Activities & Enrichment

Discover and share the best things to do with kids, including free and cheap ways to have fun, crafts for kids, and games that promote intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Thursday

Swim floaties for toddler less than 30 lbs

I’ve been researching and can’t find swim floats for toddlers that weigh less than 30 lbs. I was able to find life jackets for as young as infant but my son (15 months) is terrified of wearing the life jacket as it’s hard to move his neck and see with it on. While I intend on holding my son in the pool this summer and he’s signed up for swim lessons, he’s a very independent child, he’s quite st... More

Encouraging independent play

My son is an only child. He does not play well by himself. I always have to play with him or watch him do the playing. If I step away to do some “adulting“he’s begging that I watch this, look at this look at that. I try to mix up His toys but he is a child that really needs someONE to play with not things, I think. He’ll be an only child so he needs to learn independent play. How do I encou... More

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Monday

    He will definitely at moments need social Play. But there are also ways to encourage independent play. The hands on as we grow blog (handsomaswegrow.com, a pop up will show up in a few seconds inviting you to the challenge) has a week long challenge coming up next week that is focused on independent play, they give you an activity each day to try. My personal advice is it’s a combo of rotating... More

Activity for introverted 5 y/o

I would really like to get my son involved in an activity. He does not like group sports due to the sensory overload. It is not a good fit for him right now. I think he would do well in music lessons or karate where it is a more individual experience... my main goal is to build his confidence. Anyone else have any activities their introverted child has done well in? Is 5 old enough ... More

  • E
    Apr 10

    Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts?

  • Laura
    Apr 10

    Harmony Road music (classes). They’re small group classes, and my son loves them! He’s 5, and I think there are 6 kids total in his class.

Sensory play ideas for baby who eats it all

My 7 month old is an epic chewer - EVERYTHING goes into her mouth as she explores. I'm vigilant at home to keep choking hazards out of reach, but I want to start taking her out to the park and trying some sensory play activities but how do i let her semi-independently explore and learn without swallowing rocks and sand and trash? Any advice? And what were your favorite play activities in ... More

  • Destinee
    Apr 07

    My daughter loves rainbow spaghetti! You cook a box of spaghetti noodles, drain, add a TINY bit of oil and stir. Then you divide it up and add the food coloring you like, lit it dry for an hour in parchment and let her go at it! I usually do two boxes of noodles and divide it into four colors and put it in one of those long plastic totes made for storing clothes and put a cheap plastic shower c... More

  • Lauren
    Apr 08

    My lo loved the jello dig. I put toys in jello and let him have at it.

Interesting video on the benefits of risky play!

Thoughts? Would you let your kids play with tools? https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/videos/2019/2/21/XXX-XXXX4/risky-playground-design

  • Anne
    Apr 05

    Wonderful!!!!!! There is so much evidence that giving kids more credit for learning risk management pays off. The example I think describes it best is the old fashioned porcelain tea sets. When they were popular, how many girls were reckless with them?

Hi. Has anyone enrolled their toddler into a soccer or basketball camp/class? Was it worth it?

  • Natasha
    Mar 31

    Many thanks for everyone who took the time out to reply. It’s exactly what I needed to make my final decision. Parenting ain’t easy 😊!

  • T
    Apr 11

    Yes imo, kids need to be active, engaged, & learn new skills. He’s in t-ball now & said he “loves it”! He did soccer in the fall. Next up is swimming in May.

What’s the best way to teach your 5yr old how to add and subtract?

  • Joanna
    Mar 27

    Games! Like Chutes and Ladders, making sure you pause to rephrase it: I spun a 6. I'm on 24. 24 + 6 is what? Hmm. 30! My 4 yo loves to keep score when we play Uno. He does the math and then asks Alexa to check it for him.

Won’t let me read books

My 2 year old always says “no mama, no book” when I open a book. He will do his best to close it (including sitting on it if I resist). He always wants to to play cars or something else, which I’m cool with, but you know, all the blogs and guidance say read to your kids daily. I’ve tried reading aloud while he plays as well as just sitting silently with a book, but it’s as if he is jealous of t... More

  • Tracy
    Mar 28

    Make sure that you are demonstrating that reading books is something that adults do for entertainment, meaning don’t read books on your phone. Get real ones and read them while he plays. Magazines count too because honestly small kids don’t play long enough for you to get through more than a page or two. Also spread his books around the house. Have some in his room and in the living room. Make ... More

  • Karla
    Mar 28

    Don’t force it, if you do, he might end up resenting it. Reading a book is not about the act of reading, it’s about the interaction and learning language. So if he doesn’t want to do it, that’s fine. Look for other activities that promote interaction and communication. If he wants to play with cars, play with him or broadcast what he is doing. Broadcasting is a great way to promote language de... More

Is 2 years old too young for Legoland?

I'm planning to take my son to San Diego for his 2nd birthday. I'm debating whether to take him to the SD zoo or Legoland. I've never been to Legoland so I don't know much about it. I've been to SD zoo and love it.

  • Lynn
    Mar 23

    I’d skip naps for special outings. You May pay for it later, but it’s worth it and perhaps he will go to sleep immediately when you put him to bed.

