As part of your parenting role, you may be planning an outdoor activity or an experience for your toddler with an eye to make it a special occasion for her. With some added effort from your end, this experience may be enriched with age-appropriate sensory-motor, and related activities.
Here is a sample experience of planning a trip to the zoo for a toddler aged 28 plus months – age-appropriate activities to enrich the sensory-motor skills, vocabulary, and memory skills of toddlers are outlined, keeping in mind the zoo environment.
- Familiarise your child to a preferred animal from the zoo, and outline its characteristics and food habits. Use pictures and a small talk session for this purpose.
- Make a list of select activities targeting sensory, motor, memory and language skills or any other skill, keeping in mind the zoo environment.
Examples of motor exploration
- Running, rolling, jumping, stomping on the grass. Clapping and picking up attractive pebbles or fallen leaves can be other choices.
- If possible playing and socialising with other children at the zoo.
Examples of sensory exploration
- Walking on dry leaves and crushing them with hands as well.
- Running barefoot on soft green grass and running the fingers through them.
- Listening for and imitating sounds made by birds or animals.
- Counting two to three objects that have the same colour, for instance, green or red colour.
- Encourage your toddler to follow important safety rules especially at crossings within the zoo and close to animal enclosures.
- Repeat whenever required.
- Offer the listed experiences to your toddler as and when possible. Avoid an overdose.
- Warn the toddler five minutes before it is time to go home.
At an opportune time at home, on the same day, ask a few questions to your child about what he enjoyed, liked and disliked at the zoo. Prompt her if necessary. This will help you know your child better and plan your next trip accordingly.
Little children explore and discover the world through their senses and motor skills. As a mum you can offer many planned activities and experiences to enrich many of your child’s developmental skills. Your consistency in offering these valuable experiences will aid your child in stepping confidently into the next developmental level.