Summer is finally upon us! It's time for some fun as everyone begins to enjoy the summer weather.
While we are entering "summer break," the learning continues at our school.
Check out the following activities to keep your child learning at home while you "beat the heat!"
0 - 3 Months
During bath time, wet a loofah or other sponge. Gently rub the sponge on your baby's hand or arm, talking to your baby about how it feels.
3 - 6 Months
Sit on the floor with your baby in front of you. Place a beach ball a short distance from your baby and encourage him or her to reach for the ball.
6 - 9 Months
Create an ocean in a bottle for your baby to explore. Fill a clean 8 ounce plastic bottle with water and add blue food coloring and securely glue the lid. Encourage your baby to pick up the bottle and shake it. Optionally, add glitter or ocean themed items.
9 - 12 Months
Fill an empty Sterilite or Rubbermaid container with play sand (also known as "sandbox sand"). Add plastic ocean animals and encourage your baby to explore.
12 - 18 Months
Provide your child with a shallow tray of water, an empty tray, and sponges in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Encourage your child to dip sponges into the water and squeeze out in the other container. Make sure to supervised closely and ensure sponges are large enough to not pose any hazards.
18 - 24 Months
Attach a large piece of butcher paper to an outside wall or fence. Provide your child with a couple of spray bottles (available from most dollar stores) with very thin paint or colored water. Allow him or her to spray the paper.
24 - 30 Months
Make sand dough for your child to feel and explore. Mix the following in an old pan:
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup of clean, fine sand (play sand)
- 3/4 cup cold water
Place the mixture over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes and stir it until it gets thick. Let it cool and then encourage your child to explore it. Place it in an empty Sterilite or Rubbermaid container with some summer or water-themed items.
2.5 - 3 Years
As we enter into beach season full swing, talk to your child about water safety rules. Discuss rules such as only going near water with a grown-up, only getting into water with a grown-up's permission, and being nice and gentle to our friends near water. The next time you visit the beach, point out a lifeguard, if there is one on duty, as a person they can trust. He or she would be another community helper, similar to police officers and firefighters.
3 - 5 Years
Beach Scene Snack - Make instant vanilla pudding. Spoon servings of pudding into clear cups. Place vanilla wafers in a resealable bag and invite your child to gently use a rolling pin to make crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs (sand) onto the pudding. Provide Teddy Grahams (sunbathers) and Life Savers Gummies (inner tubes) for your child to add to their beach scene. (As always, consider your child's allergies and sensitivities before completing a food-based activity)
Frozen Treats - Beat the heat with these healthy treats. Have your child help you carefully pour 100% juice into an empty ice cube tray and place it in the freezer. When the juice is slightly frozen, add rounded toothpicks or popsicle sticks and then put the tray back in the freezer. When the cubes are completely frozen, carefully break them out of the tray and enjoy! (As always, consider your child's allergies and sensitivities before completing a food-based activity)
Sand Dough - Mix 4 cups clean sand, 3 cups of flour, 4 cups of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of water. Mix the sand and flour and then add the oil and water. Add more water if necessary to get the correct consistency. Provide shells and beach toys for imprints and exploration.