Painting With Dolls

fun art for kids It was raining cats and dogs and we’d already read a stack of books and watched more PBS kids than I care to admit when I decided to steal this idea from my own preschool teachers Fran and Gumti. I loved it when they would roll out the paper and we could choose one of the plastic baby dolls to “walk” along it leaving prints. This painting with dolls activity is timeless because many decades later my daughter loved it. This is also a great adaptation for painting with kids feet if a child doesn’t want to use their own feet. Many kids hate the feeling of getting paint on their feet so having an option of doing it with a doll instead is a way to include everyone.

Gather your materials. You will need some dolls with plastic feet, a long roll of paper ( if you have extra wrapping paper you can use the inside of it), liquid tempra, some painter’s tape, a towel that can get paint on it, a paper plate or two, and a shallow bowl with soapy water. painting with dolls

Tape your paper down. Strip the dolls down and get the water and towel ready at the end of the paper.painting with dolls clean up

Dip the dolly’s feet in the paint.painting with doll feet in preschool

Walk the dolly across the paper.painting with dolls for preschool

Wash and dry and grab a new dolly. wiping dolly feet

She had to hold this dolly differently dolly paintingand it required much more concentration to keep her upright.baby doll painting for toddlers

She loved cleaning their feet and pretending to be a mama.dolly feet

After two dolls she asked for a brush and painted. That is what I love about doing planned activities, they almost always end in a new kid directed one as an add on. If I suggested painting to her she wouldn’t have done it but to just let her add on to this she did. Do what works for your kids but this always have for mine.painting with dolls extention activity

Books About Dolls

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corduroy

Corduroy by Don Freeman was a childhood favorite of mine and my son loves it too. The story is about a lonely bear at a department store who despite being a little disheveled finds a forever home with a kind little girl who needs him as much as he needs her. There are so many levels to this book, as a child I remember being awed by the thought of toys coming alive in stores when the doors are locked and the shoppers leave. As an adult I see this as a touching adoption story . My son loves the escalators Corduroy travels on in the store ! This is another book that has lasting power and can be read for years in your home.

the paper princess

Bug Activities For Toddlers

bug ideas for toddlers Toddlers love bugs. I have often thought about what it is about bugs that interests children so much and I think it’s that they are so accessible. No matter where you live you live near some bugs. These bug activities were all done with at least one of my children when they were a toddler. For me that is from about 18 months until 3 , but these activities would be fun for older kids too. It’s easy to find books about bugs for toddlers as well and you can find some of my favorite in this book list about bugs.

bug crafts for toddlers

Ribbon Butterfly
Ladybug Song
Worm Painting
Paper Plate Butterfly

play dough bug imprints for preschool
Playdough Bug Fossils
Letter B Bee
Coffee Filter Snails
Indoor Bug Hunt

spider web walking
Spider Web Gross Motor Activity
Caterpillar C
Paper Plate Ladybug
Color Matching Butterflies

bug
Bug Painting For Toddlers
Playdough Bug Sculptures
Egg Carton Caterpillar
Paper Plate Spider
Hand Print Butterfly

butterfly-craft

Bubble Bin Sensory Play

bubble bin sensory playWhen my daughter and I found these pink and purple whisks at the store today we knew they would be leaving with us but we weren’t sure yet what we were going to use them for. A few aisles later we were sure whatever we did do it would involve bubbles. Whisking bubbles is a classic Montessori activity although we have spun it a little with the bubbles at the start and whisking in color. We also added glitter and the whisks were princess whisks but that was just our interpretation of it. My daughter had a blast as you will see…

 

Gather your materials. You will need a bin that holds water, some dish soap ( I have done this with baby shampoo with my son who had extremely sensitive skin as a tot), some food color, whisks, glitter( optional) and some fun cups for the glitter and later for scooping and pouring. princess bubble bin supplies

Start by filling your bin with water and add in the soap. princess bubble bin bubble maker

Explore. bubble bin soap frothing

Add some food color and mix! princess pink bubble bin sensory soap playShe loved how the bubbles would froth. bubble bin over

Time for some glitter. princess bubble bin glitterFirst pour it in the cup then add it in and mix some more.princess bubble bin glitter water play

I must have taken 100 pictures sitting back and watching her play. bubble bin

After a long while she ditched the whisks and put as much of her body into the bin as she could fit. bubble play whisking bubblesThank goodness she was wearing her favorite new pink shoes, I think they were the only barrier stopping her from getting in the bin completely. bubble bin whisking bubbles

 

 

50 Summer Activities For 3 Year olds

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3 year old activities Three is that magical age between being a baby and being a big kid and is the perfect time to mix some planned activities in with free play. I get asked often about my schedule and I hesitate to share it because our schedule changes so much. What I won’t hesitate to share is that three year olds shouldn’t be sitting down doing mom or other adult directed activities a lot. This is the icing not the cake. The cake should be free play including having sensory materials available, outside time,  tons and tons of books within reach,  and lots of quiet cuddle time too!

