D is for Drum


Drum!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need an old beverage mix container, or coffee can. We are using a huge Lemonade can because my husband drinks far too much of it. You will also need some tissue paper, glue, some tape, a pastry or paint brush and a small plate or plastic lid.
  2. Tape or glue down the plastic lid to the drum.
  3. Pour some glue onto a plastic lid or plate , you will be brushing on the glue with the paint brush .
  4. Have your child paint on the glue. I was shocked how well my little guy did, as long as no glue was dripping off the brush he didn’t even try to eat it. Normally he has a hankering for glue.
  5. Cover the can in big pieces of tissue paper. I used a dark color so you couldn’t see the writing on the container but if you are using a container that is free of all that you can skip this step.
  6. While your child is covering the can with big pieces, cut out some smaller pieces of tissue in contrasting colors.
  7. Glue those on.
  8. Let dry.
  9. Start making music! ( I swear my child isn’t always in sleepers, we usually do art in the early am , and he was drumming away right before nap. )

Books!

D is also for Diggers!


I know I have reviewed some Digger books before but my son is still in LOVE with diggers so I have a bunch of them. Now that I am back from vacation I will head to the library for a new stack tomorrow!

” Dig Dig Digging” by Margaret Mayo was an instant favorite as soon as my son opened it last night. I bought it without pre reading it at all , hoping that just the fact there was a digger on the front my son would love it. The book is so much better than I expected. It goes through all different types of vehicles, not just diggers and the text uses a repetitive format that kids love. The best part is the opening line of each page where is says what each vehicle is good at. ” Diggers are good at dig dig digging!” ” Tractors are good at pull pull pulling!” are just two of the many. I love this because it had my son trying to say it and by the 3rd reading he was saying it along with me. Great book for toddlers and preschoolers!

” Good Morning Digger” by Anne Rockwell is not going to be put onto my must buy list. It just seemed flat and boring. The story follows a vacant lot and the digger that comes it to start construction on what will transform into a community center. There really weren’t any characters and the text seemed unenthusiastic. To make matters worse I think I have to pay a late fee at my library on this one.

From my Bookshelf book reviews

These are MUST reads!

There are a bunch of books that I think every preschooler should read, at the top of that list are these three books. Toddlers will enjoy them too but the humor, beautiful illustrations and message that these books have will be fully appreciated by 4-5 year olds.

Animaliaby 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!

” Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type” by Doreen Cronin is a hilarious look at working conditions on a farm and cows going on strike. I have yet to read this book without giggling and in the 2003-2004 school year I think I read it 500 times! The story has a wonderful message of fairness and negotiation . During a transit strike we read this to a Kindergarten class to help explain after we were asked why the bus drivers didn’t want to work- it was a great tool!

” Whoever You Are” by Mem Fox gives me goosebumps and brought me to tears when I was a homesick Canadian teaching in St. Louis. The book is simple and talks about the differences of little children all over the world, but focuses on what they all have in common. There are beautiful illustrations that show children in all different cultures from around the globe with a sing song story to carry you along.

Spiders don’t have to be scary!

Egg Carton Spider!
An egg carton and pipe cleaners are not just for making caterpillars!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an egg carton, any size will work. Some paint and a brush,scissors, 4 pipe cleaners and something to protect your table. Painting such a small thing means lots of mess! * You may want to get some googly eyes for older children but I discourage you using them for toddlers, they love popping them in their mouths and those suckers are sharp when bitten and a choking hazard.
  2. Cut your carton so you have just one little section.
  3. Paint it, and let dry completely.
  4. Make 4 small holes with sharp scissors on each side of the carton, and feed pipe cleaners through.
  5. Glue on googly eyes or for younger toddlers you can draw them on with a marker as long as the paint is completely dry.

* Now 2 days after making this spider my son who is 15 months old is in LOVE with his spider. I really thought this activity would be more of one about painting for him, but he has been carrying this spider around and to the dinner table now for a day and a half!

Song!


The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout,
down came the rain and washed the spider out!
Out came the sun and dried out all the rain,
and the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again!


Books!

There are a lot of great spider books, in fact a whole series of ” Miss Spider” books the by David Kirk. These two books I am showing are both board books although there are hard cover and soft cover versions as well. ” The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Taggies is a great, there are soft ribbon tags along the pages and offers a tactile activity for young babies and toddlers that are not ready for static pictures. ” The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle is a great story about hard work!

” The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle
” The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Taggies

Scoop, Pour and Feel !

Sensory fun with rice!
Toddlers and preschoolers love to pour, scoop and dig into sand, dirt… the list goes on. A fun and not as muddy way to do this is with rice. This isn’t just a messy activity, it’s also teaching them spacial skills, measurement and works on their fine motor abilities!

  1. Gather your materials. I used a rectangular cake pan, but tupper ware, or even a big bowl will work too, rice, sparkles, and tools to scoop and pour with.
  2. Pour enough rice to cover the bottom of the pan with at least an inch of rice. I used half white rice and half black rice I found in the bulk section of my market but any rice will do.
  3. Add sparkles for some glitz! I put in about 1 tablespoon- a little goes a long way.
  4. Add the tools and start scooping! You can ask them as they are playing about the rice, like what color it is, how it feels, but if they just want to scoop and pour let them. Kids having fun will learn more than one with a pushy mom!

* This activity can get messy especially with little guys who have a harder time keeping the rice over the pan, so I usually do it outside on a nice day.

Other activities

If you have an older child after playing with the rice you can ask them if they would like to help you cook some, kids love to help cook and rice is a fun thing to watch transform as it absorbs the water and goes from hard to soft.

or

Go out for some Asian food and talk about how most Asian cultures eat rice every single day, the way that many people in North America have bread . Oh and no after dinner dishes to worry about either !

Shake shake let’s make music!

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Toilet paper roll shaker!
  1. Gather your materials. Grab some paint, a paintbrush, a toilet paper or paper towel roll, some pasta or rice for inside and some packing, duct or masking tape. * If you are doing this with older children you can use fabric, or plastic wrap for the ends and secure it with elastics instead of the tape , but only do this if your child won’t rip the ends off
  2. Paint your roll!
  3. Let the roll dry completely.
  4. Cover one end with tape. Go across the opening first one way, then the other , then around the tube.
  5. Pop the pasta in the tube, don’t worry if some sticks to the tape.
  6. Repeat the tape on the other end, and make some music!
Song!

Shake shake shake your sillies out!
Shake shake shake your sillies out!
Shake shake shake your sillies out,
and wiggle all your waggles away!

Flick flick flick your fidgets out!
Flick flick flick your fidgets out!
Flick flick flick your fidgets out,
and wiggle all your waggles away!

Jump jump jump your jiggles out!
Jump jump jump your jiggles out!
Jump jump jump your jiggles out,
and wiggle all your waggles away!

Books!

These three books have been favorites of mine for years, ” Clap your Hands” is a great toddler book that they can move a long to , ” The Brass Band Robbery” has amazing illustrations and ” Mortimer” is an all around great book with a repetitive beat to it.

” Clap Your Hands” by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
” Mortimer” by Robert Munsch
” The Brass Band Robbery” by John Patience