Twig & Bead Fairy Wands

twig and bead fairy wand craft for kidsI love exploring in the woods and while my children enjoy it they take it for granted. I love finding new ways to get them exploring their own environment and finding creative ways to use what we have in our yard. These twig and bead fairy wands were so much fun to make. We brought some of our favorite art supplies down to create with twigs. My daughter was all over this idea and I think this was the longest she’d ever beaded anything without asking me to take over. Beading is a fantastic fine motor activity and beyond that it often leads naturally to counting so you can slip some math in there too.  We also had a friend over who is 11 and she used the same materials to make her own funky twig and bead fairy wand.

Gather your materials. You will need some twigs, pony beads, yarn or cord, markers and scissors. bead fairy wands supplies

Before sitting down to create explore and find some twigs. I had found some that would work before inviting the girls to create in case they gathered the wrong size. twig hunting fiary wand tutorial

Break off any of the little bits and bobs on the twig and color it if you want to. I loved how much concentration this required. We used smelly markers because you can’t really see the color on the twig but the scent stayed and made it extra special. twig and bead fairy wand craft for preschool

Bead! Most twigs will naturally get wider at the base but if they don’t you can put a little dollop of hit glue to create a wider base. I just love how many great skills she is using by doing this fun activity. Her fine motor skills got a great work out!beading with twigs and beads

Wow look at all those beads! This is when you will want to casually say ” How many beads do you think are on there?” If you are trying to sneak in even more counting ask about specific colors too. ” How many green ones?” twig and bead fairy wand fine motor craft for kids

While my daughter was beading our 11 year old friend was beading on to the cord and then wrapping it around the twig and securing it with some tape. bead and fairy wands for older kids too

When my daughter was all done beading we attached some string to a bead and tied a knot.fairy wand tutorial Then beaded it on to the twig. fairy wand tutorial for kids

Next we wrapped the cord around the twig and make a handle. When it was all wrapped we tied it a few times and trimmed. magic wand tutorial

Now it’s ready for some serious fairy spells! magic wand tutorial for kids

You can see the rad wand our dear friend made too !beaded fairy wands for kids

Books About Fairies

All our book lists include affiliate links.

 

princess books for girls

The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton is a cute book about a little girl who loves all things princess related. What I like about this book is that it’s message isn’t heavy handed and it celebrates princesses while sneaking in some very positive messages too. In a world where many parents ( me included) have issues with this whole princess thing and struggle to find that balance this book has it. It tells you it’s OK to want to be a princess and to “let your sparkle out!” and talks about confidence in the process. I must admit though I am a total Julie Andrews fan and I am not sure I’d ever dislike anything Maria , I mean Mary Poppins I mean Julie Andrews wrote.

Alice the fairy

Alice The Fairy is such a sweet book about a fairy who is still learning the ropes. I love the spells she casts and kids relate to her type of magic, I promise! I love that this book is about a fairy but not the Disney idea that we are so often bombarded with. It’s fresh, fun and my daughter absolutely loves it. I have been in love with this book for many years and to see my daughter connect with Alice so well just tickles me to pieces.

princess in the forest

Princess in the Forest by Sibylle Von Olfers is more than 100 years old yet my toddler absolutely loved this book. The story is amazingly simple and the illustrations are what a fairytale should look like. The princess is met at different times of the day by various magical fairy children and forest creatures who care for and play with her. My daughter loves babies and the Dew Children who come to help the princess get dressed , the Moss Children who bring her food and the Star Children who illuminate her night enchanted her. She would immediately turn to each page with these angelic creatures and touch each one with her little fingers. This book doesn’t have a strong moral message but it’s simplicity is so peaceful and calming that it makes a wonderful bedtime book for young kids.

 

 

 

 

4th of July Crafts and Activities

july 4th crafts I love 4th of July , even though I am not American I have developed a deep fondness for this holiday. Our little town comes together and it’s a huge party. Get ready for Independence Day with fun 4th of July crafts and activities. I have gathered up 20 of my favorites from our archives and other blogs. Do you have a favorite? Tell us about it or leave a link in comments.

 

Easy American Flag Tee-Shirt from Kids Activities Blog
Handprint Fireworks
Flag Hunt Game

flag day game
Easy 4th of July Wreath
Spin Art Streamers from Hands On As We Grow
Shaving Cream Fireworks

DIY USA Wall Art
USA Silhouette Map Art
Spin Painted Noisemakers
Water & Oil Fireworks from Juggling With Kids

freedom collage collages
Freedom Collages
Sponge Painted American Flag
Cupcake Liner Fireworks

uncle sam puppet for 4th of july craft
Uncle Sam Puppet
Wrapping Paper Tube Flag
American Flag Place Mat

4thtreat
American Flag Cupcakes
Confetti Fireworks
Statue Of Liberty Art by Carrots are Orange

4thplay
Fireworks Playdough Play from Fantastic Fun and Learning
Crayon Resist Flag Craft

 

4th of july books

 

After all these crafts you will need some great books to read as well. Check out our 4th of July book list here

Create A Face Sticky Easel Activity

create a face sticky easel activity for preschool

This post was supposed to be about multiple things children could create on a sticky easel but when the first idea – make a face – was such a huge hit with my daughter I knew this would stand alone as a great easel activity. Seeing how she expanded this from a simple easel activity into storytelling and pretend play was a highlight of my week . The benefits to this activity aren’t just the creative ones, there are also language, emotional development, fine motor, and even opportunities to count. Oh and it was really fun too!

