Here are a few ideas that you should be able to do with items around the house:
1- Ordering items from smallest to largest and vice versa
a. Take paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls
b. Cut them into various lengths
c. Have toddler/preschoolers put them in order
d. Store in ziploc bag for reuse
2- Number matching and identification
a. You need paper plates (I used the ones with the ridges because they are cheap!)
b. Label each paper plate with a large number in the center (use markers, stamps, stencil, etc)
c. Have your child place stickers or draw similar objects to match the number (example - for a five, draw five stars)
d. To make a "memory" type game, make matching plates. You can scatter them on the floor or table and have them find the two that match.
e. To work on ordering numbers, have them put plates in order from smallest to largest number or backwards from largest to smallest number.
3-Sorting colors and/or shapes
a. Use an ice tray, muffin pan or chip/dip tray
b. You can use fruit loops, fruity cheerios, skittles, M & Ms or colored foam shapes
c. Have child sort all of colors into holes - red here, purple here, etc.
d. Have child sort shapes into holes - squares here, circles here, etc.
4 -Shapes & Geometry
a. Use large craft sticks or popsicle sticks and velcro circles
b. Place matching velcro circles on sticks
c. Draw different shapes on post-it notes or index cards and have child make the shapes using the velcro and sticks.
d. Make a variety of shapes and laminate and have them match, trace shapes with finger, recognize words
a. Magnet letters are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities (you can purchase a pack for $1 at Dollar Tree, Walmart or Kroger)
b. Use a cookie sheet and say a letter and have them find it; ask them to make the sound of the letter; ask them to name words that start with that letter sound
c. For children that already know their letters, begin spelling simple CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant) like dog, cat, and, the, car, bug, etc.
d. You can also use the large foam or stencil letters (found at Walmart)
6. Same vs. Different
a. I used simple stickers and some drawings on cardstock and cut paper into strips and laminated
b. Each strip has one or two items that are different. Have child show you which are same vs. different and explain how they figured that out.
These are all easy to assemble and store for reuse. I like to use things like this especially on days we have to be inside and while I am trying to cook dinner. I keep all of these in a small plastic basket inside the cabinet.
Next time I will share some ideas for sensory/play tubs that are easy to pull out when kids are "bored". I also have some dry erase activity pages I made at home that are also great for the car, restaurant, doctor's office, etc.