Visit your local library and look for some of these great books about spring for toddlers and preschoolers.
Try this simple Easter Egg craft with toddlers and preschoolers. It's fun and provides lots of fine motor practice. Don't forget to talk about what you're doing and help your child learn new words like wide, narrow, oval, snip.
It's spring! Get outside and play! Kids learn best when they're having fun and experiencing new things. Check out these ideas.
If stuck inside try this activity to get your whole family moving. Read about volcanoes as well as playing the game, and your kids will learn some new words while they have fun.
Take a walk and talk about nature’s spring changes. Take binoculars and look for robins. You can make your own binoculars with 2 toilet paper rolls and some string.
Visit your local library for fun activities during March break. Follow the links below:
If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb – follow this link for fun activities.
Animal Dance: With kids and adults in a circle, each person takes turns to move like an animal and say what they're doing: "I hop like a bunny" or "I stomp like a dinosaur". When all have had a turn start at the beginning but this time do the moves together and say what you're doing.
Bowled Over: Make a bowling game with 10 plastic cups and a tennis ball. Set it up and roll the ball to knock down the cups. Count how many cups fall for each player, then how many fall for all players.
Where's that Shape: Have a shapes scavenger hunt by taking turns to find shapes indoors and outdoors. Then try to make each shape with your body – the whole family can work together.
These fun Valentine crafts are great for fine motor skills as well as learning new words like heart, transparent, imagination!
Home Restaurant: Spice up mealtime and have kids create a menu by drawing food items or using grocery store flyers – kids can take orders too.
Grocery Hunt: Write a grocery list with your child (use words and pictures) and let kids find all the items in the store – a fun way to do the grocery shopping.
On a cold winter day follow this link to find a great play dough activity for you and your preschooler.
Get a ruler and measure the level of snow at different times of the day. Talk about why it changes: It's melting. It's snowing a lot.
Talk about the New Year. Pull out a calendar and talk about special days in the year ahead.
Take a nature walk and talk about the colours and the weather. Talk about fun things to do in the snow – make a snow angel, build a snowman, make footprints then count and compare sizes.
Play Christmas music – stamp your feet, tap the table, clap your hands and wiggle your hips to the beat. Repeat the words to the songs.
Check out this website for some of the Best Winter Books. Take a trip to the library and find these books to snuggle up and read on a cold winter day.
Have a winter picnic indoors. Have your child help you plan what you need for your picnic. Let your child pick the snacks and an activity to play on the picnic blanket.
Play I spy… while outside for a walk or playing in the yard.
Bouncy rhymes help build vocabulary by using new words and sounds. Try rhymes at this website.
Sing the Five Little Ducks song. If you do not know the words, listen to it at this link. When singing with your child sing much more slowly than in the video. Act out the actions and use your fingers to count.
Try this activity while the leaves are still around. Use sequencing words like first, next, then and last. This helps to teach your child how to organize thoughts and stories.
Go outside on a leaf hunt with your child. Pick leaves from different trees and talk about their names (maple, oak, beech), different shapes and colours. Keep some and talk about what they look like as they dry.
Bring crayons and paper outdoors to make a book of nature rubbings.
Tape your child’s printed name to the fridge to allow your child to touch and learn the letters. Trace the letters with your fingers and talk about the names and sounds of each letter.
It is apple picking season. Visit an apple orchard. Talk about shapes, sizes, colours and bring some home for eating and baking.
Take a walk outside together and talk about what plants/trees/flowers you see are starting to change due to the fall season approaching.
Find out what programs your Library is running this fall and sign up. Look for these books while you are there; “Mouse’s First Fall” by Lauren Thompson; “Animals in Fall” by Martha E.H. Rustad and “When the Leaf Blew In” by Steve Metzger.
Is your child starting Junior Kindergarten? Visit your library and find these favourite books to read at the beginning of the school year. Younger siblings will also enjoy these books. “Froggy Goes to School” by Jonathan London; “If You Take a Mouse to School” by Laura Numeroff; “Owen” by Kevin Henkes; and “Me First” by Helen Lester. Use these books to talk about all the fun happenings that school can bring.
