Puffy Paint Moon Craft


space craft for kids

I used to do cloud paintings with this easy mix yourself puffy paint, but it struck me while reading one of the books below that it would make a great moon surface! It’s a perfect space craft for kids. The paint dries puffy and looks like the uneven surface of the moon. All of that though is secondary to how much fun my son had, I was planning on posting this next week but couldn’t wait!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some strong paper ( I am using craft paper but a cereal box or paper grocery bag would do), shaving cream, white glue, a marker and scissors. My son asked for crayons to color his moon first so I obliged.
  2. Start by drawing a “Big round moon” or any phase your child wants.
  3. If you want start by coloring it with crayons.
  4. Time to mix the paint. You will need 1/2 cup of glue and 1 1/2 cups of shaving cream.
  5. Mix !
  6. Now explore. My son kept saying “Goopy mama, goopy hands!”
  7. Spread and explore it more on the paper.
  8. Let dry- I let it dry for 4 hours and the thicker parts were still goopy in the middle. I’d let it dry overnight to make sure.
  9. Cut out your moon !
Books!

“The Moon Might Be Milk” by Lisa Shulman was the inspiration for our activity. The book follows a little girl and her animal friends as they all share their opinions of what the moon is made out of. While reading this today with my son he kept saying “No no not milk, shaving cream!” The story has a cute ending and I like how no opinion is made fun of or wrong. When I asked my son what he liked about the book “The cat”. There youhave it, a cute book about a moon but the cat stole the show.
“Night Goes By” by Kate Spohn is a book that explains how the sun goes down and the moon comes out and the cycle continues. The sun , moon and a star are all very cheery and enjoy their lots in life. The star and moon play all night! The book is simple and while I wasn’t too into it, my son really liked it. I would suggest it for toddlers and young preschoolers.


” The Moon” by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tracy Campbell Pearson is a beautiful book. The poem was written in the 19th century but my two year old loved it paired with these stunning and warm illustrations of a family’s adventures at night. I really am so impressed with how well the words were put to life by the pictures, and my son loved it. It’s inspired me to find more classical literature and poetry to share with my son.


Moon Rock
Pick Up !

This is a fun fine motor activity that my son was all over. All you need are some mini marshmallows, a toothpick and 2 containers. Yes he ate many of the marshmallows but not all. He thought the toothpicks were very cool and when he was done transferring them we counted the “survivors”.

Necklace Craft

 mother's day craft for kidsWe had so much fun making this necklace, I really thought my son would lace a few shapes and proclaim he was done but he did every single one ! I helped him get the hang of lacing but in true 2 year old fashion he wanted no help after a few times. This can and should be made into a patterning lesson for children ready for that challenge.Fine motor skills , shape recognition and hand eye coordination all get a great workout while your little one makes something for someone special.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some foam sheets, scissors, a hole punch, and a large shoe lace. Shoe laces have a nice hard tip which makes lacing possible. Smaller shoe laces will work but the beads will pool at the bottom so don’t forget to tie a knot.
  2. Cut out different shapes from the foam. I asked my son which shapes he wanted and cut a handful of each.
  3. Time to punch holes. I did this but let my son explore with the hole punch and try before moving on to the next step. He was trying so hard I never got a still shot.
  4. Start lacing! With this over sized lace you don’t need a know at the end, but skinny laces will.
  5. Celebrate when they get a shape on, ask what shape and color it is.
  6. Tie a bow
  7. Wear it proudly moms!

 

Spring Fling Day 2 ! Color Match!

Chip it Clip it !

Months ago I saw a similar project over at Teaching Tiny Tots and made a mental note to try it, my son’s fine motor skills were good but not quite ready yet, the other day he was making a clothes pin bite things and I knew it was time! Here is how we did it.

  1. Gather your materials. I used 2 of each color paint chip ( 8 in all) , 4 clothes pins, 1 strip of cardboard ( side of a cereal box) and some double stick tape. I am far too impatient for glue.
  2. Cut your paint chips to fit onto the cardboard.
  3. Tape them down well.
  4. Using the 2nd paint chip cut a small strips to go on the top of the clothes pins.
  5. Tape them down.
  6. Start playing !

Books

“The Colors of Us” by Karen Katz . You may know Karen Katz from her very popular board books, but she has written a number of great picture books too! Lena is learning about mixing colors with her artist mom when she announces that “brown is brown” her mom knows better though. On a walk around her neighborhood she sees that all the people she knows are all different and all beautiful shades of brown. What I like about this book is that it recognizes that we are all different, kids , especially little ones can be really confused when we tell them “We are all the same” they don’t understand what we mean because they can SEE that we aren’t. This book celebrates the diversity while also celebrating the beauty of each color of us.


“Brown Bear Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a classic, it is genius in it’s simplicity. So often we think things have to have fancy bells and whistles to keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and this book proves us wrong yet again. I haven’t met a child who hasn’t responded well to this book about colors and animals!

“Lemons Are Not Red” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a clever book each page offers a sneak peek at what it next, which my son thought was genius and I have to agree. Soon my son was making his own predictions about what object would be revealed when we turned the page. The book offered so many chances for me to step in and ask my son questions about what we were reading without stalling the momentum of the book.

Fine Motor Friday

Mini Mural !


When I was teaching Pre-Kindergarten we often did murals for two reasons, the first being cooperation, the second for the benefits that working on a vertical surface offers. Fine motor development is crucial for learning how to write. We often take our hand ,wrists and arm muscles for granted because we use them for so much but young children are still developing and strengthening theirs, this is a great exercise for them.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, crayons ( you’ll want washable) , and some stickers.
  2. Pin or tape the paper on your wall our child’s eye height. Painter’s tape is perfect for this, because it also gives your child a boundary to know not to color past. I keep forgetting to buy more!
  3. Start with the crayons.
  4. Next offer up some stickers. When they are peeling off the stickers they are also working out the muscles in their fingers, Use larger ones for beginners and smaller ones as they master the skill. My son worked on his mural on and off for an hour and a half, lots of practice with very little prep!
* I know that writing on the wall seems scary but the same way that your child learns not to draw on the table, they will figure out that the crayon is only supposed to touch the paper. A less scary thing to try is to use your magna doodle on the wall , or a felt board is great too*

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.