Constellation Craft & More

This is a wonderful activity for preschoolers interested in constellations and space. When I did this activity with my PreK class most of the children chose to make multiple constellations. For a special treat use glow in the dark stars!

  1. Gather your materials. You need black or dark blue paper, some white or yellow chalk and some sticker stars.
  2. Draw any picture you want on the paper using the chalk.
  3. Once the picture is finished , add the stars.
  4. Don’t forget to give your constellation a name.
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Sparkle Paint Sponge Painting!
( say that 3x fast!)

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some liquid paint,glitter, a kitchen sponge some black paper, scissors and a marker.
  2. Draw a star on the sponge and cut out.
  3. Pour the paint onto a plate or tray, mix in the glitter. It should still be runny enough to paint with. My paint was too thick – if yours looks like this, add more paint!
  4. Start stamping.
  5. As the paint dries the sparkles will show through!

Books!


” Goodnight Moon- A Counting Book” uses the familiar illustrations from the classic book by Margaret Wise Brown and turns it into a counting book. The page with 100 stars really has 100 stars on it, count and see!

” The Night Sky” by June English is a short non fiction book for PreK-1st grade that touches on the phases of the moon, constellations and much more. The illustrations are bright and engaging.

” Five Wishing Stars” by Treesha Runnels is a great bedtime book, it countdowns from 5 to zero with a rhyming text and glow in the dark stars!

Match Point !

Shape Sorting

This was a little tricky for my little guy but if I had used all the same color for the shapes he wouldn’t have needed as much help, I think he was a little confused over which to match . Even if your child doesn’t quite get it, as long as they aren’t frustrated they will benefit from playing with the shapes .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1 large piece of paper or wraping paper ( using the reverse), 3 pieces of contruction paper in 3 colors, scissors, glue and a marker. You can also use crayons, paint or markers to decorate the shapes.
  2. Cut out 3 large shapes. You can do more for older children and less for children just learing their shapes.
  3. Cut our a bunch of small shapes that match your larger ones. Here is where I messed up, I should have only used the same color paper for each shape , but with older children feel free to make is harder and even have them cut out their own shapes.
  4. Glue your large shapes onto the big piece of paper.
  5. Start by giving your child just a few shapes and seeing if they know where to put them. You may have to help, that’s fine this activity needs a lot of parental involvement ( so no dishes or making dinner while you do this one ! ) . Once they figure it out, hand them the glue.
  6. Keep going!It took my little man a few times but he started getting it after a few minutes.
  7. Hang it up and try to find shapes around your house that match too!
Song!

Herman the Worm- remix!
Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum,
chomp chomp chomp,
Playing with my yo yo ,
woo woo,
When a long came Herman the worm,
and he was shaped like this__( hold up a shape)__
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said I ate a ___( name the shape)____

Do with as many or as few shapes as you please !


Book

“Mouse Shapes” by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute book that ot only helps teach shapes it is also entertaining! The three crafty mice use the shapes to protect themselves from one hungry cat finally using them to make scary mice to frighten the cat away! Kids love to help find which shapes are use in the authors collages and older ones can even anticipate what the mice will make next!


Name That Bug!

Custom Caterpillars!


This is an easy and fun way to practice learning the letters in their names, or you can number the sections and have your preschooler put the numbers in order!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some constriction paper, something to trace a circle with, crayons or markers, a pipe cleaner, tape , scissors and glue.
  2. Start by tracing and cutting out circles in different color construction paper , you will need one for each letter, and one for the face.
  3. Give your child a full size piece of construction paper and have them color it, they can draw a cool backyard scene or something more abstract!
  4. If your child is able have them write the letters, even if they are messy and too small or to big- it’s more important that they do it if able and it not be perfect than us stepping in and doing it “right”.
  5. If your child is not writing yet, while they color write out the letters, and do a face on the extra circle.
  6. Spread some glue on the background paper.
  7. Pop the letters on.* Sorry no picture, it was an art playdate and I was talking too much and forgot to take a picture of this step !
  8. Bend the pipe cleaner into fun antennae
  9. Tape it to the back of the face circle.
Song!
Herman the Worm

Video


Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum
( chomp chomp chomp)
Playing with my yo yo
woo woo
When along came Herman the worm
And he was THIS big
And I said ” Herman WHAT happened?”
And he said ” I ate my sister! “

The next 3 verses substitute in brother, mother and father.
The final verse is as follows:

Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum
(chomp chomp chomp)
Playing with my yo yo
woo woo
When along came Herman the worm
And he was this tiny
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said ” I burped.”

