Are you looking for ideas to entertain your children under 3? Sometimes it is pretty challenging to find activities that will attract their attention and are interesting enough to keep them focused.
Learning through play is fun; thus, it is vital to find activities to help your child learn new things and develop skills.
In today’s blog post, you can find suggestions for games and activities that are beneficial in developing coordination, fine motor control, speaking, listening, and pre-writing skills, as well as sensory activities.
It is scientifically proven that children learn through using their five senses, and different hands-on play activities will help them explore and learn about the world around them. Try the following activities and have fun together:
1. Sing together
Singing is probably the simplest and most beneficial way to stimulate your kid to explore and experiment with their abilities. Babies enjoy hearing all types of sounds from the earliest age; therefore, it is essential to include variations: sing, whisper, shout, imitate animals, and dance.
This simple activity assists brain development, and through music, your baby will learn language and sounds.
2. Reading books together
Although infants do not understand everything you do and say, reading is a marvelous shared activity beneficial for each developmental stage.
Namely, when you read to your baby, you will teach them about communication and the world around them; concepts for shapes, colors, letters, and numbers; reading supports memory and boosts vocabulary skills; different emotions and meaningful sounds, etc.
When you read to your baby, you should point to pictures, imitate sounds, show your kid how to turn pages, and encourage your baby to look, touch, and ask questions.
3. Bilateral Coordination
Bilateral coordination refers to a kid’s ability to coordinate both sides of the body. Namely, when the kid successfully coordinates the body in an organized manner, it means both sides of the brain efficiently communicate and share information.
Some of the activities linked with coordination are dressing, tying shoes, buttoning, fine motor skills, and visual-motor tasks such as drawing, writing, catching/ throwing, etc.
“Crossing the midline” is the fundamental skill associated with bilateral coordination. You can check the ability of your child with functional tasks. For example, ask them to move one hand, foot, or eyes to the other hand, foot or eye.
With this action, your kind will impulsively cross over the midline of the body. Babies and toddlers often use both of their hands equally and use the hand closer to the object. Establishing the dominant hand usually occurs after 3-4 years of age.
Activities to stimulate the development of coordination are: throwing and catching softballs; playing with toy instruments; connecting/ separating and building things with Duplos® or Legos®; playing with dough or modeling clay; putting rings on a cone/ board, etc.
4. Scissor Skills
Many children are interested in using scissors at a young age, which is an excellent exercise for the skills in the fingers, hands, arms, as well as shoulders and hips for stability. However, for some kids learning how to use scissors can be tricky, and they become proficient with scissors by early elementary school.
It is essential to highlight that you need to use scissors that have safety clearance.
There are endless possibilities: cut play-dough or make snips; use bubble tongs to create models from play dough; make a necklace (cut straws with different colors into medium or small pieces, then take a rope and show your kid how to string them on a cord); take foam and make foam shapes, etc.
5. Pre-Writing Skills
Painting and drawing are some of the most fun activities that keep every child’s attention. Encourage your child to experiment with different materials, including brushes, felt-tip pens in different colors, crayons, and finger paint.
These activities will benefit eye-hand coordination and control. In addition to that, these activities will improve your child’s ability to hold and use a pencil.
Suggestions for activities to stimulate and improve the pre-writing skills: take a piece of paper and paint and color with felt-tip pens, wooden crayons, pen, pencil, watercolors, but make sure to use them according to the age of the child; show your kid how to use their fingers to draw lines and shapes, and you can also draw a sketch of a tree and teach your kid to draw the leaves; use tongs and show your kid how to pick up small objects such as beans, cereal pieces, pasta, rice (you don’t have to buy tongs specialized for kids, instead use the ones in your kitchen drawer); fill a container with water and transfer the water from one to another by using bottles, cups or a pipette; buy an Etch-A-Sketch and draw different shapes, letters and numbers; encourage the child to help you with pinching clothespins while you place the laundry to dry.