DIY Kids’ Activity Centers

by Ivory Soap on 12/16/2011

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While TL has been here being awesome, I’ve been pouring my energy into homeschool.  And while it’s never really fit our niche over here, I have been DIY-ing my lil’ buns off.  So, I started a sub-blog for all that creativity.

Here’s some of my favorite projects from the past few weeks:

 MAJOR Activity Center:  (Pictured above) We installed a punching bag, trapeze, and twizzler in our never-parked-in garage.  Apart from the swing equipment itself, it only required a few three dollar hooks, a 2×6, an 1/8in drill bit, and a knowledge of rafter locations.  It doesn’t really count as a homeschooling center, per se, but it sure makes homeschooling easier when a wiggly kid can go swing in the “dojo” for a half hour.

Okay, so here’s the REAL school stuff.

1.  Dollar Store Writing Practice Center:  Great for my resistant writer.  Sand writing with fingers, then chopsticks, then I cut paper to fit.


2.  Push Pin Tripod Grasp Builder:   A variation of that old girl scout punched metal ornament activity.

3.   My most recent attempt to help my middle kid “get” carrying.  Montessori numerals and base ten blocks.

4.  Dollar Store Tweezing Transfer Center:   My kindergartner is fascinated with tweezing, clipping, etc.  So, I made a center for him to sort erasers.

5.  Dollar Store Scent Matching Bottles:  Another old Montessori stand-by I DIYed with a lot of help from TL’s essential oil cabinet.

6.  Sorting, Grading, Glow-in-the-Dark Stars:  It seems silly to even call this a project since I just opened packages and put them on the bathroom counter, but when you’ve got four bored kids, whadda-ya-gonna-do?

7.  Dollar Store Chopstick Transfer:  If your kids are little, you might need to swipe a plastic “helper” grip from the sushi restaurant, but this center kept mine busy for ages.

Please take a jog over to my new baby sub-blog and check it out!



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia Pykonen December 17, 2011 at 6:40 am

What clever ideas!
I’ve read your blog for a long time now, but this is the first time I simply HAD to leave a comment and say how impressed I am with your ingenuity. You have a super-lucky family, there!

Ivory Soap December 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thank you Virginia!

Candie December 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

I have been reading your blog for a while as well and am also impressed by what you are doing with homeschooling! I am not sure if it is intentional or not but you are very closely following Montessori theory and activities for learning. I am a former preschool/Montessori teacher. I taught for almost 12 yrs. with the last 4 or so of that in Montessori. It was my job to come up with new learning tools such as what you have done here. I applaud your work and say to you “Keep it up!”

Ivory Soap December 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Candie….AWWWW, I’m honored. I would do more, but I have no dedicated school space, so while my activities are all stolen from Montessori, I can’t do that free choice thing that’s so integral.

Javalady December 22, 2011 at 2:06 am

Excellent Montessori learning stations !!
Now please tell me where on earth can I order that spinning twizzler swing thingy that is green , in your picture ?? That looks totally COOL !

Ivory Soap December 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I just found it on amazon and

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