Make Sand Drizzles - simple project children of all ages can do. Drip, drizzle and swirl white craft glue on heavy construction paper or cardboard. Then sprinkle sand over the top, shake of the excess and let dry. Talk about what your child is making.
Art at the Beach - While at the beach collect sticks, stones, shells and leaves and make some beach art. Give your artwork a title and take a picture of it. Talk about your collection of beach items. Sign your artwork.
Scavenger Hunt - Hide seashells around the house or outside and have fun looking for them. Use paper shapes if you can't get real ones. Count the seashells with your child and talk about the different colours and shapes.
Imagination Pantomime – Encourage your children to pretend they are swimming in the ocean waves. Pretend they are walking barefoot over the hot sand. Pretend they are surfing. Pretend they are a crab and do the crab walk (to do the crab walk you need to sit on the floor and rise up and walk backwards on your hands and feet). Do these actions with your children. Have fun!
Go the playground. Use lots of new words while at the playground like: high, low, fast, slow. Talk about how it felt to soar like a bird on the swing.
On a rainy day do a puzzle together. Choose simple wooden puzzles with lots of colours. Talk about the puzzle pieces as they come together.
When driving to and from errands or sports, play “I Spy” with letters. “I spy the letter “S” on a “Stop Sign”.
Create paper plate masks of your favourite animal. Have fun playing and making animal noises.
Take a trip to the grocery store. Give your child their own shopping list with pictures of each item to find.
Make some music. Put beans in a container and shake, shake, shake! Try different objects and talk about the different sounds they make.
Let your child help with simple chores around the house. Do the laundry together. Sort by colours, who it belongs to, and types of clothing.
On a rainy day get out the play dough. Shape it into letters and numbers. Talk about what you are making.
Go for a walk. What colours can you find in nature? Look high and low to find the colours of a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple). Compare things using words like: pale, lighter/darker, etc.
For young children who are stuttering choose activities that take the pressure off because they don't focus on talking. E.g. Do a puzzle or read a book together. Comment on what you are doing or reading but don't ask questions. If your child doesn't say anything, that is fine.
Model Correct speech sounds - Example: When your child says “tun” for “sun”, respond by saying “Yes! It is a sun”. This shows your genuine interest in what your child is saying while also modeling a clear way to say it. Do NOT tell your child what they did wrong; it makes communication a frustrating experience.
Take a walk together and talk about what plants/flowers you see that are starting to grow. Talk about the changes you see happening outside. Use short simple sentences.
Include your child in planning and planting your garden. Keep it simple and enjoy gardening in your own back yard.
Story chain - Have one person start a story and everyone in the family adds a sentence to make a funny new story.
Let’s explore spring – Jump into puddles with your boots and say fun words such as “squish, squash, splash”. Explore the mud together. Use a stick to draw pictures, letters and shapes and talk about each one.
Another fun spring craft idea! Talk about farms animals, read a book on farm animals and enjoy great interaction between you and your child as you cut and paste your way to creating an adorable lamb!
Have everyone enjoy the fun on this Early Spring Scavenger Hunt!
A super craft to create for Easter. During this activity talk to your children about spring. Talk about all the parts of a chick, where you may find chicks, read a book about chicks. Help your child with different shapes and talk about each shape.
Take a look at this craft project for St. Patrick’s Day. Talk about the different shapes you can cut out to make a shamrock. Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!
Imitate your infant's babbling sounds and actions. This encourages conversation and learning language.
Rhyming is fun! Make up rhymes with actions! Enjoy this poem:
"Where did you get that little red nose? (touch nose)
Jack Frost kissed it, I suppose.
