10 Ways to Make Dinner Time Less Challenging

Picky eater? Feel like you’ve tried it all? We get it! Here a few things that have helped us at SEEC make meal times go a little smoother.

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  1. Dress up

Try a themed meal. Everyone comes dressed in a costume, a fancy (washable) outfit, or even pajamas. This will make dinner feel like a fun family event instead of the ultimate stand-off. Your child will look forward to showing off their special duds at the table and shift their focus away from the normal ultimate stand-off they are prepared for and maybe even try the meal.

  1. Sing a song to set the mood

Getting your child to the table can often be half the battle. At SEEC, we all eat together as a group. Once everyone is seated we sing a song to signify it is time to eat. It has become a favorite event for the children at SEEC and there are often tears if a child doesn’t get to participate in this part of the day.

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  1. Try-it-bite

At this point, almost everyone has used the “try-it-bite” with their child. However, it shouldn’t only be required of the kids, adults at the table should model the same behavior by putting a “try-it-bite” of something on their own plate. Then organize a unified “try-it” moment during the dinner. We all have our preferences so if a child has tried something before and claimed they don’t like it, it is possible that it’s true. Taste buds change over time but forcing them to try an item again shortly after they have declared their preference can feel like you are not listening and respecting their words.

  1. Serve Themselves

An important milestone is when a child can pour without spilling and feed themselves with utensils. Why not give them a chance to practice at dinner? Instead of plating their food, allow your child to dish up their own meal. This way they can decide how much to put on their plate. When a child declares they are done, but there is food still left on their plate, remind them that they chose to put that amount on their plate and should try to finish what they have taken.

  1. Clear Transitions

No one, not even adults, like to be ripped away from their current activity or to go straight to a seated meal before having a little time to transition. Be sure there is time for your child to decompress between preschool, daycare, or whatever previous activity they were a part of. Provide them with warnings so that they can begin to prepare for the transition to dinner. At SEEC we give children a five-minute warning and ask them to repeat it back to us. They might not tell time or understand exactly how long five minutes is, but they understand that soon they will stop with one activity and move to the next. If your child needs a more concrete way to understand the passing of time try a sand timer. You can get them in a variety of time lengths and it’s a great visual representation of the passing of time.

  1. Reflection and Sticker Chart

Having especially difficult meal times or having trouble getting your child to eat anything at all? Try a sticker chart. Sit down with your child and ask them to reflect on how they thought the meal went. Provide a smiley or similar sticker and if you both agree the meal went well (you can decide what this means since it will be different for every family) they get to add the sticker to the chart. You can even provide a small reward for a week full of successful meals (this could be something as easy as an extra book bed at bedtime!).

  1. Food Presentation

The way a child responds to food could not only be based on taste but on texture and shape. If you are getting the “it looks weird” face try mashing or pureeing the item so that it takes on a form similar to something they do like. Even as adults we respond to how something looks or feels as we eat.

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  1. Keep it Fun

When someone says you have to do something, most of our initial reactions are to dig in or push back. Children are the same. If you take the pressure off the meal and keep things light, the meal will be much more enjoyable for everyone. Children have a wonderful ability to read a mood and then reflect it back. Just remember, if you are frustrated they will be too.

  1. Take Bites like an Animal

Make eating into a game. Does your child have a favorite animal? Are they really into trucks? Why not ask them to take small mouse bites to try a new food or pretend they are a backhoe shoveling up a big bite!

  1. New Eating Tools

Try mixing up the eating implement as it will make eating more fun. Try chopsticks or even a spork. The novel aspect of the eating tool will make it exciting for your child to use it to eat. It also has the added benefit of providing your child with additional fine motor practice!

 

Have other tricks that work for your family? Please share!

 

10 Things You Can Do Right Now in the Car

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Stuck in traffic? On a road trip? Or just having a rough morning commute? Here are 10 things you can do right now with your child in the car to help pass the time!

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  1. Sing

This is always a fun way to pass the time but don’t let them sing alone! Join in on the fun! This will help your child engage with the song longer. You can also make singing a game by trying to match the volume of the song. For example, turn it down really low and suggest that you whisper sing.

  1. Listen to a Book on Tape or Podcast

When singing doesn’t work, try a book on tape or a podcast. We have seen firsthand at SEEC how engaged children are when listening to an audio book. There are a lot of great free options out there, inclduing audio books from your local library that you can check out directly onto your device.

