As we roll past the one-year anniversary of our world being flipped and turned upside down, it feels like a great time to brainstorm and come up with new ways of keeping boredom out of our class. It is no secret that early childhood educators have been unsung heroes throughout this time of transition into the new normal. We know that it can be hard to keep things fresh and exciting in your class, so whether you are sanitizing toys and furniture or helping wash little hands 100 times a day, we want to take off some of the pressure.
The best way to fight the boredom bug is by keeping those imaginations running wild! With spring upon us and summer just around the corner, we are finally able to get outside more often. We have a few fun ideas for games to play that can be set up and used both indoors and outdoors, making it perfect – rain or shine (or a spring snowstorm!)
One of our favourite ways of encouraging outdoor free-play is by using what mother nature gave us! Stick-lets help children reconnect with nature through imaginative and open-ended play. Flexible, durable, reusable, weather-resistant and safe silicone connectors will satisfy any little builders’ imagination and curiosity. And the best part – there are no rules for how you use them! All you need are some branches or sticks and if those are in short supply, wooden dowels also work amazingly to create your very own fort or village.
Another great way to let the kids run free and get those gross motor skills fine-tuned, all while playing pretend is by setting up your very own driving obstacle course! Choose from a selection of ride-on toys to cruise around on, set up some drive time signs and let the kids pretend to drive like mom or dad all while they enhance their balance and coordination and learn about common road signs. Make it extra fun by making their very own pretend driver’s licenses or license plates to hand out to the kids.
For a different kind of obstacle course, it is always fun to set up a maze with different items that promote balance and motor skills and let the kids run through it again and again! Start with a pair of bucket stilts and have them navigate to an exciting setup like the river landscape or the step-a-forest. Next, you can get them walking like a duck using the duckwalker set to race to the outdoor balance board. You will be providing a variety of options for balance training, movement, and exercises all while making sure everyone has a blast!
Sensory tables are always a blast and we have a great way to make sure you can continue engaging in all the sensory fun while still following all the new health and safety precautions. By giving each child their very own bin, you are ensuring they keep their germs to themselves while also having fun. There are a thousand different ways to create a sensory bin! You can put in seasonal items to drum up excitement about Easter, Halloween or any other holidays. Fill a bin with water and toss in a variety of items and then guess which ones will sink and which ones will float. Or simply use sand/pasta/rocks/any other knick-knacks you can get your hands on!
And lastly, everyone’s favourite indoor or outdoor activity that is sure to lead to a fun-filled day – the parachute! As a kid, you just knew it was going to be a great day when the parachute was pulled out. As a teacher, it can still be just as fun because there are endless possibilities of how this can be played with. Starting with a basic game like Mushroom, where the children simply spread out in a circle and on a count of three, raise it high into the sky and then quickly run underneath to the centre. You will never run out of ways to play silly games with the 3-2-1 Time For Parachute Fun book and the parachute accessory pack.
We hope that fills up your cup with some inspiration and you can take some of these ideas and have fun with your class!