He kissed it once, (kiss nose and hold up one finger)
He kissed it twice, (kiss nose and hold up two fingers)
And now your nose is as cold as ice! (shiver)"
Go Camping in Your Living Room - It may be too chilly to pitch a tent in the woods but it’s the ideal temperature to set up camp in the living room. Roll out the sleeping bags, turn off the lights, fire up the lanterns and get your best ghost story prepared for your first-ever family faux-camping trip.
Make heart-shaped cookies or a cake today, or try this fun family activity!
Go on a colour hunt together. How many things can you find that are red/blue/green in 5 minutes?
Looking for a family fun craft idea? Check out "Snowflake Art" for a great activity to share with your children.
Pick a book your child knows by heart. Let your child tell you the story.
Create an Alphabet book using pictures from magazines. Paste each item under the right letter.
Take a Sound Walk together. Talk about sounds you hear a lot and all the new sounds you hear in your area.
Go to the library – find: "Clifford's First Autumn" by Norman Bridwell and "Nuts to You" by Lois Ehlert.
Keep track of the weather on your calendar at home each day.
Bring crayons and paper outdoors to make a book of nature rubbings.
Take a book to the park, to the shore, to the woods, just out the door!
Go on a hike and take photos to make a homemade book. What’s your story?
Turn off the TV if no one is watching it! Background TV interferes with children’s play and learning, and can lead to anxiety and behaviour problems because children can’t make sense of the adult content.
Talk to your child every chance you get – when changing diaper, when bathing, when feeding.
Beat the heat and try this homemade ice cream in a bag recipe!
Visit the library and find books about feelings. Enjoy reading them with your child. Sing “If You're Happy and You Know It” together.
Let your child go in the mud with bare feet. Talk about how the mud feels in between their toes, wet, squishy, cold, yucky.
Blow bubbles together outside in the park. Use words like huge, tiny, and a little, a lot, more.
Plan a picnic together. Talk with your child about what you need: food/blanket/hat, etc.
Take a walk together and talk about the way things around you are the same and different. Use colour, shape and size words.
Take a summer stroll together and look for as many things that are round: wheel, merry-go-round, ball.
Make your own play dough with 1 c. flour, ½ c. salt, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 c. boiling water, 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, and a few drops of food colouring.
Read a book together, but do it in a new way. Try letting your child “read” while you listen, or playing “I Spy” with the pictures in the book, or having a puppet read the book in a funny way. Try hiding things in the book ahead of time for your child to discover (pictures and puzzle pieces work well).
Go to the park or out in the back yard and pretend to be different animals. Walk like the animals and make their sounds. Try making animal footprints in the snow or dirt. Talk about which animals are fast and slow, loud and quiet, etc.
Plant seeds. Bean seeds are great because they grow fast. Your child can spoon dirt into a cup, bury the seeds, and water the plant every day. For extra fun and learning, take photos of the planting process and of the plant as it grows. Then make a picture book together to tell the story.
Play “bear snacks.” Prepare a few little plates with bits of snacks on them (crackers, raisins, pieces of apple, etc.). Then tell your child to close her eyes while you hide them. Then she can pretend to be a bear sniffing around for food, and when she finds a snack plate she can gobble it up. You can give hints to help. If you have pets, you might want to hide something other than food!
Go for a walk. Talk about what you see. Pick up an interesting stone or leaf along the way and take it home. Let your child show it to other people and tell about where he/she found it.
Do a puzzle together. Take turns putting in the pieces. Talk to your child about how you know which piece to look for: straight edges, colours that match, etc. Have fun making your own puzzles by cutting up pictures from an old calendar, and then putting them back together.
Scavenger hunt. Make a list with words and pictures, and then go hunting for everything on the list. This is a great indoor or outdoor activity for older preschoolers.
Make valentines. Cut some big hearts out of paper or cardboard and get creative with paint, crayons, glue, pasta shapes, stickers, etc. Make sure you have your own Valentine to work on.
Take some scoops and plastic containers outside. Sand shovels and buckets or big serving spoons and yogurt tubs work well. Have fun filling the containers with snow, packing it down, and dumping the snow out to make a snow castle or a tower.