TIP: Cover your table with wax paper or dollar store plastic table covers for an easy and fast clean up.
1. Coloring. Simple ideas are often the most effective. A stack of dollar store coloring books and a box of crayons will keep little hands busy. You may want to provide blank paper and assign your child to draw something such as her favorite food, what she wants for her birthday, or her favorite animal. Consider providing markers, colored pencils, and other coloring mediums to add variety. Do A Dots are also a great choice.
2. Make Cookie Dough. Here is a recipe that is easy and fun for little children:
- 3 c. oatmeal
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 1/2 c. butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Children can do all the measuring since accuracy is not essential. Dump all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Children can use their hands for this. The more you squeeze, punch, roll, and pound the dough the better the cookies will taste.
- Finally, roll the dough into small balls and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
3. Silly Putty. You can find silly putty at your local dollar store. Children love to work with their hands and silly putty will provide plenty of play time squeezing, stretching, and squishing.
10. Tangrams and Puzzles. Tangrams are expand a child's creative instincts while teaching math concepts. They can also be used to create images such as houses, cats, and people. Provide paper or plastic tangrams and allow your child to simply create. However, you can find templates to keep your child busy as well. In this same vain, you can provide puzzles to keep hands and minds busy.