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Eye-Hand coordination with hammering out side

We are surviving amazingly well on very little TV for the kiddos.  He still likes his morning cartoon.  I liken it to my morning cup of coffee, he’s not quite awake until he’s had an episode of Phinnes and Ferb, and I am really fine with that.

I cleaned Brady’s room yesterday (I’m convinced my child is a hoarder, but that is another post).  His clean, better-organized room opened up a new world of play opportunities.  He can now easily access more things, allowing more independent play and sparking more ideas other than “can I watch a cartoon?”  Last night after dinner, he built a marble ramp with dad and played two board games before bed.

I am still always looking for ideas and suggestions on things to do to keep my littles entertained, I came up with a list a while back.  But when I need new ideas, I am lucky that I never have to look further than Brady’s amazing preschool teacher and her lists of suggestions from her facebook page or articles she writes for our local mothers’ club newsletter.

Here are some of my Cookies N’ Dirt favorites:

  • Adult Sized Paintbrushes or Foam Roller Brushes: Give your child a bucket of water and send them outside to “paint”.
  • Birthday candles:  Let your little one to put them into play dough- you will be surprised how long they will play with these!

    Play Dough and Candles

  • Tongs and Cotton Balls. Have children move cotton balls from one bowl to another with the tongs. They can also tong tissue, plastic eggs, sponges…anything. This activity is great for hand eye and fine motor skills.
  • Baby soap or regular soap: Soap can be so much fun for children to pump out and play in! Use the dish tubs to set up a “baby bath” with a plastic doll, or a dino bath with plastic animals.
  • Potato Sprouting: Stick toothpicks in the side of an organic potato and put one end in water with the other sticking out. Watch your potato grow a plant.
  • Hammering: Go to a local hardware store and buy the smallest hammer you can find along with some protective goggles. Have your child do some hammering into an old piece of wood or stump. You can start the nail for smaller children and let older children do it themselves. This is great for hand eye coordination as well as cognitive development. Let them know the rules for safety before you start.

    Keeping busy and focused

  • Plant seeds:  lima beans and snap peas are the easiest!! Birdseed is also great.
  • Peel Eggs: Boil some brown eggs and let your little one work at peeling the shell off. It is good for children to struggle a little so don’t be too quick to step in. You can also get an egg slicer and let them slice when they are done peeling.

    Look at the concentration!

  • Color shaky bottles: Fill 4 used water bottles ¾ of the way full with water.  Add a few drops of food coloring to each bottle so that you have one of each color. Put glitter in one, beads in one, soap in one, and cooking oil in one. Now screw the cap on tight and tape the bottle tops. Let children shake and roll the bottles.
  • Fishing: Fill a plastic baby pool with water and plastic animals, fish or bugs. Give your child a net and let them “catch” the animals. If you don’t have a net use a colander or old baseball cap!

What are you favorite activities to keep your kids busy without TV, or what resources do you go to??

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