At home learning inspiration with these fun filled activities!

At home learning inspiration with these fun filled activities!

Hi everyone!

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



Let's play with a purpose - a story about symmetry

Let's play with a purpose - a story about symmetry

Hi friends,

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. 

Check out this TikTok from @ot4kids on how she uses LEGO's for learning. 




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,



Learning At Home With Effortless Art

Learning At Home With Effortless Art

I know everyone has been scrambling to find fast and easy activities to do at home with their children as we are all navigating at home learning.  I know that we are all juggling working from home and teaching our own children, who are of multiple ages and grade levels.  It is challenging to find resources and activities that are easy to set up and that you can use materials from around your house.  Let's be real...we don't have the time or money to find the perfectly designed activities for every subject area.  And to be honest, you don't have to! 

We don't have the time to find the perfectly crafted and poised worksheet from Teachers Pay Teachers every day.  Honestly, when I was teaching, my go-to materials were dry erase boards, stickers, index cards, play dough, glue, and markers.  That's it, and that's what I'm using now for my son during this time that he is out of preschool.  Most days, I find scrap paper, glue, markers, if I'm lucky paint, and random craft supplies and create an activity.  I find LOTS of inspiration from my OT friends I follow on Instagram, I will be honest.  I end up adapting to fit the needs of what I have and what my son needs.  But mostly I take an idea and adapt, which is what I did every day as a special education teacher.  If you have basic materials around your house, you can do almost everything. 

I've posted images of some of our craft activities below from the past eight weeks with brief descriptions to help you adopt it for your home and children. 

I used an empty egg carton and let little guy have it it with some paint and cue tips.  We cut the carton apart and made caterpillars and flowers.  The cue tips were perfect for little hands to help get the paint into all the tiny crevices in the cartons.  Plus, cue tips are great for fine motor skills and developing a pincher grasp.  We got two different products from one carton and hours of fun! 

This was a recent project, and we only needed construction paper, glue, scissors, and a sheet of sturdy white paper.  We made a 3D amusement park by folding, curling, and gluing different strips of construction paper in different ways on our paper.  This is great for basis cutting and gluing practice, and all the folding and pinching is a workout for your fingers.  It's a really cool project when all completed.  My son loved being creative and thinking about how to connect and combine the different 3D shapes he had made. 

Here Crayon Kid uses Touch Dots on numbers I quickly wrote on sheets of scrap paper to help him count and add.  If it sounds like I created this activity out of nothing, I did, and it was ready in seconds.  And yes, I said scrap paper!  He peeled the stickers and placed them on each number for a little fine motor practice. 

 Sometimes you need a little sugar to get you through the day, and that's what we did with this activity!  We used Twizzlers pull and peel candy to form different letters. I called out the letter, and he made it with one more more Twizzlers.  Depending on the age of your child, you could do upper or lowercase letters, or you could have your child place the Twizzlers over top of a letter card to "trace" it.  This is great for little fingers and for using some hands-on strategies.  The best part? You can eat the materials when you are done!

This was the adorable scene I was greeted with one day when I came downstairs and saw what my husband and son had set up together.  Again, using some cardboard from our many, many Amazon boxes we have laying around, a square was cut out, a few holes were punched out, and ta-da!  A makeshift shoe was born and a perfect way for my son to practice tying shoes.  We taped it to the table for stability.  Another activity on the cheap for your kids, and reused easily again and again!

One of my son's favorite things to do at his preschool was the sensory table.  He loved it, especially when it was water play!  Well, I have a good old kitchen sink and a step stool, so that will work!  We pulled down these Bristle Blocks (remember those?) from the attic to play with, but they needed a good scrubbing first.  Water play at the Effortless Art sensory sink table commenced!  This was a good hour of time that my son was occupied in washing, playing, and creating at the sink.  Plus, he was already clean when he was done! 

There are so many more, but one of my favorite activities from our remote learning time was our nature scavenger hunt.  We searched for all kinds of items in our backyard, like sticks, flowers, acorns, leaves, etc.  Then we mixed them up together and made a nature soup!  This activity was complete with pretend taste testing and our compliments to the chef!  I loved making potions with my sister as a child and it was fun to see my son enjoy this just as much.

These were just a sampling of what I have been trying to do with my son over these past eight weeks.  Our Effortless Art Facebook page has them all, so please go check it out!  As a former elementary teacher, I admit, I have a good background of what to do and how to help, however, it is still very challenging to do this as I am working full time from home myself.  That's why I focused on the no mess no stress type activities, because that is what I could honestly handle.  I am a mother of ONE preschooler, and this was challenging for me.  I know that many of you mama's are juggling multiple children and multiple ages and stressing big time over this enormous undertaking.  I'm here to say that with some simple materials, simple ideas, your child will learn, and grow, and continue to positively develop, and you don't need Teachers Pay Teachers to do it!  

I'm thinking of you all!  I hope we can all continue to support each other during this crazy time.  Till next time,