Friday, August 16, 2013


Here are a few more suggestions for creating independent, self-contained activities for your children.   Wouldn’t these be a good project for families to create for you?  You could give them suggestions, or just let them come up with their own ideas.

Inventor’s Box – Recycle toilet paper rolls, bottle tops, and other materials and challenge children to invent something with them.

Cutting Box – Put scissors, scrap paper, junk mail, and old catalogs in a box.
*Hole punches are also good for small motor development.

Dealer’s Choice – How about a deck of cards or other simple card games like “Go Fish” or “Old Maid”?

Play Dough Factory – Play dough, cookie cutters, plastic dishes and silverware, and cookie cutters will entertain children and develop small muscles.

Puppet Box – Hand puppets, finger puppets, or stick puppets can be placed in a box for story telling.

Story Box – Put a book and small stuffed animal children can read to in a box.

Sew and String – Fill a box with sewing cards, shoe laces, wooden beads, pasta with holes, and other things that you can sew or string.

Nature Box – Collect leaves, sticks, rocks, pinecones, shells and other natural objects that children can examine, sort, and explore.

Dress Me – A shoe that ties, shirt with buttons, buckle belt, or other clothing are great for practicing self-help skills.

Common Core Standards in a Box
RF.K.3.c.  Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g. the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
Clip and Read - Write high frequency words on the ends of craft sticks and place them in the box.  Write letters on clothespins.  Children clip the clothespins to the end of the stick to spell the words.

String and Read - Place a list of words in the box along with pipe cleaners and letter beads.  Children string the beads on the pipe cleaner to spell words.

Math - Write numbers from 0 to 20.  Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
Smart Cookies - Write numerals on plastic plates with a permanent marker.  Put play dough in the box along with the plates.  Children take play dough, roll it, and place it on top of the numeral.  Then they make the appropriate number of cookies out of play dough.  Can they put the cookies in a line and count them?  Can they put them close together and count them?
*You can also write numerals on paper and insert it in clear sheet protectors or folders.

*My mind’s going 90 miles an hour.  Visit my website in October to see what I’ve come up with.   I might call it “Common Core in a Box.”  If you have any suggestions I’d love to have you email them to me.