Monday, February 17, 2014

Childrens activities, Thinking outside the box

When I'm looking for children's activities I like to do something a bit different.  If a toy can be used for more than one activity it makes things more interesting and saves money.  A toy that hasn't been used for ages suddenly has a new lease of life. Here are a few ways that we have used children's toys/games in a different way.

Car Art

Cars can be used to drive around roads, but they can also be used for drawing.  In this picture all we did was tape some felt pens onto the back of cars and then drive them around a piece of paper.  You just have to fiddle about with the position of the pen so that it touches the paper.  Another way to use cars for art is to find ones with good tread on the tyres and drive them through paint to make tyre tracks.
Building with Dominos
We like to browse round the kinder floh Markts (sales of second hand children's toys and clothes) around our area.  I'm a terrible one for a bargain.  A while ago I had bought a small set of Domino Express.  So when I saw a bigger set for sale second hand I jumped at it.  After all it was only a couple of francs.  As well as building the traditional Domino runs to know down.  We tried building towers with them.  We experimented with different shapes to work out what was the easiest to build and the most stable.  M decided building with just two on each level was much easier.
Letter games
At the moment we are enjoying word games.  Both shop bought and home made.  Shop bought games are great as they are but can also be used in a variety of different ways.
Tiles from scrabble games can be used to spell out objects you have around the house or toy box. Or you can print out clip art pictures from the internet.  We have a selection of pictures that were used in Fun with Vowels that can be printed out.
I also picked up another word game.  Ok it is in German which M is learning fast, but I just saw the letters and thought they must have a use.  It got tucked away in my cupboard for a while till I thought of a way to use them.  One night we were doing train anagrams and I decided we could use these letters to help us work out the answers.  So we found the letters for our anagram and moved them around to work out what word they spelt.
We have the instructions for this, so one day I should sit down and make the effort to find out how to play the real game.
Second Hand shop finds
I also like second hand shops.  We have lots around the area and you can often find bargains for a few francs.  I had been looking for a table top bell for a while but didn't want to spend 15chf.  So when I saw a kids I spy game with one for 2chf I jumped at it.  The game was much to young for M but that didn't matter.  We have since used the bell along with a ducky whistle in Bottle top maths to say if someone has answered a maths question write or wrong.
We have also bought a salad spinner that got used for Salad Spinner Art
Play food has been used to teach healthy eating and a BBQ.
Internet ideas
Drawing outside the box
Looking on the internet you can find lots of great ideas for Thinking outside the box.  I recently found this great drawing activity.  You start with a shape and see what you can turn it into.  This website has some printable pictures to start you off and a great example of turning a lolly into a guy with a cold blowing his nose.  We will have to give this one a go.
Gardening outside the box
with spring coming round the corner we are wanting to get out into the vegetable patch.  Browsing on the internet I have found lots of ideas for doing things in a different way.  At the moment we are growing bean seeds in an old CD case and I want to try growing various seeds in a clear plastic glove.  If you are also interested in growing thing have a look at my pinterest board Gardening with kids
No brush painting
Nurture store has a great article on painting with a brush,  She has used things such as forks, Potato Mashers and bubble wrap.  Visit her site for more ideas. Nurture Store


  1. I like building with Dominoes. My son has done that, but we haven't used our salad spinner for art yet. I bet the pictures would be fun to create.

  2. I love this post! Thanks for linking up with the afterschool blog hop - I'm featuring your post on my blog today!

  3. you know i never played dominos. i think it is time to do so.

    thank you for linking up with the #pinitparty

  4. I need to find a salad spinner too! We love alternate ways of painting.

    1. Glad you like the idea. We got ours in a second hand shop. Great places for crafting and kids toys.


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