FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been getting many emails with questions from parents , so I have decided to make a section with the more commonly asked ones and my answers. Please feel free to contact me with any toddler and preschool related questions, I will do my best to help you find the resources and answers you need.


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Q: How old should my child be before I do your activities?

A: Most of the activities I have featured are geared towards the 2-5 year old age group but I have done each with my son who was 15 months old when I began this site and now pushing 18 months, so it is possible you just have to adjust your expectations, shorten the activity and go with the flow.

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Q: What do I do if my child won’t sit for art or doesn’t do it right?


A: Well first let me address not doing it right. None of the activities on this site can be done wrong. Your child may not be ready for a particular craft but that is ok, if they are getting frustrated stop , if you want try it again in a few weeks or months. Let them lead as much as possible.

Depending on your child’s age they may not be ready for sit down activities. Young kids learn best through play so parent directed activities should be a very small portion of their day. Our goal is to help you enrich your child’s environment and hopefully learn something in the process. When kids are forced to sit down and do a project they are not open to learning, and it is no longer fun. We want to instill a love of learning as early as possible so relax and let it happen.

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Q: Where do you get your supplies?

A: Everywhere! I buy most of my supplies at discount retail stores like Target and Wal-mart, but most of my paint brushes come from hardware stores- they are much cheaper than an art supply or craft store. Most of my books have come from thrift stores , it takes some digging but I have found awesome books for under a dollar.

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Q: Where do you get your ideas? What is your background?

A: My ideas are mostly my own , and old staples passed around schools I have worked in. I have been teaching young children in various capacities since 1993, so you can imagine I have done my fair share of crafts, songs and circle times.

I started as a day camp leader in high school, taught various preschool programs at community centers through university, worked as a tutor while pursuing a second degree in elementary education , and most recently worked as a director and preschool teacher before becoming a full time mom.

Early Childhood Education is my passion, despite a degree in elementary education my heart belongs to the little guys!

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Backyard Bug Adventure

Bugs Bugs and more Bugs!

This activity is pretty simple, but fun none the less!

  1. Gather your Materials. In this case you need a kid, some boots, and a backyard or park with bugs. If you have an older child you can make a small note book and draw pictures of what you find .
  2. Go outside and get dirty, look for anything creepy and crawly, look under big rocks or pavers. When you find something tell your child about it, let them touch and feel and watch the bug move.
  3. Have older children record your finds in the notebook, younger ones can have fun wiggling like a bug or just playing in the mud!
  4. When you get back inside talk about what you found, what the bugs were like and ask your child what their favorite discovery was. Recounting an event is an important skill for literacy.
Song

Herman the Worm

Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum

( chomp chomp chomp)
Playing with my yo yo

woo woo
When along came Herman the worm
And he was THIS big
And I said ” Herman WHAT happened?”
And he said ” I ate my sister! “

The next 3 verses substitute in brother, mother and father.
The final verse is as follows:

Sittin’ on a fence post chomping on my gum
(chomp chomp chomp)
Playing with my yo yo
woo woo
When along came Herman the worm
And he was this tiny
And I said ” Herman what happened?”
And he said ” I burped.”


Books

” Percival the Plain Caterpillar” by Helen Brawley
” The Crunching Munching Caterpillar”
by
Sheridan Cain
” The Very Hungry Caterpillar”
by Eric Carle

* Also by Eric Carle are ” The Grouchy Lady bug” ” The Very Quiet Cricket” and ” The Very busy Spider” among others…..

Color Hunt – no need for a gun!

Kids love finding things, they are nosey , I mean curious by nature so let’s capitalize on it and have some fun with Colors! Today’s books are really worth checking out, so if you only have time for one thing sit down and read , it’s so important!

COLORHUNT

  1. Gather your materials. You can use any bag, pillowcase that your child can hold. Some colored paper or markers to make signs in the color of your choice. Some tape to hold the signs on.
  2. Depending on your child’s age and attention span you can do just one or a variety of colors. If you have more than one child you can assign different colors to each child too!
  3. Go Hunting!! If your child is really young, you can gather the objects before and make them accessible but I would suggest that if your child is 2 or over there is no need for this.
  4. Using the toys , household objects you have found you can build a tower, line them up biggest to smallest or simply play!
  5. For older children once you find all the objects you can you can come back and count what you have found, and go back and find another color.
Song


This song is so versatile- with a little thinking you can change the lyrics to suit anything.

Um um


went the little brown dog one day
um um
went the little brown dog
um um
went the little brown dog o
ne day
and they all went um um ah!

But we all know dogs go
la di da da da
la di da da da


la di da di da
we all know dogs go
la di da da da

they don’t go
um um ah!

