Can you dig it ?!

Dig and Find ~ Sensory Activity


**This activity kept my little guy happy for much longer than expected and a huge mess was avoided , although you may want to do this outside or make sure your dust buster is handy.**

  1. Gather your materials. You can use rice, dried beans, or even unpoped popcorn but I am using oatmeal for two reasons, it’s handy and it’s easier to hide things in because it’s not slippery like the others. You will need a container, some scooping and digging utensils and some fun toys to hide.
  2. Pour your oatmeal into the container and hide a toy for your child to find.
  3. Dig it out and repeat! * I couldn’t get any pictures of my son grabbing the toy zebra, he did it so fast once he caught sight of it it was zoooom out of the oatmeal!

* Note about sensory activities: They are messy, but they are so important ! Children under five learn primarily through their senses. By feeling, seeing, smelling and touching during these activities they are learning spatial skills, fine motor skills among others. Also they can be very calm and soothing for kids which is a great thing!

Books!

My last trip to the library was a huge success, these are three great finds that would be great additions to any child’s bookshelf.


” Not Norman” by Kelly Bennet is a story about a little boy and his disappointing pet fish Norman. All great children’s books slip a lesson between the pages and this one is about how our first impressions aren’t always right. Friendships can take a while to grow but once they do they are solid, even with a pet fish named Norman.



” Edwardo the most horriblest boy in the whole world” by John Burningham is a must read for anyone who is in a position of authority among children, it is a poignant look at what happens when you scold and belittle a child and then what the outcome is when you praise. Great Book!

Peek-a-Moo” by Maria Torres Cimarusti is a great and simple book about animal sounds with flaps to lift for toddlers who need a little extra action to keep them interested.





Diaper Box Fire Truck


stuff for toddlers

My bathroom was starting to look like Costco with old diaper boxes, so I decided to make something useful. It took me less than 30 minutes and my son is in love with his ” Ning ning ning” which is his word for fire truck. Here is the how to!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an empty diaper box or other cardboard box, some glue or double stick tape, some colored paper and heavy duty scissors.
  2. Cut the flaps off the top of the box and lay it on it’s side. Cut a seat sized hole in the top for your child to slide into. You will want to either cover the edges with masking tape or do what I did and just bend them in so the cut edge isn’t so sharp.
  3. Get some colored paper or if you feel ambitious ( I didn’t) some white paper and cover the box. I used double stick tape because I was in a hurry and my son was climbing on the hearth, but there is no reason you couldn’t glue it. I just cut the paper in the shape of a fire truck- and if you click on the picture you will see that I simply layered it in places.
  4. Cut or paint some wheels , stick them on.
  5. To make the ladder I took a piece of paper and folded it lengthwise.
  6. I cut several slits in it, on the folded side not going all the way through.
  7. Then cut between them to make gaps in the ladder, glue it on.

* There is no reason kids can’t help making it but this was how I did it for my little guy who is only 15 months. With older kids i would have had them help make the lights, wheels, or even just covered it in white paper and let them at it with some red and black paint!

Need some Fire Truck Books ? Check these Emergency Vehicle Books  out .

 

FAQ : Part II

Frequently Asked Questions!

First of all let me apologize for no getting back to some of you who have commented on the FAQ page, I check it periodically but not as often as I thought! Here are my answers to some more recent questions! If you have a question feel free to email me
[email protected]

Q : Do you have a master list of craft supplies available ?

A: The basics to have on hand are
  • Construction Paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Tape
  • Paper Plates
  • Recycled things like cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls etc…

The extras you may also like to have are

  • Sparkles
  • Googly Eyes
  • Sequins
  • Foam Sheets
  • Contact Paper
  • Paint Dobbers
  • Sparkle Paint
  • Ink Pads
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Stickers
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Q: Is there a quick and easy way of finding the best activities for my 2 year old?

A: All of our activities with the exception of ” Naptime Creations” are appropriate to try with toddlers through school age children. You may have to adjust the supplies and your expectations of the final result but your child should be able to do some part of it and learn in the process. I always note when I think a craft is too hard and thus frustrating for toddlers, but you know your child best.

Capatilize on their interests. If they like bugs, check out the bug activities, into fish look for the under the sea ones. Toddlers are notoriously hard to please so by choosing an activity that includes a favorite subject the likely hood that you will have a happy , engaged 2 year old is good.

Remember it’s the process not the product- it’s more important that they love art, love letters and numbers etc.. because they like playing with them instead of being directed by us to do it “right”. Young children learn through play so keep it fun, and just try .

