play ideas and game/toy RECOMMENDATIONS

Our goals are to make it easy for parents to play with their children and to provide parents with activities that promote development. Playing with our children helps them build skills beyond letter recognition and counting.

Play builds confidence, curiosity, creates an attachment/bond with parents, builds attention skills, boosts emotional and social skills/development and promotes brain development in children of all ages. 

 

The science behind play.

Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.
— O. Fred Donaldson, Ph.D. Author of Playing by the Heart

Here is a scientific article summarizing the connection between neuroscience, play and brain development. Research suggests that a child's brain develops best with an engaged parent. Here is the research behind this.  

According to scientists, pretend play is crucial to a child's development. Both parent-led and child-led pretend play promote the development of language and emotional development (among other skills!). 

We hope you have fun playing! For more information on development in children ages 0-5 read our articles


Click on one of our recent posts to get more details about the activity…


Activities for babies

Activities for toddlers

Preschool Activities

Arts and Creativity 

Science Activities 

Pretend Play ideas 

Curious Neuron Recommendations

Playing with sponges is a fun way to play with babies. You can cut some in smaller pieces and build towers. You can hide them or throw them into a bowl. If your baby walks put some on a plastic cover and have your child try to walk while balancing them.

Playing with sponges is a fun way to play with babies. You can cut some in smaller pieces and build towers. You can hide them or throw them into a bowl. If your baby walks put some on a plastic cover and have your child try to walk while balancing them.

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First babies will enjoy smashing towers. Build towers with them and say "SMASH" to get them to link the word to the action. Once my baby learned this word, I would use it as a game to play with my toddler and baby. My toddler had to stand at a certain distance away (since she had an advantage of course!) and I would make the tower then say "SMASH". First one to smash it wins! We love using our Infantino blocks for this activity.

9 month milestone: Watches something fall

2 year milestone: Builds towers with 4 or more blocks

April 5th, 2018

April 5th, 2018

Even if your baby is only 5-6 months, naming objects around them is a game you can play to help promote their language development. As they get older (around 8 months), I like showing them 2 objects at a time. Two different colours or animals or fruits etc. After I show them, for example a "dog" and a "cat", I then ask, "Which one is the cat?"(I also make the sound of a cat). If they can't point yet, I then raise the cat. When they are able to point, I keep asking the question with different objects until they eventually point at it!

9 month language milestone: Using fingers to point at things.

Toss a few Lego Duplo into a bowl and give your baby a whisk or spoon. They will love the sound you get from moving them around! You can even add some pom poms for texture! For language development, use a key word such as "stir" and show them the action of stirring. Then just let them have fun with it!  Imitation game: Imitation games are a great way to help babies develop  executive function skills . You can take a bowl and whisk for yourself and play with your child. Have a few Lego's beside you and add one at a time to your bowl. Try to get them to copy that action. Then say "STIR!" and stir your Lego's for a while and then say "Stop!". You can then take 1 Lego out of your bowl and have them copy this as well.

Toss a few Lego Duplo into a bowl and give your baby a whisk or spoon. They will love the sound you get from moving them around! You can even add some pom poms for texture! For language development, use a key word such as "stir" and show them the action of stirring. Then just let them have fun with it!

Imitation game: Imitation games are a great way to help babies develop executive function skills. You can take a bowl and whisk for yourself and play with your child. Have a few Lego's beside you and add one at a time to your bowl. Try to get them to copy that action. Then say "STIR!" and stir your Lego's for a while and then say "Stop!". You can then take 1 Lego out of your bowl and have them copy this as well.

Activity cubes are a great toy to have for your baby. Our  HAPE activity cube  has all the essentials. When your baby is able to sit, you can sit them in front of the section where you can push the ball through the hole and watch slide down the track. They can use the cube to help them learn to stand and eventually they will start walking around it and pushing it around as well! Once they stand they can the play with the bead mazes at the top. Lots of gams in one!

Activity cubes are a great toy to have for your baby. Our HAPE activity cube has all the essentials. When your baby is able to sit, you can sit them in front of the section where you can push the ball through the hole and watch slide down the track. They can use the cube to help them learn to stand and eventually they will start walking around it and pushing it around as well! Once they stand they can the play with the bead mazes at the top. Lots of gams in one!

