I wrote a couple of months ago on Quiet Time Bags/Busy Bags that we have introduced to our learning environment, as my 3-year old had been wanting to join us for some more organised play/learning time.
They continue to be a helpful resource that we pull out when I need concentrated time with my eldest daughter.
The other thing I have found useful is taking stock of some of the other activities and resources we have throughout the house, much of it unused a lot of the time. When these things are re-organised and presented in a way that makes them ‘new’ again, they can be a helpful addition to learning time. It’s amazing just how many things you might find around the house without having to purchase new things. Even some of the things in your pantry can be used for counting and sorting. It just takes a little imagination, and some re-organising (like sorting out those puzzles all loose in a box!).
It doesn’t all have to have an educational component either. You could always pull out old baby clothes for dolls, blankets for forts, or make a pretend clothesline for your child to hang things up.
Here are some other things you might have tucked away that you can reintroduce:
- Scrapbooking paper
- Bubble mixture
- Memory games
- Posters and old magazines
- Old socks to make puppets
- Play money
- Fabric scraps
- Flash cards
- Sidewalk chalk
- Magnetic letters or fridge magnets
- Make gloop
- Stacking cubes
- Newspapers for paper mache
- Nesting cups
- Cut out used colouring books for a collage
- Pouring and filling containers (with dry pasta or rice)
- Sorting pasta shapes or macaroni elbows (with spoons or tongs)
- Print off your own colouring pages from online and turn into books
- Grocery shopping with empty packets from your pantry, and a cane basket for carrying them
You might want to consider rotating resources and only getting certain things out once a week. You could even group toys in big cloth bags, and rotate them this way.
One final thing… never underestimate just how much learning your child is doing simply by being with you all day. The loving connection with you throughout the day is more important that having all the right activities organised.
Here are a handful of photos of some things we have found tucked away that often get forgotten about.
I’d love to hear your ideas!
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