Turn on the morning radio and you’re likely to hear this typical Singapore weather report: “Expect a high of 32 degrees Celsius and a thunderstorm in the afternoon.”
Indoor play is inevitable for our little ones, so to help keep rainy afternoons fun and engaging for them, here are four rainy day activities for preschoolers as recommended by Kirsti Hitz-Morton, Nursery and Preschool Assistant Head at the Early Years Centre at the Australian International School. These activities facilitate important life skills like creative thinking, language, and fine and gross motor skill development. Let’s dive in, mama!
- Shape sorting (cognitive skills): Who knew sorting the laundry could improve math abilities? Let your toddler organise the sock drawer or practise matching pairs of shoes, thinking about size, counting, and sorting by colour. Ask questions like “Are there more blue socks than red? Let’s count!” or “Are the yellow shoes larger than the brown shoes?”
- Obstacle Olympics (movement): Fort building is an all-time classic rainy day activity, now take it up a notch by creating obstacle courses with chairs, tape lines, cushions, tables and more so munchkins can practise going over, under and into spaces, along with balancing, hopping, crawling, and other large muscle movements. Consider playing your kiddo’s favourite tunes to make this activity even more energising, mama!
- Mirror me (understanding emotions): Frustration is a big part of toddler life, but especially when they have to stay indoors. It’s a good opportunity for labelling emotions, however, so littlies can learn to react appropriately and properly acknowledge their frustrations. Try using mirrors to make faces and then label the emotions (“Show me your angry face. Good job, you look really mad!”), then talk about how to appropriately work through them.
- Everyday object exploration (sensory play): Any parent could tell you that little ones seem to prefer everyday household objects over even the flashiest of actual toys – imagination at its finest! Young learners love discovering unusual shapes and textures – be sure to check out our top 10 list of items below. All sorts of safe, inexpensive play materials can be recycled from objects lying around the house!
- Also make sure to download this AIS recipe for homemade play dough, mamas: sculpting and handling these different types of materials allows toddlers to develop fine motor muscles (used to control the hands, fingers and thumbs), which all help with drawing, writing and all sorts of other activities essential to preparing children for the classroom.
There you have it, mamas! Many afternoons’ worth of rainy day activities sorted for you and your little one. Bear in mind that in order to learn and grow, littlies need time, space and freedom. This sort of purposeful play is at the core of AIS’s Early Years Centre curriculum, enabling children to gain confidence, independence and a sense of natural inquiry.
Want to find out more about the importance of play, mama? Be sure to visit the next AIS Open House on 8 May, or book a personal tour.
Australian International School, 1 Lorong Chuan Singapore 556818
(+65) 6883 5155, www.ais.com.sg
Australian International School Pte Ltd is registered by the Council for Private Education. CPE Registration Number 199204405H. Period of Registration 6 July 2011 to 5 July 2015.