Kids need to stay active and engaged, even during social isolation. Meg Woglom, Assistant Director of Adoption and Early Childhood at FCA, provides suggestions for developmentally beneficial activities you can do at home.
Staying safe by staying home doesn’t have to mean learning and connection stops for young children. The brain of a child grows at a rapid rate in their early years and we know now, more than ever, our job as parents will be to promote their development given all the time we are spending together at home as families. Social emotional and cognitive learning are critical in the early years, and parents are their child’s first and best teacher. In everyday moments, there are opportunities for understanding how your child is growing and developing and as parents, we want to do our best to connect with our children through activities to have fun and keep their learning going. Here are some entertaining and educational activities you can do together:
Scavenger Hunts – outdoor, indoor, five senses, colors. Scavenger hunts can be modified over and over again.
Shadow drawing – trace the shadow of a person, toy, object outside with chalk.
Make homemade play-dough – here’s a simple, easy recipe.
Virtual field trips – visit a zoo, aquarium, or museum from the comfort of your own home
Tune in to children’s authors doing online readings and activities – Mo Willems goes live each day at noon for his series of “lunchtime doodles,” and James Dean does live daily readings from his series, “Pete the Cat.”
Sensory bins – fill a bin or box with rice, sand, or water. Throw in some cups, spoons, or toys to entertain your toddler.
Give your neighbors an art show – create drawings and hang in your window for all those passing by.
Set up your pots and pans and pull out your wooden spoons. Create a band and play some rock n roll for all to hear!
Set up a virtual “visit” with friends and family – have Grandma and Grandpa read a children’s book over FaceTime. You can also set up virtual “play dates” with friends from school!
Stained glass sidewalk chalk art – use painter’s tape and create a geometric shape. Use tape to create lines throughout the larger shape. Color each shape within the design a different color. Once all shapes are colored in, remove the tape!
Kindness rocks – paint rocks and place them along your favorite hiking trail or around your neighborhood for others to enjoy.