Gardening with toddlers

Gardening can be real fun with toddlers and preschoolers. It allows them to get messy, play with mud and water and finally, see something they’ve planted blossom and grow.

Start easy. Check with the local nursery for plants that are easy to grow and maintain.

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Toddler and Cherrios

How many things can you do with your Toddler using Cherrios? Some activities include counting, stringing them together and combine them with M&Ms for a treat.

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60 minutes of activity

Schedule at least 60 minutes daily for active free play. Toddlers need more than an hour of unstructured physical play in a safe place every day.

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Playing Outdoors

Playing outdoors gives child the opportunity to experience the natural world. Make it a habit to go for a walk, talk about things you see on your way – birds, trees, leaves, sky and other kids playing in the park.

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Orange juicing activity

Cut an orange in half and then show your toddler how to squeeze the juice from the fruit. After your toddler is done twisting back and forth, pour the juice in its cup.

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Digital photo archive activity

Going on a trip? Fill up the iPhone or iPod with family photos and videos. Toddlers love going through the family digital photo archive.

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Toddler field trips

Take your toddler for a field trip to identify things around him. Try to recognize tracks in the snow, collect pine cones, look for the little animals.

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Christmas colored playdoh

A reinforcing activity for Christmas colors can come by playing with red and green playdoh. Make it with Kool-Aid or add a few drops of peppermint extract and stimulate your toddler’s sense of smell.

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Recycle your crayons!

Take broken or worn-down crayons and some muffin tins in a 170-degree oven.

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Freezing bubbles activity

When it’s chilly outside, blow bubbles outside and watch them freeze. Pop, them look at them and talk about them.

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Snow fun

Fall down on the snow, spread your hands beside you and move them up and down on your side. Carefully rise and you will find a great imprint of you which look like an angel.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Don’t skimp on sunscreen

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

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