There are many classes available out there for toddler and preschool age kids, especially in urban areas. However, classes can be expensive and hard to fit into the budget of a single income family. If classes aren’t going to fit into your budget, here are some ideas of ways to do class activities and socialization at home.
1. Form a Playgroup. If you don’t know anyone in your area with kids, start hanging out at the park or another play area. If you already have some friends who are also stay at home parents, organize one or more day(s) per week to get your kids together to play. A park is an ideal place to start. When the weather turns bad, try a play area inside a mall or other free play area. This may not be a structured activity, but it will get your child playing with and around other children, an important part of early socialization skills.
2. Plan ‘Classes’ at Home. Plan an hour (or 10 minutes) every day (or once a week) to do some structures ‘class’ activities at home.
For Gymnastics: Put some pillows on the floor and let the kids do tumbling. Practice balancing on one foot, hopping and doing other stretching/tumbling activities.
For Art: Put a protective cover on the table and get out the paints. Use crayons, colored pencils, watercolors, scissors, glue, stickers and paper and simply let the kids explore different types of media.
For Music: If you are not a singer yourself, find a cd or dvd that has some good singing and encourage your kids to sing along. If you have toy musical instruments, get them out and have ‘band practice.’ Find songs that have a good rhythm for clapping hands and tapping toes. Sing songs that include movements like “Hokey-Pokey” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”