Happy St. Patrick’s Day !

4 Leaf Clover

This is a super easy St. Patrick’s Day craft that also reinforces colors and shapes. My son had the time of his life with the “gooey goop” ( glitter glue) and ran to the door with this is hand when my husband got him this evening. That is one of the best parts of making things with him, seeing how it develops pride and confidence!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, green crayons, glue, glitter glue , glue, and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing 4 hearts and one rectangle on one page of construction paper.
  3. Have your child color the shapes with the green crayons. We talked briefly about all the different shades of green he was using but we didn’t get too deep into it.
  4. When they are done coloring ,hand them the 2nd page of paper and let them decorate it with the glitter glue.
  5. While they do that cut out the shapes
  6. Hand them the regular glue , remind them to glue on the paper not their hands.
  7. Glue on the shapes and let dry. * My son needed help to make all the points of the hearts “kiss” the rectangle, but once I explained it like that he got it !

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Shapes In The City

Shape Skyscraper

The idea for this building came from my daily helping of “Mama, build city wit me?” my son builds cities to go with his collection of cars daily, so I capitalized on this love and made it into a shape matching lesson. You can drop the shapes and just decorate the carton if free art is what you need for the day, I know we will be repeating this with plain paper shapes that he can paste wherever he wants real soon! Today though was more mama directed since we have done free art for the past few days , remember to give your child lots of free time with crayons, paints and their imagination!

Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of black construction paper, some sticky back foam, scissors, a cleaned out milk carton, and glue. Start by tracing the milk carton on the paper, then fold the 2 pieces and cut . You should have 4 identical pieces of black paper. Next cut out 4 groups of different shapes from the foam, I did ovals, circles, rectangles and triangles, but feel free to do any shape you are learning about right now. Invite your child to the table, and have them match up the shapes on the paper. I stuck one of each shape on the pages to guide my son and he got it right away. For younger ones do two shapes at a time, older children can have all 4 shapes to sort a once. Give them the next two shapes and pages. While they stick the shapes on cut the top off the milk carton.Grab the glue . Glue the pages on the sides of the carton. Using the top of the milk carton you cut off trace a square for the top of the building. Glue it on. Let dry
“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans is a great book often overlooked because of the popularity of the character. The book has great rhyming text, wonderful illustrations of Paris, with ample opportunity to talk about what you can find in the city, and a hospital storyline too! I love this book, and would even if the illustrations of Paris didn’t make me long for my traveling days. My son sat happily for the whole book this morning and made me go upstairs to get his Madeline doll and read it again. ” Inside a Zoo in the City” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along , so children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!
“Barney Backhoe and the Big City Dig” by Susan Knopf is a perfect book for your digger obsessed child, but even if your child can’t spot a backhoe from a mile away this book is a cute story about helping people , and the illustrations are filled with things that are found in the city and can spark great discussions with your child .

Sailing Away !

Shape Boat !

Whenever we do these projects they are big hits, they are so easy to do and are a great way to reinforce shapes . My son ran to the table when I suggested we make a boat, I think he needed a bit of a break from Valentine’s crafts. This easy craft was the answer, after nap when it was all dry he grabbed it proudly and announced “My boat !” now if only I could get him to stop eating glue…
  1. Gather your materials. You will need construction paper, a blue marker, scissors and glue.
  2. Give your child the marker and a piece of construction paper to draw the water and waves.
  3. While they are drawing the turbulent sea, cut out a semi circle, a long thin rectangle, two triangles and 3 small circles.
  4. When they are done break out the glue! Add the glue for the boat first.
  5. Add the semi circle boat.
  6. Next add the glue for the mast and the rectangle.
  7. Time to add the triangles
  8. Dot on three dots of glue for the port holes.
  9. Add the little circles.
  10. Sail Away !
Books !

” Stanley Goes Fishing” by Craig Frazier is a beautiful book dipped in a little bit of surrealism. When the only thing Stanley catches on his fishing trip is a boot, he decides to switch things up a bit and drops his line in the sky! Kids love fantastical books and they love it when the fish come from the sky! As a mom the only thing that bothers me is that Stanley isn’t wearing a life jacket!

“The Seaside Switch” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.

” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!

