Motherhood is full of moments of chaos and stress. After having my first child, I quickly discovered that I am prone to rely on TV time as my saving grace during these moments. Whenever I need to check things off my to-do list or need a few minutes of quiet amongst the mayhem, my first thought is to turn on my kids’ favorite shows or let them play games on the tablet. More often than not, though, a few minutes of screen time turns into an all-day activity. This has led me to search out various activities, toys, and games that I can have ready when my children are bored or when I need a few moments of quiet time myself.
Alphabet & Number Activities
There are countless activities and games that can help your kiddos enjoy learning their numbers and letters--from books
to matching games and puzzles
are one of the most unique and fun ways for kids to learn proper letter and number formation even before they are ready to write with a pen or pencil. Magnatabs come in both uppercase and lowercase letters, shapes and numbers tablets and allow kids to practice without fear of making mistakes.
are a great activity for quiet time. Kids are able to learn problem solving skills while also developing the ability to concentrate and focus on a task. Give them puzzles that will be challenging enough that they can feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete it.
Drawing and Coloring Books
has countless benefits for a young mind, including the promotion of a child’s creativity and fine motor skills. It allows kids to be free and express themselves however they please. Drawing also requires some level of preparation; they decide what will be drawn, and how and where the drawings will be placed on the page.
is a storytelling device that encourages imagination and independent play. Children can pick and choose the stories and songs they’d like to listen to by placing a character
on top of the box. The act of listening to a story told out loud both strengthens children’s vocabularies and promotes comprehension skills. This is a great product for any child, but especially for those that are reluctant or hesitant to read on their own.
There is a reason that simple block toys remain popular from generation to generation. They allow kids to be creative by building worlds that they dream up on their own. Tegu blocks
are one of our favorite toys for this reason. These wooden blocks have magnets built within them that allow you to play and create without the fear of swallowing magnets. They’re also a great way to introduce and talk about magnetism with your kids.
Play Dough or Toy Sand
My daughter loves playing with play dough
, whether homemade or store bought. Not only does it promote sensory development, but is another great way for kids to be creative. Play dough can also be used to teach kids letters and numbers. The Land of Dough Learning Numbers Kit
comes with wooden blocks that can be used to make imprints in the dough, allowing kids to explore number shapes and formation.
Once you have a variety of activities, make sure to organize them in a way that allows your child to find things easily and independently. One way to accomplish this is by storing the activities in a rolling cart with clear drawers. Include your child in the organization process so they know where they can go to find something to do when you are busy or when boredom strikes. At our home, we organize our drawers by activity; one drawer for stickers, another for crayons and drawing pads, and another for puzzles. On top of the organizer, we have a basket that houses our blocks. When my daughter tells me she is bored, I tell her to go and find an activity from her activity cart.
When putting together your own activity cart, remember that sometimes the simplest toys and activities are just the things that will encourage independent play and creativity. And they might just keep you from losing your patience amidst the pressures of motherhood.
For more tips and ideas, visit babycubby.com