Letter of The Week

Carrot C

Letter C craft

I am always trying to find activities that can be part of a holiday we celebrate but aren’t so targeted that readers who do not celebrate it can’t use it either today or another time in the year. So this Letter C craft was born, carrots can be part of a unit on gardening, healthy eating or for us something we make in preparation for the Easter bunny.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( paper will do but cardboard just makes it more substantial), a marker, a small dish, scissors,  3 or more green pipe cleaners, a sponge, hole punch,  orange paint,  a sheet of construction paper and glue  if you are going to display it.  Ours is resting on the blue paper in the picture but we didn’t glue it on, it’s part of our Easter craft mish mash on our table! Letter C craft
  2. Start by writing a C on the cardboard, I tried to make mine thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom to make it resemble a carrot. Letter C craft
  3. Pour some orange paint into a dish. Letter C craft
  4. Paint! My son loves this glass sponge and how it paints. I love that the sponges make the paint go thinner which makes it dry faster. Letter C craft
  5. Let it dry, cut out. Letter C craft
  6. Punch 3 holes in the top. My son was able to do this with help, the cardboard was too thick for his hand strength to do it alone. Letter C craft
  7. Chase your son around the kitchen when he runs off with the pipe cleaners pretending to conduct an orchestra. Try to decide if it’s brilliant or if you are just too tired and frustrated ( and pregnant) to indulge him when he says” No mama you need to play the Bassoon, I’ll be the trombone!” give in for a bit then consider bribing him with Easter candy just as he decides to come back on his own. Thread the pipe cleaners through the holes. Letter C craft
  8. Twist together. Letter C craft
  9. If you are gluing to the paper add glue to the back of the carrot , press onto the paper and let dry. Letter C craft

Want even more letter of the week crafts?
Check out my eBook Alphabet Crafts , it’s filled with letter of the week crafts from A-Z including 5 exclusive never before seen crafts !

Books

Coco The Carrot

Coco The Carrot by Steven Salerno is an absurd tale of adventure, and I loved it. Coco is a carrot who dreams of a life larger than the vegetable drawer . She dreams big and goes for it. Unlike most carrots that end up in stew she becomes a famous hat designer and is the toast of Paris with her Monkey companion Anton. If you are scratching your head but oddly intrigued you will like this book. It was long but my son sat with me giggling and telling me ” Carrots can’t do that?!” more than once. I loved it because it is so absurd that she is a carrot, but the story itself is about going for your dreams, hitting bumps in the road and realizing that your dreams shift and change and that’s ok.  There is great bits of humor for the adults as well, something I always appreciate!

A Very Big Bunny

A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo is a nice book about 2 bunnies that don’t fit in at school.  This book opened a good dialogue between my son and I as we were reading about how both the tallest and the shortest bunny in the class got picked on.  The students in their class were mean but not purposefully bullying, they excluded these bunnies because they simply didn’t fit. The part that hit me the most was when the teacher lined the kids up by height, and Amelia the tall bunny was always last. It just made me think of how adults so often single kids out without trying to be terrible, but really hurting them. All that aside, the book itself comes to a nice conclusion and I think it’s worth grabbing for any child tall or short!

carrot_soup

Carrot Soup by John Segal is a cute book about planting a garden, in this case carrots, tending it and then reaping the rewards…. or maybe not. Rabbit carefully planned out his garden, took care of it but when it was time to gather all the carrots they were all gone!  Throughout the pages there are hints to where the carrots might be, your child will likely figure it out before Rabbit does. My son liked this book and I loved reading it with him as he was rather exasperated that the Rabbit couldn’t figure out the mystery!

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Collage Carrot
Caterpillar C
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Paint and Eat Easter Waffles

Painting on toast and even rice cakes have been featured on two of my favorite blogs Make and Takes and Mom Tried It but I had never tried the fun craft until today. My son only wants one thing for breakfast these days, waffles. When I was looking at them today I thought, I wonder if I could paint on them too?  Oh and if I used a cookie cutter they could be Easter eggs! It was such a hit we used up all our waffles.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some food coloring, milk, a paint brush, waffles ( lightly toasted), and an Easter egg cookie cutter. Painted Easter Waffles
  2. Mix your food coloring with a splash of milk, you don’t need much!Painted Easter Waffles
  3. Cut the waffle into the shape of the egg. Painted Easter Waffles
  4. Start painting.  Painted Easter Waffles
  5. I made stripes. My son was more free form. Painted Easter Waffles
  6. Toast and serve!
  7. Eat.Painted Easter Waffles
  8. I have to show you what a hit this was, after he ate the first two he made a third – and ate it too.  My kid doesn’t eat that much, this was a feast for him! Painted Easter Waffles

Egg Books

The Golden Egg

The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown is one of those books I have clear memories of from childhood. Thing is I don’t really remember the story so much as the cover. In this case it’s ok to judge a book by it’s cover because although the ending has always seemed tacked on to me I enjoyed this simple and cute book about a bunny and the egg that he finds. My son liked it too, although he was much more into the illustrations of butterflies in the first and last few pages.

