Parent-Child Activity: Learning and Moving

Parent educator looks at materials for the DIY roller book parent-child activity

July 14, 2021

Parent-Child Activity that Encourages Bonding

Meaningful interactions throughout the day can have long-term effects on your relationship with your child. Parent-child activities are not only fun for kids, but also encourage bonding and build age-appropriate skills. Here’s an activity you can do with materials easily found around the house that also strengthens hand-eye coordination and encourages language development.


  • A cylinder or large ball (chips container, wipe container, beach ball, etc.)
  • Plain paper or construction paper (can also use printed pictures or even stickers)
  • Markers or Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Clear scotch tape or packing tape. You can also use clear contact paper for easy clean up (found in the shelfing area of department stores)!

Let’s create our roller book!

You’ll tape, glue or stick images on the tube or ball you choose. Then roll the object back and forth with your child while encouraging back-and-forth play and language.

  1. Draw or print out pictures, cut images from a magazine or use stickers you have at home. Pick a theme that’s age-appropriate for your child. For example, younger kids (ages 2 and younger) may enjoy pictures of animals, colors, or even photos of relatives or siblings. Older kiddos (ages 2-5 years old) can identify shapes, faces showing different emotions, or whatever topic they may be interested in.
  1. Glue or stick the images onto your roller book. Babies may need larger images or simpler shapes. Kids ages 2 and up may want to help pick the photos or tape them on the cylinder or ball. Kids ages 4 and up can start practicing to cut the pictures out (with your supervision).
  1. Sit on the floor with your child and engage with the book. Place your baby in a tummy time or sitting position and encourage them to reach and push the roller book. Point at images and say the words or make animal sounds.
  1. If your child can identify the items themselves, encourage a back and forth play. Each time the roller book comes to you, you point out the image that rolled to you. Then roll it back to your child and they identify the photo that they see.

How to Create a Roller Book: Parent-Child Activity

Connect, Learn and Move with Your Child

With this activity you will work with your child on vocabulary, motor skills and most importantly, getting dedicated and focused time with you! They’re having fun and learning at the same time.

  • Build muscles in your child’s neck, arms, chest, back and eyes.
  • Encourage visual tracking to control where we place our eye gaze.
  • Develop fine-motor skills when they reach or roll the book
  • Learn vocabulary and build language skills
  • Promote turn-taking and conversation

There are benefits for the parent too! When you engage in collaborative play, you learn about your child’s cues and temperament, and reasons for their child’s behavior. When you’re able to see the world through your kids’ eyes, you build a more nurturing, patient relationship!


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