If you’ve been around Hands On As We Grow for awhile, or if you’re a reader of our weekly newsletter, you will know that I “preach” about learning your child’s interests and strengths, and using that info to transform activities in a way that they will enjoy.
This month, Katie is our Activity Room Member of the Month. Katie’s always sharing her spin on the activity-of-the-day from our activity plans.
In The Activity Room, I provide members with a monthly plan of activities to follow, to make it easy to spend time and make those special memories with your kids. However, the members make this community special by participating, showing everyone how they did the activity, or when they did the activity, all in an effort to help inspire other members and show them the possibilities. It’s simply amazing.
How Katie transforms the activities to what her kids enjoy.
Let your child explore the way they want to, with what they want to.
Take our simple toddler suncatcher collage for example.
Katie let’s her kids explore with their favorite toys (which happens to be construction equipment) to make it a fantastic sensory experience. This also prolongs the activity.
Even if they aren’t doing ‘what the activity says to do’, Katie and her kids are still getting the time together, or she can use this as a time to make dinner or put away the laundry.
Use materials that your child can manipulate.
When activities are too hard developmentally for your child, you can change the objects up to make it work.
If your young toddler can’t quite insert pipe cleaners into colander holes, try using craft sticks in a spice bottle!
(I also try to add these kinds of variations in the daily activity instructions inside The Activity Room.)
Use the activity as a starting point and make it yours!
When you got kids that love to move and crafting isn’t really their thing, then take it outside and make it big! (Big art is amazing for this.)
Shake to Make Art is a favorite way to make art in our house, but Katie takes it to a new level and took it outside! On the playground, pushing it down the slide, carrying it around, hauling it around and so on.
Explore the activity further and add in other materials.
Katie turned a simple activity about seeing how rocks make a splash in a bucket of water into a science experiment to compare the difference between the rocks, sticks and other collected items from nature.
Let’s hear more about Katie!
How many kids do you have and how old are they? Two, Louie is 3 and Calvin is 1.5
How long have you been in The Activity Room? 6 months, it was a great Christmas gift from Grandma.
What is your favorite activity you’ve done in The Activity Room?
We did the chalk erasing with spray bottles last week and have not been able to put the spray bottles away. It was a hit and we will be playing outside with spare bottles all summer
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids when you get a few moments?
Now that’s it’s warmer out we are outside as much as we can. The boys love playing in the mud and helping with yard work like piling up sticks and raking. We are anxiously getting ready for a new flock of chickens in about a month.
What’s your best tip for doing activities with your kids?
Do not force it and go with the flow. Sometimes activities last three minutes and sometimes they last hours and go in a direction you never anticipated as long as everyone is happy go with it and enjoy the adventure.
What’s an activity you’d like to share with everyone?
My boys love hooking things like tow trucks and cranes so we gave them the opportunity to do this outside by going for a walk with bungee cords.
The boys love trying to figure out things they could hook and couldn’t talk and what they could carry and pull with them.
With two other engineers in the family maybe this is where they get it :-)