It might be yucky outside but we can make our own Sunshine!

Sparkly Sun

  1. Gather your Materials. Grab some yellow paint, crayons or markers, some paper cut into a circle or a paper plate, and something to make the rays. I am using left over streamers from a party, but painted strips of newspaper , regular paper cut in triangles or even ribbon would be cool. Glue or tape to keep the rays in place and the most important thing of all, sparkles.
  2. Let your child go nuts covering the body of the sun as much or as little as they want. My son loved these foam paintbrushes I got at home depot for under a dollar each.
  3. With older children have them decide how many rays they want, ask them the number and ask them to count the rays out as they are putting them on. Remember if your child is counting incorrectly, don’t freak out just say something encouraging like ” Oh you almost got it! “- and model the correct counting.
  4. Once the rays are on, spread some glue on the sun and make it sparkle! Let it dry and give it a good shake on the porch or over a sink before letting your child play with it if you want to avoid a sparkly house.
  5. Remember to talk to your child about what they are making, you don’t need to lecture them about the earth and the sun, but you can ask them what they know about the sun, ask them how it feels when the sun is out etc… but as always don’t push it. Kids especially toddlers and preschoolers resist learning when pushed.

Song!



Mr. Sun

Mr. Sun, Sun Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!
Oh Mr. Sun , Sun Mr. Golden Sun,
hiding behind a tree!
These little children are asking you ,
to please come out so we can play with
you,
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun Mr.Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!


Books!

The books today are my “son’s” favorites! They are all board books because he is still young, the great thing about board books is that they are easier for the little guys to turn the pages and of course resist tearing.


” Toes Ears & Nose” by Marion Dane Bauer
“Clap Hands” by Helen Oxenbury
“Diggers” by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

Quick Fixes!

5 Minute Sparklers!
These are short, fun and easy activities to bridge the gap between two larger ones. I use them when I need some time to do something like unloading the dishwasher, or simply take up some time in the witching hour ( after nap but before Daddy gets home! ). Use these short activities whenever you need somethting fast but fun!
  • Calendar Coloring. Out of construction paper, in a rush and don’t have time to protect your kitchen table? Use your desk top calendar with the previous month’s page still attached. The pad is heavy enough to protect even a nice table, and the paper is large enough that even a toddler with insanely long arms like my son will not be able to color off the paper! My son loved finding letters on the paper, and colored long enough for me to get dinner into the oven!
  • Ice Scooping. Late in the afternoon the last thing I want to do is change my son’s outfit ONE MORE TIME so instead of getting out the water and allowing him to splash I filled his bucket with ice cubes, and let him scoop them like sand. NO mess and he had a blast!
  • Can Towers. Despite getting a very minor burn from a hot oven door my son is persistant about warning me about the hot stove, which is sweet but he tries to touch it every time! So I keep his little hands busy with can towers. Tomato paste jars are his favorites, they are small and perfect for a toddler’s hands.
  • Let them play clean! I love mops with washable heads, I feel confident allowing my son to clean with them knowing that even if he manages to put it in his mouth , I know it’s free from too much grime.
  • Hanger Helper. My son has been handing me hangers while I put away laundry for a long time, I have started counting them with him now too. He likes to say ” One, Two!” it’s a start! It also helps me have fun doing something I loathe !

Nature Discovery

Mother Nature
Colla
ge

What I love about this deceptively simple activity is that it gets kids outside examining the world around them, then brings them back inside to go over what they have found!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( recycled cardboard is perfect) or a foam sheet , glue and something to gather your nature discoveries in. Oh and some place outdoors where you can gather things to bring inside.
  2. Go outside and start finding treasures. I have done this with litter, shells from a beach, all leaves or like this where anything my son grabbed we included.
  3. Pop your treasures in the jar or bowl.
  4. Note to parents sometimes your child will find something like this snail that can’t be glued ( or shouldn’t be anyway) take a picture and when they move on to something else rescue it from the jar. If they are old enough explain nicely why gluing something living to a piece of paper for our enjoyment is not a good thing.
  5. Come inside and spread the glue. You will probably need a lot.
  6. Start placing the nature discoveries on your paper/ foam.
  7. Let dry, ours had to dry overnight for the pine cone and stick to stay on.

Song!

My Backyard!

Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my backyard,
my backyard ,
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my back yard’s full!

Rocks and trees and butterflies
butterflies,
butterflies,

Rocks and trees and butterflies

Dirt and leaves and bugs!’

Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my backyard,
my backyard,
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard ,
my backyard’s full!

Book!

” Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun” by Deb Vanasse is one of the few books I have read that really captures the beauty of nature without being preachy about conservation, or filled with facts . Facts aren’t a bad thing, but this book enjoys the nature in it in such a gentle way that along with the beautiful illustrations by Jeremiah Trammell you can simply appreciate it. The story is adorable too. The book is about the longest day of the year and one child’s quest to stay up and enjoy it all without falling asleep. All children can relate to the feeling of missing out on something good after having to go to bed, this book uses that feeling and spins it to celebrate nature!

Letter of the Week Gg!

Green and Gold
Glittery Gs!

Teaching letters doesn’t have to be all about pointing them out in books, magnets on the fridge or singing the ABCs ( although those are great things to do too! ). Making letters, hanging them up on the fridge or wall and showing your child what they made is a great way to reinforce their learning too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need two pieces of construction paper, a marker, some green paint ( or colors to make green), glitter, glue and scissors.
  2. Draw a fat G, I had to draw 3 before I got one I even sorta liked.
  3. Mix the paint together! I used blue, green , and yellow glitter paint. Obviously any plain green paint or markers would work just as well. Our goal being teaching about the letter G and the color green all in one shot!
  4. Paint the G
  5. Add the Glitter. You can let the paint dry and spread glue and regular sparkles or use sparkles like these made for card / scrap booking. Just make sure they are non toxic!
  6. Let dry and Cut out the G.
  7. Put glue on the second piece of construction paper and glue on the G !

Painting With Toy Vehicles

painting with toy cars 


This is one of my favorite super simple art activities. Kids love using their cars, trucks and trains to leave tracks on the paper, a huge hit with boys and girls alike! Painting with toy vehicles also helps kids develop creative thinking since we are using the toys for something other than their intended purpose.

  1. Gather your materials. For this art you will need at least one car per child, although I like using a few different ones so there is some variety on the paper. Some paint or an ink pad, paper and a plate or tray for the paint.
  2. Pour enough paint in the plate or tray so that the wheels get sufficiently covered. I put in a little at a time so that there are no globs, just a thin layer to make tracks.
  3. Roll your vehicles in the paint and transfer it to the paper!
  4. Add another color of paint to the plate switch up the vehicle and keep going!

* For older children you can even make a designated road, and then add to the activity by making some houses and buildings to glue on it!

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!

The babies on the bus go waa waa waa,
waa waa waa,
waa waa waa,
The babies on the bus go waa waa waa
all through the town!

The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish,
swish swish swish,
swish swish swish,
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish ,
all through the town!

Books!

John Deere: Loader (John Deere (DK Hardcover)) by John Deere is a fun toy/ book for little ones. The pages Velcro together to use it as a toy with real wheels but when you open it they have real life pictures of heavy building equipment and if your child is like my son , this book will be well read!

Tracks: All Aboard for the Wackiest Train Ride Ever! by David Galef is a funny book about what happens when the man designing the railway tracks breaks his glasses and can’t see properly. Very funny book for your little train enthusiast!

Construction Countdown by K.C Olsonis a counting book that uses backhoes, dump trucks and cement mixers among other things to count. Before I even closed the book my son was signing for more. I read it 4 times since getting it out of the library today. A huge hit here!

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