Recently, I had the privilege to visit and work with an amazing team of child care professionals at the Atlanta Children’s Shelter in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta Children’s Shelter provides free, quality child care, emotional support, an educational curriculum for homeless children ages newborn to 5 years, and focused social services for families. They address the entire family and provide all services free of charge in return for the family’s commitment to self-sufficiency as well as their commitment of time and energy. This shelter has cared for over 8,000 homeless children and provided services for more than 5,000 homeless families in the last 30 years! It is an incredible program!
They are always in need of supplies, especially diapers and wipes! If you would like to support this amazing organization or find out more information, contact: Atlanta Children’s Shelter P.O. Box 54322 Atlanta, GA 30308 www.acsatl.org
One of the results of our afternoon in-service training was a list of ideas, for activities for parents to interact with their children that required no supplies (or items they would readily have available). Look below for ideas!
Pictures of Atlanta Children’s Shelter:
Take a look at the activity ideas below! These are activity ideas for your family to enjoy. Simple, quick, easy, fun and memory making… all the ingredients for busy parents! Have fun today, repeat tomorrow and the next day and the next… do something special every single day with your children, even if it is just for a few minutes! You will create a beautiful set of memories, increase effective communication and build strong family bonds! Its a win-win idea!
What can we do today?
Infant/Toddler Activities for adults and children to share
¨ Make funny faces and sounds.
¨ Look each other in the eye, and SMILE!
– Share a hug!
¨ As you eat dinner, CHAT! No electronic distractions. It’s ok to have a one way conversation. They are listening.
¨ It is not too early to start reading/tell stories to your child! Read a book, create your own story or tell a story from your childhood. READ, READ, READ! This simple daily activity will reap a magnitude of benefits for your child intellectually and relationally!
¨ Sing a song. Make up your own words and tunes, if you want.
¨ Point out and identify things around you. Ex. Round, blue plate
¨ Finger Plays: Itsy, Bitsy Spider, This Little Piggy Went to Market, etc.
¨ Scrunch up a sock inside itself to make a ball. Roll the “sock” back and forth or let your child put the sock in a container, and then take it back out.
¨ Feel different textures—hard, soft, furry, rough, smooth, etc.
¨ Provide faces to look at. A paper plate face or photos of people in their lives.
(photo source unknown)
Remember, infants and toddlers learn by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling…using all 5 senses.
Be safety conscious at all times!
What can we do today?
Preschool activities for adults and children to share.
¨ SMILE! With eye to eye contact.
– Share a HUG!
¨ Encourage— Tell each other something that they do well. Make a list of strengths.
¨ As you eat dinner, CHAT! No electronics, or other distractions.
¨ Read, Read, Read! Read a book, signs, words around you, etc. Reading has great benefits to a child intellectually and relationally!
¨ Storytelling – create your own story or tell a story from your childhood. Kids love this!
¨ Mirror Image– stand face to face and “mirror” the actions and facial expressions of the person you are looking at.
¨ Shadows– using a lamp, flashlight or the sun, create shadows.
¨ Sounds Count—close your eyes. Count how many sounds you hear. Hold up a different finger for every new sound.
¨ I See, I See—one person silently finds an object. Others guess what it is. Respond “hot” if the guess is close and “cold” if is far away from the object.
¨ Build a Story– someone starts. Take turns continuing the story.
¨ Pack a Suitcase– Say, “I am going on a trip and I am going to take… “ The next person repeats what you said and adds their own item. Keep repeating from the beginning.
¨ Funny Faces– make silly faces and laugh together!
¨ Letter Day—Each new day assign a letter. Then look for things that start with that letter. Ex. “F” Fun, First Friday of Fall making Fish Faces ,Fist puppets and playing with our Feet.
¨ Fist & Finger Puppets grab a pen and create puppets! Put on a puppet show and talk in silly voices.
(Photos by Hidden Splendor)
¨ Question of the Day– start, or end, each day with a question everyone answers. Start with simple questions and work up to deeper questions. Ex. Favorite… color, food, toy, season, animal, vegetable, etc. What do you like to do best? What are you afraid of? Run out of questions? Let your kids think of ideas. Everyone in the family answers the questions, not just the kids! Learn about each other , develop effective communication skills and develop trust. Time spent communicating now, when children are young will be a great advantage when the children reach adolescence. If you have learned how to chat about the little things, when big things come along communication lines will already be open!
¨ My child’s favorite color is?______________________________________
¨ My child’s favorite snack is?______________________________________
¨ My child’s favorite activity is? ____________________________________
Always remember…Play is a child’s work! That is how they grow and learn.
Provide great play opportunities for your children!
Find more ideas in the book, Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes: Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share by Becky Baxa https://hidden-splendor.com/books/miraculous-magical-moments-in-minutes/, as well as Hidden Splendor’s Pinterest boards. https://www.pinterest.com/hiddensplendor/ A NEW Pinterest board for Kids-Infant/Toddler Activities was recently added. Check it out!