Activities for all developmental stages of children

Au Pair Extraordinaire is an au pair agency in Gauteng that puts considerable value in providing informed support to all of its clients – both au pairs and parents / families. For families and au pairs, it’s all about working as a team. If you communicate clearly and ensure that the children are your top priority, your family-au pair relationship should flourish.

If you are looking for some fun activities to do with children in all different development stages, you’re in luck! We have some advice, suggestions and guidance for you.

As a child grows and develops, you will notice that play styles and preferences undergo drastic changes. A child’s awareness of self and surroundings is reinforced through play. Below are a few guidelines of what to expect during each developmental stage and what activities are ideal for the different stages:

Infants have a whole-body experience when it comes to exploring and discovery. They usually experience their first social interactions with their family members and/or an au pair.

Their main objective is to learn to master control of their body and as such activities should be featured around this. Incorporate games that have them reaching, holding and moving things. You can use rattles, soft stuffed toys and stacking items to assist.


Toddlers are recently mobile and full of energy so it’s best to have space available for activities. They need to learn where they fit in, how to behave around others, how to appropriate when socialising and how they affect their surroundings.

Make believe and imagination is vitally important at this stage and activities should focus on being imaginative. You can use items such as playdough, picture books, puzzles and similar. Encouraging toddlers to try put on a show or a play in a group is always a fun way to boost social skills, as well as get their imaginations going. Make believe games at this age, such as a picnic with the teddy bears or a race circuit on the dining room table are a great way to enjoy interactive and creative time with toddlers.


Pre-schoolers develop more social skills with peers and start to learn how language attaches to actions and ideas. They are ready to develop more complex motor skills, learn how things fit together so they can start problem solving and also start to learn to plan ahead.

Get a pre-schoolers brain thinking during play time with activities such as puzzles, building blocks, puppets, outdoor games with bats, balls and similar.

School going children (usually up to around 8 years of age)

At this age a child is learning more complex social skills for instance:

  • how to deal with conflict
  • how to interact more appropriately in group settings
  • rules and how to follow them

A child of school going age is also learning to think logically and developing personal preferences, interests and hobbies, but can often be influenced by peers.

Great activities for children of this age group include collecting items such as sports cards, marbles, figures, lego, books etc. Doing things that require a degree of patience and independence such as arts and crafts are also of great interest along with science kits, magic kits, cracking secret codes and similar.

Entertaining a child at any of these developmental stages doesn’t need to be a difficult task. Be creative and think out of the box – you could even come up with new activities and games to promote healthy development.

Are you perhaps looking for an au pair who can interact with your child on the right level and who will get actively involved? Get in touch with us at Au Pair Extraordinaire today and we will take the time to match your needs with our au pairs!