Years 2 to 5, the golden preschool age, is prominent for a child’s holistic development. Motor skills, cognitive development, and language skills take huge strides in these years, and kids learn round the clock - from the very second they wake up in the morning until they sleep at night!
The primary way preschoolers explore and learn is through play. But even their favorite games can lose their appeal after a while. And finding new games every day to keep them entertained, and most importantly, to aid their development, can prove to be a challenging task.
Thankfully, kids are easily fascinated with the simplest of things.
You may also read: The Power of Play!
Check out these 6 low-effort activities we recommend for the development of your tot’s cognitive, language, and motor skills. Putting together these activities at home should be pretty simple and requires fairly basic supplies.
1. Try Food Art
Googly-eyed clown, choo choo train, moo moo cow, or a butterfly - possibilities are endless with just some bread and cut-up vegetables! Cut up vegetables in different shapes and arrange them on a slice of bread, to make some artistic sandwiches!
Kids pick up on shapes, colours, and arrangements, improving their hand-eye coordination, and even learning different tastes with this fun activity! It takes hardly any time, but can be most rewarding!
Added bonus: Your art is as much a treat to your eyes as it is to your tummy! ;)
2. Bubbles and No Troubles!
Help your kid make their own bubble solution! Let them measure and pour one part liquid soap, add ten parts water to it, and mix! Encourage them to go around and find ring-shaped objects to blow bubbles from. You can even try out rings of different sizes and compare the size of the bubbles they produce!
The concept of big-small, pouring activity, mixing, shapes, blowing, and hand-eye coordination doesn’t even begin to cover all the skills kids pick up from this simple activity!
Pro Tip: Add a little glycerin or corn syrup to the soap solution to hold the bubbles longer.
3. Observe The Clouds Go to a park, or your backyard, or even your terrace with your kid, grab a blanket, lie on your backs, and watch the clouds! That’s it. It’s that simple. Image: Real clouds looking like different animals/things. Oh, don’t forget to ask them what they “see” - shapes, figures, things, patterns. And do get silly to encourage their imagination. “Wait, that looks like a pig wearing a hat!”, “This one looks like melting ice cream!”, “Is that a poop-shaped cloud? Whaaaaaaat!” - never hurts to share a laugh or a few! :)
Warning: Make sure you or the kids don’t stare into the sun with naked eyes! 4. Crowdsourced Stories
Kids love listening to made-up stories! What’s better? Involve them! Let them contribute to your stories! Start simple, don’t try to control it. Let the imagination flow! Build on whatever bizarre ideas your toddlers come up with, don’t try and correct them, and see where it takes the story. Remember, it’s all for fun. Your story doesn’t have to make any sense whatsoever in the end. :)
Language, vocabulary, pronunciation, attention to detail, cognitive skills, speech therapy, all, and a personal customized shared story by the end of it! Ain’t this the king of all activities?
5. Hide and Seek, But With Toys
Hide a toy and ask your kid to find it! Guide them to the hiding place with just verbal cues, and see how well they follow and how fast they process your cues.
This uncomplicated activity stimulates problem-solving, listening, and processing skills, and also improves their memory! Pro tip: Reward them with something they like when they find the toy. This helps make sure they are up for the activity many times over.
6. Pound Some Dough Together
Tantrums are common at this age. One of the best ways to help kids deal with anger and frustration is to let them pound on some dough! Take some flour in a bowl, add a bit of water, and let them have at it!
This therapeutic activity helps kids process their feelings while greatly improving their motor skills! They also learn different feels on their skin - too watery, too soft, hard, too dry - one of the best indoor sensory games! And all that mushing, squeezing, and pounding accounts for good muscle exercise.
Pro Tip: If baking is not your thing or if you don’t have spare dough around, have them use play dough or clay instead.
These activities are simple enough, true. But sometimes it’s difficult to physically attend to kids and keep them occupied at all times.
Don’t worry, there’s one guilt-free way to make up for your temporary absence - find video games that are specially designed by experts to improve cognitive, motor, language, and other skills for specific age groups, like the ones on ToonDemy. These games let you focus on your work while making sure your kids thrive away!