I am so privileged and honored to be home with my boy all day, every day. We have so much fun together, and he is learning every day, just by witnessing the world around him. I have been looking for more activities to do with my 2 year old. Sometimes the days can go by without any deliberate exploration or play and I want to change that.
We have loosely started the Before Five in a Row curriculum — mainly we make sure to read the same book for a whole week and I try to make one good activity at the end of the week to correlate. (Of course, we read many more books than that each day, but this one is deliberate.) For example, after reading The Little Rabbit, he painted a picture of a rabbit, then glued some cotton balls on it. And for Blueberries for Sal, he will color a brown bear cut out, then weave yarn around the outline.
We have separated his toys into 8 bins in our Expedia bookshelf from Ikea, which has really helped him get excited about his toys again, as we get out one bin every day (this cuts the toy mess down too!). We go to friends’ houses at least once a week for a change of scenery. We have errand days.
But I just discovered sensory bins — to add to our list of weekly activities. He has had tactile exploratory time, mainly with rice or rice krispies with small toys inside a cookie sheet, but a mom from PlayCreateExplore has gone above and beyond with further examples of exploratory play that a child can have. She has created an amazing Ocean Bin, complete with sea toys and colorful rocks; simply add water, and your child has a little ocean to explore! Other examples include Dinosaur Land Bin, or Shaving Cream Bin (just add any little toys you want!), or Holiday Bins (such as Valentine’s Day, just add lots of colored foam stickers, puff balls, hearts, stuffed animals.)
I tried my first bin this morning. It wasn’t as intense or thought-out as some of hers, but it was my first go! I didn’t have to go to the store yet either! I placed piles of lentils and beans in a tupperware container, along with some plastic, magnetic, colorful letters, and added a couple of tin cans and mini frisbees. I put my son on a big red blanket and put the bin in front of him. He had a blast! By the end, he did have a hard time keeping everything in the bin, but it was easy enough to clean up.
Off to the store to buy more rice, bird seed, other small dollar trinkets, and we’re going to go exploring for some small sticks and acorns too. Also, I will look in my recycling bin for plastic tubs, cardboard rolls, etc. You can really use anything!
We are so excited to get started! Check her site out and I hope you will find further ideas for your child!