Key Initiatives To Early Education

12 Days of Winter Play

Enfield Plays On! PLAYful Idea of the Day

Date # PLAYful Idea Life/Academic Skill Kids Learn
1 Do you want to build a snowman? Dress warm and head outside to make a snowman!  Find sticks for arms and recycled materials (such as bottle caps) for eyes and buttons.  Add a hat and scarf to finish off your new friend.  No snow?  Get creative with indoor materials like socks, paper or bottles to make an indoor snowman.  Follow this link for directions on how to make a Sock Snowman. Sculpting encourages children to think creatively, plan and bring their vision to life.  Forming snowballs takes coordination and the different sized snowballs helps kids with spatial relations.  Rolling snowballs and playing outside enhances gross motor skills and encourages teamwork.
2 Year End Clean Up  Grab a few recycled bags and have kids help clean up their play areas.  Pack up old toys and make room for new items.  Donate gently used items to Goodwill or Allied’s Attic.  Give kids a rag and have them dust bookshelves and table tops. Organizing and cleaning helps children enhance their sorting and classifying skills.  Categorize items by color, shape, size to help them work on those basic skills.  Donating items to those in need teaches them about giving and kindness, as well as learning about the community they live in.
3 Make a Family Tree  Talk about all of the members of your family and where your ancestors came from.  Pull out family pictures and cut out faces for each family member, or have your child draw a picture of each person they know to add to the tree. Discussing where children come from helps them to understand the world outside of their our home.  It helps to create and strengthen long-lasting bonds between parents and children.  Drawing and coloring promotes creativity, and helps work on fine motor skills.
4 Make Snowflakes  Use scrap paper in any shape or color to make snowflakes.  Fold the paper in different ways and cut holes.  Open up the paper to reveal unique, one of a kind snowflakes.  Hang ’em in your windows. Cutting and folding helps develop fine motor skills.  Making snowflakes also helps to develop creativity.
5 Spend the Day with Family and Friends Enjoy being with the ones you love.  Be present in the moment and share your gratitude for those around you.  Encourage adults and children to talk and play to enhance their time together today. Being surrounded by family and friends teaches them about the community they are a part of, including multi-generational aspects of their family.
6 Board Game Night  Break out your favorite board games and gather family and friends for some classic fun!  Talk about your favorite games from your childhood, and ask them to tell you about their favorite game.  Add a challenge – throw out the rules and have the children make up new rules as you play! Playing games fosters the development of a host of academic and life skills.  It promotes joyful interactions between parents and children.  Playing games helps with executive functioning skills, such as taking turns and following directions.
7 Build a Fort Grab a few sheets and make a fort using your furniture.  Secure sheets with clothespins to the tops of chairs.  Fill your fort with lots of pillows and blankets.  Curl up with your favorite book and stuffed animal.  Bring in a flashlight when it gets dark so you can see. Building a fort takes engineering skills as well as planning. Ask questions about the structure to get them involved in the building process.  Children will use their imagination and tap into their creativity.  It also fosters dramatic play and role playing.
8 Play Restaurant Let the children plan dinner and cook together as a family.  Let the children take turns being the host(ess), waiter/waitress as they set the table, show the adults where to sit, and write down the order on a notepad.  Younger children can draw pictures of the food that is being served.  Assign each item a small dollar value and practice their basic math skills. Role playing is a fabulous opportunity for children to experience dramatic play.  They will practice language and literacy, enhance their chronological order skills, and practice their math skills while learning about money.
9 DIY Microphone and Dance Party Grab an empty paper towel roll or a similar shaped item, and add a ball to the top to make your own microphone!  Decorate with markers, and add some glitter or stickers.  Turn up the tunes and sing along to your favorite songs.  Take turns singing while the rest of the family dances along! Children access creativity and tap into their imagination.  Both fine motor skills and gross motor skills are enhanced through this activity, as well as literacy and language.  Children learn how to express themselves through music and dance.
10 Play Lab The Play Lab is open at Stowe today from 10:00 – 11:00 am.  Free tickets are available on and are required for this event.  Come and experience an incredible play-focused space right here in Enfield. The Play Lab promotes hands-on activities for exploration and growth.  Children use problem solving skills, sensory functions and fine motor skills.
11 Noon Year’s Eve Stop by the Central Library to for a Noon Year’s Eve Party!  Starting at 11:00 am, count down to Noon with an hour long celebration.  This family-friendly event allows children to celebrate the New Year at an age-appropriate time of day. An event like this one fosters numeracy skills, artistic and creative skills, listening and literacy skills, and helps develop a better understanding of cultural celebrations.
12 Be Grateful Sit down as a family and talk about what you are grateful for.  What things happened in 2019 that made you happy?  What are you looking forward to in 2020?  Make a list of all of the things you are grateful for on a piece of paper or poster and hang it up on a wall for all to see. Talking about being grateful promotes positivity and self-confidence.  Focusing on the positive enhances the family bond and leads to growth.  Through this activity, children will learn to develop an appreciation for the little things in life, as well as the substantial events.


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