Paper Plate Pig Craft


Toddlers and young preschoolers will love painting the paper plate, but the small pieces to glue will require a lot of adult help but 4 and 5 year olds will love it!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, 3 sections of an egg carton , scissors, some pink paint ( or red and white) , a paint brush , some black paper and glue.
  2. Mix your paint, I know I have been saying this a lot lately but this simple step of mixing colors is such a fast and easy color lesson and kids love to mix things!
  3. Paint the paper plate . While your child is doing this cut the egg carton into 3 pieces, one whole cup and two half ones. Also cut 2 small black circles and two tiny rectangles for the eyes and nostrils out of the black paper.
  4. Paint egg carton pieces. You need to paint the inside of 2 egg carton pieces and the outside of the other.
  5. Glue on the eyes.
  6. Glue on the snout.
  7. Glue the nostrils on.
  8. Glue on the ears.
Song!

Three Little Pigs

Three little pigs rolled in the mud,
Squishy , Squashy felt so good,
The farmer took one pig out,
Oink oink oink, the pig did shout!

Continue with 2, 1

No little pigs rolled in the mud,
They all looked so clean and good,
The farmer turned his back and then,
All the little pigs rolled in the mug again!

Books

” Grunt” by John Richardson is a classic running away from home story. This one is about a pig who is different from all his siblings and can only grunt instead of squeal, and thinks that because he is different his family must not want him. Of course in the end mama is overjoyed to see him come home and he discovers his family does love him. I am biased against books like this cause I just don’t like them, I don’t like that a child( or piglet) has to run away to find out they are loved. Maybe it’s just my own pet peeve , regardless this book is ok, but I won’t be adding it to my bookshelf.

” Pigsty” by Mark Teague is more my kind of book. Silly but with a good message. Wendell has a messy room and his mom calls it a pigsty, soon enough pigs start showing up! At first it’s cool , Wendell has fun with the pigs but it’s not long before the pigs are too much and even Wendell can’t take it. I think this book has a great message about responsibility, and how sometimes fun gets to be too much .

” Piggies” by Don and Audrey Wood is a great counting book for little guys. Toddlers love this book. You will probably notice your child touching their fingers as you read this delightful story about little piggies.

Letter Of The Week ! Ss !

The letter S is pretty distinctive and often one of the first letters many children I have taught can identify, this is a fun easy craft using the letter S.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, some paint, scissors, some black and white paper or foam, glue, and a red pipe cleaner.
  2. Draw a thick S on a piece of construction paper.
  3. Mix some paint colors together, you don’t need to do this step but I have been noticing since doing this my son has been naming colors more accurately. I ask him ” Which color should we use?” while holding 2 or 3 for him to choose from. It could be a coincidence but it takes an extra 30 seconds so I think it’s well worth the time!
  4. Paint your S, you aren’t going to cut it out until it’s all dry and this makes it less frustrating for little ones who are less able to stay within the S.
  5. While your child is painting cut out 2 black circles of paper or foam sheets, and then small white diamonds and glue together. Of course you can use googley eyes if you want to skip this step.
  6. Let the snake dry.
  7. Glue the eyes on.
  8. Add a tongue, I am using a pipe cleaner but red paper glued on would work great too.
  9. Glue the S onto another full piece of paper for strength, without it the S will be ripped in no time.
Books!

” Hide and Snake” by Keith Baker is a fantastic book for a wide range of ages. The story follows a snake that hides in multi colored places. It is not too easy to find the snake , but easy enough that this won’t frustrate your child. With older children this book can open a dialog about camouflage and how snakes use it for protection and hunting. Younger children love books likes these because they can stay “busy” while you read the fun rhyming text.


” The Greedy Python” by Eric Carle is a fun fable about a snake that is so greedy and keeps eating and eating that eventually he eats everything, even himself! Kids love this silly story!


Additional Activities

Magnetic writing boards

I love this toy, so does my son. You can use it in so many ways and for those of you afraid of unleashing your children with crayons and markers this makes no mess. My son loves to have my husband or me write a letter of the alphabet then he scribbles over it until there is no more space on the screen.

An activity I enjoyed doing with a student who loved this was to play restaurant, she was the waitress and would take my order. I would order letters, shapes, and numbers and she would write them down on the board. Older children enjoy playing hang man on this toy too!

Splish Splash ! Let’s learn about water!

Exploring Water


Note to Parents: Relax, put down a towel and don’t you dare do this in the bath tub, kids love water and they need to have fun and explore how it feels, works and looks outside of the routine of a bath.

  1. Gather your materials. I like to use a container in relation to your child’s age. So the smaller the baby the smaller the tupperware ! You should never have anything large enough that a child could get into and cause themselves harm. You don’t need a huge container for a good time. You will also want some fun things to put in the water- oh and you may want to make sure anything you don’t want in the water is out of reach!
  2. Have fun pouring and if you have an older child, grab some measuring cups and measure out the water, pour it fast, or slow, try to make a teeny tiny trickle. Follow your child’s lead, if pouring is boring move on!!
  3. Get your testers ready- find things in your house for this experiment! Young toddlers will have fun splashing but I have done this experiment with kids as young as 2 successfully. Be animated, follow their cues and throw those toys in the water! As you pop them in ask your child if they think it will stay bouncy floating on top or if they will fall all the way to the bottom and sink.
  4. If your child likes to learn with words and charts make a simple chart like this one. You can test out each object and put them in the right colum. If your child just thinks it’s fun to put the wet toys on paper that’s cool too. Don’t push , we want them to explore.
  5. If you have an older child try making predictions before the experiment. I have always been amazed that the Melissa and Doug blocks don’t sink, they get me every time! I had to go searching for this car just so I had something to sink! Remember it’s great to admit that you thought one thing and were shocked to be proven wrong, discover things with your child !
Song


Note to Parents - I have met very few preschoolers ( and I know lots) that don’t love to sing, so why not!! Also when you sing with your child don’t worry about how you sound, they don’t care, in my opinion the sillier the better!

Here is one of my favorite songs with the water theme in it! This was always a big hit with my students. Click on the video to see how silly adults with no make up and messy hair are singing kids songs- and for the actions!

Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Five green and speckled frogs
sat on a speckled log
eating the most delicious bugs
yum yum !

One jumped into the pool
where it was nice and cool
now there are 4 green speckled frogs
ribit ribit!

Keep going until no more left!


Books


Here are some great picture books that support this theme, so if your child had fun with the water and or song you could introduce these books at a quiet , or not so quiet time too!

“Splash!” by Flora McDonell

“Water is Wet” by Penny Pollack

Note to Parentslet your young child take the lead, they are always learning , always absorbing and not everything HAS to be a teachable moment. Suggest and offer activities but be prepared to end things early or move on to something else, that is ok, normal and healthy! Learning doesn’t happen in a forced environment , but rather one rich in opportunities and experiences!

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!