Toilet Paper Roll Rocket

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an empty toilet or paper towel roll, some paint, a paint brush, some red or orange tissue paper, a piece of construction paper some glue, scissors and a little aluminum foil .
  2. Paint the roll the color of your choosing, while your child is painting cut out some flames using the tissue paper.
  3. While the roll is drying have your child color the piece of construction paper if they want, it will be made into the nose of the ship so let them know you will be cutting it. Sometimes young children will get really upset if you don’t give them ample warning that you are altering their masterpiece.
  4. Meanwhile cut some long strips of aluminum foil.
  5. The roll should be dry enough to glue the aluminum foil strips on, while your child does this, go head and cut a circle out of the construction paper and cut half way into the circle to make a cone.
  6. Glue the cone on the end of the rocket. It’s easiest to put glue in the cone and then place the roll inside it. Hold it there a minute or two.
  7. Glue the flames on the bottom inside.
  8. Blast off!

Song!



Blast Off!

Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
hurry and get ready
we’re going to blast off soon,
put on your helmet
and buckle up real tight,
cause here comes the countdown
so count with all your might!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off!!

Books!

” Babar Visits Another Planet” by Laurent De Brunhoff is a sentimental favorite of mine, I think I had my school library’s copy out from Kindergarten to 2nd grade! It is on the longer side so I would not suggest it for young preschoolers who have a hard time with long books. Also I read it in the original French so I never noticed the present tense , reading it if English is your first language you may find some passages a little off…but don’t worry the kids won’t notice!

” How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers was an awesome library find. The illustrations are fantastically simple, and support the equally simple yet effective storyline about a boy who wanted a star of his own. I love this book, and your kids will too!” Roaring Rockets” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker is a fun rhyming book about rockets. Even toddlers will enjoy the cartoon like pictures and zippy text. Also the last page is devoted to explaining the parts of a rocket and other facts!

 

Raising Readers – Reading Resources

Early literacy isn’t a unit of study during Kindergarten, early literacy starts when your child is born and you use language to say hello to that tiny little face looking back at you. Sometimes parenting can feel overwhelming so I have brought what I think are some of the very best resources available on the topic of early literacy . It’s never too late to enrich your child and not nearly as hard as it sounds!

This is a fantastic resource, there is all sorts of information about development not just literacy related information. There is a lot on this site so do not try to read it all in one nap time or while watching tv before bed ( I know that’s the only time I have to read! ) , bookmark this one for sure! I love this checklist about everyday learning for babies and toddlers.



Reading is Fundamental

This is a HUGE site with a plethora of information so go slow. There are activities, articles , author Q&A and so much more. I love some of their activities too- they have many that include sensory experiences, and all types of learning! This is exciting to me as an educator because often times learning to read has been stuck in a work sheets and flash card abyss, it’s nice to see we have broken out of that mold for good!

Get Read To Read

This is a good page, but not as easy to find things or read tidbits at a time. They have a fantastic checklist for parents about providing a home environment that will help foster a reader though. Most of this page seems more geared towards the PreK- School age crowd but it is still very useful for parents of toddlers. They have a great resources page too.

Raising Readers

This is a state of Maine initiative but I have posted it because it’s very to the point and reader friendly, which really means it’s short enough that you may be able to read it while your child is awake an ]playing quietly for 4 minutes! There are basic checklists and good lists of what parents can expect their children to be doing at various stages from birth to 5.

Scholastic Parents – Reading Help

Scholastic’s tag line is about making life better by reading everyday. Well they make it easier for parents to find out how to help their kids with the information on this page. There is way more info on Scholastic about reading than this section and I urge you to read through and use their search but I particularly like this section because you can browse by age starting at 0 .

Your Local Library

Please do not forget to go to your local library, I can not stress how fantastic a resource a children’s librarian is!

I hope these sites can be useful for you if not today in the near future, remember kindergarten teachers are magicians, kids start learning how to read the day they are born. We don’t have to push them , we just need to be there to support them!


It’s A Wrap!

Handmade
Wrapping Paper

If you have small children you probably end up going to a lot of birthday parties, this activity uses your child’s natural excitement for the party and reigns it in for a few moments anyway!

  1. Gather your materials. I am using old Christmas wrapping paper ( I swear this one roll has been around since the 90′s) , I find that using real wrapping paper makes it easier to actually wrap the gift, but any paper will work. Also I am using sponges for a more uniform look, but finger painting or another style is fine too! Of course you’ll need paint too, like usual I am mixing my own colors!
  2. Use a large piece of paper, larger than you think you will need and tape it face down to the table, or my favorite place a porch/ patio , the hose makes clean up easy!
  3. If you are sponge painting cut the sponge into small shapes.
  4. Pour some paint colors onto a dish and mix, this is one of my son’s favorite parts of art time!
  5. Start painting!
  6. Add more colors and keep going!Move your child around the paper for a more even pattern.
  7. Remember how I said use a large piece of paper? This is why, beware of toddlers who think ripping is fun! Luckily I saved enough of the paper for the gift!
  8. Let dry at least 24 hours, and wrap it in a place that is easy to clean as well, sometimes thick paint will flake off after wrapping. I suggest giving your box a good shake after wrapping.
Books!

” Babar’s Birthday Surprise” by Laurent de Brunhof is a story about friends trying to keep a special present a surprise from Babar, and all the trouble it takes to do so. I like Babar books, especially the vocabulary found in the older Babar books, words like stupefied , splendid and catastrophe ! This is a longer book, I would probably not try this with younger preschoolers and toddlers but this is a great book for 4-5 year olds !

