Squeezing fresh orange juice
This activity will help your child to develop their fine motor skills and encourage their independence by preparing their own juice. It will also increase their self confidence.
Make sure you are close at hand to support your child when using the lemon squeezer, should there be any spillages you can show them how to carefully mop them up using a cloth or sponge.
Prior to the experience have some oranges cut in half, with any pips removed, a jug, a glass and a lemon juicer prepared ready.
Invite your child to place the orange halves, one by one on the lemon squeezer and squeeze them until all the juice has run into the base.
Then show them how to pour the juice from the lemon squeezer into the jug ready for the breakfast table.
Let your child carry the jug of juice to the table and when seated ready for breakfast let them pour their own glass of fresh orange juice.
Grading paint shade cards
This activity helps develop heightened colour perception and discrimination, making your child more aware of colours in their environment along with the natural world and it also helps extends their vocabulary.
Supervise and support your child when using the scissors.
When you next visit your local DIY store, pick up three or four shade cards showing all the shades for the chosen colours. It could be green, blue and yellow but make sure you let your child choose, they will want to include their favourite colour.
Once home take one of the shade cards and invite your child to cut each individual colour strip off the whole shade card. You will probably end up with seven to eight shades of the same colour, for example green.
Now ask your child to put them in order from the lightest shade of green to the darkest shade of green.
You can repeat this for the other two shade cards allowing the child to grade more colours.
You will find your child will want to extend their grading practise and ask you to bring back more shade cards on your next visit DIY shop.
Match a picture phrase
This will help your child to develop their comprehension and understanding of the written word which is very important as they develop their reading skills.
Ensure card strips and pictures cut out have rounded edges to avoid sharp corners.
Prior to this activity cut some pictures out of magazine such as a bus, a woolly hat and a cake.
Next cut up some strips of card or paper. On each strip write a phrase such as ‘on the bus’, ‘wearing a hat’ or ‘eating a cake’.
Encourage your child to join you in a matching activity. Once comfortably seated lay all the pictures you have chosen out for them to see and ask them to choose one of the phrase strips and place it in front of them.
Read the phrase on the strip out to your child and then suggest they look at the pictures and see if they can find a picture showing something mentioned in the phrase you have just read out to them.
Repeat this until all the phrase strips have been matched to the relevant pictures.
This gives your child a concrete experience that will help them develop an understanding of adding and taking away. You are also helping them to understand and solve maths problems.
Ensure that you have considered allergies when making the playdough.
Ask your child to join you in making some playdough, encourage your child to help you weigh and mix the ingredients and with support follow the recipe below.
When the dough is ready, invite your child to use it to make some playdough cakes. Encourage your child to think through how they will make their dough into a cake. Explain to your child that you would like them to make 10 playdough cakes and place these on a plate.
Ask your child to count the cakes on the big plate and then ask them to remove one and place it on a small plate for someone, for example Mummy. Ask your child to count how many cakes are left on the big plate.
You can point out to your child that there were 10 cakes on the big plate, we took one away and put it on the small plate for Mummy and that left 9 cakes on the big plate.
You can vary the number of cakes you ask them to take away and also ask them to take cakes from the small plates and return them to the big plates for addition practise.
This activity will increase your child’s awareness of colours in their environment and introduces them to the reactions when you mix colours together preparing them for later science experiments where the reactions of adding substances together can be observed.
Encourage your child to keep the paint brush away from their mouth. If paint spills on the floor, wipe this up to avoid a slipping hazard
Prior to sitting down with your child, find a small paint palette, paint brushes, a small pot of water and some white paper.
Next put some yellow, blue and red, paint into three of the sections within the paint palette. If you don’t have palette you could add the paints onto a piece of cardboard or a plastic lid.
When you are both comfortably seated at a table give your child a piece of paper, then ask them to dip their brush into the blue paint and make a mark on their paper. Ask them to rinse their brush in the water and then dip it in the yellow paint and paint on top of their blue strip of paint.
Watch their surprise as the colour green appears on the paper. Explain to them that when we mix some colours together we can make other colours appear.
Repeat the same actions using the red paint with yellow paint added to produce orange and blue paint with red paint added to produce purple.
Let your child continue to experiment with the colours on their own; they will probably achieve many variations which you can then discuss with them.
Supervise your child with using chopsticks. Do not use small items with children aged under 3
Collect together a tray such as an ice cube tray or muffin tray and some small items that can be transferred. You will also need some training chopsticks. You can buy these or make your own with a pair of chopsticks and an elastic band.
Demonstrate to your child how to use the chop sticks to transfer the items. Encourage them to count the items as they transfer them.
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