Metal measuring spoonsNote: With all activities, safety comes first. These activities need to be supervised by an adult and may need to be modified if you child has a lot of hand and arm strength.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and a great place to find things to use to create Active Learning environments. If you are working in the kitchen, fill a lower cabinet space with containers and other items the child can get to so they can play on the floor or simply give them a variety of kitchen gadgets to explore. Consider the variety of materials the items are made of such as metal, wooden, plastice, stone, ceramic, etc.  Also think about the size, shape and weight of the objects as it relates to the child's ability to grasp, bang, scratch, etc. Most importantly be creative! See which things your child finds interesting and note how he or she engages with the object.

CabinetPositionBoardYou could also hang some of these items from the cabinet door with string or use an over-the-door hook to hang them from and attach with strings or rubber bands.




ChairMobileHang a rope or piece of string between pieces of furniture, and then attach items (measuring cups, pots and pans, spoons, etc.) so that a child can bat at items. 




CokeBoxScratchBoardTake different materials (corrugated boxes, folded paper, crinkled newspaper, etc.) and glue or tape onto an old box of cereal to make a scratch board.




BeanShakersFill old water bottles, milk jugs, juice containers, spice bottles, coffee cans or other containers with rice, beans, rocks from outside and make noisemakers a child can shake, kick over, push over with their hands. Make sure to secure the lid with tape or glue so the child cannot accidentally get the lid off the container.




rocking board compressedIf you have golf balls or other items that are light weight and will roll, put them on a cookie sheet or wooden tray.  Put a wooden spoon underneath to make a tipping board and let the child kick or push the cookie sheet to move the items.



MilkCrateSquishiesPlace items inside a laundry basket and the child can pull them out through the holes.  Be sure that the items are small enough or squishy enough to be able to fit.  You can leave part of the item hanging out a bit for the child to find more easily and to help him or her get it started.




Video Examples

Scratch Board

Plastic Bags

Tipping Tray with Ping Pong Balls

Tipping Tray with Golf Balls

Rubber Bands on Trays and Buckets

Rubber Bands with Water in Buckets

Scratching on Pots and Pans

Kicking Hanging Cans

Banging Pots and Pans


home hacks collage