Rainy Day Rainbow – Recycled Art

This recycled art project is great because it never really has to be done, also it’s a cooperative project that you and your child or a group can do together. You can make it for St.Patrick’s Day or just to brighten a rainy day with lots of color.
  1. Gather your Materials. For the back of the rainbow I have used some extra wrapping paper but you can use anything, in the past I have used brown grocery bags taped together and it looked great! Glue is great for older preschoolers but if you are worried about the mess or if you have a glue eater ( I know I do! ), try some double stick tape!
  2. Draw a rainbow, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even good, the paper will cover it .
  3. Get scrap paper or if you don’t have that you can color some the colors you want. Then hand the paper to whoever loves to rip things, my 14 month old loved this part of the project.
  4. Decide what order you want and start putting the paper in the arches.
  5. Keep going and going- roll it up and wait until the next rainy day to add more scrap paper to it.
In my classroom a few years ago I used this activity as an alternative to going outside when it was raining, throughout the week we would save scrap paper and on a rainy day add it to our rainbow. The children who were 2-3 loved it and when it was done were very proud when I hung it up where their parents could see it. A long term project is a great experience for little ones, so don’t worry about finishing it in one try!

Construction Sensory Tub

 

I wasn’t going to include this activity on the site but my son’s continual begging to play in the “Dut” convinced me to share it!
  1. Gather your materials. I grabbed an old box we got at Costco but any low edged container will do. I filled it with some crushed rock my husband was using to make us a patio, but sand, mulch or soil will be fine too. I wanted it to be something earthy though since so often we use dried beans and pasta. Then I added some construction vehicles and a shovel and pail.
  2. Encourage your child to fill the pail, dig with the shovel and use the diggers and dozers. In all honesty I had to do nothing to encourage my son, he loved every bit of getting filthy!
  3. Have a bath ready, your little one will need it!

Fun with Fungi !

Mushroom Prints!


I love painting and printing with fun things you can find while grocery shopping , when I saw this huge mushroom at the market I knew half would be eaten and half was going to be sacrificed for art!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large firm mushroom, make sure it’s fresh so it can stand up to a beating, which means no gills showing. Paint- as many colors as you want , a plate and some paper. I am using the brown paper bag from the store. * You could also use multiple veggies- potatoes, onions, and zucchini make cool prints.
  2. Spread a thin layer of paint on the plate.
  3. Start printing!
  4. Add 2nd and 3rd color of paint and keep going.
  5. Don’t worry if your younger child doesn’t stamp the mushroom so that the outline is clear, they are still having fun and painting with a new tool. Older children should be encouraged but not pushed to do it carefully so that they can see the outline. It’s more important to have fun and be open to learning than making them do it “right” .
Book!

Just one book today, it’s such a gem it deserves it’s own day!


” Eating the Alphabet”
by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extrodinare! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry!

Letter Of The Week ! H h!

Happy Heart
H !


My son is smitten with hearts right now so this was an easy way to harness his interest while doing a fun letter of the week project. Using all different color hearts this doesn’t end up looking like a valentine, but does reinforce the letter and the shape!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun scrap paper or construction paper to make the hearts, 2 full pieces of construction paper , glue , scissors , markers and a heart shaped paper punch. You can cut out the hearts individually too, especially if you are doing this with an older child who can cut their own , or have a helpful older sibling willing to help!
  2. Draw a Fat uppercase H.
  3. Have your child color with markers or crayons. Th not only stretches out the activity a little it gives them practice for early writing skills. Don’t worry if they say they are done after one scribble, that’s normal, offer another color and if it’s a no go move on.
  4. Cut out the hearts ,I used a punch but feel free to draw hearts and cut them out.
  5. Spread the glue.
  6. Spread the hearts!
  7. Let dry.
  8. Cut out and glue onto another sheet of construction paper. This helps the shape of the letter stand out and makes it less likely to rip.

Books!


I don’t often use books that start with the letter of the week because they don’t usually reinforce the sounds and letter really obviously. However this week I am because all three of these books do it well!

“Horns to Toes And In Between” by Sandra Boynton is a fantastic little book. There are lots of great H words featured, and they are all written in uppercase which for children first learning to recognize letters is a great things since they rarely learn both the lower and upper case at once. Sandra Boynton is a master at great little books, if you aren’t familiar with her books, take some time at the library and check them out!

” Hungry Harry “ by Joanne Partis is a cute book about a hungry little frog out searching for his first meal on his own! This is a fun book to read to children learning their letter sounds since it is easy to exaggerate the sounds in Hungry and Harry. It’s a fun story too!

” Bob’s Busy Hammer” by Kiki Thorpe is the rare character book you will find in my library. In my opinion I would rather a child read character books than nothing but in general these books are the white bread of children’s literature.popular but have no substance. That said this book is great for 2 reasons, it doubles as a hammer and for a child learning about H words, a book in the shape of a hammer reinforces the letter and sounds in a novel way.

Lady Bug Craft

bug crafts for kids
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some black construction paper, a paper plate, some red paint, glue , scissors and a pipe cleaner.
  2. Have your child paint the underside of the paper plate, we chose to finger paint and if you look close at my son’s lips, he taste tested the paint too.
  3. While your child is painting, using the black construction paper to make a head.
  4. Cut out some spots and thin rectangle. I used a paper punch for the spots but you can draw circles and simply cut them out.
  5. Glue your head and spots on .
  6. Poke two small holes in the head and thread the pipe cleaner through.
Books!

” The Very Grouchy Ladybug”by Eric Carle is more than a cute book about a crabby bug. The Lady bug is looking for a fight and each hour she finds a bigger and bigger animal to fight with until she is unintentionally slapped by a big whale’s tail! I loved using this book to teach telling time, as there is a picture of an analog clock on each page. I would use a play clock and as I read each page ask one child to come and set our classroom clock. Also don’t be put off by the fact that the lady bug tries to pick fights, no animal takes her up on her offer and you can spin that into a great lesson about not giving into people who are trying to pick fights.” Miss Spider’s ABC” by David Kirk has the most vivid and beautiful illustrations. The text is simple and flows well but the value is in the illustrations, they cover all sorts of bugs and are so bright that they will appeal to your child!

” I Love Bugs” by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!