Inspired By You !

Sticker
Zoo !

Sam from Edmonton is the mastermind behind this very creative and easy activity, pretty impressive for a 3 year old! While drawing he asked his mom for animal stickers to put in his zoo! I have added a few steps for the younger crowd, but there is no need to add the steps if you don’t want to. Thank you to Sam and his mom Katalin for sharing this fantastic idea with me !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece or two of paper, glue, scissors, some animal stickers and your choice of crayons, markers or colored pencils.
  2. Cut 2-3 cages paper out of the lighter paper, you don’t have to do this step if you child can draw the cages themselves, but if not this is a good way to lengthen the activity for children who may benefit from that.
  3. Have your child draw cages, depending on their age they can do a basic one or something more sophisticated with signs and walk ways. If you are using the cut out cages have them color them here.
  4. Add your zoo animals! Have your child identify which animals they are choosing and what sounds they make or of they are older ask them what would happen if a monkey and lion shared a cage!
  5. Color the zoo background
  6. Glue the cages on !
  7. Now you have your very own zoo .
Huge Thanks to Sam , my son loved this craft and we have been doing variations of it for days now, and I have been able to make dinner in peace!

Books!


” 1, 2, 3 To The ZOO” by Eric Carle is fun counting book perfect for toddlers. Actually as I type this my toddler is reading it. There are no words, just pictures and numbers and that makes it perfect for toddlers who are just learning both numbers and animals because parents can read it slowly counting , naming the animals and making the animal sounds, or more quickly just counting!

” Good Night Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann is a silly story about a zookeeper and his charges that follow him home to bed. Luckily his wife is on her toes and gets those silly animals back to the zoo ! This book is good for the 1-3 crowd , after that most kids I know have lost interest in the limited text. I love to use this book as a bedtime story.

” Inside a Zoo in the City” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along , so children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!

Easy Magic Wands

Magic Wands


Young children have amazing imaginations unaffected by reality , so art projects that create props for make believe are particularly fun to do!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper, crayons or markers, some glitter ( of course! ) glue, tape and a straw for the handle.
  2. Draw 2 stars or cheat like me and use a cookie cutter as a template on one piece of paper.Your wand doesn’t have to be a star, I like to use some shape we are learning just for reinforcement but remember not all activities have to have a clear cut lesson. Kids are always learning, sometimes I need to remind myself of this too.
  3. Decorate your stars with crayons or markers. I usually tape down the paper so it’s easier for my toddler to do the activity and not worry about the paper shifting.
  4. Time for glue, drizzle it all over.
  5. Add the dreaded or loved sparkles , shake off the excess and let dry.
  6. When dry cut out the stars and tape the straw to the inside. Then glue or tape the two stars together sandwiching the straw. Let dry and voila!
Song!



Little Bunny Foo Fo
o

 

Little bunny foo foo ,
hopping through the forest,
scooping up the field mice ,
and bopping them on the head!Down came the Good Fairy,
and she said ,
“Little bunny foo foo, I don’t want to see you,
scooping up the feild mice and bopping them on the head!
I’ll give you three chances before I turn you into a gooooooon!”Repeat until no more chanc

es! 

**Note to Parents** You are probably well aware by now that a lot of songs, books etc.. for young children like ” Little Bunny Foo Foo” have some violence or maybe words you aren’t comfortable with. Over the years I have used this song especially to illustrate to my students the consequences of inappropriate actions. While clearly I never turned any student into a goon- we were able to use this time to talk about what happens in our class when you bop someone. So while it’s every parent’s right to censor anything in their child’s life, songs like this can be used for good!



Book!

To be honest there aren’t many Fairy books out there I liked enough to recommend but this one is a fantastic book! ” Alice the Fairy” by David Shannon is an exception, as I am sure there are others I just need to find them. I love David Shannon in general and this book is a favorite. My most recent class was read it in French and loved it , I am sure the charm of Alice is the same in any language.


Howl at the Moon!

