Saturday, March 31, 2012
5 Easy Games Using a $.50 Foil Pan
I'm in charge of paying the bills at our house. I usually do a decent job, but the other day I realized I had about ten bills piled up. Oops. This meant that I really needed something to keep the kids busy for fifteen minutes so I pulled out my trusty foil tins, which I bought at the Dollar Store one Saturday morning. The "Dollar" store is slightly misleading since everything is usually $2 or $3, but this time something really was $1 so they've been a great investment. We just rinse them out and keep using them again and again. So, in case you are looking for cheap and easy projects to keep the kids busy, here is a list of 5 ways to use a $.50 foil tin.
Just get some colored rice from Hobby Lobby and keep in a baggie. When you need 20 minutes of free time, pour the rice into the foil tin and give the kids cups, a funnel, spoons, anything you think might be fun. Kids really love to pour things back and forth and back and forth and it's excellent for fine motor skills. Tell them at the beginning that all rice needs to stay INSIDE the pan. You might be amazed at how well they listen when faced with the prospect of putting it all away if they aren't careful. Even kids as young as twenty months can do this activity.
I used glue to write names on construction paper and then the kids used leftover cupcake sprinkles to make the names come to life. When the names were covered, they took them out of the foil tins and voila!
Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Paint Project
For this, I let the kids squeeze a bunch of paint to the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle some baking soda. Lastly, I gave them bottles with vinegar and they were fascinated by the bubbly explosions inside the tin foil pan. Plus, squeezing the bottles are great for developing the muscles they will later need for writing.
You can keep it really simple by just using paint or even shaving cream. Give them something interesting to use to push the paint around the tin, such as a basting brush, an old toothbrush, or even just use a regular paintbrush. If you're feeling really adventurous, you could let them use their hands and turn it into a sensory activity.
Kids love water. If you don't want to mess with paint, just put water in the tin and give them cups, a squirt bottle, a funnel, whatever you have handy. Give them towels and tell them if they make a mess you'll have to put it away. You'll be amazed at how well they can keep themselves busy with water. It's very interesting to kids and teaches them a lot about gravity and cause and effect (Example: You spray water at me, I take away the water:-)) Kids as young as twenty months can do this and again, it's great for developing fine motor skill and coordination.
If you enjoyed this post, you will love my book! It was released in July, 2012 and was co-written by Katie Norris and Susan Case. The book includes lots more ideas, similar to this and even expands on how they can help your child learn and even be ready for school someday. In this unique book, which was written by both a Mom and a former Kindergarten Teacher, you will find ways to keep your little kids busy, out of trouble, and motivated to learn. If you have ever tried to cook dinner while your kid clings to your leg and cries, this is the book for you! Kids behave better when they are given challenging projects to work on, which will in turn give you more free time to do the things you really need to do, like washing dishes, paying bills, and relaxing so that you can be a better Mom!
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