- 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) .
- 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.
- Drizzle or have your child put some glue on the paper.
- Put the collage materials on one at a time, talk about how it feels when your child is handling it.
- 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!
- 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.
- Mix up some regular paint with some sparkle glitter paint. It will make the fish look like they are underwater!
- 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.
- Paint the fish.
- Let the fish dry. Have your child glue the water onto the fish bowl, then onto a plain piece of construction paper.
- 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 !
” 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- Pop the scrubber in the paint and start painting, really it’s more like stamping, the prints the scrubber makes are really cool.
- 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!
- 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.
- I like to make the gray paint by mixing different colors, your child will love this.
- Paint the paper plate.
- While your child is painting , cut out 2 ears and a trunk using the white construction paper.
- Paint the trunk and ears.
- 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.
- Let everything dry.
- 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!
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!
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!
Activities are a great way to make a lesson about manners tangible, being polite is a hard thing to learn especially for young children, doing something concrete like making a thank you card will help them learn their manners !
- Gather your materials. You will need some card sock or some pre-folded note cards. I used one card for the art work and a second for the inside. You will also need something to decorate your card with, we chose the water color crayons I reviewed last week.
- Start decorating your card. The water color crayons were great because they make fun baby scribbles into art! The crayons were a little tough for my little guy to press hard enough so I drew the circles and he took care of the next step!
- Bring out the water and start painting!
- Let the card dry.
- When it’s dry you may have to stick a second card inside the painted one, my card was pretty warped from the water, but a second card taped in with double sided tape fixed all that!
- Write in your note but don’t forget to let your child include their signature!
” Booker and the Bully” by Marilyn Moscovitch tackles a touchy subject in schools these days and does it in s gentle way. The emotions Booker goes through being bullied really come through in the illustrations and young children will be able to identify them which will help them understand the story and topic.
” How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague is a beautifully illustrated story about the tantrums and dramatics that dinosaurs put their parents through at bedtime. I really like this book because it asks if dinosaurs do all these naughty things and kids love to point out what the dinosaurs shouldn’t be doing. Of course in the end the dinosaur s remember their manners and go to bed with hugs and kisses and the lights off!