Letter of the Week A !

Alligator A !

This is a pretty classic letter of the week idea, but my son and I were both so excited about how cute the alligator turned out to be. The foam teeth and googly eyes really helped turn the A into an alligator. Don’t miss the additional activity for more ideas about how to incorporate letters into playtime.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper ( different colors), 2 googly eyes, some white foam or paper will do, glue, scissor and markers.
  2. Draw a large upper case A on one piece of construction paper. I added two triangles on one side of the A for eyes.
  3. Give your child the A and have them color it to their liking. We have been talking about inside vs outside a lot this week so I shouted out “Inside the A” and ‘Outside the A” and my son obliged, it made it a little silly but fun.
  4. While they color cut out some triangles for alligator teeth.
  5. Cut out the A
  6. Glue it on the 2nd piece of paper.
  7. Add glue to the eyes ( you can see where we had glue all over above the eye, no biggie, just wipe it)
  8. Add the googly eyes
  9. Add dots of glue for the teeth
  10. Add the teeth. Let dry.

Books!

“SNIP SNAP! What’s That? “ by Mara Bergman was a great library find. The book is about an alligator who sneaks into an apartment filled with three very terrified children. I love that the story changes when the children decide to stop being afraid and to fight back. My son really enjoyed the book, he liked he use of onomatopoeia throughout and the exaggerated illustrations of the alligator. After we read it at lunch he asked for it to be his nap time book, and again for it at bedtime. That is a good review from a 2 year old!

“Alligator Alphabet” by Stella Blackstone and Stephanie Bauer. I was so excited to find this book because just this week my son started pointing out lower case letters in text. This book is a beautifully illustrated book with each letter represented on it’s own page. Pretty standard right? Wrong, although the text below the illustration had both upper and lower case letters, the main illustration is only the lower case letter. This is perfect for children like my son who are just starting to learn their lowercase letters.


“Alligator Baby” by Robert Munsch is a ridiculous story that will have your child laughing and screaming “No no that’s not a people baby!” The story is about a family who brings home the wrong baby, over and over again. Finally the older sister takes things into her own hands and saves the day. Kids love this story, it’s not the best bedtime book though, my son was very very hard to settle down after laughing so hard at this one.


Additional Activity


Cookie Sheet Letter Board

Looks simple doesn’t it? It is. All I did was buy $1 magnetic letters at Wal-mart and grabbed a cookie sheet from my pantry. My son has been playing with this on and off for days. Here are some of the fun things we’ve done.

  • All the letters on the sheet- take turns finding a letter and taking it off
  • All letter off the sheet, taking turns finding a letter and putting it on
  • Grouping the letters by color
  • Counting the letters as we put each on , and taking them off again.

Of course we labeled each letter as we did this. It is definitely simple but it was also a lot of fun.

Earth Friendly Sensory Tub

earth day crafts for kids

I have used a lot of things in sensory tables and tubs before but I had never used coffee grinds until today. To say it was a big hit is a big understatement. At first he did the standard scooping but soon our patio turned a coffee shop , and sensory play turned into dramatic play! Also the grinds are great for your garden so don’t forget to add them to your dirt after you are done.

  1. Gather your materials. I saved up 3 days worth of used coffee grinds from my trusty and much used coffee maker. You will also need a tub, some coffee scoops ( any thing will do) and some mugs. I believe the cups were the trick to connect the coffee grinds to the dramatic play that came about 10 minutes into the exploration. I am so glad I grabbed them.
  2. Explore! There is no wrong way to do this. My son did a lot of filling and dumping to start with.
  3. Explore how the grinds feel , my son exclaimed ” cold and softy Mama!”
  4. Next we played coffee shop, this was completely directed by my son, and here he is handing me my “banana coffee” not my usual soy cappuccino, but I happily took it!
  5. After our exploration we fed our garden with the coffee grinds.

 

Investigate The Earth

Get Outside!


If the weather permits I am urging you to go outside and enjoy this beautiful world today. There are so many things we rush past or fail to notice and if we show down, and look at it through our kid’s eyes, we’ll learn something and so will they. Today I want to show my son why we want and need to save our environment by appreciating what we have.

Nature Detectives

It’s amazing when you introduce a simple tool like a magnifying glass how outside time changes.

We looked at bugs.

We looked at weeds

We looked at flowers

If you want you can make a small notebook for your child to record or draw what they saw on their nature walk. I chose to skip that and spend the time talking about it with my son over a picnic lunch. Each time he told me what he found he’d jump up to show me exactly where in our backyard he found it.

