Arguably, some of the most active and creative minds belong to parents of preschoolers. These individuals, living in a constant state of sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion, might argue otherwise (if they could muster the energy). But parents of toddlers know they are responsible for the physical and mental growth of these kids. Trying to stay just the hint of a step ahead of these little beings is a challenge and a pandemic has elevated the challenge to a whole new level of creative need.
Since the beginning of the pandemic our education team worked to pull resources and gather ideas for ways to continue our mission and to give parents options for filling in gaps while schools regrouped. Our Community Resource page quickly filled with all kinds of fun and educational activities for families and learners of all ages. Our efforts to provide ways to learn about, appreciate, and experience the natural world, even while we were all anxiously passing the days in our homes, never stopped. Hopefully, you have taken advantage of some of these activities.
For those of you parenting the younger ones, we want to highlight just a few activities you can do with your preschooler right at home or in your own backyard. We also want to invite you and your toddler to our virtual Toddler Tuesdays, every Tuesday in August at 11:00 a.m. These free virtual events (which require pre-registration) are a time for you and your little one to join Miss Jenny online as she brings you 30 minutes of themed fun online! You can find more information on each of these events below. Enjoy these activities and never stop learning!
Here are just a few activities from our team. Click on the links to access the activities or more information:
1. Virtual Toddler Tuesdays (at 11 a.m.) For more information and to register for these events click the links below:
- August 11 Learn about birds, with a spotlight on the letter B, and enjoy a reading of A Mother for Choco, written by Keiko Kasza!
- August 18 Learn about the inchworm, with a spotlight on the letter I, and listen to a reading of Inch By Inch, written by Leo Leoni!
- August 25 Learn about bears, with a spotlight on the letter B, and enjoy a reading of Where is Bear, written by Lesléa Newman!
Babies, toddlers, and young children are natural scientists, always exploring the world around them. They are natural mess makers in the process too, so this 20-minute activity provides an exploration that is contained in a sealed bottle. Children can explore concepts like floating and sinking, bubbles, and mixing as they play.
3. Fish Search
Gross motor skills are movement and coordination skills that use large muscle groups, like crawling or jumping, while fine motor skills use control of small muscles, like pinching and pointing. For this 15-minute activity, children will work on fine motor control by making marks on paper first, then gross motor movement when they search for hidden creatures.
4. Build A Nest
Birds, and some other animals, build nests to have a place to lay their eggs. There are lots of different kinds of nests, made from lots of different kinds of materials – everything from sticks and leaves to mud to even bird spit! All these nests have the same job of keeping eggs and baby birds safe and protected. Help your little one pretend to be a mama bird as you enjoy a nature walk collecting items for a nest.
Nature is full of beautiful and interesting things, and young children seem to be experts at finding them. In this 30-mintue activity your child will “build” a bracelet that allows them to carry their own treasures while considering characteristics of the items they find.