- Gather your materials. You will need a piece of card stock or construction paper, some markers/ crayons, glue and then some smaller pieces of things like feathers, aluminum foil, sand paper- anything that can easily be glued on and have an obvious texture. I used some foam ( squishy), foil wrapping paper ( smooth) and feathers ( soft) .
- I had my son start out with markers, because writing / scribbling is an important skill so practicing it is fun and worthwhile, but you don’t need to do this step.
- Drizzle or have your child put some glue on the paper.
- Put the collage materials on one at a time, talk about how it feels when your child is handling it.
- With older children you can ask them to close their eyes , put the collage material into their hands and ask them what it feels like!
This is a fast and fun activity that can be done with almost any age.
- Gather your materials. You will need one ziplock per child and a few colors of paint.
- Pour the paint into your bag , flatten as much air out as you can, and then seal it.
- If you want to make the lesson about color mixing you can wait and add in another color after playing with the first color for a while, asking your child if they know what color it will turn into.
- You can make letters, numbers and pictures too. Remember to ask your child how it feels, is it cold, soft? squishy?
- For added fun you can put different colored paper under your ziplock and the designs will be more colorful!
* You may be wondering why my little model isn’t doing this activity. I did let him play with it but all he wanted to do was chew the bag- trust me though the preschool classes I have done this with love it! You may just want to avoid doing it with toddlers who are cutting teeth! *
” 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 Lioni is 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!
**This activity kept my little guy happy for much longer than expected and a huge mess was avoided , although you may want to do this outside or make sure your dust buster is handy.**
- Gather your materials. You can use rice, dried beans, or even unpoped popcorn but I am using oatmeal for two reasons, it’s handy and it’s easier to hide things in because it’s not slippery like the others. You will need a container, some scooping and digging utensils and some fun toys to hide.
- Pour your oatmeal into the container and hide a toy for your child to find.
- Dig it out and repeat! * I couldn’t get any pictures of my son grabbing the toy zebra, he did it so fast once he caught sight of it it was zoooom out of the oatmeal!
* Note about sensory activities: They are messy, but they are so important ! Children under five learn primarily through their senses. By feeling, seeing, smelling and touching during these activities they are learning spatial skills, fine motor skills among others. Also they can be very calm and soothing for kids which is a great thing!
” Not Norman” by Kelly Bennet is a story about a little boy and his disappointing pet fish Norman. All great children’s books slip a lesson between the pages and this one is about how our first impressions aren’t always right. Friendships can take a while to grow but once they do they are solid, even with a pet fish named Norman.
” Edwardo the most horriblest boy in the whole world” by John Burningham is a must read for anyone who is in a position of authority among children, it is a poignant look at what happens when you scold and belittle a child and then what the outcome is when you praise. Great Book!
“ Peek-a-Moo”by Maria Torres Cimarusti is a great and simple book about animal sounds with flaps to lift for toddlers who need a little extra action to keep them interested.
- Gather your materials. I used a rectangular cake pan, but tupper ware, or even a big bowl will work too, rice, sparkles, and tools to scoop and pour with.
- Pour enough rice to cover the bottom of the pan with at least an inch of rice. I used half white rice and half black rice I found in the bulk section of my market but any rice will do.
- Add sparkles for some glitz! I put in about 1 tablespoon- a little goes a long way.
- Add the tools and start scooping! You can ask them as they are playing about the rice, like what color it is, how it feels, but if they just want to scoop and pour let them. Kids having fun will learn more than one with a pushy mom!
* This activity can get messy especially with little guys who have a harder time keeping the rice over the pan, so I usually do it outside on a nice day.
If you have an older child after playing with the rice you can ask them if they would like to help you cook some, kids love to help cook and rice is a fun thing to watch transform as it absorbs the water and goes from hard to soft.
- Gather your Materials. It doesn’t matter the recipe , what matters is that you are making something from nothing with your child.
- If you have an older child have them measure , and pour. With a young one they are usually happy to ” help” by stirring. One trick is to add all ingredients and then the raw egg so that you don’t have to worry if the little one eats some of the batter, which they will.
- Enjoy your muffins while reading ” If you give a Moose a Muffin” by Laura Joffe Numeroff, featured in our books section below!
Yes it says yogurt, this is a great sensory activity for little ones and a fun way to mix colors for preschoolers.
- Gather your materials. All you need is yogurt , some small containers, a cookie tray or plate and food coloring.
- While you are mixing the colors you can ask your child how many drops of red it will take to make pink, or what will happen if you mix blue with red?
- Put a dollop of yogurt on a tray, plate or cookie sheet and let them swirl it, see if they can write their name in it, or make shapes. Younger ones will be more than happy just to wiggle their fingers around in it.
- Eat your art when you’ve had enough fun!
* My son hates yogurt and he gobbled up this pink and green stuff! Bonus!