Other verses continue with ” green frog” , ” white cat” , “red bird”, “blue fish”


Books


“Hello, Red Fox” by Eric Carle
” A Color of his Own ” by Leo Lionni
” Purple Green and Yellow” by Robert Munsch


Blog Roll

Kids Crafts and Learning

A Bit Of This and A Bit Of That
Adventures of a Flake
Adventures of Homeschooling Noah
A Mommy’s Adventures
Apples and Jammies
Because Toddlers Can’t Tell Jokes
Blissful Kids
Casa Camacho
Cheeky Monkey Preschool
Children’s Resources Galore
Christian Unschooling
Crafty Crow
Eager Little Mind
Elliott Music Studio
Her Cup Overfloweth
Hey, I’m Just The Nanny
Homeschool Creations
Just 4 Fun
Leptir
Librarianism Chronicles
Lucky Me
Make and Takes
Mammas Meandering Mind
Montessori Mama
Muses of Megret
My Two Happy Homeschoolers
Our Crafts ~N~ Things
Our Homeschool Home
Our Nifty Notebook
Paint Cut Paste
Pink And Green Mama
Preschool Daze
Preschool Playbook
Ramblings Of A Crazy Woman
Read ‘Em And Leap
Simple.Messy.Fun
SMMART ideas
Spell Out Loud
Storytime and more
Super Fun Mama
Superheroes and Princesses
Teachmama
Teaching Genereations
Teaching Tiny Tots
Thrifty Craft Mama
Tot School
United Teaching
Wanna Jugar With Migo?
Wee Life


Book Reviews

Chronicle Of An Infant Bibliophile
The Bookworm’s Booklist


Parenting

5 minutes For Mom
Being Savvy: Austin
Blissfully Domestic
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
EverythingMom.com
Frugal Family Fun Blog
Matthew’s Puzzle
Mommy Has A Blog
PHD In Parenting
Raising Them Green
Running My Family God’s Way
The Mamasphere
When Crazy Seems Normal
You Can’t Diaper Their Faces


Adult Crafts

Croqzine
Babbling Brook
Dollar Store Crafts
Gettin’ Crafty
It’s A Girl Thing
Jessica’s Quilting Corner
Olive Green


Product Review , Shopping and Consumer Advocate Blogs

All Things 4 Baby And Mom
Chic Baby London
Grab Bag Reviews
Muse Reviews
My Sentiment ExactLee
Ohana Mama
Pink and Posh
Simply Stacie
The Mom Buzz
Zrecommends


Cooking Blogs

A Little of This and a Little of That
Cooking Claire
Feels Like Home
I AM Nacho Mama
Itty Bitty Bistro
Mommy Meals
Mummies Yummies
My Kitchen, My Life
Scrawny Chef
The Entertaining Kitchen
The Friendly Vegetarian

Family and Personal Blogs

4tunate
5 Sweet Peas
A Little Bit Of Momsense
A Mommy Making Memories
A Very Good Year
Adept Serendipity
An American Family
And Baby Makes Four
And Chaos Ensued
Another Day , Another Thought Or Two…

Austerity and Prosperity
Balls In The Air
Beautiful Letdown
Be It Ever So Humble
Blessings
Bronwen’s Busy Blog
Bubbles, Balloons and Blessing
Busy Bee With Three
doobleh-vay
Dresses and Messes
Everything Except The Grill
From The Hive
Full Time Mumma
Funky Cheapskate Mama
Glamour Moms
Green Mama’s Pad
Growing Up Feggeler
Homespun Light
In The Midst of Motherhood
iwonderbee
Jackson and Jacob
Jenny Garland
Just Us Johnsons
Joyce and Norm
Katherine Marie Photography
Keeping Up With The Jones
La Dolce Vita : The Sweet Life
Live Learn Love
Living Rich While Poor
LLMajer Muses
Love Matters
Love 2B Home
Mama Hall
Mamikaze

Marketing Mommy
Matthew’s Puzzle
Memories Are The Scraps Of Life
Miller Moments
Mostly BassAckwards
My Girl Anni
Occupation Mommy
Of Cabbages and Kings
One Girl and Three Boys
Orange Juice
Our Little Nook
Our Sweet Peas
Our Very Full House
Perfect Sentiment
Playing House
Pickard Crew
Quadelle
Random Thoughts From A Random Mommy
Rhymes and More…
SiSu’s Mom’s UpZ and DownZ
Strocel.com
Stories From A Crazy Mom
Suburban Composition
Summer Sky: Learning as I go
Sunshine’s View
Sunny Day Today Mama
Ten Kids And A Dog
The Bee Hive
The Berry Patch
The Clark Chronicles
The Domestic Notebook
The Entertaining House
The Glawsons
The Infertility Chronicles
The Mad House
The Marks
The Miknaitis Family
The Mommy Journey
The Ortega Family
The Perfect Trio
The Salingers
The Story Of Collin
The Taormina Family
The Whipples
Three Scurvy Dogs ( and Their Mamas)
Tired Need Sleep
Together For Good
Two Under Two. Whew!
Two Zany Zebras
Vermont Twin Odyssey
Watching Them Grow Up
What Were We Thinking
Where there’s a Willer

Christmas Book Reviews

Books !

