Monday, March 31, 2014

Coffee Filter Flower with Paper Towel Roll Vase

We had an entire package of coffee filters that we no longer use so we are putting them to good use.  Here is a coffee filter turned flower!  This is such an easy craft to do even with our wee little ones.

To make your own coffee filter flower and vase you will need:
Coffee filter
Spray bottle filled with water
Pipe cleaner
Paper Towel roll
Paint brush

Once you have your materials gathered just let your child scribble with the various color markers onto the coffee filter and then squirt away.  After that just let your coffee filter dry (which happens pretty quickly) and cut out in the shape of a flower.  I just realized I didn't get any photos of Tiffany during this craft. But we also made a butterfly using a coffee filter and I snapped more photos which I will share in an upcoming post.  Tiffany's favorite part was by far squirting the water!!

For the vase we painted a paper towel roll, glued a pipe cleaner to the flower and.................

Flower in vase!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

5 Ways To Teach Double Digit Numbers

My daughter who will be 4 in about 3 months gets confused with her number identification after 10.  She can count up to 20 with a stumble somewhere around 16 but it's the identification of those numbers we are primarily focusing on.  Here are 5 ways that we have been using to help with double digits.

There are so many different ways to use plastic Easter eggs.  Since kids seem to love them, my daughter included, I took advantage of that and incorporated learning double digits with them.  Just take the egg apart add the numbers you want to work on and turn the one half of the egg to match the other numbers.  Another thing I love about learning double digits by using a plastic Easter egg is that you can use it anywhere.  Actually, when I took this picture Tiffany was not feeling well and was just resting on the couch.  I was able to give it to her without having her move around or sit somewhere else.  Perfect for a busy bag too!

Re-use your Play doh containers/cups to help teach double digits.  It works like the Easter egg except the cups are a bit easier to turn.

Using clothespins and a craft stick works as double duty!  Not only will your child learn double digits but at the same time they will be working on their fine motor skills.  I was surprised that Tiffany had a bit of trouble opening the clothespins but after doing this activity a few times it became easier.  Label your clothespins with the numbers you want to work on and write those same numbers on your craft stick then have your child match the number on the clothespin to the number on the craft stick.  And another one to easily take on the go!

If you would also like to get your child moving and working on their gross motor skills then you might want to check out this activity.  In hindsight I wish I would have used more higher numbers.  With the nicer weather approaching I will make one outside using chalk and using numbers 10 and above.  You can read full post here

 This was our most recent activity in trying to incorporate the Easter/Spring theme.  You can read full post here

I hope this post will help with teaching double digits to your child or classroom!

3D Spring Art

We are in full anticipation of spring! Although, the calendar says it's here it still doesn't feel like it in our neck of the woods but we are moving in the right direction.  Making spring crafts and doing activities with a spring theme helps while we wait for the nicer weather.  I wanted to try and do a craft with more of a 3 dimensional appearance and this is what we came up with!

These are the supplies we used:
Brown paint
Green finger paint
Shredded green paper
Large pom pom
Flower stickers
Butterfly stickers

We started off spreading the glue for our 'grass.'

And what I think was Tiffany's favorite part... the sprinkling of the 'grass!'

We used finger paint for the flower stems.  Tiffany can be finicky with touching certain things but finger paint she has zero problem with.  Just say the words finger paint and her little fingers are wiggling and ready to go!!

Finishing up the flowers by adding these pretty flower stickers.

My favorite part were the bunnies we added.  I painted Tiffany's fingers to make the bunny ears and for the bunnies head and body we used a large pom pom.  

The last part was adding some butterfly stickers.  Tiffany adores using stickers so I try to use them in crafts/activities whenever possible.

Here is our finished 3D spring craft!  I currently have it on our fireplace mantle but would like to find an appropriate frame and find a permanent home for it!

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Re-use Play Doh Containers

We are in full double digit learning mode at our house.  Tiffany who is almost 4 can identify numbers 1-10 but after that she gets mixed up.  So, we are using lots of different ways to help get better acquainted with our double digit number friends.

