Last Days Of Summer

Sand Art

Right now at our house we are talking a lot about textures , this activity is a wonderful way to make something that is rough , which in my experience was always the hardest texture to find around the house or classroom. It’s also just a fun art activity too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of construction paper, some white glue, some sand and markers or crayons if you want.
  2. Start by having your child draw some fun pictures, if they are at the scribble stage, let them scribble. If they are older see if they will draw a picture of their favorite summer memory, hopefully something with sand!
  3. Add the glue, we just went freestyle , but you can make structured designs or even letters!
  4. Add the sand. We started with a spoon but like most almost 2 year olds, my son got rather frustrated with the small amounts the spoon was scooping and decided to pour it on instead.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Once dry explore the feeling of the art, and talk about how the paper is smooth, but the sand is rough!
Book!


“The Sandcastle Contest”
by Robert Munsch. I am normally a huge Munsch fan, I love so many of his touching and goofy stories. I don’t like this book , I have read it 4 times trying to find something about it I liked, but it’s just not there for me. I think it focuses too much on the uglier side of competitiveness and the characters are rude. I hate giving anything by Munsch a bad review , but I can’t avoid it.

Color Mixing

Color mixing is something so simple but so exciting for young children. The lesson is vital as well, the basic understanding that when you mix two things a third new thing is created doesn’t have to come from a complicated lesson, so grab a few towels and trust me your children will love this!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some clear or white glass or plastic containers. Food coloring, water , a turkey baster and a thick place mat or towel under the jars.
  2. Start by letting your child get accustomed to using the turkey baster to transfer the water from one container to another. They do make child size turkey basters and sell them at educational stores like Lakeshore learning but I am just using a regular old one.
  3. Next add blue and red to two of the jars and have clear water in the third. Ask about the colors and if your child is old enough, ask them to make a prediction about what will happen if you mix the colors.
  4. Continue with as many color combinations as they want. My son had a blast making green and we re did this experiment 4 or 5 times.
  5. If they are getting frustrated with how slow the turkey baster is encourage them to pour the water into the other jars.
  6. The fun can keep going as long as they are interested, our experiment lasted about 30 minutes which was about 15 minutes longer than I expected!
Books!



” A Rainbow Of My Own” by Don Freeman is a charming story about wanting a rainbow, you may notice that the colors are out of order but I have always used that as a teaching tool in my classes.

” Little Blue and Little Yellow”
by Leo Lioniis a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob!

Mr. Fix it!

Hammer Heads!

This is an old preschool staple, but none of my mommy friends had ever heard of it, so I am sharing so everyone can try this super simple and fun activity.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some Styrofoam, golf tees, a play hammer and your child. Seriously how simple is that?
  2. Put the golf tees in the Styrofoam – don’t push them all the way in though.
  3. Add your little one and let them pound it in.
  • You will not want to leave them unattended, in case a tee breaks, or small bits of the Styrofoam breaks off. So watch carefully as they have a blast hammering! Oh and don’t tell them they are building fine motor skills too!
Song!


This Is The Way We Build A House

This is the way we pound our nails,
pound our nails, pound our nails,
This is the way we pound our nails, so early in the morning.
This is the way we turn the screw,
Turn the screw, turn the screw
This is the way we turn the screw, so early in the morning.
This is the way we saw the wood
saw the wood, saw the wood,
This is the way we saw the wood, so early in the morning!
This is the way we build a house,
build a house, build a house.
This is the way we build a house so early in the morning!

Book!

” Building a House” by Byron Barton is a no frills look at how homes are built. The bright colors and concise wording is perfect for preschoolers. I love that there is writing on one page and illustrations on the other, makes it super easy to show children the pictures as well as for them to see you follow the text with your finger!


Construction Sensory Tub

 

I wasn’t going to include this activity on the site but my son’s continual begging to play in the “Dut” convinced me to share it!
  1. Gather your materials. I grabbed an old box we got at Costco but any low edged container will do. I filled it with some crushed rock my husband was using to make us a patio, but sand, mulch or soil will be fine too. I wanted it to be something earthy though since so often we use dried beans and pasta. Then I added some construction vehicles and a shovel and pail.
  2. Encourage your child to fill the pail, dig with the shovel and use the diggers and dozers. In all honesty I had to do nothing to encourage my son, he loved every bit of getting filthy!
  3. Have a bath ready, your little one will need it!

When It Rains , It Pours!


Pasta Pouring!

Giving young children ample opportunities for sensory activities is more important than most parents realize, yes they can be messy but get the Dust buster on standby and let your child explore.

  1. Gather your materials. This activity is what you make it. All you need is some uncooked pasta, a container and something to scoop with.
  2. Pour the pasta into the container and make a big deal about it pouring into the container and NOT onto the floor. I was really surprised by how careful my son was this morning doing this. When a piece would fall onto the floor he would exclaim ” Uh Oh” then pick it up and pop it back in. I was shocked , but happy.
  3. Introduce different things to scoop and pour with. We used different sized containers and a measuring cup.
  4. Interact with your child while they are pouring, use words like “fill” “pour” ” empty” and “full” with preschoolers ask them how many scoops it will take to fill a cup , then count it out, grab another container, take bets and repeat!
  5. When you notice that the pasta starts making it on the floor more and more often, it’s time for the dust buster, Don’t wait too long, sensory activities go from fun to disaster fast, so stay on your toes, the learning a is worth it!