This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse.


Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian).

The Sand Bucket List: 366 Things to Do With Your Kids Before They Grow Up
David Hoffman
Running Press, 2012
Whether it’s simple, silly, selfless, or an aspiration, this book is the ultimate handbook for reimagining quality time and creating magical shared experiences as you go.
GV 182.8 .H64 2012 788560957

I Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature
Jennifer Ward
Trumpeter, 2008
This book presents 52 open-ended activities to help you engage your child in the outdoors. No matter what your location—from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country—each activity is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child’s sense of wonder.
GV 197.63 .W39 2008 154705247

Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids
Rebecca Cohen
Sourcebooks, 2011
This collection of activities gives families an idea for every day of the year, requiring little planning, no expertise, and relatively little resources (time, cash, or patience!), no matter where they live.
GV 182.8 .C64 2011 662405253

52 Simple and Fun Activities for Dads and Kids: Simple Ways for Busy Dads to Connect with their Kids
Brent Johnstone
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
This book has ideas that will help father/child interaction flourish on a weekly basis.
HQ 756 .J65 2016 964076157

The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons
Amanda Blake Soule
Trumpeter, 2011
This book explores what we learn and can gain as parents and families by encouraging and experiencing creativity and nature exploration with our children, the seasons can provide us with a rhythm that brings us close to the earth, and closer to our children.
GT 2420 .S67 2011 437298758

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life With Art and Creativity
Jean Van’t Hul
Roost Books, 2013
From stomping around in mud boots in the spring to gathering around the woodstove in winter, the activities in this book naturally change from season to season—from the rhythms of the seasons comes the rhythms in our homes, our hearts, our families, and our every day.
TT 157 .V285 2013 795575178

30 Fun Ways to Learn With Blocks and Boxes
Clare Beswick
Gryphon House, 2011
From building basic models and mazes to constructing complex stairs and bridges, box and block activities ignite children’s imaginations and engage their creativity and critical thinking.
GV 1218 .B6A27 2011 672300134

Treasure Basket Explorations: Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers
Laura Wilhelm
Gryphon House, 2017
In this book, teachers and caregivers of infants and toddlers will learn how these simple explorations support cognitive and vocabulary development.
Also available as an eBook
LB 1139.35 .P55 W55 2017 970042240

Baby Steps to STEM: Infant and Toddler Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Activities
Jean Barbe
Redleaf Press, 2017
This book supplies 50 play-based developmentally appropriate activities for introducing STEM. All activities include extensions, inquiry questions, and tips on how to help parents strengthen children’s learning at home.
LB 1140.5 .S35 B37 2017 959036841

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities
Asia Citro
Adams Media, 2014
Complete with dozens of ideas for babies, toddlers, and school-aged children, this book will help your family step away from your devices and step into endless afternoons of playtime fun!
TT 157 .C4984 2014 892794661

And the Cow Jumped Over the Moon: Over 650 Activities to Teach Toddlers Using Familiar Rhymes and Songs
Pam Schiller and Thomas More
Gryphon House, 2006
With more than 250 songs, rhymes, and chants, this book is a fun way to enrich toddlers’ language experiences.
Also available as an eBook
MT 920 .S334a 2006 62281716

Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids That You’ll Actually Enjoy
Rebecca Green
Gryphon House, 2016
This book offers new ideas for parents who are looking for fun and educational activities that they can do with their kids but that are also fun and interesting for the parents themselves.
Also available as an eBook
GV 182.8 .G74 2016 951915866

Screen-free fun: 400 activities for the whole family
Shannon Philpott-Sanders
Adams Media, 2018
This book has 400 ways to have fun as a family without staring at a screen. DIY projects, outdoor adventures, easy daytrips, etc. are all examples of possible activities in this book.
GV 182.8 .P55 2018 1005904925


Contact us to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Some videos may be viewed online.

Age-appropriate play.
Volume 1, The first 12 months
Volume 2, 12-24 months
Volume 3, 2 -3 years
15 minutes each; DVD
InJoy Productions, 2004
In these videos, parents and caregivers will learn what social, language and motor milestones young children will be reaching and how to play in a way that supports these achievements. Viewers will discover how to stimulate skills development through age-appropriate games, toys and activities that are easy to understand and fun to implement.
HQ 782 .A44spa 2004 233578309

Yoga Motion: 10 Fun, easy-to-learn yoga routines (for ages 2.5 and up)
35 min; DVD
Namaste Kid, 2011
Yoga motion contains 10 3-4 minute yoga routines. Your child can mix-and-match chapters to create their own unique yoga experience.
WB 890 .Y546 2011 762098828

Large Motor Games…We Like to Play!
25 min; DVD
Learning Through Adventure, 2004
The mind can only absorb what the butt can endure! Lisa will teach you large motor games that can be played both indoors and out.
GV 452 .M951g 2004 910337079

Fingerplays! Hands That Tell a Story
44 min; DVD
Merriweather Records Ltd., 2011
Presented by Kathy Reid-Naiman. Fingerplays are a way of telling a story using your hands and fingers to illustrate the words.
GV 1218 .F5 F56 2011 752144668


The journal titles linked below will take you to the publisher’s homepage. You can ask your local public librarian how to obtain these articles or contact us for more information.

Five Ways to Embrace Messy Fun
Scholastic Parents
These simple activity ideas will keep your kids engaged and learning, with smiles all around.

Museums and Libraries for Summer Fun and Learning
Susan Hildreth
National Association for the Education of Young Children
Parents and caretakers play an important role in assisting with their children’s early learning and finding low-cost or no-cost places to play and learn together can sometimes be a challenge. Libraries and museums of all kinds are all welcoming places where you can borrow books, learning backpacks, and other materials to use at home.

Web Resources

The web resources listed below provide quick and easy access to evidence-based online information.

30 Days of Families Learning Together
This resource from the National Center for Families Learning provides a month’s worth of family literacy activities and practices designed to inspire family memories rooted in imagining, playing, and learning together. Also available in Spanish.

Awesome Family Fun Activities Guide
From UNICEF Kid Power, this activity-packed guide offers a wide-variety of activity ideas. No matter the size of your family, whether it’s 2, 3, or 10 family members, there is a wide range of fun-filled activities and ideas for the whole family: mom, dad, brothers, sisters, grandma and grandpa – something for everyone! Whether it is spring, summer, fall or winter, daytime, night time, indoors or outdoors, a quick midweek break or a weekend family break, we’ll have a fun activity for your family.

Explore STEAM with Young Children
This comprehensive list from the Illinois Early Learning Project includes links to many ideas that families can use to incorporate fun activities into their day.

Play With Your Toddler – Indoors
Get moving with your toddler! This graphic tip sheet has ideas of how to play with your child. Also available in Spanish, Polish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, and French.

6 Sun Crafts for Kids
A useful article from Parents Magazine online that includes activities that blend science with art, keeping summer brains sharp. From using the sun to tell time to observing its powerful heat, your child will learn about the sun through these exciting activities.

Family Fun