Books!

” Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!” by Bob Barner is a good book for little ones interested in bugs, but not ready for a full non fiction science book. Various bugs are introduced with a fact about them, and the coolest part of the book is the page with the life size illustrations of all the bugs. The illustrations are bright and fun and the length is perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers.

” Bob and Otto” by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

” The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating! It was a childhood favorite of mine and if the fact that he fell asleep holding his ” Pillar” is any indication it is already one of my son’s favorites too!

Paper Plate Tortoise



  1. Gather your materials. For this craft you will need a paper plate, some paint and paint brush, some paper, glue , scissors and crayons.
  2. Paint the outside of your paper plate, I am using a foam brush because it minimizes mess , and isn’t that always a plus with young children?
  3. While your child is painting the plate ( and possibly your table too) fold a piece of paper in at least 4, draw a shape of your choosing. I chose hexagons but any shape would do. Some shapes are hard to find in the real world so incorporating them into a craft like this is a great way to learn.
  4. Cut the shape out.
  5. Glue the shape on to the painted plate to create a cool shell!
  6. While your child is gluing the shapes on , fold another piece of paper in 2, and draw the outline of four feet, a tail and a head. If you want you can have your child color these and add eyes and a mouth too!
  7. Cut these out and glue them on the inside of the paper plate.
Books!


” A Mama for Owen” by Marion Dane Bauer tells the true story of a baby hippo who was orphaned during the 2004 tsunami. Maybe because I am a mom but this story brings me close to tears every time I read it. The beautiful illustrations will keep your children interested as you read this ultimately heartwarming story of adoption.

” The Foolish Tortoise”

by Richard Buckley and Eric Carle is a tale about a tortoise who decides that his shell is holding him back- only to discover that being slow isn’t as bad as he thought!

“Owen & Mzee – Best Friends”

by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff is a board book with real photographs of the friendship of orphaned baby hippo and his 130 year old adoptive tortoise named Mzee. The Text is simple and perfect for toddlers. I like that it shows animals being affectionate , something we don’t often see.


Shape Safari !

binoculars craft for toddlers
When you are going on a shape safari you don’t need a gun, or even a camera all you need are some funky binoculars, here’s the how to:



Binoculars

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll cut in half or two toilet paper rolls, some tissue or other colored paper, a hole punch , glue and ribbon or yarn.
  2. Start by cutting out shapes in your paper. If your child is a toddler you will want to do this a head of time and spend this time showing your child the shapes. Don’t worry if they don’t seem to get it, they are absorbing it, but keep it short so they don’t get bored. Older children can cut out their own shapes.
  3. Get out the glue and start gluing on the shapes. Remember to ask questions, about the colors and shapes but don’t pester them.
  4. Glue the two rolls together and let dry . You can also staple them if needed.
  5. Punch 2 holes and tie the ribbon on and you are good to go!
Shape Safari!

  1. Gather your materials. For older children you really do not need anything more than the funky binoculars and a bag or something to act as home base for all the shapes you find. Younger children I would either use blocks you have that are different shapes or cut some out of paper for the activity.
  2. Hide or place the shapes or blocks around the house in places your child can find them easily. For young toddlers you can just scatter them on the floor, or in the backyard.
  3. Grab your trusty binoculars and start searching for those shapes. Remember to be animated and have fun, get into it and your child will too!
Song!


Herman the Worm- remix!
Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum,
chomp chomp chomp,
Playing with my yo yo ,
woo woo,
When a long came Herman the worm,
and he was shaped like this__( hold up a shape)__
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said I ate a ___( name the shape)____

Do with as many or as few shapes as you please !



Books!


” Earl’s Too Cool For Me!” by Leah Komaiko is a cute and short story about the adventures of a cool kid , but the message is in the end when even though he is cool he is still a regular guy too isn’t too cool after all.

” There’s a Square” by Mary Serfozo is a book all about shapes, all the illustrations contain multiple shapes for your children to find!

” The Loudest Roar”
by Thomas Tayloris a cute board book about Clovis a little Tiger with a big Roar!