Letter of The Week ! P p !

Pink and PurplePasta P !
It is always fun trying to find words that start with the letter of the week, Pasta was an obvious choice for my child since it is a staple in his diet and was one of his first words. It always helps to find familiar things to reinforce and of course colors are a perfect add on!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper in P colors, some P color crayons, glue and some pasta!
  2. Draw a Fat P on the paper, if your child is older have them draw it.
  3. Color the P using the P color crayons , there are a many of P colors ( Purple, Pink, Periwinkle) – this is great fine motor practice and I was able to start my morning coffee while my son colored ( the truth comes out! ) .
  4. When they are done coloring if they are older have them put glue on the P, if they are still little dot the P with glue.
  5. Start adding the Pasta.
  6. If they enjoy this add more dots of glue and keep going. My son used to only take things off but he actually added every single piece of pasta on, I was very proud!
  7. Let dry and cut the P out and glue onto the 2nd P colored paper!


Books!

These books get very mixed reviews from parents, some love the messages, some think it’s too little too late with a sassy main character. I urge you to find them at your local library or book store and decide for yourself.

” Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. I was initially told about this book and its authors by another mom whose son loves this book. So don’t think that just because the cover looks rather feminine that your boys won’t love this book too! The little girl eats far too many pink cupcakes and before she knows it she has turned pink. To return to her normal self she needs to eat her vegetables.I like this book, and can see why kids do too. I don’t think that all characters can be perfectly pious meek and mild but I do understand when parents are leery of introducing characters that they see as disobedient to their kids. Go read it and decide for yourself!


“Purplicious” is the sequel to “Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. In this one Pinkalicious is teased and made fun of because she is still wearing her favorite color, even though everyone else is wearing black. She is sad and no one knows what to do, except a new girl at school who shows her how to mix pink with blue to make purple! A lot of the bad reviews I have read about this book center around the bullying and teasing and parents often wrote that their child at 4 or 5 have never seen that kind of teasing, as a former preschool teacher and director I can sadly assure you that if they were in school at all- they have seen it, maybe not as bad as Pinkalicious did but take the rose colored glasses off it’s hard to be 4 ! I think it’s better to let children know that they don’t have to be ashamed of someone is bullying them, to ask for help and to overcome it. This book can be a useful tool for that message.

 

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.