Traffic Light Color Matching Activity

craft for boys


  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 full pieces of paper ideally one neutral color and one black, some red, green and yellow paper to rip into pieces, some double stick tape or glue, red, yellow and green crayons or markers and something to trace the circles with.
  2. Trace 3 circles on the neutral piece of paper, the top should be red, middle yellow and bottom green.
  3. Hand your child the colored paper to rip into small pieces. This isn’t just fun for them, it’s great practice for their fine motor skills!
  4. Start gluing or taping your small pieces in the correct circles. Younger children may need you to place a few correct color pieces first, but even young toddlers will surprise you with placing the correct color in the correct circle. My son blew me away while we were doing this consistently placing the right color down!
  5. Cut the extra paper off the sides of the traffic light, and glue on to a black piece of paper, trim and voila you have your very own traffic light!


Additional Activities

Red Light Green Light~ An Inside Version

You may be familiar with Red Light Green Light as a running game outside, but this version can be played inside . Introduce the concept of red being stop, yellow being slow and green meaning go by acting it out. You don’t need to run, you can do any movement at all. I have done this as a circle time activity with clapping, hand waving and knee slapping! Have preschoolers suggest movements too!

Books!

 

” Firefighters to the Rescue!” by Kersten Hamilton is a beautifully illustrated look at the heroic happenings of a group of firefighters. The text is good but my one concern is the lack of any female firefighters, that aside the book is worth a look.” Policeman Small” by Lois Lenski was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Also toddlers gravitate towards this book, my son loves them!

” Cool Cars” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker is a bright little book that talks about all different types of cars and even a little bit about the rules of the road in a zippy rhyming text!

 

 

But Can They Write?

Celebrity Authors
Here are my reviews of a few books written by authors you may know and love ( or hate) from their other lives as celebrities. I am eager to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment about celebrity authors, the featured books or leave a recommendation for a “celebrity” book I didn’t mention .

“Is There Really A Human Race?” by Jamie Lee Curtis made me cry. My husband would say that’s not exactly hard , but it is when it’s a book not many bring me to tears. I really like this book and so did my son which surprised me because I thought it would be too long and sophisticated for a 2 year old. The rhyming text was so well written that it along with the adorable illustrations by Laura Cornell kept him happily interested as I read it to him before nap. I thought that the message was going to be about race relations, but instead it was about the rat race, and how it’s more important to try your best, help others and to be bold. The line ” And for those who can’t speak for themselves use bold voices” was when I lost it. I hope that lesson is one I can teach my son, to stand up for others. Okay so maybe I am a softy but this book is great!


“Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery” by Jamie Lee Curtis is a cute book. After being so happily surprised with the previous book I grabbed this one and started reading it to my son. This was too sophisticated for a 2 year old and probably too much after a few other books. It’s a funny book that fantasizes about the life of a balloon after it slips from your hands. I wish I could have read it to a 4 or 5 year old to see their reaction. I liked it but the message that stood out for me was most definitely one for the parent reading it more than for the child. Not that kids wouldn’t be entertained, I am sure they would. The overall message is about letting go, and what parent can’t relate to the anxiety of letting go.


“I Got Two Dogs” by John Lithgow will delight you. The book comes with a CD and I urge you to play it, hearing a book by the author is always amazing, but this song was thoroughly entertaining. As a dog lover who fondly remembers my childhood dog eating all the lasagnas at my first boy girl dinner party , I can relate to the naughty but lovable dogs. The message is about devotion and unconditional love and you don’t have to be a dog lover to get that.


“Carnival of the Animals” by John Lithgow is a book about a little boy who falls asleep on a school trip to the natural history museum. He has wild dreams where people in his life turn into the animals from the museum. This is the perfect example of why I should preview books before handing them to my son. This book isn’t for toddlers, some may like it but the text is long and the illustrations while beautiful and can be scary. They freaked my son out so we closed it and I read it later. The book is written in prose and the vocabulary is advanced , which I love! How are children suppose to expand their vocabularies if we don’t challenge them? That said I would probably not expect a child under 5 to sit through the whole book, although I am sure some eager 3 or 4 year olds would be just fine. I should also note that the book also comes with a CD although mine was missing from my library copy, I will update this post after I have found a copy and listened to it.

“Mr. Peabody’s Apples” by Madonna is a preachy but worth a look. As an adult reading it I couldn’t help but think it was a “poor me” story about how celebrities are faced with rumors but really that must be hard. I was being unfair so I put my preexisting knowledge about the author away and started to like the story. It’s about a teacher who is the center of a small town’s gossip mill after a boy thinks he sees the teacher steal. The moral tone is heavy but the Rockwellesque illustrations by Loren Long make reading it feel like you are in a time warp and the heavy tone is not so overbearing. The book is far too long for young preschoolers but appropriate for the 5 and up crowd.


