As your kids start to reach the ages of three and four, their minds are being constantly stimulated by everything around them. They’ve developed some coordination and motor skills that they are starting to experiment with more. You should encourage activities that sell themselves.
By now, you’ve probably figured out some of the things that your kids really enjoy. They usually have their phases. Ask them to draw you a picture of whatever they are currently obsessed about. Is it a TV show? Is it a certain sport or toy? After they draw it, no matter how bad it is, place it proudly on your fridge or somewhere they can see it. If they’re good with arts and crafts, buy them a kit that they can spend some time working on. Encouragement and reward is good here.
There are puzzles of practically anything you want. You can also find services online that will make a puzzle out of any picture you desire as well. Find something they really enjoy and make puzzle out of it. It’s also best if you can find some time to sit down with them and work on it together. Puzzles really help with shape recognition, problem solving, and coordination.
When I was a kid, I was the master of Lego’s. That’s what people told me, at least. Kid’s love building things where they can put their imagination to work. Lego’s can be a great substitute for puzzles.
It’s amazing how kids are quickly catching on to technology these days. As parents, we should embrace this. There are plenty of apps that work directly with increasing your child’s coordination and recognition of certain objects (colors, animals, etc.). Try to keep them away from apps that do not serve any real purpose.
If it’s a toy that makes them feel older, they are going to love it. Wagons are a great option. If you can get them pushing, pulling, and riding in a wagon, it not only helps their coordination, it helps their motor skills as well. There’s also a toy out there currently called the PlasmaCar that is completely operated by them alone (no motor, no batteries). There’s a whole world of coordination training going on with that toy.
Horseshoes is an inexpensive game that is easy to take advantage of. Teaching them how to calculate distance in their minds while using their hands is powerful. You can also do a beanbag toss as well onto certain targets. One good example is a game called “Cornhole” that involves tossing beanbags into a hole in a box.
Create some space in your house and use anything safe that you can find! You can use blankets, boxes, pillows, big plush toys, and so much more that can make your child’s imagination run wild. You can also switch it up slightly every time they run the course just to keep them guessing. I also like to use blue painter’s tape to as a guide as to where he should be going. It’s fun for me and him.
About the Author: Cristina Butler is heavy contributer to parenting topics and ideas. She also writes reviews for products that helps a child’s coordination like the PlaSmart PlasmaCar and the Step2 Wagon For Two. Follow her on Twitter (@WatchKidsGrow) for great parenting tips and ideas!