As a former elementary teacher, I’m a huge fan of any kids’ activities that are both fun and educational! Some toys out there just aren’t worth the money, and some busy bags seem like a random smattering of trinkets…so I’m thrilled to have found some really wonderful, intentional products that I can now say are tried-and-true for our family!
This past spring, I was searching on Etsy for some new activities for my kids (specifically to add to Easter baskets), and came across the neatest little activity sets called PlayPods. At first I thought they were just cute little pouches filled with random toys, but once I read the description, I was more and more impressed with them!
PlayPods are very intentionally planned activity sets for children – and they’re a blast! They’re sold by Sprinkle in Learning and they’re something I think every mama would benefit from having in their parenting toolkit!
After purchasing a good number of PlayPods and falling in love with the concepts and the company, I now get to offer you more info AND a discount code, if you’re interested in getting some for your own children! Although I’ve shared about PlayPods before over on Instagram, in today’s post I wanted to delve in a little more deeply and share what these fun PlayPods are and how we utilize them (strategically!) in our family.
PS – Scroll down to the end of this post and snag a special PlayPods discount code for your family!
What Are PlayPods?
PlayPods are fun and educational grab-and-go activity sets for children! The company, Sprinkle in Learning, is run by two sisters who are mothers with backgrounds in education, special education, behavior analysis, and the sciences!
The founders, Lindsey and Kristin, wanted these activity sets to be “secretly educational” – meaning, the learning is happening through play! There are a whole variety of PlayPods, each with a different educational focus. Our kids don’t always know that, though. 🙂 They’re simply having fun and learning as they play!
PlayPods are small enough to fit in a diaper bag or backpack. They’re intuitive, with no lengthy instructions, and they come with all of the supplies needed to do that particular activity!
And…they are PERFECT for travel and for situations in which waiting is involved! PlayPods give parents a break during those situations, and provide a technology-free, educational, creative way for children to play! PlayPods work so well for places like the doctor’s office, siblings’ extracurriculars, and restaurants! I’ll share more later in this post about how we like to use our PlayPods.
I’m a huge fan of fostering independent play time for my children. We should remember as mamas that we aren’t actually the “cruise ship activity director,” which is reassuring for us and it’s so good for children to spend a little quiet time enjoying open-ended and imaginative play! Play really is the work of childhood, as the Mr. Rogers quote says. What I really love about PlayPods is that I can sit down and intentionally work with my children on the activity, directing different steps or discussing it together…but I can also (especially) give them a PlayPod and they intuitively get started working on it! They’re that well-made and that thoughtfully planned!
I absolutely love the different themes! They’re so creative! Here are a few examples:
- One Smart Cookie – where your child can design pretend cookies using different cookie shapes, frosting colors, and sprinkle colors! It comes with “recipe cards” that your child can follow if they wish!
- Rainbow Sticks – this set comes with different colored popsicle sticks, and 2 special decks of cards with unique layouts/designs of the popsicle sticks to mimic!
- Rice and Seek – a search-and-find activity with a tube of rice hiding all kinds of tiny objects! It comes with activity cards that show you what object to search for next!
- Aim Games – colored wooden sticks that your child can match and feed into a tube with different colored holes at the top! This set also comes with a little game board and a die so older children can come up with a creative mini board game!
- Write and Wipe – the perfect way to practice those pre-writing skills! Comes with a dry erase marker, little eraser, and 14 double-sided laminated cards to trace on!
Those are just a few of the PlayPods! We own all of the above PlayPods (plus a few more) and love them all! One Smart Cookie is probably 4.5 year old’s favorite, while my son (age 2.5) adores Aim Games and Rice and Seek!
**Note: Sprinkle in Learning also sells Adapted Pods, which have some great modifications in order to improve the experience for individuals with special needs.
Each PlayPod focuses on specific educational skills. For example, One Smart Cookie involves these skills: shape recognition, color matching, socio-dramatic play (recreating the world with imagination and props), symbolic play (use of objects to represent other objects), visual discrimination, fine motor skills (hand and finger strength, hand-eye coordination, hand dexterity), and concentration and patience!
Something else that’s important to note about PlayPods is that they grow with your child. I have a 2.5 year old and a 4.5 year old, and both of my children can really enjoy (and learn from) the same PlayPod – sometimes, in different ways! The activities are beautifully adaptable for different ages.
How to Intentionally Incorporate PlayPods Into Your Life:
Like I mentioned earlier, they are PERFECT for travel and for situations in which waiting is involved!
It is so nice to have a grab-and-go activity to bring with us that I know is also good for my children!
PlayPods are great for the doctor’s office, a restaurant, or waiting at a sibling’s extracurriculars. We’ve personally used PlayPods as a quiet activity to do during church and while waiting for food to arrive at a restaurant. And we’ve also loved having a couple PlayPods with us while Soren and I wait during Sophie’s dance class! Soren and I have even enjoyed PlayPods together on a Soren-Mama date that we have on Wednesday nights during the school year!
The key is to not have PlayPods out all the time. It’s important to keep the novelty of them, because then the activities will be much more engaging for your child and it’ll feel much more special when you pull out the PlayPod! So, I store our PlayPods up out of reach, because they’re not meant to be part of all day, every day play. But I keep them in a place where I can easily grab a couple PlayPods and stick them in our diaper backpack as we head out the door!
A Special PlayPods Discount For You!
If you’d like to begin incorporating PlayPods into your life, I have a discount from Sprinkle in Learning for you!
Use the code HANNAH10 to receive 10% off your order!
There is another fun deal going on right now!
Sprinkle in Learning has a PlayPods sale going on currently until the end of June 2022: It’s called “Buy 3, get ‘Sum’ free!”
All customers need to do is have four items in the cart (one being Sum Sparkles) and use the code SUMMER and Sum Sparkles will be free.
I hope you take the opportunity to try PlayPods for your own family – I know you’ll find them to be the perfect activity for littles, especially during those hard-to-wait moments!! Happy playing (and learning)!