Sent In By You!

Egg Carton Birds


I thought these were the most adorable and funky birds I’d ever seen when Astrid from
The Lopsided House
sent in this wonderful craft. So simple but so elegant. I love crafts that use up something extra like egg cartons and can also be used to decorate. They remind me of the tiki room at Disneyland! So much character in such a simple craft, love it!


For the how to and more pictures of these crafty creations
check out

The Lopsided House

If you have a craft you did and want to share email me a link to your blog, or send me the pictures and directions , I will happily feature it on in an upcoming ” Sent In By You” . Next week will be a compilation of all the Halloween crafts that have been filling up my inbox, so if you want to get in on that – send it in !

Five Senses – Touch and Learn

 

 farm animal activity for preschool

Our bedtime stories lately have all had one thing in common, a sheep! So I decided for our lesson that we make a super soft sheep. For older children, you can add smooth grass made out of foam or plastic and hard fence made from popsicle sticks. If your child is younger though don’t overload them, one texture to focus on is perfect!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, one a lighter color and the other black. Scissors, cotton balls, glue, markers and googly eyes.
  2. Have your child draw the farm background, ask them what sheep eat, even my 23 month old could do this and drew grass. If you are doing multiple textures have them glue on the grass and fence here, make sure there is enough space for your sheep!
  3. While they work on the farm, draw a sheep body and head out of the black paper and cut out.
  4. Glue the body on and add glue and cotton balls, we ripped our apart to spread them out.
  5. Glue on the head.
  6. Add the eyes!
  7. All done!

Books!

” How Big Is A Pig”by Claire Beaton has fast become a favorite in our house around bedtime. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text.“Brown Bear Brown Bear”by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in it’s simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!” Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try! Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals .

~Additional Activities~

Touch Bowl

This is a fun activity that anyone can do. Older children should be encouraged to close their eyes and try to identify the objects while describing the way they feel. Toddlers can just explore with you labeling the textures, and if they are able you can play a little game of “Find the Texture”. Simple games like this are so valuable even if they seem bland to us on paper your child will love it. So try and see! My son loved the sticky tape and bumpy gourd.

Gentle Touch

What a perfect time to talk about gentle touches. Having been both a teacher and the dreaded director of a childcare center sometimes I felt like all I did all day was talk about gentle touches, remind little people that we use gentle hands and words with our friends. So this is my plea for all of us parents to practice this with our kids, it doesn’t come naturally to most but with lots of reminders and praise we can help teach them how to be gentle even when it’s so hard to , basically from ages 1-5 !

Five Senses ! Do you see what I see?

I Spy !

This week we are focusing on the 5 senses, to start our mini unit off we are doing our own I spy chart. Older kids can do the writing themselves and preschoolers can draw if they choose. I wrote my son’s exact words then , clarified in marker. See additional activities for some fun games using the sense of sight!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some goggley eyes, a larger piece of card stock or construction paper, another plain sheet of paper, some crayons/markers, and glue.
  2. Start my coloring the big paper, If your child is old enough have them write the words ” I spy…” all over it.
  3. While they are doing that , write on the white paper something like ” From my front porch, I spy….” I did three areas of our house but more or less works great.
  4. Add glue around the edges.
  5. Add lots of googly eyes. Ask toddlers and preschoolers what they are, and to point to their eyes. Ask them what they are for. Explain we are putting them all over the paper because we are going to go explore using our eyes and come back and write down our findings on this paper!
  6. Go to the different places and ask your children to tell you what they see! While they are doing this if they are old enough ask them to close their eyes and ask them if they can’t see how would they know what is around them.
  7. Report your findings, if your child can write let them do it, if they want to draw what they saw, that is great! If they are a toddler do it for them but talk to them about it and have them recall it as you write it down.

Books!

The whole I spy series is a wonderful treat to have in a classroom or home, preschoolers have an uncanny love of finding things and these books rock. I used to love to pull them out on rainy day recesses while teaching Pre K and it would keep many a preschooler engaged for quite a while! They are by Jean Marzello and Walter Wick and if you have access to Scholastic Book orders you will usually find one in each order at a great discounted price!

Additional Activities

Old McDonald Lost His Sight!

This is a fun game that I have played with children as young as 2.5, all you need is a blindfold and a room clear of danger . Blind fold the child who is going to be ‘ Old McDonald’ and have any other kids or yourself around them in a circle, the leader ( you) says “Old McDonald had a farm eieio, and on his farm he had a —animal—— then make the sound, the farmer has to go find the animal using his sense of hearing.

