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Screen Free Activity Box Ideas
Does anyone else find it hard to avoid increased screen time over the summer vacation? We do! When you are constantly in the car, out at restaurants, visiting family, etc. it can be difficult to avoid just putting a show on to keep the peace. We've come up with some fun, and very educational, activity boxes to help keep your kids entertained.
Alphabet Activity Box
This box is perfect for working on literacy skills in a hands on way. Most of these activities can be adapted for younger or older children. Our little tester (and his giant cookie!!) is 4 yrs old.
- Alphabet flashcards (Target, $1)
- Alphabet practice cards (Target, $1)
- Alphabet stamps and ink pad (Michael's, $1 each)
- White card, A4 piece cut into four
- Box of letter beads (Michael's, $8)
- Tongs (Learning Resources, part of 'Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set', $14.99)
1. Alphabet Flashcards: Letter recognition and sounding out
The flashcards can be used for letter recognition by simply showing the letter side and asking the child to say the letter. For a more challenging task, you can show the child the picture side and ask them to say the starting sound. For older kids why not get them spelling out the entire picture word?
2. Letter Stamping: Upper and lowercase matching, and word formation
Stamps are always good fun but these cute little letter stamps are so perfect for when you are on-the-go. There was an uppercase and lowercase set so it was a good challenge to see if the little guy could match up the letters. He also enjoyed trying to stamp out come simple words, starting with his name.
3. Alphabet Practice Cards: letter recognition and writing
These are ideal for letter practice as they are wipe clean and can therefore easily be used over and over.
4. Letter Beads: Letter recognition, word formation and fine motor skills
It was nice to mix things up a little and provide a more hands on activity. This involved choosing letter beads and threading them onto some colourful string. Make sure you remember to tie a bead at the end to prevent searching for lost beads for the next hour of your life! This activity is great for fine motor skill development.
Drawing Activity Box
If you've got a little artist on your hands, then this activity box won't fail to impress. A selection of drawing-based activities using different types of markers is so cheap and easy to prepare!
- Plastic box (Michael's, $1)
- Selection of marker pens, crayons or colouring pencils (we used Crayola markers and some fun 'sniff markers')
- White A4 card cut into four
- Sticker scenes (a few stickers on small pieces of white card, we used vehicle stickers from Michael's, $1)
- Funny faces (black border drawn on white card, facial feature stickers from Michael's, $1)
- Animal flashcards (Target, $1)
Many parents are equipped with crayons and paper when they head out to help keep their kids entertained. Here's a few tips to make the drawing activity box a little more engaging.
1. Add something new to explore
In this case the 'sniff markers' had a huge novelty factor, and inspired some great sensory exploration, as well as vibrant drawings.
2. Provide drawing prompts
Help to get the child's imagination inspired by providing a drawing prompt, for example we added sticker scenes and funny faces to draw on.
3. Challenge your child to go outside of their drawing comfort zone
We attempted this by including some animal flashcards that could be used to copy.
4. Parents should always get involved too
Make sure you join in the fun and Make Time Together, nothing inspires a child more than their parents.
Number Activity Box
Not all children have a natural love of numbers and math. So why not make it exciting and enticing?! We put together a fun Number Activity Box to get little minds working over the summer.
- Number sequencing sticks (large craft sticks with numbers 1-10 written on in permanent marker, with one number left blank)
- Number pegs (clothes pegs with numbers 1-10 written on using permanent marker)
- Hole punch cards (coloured paper or card, with a number written on in black marker)
- Single hole punch
- Number writing strips (coloured card with number stickers 1-5 and 6-10, dry erase tape stuck underneath)
- Whiteboard marker
Here are some great activities you can set up using the materials in the box.
1. Number Sequencing Sticks
There are ten large craft sticks, each with a 1-10 sequence of numbers written on. Each stick has a different number missing. The challenge is to identify the missing number in the sequence and attach the correct number peg. Our tester loved using the number pegs. The fine motor control require acted as a distraction and the little guy didn't even realise he was working so hard on his numbers! He lined up all of the pegs in order and worked his way through the sequence sticks. Oh and of course he enjoyed some post number-work construction with the materials!
2. Number Punching
Children are fascinated by hole punchers. This simple activity encourages them to use their fine motor and counting skills. Each colored card has a number on it and the child has to punch the corresponding number of holes.
3. Wipe Clean Number Writing
This is the simplest of the three activities but the novelty of being able to wipe clean the numbers makes it a little more enticing. The aim is to work on developing your child's number writing skills as they copy the number stickers. If you have younger children you can always write the numbers and ask them to trace over the numbers in a different color. For older children you could write higher numbers than 1-10.
Well there you have it - are you feeling inspired to make some screen free activity boxes for your kiddos? We'd love to see what you put in yours so don't forget to tag us, @creativeqt, on Facebook and Instagram!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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