Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Popsicle Sticks

The weather has been beautifully refreshing in our neck of the woods.  Perfect for taking strolls and taking in all nature has to offer.  My 5 year old loves to collect leaves and acorns this time of the year.  Our most recent activity was perfect for her as she was able to do what she does best.....fill a bag full of leaves to make a Pumpkin Leaf Bag.

Yesterday she asked to play in the leaves that have fallen onto our front grass and that led to walking our neighborhood and collecting more of nature.  One of our neighbors has a row of pine trees and the pine needles are falling off like crazy and all I could imagine was using them as hair for a scarecrow craft!  So, I scooped up a bunch of the pine needles and stuffed them into my very own bag!!

While at the pine tree my daughter asked if we could take a piece of the pine tree because she loves the way it feels.  I was able to pinch a couple of pieces and added them to the bag also.

It took me a day but I came up with a craft we could do using the goodies we gathered.  We find so many great deals at yard sales and one of them is when my husband came across about 3 boxes of popsicle sticks with like 1000 sticks per box, yikes!!  I guess you can say we have quite a few popsicle sticks!  So, you guessed it this craft involves popsicle sticks.

I am not a fan of painting although I deal with it for the benefit of my children.  Lucky for me no paint was necessary for this craft because the popsicle sticks we have are already painted....score 1 for Mom!

I had orange, green and yellow sticks so we decided to make a pumpkin, witch and scarecrow.

....And I was able to use some of the pine needles for the hair of our scarecrow:

......And a piece of the evergreen tree for the stem of our Pumpkin:

As for our Witch we did not use any of our nature findings on her.  Although, in hindsight I bettcha I could have used some of the pine needles as part of her broom instead of the foam :(  That's ok, I have plenty more pine needles and we already know that I have 1000's of popsicle sticks to try our hand at another Witch.

Materials to make your own Halloween Popsicle Stick Crafts:

  • Popsicle sticks 
  • Foam
  • Black permanent marker
  • Googly eyes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Evergreen tree piece (optional) you could substitute for a green pipe cleaner or piece of green foam for the stem of the pumpkin
  • Pine needles (optional) you could use more foam or yarn for the hair of the scarecrow
  • Flower sticker for the hat of the scarecrow
To get the popsicle sticks to stick together simply take a popsicle stick and cut to fit across the back of the popsicle sticks and adhere with a hot glue gun.  

These crafts were fun to make but the most fun for me was the enjoyable and memorable Autumn morning with my daughter.

Happy Fall!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Witch and Pumpkin Leaf Bags

This time of the year leaves are plentiful and in so many different and beautiful colors!  How Wee Learn came up with a fun, simple way to display the fall foliage.  Once I saw their Leaf-y Jack-o-lantern   post I knew I had to give this a try and we added a friend to our pumpkin bag......Ms. Witch!!

My daughter was having a playdate this afternoon and I thought this would be a nice outdoor activity to do with the girls.  In addition to making a pumpkin leaf bag I thought since there are still plenty of green leaves too that we would also make a witch leaf bag!

I don't know of any kids who don't love to collect leaves and anything nature related.  Just as I suspected the girls couldn't get enough leaves and kept collecting and stuffing!  What a nice activity as the weather is ideal to be outdoors right now.

The girls thought the bags looked great with the pumpkin and witch face and my daughters friend had the idea of making her bag into a backpack - love young, creative minds!!

This activity is so simple - draw a face on the bag, head outdoors and start collecting leaves till your bag is as filled as you like.

We hung ours on a shelf hook in our living room but you could display anyway you want....maybe even make it into a back pack!!

For more leaf activities check out our post Preserving Leaves and Leaf Activities.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Identifying First Letter Sounds

Last school year while homeschooling my preschooler we worked quite a bit on letter sounds.  Now that my daughter is in kindergarten they are still working on and learning the sounds of the letters.  I volunteer once per week in the class and it's great on so many levels.  One reason I like it is because I get a front row seat at what the students are currently working on and how the teacher presents it.  Sounding out letters and words are some of the things they are currently learning.  My daughter is in half day kindergarten so I try and take advantage of our morning time with reading and other learning activities.

Stamps and stickers are two things most enjoyed by my 5 year old so I thought incorporating her love of stamps would be a fun way to work on first letter sounds.

  Using a zipper pouch with a clear and wipeable window on the front I inserted a piece of paper with some letters written on it.  Talk about SUPER EASY set up, huh!?

It was now my daughters turn....I simply took out our collection of stamps (which by the way are ALL yard sale finds!) and asked my 5 year old to say the letter sound and then find a stamp that begins with that letter.

The best part about this activity is that you can switch out the paper by simply unzipping the pouch and putting in another piece of paper with new letters on it.  Since the window on the front of the pouch is wipeable we just use a tissue or napkin to wipe the stamps clean and we can start all over again!

Super easy activity that my daughter had a great time with! Her love of stamps made this activity alot of fun and their is no better way to learn than when your child is having....fun!

Here is another letter sound activity we did using these same stamps but this time used popsicle sticks!