Winter here in Winnipeg is cold and seems to go on forever.  So what’s a mom to do to keep her little one occupied?  Simple! Just crack open the cupboards and let them play!  No, I don’t necessarily mean the pots and pans or the Tupperware, although both are great options.  We like messy play over here, so of course we are in the pantry.  This really simple activity bought us a playdate, two happy babies, and about 45 minutes of play and exploration that didn’t require too much baby proofing.

We used a drop cloth (plastic tablecloth from the dollar store) to contain the mess, some construction paper, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and two drops of food colouring per container. 

Sweetened Condensed Milk Finger Paint

Valentine Heart Symmetry Painting for Preschoolers

Painting with toddlers and preschoolers is really, really hard, even in the good times, but they love nothing more than seeing how the streak of a brush changes a piece of paper. This is a pretty simple way to bring paint into your artful home. 

Transition activities are key to a successful dance class or early childhood program. Not only will they help you move from one activity to another seamlessly, transition activities can be your most powerful classroom management tool as they keep the momentum of the class moving forward and ensure that young children remain focused and engaged. Remember, idle time opens the door for distractions and off task behaviors.

Clean Up:

Clean up time can be very difficult for some young children. They may not want to give up the prop or toy they have been exploring which can cause distress. By establishing a positive routine, clean up time becomes a fun activity within itself.

During clean up time try to sing the song below until all props/toys have been put away. Some children can be very enthusiastic and want to clean up all the props leaving others without any which can lead to hurt feelings. Be sure to indicate how many of each item you want each child to clean up before singing the song. For example, “Can all my dancing friends pick up one hula-hoop from our obstacle course? That way we all get a turn!”  By giving the tots and kids control over the situation you are empowering them.