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.

Suggestions for celebrating black history month?

February is black history month and I've been slacking. My older daughter has been learning about some famous African Americans in preschool but I want to do more at home too. Ideas for books or activities that are good for a 4.5 and almost 2 year old?

Happy Valentine's here at Littlesteps/Bigsteps

Some of the art and crafts my little ones done can we see some of your craft ideas 😊

  • Sara
    Feb 13

    Love these, especially the toilet paper/ paper towel roll ones! My kids are for some reason obsessed with making things out of those.

  • Amanda
    Feb 13

    The bumblebee is ADORABLE!!

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Feb 10

Hiking with Toddlers

Taking my almost 4yr old twins on an outdoorsy trip with my family. Planning a few family friendly easy hikes while we are there. Any advice on taking kids this age hiking? I’m sure they will make a good portion of it walking themselves ... though I foresee a lot of time spent carrying them. They are probably too big for those hiking carrier backpacks right??

  • B
    Feb 12

    Snacks. Bring lots of snacks. I’d plan on them walking the whole time and just taking breaks when they need it. Scavenger hunts, talking about what they see as they walk, family songs, etc. and snacks. My sister also uses mms or tic tacs as “power boosts” when things are really dragging

  • anonymous mom
    Feb 12

    If you live near an REI you can rent a hiking backpack, at that age buying a good one doesn’t make much sense. But snacks and water breaks should also help you get them to the end with minimal carrying. At that age you can also do a scavenger hunt to keep them occupied while they hike too, it’ll keep their minds off the walking part😃. My mom used to take us on lots of hikes and she’d help us co... More

Valentine's Crafts & Ideas

Hi All! Valentine's Day is two weeks away and I'm wondering if anyone has ideas for some great Valentine's-themed crafts, snacks, etc? I love making pink cupcakes (with food coloring) and making homemade Valentine's Day cards. What are some other unique and festive ideas?

  • Amanda
    Feb 05

    I just did a craft with 6yoM where we used paper hearts (hearts I had cut out beforehand using construction paper) to make animals! We put hearts of different sizes and colors together to make turtles, dogs, cats, elephants, etc. It was a really fun and neat project!

  • anonymous mom
    Feb 07

    My daughter loves dot dot markers....so I drew some valentine themed things on white paper and asked her if she wanted to trace them out with her dot dot markers and she loved it. Another idea that’s crafty and fun and super cheap is to paint rocks. I mean, it sounds so silly but my daughters preschool did this last year and then they sent the painted rocks home with the kids on Valentine’s D... More

Unique Extracurricular Ideas?

Hi All! I'm interested in finding unique extracurricular activities for kids (approximately toddler through grade school.) I know that a lot of programs offer sports like soccer, basketball, swimming. And then there are language courses for kids, usually Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and French. But I'm wondering if there are parents/caregivers out there who have found really unique activi... More

  • Tennsie Hsi
    Jan 21

    Both my boys are taking tap & ballet dancing.

  • Kira
    Monday

    My oldest daughter(now 11) started aerial dance and Lyra classes 3 yrs ago. She loves it. My youngest daughter (3yrs old) loves horses so I put her in horseback riding lessons a few weeks ago and she is loving it so much it’s hard to get her to leave the barn 🙂

What are you parents doing with the kids throughout winter? I have 3,4,5 year olds and...

I’m going insane !! Pinterest isn’t working for us, it’s always a fail, my kids always seem bored, and idk what else to do with them. They can read and do math, I’m constantly teaching them, but now they seem to want a break... my husband thinks TV and video games ins the solution... but I can’t have my kids do that all day.

  • Allison
    Jan 28

    gymnastics open gyms, indoor play places, our trampoline park has toddler times, the local mall usually has play spaces for kids, library storytimes, we go to a stroller moms workout class and the older kids play while the moms workout, pottery studios usually have kids events or you can just go in and paint something, playdates with friends, indoor swimming pools have open swim times, our loca... More

Anonymous posted in Activities & Enrichment Dec 27

18mo old YouTube recommendations

Ok I give Up. I need good YouTube video recommendations for 18month old. 😬 also because we have a 6 hour drive to go skiing in January so I need her to stay in her car seat for a long period of time!!! - prefer little to no animations (mostly live action) - educational - music videos - trilingual household, so Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese also? - not addicting (lol does that exist?) Tha... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 06

    Toys and little Gaby is good too. (YouTube)

  • Charry
    Jan 20

    I know you said live action. But word partying mandarin audio worked well for us.

Has anyone tried these cards?

I heard about these conscious communication cards the other day on a podcast and I really like the idea of having something to reference other than a parenting book. Plus I like they have been broken up into categories seems like they would be useful. Just wanted to get feedback from anybody who’s actually used them. Did you like them? What age/ages were your kiddos when you used them? https:/... More

Activities to do during winter break

With the winter break fast approaching, I'm wondering what the best activities to keep kids entertained especially when stuff is closed? Crafts, excursions, baking, playdates, etc?

