Letter Of The Week N !

Number N
My son is way into numbers right now, it was letters for so long I was starting to think he would never be into anything else! Wrong. Now he points out numbers at the grocery store, numbers in books, everywhere we go. I am not sure when I will stop hearing “More numbers, more numbers mama!” so I am running with it and here is out letter for the week!
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Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper or cardboard, small pieces of paper, one piece of construction paper, marker, glue, paint and scissors. I am using the do a dot paint because the paint goes on really light and you can glue on it without waiting. Always good with toddlers! Start by making a large uppercase N on the cardboard. Don’t worry if it’s perfect, as long as your child can tell it’s an N, it’s doing it’s job. Invite your child to art time and have them paint the N, I try to have everything laid out so it’s enticing and organized when my son comes to see what we are doing, on those days everything really does go much more smoothly. While they paint write numbers on the small pieces of paper, I am using some scrap card stock, which will hold up to being glued better than thinner paper.If your child is able to , have them write the numbers themselves. Add whatever numbers your child is interested in. Grab the glue. Add your numbers and label them as your child adds them. Let dry. When dry cut the N out and glue onto the construction paper.

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!” Daddy Hugs” by Karen Katz is a cute little counting book for toddlers. I gave it to my husband last year for his first father’s day and my son hated it. However in the year since it’s become a favorite and nothing beats a board book for when toddlers get to that destructo stage.

” Construction Countdown” by K.C Olson is a counting book that uses backhoes, dump trucks and cement mixers among other things to count. Before I even closed the book my son was signing for more. I read it 4 times since getting it out of the library today. A huge hit here!

Take Me Out To The Ball Game !

Bat and Ball
This was another request from my son, his favorite book right now is “No, David!” by David Shannon , in the book David gets in trouble for playing baseball in the house. Of course my son thinks the book is hilarious ( which it is) and wanted to make something at art time from it. I added in the lacing which is great fine motor and hand eye coordination practice.
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Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, a hole punch, some ribbon, tape, some cardboard, markers and scissors. Start by cutting out the middle of small paper plate, and punching 6 holes on each side of it. Older children can do this with little or no help.Next wrap a small amount of tape around the end of the ribbon to make it stiff and easier to thread through the holes.Next thread the ribbon through the holes, I secured the ribbon with tape so it wouldn’t slip through. Tape down the other end when you are done as well and put it aside for now. While your child is threading the ribbon, or after if they needed help ( my little guy needed some) draw a bat on the cardboard with a marker. Have your child color it to their hearts content. Cut out. Tape the baseball to the bat.
Book
I was going to suggest “No, David!” since it is the inspiration for the activity but when I came across the book below I knew I needed to devote a whole book section to it.

“Let Them Play” by Margot Theis Raven and Chris Ellison is an amazing book, it tells the true story of the 1955 State Champion Little League team from South Carolina. The story is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once as the authors tell the readers about the realities and injustice that this team of little boys faced. They were the first all black all star team who were disqualified from playing in the little league world series because they hadn’t played a single game to become state champs, because all the other teams forfitted. I dare you not to cry, I was a sobbing mess by the end. The book itself is too complex for really little guys, my son had no interest in the text, though he loved the pictures. All kids old enough though should take a look, and be prepared to answer some tough questions about why people were so mean. Wonderful wonderful, important book!

Calorie Free Cupcake !

Counting Cupcake !

This activity came out of a funny request from my son. We go to music class and one of the little girls in class has a shirt with cupcakes on it. Well when I asked my son what he wanted to make he said her name, when I said we couldn’t make her he said “cupcake?” so voila! I added in the counting lesson because I just couldn’t help myself!

Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper, glue, some sticky back foam ( regular will work too, just glue it) , cotton balls, a marker, and scissors.Start by cutting out a base and a top of the cup cake.Ask your child a number they want to put on the base. I was hoping for 3 or 4 but 7 it was! Write that number on the base with marker. This will determine the number of candles you put on the cupcake.Grab the glue!Glue your cupcake on the paper.While your child is gluing cut out the candles from the foam , making both candles and flames for each.Time to add the frosting! Use lots of glue for the cotton balls.

