I have been a stay at home mum for nearly 6 years now and have another year at home with my youngest before he starts school. So if you are looking for activities you can do at home with young children here are a few ideas.
I used to struggle with activity ideas to do with the kids, attention is a bit of a challenge in our house. Now we have lots of activities and when I am struggling Pinterest is great for new ideas.
The main thing to remember is all activities can and should be adapted to best suit your child’s needs. Much of my focus is on using visuals to support my non-verbal son and making sure we make the activities visually stimulating. You should focus on your child’s interests and include those interests in every activity you can to help motivate their interest.
If your child has a particular interest or favourite thing then use this to your advantage. My son used to love puzzles, find out how we used this special interest to our advantage.
There are lots of great interactive toys where your help is needed to enjoy them, like wind up toys or bubbles. Finding motivating toys that you can interact with is a great way to have fun.
When you need some calm time then using sensory toys might be a good plan.
Messy play is a favourite of many young children, play with:
- arts and crafts
- store cupboard items
And try to worry about the mess later.
If you have an art lover you may be interested in the My Little World products. And for those messy sensory play fans you might want to give Slime a go.
Start getting the kids in the kitchen as early as possible. As soon as they can hold a spoon they will have great fun mixing! My eldest really enjoys baking, my youngest is less interested but is still happy to do some mixing and rolling. Try my step by step pancakes visual recipe.
Both my kids have music therapy sessions which has been great for their speech and communication development. We have a music bag set up at home with lots of instruments and nursery rhyme cards. Having the bag set up and in the cupboard gives me something I can pull out once or twice a week and it’s an activity the kids really love.
Books & Stories
I used to really struggle to hold my eldest son’s attention with books, now he loves them. We have found a multi sensory approach to stories really helpful so incorporating playing, reading, listening, watching and generally enjoying different aspects of a story.
We are big Julia Donaldson fans in our house, here is a list of out top 100 books for under 5s for some inspiration.
Learning at home
We all want to help support our children to learn at home. Whilst children are always learning often we have specific things we want to help them to learn. The best way is always to include the learning in fun everyday activities.
Often we end up doing the same activities on a regular basis, children often thrive on routine and familiarity. One of the best ways to change activities a little and to come up with new ideas is to make it seasonal.
I wrote a guest post over at Rainbows are too Beautiful on the importance of enjoying play. This post also looks at the different types of play:
- Symbolic play
- Repetitive play
- Parallel play
- Physical play
- People games
- Messy play
- Outdoor play
- Imaginative play
- Games with rules
- Exploratory play
I regularly share pictures of activities I do with my kids over on Instagram.
In addition much of the autism therapies we do are fun activities with the kids for example Attention Autism.
You may get some more inspiration over on my product and toy reviews.
A comprehensive and very useful list. At the moment we are reading a lot of books and mostly obsessed with toy vehicles over here. He has to have a car with him wherever we go, but we’ve been able to use that to encourage him to read stories about vehicles and to build tracks and garages for them as well. #KCACOLS
We love books here but most of ous need to be Julia Donaldson books at the moment and it is Zog that goes everywhere!!
Some great ideas here. Messy play is always a favourite with gel or slime. A tuff tray seems a good idea, and yes, you do have to ignore the mess as much as possible ! #KCACOLS
Took me a while to get over the mess but has to be done xx
This is a great list. We are Julia Donaldson fans too and we especially love the flap books when the boys were toddlers. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.
Messy play is a favourite at our house. More so preferred by the kids than by me but what makes them happy makes me happy. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time
This is a great list and very interesting. Messy play is a favorite in our house, too! #KCACOLS
Thanks we always love a bit of messy play. Ideal for those rainy days at home too.