Monday, August 31, 2015

Back To School School Bus Crafts

With the new school year upon us I thought some bus crafts would be cute! My daughter is entering kindergarten this year and one of the things that gets her most excited is  the idea of riding the school bus! The school is really great about it too and during orientation they give the kindergarten children the chance to take a ride on the bus! I thought making a few school bus crafts would be fun and would get her into the school spirit!

Earlier this summer the dollar section at Target had packages of foam school buses.  The package included large and small size buses so we did a few different crafts.

Our first craft was simply gluing our buses onto construction paper.  My daughter chose some letter and number stickers to decorate with.  She chose the letter T for the initial of her name and the number 2 since that will be the number of her real school bus.  She also wanted to make clouds so she used our decorative paper edger scissors to cut out 'clouds.'  She glued them on and asked to make a hole on top so we could hang it.

Since my daughter wanted me to craft with her I chose black construction paper and got right to work.  I used white crayon to draw a road, glued on the bus, stuck on some A B C sticker letters and voila, easy bus craft!

Here's what we used for both crafts:
Black construction paper
Blue construction paper
White construction paper
White crayon
Letter stickers
Glue stick
Hole punch

Keeping crafts simple is the way to go for us and works best with my daughter.  But their are so many other fun ways to craft with these buses.

For our next craft we used the small buses and made a bus mobile.  When we use to craft my daughter just put together whatever I laid out for her but the older she gets the more she has her own ideas and I love to hear what they are.  We talked about both of these crafts and what we thought would work.

For our mobile we used a small paper plate and used a scissor to punch some holes through the paper plate ( Adult should do this part!) Then my daughter strung the yarn through the holes.  We attached our buses to the yarn using tape, used a pipe cleaner to hang the mobile from our curtain rod and easy peasy had our very own bus mobile!

Supplies for Bus Mobile craft:
Small paper plate
Pipe cleaner

I wasn't sure of the best place to hang our mobile but I wanted it in a place where my daughter would be able see it throughout the day.  We thought about it and decided to hang our mobile off of the curtain rod above the couch in our living room.

Our bus crafts even got us singing, "Wheels on the Bus" which we couldn't get out of our heads for a couple of days!  I wouldn't be surprised if she starts singing it on the acutal bus tomorrow during orientation!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Learn with Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes are said to have been around for centuries and for most children nursery rhymes are probably their first experience with literacy.  Kids love them because they are fun to listen to or sing and dance to.

Here are some ways your child can learn from nursery rhymes:

  • The rhyme and rhythm in nursery rhymes helps children hear the syllables in words which helps kids learn to read and helps with their language and cognitive development.

  • Sequencing helps children become good readers as they learn the beginning, middle and end of a story.  Nursery rhymes are a great place to start sequencing.  We did this nursery rhyme sequence activity and my daughter had alot of fun with it.  

  • Build self confidence with nursery rhymes! I wish I had a video clip to share but each night my kids and I send a good night message to their Grandparents.  They live 7 hours away and this has been a really special way to include them in our lives.  Our video messages are always songs and one of the things we love to do is take a traditional nursery rhyme song and change the words to it.  I believe doing this helps my children build confidence in how they express themselves.

  • Most importantly, whether singing or reading nursery rhymes you and your child are bonding and creating memories that will last a lifetime!

I picked up this nursery rhyme book at a yard sale and it's one of my daughters favorite bedtime reads.  If you can find this book it's a must buy or borrow from your local library!

Speaking of lifetime, 40 years later I still have the Mother Goose book that my Mother read to me from. Now I share this same book with my children.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reading Comprehension Activity

My daughter loves when we have storytime at our house.  Every day we can easy read for 15-30 minutes.  Visits to our local library is always exciting because of the idea of finding new books to enjoy.  There has been one book that is not new to most, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Although I've heard great reviews about this book I never made the decision to borrow it.  I have found another fun way to find books and that is at yard sales!  When I see a bin of books I'm all over it!  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was one I recently found and grabbed it for .25 cents!!  

After the first read my daughter was hooked!  She smiled and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the story.  She loves how it rains and snows food!  Each night before bed my daughter chooses a book which is alot more fun and easier now that we have our rain gutter book shelf.   Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a favorite for at least a week straight!

To help my daughter with reading comprehension I made up this activity, here's what I used and how we played:

Giant Post it Notes (these are awesome!)
Permanent Marker
Brown paper bags
Prizes for bag

This was such an easy set up.  I had a list of questions I asked my daughter about the story and wrote 2 choices to each question onto the Post It Notes.  After I read the question my daughter had to choose which was the correct answer by jumping on it.

At the end of each path I taped a brown paper bag, if she chose the right path she would receive some goodies I hid in the bag.  If she chose the wrong path the bag would be empty.  She chose the correct answers so she got the prizes on the first try - had she not we would have just kept playing until she got it right!

This was a really fun activity that helped my daughter with her reading comprehension and got her moving at the same time.....and a little prize at the end never hurts!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friendships and Children

I had intentions of posting this shortly after my daughter started kindergarten but better late than never........My daughter started kindergarten this past September and with that came the making of new friendships. Here are two books that talk about friendship that we really enjoy.

Oscar needs a friend: This was such an adorable book and a simple  message for preschoolers and for kindergartners to understand.  This book allows you to stop and talk about what Oscar could do differently to help his friendship with his new friend, Ollie.

Peanut Butter and Cupcake: A book that will bring many smiles and chuckling especially because of the illustrations.  Peanut Butter moves to a new town and is trying to find new friends.  Peanut Butter doesn't have much luck but by the end of the book he finds the perfect friend and then some!

In addition to these books I wanted to do an activity to reinforce what we've read and talked about.

Our first activity was based on some questions about how we should treat our friends.  Since we did alot of talking about how we should treat other people the questions seemed appropriate.

We also turned this activity into a craft that my daughter could give to a friend once it was complete.

Here's what we used:

Card Stock (for flower template)
Flower Template
Construction paper
Sticker Foam Sheets (cut to match up to petals on template)
Heart sticker

Here's what to do:
  • Print off a flower template but it's easy enough to also free hand a flower onto card stock.  
  • Cut out the flower
  • Glue flower onto construction paper
  • Cut out different colors from foam sheets as the flowers petals
Next, I asked my daughter a question and tried painting the picture of a situation and then read her two choices.  If she picked the correct choice she added a petal to the flower.  I also included some questions with just a yes or no answer.  Below is a sample and what I used as a guide for me. 

I'm proud to say that my daughter answered all the questions correctly! Once all the petals were added I included a heart sticker as the center for the flower.

My daughter cut a stem for the flower, glued it on and now she had a cute flower craft that she could give to one of her friends.  She thought about it for a minute and said, "Mom, I want to give this to you!"  Melt my hear, I will cherish it forever!

Our second friendship activity will get your child moving and is super easy to set up.  I went out to the driveway and wrote words inside some squares.  I then asked my daughter some more questions and she had to jump to the answer she thought was the right one.  I told her that if she answered the questions correctly there would be a surprise at the end.  Once again I'm glad to report she answered them correctly and her prize was a treat from the dollar section of Target.

We did alot of talking with this topic and I am so pleased that my daughter seems to be on the right track.  I'm excited for her and confident that she is off to a great start as she begins and nurtures her new friendships!

I hope these books and activities will help your child as they begin building their friendships too!