I wanted to offer some suggestions for work that you can do at home with what you have on hand. In addition to art and puzzles, providing lots of opportunity for practical life is a great way to keep your child engaged and busy. Most chores are typically very exciting for young children. Believe it or not, they love to be involved in the work of keeping a home orderly! Remember, you do not have to entertain your child all day. They are totally capable of finding work that will keep them happy. Gently enforce rules around safety, and give them some freedom and space to explore. Also, easier said than done, but try not to worry about the mess until later.
Some activities will require some set-up, time and supervision, though after some observation, you might note that your child can handle the activity fairly independently. If so, you can set up any of the following works in your kitchen, living room or outdoor play area, letting your child know that the work will live there and they can access it anytime they choose. Of course, don’t forget to remind them, because they know, an important part of the work cycle is cleaning up when they’re done!
Most of these activities are self-explanatory, but I’ll provide some examples of this work over the next few weeks via Instagram for inspiration. Have fun!
- Pouring beans, rice, sand, or other dry materials between containers
- Pouring water between containers
- Transferring objects between containers using a spoon, ladle, sifter, tongs, or any other kitchen utensil
- Preparing a snack for themselves and others
- Whisking water and dish soap in a large bowl to make bubbles
- Sweeping with a hand broom and dustpan
- Scrubbing tables, chairs, floors, or other surfaces
- Washing toys or vehicles
- Dusting shelves or plants
- Sort recycling
- Load and unload the dishwasher or washing machine
- Fold small towels or washcloths
- Flower arranging
- Any kind of food prep – slicing, chopping, peeling, mashing . . .
- Dishwashing (can be done in a small tub on the floor)
- Putting on and taking off socks, shoes, sweaters, pants, etc.
- Hanging clothes on hangers and putting them away
- Feeding, watering, and brushing pets
- Window washing
- Raking leaves, watering lawn or garden, weeding, planting, digging holes