Acorn Craft For Toddlers

My love of all things autumn continues with this ripped paper acorn. This is a cute craft that can be adapted easily for various ages. We used markers but paint or crayons would work well too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, a brown paper bag, a darker brown and light brown marker / crayon or paint, and glue.
  2. Have your child color half of the brown paper bag with the dark brown, then the other half with the lighter brown.
  3. While your child is coloring draw the outline of an acorn on a piece of construction paper.
  4. Start ripping. Rip the colored paper bag into small pieces, keep the two colors in separate piles. Little ones may need help ripping the paper if it’s thick, I had to get the rips started for my son.
  5. Add the glue to the bottom half of the acorn. As you can see my little guy doesn’t always follow my directions!
  6. Glue on the ripped pieces.
  7. Repeat with the top half. You want a lot of glue so that no matter where your child places the paper it will stick.
  8. Let dry
  9. Cut the acorn out and glue to the 2nd piece of construction paper.

Books!

” Leaf Jumpers “ by Carole Gerber is a beautifully illustrated , informative book that all all about leaves in autumn. It’s not the most exciting book but is a good teaching resource and tool when you are teaching your child about the changing seasons. I can’t say this is a must read, but it’s useful and worth a look at your local library.
” T is for Touchdown : A Football Alphabet” by Brad Herzog is a beautiful book that will delight even those of us who are never happy to see football season start. I admit even being an anti fan this book was fun and really full of information that even a football scrooge like myself can appreciate. Also it’s easy to read simply the letters and look at the pictures for little ones and has genuinely interesting blurbs for each page for older children.” Every Season ” by Shelly Rotner is a keeper. The text is simple, but the pictures really capture all the wonderful things that each season brings to make up a whole year. The photographs can be used as ice breakers about things children love about each season, are looking forward to or even don’t like. Either way this book is full of possibilities.

 

Last Days Of Summer

Sand Art

Right now at our house we are talking a lot about textures , this activity is a wonderful way to make something that is rough , which in my experience was always the hardest texture to find around the house or classroom. It’s also just a fun art activity too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of construction paper, some white glue, some sand and markers or crayons if you want.
  2. Start by having your child draw some fun pictures, if they are at the scribble stage, let them scribble. If they are older see if they will draw a picture of their favorite summer memory, hopefully something with sand!
  3. Add the glue, we just went freestyle , but you can make structured designs or even letters!
  4. Add the sand. We started with a spoon but like most almost 2 year olds, my son got rather frustrated with the small amounts the spoon was scooping and decided to pour it on instead.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Once dry explore the feeling of the art, and talk about how the paper is smooth, but the sand is rough!
Book!


“The Sandcastle Contest”
by Robert Munsch. I am normally a huge Munsch fan, I love so many of his touching and goofy stories. I don’t like this book , I have read it 4 times trying to find something about it I liked, but it’s just not there for me. I think it focuses too much on the uglier side of competitiveness and the characters are rude. I hate giving anything by Munsch a bad review , but I can’t avoid it.

How To Make Juice Box Crayons

recycled crayonsRecycled crayons are fun to make and you don’t need any fancy molds for these! I decided to take advantage of the back to school prices on crayons and make a fun Halloween treat for my son, using recyclable juice boxes for a mold! Here is how I did it. Oh and you could do this technique with any colors . These chunky crayons are great for toddlers and who doesn’t need more stuff for their toddlers to do?

  1. Gather your materials. You will need crayons, some disposable tin foil muffin liners, a pan, some sparkles if desired , a juice box and your oven.
  2. Set your oven to 250 degrees or lower.
  3. Peel off any paper on the crayons you are using. I am using 6 orange and 3 black crayons.
  4. Break the crayons into smaller pieces and place them in the foil muffin liners- or a small over safe container you don’t mind getting wax all over.
  5. Pop them into your oven and watch carefully, they melt fast.
  6. Cut the top off the empty juice box.
  7. Once the wax is melted, pour one muffin liner full of orange wax into the juice box , put it in the fridge to solidify.
  8. If using sparkles pour them into the black wax now, stir and pop the pan back in the oven .
  9. When the wax is set in the juice box, repeat with the black wax, then the 2nd layer of orange.
  10. Let sit until completely dry.
  11. Cut the juice box and peel off the crayon.
  12. Color using this fun new crayon.

Color Mixing

Color mixing is something so simple but so exciting for young children. The lesson is vital as well, the basic understanding that when you mix two things a third new thing is created doesn’t have to come from a complicated lesson, so grab a few towels and trust me your children will love this!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some clear or white glass or plastic containers. Food coloring, water , a turkey baster and a thick place mat or towel under the jars.
  2. Start by letting your child get accustomed to using the turkey baster to transfer the water from one container to another. They do make child size turkey basters and sell them at educational stores like Lakeshore learning but I am just using a regular old one.
  3. Next add blue and red to two of the jars and have clear water in the third. Ask about the colors and if your child is old enough, ask them to make a prediction about what will happen if you mix the colors.
  4. Continue with as many color combinations as they want. My son had a blast making green and we re did this experiment 4 or 5 times.
  5. If they are getting frustrated with how slow the turkey baster is encourage them to pour the water into the other jars.
  6. The fun can keep going as long as they are interested, our experiment lasted about 30 minutes which was about 15 minutes longer than I expected!
Books!



” A Rainbow Of My Own” by Don Freeman is a charming story about wanting a rainbow, you may notice that the colors are out of order but I have always used that as a teaching tool in my classes.

” Little Blue and Little Yellow”
by Leo Lioniis a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob!