Magnetic Sandcastle

snadpaper craft for kids Building sandcastles is tough , especially if you don’t live anywhere near a beach. This magnetic sandcastle activity is perfect for you no matter where you live. Not only are kids exploring the texture of the sandpaper they are exploring shapes and how they can work together to create something greater. Another side effect is the storytelling that might pop up like it did with my 4 year old. Her sandcastle was a story. If you don’t have a magnetic surface pick up a cookie sheet like we did for a dollar at Dollar Tree. I buy them 3 at a time.

Gather your materials. You will need some sandpaper, self adhesive magnetic sheets ( ours came from our friends at craftprojectideas.com ), scissors, a marker, and a magnetic surface. fine motor activity for kids

Start by drawing your shapes on the back of the sandpaper. Be careful thinner sand paper will show the marker through if you use a dark color like I did. A pencil may be a better choice. magnetic sandcastle blocks

Cut them out. magnetic sandcastle activity for kids

Add the magnets to the back. My little helper showed up at this stage wondering what I was up to and helped.

Peeling the backing off of these self adhesive magnets is RAD for little fingers still developing fine motor skills, it is also fantastic for concentration and building patience. fine motor sandcastle activity for kidsWe can’t expect our kids to develop ways to deal with frustration and patience if we never give them opportunities to face them. She got frustrated a few times and I said ” It’s tough, Mama is having a hard time too. ” that was it. If you think the frustration will block the whole activity step in but it’s OK for kids to try hard things and fail.

magnetic sand castle for kids

This zig zag piece was extra but she insisted on using it so we added magnets to it together.

Time to play.  sandcastle magnetic try activityShe was totally into it. I liked to see how carefully she was placing the pieces. ” They are rough on one side but not on the other mama!”  When my children make observations like that is when I jump on and try to add a little bit more of a lesson without breaking up their exploration. If they are silent I generally let them immerse themselves completely.fine motor tray activity for kids sandcastle When a comment like  that is made I might say something like what else feels rough like that? Or Do you like the feeling? Sparking more learning but using their observations as launching pad. sandcastle building tray activity for kids

Her creation was a pool with diving boards for sand fairies.

 

reading lists for kids

 

Need some books to go with this activity? Check out our Beach Books round up. Click here or on the image to be taken to the full round up with complete reviews of each book.

 

 

 

 

 

Shape Hunt Worksheet – FREE Printable

kindergarten shape worksheet My daughter wants homework so badly. She sees her older brother do a little during the week and begs to get in on the action. I don’t think worksheets and preschool age kids make a great match. I think that hands on exploration and experiencing things with as many senses as possible is imperative for learning at this age.  However when you listen to your child and they are asking to try learning in a new way it’s not fair to ignore them. Instead find a way to twist the less developmentally appropriate activity into one that hits the targets you are hoping to hit. This worksheet is paired with a gross motor activity that lets the learner manipulate the shapes turning a static shape hunt worksheet into a dynamic activity.

Shape House FREE Printable

Gather your materials. You will need our shape house printable ( or you can just draw some shapes on a piece of paper – both will work JUST fine), some crayons, a clipboard if they want to bring the sheet with them while they search, and objects in your house that match the shapes. I should have really checked to make sure we had a pentagon before doing this activity… I ended up having to cut one out of foam while my daughter searched in vain. shape house

Show your child the printable and explain that everything has a shape. Today you are looking for those shapes at your house. When they find it they can color the matching shape in. Go searching! You can choose to hide shapes or just have them find things in the house that are in the same shape. We went for the later.Color the shape on the sheet when a shape is found. shape house printable

For the square my daughter found a box which opened up an unexpected discussion about squares vs cubes. shape house shape lesson

She LOVED this even when it took forever to find a pentagon.shape house shape hunt for kids

She was very very excited that we managed to find all the shapes and fill in her whole sheet. shape hunt and color worksheet

 

More hands on shape activities – click on the image to see the full list!

 

shape activities for preschool

29 Fun Shape Activities

shape activities for preschool Learning shapes is much more fun when it’s hands on. Creating shapes, creating with shapes , and playing games with them are all great ways to learn what shapes look like and how to make them. These shape activities are fun, dynamic and your kids will love them. These are some of my very favorite shape activities along with a few from Tinkerlab , The Imagination Tree, and Kids Activities Blog.

shape art for kids

Heart Rainbow Wall. Hearts aren’t just for Valentine’s Day.
Shape House. Fantastic for basic shapes and little hands.
Shape Dinosaur. Make shapes exciting for your little paleontologist.
Shape Sorting. An easy introduction for young preschoolers.

kids crafts
Pegboard Rubbings. Simple quick shape activity that kids love.
Shape Ninja. If you have Lego fan this might look familiar!
Tracing Circles from Tinkerlab
Shape Sail Boat. Set sail while learning about geometry.

shape painting
Sponge Painting Shapes. Perfect for even the littlest artists.
Shape Pizza . Add shape toppings to your circle crust.
Sandpaper & Felt Shape Matching – contrasting textures make this more than just shape matching.
Shape Bulldozer. Bulldozers are rad!

garbage truck shape craft
Shape Trash Truck . Perfect for those kids who go batty on garbage day.
Shoot and Spray Shapes – fun outside activity.
DIY Geoboard A perfect hands on way to make shapes while working on fine motor skills.
Shape Banjo. Great way to mix math with art and music.
Shape Castle. Make it big and detailed or simple just don’t forget the glitter!

ocean shapes mural
Ocean Shapes Mural – cooperative art project using shapes.
Shape Printing with Paper Tubes from The Imagination Tree
Shape Firetruck. Firetrucks were the big thing around here for a long time.
Shape Snake . Make a little one or a huge long snake full of all sorts of shapes.

mining for shapes
Mining For Shapes. Play pretend while learning about shapes too.
Shape Skyscraper. Sort your shapes and make a 3D building with them.
Shape 4 Leaf Clover. Get ready for St.Patrick’s Day with this fun shape craft.
DIY Shape Sorter from Kids Activities Blog

glow in the dark starry sky paintings
Glow in The Dark Stars – These really glow!
Shape Princess. For your princess obsessed kiddos.
Shape Bat – Great for Halloween or for a unit about nocturnal animals any time of year.
Shape Scarecrow – This guy is too fun not to include!

