Squeeze Painting Hot Dog Craft

hot dog squeeze painting

I am not a big meat eater, but somehow my son is a huge carnivore. He has recently discovered hot dogs and I feel like it may be the end of healthy eating as I once knew it. That or I’ll go broke buying the organic nitrate free ones! Either way I explained we were taking a break from eating hot dogs but that we could make one for art time today. Here is what we did! Squeezing the paint is great for hand strength which is a building block for handwriting.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a brown paper grocery bag ( or other paper) , a brown or black marker, some glue, red and yellow paint, scissors and ketchup and mustard containers. You could use real ones but the beauty of these are that they are solid , washable and kids can’t see that there is only a tiny bit of paint in them. Since there is so little the mess will be manageable.
  2. Pour the red paint into the ketchup bottle and yellow into the mustard. I thinned it out a little.
  3. Cut off a large piece from your grocery bag, and draw a bun and a sausage.
  4. Cut them apart.
  5. Glue the sausage to the bun.
  6. Add your condiments. Ignore my impromptu strap in the picture!
  7. Let dry and cut out.

Song


I’m a little hot dog
here’s my bun
Put me on the grill
until I’m doneAdd some mustard
and ketchup
take a big bite
and gobble me up!Book

“Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs” by Judi and Ron Barrett has long been a favorite. This book has a special place in my heart that also houses Corduroy and Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day! This book will take you to another dimension in the way that is usually reserved for longer books or movies. In just a few pages you will dive into the land of Chewandswallow and it’s magical weather. See Chewandswallow is a place where the food falls from the sky. Instead of rain or snow they get hot dogs and a drizzle of soda, or peas and carrots! Things started going wrong in Chewandswallow though and the weather went nuts! I love asking children what food they wished fell from the sky and why after reading this book. Kids love this story and I was thrilled to see a poster for it at the movie theater, they have made a film and it will be released this fall.

Spray Painting!

Outside Art!

Small spray bottles are a great water toy, I picked these up for 99 cents each and they are perfect. For days we’ve been having a heat wave, and have been playing with these in between running through the sprinkler and blowing bubbles. Today we added some paint and had a blast.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper, some small spray bottles, liquid washable paint and masking tape.
  2. Pour some paint into the spray bottles , add water and shake. You will want to use dark colors, because the water dilutes it .
  3. Tape your paper to your fence.
  4. Start spraying! Your child will have fun but is also giving their pincer grasp a great workout. We had fun spraying it up close , and far away. Older kids can try to make a picture or have fun watching the drips like we did.

Nature Color Hunt

This is so simple to make, and can be used over and over again. Learning colors in a book or while using paints isn’t bad, but when you are able to go outside and find colors in the natural world there is a spark! I was overjoyed to see my son yell “Look mama flower is yellow”. I love bridging learning from inside to outside and incorporating all different ways to learn into one activity.

  1. Gather your materials. We used a baby food freezer tray but an ice cube tray, or egg carton among other things would work well. Also scissors and a color of foam ( can you tell I bought a big thing of foam a few weeks ago?) or construction paper for each section. A backyard, beach, park…
  2. Cut your foam/paper into pieces small enough to line the bottom of the tray/carton. For younger kids choose colors that you kn0w they have a chance of finding a match. You don’t want it to be too easy , but too much of a challenge just frustrates everyone. If a child is frustrated they won’t learn, our goal is to challenge and learn!
  3. Head outside – my son couldn’t wait to get outside so as you can see he’s as per usual in his pjs!
  4. Start finding things to match. Start off by choosing a color with your child and both go looking, if they have a hard time finding a match find one, and go to it but don’t announce you have found it. Say something like “Hey Bug I think there is a match over here, can you find it” narrow down the are for them, if they still can’t pick up the object and have them match it in the tray.
  5. Continue working together or if they want to work all alone, watch your child explore and make connections, that is exciting and fun too!
  6. After you have made all your matches, talk about what you have found- how it feels what it does ( rock lines a path for us to walk on, a flower provides pollen for bees etc…).

Books!

These books aren’t related to the activity at all, they are just some books that caught my eye at the library and I was eager to share!

