Want a fun way to stretch imagination and encourage creativity? Oh, and you don't want to spend any money or have to leave the house? Done!
Choose any household item, and then come up with as many different games or activities as possible using that item. I do this with my two and three-year-olds regularly, and it is something that can genuinely hold all of our attentions for an hour or more (which, frankly, is rare!)
This week we chose a box of penne pasta from our pantry. Over the course of an hour, we came up with and played nine different activities using penne, and really only stopped at that because we had a playdate to get to.
Here's what we did:
1) Transferring - this is a Montessori early-learning activity that my kids love! Grab measuring cups, tupperware & spoons in a variety of sizes and let the kids transfer from one container to the next.
2) Measuring - we very naturally transitioned into measuring & counting, using the same items from our time with transferring. I gave the kids simple instructions like, "Add 1 cup of pasta to the big bowl" and "Put 7 pieces of penne in this cup."
3) Noodle Letters & Spelling - Ask the kid to create letters and write their names, using only the pasta. If your kids are ready for it, elaborate with spelling and phonics practice.
4) Noodle Necklaces - This activity is great for developing fine motor skills! My kids love beading necklaces, so we grabbed a couple pipe cleaners and found a few spare bells for them to use in their custom necklace creations.
5) Noodle Crowns - My son wasn't happy with his noodle necklace, but lit up when he realized he could turn it into a crown, grab his sword and pretend to be a king. Add a few more noodles & pipe cleaners bent like triangles, and you can create a wonderful tiara as well!
8) Noodle Marching Band - We marched all around the house using our penne as various instruments, mostly horns.
9) Look & Find - My kids are obsessed with look & finds and treasure hunts, so our last game was for one person to hide a set number of noodles around the house and then the other two had to go look for them. We did several rounds of this!
Have a fun way your family stays creative together?
Share with us!