Mother’s Day : Part 1 !

~ Happy Mother’s Day ~
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and if you need a gift in a pinch , I am reposting our easy peasy craft as well as some great Mom and Grandma book suggestions!

Foam Fridge Frames!
( say that 3x fast!)



Since most of my readers are moms I decided to gear today more for Grandmas, late
r in the week I will do a book review of just books that since becoming a mom make me cry ( what’s the deal with that?!) , be sure not to miss it!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3-4 foam sheets, some glue , scissors, a magnet/magnetic tape and a picture of your dear child and either yourself or your spouse if you are giving it to your mom or mother in law.
  2. Trace the outside of the picture , onto one of the foam sheets. Try not to press too hard or it might be noticeable in the finished product.
  3. Fold the foam sheet with the tracing on it in half and cut slightly inside the line to create a frame.
  4. Keeping the sheet folded you can cut on the other side of the line in a squiggly pattern to make a cool scroll effect.
  5. Cut shapes out of one or two of the other foam sheet, the sky is the limit , one tip though if you want intricate shapes use very fine tipped scissors, regular ones just don’t cut it precisely.
  6. Glue your shapes on your frame piece. Make sure your tracing is on the backside.
  7. Glue your picture onto an uncut foam sheet.
  8. Glue around your picture and place the frame with shapes over it.
  9. Let dry, then on the back glue your magnetic tape , or magnet pieces. I just used one of the free magnets I got from my local library, cut it in 3 and glued them on.
  10. Send this to your mom or mother in law!

* You will probably notice my son is missing from these pictures. I chose to do this activity as a naptime one, because at 17 months he still puts foamy things in his mouth and this activity just begged for that. This should really be done only with children who unlike my son, are past the everything goes in to the mouth stage.

Books!

Like I said above, today I am focusing on our reader’s moms, but in a few days I will have a post dedicated to books about moms !

” Grandma and Me” by Karen Katz is presently the big hit at our house and the inspiration for today’s activity. I didn’t read it at all before handing it to my mom and saying ” How can you resist this book?” . She bought it and sat down to read it with my son, the book is bright and sweet with great flaps to lift, but just so moms of boys know it’s all about a girl and her grandma. I would have still bought it but I giggle every time I lift the flap where grandma has hidden a new ” Nightgown” for her granddaughter, at our house it’s a tee shirt! My son adores books where he can participate physically , and I can’t help but melt when he grabs it and says ” Gaga” as he grabs it from our book bin !

“Just Grandma and Me” by Mercer Mayer is a fun counter part to the previous book, in this book a grandma and her grandson hit the beach and enjoy an afternoon together. There is something so sweet and touching about this book and the special bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren. The last page is adorable with Little Critter being carried into his house asleep on his grandma’s shoulder.

Feel and Learn

Texture Collage

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of card stock or construction paper, some markers/ crayons, glue and then some smaller pieces of things like feathers, aluminum foil, sand paper- anything that can easily be glued on and have an obvious texture. I used some foam ( squishy), foil wrapping paper ( smooth) and feathers ( soft) .
  2. I had my son start out with markers, because writing / scribbling is an important skill so practicing it is fun and worthwhile, but you don’t need to do this step.
  3. Drizzle or have your child put some glue on the paper.
  4. Put the collage materials on one at a time, talk about how it feels when your child is handling it.
  5. With older children you can ask them to close their eyes , put the collage material into their hands and ask them what it feels like!

G is for Goldfish!

Fish Bowl!
This is a fun craft project that can be as simple or as complicated as you desire. I kept it simple for my 17 month old, but with older kids you could include real sand, some plants and other species too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, a pencil, scissors, some glue, paint ( glitter paint is perfect for this) and a paint brush.
  2. Mix up some regular paint with some sparkle glitter paint. It will make the fish look like they are underwater!
  3. Draw or have your child draw some fish on a piece of construction paper, while you cut out a fish bowl . To cut it out layer 2 pieces ( one blue) of construction paper together and using a cereal bowl trace a circle , then add on a wider brim at top. Cut it out. Cut the top third of the blue paper off and make the edge look like a wave.
  4. Paint the fish.
  5. Let the fish dry. Have your child glue the water onto the fish bowl, then onto a plain piece of construction paper.
  6. When the fish are dry, cut out and glue them onto the bowl!

* Tip for sparkle paint, to save money just buy yellow. it blends into other colors well so you don’t need 5 different tubes of glitter paint !

Books!

Swimmy by Leo Lionni is a profound tale about a little fish who tragically looses his family, and is forced to face scary things alone. He soon discovers that if he and other little fish band together they have power against the big bullies in the ocean. Personally I love this author and this book is one of my favorites. Some parents have expressed concern over his family being eaten at the start , so read it for yourself before deciding if it’s right for your child.


” Baby Beluga” by Raffi is a classic children’s song cleverly illustrated into a beautiful book. I grew up on Raffi and am still shocked when moms don’t know who he is, if he is new to you go to your library and check out one of his cds! My son loves this book, there are so many sea creatures to point out, it’s great for toddlers!

Pot Scrubber Painting

When my son gets up early to help pass the time I grab something out of my cupboard and hope he likes it! Today it was such a big hit, I am sharing it here with you!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, paint, a small bowl or plate and a kitchen scrubber. I used a mesh scrubber with a easy grip handle that fits a toddler’s hand perfectly!
  2. Put some different colors in the bowl and mix away ! Be ready with a rag cause paint can go flying when you let them help!
  3. Pop the scrubber in the paint and start painting, really it’s more like stamping, the prints the scrubber makes are really cool.
  4. Change colors and keep going! We painted for about 10 minutes which is really a long time for a toddler, and if I let my son paint the table I bet he’d still be there!

Paper Plate Elephant Craft


  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, some construction paper( 2 white, 1 black), glue , scissors, a paint brush, jar or cup and paint.
  2. I like to make the gray paint by mixing different colors, your child will love this.
  3. Paint the paper plate.
  4. While your child is painting , cut out 2 ears and a trunk using the white construction paper.
  5. Paint the trunk and ears.
  6. While your child is painting, cut out 2 black circles and 2 slightly larger white ones for eyes, and some black strips for the trunk.
  7. Let everything dry.
  8. Glue the ears , trunk, strips and eyes on!

* To make this elephant into a mask, you can cut eye holes and attach ribbons on either side or a stick to the bottom !

Note about crafts: As a teacher I love to do open ended art projects that provide a wonderful creative experience for children so as you can imagine all these crafts I have done have gone against some of my teaching instincts. However when you are working one on one with a child you have so many opportunities to follow their lead, and make even a structured craft like this elephant into something creative. My son loved mixing the colors to make the gray paint, so after we were done we got a few more jars out and continued. Watch carefully and you too will find ways to turn these crafts into a whole host of fun!

 

Song!
One Elephant!

One elephant went out to play,
upon a spider’s web one day,
he had such enormous fun that he called for ______ to come!

Two elephants went out to play,
upon a spider’s web one day ,
they had such enormous fun that they called for ______ to come!

* I like to use the child’s/ children’s names but if you are singing this alone with your child you can use their stuffed animals/ toys names or simply say ” another elephant ” instead!

Books!

123 to the Zoo Board Book 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 (A Rebus Read-Along Story) 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!