Fall Tree Color Matching and Sorting

fall leaves color matching activityChildren are natural sorters. Sorting things helps them makes sense of things and you have probably noticed your child sorting things like toys, crayons, and blocks. This activity adds a little novelty to sorting by using a contact paper sticky wall and color recognition too. What I love about activities like this is that as simple as they are they promote so many types of learning like counting, comparing sizes and even exploring textures all without direct instruction from an adult. Here is how we did it.

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, something to attach it to the wall ( I used thumbtacks but painter’s tape works better), felt leaves in various colors ( you could use paper too), scissors and brown paper. fall leaves color matching for preschool

Start by attaching the contact paper with the sticky side out onto your wall.fall leaves sticky wall

Next make the three trees. I started making the first solo and my daughter stepped in to make the other two. I don’t know why I didn’t ask her to help from the get go. She was so into it !fall leaves color matching mural

Place the felt leaves in a tray or box and set them up within easy reach. I added a dot of color on each tree but that’s optional. You could also just add one leaf to each for a prompt if need be. Do not give  kids any prompts if they don’t need them. fall color matching

Sort! You may notice that my little helper is in a new outfit. After we made the activity she wasn’t ready for it and instead wanted to play with a sensory bin I’d been constructing. Then we read… eventually we got back to this after getting dressed for the day. I know it’s exciting when you set up a project but if your child isn’t into it don’t push. Leave it set up and they will go check it out , enjoy it more and most importantly learn more because they are interested and not forced. fall leaf sorting and color matching

Additional ideas :

  • Use shapes instead of felt leaves
  • Use word families
  • Use numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick & Easy Pompom Play

pompom sticky window boredom buster for kidsWe have a lot of pompoms which isn’t a bad thing because we like them. We use them for crafts like this octopus , we use them for apples trees and the letter c. Today though I want to share an activity with no agenda at all. There is no final product, no right or wrong way to do it it’s just about exploration. You child can explore textures, sizes , colors and even basic physics. Most of all they will be having fun. My daughter loved this and didn’t just explore with her hands,  you will see she got her whole body into it.

Gather your materials. You will need some pompoms ( you don’t need a vat of them like I have a handful will be fine too), some contact paper, painter’s tape, scissors, and a curious child.

quick pom pom play for kids

Start by hanging up your contact paper sticky side out on a window or wall. Secure it in place with painter’s tape. quick pompom boredom buster for kids

Pop some pompoms in a container and invite your child to explore. She started just adding the pompoms but when she added a really large one that was too heavy to stay on she noticed it left a residue of fluff. pompomstickywall

So she started stamping the contact paper with the pompoms to leave fluff. quick pompom activity for preschoolers

Next she dug out the smallest pompoms and added them giving her fine motor skills an even greater challenge. quick pompom activity for kids fine motor

Finally she decided to see what the pompoms felt like to sit in and sat in the bucket while continuing to add them to the sticky window. quick activity for pompoms

We kept this up for a while and have redone it since. It’s easy peasy and as long as you don’t find the inevitable spill or two of colorful pompoms it’s a lot of fun.

What’s your favorite way to use pompoms?

G

10 Mural Projects For Kids

10 mural projects for kidsMaking a mural is a great opportunity for learning, especially cooperative learning. When I was teaching PreK I had a very spirited class and although I made many missteps as a new teacher one thing I did well was to encourage cooperative art projects when bad behaviors started popping up. Murals aren’t only great for making kids work together they are also wonderful for long term projects, getting up from the table to learn and encouraging kids to use proper hand form for writing while writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Each of these mural projects have other more specific learning goals like shape recognition, counting and fine motor skills but the emphasis is always on fun.

Spring Garden Mural
Math Around The House Mural
Flower Petal Sticky Wall
Heart Rainbow Mural
Letter Flowers Sticky Wall
Jar Lid Match Mural
Peel & Pick Apple Tree
Alphabet Wall Mural
Ocean Shapes Mural
Christmas Tree Sticky Wall

Alphabet Activity – Flower Garden

by Allison McDonald alphabet activityWe have been doing so many playdough and other sensory activities lately that it was about time to get back to a simple and playful alphabet activity. This alphabet activity is part of our Alphabet For Starters series. This series is all about playing with letters, discovering them without pressure. This alphabet garden is super simple but can be made more challenging with a few simple changes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper ( rumor has it that the dollar store is carrying it now! ), some green construction paper, multi-color construction paper, scissor and a marker or two.letter flower garden
  2. Attach the contact paper to the wall sticky side out. She loves to “get stuck” on the wall . letter flower mural
  3. Next step is making some grass. Fold your green paper, and cut.letter garden grass
  4. Next cut some stems and flowers. I did tulips because they are easy to free hand cut.letter garden alphabet activity for toddlers
  5. Add letters to your flowers. Now here is where you can easily customize this activity. For my daughter I did plain old lowercase letters. You can do upper or a mix or write letters on the stems and have it turn into a match game.letter flowers for alphabet activities
  6. Set the pieces out and let your kiddo explore.letter flowers
  7. My daughter loves flowers and she got right into it. alphabet letter activityWe talked about the letters, the colors of the flowers and how the stems are different lengths. Don’t pressure young kids to do every letter. My daughter put a handful on while we played the first time and then I left it all set up and a few days letter she returned and added a few more. I will leave it up for a few more days and I am sure she will keep adding a few every day.letter flower alphabet The whole point is to play and discover letters. As she adds the letters to the wall she naturally says ” Look this is A,  it’s your letter Mama!” and we talk about it .flower letters for toddlers

If you are looking for a more traditional letter of the week approach we have many letter of the week ideas here. My son loved cutting and pasting so we made fun letter crafts when he was learning his letters. Find what works best for your child, what they enjoy and don’t forget to have fun!

 

Sticky Window Flower Garden

by Allison McDonald
Sticky Window Flower Garden for Toddlers

Like many of my activities this sticky window was spur of the moment. I was trying to get ready for our family trip to Texas and my 2 year old had already watched more TV than I care to admit. We needed an easy and fun activity . This was perfect. I had a bouquet of flowers that I was going to have to throw away before we left anyway so it was even better that we could use it for this. If you don’t have a bouquet of wilting flowers on hand you can use leaves, grass clippings, pine cones, etc… Go on a nature walk and see what will stick!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape, scissors and flowers or other bits of nature.  I used markers to make some stems and the start of the mural but it was totally NOT needed. I wish I had not done this. The flowers and sticky window is enough.  I would have put up another sheet of contact paper but it’s expensive and my daughter was waiting. sticky window flower garden for toddlers 2
  2. Tape the contact paper on the window. The way I do this is to peel a little bit back and tape the top. sticky windowThe sticky side is facing YOU.  The carefully peel the backing off. Tape all the other sides down with the painter’s tape. sticky wall 2
  3. Prep the flowers in a bowl or container for your child.  My daughter loved just playing with the flowers , pulling them apart and investigating. I loved watching her. sticky wall flower activity for toddlers
  4. Stick the flowers on. sticky window garden craft for kids She was totally into this flower sticky walland  it was such  pretty addition to our kitchen. sticky window 33