Read & Find Game

If an I-Spy book and a sensory bin had a baby this is what they would wake up at 2am to feed. My son’s interests are geared mostly to games and pretend play these days and while most of our time is spent doing funny accents I like doing these  fun games that work on a bunch of skills in a short amount of time. This works on handwriting , reading and observation skills.

  1. Gather your materials. You can use almost anything , easy right? You need toys, and other small objects that your child can read but that aren’t too easy or it’s not going to be a 5 minute sparkler , it will be done in 30 seconds. So go around your house and trust me you’ll find things pretty fast. If your child is not a reader use colors or just the first letter. You will also need a bin, marker, sheet of card stock , and a crayon.
  2. Write out the words of all the objects on the card stock with marker.
  3. Pop the toys in the bin, hand your child the list. Stick around so if words are tricky you can help them try different strategies like using the objects for clues, sounding out the word or passing on to the next to return to it after.

Fall Craft Projects For Kids

This is my favorite time of year and even though I have some new fall crafts to share I can’t ignore these old favorites we made in the past that may even be new to you.

Cut and Paste Indian Corn Craft
Mini Pumpkin Prints
Foam Handprint Turkey
Falling Leaves
Coffee Grinds Sensory Tub

Bubble Wrap Corn
Pinecone Pumpkin

Halloween Sensory Tub For Multiple Ages

I noticed on Pinterest a comment on a pin of my Sensory Tub from Halloween 2010. The commentor noted that I use the same container ( usually yes) and just store the contents in ziplocks ( yes again I have close to 20 bags).  That comment sparked this post. My son had been asking for a Halloween sensory tub since we bought the bouncy ball eyeballs a few weeks ago. My goal was  to make one that both he and his baby sister ( 15 months) could use. This is what we did.

  1. Gather your materials. I grabbed my Halloween Sensory Tub contents from 2009 and 2010 – which included black beans, white beans, orange lentils for the fill. Then sticky skelletons, plastic spiders and other bugs, bouncy ball eyeballs , a few pumpkin containers , a scoop and some tongs.  Do not feel like you need to have all of this! My main goal is to show that you can mix two old ones to make a new one.  
  2. For the toddler version I started by putting in the dried beans and lentils. Then chose only the large plastic bugs and pumpkin containers.
  3. You may notice she is on a small rug. If you are doing this on the floor a carpeted floor works the best, the beans don’t skatter as far.
  4. Encourage them to keep the beans in , but please don’t scold. If spilling makes you angry just skip this activity all together. Gently show toddlers how to keep it in but until children have lots of experience with sensory tubs use only positive guidance. Anger will confuse them and halt any play and learning that was happening.
  5. Feel free to have them put beans back in though !
  6. Into the pumpkin!
  7. Now for older kids add the as my son calls it ” good stuff!” We did this when my daughter was daddy so it wouldn’t be unfair for her to see her brother playing but be told she can’t.
  8. I challenged him to pick up the balls with the tongs – it was tricky!
  9. He decided to pick out all the skelletons.
  10. Then he decided to create a skelleton world on the playroom floor, and the eye balls were bombs? Something like that. He asked if he could play it for his quiet time. Ummm yeah! I love how fun mama directed activities almost always lead to something for him to explore and lead himself. 

When I stored this sensory tub I used 2 ziplocks, and picked out all the big kids stuff into one, the toddler safe in the other and store them next to eachother for fast fun for either kid.

** Please remember that it’s your job to know what is safe for your child and what your child is ready for . All activities require adult supervision. **

Letter Of The Week I i

 

Our letter of the week series continues with letter I . There aren’t a huge number of letter I activities but that is a great reminder for parents and teachers to focus on the whole alphabet even while doing a letter of the week program. Letters work together and so we should teach them together. Use letter of the week as a way to focus some extra time on one letter not to focus all your time on it. Alphabet books are a great way to bring all the letters together and we have 3 great ones in the post too!

{Letter I Crafts}

Ice Cream IIsland I

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{Activities And Crafts Begining With I}

Ice Cream Taste Test - Insect Painting - Insect Hunt

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{Alphabet Books}

Bruno Munari’s ABC by Bruno Munari will make you wish you had an extra copy to  pull out the pages and frame them. It’s  1960 retro gold. The book is simple enough, each page is devoted to a letter like most alphabet books, and on those pages are objects that start with the letter. There are cheeky bits of dry humor throughout as a fly shows up on pages after F and my son liked the S page with a sack of stars and snow for Santa. All in all a little different but not ground breaking.  However the way it is graphically designed perfectly captures the retro cool that simply can’t be recreated with a new book. My son liked it but wasn’t nearly as into it as I was.

A Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z by Traci N. Todd is a typical themed alphabet book that is atypically funky. The vintage illustrations and historical photos from NASA makes this book stand out from other similar books. Each letter represents a number of space related items and the historical photos are so powerful in this because it bridges the gap from being a story to being information that children are eager to dive into further. There is something so powerful about a photograph to make that connection that this really happened, these guys really walked on the moon in ” the olden days” as my son calls any time before his birth in 2006.

Learn The Alphabet : with Northwest Coast Native Art by Native Northwest was an amazing gas station find. Yes I said gas station. I ran in for some diet coke and came out with an alphabet book ! This book is amazing, bright beautiful and even though I bought it for my daughter since it’s bright colors and sturdy pages are perfect for a baby, my almost 4 year old son adores it. What I love is when he reads it to her . The Native art is gorgeous and if you are unfamiliar with North West coast art you are in for a treat.

Fall Noodle Tree Craft

 by Kim 

The temperatures are tapering off. Summer has gone and Autumn is making its appearance. Whether you live where the lives change or not, this craft is the perfect way to prepare for fall and all of its splendor.

You will need construction paper, glue, sandwich/snack bag, brown marker, cotton swabs, and three colored pasta (uncooked).

You or your child can draw a rectangle on the paper for the tree trunk. Have them color it in. My 5 year old drew his own, my 3 year old just colored.

Put some dry pasta in a plastic sealed bag. I used a snack size bag, but it really doesn’t matter. You want to make sure all of the excess air is out, though.

Have your child crush the noodles. Depending on the brand, they can be difficult to crush. Having the excess air out enables you to have the option of putting the bag on the floor and stomping it, or using a plastic hammer and whacking the bag. Trust me, we have done it all. Obviously the more intense crushing you do the more likely the bag is to rip and make a mess. So just be prepared. Regular crushing (and even stomping) hasn’t ripped our bags yet.

Squeeze some glue onto the piece of paper in the general shape of a tree top. Have your child spread around the glue with the cotton swab. I squeezed glue out for my daughter, but my son did his own glue.

Now sprinkle the noodle pieces onto the glue. This is exactly like giant noodle glitter. You will need to put on a lot, let it dry, and shake off the excess.

The final product looks just like a fall tree. It will have a wide array of colors, too. This craft is great fro talking about Fall, the changing seasons, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and colors. It also is a great sensory craft.

Look at that texture! It is so much fun to run your fingers across.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It