art, Children, education, Family

Fall Activities

I had a few people message me on Instagram asking about the candy corn activity I posted in my story, so I thought I would make a quick and easy post about it.

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My kids loved this shape hunt (duh, candy corn was involved)! I drew shapes on a piece of paper for each kid. Bodie is two so I gave him some of the more simple shapes. Brooklynn’s was a but trickier, I even added a quatrefoil (I didn’t know this shape until I had kids, yikes!)

I called out a shape and they had to look for it on their paper and place a candy corn inside it. Once all their shapes were filled they got to eat the candy corn.

 

For the next activity Bodie had to “trace” the letter B with candy corn. Brooklynn’s was much harder. I have recently introduced addition to her so this was the perfect way to incorporate some adding! I wrote really simple addition problems on a paper. She had to add with the candy corn. I only did 3 problems so she wouldn’t get overwhelmed, she did great!

Both kids asked to do it again, guess I better buy more candy corn!

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I have to share one more thing we did today! This was the easiest activity and has nothing to do with candy corn but it is sooo simple and the kids had fun.

We went on a walk and collected leaves that were on the ground. When we got home we made leaf monsters. All you need is leaves, eyeballs and glue!

 

Enjoy!

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Children, education, Family

Number Recognition

Now that the weather is nice my goal is to do as many outside learning activities as possible.

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This is a cheap and easy gross motor number recognition activity.

All you need is some sidewalk chalk and large die (we got ours at the dollar store)

I wrote numbers 1-6 on the sidewalk and made a start line.

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Each kid took a turn rolling the die and they had to say out loud what number it was. I would call out a gross motor movement (running, skipping, hop on one leg, bear crawl, crab crawl etc) they had to do that movement to the correct number.

so they roll a 6 they would bear crawl to the number 6

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This was really easy for Brooklynn and it was a little over Bodie’s head but it was a great way to practice numbers and introduce Bodie to them.

To make this a little harder you can add a second die so they have to add the numbers together and then do the gross motor movement to the corresponding number.

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art, Children, Uncategorized

Cardboard Painting

Another simple activity..

Usually when we paint with kids we only use paper and sometimes an easel. I wanted to change things up so we used large pieces of cardboard.

I used two large pieces of cardboard (one for each kid) and gave them paint and paint brushes to start with. After they had been painting for a few minutes I pulled out some “trash” (we used toilet paper rolls cut in half, a dryer sheet, lids to old bottles and a plastic spoon). I let them get creative and use these objects to paint however they wanted. Brooklynn and I talked about the shapes we can make with some of the items (for example the toilet paper roll made an oval and the jar lid made a circle).

 

 

This was a fun way to spice up painting and let them really get creative.

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I knew my kids would be covered in paint, so I put them in swim suits so that they could just jump in the pool right after to wash off. Easy clean up!

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Cleaning off the paint in the pool is much more fun than a bath
art, Children

Paper Mache Eggs

The super messy activity I hinted at last week…this is it!

We have been working on this on and off for 5 days. It is by far the messiest activity we have done and Brooklynn loved it!

Paper Mache Recipe:

2 cups of water

1 cup of flour

 

THAT’S IT! (this recipe made 2 eggs)

 

I cut strips of newspaper and Brooklynn dipped them in the flour mixture and placed them on the balloon. I found that strips about 1 inch wide and 10 inches long worked the best. Cover the entire balloon with strips of newspaper THREE times.

Try to get the newspaper on the egg as smooth as possible. The pink egg I let Brooklynn take charge of. The newspaper was a little crinkled which caused bumps in the dry egg. Brooklynn is proud of her work (as am I), but if you are looking for an even, rounded  egg, definitely make sure all pieces are placed on as smooth as possible.

It took our eggs over 24 hours to dry, but I think that’s because Brooklynn was putting very wet pieces on the balloons instead of letting some of it drip off.