My first born would rarely put things in her mouth, however, my second child....eats everything and anything! I keep having to think of items we can play with that can be chewed a little! This week, I introduced my baby to paper bags. A cheap dollar store find (let's face it...I spend lots of time there trying to think up new activities!). I first stuffed the bag with a sponge and then with some Little People figurines.   12 month cognitive milestone : Finding hidden objects

My first born would rarely put things in her mouth, however, my second child....eats everything and anything! I keep having to think of items we can play with that can be chewed a little! This week, I introduced my baby to paper bags. A cheap dollar store find (let's face it...I spend lots of time there trying to think up new activities!). I first stuffed the bag with a sponge and then with some Little People figurines.

12 month cognitive milestone: Finding hidden objects

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Babies love to watch objects move around. These crank cars are a fun way to do this. You could build a tower and try to hit the tower as well. If you have an older child, this could be their challenge. This way, both kids are entertained! 

4 month milestone: watching moving objects moving eyes side to side

Hide small objects or animal figurines in a sensory bin or rice or dried oatmeal. Use this activity to teach older babies or young toddlers words associated with objects or animals.    9 month cognitive milestone  : Finding hidden objects  Working memory: Hiding games are also a great challenge for  working memory .

Hide small objects or animal figurines in a sensory bin or rice or dried oatmeal. Use this activity to teach older babies or young toddlers words associated with objects or animals.

9 month cognitive milestone: Finding hidden objects

Working memory: Hiding games are also a great challenge for working memory.

As of around 6 months, using stuffed animals is a fun way to teach babies lots of language skills. As they get older and begin to learn to share and how to regulation their emotions, this can be modelled by with their stuffed animals as well.  I like to introduce words that I can associate with an action such as "hug", "high 5", or "be gentle" (as I pat the bear). I also repeat, "hi" and "bye-bye" when we are with the bears. Since being alone with a baby might feel weird talking, you can talk to the bears! This increases the dialogue between you and your baby.

As of around 6 months, using stuffed animals is a fun way to teach babies lots of language skills. As they get older and begin to learn to share and how to regulation their emotions, this can be modelled by with their stuffed animals as well.

I like to introduce words that I can associate with an action such as "hug", "high 5", or "be gentle" (as I pat the bear). I also repeat, "hi" and "bye-bye" when we are with the bears. Since being alone with a baby might feel weird talking, you can talk to the bears! This increases the dialogue between you and your baby.

Quick oats can also be used for a fun sensory bin for both babies and toddlers. You can use this activity to build cognitive skills by 1) hiding items in the oats, 2) showing them how to fill a cup with oats using their hands or a spoon 3) give them simple instructions like "scoop the oats".   12 month cognitive milestones : Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing, finds hidden things easily, looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named, copies gestures, starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair, bangs two things together, puts things in a container, takes things out of a container, lets things go without help, pokes with index (pointer) finger, follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”.   12 month language milestones : Responds to simple spoken requests.

Quick oats can also be used for a fun sensory bin for both babies and toddlers. You can use this activity to build cognitive skills by 1) hiding items in the oats, 2) showing them how to fill a cup with oats using their hands or a spoon 3) give them simple instructions like "scoop the oats".

12 month cognitive milestones: Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing, finds hidden things easily, looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named, copies gestures, starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair, bangs two things together, puts things in a container, takes things out of a container, lets things go without help, pokes with index (pointer) finger, follows simple directions like “pick up the toy”.

12 month language milestones: Responds to simple spoken requests.

Since babies still put everything in their mouth, using regular paint might not be an option! I got this idea from one of my favourite books called  150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids . Using plain yogurt and food colouring, you can create your own paint that is edible. I am glad it was edible because my baby decided it was snack time rather than activity time!

Since babies still put everything in their mouth, using regular paint might not be an option! I got this idea from one of my favourite books called 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids. Using plain yogurt and food colouring, you can create your own paint that is edible. I am glad it was edible because my baby decided it was snack time rather than activity time!

