Here is a list compiled of activities and games you, as guardians, could implement in your daily schedule to keep you and your kids engaged over the next few weeks or any time your kids need something to do.
Toddlers love Put-in Games. You can make them out of anything. Use an old Gerber Puffs container, or something similar, cut a slit in the lid and add coins, poker chips, popsicle sticks, etc. This can keep them entertained for hours. You can also use fruit/vegetable pouch lids or cut a hole in the top of a cool whip container. These types of games are great for fine-motor skills and problem solving. Be creative! Plus, you do not need any new supplies to make them!
Painting – Try the big campfire marshmallows, tape them to popsicle sticks, and let them paint on paper! It is a new tool to use. You can also use flowers, leaves, sticks, trains, yarn, etc. The children can learn about color mixing, shapes, and other motor skills. You can also try freezing water and paint together to make paint blocks, add these to water or let it be a separate activity.
Water-play – babies/toddlers LOVE water, stick them in the bathtub and make the bathroom your office for a while! The kids are supervised, entertained, and if you are working from home, you could (hopefully) get a little bit of work done. Or, lay a towel or sheet down and a bowl of water, add things like scoops and bowls for dumping and pouring. You could even add cars for a “car wash”, plastic animals, baby dolls. Etc.
Oats/Rice/Potato Flakes – New textures! Mix them together or use as a separate activity, add spoons, scoops, cups, extra bowls, etc. The children will play with this forever. You could also include the fake fishing worms from dads tackle box, plastic cups, and tongs to this activity! The goal is to use the tongs to pick up the worm and get it in the cup.
Shaving Cream – This has been a big hit in our classrooms this year. Put shaving cream on a table before and the kids play hours. OR add paint, the children will learn about new textures, cause and effect and color mixing. Make sure it is paint that will not harm your table.
Oobleck – so messy! This one may be an outside activity; take 2 cups of cornstarch to 1 cup of water, mix them together and pour it directly onto a table! I have had 12 toddlers play with this for 30 minutes to an hour before. Oobleck dries to a powder, making the clean up a little bit easier.
Legos, Magnet Tiles, Puzzles, Blocks, and DANCING
Let the kids “paint the walls or doors”. Grab a container and fill it with plain or soapy water, give the child a paint brush or whatever you have on hand and let them “paint” with the water. It does not hurt the walls or doors. Great if you need lots of giggles and a break from work. Unless you are wanting this to be a very messy activity, make sure you are in control of the water container! This activity can also be used in place of sidewalk chalk!
Here are a few songs my class loves and requests
- We Are the Dinosaurs- Laurie Berkner
- Freeze Dance- The Kiboomers
- Fire Truck- Ivan Ulz
- Baby Shark
- Animal Action- Greg and Steve
- Bear Hunt- Greg and Steve
- Anything from the Trolls soundtrack- Can’t Stop the Feeling is a fan-favorite!
I hope this list helps you and your family make it through these challenging times, but I also hope that it brings you closer together as a family to enjoy the smaller things in life. That maybe for just a second, you get to experience the world through the lens of your child. It is quite magical. Please remember, spending quality time with your children, listening, and engaging can sometimes be better than anything else you could do.
DISCLAIMER: Please make sure to provide adequate supervision with these activities! We are looking for fun and SAFE play here, no hospital visits! Have fun, be safe and wash their hands.
CONTENT PROVIDED BY: Carlee Long – Early Learning Center Teacher, Classroom 9