LEGO STEM Activities for Preschoolers

Guest post from Dave at YourCub.com

Do you love to play with your children? I know I do. But many of the toys that my preschooler likes to play with will only keep me engaged for a few minutes. You’ll find that the more educational and creative the task or the toy, the longer we as adults are able to play with our little ones without getting bored or distracted. And when parents are engaged in the toy, so are our children. And that’s when they learn the most from us.

Toys are a great way for parents and children to bond because they allow us to talk with one another, understand what each other are thinking and what they are trying to accomplish. And then also how that might be done! There are many times during play where we can talk about our interests and find common ground. This allows us to appreciate our children more and form a stronger bond together.

So in order to enjoy these benefits you need to have engaging and educational toys! One of the most popular toys for people of all ages, both children and adults, is LEGO. Nearly every household has a box of LEGO or maybe DUPLO hiding somewhere! You’ve probably picked up countless LEGO pieces from the floor in your parenting journey. I know I have.

LEGO is so educational that many schools are starting to use it every day in their classrooms. It’s ideal for children who are interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). That’s because LEGO allows children to use their imagination to build pretty much anything they want. 

A simple task like ‘building a bridge’ challenges a child in ways you may not appreciate. They need to think critically and plan ahead. They have to take into consideration a wide variety of issues, like structure, availability of parts, strength of joints. If you can get your child engaged in this type of activity from a young age you can spark their curiosity and possibly impact their future for the better.

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Bing Colouring Pages, and Fun at Home

We all need a little help keeping our kids busy during this stay-at-home period, and Bing has plenty to offer to help out families with this. As well as over 100 episodes available on iPlayer, Emmy award-winning and BAFTA nominated family favourite Bing offers pre-school children and families multiple ways to keep busy and entertained during this stay-at-home period. With activity sheets to download and games to play, Bing is helping families who will be spending more time together at home in the coming weeks. My preschooler is a big fan of Bing, so these have come in handy for us and I hope you find them useful too!

Bing Watch, Play, Learn App

This app is great when you want something fun and educational to entertain your little ones. I have been trying it out with my 3 year old, N, and we loved the variety of content – having multiple games, including colouring activities, memory match, dress up games and more, alongside the video content means that there is plenty included to keep it fresh. I also appreciate that there are no adverts, and the app is very easy to use

Sometimes while her older brothers are all doing online schooling on their laptops, my youngest wants to feel like she can join in too so playing a few educational games like these during that time is really nice for her.

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How to Make Your Own Piñata

Activity and images provided by WAHACA AT HOME

Make your own Piñata

Looking for the perfect way to stop your kids smashing up the house? Here’s our step by step guide to making your own Piñata.

STEP 1: Assemble your equipment

You’ll need

  • flour
  • water
  • newspaper
  • balloons
  • string
  • scissors
  • glue
  • paint
  • tissue paper
  • and lots of treats to put inside!

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Outdoor Garden Play Ideas for Families

Right now we are in unprecedented times, with households across the UK going into our second month of ‘lockdown’ due to the Corona Virus outbreak. This break from the norm can be quite stressful for children – we don’t know when this situation is going to end, when we will see our families and friends again, or what our new ‘normal’ is going to be once the lockdown starts to lift, and that can be a lot to process for little minds.

As parents are trying to juggle working from home, with homeschooling, feeding the family and just getting everyone through the day – the importance of play has never been more vital.

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.” -Charles Schaefer

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Improving Your Child’s Development Through Play

Playing with your child helps with their confidence, development and overall wellbeing. Many parents make the mistake of trying to take the control of how their child plays. However, you should let them experiment with unstructured play, which allows them to go at their own pace and usually revolves around their interests at that moment.

The desire to play starts at toddler age, all the way through to early adulthood, however, babies, toddlers and young children have the instinct to play, which should initially be shaped by parents. As they move through the different phases of their life, the way they choose to play will change. Not all children find it easy to play.

Here’s how you can help your child’s development through play during the different stages of infancy:

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The Best 2 Player Card Games for Keeping Kids Entertained

Entertaining children is one of the toughest tasks. In order to maintain their full attention, they have to be mentally and physically engaged, but the task can’t be too challenging from the get-go. Initiating entertainment and maintaining entertainment is a  challenge, no doubt, but it can be done.

In a time where instant gratification is the norm, many children indulge in screen time as their main source of information. TV, movies, tablets, and video games provide entertainment, but little more. 

Enter card games. These might seem vintage to some, but a simple, two-player card game has just the right balance of physical and mental engagement, while challenging children enough to keep them involved. 

If you’d like to switch out screens for a deck of cards, keep reading. I’ve got a few of the most loved card games that will keep kids entertained, no screens attached. 

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Fun Educational Activities from My Little Learner

I’ve always enjoyed doing fun educational activities with my little ones at home, to help them develop their skills and just as a nice way to spend some calm and quiet quality time together. My Little Learner has a great range of products that make it easy to spend a few minutes doing this with your child, whether that may be helping them to learn to write their name, match their colours, or develop their vocabulary with picture flashcards.

I was sent a few products to try out with my two year old N, and she has had lots of fun exploring these at home.

Name Writing and Matching Mats

With the name writing mat, these are all personalised so of course you order your child’s name but you can choose whether to have first name and last name, or first name only. You can also choose what to have on the back of the mat as they are double sided, and you can choose what design you would like around the edge of the mat.

For N we went for a princess design around the edge, as that fits in with her interests so makes the mat more appealing. The writing mats are all wipe clean, whether you choose a name writing mat, or other mats such as shape writing, pen control with lines to follow (like wavy, zig zags and so on) or an ABC or number writing mat. This makes it easy for your child to practise over and over again without any pressure, as it can be wiped off and re done as many times as they would like. It also saves on paper!

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How to Make Your Own Board Game with Your Child

Board games are meant to provide fun and creativity during playtime, so why not create your own board game. They are one of the great ways to develop social skills in early life. Boards are quite expensive, so it will be cheaper to create one using recycled materials. When designing the board, it is good to consider the age range of the players. The target age influences the game rules and the complexity of the game board. For example, good board games for 6 year olds that are fun to play, both educational and easy to understand are ideal for children.

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Make Your Own Make Believe: 17 DIY Dress Up Clothes for Imaginative Play

Jumping, climbing and running are all important ways for kids to engage in physical play, which is important for developing gross motors skills and promoting other developmental milestones. However, an equally important means for development is through imaginative play.

Imaginative play is essential for children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. This type of play includes make believe games and role plays. Studies have shown that imaginative play improves development across many important areas,such as self-regulation, language skills and problem-solving. Pretending to be different characters also helps kids to experience the lives of others and develop empathy.

You don’t need to spend big bucks to make a big impact. With just a few simple materials, you can create these amazing DIY make believe costumes to keep your kids entertained for hours.

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