Crafts For Kids { Add Yours! }

kids activities

Happy Easter!

I am going to keep this short because there is so much to do tonight and that sweet sassy three year old you see on here most days is sick and needs her mama. That’s me. So please link up your great crafts for kids, home school activities, book lists… anything you think our No Time For Flash Card readers would love.

If you are new here do not be shy! Jump right in and add a few links.



Picture Books About Community Helpers

books about community helpersFirefighters, police officers, doctors, dentists, teachers and more!  These are all people in our community that our kids see and can understand easily what they do to help our communities work. There aren’t too many books about human resource managers, real estate developers or writers because young children relate to what they know and have experienced. Here are some of our favorite books about community helpers for kids.

All book lists contain affiliate links.

dentist

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a classic. I remember reading this as a child and was so pleased to see how much my son enjoyed reading it too. The story is simple, but they cover a lot of the questions a child who has never been or hasn’t been to the dentist in a while may have.  I like that the tooth fairy is giving out dimes for teeth, what’s the going rate now?

First Day Jittersby Julie Danneberg has a special spot in my heart. It’s a book about not wanting to go to a new school, the first day is always the hardest and it’s easier to just stay in bed! The beauty of this book isn’t just the recognition of the anxiety about the first day but in the end the twist is that it’s the teacher who has the jitters not a student. I love this book and the power it has to help anxious kids, I have read it more than once to a jittery child and see how it can help first hand.

librarian on the roof

Librarian on the Roof! by M.G. King made me cry. The true story is about a librarian who did what she needed to do to raise enough money to make a functional children’s section in the oldest library in Texas. What she did was stay on the roof of that library for a week, and it worked. I loved the message that libraries are vital, that books open doors , and that providing access to information to those who can’t afford to get it on their own is a worthwhile cause. This book made me want to cheer, it had me spouting off lessons left and right to my kids , and it absolutely captivated all three of us. Go read this book and learn more about RoseAleta Laurell the real librarian on the roof.

books about firefighters

Firefighters to the Rescue by Kersten Hamilton is a beautifully illustrated look at the heroic happenings of a group of firefighters. Unlike many of the other books on this list we never bought this one, because we took it out from the library so often.  The retro  illustrations are so beautiful and the refrain of “Firefighters to the rescue!” is so fun that my son was absolutely drawn to it.  It’s simple and doesn’t go into too much detail which makes it a good choice for kids under 4.

Miss Mingo and the first day of school

Miss Mingo and the First Day of School by Jamie Harper is a delightful book. Miss Mingo is a flamingo and teacher who wants to know about her students on the first day of school. She starts the exercise by sharing some fun facts about being a flamingo , like why she is pink, and before you know it the whole class of different animals are sharing. This book not only shows kids that it’s okay to share about themselves but it is full of fun facts about animals in the fine print. I learned something I never knew about a Narwhal! It is a bit long for a toddler but each page highlights new animals and it’s easy to skip a few for those that aren’t ready for a book of this length. This is going on my buy list!

road-builders-b-g-hennessy-paperback-cover-art

Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy was a 4th birthday gift for my son and he was not interested at first. Maybe because of the plethora of Lego that was taking over our house… however it has since been adored by both my son and daughter. It’s a story all about how a road is built , explaining what the crew does, and how each type of construction vehicle has a different role in building a road.  I like that it explains the process from start to finish, in just the right level of detail for preschoolers.  I also like that there is a female crew member and her participation is seamless .

Busy People

Joe Kaufman’s Book About Busy People and How They Do Their Work by Joe Kaufman was such a big part of my childhood that I was nervous sharing it with my son, worried he’d reject it. He gobbled it up even though it is terribly out of date ( I think it was when I read it too!).  The book is all about different jobs and all the responsibilities of them. My favorite was Trudy Teacher and like my son who’s favorite was Fred Fireman I skipped Carlos the Clown. Even as outdated as it is, it’s useful for learning about community helpers and I didn’t notice the diversity of the jobs , and people in the book as a child but appreciate it as a parent.

day in the life of a garbage collector

A Day in the Life of a Garbage Collector by Nate Leboutiller was my son’s favorite book when he was my daughter’s age ( 3.5). This book focuses on the sanitation workers that make it all happen. From what time they have to get up, the safety measures they take, clothes they wear and how they drive the trucks it covers it all. Perfect for kids like mine that were always curbside waving at the garbage collector every week!

policeman small

Policeman Small by Lois Lenski was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Policeman Small is about a policeman in a simpler time, a time that is perfect for little readers not looking for the reality of what police work is, instead looking for something simple. A big hit with young toddlers.

