A friend of mine has 3 kids, 2 of which are around the same age as my 2 kids. Our older kids go to pre-K in the afternoons now, so we decided we wanted to do something with our 2 year olds while the older kids are in school. We both felt like we had plenty of time to work on things with our older kids while they were the only kids for a while, but our second kids haven’t gotten the same attention from us with learning. After seeing some fun activities on different websites, I have been making trips to the dollar store to get supplies. I’ve already done some fun learning activities with my older daughter, so now it was time to try out some activities for my younger daughter.
Neither of us has a background in early childhood education and we aren’t following any type of curriculum. Our kids are just 2, so we don’t want to push them too hard and we want to have a lot of fun while we learn. We decided we will meet once a week to do some activities together. Today’s focus was on color recognition matching, matching pictures, and the letter A.
The first activity was on color recognition and matching, which was also a sensory activity. For this, I used 2 bags of colored foam shapes from Target dollar section, 2 containers of water bead decorative accents from the dollar store (found in the floral section), a plastic shoe box from the dollar store, and 5 pieces of construction paper. If you aren’t familiar with water beads, according to the container, they are a type of water absorbent polymer that absorbs, stores, and releases water. They are usually used in plant or floral arrangements. It also says they are non-toxic, but we kept a close eye on the kids while they played with these to make sure they didn’t put any in their mouths or left any out on the floor. I put the foam shapes in the plastic shoe box, then poured both containers of water beads in the box.
Then, I laid out construction paper in colors that corresponded with the colors of the foam shapes. The kids then had to dig through the water beads to get the shapes, identify the color, and match it to the paper of the same color.
This activity was a big hit. They loved playing with the water beads, and I have to admit, I thought they were pretty cool too. Of course, for a while, every color was blue but we kept working on it. I think we will do this next week as well, but pick something different to fill the box with instead of water bead. I think we might try bird seed to dig through.
Next, I brought our Curious George Matching game. The night before, I went through and divided the cards by the color of the frames, the red, the yellow, and the blue. That way there weren’t so many cards all at once. So, we took one of the three sets and laid them out picture side up. We tried to take turns, but for the most part, it was just whichever kid found the match first. At first, they weren’t really sure what to do, this isn’t a game either of us has done much with the kids, but after a couple matches, they caught on.
We took a little time out to play outside. Both kids were a little sleepy because they didn’t get much of a nap, so it was hard to get them to focus after playing outside, so the last activity we didn’t push too much. It was to learn about the letter A. I created a coloring sheet with an uppercase and lowercase A, along with pictures of things that start with the letter A. I also brought some items from around the house with the letter A.
I think the first week went really well. We now know about how long we can keep their attention, so I think next week we’ll just do 2 activities, maybe have a 3rd thing planned if we find we have time or they seem like they want to do something else.