When the weather is nice, it’s so easy to put away the tablet, turn off the tv, and head outside. However, when it’s cold, gray, and nasty outside, it feels almost impossible to not rely on screen time to entertain your preschooler. They’re bored and grumpy, and they’re tired of playing with their current toys and books.
At our Raleigh preschool, we want to keep kids active, learning, and engaged, and we know you want the same for your little ones. That’s why we want to share some fun, simple activities you can use to replace screen time until the weather warms up.
We’re not recommending you let your child color all over the walls themselves, but with a roll of butcher paper and some tape, your preschooler can create a huge mural. Whether you want to roll it out across the floor, or you want to hang the paper on the walls, this provides your child with a great opportunity to think outside the coloring book.
Bubbles are associated with summer and outdoor fun, but there’s really no reason they can’t be fun for inside play, especially if you lay down a blanket or sheet to prevent the floor from getting slippery or sticky.
Make strong bubbles that are fun to pop with this recipe:
- 3 cups of water (distilled if you have it, but tap is fine!)
- 1/2 cup of dish soap (less if using “ultra”)
- 2 tbsp of corn syrup
Slowly stir the soap into the water, avoiding making foam, then stir in the corn syrup. Gently stir until it is mixed together and pour into a bottle you can easily re-seal. Use plastic straws as a bubble blower, or pour the solution into a shallow pan and use a slotted spoon or spatula as a simple bubble wand.
Indoor Beach Party
If you can’t pack up and head to Carolina Beach or the Outer Banks, make your own impromptu beach party right in your living room! Everyone gets dressed up in beach gear – swimsuits, sandals, and sunglasses (floaties optional) – turn on some summertime jams, spread out a beach blanket or beach towels, and get ready to party!
Add life to the party with:
- Pool noodle “sword” fights, or for less aggressive play, see who can balance a pool noodle in their palm for the longest time.
- Beach ball volleyball (sit-down version for safety!)
- Use kinetic sand or homemade cloud dough (just mix 4 cups of flour with 1 cup of vegetable oil, olive oil, or baby oil) to build sandcastles
- Picnic lunch
Preschool-aged kids LOVE scavenger hunts, and they are so versatile, too! You can create a simple list of household items that are easy to find throughout the house (that won’t lead to a making a mess of emptied drawers and cupboards!) such as a boot, toothbrush, and a can of soup. However, you can also use this as an opportunity for learning with these themed ideas:
- Color-themed hunts
- Items that start with specific letters
- Items that explore different descriptions, such as something smelly, shiny, large, small, hard, or soft.
- Items related to a favorite movie or book
Clean Out Your Pantry
No, we don’t mean actually have your preschooler help you clean out the pantry! At our Raleigh preschool, we use food in a lot of activities for some fun sensory play and arts and crafts projects. You can use macaroni or other shaped pasta to make necklaces, while dried beans and pasta can be glued onto paper and painted with watercolors to create a 3-d picture.
Preschoolers who love to play in the sand in the summer may find a sensory bin soothing and fun. To make one, get a storage bin, such as a Rubbermaid box the size of a shoebox or larger, and fill it half-way with dry rice, beans, oats, or even wholewheat flour. Then supply funnels, scoops, plastic animals, magnetic letters, toy cars, or other preferred items, and let them dig around and play!
Schedule a Tour of Primary Beginnings
If you feel your child would benefit from a Raleigh preschool that provides an excellent preschool curriculum through play and discovery, schedule a tour with us! We have two 5-star locations where children get to learn, grow, and make friends in a supportive setting. Contact our Spring Hills location at 919-790-6888 or our North Hills center at 919-785-0303 to learn more or schedule a tour today!