  1. Mystery Bag Object

Pass your child a bag full of miscellaneous items. Tell them to stick their hand into the bag without peaking and describe what they are feeling. Work together to try and guess what the item is.

  1. Zip and Button a Coat

Make car time a productive learning opportunity by having your child practice their fine motor skills on their jacket buttons and zippers. Other people in the car? Let them work on those coats too!

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  1. Take Photos

Pass your child your phone so they can take photos of their journey. It is a great way to pass time and also provides you with their view of the world (this activity is best done with a second non-driving adult in the car to ensure phone or camera safety).

  1. Start a Band

Do you have a water bottle? Pens? Or anything that can shake or rattle? Then you have a band! Let your child use a pen to tap on different surfaces and create their own “drum.” Fill an empty water bottle with paper clips or other small items and convert it into a shaker!

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  1. Draw

No paper? No problem. This is a great chance to let your child explore drawing on new and different materials. An old map, napkin, or even a paper grocery bag can make a great drawing surface! Be sure to keep an eye on your child to make sure their pen doesn’t wander too far!

  1. 5 Question Game

A condensed version of 20 questions is a great way to engage your child. Have them think of something and then use 5 descriptive questions to try to guess what it is. Then switch!

  1. Balance Game

Pass your child an unbreakable object and ask them to balance it on their leg, knee, hand, head, etc. Time them to see how long they can balance each item. This is a great way to invite your child to sit still even if it is just for a few seconds.

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  1. Stop

When all else fails. Stop. It may take you a little longer to get to your destination but letting your child out of the seat to do some moving may help the ride go much smoother. If possible, find a safe place to park and do some running around the car or jumping jacks! To encourage them back into their seat make it a game to see who can get in the car first.

Have other ideas? Please share!

20 Teacher Approved Baby Shower Gifts

Yay, a baby! It’s time to celebrate the parents-to-be! Feel like going rogue and gifting something not on the registry? Here are our favorite ideas, parent/kid tested and teacher approved. Many items on this list will age with the child and be a play room staple for years!

  1. Set of Sensory Frames

If you have seen our earlier post on sensory bins you already know how much we love these sensory frames. They are a great DIY gift option and can be personalized for the colors and theme of any baby room. They can also be updated to suit the needs of the child as they grow. Just pop the glass or plastic out of a frame and fill with any tactile material.

  1. Walker

Their new baby will be up and moving before they know it. Anything a baby can push or lean on as they start to move is a perfect gift to help encourage movement. This can be a cart, wagon with a tall handle, or even a pretend lawnmower. As long as it has wheels and a steady base it will help a young child feel confident enough to take those first steps.

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  1. Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles are a fun way to allow young babies to safely explore small objects. They will be a fast favorite if they are filled with high contrast noisy items. Best of all, you can also DIY and make them completely personalized. One option is to upcycle a clean wide-mouthed bottle, fill it with water and glitter, and then add laminated pictures of the family.

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  1. A lot of Hats

Children always need hats and at SEEC we know firsthand how many hats can end up lost or forgotten at school. Provide the family with a range of hats for all seasons that coordinate with the age the child will be at that time of year.

  1. Museum Adult and Child Program

Many museums are now on board the baby train and offer programming intended specifically for this very young audience. Many new parents are often looking for excursions that are both infant friendly and provide adult interaction and stimulation. At SEEC, our programming allows adults and babies zero to twelve months a safe, welcoming, and educational environment to experience the museums. Learn more about our BYOB and Infant Investigator classes on our website.

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  1. Baby Safe Family Album

Create an easy baby-safe photo album by laminating pictures and securing them together with a luggage tag loop or carabiner. Select a loop or carabiner that can twist to lock and is extra-large to ensure it won’t become a choking hazard.

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  1. Baby Safe Mirror

Have you noticed how much babies and young children love to look at themselves? Learning to understand expressions and read emotions is a big developmental milestone for young children and a lot of practice for the child happens in front of the mirror. A baby safe mirror has rounded edges and is made from plastic. It is a perfect tool to help liven up tummy time for an infant and is sure to continue to hold their attention as they grow.

  1. Gift Card for a Baby Photo Book

A gift card is a great motivator for someone to finally get that photo book made. This will end up also being a gift for the child, who will love looking back at themselves as a baby.

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  1. Foam Play Pool

This is probably the most popular toy in our infant room. When the child is sitting up but not mobile it’s a great soft and confined place to play. As they get older it will be a perfect spot for all sorts of climbing and tumbling.

  1. Outlet Protectors

This item is often overlooked on a parent’s baby proofing list but it is an important tool to make sure a space is baby safe.

