Family Fun!

Family Fun Ideas

Family bonding is essential for the developmental growth of children. It does not only encourage stronger relationships, but it helps develop language. Research has indicated that positive parent-child interactions benefits children’s social, cognitive and language development. According to Mary Ainsworth, children who are engaged in a secure parent-child relationship are more likely to be independent, emotionally stable, and have trust. Some activities that foster family bonding include going on vacation, museum weekends, and going to the zoo. Family bonding can also include simple family activities that can be done at home. Playing ball, baking, making crafts, and playing board games are all easy ways to enjoy time together. The main goal/idea is to bond and interact with your children.

    

Some ideas that can increase family bonding time include making slime or going on a scavenger hunt.

Making Slime

   

 

Making slime is a fun and interactive way to talk to your children. You can ask open-ended questions that can develop their critical thinking skills. As questions such as: How does it feel? What do you think will happen next?

Making slime can be done with stuff at home…

Slime Recipe:

½ cup of glue (clear or regular)

1 teaspoon of Borax or liquid starch

2 measuring cups

water

2 medium bowls

Add food coloring or glitter if desired. Tip: Add food coloring directly to the water.

Procedure:

  1. First, start by pouring 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of Borax into a bowl. Mix together until dissolved.
  2. Next, mix ½ cup of glue and ½ cup of water into the other bowl.
  3. Add the water and borax mixture little by little into the bowl with the glue.
  4. The mixture should start thickening.
  5. Knead it together until you get a slimy texture. It should ooze freely without sticking to your hands too much.

 

Scavenger Hunt Game at the Zoo

   

List your favorite animals onto a list before going to the zoo. This offers a great opportunity to ask children about their favorite animals. Such questions may arise such as what sound does that animal make? What do they eat?

Whatever activity you choose, enjoy and cherish this time with your children. Stay relaxed, smile lots, and truly get to know them.

By: Marbel Torres, CSULA Intern

Moon Sand: A Fun Sensory Experience

During their early years, children engage in a variety of sensory activities. It is through these activities that children’s fine motor skills, among many other areas of development, are enhanced. One type of sensory activity that children often enjoy and have fun with is sand play. Through sand play, children explore their sense of touch and discover new textures. Because it is open-ended, sand play can also be very soothing to children. Children can simply enjoy the texture of sand as they run their fingers through it and also have the freedom to make whatever it is they desire. From pouring sand into buckets to building castles and running cars or plastic animals through it, children gain the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity.

Teachers and parents can encourage children’s involvement in sand play both at school and at home. There are different types of sand that children can play with. One very cool and fun type is homemade Moon Sand (also known as cloud dough). Although there are a variety of ways to make it, moon sand can be made with two simple ingredients: flour and baby oil. By mixing these two ingredients, moon sand not only has a great scent but is also moldable, safe, and fun! Getting children involved in helping make the sand can also be enjoyable for them. Moon sand is an easy activity that parents can do with their children at home and most importantly, it is exciting and lots of fun!

Moon Sand Recipe:

  • 8 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of baby oil
  • If desired, add powder-based colors (i.e. powdered tempera paint or powdered drink mix)

How to make it:

  1. Pour the flour into a large bowl.
  2. Add any powder-based color into the flour and mix it.
  3. Add the baby oil to the flour and mix all the ingredients together.
  4. When the sand feels soft and moldable, it is ready to be used.
  5. Store the moon sand in air-tight container and it should last up to a month (add more baby oil if it dries up.)

Children in Room 4 having fun while playing with homemade moon sand:

moonsand2Author: Adriana Gonzalez, CSULA Child Development Intern

Autumn Activities in Room 5

Nature in the classroom…

Art with leaf printing.
Art with leaf printing.

We gathered fallen leaves from our outdoor classroom and brought them in. We dipped them in different colored paint and pressed them down on our papers to make beautiful leaf (and hand) prints!

Our new sensory table!
Our new sensory table!

Math Foundations and Sensory Experiences…

Room 5 has a new permanent sensory station, currently featuring multi-colored beans with autumn “jewels” and measuring cups. We scooped and poured as we compared and counted the amounts of beans and jewels in our cups.

More fun with our sensory bin... our friends are hard at work!
More fun with our sensory bin… our friends are hard at work!

Our Cozy Campsite….

Complete with forest animals and a glowing fireplace.
Complete with forest animals and a glowing fireplace.

Room 5 also has a new campground theme in our dramatic play center. We are sharing our outdoor experiences in our indoor campsite, learning new vocabulary, and having new experiences like sleeping by a “fireplace” or in a tent! Sitting around the campfire is a great new way to come together as a group.

Don't worry, the bears are friendly here!
Don’t worry, the bears are friendly here!

Even for those who have not had their first genuine camping experience, the indoor campsite is a fun introduction to the concept of camping and being in the wilderness.