Different Ways to Play

  • bin (large, plastic)
  • containers (2; for pouring)
  • crayons or markers
  • paper
  • plastic worms and bugs
  • rag
  • sponge

Different Ways to Play

© Tacita Morway

Help toddlers make sense of new ideas, concepts, and words by finding opportunities to include them in their play in different ways. For example, take toddlers outside after a warm rain or during a light drizzle and try these activities.

  • Sing “Rain, Rain Go Away” or make up a puddle dance.
  • Explore how raindrops fall and how rain pours down. Use a bin of water, a sponge, and a container.
  • Watch a rag absorb water. Place a rag in a puddle and talk about wet and dry. Then write about it.

If you stay inside while it is raining, try these activities.

  • Read a story about rain, such as Rain by Manya Stojic or Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray and Lauren Stringer.
  • Pretend to get caught in a rainstorm.
  • Draw a picture of a rainstorm.

Tune into something that fascinates a toddler, such as a worm on the playground after a heavy rain. Expand her exposure to worms and related ideas.

  • Look for and watch worms in the soil; this could lead to interest in other animals or insects.
  • Read books about worms and their environment.
  • Make up a worm dance.
  • Ask other adults (such as a plant farm worker or scientist) to tell her more about worms.
  • Make a corner of the room a “garden” where she can play with plastic worms and bugs.

As you support toddlers’ investigations, creativity, and pretending, be sure to share their new words, ideas, and questions with family members.

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