Giving Away 5 eBooks !

Summer Reading Challenge Reminder!

This week in celebration of our growing family we are giving away 5 instead of 1 Alphabet Crafts eBook to say thanks for making this challenge such a success! We have read almost 4000 books with our kids this summer , which just blows me away!If you haven’t participated yet , it’s not too late every week is open to new and previous participants.

Also this week only you have until NOON Monday June 28th  PDT to get your forms in .

Time to get in your forms. List all the books you have read ( at least 10!) with your child this week , fill in this form and you will be entered to win a copy of my eBook Alphabet Crafts as well as get an entry for the end of summer Amazon.com gift card giveaway.  To be included in this week’s contest you need to fill the form out before noon on Monday June 28th  PDT.

Need more info?  Check out the details.

Sandpaper Sun

There are so many opportunities  for playing with textures with every day art supplies but rough is one that doesn’t come as easy, but it’s not impossible. Sandpaper is really fun to use for all sorts of things. Just remember that when you do a sensory art project that you need to be prepared for mess since the whole point is to touch and feel! My son had so much fun ( by fun I mean made a huge mess)with this that we ended up in the bath immediately after.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of sandpaper, some yellow and/or orange paint, a marker,  a paint brush , scissors and glue.sandpaper sun craft
  2. Draw a circle on one of the sheets. sandpaper sun craft
  3. Cut the circle out, leave the other sheet whole, you will cut the rays into triangles later. sandpaper sun craft
  4. Start by letting your child feel the sand paper, some kids will recoil from it, some will love the texture and explore it with their finger tips and nails for a long time.sandpaper sun craft
  5. Next get the paint ready we wanted to use both colors since we were looking at pictures of the sun and I quote ” It’s not all yellow like I thought mommy!” so both colors were poured into a container for this project.sandpaper sun craft
  6. Start painting the circle.  We started with a brush and the sound the bristles made were really interesting. However I didn’t even have time to get a photo of him using a brush on the circle, he went straight for finger painting.sandpaper sun craft
  7. Next he compared the rough paper to his  smooth hands. sandpaper sun craft
  8. Pass them the full sheet when they are ready.sandpaper sun craft
  9. Remember that when you encourage finger painting, often a mess will follow, this is why you always use washable paint. These were not the only two hand prints on my table or his body, just the prettiest. sandpaper sun craft
  10. Set the circle and other sheet up to dry and get in the bath.
  11. When dry ( ours took forever cause we had globs). Cut out the rays. If your child is willing have them cut, my son wanted NO part of cutting the sandpaper and I admit , I don’t enjoy cutting it either. I had shivers the whole time.sandpaper sun craft
  12. Add glue to the back of the circle.sandpaper sun craft
  13. Add your rays and let dry.sandpaper sun craft

Other Activities About Texture:

Sense of Touch Game

Texture Collage

Sand Art

Driveway Graffiti

After you read about this awesome outdoor activity from contributing writer Kim you will be saying just want I did when I first read it, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  and “I am so going to do this like tomorrow!”

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Now that the weather is great, we are outside all of the time.  I am always looking for fun ways to learn and explore outdoors.  But when we just play in the driveway, it can get a little boring after a while.  So I tried this with the kids and it was a HUGE hit.

You need a bowl, corn starch, water, food coloring, a stick or spoon to stir, and a tennis ball.

Pour some cornstarch in the bowl and add water until it reaches the consistency you would like.  I wanted it to about the same as milk.  Add lots and lots of food coloring.  When the “paint” dries it lightens up a lot.

Now roll your ball in the paint.

Then bounce the ball around.  The kids got a kick out of the bounce marks the balls left behind.

I just stood back and watched them explore and experiment with the paint and the ball.  My son rolled the ball across the driveway.  They bounced the balls with varying forces and noticed a difference in the spots left behind.

Now this is a messy activity.  The paint got on their clothes, but it washed out.  I would strongly recommend wearing play clothes, just in case.  The kid’s hands did turn bright blue.  After a few washings the color came off.

