The best part of having a blog is that I am the boss. Although only a few of you wrote into say these were your favorite posts , I am making them number 1 for a reason. For every craft and art project we do in my house we do 3 times as many pretend play activities, usually started and directed by my son but sometimes I am the one to make the props and get things started. Toddlers and preschoolers should be doing a lot of pretend play, and self directed exploration. I know in this day and age it’s hard not to feel like we need to keep up with the Jones who are sitting their kids down with flash cards and teaching them how to “read” at 10 months. Don’t do it, let them play it’s how they learn and if they need some help starting here are some super fun pretend play we did this year. Click on each picture to see the full post !
Check out all ourPretend play
Play Grocery Store!
Play Coffee Shop !
Play Mail Carrier
DIY Puffy Paint Projects !
All three puffy paint projects we did this year were huge hits. The combination of a sensory experience making the paint and a creative one by transforming it into a moon, cookie or ghost! Many of you wrote in that it took your child some coaxing to get their hands dirty, this is so normal many young kids need reassurance with something new. Another tip, use whatever scent of shaving cream you like the most because your house will smell like it for hours. Click on the pictures for the full how to!
Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookie
The countdown is getting closer to #1 , I had no clue this post was so popular until I tweeted that I was looking for reader submitted favorites. Many of you said how much your kids loved making this monster craft. Another popular one was our toilet roll Frankenstein, so I added it too !
I could not have asked for an activity to go better! He loved making this fun and easy monster and has played with it a bunch already. For craft like this that are going to be played with I try to make them before nap so that the drying time is less painful for the ever so patient two year old.
- Gather your materials . You will need a paper lunch bag, some paint, some scrap construction paper, 2 large googly eyes, glue,tape,scissors and newspaper.
- Start by handing your child the paper bag, with the flap side down ( that will be the back) and have them paint it.
- While they do that, cut out a fun mouth, some big eyes and some silly hair. Older kids can do this themselves!
- Glue the eyes on
- Glue the googly eyes on top
- Glue the mouth and hair on!
- Set the bag aside , rip the newspaper into strips and hand them to your child to crumple.
- When the bag is dry enough stuff the crumpled paper in!
- Fold and tape the bottom. I like to use tape because it’s flexible .
- Read your Monster !
Don’t Miss out on our very popular Frankenstien Craft either !
I had the great pleasure of being interviewed for Raising Playful Tots a podcast and my whole interview was posted today ! We were chatting about keeping kids busy while we are so busy during the holidays. Check it out!
Also like in 2008 this year we are going to feature the top 7 posts of 2009 in our Best of 2009 series that will go live December 26th- January 1st! So if you have a fave you can leave a comment here or on our Facebook Fan Page ! Get your vote in !
Happy New Year !
- Gather your Materials. For the Back of the rainbow I have used some extra wrapping paper but you can use anything, in the past I have used brown grocery bags taped together and it looked great! Glue is great for older preschoolers but if you are worried about the mess or if you have a glue eater ( I know I do! ), try some double stick tape!
- Draw a rainbow, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even good, the paper will cover it .
- Get scrap paper or if you don’t have that you can color some the colors you want. Then hand the paper to whoever loves to rip things, my 14 month old loved this part of the project.
- Decide what order you want and start putting the paper in the arches.
- Keep going and going- roll it up and wait until the next rainy day to add more scrap paper to it.