Walnut Painting Easy Art For Kids

painting with walnuts for preschoolThis easy art for kids is an exploration of one part art and one part trying a new food. My daughter was never a picky eater as a toddler but lately she has been exerting her control. I am fine with that, kids don’t get to control much and I know the harder you push the deeper they dig in their heels. What I do try to do is find novel ways of introducing new foods. We plant veggies every year, visit the farmer’s market and take our time at the grocery store but we also play with food. It’s not for every family but it works for us.

Gather your materials. You will need a container , some walnuts in the shell, paint, and paper. walnut painting project for kids

Start by exploring the walnuts. We explored the outside noting how they felt and then cracked one open and explored the inside. It didn’t take long before she asked if she could eat it. She did and hated it but the desire to try something new is what I was going for. walnut tasting

Next add the paper into the container and choose some paint colors. walnut shell painting colors

Add the paint to the walnut.walnut shell art

Pop them into the container with the paper and roll it back and forth.walnut shell painting activity for kids While my daughter did this she started off frantically shaking it but then soon became much more controlled. Add more colors as you go. walnut paint activity

We made 3 different paintings before the paint ended up on feet instead. walnut shell paintingPainting inside once the weather turns cold and wet might get interesting with my wee girl who so loves to “hand paint” as she calls it. walnut painting to feet painting

Egg Carton Math by Teach Preschool

{ Please welcome Deborah from Teach Preschool who has come to my aid and offered this great activity for you all today so I could ( and did) have a mostly laptop free vacation with my family. If you aren’t familiar with Deborah’s blog Teach Preschool go now because it’s amazing. I wish I could be a fly on her classroom wall and just learn from her. }

 

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

Start by making sure you are using clean egg cartons. You might even run the egg cartons through the dishwasher if you have any doubts. Next, look around the house and gather up a few sets of small objects that will fit inside each egg cup…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

I used small cars, buttons, pompoms, and soft blocks for my first set of egg carton math boxes and then set them out with the lids closed and just waited for my grandson to find them and want to open each of the cartons up to see what is inside…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

As young children are given the opportunity to explore an open ended process such as egg carton math – they are being exposed to such mathematical concepts as sorting, matching, counting, subtracting, adding, comparing, and contrasting…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

Perhaps the play looks like nothing more than putting something in and out of a box but if you look closely, you will see that the thinking wheels are turning and that is the first step towards genuine mathematical thinking…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

To read more early learning tips from Deborah

 

Hop over to Teach Preschool!

Deborah Tall

Quick & Easy Fairy House Craft For Kids

fairy craft

When I asked my daughter what she wanted to do on her 3rd birthday she said “Eat candy” and “Make a fairy house.” We didn’t have any candy in the house but we did have these great little birdhouses that with a few supplies we had on hand transformed into a quick and easy fairy house craft for kids. I based this craft on the elf houses we made at Christmas.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a small wooden birdhouse, some acrylic paint, glue, jewels, beads, sequins, a dish for paint , paint brushes, scissors, and painter’s tape.fairy house supplies
  2. Start by deciding what sort of windows and doors you want your house to have. With older kids you could have them paint the windows on on but with younger ones I love using painter’s tape as a resist to make them. Use scissors to make your shapes. My daughter wanted circular windows and a rounded door. Remember you are making the back of the birdhouse into the front of the fairy house. I did the cutting.fairy house tape resist
  3. Time to paint! Pour the colors they choose onto a paper plate. easy fairy house craft for kidsWhen I use acrylic I like using paper plates to make clean up easier. Sometimes I need to pop paint up and away from little hands  quickly and this paint dries fast so if life gets nuts half way through a craft having it on a disposable plate makes clean up easier.  My daughter went with a pink theme… which pretty much matches her theme in real life lately.easy birdhouse fairy house craft
  4. Let the paint dry completely. Acrylic paint dries fast so we counted some beads, had a quick snack and it was dry. If you have globs of paint it will take longer but in a pinch a hairdryer can help . easy fairy house art project
  5. Grab the glue and add on the extra bits.easy fairy house craft for young kids If you are making this house for outside make sure you use glue that will withstand all weather.  I love that my daughter is past the stage where she put everything in her mouth because little bits and bobs like these beads and jewels really turn this into a fairy house. If your child is not ready for them yet try glitter glue for a safer option.easy fairy house craft for parties
  6. Let dry. Our fairy house is staying inside but if you want yours to live outside spray it with an all weather protector like Mod Podge Outdoor to protect it from the elements.

