2. What’s Hiding? A plastic reclosable container about the size of a loaf of
bread can be a wonderful reusable toy.
Fill it with rice, cornmeal, or sand; then
bury and hide ten small child-safe toys
or implements in it. Using a timer, give
each child a minute to search for the toys.
Keep taking turns until all ten items have
been recovered; then allow free play with
the toys. On another day, add various
sizes of plastic spoons, pitchers, a funnel,
a strainer, and containers. Lead the children into exploring the best ways to pour
from one container to another.
3. Rolling Wheels: Most children enjoy rolling toys (such as cars, balls, or
animals on wheels, etc.). To make it even
more fun, lean a board against a step to
form a ramp. Your children will spend
hours racing toys down the ramp while
you water the garden or mow the lawn.
Provide empty cans or containers, ribbon
spools, and so forth; basically anything
that will roll will be fine.
4. Make sidewalk chalk! You’ll need
plaster of Paris, one-cup containers for
mixing (one for each color), molds (toilet
paper tubes, muffin or drinking cups, or
candle molds), and food coloring. Spoon
½ cup of plaster of Paris into each mold.
Add water according to instructions on
plaster of Paris container. Stir well. Add
food color as desired. Stir gently for
swirled color or thoroughly for solid color. Allow each to stand until completely
dry (overnight or more). Supervise children at play; not intended for children
who may attempt to eat it.
5. Fun with Tracing: Provide a dull pen-
cil and tracing paper (but no crayons) with
some basic shapes (circle, square, triangle,
etc.) drawn darkly on white paper; have
them trace these simple shapes at first (cir-
cle, square, etc.). Then have them enhance
the circle by turning it into a drawing of
a face or turning the square into a house.
Finally, let them color their drawing. Once
they are successful at drawing the simple
shapes, coloring books provide great tra-
cing opportunities. Be sure to praise their
efforts, use of colors, good tracing skills,
original ideas, etc.
It is important to
stock your home with
supplies to pull out
in a moment to keep
those little ones busy.
7. Matching Words: Use the picture
cards with words (#6). Print the same
word again on an additional card. Have
your child match the word card to the
picture/word card. With this simple
game, he is getting ready to read!
8. Jump the Rope: Lay a rope on the
ground and have the children take turns
jumping over it. Alternately, use two ropes
and move them farther and farther apart.
9. In and Out: Obtain a hula-hoop for
each child and show them how to jump
in and out of it. Later use it as a “safe
space” for the child to sit in while playing
10. Make a Face: Use a safe mirror;
make a sad (happy, scared, surprised,
pleased, angry, etc.) face and encourage
your little ones to put the same “feeling
on their face.” Talk about how the emo-
Now you’re changing her diapers; soon she’ll change the world!
How to get her from point A to point B