As schools are closed, and kids and parents are stuck at home, it can be hard to maintain structure that will keep your child occupied while still learning new concepts. The Boh Center of Child Development at Ochsner Hospital for Children is here to help by providing daily activities that are engaging, educational and promote your child’s development. Check in weekly to try each new activity that your kid will love – in fact, they won’t even realize they are learning!
To help with a pincer grasp and fine motor development in young children, have an activity of making jewelry. Use pipe cleaner (or string) and Cheerios as your supplies. String the Cheerios onto the pipe cleaner one by one. When all of the Cheerios are threaded, wrap it around their wrist and tie the ends together.
This activity has a dual purpose. Not only are they now adorned with their beautiful jewelry, they also have a snack on hand at a moment’s notice.
Include your child in any baking or cooking you plan on doing today. Discuss the math concepts of measurement and let them scoop and measure out the different ingredients to add to your dish.
Take it a step further by explaining the science of cooking as your meal is cooking. Discuss the physical and chemical transformations that ingredients undergo throughout the process from your pantry to their tummy.
Create multiple new instruments today and watch your band come to life. Take two plastic cups and put rocks, beads or dried pasta inside. Then, tape the cups together to create an instant shaker. Next, take a plastic plate and let one child bang it with a spoon to serve as your drum. Lastly, lead the band with a dish towel waving it in the air for a good ol’ second line through the house.
This teaches following directions, teamwork, taking turns and following order (but they’ll just think they are having fun rocking out).
What house with kids doesn’t have some Play-Doh lying around? Not only is it a chance to let their imaginations run wild, it also strengthens fine motor skills. Working with their hands will strengthen their fingers so that they have better dexterity and handwriting as they get older.
Take it up a notch by challenging them to make their own dough from scratch, create certain shapes or characters with the dough or add beads for better sensory play.
Take a virtual field trip today. A simple Google search will yield multiple results with virtual tours through famous museums, zoos and aquariums or virtual rides and parades at theme parks like Disneyland.
Whichever attraction you decide to “visit,” organize a learning opportunity to go along with it. For example, talk about art at a museum, ecosystems at a zoo, marine biology at an aquarium, and basic physics on a roller coaster.
The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.