New Stuff for Summer Break !

Naptime Creations!
The school year is quickly coming to an end and I can hear the anxiety for all of you who now have more children to keep busy! Don’t fear, throughout the summer I will have more projects for older children and tell you how to adapt the easier ones for your school agers too, that way you aren’t doing 50 projects a week all with different materials! The projects just for older children will be called Naptime Creations!

Recycled UFO!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an old CD, some washed out singled serve applesauce containers ( you can also use egg carton cups) , paint, a paint brush, some foam sheets ( or colored paper) , glue and scissors.
  2. Paint the 2 plastic containers. Set aside to dry.
  3. Cut the foam sheets or colored paper into small shapes.
  4. Glue onto the CD. This is a great opportunity to learn about patterning, I did a very simple pattern but depending on your child’s age they could use many colors and a sophisticated pattern. Let this dry.
  5. Cut more shapes out to use as windows and doors for your UFO.
  6. When the paint it dry glue your windows and doors on.
  7. Glue the CD onto the bottom container first.
  8. Glue the top on .
  9. Let dry completely.

Letter of The Week ! P p !

Pink and PurplePasta P !
It is always fun trying to find words that start with the letter of the week, Pasta was an obvious choice for my child since it is a staple in his diet and was one of his first words. It always helps to find familiar things to reinforce and of course colors are a perfect add on!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper in P colors, some P color crayons, glue and some pasta!
  2. Draw a Fat P on the paper, if your child is older have them draw it.
  3. Color the P using the P color crayons , there are a many of P colors ( Purple, Pink, Periwinkle) – this is great fine motor practice and I was able to start my morning coffee while my son colored ( the truth comes out! ) .
  4. When they are done coloring if they are older have them put glue on the P, if they are still little dot the P with glue.
  5. Start adding the Pasta.
  6. If they enjoy this add more dots of glue and keep going. My son used to only take things off but he actually added every single piece of pasta on, I was very proud!
  7. Let dry and cut the P out and glue onto the 2nd P colored paper!


Books!

These books get very mixed reviews from parents, some love the messages, some think it’s too little too late with a sassy main character. I urge you to find them at your local library or book store and decide for yourself.

” Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. I was initially told about this book and its authors by another mom whose son loves this book. So don’t think that just because the cover looks rather feminine that your boys won’t love this book too! The little girl eats far too many pink cupcakes and before she knows it she has turned pink. To return to her normal self she needs to eat her vegetables.I like this book, and can see why kids do too. I don’t think that all characters can be perfectly pious meek and mild but I do understand when parents are leery of introducing characters that they see as disobedient to their kids. Go read it and decide for yourself!


“Purplicious” is the sequel to “Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. In this one Pinkalicious is teased and made fun of because she is still wearing her favorite color, even though everyone else is wearing black. She is sad and no one knows what to do, except a new girl at school who shows her how to mix pink with blue to make purple! A lot of the bad reviews I have read about this book center around the bullying and teasing and parents often wrote that their child at 4 or 5 have never seen that kind of teasing, as a former preschool teacher and director I can sadly assure you that if they were in school at all- they have seen it, maybe not as bad as Pinkalicious did but take the rose colored glasses off it’s hard to be 4 ! I think it’s better to let children know that they don’t have to be ashamed of someone is bullying them, to ask for help and to overcome it. This book can be a useful tool for that message.

 

Paper Bag Frog Craft


  1. Gather your material. You will need a paper lunch bag, some black, green and red construction paper, glue , scissors, a paintbrush and green paint.
  2. Start by cutting a few inches off the bottom of the paper bag, this will make the bag look more like a short chubby frog!
  3. Paint the paper bag with the green paint.
  4. Get more paint and paint the back, and let dry.
  5. While your child is painting cut out two large green circles , and two smaller black ones.
  6. Cut out a long rectangle from the red paper for a tongue.
  7. Glue the black circles onto the green ones to make the eyes.
  8. Roll the red paper tightly to make a curly tongue.
  9. When the bag is dry glue the eyes and tongue on!

Song!


Little Green Frog

Um um! Went the little green frog one day,
Um um , went the little green frog.
Um um went the little green frog one day,
and they all went um um ahhh!

