Wednesday, November 13, 2013

50+ Simple Play & Learning Ideas for Kids Using One or Two Materials

This website uses affiliate links. As an affiliate and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which means I make a small commission when you use these links, at no additional cost to you.

Catch my session on hyperlexia at Educate & Rejuvenate 2024

I have compiled over 50 simple play and learning activities for kids, from my blog, that use one or two materials.  Glue, scissors, and markers have been excluded as they don't play a prominent role in the actual activity itself, unless otherwise specified.  Other exclusions are a light table and a plastic bin for sensory bin play.  They all take only a few minutes to set up and use one or two materials.  With over 50 ideas, there's enough ideas to try at least one new idea per week for an entire year!  So whether it's a snow day or a rainy day or the kids are telling you that they're bored, you're bound to find something on this list!

50+ simple play ideas for kids that use one or two materials from And Next Comes L

6 Simple Music Activities for Kids

6 simple music activities for kids that use one or two materials from And Next Comes L

1. Grab some chalk, head outdoors, and draw a giant chalk keyboard.
2. Have some glow sticks?  Then grab some plastic containers and start drumming!
3. Play hide and seek using your ears!  Grab a musical toy and start listening.
4. Explore the shape of xylophones in this musical twist on hopscotch.
5. Create a giant piano using an overhead projector and a clear transparency.
6. Glass gems and plastic containers are all that's needed for this music sorting game.  You can even play it on the light table!

8 Simple Sensory Play Ideas for Kids

8 simple sensory activities for kids that use one or two materials from And Next Comes L

1. Create 3D sculptures using styrofoam and colored craft sticks.
2. Look no further for a simple sensory bin!  Here are two sensory bins that use invisible hot glue letters and numbers.
3. Draw in a salt tray.
4. If you have a kid that enjoys ripping things, then this tissue paper sensory bin will be the perfect fit.
5. If you have shredded paper and some plastic eggs, then try one of these six different sensory bins.
6. Build some sculptures using pool noodles and pipe cleaners.
7. Turn your windows into a large scale connect the dots activity using dot sticks and window markers.
8. Three simple play dough and dinosaur activities that each use two materials.

9 Simple Activities for Light Table Play

9 simple light table activities for kids using one or two materials from And Next Comes L

1. Contact paper and some acrylic leaves are all you need for this sticky fall tree activity.
2. Build spiderwebs using yarn for some plastic spiders.
3. Sort and count apples.
4. Glass stones and small plastic cups are all you need to do some counting on the light table.
5. Practice music theory using glass gems and plastic containers.
6. Make your own light bright using styrofoam and light bright pegs.
7. Work on fine motor skills using translucent straws and string.
8. Set up an invitation to play on the light table using shower curtain rings and glass stones.
9. Make texture cards for the light table using vellum and an embosser.

5 Simple Outdoor Activities for Kids

5 simple outdoor activities for kids that use one or two materials from And Next Comes L

1. Have some scrap window casings, baseboards, or 2 x 4s?  Then try building some giant letters outdoors.
2. Learn about numbers with water balloons.
3. Make and color a rainbow using paving stones and chalk.
4. Practice sight words (or the alphabet) outside using a ride on car and some chalk.
5. Cars and scrap wood are all that's needed for this car ramp activity.

7 Simple Busy Bag Ideas for Kids

7 simple busy bag ideas for kids that use one or two materials from And Next Comes L

1. Recycle greeting cards into homemade puzzles.
2. Keep your toddler busy with pom poms and an ice cube tray.
3. Practice color recognition and fine motor skills with this colored popsicle stick activity.
4. Another way to keep your toddler busy is to reuse a wipe container for play.
5. Practice sight words with colored craft stick puzzles.
6. Dot stickers and a cardboard tube will be sure to entertain the kids for hours.
7. Make your own crayon rubbing cards using cardboard and hot glue.

12 Simple Literacy Activities for Kids

12 simple literacy activities for kids that use one or two materials from And Next Comes L

2. Build giant letters (and shapes too!) using shower curtain rings.
3. Use some glass gems to make some alphabet beads for off and on the light table.
4. Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt using a paper plate as your scorecard.
5. Build giant letters outdoors using scrap wood.
6. Practice letter identification and sight word spelling by making alphabet shower curtain rings.
7. Practice sight word reading and writing with this shower curtain sight word activity.
8. Use mega blocks to learn to do a variety of literacy activities.
9. Build letters and words using crayons.
10. Practice sight words and letter identification with this matching pole activity.
11. Grab some chalk and a ride on car and practice sight words.
12. Make some sight word puzzles using colored popsicle sticks.

7 More Simple Activities for Kids, Including Art and Active Play Ideas

7 more simple activities for kids using one or two materials from And Next Comes L

1. A big piece of cardboard (and some soft stuff to land on) are all that's needed to make a cardboard slide
2. Learn the months of the year playing calendar hopscotch.
5. Have a foam floor mat?  Try one of these ideas out!
6. Use wooden train tracks to learn about numbers.
7. Use some recyclables to build towers.

For even more simple play ideas, check out this list of 10+ super simple sensory play ideas from Fun at Home With Kids.