Twinkle Twinkle Little

Starfish !

The inspiration for this activity came from my son’s infinite love of all things in the ocean. He was playing with one of the books listed when I asked him what he wanted to make in art and he was very clear that a we needed to make a starfish.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper, I used an old grocery bag but card stock would work too. Paint, a paint brush, 5 popsicle sticks, glue and some glitter paint or sequins.
  2. Draw a big starfish. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect, mine isn’t!
  3. Have your child choose a paint color is they know their colors and paint the starfish. We only used one color but you can use as many as you wish.
  4. While the paint dries a little , grab the sticks and cover one side with sparkle paint or add the sequins. I did one stick and then let my son try , he needed some help but did pretty well. He did two all by himself!
  5. Glue the sticks on the starfish, I added the glue and let my son put the sticks on top of it.
  6. Let dry and cut out.
Books!



Commotion in the Ocean “ by Giles Andreae is a fun look at the different creatures are all cute and informative but not too long for younger children. The illustrations by David Wojtowycz are bright m endearing and I think they steal the show!

” Secret Seahorse” by Stella Blackstone is a fascinating and beautiful board book. The story follows a little seahorse that hides on each page as it makes it’s way along the ocean back to it’s family. The illustrations are felt, fabric, sequins and other fun and very beautiful hand stitched creations. I am never ready for the next page because the previous has so much to look and marvel at. Kids like finding the seahorse on each page too!

Letter of the Week ! M m!

M for Mountain!

I was going to do marble painting for M, but my teething toddler is putting even more things in his sore mouth right now so the marble idea will have to be saved for another less accident prone time. I was surprised that my son knew that these were mountains when I was testing this idea out on him, I was thinking this may be a 3+ activity, but I was wrong. He had fun making it and I hope you do too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper, glue, scissors and markers or crayons to decorate.
  2. Draw a low and wide M. Don’t cut it out yet.
  3. Have your child decorate the M, my son spent 5 minutes playing “match” with the markers and lids before coloring, I was loosing my patience but took my own advice after a few crabby minutes and let him lead. As it turned out he wanted to color the “bala” which is a W, so a little flip is all we had to do!
  4. While your child is drawing wild flowers, animals or other things like scribbles draw some small clouds . Older children should be able to do this and the next step on their own.
  5. Draw some snow caps for the tops of the mountain. Cut them and the clouds out.
  6. Give your child the 3rd piece of construction paper, have them draw birds in the sky, a sun or whatever they want.
  7. Cut the M out.
  8. Glue the M on the backing.
  9. Glue on the snow caps.
  10. Add the clouds and let dry.

Songs!

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain!
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain,
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses, she’ll be driving six white horses,
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes

Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes
Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes
Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her, we’ll all go out to meet her,
We’ll all go out to meet her when she comes

She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes
She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes
She’ll be wearing red pajamas, she’ll be wearing red pajamas,
She’ll be wearing red pajamas when she comes

She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes
She will have to sleep with Grandma, she will have to sleep with Grandma,
She will have to sleep with Grandma when she comes

We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes
We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes
We’ll all eat chicken and dumplings, we’ll all eat chicken and dumplings
we’ll all eat chicken and dumplings when she comes!






Acorn Craft For Toddlers

My love of all things autumn continues with this ripped paper acorn. This is a cute craft that can be adapted easily for various ages. We used markers but paint or crayons would work well too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, a brown paper bag, a darker brown and light brown marker / crayon or paint, and glue.
  2. Have your child color half of the brown paper bag with the dark brown, then the other half with the lighter brown.
  3. While your child is coloring draw the outline of an acorn on a piece of construction paper.
  4. Start ripping. Rip the colored paper bag into small pieces, keep the two colors in separate piles. Little ones may need help ripping the paper if it’s thick, I had to get the rips started for my son.
  5. Add the glue to the bottom half of the acorn. As you can see my little guy doesn’t always follow my directions!
  6. Glue on the ripped pieces.
  7. Repeat with the top half. You want a lot of glue so that no matter where your child places the paper it will stick.
  8. Let dry
  9. Cut the acorn out and glue to the 2nd piece of construction paper.

Books!

