Hi everyone, hope ye have all been enjoying this lovely weather we have had this week. We have spent most of the week either in the garden or on the beach, which has been lovely.
Long may this weather last,but if it doesn’t,here are a few “rainy day” indoor activities that we have done over the last few weeks. They will keep your child engaged as well as helping develop some key skills.
Babies love to play and interact with the world around them. Developmentally age-appropriate art activities can stimulate a 1-year-old and let them enjoy all the new things they are able to do.
Dry Pasta,Bucket & Spoon
*Easy Clean Up Mums/Dads!
Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development. It lets children explore and learn about their world through what they do best – play.
Fine motor skills are used in this activity including precise motions using fingertips and hand-wrist coordination. Improve your toddler’s fine motor skills by encouraging her/him to use a spoon to scoop up the pasta & pick it up.
Water,Cups & Suds
It’s no secret that babies and toddlers love to play with water.Yes it can end up messy,wet and you mopping up the floor,but it passes away an hour,it’s something they can do on their own under supervision,while you have a cup of tea!Get a large bowl,warm soapy water and some plastic cups/beakers.
Water play will help teach your child about why and how things happen. For example, given sinking and floating objects, a child will soon discover that just because something is large in size does not mean it will sink.Development. Water play encourages the development of eye/hand coordination through pouring, squeezing, stirring, painting, scrubbing, and squirting. It is one of the most relaxing activities children can experience (maybe not for the parents), and encourages children to use their imagination.
Depending on your child’s age,they could help you make the playdough. Easy to make,using what you have in your cupboards.
1/4 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water. Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water. Note: This dough doesn’t last as long as the cooked recipes.
Ideas: Divide into sections, then knead in food coloring (liquid or paste). Kids love making the white play dough change colours.. Use food colouring for colour and glitter for sparkly play dough.
Amelia loved playing with the dough, we just rolled ours and made a caterpillar (or something that may resemble a caterpillar). Other ideas are use shape cutters or dough cutters.This recipe is safe,should she have tried to eat some. Playdough is a great way to exercise the muscles of the hands to develop fine motor skills, and you can also develop your child’s bilateral coordination skills at the same time!
Gymboree : Music & Development
Amelia loves music,as many other children do too. We are unable to get to Gymboree where we live,as it is on at the same time as her swimming classes on Wednesdays. See blog post on that here. So, we improvise. Amelia was given some children’s musical instruments for her birthday, and prior to that she used “Rice in a Bottle” and her mini maraca’s.
Gymboree: Music & Play.Gymboree uses a unique and impressive combination of music, movement, props,and imaginary play, all to create a fun and magical world where children learn, thrive and most importantly have fun. While it will never be as good as going to classes,we still try it at home. I put some Gymboree Videos on the iPad and try and copy them as best we can.
Newborns and babies: Blow bubbles for your baby while he is sitting in front of you in an infant seat or snuggled in your lap, facing out. (Make sure you aim away from your child’s face.) You might want to put on some music to set the mood. Toddlers and preschoolers: Show your child how to pop bubbles with his hands and stomp them with his feet. Blow bubbles for your child indoors (try doing it just before washing the kitchen floor!), at bath time, or outdoors (breezy days are best). Let your child blow his own bubbles and see how far they travel. On cold days, see if you can blow frozen bubbles!
Colander and Straws
Toddlers are developing their fine motor skills at super speed, and the cool part is they love any activity that involves fine motor skills practice. Simple fine motor skills practice games are pretty much the only time you will see a toddler sitting still and concentrating! All you need is a few straws and a colander. We had a few left over from Amelia’s party,however plastic bendy straws work better for this activity.Your child will take the straws and just shove them into the holes of the colander. Just show them a couple of times, and they will get the hang of it quickly.
Scribbling is a satisfying activity for babies because they can see the fruits of their efforts on a piece of paper. You could tape a large piece of paper to the floor and give your 1-year-old crayons to colour with. Floor art lets them experience scribbling with his whole body instead of just with his arm. Extend the activity by cutting the paper into shapes such as circles, triangles or squares.
*Amelia eats the crayons,grant it she spits them out again,and they are non-toxic….close eye needs to be kept on them for this activity.