but let you little one put their mind to work and figure out how to do it along with your occasional help. Ask questions that make them think, and offer suggestions to help them learn new ways of doing something. For younger children, you might have to do most of the work, but as the child gets older they will be more eager to have control over the tent building. Once it’s built spend some time in there, read some books or play with favorite toys.

Stuff to Have

-Sheet or light blankets

-Furniture, chairs (something sturdy to hold up the blankets)

-Clothespins

Developing Skills

Problem solving, planning, follow through

Early Science & Math

Float or Sink?

IMG_0133Collect 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

Developing Skills

Early math, early science

Cooking & Baking

Favorite Treat

Choose something that is your child’s or your family’s favorite to make in the summertime.

Developing Skills

Early math, early science, fine motor

Add on Activities

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities. Maybe this week try some easier versions of activities we will see in the Olympics!

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that have some summertime themes like swimming, camping, playing outside, summertime fruits and veggies, and other fun summer activities that apply to your family.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Summer Week 11: August 14-18

Art

Summer Trees

This is a chance to get hands dirty with modeling dough and creating something new! This a great sensory and fine motor combo- that also happens to be an art form! You can play along too, describing what you are doing as you create a tree, leaves, apples… however you want to make your tree. It will give your child an opportunity to learn how to grow their own play. Let them play with their playdough however they want, but describe the play and guide as you go. Their final product may not look like a tree (in fact it probably won’t), but you can use the opportunity to talk about what a tree looks like, what’s on top, what’s on bottom, what colors are in a tree, you could even talk about critters that live in a tree. It is an activity that is accomplishing fine motor and sensory components, but also helping children get one step closer to planfully playing and creating something new.

Stuff to Have

Clay or modeling dough

Developing Skills

Fine motor, sensory, art: modeling, early science

Fine Motor

Ping Pong Ball Drop

IMG_1698Set 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

Developing Skills

Fine motor, hand eye coordination, problem solving

Problem Solving

Go Fishing

Adult prep:

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.IMG_0099

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!

IMG_0114

Stuff to Have

-1 empty paper towel roll

-1 pipe cleaner

-Tape/glue

-6 magnets

-Construction paper fish

Developing Skills

Problem solving, follow through, fine motor

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

Ice cubes

Developing Skills

Early science, sensory, fine motor

Cooking & Baking

Make one of your family favorites!

Add on Activities

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities.

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that have some summertime themes like swimming, camping, playing outside, summertime fruits and veggies, and other fun summer activities that apply to your family.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Summer Week 10: August 7-11

Art

Flower Painting

I like to be totally ready before we start a paint project. So I prep the work space by laying down newspapers to keep the mess away and have a wet cloth handy. When you are set, let your child use the flowers (or celery tops) as paint brushes to create a painting. They can paint whatever they want. Younger children will experiment with the feelings of the paint and the “brushes.” Don’t be surprised if not much paint hits the paper, just be sure to help them avoid their mouths. Older toddlers and those nearing preschool might get more creative with what they paint. Keep in mind that there isn’t a certain way their painting should look, so give them freedom to try different methods and techniques on their own. Be there to facilitate, help when ask, and to create teaching opportunities.

Stuff to Have

-Construction paper

-Flowers and leaves (or celery tops; these will be used like paint brushes)

-Non-toxic paint, various colors

Developing Skills

Colors, shapes, painting

Fine Motor

Balance a Golf Ball

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.

IMG_0082

Stuff to Have

-Cereal or soup spoon

-Golf balls (or similar size ball)

Developing Skills

Fine motor, hand-eye coordination

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.

Early Science & Math

Explore a Watermelon

Set watermelon on a towel or in grass outside, this will be messy. This is a sensory and fine motor activity so let kids dig into the watermelon and have fun experiencing what it feels like. Plus, it’s healthy and safe to eat while exploring!

Stuff to Have

1 watermelon cut in half, or quartered (save other half for eating)

Spoons, scoops, bowls

Developing Skills

Fine motor, sensory, colors

Cooking & Baking

Watermelon treat

Use leftover watermelon for a cool summer treat. Kids can use plastic knives to help cut into chunks.

Stuff to Have

Watermelon, cubed or in triangles

Add on Activities

Large Motor: Find ways to use the big muscle groups. Activities could include things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler, or other outside activities. One of our favorites is catching bubbles!

Music and Rhymes: There are many online resources for music and rhymes. Look for some that have some summertime themes like swimming, camping, playing outside, summertime fruits and veggies, and other fun summer activities that apply to your family.

Books: Take a trip to the library and look for books about summer as well as books that match your child’s interest. Read, read, and read some more! They will love it and it’s prime time to get some snuggles.

Time For Art: Fruit and Veggie Stamps

IMG_0243When we think of art it’s easy to think of some of the obvious mediums: painting with a paintbrush, coloring with markers or crayons, finger painting… those are great and fun ways to do art, but I try to keep art activities varied and include things like collages, stamping, printing, doing texture rubbings, and sometimes crafts or seasonal decorations. Today we used our leftover fruit from last weeks sensory fruit and veggie activity to make fruit and veggie stamps.

I cut the veggies up in ways that my kids would be able to pick them up, but also ways that it made sense to stamp with them. Oh! If you are worried about wasting veggies, I recommend just cutting off parts that you wouldn’t necessarily eat for the stamp part (like the bottom and top of an apple, or the ends of a carrot), and use the other parts for a snack later. Here’s what we ended up with.

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That apple does not look very delicious to me… but if you wanted to just use part of it for stamping and the other part for eating, I would save the middle sections for eating and the top and bottom for stamping. Cut out the core, and smear on some peanut butter or other nut butter! Yum! Also, we used the tips of the carrots for a small round stamp and cut the middle part up into carrot sticks for a snack for later.

I let my son pick out his colors, I demonstrated a couple of “stamps” with one of the apple sections, and then I let him go for it. He loved it!

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Let’s talk about what’s going on here:

Fine motor: Grasping the fruit and veggie stamps will give your child’s forearm and little hand muscles a great little workout!

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Colors: I know this one is pretty obvious! But what a great chance to label colors, let your child pick their favorites, and see if any new colors emerge as the paint inevitably mixes together.

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Sensory: Not only is your child getting to feel those fruits and veggies from last weeks activity again, but also the texture of the paint on their hands. Some kids really don’t like to be messy, that’s ok. Have a wet cloth nearby at the beginning of the activity to wipe them up if it starts to bother them.

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Art: Of course, even with a different medium to paint, this is still an art activity. Their brain is noticing what happens when they use different shapes, what it looks like when they put two shapes together on the paper, and what happens when colors mix.

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Have fun and happy playing!

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