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!
Oh, the possibilities of a cardboard box. Have your child engage in imagination play with just a simple cardboard box and a few items to jazz it up. Give them some scraps of fabric, stickers and markers so that they can decorate it however they choose. Will they make it a racecar, spaceship, submarine? The possibilities are endless.
It’s time to rhyme! Rhyming helps develop mental agility, word association, communication skills and pre-literacy skills. Throughout the day have them stop and create a rap or rhyme about what they are doing. For instance, “Time to get out of bed, no more sleepy head,” or “We’re going to have a snack, try to chew but not smack.” You and your child will have fun seeing how long you can keep the rhyme going and have a good laugh at the crazy lines you come up with.
Play ”this or that." Similar to “sink or float” on day 6, this activity teaches reasoning skills but with the added benefit of also expanding your child’s vocabulary of adjectives. Every time you pick up an object, ask your child to answer a question that describes the object. For example, pick a piece of fruit and ask if it will be sweet or sour, give them a cracker and ask if it will be crunchy or mushy, or let them hold an ice cube and ask if it will be cold or hot.
Teach your child about animals while also working on their hopping, galloping and gait. When you shout out an animal, have your child act out how that animal moves such as jumping around like a frog, slithering like a snake or running like a cheetah.
Use the small objects in your house to create a treasure hunt. Whether you have a sandbox, soil from the yard or another similar medium, hide objects like small toys, marbles and crayons and have them dig to uncover the objects. This activity teaches your child to be inquisitive, while also working on object manipulation and hand-eye coordination.
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.