We Are The Champions!

Gold Medals!

This is a fun and easy craft for your little ones to get into the Olympic Spirit. You can make them before doing your own mini Olympics ( see below) and then have your very own medal ceremony!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( an old mac and cheese box is perfect) some gold sparkly paint, double stick tape, a paintbrush, some ribbon or streamers, and some markers for decorating the medals.
  2. Draw two identical circles on the card board.
  3. Have your child decorate the circle with crayons or markers.
  4. Add a few globs of paint.
  5. Cover the two circles with paint and let dry.
  6. Cut the circles out.
  7. Using double stick tape ( glue would work too- just let it dry) tape the streamer onto the back of one circle , make sure the loop is large enough to make it over your child’s head. Add another layer of tape and the front side of the medal.
  8. Have a very adorable child who likes things around their necks model it for you :)
Mini Olympics!

My past as a daycamp leader was in full force today as I toted a bunch of balls to the park to host our very own playground Olympics! We had three short but fun events: Rhythmic Gymnastics, Track and Field and Basket Ball. Here is how we did it!

Rhythmic Gymnastics : To make our ribbons I used a Take and Toss straw and threaded the ribbon through then tied a simple knot. It doesn’t wreck the straw that way and you can even re use the ribbon!

We shook the ribbons high, low fast and slow!

Track and Field: I used a some left over streamers from Valentines day and tied each end to a small tree at the playground. We lined the boys up and bribed them with cookies to run, turns out the bribe wasn’t needed at all- they repeated the race again and again without asking once for the cookies ( which was good cause we needed them to convince the two to get back in their strollers at the end of the day! ) .

Basket Ball: Grab a pop up hamper, and all the balls you have. I hung the hamper on a tree support because it was windy, but do what works for you. This was such a hit, they kept going and going!

Nature Discovery

Mother Nature
Colla
ge

What I love about this deceptively simple activity is that it gets kids outside examining the world around them, then brings them back inside to go over what they have found!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( recycled cardboard is perfect) or a foam sheet , glue and something to gather your nature discoveries in. Oh and some place outdoors where you can gather things to bring inside.
  2. Go outside and start finding treasures. I have done this with litter, shells from a beach, all leaves or like this where anything my son grabbed we included.
  3. Pop your treasures in the jar or bowl.
  4. Note to parents sometimes your child will find something like this snail that can’t be glued ( or shouldn’t be anyway) take a picture and when they move on to something else rescue it from the jar. If they are old enough explain nicely why gluing something living to a piece of paper for our enjoyment is not a good thing.
  5. Come inside and spread the glue. You will probably need a lot.
  6. Start placing the nature discoveries on your paper/ foam.
  7. Let dry, ours had to dry overnight for the pine cone and stick to stay on.

Song!

My Backyard!

Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my backyard,
my backyard ,
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my back yard’s full!

Rocks and trees and butterflies
butterflies,
butterflies,

Rocks and trees and butterflies

Dirt and leaves and bugs!’

Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my backyard,
my backyard,
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard ,
my backyard’s full!

Book!

” Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun” by Deb Vanasse is one of the few books I have read that really captures the beauty of nature without being preachy about conservation, or filled with facts . Facts aren’t a bad thing, but this book enjoys the nature in it in such a gentle way that along with the beautiful illustrations by Jeremiah Trammell you can simply appreciate it. The story is adorable too. The book is about the longest day of the year and one child’s quest to stay up and enjoy it all without falling asleep. All children can relate to the feeling of missing out on something good after having to go to bed, this book uses that feeling and spins it to celebrate nature!

Painting With Water

toddler activity
No, I am not using child labor to spruce up my house, this activity will amaze you at it’s simplicity and how much kids LOVE it. I used to do this with my class on nice days when they would get stir crazy inside! The key to making this last is to wait to introduce the different brushes and sponges.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some water, and a variety of paint brushes ( make sure they are clean you don’t want to really paint your house). painting with water supplies
  2. Dip your paint brush into the water and start painting! Fences or other unpainted works the best because it will darken when “painted”.painting with water
  3. While you are painting with your child, point out the dry wall and the wet brush and ask them what happens when they paint it. painting with waterLittle exchanges like this are fantastic teaching opportunities. Remember though if they just want to do it in peace, let them you can always recap later.painting with water 3
  4. When your child starts getting uninterested- in a insanely enthusiastic way introduce the next brush. I know that this is hard for people who aren’t used to being surrounded by small kids , but a little enthusiasm goes a long way- feel free to fake it too .My son loved the roller- I gave it to him last and ended up having to go grab a coffee cause he played with it for almost 20 minutes alone! ( by grabbing a coffee I mean from my kitchen , not Starbucks). painting with water 5
 

Backyard Car Wash !

car wash for toddlers

This is a fun activity for a nice day! Kids love to do things they see grown ups do and the clean toys are a nice side effect!

  • Gather your materials. What you need for this is a bowl or bucket of water, some dish or hand soap, some wash clothes or sponges, a dish towel and the toys you are going to wash. I like to use sponges because they are easy to cut small enough for toddler hands.backyard toy wash
  • Put the soap in the water, and get some bubbles going.backyard car wash soap
  • Grab a sponge and clean those cars!backyard car wash
  • After sponging them down make sure you dry them well and I let them sit upside down so no water gets stuck in any crevasses.backyard car washing game

Need Truck themed books to go along with your car wash? We have a bunch of fun ones to suggest!

 

Shape Safari !

binoculars craft for toddlers
When you are going on a shape safari you don’t need a gun, or even a camera all you need are some funky binoculars, here’s the how to:



Binoculars

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll cut in half or two toilet paper rolls, some tissue or other colored paper, a hole punch , glue and ribbon or yarn.
  2. Start by cutting out shapes in your paper. If your child is a toddler you will want to do this a head of time and spend this time showing your child the shapes. Don’t worry if they don’t seem to get it, they are absorbing it, but keep it short so they don’t get bored. Older children can cut out their own shapes.
  3. Get out the glue and start gluing on the shapes. Remember to ask questions, about the colors and shapes but don’t pester them.
  4. Glue the two rolls together and let dry . You can also staple them if needed.
  5. Punch 2 holes and tie the ribbon on and you are good to go!
Shape Safari!

  1. Gather your materials. For older children you really do not need anything more than the funky binoculars and a bag or something to act as home base for all the shapes you find. Younger children I would either use blocks you have that are different shapes or cut some out of paper for the activity.
  2. Hide or place the shapes or blocks around the house in places your child can find them easily. For young toddlers you can just scatter them on the floor, or in the backyard.
  3. Grab your trusty binoculars and start searching for those shapes. Remember to be animated and have fun, get into it and your child will too!
Song!


Herman the Worm- remix!
Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum,
chomp chomp chomp,
Playing with my yo yo ,
woo woo,
When a long came Herman the worm,
and he was shaped like this__( hold up a shape)__
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said I ate a ___( name the shape)____

Do with as many or as few shapes as you please !



Books!


” Earl’s Too Cool For Me!” by Leah Komaiko is a cute and short story about the adventures of a cool kid , but the message is in the end when even though he is cool he is still a regular guy too isn’t too cool after all.

” There’s a Square” by Mary Serfozo is a book all about shapes, all the illustrations contain multiple shapes for your children to find!

” The Loudest Roar”
by Thomas Tayloris a cute board book about Clovis a little Tiger with a big Roar!