Structured activities

Many preschools focus on different activities in structured time periods: Art projects, indoor play, outdoor play, etc. Adding structured activities at home prior to the start of school helps prepare your child.

Crank up your imagination

For a quick and inexpensive toddler activities, all is need is time and imagination. Use everyday household items to create matching games and encourage imagination play.

Make sidewalk paint!

Make sidewalk paint! Take equal portions of water and corn starch. Mix well and add a drop of food coloring. Paint  washes off easily with water.

Activity: Crayon Tree

Make a crayon tree. Take a paper towel roll and use scissors to poke some holes big enough for a crayon. Then let toddler put crayons in the holes. This activity helps with coordination and will help teach them colors.

Activity Tip: Cardboard boxes

Find some cardboard boxes. They’re still the best toys on earth. Get a big box and help toddler draw on car doors or rocket ship panels, make a puppet show stage, cut out a door and windows for houses, you name it.

Enthusiasm is crucial

When playing with your child your enthusiasm is crucial. If you are not interested in a toy or activity, then he’ll think that it isn’t interesting or fun either.

Pipe cleaner activity

Pack a new bag of multi colored pipe cleaners (about $1 or so) and let their creativity run wild. They can make letters, flowers, animals, chains, jewelry, twist ties in their hair, practice braiding, and by the end, just balls of many colors.

Send kids to work

Place child-sized furniture around the house to encourage the busy toddler to sit still longer and “work” at her own drawing table. A step stool will help her reach the kitchen sink for hand washing, tooth brushing, and for "helping" in the kitchen.

Don’t skimp on sunscreen

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people apply only about half as much sunscreen as they should.

Toddler obstacle courses activity

Obstacle courses can be great outdoor children games or you can create one for an active rainy day game. Setting up cushions for tots to crawl over or furniture to crawl under can make for a fun activity.

Touching game

Make a touching bag! Put a variety of small objects into a bag and ask your child to put his hand in and feel one. Is it warm or cold? Is it smooth or rough? Is it hard or soft? You are teaching your child to put words to objects and discover the names of different textures.

Kitchenware toys

Get some non-breakable containers with lids in assorted sizes. Have your child remove the lids, mix them up, and then put them back on the appropriate container. Start with two or three containers then add more as your child improves.

Library summer activities

Check out summer programs at your local public library. Many feature special story times, sing-alongs, and puppet shows during the summer. These programs offer fun opportunities for your child to expand his language-and literacy-related skills.

Activity Tip: Cookbook Fun

Cooking can be a fun activity for children on those rainy days they are cooped up inside. Take it out and ask your children to choose a recipe to try. Baking will not only be fun but will keep their minds engaged with things like counting eggs or measuring flour.

Activity Tip: Family Performances

Its time to break out old clothes and costumes! Encourage children to make up characters and create a play to act out. They are the directors, actors, and producers.

Beat the Boredom Jar

Sit down with your family and think of fun ideas and activities you can do at any point through out the summer. Write the best ideas down on individual slips of paper. Next, have your child help decorate any simple jar and label it “Boredom Buster Jar.”

The power of play

Toys that give kids a chance to figure something out on their own-or with a little coaching-build their logical thinking skills and help them become persistent problem-solvers.

Balancing Activity

Wrap old phone books in paper and let tots use them as low balance beams. This allows them to utilize their gross motor skills and practice balancing.

Tots and the world around them

At 12 to 18 months of age, toddlers begin to become interested in the world around them. Still, they view everything in terms of themselves

Play with your toddler

Take the time to play and talk with your toddler frequently – the first step to avoiding tantrums is setting up good communication with your child.