Paper Plate Tortoise



  1. Gather your materials. For this craft you will need a paper plate, some paint and paint brush, some paper, glue , scissors and crayons.
  2. Paint the outside of your paper plate, I am using a foam brush because it minimizes mess , and isn’t that always a plus with young children?
  3. While your child is painting the plate ( and possibly your table too) fold a piece of paper in at least 4, draw a shape of your choosing. I chose hexagons but any shape would do. Some shapes are hard to find in the real world so incorporating them into a craft like this is a great way to learn.
  4. Cut the shape out.
  5. Glue the shape on to the painted plate to create a cool shell!
  6. While your child is gluing the shapes on , fold another piece of paper in 2, and draw the outline of four feet, a tail and a head. If you want you can have your child color these and add eyes and a mouth too!
  7. Cut these out and glue them on the inside of the paper plate.
Books!


” A Mama for Owen” by Marion Dane Bauer tells the true story of a baby hippo who was orphaned during the 2004 tsunami. Maybe because I am a mom but this story brings me close to tears every time I read it. The beautiful illustrations will keep your children interested as you read this ultimately heartwarming story of adoption.

” The Foolish Tortoise”

by Richard Buckley and Eric Carle is a tale about a tortoise who decides that his shell is holding him back- only to discover that being slow isn’t as bad as he thought!

“Owen & Mzee – Best Friends”

by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff is a board book with real photographs of the friendship of orphaned baby hippo and his 130 year old adoptive tortoise named Mzee. The Text is simple and perfect for toddlers. I like that it shows animals being affectionate , something we don’t often see.


Monochromatic Texture Collage


When children are learning their colors this is a fun activity to support their learning, it’s easy to incorporate shapes and letters too, simply cut paper into those shapes! Older children can use magazines and search for the color and cut it out themselves!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a white piece of heavy paper, paint, some glue and your collage materials. I am using some foam pieces, tissue paper, feathers and pipe cleaners. Anything will work!
  2. Paint the paper- we are finger painting today but you can use a brush, sponge or roller!
  3. While the paint is drying, let your child explore the collage materials. Ask how they feel, what is the same about all of them, and which ones they like. With toddlers you can label things with their texture, shape and of course color!
  4. Drizzle glue all over the painting or with older children allow them to glue as they go if they want.
  5. Start collaging !
Books!

” Hello, Red Fox ” by Eric Carle is a fun interactive book about colors and the color wheel. Kids will love the “trick” on each page. The trick being that if you stare at a color for long enough then stare at a blank page the complimentary color will appear! This book is great, but not for a group, a class will disintegrate into “Let me!!” and “My turn!” quickly so this is really is best read one on one!

“Freckleface Strawberry” by Julianne Moore is one of the few celebrity books you will see me giving a good review, I really like this book. It doesn’t talk down to kids, and the humor is funny for parents and kids alike. I like that her freckles do not go away as she got older too!

” The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza” by Philomen Sturges is a great retelling of the classic story. Kids will be able to relate to this hen not getting any help for all her hard work. Luckily her friends realize their mistake and do the dishes after she shares her yummy pizza.

I Know What You Did Last Weekend

Home made
Picture Books !



Children love making books, and a book about what they did last weekend , or on a special family outing is a perfect way to help your child tell a story staring their favorite person!

  1. Before going on vacation, to the zoo etc… be ready to take a lot of pictures, and remember to take pictures of the things your child was really into. If your child was napping during the parade or didn’t see the dolphin show at the aquarium – don’t bother including those pictures. Talk to your child about what they see before you take the picture so when it comes time to recall it even younger ones will be able to!
  2. Once home, gather your materials. You will need some pictures of your outing/weekend , construction paper, crayons or markers, some glue or double stick tape ( I love this stuff!) and a stapler.
  3. Have your child decorate the pages before you add the pictures.
  4. Fold the paper in 2 to make multiple pages.
  5. Add the pictures , using double stick tape or glue . I suggest the double stick tape because it is easy, clean won’t make the pages stick together like glue will if it dribbles out.
  6. After adding a picture add some text, ask your child what the picture is of, and to tell you about it. Write verbatim what they tell you, if they are old enough have them write it!
  7. Staple the pages together, I ended up using ribbon and sewing it together because my art closet is a mess and I couldn’t find my stapler!
  8. Read the new book with your child!
***If you are doing this as a class, have enough pictures for each student to pick out a picture and tell you what is going on in it. When I would do this with a class the books always became favorites and we would read them all year long. The students loved to look back at how they’d changed over the school year too!


Books!

These are 3 new books I found at my library and wanted to share !

” A Kiss Goodbye” by Audrey Penn is a sequel to one of my favorite books ” The Kissing Hand” . In this book Chester the little raccoon has to leave his home to move to anther tree because his is being chopped down. I love that Audrey Penn has tackled the subject of moving because it is such a stressful and scary event for so many children, and this book really addresses those feelings. The text is too long for toddlers in my experience but preschoolers will sit and listen, to this wonderful story.