But we all know frogs go ,
la di da di da,
la di da di da
la di da di da
We all know frogs go la di da di da,
They don’t go um um ah!!!


Books!

” Why Frogs Are Wet” by Judy Hawes is good fact filled non fiction book all about frogs. This book is great for the 4-5 year old crowd but the pictures are wonderful for all ages. The text is long so I would suggest reading a few pages at a time . It covers the evolution of frogs, life cycle and more!

” An Extraordinary Egg” by Leo Lionni is a very cute story about three frogs who find a wonderful egg, thinking it must be a chicken egg they are excited to have a new friend when the chicken hatches, even though it’s really an alligator! Kids love this story because they think these are the silliest frogs ever for not knowing that the chicken isn’t a chicken at all!

That Blows! Frustration , Feelings and Fun!

Blow Painting!

This is a great project for preschoolers on up but would probably prove to be incredibly frustrating for toddlers.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, drinking straws, paint, a small container and a little bit of water.
  2. Thin out your paint with a little water in a small container. It should be thin enough to splatter but still thick enough to hold the pigment.
  3. Using your straw drip some paint on your paper.
  4. Keeping the end of your straw close to the drip of paint , blow through it and watch the paint spread! If it’s not spreading try thinning it out a bit more, or blow harder!
  5. Add another color and keep going! Spin the paper around to get the splatters in all directions.

Song!



Cooperation Song

The more we work together,
together,
together,
the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be,
cause I like to help you,
and you like to help me,

the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be.

Books!

I decided to focus my song and books about feelings because young children need a lot of reassurance about feelings in my experience. Toddlers and Preschoolers have always reminded me of teenagers, seeking independence from the baby stage but not sure about where the boundaries should be. All of these books have been useful to me while teaching and talking to young children about feelings.


“The way I feel” by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

” The Grumpy Morning” by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer. As a teacher i love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want. As a parent I love it because the text is musical and my son loves seeing all the animals and what sounds they make since he is still a little young to appreciate the lesson about feelings at 16 months.

” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” by Judith Viorst is a modern classic. I have loved this book since grade 2 when Madame Griffin had us write our own versions of the story. I stole her idea many times over the years usually doing it as a circle time activity with each child adding one thing that makes them mad. This magic of this book is that the end isn’t happy , Alexander goes to bed still mad and that’s okay, sometimes days are bad.


Shape Sun Catcher Craft



Believe it or not in almost 15 years of doing crafts with kids I had never done this! Thanks to Denise in Florida for the inspiration for this activity!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, various colors of tissue paper and scissors.
  2. Cut your tissue paper into all different sizes but keep the shape consistent.
  3. Make your sun catcher by folding a large piece of contact paper so that the front and back piece would be connected by a seam, so for a square I cut out a large rectangle then folded it in two. You can make a triangle by cutting out a square and folding it in two.
  4. Peak back the backing only as far as the seam. You can see in this picture the backing is still on 1/2 of the contact paper.
  5. Stick your shapes on, encourage your child to over lap them, and notice that they make a new color when that happens.
  6. Peel the remaining backing off and seal it onto the other side.
  7. Go catch the spring sun!
Song!



The Shape Song!

Do you know what shape this is?
What shape this is?
What shape this is?

Do you know what shape this is I’m holding in my hand?

Books!

The Greedy Triangle” by Marilyn Burns is a funny story about a triangle who keeps adding more and more sides until he is confused, but your preschooler will be learning all about shapes while fun. The author is a bit of a superstar in the teaching world, I am a huge fan of not only this book but her methods in general. If you are a teacher , especially elementary aged and aren’t familiar with her you should be.

” My Very First Book of Shapes” by Eric Carle is a great introduction into shapes, but won’t loose it’s appeal as your child ages. The book is split so the fun begins when you try to match the shapes! Carle’s distinctive collage illustrations are a delight !


” Flip a shape: Go! “ by Harriet Ziefert will keep busy toddlers interested in all the shapes that are made with a school bus , boat and more! The simplistic and bright illustrations coupled with the movements of the flip a shape, this book will be a hit with your toddler!