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Activity suggestions for parents.

Activity Suggestions

6 to 12 months

  • during bath time, name each body part as you wash it
  • play "this little piggy went to market" or "head and shoulders, knees and toes" in the bathtub
  • put a favourite toy in front of the child, just out of reach; wait and see how he/she tells you he/she wants it
  • sing songs or nursery rhymes
  • name objects the baby looks at or touches
  • play up & down games-pick baby up high and say "up, up, up"
  • take turns hiding either behind your hands, a towel or blanket, then moving it away, saying "Where's Daddy?", "Here I am" or "Peek-a-boo"
  • play "where did you go?" when putting on shirts over the child's head

18 months

  • put objects in plastic containers
    • shake them
    • open and close them
    • take things out and put things in
    • use words like "in", "out", "more" and "shake"
  • sing simple repetitive songs like "Old MacDonald had a farm"...pause to see if your child will name any animals

2 years

  • sing simple songs with actions "Itsy bitsy spider", "Round and round the garden"
  • hide objects under/behind pillows, blankets, furniture. Ask: "where's the ball?" , "find the teddy"
  • Take turns stacking blocks; talk about where you're putting them, big blocks versus little blocks, and what colour they are

3 years

  • read books with pictures and take turns telling little stories about the pictures
  • make-believe play with or without toys (pretend to go shopping, dress-up, play with pretend toy garages, dollhouses, kitchen sets...)
  • sort pieces of clothing together with the child while doing laundry (sort by colours, size, who it belongs to, type of clothing...)
  • arrange times for children to play with other children their age

4 years

  • make puppets from socks or paper bags; let child make up and tell stories using them
  • play simple board/card games helping them to match and name colour/shapes, count and follow directions (Snakes and Ladders, Go Fish)

5 years

  • play simple board/card games (checkers, tic tac toe)
  • involve your child in "jobs" around the house
  • have your child help with baking; talk about the amounts you measure, what order the ingredients are added, and how long it will bake
  • read longer stories and talk about why/how things happened, moral to the story, etc...