Developmental Activities You Can Do With Your Preschooler or Toddler

Category: Kids

Age Journey Infant Program
Use these activities to help your child improve their development in areas of fine motor, gross motor, and problem solving.

Preschool Activities

  • Anytime your child is getting dressed, try to encourage your child to practice with buttons and zippers. You could play a game of Peekaboo with the buttons to demonstrate how buttons go through the holes. You could also pretend the zipper is a choo-choo train going up and down the track!
  • While cooking or eating dinner play the “more or less” game! Ask your child who has more fruit and who has less. Also try this with same-sized glasses filled with milk or juice.
  • Play the “guess what will happen” game with your child to develop problem solving and thinking skills. For example, “What would happen if you turned on the hot and the cold water in the bath at the same time?” or “What could happen if I stack the blocks to the top of the ceiling?”
  • Play a picture guessing game. Cover a picture in a familiar book with a sheet of paper and uncover a little at a time until your child is able to guess the picture!

Infant/Toddler Activities

  • Tape a large piece of drawing paper to a table. Show your baby how to scribble with large nontoxic crayons. Take turns making marks on the paper. It is also fun to paint with water.
  • Enhance listening skills by playing both slow and fast music. Songs with speed changes are great. Show your child how to move fast or slow with the music.
  • Your toddler may use single words for questions, such as “juice” when he wants a drink. Help him stretch his sentence by saying it for him: “Would you like some juice?” “Say, I want juice, please.”
  • Let your baby “help” during daily routines. Encourage your baby to “get” the cup and plate for mealtime, to “find” shoes and mittens for dressing, and to “bring” the pants or diaper for changing. Following directions is an important skill for your baby to learn.
  • Practice with your child on following directions. Play a game where you ask your child to do 2 or 3 silly things in a row. For example. “touch your nose and then run in a circle.”
  • Hang a long, brightly colored ribbon or scarf loosely around your neck. When you lean over to change baby or pick her up, let her reach out and touch the ribbon. Sit and talk about what your baby is doing.
  • Give your child a riding toy with pedals. It will help him control the movement of the toy and strengthen his legs. Later they will enjoy riding a tricycle with pedals.
-Dr. Jenna Edlund, PhD