Activities provided by Productive Parenting. To receive additional daily activities based on your child's age, visit ProductiveParenting.com.
Materials You Will Need: shoebox with lid, wooden blocks (square, cylinder, triangle, and rectangle), marker, scissors
What to Do: Playing with shapes prepares your child for math. Place each block on top of the shoebox lid and trace, then cut around the outline of the shapes. After placing the lid on the box, you and your child can have fun poking the shapes through the holes, opening the lid, and taking the shapes in and out of the box. Let your child explore with the block box. One day your child will discover which blocks fit in which openings.
Skills Learned: Eye-hand Coordination, matching, size and shape discrimination, visual discrimination
Materials You Will Need: cardboard, scissors
What to Do: Visual discrimination is an important pre-reading skill for your child. Cut shapes (triangle, circle, square, rectangle) out of cardboard. Have your child's fingers trace around each shape. Begin to hunt around your home for each shape. For a circle, for instance, point out bicycle tires, clock faces, circle picture frames, and end tables with tops in the shape of a circle. Encourage your child to feel the shapes. Continue with the other shapes.
Skills Learned: Matching, visual discrimination
Materials You Will Need: food coloring (yellow, red, blue), two clear containers of water
What to Do: Watch your child's excitement with this color activity. Have your child squeeze the blue food coloring into the clear container of water. Say, "blue." Then ask your child to pick up the red coloring and squeeze it into the same container, saying "red." Then say the name of the new color, "purple." Continue with yellow and blue, making green in the other water container.
Skills Learned: Concept developmentLearning Language and Vocabulary
Head to Toes
Materials You Will Need: Stickers
What to Do: Help your child become more acquainted with body parts with this activity and song. Place colorful stickers or dots above your eyes, on your forehead, ears, nose, shoulders, knees, and all ten toes. Do the same for your child. Stand up and sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" as you touch the corresponding stickers.
Variations: Place dots on the body parts with nontoxic felt-tip pens in lieu of stickers. Add other parts to the song: arms, legs, chest, neck, hands, feet, and back.
Skills Learned: Body awareness, language development, visual discriminationBowling for Letters
Materials You Will Need: Magnetic letters, small ball
What to Do: Help your toddler begin to recognize letters with this activity. Set up some magnetic letters on a floor without carpet. Have your toddler knock the letters over with a small rubber ball. As the ball hits a letter, name it.
Skills Learned: Eye-hand coordination, problem solving, visual trackingWeather Book
Materials You Will Need: Pictures of sunny, snowy, cloudy, and rainy days; album
What to Do: Children love to have books made especially for them. Place a weather picture with a caption on the left page of the album. Write your child's favorite activities on these days on the right page. Make a Weather Book to enjoy reading to your child.
Skills Learned: Language development, concept development