  • Joanna
    Mar 24

    I took my 20 month old and 4 yo to Legoland this month. They both had a lot of fun. For a 2 yo, I'd bring a stroller and let him nap, ideally while we eat lunch. I'd pick Legoland over the zoo, because of the water park (just splash areas for small kids) and being physical. At the zoo, it's hard to see all the animals in some of the exhibits so he's on my shoulders or in the str... More

Playing with toys upside down

Recently my son started playing with his big toys upside down is this normal? He loves cars it feels like he wants to play with his cars on the bottom of the surface( flat )of his big toys just a bit concerned. Help?????

  • Julie
    Mar 20

    Ps she’s 18 months.

  • Lynn
    Mar 20

    It’s totally normal to go through an upside down phase and not weird at all. They are learning and they are checking out different perspectives.

Does anyone know any good video that teach phonics?

My son is 22 months old. He can read more than 350 sight words. but when he see a new word he doesn’t know how to pronounce it. So I want to teach him phonics and how to decode a word. I don’t know where to start. can you share how you teach your kids and what materials do you use to teach your kids.

  • Charry
    Mar 22

    Yeah we are pretty much on the same track then. She recognizes her letters and numbers. I’m just stumped about how to string the letters for reading. We also did a lot of phonics. Ba be bi bo bu. Ca ce Ci co cu. but have no idea about stringing letters together. Thanks for the tips!

  • Ivy
    Mar 22

    We spell out words a lot. Mostly basic words that follow phonics easily. I made alphabet flash cards and we’ll spell out words together. Like “bat”. My dialogue: let’s spell “bat”. What letter makes the “buh” sound? Can you find it? Now what letter makes the “ah” sound? And so forth. Then when we have lined up the letters, I point with him and sound out each of the letters then underline the... More

How do you handle going out with your little ones?

I have a 20 month old and a 4 month old. I haven’t had the courage to go out by myself with them. Any tips?

  • Christine
    Mar 15

    Go somewhere not so busy as first and take your time . If someone has a tantrum or gets upset just take each situation as they come. My biggest advice don’t worry about other people around you. Double stroller helped us a whole lot.

  • Elvie
    Mar 15

    Thanks for all the tips! Definitely have more courage to go out! ☺️

What does everyone do with their kids artwork?

Mine is newly in preschool and we’re inundated with take home arts n crafts. Ideas on what to do with them? How long do you keep them etc?

  • Carissa
    Mar 25

    I got the string and mini clothes pins in a craft isle at Walmart and set this up in my sons room to display the crafts he makes at daycare!

  • Westcoasthorn02
    Friday

    Besides taking digital images of my child’s work. I’ve decided to keep the “older” artwork in a bin, for her to see it and appreciate it later in life when she’s older. I want her to understand that we saved all of her work “no matter how insignificant” it might have seemed; that her development was important, she is loved and we are very happy to be her parents.

Recommendations on finger paint, crayons or water colors for toddler?

I want to get started on coloring activities with my 14 month old; what safe child brands do you use? 😊

  • Jenn
    Mar 14

    I don't have the guts to try paint yet. We use Alex toys finger crayons because she broke a bunch of the regular Crayola ones. So far so good.

  • Kara
    Mar 14

    Before I started using crayola, I used Greek yogurt & food coloring because my daughter has a tendency to eat pretty much everything lol.

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Mar 10

How did you start teaching your child to talk?

There’s so many informations, books, opinions, etc out there. I just wanted to hear from other parents, your experiences, on starting to teach your child to talk & if you could recommend books, websites & other resources, it would be very helpful. Some would suggest to keep talking, singing, reading & interacting with your child. Others include sign language. Which one works best fo... More

  • A
    Mar 13

    I’ve read that you should just constantly talk to them. It seems silly but tell them what your doing during the day. “Mommy’s putting laundry in the dryer, what color is this shirt? It’s red.” I used to count our steps name colors etc. Also, we did a lot of singing in our house. And though listening to Twinkle Twinkle for the 100th time may be obnoxious I feel like they picked on speech really ... More

  • Jennifer
    Mar 14

    I talked to my son all the time. Always telling him about what we were doing. Also read lots of books

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Mar 10

reverse the effects of too much screen time

Ok so since November I have been pretty depressed and I'll be honest, I didn't really know it til now. But I've been on serious auto pilot concerning everything, even my 18 month old. We wake up and I have basically stuck her in front of the tv till it's time for sleep again. Something clicked into place and I realized this. I'm taking the tablet away except for an hour a d... More

  • Anonymous
    Mar 15

    Thanks!'

  • Erica
    Mar 25

    Weather is starting to be nice. Enjoy the sun when you can and the screen time on the rainy, snowy, chilly, or " I just dont wanna days" out side time is good for both mama and baby.

Kid podcasts

My 4 1/2 year old has great audio listening skills (well, not with listening to mom and dad ha!) and I would love some recommendations for fun podcasts we can listen to while driving. Thanks!

  • Cryzana
    Mar 15

    Adventures in Oddessy - WARNING: This is a Christian sponsored radio drama series for kids (or all ages)

Tunes for tots

What’s your go to jams, when hanging out with your kids?

  • Sara
    Mar 07

    Caspar Babypants

  • Aye
    Mar 08

    Dave and Ava lol that’s one of the three she actually pays attention to and tries to sing along. It’s just a bunch of nursery rhymes

Mommy and me???

Trying to be an involved Father is a challenge, no doubt. I’m online looking for activities to do with my son (14 months old) and it seems like everything is angled towards Mommy and Me. What about pops? Just saying.. am i the only one that notices this?

  • Tobi
    Mar 20

    I agree with you Dad's. You are doing great 😍🤗👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

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