Babies love to explore. We can surround them with toys, yet they are more interested in coming into our kitchen and seeing what they could find in out drawers and cupboard! I love bringing new items to my baby. Every few days, I change the items in his basket. They are all simple and baby safe items, mostly from my kitchen. Spatula, wooden spoon, Tupperware, spoons, silicon ice cube tray, whisk etc. You can place all the objects in a container or basket, or you can also just scatter them around. This helps with cognitive development (exploring objects and reaching for them).    6 month cognitive milestone  : Looks around at things nearby, brings things to mouth, shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach, begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Babies love to explore. We can surround them with toys, yet they are more interested in coming into our kitchen and seeing what they could find in out drawers and cupboard! I love bringing new items to my baby. Every few days, I change the items in his basket. They are all simple and baby safe items, mostly from my kitchen. Spatula, wooden spoon, Tupperware, spoons, silicon ice cube tray, whisk etc. You can place all the objects in a container or basket, or you can also just scatter them around. This helps with cognitive development (exploring objects and reaching for them).

6 month cognitive milestone: Looks around at things nearby, brings things to mouth, shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach, begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Take a large container (I used our sensory bin) and add some cold water and ice cubes. Adding food colouring to your ice cubes make this even more fun for a baby. I added soap for some bubbles, but if your baby still puts everything in their mouth you might want to omit this part. Since we played with my toddler I gave her a squeeze bottle with warm water and asked her to try to melt the ice cubes and also gave her a ladle to try to catch them.

Take a large container (I used our sensory bin) and add some cold water and ice cubes. Adding food colouring to your ice cubes make this even more fun for a baby. I added soap for some bubbles, but if your baby still puts everything in their mouth you might want to omit this part. Since we played with my toddler I gave her a squeeze bottle with warm water and asked her to try to melt the ice cubes and also gave her a ladle to try to catch them.

A fun way to bring a book to life is to use puppets. I love using the  Gossie and Friends collection by Olivier Dunrea . The characters jump. run, hide, look to the left/right etc meaning that these actions can be acted out by your puppet. As your child gets older, you can also get them to act out these books. My toddler has lots of fun putting on a play with this collection of books.   4 month milestones : Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops, follows movings things with eyes from side to side, copies facial expressions and reaches for toy with one hand.

A fun way to bring a book to life is to use puppets. I love using the Gossie and Friends collection by Olivier Dunrea. The characters jump. run, hide, look to the left/right etc meaning that these actions can be acted out by your puppet. As your child gets older, you can also get them to act out these books. My toddler has lots of fun putting on a play with this collection of books.

4 month milestones: Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops, follows movings things with eyes from side to side, copies facial expressions and reaches for toy with one hand.

Have an empty Kleenex box? You've got a new toy! Add some objects inside such as a spoon, pacifier, facecloth or LEGO. Tuck them inside (I left them sticking out in the picture for the visual) and hand the box over to your baby. You can guide them by showing them a few times how to get an object out of the box, but then let them try to figure it out.   9 month milestone : Looks for things they see you hide

Have an empty Kleenex box? You've got a new toy! Add some objects inside such as a spoon, pacifier, facecloth or LEGO. Tuck them inside (I left them sticking out in the picture for the visual) and hand the box over to your baby. You can guide them by showing them a few times how to get an object out of the box, but then let them try to figure it out.

9 month milestone: Looks for things they see you hide

Animal sounds are a fun way to help babies with language skills. Using small figurines can bring them to life. You can create a story with the figurines as well.   6 month milestone : Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)

Animal sounds are a fun way to help babies with language skills. Using small figurines can bring them to life. You can create a story with the figurines as well.

6 month milestone: Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)


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Recommended age: 2-6  We love our  National Geographic Kids books . This week, we used felt paper, construction paper, tissue paper and some rolls of toilet paper to build some simple animal habitats (and I mean simple...very very simple because my artistic ability is nonexistent!). We then took out our animal figurines and sorted them according to which habitat they live. The Savannah, the ocean, a river, a pond or the jungle. I built trees by stuffing a toilet paper role with green tissue paper and colouring the role brown (see I told you is was simple). We then randomly picked a page from our National Geographic book and searched for that animal in our habitat and then read a few facts about it. We extended our play time by playing "school" and my toddler taught us how big the Humpback Whale is and showed us how the male sings. I kept the facts simple (2-3 facts) since my daughter is not 3 yet. The older your child is the more info you can add. This activity lasted the entire morning and I was able to play with both my baby and toddler. Hope you have fun as well!