” Little Baby Bobby” by Nancy Van Laan is a story about Bobby and his runaway stroller, oh and his babysitter Britta who chases after him. We follow Bobby all over town as a larger and larger group of people join the chase, all the while bumping into things and Bobby is happily bouncing along. The illustrations are fun, the text has cute rhymes but over all this is just an ok book. My son sat for a few pages but wasn’t too thrilled. It’s worth a look if you are at the library though!

” Scaredy Squirrel makes a friend” by Melanie Watt is hilarious! I laughed out loud from start to finish, my son who is 18 months old didn’t get the humor at all but laughed at me laughing! Older preschoolers will get most of the humor though and like my son, will love the pictures ! Here is my favorite line : in very small print on the inside cover it reads ” * Caution: this story not suitable for walruses. ” Oh how I laughed ! The dry humor aside, the book follows an anxious squirrel looking for a friend , but one that is safe and won’t bite! Of course the message is about taking risks and kids will get it! I love this book!

Paper Plate Pig Craft


Toddlers and young preschoolers will love painting the paper plate, but the small pieces to glue will require a lot of adult help but 4 and 5 year olds will love it!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, 3 sections of an egg carton , scissors, some pink paint ( or red and white) , a paint brush , some black paper and glue.
  2. Mix your paint, I know I have been saying this a lot lately but this simple step of mixing colors is such a fast and easy color lesson and kids love to mix things!
  3. Paint the paper plate . While your child is doing this cut the egg carton into 3 pieces, one whole cup and two half ones. Also cut 2 small black circles and two tiny rectangles for the eyes and nostrils out of the black paper.
  4. Paint egg carton pieces. You need to paint the inside of 2 egg carton pieces and the outside of the other.
  5. Glue on the eyes.
  6. Glue on the snout.
  7. Glue the nostrils on.
  8. Glue on the ears.
Song!

Three Little Pigs

Three little pigs rolled in the mud,
Squishy , Squashy felt so good,
The farmer took one pig out,
Oink oink oink, the pig did shout!

Continue with 2, 1

No little pigs rolled in the mud,
They all looked so clean and good,
The farmer turned his back and then,
All the little pigs rolled in the mug again!

Books

” Grunt” by John Richardson is a classic running away from home story. This one is about a pig who is different from all his siblings and can only grunt instead of squeal, and thinks that because he is different his family must not want him. Of course in the end mama is overjoyed to see him come home and he discovers his family does love him. I am biased against books like this cause I just don’t like them, I don’t like that a child( or piglet) has to run away to find out they are loved. Maybe it’s just my own pet peeve , regardless this book is ok, but I won’t be adding it to my bookshelf.

” Pigsty” by Mark Teague is more my kind of book. Silly but with a good message. Wendell has a messy room and his mom calls it a pigsty, soon enough pigs start showing up! At first it’s cool , Wendell has fun with the pigs but it’s not long before the pigs are too much and even Wendell can’t take it. I think this book has a great message about responsibility, and how sometimes fun gets to be too much .

” Piggies” by Don and Audrey Wood is a great counting book for little guys. Toddlers love this book. You will probably notice your child touching their fingers as you read this delightful story about little piggies.

Toilet Paper Roll Rocket

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an empty toilet or paper towel roll, some paint, a paint brush, some red or orange tissue paper, a piece of construction paper some glue, scissors and a little aluminum foil .
  2. Paint the roll the color of your choosing, while your child is painting cut out some flames using the tissue paper.
  3. While the roll is drying have your child color the piece of construction paper if they want, it will be made into the nose of the ship so let them know you will be cutting it. Sometimes young children will get really upset if you don’t give them ample warning that you are altering their masterpiece.
  4. Meanwhile cut some long strips of aluminum foil.
  5. The roll should be dry enough to glue the aluminum foil strips on, while your child does this, go head and cut a circle out of the construction paper and cut half way into the circle to make a cone.
  6. Glue the cone on the end of the rocket. It’s easiest to put glue in the cone and then place the roll inside it. Hold it there a minute or two.
  7. Glue the flames on the bottom inside.
  8. Blast off!

Song!



Blast Off!

Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
hurry and get ready
we’re going to blast off soon,
put on your helmet
and buckle up real tight,
cause here comes the countdown
so count with all your might!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off!!

Books!

” Babar Visits Another Planet” by Laurent De Brunhoff is a sentimental favorite of mine, I think I had my school library’s copy out from Kindergarten to 2nd grade! It is on the longer side so I would not suggest it for young preschoolers who have a hard time with long books. Also I read it in the original French so I never noticed the present tense , reading it if English is your first language you may find some passages a little off…but don’t worry the kids won’t notice!

” How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers was an awesome library find. The illustrations are fantastically simple, and support the equally simple yet effective storyline about a boy who wanted a star of his own. I love this book, and your kids will too!” Roaring Rockets” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker is a fun rhyming book about rockets. Even toddlers will enjoy the cartoon like pictures and zippy text. Also the last page is devoted to explaining the parts of a rocket and other facts!