You can also use scarves and have them available for the farmer to touch and the animal is at the end of the scarf. So this time he is using his sense of touch. Please be careful with this one – gentle tugs, and a bump proof room is a must!

I Spy!

I have countless memories of playing this game with my sister as a child but as a teacher it’s been a wonderful tool. Helps teach all sorts of basics, and when learning about the sense of sight, it’s great! So if you don’t know how it works, one person says ” I spy with my little eye something that is __ enter color__ or ___ starts with the letter___ ” and the other person/ people have to guess. If they get it right it’s their turn.

Letter of The Week N n !

Newspaper N !

Now after doing this craft I realized how much this is like our ” Word W” sorry, hopefully you still have fun doing this craft, preschoolers are not against some repetition , my son had a blast doing this while waiting for dinner and using double stick tape vs glue keeps little hands clean in case a bath is not on the schedule!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some newspaper, double stick tape, scissors and markers.
  2. Draw a big fat N on one piece of paper.
  3. Have your child draw on the other. If they are old enough you can have them practice writing Ns if they want! I usually include one free art aspect of the letter of the week activity, that way they have some control and free creativity in an otherwise parent/teacher directed craft.
  4. While your child is doing this you can cut the newspaper into small pieces.
  5. Cover the N in double stick tape /or glue.
  6. Add the newspaper to the N. My son loved this, he loved how sticky the tape was and how it stuck to his finger, so we had a mini lesson on textures too!
  7. Cut out and tape the the colored paper!

Discovery Boxes

A great way to introduce a letter of the week to your child is to fill a box with items starting with that letter. This morning after breakfast my son and I sat down and pulled lots of fun things out of our box, Numbers, A Nectarine, Noodles and Nuts were all in there! The best part about this activity is that you use things around your house, and you can use it for letters, colors and shapes!

Letter of the week “Stories”

This is a fun activity for older preschoolers, I had fun doing this with my PreK class a few years ago! What you do is write a short story leaving blanks for your child to fill in with words starting with the letter of the week. The results will make both of you giggle, and your child will be learning too!

Here is an example :

Yesterday I went walking down the street and I found a _________ , I couldn’t believe it! My mom said I couldn’t keep it . Instead she let me go to the store and buy a _________ but there were none left! The man at the store sold me a ________ instead! I thought it smelled funny , so I went home and on the way home I found three ______. what a funny day!


*Remember to keep it short so that your child stays interested, you want them to be challenged , not frustrated!

Raining Cats and Dogs

Cat Puppets

This is a fun craft that can easily be scaled down for young toddlers or up for older children.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate or heavy card stock cut in a circle, some paint , paper for ears, pipe cleaners, some cardboard or large tongue depressors for the handle and dark colored marker for the eyes and mouth.
  2. Paint the paper plate.
  3. This picture illustrates perfectly why non toxic paints are a requirement with young kids!
  4. While your child is painting , cut out two ears , glue or using double stick tape attach them to the underside of the plate.
  5. Have your child paint the cardboard handle or tongue depressor.
  6. While they are painting that twist some pipe cleaners together for the whiskers.
  7. To attach these to the plate poke two holes in the paper plate and using another pipe cleaner make a loop, slide the whiskers in then tighten the loop , and twist. Cover the pipe cleaner on the underside with tape to protect your child from any pokes.
  8. Draw on the eyes, and mouth, attach the handle, and voila!

** To make it harder for older children you can cut out eyes, a mouth and use more than one color paint too! **

Song!

Bingo!
There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap)-I-N-G-O! (Clap)-I-N-G-O! (Clap)-I-N-G-O!
And Bingo w
as his name-O!

There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O!

(Clap, Clap)-N-G-O! (Clap, Clap)-N-G-O! (Clap, Clap)-N-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap, Clap, Clap)-G-O! (Clap, Clap, Clap)-G-O! (Clap, Clap, Clap)-G-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.
(Clap, Clap, Clap, clap)-O! (Clap, Clap, Clap, clap)-O! (Clap, Clap, Clap, clap)-O!
And Bingo was his name-O!

There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-O.

(Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)
(Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap) (Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)
And Bingo was his name-O!

Books!

Have you seen my cat?” by Eric Carle is a fun look at different kinds of cats large and small around the globe in an easy repetitive book with predictably great illustrations.

” Oh, Tucker!” by Steven Kroll is cute story about a clumsy excited dog , with colorful illustrations and kids love how he “whams” into everything!

” McDuff moves in” by Rosemary Wells will pull at your heart strings , McDuff escapes the dog catcher and goes at it alone, that is until he finds Fred and Lucy!