Recommended age: 2-6

We love our National Geographic Kids books. This week, we used felt paper, construction paper, tissue paper and some rolls of toilet paper to build some simple animal habitats (and I mean simple...very very simple because my artistic ability is nonexistent!). We then took out our animal figurines and sorted them according to which habitat they live. The Savannah, the ocean, a river, a pond or the jungle. I built trees by stuffing a toilet paper role with green tissue paper and colouring the role brown (see I told you is was simple). We then randomly picked a page from our National Geographic book and searched for that animal in our habitat and then read a few facts about it. We extended our play time by playing "school" and my toddler taught us how big the Humpback Whale is and showed us how the male sings. I kept the facts simple (2-3 facts) since my daughter is not 3 yet. The older your child is the more info you can add. This activity lasted the entire morning and I was able to play with both my baby and toddler. Hope you have fun as well!

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We found this activity in our Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do. This activity teaches children that to halves make a while. We folded a paper in half, drew a robot, then cut it out and decorated it. It was simple to do and we had fun making out robot voices while playing with them.

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Imaginary play such as "police officer" is great for building executive functions. These skills are important in school and need to be developed as of infancy. For this game, our "jail" is the hola hoop. The "police officer" determines 1-3 rules (for 2-3 year olds start off with 1 rule). Rules are for instance, "you can't say your name" or "you can't say the word "I" or "you could only walk on 1 leg" or "you can only walk backwards" and so on. You then continue your day trying to remember these rules and if you break them...off to jail! We stick to 1-5 min for jail time, then switch rules. We used a silk scarf for our "handcuffs". 

We enjoyed playing this fun activity created by  Busy Toddler . Simply hide some letters in a sensory bin. We used rice. I then printed a set of alphabets. We found ours on the  Mr. Printable website . Hide some letters in the rice then have your child match them with the printed letters!

We enjoyed playing this fun activity created by Busy Toddler. Simply hide some letters in a sensory bin. We used rice. I then printed a set of alphabets. We found ours on the Mr. Printable website. Hide some letters in the rice then have your child match them with the printed letters!

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One of my new favourite things to do these days is to let my toddler read books to us. There are a few books that work really well to do this... Peek a Who ,  Blue Hat Greet Hat  and  Goodnight Gorilla . I started doing this with my toddle when she was 2 1/2. It is great fun! Encourage your child to read it to you and don't worry about what they say. If they make a mistake the first few times, let it go. Then slowly help them get the story correct. This activity is to help boost their confidence and also their love for reading.

One of my new favourite things to do these days is to let my toddler read books to us. There are a few books that work really well to do this...Peek a Who, Blue Hat Greet Hat and Goodnight Gorilla. I started doing this with my toddle when she was 2 1/2. It is great fun! Encourage your child to read it to you and don't worry about what they say. If they make a mistake the first few times, let it go. Then slowly help them get the story correct. This activity is to help boost their confidence and also their love for reading.

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I absolutely love the National Geographic Kids collection. The font is large, the pictures are beautiful and the information is perfect for your children. If your child is interested in animals, dinosaurs, space, ocean animals or likes to ask the question "why"

April 4th, 2018

April 4th, 2018

Challenging your child's memory will help them build these strong memory skills that will in turn be valuable when they begin school. You can play memory games with cards or you can also turn it into a game. Take either a few toys or kitchen items. As long as they are items your child can name. If you are doing this with a 2 year old, start with 2-3 items. Name each item with your child, then ask them to turn around or block their eyes. Take one object away and ask them "What's missing?". As they get better at naming the object, add more objects. If your child is 4-5 years of age you can start with about 5-6 objects. If they struggle with this just remove some objects and start at a level that is easier for them, then make your way up.

Add 2 containers at one end of the room and use spoons to carry your lego across the room. Don't drop it! If you do, you need to start from the beginning. You can vary this activity depending on your child's age. For instance, walking backwards, hop on one foot etc. With my toddler, we have to either jump or clamp before picking up a new Lego. Adding 1-3 rules helps build  executive functions .

