No Mess Color Mixers


This is a fast and fun activity that can be done with almost any age.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need one ziplock per child and a few colors of paint.
  2. Pour the paint into your bag , flatten as much air out as you can, and then seal it.
  3. If you want to make the lesson about color mixing you can wait and add in another color after playing with the first color for a while, asking your child if they know what color it will turn into.
  4. You can make letters, numbers and pictures too. Remember to ask your child how it feels, is it cold, soft? squishy?
  5. For added fun you can put different colored paper under your ziplock and the designs will be more colorful!

* You may be wondering why my little model isn’t doing this activity. I did let him play with it but all he wanted to do was chew the bag- trust me though the preschool classes I have done this with love it! You may just want to avoid doing it with toddlers who are cutting teeth! *

Books!

These two authors are childhood favorites of mine, as sentimental as these two books are to me they are also perfect for the theme at hand!

” 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 Lioni is 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!

Flower Power!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, a marker, some paint, a cupcake liner and some glue.
  2. Draw or have your child draw the outline of a flower and a stem on two separate pieces of paper.
  3. Spread some paint either directly on the paper or in a small plate and start finger painting, be prepared for paint on clothes, and in the mouth with young ones , make sure it’s non toxic!
  4. Switch paper and do the stem. I used colored paper but there is no reason not to use white.
  5. Let the paint dry and cut along the marker outline.
  6. Glue the flower onto another piece of paper and glue a cup cake liner in the middle of the flower for a finishing touch!

** What I like about this activity is that it gives your child a chance to explore the paint freely and then see how it can create a flower. Most preschoolers I have done this craft with asked to make another finger painting after we set the flower pieces up to dry! **

Song – sing it to the tune of “I’m a little tea pot”.

I’m a little Daisy
Tall and Slim
Here are my petals and here is my stem
When the sun comes up
and the rain comes down
I grow and grow up from the ground!

ABCs and 123s

Polka Dot Discovery
I have done this activity for years and never once called the eggs Easter eggs, they were polka dots with surprises inside. Obviously if you celebrate Easter there is no reason to call them anything else but if you don’t celebrate Easter you can still jump on the polka dot bandwagon and use them to have fun learning.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic eggs that open with room to hide things inside, you can also use small gift boxes. Some paper, a marker, some scissors and basket or bag.
  2. The great thing about this activity is that it’s versatile. If you are learning about shapes you can pop shapes in the eggs, if you are doing letters you stuff them with letters etc… So this next step is where you decide what to stuff them with and using a marker and paper make the surprises.
  3. Stuff the eggs and either hide them for a hunt, or place them in a basket for your child to choose from.
  4. When you child finds the egg make sure to ask them what color the outside is, and encourage them to open it up and find what’s inside.
  5. If your child is a young toddlers you can simply put fun toys in and they will be kept busy finding them. Just opening the eggs are great fine motor skills practice!
  6. One last note if you have an older sibling who is working on sight words at grade school you can pop those in some eggs for them too!

Egg Carton Number Match!

This is NOT an activity for toddlers, the pieces are small and a choking hazard
  1. Gather your materials. You will need the bottom of an egg carton, some mini cupcake liners, some paper, a marker and a paper punch.
  2. Write the numbers 1-12 on the inside of the liners, you don’t NEED the liners but it’s much easier than writing it on the egg carton directly. If your child is able have them write the numbers.
  3. Place the liners in the egg carton.
  4. Punch our your desired shapes with a paper punch. If you don’t have one handy you can cut out small shapes.
  5. Count as you fill the cup cake liners.
Activity ideas

Now that you have made your tools here are some fun things you can do with it, depending on your child’s abilities.

1. With the cups filled , pull one liner out and count the pieces inside , ask your child if the number at the bottom is the same as they counted.

2. Empty out all the pieces and ask /help your child to fill them up, do this out of order for an extra challenge.

3. Take the liners and pieces out and ask/help your child put them back in the right order.


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.





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!