5 Activities to Challenge your Child

Today is a cold and rainy day here where we live which brings a perfect opportunity to share 5 Activities to Challenge your Child that will both challenge and entertain your child, to help avoid the dreaded “MOM I’M BORED”.  Activities don’t have to be complicated to be effective and deliver a high educational impact.

Activity #1: Indoor Sponge Toss promotes eye hand coordination by the child having their eye on the target. They must adjust how hard or soft to the throw the sponge to reach the target. This activity also encourages gross motor skills because the child is using large arm movements to throw the object.

5 Activities to Challenge your Child

What I used for this activity.

  • 3 colored mini baskets
  • 9 colored make-up sponges
  • tape (optional)
  • Tray (optional)

The goal of this activity is to throw the colored sponge into the corresponding colored basket. This is a table top activity but it could easily be modified into a floor activity with larger bowls/basket and sponges. You could also take this activity outside by using wet sponges and buckets.

As a table top activity, I would tape the baskets right to the table it doesn’t cause any frustration for the child if they miss because the basket moves.

I like using make-up sponges because they are heavier than a regular sponge. Small bean bags  or small stuffed toys are also an alternative option.

Activity #2: Eye-Dropper Activity helps to foster eye-hand coordination by synchronizing their hand and eye movements. Manual dexterity is also encouraged in this activity by the child using controlled hand and finger movements to get the water into the eye-dropper.

5 Activities to Challenge your Child

Here is what I used for this activity.

  • eye droppers (any size)
  • tray
  • mini basket

The goal of this activity is to have the child pick up water from the tray with the eye-dropper and add it into the mini bucket.

A simply modification can be using a larger or smaller bowl . If you don’t have an eye dropper, a plunger from an oral syringe or spoon would also work.

Activity #3: Flying Ribbons Activity is a great gross motor activity. This activity will require some large open space for indoor or outdoor play.

5 Activities to Challenge your Child

What I used for this activity.

  • wooden curtain rings
  • ribbon

I found some used wooden curtain rings at the second had store and added some long ribbon pieces to them to make Flying Ribbons.

The goal of this activity is run while holding the ring of ribbons to make the ribbons fly.

I added different lengths and types of ribbon. You could also use different pieces of fabric. This is a very inexpensive activity that I have always had success with.

Activity #4: Sensory Bottles help to further develop language, science and math skills. It has also been know to be able to calm a child because of their mesmerizing effect. SAFETY DISCLOSURE: MAKE SURE TO GLUE THE LIDS ONTO THE BOTTLES & INSPECT THEM OFTEN! 

5 Activities to Challenge your Child

What I used for this activity.

  • 3 plastic bottles
  • water
  • food coloring
  • oil
  • beads
  • glitter

Sensory Bottles can be make inexpensively by re-using plastic bottles and filling them with objects. There are many ways to use sensory bottles. Adding water, food coloring and oil offers the opportunity for a science lesson regarding different densities and why oil and water don’t mix. Water and glitter is so visually appealing for obvious reasons, and has been known to have a soothing effect. It also presents the opportunity to speak about sink and float! I added mixed beads into the third bottle for a sound effect but also for letter identification (early language skills).

Basically, you can put anything in the bottles (pompoms, toys, beans, rice). Be creative!!

Activity #5: Ice Cube Tray Sort is another way to foster fine motor skills such as eye-hand coordination.

5 Activities to Challenge your Child

What I used for this activity.

  • ice cube tray
  • small tongs
  • manipulable (I used small plastic bunnies)

The goal of this activity is to put one manipulable into each slot of the ice cube tray by using the tongs. This requires controlled hand movements and the eyes and hands have to work together to successfully sort the bunnies into each slot.

A quick and easy modification is to use pompoms, blocks or any other object that can fit into the ice cube slots. Larger or smaller tongs can be used as well. Or give chop sticks a try? This can be done by folding a small piece of paper in half until you get a small piece. Place that piece of paper in between the chop sticks and secure it with an elastic so the chop sticks open and close similar to the tongs. This could also work with pencils!!!

So the point of these activities is to show that you can create quick and easy but highly impactful activities for you children using materials that you have on hand.

There you have it! 5 Activities to Challenge your Child!

How will you challenge your child today?

Until my next post,

 

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