I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves the office supply aisle. Give me an excuse to linger a bit longer and check out the latest Post-it colors or choose the perfect highlighter and I’ll take it. To anyone reading who feels the same way, the ideas below on using simple office supplies to create fun and educational activities for your kids will hopefully give you the rationale you need to add that extra packet of sticky notes or paper clips to your shopping cart!
Kid-friendly activities from office supplies
- After reading Little Blue and Little Yellow, bring out some construction paper and let the kids tear off pieces to use as they reread the book and “act” it out. (Materials Needed: construction paper)
- After reading The Day the Crayons Quit, kids can reread the book and use specific colors to draw the items that are mentioned on each page. (Materials Needed: crayons, paper)
- After reading Freight Train, give kids some rainbow sticky notes and ask them to match each sticky note with the correct train car. (Materials Needed: colored sticky notes)
- To help with writing practice, print out the alphabet or your child’s name in large font on transparency paper and then tape it to a window using clear packing tape (make sure you tape it low enough so that your child can reach it). Have your child hold up a piece of tracing paper in front of the letters and use the pencil to trace them! If you have little ones who don’t know their letters, yet, you can print out shapes, animals, or simple drawings, instead. (Materials Needed: transparency paper, packing tape, tracing paper, pencil)
- After reading Spot the Dot, reach for a sheet of printer paper and draw a squiggly line on it. Your child’s task is to stick the Color Coding Labels on the line. If your child is old enough to know about patterns, you can ask her to follow a certain color pattern (e.g., red-red-yellow-blue). (Materials Needed: paper, color coding labels)
- For kids who are learning their letters, write the alphabet in large letters on a piece of legal-sized paper. Next, write each letter on mini Post-it notes. Their job is to match each Post-it note with the correct letter. (Materials Needed: mini Post-it notes, legal-sized paper.
- If your child is learning about numbers, draw a hopscotch board on a piece of paper. Give your child a box of paper clips or a few sheets of the color coding labels and ask them to put the correct number of items in each box. (Materials Needed: paper clips or color coding labels, paper)
- Younger kids can benefit from hand exercises to develop the muscles they will eventually need to write the alphabet. One tool you can use is a single hole punch, and have them use it to punch holes in sheets of paper or index cards. (Materials Needed: single hole punch, paper)
- As kids start to write, it’s good to have them experiment with different types of writing utensils so they can learn what is comfortable for them and to give them different kinesthetic experiences. This is where you (and your kids) can really have fun in that office supply aisle. Pick up various types of pencils, markers and highlighters of different thicknesses, pencil grips, and anything else that catches your eye! (Materials Needed: paper, various writing utensils)
- For younger kids who are just beginning to categorize things or are learning about colors, there are a few different ways you can help them practice these concepts:
- Provide them with one sheet each of red, yellow, blue, and green construction paper. Their task is to take a sheet of color coding labels and stick the dots on the correct piece of construction paper. If you don’t have construction paper, you could also do this with sticky notes. (Materials Needed: construction paper, color coding labels)
- Take red, blue, yellow, and green markers and make dots on a sheet of paper. Then, ask your kids to cover each dot with the matching color coding label. (Materials Needed: paper, markers, color coding labels)
- Draw a rainbow (or any other shape) on a large sheet of paper, and have your kids cover each line with the matching color coding label.
Your child will develop important skills from playing with simple “toys” created from your office supplies!