K and I have been spending a lot of time at home lately so I've been brainstorming activities that we can do with things we already have at home. Today I am going to share with you FIFTEEN fun activities that you can do with a blanket and your toddler or preschooler:
1. Peek-A-Boo: Hide your face behind a blanket then pop back into your childs sight. Say "Peek-A-Boo! I See You!" and then do it again. I like to change where I will pop up behind the blanket to keep my toddlers attention. For example, I will pop up above the blanket, then below, then to the right and then to the left. After I've done this a few times I let my toddler have the blanket and hide from me. As your childs vocabulary increases you can say, "Where's (insert name here)?" from behind the blanket and "Here (name) is!" as you lower it. My child never seems to get bored of this activity and giggles heaps whenever we play.
2. Picnic: Lay the blanket on the floor and gather up your childs dolls and stuffed animals. Have a pretend picnic or actually eat your snack or your lunch on the blanket. This is a great activity to encourage imagination and talk about what you might see on an outdoor picnic or even chat with the stuffed animals. It's also great practice on teaching manners.
3. Toddler Swaddle: Lay a big blanket onto the floor and let your child lay down on the blanket with his/her head up near one corner. Fold up the bottom corner and then each side like you would swaddle a baby. Make sure to count, "One, two, three." as you fold the corners in and encourage your child to count along with you. My son likes to pretend to cry and I rock him and he pretends to fall asleep or I burp him and he giggles. This is a great activity to talk about what the blanket feels like and emotions that the baby is feeling. It's also a great role-playing exercise when you are expecting another child.
4. Parachute/ Doll Toss: Collect a few small balls, rolled up socks or some stuffed animals. Start with one object and work up to a few more. Have your child stand on one side of the blanket holding the corners and you stand on the other holding the corners. Move the blanket up and down fast or slow and try to keep the objects on the blanket. It's best to do this activity with a large blanket and a few people. It's also a great opportunity to practice the words, "fast", "faster", "slow", "slower", "high", "higher", "low", "lower" and "stop" with your child.
5. It's Snowing!: This game works the same as parachute/ doll toss except uses ripped up paper instead. Have your child help tear some old newspapers into pieces and place them onto the blanket. Say,"It's snowing lightly." and move the blanket up and down slowly. Say, "It's snowing harder!" and shake the blanket hard so that the paper flies into the air but you can catch it. Say, "It's snowing!" and shake the blanket so that the paper all comes off of the blanket. This is a great activity for learning about the weather and learning to clean up when you are finished!
6. Pitch A Tent or Make A Fort: You will need a large blanket or a few small ones. Drape the blankets over your furniture to make a tent. Give your child a flashlight to play with or round up the dolls and stuffed animals and have a camp out right in your living room.
7. "What Do You See?": Collect a few small toys that your child can name and place them on the blanket. Practice saying the words with your child and then hide them under the blanket. Ask your child, "What's under the blanket?" and as they name the toy take it out from under the blanket and show it to them. This game is difficult for young children but you can help by giving clues. For example, describe what it looks like, what you would use it for, where you would find it or even what sound it starts with.
8. "What's Missing?: Collect a few small toys that your child can name and place them on the blanket. Practice saying the words with your child and then hide them under the blanket. Have your child close his or her eyes and remove one item. Remove the blanket as your child opens his/her eyes and have your child tell you what object is missing. This game is difficult for young children but you can help by giving clues. For example, describe what it looks like, what you would use it for, where you would find it or even what sound it starts with.
9. "What Do You Hear?": Collect a few small objects that your child can name and that make noise. Place them on the blanket and practice saying the words with your child as you demonstrate what noise they each make. Hide the objects under the blanket. Pick an object and make its noise. Without looking, your child can tell you what object they hear. As your child guesses correctly, show him/her the object. This game is difficult for young children but you can help by giving clues. For example, describe what it looks like, what you would use it for, where you would find it or even what sound it starts with.
10. What's NOT Hiding?: This activity is similar to "Peek-A-Boo" but teaches the word "not". Hide a person or a toy behind a blanket. Say the name of something that you aren't hiding. So for example, if you are hiding a teddy bear say, "Where's daddy?". Lower the blanket, act surprised and laugh. Then say, "No! That's NOT daddy. That's a teddy bear!". This activity is great for teaching the concepts of "where" and "not" as well as problem solving.
11. Magic Carpet Ride: Lay the blanket on the floor and let your child sit on the center of the blanket. Pick up two corners and make sure your child holds on tight as you drag the blanket across the floor.
12. Tug-O-War: A small blanket works best for this activity. Roll a blanket up and let your child stand on one end holding the blanket while you stand on the other. Practice pulling the blanket back and forth gently.
13. Dress Up: Blankets are great for dressing up. You can tie them around your child's neck to make a cape or a scarf. Wrap the blanket around your childs head to make a hat. Wrap the blanket around his/her waist to make a skirt. Why not drape the blanket over your child completely and pretend to be a ghost? All you need is a little imagination and you'll have hours of dress up fun with a blanket.
14. Under The Bridge: Line up chairs across from each other and place a blanket or blankets over the seats of the chairs. Place a toy on the other side and show your child how he/she can crawl under the chairs to reach the toy.
15. Row Your Boat: Lay a blanket on the floor and sit down on it. Pretend the blanket is a boat and practice rowing back and forth. You can sing "Row, row row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream!" as you row. For more fun you can add a second verse, "Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. If you see a crocodile don't forget to scream!" On the crocodile line, make a big crocodile mouth by opening and closing outstretched arms. Don't forget to scream at the end of the song!
My son and I have had so much fun this week playing with blankets. His favorite activity is being swaddled. In fact, he loves it so much that I've had to hide the blanket or every time he sees it he proudly announces, "baby" and expects me to swaddle him over and over and OVER again!
Do you have some fun activities that you can do with a blanket that I haven't mentioned? I'd love to hear about them.
Wishing you a fun filled week of blanket play with your child!
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