As we prepare for back to school I know that many of you will be starting remote with your child. We are all concerned about too much screen time and so I've pulled together some of our favorite hands on learning activities to share with all of you! These are all tested and approved by Crayon Kid and use materials you have in your home. I like simply seeing what I have on hand and making activities out of it. I'm a no fuss kind of person.
If you have playdough, rocks (maybe from a nature walk), chopsticks (from Chinese food take out), egg cartons, any kind of foam or magnetic letters, you will be set! I bought our magnetic letters from Amazon. No I am not an affiliate, just an Amazon addict!
Play dough Fun with Letters and Chopsticks!
We used our egg cartons, play dough, letters, and chopsticks with these two activities. I colored inside each section of the egg carton with a different color, and then had Crayon Kid made some small little play dough balls out of the same colors. He then took chopsticks and practiced picking the play dough up and placing it in the matching colored section. We even did the reverse once we filled each up. Chopsticks are still super hard, for me too, so we modified his a bit with a rubber band at the end and placed a folded up piece of paper at the bottom to help make it easier to pinch. He always has a blast using them!
Next we kept the play dough out and used our magnetic letter to stamp out our name into the play dough. He had to use his muscles to press really hard to flatted the play dough out and then press the letters firmly in. We spelled our name but you could spell anything you wanted - like weekly spelling words, right?
Rock Painting with a Side of Shapes and Letters!
Crayon Kid loves going on walks. And he loves finding rocks along his walk and bringing them home even more! So one day after our rock hunt we came home and decided to paint the rocks. It was a perfect day outside so we put the rocks in a box, everything was contained, and he could paint them easily and there was no mess! After they dried we used them to create different shapes and letters, which is a super fun way to practice instead of drawing with plain old pencil and paper.
So many fun learning activities were created from the most basic materials. And each worked on multiple skills:
- literacy - making letters with the rocks and stamping our name in play dough
- math - shapes with the rocks
- fine motor - stamping, using the chopsticks, pressing the play dough, painting
- sensory - pressing and squeezing the play dough
- gross motor - going on the nature walk
I hope these activities inspire you to create at home. It does not take a lot and anything can be made into a learning experience for you and your child.
We would love to see pictures or hear about your experience trying any of our projects. Feel free to comment or to message us on Facebook or Instagram. Take care and till next time,
Co-Owner, Two Sparrows LS
Creator, Effortless Art Crayons
I’m so excited to share with you an activity that my son has been doing lately and some of the things he has created. The activity uses a very low key, no technology toy, and is guaranteed to capture your child’s attention for a good 30-40 minutes. The best thing I love about these activities is that your child will be learning through play! They will be exploring and discovering on their own and it will give you opportunities as a parent to help teach them through their own play!
During this time where we all seem to on Zoom at all hours of our lives, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep your kids engaged and occupied in quality activities. The challenge is real, right? When you know you are going to be on your computer for an hour at a time, as parents we struggle to find activities for our kids that we know will last that long. If not, it never fails that we are going to get a surprise visitor from our “co-workers” on our Zoom call!
So, here are a few play-based learning activities that my son loves that I think your children will love, too!
My son got these construction straws as a birthday gift about a year ago and they have been great because they grow with him. He started just practicing pushing the straws and connectors together to make some basic shapes, but now he has grown to creating 3D shapes, and is creating stories and pretend play with what he makes.
I looked at what he had been creating, and saw that he naturally made his designs symmetrical. I also looked at the LEGO creations he had been making. He will spend hours creating a car, taking it apart, and putting it back together. LEGOS are great to use for all kinds of learning activities.
I noticed that my son also liked to create cars and planes that were symmetrical. Since he was naturally creating and playing this way, I thought this would be the perfect time to actually introduce symmetry with him and have him practice it.
So, I set up a “symmetry” line on the floor and created different shapes with the construction straws on the top half. Then I had him see if he could create the bottom half of the design, making the symmetrical mirror image. This was a challenge for him, but he did a great job and it was a perfect, hands-on way for him to learn and practice this math concept.
Using what your child is interested in or has a strength in is a perfect jumping off point for you as a parent to create a learning opportunity for them. If we as parents can find the learning within the our children's play, then they will be much more likely to be interested in the learning as well as will retain what we teach them!
We are going to try to create an art project with our Effortless Art Crayons using symmetry next, so stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram feeds for that! Make sure you follow us so you don’t miss it!
Speaking of new things, we just launched a new product on our marketplace, Stick Together Kits! They are like paint by numbers, but for STICKERS! They are the perfect indoor activity that will keep your child’s attention, AND, practice hands-on skills. Check out their selection of kits HERE and look out next week for a new blog post showcasing our journey to create our sticker masterpiece!
If you have a great idea for non-technology toys or activity ideas that have kept your child occupied and learning during these past few months, share them in the comments! We'd love to hear!
Till next time,