Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Activities for Toddlers (Part 3)

This is the final part of a series. (Part 1 and Part 2).

For each project I will highlight several developmental skills it enhances. Often we do things, but don’t think about the reason why. And sometimes we don’t do things because we don’t think they will make an impact. Now every kid is different and what one gains another might not. But that’s okay. It’s most important to present the opportunity for our children and let them tell us what they learn from it.

Felt, Felt and more Felt

Felt is cheap and easy to use. Kids love to play with it. It is easy to use for enhancing stories or songs. I used separate pieces for the Jack-O-Lantern to give my daughter a chance to make a face on the pumpkin. This however is a situation where you need to know your toddler. My pieces for the face are small, but my daughter hasn't even tried to put them in her mouth. If she had I would have made it much larger or not used it at all.

Materials: Orange, red, white, black, green, yellow felt. Patterns for leaves, bat, ghosts, pumpkins, apples.

Directions: Trace pattern on felt and cut out. Make as many of each as you want. The Jack-o-Lantern face I did free hand. Use a felt board, or make your own wrapping felt around a cookie sheet or cardboard. I taped felt to the wall. You can sing songs or tell stories with the felt.

Language used: pumpkin, bat, face, ghost, apple leaves, red, orange, green, white, black
Fine Motor: Place felt on felt board and putting it in various locations. Puzzles are hard for toddlers, but this gives a similar challenge..
Creative: Put in any spot
Sensory: Felt is soft.
Cognitive: Learning that felt can stick to the board. Trying to make a face is a challenge.
Enjoyment: It is fun to use different textures of familiar items.
Social: We work together to make the face or put the felt pieces up.

Fall Tree
: Paper, orange paint, washcloth

Directions: Make a tree trunk on the paper. Let the child paint with brush or finger. Cut out to look like a tree.
Language used: paint, art, tree, orange
Fine Motor: Using hands and fingers to paint refines fine motor
Creative: Tree can be any size and colors can go anywhere
Sensory: Feeling the paint and watching where it goes when spread
Cognitive: Memory from painting before.
Enjoyment: Painting is fun.
Social: We worked together to create the tree

Painted Leaves
Materials: Paint, paper, pattern, washcloth
Directions: Paint paper with brush or fingers. When paper is dry cut out into leaves.

Language used: paint, yellow, leaves
Fine Motor: Using hands and fingers to paint.
Creative: Paint can go anywhere
Sensory: Feeling paint
Cognitive: Reinforces leaves in other projects we have done.
Enjoyment: Painting is fun
Social: We worked together to create the leaves.

Ghosts and Bats
Materials: Black paper, chalk, Kleenex or tissue paper, marker, string, rubber band, paper clips.
Directions for Bat
Trace bat pattern,
Have child use sidewalk chalk to decorate
Cut out.
Put paper clip on top
Tie string to paper clip
Hang from doorway or ceiling

Directions for Ghosts (I did this while my daughter watched)
Wrap Kleenex or tissue paper inside another one to form a head
Use rubber band to secure
Make face with marker
Put paper clip around rubber band
Tie string to paper clip
Hang from doorway or ceiling

Language used: ghosts, bats, chalk, black, white
Gross Motor: I let her touch and swing the bats and ghosts.
Fine Motor: Using chalk to decorate refines fine motor.
Creative: When I made the ghost she watched me create something. Chalk can go anywhere on bat.
Sensory: Feeling the finished products and the chalk.
Cognitive: Everyday the bats and ghosts are the first thing my daughter looks for.
Enjoyment: She enjoys looking at them
Social: We did them together
**Remember these are just ideas. I hope you can build on them and use them for more than just Halloween**

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