Teaching a little one at home isn’t easy. Keeping a little one at home and keeping them busy isn’t easy, especially on a budget! Here’s an idea that will keep your little one busy for at least a few minutes—maybe even long enough for you to take a shower. First, save an empty egg carton (or two—they can be fragile). Then, pick up a package of plastic Easter eggs at the store—or raid your kids’ stash from last year. Finally, add a few pompoms or other small goodies, preferably the same color as the eggs. Since we started our project with a brand new bag of eggs and a brand new bag of pompoms, it wasn’t a problem to match the colors—though the bag was missing orange (it had white, instead).
Fill the eggs with your pompoms or small toys, then place them in the egg carton. In this simple toy (less than $2 to make, and that’s assuming you don’t use materials you already have on hand!) you have a toy that will help a young toddler practice fine motor skills (taking the eggs in and out of the carton, and the pompoms in and out of the eggs); an older toddler practice color matching and sorting (putting the pompoms in the matching them to the proper colored egg); and even practice with colors, if you take the time to talk about the different colors as they’re playing. It’s even a sensory activity, as they play with the different textures of the pompoms, the eggs, and the carton.
Once your child figures out that the eggs open, they’re in for plenty of fun. If you’re lucky, it might even be time enough to fix breakfast! Just remember to supervise children who still put things in their mouth while playing with the contents of the eggs—or perhaps hold off on putting things in them quite yet.