I am not one of those moms.
But we have done some fun activities here at home that stretch the kids' brains as they play. Here are a few of those ideas. Everything can be made with materials you likely already have or that are super cheap and readily available should you need to purchase them.
Ball (...or Angry Bird...) Wall
Alphabet Parking Lot
I've seen variations of this idea online using taped parking spots on a floor. But I had these cheap Dollar Tree table cloths and used those instead. I write the alphabet on duct tape (can you tell I love this stuff?!) and put one letter on each car. The goal is to park the car in the spot with the matching letter. I used upper and lower case. This summer I plan to put words on the cars to have the kids match them with the initial letter on the parking lot. There are MANY possible variations!
Counting With Bubble Wrap
I actually used this with my kindergarten Title 1 group first. I wrote one number per bubble in mixed-up order and had the kids pop them in counting order. This builds several skills including number recognition, counting order, and pincer grasp fine motor skills. You could easily do this with the alphabet. Or for older kids, you could say a word and have them pop the bubble that corresponds with the first sound of that word. These could easily be used in place of Bingo boards too!
What are your favorite activities using ordinary materials in creative ways?