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Tip: cover the part of the balloon that you blow into (you can see we didn’t) the end result would have been better if we put the newspaper over it.

 

After letting the balloon egg completely dry, paint the entire thing white. We did this so that we were able to start our decorating with a clean blank canvas.

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Once the white paint dries use your choice in paints and whatever else you want to use and let the kids create!

Brooklynn and Bodie started with paint brushes but soon ditched the brushes for their hands and I think their eggs turned out awesome. Brooklynn added some glitter to hers (you could also add puff balls, buttons, etc)

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Children, Uncategorized

Easter Inspiration

Easter is only 10 days away, which means it’s the perfect time to start doing Easter Activities.

We have done so many crafts the last couple of days which means I have a lot of ideas to share. Ill try to keep this as short as possible.

The first two were my FAVORITE!

Egg Letter Match: This was a favorite because it really challenged Brooklynn. She wanted me to sit and help her; I think she was mostly overwhelmed because we did the whole alphabet, and usually we break it up into 6-10 letters at a time. If your child knows all the capital letters I suggest doing this to teach the lower case letters as well. You can do the whole alphabet, or if you think it will be too overwhelming for your child start with 10 letters.

I just used a sharpie to write capital letters inside the egg carton and lower case letters on the eggs (I found if you use scotch tape on the egg the letter shows up better).

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This was also a favorite because it allowed me to focus on 6 colors with Bodie. This is perfect for children 18 months old or any child learning their colors. I was shocked to see how well he did the first time around. Not perfect, but better than I expected.

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I just cut out different colors of paper to match eggs and put them in a muffin tin. I put all the eggs in the muffin tin to start and told him the colors. I took the eggs out and handed him one egg at a time and let him place them in the tray. If he put it in the wrong spot I told him the color of the egg and pointed to the matching color. After 2 rounds of doing it with me I let him do it on his own—which turned into making the muffin tray a hat.

Name Practice:

I used only half of an egg for this and wrote each letter of her name on an egg. Usually I give her a piece of paper with her name written on it so she has to match the letters to spell her name correctly. I wanted to challenge her, so she did not get a piece of paper with her name written on it. She only got the eggs and had to put them in the correct order. If your child is just learning their name give them a piece of paper with their name written on it so they can match the letters.

Egg Painting:

The picture explains itself, but we dipped plastic eggs in paint and pressed them on a paper. I found a bunny shape from our play dough box and we added that as well. If you have Easter cookie cutters you could use those!

Egg Pattern:

I folded a piece of paper in half so it would stand up in front of her. I drew eggs (don’t judge my egg drawing skills) on the paper and colored them to make a pattern. She received the same colored eggs and had to copy the pattern. She did this with two different sets of colors and then was told to create her own pattern. We just did two colors, but you can add more to make it more challenging.

Egg color Match:

Again I drew some super awesome looking eggs and colored them in with two different colors per egg. She had to find these colors and create the same egg. Before starting point out what the bottom of the egg looks like compared to the top (smaller and round vs longer and thinner). This was a breeze for her but she enjoyed putting different color combinations together.

 

The always popular baking soda and vinegar

 

I used larger eggs for this and filled the bottom of the egg about ¼ full of baking soda. I gave Brooklynn vinegar in a cup and let her poor away.

And more painting because my kids could paint alllll day long!! This was super easy to set up, just cut out a large egg shape and give your kids some paint!

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Egg bubblebath:

My kids seem to paint their bodies more than the paper so we ended with a bubble bath full of eggs. This was a fun change to the usual bath toys!

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We are currently working on another Easter project that is extremely messy and takes more time than our usual activities. Any guesses?? Check back Monday to find out what we have been working on!!

Children

Learning Letters and Melting Ice

Yesterday we took our activity outside again! I had froze containers of water and placed beads that have letters on them inside the containers as well as a couple necklaces to add some color.

