you the time for big elaborate crafts but you can fit these quick fixes into even the busiest schedule, even if it’s just allowing your child to “help” you get some things done.
- Kitchen Caper! My son loves “helping” me cook. He has never been a big eater but if he helps make the food he always eats it. Here he is helping me make cookies, don’t worry the mixer is unplugged , we count , scoop, measure and pour while making treats! Oh and be the official butter taste tester!
- Water Scooping. I propped up a plastic mixing bowl on top of another filled it with water and let him splash and scoop.
- Patio drawing ! Out door chalk is awesome, it comes clean with water, and comes in bright fun colors.
- At Home Museum! We grabbed some Art books and looked for cats, boats and apples in the paintings, it lasted almost 40 minutes and made no mess! Here we are enjoying gothic architecture!
- Gather your materials. You will need some Styrofoam, golf tees, a play hammer and your child. Seriously how simple is that?
- Put the golf tees in the Styrofoam – don’t push them all the way in though.
- Add your little one and let them pound it in.
- You will not want to leave them unattended, in case a tee breaks, or small bits of the Styrofoam breaks off. So watch carefully as they have a blast hammering! Oh and don’t tell them they are building fine motor skills too!
This is the way we pound our nails,
pound our nails, pound our nails,
This is the way we pound our nails, so early in the morning.
This is the way we turn the screw,
Turn the screw, turn the screw
This is the way we turn the screw, so early in the morning.
This is the way we saw the wood
saw the wood, saw the wood,
This is the way we saw the wood, so early in the morning!
This is the way we build a house,
build a house, build a house.
This is the way we build a house so early in the morning!
- Gather your materials. I grabbed an old box we got at Costco but any low edged container will do. I filled it with some crushed rock my husband was using to make us a patio, but sand, mulch or soil will be fine too. I wanted it to be something earthy though since so often we use dried beans and pasta. Then I added some construction vehicles and a shovel and pail.
- Encourage your child to fill the pail, dig with the shovel and use the diggers and dozers. In all honesty I had to do nothing to encourage my son, he loved every bit of getting filthy!
- Have a bath ready, your little one will need it!
- Gather your materials. This activity is what you make it. All you need is some uncooked pasta, a container and something to scoop with.
- Pour the pasta into the container and make a big deal about it pouring into the container and NOT onto the floor. I was really surprised by how careful my son was this morning doing this. When a piece would fall onto the floor he would exclaim ” Uh Oh” then pick it up and pop it back in. I was shocked , but happy.
- Introduce different things to scoop and pour with. We used different sized containers and a measuring cup.
- Interact with your child while they are pouring, use words like “fill” “pour” ” empty” and “full” with preschoolers ask them how many scoops it will take to fill a cup , then count it out, grab another container, take bets and repeat!
- When you notice that the pasta starts making it on the floor more and more often, it’s time for the dust buster, Don’t wait too long, sensory activities go from fun to disaster fast, so stay on your toes, the learning a is worth it!
- Calendar Coloring. Out of construction paper, in a rush and don’t have time to protect your kitchen table? Use your desk top calendar with the previous month’s page still attached. The pad is heavy enough to protect even a nice table, and the paper is large enough that even a toddler with insanely long arms like my son will not be able to color off the paper! My son loved finding letters on the paper, and colored long enough for me to get dinner into the oven!
- Ice Scooping. Late in the afternoon the last thing I want to do is change my son’s outfit ONE MORE TIME so instead of getting out the water and allowing him to splash I filled his bucket with ice cubes, and let him scoop them like sand. NO mess and he had a blast!
- Can Towers. Despite getting a very minor burn from a hot oven door my son is persistant about warning me about the hot stove, which is sweet but he tries to touch it every time! So I keep his little hands busy with can towers. Tomato paste jars are his favorites, they are small and perfect for a toddler’s hands.
- Let them play clean! I love mops with washable heads, I feel confident allowing my son to clean with them knowing that even if he manages to put it in his mouth , I know it’s free from too much grime.