Link & Learn – Crafts and Activities For Kids

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Hello from Disneyland !

My family and I have been here all week and are heading home today. I know that if you follow my Instagram I have flooded you with pictures but those are just a FEW of the shots I took of my little ones enjoying the (mostly) happiest place on earth.  We are exhausted, but happily exhausted and I think I will be going to bed when the kids do for the rest of the week.  Don’t be surprised if there aren’t a long list of new posts until next week because I have  HUGE pile of laundry, and a to do list just as long waiting for me at home.

That doesn’t mean you won’t have great new ideas available. Our Pinterest is packed with good ideas especially our Early Literacy and Spring Activities For Kids and my favorite My Classroom boards.

Have a rad week and catch me up on everything you’ve been doing while I have been riding those teacups and meeting those Princesses!



12 Princess Activities For Preschool

princess crafts for kids I never liked princesses until I had a daughter who wore a crown on her head daily for 3 months. Even to bed. To say she is a fan of princesses is a major understatement. I like using her love of all things princess to spark interest in all kinds of activities. Check out all the fun we’ve had as well as a few ideas from her brother’s brief princess phase – these are not activities for girls, they are activities for any and all princess fans!

princess play doh activity

Princess Playdough

frreze and thaw anna frozen science experiment for preschool

Frozen Inspired Science Activity

princess wand craft

Princess Wand

shape castle craft

Shape Castle

frozen party game

Frozen Inspired Game 

phonics game for kids princess toys

Princess Phonics Activityshape princess craft for kids

Shape Princess

Princess Sensory Tub 5

Princess Sensory Bin

twig and bead fairy wand fine motor craft for kids

Twig Fairy Princess Wands

recycled crayon favors for frozen themed party

Frozen Inspired DIY Crayons

baby tutu

Easy  DIY Princess Tutu

spark al

Sparkly Princess Alphabet

 

 

Positive Princess Books For Kids

great princess picture books

Find wonderfully not stereotypical princesses in these 15 positive princess books for kids!

Squeeze Painting – Valentine’s Day Art Project

squeeze painting for preschool Squeezing isn’t just a fun way to burn off frustration, it’s also a wonderful exercise to build hand strength. The reason we want to encourage activities that build hand strength is that stronger hands leads to an easier time with handwriting, cutting, and even things like buttoning shirts and zipping jackets. This is especially true for doing any of those activities for a long time. Just like training for a marathon requires some strength training our little ones to write for a long time requires it as well. Working on developing hand strength doesn’t need to be work though. Using tools and materials that you squeeze with the whole hand is a great way you can encourage this at home or in your classroom. Tape resist is nothing new but instead of finger painting over the tape grab a few squeeze bottles and go to town. You can do this art project with kids of all ages and it’s a great option for multi-age groups. Here is how we made this squeeze painting Valentine’s Day wall art while working on hand strength.

Gather your materials. You will need a canvas, some painter’s tape, a box or something else to contain the mess, paint in 2 or more colors, and squeeze bottles.squeeze painting

Start by pouring your paint into the squeeze bottles and writing out the word you want on your canvas. You can do a shape if your child isn’t interested in letters yet. My daughter helped me with the letters telling me if I needed a long strip or a short strip of tape next for the letter.valentine's day canvas art

Next it’s time to paint. Do NOT worry about how this looks ( or how anything on this whole blog for that matter). This is really a process heavy project and I encourage you to try this simply with a canvas and no tape after. I try to make all our projects process heavy even if they have a product at the end.squeeze painting

Squeeze and splatter!squeeze paitning hand strength

She dumped a ton pf paint on and decided to move it around by tilting the box after. squeeze painting love sign for kidsThis way and that.valentine's day art canvas project

After all the paint was out of the bottles she continued to squeeze by blowing the air from the bottles and moving the paint around with the force of the air. I wanted to get closer photos but the thought of the little specks of paint on my camera lens kept me at a safe distance!squeeze painting for kids

After we let it dry for a long long long time we pulled the tape off together.love sign tape resist squeeze paint

Then together we found a great place where my daughter could SEE how much we valued her creation. love sign close up squeeze paintingWe settled on a spot in the kitchen.

 

Valentine’s Day Books For Kids

all our book lists include affiliate links.

the day it rained hearts

Day It Rained Hearts
by Felicia Bond is a sweet story that in my experience is a better bedtime story than circle time story especially for 4 and younger. The story is moving and lovely but in groups of children it just doesn’t grab them the way it does when they are snuggled up with someone they love. The story is about a little girl who collects hearts that fall from the clouds and makes incredibly touching gifts from them for special friends. The pace is just too slow for an active class that needs a hook, but perfect for bedtime when you want kids to be slowing down.

valentine friends

Valentine Friends
by April Jones Prince is one of my favorite Valentine’s Day books for 2 and 3 year olds. It’s simple, sweet, and has a great message about teamwork. The text is short enough for a circle time with very young children but the book isn’t baby-ish so older children will enjoy it too. The friends in the book all work together to make Valentine’s day treats and readers are left with the message that working together is a treat in itself.

10 valentine friends

10 Valentine Friends
by Janet Schulman is one of my daughter’s favorite counting books along with the other books in this series. While the rhymes are ta times forced the book itself is fun and it kept the attention of my 2-3 year old classroom who all participated in counting the valentines on each page. My daughter who is 4.5 likes picking out the details in each page and making up stories about the characters. I like that the children are all trying to make valentines for each other using the knowledge they have about the recipient. It’s a wonderful lesson about gift giving and how you should tailor gifts to the recipient and not just make something you’ll like.

 

Disney Inspired Kids Crafts & More { Add Your Link!}

rp_kids-crafts-preschool-blog-455x3471.pngI am WAY late posting this this week because it’s been a jam packed week here at our house. This week I am looking for Disney inspired crafts and activities. Our family is heading off to Disneyland soon and I am getting SO excited. Of course you can share any craft or activity or parenting article that you posted on your blog but if you have a Disney inspired post I’d LOVE to see it!

Have a GREAT week!



Fraction Game { with connect 4 } – Learning After School

fraction connect four My son as been asking a lot about fractions lately. Since he hasn’t done a whole bunch about fractions in school yet I wanted to keep it simple. The best part is that you can adjust this idea to your child’s specific learning goals. My goal with this simple fraction game was to have him think in faractions. I wanted him to think of the game pieces as thirds and quarters and what that means. That is why you only need 3 in a row to win if they are thirds but need 4 if they are quarters. Although we didn’t have other fractions included in the game pieces we did talk about them. Next time we play I plan adjusting the way we play to include a few 1/2, 2/3, and 3/4 pieces.

He beat me both times, fair and square but that’s just a side note. Here is how we made and played this fraction game.

Gather your materials. You will need a connect four game ( affiliate link), some masking tape or small labels, a marker, and a kid who wants to win at everything.connect 4

Cut small pieces of tape to fit on the inside of the tokens. Write 1/3 on half and 1/4 on the rest. Make sure it’s split evenly between the two colors.fraction connect four game pieces

Invite your competitive math genius to come play!fraction game for after school

The goal of the game is to make a whole by lining up 4 quarters or 3 thirds of the same color in a row.fraction connect 4 for elementary kids

It takes some strategy …fraction connect 4 for kids

And he won!

Then he won again and again,  I wish I could say that I let him win but Mama don’t play like that!fractions fun