First The Egg

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is the perfect book to introduce life cycles to young kids. It doesn’t go into great detail, but it doesn’t have to it is perfectly effective just the way it is. Each page shows one stage like a seed and the following the result of a flower. My son loved this book and I think older children would too, it’s simple but isn’t infantile. I think the Easter bunny may be bringing this to our house for keeps in a few weeks!

Homemade Kids Meal

Home Made Kids Meal

I don’t plan out my posts much more than a scrap paper or notebook page of brainstorms. This post was not planned at all. My son was under the weather and wouldn’t eat. I knew he needed to eat lunch and when I asked ” If you could have anything what would you eat?” his answer was “A Happy Meal” . I was not taking him to McDonald’s every time he is sick! . So instead we made one at home. Huge , huge success !  He was sick and not at all into doing anything but this would be a fun parent and child activity. I am sure this is a healthier option ( not by much… but it is organic) more importantly it’s a treat at home!

  1. Gather your ingredients and materials. You will need a paper bag, some markers, foil, containers, straw..whatever you need to package your food. Don’t forget a toy or prize as well! We played restaurant as well so I grabbed some money and a tray to complete the pretend play. Home Made Kids Meal
  2. Start by decorating the bag – I wish my son was feeling well enough to do it but instead he told me to make one with fish. Home Made Kids Meal
  3. Make your food! We made apple slices, chicken nuggets, ranch dip , and milk. Home Made Kids Meal
  4. Pack your meal up and don’t forget the prize,  I popped some Olympic stickers in for him. Home Made Kids Meal
  5. Take their order and their money! Home Made Kids Meal
  6. Dig in! Home Made Kids Meal
  7. He cleaned his plate and loved the stickers. Home Made Kids Meal

Books

Dinner At The Panda Palace

Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson is a great book. I grabbed it only because of the title but found a gem. My son and I both loved it and had a blast reading it. The story is about a restaurant and the people , or rather animals that come into the restaurant in ever enlarging groups. The text is rhyming and well written. My son loved counting each group that came in figuring out after a few that each group was one animal larger. It was a great opportunity to practice one to one correspondence as he counted one each page.  There was also a great message about there always being room for one more when all the chairs were taken and a mouse came knocking wondering if he could eat too!How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jan Yolen is a book all about eating in the popular and well loved series of dinosaur books . My son loves these books, he likes that the dinosaurs always misbehave in such over the top ways before the reality of how they really behave, well mannered , listening to their parents and eating all thier food. What I like about this is that kids relate to the dinosaurs and I have never had one question why the parents are human. I like that children are encouraged to sit still and say please and thank you. What I don’t like is that the dinosaurs are encouraged to clean their plate, never drop anything and try everything put before them. I know some parents will love these rules but for our house it doesn’t work, we don’t encourage plate cleaning or force bites. The book still served a purpose, as my son said loudly ” I’m a boy I don’t have to eat everything, right?” and we had a good talk about eating.

Acorn Craft

Cereal Acorn!

Acorn Craft

I bought these oats to make a hearty breakfast for my son before preschool, somehow they ended up as a craft before I ever made him breakfast!  I love exploring textures and using unusual materials for art. We don’t have a lot of oak trees around here but I know lawns all over are filling up with them as the colder days of fall are upon us. This craft is easy but takes a long time to dry , so find a sunny window sill to sit it on for a day before shaking off the extra.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( we used a brown grocery bag) , glue, oats, chocolate cereal, brown marker, and scissors.Acorn Craft
  2. Start by drawing an acorn on the paper bag.Acorn Craft
  3. Have your child color this if they want.  Even though we are covering it with glue I like doing this step so that if they only add a little of the cereal it’s still decorated.Acorn Craft
  4. Add your glue- you will need a ton so now is a great time to let your little one loose with the glue.  If you end up with huge puddles just spread them around.Acorn craft
  5. Add the oats. We just poured, my floor survived amazingly.Acorn Craft
  6. Add the chocolate cereal.Acorn Craft
  7. Eat a few….Acorn Craft
  8. Gently shake off the excess. Tip if you use a flexible plastic place mat you can gently shake a little off and then fold and  pour into bowl, garbage , where ever! Acorn Craft
  9. Let dry… for a long long time…. about 12 hours.
  10. Cut out when dry.Acorn Craft

