I found this adorable idea at I Can Teach My Child (I love this site!!). Click on the link and then download the .pdf and print in color. Cut out the little animals, cut them in half and tape them onto some Legos. My son loves matching and mis-matching the animals. He is 26 months and now finally really starting to enjoy Lego play!
Make some pom pom magnets: I bought my poms and little round magnets from Michael’s and hot glue gunned (yes, that’s a verb) them together. There is a tutorial about this at Confessions of a Homeschooler.
My son loves to stick these to our phonics tin cans (left over from my kindergarten teaching days). We have also just begun using some magnet pages, as well, but he doesn’t quite have the patience for those yet.
I have been making more busy bags! They are so easy to make with crafts on hand (or from a quick trip to Michael’s)!
Clothes on a line. These little shirts, shorts, and pants (there is a dress in the mix too, but I have a boy, so I didn’t cut those out) were so easy to cut out. Now he can play with his own mini clothes, and attempt to use clothespins to hang them on a line! We haven’t mastered that yet. This wonderful template and idea is from Money Saving Mom.
Pipe cleaners in the empty spice container. Brilliant and so easy. All I had to do was cut some pipe cleaners in half and soak a spice container in water to get the label off. A great activity for little hands!
And these cute button-felt strips are so fun too! I made two of them, in case my son has a friend over and they want to do it together. You just hand-sew a button onto one end of your ribbon, and a piece of felt onto the other, then you cut little felt squares or shapes, so your child can practice button-ing!
I have heard about “Busy Bags” from many mama blogs. You put a fun activity into a bag and give it to your child when they need something to keep them busy. It can really be anything, but I have gotten many ideas from Walking by the Way. I created 4 of my own busy bags this weekend.
The first is a “Go Fish” game I found here. I bought some felt sheets from Michael’s, cut each color into 2 fish, hot glue-gunned these together and put a magnet inside, then I added googly eyes that I already had. The fishing pole was made from a popsicle stick (that I drilled a small hole in all by myself!), with thin string holding a magnet. This game was really fun for my son — however I need to get a stronger magnet for the fish pole because the felt has weakened the little magnets inside.
Next I made another felt project. I saw this idea here. This mom made popsicles, but I thought little flowers would be cuter. I cut two flowers out of each, hot glue-gunned them together, all but one petal. And my son put the matching colored stems on the matching flower! Learning colors and using his hands!
Then, I decided to do some painting. I got this next idea here. I couldn’t find plastic (Easter) eggs this time of year, so I bought 6 little wooden eggs. I painted them each red, blue, yellow, orange, purple, and green. Then I put a little paint inside a cut-6-sectioned egg carton. Woh-lah — another color matching activity! (I like the wooden eggs better because my son is too young to put those plastic eggs back together and they would distract from the game.)
Last, another painted project. I bought 6 little containers from Michael’s and painted the insides and tops six colors. Now he has another matching game — and will learn to put tops on containers. Also, I bought these adorable, colorful shape buttons that he can sort as well!
I am very excited to find more (inexpensive) projects. I know that many of them can be made with stuff from around the home. I have heard of putting a large lock and key in a bag and letting your child learn to open the lock. Also, using 4-6 travel plastic shampoo bottles and let your child practice put the tops on. I found this idea here.
**I’d love more ideas. Please link yours below in the comments!!