You’ve got mail !

DIY Postcards

Who doesn’t love to get mail? Making their own postcards then sending them to themselves is a fun way to introduce the concept of the mail to your child. For teachers this is a great activity for a community helpers unit.

  1. Gather your materials. I used a black card cut in two but you can just use any heavy paper cut into the size of a post card. You will need some art materials to decorate your postcard too. I am using blue painters tape to tape over the area to put both the address and return address on.
  2. Go nuts decorating the front of the post card.
  3. Flip and decorate the back too!
  4. Remove the tape, and address the postcard .
  5. Stick on a stamp and pop it in the mail.

If you are doing this with more than one child or doing more than one post card you can record how long it takes your post card to return to you, or to get to whoever you send it to.

Song!


In the mailbox, In the mailbox
look and see, look and see,
a package or a postcard,
a letter from my grandma
just for me, just for me!

In the mailbox, in the mailbox,
look and see, look and see,
a magazine that’s dandy
a valentine with candy,
just for me , just for me !

Book!



A fantastic book about letter writing is ” Dear Mrs. LaRue letters from Obedience school ” by Mark Teague. The story is a humorous look at Ike’s time at obedience school and how his perception of the hardships he is facing is a little different from reality.

No Mess Color Mixers


This is a fast and fun activity that can be done with almost any age.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need one ziplock per child and a few colors of paint.
  2. Pour the paint into your bag , flatten as much air out as you can, and then seal it.
  3. If you want to make the lesson about color mixing you can wait and add in another color after playing with the first color for a while, asking your child if they know what color it will turn into.
  4. You can make letters, numbers and pictures too. Remember to ask your child how it feels, is it cold, soft? squishy?
  5. For added fun you can put different colored paper under your ziplock and the designs will be more colorful!

* You may be wondering why my little model isn’t doing this activity. I did let him play with it but all he wanted to do was chew the bag- trust me though the preschool classes I have done this with love it! You may just want to avoid doing it with toddlers who are cutting teeth! *

Books!

These two authors are childhood favorites of mine, as sentimental as these two books are to me they are also perfect for the theme at hand!

” A Rainbow Of My Own” by Don Freeman is a charming story about wanting a rainbow, you may notice that the colors are out of order but I have always used that as a teaching tool in my classes.

” Little Blue and Little Yellow”
by Leo Lioni is a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob!

Flower Power!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, a marker, some paint, a cupcake liner and some glue.
  2. Draw or have your child draw the outline of a flower and a stem on two separate pieces of paper.
  3. Spread some paint either directly on the paper or in a small plate and start finger painting, be prepared for paint on clothes, and in the mouth with young ones , make sure it’s non toxic!
  4. Switch paper and do the stem. I used colored paper but there is no reason not to use white.
  5. Let the paint dry and cut along the marker outline.
  6. Glue the flower onto another piece of paper and glue a cup cake liner in the middle of the flower for a finishing touch!

** What I like about this activity is that it gives your child a chance to explore the paint freely and then see how it can create a flower. Most preschoolers I have done this craft with asked to make another finger painting after we set the flower pieces up to dry! **

Song – sing it to the tune of “I’m a little tea pot”.

I’m a little Daisy
Tall and Slim
Here are my petals and here is my stem
When the sun comes up
and the rain comes down
I grow and grow up from the ground!

Coffee Filter Butterfly



These butterflies are always a hit, with older children you can use food coloring and spend time mixing custom colors, but with young children I would stick to watered down paint. Here how :

  1. Gather your materials. You’ll need at least 2 coffee filters for each butterfly, some cardboard for the body ( I used the backside of a cereal box) some cryons or markers for coloring the body , a pipe cleaner, some paint, glue and if you want a ice cube tray to hold the paint .
  2. Water down your paint, just enough for it to run and be absorbed by the filter. If you are using watercolors you will need a lot of color for it to show up on the filter.
  3. Start painting! The best way to do this is to drop or dribble the paint onto the filter and let it spread naturally. Do as many colors are you want.
  4. While letting the paint dry, color the cardboard for the body, and cut out in a long oval. On one end poke 2 holes and feed a pipe cleaner through for the antennae.
  5. When the filters are dry, fold them in 4 and glue the pointy end to the backside of the body.

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Dig it!
Planting seeds of any kind is a great activity for parents and kids to do together, it’s an on going and a wonderful lesson about responsibility and delayed gratification.I am using a little kitchen herb garden but all you really need is some potting soil, a container, seeds , water and the sun. I would encourage you to do this with your child, but if they are under two or still mouthing a lot of things, plant it at nap time and have them help you water it daily.The fun of this activity is watering daily and seeing if anything has popped through yet. Once it has you can even chart the growth with older children and make predictions about how tall each sprout will get.


 

Bubble Bubble Toil And Trouble!


Bubble
Painting



This is an activity for preschoolers , toddlers will love to watch the bubbles but unless you are aching for bubble solution all over your house, I would skip this with the under 2.5 age group!

  1. Gather your materials. Card stock or Construction Paper will hold up well to the bubbles, some liquid paint, bubble solution and a straw.
  2. Pour some solution into the cup along with some paint. Using the straw mix and blow to make bubbles.
  3. Using your paper cover the cup .
  4. Repeat until your master piece is done!
Additional Activities

For toddlers who are too little to for the bubble painting, there is always bubble catching outside! My little guy loved this , as expected!

Song!


Smile Song

A smile goes a long long way hey hey !
A smile goes a long long way hey hey !
It starts with an s right here ,
and it’s a mile to the other ear,
A smile goes a long long way!

Books!


” Corduroy” by Don Freeman is a children’s classic and one of my favorites from childhood, if you haven’t read it it’s about a little teddy bear and his desire for a real home and a little girl who needs him too!

” Where is baby’s belly button” by Karen Katz is a great little lift the flap book, and it’s like crack for toddlers! I swear I have never met one who doesn’t love this book! And an added bonus it helps them learn their body parts too!


” It’s Mine!” by Leo Lionni is a great fable about sharing and not sharing! A lesson kids of all age especially the young ones can use , often!