Tag Archives: kids activities

Create Fun and Engaging Activities with Common Household Items

by Megan Guthrie

Don’t throw out the trash just yet. You can use common household items to create fun and engaging activities for your kids. Plenty of us have stocked up on common household items such as toilet paper, and paper towels. You might even have sponges, Q-tips, dish soap, eggs, milk, oatmeal, rice, sponges, napkins, Popsicle sticks, shoe boxes, cotton balls, tape, markers, pasta, cornstarch, and food dye. What if I told you that if you had all of these items, even some of these items that you could create some pretty awesome home activities for you and your preschooler to engage in together. See the list below:

Colored Milk Art

Pour some milk on a plate, use 1-2 drops of food coloring, dip the Q-tip in the dish soap and then in the milk, watch what happens! You will need:

-Milk

-Food coloring

-Q-tip

-Dish soap

Dish Soap Silly Putty

Mix together 2tbs. of corn starch and 1.5 tbs of dish soap, stir for 10 seconds. You will need:

-dish soap

-corn starch

What to do with tape

-Create hopscotch

-Create a racetrack on the floor

-Create a sensory path

What to do with napkins

Have your preschooler draw a picture on one side of the napkin, then fold it over so that you cover the picture. Place in water and watch the drawing appear.

What to do with rice/oatmeal

Place some rice on a place, then have your preschooler practice drawing shapes, letter, and numbers in the rice.

What to do with a shoebox and Popsicle sticks

Cut small slits in the top of the shoe box, enough to place a Popsicle stick through. Under each slit write letters/ numbers/ shapes/ colors. On the Popsicle stick write letters/numbers/colors. Have your child match.

What to do with sponges

Cut your sponge into different shapes and use it as a tool to paint. Paint too messy? Don’t worry, you can have your child dip their sponge in some water and “paint” making shapes with their sponge outside on the sidewalk or driveway.

What to do with an egg carton and cotton balls

Work on counting with 1:1 correspondence, have your child place one cotton ball in each egg place and count as they go.

What to do with empty milk containers

Set up empty milk cartons (at least 3) in a triangle formation, then get a ball or something round. Roll the ball towards the milk cartons and try to knock them down. Have fun bowling!

What to do with empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls

-Tape the empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls to a wall to create a large funnel. Have your child place cotton balls in the tube at the top and watch the cotton ball trickle through them, all the way to the ground.

-Make binoculars by taping two together and play I Spy around the house of outside.

-Cover and tape one side of the empty paper towel or toilet paper roll closed with paper or another material, fill the roll half way with rice, then cover and tape the other side of the roll with paper. Now shake. You have a maraca, make some music!

What to do with uncooked pasta

Get out your strainer. Get out your uncooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta. Have your child use their fine motor skills to place the pasta through the holes in the strainer. (You can also do this with pipe cleaners)

What to do with an empty oatmeal container

-Take the top off and use the container as an easy put in activity.

-Keep the top on and cut a slit in the top, practice fine motor skills with coins by placing the coins through the slit in the top.

How to Make Good Use of Your Time While School Is Closed

by Sandy Masayko

READ with your child! 

The most important thing is to have fun.

  • Take time to talk about the pictures and ask questions of your child. What do you think is going to happen? Who is doing what? Where are they? What are those? Do we have some of those? What do you think is going to happen next?
  • You don’t have to read the story word for word.
  • Make your own books. Make up stories about your child, your family and pets.  Use family photos or draw simple stick figures; download pictures from the Internet.

Here’s a great website for guidance on reading with a young child:

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/304-how-to-introduce-toddlers-and-babies-to-books

SING with your child!

Your voice is the most beautiful voice in the world to your child.  You don’t need be Beyoncé to sing with your child.

And, do you know that singing rhyming songs helps to get your child ready to read?

  • All the old favorites, from ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle, Wheels on the Bus, Happy Birthday, Old MacDonald to BINGO are good. Think of songs you liked as a child and sing those.
  • Personalize songs by putting your child’s name in the song instead of the usual name.
  • Spell out your child’s name by singing it to a favorite tune. For example, sing the Happy Birthday song with your child’s letters.

Here are some more ideas:

http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Fun-Activities/How-to-Sing-with-Babies-The-Hanen-Way.aspx

COOK with your child!

Cooking can be play—show your child how you make foods.  This will take some planning for safety, and you don’t want to be in a rush.

  • Show your child how you open, pour, chop, cut, slice, stir, bake, fry & more. Talk about these things as do them.
  • If your child can help stir or participate in any way, let them help.
  • Make Jell-O and see what happens if you leave some outside of the refrigerator, and what happens if you put some in the freezer. Talk to your child about the changes that happen.  This is food science!
  • Have taste tests: try out new tastes and talk about sour, sweet, bitter, salty, crunchy, smooth, soft.

Here is a website with more ideas:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Cooking-With-Your-Children.aspx

Have fun and let us know about your favorite activities. We will be waiting to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

At Home Activities

by Suzanne Gladstone, Occupational Therapist

Last week, I worked with Occupational Therapy student Bree Lipowski to create a list of at home activities.  There are lots of good ideas for sensory play, fine motor activities, chores around the house to do with kids and quiet time suggestions. Be healthy, be safe and take time some time to smile with loved ones:).

Easterseals Activity List_Page_2

Easterseals Activity List_Page_4

Encouraging kids to talk with play dough

by Megan Guthrie

Here are a few simple ways to promote language during play with playdough:

  1. Sing songs to mimic your actions
    1. Start with making a simple ball. While you are modeling how to roll out the playdough, sing a song to mimic your actions (e.g. “This is the way we roll the dough, roll the dough, this is the way we roll the dough all day long.” Once you have made the ball, label “ball” for the child and let them play with it. You can model actions and accompany them with words (e.g. squish, bounce, pull, etc.)
  2. Work on requesting
    1. You can make a ball and begin playing with it. If your child is interested and wants to have a ball of his/ her own, have them request it! For children at the 1- word level, model “ball”. For those at the 2- word level, model “more ball” or “make ball”. Model modeling the target word or phrase 3 times for the child and encourage imitation with the phrase, “You say___.” Hopefully, the child will repeat your model by the third attempt but even if they have not, you have still just made your playdough fun and rich in language.
  3. Provide choices
    1. Give your child a choice between different toys (e.g. cookie cutters, rolling pin, plastic knife, play animals) to use during play.
  4. Improve vocabulary
    1. Make pretend items and name them (e.g. pretend foods, shapes, animals, letters, etc.)
  5. Work on following directions
    1. Make a ball. Put it under the table. Roll a ball and then squish it. Show your child how to complete the actions if he/ she needs help!

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