Spring is finally here and the warmer weather is coming and going as it does for several weeks here in Ohio. As wonderful as the warm up has been, I know that it brings with it an abundance of rain. I’m sure that as those rainy days arrive, I’ll be extra thankful that I’ve thought ahead and prepared these activities for my littlest to be working on while we are still doing school work. On super nice days, we’ll go outside and he draws with chalk or he and I kick a ball back and forth while the brothers are working but rainy days – oh, the many rainy days – those days require activities that keep his little hands and mind busy.
1. Dirt Sensory Bin – Fill a container you can use for a sensory bin with plain old dirt. This usually outside item brings extra appeal when brought indoors. It is fun to scoop, dump, drive cars through and sift through your fingers. Spoons, cups, cars and tweezers add an extra layer of fun to this sensory bin. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, give them a little bit of water too.
2. Move Like an Animal – Print and cut the free Move Like an Animal Cards. Have your child choose one and then move about the room for 1 minute as the animal. Continue to draw cards and move like some of our favorite animals as long as interest holds.
3. Fingerprint Bugs – Grab a stamp pad, paper and some markers. Show your toddler how to use their finger or thumb to make prints on the paper. Then turn one of the prints into a bug. Now, they are good to go on their own. What kinds of amazing creations can they come up with. If you are trying to keep your stamp pads nice, make sure you only give your child one at a time to avoid mixed colors.
4. Cutting Grass – Learning to cut is a tricky skill that takes a lot of practice. Give your child a strip of green paper that is about 3 inches tall and show them how to snip most of the way down creating a strip of grass without cutting the strip all the way off. Allow them to cut as many skinny pieces of grass as they can from their paper.
5. Tape Pictures – Using washi tape allow your child to put tape all over a piece of paper. Then have them color or paint over the tape. Remove the tape to show an incredible picture.
6. Hair Gel Ocean Bag – About this time of year we start dreaming about vacation and the amazing ocean life we may see. For our littlest crew we make bags filled with blue hair gel [that we carefully tape the top of just to be sure] and allow them to squish it around and dream of the creatures they may see in the near future. Feeling extra creative, toss in a few plastic sea animals for visual interest.
7. Cupcake Paper Flowers – Give your child a piece of plain paper, cupcake papers, crayons and some glue. Challenge them to make flowers. It is amazing how creative they can get when they step back and work at it.
8. Cotton Ball Clouds – In our neck of the woods, big puffy clouds are a huge part of our spring time. Give your child cotton balls, tweezers, glue and a blue piece of paper. Let them go to town pulling at cotton balls and creating a beautiful sky full of puffy clouds.
The school year is coming close to wrapping up but there are still a few weeks to go. Help yourself out and have a few activities to put a spring in the step of your little ones. However you keep your littlest ones busy. Keep it smart. Keep it simple.