  1. Stacking Toys

Stacking toys are a great toy that will age with the child. At first, they will be great teethers and sound makers (when the cups, blocks, etc. are clapped together). Later, they can help a child develop their depth perception and hand eye coordination.

  1. Babysitting Voucher

Provide an IOU for your babysitting services. Free care giving services for a first night out with a baby will be greatly appreciated!

  1. Gift Card for Groceries or Food Delivery

Feeding yourself becomes second priority when you have a baby. Give the gift of food delivery to make sure all family members are all well fed!

  1. Travel High Chair

Encourage the parents to head out on the town with their child with a travel high chair. Many easily snap into place making the child ready to be a part of any table related activity.

  1. Onesies with Zippers

No more fumbling with buttons or snaps. A quick zip ensures a speedy change in the dark getting all parties back to bed in no time.

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  1. Baby Socks

Like hats, one can never have too many.

  1. High Contrast Wall Art

Help decorate the nursery with baby friendly art. While a baby’s eyesight takes a while to develop they are first able to distinguish high contrast shapes.

  1. Books on Child Development

They may have read all the books on parenting but why not provide them with some great books about their child’s brain development? Check out are favorites from the SEEC book club here.

  1. Sound Machine

This will help keep adults from feeling like they have to sneak around the house.

  1. Freezer Ready Teethers

Teething will be upon them before they known it and some freezer ready teethers will be a perfect treat for baby. They can also double as boo-boo soothers.


Have some favorite gift ideas we didn’t mention? Please share them below!

10 Things You Can Do Right Now with Your Child at the Doctor’s Office

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You made it to the doctor on time, but now you are stuck in the waiting room! Here are a few things to help you and your child pass the time!

  1. Prep for the Appointment: Use this extra down time to help calm any pre-appointment jitters. Help your child transition by describing what will happen between now and when they enter the exam room. This is a good time to break the news about shots so they don’t come as a total surprise.3
  2. Doctor Pretend Play: Allow your child a chance to pretend to be the doctor! It is a fun and easy way to have your child feel more comfortable.
  3. Magazine Collage: There are always an abundance of old magazines in the waiting room. Ask the receptionist if you can use one for an art project. Tear or borrow scissors to make a temporary collage of magazine images.
  4. Magazine Drawing: Ask the receptionist if you can use one of the older magazines as a sketch pad. Your child can add their own illustrations to the images in the magazine.
  5. Chair Exercises: Get in a little gross motor movement while sitting in the waiting room. In a seated position have your child place their palms on either side of their upper thighs and try to lift themselves up using only their arms. You can also have your child sit on the edge of their seat and have them lift their legs up and down slowly. This engages the abs and helps them build core strength. It will also test their self-control since your child’s urge will be to swing their legs back and forth quickly. You can also search for more ideas on the web using “seated exercises.”4
  6. Play Charades: Take turns miming different activities (eating ice cream, reading a book, etc.).
  7. Play Categories: Take turns selecting a topic and then work together to make a list of all the things in that category. For example, if you select the topic “Animals,” take turns listing all the animals you can think of. For an extra challenge use a letter of the alphabet as the category subject.
  8. Stack Something: No blocks in sight? Not a problem! Grab cups, pens, magazines, or even appointment cards and start building a tall tower!
  9. Practice with Zippers, Shoelaces, and Buttons: Take advantage of this quiet time by having your child practice their fine motor skills. To make it a little more exciting allow them to practice on your clothing.
  10. Write a Thank You Note: This is a simple but impactful activity! It helps the child recognize the role of the doctor as someone who helps take care of them and not someone who is scary. It also helps your child build a habit of gratitude. Who knows, it may also make your doctor’s day!

Have other great waiting room activities? Please share!

10 Ways to Make your House as Cool as a Children’s Museum

10 Ways to Make your House as Cool as a Children’s Museum!

When a child enters a Children’s Museum, they immediately understand that the space is for them! How? Objects are presented low to the ground, the exhibits are large and colorful, and there are hardly any barriers to prevent them from getting “hands-on.” A children’s museum’s first priority is the learning encounters of the visitor, not on the preservation and protection of the objects. While this means that children’s museums have few, if any, “museum quality” objects, they do present endless hands-on learning opportunities for young visitors.

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Explore! with the National Portrait Gallery – A gallery space dedicated to children.

The common mission in exhibition design for a children’s museum is to create child-centric informal learning spaces. While the themes and subjects may differ, they tend to be large-scale interactive displays that allow children to conduct imaginative play.

