Part of our jobs as early intervention therapists is to incorporate purposeful play into a family’s daily routines to help that family meet the goals they’ve identified as important for their child. This means that if they are having trouble during meals, we lunch! If climbing the stairs are difficult, we find something less scary to climb first (a suitcase works like a dream). And if one of our little friends can’t hold a crayon yet, we let them color with their hands and…shaving cream.
A favorite part of my job is flexing my creative muscle…looking around at what the family is into on a particular day and discovering how we can make it fun and purposeful. No time is this more fun than around the holidays. Easter is special to me for many reasons…it’s one of my favorite times of the year – so full of new life and possibilities. While “working” at one of my favorite spots last week we got creative with something so simple – plastic Easter eggs!
I starting thinking that these might be the most reasonably priced toy that you could possible do the most with in terms of learning and play. So in honor of Easter ….(drum roll please)..Milestones & Miracles presents…THE TOP 10 THINGS TO DO WITH PLASTIC EASTER EGGS!
1) SORTING – encourage your children to place all of one color in one pile and another color in a separate pile while labeling the color to teach them the recognition of the color. Once they catch on, expand the game to placing colored eggs in matching colored gift bags.
2) PATTERNS – start a pattern for them (yellow, pink, blue, yellow, pink, blue) and ask them to finish.
3) SIMPLE MATH – one egg plus one egg equals ??? You guessed it!
4) IT’S A SHAKY EGG! (If you don’t know that Laurie Berkner musical hit – look it up now!)…place small items inside and let your children take turns guessing what is inside each egg.
5) CRACK “EM OPEN – from a fine motor perspective, it is very difficult to find toys that challenge the small muscles in our tiny tot’s hands. The majority of popular toys are made with big buttons that are easy to push. These small muscles are important for grip and handwriting later on, so let your child take a turn opening and closing those eggs.
6) PRETEND EASTER BRUNCH – COMING UP! Set the table, make the place cards, scramble those eggs and let your host or hostess serve their own holiday feast. Pretend play is a wonderful way to practice language and social skills and get to know your child’s personality.
7) EGG TOSS – If you have enough children (or adults) toss those eggs back and forth and keep scooting back as in a traditional toss until someone drops the egg. Just one player? Grab and Easter basket and hit the target. Both are great ways to enhance hand-eye coordination.
8) HOT POTATO – I MEAN EGG! Sit in a circle with friends, crank up the music, and toss it around the circle until everyone gets stuck with that hot egg.
9) EASTER EGG HUNT – every kid deserves to hunt for eggs…and they never tire of searching for them. If you are tired of the same routine, try hiding them indoors or having a flashlight egg hunt at dusk.
10) SIMON SAYS….PUT THAT EGG IN YOUR EAR! Using the eggs for a silly game of Simon Says (or Easter Bunny Says) enriches receptive language and body awareness — plus it’s so silly it has to be fun!
We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas and have and EGGcellent time with your little bunnies this weekend. All joking aside, whether these ideas are new to your family or not, you must agree that you can get quite alot out of a 99 cent dozen of plastic eggs!