Everything in its place , and a place for everything!

Pretty Paper Place Mats

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper or card stock, some glue, scissors, crayons and contact paper.
  2. Have your child color , write their name, draw a picture whatever they want on a light color paper.
  3. While they are doing that you can cut out some shapes using another piece of paper , or if your child is able you can have them do this step as well.
  4. Glue the shapes to the paper, for young toddlers I would suggest putting small drops of glue on the paper and having them put the shapes on them.
  5. Cut a large enough piece of contact paper to fold over the place mat.
  6. Place the drawing/ collage on another piece of paper to use as a backing.
  7. Place both pieces face down on the first half of the contact paper, then fold the rest over. You want to do it face down to avoid big bubbles on the front of the place mat.
  8. Trim and you are good to go!!


Books!

” The Princess and the Pizza” by Mary Jane and Herm Auch is a cute revamped fairytale about a Princess who discovers Pizza and independence all at once. There are some sassy parts to this story so you may want to keep this book for older children , but the message of independence is refreshing.

” Mmmm, Cookies!” by Robert Munsch is a silly story about a boy who makes cookies out of playdough and tricks people into eating them, and their revenge. The story itself isn’t extraordinary but the way that the actions in the story are coupled with sounds keeps even the most uninterested reader turning the pages!

” If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff is a fun story about a demanding mouse and the consequences of giving into his whims! The illustrations by Felicia Bond have adorable details and compliment the simple but entertaining story perfectly. I like to use this book while teaching sequencing, and after reading it ask the children ” Well what happened next?” .

That Blows! Frustration , Feelings and Fun!

Blow Painting!

This is a great project for preschoolers on up but would probably prove to be incredibly frustrating for toddlers.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, drinking straws, paint, a small container and a little bit of water.
  2. Thin out your paint with a little water in a small container. It should be thin enough to splatter but still thick enough to hold the pigment.
  3. Using your straw drip some paint on your paper.
  4. Keeping the end of your straw close to the drip of paint , blow through it and watch the paint spread! If it’s not spreading try thinning it out a bit more, or blow harder!
  5. Add another color and keep going! Spin the paper around to get the splatters in all directions.

Song!



Cooperation Song

The more we work together,
together,
together,
the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be,
cause I like to help you,
and you like to help me,

the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be.

Books!

I decided to focus my song and books about feelings because young children need a lot of reassurance about feelings in my experience. Toddlers and Preschoolers have always reminded me of teenagers, seeking independence from the baby stage but not sure about where the boundaries should be. All of these books have been useful to me while teaching and talking to young children about feelings.


“The way I feel” by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

” The Grumpy Morning” by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer. As a teacher i love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want. As a parent I love it because the text is musical and my son loves seeing all the animals and what sounds they make since he is still a little young to appreciate the lesson about feelings at 16 months.

” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” by Judith Viorst is a modern classic. I have loved this book since grade 2 when Madame Griffin had us write our own versions of the story. I stole her idea many times over the years usually doing it as a circle time activity with each child adding one thing that makes them mad. This magic of this book is that the end isn’t happy , Alexander goes to bed still mad and that’s okay, sometimes days are bad.


Ball Painting


This activity is super easy to do but will delight your child!
  1. Gather your Materials. For this art activity you will need a ball, I am using a golf ball but if my son was older I’d use a marble or 2! Also a few colors of paint, some paper and a shoe box or shoe box lid.
  2. Place a piece of paper into the box , along with a small amount of paint, then carefully place the ball on the paint.
  3. Tip the box this way and that way and watch the ball “paint” the paper. Younger children will want to catch the ball, so just make sure you are using non toxic paint and a ball big enough not to fit in their mouth.
  4. Repeat with more paint colors!
Song!

Today’s song is the French version of ” If you are happy and you know it” but the literal translation is ” If you love the Sun” . I don’t expect you to sing this exact song with your kids unless you speak French ( in which case ignore my horrible accent ) but I urge you to sing songs in other languages if you know them even if your accent is horrible !


Si tu aimes le soleil!

Si tu aimes le soleil… frappe des mains!
Si tu aimes le soleil ….frappe des mains!
Si tu aimes le soleil, le printemps qui se reveille
Si tu aimes le soleil… frappe des main!

