I have been collecting ideas for years. I know this format is a bit hard to follow, but I just cut and pasted it from files and don't have time to clean it up. The ideas have come from many other mothers:
-Water Play- at the kitchen sink with bowls measuring spoons and
Don't give them enough water to make a big mess. But remember wet
are not hard to change. Or, put them in the bath tub with thier swim
- Sand Play-Use a large rubbermaid tup with a tight fitting lid to
shallow amount of sand in. This is also good to drive thier little
around in. Or, sprinkle a small amount of flour on the kitchen
write letters, pictures or drive thier cars on that.
-Snow Play- Use a bucket or tub to bring snow into the Bath tub. Put
in their boots and let them play. When the snow melts it goes down
if the kids have to go to the bathroom you don't have all those
layers to peel
-Magnets on the Refrigerator. Alphabet Magnets(reinforce the glue as
magnets can fall out and be easily swallowed
-Magnifying glass. Hide some pennies on the floor for them to find.
-Masking Tape-A wad of tape balled up is fun for a baby to play with.
of masking tape and line it up on Waxed paper. Let your child peel
them off and
make roads on the carpet. When they are done just peel up the roads
-Bubble Blowing in the Bath tub. Recipe: 1 part Dish
Joy),2 parts water and 1 T. glycerine. Put into muffin tin. They
can't tip it
over as easily.
-Treasure Hunts(go get me a truck, go get me a red truck, go get me
-Classifying and sorting objects. Use a pegboard, duplos or legos.
-Felt shapes on a Flannel Board
play with dominoes
-Tape recorder with tapes to listen to. . Record stories for you children to listen to. They will
sound of your voice.
-Songs with rymes and actions.
-Measure Things. Past pictures of Household Items on
have them start measuring things with yarn first. Compare size of one
with another. They measure it and come back and tell you what they
children get older give them a measuring tape and have them write
Fine Motor Skills
Develop these as it will help with handwriting later.
-playing musical instruments
-Playdough-put it on a place mat.
Recipe: 2t. cream of tarter, 1 cup plain flour, 1/2c.salt,
color with Kool-aid. Cook together for a few minutes until it balls
a little and store in an air tight container
-Finger paint, with pudding.
-paint with brushes
-paint with water books using q-tips for brushes.
-Washable Markers-(stain removal-1-800-Crayola)
-Indoor Play equipment
-Nesting and stacking toys
-Imitating and pretending (dress up clothes)
-Side walk chalk Recepe: Plaster of Paris and food coloring. Harden
fingers of rubber gloves or poke holes in the ground with a broom
pour it into there. Then the kids can dig them up.
-Last but not least the Busy Box. A large box with age appropriate
that they can only have during school time. Rotate these toys. Add
from Birthdays and Christmas.
>>>Here are a few activities to keep the little ones busy while
the older ones. I will keep adding to this as I gather the time.
1) Paint with water books are great!!! We use them everyday. I teach
little ones their colors this way.
2) Shaving cream....yes, it is messy, but great for the imagination!
little ones keep busy for long periods of time with this activity.
sculpture anything they want. Non-irritating to the skin. Very
imagination builder, and teaches texture too.
3) I take the brown paper bags that we get at the grocery store and
open. I tape them to a door or wall, give them a box of crayons, and
them have fun. Of course I use washable crayons just in case.
4) I pre-cut out pictures of food from old magazines. I use the
meat trays, and double sided tape. The children prepare their own
way. Great for teaching balanced meals, importance of healthy foods
5) I give them old newspaper and let them tear it up using a pincher
This is very important for them to learn. It teaches them the proper
hold a crayon or pencil by knowing this pincher grip.
6) All time favorite of play-dough and cookie cutters. I will find my
for kool-aid play-dough.
7) Making collages keeps them busy too. For this I use glue sticks.
easier for little ones to use.
8) Legos, wood blocks, and waffle blocks are all great for the
9) Stringing cheerios is great fun. They get to eat it when they are
10) We make our own bean bags. I let the children toss these into
baskets from a distance.
The most important thing to remember is that children learn through
Make a game out of everything possible. My children never had a hard
with abc's. We sang them all the time. When we get dressed everyday,
"Today we are wearing our blue shirt, blue pants, and white socks. I
brown eyes and brown hair and this is the way I comb my brown
Just give them a piece of paper, a box of crayons, and leave them
a few minutes. They have great imaginations.