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Independent & fun workbox idea for 6/7 year old?

Amy Jo

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Sorry, search doesn't like me tonight. I need to pick all y'alls brains. My almost 7yo son wants 'more'. We have workboxes, and I think he'll be happy if all of his are full. I already include a snack and a game played with myself and/or his older brother.


Some areas he could use work on:

  • Home ec & character training: maybe a card to tell him to do a small task (put books on shelf properly, pick up X toys). This would also let him use his reading too.
  • Fine motor activites: mazes or something?
  • Anything to reinforce 3Rs w/o to much writing
  • Some kind of 1 person file folder game? (I have no clue here, I've never made one due to DS4's destructive tendencies.)


I am absolutely broke, so I need something I can make at home, free, or very cheap. I'd prefer offline stuff, but I could do computer stuff too.



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  • Read him a story, then have some story-related activities in some of the boxes. He could draw a picture to go with it (or to expound on it, i.e., what he would do if he was in the situation of the main character, etc.), do a maze or other puzzle related to the book (you'd have to find one online and print it), etc.
  • Cutting/pasting activities, either for art or to reinforce something you're working on in the 3Rs
  • National Geographic Kids has some really good stuff--videos, text/pictures about different animals, games, etc. My 6 y.o. ds enjoys using the site, and I keep an eye on him, but mostly he can do it on his own.
  • Print out some interesting pictures and have him choose one and write a story about it (if his writing skills are strong enough).
  • Mazes, wordsearches, dot-to-dots, find-the-hidden-picture puzzles, etc.--you can find tons online
  • Puzzles--ones that have enough pieces to be challenging, but that he can do on his own
  • Play-doh (you can find easy recipes to make your own if you don't have any)--with rules for where and how to play with it (on the table, only with the designated play-doh toys, etc.)
  • Open-ended art projects. Crayons, markers, glue, paper, stickers, whatever. Or have him make a torn paper collage.
  • CD and CD player (with headphones if possible), either music or get a book on cd from the library
  • Lacing cards (esp. if he still needs to strengthen fine motor skills)--you can make these too
  • Book for independent reading (if he's ready for that)
  • Spelling words to copy
  • File folder games are good, but be sure it's worth it. Something that's worth the time and materials to make for a classroom of kids may not be worth it for one child unless he has younger siblings or will use it often. I've got a bunch that I made that have been used maybe three or four times. Part of that's my fault, though--I need to make sure to put them out to be used!
  • Sorting/ordering tasks. For example, have him go get 10 toys from his room and line them up from smallest to biggest or the other way around. Or have him choose 15-20 small toys (blocks, cars, whatever) and sort them by color or another characteristic (has wheels/doesn't have wheels, has writing/doesn't have writing, etc.)
  • Have him take a pad of paper and go through the house and count various things--windows, doors, chairs, etc. Or choose an object, have him count and write how many are in each room, and then have him add the answers together to see how many are in the house in all.
  • Have him hunt through the house for something related to what you're learning about. If you're working on a concept in phonics, have him search for words that have that concept (i.e., words that have "ch" or that end in "ing").
  • Let him use magnetic letters to spell words on the fridge or on a cookie sheet.


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i was also going to suggest playdoh. let him make his own, then print some cards of things he could make with it.


send him outside on a nature hunt for a list of things




vacuum a room, dust furniture (or window sills if you're worried about fragile items)


make lunch following directions you've written down (even sandwiches)

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