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Learning Activities for Your Preschooler That Your Baby Can Enjoy Too

Kindergarten students smile when playing toy in playroom at preschool
During your child's day at preschool, they're learning, growing, and developing in all kinds of new ways. They're building early literacy skills, exploring science, and forging new friendships (which helps to increase social and emotional development). But what happens when your child goes home? And what do you do when you have a newborn or young baby to take care of too?
If you're a new parent for the second time, balancing your baby's and preschooler's needs isn't always easy - especially when it comes to learning activities that extend your child's daycare day to the home environment. Even though caring for both of your children equally isn't always easy, you can still help your preschooler to learn while lavishing your infant with attention.
Take a look at the ideas, activities, and top tips for making the most of the post-preschool day.

Family Story Time

An early start to literacy practices benefits all of your children - even your baby. Your newborn may not understand the book that your preschooler adores, and they may not even have the visual skills to truly focus on the pictures, but they'll enjoy hearing the sound of your voice and snuggling up with you in the afternoons.
Find a comfortable place and encourage your preschooler to design their own reading nook. By letting your older child add pillows, bring in blankets, or decorate your at-home book nook, you're giving them a sense of independence and ownership. Even though they're technically sharing the space with the new baby, this is something that your preschooler has created for your family. This fact makes both the physical space and the activity itself extra special.

Paint in a Bag

Your crafty kid wants to paint, paint, and paint some more. But the mess that finger paints create isn't easy to handle when you're carrying around a newborn. While crayons, markers, and paper are an easy substitute that your preschooler will enjoy, they aren't the only answer.
Pour a few different colors of tempera paint into a freezer-sized zipper baggie. Close the zipper and seal the top of the bag with duct tape. Your older child can mash, push, and mix the paint from the outside. Not only is this an easy art activity, but it also doubles as a science experiment.
Ask your child to predict what will happen when they mix the colors together. Write down your child's predictions for them and compare the guesses to what really happens.
You can also hand the bag over to your infant to mush and mash. This is an easy sensory play experience for an older infant/young toddler to experience.

Dance Party

Learning doesn't always include the three R's. Gross motor (large muscle group) skill-building is a major part of your child's overall development. Even though your child will get plenty of gross motor play during their preschool day, you can extend the fun at home with a family dance party.
Dance encompasses gross motor skills such as balance, coordination, strength, and agility. Along with building gross motor abilities, creative movement through dance allows your child to improve critical thinking skills, problem solve, and use their imagination.
Create a kid-friendly play list and dance - together. You can hold the baby as you gently sway. Never shake your baby as you dance, and avoid sharp, aggressive, bouncy, or harsh motions. Always support your infant's head and neck fully as you lightly glide or walk around the room.
Even though you have to keep your movements low-key, your preschooler can show off their ability to hop on one foot, jump into the air, twirl, cartwheel, and groove to the music.

If you're looking for a way to integrate other types of learning into this dance activity, ask your preschooler to move like an animal, count each step they take, or create movement patterns based on the rhythm of the music.

Are you looking for a new daycare experience that will help your preschool-aged child grow and develop? Contact Riviera Daycare & Preschool for more information.