Before I go over these great activities, I want to say that the age group I am focusing on is something I debated on. These activities can be used for any age. Don’t say, oh my kid is too young or too old so these wont help. Working on motor skills always help. Some kids are ahead, some are behind, and no matter what these are easy things that can really help children learn.
With all of these activities, remember that these are supposed to be games. These are supposed to be fun. If your kiddo doesn’t respond to them, change tactics. Most importantly, reward them! No one wants to work hard and not be told they are doing good. They will react so much better if you excitedly tell them they are doing well. My son gets all giddy when he does one of these and I say, Good job baby boy! Big smiles are important as well.
Alrighty then… Onto the activities!
1) Animal Magnet Identification- When you first start this, line up all the magnets and just let your child play with them. Let them be interested before you try to force the knowledge. Once your little one has played a while take one off and show them it. Make that animal’s sound and name it. When you name things, whether it’s part of this game or in day to day life, point. It has been proven that pointing connects things for children. Do this with only one or two of the animals at a time till your child gets used to the game. Once you’ve done that, place the magnet back on the fridge and say, Alright (insert little one’s name here) where is the (insert animal’s name here). If they get the right one, tell them good job! If not, say, good try. Show them the right one and just keep working on it until they get bored or overstimulated. For older kids, you can start asking them, Which animal says (insert sound here). So far my son knows what a tiger says. It’s completely adorable seeing him roar right back at me!
2) Baby Ring Toss- This one we started working on a few nights ago and I laughed so hard. My son was being a perfectionist. If he didn’t get it quite perfect and I told him good job, he’d look at me like I was crazy till he did get it perfect. Well, we have this ring that a block will fit into perfectly. We were playing with each piece so I tried to show him he could put the block into it. I showed each piece and placed the ring on the floor, put the block in it, and went ooooo that’s so cool. Getting any item into another item takes some serious motor skills from babies. After showing him how to do it a few times, I offered the block to Caleb and pointed at the ring. Right away he tried to drop it in, got it on the hole at least, and told him good job. Like I said, he wasn’t happy with himself till he got it in perfectly but… This is an activity that you can only do a few times before baby gets bored.
3) Pass- The last one seems like something very simple, but it takes a lot for babies! Hand-Eye coordination, moving your hands just the right way, just the right push… We use balls from a ball pit because it’s a nice light ball that is easy to work with. Sit across from baby and show him to spread his legs and you do as well. Push the ball to baby. Help baby pass it back and forth. When they catch or pass the ball, say yayyyyy good job! It seems so simple but it’s a major thing for little ones to be able to do this.
So good luck you guys! I hope you and the kiddos really enjoy these as much as we do. Remember to make it fun.
Feel free to tell me how it goes for you!
Thanks for reading!