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Parent Engagement Activities

Are you looking to strengthen your parent-child bond through family engagement activities?

 

We understand that every parent wants to be involved in their child’s growth, but the question often is, “Where do I start?”

 

From interactive storytelling sessions that transport you to magical worlds, to hands-on science experiments that turn your kitchen into a lab of wonder, these activities are all about family engagement.

 

Whether you’re a parent of a preschooler taking their first steps into a world of discovery or a caregiver looking to make a positive impact on a child’s life, these family engagement activities are designed with you in mind.

 

Getting involved with your kids is a great way to deepen relationships all while having some fun!

 

Here are over 20 family engaging activities to do with your child that they will love!

 

1. Sensory Bin

Supplies Needed:

Large bin, rice/lentils/sand, scoops, toys

How-to Guide:

Get any large bin or container and pour rice, beans, lentils, sand, etc into it. Have fun running your fingers through whatever is in the bin. You can also add shovels, measuring cups, toys, blocks, etc. in the bin for your child to scoop and play around with. 

 

2. Shape Jump

Supplies Needed:

Masking tape

How-to Guide:

Use masking tape to tape large shapes on the ground. Have your child identify the shapes while they are jumping from shape to shape! 

 

3. Slime

Family Engagement Activities DIY Slime

Supplies Needed:

White glue, water, food coloring, saline solution, baking soda

How-to Guide:

You will need white glue, water, food coloring, baking soda, and saline solution to make the best slime!

 

4. Sea Foam

Supplies Needed:

Warm water, dish soap, cornstarch, blue food coloring, blender

How-to Guide:

Have your child help you add ¼ cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of dish soap, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and blue food coloring into a blender. Blend on high until there are stiff peaks. Pour out the foam into a bin and add different toys, whisks, scoops, etc.

 

5. Homemade Moon Sand

Supplies Needed:

Baby oil, flour

How-to Guide:

Let your child measure out ¼ cup of baby oil for every 2 cups of four. Mix well and break up any clumps. This is a fun, easy activity that will keep your child quite engaged! Add shovels, playdough molds, or other toys to add to the fun!

 

6. Making Snow

Supplies Needed:

Baking soda, water, glitter, freezer

How-to Guide:

Mix together 2 cups of baking soda, a ½ cup of water, and glitter together. Put the bowl in the freezer briefly so the “snow” feels cold. Enjoy playing with your snow!

 

7.  Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

Supplies Needed:

Salt, flour, warm water, circle cookie cutter, baking paper, cookie sheet, dinosaur toys, oven

How-to Guide:

Make the salt dough with your child by combining ½ cup of salt and 1 cup of flour. Add in ½ cup of warm water and mix until it is a dough-like consistency. Roll out the dough to be about an inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter to cut out circles in the dough. You could also just have your child roll some dough into a ball and flatten it with their hands. Press the side of a small dinosaur toy into the dough, making sure you rock the toy in different directions to make sure the imprint is clear.

Place baking paper onto a cookie sheet and place your fossils on top. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees F for an hour. Thicker fossils will take longer to dry. You may want to flip the fossils every so often to help them dry out more evenly. Feel free to decorate or paint your fossils after they have cooled! 

 

8. Color Sort

Supplies Needed:

Cardboard box, box cutter, markers, colored toys

How-to Guide:

Take a cardboard box and cut out several holes that a ball could fit through. Using a marker, you and your child color different colored rings around each hole. Let your child sort their balls, toys, blocks by putting them into the corresponding colored hole! 

 

9. Rain Sticks

Family Engagement Activities DIY Rain Sticks

Supplies Needed:

Aluminum foil, wooden spoon, paper towel roll, decorated paper, tape, rice

How-to Guide:

You will start by crumpling and rolling some aluminum foil around a wooden spoon. Take the coiled aluminum foil and insert it into a toilet paper or paper towel roll. You can have your child color and decorate a piece of paper that you can wrap around the toilet paper roll, or directly decorate the roll. Make sure to seal the bottom of the roll with some of the decorated paper and some tape. Have your child help you add your desired amount of rice or dry beans to the roll. Seal the top and you are all done! For a more comprehensive illustration, view my guide to make your own rain sticks here

 

10. Butcher Paper Painting

Supplies Needed:

Butcher paper, paint, painter’s tape

How-to Guide:

Roll out several feet of your child’s favorite colored butcher paper. Use several strips of painter’s tape and apply it in several different crossing directions across the butcher paper. Your child can then paint, color, or design each section in a different way. When they are finished, carefully peel off the tape to reveal your child’s design.

 

11. Coffee Filter Butterflies

Supplies Needed:

Washable markers, coffee filters, spray bottle, pipe cleaners

How-to Guide:

Using washable markers, have your child color several coffee filters. (This activity specifically works if your child colors on two coffee filters that are layered on top of each other.) Lay the colored coffee filters on a washable surface. Using a spray bottle, mist them with water. The more the filters are sprayed, the more the design runs and bleeds; the choice is yours!

After the coffee filters are dry, accordion fold the filters back and forth. Stack two folded filters (either two identical filters that were colored together or two different filters) on top of each other. Fold a pipe cleaner in half, and put the filters in between the folded pipe cleaner, having the middle of the filters secured against the pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner and curl the two open ends to look like butterfly antennas. Fan out the accordion pipe cleaners to reveal your beautiful water color butterfly!