You may be saying, “This all sounds great, but I don’t have a children’s museum nearby!” No problem! Here are a few simple ideas adapted from actual children’s museums that can be integrated easily into your home. Remember to embrace the children’s museum philosophy of bigger is better. Large scale spaces for your child to act out their play scenarios are ultimately what makes these museums so magical. You will soon be 10 steps closer to making your home as cool as a children’s museum!

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  1. Large-Scale Light Board

Many children’s museums include a space for light play. Remember the small light up peg board of your childhood? Many children’s museums have super-sized it. While you might not have an exhibition crew to build one for you, you can easily DIY this project! Place a large wine rack in front of your largest window. Next transform water bottles into colorful pegs by putting a few drops of food coloring into the bottle. Then watch as your child spends hours creating patterns and designs while also working on their spatial relations and fine motor skills! No large window? Can’t find a large wine rack? No problem. You can also create your own light table by placing some rope lights in a large storage bin (pro tip: Use a battery-operated strand of lights so you don’t have to plug in the bin. This makes it easy to store and move around to different areas of your house.) While this doesn’t have quite the same “wow factor” it will still be great fun and it can be used with a variety of objects. They will have a great time experimenting with how the light can move through or around various objects.

  1. Water Table

The “splash zone” is always a big draw at a children’s museum. As it should be! Playing with water not only inside, but in a museum? Unheard of! Children’s museums also spice up the water play by creating large scale waterways and adding pumps, fountains, and challenges to the water basin. While building a roaring river in your house is probably out of the budget, try using a large under-the-bed storage tub as your water table. Make sure it is at your child’s standing height. This will prolong their play since they won’t be uncomfortably crouching over the tub and it also invites them to move around the table as they play. You, your child, and the space around you will get wet, so place the tub in an appropriate area. Water tables can be filled with standard boats and buckets but try including things to challenge their play and encourage problem solving. For example, provide toy people and blocks and suggest that the people need to make it across the water without getting wet. Another challenge is to ask your child to create a water path for a boat so that it goes directly from one side of the table to the other. The best part about this table is that the options are endless and can be switched easily to suite your child’s interests!

  1. Grocery Store in Your Kitchen

There is something magical about the grocery store space in a children’s museum. It is often the most popular exhibit in the museum. This is because children love acting out adult scenarios and large-scale spaces in these museums make it feel even more real, rather than just pretend. Recreate this in your own kitchen by keeping clean and sturdy food containers on low shelves for your child to “shop for.” Enhance play by purchasing a small grocery cart or basket and including a checkout lane with a small cash register. Want to get your child involved during dinner prep? Have them “shop” in your kitchen for the ingredients you will need for the recipe. This will also help them understand the value of these items and in turn may make them a bit less wasteful at dinner.

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  1. Tent/Camping Inside

By changing how a space looks you can inspire a whole different type of play for your child. Children’s museums achieve this is many different ways. For example, they might make a forest or even build a car repair shop. For a more budget-friendly option, bring your camping tent inside. Set up a faux fire with logs, battery candles, and tissue paper. Only use lanterns to light the room and turn on nature sounds. For added fun let your child sleep in a sleeping bag and adhere glow in the dark stars to your ceiling for star gazing. Your children will love having a new space and context for their imaginary play!

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  1. Tracks and Roads

Many museums include large train track tables that allow a child to continue building without limits. Why not spend the day doing the same and install train tracks or roads with your child throughout your house? Don’t have enough actual tracks? Draw them! Your child will have a great time problem solving how to get over, under, and through furniture!

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  1. Obstacle Course

Big play is an essential in children’s museums. These often include complicated and expensive play structures that would be impossible to integrate in your home. Instead, create an indoor obstacle course. At SEEC, we often will have obstacle courses than span several classrooms and require the children to practice controlled gross motor movements. Try including tunnels to crawl through, a beam or piece of wood to balance on, hoops to hop in, and a big pillow pile at the end for a safe tumbling space!

  1. Jumbo Blocks: Supersize them!

Large foam blocks are awesome but expensive! They allow your child to actually turn their imaginative structures into 3D life sized forms. As an alternative, upcycle boxes from your recent online orders or stop by a local store to ask for unwanted boxes. Tape down any flaps and let your child’s imagination go wild!