Add 2 containers at one end of the room and use spoons to carry your lego across the room. Don't drop it! If you do, you need to start from the beginning. You can vary this activity depending on your child's age. For instance, walking backwards, hop on one foot etc. With my toddler, we have to either jump or clamp before picking up a new Lego. Adding 1-3 rules helps build executive functions.

We love playing pretend grocery store. You can use pictures of food items or play food items. To help with learning how to count and recognize numbers, I created our own money. I also added some stars on the food items to help her match the number of stars with her money. This was great fun!   Developmental milestone for age 4 : Names some colors and some numbers and understands the idea of counting

We love playing pretend grocery store. You can use pictures of food items or play food items. To help with learning how to count and recognize numbers, I created our own money. I also added some stars on the food items to help her match the number of stars with her money. This was great fun!

Developmental milestone for age 4: Names some colors and some numbers and understands the idea of counting

I got this fun idea from the  Colegio Juan Pablo II , Facebook page. We flipped our table upside down and wrapped plastic wrap around the legs. This became our canvas to paint on. Easy cleanup as well! We used temerpa paint found at  bb.ca

I got this fun idea from the Colegio Juan Pablo II, Facebook page. We flipped our table upside down and wrapped plastic wrap around the legs. This became our canvas to paint on. Easy cleanup as well! We used temerpa paint found at bb.ca

For this activity, I combined 2 activities ( first  and  second ) from a fantastic website called Busy Toddler. I love the idea of using our wall as an area for activities. We bought a large roll of paper at IKEA and some tape at the Dollar Store and now there are many new activities we can do.

For this activity, I combined 2 activities (first and second) from a fantastic website called Busy Toddler. I love the idea of using our wall as an area for activities. We bought a large roll of paper at IKEA and some tape at the Dollar Store and now there are many new activities we can do.

When there is fresh snow on the ground, this is a perfect activity.We filled up a large bin with snow and in spray bottles and squeeze bottles, we added cold water with food colouring. I gave my toddler some spoons and measuring cups. You can also do this with an older baby. They will enjoy touching the snow (just don't let them keep their hands in it for too long, it will get too cold!).

When there is fresh snow on the ground, this is a perfect activity.We filled up a large bin with snow and in spray bottles and squeeze bottles, we added cold water with food colouring. I gave my toddler some spoons and measuring cups. You can also do this with an older baby. They will enjoy touching the snow (just don't let them keep their hands in it for too long, it will get too cold!).

We adding some glue to pasta and pasted them on paper. We then painted them once they dried. Great for developing precision and motor skills.  This is also a great way to teach a child to look for similarities and differences. Which pasta shapes look similar? Do they feel similar? Teaching them to observe and question will help them in school. You can use only tube pasta such as penne and have them create letters using only pasta or they can even spell out their name.

We adding some glue to pasta and pasted them on paper. We then painted them once they dried. Great for developing precision and motor skills.

This is also a great way to teach a child to look for similarities and differences. Which pasta shapes look similar? Do they feel similar? Teaching them to observe and question will help them in school. You can use only tube pasta such as penne and have them create letters using only pasta or they can even spell out their name.

Add some tape on the floor to create the plank. Add a container at the end of the plank. I also added a space between the plank and container and had my toddler jump from one island to the other. The goal is to walk on the green line while picking up all the green LEGO's (colour of your choice) and to safely carry them into the container. If you fall off the plank, you swim with the fish and start again! I added some lines to the side of our plank (more islands). If you can jump from one line to the next you can collect more LEGO's!   4 year motor milestone : Hopes and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds

Add some tape on the floor to create the plank. Add a container at the end of the plank. I also added a space between the plank and container and had my toddler jump from one island to the other. The goal is to walk on the green line while picking up all the green LEGO's (colour of your choice) and to safely carry them into the container. If you fall off the plank, you swim with the fish and start again! I added some lines to the side of our plank (more islands). If you can jump from one line to the next you can collect more LEGO's!

