Easter is coming which means egg hunts are on the way! Taking your little one to a large, community-based egg hunt may be a bit overwhelming but PLAYING with egg hunts at home can be a great way to practice communication while finding all kinds of hidden treasures. Then you get to put the treasure in a basket, talk about what you found, dump it all out… and start all over! Lots of opportunities to practice talking.
If you’re hiding eggs for a little one who still puts everything in his mouth, you may want to hide egg shakers rather than plastic (breakable) eggs. Egg shakers make great musical instruments as well! Hide them in plain sight. Practice searching for eggs by calling out “EEeeegg, where are you?” Don’t direct your child, but use short phrases to describe where they are already looking. “on the table? Noooo. under the chair? Noooo. on the ceiling? No way. next to your book? YYYESSSSS!”
Be sure to make the moment of victory (finding the egg) significant by cheering “hooray! tada! did it! found it!”… or whatever makes sense to you and is easy for your little one to imitate.
Once your treasure is collected take time to explore what has been found. Take out the “red” eggs or “blue” eggs, “shake shake shake” them, “tap tap tap” them, toss them back “in” the basket together then ask if your little one wants to do it again.
Have older kids or siblings?
- Make it a race… Ready, Set… “GO”. How about an egg on a spoon race? Use your own eggs and spoons or buy a game set. Either way, it’s a perfect game to help even your high speed racers try moving a bit more slowly and carefully! When the egg drops “uh-oh” or “crash” or “kaboom!”
- Start in a different room and give your preschooler a two-part direction “look on the table and under the book” to practice comprehension.
- Want to practice concepts other than colors? Write letters on paper, cut them out, hide them inside plastic eggs. Do the same thing with numbers or shapes. See if older kids can find the letters in their name or find matching uppercase and lowercase letters.
An empty egg carton is a great sorting toy! Put snacks in each space to help with fine motor skills as well as sorting and labeling each snack item as you go. Practice turn-taking “my turn, your turn” and mistake-making “uh-oh”, “maybe not”, “you fixed it!” Use the egg carton as a paint holder, taste testing container for small bites of foods, garage for small cars, Lego organizer, or matching game as you take those plastic eggs with pictures inside then organize them into the egg carton – instant memory game!
Using the fake grass of Easter baskets can be a great filler for a Sensory Bin. Hide the eggs in a plastic bin of fake grass and have an egg hunt that way.
Need to buy an Easter gift? Here are some ideas:
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Try some of these strategies when playing with little ones:
Magical Moments – using the right word at the right time
Two little words – inviting your toddler to name objects without asking them to do it
Where are the WORDS? – when words are too hard, focus on SOUNDS
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