October Blog Roll – Send me your blogs!

It’s that time again!

I will be posting the reader blog roll this week. Please send me your blog address if you want to be included! I will also be adding a link to my blog roll on the main page, not sure where yet but look for it soon!

[email protected]

Oh and remember if you were in a previous roll you will be added automatically to following ones.

To Infinity And Beyond!

Weekend Re Post !
This idea can easily be changed to a Halloween Picture using white and orange crayons and black paint! A new post will be up Monday, have a safe and happy weekend!


Magic Space Paintings


Even when you paint over your drawings magically they appear!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper ( cardstock or construction paper works best ) , some bright colored crayons, a paint brush and black paint. If you don’t have black paint use the darkest blue or mix your own.
  2. Mix up some dark paint- I just mixed all my darkest ones and got pretty close to black. My son loved this part, older kids can make predictions about what will happen to the paint as you mix it.
  3. Draw a space or night scene with crayons. Toddlers and young preschoolers will need help but will still enjoy coloring too. Press Hard, you want lots of wax on the paper.
  4. Paint over the drawing.
  5. Marvel at the masterpiece!
Books!

” Hush Little Alien “ by Daniel Kirk is a quirky updated version of the classic lullaby. So many bedtime books are super sugary but this one is funky and bright! I love the space theme and the illustrations are great! I like it especially for older kids who may be sick of the old standards!

” Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic for a reason. My son has loved it since day one and it really does a great job of calming before bed, like all great bedtime stories should. As a teacher I hated this book probably because it’s not a great book for groups I admit I was wrong, this is a gem !
” Good Night Mr. Night” by Dan Yaccarino This is another wonderful and calming bedtime book, Mr. Night quiets the animals , closes the flowers and gets the world ready to go night night! I love this book- I keep meaning to pick up the board book version! Like ” Goodnight Moon” there aren’t too many words, but the illustrations are perfect!

Five Senses : Yummmmmmy!

Chocolate Covered
Frozen Bananas

To end our week of “Five Senses” I decided to make my son a fun and not too full of crap treat. We had theses at our friends house a few weeks ago and loved them, so thank you Mandy for the inspiration! For taste and smell ideas for preschoolers scroll down past the bananas, these two senses are tricky for really little ones so a cooking activity where you can give your child lots of chances to taste is a great option for both smell and taste!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need bananas, baking chocolate ( for 4 treats I used .25 lbs) , butter , popsicle sticks, wax paper, a dish and a freezer!
  2. Start by peeling your bananas , cutting them in half and insert the popsicle sticks.
  3. For every .25 pound of chocolate or chocolate chips, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to make it easier to spread. Melt . I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, stirred it and then another 20.
  4. Ooops have we been learning anything? If you want you can have your little one “taste” the bowl, ask them how it tastes, I think my son liked it!
  5. Spread over bananas and put them in the freezer.
  6. Let set

Preschool
Taste & Smell Activity

In years past I have done taste tests in my classrooms. They were always a hit and made big impressions, always a plus in a learning environment. Here is what I did:

  1. Make a chart- simple or big depending if you are doing this for one child or a class. On the chart list ( pictures for preschoolers, written words for school agers) 3-5 flavors of food ice cream, yogurt, and jelly bellies have all worked well for me. Make sure the flavors are simple like strawberry, lemon, vanilla etc…
  2. In identical cups put the food to taste.
  3. Have your child smell the first cup, ask them to predict the flavor- choosing from the chart’s list. Make a note of their prediction.
  4. Have them taste it. Ask them if they want to switch the prediction or keep it as is.
  5. Reveal the flavor.
  6. Repeat.

On paper this seems very simple but it’s fun and a fun way to learn about taste and smell as well as introducing young children to the process of a real science experiment !

Parent’s Corner : Quick Note

Learning Through Play !

I just wanted to make a quick note about how young children learn. I am often asked about how I structure my day and all the learning my son is doing. The reality is yes I have a general routine / schedule but it’s for me, I need that , not for him. Most of his day is play, we do a sit down art or learning activity that is parent directed 3-4 times a week for 10- 30 minutes depending on if he wants to continue. Other than that I let him lead , because at this age ( almost 2 ) he needs the freedom to explore, learn through play and the world around him.

If your child doesn’t sit for activities find active ones they like but even then remember that anything we “make ” them do should be a very very small part of their day. I am not advocating ignoring your child or plopping them in front of tv all day, but a strict structure of many activities is contrary to the imaginative play toddlers and preschoolers need.

Anyway I have had many emails lately asking about what activities I do when during the day – and reality is we don’t do things all day at all, mostly we play. However the one thing I do think we should all be doing as parents from day one is reading to our kids.

Five Senses: Sound Safari

five senses activity sound
I had no clue how well this sound safari would work with my 23 month old, I have done it with 3- 5 year olds in the past but never with toddlers. It was a huge hit. He understood the chart and that we were listening to for the things listed and got very excited to earn each star. We chose to go for a walk in our neighborhood but you can do this inside or in your backyard as well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, plain paper, markers, a ruler, scissors, stickers and glue or double stick tape.sound map edit
  2. Make a simple chart , one space for the sound you are searching for and a small box for a sticker or a check mark.
  3. Add things you hear often around your neighborhood or where ever you will be listening. We did sirens, dogs barking, birds, cars, etc…sound
  4. Tape or glue the paper on the construction paper and head off on your walk.
  5. I gave the chart to my son and told him we were looking for all those sounds, we talked about hearing things, and although he was quite convinced we hear with our eyes, he still got it.sound activity for kids
  6. I helped start things off my closing the garage door and asking him what he heard. when he said the garage door , I asked him to look on his chart to see if that was on it. When it was we got a sticker and put it in the box.sound safari

The next up was our neighbor’s barking dogs! sound lesson for kidsThen birds… we were only a few hundred feet from our door and we already had half the items on our safari.As we kept walking we found more and my son pointed out ones we didn’t have like the lawnmowers the gardeners were using. That tickled me because that was the point of this whole exercise to learn about using our ears to hear and identify sounds. These were our final safari findings:

sound safari for toddlers