If your toddler is anything like mine, her attention span for a focused activity is about 3 minutes if it’s a good day!
My goal is to find fun thematic ways to help give my little gal a good background and the beginning learning skills with fun and hands on activities involving sensory play and exposing her to a number of different activities! These may seem sort of simple, but the goal is really to provide about 15 minutes to enrich her day in addition to our regular play, visits to the park, library story hour etc. The goal is just to talk about things, read stories, sing songs, and of course – make a mess! Talk about the colors, count when you can, and just get down and play with your little one! Most importantly, don’t stop yourself from trying things that might be a little tough for your toddler! If you end up being the only one singing, or find yourself being the one sorting out the shapes, it’s totally fine! You are showing your kiddo a great model of what these type of skills and activities look like!
Big brothers went back to school this week, so it was a perfect time to kick our activities off with a school bus theme!
Here are 5 quick and easy bus themed activities for your toddler at back to school time!
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You can finger paint pretty much anything. Just observe your toddler with mashed potatoes at dinner. This activity encourages sensory exploration, color recognition and practice, and vocabulary development!
2. Happy Kids On the Bus- Draw kids on the bus, or place happy stickers on the bus photo. My little one is sticker crazy right now, so this one actually took quite a while… and many many stickers! This is a great tie in to emotions as well as a way to convince her that buses are not just evil yellow tornadoes coming to whisk her brothers away from her.
Don’t forget that good old fashioned coloring is a great way for your kiddo to express their creativity! This one I just give her the (washable) markers and let it go! This is also a great time to mention vocabulary related to parts of the bus (tire/ wheel, window, front, back)
Wheels on the Bus-
Make balls/ tire shapes with black playdough- there is no room for professional detail here. Then match them to the wheels on the buses in the picture. Count as you go!
This kind of activity is awesome for really young kiddos! It helps them to develop categorizing and organizational skills. My 18 month old sorts about 4 at a time, and that’s all her attention span can handle for now, but she loves it! And it is definitely helping to increase her vocabulary!
Don’t forget pretend play! Use a play bus or cars to pretend play. We like to count to three and then roll the car back and forth, count the people figures we put inside, and even drive it down roads made with blocks or playdough (for our small toy car sized)
This is the bus toy that we have! Pink Lil’ Movers School Bus Little People by Fisher-Price (Styles Vary)
We also sing The Wheels on the Bus all week long. (She LOVES the “baby on the bus” part).
If you’d like to try any of these bus themed activities for your little one, here’s a link to the PDF schedule and plans I created to share with you!
And… in case any of you are thinking “How is this ‘winging it?” Well moms, I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you…. I promised you real big messes, so, here is what my kitchen looked like on “Make Playdough” day… as my husband was making homemade chili from the garden, and Ellie entertained herself in the pot and pan cabinet… all in the middle of repainting our downstairs…. the winging it is alive and well! Not to worry 🙂