Children enjoy using their hands to make things and use toys and tools.
Practising using their hands strengthens their muscles and develops their coordination.
This is important to help them succeed at more difficult skills, like writing or tying their shoe laces, when they get older.
Here are some activities you can do at home which will help your child's development:
- Play with construction toys together, stacking and joining blocks or other shapes.
- Encourage your child to use a spoon, knife and fork to feed themselves at mealtimes.
- Use different types of drawing materials like chalk, crayons, paints, pens and pencils.
- Introduce scissors, at first let your child cut up old birthday cards to develop their skills.
- Encourage your child to be independent and learn to help dress themselves. Start with outdoor clothes such as coats and shoes, and then work on the trickier items, and learning to undo and do up zips and buttons!
- Let your child turn the pages and open the flaps when you're reading a book together.
- Help your child string small items such as macaroni, pasta or beads on a piece of string or a shoelace.
- Playing catch, rolling balls and posting activities are also great for developing coordination!
Play dough is a great creative activity that will also develop strength and coordination.
You could buy some playdough, or make your own at home!
If you make your own, let your child help. They'll be learning maths and science, as well as developing their listening and chatting skills, and having fun!
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 2 cups of table salt
- 2 cups of hot water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 heaped tablespoons cream of tartar (you can find this in the baking aisle .. it makes the dough last longer but you can make it without )
- 3 - 4 drops of food colouring
- Let your child help you measure and mix the ingredients all together in a bowl.
- Then microwave in short bursts, stirring in between.
- When the mixture turns into a stiff dough leave it to cool on a chopping board.
- Make sure you check the temperature in the middle of the dough before allowing your child to touch it.
- Stored in the fridge in a plastic container the dough should last several weeks.
- Then have fun making things together with it! What will you make? A snail, a gingerbread man, a car? Chat about what you’re doing as you play together.
Try adding scents, such as vanilla or ginger, or create different textures by mixing in other ingredients like oats. Or search online for other recipe ideas.