Are you sick of playing the same games with your kids, day after day? It’s like Groundhog Day! (Except without Bill Murray to make you laugh). I think we all need a little inspiration to mix things up. Who knows, our kids are probably as bored as we are!
Meet the wonderful Lauren Hunt. She’s an Early Childhood Teacher from Adelaide, who currently works part-time teaching children in their first year of school. She’s also mum to a two year old daughter and is passionate about hands on, play-based learning. So she is sharing with us her top ten activities for kids ages 0-5years! Wohooooo!
By Lauren Hunt – Teacher Types
Many parents are always looking for ways to keep their little ones entertained (especially cheap and easy activities for kids!). Here’s a collection of my ‘top 10’ play ideas from my blog Teacher Types.
Activities are arranged in order from youngest babies to older children.
1. Discovery Bottles
Discovery Bottles are such an easy homemade toy – you’ll always save empty water bottles after seeing this baby play idea. Fill them with any items you happen to have around the house. Pictured here is; pasta, glitter & food colouring, paper clips, twisty pipe cleaners, coloured rice, gems & water, pom poms and torn up tin foil.
2. Treasure Baskets
Treasure baskets are a favourite of mine and the possibilities are endless. Choose a colour or theme and fill a basket with interesting objects for baby to explore. Pictured here (clockwise) is; play food, green things, peek-a-blocks, balls, things that make noise, wooden objects, nature, reflective.
3. Straw Play
So simple! I got this tin with the holes in it from Ikea, and simply placed straws through the holes in all different directions. Babies will have fun taking them out and toddlers can develop their fine motor skills by threading them through. A colander and pipe cleaners also works!
4. Homemade colour book
There are so many uses for the paint swatches you get for free at hardware stores. We made this cute little colour book by getting two of each colour, laminating them, punching holes down the side and attaching the pages with key rings. Extend this idea by adding coloured stickers to each page.
5. Busy Bags
Busy bags are designed to be quick, easy, low mess and low fuss, chuck in your handbag/nappy bag and keep little ones entertained during those times when there’s not a lot else for them to do. Pictured here are; peg colour matching (good old paint swatches again), crayons & sticky notes, ‘quiet blocks’ (cut up sponges) and gems with bath toys.
6. Sticky Collages
I always love doing art activities with my toddler and this one is very low mess! All you need to do is tape some clear contact to a window or glass door (sticky side out), and invite your toddler to stick little pieces of paper to it.
7. Rainbow Rice
Ok, this one is my all time favourite. Rainbow Rice is the most beautiful sensory play experience for toddlers and young children (passed the putting-everything-in-their-mouth-phase). The best recipe I’ve come across is about a cup of rice in a zip lock bag with a few drops of food colouring and a little squeeze of hand sanitiser. Shake it all around, leave to dry and then it’s ready to be played with.
8. Magnetic Chalkboard
This one is such a great idea – I just painted an oven tray with chalkboard paint. It can either be used with magnetic letters or chalk.
9. Alphabet Pebbles
School or kindy children who are beginning to learn letters will love these alphabet pebbles (I bought mine from Bunnings and wrote each letter on with a permanent texta). Great for learning their name and making simple words.
10. Shape Creations
This activity is aimed at older children and all you need is playdough and some matchsticks. Create various 2D and 3D shapes using playdough balls as the corners and matchsticks as the edges.
I hope you found some inspiration from this top 10 list!
Lauren Hunt xx
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