First let me say that I am not usually a DIYer. I always see these amazing ideas online and then when it comes time for me to do it, it never turns out right. Today I am sharing SUPER EASY ideas with you guys that if I can do, then anyone can.
Since we are all spending a lot of time at home now, I thought I would put my teacher hat on and create some educational games with stuff I already have lying around the house. I turned to Pinterest and Instagram Stories (some of my favorite accounts to follow include @mothercould and @busytoddler) as well as my friends to find activities that are both educational and fun.
Today I rounded up 6 ideas that really easy to recreate at home. I tested them all out on my daughter who is currently 3.5 and she loved them. So let’s break it down…
1. ALPHABET SCAVENGER HUNT
I showed this one over on my Instagram Stories (it is currently saved in my highlights under “Quarantine Fun”). It is super easy and one we like to do with numbers too.
- Post-it Notes
1. Write out the alphabet or numbers or words on a piece of paper with markers. Make sure to space them out so that you have enough room to place the Post-it notes side by side next to each other.
2. Hide the sticky notes around a room or entire house and have your child find them.
3. Go over each letter or number with them when they find it and have them place each one over the correct letter on their “treasure map”.
2. TAPE LETTERS
- Painters Tape
- Small cars/toys/etc.
I personally love activities that are time consuming and this one takes a good chunk of time to complete.
1. Use painters tape to write out your child’s name, a word, or the alphabet on the floor. You can also practice numbers with this too.
2. Have your child use small toys, cars, small stuffed animals (honestly whatever you have) and have them line them up along the tape.
**BONUS: If you don’t have painters tape, you can do it on a smaller scale by drawing lines + letters on a piece of paper and then having your child cover them with Cheerios:
3. RAINBOW RICE
My daughter had this in her preschool classroom and loved it! Who knew it was so easy to make ;-). I actually shared it on my blog last week and had to do so again because it’s so fun!
I realize that it can look a bit messy, but when it comes to sensory bins, I love setting them up in the bathtub. That way, all the mess falls into the bathtub, making it much easier to clean. You can also do them outside if you have the space or on a splat mat on the dining room table.
- 2 bags of uncooked white rice (use the most inexpensive kind)
- Food Coloring (I bought this set)
- Plastic Bags
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper or Tin Foil
1. Put 1-2 cups of rice into different plastic bags. One color per bag so I had a total of 6 bags.
2. Mix 1 tablespoon of water + 15-20 drops of food coloring per bag.
3. Zip each bag completely and shake up to evenly coat the color on each piece of rice. Get your kids involved. They will have a great time helping and shaking.
* You might need to add another 1/4 teaspoon of water along with a couple more drops of food coloring to get the richness of color you want.
4. Spread the rice out on a baking sheet layered with tin foil or parchment paper and allow to dry overnight.
5. Repeat these steps with each individual bag of rice.
6. Once completely dry, pour all the colors of rice into a small plastic bin and start having fun!
4. COTTON SWAB LETTER PAINTING
- Construction Paper
- Washable Paint
1. This is a great activity if you want your child to practice their alphabet. Write out the alphabet in permanent marker on a large piece of paper.
2. have your child use a Q-Tip to trace over each letter with paint. They can either draw it or dot it with the Q-tip. So fun!
5. FIREWORKS SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
I actually saw this over on my friend’s Instagram Story and knew that I had to create it since it’s so fun and easy.
- Paper Plate
- Food Coloring
- Dish soap
1. Pour some milk onto a paper plate to create a shallow pool.
2. Splash a few drops of food coloring in the center in a cluster. Make sure all the colors are right next to each other.
3. Blot the Q-tip into the dish soap and then hold it down over the food coloring cluster. Make sure not to press too hard. The colors will run and create a beautiful “firework”.
6. EASY SENSORY BIN IDEAS
Sensory bins are super easy to make for young kids. You can mix and match different textures and toys to create endless possibilities. Just start with some sort of base whether it’s sand, colored rice (see recipe above), water beads or even just soapy water. Then add some cups, shovels, little figures etc. and have some fun.
For less of the mess, try setting them up in bins in your bathtub or even outside if you have space and warm weather (something I unfortunately don’t have).
- Colored Rice
- Soapy Water
- Water Beads
- Kinetic Sand
- Pom Poms (more mess free option)
- Small Cups
- Shovels or Sand Toys
- Small Plastic Toys (we love these and these)
- Small Plastic Bins
- Larger Plastic Bins
Mix and match the materials above to create different sensory bins.
NEED MORE IDEAS? MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY FAVORITE AMAZON FINDS FOR QUARANTINE WITH KIDS HERE AND OUR FAVORITE EDUCATIONAL TOYS AND BOOKS HERE.
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