4 year motor milestone: Hopes and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds

Take out all your books! My toddler and I love playing library. She takes her books out and places them in a section of the living room. We use an old gift card as our "library card". One person is the librarian and the other person comes to borrow some books. I love watching my daughter look through her books to decide which books to borrow. She then comes to the "desk", hand over her library card and I use a flashlight as my scanner to scan each book and her card. I then tell her how many days she can borrow the books for, usually 1-5 days (use numbers your child knows or is learning). We use an reusable grocery bag as our library bag. She then pretends to go "home" and we both read through the books before she returns them. Sometimes I get a timer with 1 minute representing 1 day. So if she has 5 days to borrow the books, I set the timer at 5 minutes.

Take out all your books! My toddler and I love playing library. She takes her books out and places them in a section of the living room. We use an old gift card as our "library card". One person is the librarian and the other person comes to borrow some books. I love watching my daughter look through her books to decide which books to borrow. She then comes to the "desk", hand over her library card and I use a flashlight as my scanner to scan each book and her card. I then tell her how many days she can borrow the books for, usually 1-5 days (use numbers your child knows or is learning). We use an reusable grocery bag as our library bag. She then pretends to go "home" and we both read through the books before she returns them. Sometimes I get a timer with 1 minute representing 1 day. So if she has 5 days to borrow the books, I set the timer at 5 minutes.

Add some liquid glue to a plate and use a paintbrush and some yarn. If you are doing this activity with a toddler, you can simply have them glue their yarn to paper and create art with it. With older children who are learning letters, shapes or counting you can also draw out the letters or shapes on their paper and have them glue their yarn over it.

Add some liquid glue to a plate and use a paintbrush and some yarn. If you are doing this activity with a toddler, you can simply have them glue their yarn to paper and create art with it. With older children who are learning letters, shapes or counting you can also draw out the letters or shapes on their paper and have them glue their yarn over it.

Snug as a Bug in a Rug  is a fun game for toddlers (suggested age is 3+). The goal is to get all the bugs under the rug. You first role a die to see if you will be selecting bugs according to colour, shape on their backs, or number of shapes they have on their backs. It is a cooperative game so you work as a team. If you spin and you get blue for instance, but there are no blue bugs left, then the stinky bug is introduced to the rug. If all 3 stinky bugs make it on the rug, they win and you lose. Click here for a  video .

Snug as a Bug in a Rug is a fun game for toddlers (suggested age is 3+). The goal is to get all the bugs under the rug. You first role a die to see if you will be selecting bugs according to colour, shape on their backs, or number of shapes they have on their backs. It is a cooperative game so you work as a team. If you spin and you get blue for instance, but there are no blue bugs left, then the stinky bug is introduced to the rug. If all 3 stinky bugs make it on the rug, they win and you lose. Click here for a video.

This is a simple arts activity to help you discuss seasons with your child. We used paintbrushes and Q-tips to paint our leaves. We only drew 2 trees in this picture but you can divide the page into 4 and have them draw out trees representing all 4 seasons.

This is a simple arts activity to help you discuss seasons with your child. We used paintbrushes and Q-tips to paint our leaves. We only drew 2 trees in this picture but you can divide the page into 4 and have them draw out trees representing all 4 seasons.

We love our  Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do ! This experiment helped us learn about gravity.

We love our Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do! This experiment helped us learn about gravity.

Changing what you use as a canvas is a fun way to keep painting entertaining for children. Painting on aluminium foil is fun for younger children since the paper has a nice shine to it! We used tempera paint for children.

Changing what you use as a canvas is a fun way to keep painting entertaining for children. Painting on aluminium foil is fun for younger children since the paper has a nice shine to it! We used tempera paint for children.

I love the  Mr. Printables  website. It has quick activities you can print out and play instantly! I found  Animal Silhouettes Bingo . We love playing this during meal time. It helps to keep our toddler at the table! I laminated it so that we can keep it in a better condition for a little longer! We use tokens or pom poms.

I love the Mr. Printables website. It has quick activities you can print out and play instantly! I found Animal Silhouettes Bingo. We love playing this during meal time. It helps to keep our toddler at the table! I laminated it so that we can keep it in a better condition for a little longer! We use tokens or pom poms.

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Playing post office ahas many different steps and takes a long time to play. First, we start by preparing the "letters" we will bring to the post office. We colour and use stickers to create a picture for a family member. Then we add this to our envelop. Writing the person's name on the envelop helps children learn to recognize different names including their own. Then my toddler pretends she works at the post office and I deliver my mail to her. We then switch the set up to playing "house". While I pretend I am home, she either delivers the mail in our mailbox or pretends to ring the doorbell and makes a delivery. We also enjoy using magazines to add to the items being delivered. 

