Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kids indoor fun beats rainy day blues

It’s a rainy day and with outdoor fun out of the question, you might be wondering what to do with the kids. A friend showed me a great website, Productive Parenting, for ideas for fun at home with children from infancy through age 5. I like it because it uses household objects for activities, and its suggestions are age appropriate. It seems like a common sense, creative approach to helping children learn, and it's free, so I thought I’d share it.

The site,, offers parents one daily, developmental, age-appropriate activity suggestion for each child rather than making readers search the site for an activity. Membership is free and parents can choose to receive information in the way that best fits their lifestyle: either on their customized member homepage or by email. If members want other ideas, they can choose from a library of thousands of additional play activities, designed by experts in child development to stimulate a growing child’s mind.

Activities are designed to be simple, require little to no preparation, and use household items such as rulers, rocks, bowls, balls, coins, and cups. The Activity Library provides thousands of additional developmental activities, beginning with simple sensory experiences for infants and progressing to more challenging activities for pre-kindergartners. Specific activities are easily located with advanced search options by age, keyword, skills learned and category. Categories include Sensory Experiences, Exploring your World, Fun with Numbers, Science Adventures, Language and Pre-Reading, and Daily Living Skills.

The site was developed by Susan Dineen and Emily Rempe, a mother-daughter team, after Emily, mom to three preschoolers, realized how frustrating and overwhelming it was to find quality educational activities for her young children.

When I was the mother of a preschooler, I remember how hard it was to come up with creative learning games on my own. The few my friend taught me—butterflies made of paper towels dyed with food coloring and a hat with household objects to explore only with our eyes blindfolded—released us from the rainy day blues and created memories we both still cherish.

– Written by Odile Fredericks, Carolina Parent Web Editor

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