Saturday, January 30, 2010

Developmentally Appropriate Tasks and Crafts for Toddlers

For good sleep at night
and joy with the day
my soul thanks you God,
at rest and at play.

What Our Toddlers Can be Learning and Doing:
· Color recognition
· Sorting: shapes, sizes, colors
· Letter familiarization or usage
· Gross motor tasks: Running, kicking, jumping, etc.
· Fine motor tasks: Pouring, “spooning”, sorting, using various tools (shovels, silverware, chopsticks, etc.)
· Playing freely and in an unhurried environment
· Exploring indoors and outdoors
· Matching
· Examining pictures of friends, family, nature, geography with a curious eye and lots of questions!
· Discussing and examining human emotions (happy, sad, angry, scared, etc.)
· Hearing, seeing, touching, and talking about the Word of God
· Being taught how to help around the house
· Preparing a table for dinner
· Helping prepare, cook, and bake food with the supervision of an adult who is okay with messes!
· Being immersed in literature: you can never have too many books!
· Being introduced slowly and with loving supervision to the world – “Field Trips” to parks, the library, grocery store, the home of friends, school, church, and the like
· Prayer
· Picking up
· Making choices without having too many choices available
· Rest: “Without a doubt, as the family’s architects we can add a little more space and grace, a little less speed and clutter to our children’s daily lives.” Payne in “Simplicity Parenting”

“Pajama Preschool”
· Casual
· Rotate toys or swap toys with friends
· Make a space that is kid-friendly
· Make a space where messes are allowed
· Make a space that isn’t too overwhelming with too many choices
· Make time that is unhurried
· Make time that is unscheduled
· Allow for “flow”
· Pick up together

Getting Started:
Basic Supplies:
· Glue and glue sticks
· Child Safety scissors
· Assorted colors of Play-Doh, homemade play dough, or clay
· Watercolor paints and brushes
· Tempra or poster paints and brushes
· Stickers
· Puff balls, glitter, buttons, googly eyes, etc.
· Pipe cleaners
· Assorted colors of felt
· Craft sticks (popsicle sticks or similar)
· Washable markers, crayons, colored pencils
· Chalk
· Construction paper
· White paper or paper that can be reused for art projects
· Colored tissue paper

Basic Activities:
· Spooning: Bowls with dry rice, beans, or oatmeal are spooned into bowls
· Chopsticks: Child size chopsticks are used to pick up objects
· Pouring: Child size pitcher and cups
· Color sorting: Various options, one is the “Color Box”
· Spreading: Child size SAFE “knife” for spreading butter on bread
· Ziploc Book: Sew large bags together to make a book for displaying art
· Displaying work: Cover every surface of your house in your child’s art
· Movement: Child appropriate music for dance and play
· Walks: Explore nature together
· Story Time at your local library

Organizing Time:
· This is more challenging the more additional kids you have around!
· Empower your child to complete the task on their own using trial and error if needed – show them how to do something, practice it together, and then allow them to continue without hovering
· Try to create a space where the child won’t be interrupted by a sibling (yeah, right!)
· Aim for this time to be UNHURRIED

Suggested Resources:
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne
Parents magazine
First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos by MaryAnn F. Kohl

Allison's Snippet Info

Last Tuesday, Allison gave us all kinds of ideas that are
Developmentally Appropriate
Tasks and Crafts for Toddlers
Here's Allison's blog:
Check out these other links for more ideas!