I sometimes struggle with trying to find good, engaging, active, and fun indoor activities for my kids that I know will burn off a lot of their built up energy.
Basically, I wanted to find a quick, easy, go-to activity that I know my kids will love each time I pull it out. So I began brainstorming. I know that if the topic is about something they love, then the battle will already be half won. Enter dinosaurs.
What I love about this activity?
- It is free
- It is engaging
- It teaches a little bit about dinosaurs
- It only requires a little bit of space
- And it burns off a TON of energy
- Paper plate
- Dinosaur stickers (optional)
- Use the ruler to help yourself draw lines to section off the parts of the plate. Decide how many sections you want. My sample has 8 sections.
- Write a movement in each section.
- If you have stickers, match them to the movement; this way your little one can use it on their own without needing to be able to read yet.
- Put the brad through the paperclip and through the center of the plate.
- Game time!
List of dinosaur movements:
- Chomp like a T-Rex
- Stomp like a stegosaurus
- Twist like a tricerotops
- Fly like a pteredactl
- Spin like a spinosaurus
- Shake your tail like an albertasaurus
- Stretch like an apatosaurus
- Show your claws like a therizinosauraus
- Run like a velocoraptor
- Swim like an elasomasaurus
Do any of you have any dinosaur movement suggestions? Comment below!
(Disclaimer- I use no affiliate links in this post.)
September 21st is Pinwheels for Peace in celebration of World Peace Day. Each year the middle schoolers at my school make pinwheels to decorate our front lawn. It is a pretty big event, which makes that night’s news each year.
This year, I had T make a few pinwheels. Using dabber paints, his turned out pretty good! So, here’s how it’s done:
STEP 1- Cut out the square
STEP 2- Write something about peace on the back.
STEP 3- Color and decorate both sides.
STEP 4- Cut along the diagonal lines.
STEP 5- Assemble. Follow the directions on the teplate to set up your pinwheel.
STEP 6- “Plant” your pinwheel in the grass.
This, like most all of my posts, is a super simple craft that won’t take much time at all to make.
- Orange and black felt
- A marker
- Construction paper
Step 1: Draw the outline of a pumpkin on the orange felt, then cut it out.
Step 2: Design a few different style mouths, noses, and eyes, then cut them out of the black felt.
Step 3: (optional) Use the construction paper to create mats to put the pieces on.
My favorite toddler activities are the ones that take way less prep time than the amount of time your tot will spend playing with it, and one that can be pulled out multiple times to be played with. This one definitely qualifies for both!
I remember as a child always seeing the small sets of alphabet fridge magnets hanging for sale in random isles of the grocery store and wondering why they were so popular. I remember thinking how boring they seemed; I just didn’t get it.
As a teacher and a mom, I decided to take another look at them. This is how I came up with 5 activities parents can do with their kids with a set of fridge magnets.
#1- ABC Order
I think this one is the most obvious. Put the magnets in alphabetical order. Then, point to the corresponding letter as you sing the alphabet song together.
Once your child starts to know their letters, you can have them put the letters in order.
#2- Color Code
Have your child focus on the colors for this one. Have them put all of the letters in groups just based on their colors.
This activity is great for when your child starts to learn how to make patterns. Have them make patterns based on color: example- red, blue, red, blue…
Once they get good at that, you can make it more challenging by doing things like adding more colors to the mix.
#4- Sight Words
Use the magnets to have your tot practice spelling sight words and/or your child’s name.
#5-Use with Songs that Spell Words
Spell out a word like “Bingo.” Then, sing the song together. Each time you say one of the letters in the song, point to that letter.
Other good songs for this:Mickey Mouse, Respect, and
This ocean story board maybe took me 20 minutes to make. All you need is the different colors of felt and a pair of scissors.
The felt pieces I created for this board:
- 2 fish
- Yellow sand
- A rock
- The waves at the top of the water
- A moon
I used this to help teach T about the ocean. He also loves using it to make up stories.
Cheap, simple, and keeps my kids happily busy? Now that’s my kind of activity.
Felt boards are GREAT for toddlers through lower-elementary-school age children. They are cheap, super easy to make, and there are just sooo many possibilities!
In order to make this one you only need the following items:
- A small tri-fold display board
- A hot glue gun
- Various colors of felt
- Use the hot glue gun to glue on a sheet of felt on the center panel. Then, cut another sheet in half lengthwise, and glue each half on the two outer panels. I used black and white for these pieces to create a strong contrast, but now I really think blue would have been better (especially for the story panels).
- Use the scissors to cut whatever you want out of the felt. I started with a set of shapes to help teach T his shapes and colors.
- I recommend storing the felt pieces in a baggie when not in use.
When done it should look something like this:
Here’s one that tots love.
Materials needed: construction paper and a glue stick
It is up to you if you want to let your little one tear the paper for the pieces needed, or if you want to have them pre-torn and ready for use. Also, same goes for the use of the glue stick.
If your tot is really young, then you may want to do what I do. I rub glue all over the star first, and then have T apply the torn pieces. Using glue is a developmental thing that takes practice, so you should relent it to your tot eventually (easier for some of us than for others ^^”).
This one has a red, white, and blue theme for the 4th of July.
For those of you interested, here is a list of concepts this craft helps to teach:
- Star shape
- Fine-motor skills