As the weather gets colder and we spend more time indoors, it's great to have a few pre-planned activities for when everyone's feeling a little stir crazy. If I also get organized on Thursday or Friday night with a couple options, then I can pull them out on the weekend to give me husband and I time to drink our coffee while it's still hot.
We did a couple great activities this weekend but a few were a little messy. Steer clear of the last two if you don't like messy play.
Activity #1 - Dot Markers/Stickers
We used this Polar Bear Dot Printable with Dot Markers and stickers. My youngest used stickers to fill in the dots since he's too young for the markers. Any stickers will work but I like these because they fit the dots perfectly.
Tip 1: Print off 5-10 dot sheets at a time. They can be the same or different ones. I find when my children get into doing dot sheets, they want to work on this activity for a while and like to do a bunch of sheets at a time.
Tip 2: For younger children, peel the stickers ahead of time and stick them to the edge of a container/bowl so that the child can just grab and stick. See pic below.
Activity #2 - Give The Polar Bear a Haircut
We used the same Polar Bear Printable and I glued some strips of paper (folded up accordion style) to the paper. Then we gave the polar bear "a haircut". My oldest used scissors and my youngest just ripped the strips with his hands.
Both scissors and ripping are great for fine motor development and will help strengthen the hand.
Tip 1: Glue the strips the night before. You want them fully dry before getting started.
Tip 2: Try taping the sheet to the wall to pique your child's interest. Standing while doing this activity also helps to develop the core.
Tip 3: For children new to scissors, make the strips of paper skinny enough that your child can snip through in one cut.
Once the rice dried, I mixed in some bells and added a magnetic wand. Both my kids loved this one! They had a lot of fun stirring the wand around and seeing the bells stick to it.
Tip 1: The magnetic wands are fun on their own. Set up a few paperclips, fridge magnets, and other small metal objects to learn about magnetic force.
Tip 2: If you don't have a sensory bin table, set up a plastic bin and then place it on an old sheet or table cloth for easier clean up.
Tip 3: For a mess-free version of this activity, loosely fill a plastic bottle or tupperware container with rice and bells (make sure the bells can move around) and seal it up. Move the magnetic wand around the outside of the bottle to make the bells move inside the bottle. This is a great way of adapting this activity for children who aren't interested in sensory bins.
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