Developmental Games for Children: Infant to Pre-School
From the time a baby is born, it is very important for a child’s development to have good stimulation both physically and mentally. Many parents, nannies, and care providers in general are always looking for creative, fun, and educational activities to do with their children. Here are some fun age appropriate activities that can be done with children to keep them engaged and active throughout the day and to enhance their development.
Play with a variety of safe household materials – Tupperware containers, boxes, large empty spools. Also singing to an infant, playing music, musical instruments and moving the infant's hands to music is a great way to interact with them. Additionally hanging a colorful mobile over the crib, placing pictures and photos where the baby can focus on them, and playing sound games with infants, such as using rhyming words when talking to them. Dancing together is also a wonderful bonding activity to do with a baby.
18 month to 4 years
At this stage children are progressively better with hand and eye coordination. Give them opportunities to develop this coordination by allowing them to draw with water-based paints, with chalk, and with crayons. Toddlers also can develop their creativity by pasting, tearing, cutting, printing, modeling with clay or play dough, or working with various materials to create collage. For older children, experimenting with fabric, tie dye, batik, printing, and simple woodwork are great activities. Furthermore, fantasy play and playing pretend games, using flash cards and encouraging them to recognize familiar objects, shapes, numbers, colors, letters, etc. is a great way to get your child to think, imagine and encourage creativity.
Preschoolers can use the same materials as toddlers but can use them in more complex ways. By age five, many children start drawing recognizable objects. By age six, they are usually interested in explaining their art works. They also like to read, tell stories and can make books of their stories, including drawing pictures to accompany the writing. At this age fantasy play becomes more complex. Preschoolers often direct each other on what to do or say as they play "Let's pretend." Play is a critical part of developing creativity, both indoors and outside.
Keywords: Creative activities for infants and toddlers
Photo credits: Intelligent Nest, LLC and Dog Paw Print