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Hi, everyone! I’m so grateful to be able to share with you on Stephanie’s wonderful blog!
I am a stay-at-home-mom of a handsome and crazy 2-year-old! We sure have our moments of chaos in our home (If you can relate, I hope you’re sending some mom-love my way haha); but I’ve found that a lot of times when my son is bored or needing something more concrete to do, he acts out. Thus, we do a lot of activities that can help him develop behaviorally, cognitively, emotionally, and physically. However, he just thinks he’s playing and having fun! I majored in Child & Family Studies and was taught in depth about the benefit of Learning Through Play, as you’ll see in these 4 Easter Learning Through Play activities for toddlers.
1. Jelly Bean Sorting
This activity engages your child’s math skills, color recognition, self-esteem, and fine motor skills (specifically pincer skills).
What you’ll need:
- Have your child sort the jelly beans by color and place them into the gift bags for friends, classmates, or family. Not only does this provoke development in the areas listed above, it’s a super cute gift for the holiday!
- After they have sorted all of the jelly beans into bags, have them help you clean everything up. I know, I know, this may take a bit longer than if you did it yourself! However, I promise you that it will help instill a level of responsibility in them over time!
- The child is using the skills of sorting (and if your child wants to – Counting!). This is the baseline for math development in children as it starts to help them understand categorizing, values, and quantities.
- Color/Word Recognition
- The child starts to associate the color of the jelly beans with the words that represent the color. If your child is an older toddler, a fun challenging tip is to start asking them what two colors make another color; i.e., red + yellow = orange.
- With your encouragement and a positive attitude from you, your child will feel accomplished after completing the activity. **Telling your child that they should feel proud of themselves also helps to relate “Emotion Words” to their vocabulary. Bonus!
- Fine Motor Skills
- A child’s fine motor skills are constantly forming from the time they are little babies. For some, they come easier than others; but all children should get time to practice and engage them. The pincer grasp (thumb and pointer finger) is worked heavily here and helps them to create muscle memory in doing so.
This activity is WONDERFUL for engaging a child’s development in more ways than parents probably assume.
What you’ll Need:
- Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Paper Towels
- Paper Plate
- Kid’s Paintbrush (We got my son, Cole, this set –>Darice 20-Piece Kids Brush Set, and we LOVE it!)
- ** Another option if you don’t want to use eggs, is to have them paint bunnies on paper or a canvas (great gift for grandparents!)
- Lay down the paper towels and tape them to the table or surface with scotch tape to keep a mess-free work zone.
- Put drops of paint onto a paper plate and have your child paint their eggs however they want. **Important – try to let your child do this activity as much as possible without your guidance. Let their creativity shine!
- Have them help you clean up!
- I’ve listed all of the developmental benefits of children painting in this post.
Hop, Hop, Hop Egg Collection
This activity helps primarily with gross and fine motor skills, and is great to do as a group!
What You’ll Need:
- Plastic Eggs (25-50, depending on your child’s age and stamina/focus)
- Any Bag or Tote they can carry
- Prior to your child’s knowledge, lay out eggs all around the house (or outside if the weather permits). Make them high and low and as easy to see as necessary for your child.
- Explain to your child that they are to hop around and collect the eggs as fast as they can. *You can make it timed if your child understands that concept. Feel free to make this your own; for example, if they do anything but hop, then they have to dump out their eggs or start over. Whatever is best for your little!
- Gross Motor Skills
- This activity leans heavily toward this area of development. The hopping and coordination it takes to hop helps develop their muscles and balance. Any play that contributes to them understanding how their bodies move and body control is extremely useful.
- Fine Motor Skills
- Grasping the eggs with their fingers is a fine motor skill that helps their dexterity and control.
Read an Easter Book
A book I used to love reading to my toddlers and pre-schoolers was Duck & Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny!. It is full of opportunities to discuss colors, counting, easy questions to ask your child as you read through, and keeps their attention as it’s never dull.
- Reading takes children to an entirely new world. They have the ability to willingly pretend way more than we do as adults (sadly). Is your child wanting to change the story to their own version? Let them! See where it takes you both!
- Language Skills
- Reading, in general, gives children so many opportunities to repeat words and enhance their vocabulary. It also helps with speech and word to picture recognition, as well as comprehension. However, all of these must be encouraged by you! You are your child’s best resource for discovering and learning new words and new experiences with reading. Don’t be afraid to get silly and use special voices to keep them intrigued! You literally can help your children develop way more than you probably think, and I’m sure you are all already doing a wonderful job! 🙂
Some extra fun!
After all of these activities, I think everyone deserves a sweet treat! Caroline Barnes, the creator of this cake and a cake decorating queen, has an awesome Easter cake that we could do for the holiday! Can’t wait to try it myself!
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the activities! I would love to hear from you about what worked for you and what didn’t! Enjoy your Easter, everyone!
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