Last week I asked you to tell me what ages and topics you wanted to learn more about here on MamaOT.com. I learned that many of you are looking for play and activity ideas for your little ones. To be honest, there are TONS of blogs out there (it’s overwhelming, really) that offer a multitude of ideas for creative crafts and activities for kids. And since MamaOT is a “Tips and Tricks” blog that sometimes features activity ideas (rather than focusing on them exclusively), I thought I’d share some helpful resources for those of you looking for a creative boost. I’ve decided to devote this entire week (how lucky are you?!) to telling you about some fantastic resources out there on the world wide web that have already put together fun lists of things to do with kids of all ages!
The first website you should check out is called No Time for Flash Cards: Learning and Play for Babies, Toddlers, and Kids. It can be accessed at www.notimeforflashcards.com.
No Time for Flash Cards (or NTFFC for short) is a fun blog that features tons of activity ideas for babies, toddlers, and kids. It has been around since 2008 and is run by a teacher/mom who loves to help other parents. You can search for activities based on:
- AGE — infant, toddler (1-3), preschool (3-5), school-age (5+), big kid and parents (8+)
- CRAFT — by theme and by age
- ACTIVITY TYPE — cooking, fine motor, gross motor, math, pretend play, science, sensory, and songs
The philosophy of NTFFC is to make learning fun at home and in school…without the flashcards!
As a pediatric occupational therapist, I think the NTFFC blog is a great place to start for those who are looking for activity ideas that will engage kids’ brains and bodies without making them feel like they’re being “drilled”. The blog’s writers have backgrounds in literature, education, and crafting, so those are the kinds of ideas you’ll encounter. Though it’s not a site geared specifically toward reaching developmental milestones or sharing how to playfully work toward specific age-appropriate skills (such as fine motor milestones or handwriting development), I think you’ll find the ideas on NTFFC useful and practical, especially the page that outlines basic must-have craft supplies.
Here are some examples of activities featured on NTFFC (click on title for link to activity):
- Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles
- Texture Collage
- Real Life Angry Birds
- Emotions Book (for infants and older kids too)
- Cooking in the Sink — Sensory Pretend Play
I hope you’ll stop by No Time for Flash Cards and try out some of the many fun ideas it has in store for you. Hopefully you’ll discover some new favorites. Let me know what you think of it!
Tomorrow I will be sharing another website I like that is filled with hundreds (maybe even THOUSANDS) of activity ideas for parents and kids to do together. Be sure to come back to check it out or, better yet, subscribe to MamaOT so you don’t miss out on future posts. See you tomorrow!
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In addition to being mama to two sweet little boys and wife to a crazy awesome husband, Christie is a Registered & Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L). She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Education from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA...Go Bruins!), and an M.A. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC OT). She has experience working as a pediatric OT in early intervention (birth to 3), clinic-based, and school-based settings. Her mission with MamaOT.com is to encourage, educate, and empower those who care for children. Christie loves that she gets to PLAY when she goes to work, is hopelessly addicted to Kettle Corn, and is known for being able to turn virtually anything into a therapeutic tool or activity, from empty food containers to laundry and everything in between. Learn more about Christie and what inspired her to become an OT.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a holistic profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also known as “occupations”. Some OTs help people diagnosed with disability, injury, or disease. Others help prevent disability, injury, or disease. Because of occupational therapy, people of all ages are able to say, "I can!" no matter what their struggle. Isn't that amazing?!
. . . . .Please provide appropriate supervision to the child in your care when completing any activities from this site. You as the grown-up will need to decide what types of products/activities on this list will be safe for your child. If you’re not sure, check with your child’s occupational therapist or pediatrician. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when implementing any ideas or activities from this site, particularly if there is any risk of injury (e.g., falling, crashing), choking (e.g., small parts), drowning (e.g., water play), or allergic/adverse reaction (e.g., materials/ingredients). The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.