Toddler Playtime IdeasHeidi Hoff
Sit on the floor with one or more children and put a tape recorder in the middle. Turn it on, and select a person to start the story with a sentence. The rest can take turns adding on. At the end of the story, you and your child will have a recording of it to listen to over and over.
- "One day I found a treasure chest and inside it was____."
- "If I could be an animal I would be a____."
- "One morning I woke up and there was a ____ in my room."
If your preschooler is involved in any sporting or creative activity that he takes part in outside of the home, let him pretend to be the instructor. Ask him to give you a lesson on his area of "expertise". Make sure you ask a lot of questions, and make a few mistakes to give your child an opportunity to correct you. This exercise will show you how much he is learning in his real class, and how the instructor treats the children (if you don't normally sit in and watch). If your child doesn't take part in any lessons yet, play doctor, dentist, cashier or librarian.
Plan a Garden
Winter months are perfect for dreaming of summertime splendor in the garden. Send away for a few seed catalogs, and put your child's name as the addressee - kids love getting mail! While you're waiting for the catalogs to arrive, measure your garden, and draw it to scale on a piece of graph paper. When the catalogs come, pick your child's favorites and decide where you will plant the seeds, keeping in mind the size the plant will be when it matures. Fill out the order form together, and after you send it in, buy a soil testing kit to find out the quality of soil in your garden. This simple exercise will teach your child about color combining, math and science! If you live in an apartment, purchase some nice planters for your balcony, where you can plant your seeds once they arrive.Heidi Hoff is the editor of Preschool Planet. She is also the the author of: "The Play Date Handbook, Everything You Need to Know to Host Successful Play Dates in Your Home" available through the Preschool Planet website.
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