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.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom preschool activities

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom preschool activities

Posted by: on May 27, 2016 | No Comments

This week we’ve been reading and playing with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, a classic ABC book with great rhythm. After searching Pinterest we tried out an simple sticking craft, a home-made coconut tree board game, a sensory bin, an alphabet matching mat and a coconut tree counting mat: all very easy and helpful for inspiring interest in the book. 

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.

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 5. Play Sounds

Language skills targets for babies and toddlers: 5. Play Sounds

Posted by: on Mar 20, 2016 | One Comment

Before a baby says her first words, she will learn to use sounds in communication and to make particular noises on purpose. A great way to encourage this process is to introduce fun noises to your little one’s play. It may seem trivial, but in fact learning to imitate playful sounds is a big step towards learning to talk. This post is all about encouraging your baby or toddler to get noisy and verbal in play with easy to imitate sounds.

Flour tray: Simple sensory play for toddlers

Flour tray: Simple sensory play for toddlers

Posted by: on Mar 16, 2016 | 6 Comments

All you need to do this activity is a tray and a few spoonfuls of flour: it’s that simple. For a toddler, it’s a chance to explore the sense of touch, experiment and, of course, talk. I set this activity up after naptime expecting a few minutes of curious play, but my two-year-old was still playing with it an hour later!

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.

 

Help your toddler learn with puzzles

Help your toddler learn with puzzles

Posted by: on Mar 10, 2016 | No Comments

We play with puzzles every day and I’m a big fan of these toys for developing fine motor skills, spatial understanding, and language skills. My preschooler now enjoys doing his puzzles independently, but my toddler still prefers guidance and encouragement. They get lots of praise for completing puzzles, so I guess this motivates them! Today I’m sharing ideas for playing with puzzles with babies through to preschoolers.