On the Go Activities for Little Ones

brought to you by the experts at Susan Cohn & Associates

By Joanne Cohn-Gilletly July 17, 2018

If you have a kid under the age of 5, chances are you have a sidekick for the majority of your errands and daily chores.  Utilize the times you spend together by turning ordinary tasks into learning experiences.  Print this list.  Share it with caregivers and grandparents.

Driving in the car. 

  • Talk about Safety (seatbelts, cross walks, careful driving)
  • Name colors on signal lights and what those colors mean
  • Talk about the direction you are driving
  • Read bumper stickers and license plates
  • Name parts of a car/truck
  • Read street names and highway signs
  • Look at a map of town, city, state, nation
  • Name parts of a street (curb, pavement, bridge, off ramp)

Sorting Socks from the Laundry Basket

  • Discuss size, color, shape, design, texture
  • Discuss meaning of inside out
  • Put them in piles for each family member
  • Big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest
  • Use describing words like large, wide, long, thick, thin, soft, fuzzy
Grocery Shopping
  • Talk about where the food comes from
  • Talk about the size, shape, weight of products
  • Have your child help: push the cart, put items in the cart, count items iin the cart, name colors on packages, see how the store is divided (dairy, meat, frozen foods, etc), name the numbers seen on the shelves, say the names of prices on products, name vegetables, fruits, meats
  • Watch how the cash register works, see how you pay
  • See how groceries are bagged
Then help put the Groceries Away!
  • Divide items into things that go: in the freezer, refrigerator, cupboard, sink, bathroom, linen closet, etc.
Take a walk
  • Move different ways; swing arms, jump hop, skip
  • Name plants, flowers, insects
  • Talk about the difference between plants and animals
  • Watch the clouds
  • Talk about the seasons
  • Talk about the clothing we wear on warm and cold days
  • Collect leaves
  • Feel the breeze, listen to the sounds, smell the smells, feel the earth
  • Watch a sunset

Water play

  • Talk about: waves, bubbles, temperature, feel, color, taste, amount, weight, sounds
  • Encourage child to discover objects that float
  • Play with: plastic cups, spoons, glasses, wooden spoons, spool, small pot, dish cloth, soap, bubbles, sponge
In a Restaurant
  • Talk about the names of plates
  • Explain unusual names of foods
  • Encourage your child to thank the employee
  • Talk about the names of the workers
  • Explain the reason for the tip
  • Point out familiar words (foods) on the menu
  • Discuss reason for restaurant manners
Buy or make an inexpensive calendar for your child’s room
  • Mark off each day with your child
  • Talk about: name of the month, name of the day, name of the day before and the day after, how many days make a week, the first day of the week, the last day of the week, how many months in a year, how many weeks in a month
Caring for the family pet
  • Clean the pets dish, keep the water bowl filled
  • Buy the food - pay the cashier
  • Put the food away in the cupboard
  • Open the package or can
  • Put food in the dish
  • Clean the floor or cage area where food is kept
  • Keep a record of how much money is spent on the pet
  • Watch for food specials in the newspaper
  • Buy different foods for your pet to try
  • Get a book from the library on pet care
Use a magnifying glass to look at ...
  • Hair, hands, plants, coins, foods, shoes, newspaper, salt, pepper

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Issaquah WA 98027