Dr. Meows Big Emergency

Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Lloyd was taken out of the library late last week and has been read at least twice a day since, we both know it off my heart.  In the book readers meet Dr. Meow and her trusty ambulance driver Woof as they care for patience and rush to the aid of Tom Cat who has been injured falling out of a tree. Really it’s a story about being kind to others and forgiving, as Tom Cat learns not to pick on little Mr. Bird and in turn Mr. Bird forgives Tom Cat for his mistakes.  Both my son and I loved the little cheeky details, humor, and fun little world that the author illustrator created in this book.

dig-dig-digging

Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo is one of the few books we have that we have bought twice. Our first copy was so well loved that we knew when it could not be read anymore that it would be immediately replaced. This book is imbedded in my brain ( and heart) because both my children have gone through a phase where it’s their absolute favorite. The book takes readers through different vehicles like firetrucks, rescue helicopters and of course bulldozers. The text is repetitive and will get stuck in your head for days but it’s OK because your kids will recite it along with you.

tomas

Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora was another really touching book about the difference a library and caring librarian can make in the life of a child. Tomas’s parents are migrant workers and in the summer they travel from Texas to Iowa to work the fields for the summer. While in Iowa Tomas discovers the local library and befriends the librarian who signs books out on her own card for him. He reads all summer, shares the books with his family and develops a love of reading because someone took the time to reach out. I loved this book and so did my son who was interested in the story but much more interested in learning more about migrant workers and what being poor is like. We have had very interesting conversations about these topics since. I love it when a book does that.

Delivering Your Mail: A Book About Mail Carriers by Ann Owen is a simple book about being a mail carrier. The text is to the point and perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers learning about mail carriers for the first time. It focuses on not just what the mail carriers do but how it impacts the reader, which is paramount for young children who see the world through their perspective only. Cute beginner book!

Firefighter FrankFirefighter Frank by Monica Wellington was a huge score at the library. My son and I both love this author/illustrator and have read many of her books , but this one has never been available, and I can see why. The author has a knack for sharing information with her readers in a fun, simple way that is perfect for preschoolers. This book is no exception to her other great books. I particularly enjoy some of the vocabulary she uses in this book about Firefighter Frank, words like shrill, intense, and exhausted. They aren’t obscure words but they are not often seen in books geared to those as young as this one, and the context is supportive so that even a young child can help decipher the meaning of the words. The book itself tells a simple( and common) story but between the author’s ability to tell the story better than other authors, and the bright and beautiful illustrations this books stands out from the firefighter crowd.

george

Curious George Goes to the Hospital by Margaret and H.A. Rey .  I adored this book as a child and even though hospitals have changed a lot since this book was written the story still rings true.  I remember reading this book before having to go to the hospital as a child and finding comfort in it. George gets into some trouble with a puzzle and ends up in the hospital with a bad tummy ache. It turns out that he swallowed a piece! The meat of the story is really the inside look at what happens in a hospital and how it’s really nothing to be afraid of.  It’s a great book to read when you need to calm fears before a hospital stay. I am not the only fan of this book in our house in fact it’s one of my three year old daughter’s favorite books right now .

Calling All Cars

City Adventures, No. 3: Calling All Cars! (Lego Reader, Level 1) by Sonia Sander was the first Lego book we checked out from the library a while back. We quickly bought the book because when my son was learning to read he could read this one  without any help.  The story is a simple one about a bank robber and the police that must save the day. Stories like this really appeal to young kids because they are so black and white. The bad guy stole money , now the good guy will get him! What I love about them is that they involve him even more in the Lego world, and after reading he does go and create more.

trashy town

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha is my favorite garbage truck book , and yes I have read a lot. Mr. Gilly is a hard working garbage man with one task, to clean up Trashy town. The text is so melodic I find myself singing while reading ” Dump it in, Smash it down, drive around the trashy town” . It’s not all trashy time for Mr. Gilly though, after a hard days work cleaning up Trashy town he gets into his bubble bath ! My son loves that this big garbage collector has a bath just like him. Super sweet and colorful book that explains garbage collection is a nice way.

21 Outdoor Art Projects For Kids

outside art for kids Take art outside with these fun and simple outdoor art projects for kids. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to set up one of these simple projects then stay outside exploring, kicking around a soccer ball or having races in the front yard after we are done. Here are 21 easy ideas for taking art outside.

Painting with Water
Spray Painting
Fresh Picked Flower Place Mats
Messy Monster Paintings

fly swatter painting
Fly Swatter Painting
Water Balloon Color Mixing
Sun Melted Crayons

truck painting for toddlers
Truck Tracks
Snow Painting
Painting Like Jackson Pollock

driveway graffiti
Driveway Graffiti
Sponge Ball Splat Painting
Painting Like Monet

DIY Bird Bath
Easy Bird Bath
Squeezie Sidewalk Painting
Broccoli Printing
Color and Clean Car Wash
Squirt Painted Hot Dog Craft

art for kids
Painting With Nature
Water Table Paint & Print
Read & Draw Picnic

Paint Easter Eggs in A Bag! { Color Mixing Too!}

mess free easter eggsI want to say that when you paint Easter eggs in a bag that it’s mess free and for many kids it would be but my little girl loves to get her hands dirty and insisted on reaching in and grabbing the painted eggs herself. Who am I to say no to that? That said, if a fear of a mess is something that stops you from getting artsy with your kids or if they are not interested in getting their hands covered in paint this Easter color mixing activity can be done without any mess . The Easter eggs we are using are artificial and coated with paper so they paint and dye just like real eggs but can be kept year after year.

