Sunday, November 23, 2014

Entertaining the Toddler with Fine Motor Activities

You need to entertain your toddler before everything gets destroyed. I get it. I scramble for stimulating activities all of the time, since my super-precocious 2 year-old is always looking for the "next big thing." Seriously, this morning, there was 2 minutes of quiet, while I fed the baby. As I went into MY bedroom (the door had been shut), said 2-year-old came out, holding the toothpaste cap. He was painting on the floor with the toothpaste. *Sigh That being said: here are the best activities to entertain a toddler- and improve fine motor skills. 1) Chalkboard. GREAT for wrist extension and shoulder stability- two important components to improving fine motor skills. Plus, using chalk is SO much fun! Vary it and take the activity outside- write on the sidewalk/driveway. Begin writing letters- practice with large letters first! 2) WATER TABLE! It is a wonderful sensory activity that also requires balance (reaching, lifting, shifting weight) and fine motor control (control of objects in hand, as well as grasping skills). Practice pouring to/from cups of all sizes, including stackable cups, to develop the concepts of greater than and less than. Improve their play skills as (you) engage them in scenarios by modeling the behavior. Bonus** it is easy to supervise! Bored with the water- use rice or sand instead... 3) Pom pom sorting. By color. By size. With clothespins. With spoons. Talk to them about concepts such as more than and less than. 4) Collage (***With Adult Supervision***). The glue can get messy- but this is a really great way to kill 45 minutes! Rip up paper with different textures into pieces of varying size. Glue on items of all sizes, shapes and color. Perhaps dabble with scissor skills (only with absolute, 100% adult supervision!). Hopefully this helps. The toddler and I will be collaging tomorrow. As soon as I finish cleaning my bathroom. :)