Earth Friendly Sensory Tub

earth day crafts for kids

I have used a lot of things in sensory tables and tubs before but I had never used coffee grinds until today. To say it was a big hit is a big understatement. At first he did the standard scooping but soon our patio turned a coffee shop , and sensory play turned into dramatic play! Also the grinds are great for your garden so don’t forget to add them to your dirt after you are done.

  1. Gather your materials. I saved up 3 days worth of used coffee grinds from my trusty and much used coffee maker. You will also need a tub, some coffee scoops ( any thing will do) and some mugs. I believe the cups were the trick to connect the coffee grinds to the dramatic play that came about 10 minutes into the exploration. I am so glad I grabbed them.
  2. Explore! There is no wrong way to do this. My son did a lot of filling and dumping to start with.
  3. Explore how the grinds feel , my son exclaimed ” cold and softy Mama!”
  4. Next we played coffee shop, this was completely directed by my son, and here he is handing me my “banana coffee” not my usual soy cappuccino, but I happily took it!
  5. After our exploration we fed our garden with the coffee grinds.

 

Opposite Texture Easter Egg Craft

easy easter craft

I was trying to think of ways to incorporate some of the work we’ve been doing exploring opposites with some Easter crafts. This craft can also be made more challenging by turning the stripes into a patterning lesson for older children. Toddlers like my son can keep it simple learning about hard and soft materials while making a cute holiday craft.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of construction paper in different colors, some buttons , pom poms , pencil crayons or chalk, glue and scissors.
  2. Cut one sheet of construction paper into a large oval.
  3. Have your child color the egg to their liking. Pencil crayons and chalk both make pretty light and muted marks that won’t over shadow the rest of the egg. But if you want to use markers go for it !
  4. While they are coloring, cut some stripes of paper from the other sheet.
  5. When they are done introduce the buttons and pom poms. Ask your child to feel them, tell you how they feel and if they are the same or different. With older children this is a great time for them to make practice patterns before making them permanent.
  6. Hand them the stripes and glue.
  7. Add the collage materials one type at a time.
  8. Keep going until they are satisfied- I cut out 4 stripes but my son was done with 3.
  9. Let the stripes dry
  10. Glue onto the egg and trim the ends if needed.

 

“The Golden Egg Book” by Margaret Wise Brown is one of those books I have clear memories of from childhood. Thing is I don’t really remember the story so much as the cover. In this case it’s ok to judge a book by it’s cover because although the ending has always seemed tacked on to me I enjoyed this simple and cute book about a bunny and the egg that he finds. My son liked it too, although he was much more into the illustrations of butterflies in the first and last few pages.

Sensory Fun !

Sifting for Treasure !

This is a challenging sensory activity for preschoolers but toddlers like my son will still enjoy it , they will likely just do what he did, which is scoop the sand and treasure into the 2nd bowl. Children have to use a steady hand to gently sift the sand to expose the treasure, this is definitely a great activity for working on patience.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sand ( I got mine in the home section of Walmart) , and small objects to hide in it. We are using pom poms and plastic coins. You will also need a small sieve and 2 bowls.
  2. Pour your sand into a bowl, and pop in the objects.
  3. Cover them with sand.
  4. GO OUTSIDE- I say this because we had a traumatic Dustbuster experience last time we did sand in the house, the Dustbuster sucked up the sand but shot it right back out and into my and my son’s eyes. Worst mama moment to date, we were both in tears.
  5. Start searching for treasure.
  6. Older children should take the time to sift out all the sand so the little bowl only has the treasure in it ,no sand.
  7. Younger ones can just explore and scoop, my son had plenty of fun doing this over and over.

Book!

“up above and down below” by Sue Redding is about 30 years too late,because this would have been my favorite book as a preschooler! I love this book, I have been reading and re reading it just awwing at the pictures and how cool it is to see what goes on above ground vs below, on the deck of a ship vs below and my favorite one the golf course! My son and I poured over the pictures,finding different things every time we looked at a page. Great book and I hope to see so many more from this author!

Toddler Friendly Shamrock Craft

St.Patrick’s Day is on the way and here is our first lucky craft! I love making collages because they offer wide boundaries and can be a small easy craft or for older children it can go on and on with layers of materials and textures.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( cereal boxes are perfect weight) , a marker, green paint or crayons, glue, and various green collage material. I am using pom poms , tissue paper and felt.
  2. Draw a shamrock on the cereal box.
  3. Have your child paint or color the shamrock.
  4. While they are painting take a second to cut the tissue paper, and felt into small pieces.
  5. When the shamrock is dry,add the glue
  6. Add your collage materials. There is no wrong way to do this, so have fun !
  7. Let dry and cut out.

 

Books!

For few great St. Patrick’s Day Books you have to check out
Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile
This blog is wonderful, the reviews and age recommendations are spot on.
I think you should bookmark this link for sure.

Toddler Playdough Sculptures

play dough ideas for kids
On Tuesday I was watching ( well mostly listening to) the Presidential Inauguration and that meant my little man was house bound , so I needed a lot of fun things up my sleeve. We made crafts, we played with water , built a city with blocks and our piece de resistance these super cool playdough sculptures!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some play-dough and something fun to stick in it. We used popsicle sticks and toilet paper rolls.
  2. Start creating.
  3. My son made the same thing over and over, birthday cakes! We sung happy birthday to many things including the new president, it was a fun day.
Click Here
For our play-dough recipes!