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper and collage materials. We used beads, gems,craft sticks,feathers, googly eyes, and grabbed some pipe cleaners mid-way through the activity. While we used an easel with a white board you could simply tape the contact paper to a table or wall if you don’t have an easel, using a regular marker for the outline.create a face activity for kids supplies

Start by attaching your contact paper on the easel sticky side out.sticky easel make a face

Draw the outline of a face. I did ours on the white board but you can draw one right on the contact paper.sticky easel create a face storytelling activity

Set up the collage materials in the paint cup holders.create a face art activity for kids

Time to invite your creative genius to the easel… and sit back and watch.create a face and storytelling for preschool I am amazed at what happened. I expected her to create a face but I wasn’t expecting the level of storytelling that happened in our playroom. She immediately started talking to the face who was also almost four and had lost her mom at the store. This storyline began because she used a craft stick for the mouth which gave the face a sad look and mentioned ( to the easel not me) ” You look sad what’s wrong?” As she continued to add little bits and bobs the story got deeper but she never stopped adding things…create a face easel activity for preschool eventually they were at a store looking for their moms and trying on earrings, make up, and beautiful hats. create a face and encourage languageStill more gems and eyes were being added. Only when they found their moms did the activity end. I sat in our book nook quietly taking photos and enjoying being a spectator to her imagination.create a face easel activity for kids

What she may not have realized is that while she was creating this story she was working on literacy development, practicing empathy, and fine motor skills too.

4th Of July Crafts – Spin Painted Noisemaker

4th of july craft for kids It’s time to get out all the red, white, and blue paint for 4th of July crafts! This craft can easily be adapted to any color so even if you aren’t celebrating Independence day you can make a fun noise maker for your music basket. My daughter absolutely adored making this and even though she created a product the focus of the activity was largely on the process. She experimented with the colors, experimented with where we placed the paint and the direction we spun the salad spinner. Crafts can be about more than the finished product, it’s all in how you do it!

Gather your materials. You will need two small paper plates, some red, blue, and gold paint. We used gold but any glittery pain would work well. You will also need a salad spinner, stapler, and some dry pasta or anything else you want to pop inside. I like bigger pasta because it’s less likely to sneak through the plates and spill. fourth of july spin painting

Start by putting your plate in the spinner and adding paint. You can do all the colors at once or one at a time. Have fun with this and experiment! 4th of july craft spin painted noise makers for kids

Close the lid. Make sure it’s on tight. And spin.  My daughter and I took turns spinning. 4th of july spin painting

Open and be amazed and if you want keep adding more paint to see what you get! 4th of July spin painted craftWe must have done the first plate 8 times. She was in heaven and I was loving how she adjusted where and how much paint she added each time. I could see the gears shifting. spin painted noisemaker craft for 4th of july

When they feel like their design is just right let it dry and grab the second plate. Repeat the process. The novelty had not worn out one bit with the second plate. We did this one five or six times too. This photo is a totally gratuitous one , I just thought it was cute. spinner craft 4th of july

After they are totally dry ( ours took about 12 hours they were so layered with paint)4th of july spin painted tambourine craft add the pasta. 4th of july craft for toddlers

Pop the top on and staple. I stapled it in three places to get a start and then my daughter did the rest. Now you are ready to make noise at the 4th of July parade! 4th of july craft for kids noisemaker

 

 

 

 

4th of july books

Check out our patriotic 4th of July books for kids here!

 

 

Beach Themed Activities

beach activity daycare It’s summer… well it will be in a few days and I am ready to go to the beach! We are heading to the beach later this summer but until then we will have to create our own beach with these beach themed activities.  I have never blogged about it but one of my favorite and simple as can be beach themed activities is to paint shells.

shell crafts for kids

Grab some shells, water colors , paper towels, and paint! After you do that check out the ideas below for more fun.

beach activities

Shell Picture Frame
Paper Plate Sun
Beach Sensory Tub

math games for kids shell memory game
Shell Memory Math Game
Mermaids
Sea Urchin

Shell Sorting
Shell Sorting
Paper Plate Crab
{Safe} Beach Glass Sensory Play

star fish craft
Bubble Wrap Starfish
Sandpaper Sun
Shell Letters

ocean themed crafts
Paper Bag Jellyfish
Beach In A Jar

 

What is your favorite beach activity?