Our guest blogger Sheryl, of Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds, brings us some active play ideas and indoor activities for kids to enjoy on rainy days!
Kids have a lot of energy and need to use their large motor muscles to burn some of it. But what to do when the weather isn’t cooperating and time outdoors is limited?
Our preschool makes sure to have indoor activities accessible so that we can redirect that energy in a positive way. Usually we have access to a large indoor gym, but sometimes we are limited to a hallway or even just our classroom.
We need a variety of large motor toys that will work indoors in large and small spaces. Toys that get kids moving. Toys that encourage children to play with each other. Toys that can be part of active games.
Ball play strengthens hand-eye coordination and works fine and large motor skills. Toddlers often start by rolling and kicking the ball, but eventually they will learn to outstretch their arms so they can actually catch a ball.
We work on ball tossing by providing bins the balls can be thrown into. Small indoor basketball hoops work well, too.
Often we will have a group of children stand in a line on one side of the gym, each with a ball. When told to go, they will run and kick their balls until they get to the other side.
Once toddlers and preschoolers learn how to roll a playground ball, they are ready to use smaller balls. Our children love rolling balls into something, so they were so excited when we introduced the Giddy Buggy Bowling Set.
One child would carefully line up the pins, counting them while doing so. Another child would then roll the small bowling ball, aiming for the pins. There were lots of cheers when the pins were knocked over!
Games like this encourage teamwork as the children work together.
Another fun indoor activity is tossing bean bags. These are actually easier for younger children to handle. They are less frustrating than balls because they cannot roll away.
Once toddlers have a feel for tossing bean bags, they are ready to throw them towards a target.
Preschoolers can actually play games with bean bags, working on a variety of learning skills. The Dilly Dally Target Game not only works the large and fine motor muscles, but also strengthens simple math skills. The children would call out a number and then aim the bean bag so it would land on that number.
Want to see more ideas? Head on over to Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds’ Fun Indoor Rainy Day Activities!
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