Debra Hasbrook, M.Ed.
Toddlers can find many ways to explore their environment. Everything is a toy, a climber or something interesting to eat. Here is a an idea you can use that is quick to gather and keeps little one’s busy for a few minutes when you need to get something done.
Small motor skills are developing at this time and need practice. Two of my favorite activities are things they can do at school, but probably would not be allowed to do at home. Ripping paper and a pad of post it notes. I was reminded of this when my granddaughters came for a visit.
Momma and I were watching TV and we heard rrriiipp! We look towards the noise and see the girls ripping the newspaper ads into long strips. At first their Momma jumped up and started to clean it up, admonishing the girls. I suggested that it was ok at Grandmas house and brought the paper and girls to the table where the activity would be more controlled. Together they tore long pieces of paper from the ads, careful not to tear it too soon. Their goal was to create long strips. They had a great time, it was supervised, and we washed their hands thoroughly when they were done to remove any ink.
You probably do not want to use newspapers, but you have available many types of paper that children can use to practice tearing and exploring their senses such as sound, and texture. I have watched as a child tore paper into smaller and smaller pieces until they were so tiny they there was nothing left to tear. When they are finished you can use the material in your open ended art area.
Let them rip it up!
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