Kitchen Classics

Note: 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.

Cooking utensils are hung over a cabinet door using a moveable hanger.
Cooking utensils are hung over a cabinet door using a moveable hanger.

You 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.

Mobile made using broom handles and chairs with soda cans and measuring spoons and cups.
Mobile made using broom handles and chairs with soda cans and measuring spoons and cups.
Use broom handles, yardsticks or hang 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. 
Image of cardboard Coca-Cola box being cut into strips so it can be taped to a square of cardboard on a scratchboard; this makes an interesting sound when scratched.
Image of cardboard Coca-Cola box being cut into strips so it can be taped to a square of cardboard on a scratchboard; this makes an interesting sound when scratched.

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

Shakers made from plastic bottles and dry beans.
Shakers made from plastic bottles and dry beans.

Fill 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.

A dowel is glued to the bottom of the tray so that it will rock when touched; this tray has wooden dowel rods inside.
A dowel is glued to the bottom of the tray so that it will rock when touched; this tray has wooden dowel rods inside.

If 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.

 
Plastic bags poked through holes in a milk crate.
Plastic bags poked through holes in a milk crate.

Place 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.

Videos

Scratch Board

Demonstration of scratch board made from soda cartons.

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Plastic Bags

Demonstration of exploring the sound plastic bags can make.

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Tipping Tray with Ping Pong Balls

Demonstration of the sounds made with a cookie sheet tipping board with ping pong balls.

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Tipping Tray with Golf Balls

Demonstration of the sounds made with a cookie sheet tipping board with golf balls.

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Rubber Bands on Trays and Buckets

Demonstration of the sounds made using rubber bands and various trays, buckets, and containers.

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Rubber Bands with Water in Containers

Demonstration of the sound made when water is added to the container with rubber bands.

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Scratching on Pots and Pans

Demonstration of the sounds made by scratching on the pans.

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Kicking Hanging Cans

Demonstration of kicking cans on a mobile made with broom handles and two chairs.

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Banging Pots and Pans

Demonstration of the sounds made by banging a metal spoon on pans.

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Home hacks Kitchen Classics collage