Here are 50 summer activities for 3 year olds some are as simple as setting something up and letting them explore and others are more structured.

summer activities for 3 year olds

Sticky Window Pom Pom Play

4th of july sensory activity for kids
Shaving Cream Fireworks

Shell Sorting
Shell Sorting

toddler activites
Color and Clean Car Wash

dinosaur themed activitiy
Backyard Dinosaur Bone Dig

star fish craft
Bubble Wrap & Dish Scrubber Starfish

paper plate octopus craft
Paper Plate Octopus

Alphabet Sensory Tub
Alphabet Sensory Tub

paint like jackson pollock
Paint Like Jackson Pollock

color mixing edit
Liquid Color Mixing

truck painting for toddlers
Truck Painting

five senses activity sound
Sound Safari

potato prints
Potato Masher Painting

ocean sensory tub
Ocean In A Box – water play

feather painting
Feather Painting

hose it down
Hosing Down Shapes and Letters In The Yard

kids crafts
Paper Plate Crab

spray painting
Spray Painting

jewel butterfly craft
Paper Plate Butterfly

Preschool Pretend Play Scientist
Mad Scientist Lab

find & count bug hunt nature activity
Find & Count Bug Hunt

rainbow sensory tub
Rainbow Gelatin Sensory Tub

cutting into nature outdoor scissor skills
Nature Cutting

bug
Bug Painting

mud pie play
Mud Soup

weather activity for preschool
Make Your Own Weather Station

ocean themed crafts
Paper Bag Jellyfish

Mining Activity
Mining For Magnets

driveway graffiti
Driveway Graffiti

uncle sam puppet for 4th of july craft
Uncle Sam Puppet

paper plate sun
Paper Plate Sun

bulldozer party
Construction Site Sensory Tub

playdough kabobs for kids
Playdough Kabobs

sensory activities for kids
Touch Box

letter of the week
4th of July Letter F craft

fly swatter painting
Fly Swatter Painting

Nature Color Hunt
Nature Color Hunt

worm painting for toddlers
Worm Painting

patriotic activity for kids
Flag Hunt

camping for kids
Pretend Play Camping

obstacle course fun
Build Your Own Obstacle Course

4th of july crafts
Cupcake Liner Fireworks

watermelon letter craft for kids
Letter Watermelons

Pretend Play Vet Clinic title
Pretend Play Vet Clinic

rp_ocean-play-for-kids-sensory-tub-430x800.jpg
Gelatin Gooey Ocean Play

sensory tub prints
Sensory Table Painting

car wash for toddlers
Backyard Car Wash

alphabet hunt outdoors with duplo
Outdoor Alphabet Hunt

handprint fireworks 4th of july
Handprint Fireworks for 4th of July

simple super crafts painting with nature
Painting with Nature

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg – what activities do you like to do with your 3 year old? Tell us on our Facebook page!

Easy Easter Activities For Toddlers

easter crafts for toddlers Toddlers are a special blend of curiosity ,new found independence, kindness, and chaos. That is why I adore this age group and am amazed at how many wonderful things they can create and learn if given the chance. These easy Easter activities give toddlers that chance to explore their curiosity and creativity as well as work on important skills like hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, pre-literacy and pre-math skills too. Activities with this age group ( 1-3 years old) tend to be quick. That is age appropriate so don’t force kids to keep going when they are done. One trick I loved using while teaching was to offer more materials as the activity goes on … ” Do you want glitter? I just found pink paint do you want some? ” I would never require it but offering options in smaller doses lets them process it all carefully and sometimes it stretches out the activity, sometimes it doesn’t. Have a basket of Easter themed books ready to extend the activity further. You can check out some of our favorite Easter books here.

Bubble Wrap Easter Egg Painting
Simple Cotton Ball Bunny
Sandpaper and Felt Carrot Shape Matching

Alphabet For Starters
Easter Egg Letter Discovery
Bunny Ears Hat
Torn Paper Collage Carrot

q-tip easter egg fine motor
Q-Tip painted Easter Eggs
Easter Egg Color Match
Easter Egg Letter Match

painted easter eggs
Rock Easter Eggs
Easy Easter Egg Collages
Bunny & Egg Color Match
Easter Egg Letter E Craft

kids crafts for easter
Marshmallow Painted Easter Bunny
Opposite Texture Easter Egg