That Blows! Frustration , Feelings and Fun!

Blow Painting!

This is a great project for preschoolers on up but would probably prove to be incredibly frustrating for toddlers.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, drinking straws, paint, a small container and a little bit of water.
  2. Thin out your paint with a little water in a small container. It should be thin enough to splatter but still thick enough to hold the pigment.
  3. Using your straw drip some paint on your paper.
  4. Keeping the end of your straw close to the drip of paint , blow through it and watch the paint spread! If it’s not spreading try thinning it out a bit more, or blow harder!
  5. Add another color and keep going! Spin the paper around to get the splatters in all directions.

Song!



Cooperation Song

The more we work together,
together,
together,
the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be,
cause I like to help you,
and you like to help me,

the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be.

Books!

I decided to focus my song and books about feelings because young children need a lot of reassurance about feelings in my experience. Toddlers and Preschoolers have always reminded me of teenagers, seeking independence from the baby stage but not sure about where the boundaries should be. All of these books have been useful to me while teaching and talking to young children about feelings.


“The way I feel” by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

” The Grumpy Morning” by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer. As a teacher i love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want. As a parent I love it because the text is musical and my son loves seeing all the animals and what sounds they make since he is still a little young to appreciate the lesson about feelings at 16 months.

” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” by Judith Viorst is a modern classic. I have loved this book since grade 2 when Madame Griffin had us write our own versions of the story. I stole her idea many times over the years usually doing it as a circle time activity with each child adding one thing that makes them mad. This magic of this book is that the end isn’t happy , Alexander goes to bed still mad and that’s okay, sometimes days are bad.


Down by the station – A Family Field Trip

Family Field Trip to The Fire Station


Every community has a fire station and they all offer chances for your child to learn about fire safety and test out the equipment, all you have to do is call your local station and ask. We went to Frisco Safety Town in Frisco , Texas while on vacation.

Here is Daddy and the little man checking out the inside of the Fire Engine

There is something magical about a steering wheel to a toddler. We tried to show him the equipment the fire fighters wear but all he wanted to do was drive the fire engine!

That is until he figured out he could play with the radio!

Song!

Click here for ” Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck”

Books!

There are a lot of books about fire fighters and fire engines out there, these are just two of many!



“The Little Fire Engine” by Lois Lenski is a simple little book about a fire engine that goes to put out fires. Nothing special but every time my son sees it at the library he won’t let it go. In 6 months we’ve taken it out 4 times. I think the bright retro illustrations ( it was originally published in the early 60′s) and the simple text is what makes it so appealing.


” Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms” by Christine Kole MacLean was disappointing. The illustrations are adorable but it seemed like the author was writing the book more for moms to read than for kids . While some books successfully entertain both parents and children , this one wasn’t very entertaining for anyone. I really wanted to like it, and maybe you will but I won’t be adding it to any must read lists any time soon.

Additional Resources

Here are a few online resources for fire safety:

www.firesafety.gov

www.firesafetyforkids.org

www.sparky.org




Ball Painting


This activity is super easy to do but will delight your child!
  1. Gather your Materials. For this art activity you will need a ball, I am using a golf ball but if my son was older I’d use a marble or 2! Also a few colors of paint, some paper and a shoe box or shoe box lid.
  2. Place a piece of paper into the box , along with a small amount of paint, then carefully place the ball on the paint.
  3. Tip the box this way and that way and watch the ball “paint” the paper. Younger children will want to catch the ball, so just make sure you are using non toxic paint and a ball big enough not to fit in their mouth.
  4. Repeat with more paint colors!
Song!

Today’s song is the French version of ” If you are happy and you know it” but the literal translation is ” If you love the Sun” . I don’t expect you to sing this exact song with your kids unless you speak French ( in which case ignore my horrible accent ) but I urge you to sing songs in other languages if you know them even if your accent is horrible !


Si tu aimes le soleil!

