As a new parent, you probably rely on getting out with your baby to keep your sanity. This winter has been a double-whammy – both the pandemic and the snow have been keeping us indoors more than we’d like.\With a little creativity, inclement weather days are opportunities for both fun and interactive play with your littlest of littles. The Genius of Play, a non-profit initiative whose mission is to raise awareness about the importance of play, shares some tips and ideas:
- Little kids love playing with sensory textures such as paints, slime, sand and foam, and this helps improve fine motor skills. Fortunately, you can now find less messy and sticky versions of these items for a hassle-free cleanup.
- Encourage kids to develop their emotional, creative and communication skills. Maintain a well-stocked costume trunk that they can use for dress-up and have toys on hand to use as props.
- Creating and playing with construction toys can build problem-solving, spatial and fine motor skills.
- Building a safe obstacle course is a fun way to keep little ones active indoors while building core muscles and developing balance. Pick three to five exercises to get their energy out.
- Start them early on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) toys and games. For example, use a science kit to erupt a volcano or code a robot.
- It may not sound like play at first glance, but cleanup can be fun with the right attitude. If you have older babies and toddlers, try putting on music and have your kids dance as they put toys away. Or, make a game of it, racing each other to complete tasks.