Wednesday, December 1, 2010

15 Fun Ideas that will Help your Child Learn and Grow

Does it seem like everywhere you turn you’re hearing ‘no’ all the time? “Don’t do _____ with your child” “No TV until age two and limited time after that...” “Computer time should be restricted...” “Watch out for video games!” “This isn’t good!” “Don’t do that!”

    ...Okay, so what DO we do as parents? Here are 15 GREAT activities to do with your preschooler that will challenge, engage, and develop. Go. Do them.

    1. Pretend- Be animals. Be characters. Be each other. Be yourselves.
    2. Color- Use crayons. Use paints. Use markers. Use chalk.
    3. Sort. Anything- beads, blocks, ornaments, etc.
    4. Get active. Skip, hop, jump, run. Practicing different motor skills is GREAT for your preschooler. BONUS: Energy release!
    5. Be musical- it’s easy to do! Make a rhythm out of just about anything- a wooden spoon and a pan or even just your hands and knees. Challenge your kiddo to mirror your beat.
    6. Hide & Seek. An oldie but goodie. Play it with each other, or take turns hiding and finding different objects.
    7. Cook. For children, cooking is a lesson in science, art, home economics, and bonding with you- and it usually has a delicious ending!
    8. Read- Book sharing is an invaluable experience for little minds. Spend time not only reading the words to your children, but engaging with them about what’s happening in the story and the pictures on the pages.
    9. Snuggle. Physical touch is nurturing for young children- and what better time to snuggle in than when sharing a book?!
    10. Build something- Blocks. Legos. Marble run. Stack of sofa cushions. Activities like these will help your child practice motor skills and also planning skills, or the ability to be able to picture how something will look, then make it come to life.
    11. Get messy. Mix paints. Mix mud. Mix sand. Mix paint, mud, and sand.
    12. Get some fresh air! Even if it’s cold/windy/rainy/snowy. Take a walk. See what you can find. Take a bucket for collecting acorns/leaves/interesting rocks.
    13. Talk. Your kiddo probably has lots to say. Take some time to really listen. Ask questions and wait for her to answer. When she does, prompt with an open-ended response like, “Tell me more about that.”
    14. A, B, C, or 1, 2, 3 – Practice the alphabet or numbers with your child- but make it fun. Practice writing his name or counting how many stuffed animals she has!
    15. Pull out some old toys- that you’ve had in the closet for a while. They’ll seem like new again!


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