Toddlers and Pre-schoolers constantly become better at running, jumping, climbing and balancing. They also love to experiment with throwing, catching, pushing and pulling. This helps them develop these abilities, gain control over their limbs and refine eye-hand co-ordination.
The Game of Hide and Seek:
Hide and Seek is an all time favourite with children, in which one child looks for the others who are hiding. It develops children`s understanding of space as they look for the others behind the door, under the bed, or in the garden. It also improves their ability to reason, deduce and formulate strategies for finding the others.Catching, Throwing and Kicking
Use a ball or a balloon for these activities. A big light ball is suitable for younger pre-schoolers. Softball can also be used for toddlers.
- Throw up balloons in the air. As it floats down slowly children run and catch it. Keep 2 or 3 balloons handy. As children become more adept make the game more complicated. Ask them to clap once or stamp their feet before they catch the balloon. The same activity can also be done using softball.
- Tie a medium sized balloon to each child`s ankle. Ask children to stamp and burst each other`s balloons while protecting their own.
Children enjoy such activities during their pre-school years. They pile up plastic mugs, bottle caps or kitchen utensils one on top of the other, to make a structure, break it down, then build it up all over again. You can encourage your child in these activities and provide her with a variety of play materials for this purpose - wooden or plastic cubes, blocks or cardboard boxes of increasing or decreasing sizes that neatly fit into each other, empty match boxes, soap and toothpaste cartons or any other such object around the house that is lying unused.
Besides strengthening the finer muscles of the wrists, fingers and hands, and developing eye-hand co-ordination, construction activities also foster the development of the imagination. They give children an opportunity to work out their emotions, as they build and demolish a structure or bang boxes and blocks against each other. Cognitive abilities of matching, grouping and sorting are also strengthened through these activities.
Pebbles, Beads and Seeds
Pebbles, beads, seeds and similar such small things foster precision and control while using the fingers. One can organise many play activities using these play materials.
- Give an assortment of pebbles, beads and seeds to your child and ask her to separate them into different groups. You can also ask her to group them according to their colours or shapes. This activity develops control of the finer muscles.
- Draw some shapes or outlines of simple objects on the floor and ask your child to outline the shape with pebbles, leaves, seeds, beads, marbles, bottle caps or any other such material.