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,
That's right, do you know how to Noggin?
You don't? Then let me tell you all about it!
Noggins are engaging, fun, and playful stickers that attach to school tools like scissors, pencils, markers, and even FINGERS, to inspire children and help motivate them to complete different fine motor activities. Do you have a child who is reluctant to color, or write, or gets sluggish when cutting? It's probably because they aren't having fun and are not motivated to do the task. Help them by adding in a fun parrot, fish, tiger, or sheep to the activity and watch them perk up and get those fingers moving.
Here are three ways Noggins can inspire your child to learn through play!
- When Noggins are attached to pencils, markers, or crayons, they turn those objects into creatures, with the tip of the writing utensil becoming the nose. This allows the child to pretend the Noggin is smelling flowers or sniffing through a maze, rather than merely tracing or drawing. The Noggin also acts a pencil grip, cueing correct finger position on the writing utensils.
- Place Noggins on scissors, and they act as a visual cue, guiding the child to orient them correctly. They turn the scissors into a creature, with the bottom blade becoming the lower jaw. This enables the Noggin to “bite” and “chew” paper, showing the concept and technique of scissor use in a fun and playful way.
- When Noggins are attached to fingers, they transform the hand into a creature. This allows practice and development of a variety of grasps in a fun and playful way. Children are able to pinch and squeeze play dough and small objects, imagining that the creature is eating, while their own pincer grasp and lateral pinch develops.
Childhood is a time to Play, to Learn, and to Grow.