I’ve heard them called Busy Boxes, Centers, Free-time Activities and so on. They are simple activities to keep your children engaged in the learning process while they are not actively being taught one-on-one. We will use our activity baskets this year as something mess-free to do while mama is having one-on-one teaching time with the other child or while mama is getting the next subject set up. I like to be in on the messy projects! Our baskets tend to be a little science-heavy (go figure), but I will add some non-science options.
I found a few workbooks and coordinating flashcards in the dollar bin at Target. The kids both like the Mind Bender workbooks from Critical Thinking Co. They teach deductive reasoning and higher level thinking in a fun way.
We love Usbourne books! I paired the “Your Body” book up with a couple dollar bin anatomy puzzles.
Again with the Usbourne…The Usbourne Kid Kits are awesome! We’ve had the magnet kit for years and still enjoy it.
The Discovery Scope is such cool sceince tool. I’ll add it to the center time mix this year so the kids can explore on their own. The kids can take it outside or choose from a box of feathers, rocks, threads, grains and other interesting objects to look at through the Discovery Scope.
We, also, have a growing collection of science and nature books. I like to throw a couple in the baskets to see which ones the kids gravitate toward. Sometimes that leads to a more in depth study.
Do you have free-time educational activities for your kids? Any science ideas?