Trying to keep preschool kids busy this summer can seem near impossible, but getting them new things to play with doesn’t necessarily have to mean a trip to the shops. Here are some ideas for DIY toys that you can make at home this summer that will not only give them hours of fun, but will also teach them necessary motor skills.
It’s of extreme importance that children learn the necessary gross and fine motor skills early in life. These skills will give them a strong foundation on which to build when learning in school and taking part in physical activities. It will also allow for the necessary brain development to take place.
Playdough is not only a lot of fun to play with for kids (and adults, if you want to join in!), but is also very easy to make at home. And you probably already have all the ingredients you need in the kitchen. Click here for simple instructions to make your own playdough with the kids!
Cardboard roll and macaroni “beads”
Take empty toilet rolls and other cardboard tubes and cut them into smaller rings. The kids can string these “beads” on a piece of string. To make it more difficult, paint each bead a different colour and let them string the beads in a specific order.
Older children can use (uncooked) macaroni as beads, painting the pasta shapes either before or after they have finished their creation.
Finger paint and chalk paint
Put down some newspaper, get a roll of brown paper and finger paint and let the little ones paint to their hearts’ content! To shake things up, why not make your own chalk paint that you can use to draw with outside? Don’t worry, it washes off very easily.
Chalk drawing and games
Hopscotch has always been a firm favourite with kids, and what better way to keep them entertained than to teach them a new game? They will also learn numbers while they’re at it! To mix it up, make coloured circles using coloured chalk (or some leftover chalk paint (see above) and let them jump to the different colours. This will also teach them colour names while teaching gross motor skills.
Finally a use for all those socks that have lost their partners! Using buttons, felt, thread and wool, make some sock puppets and have a puppet show.
When it’s time to quiet down, “quiet boxes” are a good idea. Get some plastic containers (for instance empty ice-cream containers) and fill them with picture books, blocks, a colouring book and other “quiet” activities they can keep busy with. This comes in very handy just before nap time. Make the quiet box a special treat they get to play with.
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