Sandpaper & Felt Shape Matching

sandpaper and felt texture puzzleThis was not a planned project at all.  My daughter and I were painting Easter eggs in the playroom when I saw all the materials for this all together in my closet and inspiration hit. This is a simple and quick shape matching activity but it also has elements of fine motor, sensory and the carrots give it just a touch of an Easter craft. You could do any shape to fit whatever theme you are learning about any time of year , another reason I think this is such a great activity.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sandpaper, felt , yarn, crayons and scissors. sandpaper and felt carrots67
  2. Start by drawing your carrots with crayons. In my experience using marker on sandpaper is a bad idea. The sandpaper bits end up in the felt tip and the markers are never the same again. Crayons are much more forgiving and vibrant. sandpaper and felt puzzles for easter 2
  3. Cut your felt and yarn to size. Do not worry about an exact match. If exact means a lot to you reverse the order and use the felt shapes as a template and trace around them so they are exactly the same size. Either way your child will love it. sandpaper and felt texture puzzles
  4. Invite your little one to come explore the sandpaper. Talk a bit about the texture by asking questions and /or labeling what they are doing.sandpaper and felt carrots
  5. Time to match up the shapes.sandpaper and felt puzzles for toddlers Talk about how soft the felt is too if there is a natural chance to do it. If your child is engaged and not at all interested in exploring the textures don’t sweat it. Follow their lead .
  6. I had my daughter remove the shape after putting it down to see how “sticky” the sandpaper was. She was fascinated that her fingers didn’t stick but the felt did. sandpaper and felt puzzles for easter
  7. Add the yarn.sandpaper and felt fine motor skills This was tricky but it was supposed to be. Just remember to walk the line between challenging and frustrating. She matched up a few and that was enough – this is supposed to be fun not a test of fine motor skills. sand paper and felt puzzles

Books About Carrots

the carrot seed

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a rare gem, it has been in print for over 60 years and has delighted generations . If you aren’t familiar with the story, a little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone tells him “It won’t come up.” this doesn’t stop the little boy from patiently taking care of this little seed, that eventually grows into a giant carrot. The message is a universal one of sticking to your guns even when everyone tells you you should give up. My son loved the story the simple pictures that will bring you back to your own childhood, at least they did for me. A true classic.

Coco The Carrot

Coco The Carrot by Steven Salerno is an absurd tale of adventure, and I loved it. Coco is a carrot who dreams of a life larger than the vegetable drawer . She dreams big and goes for it. Unlike most carrots that end up in stew she becomes a famous hat designer and is the toast of Paris with her Monkey companion Anton. If you are scratching your head but oddly intrigued you will like this book. It was long but my son sat with me giggling and telling me ” Carrots can’t do that?!” more than once. I loved it because it is so absurd that she is a carrot, but the story itself is about going for your dreams, hitting bumps in the road and realizing that your dreams shift and change and that’s OK.  There is great bits of humor for the adults as well, something I always appreciate!

carrot_soup

Carrot Soup by John Segal is a cute book about planting a garden, in this case carrots, tending it and then reaping the rewards…. or maybe not. Rabbit carefully planned out his garden, took care of it but when it was time to gather all the carrots they were all gone!  Throughout the pages there are hints to where the carrots might be, your child will likely figure it out before Rabbit does. My son liked this book and I loved reading it with him as he was rather exasperated that the Rabbit couldn’t figure out the mystery!

 

Shape Ninja

Title Picby Kim

Ninjas, especially LEGO Ninjago, are very big at my house.  My 6 year old is very into them and so is his 4 year old sister.  My son takes martial arts classes, so the interest is even more strengthened.

The idea for this project started with my 4 year old daughter wanting to be a yellow ninja. If any of you watch the Ninjago show then you know the girl in the show is actually a seriously awesome samurai, but my daughter simply has to be a ninja.  So we made her a yellow Ninjago ninja and named it.  This activity was such a hit. My son now wants to make these for his birthday invitations.

Supplies

All you will need are construction paper, scissors, glue, and a pencil.Trace bowl

 

Trace a bowl or lid to make a circle on the construction paper.  This will be the color of your ninja.

Cut out circle

Let your child cut out the circle.

Glue rectangle

Then cut a rectangle out of yellow construction paper.  Glue the rectangle to your colored circle.

Eyes

While the children are gluing on the rectangle, you can be cutting out smaller circles and rectangles.  You may want to cut these out before the activity starts.

Glue eyes

Have your children glue on the eyes inside of the rectangle.

almost finished face

At this point I had my children look at our ninja faces and compare them to the Ninjago faces we were referencing.  I asked them to figure out what was missing.  Instantly they noticed the eyebrows.

Glue on eyebrows

Now glue on the eyebrows.  At first my children put them on straight and separated from the eyes, but noticed it looked off.  They mimicked the eyebrows of a real Ninjago ninjas by angling and connecting the eyebrows to the eyes. It was truly neat to watch them compare and make adjustments.

Ninja face

They finished their ninjas with great pride.

Finished

FUN VARIATION: Make your ninja out of craft foam and use them as bath toys because they will float and stick to the tub when wet.  Who doesn’t love a good ninja bath?

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a first grader, too! She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.