The school year is coming up fast, and parents are wondering what skills their preschoolers are going to need. Finding fun things to do with the rest of the summer that actually build skills, not just entertain the troops, isn’t easy, even for occupational therapists. Here are my current favorites:
- Bring out the scissors and the Kumon Paper Playtime books. Check out my post on both the best safe scissors Lakeshore Scissors for Toddlers That Only Cut the Paper, Not the Toddler and these amazingly fun books. Kumon Learn to Cut Books: Paper Truly Worth Snipping Up Your child gets the chance to build two-handed coordination, visual-perceptual skills, manipulation of tape or glue (tape is my fave; no drying time). Pricey, but totally worth it when you follow my instructions for wresting every penny of value out of these terrific books.
- LEGOs and PlusPlus building toys. LEGOs, whether the DUPLO version or the tiny ones, make great creations that inspire imaginative, language-based play if you ask kids to go there. Create a story about what the characters are doing, build them garages, hideouts, etc. PlusPlus Plus Plus Toy Review: This Toy Can Make Your Child Turn Off The Tablet allows kids to make 3-D creations as well, and you can choose between the large and the small size. They are less detailed than LEGOs, so sometimes kids need some help to focus on what they are building ( house or airplane?) but we always like kids to direct their own creative play if they can. Only help if they seem to give up because they can’t figure out how to get started. Great for finger strengthening, grading grasping force and perceptual skills.
- Melissa and Doug coloring pages, sticker pages, Wonder Wow water pen play Water Wow: Summer Pre-writing Fun on the Road, and of course, the Tape Activity Book Melissa And Doug Tape Activity Book Is Reusable Fun. Nice thick paper that doesn’t tear and can be cut easily, fun graphics that inspire stories, and the water pen and tape get all those fingers working! Other than the Water Wow series, the rest require some finger control and are appropriate for kids beginning at the 4 year-old level of coordination and perceptual skills. Water Wow is great for the 3’s, and is fun all the way into the 5’s. Share with your sibs, guys!
Have fun with these, and post a comment with your own favorites!!