Crescent Moon!

This morning my son looked out the window and proclaimed ” Moon” while pointing out the window, sure enough there it was staring down at us at 6 am! For a simple art project like this I like to use different painting tools to enrich it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need one yellow and one black piece of construction paper, a white or yellow crayon, glue, sparkly paint and anything else to decorate your moon. We used do a dot art dobbers, and a fun brush for our sparkle paint.
  2. Have your child draw stars in the night sky. Using the white or yellow crayon color on the black paper.
  3. While they draw stars draw a classic crescent moon , don’t cut it out yet.
  4. Time to decorate the moon, we started with the dobbers.
  5. Then moved to the fun brush and sparkle paint. Let dry.
  6. Cut the moon out and glue onto your starry sky!


~Phases of the Moon
Wheel~

I do not suggest doing this with really young children, as you can see from the picture my son made a quick job undoing my work! However if you have a school aged child this is a fun and easy activity for learning about Earth’s moon!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, some yellow and black paper, scissors, a fine tip marker, glue , and a brad.
  2. Using the paper plate at the template trace a circle on the black paper. Cut it out.
  3. Fold the circle in half and cut a section out. This will be your viewing window. Set it aside.
  4. Using your yellow paper cut out the different phases of the moon, deciding if you will do all the phases waxing and waning .
  5. Write the phases name on the underside of the plate and glue the moon on, repeat for all the phases you are including. You may want to space this out before writing, to make sure you have enough space on your plate. Let dry.
  6. Poke a small brad through the center of the black circle with the viewing window and attach it to the center of the paper plate.
  7. Spin and enjoy!

Olympic Torch Craft For Kids and Toddlers

olympics activities for kids
The Olympics are a big deal in our family, my grandmother was a medalist in the 1932 games and to honor her as well as the games in Beijing we will be doing Olympic activities all week!This Olympic torch craft will be fun to do for younger children but older ones will be able to appreciate the significance of the Olympic torch , to learn more about it check out this site .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll, some red paint, orange tissue paper, aluminum foil , glue, scissors and a paint brush.
  2. Start by painting your torch red.
  3. While your child is painting rip the aluminum foil into small pieces, if you are doing this with an older child they can use scissors to make pretty designs like the real torch!
  4. Spread your glue on the top half of the roll.
  5. Add your aluminum foil.
  6. While your child does that cut your tissue paper into flames.
  7. Add glue on the inside and stuff your tissue paper flames inside.

 

Letter Of The Week ! Aa !

Alien
A !

There are lots of options for introducing the letter A, apples, alligators, ants to name a few but I chose to do alien since my son has shown interest in them lately. Use your children’s interests when choosing your activities , it will be more meaningful to them and everyone will have more fun !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper or cardboard, black foam or paper , some paint, glue, scissors and a pipe cleaner.
  2. Draw a big A on the cardboard/ construction paper.
  3. Have your child paint the A in fun bright colors, we used the dot a art paint dobbers.
  4. Keep going with a new paint color! Let dry.
  5. While your child is painting cut out 2 big alien eyes, and a mouth out of the black foam sheet or construction paper.
  6. Cut out your A and add your glue. As you can see I forgot to cut it out. …so just pretend I did.
  7. Add the eyes and mouth, let dry.
  8. Poke two small holes in the top of the A and thread the pipe cleaner through. Bend it to make fun antennae.
  9. Glue the A onto a full piece of paper and voila!

~Click here for more space activities, books and songs!~

Note about Learning Letters

Spend time pointing out letters to your child throughout the day. A simple ” What do you see?” is a great way to start , there is no need for you to point out what they miss, just follow their lead. Have them help you read recipes, mail and signs at the store – yes toddlers too! Children need to see that letters are everywhere and when they learn in context they retain what they have learned well. So don’t limit yourself to just these activities, use them for what they are, a fun way to introduce a letter, but focus on learning in a comprehensive way- which for young children must include play! Don’t forget to sing, and read all kinds of books!