The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in quiet activities

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Rainy Day Art Activities Bubble Art Stage 1: When teaching a child to blow through a straw, have them put it in their mouth and hold their hand at the other end so that they can feel the air come through the straw when they blow out (instead of sucking in). Stage 2: Since children are more accustomed to sucking in than blowing out, use water in a glass to show the difference. Place the straw in the water and have the child blow bubbles in the water to practice blowing out. Stage 3: Once accustomed to blowing out, try making bubbles with soap. Put a little dish soap in water and blow with the straw. It is recommended that you do this in the bathtub, in the kitchen with a towel on the floor, or outside. This should make a lot of bubbles! Stage 4: Now we get to the bubble art. Add tempura...
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20 Learning Games for When Mom or Dad is Exhausted Parents of preschoolers are tired people. Caring for little ones is exhausting work. We have the best intentions of providing enriching activities for our kids, but when exhaustion sets in, good intentions go out the window. To help you plan for those times when you need something your child can do while you are lying down or sitting, here’s a list of 20 activities. Finger paint in shaving cream spread on a cookie sheet. Play with play dough. Read. If you’re reading a well-known book, try changing some of the words or sentences and let your child have fun catching your “mistakes.” Play Chutes and Ladders or Candyland. Put on music and let your child dance. Try giving her a bean bag and challenge her to dance with the beanbag on her head, between her knees, or on her elbow. Play “red light, green light.” Play a following directions game. Give...
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Posted by on in Learning Games
Games to Play with String If you’re looking for a versatile toy with tremendous developmental benefits, a simple length of string, rope, or yarn is the way to go. Here are some games you can play with that string that address various areas of a child’s development. Many of these can be played anywhere! Keep yarn or string in your purse or pocket to pull out when your little one is getting bored and needs something fun and challenging to do. Balance and Coordination String, yarn, or rope makes a perfect balance beam. Stretch the string out on the floor, and show your child how to walk on it, putting one foot in front of the other. Your child can do lots of fun things on a balance beam: Walk on a curvy or zigzag line Balance on one foot on the string Do an arabesque (or scale) Jump zigzags back and forth across the string...
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Teaching Your Child Early Writing Skills “One of the best predictors of whether a child will function competently in school and go on to contribute actively in our increasingly literate society is the level to which the child progresses in reading and writing. Although reading and writing abilities continue to develop throughout the lifespan, the early childhood years—from birth through age eight—are the most important period for literacy development.” -- The International Reading Association As you can see from the above quote, writing skills are crucial for ensuring success in school and life. The good news is that activities that teach writing are things that kids love to do! The first step to learning to write is strengthening finger and hand muscles. For ideas on how to do this, see this post. Even while you are still working on hand strength, you can begin a progression of building writing skills in your child. A great way to...
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How to Make a Travel Activity Book A travel activity book is a spiral notebook filled with learning games and fun activities for times your child needs to do something quiet, like in the doctor’s office, waiting rooms, or during car trips. It’s a combination of activities drawn onto pages, games held in envelopes stapled into the notebook, and blank pages for creative fun. Grab a notebook and let’s get started! Envelope games Pipe-cleaner people. In one envelope put in pre-made pipe-cleaner people, bits of cloth for clothes, and plain pipe cleaners for making props. Playing with posable pipe-cleaner people is great for your child's finger muscles and fine motor skills, and it makes for fun pretend play. You can tie pipe cleaner people onto a car seat for a preschooler so if your child drops them, he can pull them back up again. Tangrams. This doesn’t actually have to be tangrams. Just cut out a variety of...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Reading to Your Wiggly Preschooler You’ve heard that reading to your children is important for their eventual success in school and in life. But your preschooler just won’t sit still to listen to you read! In order to have success at reading to your little ones, you need to have the right goals for your reading time. For infants, reading is about hearing the intonation of your voice. They aren’t going anywhere, and they don’t understand the words, so you can read whole sections from your own books if you want. Once your baby starts getting busy, reading is about vocabulary building. Vocabulary for babies and toddlers is all about nouns. At this age, you should be looking at board books together and naming only one object per page. No adjectives—just “ball,” “truck,” or “book.” They need to understand names of objects before you add colors, shapes, or sizes to those objects. Your toddler will want...
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Children at Church and Other Solemn Occasions 'Tis the season…to try desperately to keep your children quiet during religious services, concerts, plays, and the like. But let's face it, they are kids! They're not exactly hardwired to sit still and look angelic. Except, of course, when no one is looking. I mean, there is Murphy's Law to contend with. So whether you are looking to survive a one-time event or to make weekly services more enjoyable, how do you help your child stay quiet? To start off with, we are assuming that you are going to an event where children are welcome, but need to be relatively quiet and calm. Let's just acknowledge that this is not always possible with little ones, and taking them out of the service if they are not handling it well is not a punishment; it's just acceptance of the limits of preschoolerhood. Staying quiet requires a set of skills that can be...
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