I had to do it! I believe in jumping on experiences to solidify learning, making the learning memorable and giving your child something concrete to attach to it. This letter of the week activity is timely, and my son was excited to open the candy packages , test a few pieces but glue most on. I liked it because it also gets rid of some of the hard candies I am still uncomfortable giving him. Don’t miss the link to another great learning with candy activity from my FamilyEducation.com blog.
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of sturdy construction paper, white glue, candy , scissors and a marker.
- Start by writing a lowercase c ( although this could easily be used for an uppercase craft as well). For letters like c where the letter is similar in both upper and lowercase I try to make the letter small to convey the proper shape to my son. These pictures are close ups but the c actually only took up 1/2 of the page.
- Add your glue. I was told rather forcefully that this was NOT my job, it was his and my job was to take pictures. He’s going to be fun at 14.
- Unwrap your candy.
- Start adding your candy to the glue. Add more glue if necessary.
- Let dry. We did this in the morning and went out and let it dry for a few hours. Between the glue and the sugar dissolving into it it’s strong once it’s dry. Except for Runts- which all resisted gluing ( makes you wonder what’s in them… a lot of wax perhaps?).
- Cut out and glue onto the other page of construction paper.
Harriet’s Halloween Candy by Nancy Carlson is the perfect after Halloween read. Harriet is a puppy who after tick or treating is excited about all her candy. She is also very protective of it and doesn’t want to share it with anyone, especially her little brother Walter who was too little to go out trick or treating. She hoards her candy, sorts it and of course eats it. She also hides it, until she runs out of places for it to go , and decides to try to eat it all. A cautionary tale for young children for sure! My son liked it and he said to me ” Mama I will share my candy with you so I don’t get a tummy ache!” .
Tip about reading holiday books. Kids love to review their experiences with special events like Halloween, going to the pumpkin patch etc… so don’t rush to put away the Halloween books just yet. Now is a perfect time to read them and talk about your child’s experiences. Often times preschoolers will enjoy reading these books even more now , after having the experience to back it up.
Pop over to Craftitivity Corner on FamilyEducation.com to see how we used our Halloween candy to play with the alphabet!
Comet c !
Space the final frontier perhaps but also a subject loved by preschoolers everywhere! I admit I am not sure if it was a book or somewhere else ( which means tv) that my son was introduced to comets but I wanted to jump on the introduction and teach him a little more. I think that is key with early learning, if they show an interest in something run with it, you don’t have to teach them a full unit of study, just don’t ignore the interest and their curiosity will inspire you!
- Gather your materials. You will need some black paper but in a pinch you can do what we did and color a white paper with black crayons ( but I had to go over it a few time to make it dark enough for photos – with my son’s permission , it was his art), some sticky back sparkly foam, white tissue paper streamers, markers, scissors and star stickers.
- Start by writing a lowercase c on the backing of your foam. When I teach lowercase letters that look exactly like their uppercase version , I usually make them smaller and mention it while we are doing the craft casually.
- Cut the c out and set aside.
- If you need to color a white piece of paper use your black crayon and cover as much as you can.
- Add your star stickers. Having your child peel the stickers off is great fine motor, it can be frustrating for little ones so be there to lend a hand but let them do as much as they can.
- Next cut the party streamers. This picture of my son cutting wasn’t what we ended up doing ( he’s just warming up his scissor skills here) but I’m not an octopus and couldn’t take a picture of what we did do! What we did was I held the end of the streamers still and my son using his scissors cut the middle of what I was holding. Then we repeated this a few times. You can pre cut these if your child isn’t ready to use scissors.
- Color the streamers with the markers. Yes he has 3 markers all bunched in his hand, there was no talking him out of this.
- Peel off the backing of the c
- Stick the streamers on to the sticky back to create the comet’s tail. Make sure some of the sticky back is free for sticking onto the black paper.
- Stick it on and slam it down, my son loved smacking it onto the paper.
“Comets” by Melanie Chrismer surprised me. This little book was not only full of facts about comets but it also kept my son’s attention from cover to cover. The facts are simple, and presented in small bits with illustrations . The straightforward approach was perfect to support an introductory activity about comets.
“Stargazers” by Gail Gibbons is a good choice of book to teach about stars, constellations, telescopes and more. My son sat listening to this book and every now and then was engaged but it was a bit lengthy and a little too in depth for him ( he’s almost 3) however the book is great , it explains complicated scientific information in a really accessible way. I even learned a few new things about telescopes! I will be taking this book out of the library again for sure when my son is a little older.
“Our Stars” by Anne Rockwell is another wonderful non fiction book from this author illustrator. The book shares the most basic facts about stars with the reader as well as more complicated facts about constellations, comets and meteors. I love that the facts are shared pretty independently on each page, so if something is above your toddlers head you can simply skip that page, until they are . The illustrations are fun enough to grab attention but detailed enough to help explain the facts being presented