Repeat with:

Tape des peids
Cliques des doights.

Books!

I decided for this “mixed bag” I would focus on one author I love, so today I am showcasing David Shannon! His books make me laugh and every student I have ever read these to has enjoyed his humor and characters too!


” A Bad Case of the Stripes” is about a little girl so worried about impressing others that she keeps changing and looses who she really is. This story is a cautionary tale about being yourself, and NOT being yourself. A great book for older preschoolers and young elementary aged children.

” Duck on a Bike”
is a more than just a story about a duck riding a bike, it’s about trying new things and how if one person dares to do something different they can urge a whole group to change too! This book can be the start of a great dialog between you and your child about trying things that seem impossible!

” No, David!”
is probably David Shannon’s most known book, it it we follow the misadventures of little David and his eventual dicsiplining and hug from his mom! This book is a wonderful gate way into talking about rules with a class, I have successfully used ti as a reminder about rules and why we have them. Kids love watching other kids do naughty things , so this book is always a hit with toddlers on up!

Ducks of a Feather…

Touch and Feel Ducks!
( not every craft can be cute- doesn’t this duck look a little rough?!)

  1. Gather your materials. For this duck I used 3 different pieces of paper, one for the background, one for the duck and one to cut the feet and beak out of. Also a marker for the outline and eyes, and of course glue and feathers.
  2. Draw the outline of a duck. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you’ll be covering most of it with feathers anyway.
  3. Spread the glue! And start feathering your duck, I thought my son would love this , and as it turned out he refused to touch a single feather. Toddlers keep you on your toes!
  4. Let the glue dry, meanwhile cut out the feet and beak.
  5. Cut the duck out and glue it onto a 2nd piece of paper, this will help make it more sturdy. If your child wants to they can decorate the background too.
  6. Add the beak and feet
  7. Voila your very own touch and feel duck!

Song!

Six little ducks!

Six little ducks that I once knew,
fat ones, skinny ones, and fair ones too,
but the one little duck with the feather on his back,
he led the others with a quack quack quack!
Quack, quack , quack,
he lead the others with a quack quack quack!
Books!

” Duck, Duck, Goose” by Tad Hills is a story about friendship and what happens when a twosome adds another person (or duck) into the mix. The author brings these characters emotions to life and children will be able to relate to Gooses feelings for sure!

” Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow” by Australian author Chris McKimmie is a whimsical book, that may get some parents wondering if the author is a creative genius or an avid drinker. Kids will love the silly storyline and adults will enjoy the bits of dry wit put in especially for them. There are a few terms that are not seen often in the United States so this book would also be a fun one to use while teaching an international theme. I loved it!

“One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! My students a few years ago were nuts about this book and yours will be too!


Windsocks are not for your feet!

Catch The Wind!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of paper , some crayons or markers, some streamers or tissue paper, some tape or glue, a hole punch and some ribbon.
  2. Have your child color and decorate the paper. Let them have some free creative time, and don’t be shocked if it doesn’t last long. Young kids don’t usually spend a lot of time on drawing, so if you want to keep the activity going, switch up colors by giving them one at a time, remember to name the colors as you do this!
  3. When they are finished , tape or glue some long strips of tissue paper or streamers to the bottom of the paper, on the non decorated side.
  4. Tape, glue or staple the paper into a cylinder.
  5. Punch two holes and thread a ribbon through, knot it.
  6. Hang it up where you can watch it dance in the wind.

Books!

Finding books that had to do with wind was not an easy task, at least not ones that held my interest. However my trusty local library and I succeeded in finding two titles that are worth a read!

” The Very Windy Day” by Elizabeth MacDonald is a funny story about how everyone walking on North, South , East and West streets had their belongings mixed up by the wind! Hats , blankets and even food got passed along from one person to the next in this silly story about a windy day.

” How the Ladies stopped the Wind” by Bruce McMillan is a charming story that is reminiscent of a folk tale, about ladies in Iceland who decide to plant trees to stop the wind. There is some fantastic bits of humor for parents and amazing illustrations! This was a great library find!