The arts are a vital aspect of helping your child learn and grow. Exposing children to dance, music, and drama at home does wonders for their confidence, critical thinking, physical health, and more. Below, we’ve compiled a list of age-appropriate activities to encourage creativity and learning.
Toddlers: Ants in Your Pants!
Help your child explore movements such as hopping, leaping, and wiggling. Create simple sequences your toddler can follow to help expand their short-term memory and provide a fun workout!
Preschoolers: The Shoebox Dance
Encourage children to pretend they’re in a store with every type of shoe – roller skates, moon boots, or super-speed shoes – and each shoe makes your child dance in a different way.
School-Age Students: Human Shapes
Develop problem-solving skills by coming up with shapes to make together. Create a pose and freeze, then have your child come up with a way to add on to your shape with their own body, creating a letter, number, or animal.
Toddlers: Finger Painting
For a twist, cover their “painting” surface with a plastic sheet and paint with vanilla pudding. Add food coloring to different bowls. Your child can explore new textures and learn to mix colors.
Preschoolers: Macaroni Mosaics
Color raw pasta with food coloring or watercolors. Let dry, then glue it onto cardboard to create picture frames. This builds fine motor skills and strengthens attention spans.
School-Age Students: “Me”-Size Self-Portraits
Get a large piece of craft paper and trace your child’s outline. Then have him or her fill in details, like hair, face, and clothing. Provide a mirror so children can learn to observe details.
Toddlers: Go on a Journey
Help your child relive an experience you shared together by looking through photos and performing actions that were depicted in the trip. Use sensory-rich details to help your child create mental pictures of word meanings.
Preschoolers: Play Pretend
Gather up items from around the house and have your child create new ways to use them.
School-Age Students: Act Out Stories
Have your child perform the actions of a book while you read it aloud, having them dramatize tricky words like “munch” or “gnash.”
Practice call-and-response songs by making up lyrics to familiar tunes and have your child repeat after you. This builds memory and listening skills.
Preschoolers: Get the Band Together
Help your child make instruments from items you have around the house, then create a song.
School-Age Students: Compare and Contrast
Play two songs by different musicians, and ask your child to describe similarities and differences. Provide vocabulary like tempo, pitch, and instrument names.