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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Activity: Playtime

Be the producer not the director of his play. A parent’s job is to provide some fun objects, materials, or toys to invite a child’s imagination to take off, not to lead the play.

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Activity: Create a ‘messy tray’

Create a "messy tray" – Take a shallow aluminum or plastic rectangular pan and fill with beans, oatmeal, or pasta. Add spoons and small unbreakable cups and set them up at the table.

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Activity Tip: Camping Out

Spend the day camping out in your backyard! All you need is a blanket, some food, a flashlight and some books.

Do fun camping activities like singing, play charades and going for walks. It’s a fun easy way to spend quality time with your child and who knows, you might even spend the night!

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Develop a child’s creativity

In our fast paced and high tech society, children have fewer and fewer opportunities to use and develop their creativity.

Children who are not given frequent opportunities to play may have a difficult time entertaining themselves as they simply do not know what to do without instruction.

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Activity Tip: Summer Scrapbook

All you need for this project is a spiral notebook.

Encourage everyone in the family to draw pictures of favorite activities and collect mementos from special events throughout the summer. Children love to go back through scrapbooks and albums and tell about what happened at each occasion. They will also be building their storytelling skills at the same time.

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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.

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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.

They can use household items for props and create a stage by moving furniture out of the way. Record the performance and you and your child can watch it over and over!

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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.

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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.” Place the slips of paper in the jar and at anytime during the summer when they are bored pull out a boredom buster!

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The power of play

Play gives children the chance to practice new skills over and over again.

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.

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Yummy stamp activity

Instead of using ink pads when doing thumb prints (animals etc) use Hershey’s syrup.. kids don’t mind licking their fingers… Just be careful they don’t get too carried away and let it drip all over their papers.

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Toys in groups and alone

Plastic bats are great for solo play but a disaster in a group. Select age and temperament-appropriate toys.

An impulsive thrower needs soft toys, not metal cars that he can use as projectiles. If a toy habitually excites squabbles among playing children, shelve it.

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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. As they start to discover other people, they learn how to elicit reactions from them. As they continue to grow, they learn to socialize by trial and error.

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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.

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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.

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