August 31

Activities for 3-5 year olds

The following are suggestions of activities you can do with your child to develop gross motor skills. They are aimed at 3-5 year olds, but since this is a wide range, you should adapt them according to your child’s proficiency.

1. Play with a large ball. Encourage your child to kick the ball, using one foot and then the other. Then throw and catch it too.
2. Encourage your child to ride a bike, a push bike or pedal bike with or without side-wheels, according to your child’s ability.
3. Play “Simon says – do this.” Say those words and do an action that your child must copy. When you say “Simon says do that” she must NOT do the action.
4. To teach your child spatial relations. Ask her to stand in front of a chair, behind a chair, next to the chair, on top of the chair and crouch under the chair.
5. To develop her sense of laterality, let your child kneel on the floor, then instruct her in turn to lift her left hand, lift her right leg etc.
6. Tell your child that she must be your shadow and mimic all your actions as your walk about and perform simple actions.
7. Learn action songs and perform the actions as you sing them.
8. Ask your child to imitate the movement of different animals: creep like a snake, waddle like a duck, hop like a rabbit etc.
9. Encourage her to balance first on one leg, then on the other for as long as possible.
10. Ask your child to gallop like a horse.

August 30

Improve focus and concentration

Strategies for improving focus and concentration

  1. Games such as this: Parent says, “I went to the market and bought an apple”. Child adds, “I went to the market and bought and apple and a banana.” Then add one more item at a time and see how many a child can remember in one go.
  2. Take 10 items on a plate/on a desk and let the child see them for1 minute. Then ask the child to turn around and take one item away. Can he/she remember the missing item? OR cover it up with a cloth and see how many items the child can recall.
  3. Play “Simon Says” to improve listening and concentration skills.
  4. Play ‘Memory’ with playing cards or colored cards, or flashcards with sight words or letters on them. Open two at a time to find matching pairs.
  5. Play ‘Snap’, and use playing cards to find matching pairs.
  6. Play ‘I Spy’ to improve observation and memory.
  7. Ask the child to look at a picture for a minute or so, and take it away. Ask child to reproduce the picture and match the details. A good way to do this is to use geometric shapes and increase complexity by adding lines, arrows, dots, etc.
  8. ‘Patterning’: show the child a pattern made from coins, geometric shapes or any handy objects around the house. Ask them to see it for a few seconds, cover and ask them to make the same pattern.
  9. Crossword and picture puzzles are a great way to improve their focus and attention to detail.