  1. Pipes, Funnels, and Tubes! Oh My!

You can often find large systems of tubes and pipes for your child to build and connect in these museums. These serve as a nice change to traditional block building materials. A quick trip to the hardware store will let you recreate a version of this in your home! Challenge your child by asking them to try and get a small ball from one end of their structure to the other or turn the tubes into musical instruments by providing your child with a stick or small mallet (like the blue man group). Experiment with different lengths to see how the sound changes.

  1. Fan fun!

In some children’s museums, you will find an exhibit exploring the power of air. There are several ways to do this at home. Use a leaf blower to explore which things are light enough to blow away and which things are too heavy. You could also do the same experiment with a large fan. This is a great way to expose your child early to the scientific method. Ask them to ask a question: will X float? Make a prediction aka hypothesis: X will not float and then try their experiment. You could even ask your child to revise their experiment: will X float with less air?

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  1. Mini Museum

Create your own mini museum at the house out of a collection you already own. Does your child love super hero toys? Why not display them in a prominent place in your home and invite your child to work with you to make small labels! They will love seeing their objects honored in a special display and are sure to love giving “tours” to all the visitors in your home.

 

 

 

Top 10 Sensory Bins (Kid Tested, Teacher Approved)

These containers full of tactile materials serve as a wonderful way to explore, refine fine motor skills, and contain mess! They are an especially great indoor activity during these cold winter months. There are specifically manufactured “sensory bins”, but you can easily use a storage tub of any size to achieve the same goal. When you Google or search on Pinterest for “sensory bin” you will encounter an overwhelming number of options. How does one possibly choose? We are here to help! Our teachers have tested quite a few and the options listed below are some of our favorites. Many of these ideas can be modified for older or younger children.

  1. Polar Sensory Bin

Embrace the cold! There is something extra magical about bringing snow inside! Your children will watch with wonder as this solid becomes a liquid. Provide snow gloves to prolong the play. No snow? You could also fill the bin with water and add floating icebergs which can be easily created by freezing water in small containers. If available, you could also add small polar animals. Want to take it one step further? Conduct a quick experiment on the benefits of blubber as an insulator by placing a large amount of vegetable shortening, lard, or butter in a bag and molding it around your child’s hand (Pro-tip: use a second bag or rubber glove to protect your child’s hand from grease before molding it with “blubber.” This will reduce the mess!).

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2. Gelatin Bin

The tactile experience of gelatin is very satisfying! It is also safe to taste so it provides excellent sensory material for infants. While it will always be sticky, you can purchase the unscented/unflavored variety so there is less of an appeal to eat it. You can hide all kinds of items for your child to discover in this goopy material.

3. Fire Extinguisher Bin

Have a future firefighter in the house? Create flames with construction paper and then either laminate or place them in water tight bags. Then provide your child with a squirt bottle full of water to “put out” the flames. Enhance the experience by allowing your child to dress up as a fireman or woman.

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4. Bubble Bin

There are few things better than bubbles! By using some dish or hand soap create a car or toy wash. This is a fun way to involve your child in chores. Be sure to closely monitor this activity since many soaps are not child safe.

5. Gardening Bin

Gardening can easily be brought indoors with a sensory bin. Fill the container with organic soil and bring inside some of your child-safe tools (small dull trowel, watering can, pots, buckets, etc.). You could also include plastic vegetables or flowers for your child to plant or harvest! Ready to get messy? Add some water to your bin and watch together as the dirt quickly turns to mud!

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6. Colored Spaghetti Bin

Spaghetti is an especially great sensory material for toddlers who want to put everything in their mouths. Jazz it up by boiling it in colored water! With younger children you can even allow them to sit and stand in the material. To extend the play with older children provide them with safety scissors to practice cutting.

7. Archaeology/Paleontology Bin

Children of all ages love digging up treasures! Fill the tub with child safe sand and hide dinosaurs, plastic bones, or even mummies. Use the same tools as real excavators such as toothbrushes, paint brushes, sifters, buckets, and trowels to uncover the hidden items.

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8. Leaf Bin

Just raked your yard? Fill your sensory bin with leaves! You can also include acorns (for older children), pine cones, and even small sticks. Enhance play by providing your child with tongs and a magnifying glass.

9. Bioluminescence Bin

Bioluminescence is the light created and emitted by a living organism. This big scientific word can easily be explored in your sensory bin. Fill the tub with water and black washable paint (Pro-tip: do not use food coloring! It will dye your child’s hands) until the water becomes murky and opaque. Then throw in some glow sticks and allow your child to go “fishing” for bioluminescent organisms. Include some non-glowing “fish” to extend the fun.