“19 Girls And Me” by Darcy Pattison fell short of my expectations which I admit were high. The overall message was great, that boys and girls don’t need to be labeled “tomboys” or “sissies” just friends. The adventures the kids get into are great too. What I didn’t like was that every adventure was suggested by the lone boy. Why couldn’t he take the backseat? There were 19 girls you’d think one of them would have a suggestion. In the author’s defense the girls did suggest things part way through each adventure but I resented that he was always the ring leader.

“Scaredy Squirrel : at the beach” by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.

“Bernard : The Angry Rooster” by Mary Wormell was a huge disappointment to me. Bernard is proud and when a rooster weather vane is put up on the roof of the barn he is jealous and takes out his anger on everyone he encounters. Here is my issue with this book.I like that the author is writing about anger, I think it’s essential we talk about that with toddlers and kids. What made me feel disappointed was that although people ask him why he is angry , and an adult can see through the illustrations that the weather vane is being put up and he is looking at it, it’s not obvious to a child. I had to really look to notice it. No one takes Bernard on saying his behavior is not acceptable or demands he explain why he hurt others. I want to label and recognize my child’s anger but it alone is not an excuse of bad behavior and that was the feeling I was left with after reading this book. My son just kept saying “Mean rooster!” I explained he was jealous and angry but I wish the book had explained it more as well.

Five Senses: Sound Safari

five senses activity sound
I had no clue how well this sound safari would work with my 23 month old, I have done it with 3- 5 year olds in the past but never with toddlers. It was a huge hit. He understood the chart and that we were listening to for the things listed and got very excited to earn each star. We chose to go for a walk in our neighborhood but you can do this inside or in your backyard as well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, plain paper, markers, a ruler, scissors, stickers and glue or double stick tape.sound map edit
  2. Make a simple chart , one space for the sound you are searching for and a small box for a sticker or a check mark.
  3. Add things you hear often around your neighborhood or where ever you will be listening. We did sirens, dogs barking, birds, cars, etc…sound
  4. Tape or glue the paper on the construction paper and head off on your walk.
  5. I gave the chart to my son and told him we were looking for all those sounds, we talked about hearing things, and although he was quite convinced we hear with our eyes, he still got it.sound activity for kids
  6. I helped start things off my closing the garage door and asking him what he heard. when he said the garage door , I asked him to look on his chart to see if that was on it. When it was we got a sticker and put it in the box.sound safari

The next up was our neighbor’s barking dogs! sound lesson for kidsThen birds… we were only a few hundred feet from our door and we already had half the items on our safari.As we kept walking we found more and my son pointed out ones we didn’t have like the lawnmowers the gardeners were using. That tickled me because that was the point of this whole exercise to learn about using our ears to hear and identify sounds. These were our final safari findings:

sound safari for toddlers

X marks the spot

Naptime Creation
Treasure Map!

This easy peasy treasure map is so much more than a craft, it is a tool for learning and endless fun. Although I have this listed as a naptime creation younger preschoolers could do this with a lot of adult help, but kids of all ages will enjoy the games played withthe maps once they are made.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, permanent markers ( see why it’s not a toddler activity?), used coffee grinds in the filter, and some ribbon.
  2. Using permanent markers draw a treasure map. I like to use things in my backyard as the “stops” in the map. I have our trees, a basket ball and blocks – you don not have to use real things. However for the activity below using real things will make it easier.
  3. Taking out most of the coffee grinds rub the outside of the filter all over your map to make it look old and dirty! Let dry. You can also use tea but it takes much longer and we all know how much kids love to wait.
  4. Randomly rip the edges to make the map look more authentic!
  5. Roll up and scrunch and secure with a ribbon!
All Ages
Treasure Hunt
A few years ago I had a small but amazing class of 2-3 year olds who challenged me because they were such smart little people. In an effort to find a fun outdoor activity I developed this map game. I would draw a map and together we would all follow it. Using your map you can go to each “stop” then you must complete a challenge before moving on.Here is where I snuck in some totally unrelated learning. At the stops the challenges were things like : Sing the alphabet, find something blue, jump in the air 5 times, find a word that rhymes with pig… anything but they loved it. After a few times playing with me they became the masterminds and developed their own challenges- pretty cool for children who weren’t even potty trained!

With my toddler we went to the park and hid his new ball. We busted out the map( that I made ) and followed the pictures. We counted to ten, reached up high, found something red and touched our noses! As you can see you have to fit the challenges to the specific child but trust me, everyone will be having so much fun they won’t even notice all the learning they are doing!