Introduction and continuous exposure to different exploration activities are critical to a child’s development. It encourages the child to use all of their senses and discover something new by looking at it, touching it with their hands and, sometimes, their mouths, listening for the sounds that the object makes, and moving it as a means to learn about this new entity. These fun activities provide examples of creative learning that allow children to explore and discover independently.
1. Finger Painting
Yes, this is messy, but it’s one of the best exploration activities that promote sensory play! Aside from paint and their hands, a couple of materials can enhance their painting experience and add texture; like a rolling pin, foam, and even some stones.
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2. Playing with Play Dough
You can make your play dough or use the commercial ones, but this exploration activity boosts eye and hand coordination while allowing the child to be creative. Sensory skills, specifically those of touch, can help a child’s motor skills.
Learn more: Kids Activities
3. Taste Test
Present different fruits and vegetables and let your child taste them. This exploration activity will tickle their sense of taste and be an excellent way to introduce what’s sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Later, ask them open-ended questions to evaluate their understanding of the tastes.
Learn more: HiHo Kids
4. Feely Boxes
This is similar to the mystery boxes that are popular on YouTube today. Put an object inside a box, and ask the child what that thing is by simply touching it. This will help them develop critical thinking skills as they mull over what it could be.
Learn more: Kids Fun TV
5. Lock and Keys Games
Give your child a set of locks and keys, and let your little one figure out which key opens which lock. This trial-and-error exploration activity will test your child’s patience, determination, and visual skills.
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6. Rock Art
Fun and simple! Rock art is another exploration activity that kicks off with your child looking for their preferred flat rock and finally painting their unique designs on it. The extent of the activity is up to you- you can even ask the children broad, open-ended questions so that they can explain their little rock art outputs.
Learn more: Rhythms of Play
7. Go Bug Hunting
Let your child explore your garden or a small area in your local park. Let them bring a magnifying glass and focus on bugs for the day. Have them look for bugs and create a drawing of the bugs they see, or host story time afterward so that they can talk about the insects they saw. This is also a great opportunity to introduce science concepts.
Learn more: Caleb Kids Show
8. Nature Scavenger Hunt
If you have multiple kids under your care, group them and give each team a list of objects to find within a specific timeframe. The list can include pine cones, a golden leaf, or anything else you’d typically find outdoors. A scavenger hunt will provide physical activity and help them develop a range of skills.
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9. Take a Walk of Colors
Go to the park or on a trail walk. Let your child take note of all the colors they see. Point out the red flowers in full bloom or the yellow ball thrown by the boy wearing a green shirt. Encourage questions and dip into a conversation about scientific concepts during the walk.
Learn more: Raising Children
10. Listen to the Sea
If you live near the beach, let your child experience the sand on their feet and listen to the ocean through a seashell. This could soon become one of their favorite activities.
Learn more: Sci Show Kids
11. Jump in Muddy Puddles
Peppa Pig knows how fun and satisfying it is to jump in muddy puddles and play in the rain. Let your kids out on a rainy day, have them face the sky, and experience the raindrops falling on their faces.
Learn more: Family Stuff
12. Create a Skittles Rainbow
One of the age-appropriate exploration activities younger children will enjoy is making a rainbow using their favorite candy- Skittles! The materials needed for this are almost always available within a home, and the key concepts the kids will indulge in are our visual observation and creativity.
Learn more: Raising Lifelong Learners
13. Hello Ocean Zones
Introduce the zones of the ocean by creating “oceans” in a bottle. Mix water and food coloring to get five unique shades of liquid; ranging from light to dark. Fill five bottles with different-colored liquids to represent the ocean zones.
Learn more: The Kavanaugh Report
14. Dinosaur Excavation
Keep your tiny tot exploring by digging through cornstarch and finding different dinosaur bones. You can also use a sandpit for this activity. Allow your child to observe an actual excavation first, and provide tools such as a magnifying glass and a brush to enhance the experience.
Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids
15. Go to the Museum
This is a simple exploration activity you can introduce to your child. Every weekend, or once a month, visit a new museum. This incredibly mobile activity will be a feast for your child’s eyes and other senses; especially if the museum you have in mind allows them to touch and interact with some of the displays.
Learn more: Parents