Gather your materials. You will need some paper or wood craft eggs, liquid paint, gallon ziplock style bags, and something to rest the wet eggs on to dry. You may also want a piece of painter’s tape to hold the bag in place while pouring paint into it. shake painted easter eggs

Start by rolling the edges of a bag down and taping the bottom to the table to keep it all stable.

Pour the paint in. My daughter did every color the first time and was super excited about it!  shake painted easter eggs in ziplock bag

Pop the eggs in. ziplock painted easter eggsIt’s more fun if you pop two in at a time, especially if you shake it because they clang together. If you are doing this with real eggs only do one at a time or you will have shell everywhere. I imagined she’d shake the bag but she liked squishing it more. Which is fine, don’t get hung up on the little details like this. shake painted eggs

She reached in to grab the eggs but you can carefully dump the egg onto the carton for drying without ever touching it, which is what I did with the next four eggs. No need for little hands to get covered in paint unless everyone is cool with it!paint easter eggs in a bag

After the initial every color exploration we decided to make some colors. The first combination was the classic yellow and blue! color mixing and squish painting in a bag easter eggsNext up all the “girl colors” it doesn’t seem to matter how often I say colors don’t have genders, my daughter is think in the stage of classifying things by gender. I know that this is a stage and helps kids make sense of things but I would be lying if I didn’t say I am looking forward to the next phase. Please tell me I am not the only one?! easy painted easter eggs in a bagYou can use the same bag or grab a new one. If you want to reuse the best way to wash them out is to fill with water pour out, turn inside out and give a quick wipe.  Let dry . decorate easter eggs in a bag

 

How To Throw A Great Book Themed Play Date with The Pigeon Needs A Bath

How To Host A Book Themed Play DateI get asked often to host little events for brands or book releases but it’s rare that I find one that I think is a good fit for No Time For Flash Cards. This time when the offer to share Mo Willem’s new book came into my inbox I jumped at it. We love Mo Willems and getting to share his brand new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath! with our friends online and in real life was a perfect fit. I decided to turn it into a fun little after preschool play date to promote not only friendship but a love of reading too. For once I am in some pictures thanks to my friend Catie from Catie’s Photography offering to help shoot the play date for me. This post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion and contain affiliate links.

pigeon needs a bath

1. Get Their Attention

When you are trying to gather kids attention late in the day a great way to do that is to combine snack time with listening. We handed out fruit, cheese and drinks and then mini cupcakes at the table.food pigeon party 3

2. Share The Book In A Fun Way

We had a little friendly competition between two favorite Pigeon books. As soon as we got settled with the food I explained we were going to see if this brand new book was as good or even better than the other Pigeon books. I made a little voting booth and got settled in to read.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! was funny. There were some giggles for sure.pigeon reading 2

But it was not as funny as The Pigeon Needs A Bath. The kids were laughing out loud as I read.reading pigeon party

What I love about play dates like this is that reading becomes special.

3. Make Something Inspired By The Book.pigeon craft

We made bookmarks. How appropriate! These Pigeon bookmarks were a cinch to make and the kids had fun gluing them together. I loved seeing all the slight variations. I chose a bookmark because my whole goal was to make reading special. This bookmark can be used for reading or for children this young used to tag a book they want to read that night. My daughter chooses her bedtime books every night and now she can tag which one she wants to read by popping the bookmark in it and setting it on her room.

pigeon needs a bath craft craft

Here is the step by step- clearly photographed by me

Gather your materials. You will need some blue , brown, yellow and white paper. You will also need googly eyes, scissors, a hole punch, some raffia ribbon, glue stick and crayons.

Start by cutting out a blue rectangle and a smaller brown one. Glue them together.
Next cut out a small yellow beak . Then cut out a circle, long skinny rectangle and semi circle from the blue paper. Glue them together on the brown rectangle.how to make a pigeon bookmark

 

Add an eye and a white strip of paper on his neck.
Add legs and a wing with crayon or markers.
Punch a hole in the top for the raffia.how to make a pigeon bookmark for kids

Add the raffia and get that pigeon dirty by coloring all over!how to make a pigeon needs a bath bookmark

4. Send Them On Their Way With More To Read!

I was fortunate enough to have the publisher provide books for all my guests, I don’t think I could have afforded to do that. There are inexpensive ways to send each child home with a book like hitting up Goodwill, the dollar store or asking each guest to bring a book to exchange. I do think that this step is important and such a great way to focus on what a gift reading and books are.pigeon favors

This was our first book play date but I know there will be more in the future. You can learn more about all the Pigeon Series here , check out Mo Willems’s blog here, and yes The Pigeon is even on Twitter!

As mentioned above this post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion