Activities for Social Development: Three to Four Years (page 2)
Awareness of people in the family group now expands to taking initiative within the group. Toy-oriented play now turns to games and activities. You will see more complicated thought going into play at this time. Both active times and quiet play should be part of your child's daily schedule.
Rhythm and Music
About the Activity: This is a good time to turn music into an active experience.
How to Play: Select a CD or cassette with lively music. You can turn on the radio as well. Then take turns doing different actions and reactions. Some suggestions are dancing, clapping, jumping, and tapping. In addition, you can keep time with a covered plastic container filled with rice, beans, or paper clips. Add other ideas of your own.
About the Activity: There are many to choose from. Here are some suggestions:
- Hokey Pokey. Here is the first stanza:
You put your right hand in. You put your right hand out.
You put your right hand in and shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. That's what its all about.
- The Mulberry Bush. Here is the refrain and first stanza:
Here we go round the mulberry bush, mulberry bush, mulberry bush. Here we go round the mulberry bush early in the morning.
This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes. This is the way we wash our clothes early in the morning.
- Ring Around the Rosie. Here are the words:
Ring around the rosie. Pocket full of posie. Ashes, ashes.
We all fall down.
How to Play: Stand in a circle with your child. Select one of the choices and play according to the well-known rules. Move in a clockwise direction. If you are not familiar with these circle games, you may enjoy teaching your child others that you know from your childhood years.
Follow the Leader
About the Activity: You can tailor this activity to your child.
How to Play: Take turns being the leader. Start with walking. Then as you walk add simple motions like tapping your head, clapping your hands, and marching.
About the Activity: Being able to dress independently is the prerequisite for being able to dress appropriately. Since children at this age like to change their clothes frequently, have fun with it.
How to Play: Explain to your child you are going to pretend to go out to different places and that she will need to dress properly for each place. Mention different places one at a time. Then tell your child to "Dress for the occasion." Some sample places include a picnic, swimming, skiing, shopping, and out to dinner. Feel free to add other places of your choice. After your child comes back dressed for the specific outing, comment about the outfit and enjoy discussing it with your child. Different climates will influence the clothes you have available. Be sure to name places that are appropriate for clothes that your child actually has.
The Directions Game
About the Activity: You can play this wherever you are-at home, standing in line at a store, waiting in a doctor's office, and in all kinds of other places.
How to Play: Give your child three directions. Explain to your child that you will say all three before he or she is supposed to follow them. Make up enjoyable actions for your child to follow. Here are some examples:
- Clap your hands, pat your head, and jump three times.
- Tap the table, touch the door, and hug your mom.
- Stand up tall, bend way down, and touch your toes.
© ______ 2002, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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