Using Props

When you add props to movement and dance activities, you enrich the activity and add interest. Also, by using props, you give your toddler further opportunities to develop fine motor skills as well.

Go Team!

No need to have a favorite sports team to cheer on — your child can be a cheerleader at any time.

  • First, create the pompoms. Roll a section of newspaper into a tube shape. Tape the bottom securely and then cut the top half into strips.

  • You may wish to teach your child a simple cheer, such as “Go, team!” or “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate?” Or you can just play marching music and let him swish and swirl the pompoms.

Activity for the individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 20 minutes

2 sections of the daily newspaper

Masking tape

Scissors

Stick Horse

Watch your child's imagination take off when you help him make and then ride this easy stick horse.

  • Cut the poster board into two horse-head shapes.

  • Have your child decorate or draw a face on each piece of paper. Then let him glue on some yarn for the mane.

  • Using tape, attach the three towel rolls together to create the body. Put the two heads together back to back and attach them to the “body.” Let your child finishing decorating his horse, and he is ready to gallop away.

Activity for the individual child

Age group: 30–40 months

Duration of activity: 25 minutes

2 sheets poster board

Scissors

Crayons or markers

White craft glue

Yarn

Masking tape

3 paper towel tubes

A Thin Line

A piece of rope is all that is needed to help your child practice balance and coordination.

  • Stretch the rope out straight on the ground. Have your child practice walking along it like a tightrope walker. If you wish, you can have him use a balance bar.

  • Hold one end of the rope. Keeping the rope on the ground, wiggle it around and encourage your child to jump over it. If you don't think it will frighten your child, you can pretend that the rope is a snake.

Activity for the individual child

Age group: 30–40 months

Duration of activity: 15 minutes

Approximately 5 feet of rope

Hula Hoop

It will be a few years before your toddler can use a hula hoop the way it was intended. However, there are many fun movement activities you can still do with this toy.

  • Lay the hula hoop on the ground. Show your child how to walk around the circle with one foot in and one foot out of the hoop.

  • Hold the hoop vertically and help your child crawl through it back and forth.

  • Join your child, or get a group of children in a bunch inside of a hula hoop. Work together to walk and change directions.

Activity for the individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 10 minutes

Hula hoop

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