Si tu aimes le soleil… frappe des mains!
Si tu aimes le soleil ….frappe des mains!
Si tu aimes le soleil, le printemps qui se reveille
Si tu aimes le soleil… frappe des main!

Repeat with:

Tape des peids
Cliques des doights.

Books!

I decided for this “mixed bag” I would focus on one author I love, so today I am showcasing David Shannon! His books make me laugh and every student I have ever read these to has enjoyed his humor and characters too!


” A Bad Case of the Stripes” is about a little girl so worried about impressing others that she keeps changing and looses who she really is. This story is a cautionary tale about being yourself, and NOT being yourself. A great book for older preschoolers and young elementary aged children.

” Duck on a Bike”
is a more than just a story about a duck riding a bike, it’s about trying new things and how if one person dares to do something different they can urge a whole group to change too! This book can be the start of a great dialog between you and your child about trying things that seem impossible!

” No, David!”
is probably David Shannon’s most known book, it it we follow the misadventures of little David and his eventual dicsiplining and hug from his mom! This book is a wonderful gate way into talking about rules with a class, I have successfully used ti as a reminder about rules and why we have them. Kids love watching other kids do naughty things , so this book is always a hit with toddlers on up!

Shape Pizza Craft

This activity is wonderful for all ages, older children can draw their own toppings and to complete the fun you can make your own pizzas for dinner!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, markers, scissors and glue. That’s it!
  2. Draw some shape toppings , with younger children stay simple, with older ones the sky is the limit. Don’t forget one big circle for the crust!
  3. Color the toppings- wait to cut them out, the small pieces are too hard to color for little guys!
  4. Color the crust!
  5. While your child is coloring the crust , cut the toppings out.
  6. Grab your glue and start putting those toppings on.
  7. Remember throughout the activity to talk about shapes, colors and all that other fun stuff. As always if that is interfering with your child’s creativity, chill they are learning by doing we don’t always have to be “teaching” !
Book!



” The Princess and The Pizza” by Mary Jane and Herm Auch is really a cute re telling of the classic Princess and the Pea. They have modernized it and made it a little more feminist in the process, exactly my kind of book. The text is a little long for toddlers but my son sat through about half before wanting to go back and look at the illustration of the horse on the first page. The message is sweet, saying that a woman doesn’t need a man or marriage to attain her goals! Beware though it will make you crave pizza!

Ducks of a Feather…

Touch and Feel Ducks!
( not every craft can be cute- doesn’t this duck look a little rough?!)

  1. Gather your materials. For this duck I used 3 different pieces of paper, one for the background, one for the duck and one to cut the feet and beak out of. Also a marker for the outline and eyes, and of course glue and feathers.
  2. Draw the outline of a duck. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you’ll be covering most of it with feathers anyway.
  3. Spread the glue! And start feathering your duck, I thought my son would love this , and as it turned out he refused to touch a single feather. Toddlers keep you on your toes!
  4. Let the glue dry, meanwhile cut out the feet and beak.
  5. Cut the duck out and glue it onto a 2nd piece of paper, this will help make it more sturdy. If your child wants to they can decorate the background too.
  6. Add the beak and feet
  7. Voila your very own touch and feel duck!

Song!

Six little ducks!

Six little ducks that I once knew,
fat ones, skinny ones, and fair ones too,
but the one little duck with the feather on his back,
he led the others with a quack quack quack!
Quack, quack , quack,
he lead the others with a quack quack quack!
Books!

” Duck, Duck, Goose” by Tad Hills is a story about friendship and what happens when a twosome adds another person (or duck) into the mix. The author brings these characters emotions to life and children will be able to relate to Gooses feelings for sure!

” Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow” by Australian author Chris McKimmie is a whimsical book, that may get some parents wondering if the author is a creative genius or an avid drinker. Kids will love the silly storyline and adults will enjoy the bits of dry wit put in especially for them. There are a few terms that are not seen often in the United States so this book would also be a fun one to use while teaching an international theme. I loved it!

“One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! My students a few years ago were nuts about this book and yours will be too!