Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ribbon Wands

These are always a hit when we make them.  All you need is straws, pipe cleaners and some ribbon.  It is a great fine motor skill and a simply, cheap imagination tool!

Gather your materials. Cut a few strands of ribbon (I let the kids choose and cut their own)

Wrap the pipe cleaner around the ribbon
let the kids push the pipe cleaner into the straw (even my 3's could do it with some perseverance)

and Abracadabra, Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo! 

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Stone Painting

Wanna a super cheap (free) painting experience for your kiddos?  Collect some rocks, make your own paint (HERE is a super, easy recipe using sugar, corn starch, water and food coloring), and there you go!
We read the story Stone Soup, made some stone soup using veggie broth, celery, carrots, potatoes and corn. Then we painted with stones to round out our theme.  The kids really "rocked" it! 


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Using Ice for Pre-Writing Skills

I am always amazed how the simplest things can keep children engaged for so long.  The kids in my care love, love, love to use the pipettes (or those little medicine droppers).  It is so great for strengthening those little muscles needed for writing, cutting and all those other fine motor skills they will use so much in Kindergarten.  All I did was put out some ice trays, colored water, and a tub of ice cubes.  They mixed colors, learned about volume, cause and effect, sharing, and loads of language!  So simple and so many skills being used!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yummy Play Dough

Have you seen these Duncan Hines frosting flavors?  You can add them to frosting to create your own flavor of icing.  Well, I had picked up a couple different flavors (they are .99 at our local grocery store).  While making play dough for class one morning, I remember them sitting unused in the pantry and I imagined the yummy scent they would add to it.   Simply mix into your favorite play dough recipe.  It was a huge hit.  Use any flavor you wish, I didn't even add coloring to this batch.  
Here is my absolute favorite recipe....
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
Duncan Hines Frosting Creations packet
2 tsp cooking oil
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
a few drops of glycerin
Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the boiling water and oil
Mix it all until it forms a ball, you may need to add flour or more water as needed.
When it is all mixed, add a few drops of glycerin (you can find it in the medicine aisle at the grocery store, makes a huge difference in your play dough!  I highly recommend using it)
This play dough will last a long time.  Keep it in an airtight container, I use a zip lock bag!

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Painting With Pumpkins

Want a fun way to use up those pumpkins?  Use them for painting!  After we used ours for hammering golf tees, cut them open, examined the innards, roasted the seeds, I cut the pumpkin into small chunks.  Then I cut off a little of the inside to make them flat-ish, stuck a craft stick into the top, added some orange paint and voila....a new sensory/art/pre-writing experience!  

the top of the pumpkin has a nice built in handle, this was the favorite piece for the kids

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Golf Ball Paintings

This is a different version of the tried and true "marble painting".  We used golf balls.  The kids had a "ball"!  We used a deep tub, placed a piece of paper in, let the kids squirt in their colors, toss in the balls and roll away!  Great for cause and effect, problem solving, color mixing, creativity and large motor coordinations

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mail Call

We have been discussing Community Helpers in class. Here is a simple, easy, and fun way to let the kids practice their organizing, counting, and number recognition skills.  I have saved these cool boxes that single paper towels come in (by Kleenex).  I knew they would make a great mailbox.  I wrote numbers on cards and taped them to the front of the box.  Then I used foam numbers and drew dots to correspond to the numbers on the boxes.  The kids came to the table and sorted the mail into the correct boxes.  They loved it is an understatement.  They sorted, emptied and sorted again! 

We continued our unit on Mail Carriers by writing cards to ourselves and taking a walk to the mailbox.  The kids were very excited to come back to school with their delivered card!


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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We will return to your regular scheduled program shortly......

Wow! Life has gotten crazy busy lately. I apologize for the long delays between posts. I will be taking a break from blogging for a bit to focus on my newly opened preschool and all of those little folks who are occupying it! As well as, my own family. Hopefully, I will return in October with loads of new ideas to share with you all.  Until then, please poke around the blog a bit to find some cheap, quick, easy and engaging activities for the small people in your life!  See you all soon!
CariPin It

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beans and Tractors

This little man loves his tractors, and backhoes, and bulldozers and whatever big machinery you can think of.  He is always looking for things to load into his play trucks. I grabbed some beans that I keep just for play (cost about $2 dollars at the grocery store) and poured them into a pan for him.  He has played with this for days on end.  Loading, dumping, pushing. using his fine motor skills, problem solving, learning cause and effect, involving all his senses.  Who knew a bag of beans and some toy tractors could be educational.  It may look like he is only "playing" but he is learning, with every push, dump and scoop.  By the way, this little man is almost 2, in case you were wondering.  My almost 6 year old had almost as fun as the 2 year old. 

I store my "play" beans in recycled Gatorade bottles.  This is how I store my other items such as colored rice and pasta, aquarium rocks and whatever else we use in our sensory tubs.  It is easy to see what is in them and they line up nicely on the shelf.  You can also just let the kids play with the full bottles, with the lids tightly on. 

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Monday, August 13, 2012

DIY Australian Bilma's

We love making our own musical instruments.  I love when the kids can use their creativity and really get involved in the process of creating something they can use.  When Daria over at Daria's Music, offered to send us our own Australian Bilma's to make, I was super excited.  You can click HERE to find out more about the Bilma, and how to make your own.  Daria was kind enough to send us the wooden sticks and the paint to use.  Traditional Bilma's are decorated with stripes and dots. 

 Here are the bare sticks.
I painted them white to give us a blank canvas.  My daughter painted hers red. 
 After the coat of red dried, she started to add dots.  I don't know if you have ever painted on a cylinder object, but it isn't that easy, especially for a 4 year old.  We put aside the one with dots, to add some yellow to the other Bilma. 

She grew impatient waiting for the paint to dry so she developed her own painting technique.  I loved watching her problem solve and discover the best way for her to paint her Bilma. 
She put dots on the tray.... 
then rolled the Bilma into the paint. 
Here she used the paint to draw a line of purple on the tray.... 
and rolled the Bilma's into it.. 
We stood them up in an egg carton to dry.  
We hot glued on a little ribbon to add some pizazz.  
She loves them!!  I think they are beautiful.  So fun.   
Here are our finished Bilma's!  Beautiful, I think! 

Daria is doing a giveaway for a pair of Bilma's over on her website.  She is giving away these,
Aren't they lovely?
You can read all about how to enter HERE.
You should go over and spend some time on her website.  She has some wonderful ideas for making musical instruments for children (and adults too).

Thank you again, Daria for introducing us to the Bilma's.  I will be making more for my class. 
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