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Q: What do you do with all the finished crafts and artwork?

A: I can’t lie. It gets recycled. Every time we make something it gets put on the kitchen cart until we can show it to Daddy when he comes home. When my husband comes home we go over our day , and show him our creation. Then if my son wants to play with it it may hang around for a while , if not I recycle what I can and toss the rest out. I have saved a few special pieces as mementos too.

Letter of the week letters always get put on the side of the fridge until the next one is made.

However as my son gets older and more attached to his masterpieces we will hang them up on a cork board ,in his room, with the rule of one in , one out. That’s the plan anyway.

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Q : Is your son always in sleepers?

A: You’d think that if all you ever saw were the pictures on my site, no I swear he does have real clothes, and I do dress him in them. We normally do art right after coming down stairs in the morning, I find for him the best time to learn is after nursing before breakfast. We do art then have breakfast- makes it so he is all ready in his booster and I don’t have to wrangle him twice. Also if he gets paint on PJs I don’t mind.


All about Seasons!

Paper Bag Season Sorting


By nature most young children like to sort things, you may have noticed your child lining up blocks, or toy cars, or putting all the dolls in one place, and teddy bears in another. This activity takes that desire to sort and uses it to learn about seasons. This activity seems very bland but I have yet to have a class who didn’t love it.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some old magazines or catalogs, clothing catalogs work great for this. Scissors, crayons or markers, some construction or card stock paper, and tape or glue. You will need a paper bag for each season you are going to include. I suggest for children just learning about seasons to stick to Winter and Summer only.
  2. Steps 3 and 4 can be done ahead of time or by a parent while the child is doing step 5.
  3. Find pictures in your magazines or catalogs that show people in warm or cold weather clothing. In my experience it is easier for everyone if you do this step a head of time, or even just help things along by ripping out these pages and have the child do the cutting.
  4. Once you have found enough pictures of both seasons, glue or tape them to the paper and cut them out.
  5. Decorate the two ( or more) paper bags with scenes or things that represent that season. I drew pictures. Label each bag with the name of the season.
  6. Sort your pictures into each bag. While sorting ask your child questions, and especially if they are putting something you think should go into Summer into the Winter bag, they may have a very good explanation to put you in your place!
**The subject of this activity can easily be changed to fit any theme, and length of activity lengthened by adding more pictures to sort. This is a great circle time activity for preschool and after playing it as a class you can put it on the shelf for free time and the students will enjoy re-playing it. **


Song!



Hurry, Hurry, Seasons Changing

Hurry, Hurry, Spring is coming
See all the flowers blooming
Hurry , Hurry Spring is coming
Baby animals everywhere!

Hurry, Hurry, Summer’s coming
See how the sun is shining,
Hurry , Hurry, Summer’s coming
At the beach and at the pool!

Hurry, Hurry, Autumn’s coming
See all the leaves falling,
Hurry, Hurry, Autumn’s coming
Grab a sweater it’s getting cold!

Hurry, Hurry, Winter’s coming
See all the snow falling,
Hurry, Hurry Winter’s coming
Bundle up like a polar bear!

Coffee Filter Butterfly



These butterflies are always a hit, with older children you can use food coloring and spend time mixing custom colors, but with young children I would stick to watered down paint. Here how :

  1. Gather your materials. You’ll need at least 2 coffee filters for each butterfly, some cardboard for the body ( I used the backside of a cereal box) some cryons or markers for coloring the body , a pipe cleaner, some paint, glue and if you want a ice cube tray to hold the paint .
  2. Water down your paint, just enough for it to run and be absorbed by the filter. If you are using watercolors you will need a lot of color for it to show up on the filter.
  3. Start painting! The best way to do this is to drop or dribble the paint onto the filter and let it spread naturally. Do as many colors are you want.
  4. While letting the paint dry, color the cardboard for the body, and cut out in a long oval. On one end poke 2 holes and feed a pipe cleaner through for the antennae.
  5. When the filters are dry, fold them in 4 and glue the pointy end to the backside of the body.

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Dig it!
Planting seeds of any kind is a great activity for parents and kids to do together, it’s an on going and a wonderful lesson about responsibility and delayed gratification.I am using a little kitchen herb garden but all you really need is some potting soil, a container, seeds , water and the sun. I would encourage you to do this with your child, but if they are under two or still mouthing a lot of things, plant it at nap time and have them help you water it daily.The fun of this activity is watering daily and seeing if anything has popped through yet. Once it has you can even chart the growth with older children and make predictions about how tall each sprout will get.