by Megan Guthrie
Don’t throw out the trash just yet. You can use common household items to create fun and engaging activities for your kids. Plenty of us have stocked up on common household items such as toilet paper, and paper towels. You might even have sponges, Q-tips, dish soap, eggs, milk, oatmeal, rice, sponges, napkins, Popsicle sticks, shoe boxes, cotton balls, tape, markers, pasta, cornstarch, and food dye. What if I told you that if you had all of these items, even some of these items that you could create some pretty awesome home activities for you and your preschooler to engage in together. See the list below:
Colored Milk Art
Pour some milk on a plate, use 1-2 drops of food coloring, dip the Q-tip in the dish soap and then in the milk, watch what happens! You will need:
Dish Soap Silly Putty
Mix together 2tbs. of corn starch and 1.5 tbs of dish soap, stir for 10 seconds. You will need:
What to do with tape
-Create a racetrack on the floor
-Create a sensory path
What to do with napkins
Have your preschooler draw a picture on one side of the napkin, then fold it over so that you cover the picture. Place in water and watch the drawing appear.
What to do with rice/oatmeal
Place some rice on a place, then have your preschooler practice drawing shapes, letter, and numbers in the rice.
What to do with a shoebox and Popsicle sticks
Cut small slits in the top of the shoe box, enough to place a Popsicle stick through. Under each slit write letters/ numbers/ shapes/ colors. On the Popsicle stick write letters/numbers/colors. Have your child match.
What to do with sponges
Cut your sponge into different shapes and use it as a tool to paint. Paint too messy? Don’t worry, you can have your child dip their sponge in some water and “paint” making shapes with their sponge outside on the sidewalk or driveway.
What to do with an egg carton and cotton balls
Work on counting with 1:1 correspondence, have your child place one cotton ball in each egg place and count as they go.
What to do with empty milk containers
Set up empty milk cartons (at least 3) in a triangle formation, then get a ball or something round. Roll the ball towards the milk cartons and try to knock them down. Have fun bowling!
What to do with empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls
-Tape the empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls to a wall to create a large funnel. Have your child place cotton balls in the tube at the top and watch the cotton ball trickle through them, all the way to the ground.
-Make binoculars by taping two together and play I Spy around the house of outside.
-Cover and tape one side of the empty paper towel or toilet paper roll closed with paper or another material, fill the roll half way with rice, then cover and tape the other side of the roll with paper. Now shake. You have a maraca, make some music!
What to do with uncooked pasta
Get out your strainer. Get out your uncooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta. Have your child use their fine motor skills to place the pasta through the holes in the strainer. (You can also do this with pipe cleaners)
What to do with an empty oatmeal container
-Take the top off and use the container as an easy put in activity.
-Keep the top on and cut a slit in the top, practice fine motor skills with coins by placing the coins through the slit in the top.