10 Frugal Play Ideas for Kids

Ten Frugal Play Ideas for Kids

Once again there were so many awesome ideas linked up to The Kids Co Op last week. One thing that stood out for me was how many play ideas are cheap and easy to do with kids. Here are a few of my favourites:

10 Frugal Play Ideas for Kids

DIY Tugging Box – Laughing Kids Learn

Balloon Puppies – The Craft Train

Construction Site Sensory Play – Craftulate

Home Made Chalky Paint Sensory Play – Laughing Kids Learn

Kid Made Cards – Learn with Play at Home

Loose Parts Play – Octavia and Vicky

Exploring Painting Tools – Lessons Learnt Journal

Puzzle, Ice and Rice Sensory Play – Toddly Mummy

Literacy and Play Dough – An Idea on Tuesday

Markers and Mirrors – Munchkins & Moms

10 Ways to Play with Loose Parts

10 Ways to Play with Loose Parts

10 Ways to Play with Loose Parts

This week I shared how we played with picture frames and loose parts. Here is some more inspiration to get playing with loose parts:

Play with Loose Parts - Mirrors and Blocks

Exploring Loose Parts and Mirror Play (One Perfect Day)

A free printable giving you lots of loose parts inspiration (Nurture Store)

The theory of loose play (An Everyday Story)

Loose parts for creative and imaginative play (Childhood 101)

loose-parts-4

Tabletop Loose Parts (No Time for Flash Cards)

Loose Parts with Nature (Precious Childhood)

Chalkboard and Loose Parts (Picklebums)

Chalk Board and Loose Parts

Sticky Board Story Telling (My Little Bookcase)

Numbers and Natural Materials (Learn with Play at Home)

An Invitation to Play in the Mud (Painting on the Ceiling)

Invitation to Play in the Mud!

And now for MORE creative play ideas, with The Kids Co-Op!

Picture Frames and Loose Parts

Invitation to Play Picture Frames and Loose Parts

Pebble loves playing with little bits and pieces, placing them this way and that, chatting to herself as she goes. Sometimes the pieces are characters in her stories, sometimes they are parts in a living art piece, or she might be creating a pattern. She has an empty picture frame that she loves to use for playing with small parts. The frame contains the play, giving it a boundary that helps to direct her creativity.

Invitation to Play Picture Frames and Loose Parts

Why use loose parts (otherwise known as bits and pieces!)? Loose parts allow children to use their imagination and creativity and apply problem solving skills. There is no ‘right’ way to use bits and pieces and they can be used differently each time children play. The options are endless! Not to mention that it’s cheap, easy and quick to throw together a great collection of loose parts and most of them can come from recycled materials.

Picture Frames and Loose Parts

Invitation to Play Picture Frames and Loose Parts - quick and easy play using bits and pieces from around the house

You will need: 

at least one picture frame with the back and glass removed (we picked this one up from a second hand shop)

loose parts, for example:

  • small rocks
  • smooth glass stones
  • pieces of bark
  • leaves
  • small plastic or wooden animals
  • shells
  • wooden pegs
  • pop sticks
  • craft matchsticks
  • seed pods
  • bottle tops
  • beads
  • feathers
  • pipe cleaners

What to do:

Set out the picture frame(s) and the loose parts, then let the creativity flow!

Invitation to Play Picture Frames and Loose Parts - creative play for toddlers and preschoolers

Looking for more ways to play? Try these:

Invitation to Play bottle top numbres Zip-Lock-Bag-Painting Invitation to Play - Bubble Wrap Printing

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top Numbers and The Weekly Kids Co Op

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top Maths

Pebble wanted to play ‘schools’ the other day. Again. I’m always the teacher and she’s always the eager student. It’s always her birthday and the class sings to her. We practice our “ABCs” and our numbers. Then we go outside for play time. It’s pretty fun! This week I threw in a new way to practice our numbers with stuff that I had around the house and she loved it.

{read on for this weeks Kids Co-Op linky}

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top NumbersInvitation to Play: Bottle Top Numbers

You will need:

  • cup cake cases
  • bottle tops
  • permanent marker
  • beads

To set up: 

  • write the numbers 1 – 10 on the bottle tops
  • write the numbers 1 – 10 in the cup cake cakes.

To play: 

  • match the cup case numbers to the bottle top numbers.
  • fill the cup cases/bottle tops with the correct number of beads

Make it easier: 

  • just use the cup cake cases instead of matching bottle top numbers
  • use less numbers (eg. 1 – 5)

Make it trickier: 

  • use more numbers (eg. 1 – 20)
  • put the numbers into the correct order
  • use only matching beads for each number
  • turn all the cup cake cases and bottle tops over and play a memory matching game

Play other stuff:

  • pour beads from one cup cake case to another
  • make patterns with the cup cake cases, bottle tops and beads
  • pretend you are the owner of a sweet shop and sell your sweets (beads) to customers

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top Maths

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top Maths

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top Maths

Invitation to Play: Bottle Top Maths

Bubble Wrap Printing

Invitation to Play: Bubble Wrap Printing

We had one of those accidental craft moments this weekend. I had received a package recently – and the best thing about packages is BUBBLE WRAP! Pebble had never seen it before (clearly I need to do more internet shopping) and wanted to explore with it. I showed her how to pop the bubbles, which was like a rite of passage. Her sheer delight at the pop of the plastic was pure joy.

Then she wanted to ‘make’ with the bubble wrap. The first thing that Pebble did was start drawing on the bubble wrap with her markers. That gave me an idea! I remembered trying bubble wrap printing with the kids at school, and thought she might like to give it a go too. I set up a quick invitation to play with the bubble wrap, markers and small pieces of white paper.

Pebble had lots of fun experimenting with the colours, pressing the paper and peeling it back to reveal her art work. We saved some of her art to make a card for Nanette’s 50th birthday. Later I interviewed Pebble about her Nannette, just like we did for Grandma last year.

Invitation to Play: Bubble Wrap Printing

Invitation to Play: Bubble Wrap Printing

Invitation to Play: Bubble Wrap Printing

Invitation to Play: Bubble Wrap Printing

More ideas for bubble wrap printing:

Are you a pop-one-at-a-time person, or more of a squeeze-and-pop-lots-at-once person?

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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