Now that my family has arrived for the holidays we have been watching Christmas movies, football, running out for errands and generally off our regular schedule. Sticking to a familiar routine helps my kids and stealing my daughter away from my mom for a few minutes to have some quiet time with me was just what we all needed. I got her up to the playroom with no plan at all. I looked at what we had and the time we had to do it in and this idea popped into my head. This is a simple Christmas tree craft but never seems to lose it’s magic even with older kids. Using the glitter glue was a perfect amount of shimmer without any mess.
This year we grew a lot of broccoli in our vegetable garden. I was hoping growing it would spark interest in eating it ,the way growing spinach did last year but no. Not at all. Other than offering it up to anyone who wants some, one thing broccoli is great for at our house is painting. Broccoli used as a paintbrush is so much fun, add in a color mixing activity and it’s a huge hit! I am still hopeful that playing with it will lead to a desire to eat it but my daughter was never the one who ate paint, that was my son.
- Gather your materials. You will need red, yellow , and blue paint, plates to mix them on , paper to paint on, and some broccoli.
- Start by squirting some paint on the plates. We did red and yellow , blue and yellow, and blue and red. I like to use paper plates for a lot of reasons and for this craft I like using white so kids can see the result of mixing the colors clearly. Don’t fret if you don’t have white plates or paper plates once the kids print the paint on the paper they will see the color clear as day.
- Dip the broccoli in and explore! My daughter mixed each one then printed them immediately. Then she returned to see if she could make brown. With her hands. When you do color mixing with your kids you have to expect mess and exploration. This is why I did it outside. My daughter loves to “hand paint” as you can see and instead of just getting angry I like to let her enjoy it. Then pop her straight in the bath. I swear by Crayola washable paints. I have never not been able to wash them out. I can’t say that about any other “washable” paints. <— no they did not pay me to say that but that link is an affiliate link to amazon.
One of the great things about color mixing is that it sparks more than a new color, it sparks that little voice inside that says ” I wonder what will happen …” That is the voice that has carried so many scientists to great discoveries and inventors to new technologies. Purple might not seem so amazing to us but it’s pretty rad for our little ones.
We are super excited about next week here at No Time For Flash Cards because next week we are devoting every day to science!! Do not miss it!
Who says you have to use a plain old brush for painting? Part of raising creative kids is setting them up to use items in new ways, to look at something and wonder, “What can I make with that?!” A great starting point is to expose them to simple projects likes these and create. Here are 39 different things you can paint with all with different painting activities for kids. Each item takes you to a full tutorial of a project where we used the specific tool.
1. Cookie Cutters
3. Carrots and Zucchinis
4. Bouncy Balls
5. Toy Trucks
6. Potato Masher
7. Paper Towel Rolls ( and other recycling)
9. Animal Toys
10. Fly Swatter
11. Bubble Wands
13. Bath Poofs
17. Toy Trains
18. Glass Sponges
24. Squeeze Bottles
25. Bubble Wrap
28. Easter Eggs
29. Salad Spinner
30. Kitchen Sponges
31. Bath Toys
34. Dish Scrubber
35. Mini Pumpkins
36. Turkey Baster
It’s been one of those weeks. My daughter had her first ear infection and no one got much sleep. And it rained, a lot. So I grabbed the construction toys we usually use outside, some paint and a big roll of paper and we painted on the porch. Even though it was rainy we managed to paint and mix some colors for a while until the wind picked up and the rain got us. I wasn’t sure if my 6.5 year old would still be into it but painting with cars was one of his very favorite activities when he was little. As you will see it’s still fun!
- Gather your materials. You will need some fun cars, trucks or my daughter’s favorite… a bulldozer! You will also need some good washable paint
, paper , paper plates and if you are doing this outside you might want some painters tape to hold the paper down.
- Start by arranging your paper. I wanted my kids to feel like they could really drive their vehicles so I used easel paper for long pieces.
- Have your kids choose a few fun color combos. This was not a strict color mixing lesson but you can use it as one if you want. I just let them choose whatever color combos they wanted.
- Paint and explore the colors. My son immediately started making tracks fast and furious. My daughter was more into stamping.
- The tracks were super cool . My son drove his all over then joined his sister on hers.
- This activity isn’t complicated but it is fun. It was just what we needed to get some fresh air after days cuddled up sick.
- We hung them up to dry , not sure what the mail carrier thought of them but my kids were happy!
Dazzling Diggers (Amazing Machines) by Tony Mitton is part of the Amazing Machines series of books that are favorites of both my kids. Now my son reads them to my daughter and yes my heart bursts when he reads to her and it makes me completely forget when he tackles her. The book themselves are little gems. This one talks about diggers and bulldozers with absolutely fantastic rhymes. What amazes me about this book is that your child will actually come away having learned something substantial about the vehicles in it at the same time as loving the brilliant rhyming text. Must read for construction vehicle fans.
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker will have to be renewed from the library while I wait for my copy to come from Amazon. This book is starting to get pretty popular and rightfully so, it’s a lovely book. In it busy little construction vehicles wind down for the night and fall asleep. I never thought I would say an excavator was cute but the one in the book is. It’s a wonderful bedtime book and your child will enjoy winding down with the sleepy bulldozer and his friends. My daughter completely adores this book.
Diggers (Usborne Touchy Feely) by Fiona Watt was given to me before I even had kids and it’s been read countless times to both kids. It’s great for toddlers who need to keep their hands exploring while mom or dad reads. It’s a sturdy book with a simple text that matches the great active illustrations.This post contains affiliate links.
With summer around the corner I usually shift from more involved activities to simpler ones . We used these alphabet cookie cutters for a playdough activity ages ago and they were the perfect tool for this painting activity. I loved how amazed my daughter was every time she lifted the cookie cutter up to reveal the letter below. This is such an easy way to play with letters. There is no structure just colors, tools and exploration. This post is part of our Alphabet For Starters series. A series of posts that introduce and play with letters.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paint, plates, alphabet cookie cutters ( or any shape really you don’t have to do the alphabet) and some paper.
- If you want to extend the activity a little take some time to mix colors with the paint. We used different colors and added white paint with each . My daughter called them ice cream colors. I have to agree! There are no pictures of us mixing the colors because her mixing got rather exuberant . Remember to have a wet cloth on hand so you don’t have to stash the toddler covered in paint under your arm while running to get one like I did.
- Spread the paint on the paper plates, lay your paper down and go for it!
- She had a blast and it’s such a natural activity for letter recognition. You don’t even have to prompt your child if they are at all familiar with letters they will likely announce which they are using. If not feel free to say things like ” Look you made an orange H ! Cool! ” but keep it light. I have no clue why her foot is on the window ledge but I am rather in awe of her flexibility.
- Keep going and if your paper is large rotate it for more room to stamp.
- Let dry and display. Try to always display your children’s creations even if you only hang them up for a short while. Let them feel pride in their accomplishments.
Awesome ABC Books
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire and perfect for a letter F eek, since it’s all about food! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. It’s text is musical , it’s premise is brilliant in it’s simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!
Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list.This post contains affiliate links.