Arrrrr Matey!

Newspaper Pirate Hat


  1. Gather your materials. You will need one section of the news paper ( min 4 pages) , a stapler ( I can not find mine so I used some left over snowflake brads) and something to decorate your newspaper with. We are using the do*a*dot*art paints I reviewed yesterday.
  2. Have your child decorate/ paint both sides of the newspaper. I actually really really like using the dobbers cause they dry FAST!
  3. Fold the paper in half, and the corners down.
  4. You may need to tape the corners down if the newspaper is thick.
  5. Now fold the bottom up, and secure with a staple, or if you are disorganized like me and can’t find your stapler, get creative!
  6. Pop it on and go pillage something!

Song!

Click Here for a Pirate Song Arrrr !

Books!


” Pirates Don’t Change Diapers”
by Melinda Long is a really touching look at older siblings, inside a funny book about pirates. The pirates need Jeremy Jacob’s help finding their treasure, but he needs their help babysitting his baby sister. My favorite part of this book is when Jeremy Jacob realizes that the baby is gone and he gets really worried . Also even when he is offered up his choice of treasure, he picks something for him mom, how could I argue with that?

“Pirates Ahoy” by Hilary McKay is a interesting book, the book revolves around 2 cousins and their day at Gran’s house where they play pretend. I like that this book is about pretend play, most kids now days don’t get enough chance to do this, but the test is awkward and seems too sophisticated for the general premise of the book. The author needs to pick one age group to target and go for it, the story itself suits younger kids but the wording and the figurative language used is above most preschoolers heads.

” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!

New Stuff for Summer Break !

Naptime Creations!
The school year is quickly coming to an end and I can hear the anxiety for all of you who now have more children to keep busy! Don’t fear, throughout the summer I will have more projects for older children and tell you how to adapt the easier ones for your school agers too, that way you aren’t doing 50 projects a week all with different materials! The projects just for older children will be called Naptime Creations!

Recycled UFO!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an old CD, some washed out singled serve applesauce containers ( you can also use egg carton cups) , paint, a paint brush, some foam sheets ( or colored paper) , glue and scissors.
  2. Paint the 2 plastic containers. Set aside to dry.
  3. Cut the foam sheets or colored paper into small shapes.
  4. Glue onto the CD. This is a great opportunity to learn about patterning, I did a very simple pattern but depending on your child’s age they could use many colors and a sophisticated pattern. Let this dry.
  5. Cut more shapes out to use as windows and doors for your UFO.
  6. When the paint it dry glue your windows and doors on.
  7. Glue the CD onto the bottom container first.
  8. Glue the top on .
  9. Let dry completely.

Letter of The Week ! P p !

Pink and Purple Pasta P !

It is always fun trying to find words that start with the letter of the week, Pasta was an obvious choice for my child since it is a staple in his diet and was one of his first words. It always helps to find familiar things to reinforce and of course colors are a perfect add on!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper in P colors, some P color crayons, glue and some pasta!
  2. Draw a Fat P on the paper, if your child is older have them draw it.
  3. Color the P using the P color crayons , there are a many of P colors ( Purple, Pink, Periwinkle) – this is great fine motor practice and I was able to start my morning coffee while my son colored ( the truth comes out! ) .
  4. When they are done coloring if they are older have them put glue on the P, if they are still little dot the P with glue.
  5. Start adding the Pasta.
  6. If they enjoy this add more dots of glue and keep going. My son used to only take things off but he actually added every single piece of pasta on, I was very proud!
  7. Let dry and cut the P out and glue onto the 2nd P colored paper!


Books!

These books get very mixed reviews from parents, some love the messages, some think it’s too little too late with a sassy main character. I urge you to find them at your local library or book store and decide for yourself.

” Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. I was initially told about this book and it’s authors by another mom who’s son loves this book. So don’t think that just because the cover looks rather feminine that your boys won’t love this book too! The little girl eats far too many pink cupcakes and before she knows it she has turned pink! To return to her normal self she needs to eat her vegetables! I like this book, and can see why kids do too. I don’t think that all characters can be perfectly pious meek and mild but I do understand when parents are leary of introducing characters that they see as disobedient to their kids. Go read it and decide for yourself!


“Purplicious” is the sequel to “Pinkalicious” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. In this one Pinkalicious is teased and made fun of because she is still wearing her favorite color, even though everyone else is wearing black. She is sad and no one knows what to do, except a new girl at school who shows her how to mix pink with blue to make purple! A lot of the bad reviews I have read about this book center around the bullying and teasing and parents often wrote that their child at 4 or 5 have never seen that kind of teasing, as a former preschool teacher and director I can sadly assure you that if they were in school at all- they have seen it, maybe not as bad as Pinkalicious did but take the rose colored glasses off it’s hard to be 4 ! I think it’s better to let children know that they don’t have to be ashamed of someone is bullying them, to ask for help and to overcome it. This book can be a useful tool for that message.

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.


Monochromatic Texture Collage


When children are learning their colors this is a fun activity to support their learning, it’s easy to incorporate shapes and letters too, simply cut paper into those shapes! Older children can use magazines and search for the color and cut it out themselves!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a white piece of heavy paper, paint, some glue and your collage materials. I am using some foam pieces, tissue paper, feathers and pipe cleaners. Anything will work!
  2. Paint the paper- we are finger painting today but you can use a brush, sponge or roller!
  3. While the paint is drying, let your child explore the collage materials. Ask how they feel, what is the same about all of them, and which ones they like. With toddlers you can label things with their texture, shape and of course color!
  4. Drizzle glue all over the painting or with older children allow them to glue as they go if they want.
  5. Start collaging !
Books!

” Hello, Red Fox ” by Eric Carle is a fun interactive book about colors and the color wheel. Kids will love the “trick” on each page. The trick being that if you stare at a color for long enough then stare at a blank page the complimentary color will appear! This book is great, but not for a group, a class will disintegrate into “Let me!!” and “My turn!” quickly so this is really is best read one on one!

“Freckleface Strawberry” by Julianne Moore is one of the few celebrity books you will see me giving a good review, I really like this book. It doesn’t talk down to kids, and the humor is funny for parents and kids alike. I like that her freckles do not go away as she got older too!

” The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza” by Philomen Sturges is a great retelling of the classic story. Kids will be able to relate to this hen not getting any help for all her hard work. Luckily her friends realize their mistake and do the dishes after she shares her yummy pizza.