Painting With Dolls

fun art for kids It was raining cats and dogs and we’d already read a stack of books and watched more PBS kids than I care to admit when I decided to steal this idea from my own preschool teachers Fran and Gumti. I loved it when they would roll out the paper and we could choose one of the plastic baby dolls to “walk” along it leaving prints. This painting with dolls activity is timeless because many decades later my daughter loved it. This is also a great adaptation for painting with kids feet if a child doesn’t want to use their own feet. Many kids hate the feeling of getting paint on their feet so having an option of doing it with a doll instead is a way to include everyone.

Gather your materials. You will need some dolls with plastic feet, a long roll of paper ( if you have extra wrapping paper you can use the inside of it), liquid tempra, some painter’s tape, a towel that can get paint on it, a paper plate or two, and a shallow bowl with soapy water. painting with dolls

Tape your paper down. Strip the dolls down and get the water and towel ready at the end of the paper.painting with dolls clean up

Dip the dolly’s feet in the paint.painting with doll feet in preschool

Walk the dolly across the paper.painting with dolls for preschool

Wash and dry and grab a new dolly. wiping dolly feet

She had to hold this dolly differently dolly paintingand it required much more concentration to keep her upright.baby doll painting for toddlers

She loved cleaning their feet and pretending to be a mama.dolly feet

After two dolls she asked for a brush and painted. That is what I love about doing planned activities, they almost always end in a new kid directed one as an add on. If I suggested painting to her she wouldn’t have done it but to just let her add on to this she did. Do what works for your kids but this always have for mine.painting with dolls extention activity

Books About Dolls

All book lists contain affiliate links.

corduroy

Corduroy by Don Freeman was a childhood favorite of mine and my son loves it too. The story is about a lonely bear at a department store who despite being a little disheveled finds a forever home with a kind little girl who needs him as much as he needs her. There are so many levels to this book, as a child I remember being awed by the thought of toys coming alive in stores when the doors are locked and the shoppers leave. As an adult I see this as a touching adoption story . My son loves the escalators Corduroy travels on in the store ! This is another book that has lasting power and can be read for years in your home.

the paper princess

Kids Activities – add your links!

rp_link-learn-2014-455x17811.jpgI hope all of you who were celebrating this week either Canada Day or 4th of July had safe and happy celebrations. I had a wonderful holiday and am trying my best to plan out a great summer filled with kids activities , family fun, and summer reading. Most of what we do all summer is play, lay out in the yard with books, and splash at the local pool! On rainy days and early mornings, or those days when the TV is on too much I plan an activity. My go to place for ideas beyond my own is Pinterest – specifically my Summer Fun For Kids board.

Wonder where I find all the ideas to add to it? You are looking at it. Link & Learn is my secret pipeline for awesome ideas. So please don’t be shy add your links and share in the fun.



Ice and Water Activities For Kids

water activities for kidsIt’s hot here ( for us that means it’s in the low 80s) and  all I want to do when it gets warm is cool off with some fun ice and water activities. I don’t have to convince my kids that these are going to be fun, they are in their bathing suits as soon as I have suggested it! Here are some of our favorite ice and water activities for kids that we have fun with every summer. I should also say that most of these ideas do not use a huge amount of water for those wanting to be mindful of waste.

water activities for preschool

Angry Birds Inspired Water Balloon Game
DIY Water Table
Arctic Ice Sensory Bin
Color Mixing
daycare water senosry activities
Mud Soup
Water Balloon Math
Ocean in a Tub
Ice Sculptures from NurtureStore
playing wint water inside and out for kids
Sidewalk Chalk Read & Spray
Cooking in The Sink
Painting With Water
Bubble Bin
water learning activities

Ice Fishing & Color Mixing
Hose Down Letters
Backyard Car Wash

LEGO Challenge for Beginners -Fine Motor Skill Development

preschool lego challenge

My 4 year old has just started playing with LEGO. As much as I loathe the whole pink LEGO and pink everything that is marketed to girls when she asked for this set there was no way I was saying no. I love LEGO  and all the learning opportunities inside each box, especially the fine motor skill development which is a building block for writing. I was telling my 7 year old about doing some LEGO challenges when my daughter asked if she could do some. Of course! That said she hasn’t had much practice with the little blocks yet so I set this easy LEGO challenge up for her and she breezed through it… at her urging I made it harder and we did a totally of 3 trays full of mini challenges. The next day she asked for even harder ones. That’s my girl!

 

Gather your materials. I am using plain old LEGO blocks and an ice tray. This lets me keep the individual challenges organized without too much prep. There are some seriously cool Lego challenge tutorials out there… this one isn’t as polished but as long as you have Lego block you can do it NOW. lego see and build for preschool

Start by creating simple structures. I grab the pieces I need first in duplicate and then create the structures popping the duplicate bricks into one section of the ice tray and the completed structure in the other. lego challenge for beginners preschoolThe first challenge was simple and she breezed through all four quickly. lego challenge for preschool

So we made more… lego challenge for preschool see and build

 

and more… Lego challenge fine motor skillsThese were our most complicated ones and as you can see she had to concentrate. concentration lego puzzles for kidsIf your child is breezing through all of these don’t give them the duplicate pieces separated out. Put all of them in a small bowl or container. I wouldn’t expect my child to dig through thousands of Legos without getting frustrated but it’s a logical next step for this activity to combine the loose pieces and add in a new step. lego puzzels for preschool

What I like about these little challenges  is that she is still just starting out with Lego and this is giving her bite sized models to recreate while she works on some seriously rad fine motor skills. Being able to manipulate the models in her hands make all the difference.

 

Homemade Paintbrushes

homemade paintbrushesI have made homemade paintbrushes with kids in summer day camps but never with my own kids. We’ve used lots of things that aren’t paintbrushes to paint but we haven’t made them ourselves. Now that my son is a little older I thought it was time to try. My daughter who is four needed a lot of help making the brushes but she loved painting with them, my son on the other hand needed very little help creating the brush but after he confirmed he could paint with it he was done. This is fine, different children will connect to activities differently. They were both being creative throughout and that was the goal.

Gather your materials. You will need some popsicle sticks, elastics ( we used small hair ones and regular rubber bands), craft supplies like feathers, sponges, fake flowers, plastic bags, foam sheets, ribbon, pipe cleaners… I just grabbed all the scraps we had in the playroom. You will also need a pair of scissors for each child as well as paint, and paper to test them out.make your own paintbrush art idea for kids

Start by setting everything up. I rolled out a long line of paper and I am glad I did because my daughter went to town testing every brush out and mixing paint colors. make your own paintbrushes kids craft

Invite the children to check out all the materials and show them how to attach them to the popscicle sticks. My son could do this solo but my daughter needed a lot of help.

Check out their creations! My son was so into making his, he even wanted to add netting to the handle for a grip. I loved seeing him get really into it. make your own paintbrushes with craft supplies

My daughter wanted to use everything pink which meant a sponge and pipe cleaner. make your own homemade paintbrushes

Time to paint! They were so excited to see they really worked.make your own paintbrushes for children  I loved all the squares! painting activities make your own paintbrush

After her brother was done and playing soccer she was adding more paintpainting activity for kids with created paint brushes to the plate and going back to create another brush. create your own paintbrushes

She kept painting and painting! painting with homemade paintbrushes