Add your candles
make lots of references to the number your child chose, and count the candles often saying ” Do we have 7 yet?” keep adding them on until you do! Add the flames as you go!

Books!

” Moira’s Birthday” by Robert Munsch is a silly book, most of his books are, but silly is great! Moira is excited about having her birthday and doesn’t know how to say no to all the kids at school when they beg to come to her party. She ends up with the whole school at her house and her parents don’t know what to do! Luckily Moira does. This book at first look may seem like Moira is a spoiled brat who gets her way but really she is problem solving and when she gives away a present to each child who helps clean up, you can see she just wanted a good party, and isn’t a gift grabbing brat at all! Kids LOVE this book, I have never read it to a class that didn’t laugh hysterically.

“If You Give A Cat A Cupcake!” by Laura Numeroff is the newest installment of her ever popular “If You Give…” series. I like this one , I mean any book with a cat in a bathing suit is worth a look. I am a big fan of these stories not only because they have just the right amount of text for young preschoolers, but also because the illustrations by Felicia Bond are so detailed you can spend ages talking about what your child sees in the book after the words are read. I love the cause and effect , and after a few readings your child will have fun telling you what’s next.

Clothespin Stegosaurus

Now that my son is older ( ripe old age of 2) I ask him what he wants to do for art. Consider this your warning for many dinosaurs, things with wheels, and other stereotypical little boy things. It doesn’t seem to matter how many flowers we point out on our walks he finds the diggers and motorcycles zooming past a thousand times more interesting. This craft was thought up spur of the moment but turned out wonderfully, the clothespins add a dynamic activity to the static paper dinosaur.

Gather your materials. You will need a cereal box, some paint, a marker, some clothespins, a googly eye and scissors.

Start by drawing a simple dino shape on the cut open cereal box with your marker.If you are sneaking in a color mixing lesson like I am put 2 colors of paint on a plate and let your child discover the magic of blending the two colors.

Paint the dinosaur. We used a dish scrubber but any paint brush will do. Let dry.

Using the same dish you mixed the colors in roll your clothespins in the paint to color them. Try not to get too much on them , or they will be stuck together and won’t open.Glue the eye on the dry dino.

 

Cut the dino out.

 

Add your clothes pins

Have fun counting and pinching the clothes pins onto the dinosaur, the pinching is great fine motor practice for your little ones too!

Dinosaur Books


Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton has always been a favorite of mine for introducing dinosaurs to young kids. It’s very basic, very bright and has the fundamental facts about dinosaurs without loading toddlers down with too many facts to sort through. The illustrations are bright, fun and descriptive on their own and will keep even the most fidgety 3 year old entertained.

Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boyntonis a cute little book about opposites with dinosaurs as it’s characters. This is a good book for little people who love dinosaurs but aren’t really ready to dive into facts about dinosaurs yet. The melodic rhyming text and adorable pictures appeals to younger toddlers, and on the page where the dinosaurs are called bad for painting on their friends made both me and my son laugh .

Good Night, Dinosaurs by Judy Sierra is a tongue twister and I love it! I have a hard time pronouncing dinosaur names, but the cute little rhymes she writes to go with each really help. The book is simple, parent dinosaurs tucking in and getting their little dinosaurs ready to fall asleep. Your child will love the catchy “Good Night Dinosaurs, Sleep Tight Dinosaurs, Good Night Dinosaurs, Goodnight!” I know I did.

Valentine’s Day Truck Craft

 

My son requested a truck for art time, since this will be our last Valentine’s post I figured I would throw in some hearts. It can easily be done sans hearts with other shapes or even stickers. The dumper is an envelope so you can really pop things in and out too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1 full piece of construction paper, some scrap paper, an envelope, markers, glue and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing a flatbed truck. I practiced first but luckily my son’s pjs had a good model on them for me to copy. You can have your child color the truck if you want, mine was jonesing for the glue so we skipped that step.
  3. While they color cut the top off the envelope.
  4. Cut or punch out some small hearts for the truck.
  5. Cut some larger ones to go in the dumper.
  6. Next add the glue!
  7. Glue on the envelope
  8. Glue the hearts on to decorate!
  9. Now slip the cargo into the back of the truck!