The summer holidays have arrived and our children are free from the routines of school, nursery and extra-curricular activities. This can probably spark joy or fear in parents….depending on what time of the day it is!
If you are looking for some play ideas to keep your little ones busy during the holidays, SensoBaby and Family Gems have you covered. We’ll be suggesting twelve ways to play with young children. All our ideas have been tried and tested in our Sensory Classes or with my own children!
Play is the best way to engage with your children and they benefit so much from your time, but sometimes you need five minutes peace. My first three suggestions are non messy, quiet, easy to set up and good for a variety of ages. Ideal for easing gently into the festivities after a busy year! The activities also focus on developing your child’s fine motor skills and concentration as they peel stickers, place buttons and post pompoms.
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Draw and cut out the shape of a Christmas tree. I used green card and a red ribbon to hang up the finished product. Set the paper next to a reel of stickers and ask your child to decorate the tree. Simple!
We tested out this activity at our SensoMini classes and were impressed by the concentration shown by children as young at 15months. I sat this activity out at home as I prepared dinner and it bought me a good 10 minutes of peace and quiet!
We bought Christmas stickers from CNA as well as using a reel of sticker dots you can easily buy in BMS or other stationary stores.
‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’
Most children are drawn to buttons. Like tiny treasures, they are a wonderful and underused sensory resource that can help little ones explore textures, sizes, colours and patterns. We have a jar of buttons available in our playroom for the children to use in their play. Always need to keep a close eye on the smallest child as buttons can be a choking hazard.
We drew out the outline of a snowman on white paper and soon my daughter was making faces and ‘decorating’ her snowman. You can buy bags of mixed buttons from Sismo fabric shop.
Pom Pom Posting
I first tried this activity two years ago and made an elaborate Christmas tree out of a shoebox. This year, time isn’t in great supply so it took me five minutes to draw a tree on an empty eggbox and poke some holes in the top. The children engaged with the activity in exactly the same way so never worry about how things look, it’s the action of play that’s important, not the presentation.
Simply place the box down next to a bowl of pompoms and let the children get posting. No instruction is required, and again, you may be surprised at how long this is able to grab their attention.
We bought the glitter pompoms from EduToys and have seen them at Crazy Store and Artswana as well.
If you have any great suggestions for quiet, non messy play, please leave a comment to share your ideas with others parents looking for inspiration.
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