This eBook is a 52 page journey through commonly found objects in and around your home with ideas for using them for educational activities with your young child. While I targeted toddlers and preschoolers, many of the activities can also be done with kindergarten-aged children. (If you have older children, they will likely want to join in with many of the activities as well.)
Some examples of skills that are worked on throughout this book are:
- fine motor skills
- hand-eye coordination
- gross motor skills
- social communication
- social interactions
- adaptive (daily living skills)
- cognitive skills
- sensory stimulation
- body awareness
- spatial awareness
Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places was written as a reaction to comments that many of the families that I used to see while doing in-home therapy have said. I would often bring toys for the children to play with while we’re working, and many families would say things like, “I need to get something like (that toy)” or “You have all the cool toys.”
I wanted to show those families that there are so many activities that can be done with just objects in and around their own houses. So, I wrote this book with them in mind. (I wrote this book while I was still doing in-home therapy, and I provided families a printed copy of the book as educational material for them.)
Included in the book are ideas for activities for young children using the following:
- Cardboard Tubes
- Cookie Cutters
- Cotton Balls
- Dishpan (Plastic Wash Tubs)
- Egg Cartons
- Just You! (No Props Needed)
- Paper Bags
- Paper Cups
- Paper Plates
- Plastic Bottles
- Plastic Easter Eggs
- Poker Chips
- Miscellaneous Ideas (three pages of ideas that don’t fall into one of the above categories)
There is also a section on dyeing pasta/rice, as well as great books for toddlers and preschoolers.
A sampling of some of the activities:
(Cookie Cutters): It’s a Match – Trace several of your cookie cutters onto a piece of construction paper (or other type of paper). Then, give your child the cookie cutters and ask them to match the cookie cutter to the shape.
(Dishpan): Washing Day – Give your child a dishpan of water with a very small amount of very gentle washing machine detergent (or Woolite) in it. Help them to wash some doll clothes (or other small pieces of clothing, perhaps like socks) by hand. Then, set up a string between two pieces of furniture (or outdoors) for them to have their own clothes line to dry their newly washed garments.
(Egg Cartons): Nature Walk Treasures – If your child doesn’t have small treasures, one fun way to fill this might be with a nature walk. They can fill it with things like rocks, flowers, and leaves, as well as any other treasures that they might come across. (Make sure your child knows to only pick up things that you say are okay. Also, if there are very small items in their new nature treasure box, you might want to put it out of reach when you are not able to supervise.)
(Kitchen): Turkey Transfer – While this activity has a potential to be messy, your child will also have a lot of fun with it. If you are worried about a mess, you could try this activity outside instead of in the kitchen. Fill one bowl with water, and have an empty bowl nearby. Show your child how transfer the water from one bowl to another using a turkey baster. If your child has difficulty with the turkey baster, you can try a medicine bulb syringe or even measuring cups.
(Lids): Juice Lid Memory Game – Collect many metal lids (the ends) from frozen juice concentrate containers. You and your child can choose some favorite stickers (you need two of each sticker) to put on the lids. Since you’ll be matching (or playing memory for older children), you’ll want to make sure the stickers are exactly the same and that you put them on two different lids. After you and your child have put stickers on all of the lids, then you can either play a matching game or a more traditional Memory game for older children. (These lids have a great “clink” when dropped against a metal container, so that can be a fun additional activity.)
“What I like most about Angie’s eBook is that it combines two of my favorite things – learning through play and using things we have around the house. It doesn’t take fancy toys to give our kids quality play opportunities!
While the book is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, my daughters (ages 5 and 7) would love many, many of the activities as well. That’s one of the great things about activities that encourage open-ended play – they’re multilevel!
When your little ones need something engaging to do and you are having a “brain freeze,” you could turn to any page in this book and find something easy to set-up and fun to do.” — Amy, Let’s Explore
“I’m in love! In a time where there is an unending amount of toy options for your child, complete with the latest and greatest electronic ones that are fun but don’t really encourage a child’s creativity and pretend play, this book hits the spot!
The simplicity is marvelous, sparks parental creativity, and reminds the reader that everyday household items can provide hours of fun and learning at little to no cost! Seriously, who knew there could be so much fun in cotton balls, laundry, cookie cutters, egg cartons, paper plates, boxes, balloons…. and the list goes on to include about 25 sections in total with an appendix on how to dye pasta and rice.” — Cherie, Learning Every Day
“Finding Education Activities in the Most Unexpected Places is touted as “a 52 page journey through commonly found objects in and around your home with ideas for using them for educational activities with your young child.” It truly, truly is. Angie includes great activities for toddlers & preschoolers with easy to find, recyclable items.
Not only is this a frugal resource to buy (only $7.50!), but it’s truly a frugal resource to USE. There is very little expense going on in any of the activities in this e-book — just good clean fun!” — Jen from Happy Little Homemaker
“Our first activity was balloon batting. Shrade had so much fun letting the balloon hit him in the head. He is laughing hysterically in this photo. He played with this for hours and he especially loved it when I “accidentally” hit my head with the balloon too. This was good for gross motor and hand eye coordination as noted by Angie.” — Shonda, Milk N’ Honey Learn and Grow (Shonda highlighted six activities, with pictures, that she did with her son in her review.)
“Angie works with families in their home as a therapist for toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities. Her aim in writing this book is to help equip families to provide enriching experiences for their young child. I think she has met her goal! Many young children are not stimulated and given early learning experiences, even through exploring with everyday objects and I think this book is a great place to begin.” — Michelle from Delightful Learning
“There are just some days when I’m not as prepared as I need to be and my toddlers need a structured activity and I just can’t think of any off the top of my head. Angie, from Real Life at Home has come up with a solution to my can’t-think-of-any-ideas problem—a new e-book that is full of easy to implement activities to do with your kids.” — Maureen from Spell Out Loud
“I stalk read Angie’s blog: Real Life at Home on a daily basis. Since I am so familiar with her style of writing and her awesome ideas, I was excited to have a chance to review her book – I was NOT disappointed!
While some of the activities I had already heard of (remember, I’m a pretty frugal gal myself!), there were alot that I had not!Learn how to: “blanket sled,” make edible peanut butter play-doh, have a Croc wash and more!” — Jessica from Moneyless Momma’s
“[Angie] wrote this awesome e-book, perfect for parents homeschooling older kids with toddlers and preschoolers in the mix, parents who want to actively engage their young children, home daycare providers, grandparents…anybody who has young kids with whom they want to enjoy some quality play time.” — Kris, Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
“This eBook is filled with great ideas and is written in a clear, easy to understand manner. The wide variety of materials and ideas ensures that there will be something for everyone to enjoy and learn from. The pages are uncluttered and easy to read with occasional attractive photographs appropriate to the theme of the chapter. I have enjoyed gleaning ideas from Angie’s book and am sure it will be a valuable resource to many families.” — Karen from Creekwood Chronicles