Chicka Chicka Boom Boom !

 

The classic book Chica Chica Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault was the inspiration for this craft. You may be wondering where the coconuts are and I do have an answer, I totally forgot to make them. So if you want some coconuts on your tree, while painting the truck use some cardboard to make coconuts and paint them the same brown as the trunk.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll, some newspaper, glue, masking tape, some extra cardboard, some pre cut letters, and green and brown paint.
  2. Start by having your child paint the newspaper with the green paint. I have my son paint 6 small pages ( they were half of a regular page each) , I just kept going until he lost interest.
  3. Let those dry.
  4. Paint the paper towel roll brown and let dry.
  5. Once dry layer the news paper so some of the painted sides face up and some face down.
  6. Roll and secure the bottom with masking tape.
  7. Cut along the newspaper until the masking tape. Do this 4-5 times .
  8. Put glue on the masking tape
  9. Stuff the newspaper, masking tape end first into the roll.
  10. Glue the pre cut letters on, don’t forget to ask your child what letters they are, or label them for the little guys!
  11. Oh and if you remember to add the coconuts, now would be a good time to do that!


Books!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. It’s text is musical , it’s premise is brilliant in it’s simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!
Chicka Chicka ABC is a fantastic board book and shorter version of the longer book. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler, the illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even very young babies will respond to it! A must have for all bookshelves.

Parent’s Corner : There is help if you need it!

Postpartum Depression
Most of you reading my blog are moms, and if one thing since having my son has become abundantly clear it’s that we need each other. PPD has been getting a lot of press but still so many moms aren’t getting the help they need and deserve. When I read Jenny and Graham Gibbs- Bankston’s tragic story I couldn’t imagine the pain that she must have been in and the grief that those families are left with. Please visit the link to Jenny’s Light, a foundation set up to educate and support those facing PPD and their families.

This is the number for the National Postpartum Depression Hotline , please pass it along to anyone in need 1-800-PPD-MOMS .

A reader Katherine also added this comment which I thought should be included :

1-800-944-4PPD This is the phone number for Postpartum Support International, the largest nonprofit in the world supporting women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The people who answer this number can connect women to resources in every state in the US. Plus, they have Spanish speakers as well.

Thanks Katherine!

Naptime Creation: Halloween Hair Do!

Easy Peasy
Hair Bow

Naptime Creations are fun activities for school age children and parents. These hair bows are incredibly easy, need no glue or hot glue guns and cost next to nothing! Oh and they are really cute too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need two fun contrasting ribbons, I am using craft ribbon because it’s stiffer and will keep it’s shape well. You also need a hair elastic, some pinking shears and a can from your pantry.
  2. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, 2 in each color in two longer and two shorter lengths. I used pinking shears to prevent unraveling and i like the way it looks.
  3. Pop the elastic on the can , this will keep your elastic in one place while you tie the ribbons on.
  4. Tie the ribbon on making a snug knot. If the ribbon isn’t even don’t worry you can always cut it later.
  5. Keep tying the ribbon OVER the original knot, with your last layer you want to tie a double knot.
  6. That’s it- told you it was easy peasy!

Letter of the Week ! E e !

Elephant E !

This is a simple but effective activity to introduce the letter E. With older children I have grabbed everything from my craft closet and let them make ” Everything Es” but toddlers and young preschoolers are better served with something more tangible like an elephant. So it’s not our cutest craft ever, but it will do the trick!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, something to color with, glue, scissors and a marker. We used chalk because we haven’t used it in a while but paint would look great!
  2. Draw an E with a long trunk in the middle. Draw a large ear .
  3. Have your child color the E, talk about how elephants have trunks, and ask them what other big things do elephants have on their heads?
  4. Have them color the big ear.
  5. This is just a picture of my son stacking the chalk on his tractor, he took a breather while I cut out the E .
  6. Grab the 2nd piece of construction paper and if your child wants to color it as well.
  7. Time to glue everything on!
  8. All done!
Books!

” Ella : The elegant elephant” by Carmela and Steven D’Amico is a cute story about Ella the little elephant that is nervous about her first day of school. She tries to make herself feel better but the school bully still teases her. I like this book because it shows kids that you can stand up for yourself without bullying the bully.

“Elmer ” by David McKee is another book with a great message. Elmer is different, he isn’t gray like all the other elephants, and he’s a little bit of a goof too! He’s not so sure he likes that though. Like all of us it takes some time for Elmer to accept who he is but in the end he sees that patchwork is just who he is!

Big Sponge Painting

This is a perfect example of process not product, during this activity your child is discovering how the big brush and sponge make big prints on the paper while their little fingers make little tiny prints. There is no wrong way to do this, just let your child explore.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some big paper- I like to use the reverse side of old Christmas wrapping paper I am sick of, some paint, a large sponge, adult size paint brush and a pan to put the paint in.
  2. Mix your colors and pour your paint into the pan.
  3. Start with finger painting. Talk to your child about how their little fingers make small dots and squiggles on the paper, with older children you can ask them if they know how they could make bigger marks like a hand print.
  4. Next paint with the paint brush. Ask questions like ” If you had a whole house to paint would you want to use your fingers or a big brush?” with toddlers you can simply say things ” Whoa that’s big!”.
  5. Next paint with the giant sponge. My son loved this one! Before we dipped it in the paint we explored the sponge, feeling it and squishing it.

Books!

 

” How Big Is A Pig”by Clare Beaton is such a sweet board book. Fun rhymes all about different farm animals accompany stunning illustrations that are really photos of fabric patch work! I love just looking at this book, my son loves it too.

” Big Fish , Little Fish” by Ed Heck is a good introduction to opposites for little ones, it’s not as good in my opinion as ” Dinosaur Roar” by Henrietta Stickland but it’s worth a look especially if like my son your child is presently obsessed with fish! Also the final page’s message is rather reminiscent of “Swimmy” by Leo Lioni .

” When I Get Bigger” by Mercer Mayer addresses what it feels like not to be big enough to do things you want to do. Little Critter makes a list of all the things he wants to do when he gets bigger. I remember feeling like this , and to 4 and 5 year olds who desperately want to be big kids this book will strike a chord!