Fun Activities to Do at Home with Young Children
Young children are full of curiosity, wonder, and energy. If you are looking for home activities for toddlers or learning activities for young children, this guide will give you ideas for playing with your child. Check out our previous blog post to explore fun indoor activities!
Three Fun Outdoor Activities
Sensory and Seasonal Walks
Intentional walks help children develop observation skills. On one walk, note all of the sounds you hear – from chirping birds to buzzing bees to the train in the distance – this is a great way to encourage active listening. On another walk, collect wildflowers in different colors to press for crafts. As the seasons change, walk around your neighborhood, the park, or your favorite trail and look for signs of changing seasons. Some children may enjoy keeping a bingo card or a checklist to mark off the items as they find them.
Designing an obstacle course together is a fun way to challenge their creativity. You can use basic objects like a jump rope, hula hoop, balls, trike/bicycle, pool noodles, or boxes. Encourage different gross motor activities such as jumping, crouching, climbing, and crawling.
Set up a water table, baby pool, or tote for water play in the warm months. Give your child cups and toys so that they can experiment with density and volume, and they’ll be entertained for a long time.
Three Fun Learning Activities
If you are looking for intentional activities to encourage learning without feeling forced, here are simple activities to enjoy with your child:
- Read together to encourage literacy skills. Bilingual books are great for immersive learning as well.
- Go on scavenger hunts. Search for a letter on billboards or look for numbers in sequential order. You can also design a scavenger hunt with age-appropriate clues or a “treasure map” if your child is interested in mysteries or adventures.
- Play store to reinforce basic math skills. Use real coins with older students because they are often easier to differentiate than plastic coins.
What is the Best Activity for Preschoolers?
Fred Rogers, an educator known for his work in children’s programming, particularly his preschool program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, has been quoted as saying, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
Free play allows children to interact with their toys and use their imagination however they want, without intervention, guidance, or suggestion from caregivers.
Giving your children plenty of time to experiment allows them to develop executive functioning skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that developmentally appropriate play promotes cognitive, language, self-regulation, and social-emotional skills. They suggest simple toys provide the biggest opportunity for creativity, such as blocks, puzzles, art supplies, balls, and household objects like boxes and wooden spoons.
Although the free play is beneficial, purposeful play is also valuable. Purposeful play involves intentionally facilitating play for children. This can include anything from designing a block castle together in order to develop motor skills, playing educational games with the family, or teacher-led games that promote a variety of social skills.
What are the Best Activities for 4-Year-Olds?
There are a variety of activities that are appropriate and fun for four-year-old’s such as:
- Board Games – You can buy games intended for preschoolers or work together to make your own games, which encourages creativity, early academic skills, and social skills.
- Card Games – There are many card games specifically for preschoolers, but you can use a deck of cards to play traditional games, like Go Fish or Old Maid.
- Dance Parties – Play your favorite songs and sing and dance until you collapse into a fit of giggles!
- Arts & Crafts- Set out supplies and let their creativity take over. If they need guidance, you could suggest finger painting, paper chains, or another simple craft that will help develop fine motor skills.
The Casa Connection
Toddlers and preschoolers are always learning, and purposeful engagement with their parents and caregivers offers valuable bonding and learning time. When you choose Casa de Corazón for your child’s daycare or preschool needs, you can be confident that they will be surrounded by teachers who will provide a safe, enriching, and developmentally appropriate curriculum that fosters learning and growth. Request a tour to learn more about our programs.