Paper Plate Tortoise



  1. Gather your materials. For this craft you will need a paper plate, some paint and paint brush, some paper, glue , scissors and crayons.
  2. Paint the outside of your paper plate, I am using a foam brush because it minimizes mess , and isn’t that always a plus with young children?
  3. While your child is painting the plate ( and possibly your table too) fold a piece of paper in at least 4, draw a shape of your choosing. I chose hexagons but any shape would do. Some shapes are hard to find in the real world so incorporating them into a craft like this is a great way to learn.
  4. Cut the shape out.
  5. Glue the shape on to the painted plate to create a cool shell!
  6. While your child is gluing the shapes on , fold another piece of paper in 2, and draw the outline of four feet, a tail and a head. If you want you can have your child color these and add eyes and a mouth too!
  7. Cut these out and glue them on the inside of the paper plate.
Books!


” A Mama for Owen” by Marion Dane Bauer tells the true story of a baby hippo who was orphaned during the 2004 tsunami. Maybe because I am a mom but this story brings me close to tears every time I read it. The beautiful illustrations will keep your children interested as you read this ultimately heartwarming story of adoption.

” The Foolish Tortoise”

by Richard Buckley and Eric Carle is a tale about a tortoise who decides that his shell is holding him back- only to discover that being slow isn’t as bad as he thought!

“Owen & Mzee – Best Friends”

by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff is a board book with real photographs of the friendship of orphaned baby hippo and his 130 year old adoptive tortoise named Mzee. The Text is simple and perfect for toddlers. I like that it shows animals being affectionate , something we don’t often see.


Monochromatic Texture Collage


When children are learning their colors this is a fun activity to support their learning, it’s easy to incorporate shapes and letters too, simply cut paper into those shapes! Older children can use magazines and search for the color and cut it out themselves!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a white piece of heavy paper, paint, some glue and your collage materials. I am using some foam pieces, tissue paper, feathers and pipe cleaners. Anything will work!
  2. Paint the paper- we are finger painting today but you can use a brush, sponge or roller!
  3. While the paint is drying, let your child explore the collage materials. Ask how they feel, what is the same about all of them, and which ones they like. With toddlers you can label things with their texture, shape and of course color!
  4. Drizzle glue all over the painting or with older children allow them to glue as they go if they want.
  5. Start collaging !
Books!

” Hello, Red Fox ” by Eric Carle is a fun interactive book about colors and the color wheel. Kids will love the “trick” on each page. The trick being that if you stare at a color for long enough then stare at a blank page the complimentary color will appear! This book is great, but not for a group, a class will disintegrate into “Let me!!” and “My turn!” quickly so this is really is best read one on one!

“Freckleface Strawberry” by Julianne Moore is one of the few celebrity books you will see me giving a good review, I really like this book. It doesn’t talk down to kids, and the humor is funny for parents and kids alike. I like that her freckles do not go away as she got older too!

” The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza” by Philomen Sturges is a great retelling of the classic story. Kids will be able to relate to this hen not getting any help for all her hard work. Luckily her friends realize their mistake and do the dishes after she shares her yummy pizza.

I Know What You Did Last Weekend

Home made
Picture Books !



Children love making books, and a book about what they did last weekend , or on a special family outing is a perfect way to help your child tell a story staring their favorite person!

  1. Before going on vacation, to the zoo etc… be ready to take a lot of pictures, and remember to take pictures of the things your child was really into. If your child was napping during the parade or didn’t see the dolphin show at the aquarium – don’t bother including those pictures. Talk to your child about what they see before you take the picture so when it comes time to recall it even younger ones will be able to!
  2. Once home, gather your materials. You will need some pictures of your outing/weekend , construction paper, crayons or markers, some glue or double stick tape ( I love this stuff!) and a stapler.
  3. Have your child decorate the pages before you add the pictures.
  4. Fold the paper in 2 to make multiple pages.
  5. Add the pictures , using double stick tape or glue . I suggest the double stick tape because it is easy, clean won’t make the pages stick together like glue will if it dribbles out.
  6. After adding a picture add some text, ask your child what the picture is of, and to tell you about it. Write verbatim what they tell you, if they are old enough have them write it!
  7. Staple the pages together, I ended up using ribbon and sewing it together because my art closet is a mess and I couldn’t find my stapler!
  8. Read the new book with your child!
***If you are doing this as a class, have enough pictures for each student to pick out a picture and tell you what is going on in it. When I would do this with a class the books always became favorites and we would read them all year long. The students loved to look back at how they’d changed over the school year too!


Books!

These are 3 new books I found at my library and wanted to share !

