Fun at Home Activities for Your Preschooler

It’s been a long, cold winter, and it’s understandable if you and your preschooler are both starting to go a little bit stir-crazy from being cooped up inside. To inject some excitement into your normal routine, try introducing these fun, new activities that the two of you can do together at home.

Gone Fishin’
This activity helps to develop your preschooler’s alphabet skills, number skills, and fine motor skills.

Items needed:
1. Magnetic letters and numbers (Those colorful plastic pieces that are probably hanging on your refrigerator right now).
2. A bucket or large bowl
3. A large paperclip
4. A Popsicle stick
5. A piece of string
6. A magnetic whiteboard and dry-erase marker (optional)

Fill your bucket or bowl with the magnetic letter and numbers. Using a length of string, tie one end to your paperclip and the other end to your Popsicle stick. This will become the fishing rod your child will use to drop into the bucket and catch a letter or number. For every item caught, have your child stick it to a magnetic whiteboard and then have them copy the figure with a dry-erase marker. If you don’t have a whiteboard, have them stick the items to your refrigerator and copy them with a pencil and paper.

Countdown to chow-down
This activity will help with counting skills and number recognition.

Items needed:
1. Empty egg carton
2. Sheet of paper
3. Scissors
4. A pen or marker
5. Small food items

Cut out 12 small paper circles that would fit inside the bottom of an empty egg carton. Number the slips of paper, 1 through 12, and place each in order into the hollows of the carton. Pick out small food items that your preschooler loves to snack on, such as popcorn, chocolate chips, cheerios, dried cranberries or raisins. Have your child count out piles of the snack that represent each number, 1 through 12, on the table. Then have them place each pile into the corresponding numbered section in the egg carton. Once they have filled all of the sections, start again but in reverse. First have your preschooler identify each written number, then have them count their items out to match each number. Finally, eat and enjoy!

Mess-free marbled painting
This activity helps bring out your child’s artistic side, in a completely mess-free way!
1. 1 Large zip-top freezer bags
2. Painter’s tape
3. Paper
4. Tempera paint, in two primary colors.

Squeeze two dollops of paint, in two different primary colors, into a heavy-duty zip-top freezer bag. Squeeze all of the air out of bags, removing any air bubbles, before sealing the top. Place a sheet of white paper on your table, then place the paint-filled bag on top of that. Tape the whole thing to your table using painter’s tape around all four edges. Then let your preschooler play, squishing and swirling the paint to see what new colors are made when the paints are mixed together. They can then continue to experiment with the blended paint by dragging their fingers across the bag to draw different shapes and designs.

All it takes is a little imagination to create some at-home activities to beat the winter boredom blues. By completing these activities, your preschooler will learn important skills while having fun at the same time.

 

Aubrey Moulton is a writer for discoverytreeacademy.com, a leading provider in safe, secure and fun Preschool for children in Utah county!

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How Your Child Benefits From Playtime

You may think play is just about keeping your child happy and amused but play is so much more important than that. Through play your child is able to learn about the whole world around them in a safe environment. Play is used to teach your children how to solve problems, build and develop skills and overcome challenges that they need come across in everyday life. Here are some of the other ways your child is benefiting from the all-important play time.

Building the Imagination

“Let’s pretend” is one of the most important types of play there is. This activity doesn’t usually begin to present itself until the child reaches 2 but from there on it grows and develops. Anything can be used to spur the imagination, from saucepans and spoons to clothes, songs and stories. A cardboard box can become a plane, a pirate ship or a car. Allowing your child to be imaginative is vital. There are all sorts of scenarios that your child will be able to explore securely, it build empathy, imagination and builds confidence.

Promoting Social Skills

When children are small they usually sit next to each other to play rather than actually communicating and playing together. Gradually the interaction develops. They learn how to share, how to work together to benefit the play and take it to new levels. Through this interaction children are developing a whole host of social skills that they need when they reach school and through the rest of their lives. They learn about cooperation and negotiation as well as teamwork.

Physical Development Enhancements

There are all sorts of play that will help develop skills such as motor skills, coordination, balancing and hand eye coordination. It’s important to provide all sorts of toys and opportunities to help your child practice these skills. By the time they reach school they will be able to feed themselves, put on their coats, take off their shoes, use zippers and be coordinated. This will make them feel independent and confident.  This type of play needs to begin at home, encourage physical activities rather than spending all day in front of the television and watching DVDs.

Emotions and Role Play

Children first learn about expressing their emotions through role play, physical play, art and activities. Sometimes children find it hard to express how they’re feeling through words so they use these playful activities as their outlet. You can help with this by encouraging role playing games that cover a wide amount of emotion such as happy and sad. If your child doesn’t understand how to react you can help by showing the right kind of response, and encourage your child to find humour in the play to relieve any tensions and concerns.

Children need to mix with other children and get involved with guided play that will further their development. A day nursery is the perfect environment where play is used to entertain and educate. By mixing with other children they are able to develop their social skills and learn more about emotions. A day nursery is also an excellent solution for those parents who need to take time to work and bring money into the home. For more information visit: www.limehousedaynursery.co.uk.

The author is a freelance blogger and mother of three. She loves to draw on her experience raising three small children to provide advice and tips to other mums and dads. For the last five years she has mixed parenthood with writing and during that time she has had several hundred articles and blog posts published online.

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Iron Man and Mother’s Day

I finally got to see Iron Man 3 and in 3D nonetheless! Will took me and the kids out to eat the other night and we had no plans on seeing a movie. We walked by the ticket booth just to see what was playing and Trey said “I wanna see Iron Man 3!” So since we didn’t get to see it last weekend like we wanted (it was sold out) we decided to go ahead and see it. I am not that crazy about the theater we went to though. We normally go to the big one about an hour from us, but since we were not anywhere close to that area, we had to go to the less than spectacular theater. The theater size is about half of what Tinseltown is and the screen is about half the size too. The seats are also not as awesome. But the movie was still good though. Trey’s eyes stayed glued to the screen for nearly the whole 2 hours and 15 min that the movie lasted. I think he only went to the bathroom one time.
I would definitely recoommend seeing the movie if you are an Iron Man fan. I love all the comic book movies so of course I am really excited about the new Thor and The Wolverine movies that will be out this year.

Oh and I have pictures from Mother’s Day. We didn’t do a whole lot. Will cooked for me then we went out to a local lake. We had a great time even though we didn’t stay long.

Trey swinging
Trey swinging
The lake
The lake
Trey and Rhiannon
Trey and Rhiannon
This little guy sat here for a few moments while I snapped shots of him
This little guy sat here for a few moments while I snapped shots of him
Lilypads
Lilypads

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