 

12. Playdough

Supplies Needed:

Flour, salt, oil, cream of tartar, hot water, food coloring

How-to Guide:

Have your child help you measure out 3 cups of flour, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of salt, 3-4 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 3 cups of hot water, and your favorite food coloring. Mix together and enjoy playing with your own homemade playdough! 

 

13. Snow Storm in a Jar

Supplies Needed:

Clear glass, water, white paint, baby oil, glitter, food coloring, Alka-Seltzer tablet

How-to Guide:

Fill a small jar or clear glass ¼ of the way with some water. Mix about a teaspoon of white paint into the water to resemble milk. Fill the rest of the jar with baby oil and let it all settle. You can add glitter and food coloring to the mixture if desired. Break up an Alka-Seltzer tablet into a few pieces and drop them into the jar one at a time. Enjoy your snowstorm! 

 

14. Fizzy Moon Rocks

Supplies Needed:

Baking soda, water, glitter, food coloring, bowl, saran wrap, freezer, pipette, vinegar

How-to Guide:

Add a few scoops of baking soda into a bowl (the amount of baking soda varies on how many moon rocks you want to make). Combine water and your desired color in a separate bowl (glitter is a fun addition as well!). Add the colored water slowly to the baking soda to get a crumbly mixture that can make a snowball. Pack the mixture into balls to resemble moon rocks. Wrap in saran wrap to maintain the shape and place in the freezer for at least a half hour. Remove your moon rocks and place them in a large dish or container. Have your child use a pipette or something similar to squirt some vinegar onto the moon rock to make them fizz! 

 

15. Cloud Dough

Supplies Needed:

Cornstarch, conditioner

How-to Guide:

Measure out 1 cup of cornstarch and ½ cup of conditioner. Mix it together with your child and you will have some fluffy cloud dough!

 

16. Butterfly Symmetry Painting

Family Engagement Activities Butterfly Symmetry Painting

Supplies Needed:

Paper, marker, paint

How-to Guide:

You can either print out a butterfly outline on a piece of paper or draw one yourself! Carefully fold the paper in half along the butterfly’s body, making sure to have a wing on each side of the fold and in line with each other. Unfold the paper and have your child paint one side! After they have finished painting, fold the paper with the wet paint on the inside. Press the folded sides lightly together and then unfold to reveal your symmetrical painted butterfly! For a more comprehensive illustration, view my guide to make your symmetrical butterfly here

 

17. Pinwheels 

Supplies Needed:

Paper, scissors, hot glue, craft stick

How-to Guide:

Cut a piece of paper so it is square. Cut each corner towards the middle of the paper, stopping a ½ inch – 1 inch before you reach the middle. Fold each of the diagonal cuts over itself, lining up the edges, and glue. Put a dab of hot glue on the back, in the middle of your pinwheel. Stick a straw or craft stick to the hot glue. Blow on the pinwheel and watch it spin! 

 

18. Bubble Snake

Supplies Needed:

Disposable water bottle, old sock, rubber band, dish soap, bowl, water, food coloring

How-to Guide:

Cut the bottom off of a disposable water bottle. Take an old sock and slip it over the bottom of the bottle, covering the cut off portion (you may want to trim the sock if it is too long). Secure the sock with rubber bands. Squirt a lot of dish soap into a bowl of water and dip the sock portion into the water. Blow through the top of the bottle to make a bubble snake! You can add food coloring to the wet sock to get different colored bubbles! 

 

19. Ice Painting

Supplies Needed:

Muffin tin, water, food coloring, craft stick

How-to Guide:

Fill a muffin tin or ice cube tray with water. Drop some food coloring into each spot. Put a craft stick into each spot and then freeze. Once frozen, have your child use the frozen paint to paint on a piece of paper! 

 

20. Painting with Nature     

Supplies Needed:

Nature elements, paint, paper

How-to Guide:

Go outside and collect grass, flowers, sticks, or rocks. Use these materials to paint on paper. Notice the different designs each material leaves on the paper. 

 

21. Sticky Sensory Garden

Supplies Needed:

Nature elements, contact paper

How-to Guide:

Go outside and collect small nature elements such as flowers, grass, leaves, or sticks. Back inside, stick the collected nature elements to the sticky side of clear contact paper. After you have finished, attach the contact paper to a window to view your sensory garden! 

 

22. Sensory Bottles

Supplies Needed:

Disposable plastic bottle, water, oil, rice, glitter, beads, hot glue

How-to Guide:

You can use any empty disposable water bottle for this activity (preferably something made from sturdier plastic). You can fill the bottles with all sorts of different materials: water, oil, rice, glitter, marbles, small toys, sequins, beads, etc. Water and glitter sensory bottles make can be nice and calming, or you can make a sensory bottle with rice and small toys and see if your child can find them all! Make sure to secure the lid to the bottle well using hot glue.

 

 

Engage and connect with your family through these educational and fun activities!

 

Designed specifically for parents and caregivers, these engaging activities are not only enjoyable, but also provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen and deepen relationships with your child.

 

Experience the joy of discovery together as you explore new ways to have fun, while making a positive and lasting impact on their lives through these family engagement activities.

 

You Might Also Like:

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30+ Tried And True Activities To Do At Home

Easy and Exciting Activities For One-Year-Olds

The Best Montessori Toys For Two Year Olds

 

Family Engagement Activities

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Tess Moulton

Blog creator

Hello! I’m Tess, a preschool teacher turned mom, and I love discovering and creating fun ways to keep kids engaged and learning! Welcome!

Tess Moulton

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