” A Kiss Goodbye” by Audrey Penn is a sequel to one of my favorite books ” The Kissing Hand” . In this book Chester the little raccoon has to leave his home to move to anther tree because his is being chopped down. I love that Audrey Penn has tackled the subject of moving because it is such a stressful and scary event for so many children, and this book really addresses those feelings. The text is too long for toddlers in my experience but preschoolers will sit and listen, to this wonderful story.

” Little Baby Bobby” by Nancy Van Laan is a story about Bobby and his runaway stroller, oh and his babysitter Britta who chases after him. We follow Bobby all over town as a larger and larger group of people join the chase, all the while bumping into things and Bobby is happily bouncing along. The illustrations are fun, the text has cute rhymes but over all this is just an ok book. My son sat for a few pages but wasn’t too thrilled. It’s worth a look if you are at the library though!

” Scaredy Squirrel makes a friend” by Melanie Watt is hilarious! I laughed out loud from start to finish, my son who is 18 months old didn’t get the humor at all but laughed at me laughing! Older preschoolers will get most of the humor though and like my son, will love the pictures ! Here is my favorite line : in very small print on the inside cover it reads ” * Caution: this story not suitable for walruses. ” Oh how I laughed ! The dry humor aside, the book follows an anxious squirrel looking for a friend , but one that is safe and won’t bite! Of course the message is about taking risks and kids will get it! I love this book!

Shape Safari !

binoculars craft for toddlers
When you are going on a shape safari you don’t need a gun, or even a camera all you need are some funky binoculars, here’s the how to:



Binoculars

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll cut in half or two toilet paper rolls, some tissue or other colored paper, a hole punch , glue and ribbon or yarn.
  2. Start by cutting out shapes in your paper. If your child is a toddler you will want to do this a head of time and spend this time showing your child the shapes. Don’t worry if they don’t seem to get it, they are absorbing it, but keep it short so they don’t get bored. Older children can cut out their own shapes.
  3. Get out the glue and start gluing on the shapes. Remember to ask questions, about the colors and shapes but don’t pester them.
  4. Glue the two rolls together and let dry . You can also staple them if needed.
  5. Punch 2 holes and tie the ribbon on and you are good to go!
Shape Safari!

  1. Gather your materials. For older children you really do not need anything more than the funky binoculars and a bag or something to act as home base for all the shapes you find. Younger children I would either use blocks you have that are different shapes or cut some out of paper for the activity.
  2. Hide or place the shapes or blocks around the house in places your child can find them easily. For young toddlers you can just scatter them on the floor, or in the backyard.
  3. Grab your trusty binoculars and start searching for those shapes. Remember to be animated and have fun, get into it and your child will too!
Song!


Herman the Worm- remix!
Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum,
chomp chomp chomp,
Playing with my yo yo ,
woo woo,
When a long came Herman the worm,
and he was shaped like this__( hold up a shape)__
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said I ate a ___( name the shape)____

Do with as many or as few shapes as you please !



Books!


” Earl’s Too Cool For Me!” by Leah Komaiko is a cute and short story about the adventures of a cool kid , but the message is in the end when even though he is cool he is still a regular guy too isn’t too cool after all.

” There’s a Square” by Mary Serfozo is a book all about shapes, all the illustrations contain multiple shapes for your children to find!

” The Loudest Roar”
by Thomas Tayloris a cute board book about Clovis a little Tiger with a big Roar!

 

C is for Cookie

Letter C Cookies !

What better way to introduce the letter c than with cookies?!

1.Gather your materials. You will need some cookie dough, some wax paper for your child’s work surface, an oven preset to your recipes specifications, and a cookie sheet. I am using packaged dough even though normally I prefer healthier home made dough, the reason being that the eggs in packaged cookies are usually pasteurized making the risk of salmonella and other food borne nasties lower. It’s still not healthy for them to be eating the dough, but I am personally more comfortable with them handling it than home made stuff with raw eggs. Please check your package to check if it’s safe.

    2.Have your child make the letter C c with the dough, or if like my son they are only interested in eating it, take it away and do it for them. Like I said please use caution with raw dough even if it’s pasteurized. I have done with with preschoolers and we had fun using sugar cookie dough and decorating them after!

      3.Arrange your C cookies on the baking sheet and pop them in the oven. Make sure the C is really skinny looking , or else you will end up with a blob.

        4. Let cool and if desired decorate them, if my son was older we would definitely be adding some sprinkles and maybe icing too!

          5. Enjoy your letter C cookie!

          Books!

          ” If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff is a contemporary classic, and if you have ever read it to a group of children you will know why. The story builds as one thing leads to the next when you give into the whims of a silly little mouse! This is a great book to recall and recount with your child, after reading have them retell you what happened by asking ” What happened next?” this is a really easy and important tool in early literacy!

          Mmm Cookies” by Robert Munsch is a loud and silly book, that preschoolers love! The main character loves to play jokes but eventually the joke is on him.