Educational Toys – DIY

Educational Crafts for Kids

In today’s world, we are so caught up with our lives and making sure that our kids aren’t left out of anything that is ‘good’. To make up for some for the lost time, we want to give our kids what we didn’t have.

But let’s face it, most everything that is new and cool today was not around when we were kids. There was no Pokemon Go or iPads or smart phones in the hand of every child in the neighborhood. No way! We were old school.

We went outside. we watched Saturday morning cartoons and as soon as they were over, we bolted!

There was no worry about not being healthy or germs or any of that crap. We ran bare footed, drank from a garden hose, and ate watermelon and tomatoes straight from the garden.

But today, it is all about the high tech stuff and who has the sweetest gadgets. Who has the best smart phone or the coolest hover board.

But I say, put that crap down and unplug for once!

That includes you – mom or dad reading this post! It is hard for us to unplug and our kids see that. Lead by example, I say!

Spend some time with your kids making something that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Sure, they may not remember the craft or toy you built with them, but they will remember the time you unplugged and actually did something with them without having a gadget in between you.

I decided to share with you some crafts and toys that are not only fun, they are educational. I won’t tell  your kids that they will be learning at the same time if you don’t. Ok? Deal!

1 – Make math fun

pizza mathI am specifically talking about fractions here in this DIY fun. This is a way to introduce fractions in a fun, hands on way that you child won’t even realize that they are learning all about fractions. Nah, they will be too busy having a good time.

What you need:
* paper plates
* markers, colored pencils, or crayons
* Scissors (age appropriate)
* bring some ‘friends’ for this fraction fun party (dolls, GI Joe dudes, stuffed animals – you get the drift)

How you do it:
Create different round foods like a pizza or a cookie and draw and decorate it on the plate. Then have your child cut the plate up and divide it evenly among the ‘guests’. If there are 3 guests, cut it in thirds, four guests, cut it into fourths, and so on. You can add or take away the number of guests to show how it would be cut differently. Use the appropriate names of the fractions that are being cut – halves, thirds, fourths, etc.

2 – Build some bridgesmarshmallow bridge

Building bridges will help bring your child into a fascinating mindset with its exact science in engineering. Now don’t get too scared, it is easy and delicious way to learn.

What you need:
* Toothpicks
* Marshmallows (small ones are best but you can use the bigger ones with a straw instead of a toothpick)

How you do it:
Check out some books or pictures in a newspaper or magazine to get an idea of what you want your bridge to look like. Then allow your child to bridge the bridge, only helping when you need to.

You can use several toothpicks in one marshmallow to get different angels and looks of the bridge. If a problem arises from the design, use that opportunity to explain to your child why certain designs don’t work. This will help them to see things from a different perspective.

3 – Make your own coloring book

Grab some paper bags and make your own coloring book.

226fatbookWhat you need:
* brown paper bags
* crayons, markers, paint, etc
* Stapler
* Glue
* Scissors (age appropriate)
* Yarn
* Card stock, copy paper, or white paper
* Hole punch

How you do it:
Have your child color, draw, and decorate the bag. Make sure they list a title on it like “Rebekah’s Coloring Book”

Depending on the size of the bag you are using, you may need to cut the white paper to fit with the bag. At the top of each page, you want to name that page on what it will be later on. For example, three blue items, four green foods, etc. You can take different colored objects and cut them out of a magazine and match them up tp each page that you have made in the coloring book. Then your child can match up each of the colors to the page.

Then staple all the pages together or you can use a hole punch instead and use the yarn to tie them together. Glue or staple the bag onto the front and voila – you have your own coloring book.

 

Most of these are for a younger crowd, but this will certainly set the tone of YOU unplugging and spending some time with your child so that when they are older, they will know what it looks like to unplug and spend time with you!