Swimming In Packing Peanuts
Want a drier option for your swimming pool? Fill a plastic toddler swimming pool with biodegradable packing peanuts (found at Walmart, Target or online). Prices vary by amount and size of the package. These are non toxic, not a choking hazard and not staticy (making clean up much easier!) They look like white cheese puffs so don't be too surprised when your child puts them in their mouth expecting something tasty. Place beach toys or kitchen utensils in the pool as well. Feel free to hid items in the pool as well. Watch your child pick up peanuts with large spoons or shovels. Feel free to join in the fun (we have!!) you won't regret the giggles created from a foam peanut fight! This will help in their fine motor development and sensory awareness.
Foam blocks allow children to build or put pieces together. Due to their softness they pose no danger of injury if they are (inevitably) thrown or if they fall on your child. These can be purchased in a number of different places such as Walmart or Target. Price usually ranges between $20-$40 depending on how many come in the pack. Show your child how to use the blocks in the following ways: carrying, sorting by shapes and colors, stacking, knocking down and cleaning up. This play will assist in problem solving, fine motor development and identifying shapes and colors.
Homemade Cardboard Blocks
You can buy cardboard blocks which tend to be larger (great for building larger forts). Expect them to be flat and need folding and assembling. OR you could save all those CapriSun boxes over the weeks, tape them shut, color or cover them with construction paper and go to town! With these blocks you can do many of the same activities as the foam blocks. These will also help with spacial awareness and cause and effect as you build and knock them down.