Hello, NLC Parents!
I have been looking into some activities to help you enjoy some “busy together time” with your children, and a few ideas that provide them with some “busy alone/sibling time.”
The materials you choose for your child’s independent play should be safe. Items that fit into a toilet paper tube are considered choking hazards, so make sure any small objects are used with supervision or by older kids.
Children also stay focused longer when presented with a new toy or activity. I believe they are most interested when they helped make it! Most of these items are things you have in your home, but you can also find other alternatives, too.
Cardboard, paper towel tubes, and colored markers can be transformed into a fun castle. Your child can help design it as the KING/QUEEN of their castle!! Find some Little People figures and they will have independent imaginative play.
Cardboard can have lots of play uses. Set it up against the couch and it can be a car ramp. Set up large pieces around table legs and make a fort.
The photos above show cardboard’s use in developing skills such as lacing with rigatoni noodles and template drawing. The lace should be no longer than 6 inches for small children, but can be longer for older kids who are less likely to wrap it around their necks.
I have used PT and TP tubes in the classroom for a pompom/pingpong drop to teach cause and effect to toddlers. Balancing a ball on the top end of a TP tube and running around it is fun for older kids. It is even more fun to “pop” it in the air over and over again!
The following activities help develop hand-eye coordination:
– Hammering pegs (with toys or wooden spoons) or straws into an inverted cardboard egg carton
– Poking pipe cleaners or straws into a colander
A painted tissue box can be transformed into animal paws! Shuffle around and make animal sounds.
Making your own toys or activities gives you something to do as a family. You then have a new and exciting thing for your children to play with. Let’s take that left over cardboard and make some magic toys in the weeks to come!
Frog Hollow Teacher at NLC