Happy Earth Day

For More Outside Ideas
Click Here !

Earth Day Musical Activity

Earth Tambourine !
We have been talking a lot about planet earth and music at our house. I decided to mix the two together to celebrate the earth with some home spun music. I used ribbon to secure the two plates together but if I could have found my stapler, I would have used it. Stapling is by far the best way in my opinion to keep the plates together.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 paper plates,something to make some sound ( bigger is better- pasta, O cereal) some green crayons, blue paint, a large brush or sponge( we used this sponge because my son saw it and he insisted, a regular sponge would work great), a stapler or a hole punch and ribbon.
  2. Give your child the plates and have them draw the land of the earth with green crayons. They need to press hard for the wax to be think enough for the paint to be repelled. After I showed my son how to press hard and make the green dark he was good to go. Do both plates.
  3. Cover the plates with the blue paint.The paint should be repelled from the wax, if the paint is covering it, just blot it with a paper towel. Do the 2nd plate, let dry.
  4. If you are doing the ribbons for securing the plates, punch the holes in both plates at the same time, make sure the holes are close enough together that the stuff inside doesn’t fly out.
  5. Put the pasta or cereal Os inside ( I’m using cereal Os because they were left out after an unfinished snack yesterday and I thought that is a perfect example of not wasting! ).
  6. Tie the plates together with the ribbons. Or if you are stapling, now is the time!
  7. Make some music and celebrate our wonderful world!

Books!

” The Adventures Of A Plastic Bottle “ by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.

“It’s Earth Day” by Mercer Mayer . In this book in the Little Critter series, we follow along as Little Critter tries to make a climate change machine to reverse the effects of global warming. Along the way other green choices are explained like taking the school bus instead of each child being driven in their own cars, not letter water run, and the three Rs.

“BIG EARTH, Little Me “ by Thom Wiley is a cute introduction into an environmental theme for toddlers. The book is a lift the flap format and the pages are extra sturdy for fumbly toddler fingers. I love the illustrations by Kate Endle they bring the super simple text to life, and get across the point that even little kids can help the earth.

Earth Day Inspired – Letter Of The Week !

Tree T !


So this was not quite what I imagined in my perfectly optimistic head, but my son liked it, after doing it we were reading a book that had trees in it and he said “Look mama, T for Tree!” I wanted to make it from mostly recycled materials, to stick with the Earth Day theme we will be doing all week. Below I have linked a reader submitted spring tree craft that would be a great add on to this activity!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a cardboard egg carton, green and brown paint, glue, scissors, a marker and a large piece of construction paper.
  2. Start by drawing a large T on your paper.
  3. Cut a long piece of the cardboard off the top of the egg carton for the trunk.
  4. Paint the trunk brown
  5. Paint the bottom of the egg carton green, for older kids I would cut them before painting, but little guys need to have a larger object to paint.
  6. Let the paint dry.
  7. When the paint is dry enough to handle cut the egg carton into “Leaves” aka smaller pieces.
  8. grab the glue and add glue to the bottom of the T
  9. Add the painted trunk
  10. Add glue to the top
  11. Add the egg carton leaves.
  12. Let dry.
Books!

” the alphabet tree” by Leo Lionni is a stunning book. The book is all about letters that come together to make words and then after a caterpillar informs them that they need to say something they join together to make sentences. Up to this point the book is a brilliant teaching tool , but for me the best part is yet to come. When the words get together they decide to say ” Peace on earth goodwill toward all men” and then the caterpillar asks them to jump on his back so he can take the words to the president . Considering it was written in 1968 it’s quite the statement. A fantastic activity to do with your child after reading this would be to ask them what they would write to the president ? For younger children using letters on leaves you could spell out easy 3 letter words like they do early on in the story. All in all a brilliant book.

Chicka Chicka abc by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is a favorite. A lot of parents are familiar with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom but not this shorter board book version that is perfect for young toddlers . I started my son with this one and moved on to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at about 2. The colors are so bright even the youngest of babies will like it and the rhythm of the text will keep toddlers going too!


“Up , Up, Down” by Robert Munsch is a cute and funny story about a little girl who climbs and climbs and falls and falls! She decides to climb to the very top of the tree. This time she doesn’t fall and doesn’t come down until it’s time to lecture her parents withe their own words. Kids love this book, it’s silly , it’s about climbing and has giant band aids in it, what kid wouldn’t love it?

Additional Activity
Sent In By You


Isn’t this beautiful?
Bring a little of the outdoors in , and reuse bubble wrap with this adorable spring bud craft !
Pop over to The Entertaining House for the full how to.