” Leaf Jumpers “ by Carole Gerber is a beautifully illustrated , informative book that all all about leaves in autumn. It’s not the most exciting book but is a good teaching resource and tool when you are teaching your child about the changing seasons. I can’t say this is a must read, but it’s useful and worth a look at your local library.
” T is for Touchdown : A Football Alphabet” by Brad Herzog is a beautiful book that will delight even those of us who are never happy to see football season start. I admit even being an anti fan this book was fun and really full of information that even a football scrooge like myself can appreciate. Also it’s easy to read simply the letters and look at the pictures for little ones and has genuinely interesting blurbs for each page for older children.” Every Season ” by Shelly Rotner is a keeper. The text is simple, but the pictures really capture all the wonderful things that each season brings to make up a whole year. The photographs can be used as ice breakers about things children love about each season, are looking forward to or even don’t like. Either way this book is full of possibilities.

 

Letter of the Week ! I i !

Ice Cream I !

Who doesn’t love ice cream? This activity can help teach the letter I , but it can also be used as a lesson about shapes and a simple math lesson. We only put on one scoop but you can add as many scoops as you can count!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 or more pieces of construction paper, crayons, scissors, glue and cotton balls if desired.
  2. Start by drawing a large I . Don’t cut it out yet.
  3. Have your child color and decorate the I, let them know that it’s going to be the cone of an ice cream cone. Ask them about the shapes they normally see on a cone, if they tell you a shape ask them to draw it on the cone. If they aren’t quite there yet, don’t push. It’s more important they are enjoying this activity , then us adults trying to cram in 4000 lessons into one. Go with their flow!
  4. While they are coloring and possibly drawing diamonds or other fun shapes, cut out one or more half circles for the scoops or ice cream. I made my scoop look more like ice cream but if you are using this as shape lesson simply use a perfect half circle.
  5. Cut everything out and glue together. Glue the I on the backing paper first, then the ice cream.
  6. Add more scoops if you want, and you can make the ice cream 3D by gluing on a few cotton balls.
  7. Let dry.
Books!


” Ice Cream , The Full Scoop”
by Gail Gibbons is a fascinating book all about, you guessed it, ice cream. It touches on the history of the tasty treat, how it was made in years past and how it is made today. As someone who once called St. Louis home, I was happy to see it also talks about the very first ice cream cone that debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in good old St. Louis! This book is not for toddlers or young preschoolers, it may even be too long for some 5 and 6 year olds. The delivery is fun with a lot of pictures so even if the whole book is too much, bits and pieces in small does much like ice cream is perfect!

“Manana, Iguana” by Ann Whitford Paul is a great book. It is a re telling of Chicken Little with a fun twist. The sky isn’t falling in this tale, instead Iguana is throwing a fiesta and although her friends say they will help, they all back out. She stands her ground and in the end they learn that you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too! The best part about this book is it’s use of Spanish mixed in with the English text. Small children will pick up on these words quickly and any exposure we as parents can give our children different languages is a benefit to them.

These Jelly Fish Don’t Sting!


Paper Plate
Jelly Fish!

This Jelly Fish was a BIG hit with my little guy, which surprised me because I would have thought he was too young. Of course once we finished it he pulled off all the stingers, but he had fun making it!
  1. Gather your materials. You can use regular paper, paper plates or even coffee filters for the body. We used markers to color the body, but paint, crayons or even stickers, would work just as well. I have extra gif wrap for the stingers but any paper or even ribbons would work.
  2. Decorate! Remember to let your child go to town, color as much or as little as they want. If your child is a quick finisher you can try to do the art along with them and taking your time will likely encourage them to spend more time on it too.
  3. Cut your paper plate in half.
  4. Fan fold your gift wrap or paper for the stingers. Older children can paint or color some paper and help you fold it , with younger or impatient ones I would suggest using a paper like this gift wrap that already has a pattern. Too many steps can be too challenging for little guys.
  5. Cut the folded paper in strips. Attach them to the underside of the paper plate, use glue if your little one can wait to play, tape if they can’t!
Song!


I’m a little fishy , watch me go!
I swim fast and I swim slow.
When the day is over , it’s time to sleep
I swim up high and dive down deep.



Books!



” Fish is Fish “
by Leo Lionni is a fantastic fable about a minnow and a tadpole and how friendships can endure even when the friends change.

” Don’t eat the teacher!” by Nick Ward is a silly book about a shark with a lack of self control, a good book to help teach self discipline.

” Gilbert de le Frogponde : A swamp story.”
by Jennifer Rae is a fun story about a lazy frog who outwits 2 chefs who have come to the swamp looking for a frog to cook!