I'll be honest; this time of year drags on for me.
It's this weird grey area (sometimes both literally and metaphorically), where it's almost warming up outside, but most days are still quite chilly. School's close to being out, but is still in session. The summer calendar is starting to fill up, but it also feels so far away.
Are you with me?
And while I don't have tiny little ones at home anymore *pause to reminisce on days I wish I could get back*, I still remember feeling bored and lacking creativity when it came to playtime, especially this time of year. Even now, my older kiddos go a little stir crazy during the spring, just needing a change of scenery or something new to occupy them.
So here are a few games and activities that can help reinvigorate playtime, should you find yourself stuck in a period of "grey".
These activities are structured around our alphabet blocks, which you can find here.
Not to toot my own horn, but I do find myself coming back to our own FREE downloadable coloring book again and again.
You can use this book for a range of activities at varying difficulty levels. From simply coloring the pages, to identifying the coordinating animal alphabet block that goes with each page/letter, to finding items around the house that start with the same letter as the page they're working on, your kids will find this fun and challenging. Plus, it really requires minimal effort on your part!
There are so many ways to use alphabet blocks in a creative and educational scavenger hunt.
You can start by hiding only the vowel blocks, then work up to the consonants, and soon you'll be hiding the entire alphabet.
One of my favorite ways to play this game is trying to hide a block by something that starts with the same letter. For example, the "C" block can be hid by a deck of cards. Of course, some letters are much trickier to do this with, but it does help your kiddos learn the sounds of each letter and associate them with everyday items. And it gives them little hints as to where the blocks may have been hidden!
Alphabet blocks are amazing for working on single letters, duh! But IF you happen to have multiple sets - they don't have to be the exact same one - they can also be super useful when learning how to spell.
We have a plain alphabet set, picture alphabet set, and an animal alphabet set that all go wonderfully together, but really any letter blocks or shapes can work with this next activity, you just need to have enough letters available to spell some words.
You can structure this one however you'd like, but a couple ways are:
- have the kids race to see who can spell 3 words the fastest
- put all blocks/letters in a bag, sit in a circle and pass the bag around drawing one block out at a time, and see who can be the first to spell a word
Stack. Build. Crash. Repeat.
Throwing it back to the most basic of block activities - stacking.
Now this one is obviously not limited to alphabet blocks, and truthfully, the more blocks the better. But there are SO many benefits to nurturing your little one's desire to build, knock things over and start fresh. So don't underestimate a good 'ol block tower.
It might seem simple, but you're actually working on enhancing logical and critical thinking, fine motor skills, cause and effect, and much more.
So there you have it. A couple new-ish activities, centered around alphabet blocks, to give playtime a bit of a refresh. Hopefully, they'll spark some creativity in you, mama, or in your kiddos to hold you over until those summer days are upon us!