It might be yucky outside but we can make our own Sunshine!

Sparkly Sun

  1. Gather your Materials. Grab some yellow paint, crayons or markers, some paper cut into a circle or a paper plate, and something to make the rays. I am using left over streamers from a party, but painted strips of newspaper , regular paper cut in triangles or even ribbon would be cool. Glue or tape to keep the rays in place and the most important thing of all, sparkles.
  2. Let your child go nuts covering the body of the sun as much or as little as they want. My son loved these foam paintbrushes I got at home depot for under a dollar each.
  3. With older children have them decide how many rays they want, ask them the number and ask them to count the rays out as they are putting them on. Remember if your child is counting incorrectly, don’t freak out just say something encouraging like ” Oh you almost got it! “- and model the correct counting.
  4. Once the rays are on, spread some glue on the sun and make it sparkle! Let it dry and give it a good shake on the porch or over a sink before letting your child play with it if you want to avoid a sparkly house.
  5. Remember to talk to your child about what they are making, you don’t need to lecture them about the earth and the sun, but you can ask them what they know about the sun, ask them how it feels when the sun is out etc… but as always don’t push it. Kids especially toddlers and preschoolers resist learning when pushed.

Song!



Mr. Sun

Mr. Sun, Sun Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!
Oh Mr. Sun , Sun Mr. Golden Sun,
hiding behind a tree!
These little children are asking you ,
to please come out so we can play with
you,
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun Mr.Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!


Books!

The books today are my “son’s” favorites! They are all board books because he is still young, the great thing about board books is that they are easier for the little guys to turn the pages and of course resist tearing.


” Toes Ears & Nose” by Marion Dane Bauer
“Clap Hands” by Helen Oxenbury
“Diggers” by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

Paper Plate Tortoise



  1. Gather your materials. For this craft you will need a paper plate, some paint and paint brush, some paper, glue , scissors and crayons.
  2. Paint the outside of your paper plate, I am using a foam brush because it minimizes mess , and isn’t that always a plus with young children?
  3. While your child is painting the plate ( and possibly your table too) fold a piece of paper in at least 4, draw a shape of your choosing. I chose hexagons but any shape would do. Some shapes are hard to find in the real world so incorporating them into a craft like this is a great way to learn.
  4. Cut the shape out.
  5. Glue the shape on to the painted plate to create a cool shell!
  6. While your child is gluing the shapes on , fold another piece of paper in 2, and draw the outline of four feet, a tail and a head. If you want you can have your child color these and add eyes and a mouth too!
  7. Cut these out and glue them on the inside of the paper plate.
Books!


” A Mama for Owen” by Marion Dane Bauer tells the true story of a baby hippo who was orphaned during the 2004 tsunami. Maybe because I am a mom but this story brings me close to tears every time I read it. The beautiful illustrations will keep your children interested as you read this ultimately heartwarming story of adoption.

” The Foolish Tortoise”

by Richard Buckley and Eric Carle is a tale about a tortoise who decides that his shell is holding him back- only to discover that being slow isn’t as bad as he thought!

“Owen & Mzee – Best Friends”

by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff is a board book with real photographs of the friendship of orphaned baby hippo and his 130 year old adoptive tortoise named Mzee. The Text is simple and perfect for toddlers. I like that it shows animals being affectionate , something we don’t often see.


Paper Plate Pig Craft


Toddlers and young preschoolers will love painting the paper plate, but the small pieces to glue will require a lot of adult help but 4 and 5 year olds will love it!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, 3 sections of an egg carton , scissors, some pink paint ( or red and white) , a paint brush , some black paper and glue.
  2. Mix your paint, I know I have been saying this a lot lately but this simple step of mixing colors is such a fast and easy color lesson and kids love to mix things!
  3. Paint the paper plate . While your child is doing this cut the egg carton into 3 pieces, one whole cup and two half ones. Also cut 2 small black circles and two tiny rectangles for the eyes and nostrils out of the black paper.
  4. Paint egg carton pieces. You need to paint the inside of 2 egg carton pieces and the outside of the other.
  5. Glue on the eyes.
  6. Glue on the snout.
  7. Glue the nostrils on.
  8. Glue on the ears.
Song!

Three Little Pigs

Three little pigs rolled in the mud,
Squishy , Squashy felt so good,
The farmer took one pig out,
Oink oink oink, the pig did shout!

Continue with 2, 1

No little pigs rolled in the mud,
They all looked so clean and good,
The farmer turned his back and then,
All the little pigs rolled in the mug again!

Books

” Grunt” by John Richardson is a classic running away from home story. This one is about a pig who is different from all his siblings and can only grunt instead of squeal, and thinks that because he is different his family must not want him. Of course in the end mama is overjoyed to see him come home and he discovers his family does love him. I am biased against books like this cause I just don’t like them, I don’t like that a child( or piglet) has to run away to find out they are loved. Maybe it’s just my own pet peeve , regardless this book is ok, but I won’t be adding it to my bookshelf.

” Pigsty” by Mark Teague is more my kind of book. Silly but with a good message. Wendell has a messy room and his mom calls it a pigsty, soon enough pigs start showing up! At first it’s cool , Wendell has fun with the pigs but it’s not long before the pigs are too much and even Wendell can’t take it. I think this book has a great message about responsibility, and how sometimes fun gets to be too much .

” Piggies” by Don and Audrey Wood is a great counting book for little guys. Toddlers love this book. You will probably notice your child touching their fingers as you read this delightful story about little piggies.