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10. Sensory Panels

We are breaking the rules a little with this “bin” since,  in fact, it is not a bin at all. Create sensory panels by removing the glass or plastic from a variety of frames and fill them with tactile materials. You can use anything that you think your child would be interested in (safely) touching (our favorite is a piece of a high pile bath mat). These framed sensory materials are great because they can be placed on the floor for infants to explore during tummy time or hung for toddlers to touch while stretching their legs! The hanging aspect also allows for easy storage and can even provide a fun decoration for your child’s room.

20 Teacher Approved Gifts For The Holidays

Looking for holiday inspiration? Want to give a unique present and need help thinking outside the box? We’ve got you covered. Here are few gift ideas inspired by kid favorites in our classrooms. There are a variety of price points and some of these gifts can easily be picked up during your routine errands.

  1. Library Card

Most public libraries will allow you to open a card in your child’s name. Providing your child with their own card will create a sense of pride and ownership. Bonus: it will also help remind children to take good care of their books.

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  1. Train Ride

Have a transportation obsessed child? Why not take them on a short (or long) ride on a real train!

  1. Locks and Latches Board

These DIY boards are a great way for your child to get some fine motor practice, keep them occupied for hours, and allow them to safely play with latches and switches without risk of harm.

  1. Cooking Tools

Cooking tools that you would find in your own kitchen are often fast favorites for children. These items are particularly popular and safe for kids: spatulas, metal bowls, sifters, whisks, and pans. Keep these in a lower kitchen cabinet so that your child can easily pull them out to “help” you cook dinner!

  1. Linking Blocks

Blocks are wonderful! They allow for all types of gross motor, fine motor, and problem solving skills to develop. Our teachers especially love ones that connect, either by snapping together or sticking together with magnets.

  1. Slime/Playdough

This easy DIY item is always a favorite in any classroom. Children love the sensory experience and teachers love the endless possibilities of this fine motor activity.

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  1. Tunnels

Fun for all ages, tunnels are a great indoor, gross motor play activity. Having trouble making transitions? Use a tunnel as a physical reminder that you are changing from one activity to the next.

  1. Scooter Boards

These flat boards with four wheels can be purchased at a toy store or even a hardware store (they are listed as furniture movers). They require both arm and leg coordination and can be a great inside option for movement.

  1. Drawing Implements

There is nothing quite like a new box of crayons, pencils, or markers to inspire creativity in a young (or old) child.

  1. Water Toys

Make bath time more fun with water “toys” that can be found at the local grocery or hardware store. Some of our favorites include large sponges, funnels, turkey basters and buckets.

  1. Exercise Trampolines

Looking for more big movement activities for indoor play? This is your answer! There are small trampolines made specifically for children that include a bar or you can also use an exercise trampoline. Exercise trampolines usually have covers over the springs but do need some extra adult supervision.

  1. Scarves

Scarves are a wonderful gift that can transform into so many different things for all ages. Have a child that loves to pull wipes or tissues out of the box? Transform an old wipe container by filling it with scarves. Want to spice up your changing table? Hang colorful scarves from the ceiling to keep your child mesmerized through the process. Jazz up a song by including movement with scarves.

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  1. Disposable Cameras

In a world of instant gratification this gift will teach your child patience and the art of film photography! It will also provide you with a look at the world through their eyes.

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  1. Puppet Stages

There are few children who can resist a stage. Promote dramatic play by providing your child with a platform for their performances.

  1. Dress Up Clothes

Let your child’s imagination run wild with dress up clothes. We especially love including clothes from all different professions. When a child acts out scenarios in pretend play they are developing important social and problem solving skills.

  1. Books

Continue to foster your child’s love of reading by giving them new books. Even at a very young age a child is developing pre-reading skills and should be exposed regularly to text even before they are able to read it themselves.

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  1. Tricycles

There is always a mad dash on the playground for tricycles and bicycles. Teachers love them because they require coordination and gross motor strength from the child.

  1. Steps

These could lead to nowhere and still be endless fun for a young, active child. Especially in their toddler years, they are always on the move! This is a great gift to help them safely explore and practice stairs.

  1. Magnifying Glasses

Encourage close looking with this gift! It will give children a new perspective on things they encounter in their everyday lives.

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  1. Seeds

Have a picky eater? A great way to get your child excited about trying their vegetables is to get them started at the beginning of the process. Provide them with some seeds and a small space to garden and see the wonder in their eyes as their plants appear!

Did we forget something? Share your idea in the comments!