It was a great time and great for all ages (even big kids).  My toddler got to learn and experiment with cause and effect.  My preschooler learned about the reaction that different levels of forces put on the ball.  We talked about the cornstarch dissolving in the water.  We talked about the food coloring changing the paint.  This activity was a wealth of scientific knowledge.  The kids had so much fun with it, too.

The project soon evolved into dipping our hands in the paint and making handprints on the driveway and porch.  My son poured out some paint into a puddle on the driveway and then rode his bike through it.  He got a huge kick out of the different tracks that his bike vs. his big wheel made.

It was fun to watch my children explore possibilities and try out different ideas.  I just sat back and let them learn.  And they thought they were just playing.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, 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.

Beach Sensory Tub

Beach Sensory Tub

My son adores sensory tubs and I love the challenge of finding new fun things to put a theme together. This time it’s all about sun and sand, well around here we have sand but the sun has been a little lacking. Still you don’t need it, you can imagine it with this fun tub. So even if you are landlocked in the middle of the continent enjoy scooping, pouring and finding shells with this great sensory activity.

  1. Gather your materials. I got everything I am using at a bog box store in a little town, so hopefully it’s not a challenge for anyone. Look in the home decor aisle for sand, and pebbles. A plastic dish tub,  2 different types of sand, 1 bag of shells, a beach rake and shovel, some plastic sea animals and large glass beads.Beach Sensory Tub
  2. Start by having your child pour the sand in the tub.Beach Sensory Tub Beach Sensory Tub
  3. Let them explore each step as they desire. My son would have been pleased as punch not to add anything more, and you will see when he starts playing he decided to take everything but the sand out.Beach Sensory Tub
  4. Add the shells.Beach Sensory Tub
  5. Add the pebbles and sea toys.Beach Sensory Tub
  6. Play!Beach Sensory Tub We hid things and he dug them up, then he decided this was a sand only beach and took much time and effort to get everything but the sand out. I even had to get him a sieve to use. Either way he had fun.Beach Sensory Tub

Song!

Need a song to sing today ?
Little Fishy goes with this beach theme.

Beach Books

Otto Goes to the Beach by Todd Parr was a steal of a deal at the Goodwill last week! I got a hardcover in perfect condition for 70 cents. My bargin hunting aside, I really enjoy this book as did my son. Otto is a dog who goes to the beach but no one wants to do the same things as he does, even the fish swim the other way! In the end after feeling very sad Otto finds a new friend and all his misery is forgotten. I love Todd Parr books, I love the insanely bright colors, the cute simplistic illustrations and I love the messages they send. This book followed his other books perfectly and provided a great final message about not giving up finding a friend who will like all the same things you do!

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is another great book in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series. This book is a little long for toddlers but really easy to break into parts. The book starts talking about snails, then moves to turtles and finally sea shells. I read it to my son in parts, and that was perfect for his 2 year old attention span. This book like the others in the series break down facts to a preschoolers level without loosing any substance. If you are looking for a non fiction book for your little one, you must check out this series, they are hands down my favorite non fiction for young children.

Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles

Heat Wave Rx !


We are in the middle of a heatwave and I am so done. My kitchen is too hot to do anything in and with the fans blowing art supplies it’s impossible to do much art. So today we made organic yogurt popsicles , and went outside and played in the shade with our Ocean we made a while back.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2-3 large strawberries ( ripe ripe is best) , a banana, and a small yogurt. You will need a blender and some popsicle molds as well.
  2. Count your strawberries as you pop them in.
  3. Next up the banana.
  4. Squeeze the yogurt
  5. Blend!
  6. Taste to make sure it’s ok.
  7. Pour into the molds
  8. Pop in the sticks ( I asked specifically for each color, I can’t help it I’m a teacher through and through and these mini lessons just happen)
  9. Freeze
  10. Enjoy!
Rainbow Popsicles

This is from my other blog on FamilyEducation.com
click on the picture for the full instructions and even more !