I took the ice and placed it in a larger tub with a small amount of warm water in the bottom. I gave the kids small containers of warm water and let them poor it over the ice and watch the beads slowly start to fall out. We talked about the different states of water and how it can be liquid or solid and what happens when it gets warm or really cold.

The kids favorite part was collecting the beads as they came out of the ice. The kids had to say what letters they had and then we would talk about what words started with those letters.

I suggest doing this on a warm summer day! It was in the 50’s here and the kids got chilly playing with the ice.

We finished this activity by making bracelets with pipecleaner and the beads. They had to say the letter on the bead as they placed it on the pipecleaner. When the bracelet was finished we said each letter sound. IMG_7618

 

 

Children

St. Patricks Day Activities

We started off the month of March with some easy to put together activities.

The first one is my favorite because it can be used over and over throughout the month. I cut out some shamrocks and a couple black pots. I wrote numbers on them that I knew would be more difficult for Brooklynn. I bought some gold coins at The Dollar Store and BOOM! You have the easiest counting activity!

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I have been trying to incorporate patterns each week. This week I just cut out shamrocks and had her make a pattern. Once she showed me the pattern she had to glue them onto a paper. It was too easy for her, I think it’s time we do patterns with 3 colors now.

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This activity was waaay too easy for her but it was more of a transitional activity while I got a messy activity set up. This is great if you have a child who is learning colors. I drew 3 different colors on a paper (could do more) and cut out the same colored shamrocks. She had to color sort the shamrocks to the corresponding circle.

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This last one she had a lot of fun with. I watered down some glue in a container so she could “paint” with it. I gave her a white shamrock, green paper (we used construction paper and scrapbook paper) as well as foam stickers and let her get creative with the shamrock.

*Note: we used thin paper for the white shamrock. I would suggest something more like cardstock.

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The finished product
Children

Letter and Shape Practice

Last week I set up an activity that was soo simple yet a lot of fun! I cut out different shapes as well as circles with different letters on them. Round 1 was shapes. I taped shapes all over the window and gave Brooklynn a fly swatter. I called out a shape and she had to slap that shape.

 

Round 2 was letters. I taped circles with letters written on them on a window and I called out letters and she had to slap them with the fly swatter.

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This activity is seriously so simple, but it is a great way to get kids moving while learning.

Children

Monsters

We have spent the last week reading monster books and doing monster activities so I wanted to share some of the fun things we have done. Here are some of the books we read. Go Away Big Green Monster was our favorite!

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We made monsters our of toilet paper rolls; super easy!

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Toilet paper roll, oil pastels, eyeballs, glue, yarn, and pre cut mouths. 

We also made play dough monsters. I just put all the supplies out and let the kids get creative.

The goal of the next activity was to practice counting. Brooklynn chose 2 eyeballs for both monsters, so we didn’t get to practice very much. But this is a great way to incorporate math!

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Is it just me or does the orange monster look exactly like a BERGEN?

We finished off the week with something we have never tried before. We made monsters from soap, yes SOAP!

We took just a regular bar of soap

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We placed it on a plate in the microwave for 1 minutes and 3o seconds. It was fun to watch it grow in the microwave and come out looking like this:

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It was warm, but surprisingly not too hot for little fingers to touch. We broke it into 3 pieces. She was able to mold it into the shapes she wanted. I let her get creative and use feathers, pipe cleaner, and eyeballs. The pipe cleaner and feathers were easy to stick in and stayed put. However, the eyeballs were a bit more tricky and required help. When the monsters cool they harden back up which makes for a cool monster keep sake.

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We tried painting the monsters. I would suggest finishing the monsters and letting them cool and THEN paint them. We made the mistake of painting them while they were warm which took awhile so the soap started to cool and then it was hard to put eye balls on the monsters.

 

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Our next sensory bin activity

We discovered that once the soap cools you can crumble it into a fine powder.Brooklynn spent more time playing in the soap mess than she did making monsters. It would take a lot of bars of soap, but it would be perfect in a sensory bin!