Creating story boards with stickers is a great way to build creativity and executive function skills. If you do this with a toddler, provide lots of guidance. Start by saying "Once upon a time there was..." and if they do not provide you with an answer, use your stickers to ask yes or no questions that will build your story. Ask "Was there a frog?" "What was the frogs name?" "Did tis frog have a friend" "Did the frog want to play?" "Who did the frog want to play with" and so on. With older children, let them guide you!

Creating story boards with stickers is a great way to build creativity and executive function skills. If you do this with a toddler, provide lots of guidance. Start by saying "Once upon a time there was..." and if they do not provide you with an answer, use your stickers to ask yes or no questions that will build your story. Ask "Was there a frog?" "What was the frogs name?" "Did tis frog have a friend" "Did the frog want to play?" "Who did the frog want to play with" and so on. With older children, let them guide you!

Playing with baking soda and vinagar is a fun way to introduce science to toddlers.

Playing with baking soda and vinagar is a fun way to introduce science to toddlers.

We love playing with magnets! You can make it as simple as using a magnet and placing a bunch of items on a table and asking the question, "Is it magnetic?". ave your child test out each item with their magnet. We love playing with our  magnet set from Learning Resources .

We love playing with magnets! You can make it as simple as using a magnet and placing a bunch of items on a table and asking the question, "Is it magnetic?". ave your child test out each item with their magnet. We love playing with our magnet set from Learning Resources.

If you have an old role of toilet paper, you can cut the bottom up into strips of any size and flair it out to use it as a paint brush.

If you have an old role of toilet paper, you can cut the bottom up into strips of any size and flair it out to use it as a paint brush.

Need a quick activity with very little materials? A container with soapy water, another with only water, an old toothbrush (or a sponge) and some toys that can get wet (I use  Little People figurines  or  Hot Wheels cars . Playing with water is fun! I ask my children to wash their toys and rinse them off with the water. Then I have them dry them with a cloth.

Need a quick activity with very little materials? A container with soapy water, another with only water, an old toothbrush (or a sponge) and some toys that can get wet (I use Little People figurines or Hot Wheels cars. Playing with water is fun! I ask my children to wash their toys and rinse them off with the water. Then I have them dry them with a cloth.

Zingo  is a fun and easy game to  play . It is the same concept as bingo, except you need to fill up your entire card and it has simple pictures. What I enjoy is that the word is also written underneath the picture. As your child gets older, you can use this to help them learn how to read. It is quick and easy to play.

Zingo is a fun and easy game to play. It is the same concept as bingo, except you need to fill up your entire card and it has simple pictures. What I enjoy is that the word is also written underneath the picture. As your child gets older, you can use this to help them learn how to read. It is quick and easy to play.

My toddler would often leave some milk in her cup and it was a struggle to get her to finish. So I decided to throw a Cheerio inside and ask her "Can you eat the Cheerio without using your hands?". This became a fun game and now, not only does she finish her milk but she asks to play the game. There was no link to development in this game....just a mom trying to get her child to finish their milk!

My toddler would often leave some milk in her cup and it was a struggle to get her to finish. So I decided to throw a Cheerio inside and ask her "Can you eat the Cheerio without using your hands?". This became a fun game and now, not only does she finish her milk but she asks to play the game. There was no link to development in this game....just a mom trying to get her child to finish their milk!

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Creating your own search find allows you to adapt to your child's ability. You can use stamps or stickers to do this. 

Age 2: Start simple with 1 main stamp and not more than 2 colours. Have them find 1 stamp that you hide among the other stamp, or have them circle all the stamps of the same colour.

Ages 3-5: With older children, you can make it more challenging. Add many different stamps to hide the 1 stamp you want to them to find. Or add many colours. 

April 1st, 2018

April 1st, 2018

Being creative with Easter eggs is a fun way to keep them around the house a little longer after Easter is over! We had lots of fun placing them on roles of toilet paper or paper towels, then hitting them with a spatula. You an also throw them and play baseball with them or keep them on the toilet paper role and kick them.