Lovely Butterflies

Dainty Doily

I can’t count the number of times I have made this craft but it wasn’t until I saw this post over at Just 4 Fun that I got my tush in gear and made it! Sandy does a whole bunch of awesome activities , if you haven’t seen her blog you need to pop over there! I got the package of doilies at the dollar store and the water color was perfect for the fragile paper.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 doily hearts, some red and pink construction paper glue, water colors, a paint brush, small dish for water, googly eyes and a pipe cleaner.
  2. Start by painting the doilies with water colors. This was the first time my son had used them and after teaching him a quick chant of “Water, Color , Paper!” it was smooth sailing.
  3. While they are painting, cut out a butter fly body from the red paper.
  4. Cut out a small heart from the pink paper for a mouth.
  5. Glue the doilies together at the point end.
  6. Add glue on top
  7. Add your butterfly body.
  8. Glue on the mouth.
  9. Add the glue for the eyes, and glue them on
  10. Poke two holes in the top and feed your pipe cleaner through. Tape on the back for extra stability. Curl the ends.

“Will You Still Love Me?” by Jean-Baptiste Baronian is a sweet little book about Polo the polar bear , and his anxiety about his parent;s love for him when they seem busy with something else. Turns out that mama is about to have a baby ! This is a good book to reinforce the depths of parent’s love and how even with the addition of a new baby , parent’s love doesn’t get split in half! My son loved all the artic animals in the book.

“Did I Tell You I Love You Today?” by Deloris Jordan is a very practical yet heartwarming look at all the ways parents show love to their children everyday, from feeding them healthy food to praying after they go to bed. My son loved all the big boy things in the book like, the school bus, basketball and the playground. I teared up reading the book, but I cry at American Idol so that may not be indicative of anything!

“I Love You With All My Heart!” by Noris Kern is the precursor to “Will you Still Love Me” the author is the illustrator in the other book. The characters are the same and the story is equally as sweet. It’s a slow but calming story about Polo’s quest to understand what mama bear means when she says she loves him with all her heart!

Sign It !

Street Signs !

I am always looking for interesting ways to teach shapes, here is a fun way to get your little ones who love cars, trucks and such interested. While this craft requires a fair bit of prep it’s results will be worth it. We talked about the shapes as I cut them out and the letters as I wrote them, older children can do this craft independently or at the very least write their own name!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 5 pieces of construction paper ( 2 red, 2 black and 1 green), 2 pieces of white paper, a red marker, a black marker, scissors and glue.
  2. Start by drawing the outline of the signs on the paper – you can stack the red, black and white paper for the octagon( stop sign), as well as the red and black for the triangle (yield) , the green street sign can just be cut into a rectangle. Cut the signs out.
  3. Trim the 2 inner layers of the stop sign ( the white a little and the red a little more). Repeat for the red layer of the yield sign.
  4. Write out the words for the street signs. It’s not pictured but the inner layer of the yield sign is white with red writing.
  5. Cut the stop sign letters out individually.
  6. Invite your child to the table- if they haven’t been helping. For really little guys I would do this before including them, if not the whole project will drag too much and they will want to move onto something else before they even get a chance to do anything.
  7. Start by gluing the stop sign together,first the white on the black , then the red.
  8. I wrote the word stop in glue and had my son match the letters to the glue, it worked perfectly to give him a chance to do it independently and he recognized each letter. Let dry.
  9. Glue together the yield sign. Ask your child what shape that it, and how many different triangles are you gluing together? Is one smaller than the other? Let dry.
  10. Time to glue your personalized name street sign ! Add lots of glue!
  11. Voila!( side note: I love these new place mats, glue wipes right off! $1 at The Dollar Store! )

Vroom! Vroom ! Went the little red car one day,
Vroom! Vroom! Went the little red car!
Vroom! Vroom! Went the little red car one day ,
and they all went Vroom! Vroom! Skreeeeeech!But we all know cars go ,
beep beep beep beep beep,
beep beep beep beep beep,
beep beep beep beep beep

We all know cars go ,
beep beep beep beep beep
They don’t go , Vroom! Vroom! Skreeeeeech!

Books !

“Trucks Roll” by George Ella Lyon got a huge compliment from my son today when we read it. When he really really wants more of something not only does he ask for it with words but the sign language he learned so long ago comes out. This book got the “More Trucks!” out loud and the frantic more signs! The book is the perfect length for 2-4 year olds who like my son love anything you can drive. It also explains well what trucks drivers do and how so many things make it from one place to the next. Cute book, worth a read for sure!
” Alphabeep! A Zipping Zooming ABC” by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list.