30+ Play dough activities for toddlers and preschoolers

30+ Play dough activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Posted by: on Jun 14, 2016 | No Comments

Play dough is one of our favorite play materials: it’s versatile, cheap and engages the little ones on so many different levels. When they’re playing with dough they are exploring their creativity, building motor skills and, of course, developing their language. Here’s my BIG guide to our top 30+ ways to play with dough!

Mr. Potato Head play ideas for building language skills with your toddler or preschooler

Mr. Potato Head play ideas for building language skills with your toddler or preschooler

Posted by: on May 30, 2016 | 2 Comments

Mr. Potato Head is a popular toy among speech therapists because little kids often enjoy playing with it, and it’s perfect for encouraging some important early language skills, including naming body parts, understanding object function, using early verbs and much more. Today’s post shares some fun ways to use this toy in educational play.

How we homeschool preschool

How we homeschool preschool

Posted by: on May 24, 2016 | 4 Comments

Little children learn so much through play and through everyday routines and events, homeschooling in the preschool years grows very naturally from the experience of caring for a toddler. In today’s post I’m sharing the basics of how I’ve built preschool learning into my three-year-old’s daily life at home.

Dandelions and Dinosaurs: Activities review from our week in home preschool

Dandelions and Dinosaurs: Activities review from our week in home preschool

Posted by: on May 15, 2016 | One Comment

We’ve been enjoying beautiful spring weather since getting home from our holidays, so our activities lately have included lots of seed planting and outside play. This week’s roundup includes dandelion clock painting and rescuing dinosaurs from ice blocks.

Imaginative play ideas for a town puzzle floor mat

Imaginative play ideas for a town puzzle floor mat

Posted by: on Apr 6, 2016 | 3 Comments

Imaginative play makes my three-year-old happy, and that’s enough of a reason for us to do it. It’s also amazing for learning, especially for building sophisticated language skills. One of our favorite ways to do pretend play together is to use the Orchard Toys Giant Town and Giant Road floor puzzles, because they set up an incredibly stimulating small world to explore. In today’s post I’m sharing some ideas for using the Giant Road puzzles in pretend play with toddlers and preschoolers.

Bird’s nest sensory activity

Bird’s nest sensory activity

Posted by: on Mar 14, 2016 | 3 Comments

Today the bright spring weather took us outside and we collected materials for a simple nature sensory activity: building birds’ nests. This activity was inspired by the beautiful photos shared on The Imagination Tree Facebook page.

 

15 toddler and preschool play ideas with stones!

15 toddler and preschool play ideas with stones!

Posted by: on Feb 24, 2016 | 6 Comments

Our shared garden has lots of stones in it, and it’s been funny to see how much my kids love to play with them, objects so simple and mundane most adults don’t even notice them. I guess stones feel pleasant and are interesting to look at, since they’re all different and close to the ground (like little people). Well, whatever the attraction, we’ve found lots of ways to have fun and learn with stones! And why not? They cost nothing!

Story Stones activity for The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Story Stones activity for The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Posted by: on Feb 9, 2016 | No Comments

This week we’re reading The Mitten, by Jan Brett, so I made some story stones showing all the animals in the book. They’ve been great for exploring the story and for imaginative play. Story stones are such a simple way to develop toddler or preschool children’s experience of books, and they don’t have to be a complex craft project if you’re pressed for time, as I was. Here’s how I made and used them:

How to play with toy cars to boost your toddler’s language skills!

How to play with toy cars to boost your toddler’s language skills!

Posted by: on Feb 7, 2016 | 5 Comments

If your toddler is a car-lover, you’re in luck! Playing with toy cars is super-motivating for lots of toddlers, and opens up amazing possibilities for language building from the very beginning of learning to talk. This post shares my favorite ways to get on the floor and make car play fun and verbal.

7 days of Goldilocks play for toddlers and preschoolers

7 days of Goldilocks play for toddlers and preschoolers

Posted by: on Feb 1, 2016 | 2 Comments

Each week I choose a book to read to my kids every day, and use it as a base for some simple activities. Our latest book-of-the-week was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Here’s what I did with my 2 and 3 year olds to explore the story: