Flower Math Activity

math for kids

We have giant daisies in our backyard and thank goodness we do because all my son has wanted to do for art lately has been firetruck or dirt related. Not that most of my readers can’t appreciate that but it’s nice to squeeze some prettier more genteel themes in with the diggers and sirens. This was fast but substantial and after making it we picked a few daisies and counted their petals too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 4 colors ( white, yellow, green and blue)  of  construction paper ( really you only need one full piece , the others can be scrap) , a marker, glue , scissors and a circle paper punch if you have it.
  2. Start by punching out some yellow circles, for the center of the daisies. My son adored this step and I had to get him some scrap paper to keep going.
  3. Cut some stems from the green paper. You can make leaves too, we just chose not to.
  4. Cut out petals from the white paper.
  5. Ask your child for numbers to put in the middle of the flowers. Alternatively you can write in the numbers you know your child is struggling with , if you do that write a few they are consistently successful with as well. By setting them up for success with some of the numbers you will boost their confidence and they are more likely to take on the challenge of a “trickier” number.
  6. Glue the stems on.
  7. Add glue for the centers.
  8. Add the centers.
  9. Add the petals. I had my son read me the number, then he counted the petals as he added them. Then after he was done we “checked his work” by counting them again.
  10. Let dry.

Song

I’m a little daisy
tall and slim.
Here are my petals and here is my stem.
When the sun comes up and the rain comes down
I grow and grow up from the ground.

Books

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son  has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author

The Gardener

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work.  She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do.  She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and  the general sense of sadness .  In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jennifer Wojtowicz is one of those books that stays with you. Rink is a little boy who’s family is strange, Rink is no exception, with every full moon he sprouts flowers , from his head. At school he is an outsider and only when a new girl comes to school does he make a friend. He reaches out to her because she too is an outsider, not at school, in her own family. In the end the kindred spirits celebrate their uniqueness. This odd romantic story will warm your heart and serves as a great lesson about how we all feel different and like an outsider sometimes. The illustrations by Steve Adams will stun you, they were so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the story. Wonderful!

Paint Chip Flowers

Now that school is out for most of you I have been brainstorming crafts that are a little more challenging but that can be adapted for younger kids as well. This was fun to make and by no means do you or your child have to make flowers, the sky is the limit with these fun vibrant colors. Also you can take this opportunity to talk about shades and hues ! Don’t miss the matching activity after the craft for younger kids either!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint samples, scissors, paper and glue.
  2. Start by deciding what to create, or deciding to make an abstract creation.
  3. I started with some grass and glued it on my paper.
  4. Next I made flower stems and leaves, and added them.
  5. Time for some pretty colors, I chose to make pink and purple flowers.
  6. Cut out the petals and glued them on.
  7. Now was the more creative part – the “extras” I decided to make some clouds with a dusty blue.
  8. Then my favorite a butterfly!
  9. As it dries the glue will stick but the paint samples will pull away some. I personally LOVE this, I like how 3 dimensional it makes the craft. If you don’t like this just pop a piece of wax paper over it and lay a heavy book on top for a few hours.

Paint Color Match

This activity is not just a color match it’s also a wonderful fine motor challenge for toddlers and preschoolers.
Here are the instructions.

Easy Mother’s Day Gift

Mother's Day Gift

One of the most common questions I get asked by readers is ” What do you do with all the art work?!” Which I usually answer back with ” Most gets recycled. ” which is true but with the amount we make I still have a lot that ends up on the fridge. I love using clips like this to hold art work and thought we could make one extra pretty and wrap it up for a great handmade Mother’s Day gift.  Although I would suggest this for 5 and up ( cutting foam is tricky) you could easily have the pieces  pre- cut and have younger children do it successfully too.  So make one of these, have your little Picasso paint a picture and send it off to Grandma for Mother’s Day.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 or more colors of foam sheets, some clothes pins, magnetic tape, scissors, a pen and glue.Mother's Day Gift
  2. Start by drawing your flower. Don’t worry about perfection this  will be the back anyway. Cut out.Mother's Day Gift
  3. Draw some leaves , cut out. Mother's Day Gift
  4. Using the flower shape, trace a larger flower in a different color. Mother's Day Gift
  5. Cut out and a middle of your flower as well. Mother's Day Gift
  6. Layer and glue together on the clothes pin. Let dry. Mother's Day Gift Mother's Day Gift 008
  7. When dry glue the magnet on the other side of the clothes pin.  Mother's Day Gift
  8. Hang your beautiful art work with your beautiful art work ! Mother's Day Gift

Want more Mother’s Day Crafts? Need some Mom themed book recommendations?

Our complete Mother’s Day collection of crafts and book reviews

Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Mother's Day Cupcakes

In the spirit of full disclosure these were actually made for my husband’s office, it’s his birthday today ( yay he’s older than me again) and he needed to take in treats. So I hit two birds with one stone and decided to make them mother’s day themed and make them with my little man. Kids love to help cook and bake and my main tips for a peaceful experience are, expect a mess, don’t worry about perfection and eat a healthy lunch before making them so when the sugar hits their belly it’s not as dramatic! We had fun writing out the letters and making shapes with the candy.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need your favorite cupcake mix and icing or recipes. Also to make the flowers and letter designs some rope licorice, and pink round candies.  Mother's Day Cupcakes
  2. Mix your cake – I have no pictures of this because I had everything laid out in bowls, the oil, water and eggs and my son was so helpful he through them all in. I usually pre crack the eggs into a bowl and let him dump them in when I am making something that egg shells are hard to fish out of.
  3. Bake and cool your cupcakes.
  4. While they cool tear the rope licorice apart into single strands.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  5. Cut into smaller pieces you can make into petals Mother's Day Cupcakes
  6. When cupcakes are cool ice .
  7. Make letters to spell out MOM on one cupcake each or..  put it on a single cupcake.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  8. Make petals ( it’s easier to make them before adding it to the icing ) by pressing the ends tightly together.Mother's Day Cupcakes
  9. Add to the cupcake Mother's Day Cupcakes
  10. Add a candy middle.Mother's Day Cupcakes

Have fun however you make them . Oh and a tip that worked great for us this time. If you have a mini cupcake pan, put a few spoonfuls in that and let your child have a little cupcake before decorating the larger ones.  This totally satisfied my son and made me feel better about how much sugar he consumed.  I also had a mini one ( ok 2)and was able to leave the big ones alone !

Mama Books That Make Me Cry

Here are my top 3 books that require kleenex:

A mama for owen

A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer makes me cry every time I read it, and not just because I am pregnant. It’s a true story about a baby Hippo who lost his mama in the Tsunami that so many other babies both creature  and human did . The story is one about friendship , about adoption and about love. See Owen the little Hippo finds Mzee a big old giant tortoise and even though they are different species, and Mzee is a boy, Owen treats him like his mama.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is perhaps the classic tear jerking picture book. I read this for years and years to children and had no problem getting choked up, it never bothered me, then I gave birth and I can’t read it without sobbing. The premise is simple, a mom sings this simple song to her son as he grows ” I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as you’re living , my baby you’ll be.” until she can’t sing it anymore and it’s his turn. For days after I read this I tear up as I lay my son in bed. * Edited to add that many readers have commented that they do not like this book at all! What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us!


Hair for Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham is beautiful. The story is about a little boy who is desperate to find some hair for his mama who has lost hers to chemotherapy. Marcus wants mama to be in the family photo but she doesn’t want to be the way she looks. His mission comes to a climax when he shaves off all his own hair hoping to give it to his mama. When the barber sweeps it up with the other hair on the floor Marcus is heart broken and goes home in tears. I was sobbing reading this, I knew it was a story about a mom having cancer but the way the author wrote it , it was magical. The complex emotions this little boy felt for his mom and she for him, jumped off the page and you can’t help but cry. I wasn’t sad ,I was touched by the love and desire to fix his mom and make everything better, and his parents tenderness to his feelings. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I should note that this is not a book for toddlers, I would probably wait until a child is 4-5 before reading them this gem.

Frugal Flower Craft

Pool Noodle Garland

This pool noodle garland  is not a preschool craft , but younger children could easily thread the ribbon through the middle of the flower instead !  Either way this frugal craft is a great way to decorate for spring for only $3 which is exactly what I spent on the materials. Hope your Friday is frugal and fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 or more colors of pool noodles ( check to see what shape the are on the ends), some ribbon, a bread knife and scissors. I also used a dry paint brush as a “needle”. Pool noodle garland
  2. Start by slicing your noodle into sections with your bread knife. Pool Noodle Garland
  3. Cut your ribbon to the length you want and make a large knot. Pool Noodle Craft
  4. Next using sharp scissors make a hole through one of the petals. Pool Noodle Craft
  5. Push your ribbon through the hole – using the end of a paintbrush, or chopstick. Pool noodle craft
  6. Alter colors to make a pattern. Pool Noodle Craft
  7. Pin up and enjoy flowers inside for as long as you want!

Book

The Gardener

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work.  She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do.  She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and  the general sense of sadness .  In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.