First of all, thank you Allison for asking me to post on Pre-Toddler Activities. I thoroughly enjoy All For The Boys and look forward to more days of experiments, fort building, and LAUGH's as my son grows up.
What age are your children?
If they are a toddler or beyond you probably have a fairly easy time finding/creating fun activities for them to do.
What if they are a Pre-Toddler--12 to 18 months old, like my little guy?
In my research, I yielded very little creative ways to generate play with my Pre-Toddler, so I put my thinking cap on, tweaked a few older "kid" activities, and came up with a few of my own.
So if you are looking for something to do with your 12-18 month old, here are a few ideas.
Activity Box: Fill a box with objects of various shapes, sizes, textures, and functions trying to avoid toys that your child typically uses for play.
This box included Mini Muffin Pan, foam peanuts, alphabet magnets, bottle basket, spoon, spatula, cup, drink cozy, rolling pin, measuring spoons, apron, etc.
Caution--Watch your children at ALL times if including small objects that can be a choking hazard and never leave any of the small objects lying around when play is complete.
Turn the box over and allow them to explore. Only demonstrate when your child is struggling to grasp the concept of various objects.
You can place different objects in the box each time you complete the activity. This entertained my son for 30+ minutes. That is SUCESS!!
Alphabet Box: Fill a box or other container (I, typically use a shoe box) with items starting with the letter of your choice. Action Alphabet is a great place to find lists of various objects, crafts, and printables corresponding with every letter.
Here is how I have been completing the activity:
- I include the plastic magnetic letter and the corresponding Eric Carle Flash Card
- We sit in the floor and I say the letter while showing him the flash card or the magnetic letter. Then, I give him the box to explore.
- I make sure to repeat the name of each object several times while he is playing (but due to his age I primarily focused on allowing him to explore)
- I have also been singing the phonics of the individual letters (using the song Leap Frog uses). For example, "A says Ah. A says Ah. Every letter makes a sound, A says Ah."
- Then, after he is finished playing we listen to a nursery rhyme that goes along with the letter. Mama Lisa's World of Children is an excellent resource for finding nursery rhyme's that go along with the alphabet. I also look on YouTube.
- Provide a few plastic utensils, always demonstrating how to use them
- Provide various containers to encourage sorting and putting objects in/out
- Demonstrate how to flatten the dough, tear the dough, roll the dough ball.