“The English Roses” by Madonna is a pretty book, filled with pretty girls with pretty hair and pretty clothes. I’m not sure I like the rest of it. I don’t hate it but I am a little concerned about a few messages that stood out for me. Now as a teacher I have had to defend some books to parents over the years and I think that most books can be spun by the questions the teacher or parent asks and how the discussion after reading goes. This book can be useful with that for sure, and I think many young girls especially would like this book. Here are my reservations though, the plot is about a clique of girls who don’t like a classmate. They don’t like her because she is “perfect” and they are jealous of that. After a rude awakening by a fairy godmother they see she has no mom and does many chores. So they pity her and decide to start being nice to her, in return people start talking about them and they become popular. I guess I was hoping that in the long book that there would be more substance to the lesson. Like people for who they are not because you feel sorry for them, judge people when you know them not by their outsides and I think Madonna trying for that but just missed the mark.

Grab Your Cosby Sweaters

Childhood Favorites!

Today I am sharing with you some of my very favorite books from childhood. These are the books that started the love affair I have had with books, libraries and story time ever since. Please feel free to add to the post by leaving a comment with a favorite title from your childhood.



” The Duchess Bakes A Cake” by Virginia Kahl. I had to search this book out, I had forgotten the title and author all I remembered was that there was a child named Gunhilde! Thank goodness for Google! The story is very sweet with the Duchess giving her staff the day off because she wants to bake a cake for her family. Unfortunately things go awry and the cake ends up huge with the Duchess stuck on top of it high in the air! Luckily the duchess finds a solution and things are fixed in the end. I loved two things about this book as a child, the idea of everyone eating a giant cake to save the Duchess and that the Duchess was taller then the Duke, I remember thinking that was funny and I didn’t know that a wife could be taller than her husband. That’s the beauty of books, even picture books open children up to new experiences.


” Babar and Zephir”
by Jean De Brunhoff was my favorite of all the Babar books, most of which I have tracked down and bought on ebay. What I loved about this book was we got to see where Zephir came from, and go see the fantastic world hanging houses in Monkeyville. Babar books are always interesting to re read as an adult and this one is no exception.

” The Seasons of Fern Hollow” by John Patience. This book is a cute look at the world of Fern Hollow where there is a large cast of animal characters who live in a small idyllic English village. The book itself is sweet, going through village life one season at a time but my favorite thing about this book and the others by the same author was this map of the village. I would lay in bed staring at the map, trying to find different ways to get from one character’s house to another. This book inspired my imagination.

Sail Boat Craft

 

boat craft

We live by the water and one of my son’s favorite things to do is to jump in the Ergo and check out the boats at the marina. We decided to make our own today. Here is how we did it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need A paper towel roll, the top of an egg carton, some tissue paper, glue, paint scissors and tape.
  2. Paint the egg carton. We used the dot a art paint, because it goes on with very little mess and had a playdate shortly after art time but any paint will do, just keep it thin so it doesn’t saturate the carton.
  3. Next up the paper towel roll mast!
  4. While your child is painting, cut the tissue paper into a sail.
  5. Glue onto the mast.
  6. Add a layer of tape on top to keep the sail in place. You don’t have to do this but I find tissue paper is so flimsy that I did 3 layers and needed glue on the bottom and tape on top.
  7. Glue the mast onto the boat, I poured a ton of glue and stuck the roll into it. Let dry.
  8. Voila , your boat is beautiful and environmentally responsible!


Books!

” Boats” by Byron Barton is a board book that has been read continually since it came home form the library a week ago. Perfect for toddlers who will appreciate the simple text and bright fun pictures, this book is a great for anyone with a child who like mine screams ” Boat, Dingy! Boat!” whenever they are near water!

” An Island in the Soup “ by Mirelle Levert is an award winning book , and it’s easy to see why. The story follows a little boy who refusing to eat imagines a fantasy world in his bowl of soup, it rains peas and carrots and he encounters a bad fairy but in the end he eats his delicious soup. The illustrations are perfect although the bad fairy’s unibrow is very very frightening!

” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is s cute little book that uses cartoony characters to help explain all about boats and how they work. This is a perfect book for children who’s attention isn’t held by a non fiction book, but wants to know more about boats!

Rainy Day Rainbow – Recycled Art

This recycled art project is great because it never really has to be done, also it’s a cooperative project that you and your child or a group can do together. You can make it for St.Patrick’s Day or just to brighten a rainy day with lots of color.
  1. Gather your Materials. For the back of the rainbow I have used some extra wrapping paper but you can use anything, in the past I have used brown grocery bags taped together and it looked great! Glue is great for older preschoolers but if you are worried about the mess or if you have a glue eater ( I know I do! ), try some double stick tape!
  2. Draw a rainbow, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even good, the paper will cover it .
  3. Get scrap paper or if you don’t have that you can color some the colors you want. Then hand the paper to whoever loves to rip things, my 14 month old loved this part of the project.
  4. Decide what order you want and start putting the paper in the arches.
  5. Keep going and going- roll it up and wait until the next rainy day to add more scrap paper to it.
In my classroom a few years ago I used this activity as an alternative to going outside when it was raining, throughout the week we would save scrap paper and on a rainy day add it to our rainbow. The children who were 2-3 loved it and when it was done were very proud when I hung it up where their parents could see it. A long term project is a great experience for little ones, so don’t worry about finishing it in one try!