Are you tired of being stuck inside on these snowy, cold days with nothing to do with your toddler? There is no reason to dread this upcoming winter season. Here are different activities you can do with your toddler, along with ways you can help them increase their language. These activities are quick and simple to put together and most of these things are already in your home!
The possibilities are endless with a simple box – shoe boxes, moving boxes, old toy boxes and so on. You can make ramps for your cars and trucks, make a car or house out of a box the box. When playing with your child, be sure to incorporate lots of words about what they are doing such as “The car went down the ramp!” or “ You are driving a car, beep beep, vroom.”
TAPE UP THE DOORWAYS
All you need for this is some kind of tape (I like to use packing tape, but duct tape would work too) and cotton balls. Put a bunch of tape on one of the doors in your house and let your child throw the cotton balls at the door to see how many they can get to stick. This is a great motor and language activity because you can use descriptive words like, sticky and clear (tape) and fluffy and light (cotton balls). With this activity, you can use lots of repetition “Throw ball!” or “Stick, stick, stick!” every time one sticks to the door.
COTTON BALLS IN CONTAINERS
Have your child poke cotton balls or other small things in holes you make in containers like boxes, food containers, or old coffee cans. This is a great fine motor task, that can incorporate lots of language. Use simple phrases such as, “Put in,” “Ball in” or “Open the box and dump.” Your child will find this so much fun!
Grab some shaving cream and spray some in a pan or on a baking sheet. If you want to add food coloring, make sure your child is wearing an old shirt that can get dirty. This activity may get a little messy, so putting down a towel may be something you want to do as well. Talk about the colors, how it’s fluffy and light, or you can simply talk about what they are doing in the shaving cream with words like, “push.” Show them what to do in the shaving cream by drawing circles and lines while you describe what it is. This sensory play is always a big hit with my son.
Snow or cloud dough, is a fun and easy way to use communication and language while having a ton of fun! The recipe calls for two ingredients (three if you want to add some glitter): 2 cups of cornstarch or flour and 1/3 to ½ cup of vegetable oil. Your toddler can help add the ingredients and mix them in a bowl. You can use vocabulary such as “dump” and “mix” when they are doing those tasks. When playing with the snow dough, utensils such as mixing cups and spoons are great additions to allow them to explore when they play. We have also made little snowmen in our snow dough. Little ones love the texture of snow dough.
Jeannine Abel M.A., CCC-SLP