Paper plates are a must have for any summer camp, preschool or even home craft supply closet. The endless possibilities of fun and educational crafts are well, endless. Here are some paper plate kids crafts we have done over the years. I hope that the extra plates from summer BBQ, church picnics and cookouts can be used to make something fun.
Scrap paper , magazines and catalogs all crowd my recycle bin. So today I put them all to work for me and made this recycled alphabet craft using only one piece of paper that hadn’t been rescued from the bin. It’s fun, bright and makes a great long term cooperative art project for young kids. Pull it out when it’s rainy and search for a few letters in a magazine, glue them on and add some more another day. I like projects like these because they teach young kids how be committed to something over more than 20 minutes. Also in classrooms these long term cooperative projects always seemed to be the greatest sources of pride for my students.
- Gather your materials. You will need one large piece of paper, some construction paper scraps, glue, a pen, some magazines/catalogs and scissors.
- Start by cutting your construction paper into squares ( or any other shape)- this just makes a fun frame, you can skip this and simply glue the letters onto the paper too.
- Glue them on. This is a fun way to get your child counting to 26, as well as figuring out how to fit all on one page. If your child is really young I would probably do this before bringing them into the activity, just so their energy is on the letters, not the set up.
- Write the alphabet on the construction paper squares.
- Cut some letters out of the magazines for your child if they need help. I did this for every age group I worked with up until school age. They are still challenged looking for the individual letters but not frustrated by looking for them in magazines that may or may not have what they need. * Tip … auto magazines are great for these activities, because of the abundance of car makes with Z, Q and X letters that are usually a pain to find.
- Start adding the letters on. Go for as long as your child wants. This does not need be be done in one sitting!
- To make it more challenging for older kids have them find only upper or only lowercase letters.
ABC of Canada by Kim Bellefontaine is a cute little book that is a perfect little introduction about Canada for toddlers and preschoolers. The text is short, the colors are bright and the illustrations are both fun and accurate. I was happy to see things like the northern lights, Calgary Stampede and of course Z is for Zamboni ! Even if you have never been to Canada it’s never too early to learn about your neighbor to the north!
The Alphabet Tree is a stunning book. The book is all about letters that come together to make words and then after a caterpillar informs them that they need to say something they join together to make sentences. Up to this point the book is a brilliant teaching tool , but for me the best part is yet to come. When the words get together they decide to say ” Peace on earth goodwill toward all men” and then the caterpillar asks them to jump on his back so he can take the words to the president . Considering it was written in 1968 it’s quite the statement. A fantastic activity to do with your child after reading this would be to ask them what they would write to the president ? For younger children using letters on leaves you could spell out easy 3 letter words like they do early on in the story. All in all a brilliant book.
The Graphic Alphabet by David Pelletier is a fun book to share with a child who has already mastered the alphabet, because this book is challenging. Each letter is shown in it’s own illustration, but you aren’t sure exactly what the picture is of, this is the challenge. As you can see on the cover it has an avalanche, the hardest one for me was N no matter how I looked at the picture I thought it was of magnets! Turns out it was noodles! Very fun book for kids that already know their letters and are up for a challenge.
Want more Alphabet Crafts? Check out my Alphabet Crafts eBook and you will have a craft for every letter!
In the summer lots of kids are less than eager to do anything they feel is like school work, so sit down crafts are not always the best choice. Or if you are like me and juggling an infant and an older child these quick summer activities are fast to set up, and easy to navigate with one in your arms and one busy exploring. You are probably familiar with all of these ideas but I know I get in a rut and the most obvious ideas are sometimes forgotten.
I am sure most of you have sidewalk chalk. This is not at all an original idea but what we did with the chalk was fun and I want to share it. We drew a train and then grabbed an atlas and chose all different places to go to. Each place we picked up a new person that my son drew into the train. A fun outdoor geography lesson!
I have been grabbing the play dough a lot in the past 2 weeks. My son loves to pretend to be a baker and make cakes while I check my email, or tend to his sister. The other day we decided to grab some scrap paper and add it to the cakes as decorations. Not exactly earth shattering but a really easy twist and it kept him entertained for ages! Also using scissors to cut the paper ( or playdough) is extra fine motor skills practice.
$1 spray bottle from the dollar store, 2 pieces of paper, some water, washable paint and he was in heaven! Mix the paint in with the water, and let them loose.
I did a similar activity with my son when he was under 2 so I was shocked that now pushing 4 he would still be into it. Wow is he ever. He loves getting water, paint brushes and “washing windows” he also does the siding and porch for free! Simple , cheap and it promotes imaginative play. Not bad for a quick summer activity!
And if all that fails… Bubbles!
Our Summer Reading Challenge is well underway but that doesn’t mean that if you haven’t participated yet you still can’t get in on the action! It’s so simple and all about spending time reading with your kids. Read 10 books or more with your children each week, fill out this form ( one per child), and you are automatically entered to win not just the weekly Alphabet Crafts eBook but also the Amazon.com gift card giveaway at the end of the summer. How simple is that? Oh and if your child is like mine and likes reading the same book over and over that’s not a problem, just list it more than once in the form. The goal is time reading not how many different books you read ( although that is great too!).
Written and illustrated by Anne and Harlow Rockwell
Written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
Written and illustrated by Sara Anderson
Published by Handprint Books
This wonderful poem takes underneath the cerulean seas to visit angelfish, barnacles, blowfish and more wonderful creatures. The text is large and the rhyme will have kids guessing what comes next. The pages are filled with colourful creatures, created in a style that almost resembles a collage. The creatures references in this book won’t be ones they’ll see at the beach but the whole unknown world beneath the water is fascinating. And they might just discover some creatures they’ve never heard of before. Although the book is rated by the publisher as being for grade school, the short poem, colourful imagery and great fish vocabulary will entrance younger readers too.
Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , Managing editor of EverythingMom.com and an avid reader. You can catch up with her on her blog Another Day. Another Thought…Or Two