Get On The Bus !

Cool Bus!


My son is obviously too young to go to school but he was ecstatic that the school year started because that meant that he got to see the “cool bus” today! We have a stop right infront of our house so all day today his mind was on the “cool bus” !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1 yellow, 1 black and a 3rd piece of construction paper, glue, scissors and some crayons.
  2. Have your child draw the bus stop. My son insisted I draw a sun as well.
  3. While they are coloring cut out an outline of a bus with the yellow paper.
  4. Cut out small squares for windows, a long thin rectangle for the stripe along the bus, and some circles for the wheels. I did small yellow circles for hubcaps too.
  5. Glue on the yellow bus.
  6. Add the windows. I placed the glue to help guide my toddler but preschoolers can do this step unassisted.
  7. Add the wheels. I didn’t have to help with this one!
  8. Add the hubcaps.
  9. Let dry!
Song!

The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round,
round and round,
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all through the town!

The driver on the bus goes move on back,
move on back,
move on back,
The driver on the bus goes move on back,
all through the town!

The money on the bus goes clink clink clink,
clink clink clink,
clink clink clink,
The money on the bus goes clink clink clink,
all through the town!

The people on the bus go up and down,
up and down,
up and down,
The people on the bus go up and down,
all through the town!

Book!

” The Seals On The Bus” by Lenny Hort .I love this book and my class a few years ago loved it as well, it’s a fun way to change up the classic song! When kids are learning to read they really benefit from predictable text and so using a song like this that is so familiar but changing only the simplest variables like making the passengers into animals is an instant hit!

A is for Autumn !

I love autumn , the colors, smells, and Halloween candy! This craft is fun for all ages, depending on your child’s age and ability they can do all of it, or you can help like I did with my toddler. either way the end result will be well worth everyone’s effort!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 4 pieces of construction paper in fall colors or neutral , some paint, a marker, paintbrush, scissors and double stick tape.
  2. Draw or have your child draw some leaves on the construction paper, leave one page blank. I am using all different color paper but all one color is fine too.
  3. Have your child paint the leaf drawings.
  4. Add a 2nd color mix away it makes the leaves look that much more realistic!
  5. While your child is painting the leaves, draw a spiral on the blank page of construction paper.
  6. Paint the spiral. Let everything dry.
  7. Cut the leaves out.
  8. Cut the spiral out.
  9. Using double stick tape add the leaves to the spiral. I like using this over glue because it’s not as heavy and the spiral hangs nicer.
  10. Hang it up to decorate your house ! My son barely ate dinner pointing to his art, and excitedly telling his dad that we made it outside!

Song!

Leaves, leaves, leaves are falling
falling to the ground.
Orange, red, yellow and brown
leaves are falling down!

Alphabet Book List

animalia by Greame Base

Align Center

Animalia by Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!


Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming is a wonderful example of what an alphabet book should be. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning their first letters, the text is short , the letters are front and center and the illustrations are fun and interesting. My son loves this book, I grabbed it at the library after remembering how much my Pre K class loved it too! Many alphabet books are too long to read entirety at circle time or in one shot with a toddler but this my 19 month old will sit through Z every time!


The Racecar Alphabet by Brian Floca did not live up to my expectations. My main complaint it that the letters aren’t showcased at all. Yes each page starts with the appropriate letter but I really feel like in an alphabet book the letter needs to be obvious , and easy for young children to pick out. The text was centered around each letter but there wasn’t very good flow from one page to the next. I was disappointed in this pick.

What Pete Ate
What Pete Ate from A to Z by Marie Kalman had my Pre-K class in stitches begging for more. It really is a funny book about a dog and his alphabetical list of things he’s eaten. I like it because it’s funny and simple and the alliterative text isn’t forced. The sarcastic bits will keep parents giggling too!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. It’s text is musical , it’s premise is brilliant in it’s simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!
Chicka Chicka ABC is a fantastic board book and shorter version of the longer book. My son loves this book and it’s the perfect amount of text for a toddler, the illustrations by Lois Ehlert are so bright and bold that even very young babies will respond to it! A must have for all bookshelves.

Baby's Alphabet by Jean Marzollo
Baby’s Alphabetby Jean Marzollo will appeal to your baby and toddler, we were given it as a gift and my son has loved it since about 9 months on. The photographs of other babies will keep your little one interested and you will be surprised how soon they will anticipate the next page, I know I was. Sadly our copy is now flying the friendly skies , we took it on a flight with us last week and forgot it. Hopefully someone with a baby finds it !

The Ocean Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta is a good book, not a page turner but it is filled with fun facts about sea creatures. The book is geared towards older children but because it has letters prominently displayed on each page, with great illustrations your toddler will enjoy it too. The text really is too long to read from A-Z for a circle time or a toddler but it was very easy for me to simply read each letter and label the ocean animal for my son who then sat through the whole alphabet. If your child is into all things that swim this is a good book to foster that love and learn a little about letters at the same time!


Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list.


Match Point !

Shape Sorting

This was a little tricky for my little guy but if I had used all the same color for the shapes he wouldn’t have needed as much help, I think he was a little confused over which to match . Even if your child doesn’t quite get it, as long as they aren’t frustrated they will benefit from playing with the shapes .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1 large piece of paper or wraping paper ( using the reverse), 3 pieces of contruction paper in 3 colors, scissors, glue and a marker. You can also use crayons, paint or markers to decorate the shapes.
  2. Cut out 3 large shapes. You can do more for older children and less for children just learing their shapes.
  3. Cut our a bunch of small shapes that match your larger ones. Here is where I messed up, I should have only used the same color paper for each shape , but with older children feel free to make is harder and even have them cut out their own shapes.
  4. Glue your large shapes onto the big piece of paper.
  5. Start by giving your child just a few shapes and seeing if they know where to put them. You may have to help, that’s fine this activity needs a lot of parental involvement ( so no dishes or making dinner while you do this one ! ) . Once they figure it out, hand them the glue.
  6. Keep going!It took my little man a few times but he started getting it after a few minutes.
  7. Hang it up and try to find shapes around your house that match too!
Song!

Herman the Worm- remix!
Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum,
chomp chomp chomp,
Playing with my yo yo ,
woo woo,
When a long came Herman the worm,
and he was shaped like this__( hold up a shape)__
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said I ate a ___( name the shape)____

Do with as many or as few shapes as you please !


Book

“Mouse Shapes” by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute book that ot only helps teach shapes it is also entertaining! The three crafty mice use the shapes to protect themselves from one hungry cat finally using them to make scary mice to frighten the cat away! Kids love to help find which shapes are use in the authors collages and older ones can even anticipate what the mice will make next!


Quick Fixes!

Fast and Easy !
Sometimes long weekends means there are parties, BBQ and big events that don’t allow
you the time for big elaborate crafts but you can fit these quick fixes into even the busiest schedule, even if it’s just allowing your child to “help” you get some things done.

  1. Kitchen Caper! My son loves “helping” me cook. He has never been a big eater but if he helps make the food he always eats it. Here he is helping me make cookies, don’t worry the mixer is unplugged , we count , scoop, measure and pour while making treats! Oh and be the official butter taste tester!
  2. Water Scooping. I propped up a plastic mixing bowl on top of another filled it with water and let him splash and scoop.
  3. Patio drawing ! Out door chalk is awesome, it comes clean with water, and comes in bright fun colors.
  4. At Home Museum! We grabbed some Art books and looked for cats, boats and apples in the paintings, it lasted almost 40 minutes and made no mess! Here we are enjoying gothic architecture!