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Books About Fairies

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princess books for girls

The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton is a cute book about a little girl who loves all things princess related. What I like about this book is that it’s message isn’t heavy handed and  it celebrates princesses while sneaking in some very positive messages too. In a world where many parents ( me included) have issues with this whole princess thing and struggle to find that balance this book has it. It tells you it’s OK to want to be a princess and to “let your sparkle out!” and talks about confidence in the process. I must admit though I am a total Julie Andrews fan and I am not sure I’d ever dislike anything Maria , I mean Mary Poppins I mean Julie Andrews wrote.

Alice the fairy

Alice The Fairy is such a sweet book about a fairy who is still learning the ropes. I love the spells she casts and kids relate to her type of magic, I promise! I love that this book is about a fairy but not the Disney idea that we are so often bombarded with. It’s fresh, fun and my daughter absolutely loves it. I have been in love with this book for many years and to see my daughter connect with Alice so well just tickles me to pieces.

princess in the forest

Princess in the Forest by Sibylle Von Olfers  is more than 100 years old yet my toddler absolutely loved this book.  The story is amazingly simple and the illustrations are what a fairytale should look like.  The princess is met at different times of the day by various magical fairy children and forest creatures who care for and play with her. My daughter loves babies and the Dew Children who come to help the princess get dressed , the Moss Children who bring her food and the Star Children who illuminate her night enchanted her. She would immediately turn to each page with these angelic creatures and touch each one with her little fingers. This book doesn’t have a strong moral message but it’s simplicity is so peaceful and calming that it makes a wonderful bedtime book for young kids.

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50 Books For 2 Year Olds

books for 2 year oldsThe best way that you can promote reading with your children is to read every single day starting as soon as possible. These 50 books are our favorite books for 2 year olds. It was tough to narrow it down to 50 and many of these authors like Eric Carle , Karen Katz , Byron Barton, and Sandra Boynton could have been listed many times over so check out all their titles.  Is your favorite on the list? If not add the title in the comments and we’ll keep this list growing. Click through the links to see our original review!

 

  1. Planes by Byron Barton
  2. How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton
  3. In the Town All Year ‘Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner
  4. Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone
  5. Doggies by Sandra Boynton
  6. Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton
  7. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
  8. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle
  10. Peek-a-Zoo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti
  11. Hooray for Fish!  by Lucy Cousins
  12. Ladybug Girl Dresses Up! by Jacky Davis
  13. Dog’s Colorful Day by Ema Dodd
  14. Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
  15. Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming
  16. Corduroy by Don Freeman
  17. Babies by Gyo Fujikawa
  18. Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
  19. Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
  20. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  21. The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz
  22. Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk
  23. The Little Airplane by Lois Lenski
  24. It’s Mine by Leo Lionni
  25. Baby Says “Moo!”by JoAnn Early Macken
  26. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
  27. Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  28. Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo
  29. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee
  30. I Love Colors by Margaret Miller
  31. Mortimer  by Robert Munsch
  32. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  33. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  34. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  35. Curious George Goes to the Hospital by Margaret and H.A. Rey
  36. One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
  37. Yum Yum Dim Sum by Amy Wilson Sanger
  38. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  39. No, David! by David Shannon
  40. Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea
  41. One, Two, Three by Tom Slaughter
  42. Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and  Henrietta Stickland
  43. I Love Trucks! by Philoemen Sturges
  44. The Loudest Roar by Thomas Taylor
  45. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
  46. Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
  47. Apple Farmer Annie by  Monica Wellington
  48. Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington
  49. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
  50. Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
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Letter Watermelons { Summer Alphabet Craft }

alphabet for starters Quick and easy crafts seem to be our thing right now because free play in our yard , reading under our maple tree ,and drenching each other in water fights is occupying most of our time. It’s summer and we are soaking it all in. That said I still want to do some fun summer themed learning activities and this one fits the bill. This is part of our Alphabet For Starters series that exposes children to letters through fun and creative activities instead of drill and flashcards. You can see all the posts in the series here.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some black letter stickers, pink and green crayons, scissors and paper plates. letter waternelons
  2. Start by coloring a full plate pink in the middle and green on the edges.watermelon alphabet craft Paint would give you better coverage but this is a fast craft so we used crayons. Coloring on the edge was a really fun sensory experience. It’s bumpy and makes a fun sound. watermelon letter craft for children
  3. Cut in half. watermelon craft
  4. Add the seeds! In this case the seeds are alphabet stickers but you could do numbers too. watermelon lettersMy son did numbers water melonwhile my daughter did random letters on one and her name on another.  letter watermelon abcOlder kids could spell words too. Something you will likely notice with a young child still discovering letter is that they will naturally name each letter and or ask you to name it as they apply it to their watermelon. I love that. You don’t have to drill them because they are exploring on their own.I was about to write let dry but since we used crayons there is no drying time at all. Perfect quick summer themed craft with just a short burst of letter recognition. watermelon letter craft for kids