Sometimes life consists of the mundane. Dishes, bills, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Our children learn from us just by participating in our everyday tasks. Sometimes, however, we need some fresh ideas for how we can interact more closely with our children in order to make memories they won’t forget…or we may just need some new ideas for how to keep them busy while we get a few extra chores done! Either way, today we’re providing a list of our favorite activities. If it helps you to structure your day, think in blocks of time, having specific activities assigned to each segment. For example: 9:00-9:30–Chores/clean up, 9:30-10:00 -Crafts/Projects,10:00-10:30 – Independent play and so on. The following activities are simple and don’t require a ton of random supplies so we hope that you find these helpful as you continue to love on your kids!
– Go on a walk and plan things you are going to look for (red houses, labrador retrievers, old cars, etc)
Go on a walk and flip a coin at every intersection you come to. Heads you go right. Tails you go left.
– Look around in your backyard and see how many different shades of green you can find.
– Sidewalk chalk
– Read a book out loud
– When reading picture books, talk about what’s going on in the picture: count items, identify characters (mom, dad, baby, etc), identify attitudes.
-Turn on some music and sing together
– Build a fort out of couch cushions and pillows
– Bake something yummy together
– Assemble a puzzle
– If you have a little girl, paint your nails together
– Have a tea party
– Play musical chairs
– Facetime a friend
– Have your child pretend you’re a mummy. Tell him he needs to build you a great pyramid by covering you with toys/blankets, etc. Remember, mummies can’t move. You get a nap and your child learns some history. Win!
– Pop some Popcorn and have a family movie night
– Work on scripture memory together
– Bubble Bath
– Play a game such as Dominoes, Uno or Spot It. Check out this post on modifying games for young kids. http://heartsrefreshed.com/2019/07/30/5-games-you-can-modify-to-play-with-your-young-child/
– Play I Spy: use a little plastic animal or person and take turns hiding and finding it.
– Get wiggles out acting out different animals: milk a cow, gallop like a horse, flap your wings like a bird, slither like a snake, roll in the mud like a pig, and so on.
– Clean the house! More often than not when I am doing some deeper cleaning around the house, my toddler will get right in the middle of it and want to help!
– Make crafts out of toilet paper rolls (a simple google search will give you hundreds of ideas!)
– Make paper airplanes
– Draw simple designs such as a flower, tree, house, etc., and then “color” them with rice (mix food coloring into the rice and let dry, then use glue)
– Make a mosaic using cut up pieces of construction paper.
– Make simple designs from construction paper and then have your child put together the picture. For example: cut out the trunk of a tree, the leaves, and fruit and then glue them together onto the tree you drew.
– For young children learning their alphabet, write out names of family members or friends for them to trace. As they trace the names, point out the different letters.
– Playdough More than likely you have all the ingredients to make your own playdough! Homemade playdough stays soft for so long and is super easy to whip up! I use this recipe – https://www.iheartnaptime.net/play-dough-recipe/
– Color (google “free coloring sheets for kids”)
-Write a letter to Grandma or a friend
– Create your own book- Fold multiple construction paper pieces and then staple together. Let your child write or draw pictures inside to create their own story.
– Play store with canned goods, cereal boxes, etc.
-Fill up the sink and let your child “wash dishes”
-Use masking or painters tape on your floor to make roads that your child can drive their cars on. Legos/Blocks can be used for making houses/parks/stores.
-Listen to an audio book (look on your libraries website and see if you can check out an audio book online).
-Set your toddler inside a large cardboard box and let him color away with crayons or markers
-Finger bathtub paint https://www.food.com/recipe/kids-bathtub-paints-66418
-Cincinnati Zoo is offering a Facebook Live Safari every week day while the zoo is closed! https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/
-“Scholastic” has put together a great set of free learning resources! https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
-“The Relaxed Homeschool” facebook page offers lots of freebie worksheets that you can print off. https://www.facebook.com/therelaxedhomeschool/ Laminate them or use a sheet protector for repeated use of the same page!
-Check out this list for 50 ideas on ways to sneak in learning! https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2015/03/50-easy-ways-to-sneak-in-learning.html?m=1