The leaves are beginning to turn color, it’s getting dark outside earlier, and you are sending your kids to school with a sweater. The sure signs that Fall has arrived. Pretty soon, if not already, rainy days have arrived and soon to be followed by beautiful snow. The thought of not being able to send your toddler out to play can send many parents and teachers into a panic. But, don’t worry…in this blog I will share with you some fun activities to get you and your little one through the day.
For your sanity, the first thing you should do is NOT look at the whole day. That will definitely be overwhelming, and your child will sense that anxiousness in you. Take the day and break it up into what you think the attention span is of your child. Then, come up with various activities to fill in the slots.
1. BUILD A FORT
Children love to build forts. True, it may make a huge disaster of their bedroom or the living room. But, it’s a great way for them to use their imagination and develop creative thinking skills. Building forts is also an activity that the older siblings can do with the younger ones so now everyone is involved! Let them take blankets, towels, sheets, chairs and anything else you can think of that they can use to transform the room into their magical castle, spaceship, truck, car, pirate ship, or jungle. The beauty of building a fort three-fold: 1) it takes a lot of time to build, 2) they play in it for a long time, and 3) it teaches them responsibility because they have to help you clean up after they are done.
2. DO SOME BAKING
With children in the house it’s always a great idea to keep special baking ingredients around for some spontaneous cooking. Let it be THEIR project as much as you can. Once again, your kitchen will transform to another dimension of messiness, but that’s part of the experience. Baking is a great way for your little one to learn about following directions, counting, measuring and patience as they wait for their special treat to bake. It also teaches them to share and be proud of their accomplishment when they serve it as dessert for the whole family. And, of course, as with building a fort, even though they may indeed be a prince or princess the responsibility of cleaning up is a good lesson to learn.
LET’S GIVE OUR TOYS A BATH
Water play is always fun for children and they don’t have to wait for hot summer days. All you need to do is spread some towels on the floor, get a large bucket, sponge, soap, and some rags. Have your little ones gather their toys…cars, baby dolls, balls, etc. and you get to sit and watch them as they wash all the dirt away and laugh at the bubble play.
4. SPORTS CAN BE PLAYED INDOORS
Teaching young children to improvise and use their imagination is great for their development. Rolled up socks and a wicker basket or trash can make for a great game of basketball. Take those same socks and add a bat made out of aluminum foil and some rags for bases and you can have a mini baseball game.
Hopefully by now the prince or princess in your life is beginning to slow down a bit. For sure you are! So, here are some less energetic activities for you to do with them.
- Watch home videos…children love to see themselves on the big screen
- Play board or card games
- Read a story
- Cut up a magazine or construction paper and make a collage
- Paint or Color
- Play I spy or I’m thinking of an animal
If you want more ideas from my preschool teacher’s mind, just ask me! Please share with us some of your best ideas. There is always a new one out there in the universe.