Summer break this year will be very different for most – children have been out of school or daycare since late March, engaging in school from home or staying with family since some daycares have remained closed. How can you keep your child occupied this summer while being cautious of the safety conditions to keep your family safe and out of COVID-19’s path? Here are a few activities for children ages 2-10 years old to do this summer to help you avoid hearing the words, “I’m bored”. They’re all easy to set up, inexpensive, and can be done at home in your backyard, kitchen or craft room.
Homemade Giant Bubbles (ages 2+ years old)
Toddlers find great fun in blowing and watching bubbles. This entertaining activity provides important cognitive, language and physical development for toddlers. Bubbles are a simple, inexpensive learning tool for parents. You can even make homemade giant bubbles by mixing these common household products:
- 6 cups water (distilled is best but tap water is fine)
- 1/2 cup blue Dawn dish detergent
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 1 tbsp baking powder (not baking soda)
- 1 tbsp Glycerine
Finger Paint (ages 2+ years old)
One activity that always seems to keep children entertained for more than just a few minutes is finger paint. Edible paint can relieve some fears for parents who have children who are at the age where they want to put everything in their mouth. Try this fun and easy DIY edible finger paint to keep your children happy and those little hands busy. Edible finger paints aren’t just good for expressing creativity, they also help your child develop their fine motor skills and increase their brain’s ability to communicate with their body. Here’s what you need:
- Various Food Coloring
- Instant Pudding Mix
- Muffin Pan
- White Butcher Paper or Plastic Table Cloth
- Edible finger foods to substitute as paint brushes (optional).
Cup Stacking (ages 2+ years old)
Cup stacking has become an extreme sport for adults, but children can enjoy this fun game too with great benefits. Building and stacking boost both fine and gross motor skills as well as eye-hand coordination. Plus, these activities can help your child learn about spatial relationships — “under,” “on,” and “around” — and shapes. For this activity, you can use plastic cups from your cupboard or non-reusable plastic cups. For older children, you can ask them to stack the cups by color or by number to challenge their brains and increase their cognitive development.
Karaoke (ages 3+ years old)
Singing can encourage your child to express their emotions and sharpens their ability to communicate while exercising lip and tongue movement. One of the biggest benefits of singing is the repeated use of the ‘memory muscle’. YouTube has tons of karaoke sing-alongs with popular Disney songs. Here’s one you can try out today: Disney Songs – Sing-Along.
Garden Soup (ages 5+)
Garden soup can be set up in less than a minute, and it will keep your children busy and learning in the backyard for ages. Here’s what you need:
- Scoops, tongs, ladles, wooden spoons
- water pitchers or measuring cups
- large pots and bowls
This activity is great for developing your child’s ability to use scissor skills and their fine motor skills. It’s also a wonderful way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore nature in their own backyard. For this activity your child will snip leaves, flower petals, and grass from around the yard and garden. Then they scoop, pour and mix everything they collected, preparing these big bowls of “garden soup”. This is a great activity for strengthening both fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are strengthened as the children pluck and snip flowers and leaves from the garden. Decision-making skills are challenged as they choose their ingredients for their soup.
These activities are great for children to help them develop their cognitive, language and fine motor skills. The amount of screentime our children are consuming can be higher than normal due to COVID-19 and being “safer at home”. Try these fun activities with your children at home today!
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