Water squirter skittles
Support your child's number recognition in this experience
Ensure that the spray bottles are clean and have not previously been used for chemicals.
What to do
Prior to the activity write numbers 1-5 on some empty plastic bottles. You might wish to add the relevant number of dots onto the bottle as well, depending on your child's level of understanding. Line your bottles up outside. Show your child how they can use their water spray bottle to try and knock down the bottles. As they knock each one down, encourage them to identify the number. As they become more accurate with using the spray bottle, encourage them to knock down a specific numbered bottle
Using the spray bottle supports your child's bilateral coordination as they have to hold and spray the bottle using both hands. Adding in numbers to the bottle will provide a practical experience to help your child to recognise numbers. Why not vary this activity by adding letters, shapes or pictures to the bottles instead?
Ice cube boats
Develop your child's understanding of cause and effect in this sensory experience
Wipe up any spilt water to avoid a hazard. Supervise children when using scissors and store out of reach.
What to do
Invite your child to use a measuring jug to fill an ice cube tray with water, you could add coloured paint or food colouring to the water. Place in the freezer, after a few hours, remove and add a lollipop stick to each one. Encourage your child to make a flag to go on each boat using card. Support with cutting, then use some crayons to decorate. Remove the ice cubes from the freezer, use some tape to attach a flag to each boat. Places the boats into a tray/bowl of water, will they float or sink? Watch what happens as they melt!
Exploring cause and effect helps to develop your child's scientific understanding.
Print in the sand with your baby while at the beach or in your sand pit
Ensure there are no sharp shells or stones where you are playing and support your baby in washing their hands thoroughly after playing in the sand
What to do
Take a few playdough or biscuit cutters with you to the beach or outside in your sand pit. Show your baby how they can use the cutters to make shapes in the sand! Talk to your baby about the cutters they are using
Ask your baby to select a particular cutter, for example "Where is the star?"
This activity focuses on fine motor development by improving the muscles in the hands, strengthening hand grip and developing wrist movement
Ice cream playdough
Make some sensory playdough and play ice cream shops with your toddler!
Consider any allergies your child may have before starting this experience. This playdough recipe also works with gluten free flour
What to do
Mix together 250g plain flour, 50g salt, 140ml warm water and 1-2 tbsp oil in a bowl. Split the mixture in three bowls. To one bowl add green food colouring and peppermint essence, to another add red food colouring and strawberry flavouring and to the last one mix in some cocoa powder. Knead the mixture in each bowl for about 5 minutes until it forms a smooth dough
You are then ready to play ice cream shops with your toddler! Invite your child to prepare bowls of ice cream dough for their customers, encouraging them to count out how many scoops of each flavour the customer would like to buy!
Exploring this sensory dough helps your child learn through their senses and make connections. Counting out the dough supports their early counting skills
Find a stone that is ...
Develop your child's observation skills while on a trip to the beach!
Be mindful that some stones or shells may have sharp edges. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling items on the beach
What to do
When at the beach, set your child a challenge for finding different types of stones for example..
Find me a stone that is...
Rough, smooth, rough on one side and smooth on the other, smaller than your thumb, bigger than your nose
Hearing, understanding and using descriptive words helps your child develop more meaning references for the word, which in turn makes their understanding more solid. Being able to classify objects by concepts like size, shape and colour creates a solid foundation for children to add new information to existing understanding so learning becomes easier
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