Pegboard Rubbings

kids crafts This activity came about because my son was in trouble and had to clean his room before he was allowed to do anything else! While cleaning his usually Lego littered room we found these melty bead pegboards and I knew immediately what we were going to do with them. These pegboard rubbings are as simple as it gets but actually packed with learning and lessons that focus not only on concrete physical skills but also on patience and caution. For my toddler who loved the feel of the boards and sound of the crayon rubbing over them it was a great sensory activity.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plain paper, melty bead pegboards, crayons and painter’s tape.
  2. Start by occupying your toddler if they are with you , which if yours is like mine they are always with you or on you. I grabbed a basket and threw in some animals. I asked her to take them all out , then put them all back in. It took her just the right amount of time for me and her brother to do the next 3 steps.
  3. Peel the crayons. If you are doing this craft with a child who can’t peel them yet do this before you invite them to create. If they can do it, please make them do at least half. It’s wonderful fine motor development and patience.
  4. Next flip the boards over and add painters tape. This will keep them in place while rubbing. Nothing wrecks learning or creativity than something going haywire like a pegboard sliding out from under paper. This will prevent that.
  5. Add the boards to the table. Explore the texture of them.
  6. Place the paper over the boards and using the side of the crayon rub. My son started with the crayon angled and going way too fast.
  7. Soon he discovered that if he went slowly and made sure that the crayon was horizontal that it worked much better. For a little guy discovering that slow and steady is better than getting done fast and first is a big deal.
  8. Next add more colors if you want.
  9. For my toddler I pulled her onto my lap and we did it together. She was not coordinated enough to hold the paper and rub at the same time. By being on my lap it let me hold the paper tightly and help her with the crayon too.  She loved the sound . kids crafts

 Books About Shapes

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute book that not only helps teach shapes it is also entertaining! The three crafty mice use the shapes to protect themselves from one hungry cat finally using them to make scary mice to frighten the cat away! Kids love to help find which shapes are used in the illustrations and older ones can even anticipate what the mice will make next!

Dinosaur Shapes by Paul Stickland will delight you and your dinosaur fan. The book is geared towards toddlers and young preschoolers who are still mastering finding basic shapes.  A shape is displayed on one side of the page and then those silly dinosaurs are playing with it on the other. My son loves dinosaurs so even though he’s known these shapes for ages it’s an enjoyable book with fun text and adorable illustrations by Henrietta Stickland.

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15 Fine Motor Activities For Kids

fine motor development One of the things I hear from a lot of parents with children entering Kindergarten is that their child can’t write and they are worried about it. First thing is that your child probably can write but not as clearly as you think they ought to . There is a lot of pressure ( on kids and parents) and if your kids are anything like mine practice when they know it’s practice is not only low on the fun scale but it can actually be very discouraging.  Finding a balance between drill and fun is important. These fine motor activities help develop the crucial skills needed for being a successful writer. We also have a great list of worksheet free writing activities to check out.

Pound and Learn Hammering
Dry Erase Mazes
Simple Cereal Bird Feeders
Paint Chip Color Match
Write and Trace Place Mats
Lock & Key
Shell Sorting
Letter Rainbowing
Dry Erase Word Search
Clothes Pin Patterns
Design Your Own Lacing Pattern
Alphabet Glue Tracing
Cereal Bracelets
Playdough Play Toy Prints
Mining For Shapes

Pound & Learn Alphabet – Alphabet For Starters

fine motor and alphabet learningThis simple fine motor and alphabet activity for kids is the 9th post in our Alphabet For Starters series, it’s our series of simple activities to play and introduce the alphabet to little learners.  My son loved this when we did a even simpler version many years ago and still loved it this time. As you will see my daughter liked pushing in the tees a lot more than hammering them and that’s fine.  She played with the letters, got lots of fine motor skill development and most importantly she had fun. Things rarely turn out as you imagined with kids. Roll with it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some Styrofoam, golf tees , a toy hammer , some markers and some painters tape if you are doing it outside to keep it from blowing away.
  2. Start by writing out the letters. Choose a few or a lot.fine motor activity
  3. Add the tees
  4. Time to hammer! She started off interested in the hammer but …hammering fine motor
  5. Soon she was all about pushing them in with her fingers.
  6. And exploring the styrofoam . I think this is what she liked best!
  7. After her brother came home we dug the pushed in tees out , re set them and let him pound away.

Books

Alfie’s ABC by Shirley Hughes is a sweet alphabetic look at a little boy and his family’s life. The illustrations of the cherubic children are what sells this book and my 2 year old loved them. Alfie has a little sister and my daughter immediately proclaimed that the baby sister was her and the brother was her big brother. The letters are presented with both upper and lowercase and are prominent enough that for children unable to sit for all the text to simply thumb through and explore letters.

Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray is a really cute alphabet book and story about a dog and an apple pie. You can imagine what the dog wants to do with the apple pie. The way the author / illustrator weaves an alphabet book out of a simple story about a dog wanting to eat a fresh baked pie is awesome. I really like this book for 4 and 5 year olds because there are some really great words and they can anticipate what is going to happen. My son loved it. The vintage inspired illustrations were my favorite, I wanted to frame each page.

Simple Summer Crafts For Kids – Bird Feeder

kids craftsToday we are starting a new series of Simple Summer Crafts most of these crafts won’t be ground breaking and many will be ones you probably did at summer camp or girl scouts growing up. What we aim to do with this series is  to jog your memory or introduce you to easy crafts for kids that can be done quickly between family vacations ( or on family vacations) , summer camp schedules and picnics. We know you are busy so these are frugal easy crafts that are still fun and educational.

This first craft was made because I found old cereal in the pantry and didn’t want to throw it away, so we made these instead.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some pipe cleaners and cereal with holes in it. kids crafts
  2. I wasn’t expecting my daughter to have the patience but as long as I held the pipe cleaner for her she threaded quite a few on. bird feeder craft
  3. Don’t forget to bend the end so the cereal doesn’t fall off the other end. crafts for kids
  4. What I love about this activity is that they get excited about feeding the birds ( and dude we have a ton around our yard) and they aren’t thinking about all the great fine motor , hand eye coordination and even counting skills they are brushing up on at the same time. Both of the started counting on their own while crafting.kids crafts
  5. Shape and make sure there is enough pipe cleaner on the end to make a hook.kids craft
  6. Head outside and pop them in a tree.kids crafts Can you see my son sitting on his soccer ball waiting for me to play after I take the picture. That is our favorite simple summer activity , front yard soccer!

 

Watermelon Playdough Slicing

fine motor skillsPlaydough is a great fine motor activity without any bells or whistles but adding in small items like buttons, coins or beans is an easy way to make it even better. This playdough watermelon was easy to make and fun to play with and they didn’t even know I was helping them both develop their fine motor skills.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some pink and green playdough as well as some black beans and a plastic knife.fine motor skills
  2. Press the black beans into the pink playdough.
  3. Roll into a ball.
  4. Flatten the green dough and cut into a semi circle. Wrap around the pink on 3 sides.
  5. Slice. My son loved slicing and he could do it well. My daughter ( who had woken from nap to a very excited brother chattering about watermelon) was not as into the slicing from the big watermelon. I think maybe she wanted to do it herself and her “helper” wanted to help. Does this happen at your house too?
  6. She did like cutting the slices into wedges though.
  7. She also liked picking the “seeds” out , which is fabulous for fine motor development. Just watch if they are as little as she is that they get put in a dish not the mouth.