Thankfully we’ve continued to keep a tight reign on screens around the Goodbye house. I received several comments and messages asking me what we’ve been doing instead of using screens in our home. Thus, this post. Today I’m sharing a number of activities that are simple, relatively cheap and have stood the test of time in our home. I’ve also started a dedicated Pinterest board with doable activities for you to follow. You can access my Pinterest account through the icon on the blog. Hope this helps. Let’s keep walking together as we nurture and grow these little folks.
Color Wonder by Crayola. Color Wonder has really expanded their offerings. Several versions now include numbers, letters and cool pictures that appear when you color over the white areas. Liam calls it a treasure hunt. I really like this particular Learning Numbers version. (Click on Bold text to view actual links for ideas)
Legos! We sorted through big brother’s Lego boxes and selected simple pieces that he could easily build with. We keep these in a bin on a shelf with other play bins we’ve created. Keeping everything accessible is key.
Sorting, cut and paste and color matching books from the Dollar Tree. Don’t spend $3.99 on these books at Target! I consistently find great preschool materials at Dollar Tree. Liam recently tried his hand at cutting, but I still help in this department. Here, he is sorting the vegetables into the correct color bin and then gluing. Glue sticks really give him a sense of independence. And please know… it took us weeks to get this groove going. The first time we sat down with a book he ripped it up.
Kinetic Sand! Sensory input, sensory play. Enough said. We all, yes myself included, love to sit down and mold and squish this stuff. You can find it everywhere now. I often find packages at ROSS and Marshalls stores for a great price. This is another bin we keep on our shelf, ready to go.
Bean Boxes. Simply grab a few of the largest dry bean bags your store has to offer. We change up the bean bin all the time. I’ve added Sea Shells, action figures, letters, questions, marbles and scoops. The biggest hit has been a two-liter and a funnel. There is apparently something relaxing about funneling beans into a two liter on repeat.
Books. I made book bins for the kids according to age. My kids often hear me shout, “grab your book bins!” when things get a little hairy. I change out the books here and there to keep things fresh. Liam also enjoys this Wipe Clean book I picked up. It’s HUGE, and I love the reusable nature.
Unifix Cubes. As a former teacher I totally geek out with stuff like this. I adore place value! These little guys come in super handy when I’m doing math homework with my school age kiddos. For my preschooler these vivid colored, stacking blocks have limitless possibilities. On this day Liam was sorting them by color into little tea-cups. After he sorted he was allowed to tower-up each color and use them for light-sabers. We also make patterns, review colors and practice counting with the cubes. As you can see, I store them in a basket with the other bins.
Bouncing bubbles. We found these on clearance recently and LOVE them. They hang out and the kids poke them and hold them, stick them in their hair. Super fun. While outside we will also paint, look for sticks and bugs and soak up some vitamin D from the sun!
We also allow indoor toys to come inside when it rains. On this particular day Liam was saying his school morning goodbyes while preparing to blade it up in the family room. Whatever works. Baby needs to move!
Cooking. My kids cook with me. It keeps their hands busy and engaged. With a few safety lessons and a watchful eye even a four year old can help with meal prep. Warning: Much patience is required. Again, we had to work up to this. Also… dogs will be fed.
Lastly. We are getting outside a lot. I’m an outside person in general. But I find myself thinking ahead about our outdoor time. Long weekend coming? Find a campsite or plan to set up camp in the backyard. Look for a day hike, explore a local lake or park. That’s what the weekend is for!