Activity List

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Cardboard Box Play

Resources needed

The most important resource is a large empty cardboard box or boxes.

You may also like to include:

  • Ropes/ string/wool (no longer than 22cms)
  • Clothes pegs 
  • Masking tape 
  • Coloured pens/pencils/crayons/chalks
  • Glue 
  • Silks/scarves/material 
  • Smaller boxes or containers 
  • Cardboard tubes 
  • Empty yoghurt containers 
  • Paper 
  • Paint and brushes
  • Cushions 
  • Blankets 
  • carpet squares 
  • Old sheets 
  • sticks or leafy branches
  • Dolls/teddies
  • Balls
  • Cars
  • *Scissors – but adult supervision is required at all times.

Description of activity


Cardboard boxes can hold children’s attention for hours on end.
The best kind of play with boxes is unstructured play when you give children the opportunity to explore a versatile open-ended material without an end result in mind. Simply put out the box/s and see where the play unfolds. However you could talk to your child and ask what they would like to make with the box. Suggestions include:

•    Roads for cars or tracks for trains by laying the boxes out flat and drawing markings on them. By not laying them out flat you can bend and shape them to make hills and tunnels for the cars and trains to travel over and through.
•    Houses for dolls or small figures by using the flaps inside boxes to create levels and cutting out windows and doors.
•    Robot costumes by cutting a hole in the top of the box for your child’s head and holes in the sides for their arms. Place the box over your child’s head so it will fit through the hole and slide their arms through the holes at the sides. When you know it fits you can paint it or cover it with tin foil, drawing or sticking on cut out shapes for buttons and other gadgets.
•    Beds for dolls or teddies by providing cushions and materials for the children to organise.
•    Large constructions by building boxes on top of each other to create towers or using them to make boats or cars that the children can sit in. You can cut the boxes to make doors and add steering wheels. You can then paint or decorate the construction or car/boat however you wish.


Learning opportunities for the children


Playing with a cardboard box can build skills that some toys can't, such creativity, imagination and resourcefulness.

Cardboard boxes inspire creativity and imagination as they children build upon, transform and reinvent them.

The cardboard box takes them on adventures and helps them explore imaginary places in their minds.


Extensions for the activity


Providing other open-ended materials (as listed) for the children allows them to explore and enhance their creations by thinking about how they can use the box next. The resources encourage them to add their own personal touches and bring their ideas to life.

Cling Film Painting

Resources needed

  • Flat surface
  • Cling film
  • Squeeze bottles of paint , variety of colors ( safe for children )

 Description of activity


  • Cover the surface with one layer of cling film, pulled tight and wrapped underneath the surface
  • Squeeze a variety of paint  colours onto the cling film
  • Cover the paint with another layer of cling  film

Babies can then explore the surface by patting, rubbing, their hands over the cling  film surface, watching the paints mix into one another without any mess


Learning opportunities for the children


Gives your baby the opportunity to be interested in making  marks by spreading the paint across the cling film, by using their hands or other objects. 


Extensions for the activity


Provide your baby with other resources to hold such as animals  that they can use to make marks across the surface.

Cloud Dough

 Resources needed

•    8 Cups of plain Flour
•    I Cup of Oil
•    Mixing Bowl
•    Moulds
•    Plastic Utensils
•    Large flat tray


 

Description of activity


Measure and add 8 cups of flour to the mixing bowl.
Measure 1 cup of oil.
Add the oil to the flour in the mixing bowl
Work together until combined.
Transfer into a flat tray
Use moulds with the cloud dough, pat it, smooth it out, and let the children explore the texture.


Learning opportunities for the children


Develop communication and language by asking questions to the children about the texture such as “What does it feel like?”

Children will begin to make connection's between their movements and the marks they are making.


Extensions for the activity


Add glitter to the cloud dough to make it sparkle.
Put the cloud dough in the freezer for a chilly sensory experience.
Add flavour extracts like banana and strawberry to make it smelly.
Use cloud dough in a sensory tray for mark making.

Fruity Kebabs

Resources needed

  • Plastic straws (good quality ones, so they will not bend too easily)
  • A variety of soft fruits such as bananas, strawberries, grapes, different types of melon.

 

Description of activity


Cut a variety of your child’s favourite fruits (and perhaps some they are not so keen on!) into manageable sized pieces.

Offer them on a plate with the straws. Demonstrate to your toddler how to push the fruit onto the straw to make a tasty snack!


Learning opportunities for the children


This activity will support children in their fine motor development. It may also encourage them to try new textures and tastes; food is a lot more fun when you’ve made it yourself!


Extensions for the activity


Your toddler may enjoy dipping their finished kebab in yogurt or using a spoon to drizzle on some honey! All of these activities will support in the development of their fine motor skills. 

If threading the fruit is a bit difficult for your toddler, encourage them to make their own fruit salad by scooping prepared fruit into their own plastic cup.

You could even make a fruity fondue where you toddler can use a fork to get their fruit and then dip it into yogurt or even melted chocolate! Yummy!

Gloop Play

 Resources needed

You will need:

  • 2 cups of cornflour
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food Colouring
  • A large container or bowl

Pour the cornflour into the bowl and add a few drops of food colouring and then slowly add the cup of water. 

You will be able to make a range of different textures as you begin to add more water. 

Gloop will seem solid when it is touched but then it can be moulded and becomes wet. 


Description of activity


Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture to explore and play with. 

Playing with Gloop is a fabulous sensory and science activity to learn about the concepts of what a solid and liquid is.

This can be quite messy but a great experience for you and you child. It would be a great outdoor activity and it can be in a small bowl or on a larger scale. 


Learning opportunities for the children


Key words can be used to explain the unusual texture with your child such as Wet, slimy, cold, colorful , runny and hard.  What does it feel like? 


Extensions for the activity


A mixture of colours can be used for different exploration and your children’s interesting toys can be added (Make sure that they can be washed.) Examples of this are cars in the gloop and plastic animals. 

You can make a farm yard in the gloop for your child to explore. 

Pom Pom Drop

 Resources needed

  • Small wall/door area in or out doors
  • Pom poms in a variety of sizes and colours
  • Tubes in a variety of lengths and widths
  • Paint to colour the tubes to match the pom poms
  • Container to catch the pom poms in.

 Description of activity


This activity can be with an individual child or a small group.
Children to share all the pom poms.
To colour match the pom poms to the colored tubes and drop through.


Learning opportunities for the children


Recites numbers in order.
Can colour match.
Counts objects to ten.
Uses language of more and fewer.
Can use  language to talk about size, shape and color.


Extensions for the activity


Arrange tubes in length order.
Recites numbers in order, more than ten.
Use other colourful toys such as lego/Duplo.
Use children sized  pincers to add fun in handling the pom poms/toys to drop through the tubes.