” Moira’s Birthday” by Robert Munsch is a silly book, most of his books are, but silly is great! Moira is excited about having her birthday and doesn’t know how to say no to all the kids at school when they beg to come to her party. She ends up with the whole school at her house and her parents don’t know what to do! Luckily Moira does. This book at first look may seem like Moira is a spoiled brat who gets her way but really she is problem solving and when she gives away a present to each child who helps clean up, you can see she just wanted a good party, and isn’t a gift grabbing brat at all! Kids LOVE this book, I have never read it to a class that didn’t laugh hysterically.

“On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman is a beautiful book , maybe I am analyzing it too much but it’s really indulgent. Yes I think it’s message is right, everyone is special but what is wrong with just saying your mommy, daddy and family were excited that you were born, do we really need to tell kids that polar bears danced upon hearing the news? The pictures really are amazing I am just not a fan of the text.

Letter Of The Week! Bb!

Buzzzzzzy Bee!


As your child shows interest in letters it’s a great time to find activities that help foster that interest, and as you may expect my suggestions do not include flash cards!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white or yellow construction paper, some black paper, a pipe cleaner, some yellow paint , scissors and glue.
  2. Draw a large B on your yellow or white construction paper. Cut the outline out but do not cut the insides of the B out, unless you are doing this with an older child, it makes the B very fragile and will probably end up ripped.
  3. Have your child paint the B, I am using glitter paint because it’s my favorite but you can use whatever you like, or skip this step all together.
  4. While your child is painting using the black paper cut out some wings and stripes.
  5. Have your child glue the stripes on the B.
  6. Glue the wings on the underside of the B.
  7. Thread the pipe cleaner half way through the B, I made sure I did this at a spot where there was a black stripe to give it extra strength, bend the pipe cleaner into antennae.
  8. Let dry and cut out the insides of the B. If you want you can also glue the B onto a full size piece of construction paper for added stability.

Additional Activities


Discovery Boxes

A great way to introduce a letter of the week to your child is to fill a box with items starting with that letter. This morning after breakfast my son and I sat down and pulled lots of fun things out of our box. A Ball, Blocks, Books and Big Beads were all in there! The best part about this activity is that you use things around your house, and you can use it for letters, colors and shapes!

Letter of the week “Stories”

This is a fun activity for older preschoolers, I had fun doing this with my PreK class a few years ago! What you do is write a short story leaving blanks for your child to fill in with words starting with the letter of the week. The results will make both of you giggle, and your child will be learning too!

Here is an example :


Mr. _________ was a funny old man, he lived in a _________ house with a pet _______ ! When he went to the grocery store he bought lots of _________ , I think that was all he ever ate! He wore silly things too, he would wear ________ on his feet and _______ on his head!

Remember to keep it short so that your child stays interested, you want them to be challenged , not frustrated!

Mother’s Day : Part 1 !

~ Happy Mother’s Day ~
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and if you need a gift in a pinch , I am reposting our easy peasy craft as well as some great Mom and Grandma book suggestions!

Foam Fridge Frames!
( say that 3x fast!)



Since most of my readers are moms I decided to gear today more for Grandmas, late
r in the week I will do a book review of just books that since becoming a mom make me cry ( what’s the deal with that?!) , be sure not to miss it!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3-4 foam sheets, some glue , scissors, a magnet/magnetic tape and a picture of your dear child and either yourself or your spouse if you are giving it to your mom or mother in law.
  2. Trace the outside of the picture , onto one of the foam sheets. Try not to press too hard or it might be noticeable in the finished product.
  3. Fold the foam sheet with the tracing on it in half and cut slightly inside the line to create a frame.
  4. Keeping the sheet folded you can cut on the other side of the line in a squiggly pattern to make a cool scroll effect.
  5. Cut shapes out of one or two of the other foam sheet, the sky is the limit , one tip though if you want intricate shapes use very fine tipped scissors, regular ones just don’t cut it precisely.
  6. Glue your shapes on your frame piece. Make sure your tracing is on the backside.
  7. Glue your picture onto an uncut foam sheet.
  8. Glue around your picture and place the frame with shapes over it.
  9. Let dry, then on the back glue your magnetic tape , or magnet pieces. I just used one of the free magnets I got from my local library, cut it in 3 and glued them on.
  10. Send this to your mom or mother in law!

* You will probably notice my son is missing from these pictures. I chose to do this activity as a naptime one, because at 17 months he still puts foamy things in his mouth and this activity just begged for that. This should really be done only with children who unlike my son, are past the everything goes in to the mouth stage.

Books!

Like I said above, today I am focusing on our reader’s moms, but in a few days I will have a post dedicated to books about moms !

” Grandma and Me” by Karen Katz is presently the big hit at our house and the inspiration for today’s activity. I didn’t read it at all before handing it to my mom and saying ” How can you resist this book?” . She bought it and sat down to read it with my son, the book is bright and sweet with great flaps to lift, but just so moms of boys know it’s all about a girl and her grandma. I would have still bought it but I giggle every time I lift the flap where grandma has hidden a new ” Nightgown” for her granddaughter, at our house it’s a tee shirt! My son adores books where he can participate physically , and I can’t help but melt when he grabs it and says ” Gaga” as he grabs it from our book bin !

“Just Grandma and Me” by Mercer Mayer is a fun counter part to the previous book, in this book a grandma and her grandson hit the beach and enjoy an afternoon together. There is something so sweet and touching about this book and the special bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren. The last page is adorable with Little Critter being carried into his house asleep on his grandma’s shoulder.