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!
Balance and coordination are important skills for your child to learn in order to have fluid body movements and success with physical activity. There are many options to work on your child’s balance and the best part is you can progressively make it more challenging as they master the skill.
Start easy with a straight line of tape on the floor. Start making it more difficult by having them walk across pillows indoors or across a plank of wood outdoors. Once they’ve mastered the straight line, add in zigzags or circles to improve their balance further.
If your family has taken up walks around the neighborhood, add in a learning element by having your child search for various items. Provide a list of things for them to find such as a red stop sign, yellow flower, black bird and white fence.
This activity will teach their minds to multitask as they walk and search for the objects, as well as enhance their matching and color recognition skills.
Before dinner, let your child help you set the table for everyone. Teach them how to arrange the plates, napkins, silverware and drinking glasses. Not only will this help them learn a new life skill, but it will also teach them how to handle objects carefully and arrange them correctly in a space.
Bonus points if setting the table is added to their chore list so that they can practice this skill multiple times a week and get rewarded for it as they check it off their list.
Finger painting is one of the best ways to practice sensory play and let your child express themselves through art, but sometimes it can just get too messy. Instead, squeeze paint into a plastic bag and seal the bag to prevent spills. Tape the bag around all four sides to a table or window. Let your child squish and smear the paint by running their fingers on the outside of the bag. The paint will begin to mix around and result in a beautiful no-mess masterpiece.
This “painting” activity gives your child a great sensory experience while also teaching them how colors mix together to create something new!
Pick a sport, any sport! Almost every sport that involves using equipment teaches hand-eye coordination. Whether your child is interested in baseball, soccer, volleyball or tennis, have them practice their athleticism today.
Get outside and get active for at least 30 minutes. Even if they get discouraged, try to encourage them to keep practicing to grow stronger and stronger. You’ll notice over time that their coordination, dexterity and accuracy will improve.
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.