Books

A Friend For All Seasons

A Friend for all Seasons by Julia Hubery is a gem! The book explains the change of seasons in a fun and easy to understand way for young children. Readers follow along with Robbie Raccoon as he notices the changes that are happening around his home, a big oak tree.  My favorite part of this book was when Robbie and a few woodland friends notice that the tree’s leaves are falling and they assume he is crying, so they give him a hug. I loved that! Robbie’s mama raccoon explains the changes and before they go to sleep for a long time during winter’s dark days, they plant 5 acorns . This was a fun part of the book because I had my son predict what would happen. I liked that it gives parents an opportunity to extend this into a science lesson about seeds, and a oak tree’s life cycle. Sure enough when Spring comes there are tiny baby oaks waiting for Robbie when he awakens. I loved this book and would recomend it happily!

When_Autumn_Falls

When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey is a stunning book, the illustrations which are painted paper collages, by Susan Swan are so richly colored you will want more after turning the last page. The text is clever as well. Readers will discover that fall is well named not just because of falling leaves, but also pumpkins falling from the vines, temperatures falling, seeds falling from their leaves and even football players falling! The text is the perfect length for toddlers but not too short for preschoolers too.  Cute book for this time of year.

Apple Cider Making Days

Apple Cider Making Days by Ann Purnell kinda surprised me, I don’t know what I was expecting but I loved this book. My son was sold on the tractor in it but I really liked how simply the author explained the whole process of making apple cider.  From picking the apples on Grandpa’s farm to sorting out the good ones to sell and the bad ones to press, to selling it it covers the details without being too much for a young child to process.  I loved that the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins and more helped , seeing a family work side by side is heartwarming. My son loved the tractor but also the conveyor belt that took the apples to press! The illustrations by Joanne Friar  set the happy autumn tone for the book and I particularly liked the small details like the pumpkins and squash for sale at the farm.  No bad reviews today- all three books are worth a look !

Four Food Groups Made Easy

Today’s post was written by  Rebecca from A Little Bit Of Momsense
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Fun with Food

all4

By creating a chart with the four food groups, I was able to highlight the difference between the food my toddler was eating and why it’s important to select food from different boxes. This activity was done over a couple week period. I focused on one food group each week, did the activity, talked about it, mentioned it at dinner etc.

Directions: Using Bristol board, divide with marker into four squares (I also left a small space at the bottom to discuss treats at a later time if I choose) Then, select which square to fill and activity to do.

Vegetables and Fruitveggies

This was the easiest group for him to understand. The first activity we did was a fruit bowl (see the purple thing in the square!). We talked about his favourite fruits and as he named them, I cut them out of felt. He glued them onto the ‘bowl’ made of construction paper.What was great at the end, is that there was a variety of colour in his choices. We were able to talk about this as well. For vegetables, we did the activity from a preschool website here: Vegetable Basket //www.first-school.ws/activities/nutrition/veggiebasket1.htm and a Mr. Broccoli Head using this template: http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/mbigboybroccoli.html

DairyDiary


Using the weekly grocery store flyer, look through it with your child and have him point out dairy products. Some they’ll recognize based on what’s in the fridge, others they’ll need help with. Cut out pictures and glue onto construction paper.

Grains
grains

By far, this was the most fun activity because of the mess. I gathered all the grains I had in the cupboard (rice, couscous, oatmeal, flour, pasta etc) and put them in a container (I used an egg carton)Next, my son painted glue on a piece of cardboard (used a cereal box!)

glue

Then, he added bits of the grains onto the glue.grainmaking This got messy but it was fun! Let dry. Shake excess grains before adding to your board!


Meats and Meat Alternatives


meat

I didn’t want to focus on the meat part of this activity – he doesn’t eat a lot of it, and I didn’t want pictures of cows and pigs on the board!

Instead, I went through the cupboard and fridge and found examples of meat and meat alternatives: Peanut Butter, canned Salmon, Beans, eggs (using an old egg carton) – and I drew a fish and chicken leg!

He identified the foods, and we took the labels off if necessary and glued everything to the square.

Finally, to finish off the activity we talked about cookies being a treat and ‘sometimes’ food and read a book about Cookie Monster and cookies!

Have fun and encourage your child to talk about what they like about certain foods, their favourite things to eat etc.