If your child is staying home for the day, that doesn’t mean they will just be wasting their time not learning anything. As a matter of fact, there are so many activities you can do with them that can benefit children in a variety of different ways. And if you’re too busy, plenty of these exercises are engaging and interesting enough to keep kids occupied for hours.
Setting some time aside for something like this every day is important because it helps your child grow and develop all kinds of skills. Whether it’s the ability to solve problems they are presented with, fine motor skills or even the development of social skills and cooperation they want to be improving, all of that can be targeted with a variety of very simple activities.
Not only that, but keep in mind that children are multi-sensory beings and that their brain is rapidly growing, so you would do well to stimulate multiple senses and help develop different kinds of skills at the same time with one single exercise. This helps the brain create more neural connections quicker. Of course, try to balance things out, and a great way to do that is to follow the way MindChamps early learning centres approach this subject. Here are a few examples of what you can do.
Sensory boxes for babies
Sensory boxes are a great way to stimulate all of your baby’s senses. Just take any box whose size is suitable enough for the baby to grab objects placed inside of it and you’re ready to go. Then, fill the box with things made of different materials in order to stimulate the sense of touch with different textures and let the baby check every object in the box out thoroughly. You can even put some containers you use to keep some mild spices in there, and when the baby pulls one out open it for them to stimulate their sense of smell. For an extra challenge, put some kind of tape or rope over the box’s opening to make your child figure out the best way to get the items out. The smaller the holes created by the tape (rope), the bigger the challenge will be.
Bubbling paint for toddlers
This one is great if your child is showing an interest in art. Fill a few small bowls with a bubbling solution and then add a different dye into each of them. Then get a sheet of paper and a bubble blower and instruct your child to create bubbles of different colour and blow them towards the paper. You can also use some simple straws for this. Let the child pain mix colours and generally express themselves on paper however they want.
Not only does this exercise help develop your child’s creativity, but it can also help with motor skills and is generally a whole lot of fun and potentially quite messy, which only adds to the experience for them. But one thing you may not be thinking of is that this activity can spark scientific curiosity. What are bubbles and how do they form? Why do certain colours create new colours when they mix? Use this to start teaching them about the nature surrounding them.
Lego Challenge for preschoolers
If you have a preschooler at home, tasking him or her to build something from Legos or any other kind of building blocks is a great way to keep them busy and to help them develop a variety of skills. Give them a challenge to build a house, a flower, or a giraffe, and watch them work. This will primarily help children develop motor skills (the smaller the blocks, the finer their motors skills will be), but you can also use this to enhance their problem-solving abilities, too. To do that, in addition to the main challenge, you can give a specific condition that has to be met, like using only blue blocks in the first row.
Also, completing a Lego challenge can be a group task, so if your kid has their friends over – great. This way, they will learn to cooperate and maybe even hone their leadership skills.
These, of course, are just a few examples, but you get the idea. If you need help coming up with more stuff, MindChamps blog has a number of activities you can do at home with your children, so feel free to use it as an inspiration. They are all very simple, but making an effort and investing time into preparing everything will do wonders for your child’s growth. Be with them if you can, try to communicate as much as possible during every activity, show them you’re involved, and you will see the bond between you grow tighter and tighter.