  • Anonymous
    Dec 18

    You can make holiday themed crafts like having the kids make table place cards for holiday meals. Building tents in the living room and having a "Staycation Camp Out" is always a favorite in our household during cold months too

  • Sara
    Dec 18

    We like to plan family trips around the holidays / when my daughter is off of preschool because it's most convenient. When we're not traveling, we tend to try to get bigger projects out of the way and just figure out how to include the kids, whether it's cleaning/organizing or rearranging furniture or whatever. Also the holidays mean a ton of new toys for them so that usually keeps ... More

Home Depot kids activities

Sooo this is just a lil PSA that I just learned about. Home Depot offers a free kids activity once a month!! Like a simple building project that you can do there. They provide the tools and the apron for the child. If you sign up ahead of time they will reserve a kit for you but you can also just walk in. We just walked in on Saturday to this happy little surprise and my daughter was thrilled!!

  • Becky
    check_circleChild Care Provider Dec 10

    I have been taking my kids to these for years. We love them and my kids love to get to use tools. I have also taken my childcare group if it happens to fall on the day they are here.

  • Kayce
    Dec 14

    UGH I used to do this when I was little and was always wondering if it was still there! YAYY!!!

Activity Cube or Activity Table

My little one will be 8 months tomorrow and he loves to pull himself up on things. Which toy do you think he’d get more use out of?

  • Ivy
    Dec 05

    We have an activity cube that I love and my 4 year old still uses it. My 9 month old uses it too, and they play on it occasionally, however, my 2 year old has pretty much never really been interested in it. I chose a cube because it’s better for storage, and was cheaper, but I think if you have the space and budget, a table could be nice. I think both would be great options in any case

  • Stacey
    Dec 09

    We ended up with two tables. The second one he has only had for a month or so but he has had the other one since he could stand. He doesn’t play with it as much ( he just turned 2) but he loved his table when he younger. He loved anything with buttons and switches and if it has sound that is even better.

I need help finding activities to do with my 8 month old on a low budget

I’m a stay at home mom and my biggest struggle is keeping my little boy entertained. The past few months I’ve been letting him watch TV, but I’ve noticed lately that he hasn’t been reaching some milestones with language and emotional connection... I realized with how often I let him watch TV, it isn’t helping him develop what he needs, but I don’t know what to do to help him learn! We don’t hav... More

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Nov 23, 2019

    Check out hands on as we grow, the blog. They have a variety of activities and most of them either use materials you have at home or you can sorta look around and swap it in. It’s very hard to keep babies that age entertained and safe without being the one entertaining. As far as education, they’re simply Learning by listening and watching you. So when your cooking, give the baby some Cheerio a... More

Anxiety about walking toddler

So I'm a SAHM and my kid is 20 months and she gets into EVERYTHING. I think a daily schedule is needed but I have depression and anxiety so its hard for me to even have the energy to follow a kid and internally freaking out everytime she gets into something, does anyone know what I can do to improve?

  • Kieli
    Nov 15, 2019

    Definitely baby proof, if all the dangerous things are put up and the only things she can get into is toys, then let her play and dump them all out. I have a 2 yr old and a 6 month old and I don’t really have a set schedule, just kind of a routine I like to follow. Starts with breakfast for both, then nap for 6 month old and independent play for 2 year old. Usually by the time the baby wakes it... More

  • Angelica
    Nov 16, 2019

    There are lots of toddler schedules online that you can base yours off of. Designate a couple of rooms, like the child’s room and maybe a play room or living room where you and your child will spend most of your time. Put away problematic things in those rooms and baby proof them so that these rooms are safer. Baby gate the other rooms so your child can’t even get into those rooms. It doesn’t t... More

Extended Pretend Play

Anyone else struggling w/extended pretend play? My 4, soon to be 5 y/o is obsessed! We have some “Inception” play going down; MLP Mane 6 pretending to be Disney Princesses. If she had her way - and she tries - she would have us play from the moment she wakes up and she passes out from exhaustion. I’m so tired.

  • Beth
    Oct 03, 2019

    Sounds like she's having fun! Maybe change up the routine and go to the park, library, play date, and the like. Your busy, you got other things to do. Like have some quiet time. We have "quiet time" from 1pm to 3pm where my kiddo plays in her room. It used to be nap time. I play with her after I've had my morning coffee, for about 30 minutes and then again after dinner or ... More

My babe will be one soon!

