At the end of my pregnancy, I'm taking it really easy! But with Little M&M only going to preschool 3 days per week, I still have several days at home with just him and me. So I threw together five "invitations" over the last two weeks to keep him happy and busy independently. Take a look!
For his first activity, I pulled together various materials with which he could practice his scissor skills: scrap paper, straws, ribbon, yarn, and pipe cleaners.
Additionally I had drawn a few lines and shapes for him to cut out if he wished.
This basket entertained him for quite a long time! His favorite thing to cut was the straws, though over time he gave everything a whirl. He even grabbed our tape and started constructing various things out of his snippets! I'll be sure to offer this again when the baby arrives. To help gain Honey Pot's interest when I offer this over the summer break, perhaps I'll include more paper and some of my fancy scissors!
The next day's invitation comes from a free printable I found over at Adventure in a Box, and they also offer numbers! I left this out for Little M&M while I was relaxing nearby. MagnaTiles are one of his favorite things to build with, so he mostly just made structures as usual. But he did try out a letter or two!
The next day he was home with me I put together this tray for lacing practice. It included charms and beads of various sorts, jingle bells, necklace strings, the straws he cut up on a previous day and a vehicles lacing set I've owned for several years (I believe it originally came from the Target Dollar Spot). This invitation was as popular as the cutting basket. He made several necklaces for the both of us to wear, and he also tried some vehicle lacing cards.
Hammering and Poking Tray
I had been wanting to put together an invitation like this for a while! Inside I included scrap pieces of cardstock, cardboard, an old egg carton, a piece of a foam pool noodle from Dollar Tree, toothpicks, golf tees, giant push pins and a mallet. Nearby I also included toy tools like his hammer, nails and some playdoh to use with them. I told him he could use the items however he wished (this is the whole purpose of "invitations" really) and he had a blast! His favorite thing was using the mallet to hammer golf tees into the pool noodle. Though the egg carton is always popular with him as well--it was completely destroyed by the end of his play session.
Large Number Recognition + Painting with Water
Another offering recently was to paint with water on our chalkboard wall. He enjoys this activity any day, but today I added large numbers for him to identify and then erase with water. A few months ago while we were grocery shopping he took it upon himself to count all the way from 1-1000. He did it successfully too, by the end of that afternoon. So I like to see if he can read these big numbers that he can count to, and he can!
When he was finished, he used all of these various painting tools to paint the whole chalkboard with water pictures. He loves doing this! He pulled out the chalk later too and that really added to his play. In the future we can certainly do more number activities like this, including skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's!