Animal Track Painting

I can’t even remember what inspired this, I know my son thought of it but I can’t remember now what preceded me saying ” How about making animal tracks?”. All I remember is that he bounded to the table, which is not always the case . This is a fast project, to stretch it out introduce new paint colors , new animals and more paper one at a time.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun toy animals, a plate, paper,markers and paint.
  2. If you want you or your child can draw some scenery.
  3. Spread some paint on your plate and dip your animal in.
  4. Start making some tracks.
  5. Add the next paint color and more paper if you want and keep going.
* After we painted we went for a walk outside and pretended to look for and follow animal tracks. We tippy toed for mouse tracks , hopped for bunny tracks and stomped around the patio when we “found” elephant ones. *Books !



Animaliaby Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!

“Peek-a-Zoo!”by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a vibrant lift the flap book that goes through sounds different animals make while playing peek a boo with the reader. What I like about this book is that the flaps offer a chance for your baby or toddler to anticipate what animal it hiding as well as the sound , so it grows with them. Also the flaps are large enough that little hands can grab them and won’t get frustrated.
“Is Your Mama a Llama? “ by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite most of this book . Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he find the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.

Painting With Cookie Cutters

toddler painting ideas

This is such a simple activity that kids of all ages can enjoy, perfect for the weekend when your family is together all day. Cookie cutter painting is a fun way to make recognizable shapes without too much structure. My son loved doing this and I thought it was the perfect,simple way to end a great Spring Fling Week here at No Time For Flash Cards. Thanks for celebrating the changing of the seasons with us!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, a cookie cutter , paint and a plate.
  2. Spread your paint on a plate.
  3. Dip your cookie cutter in the paint
  4. Print !
  5. If you want add another color and keep going!

St. Patrick’s Day Craft

 

st. patrick's day craft for kids
What is more Irish than potatoes and appropriate for those under 21 ? Nothing ! This is a perfect St.Patrick’s activity for young toddlers and those just starting out with art. I am using a stamp pad because we already painted a bunch this week but paint will work well too, just spread it thin on a plate . After this simple project my son begged for “gooey goop” so he added his own final step onto the easy peasy shamrock !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a few new potatoes they fit perfectly in your child’s hand! Paper, a marker, scissors and a stamp pad.
  2. Draw a shamrock on the paper with the marker.
  3. Cut the potatoes in half, this can also be a fun way to learn about ovals, the cut potatoes make perfect little ovals!
  4. Start stamping !
  5. My son got very into it- and was slamming the potato into the paper, with the stamp pad this is okay but with paint this would result in a major mess.
  6. Cut out when dry.
  7. If you want you can grab whatever you have to embellish it, my son asked specifically for the glitter, so I wasn’t about to say no.
  8. This is the upgraded one after my son added his personal touch of green and gold “gooey goop” ( glitter glue).

Book!
All books contain affiliate links.

Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie DePaola is not my favorite book. I am sorta torn on how I feel about it, I liked the signature de Poala illustrations were but the story itself which is an old folktale just wasn’t really one I was eager to read my son. It’s about Jamie who is lazy, and he makes his wife do everything and only when she is hurt and in bed does he go off to get something done. Then when he meets a leprechaun he doesn’t get the pot of gold instead he gets a potato… It just fell flat for me. The author has many books I love and maybe my expectations were too high but this one was just so so.

Free Art Friday

Yogurt
Finger Painting

This was originally posted last year, but it’s a wonderful multi sensory activity. Your child will have fun squishing, smelling tasting and mixing the colors. Have a great weekend, a new round of letter of the week will start on Monday!

  1. Gather your materials. All you need is yogurt , some small containers, a cookie tray or plate and food coloring.
  2. While you are mixing the colors you can ask your child how many drops of red it will take to make pink, or what will happen if you mix blue with red?
  3. Put a dollop of yogurt on a tray, plate or cookie sheet and let them swirl it, see if they can write their name in it, or make shapes. Younger ones will be more than happy just to wiggle their fingers around in it.
  4. Eat your art when you’ve had enough fun!

When It Rains , It Pours!


Pasta Pouring!

Giving young children ample opportunities for sensory activities is more important than most parents realize, yes they can be messy but get the Dust buster on standby and let your child explore.

  1. Gather your materials. This activity is what you make it. All you need is some uncooked pasta, a container and something to scoop with.
  2. Pour the pasta into the container and make a big deal about it pouring into the container and NOT onto the floor. I was really surprised by how careful my son was this morning doing this. When a piece would fall onto the floor he would exclaim ” Uh Oh” then pick it up and pop it back in. I was shocked , but happy.
  3. Introduce different things to scoop and pour with. We used different sized containers and a measuring cup.
  4. Interact with your child while they are pouring, use words like “fill” “pour” ” empty” and “full” with preschoolers ask them how many scoops it will take to fill a cup , then count it out, grab another container, take bets and repeat!
  5. When you notice that the pasta starts making it on the floor more and more often, it’s time for the dust buster, Don’t wait too long, sensory activities go from fun to disaster fast, so stay on your toes, the learning a is worth it!