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LexFUN! Parents Blog

With the current health crisis and cancellation of events and programming, we need to keep connected more than ever. We have created this parent blog to share ideas of how to keep our little ones entertained, keep the grown-ups sane and share support!

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Please share your ideas for things to do at home with preschoolers and toddlers. 

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  • 25 Mar 2020 3:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Something that often worked for me to occupy my kids (when they were tiny) was to set up 'stations', similar to they way Preschools do. It doesn't have to be fancy, just 3 or 4 'activities' in a room, such as a book station, gross motor, fine motor station and pretend play station. It is worth the time setting up as the kids zoom around from station to station, loving their independence!

    Ideas for stations:

    Book Station

    Get a comfy cushion, chair or bean bag - or if you are feeling adventurous create a cozy nook. Get a basket or plastic tub and put a selection of age-appropriate books binder up for easy browsing!

    Gross Motor station

    Ball toss - get a laundry basket, some balls, bundles of socks, or even small toys and let them at it!

    Sidewalk chalk - map out a hopscotch or stepping stones, let them hop, or if you have space, draw a 'road' to follow on their ride on toys!

    Pillow crash - get a beanbag, sofa pillow or similar, place it away from other objects or furniture and let them jump and 'crash' into it.

    DIY balance beam - use tape, string or similar and make a line on the floor - done!

    Fine Motor station

    Play dough - many home recipes exist, this is a super easy one:

    • 2 cups baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 cup cornstarch

    Mix the ingredients with a fork until smooth. Ad food coloring / essential oil for added sensory benefit. Boil over medium heat until thick. Spoon onto a plate or wax paper and allow it to cool.

    Pinch and Place - got an old egg carton, a muffin baking tray or even just some plastic cups? Fill each cup or egg carton hole with something small (watch for choking hazards) and either have the kids use their pincher fingers or even kitchen tongs to move from a to b!

    Scribble and Scribe - set up some good old fashioned paper and crayons!

    Pretend Play Station

    Dress up - that old favorite! You can theme it, put dress up items in a play bin - maybe add a kid camera or microphone and let them act!

    Recreate Worlds - you can get creative, but for example,

    • Get a selection of trucks, large piece of paper, draw a road and let them play!
    • Treasure hunt, hide some small toys or objects in a box of shredded paper, or play and (if you want to get messy). 
    • Tea Party - use toy or real kitchen items, create a menu together and even some real treats.
    • Shops - get some boxed grocery items out, a pretend cash register (a shoe box works great), some pretend or even used currency, and a reusable shopping bag!

    Hope this helps!

  • 23 Mar 2020 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This has some useful tips in Poytner.org

    https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2020/how-to-work-from-home-with-kids-around/

    Babies

    • Wear that baby.
    • Schedule calls in the evenings if it works for you and your sources.
    • Experiment with writing in the early morning before the baby wakes up.
    • Work in a platform you can access from different devices.
    • Find tools, like dictation apps, that let you work and parent at the same time.
    • Use those nap times.
    • Be honest.
    • Enjoy that baby.

    Toddlers

    • Loosen up screentime.
    • Be flexible.
    • Experiment with working in the early mornings and evenings.
    • Tag team, if possible.
    • Plan meetings and work that needs full attention during naps.
    • Take turns if there’s another adult in the house.
    • Enjoy that toddler. No really.


    Early school-aged

    • Coordinate playdates with friends/neighbors. (Editor’s note: This article was written before “social distancing” was recommended. Please follow the advice of your local officials and limit contact with others.)
    • Loosen up on screentime. You won’t ruin them.
    • Start a movie just before an important call.
    • Look for online games that reinforce learning and are fun.
    • Tag team, if possible.
    • Tell them what you need. They might not listen. But they are capable at this age.
    • Enjoy that little kid.


  • 20 Mar 2020 4:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)




    I saw this on a Bright Horizon email and thought that it was a fun way to help kids understand the importance of hand washing.

    Materials:

     Flaked spices such as dill, parsley, and cilantro 

     Dish soap
     Plates or bowls
     Water

     Q-tip

    Fill bowl or plate with water and have your child sprinkle flaked spices on the surface of their water. Tell your child to imagine the flakes are like the germs on their hands. They can then dip a Q-tip into the soap and touch the surface of their water. What happened to our pretend germs? Why do you think the germs moved away? Explain that soap does the same thing to real germs when we wash our hands.


  • 20 Mar 2020 6:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Simon Says

    A game that you can play one on one or with a group of kids, Simon Says is a classic that teaches kids how to follow instructions. The rules are easy: You are Simon and what you say goes. Call out commands—“Simon says touch your toes!—and your kid has to follow them. It’s key they listen for the words “Simon says”—if you call out a command like “Jump up!” without prefacing with Simon says, players can be eliminated. Be sure to throw in some funny commands, too—do a silly dance, wiggle your ears, hop like a frog! This game is great for teaching toddlers the names for their body parts.


    Hide-and-seek

    Teach your little kid problem solving skills by hiding from him! Or, if you’d rather not hide, you can always ask your her to hide an object in another room or sneaky spot of her choice—it could be as simple as asking her to go put a wrapper in the trash without telling her where the trash can is.


    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.todaysparent.com/toddler/toddler-development/fun-games-to-play-with-toddlers/amp/

  • 18 Mar 2020 8:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Scholastic Kids is offering free online books and other activities right now:

    https://kids.scholastic.com/kids/home/

  • 18 Mar 2020 8:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kids Classes from Home

    Watch on-demand or participate live.

    Learn and bond with your 0-6 year old.
    Follow and interact with an expert instructor.

    https://circletimefun.com

  • 16 Mar 2020 8:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If your kiddo is learning their colors you can go on a color hunt around the house.  Yep it's that simple but if you big it up it will be super fun!  You can even do some prep work by making binoculars out of toilet rolls first (decorate two toilet rolls, tape or glue them together and then attach yarn or such like and hang them around your neck).  Be sure to make your own pair too!

    Once your kiddo has picked a color, head off hunting... take photos along the way and then once you are done you can look back at all the things you found in your chosen color.  Your kiddo will get a kick out of helping to take the photos.  

    Older kids will enjoy this also and they can take it further by putting the objects in order from darkest to lightest or writing a list of what they found etc. 

  • 16 Mar 2020 8:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On our last long car ride we made up a game that is great for car rides but we are now realizing it is great fun when stuck at home too!  We call it the Book Game.  

    One person thinks of a book and gives an initial clue such as "the girl in this book likes to make things" and then the others playing try and guess the book.  More clues are given such as "there is a dog in this book", until someone guesses the book.  It's that simple!  

    Both my 4 and 6 year old love the game.  It can however be surprisingly difficult to think of a book initially.  The fun part of playing the game at home is that you can take "book breaks" which is when everyone has 3 minutes to run and look at books around the house to get new ideas.

    I hope you have as much fun with this as we do!

  • 16 Mar 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This doesn’t have a complicated set-up AT ALL!

    https://busytoddler.com/2020/03/shape-art-activity/

  • 16 Mar 2020 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Remember pillow forts? Remember how much fun you had as a kid building a little place you could climb into and stake your claim? If you want to help a child build one of his or her own – or just relive the glory days and build one for yourself – here are some tips for making certain that your pillow fort is the best pillow fort of all time.

    https://www.pacificcoast.com/blog/d-i-y/how-to-build-the-best-pillow-fort-of-all-time.html

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