Last Days Of Summer

Sand Art

Right now at our house we are talking a lot about textures , this activity is a wonderful way to make something that is rough , which in my experience was always the hardest texture to find around the house or classroom. It’s also just a fun art activity too!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of construction paper, some white glue, some sand and markers or crayons if you want.
  2. Start by having your child draw some fun pictures, if they are at the scribble stage, let them scribble. If they are older see if they will draw a picture of their favorite summer memory, hopefully something with sand!
  3. Add the glue, we just went freestyle , but you can make structured designs or even letters!
  4. Add the sand. We started with a spoon but like most almost 2 year olds, my son got rather frustrated with the small amounts the spoon was scooping and decided to pour it on instead.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Once dry explore the feeling of the art, and talk about how the paper is smooth, but the sand is rough!
Book!


“The Sandcastle Contest”
by Robert Munsch. I am normally a huge Munsch fan, I love so many of his touching and goofy stories. I don’t like this book , I have read it 4 times trying to find something about it I liked, but it’s just not there for me. I think it focuses too much on the uglier side of competitiveness and the characters are rude. I hate giving anything by Munsch a bad review , but I can’t avoid it.

How To Make Juice Box Crayons

recycled crayonsRecycled crayons are fun to make and you don’t need any fancy molds for these! I decided to take advantage of the back to school prices on crayons and make a fun Halloween treat for my son, using recyclable juice boxes for a mold! Here is how I did it. Oh and you could do this technique with any colors . These chunky crayons are great for toddlers and who doesn’t need more stuff for their toddlers to do?

  1. Gather your materials. You will need crayons, some disposable tin foil muffin liners, a pan, some sparkles if desired , a juice box and your oven.
  2. Set your oven to 250 degrees or lower.
  3. Peel off any paper on the crayons you are using. I am using 6 orange and 3 black crayons.
  4. Break the crayons into smaller pieces and place them in the foil muffin liners- or a small over safe container you don’t mind getting wax all over.
  5. Pop them into your oven and watch carefully, they melt fast.
  6. Cut the top off the empty juice box.
  7. Once the wax is melted, pour one muffin liner full of orange wax into the juice box , put it in the fridge to solidify.
  8. If using sparkles pour them into the black wax now, stir and pop the pan back in the oven .
  9. When the wax is set in the juice box, repeat with the black wax, then the 2nd layer of orange.
  10. Let sit until completely dry.
  11. Cut the juice box and peel off the crayon.
  12. Color using this fun new crayon.

Color Mixing

Color mixing is something so simple but so exciting for young children. The lesson is vital as well, the basic understanding that when you mix two things a third new thing is created doesn’t have to come from a complicated lesson, so grab a few towels and trust me your children will love this!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some clear or white glass or plastic containers. Food coloring, water , a turkey baster and a thick place mat or towel under the jars.
  2. Start by letting your child get accustomed to using the turkey baster to transfer the water from one container to another. They do make child size turkey basters and sell them at educational stores like Lakeshore learning but I am just using a regular old one.
  3. Next add blue and red to two of the jars and have clear water in the third. Ask about the colors and if your child is old enough, ask them to make a prediction about what will happen if you mix the colors.
  4. Continue with as many color combinations as they want. My son had a blast making green and we re did this experiment 4 or 5 times.
  5. If they are getting frustrated with how slow the turkey baster is encourage them to pour the water into the other jars.
  6. The fun can keep going as long as they are interested, our experiment lasted about 30 minutes which was about 15 minutes longer than I expected!
Books!



” A Rainbow Of My Own” by Don Freeman is a charming story about wanting a rainbow, you may notice that the colors are out of order but I have always used that as a teaching tool in my classes.

” Little Blue and Little Yellow”
by Leo Lioniis a profound book with underlying commentary about race relations while the surface story is about little blobs of color who when squished together turn into one green blob!

Letter of the Week ! I i !

Ice Cream I !

Who doesn’t love ice cream? This activity can help teach the letter I , but it can also be used as a lesson about shapes and a simple math lesson. We only put on one scoop but you can add as many scoops as you can count!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 or more pieces of construction paper, crayons, scissors, glue and cotton balls if desired.
  2. Start by drawing a large I . Don’t cut it out yet.
  3. Have your child color and decorate the I, let them know that it’s going to be the cone of an ice cream cone. Ask them about the shapes they normally see on a cone, if they tell you a shape ask them to draw it on the cone. If they aren’t quite there yet, don’t push. It’s more important they are enjoying this activity , then us adults trying to cram in 4000 lessons into one. Go with their flow!
  4. While they are coloring and possibly drawing diamonds or other fun shapes, cut out one or more half circles for the scoops or ice cream. I made my scoop look more like ice cream but if you are using this as shape lesson simply use a perfect half circle.
  5. Cut everything out and glue together. Glue the I on the backing paper first, then the ice cream.
  6. Add more scoops if you want, and you can make the ice cream 3D by gluing on a few cotton balls.
  7. Let dry.
Books!


” Ice Cream , The Full Scoop”
by Gail Gibbons is a fascinating book all about, you guessed it, ice cream. It touches on the history of the tasty treat, how it was made in years past and how it is made today. As someone who once called St. Louis home, I was happy to see it also talks about the very first ice cream cone that debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in good old St. Louis! This book is not for toddlers or young preschoolers, it may even be too long for some 5 and 6 year olds. The delivery is fun with a lot of pictures so even if the whole book is too much, bits and pieces in small does much like ice cream is perfect!

“Manana, Iguana” by Ann Whitford Paul is a great book. It is a re telling of Chicken Little with a fun twist. The sky isn’t falling in this tale, instead Iguana is throwing a fiesta and although her friends say they will help, they all back out. She stands her ground and in the end they learn that you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too! The best part about this book is it’s use of Spanish mixed in with the English text. Small children will pick up on these words quickly and any exposure we as parents can give our children different languages is a benefit to them.