How should we be spending our days? I love the Montessori and Reggio approach. So I try to include lessons such as those in our days. And I’ll take moments to speak to her in Spanish. But I find when I’m cleaning the house or even just sitting and watching a show - guilty with phone in the hand at times. I’ll have the tv on and she will just play by herself. Or we will cuddle on the couch toge... More

  • Anonymous
    Sep 17, 2019

    Sounds like you’re doing great to me :) her playing alone is an amaaaazing thing, defintely not something you should be upset about- but proud! Independent play isn’t always easy for one year olds. I’d say if you’re doing little lessons and plenty of reading you’re doing great, my son likes to “help” cook as well! Really he sits on the counter and I talk about what I’m doing and he stirs thing... More

  • Anonymous
    Sep 18, 2019

    I really appreciate this! The mom guilt was overtaking my sensibleness. Outdoor walk and talks are such a good idea as well!

Teaching colours

I've tries board books with color themes. He picks up everything else (surprising amounts of details and even remembers the order in which the animals and birds etc come in the book) but is having hard time getting his colors. What can i do to help. He is 2 and knows his numbers and the letter song (for reference). Im not worried but just wanted to see if there is something i could do.

  • Anonymous Mom
    Sep 12, 2019

    My daughter is same she turned two today and knows abc song and colors and she can even count and can count down from ten too. Lol I do it a lot. But her colors she knows but then doesn’t. Idk what’s going on. Some days I ask and she knows most but others she only knows a few. In time I guess

  • Tris
    Sep 15, 2019

    My son was slow with learning colors but advanced in everything else. I started making up the color of the day kinda like Sesame Street number of the day. For example “Today’s color of the day is red.” And then all day I ask him questions about the color. “Can you wear a red shirt? Red shoes? Can we eat some red food? Can we find red toys?” Etc, etc. focusing on them one at a time was mor... More

2nd birthday

My son turns two next month and i dont know what to do for him. I dont want a party but would like to take him out. Do you guys have any suggestions?

  • anonymous mom
    Sep 10, 2019

    When I used to live in your neighborhood, I loved heading up to croton on Hudson and going to the Blaze pumpkin display!!! Maybe something cool like that!? Happy birthday to your little guy:)

  • Diana
    Sep 10, 2019

    At 2, I thought my child would love the aquarium... it was a flop. What she did love was being outside and walking through brightly colored botanical gardens. IMAX movie about her favorite (butterflies) - flop. But she loved the dinner and a show at the local medieval times and watching the horses. In retrospect, I think she would have been ecstatic if I had found a local farm where she could ... More

Advise on helping baby speak.

Baby is almost 18 months old and he only speaks mama and papa. How do I help him improve his vocabulary?

  • PK
    Sep 15, 2019

    The best books for toddlers are the books about stuff they are interested in. My son loves dinosaurs, animals, trucks, trains and Halloween. So we have a lot of books about or related to those topics. What is your toddler interested in? Another way to discover new books to love is to go to your public library, get a library card and make it a point to go at least twice a month to check out som... More

  • C
    Jan 07

    If it’s any consolation, my son’s nurses said boys tend to learn to speak later than girls, so maybe your boy is on track. Also, if he spends most of his time in multilingual environments, he’ll take longer as he’ll need to process the different sets of vocabulary. Some of my son’s friends didn’t speak until they were 18 months to 2 years old, and then one day they just started talking and wou... More

Almost 3 Year Old says she does not want to go to swim, dance, school, etc.

My daughter used to love going to swim and dance and for the most part school. Lately, before these events she says she does not want to go to them. It is a struggle to get dressed and in the car to go to them. For the most part, once she gets there she is fine and participates, but not as well as she used to. She doesn't always want to listen to her teachers or instructors. We obvi... More

  • Fred
    Sep 05, 2019

    we had the same experience at the same age. It did seem to be a phase. In the interim, I actually showed up to her place 15 minutes ahead of pick up and video-taped her having the greatest time. i showed it to her but i presented it not as court room evidence but in such a way that we both had a great laugh. it worked like magic. good luck!

  • Beth
    Sep 12, 2019

    She could just want to rest and hang out at home instead? Might be wanting to test if she gets a choice in these matters. When my three year old and I are out everyday doing something she starts to ask to stay home when we get ready to go. If it's something like the library or museum then I'll let it be a stay at home day and she plays with her toys and we snuggle on the couch and read.

Outside

How often do you take your two year old out? I work and go to school and I’m so tired . I usually take him out once a week but I feel it’s not good enough. So other mom and dads, how often you take your children out and about ? I’m just curious

  • Lil Ma
    Sep 24, 2019

    Oh and I am also a sufferer of chronic joint pain ( Lupus & fibromyalgia) so the littlest I can do goes along way for me with my kids who are all special needs ( Autism) so I wouldn’t worry mom your doing your best!!!

  • Oscar T.
    check_circleChild Care Provider Oct 11, 2019

    I think it is really hard work to take care kids, family, work and school. You are amazing. Though it is good to know how others doing, I recommend not to compare too much. You have enough stress on life already, you don't need additional unnecessary comparison. (since this is kind of like a nationwide discussion group) Take care of yourselves and plan your time wisely. Running errand or... More

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