An ideal age to broaden children grasp of space, objects and people along with building their curiosity and thirst for broader experiences is 2 years +/-.
The main areas are the home, the playground and a yard - with or without grass. In each of these areas you can play with or without accessories, while we as adults need to figure out how to enable a certain amount of freedom, while setting boundaries and rules.
Four possible directions:
1. A hoop
a round object with a hole, colorful and very interesting, and there are lots of playing options with it.
play in-out which can develop to land/sea as the child grows older; ; roll it forward and ask the child to roll it back or bring it back by hand; spin it on your hand or body and let the child try and spin it; run towards it and sit inside. If there are several children you can draw a start line and each child will run towards its hoop/ the only hoop in a short race. You can also free play or dance with it, with or without music.
2. The playground
Usually we encourage the children to climb on ladders, slides, swing on the swings etc., or let them play by themselves.
You can add an adventure and discovery aspect - climb all the first level of all the ladders; crawling and looking for a hidden ball or hoop; passing through unusual passages at the different playground's facilities; hanging from every rope, pole etc. - which is also great for the shoulder belt and for balance.
Improvising the way they swing or slide - back and forth, together, to the sides, walking up the slide etc.
This might seem a bit intimidating and scary to you parents - and yes, it does require us to allow them more independence than we are used to, but this will enhance their learning skills, and especially will strengthen the joy of joint experience and revelations.
3. The body
the human body is a fascinating playground of its own for children. You can climb it, roll with it, make funny shapes and voices, balance with it, pull, jump etc.
Children are great mimics, and they love it when you mimic them back. Allow yourselves to loosen up, free your mind and make goofier stuff with the kids. You will all enjoy this, and they will also benefit from a higher self-esteem, better body vision, and lots of metrical advantages.
The main bonus is creating a closer bond based on mutual quality time while having a mutual fun activity.
Language is an excellent and important tool. I recommend talking to the children as much as possible - during games and playtime, a variety of word for each experience, important concepts, rhymes, word and songs games etc.
Using more language variety and games will enrich their vocabulary and their ability to express themselves.
All the posts and materials belongs to Sharon Michaeli- Ramon ©