” Madeline’s Christmas” was published after Ludwig Bemelmans passed away, it had been published as a book insert in McCall’s magazine in 1956 and as a book in 1985. The story itself is a curious Christmas tale about a rug seller who brings a little magic to Madeline and her friends. My toddler sat for the whole thing and laughed at many of the rhymes, which if you have read others in the Madeline series you will know are awesome. If you are working on rhyming words check this and the rest of the series out!


“Babar and Father Christmas” by Jean De Brunhoff was one of my very favorite Christmas stories as a child. As an adult i have had some great belly laughs at some of it’s writing which I still think is awesome. Babar goes looking for Father Christmas because he wants to ask him to visit Elephant country. He searches all over Paris and finally ends up in the north pole and finds after much effort Father Christmas. I love the details in this book, as a child I would lay looking at the pictures of Santa’s workshop and imagine what visiting it would be like. As an adult I appreciate the smallest details like how Father Christmas’s flying machine ( not a sled) has P.N #1 on it , meaning of course Pere Noel #1.

” Not Until Christmas Walter!” by Eileen Christelow is a cute book that captures the relationship between a girl and her four legged best friend! Walter the dog is eager to get at his present before the big day, when he opens it before Christmas he ends up in the doghouse! It takes a few events to earn his position as a best friend back but he finds a way! The book is broken into 3 chapters and would be a great book for children in the gap between picture books and chapter books.

“Din Dan Don It’s Christmas” by Janina Domanska is one of a kind. The books follows the pilgrimage to the manger to see the infant Jesus . It starts with a single duck playing bagpipes, but it builds on it self until they spot the manger and the infant Jesus wakes. The story is simple because there is no need for lots of text , the illustrations are amazing. Every page looks like a cross between a stained glass window and a ornate mosaic in a Orthodox church somewhere in Eastern Europe. My son exclaimed “WOW” many times as we turned the pages of this book, and I know I let out a gasp or two as well, simply beautiful! * When I did a search for a photo I could not find this book in print , so you may not be able to find it in store, try your library though!


” Merry Christmas Ollie” by Olivier Dunrea captures the feelings of children leading up to the holidays…wait…wait…wait… I remember those feelings well. Patience is a hard thing to learn for big people, but it’s almost impossible to be patient when you are waiting for something as magical as Christmas when you are little. This book is a great vehicle for talking about being patient, and the little geese will enchant you!

“What Is Christmas?” by Michelle Medlock Adams is a great book for little children about Christmas. It touches on all the fun and cultural aspects of Christmas in a positive way but reminds the readers that really it’s about Jesus’ birth. I like the book because it doesn’t make the rest of the traditions out to be wrong or bad but explains that the holiday’s origin in a simple matter of fact way.


” If You Take A Mouse To The Movies” by Laura Numeroff is a favorite in our house. I love it because like how your house transforms around the holidays the ever popular “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” transforms too, every page is “decorated” with something from Christmas trees, red and green popcorn buckets, and snowmen. If you aren’t familiar with this series of books the text is cause and effect with each page taking the mouse and a little boy from different holiday situations like listening to Christmas carols, making ornaments and of course going to the movies on a winter day.


“Merry Christmas, Mouse! “ by Laura Numeroff is an adorable little Christmas counting book. Most of the praise should really be on Felicia Bond the illustrator because the pictures take the cake on this one. The book follows the mouse as he decorates the Christmas tree, 1 Star… 2 angels… etc… It’s a perfect to read and then count the ornaments on your own tree. After reading it my son and I found 4 bells, and 3 trains on our own tree.

” Mooseltoe” by Margie Palantini is a funny holiday story with the characters from Moosestash , this time Moose is set on making Christmas perfectly perfect, only ooops he forgot the tree! Luckily he offers up himself and doesn’t do too bad a job as a Christmas tree! This book was to long for my toddler but older preschoolers and even school age kids will love the humor and fun illustration

“Little Tree” by Chris Racshka is another awesome find. I love this book, it’s another visually amazing book and my son was much more into the pictures that are so packed full with fun details that they steal the show. The story inspired by the E.E. Cummings poem by the same name the story follows a little tree who has big dreams of becoming a Christmas tree . I think this book is great especially for children who want to know where the trees in the lots in a city come from.


” Hurry, Santa!” by Julia Sykes is an okay book. I wanted to like it more than I did. The pictures are cute, the idea of Santa being late for Christmas morning has a lot of potential and the author tried but it just never gelled for me. I would still check it out from the library and test it out with your child, but I won’t be adding this to my must buy list.


“McDuff’s New Friend” by Rosemary Wells was a classroom classic in my last year teaching. I think I read it every day for 3 weeks straight and then a few weeks after Christmas too! In it McDuff the little Westie dog saves the day finding Santa stuck in the snow! I love Susan Jeffer’s retro illustrations and the little details like the dad feeding the baby, the doggy sweaters the McDuff wears in the snow, and how Santa gave them all gifts they needed in the story .