One of the ways is by using empty play doh containers/cups which make great learning tools for learning double digits. You could probably use plastic cups as well like the ones restaurants serve to kids.  Since we are focusing on 10-19 those are the numbers I included but you could do it for 20's 30's, etc.  Simply use a permanent marker or stickers and write the number 1 (or whatever set of numbers you want to use) on one of the containers and write the other numbers on the other container.  The cups spin very easily without any effort and your child can do this practically anywhere!  Throw them in a busy bag or quiet bin, keep them in the car or your purse.

What do you re-use for learning activities with your children?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Letter Sounds Using Family Pictures

We are starting to work on our letter sounds more lately.  I wanted to add a personal touch to working on sounds so I used pictures of family members.  I had some leftover eggs from our double digit number activity and used those. Their were six eggs left and it was perfect for the family members I wanted to include.  We don't have a large family so the six eggs worked perfectly and wasn't too overwhelming.

I mixed up the egg halves where one half had the first letter of the family members name and on the other half a picture of the family member.  

Here is Tiffany matching her brothers egg.

We continued with "n" for Nana, "g" for Grandma AND Grandpa, "b" for Babcia, "m" for Mommy and "d" for Daddy.

Learning letter sounds by adding pictures of Tiffany's Grandparents, brother, Mommy and Daddy added a personal touch and it featured letters that we use on an every day basis!  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Learning Double Digits

My almost 4 year old can identify numbers 1-10 with no problem.  However, when it comes to any number past 10 she gets a bit confused.  So, we have been finding fun ways to learn our double digits.  I found these eggs at Target in the dollar section and knew I could use them for something.  Then, I came across some free printables from the homeschool den and knew what I would use our eggs for, a number matching game!

I cut out the animal pictures and the numbers and used tape to attach the pictures to one half of the egg and the numbers to the other half of the eggs.

I like this activity because first, it helps Tiffany count higher than 10 which she has some trouble with.  Next, it offers one to one correspondence and it makes Tiffany have to identify which number matches the number of animals she counted. Lastly, it helped with sequencing as once the numbers were matched she had to put the numbers in order from 10-19.  Alot of times Tiffany will get ahead of herself with counting and rush the numbers especially with double digits.  When I saw her rushing the counting during this game I just helped point to the numbers with her.

Once the pictures were matched to the correct number we began putting the numbers in order from 10-19.  We didn't start on 20...yet!

To be honest at first Tiffany was not really interested in playing.  I left this game out for 3 days before she finally wanted and asked to play what she called, the egg game.  Once she had the interest in playing she was off and running. Overall, Tiffany liked our match game and it's something I can easily leave out to play with again and again.  Tiffany also liked putting the eggs back together again too!

I'm glad I have some extra eggs since I have come up with some other fun ideas to use them for!  Stay tuned.....!

If you are looking to help your child learn numbers you might also want to check out our bean bag numbers game

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Sensory Table

I was inspired by Munchkin and Bean when I read about their St. Patrick's Day Sensory bin.  We've never played with green split peas until now so I was excited to see what Tiffany would make of it.  Almost immediately after reading Munchkin and Bean's blog post I purchased 5 bags of green split peas and a few extras because we were going to be using our water table.  Next on the list, gold coins but after not finding them at the Dollar store or any of our local grocery stores I decided to buy some green gems I spotted at the Dollar Tree.  Initially, I set up the sensory table with just the peas and the green gems.  Since I wanted to include coins in the some way I remembered we had some play coins so I threw in a few play pennies.  My son has always liked pirates so I looked through his room and was able to find some gold coins....score! Finally, the table was set up the way I had hoped!

This is a picture of just the beans and green gems.

This is with pennies.....

And finally, with the gold coins!

I liked how all 3 looked but was happiest with the coins included.  Thankfully, I found some because that is what kept my daughter's attention.  She was happy to find the gems but finding the coins was her highlight.  She even asked if I could bury some more and thankfully I was able to scrounge up a few more from my son's pirate collection!

My daughter was excited to find her St. Patrick's Day sensory table when she woke up.  I almost wished she hadn't spotted it until after we took my son to school because getting her to stop playing after about 30 minutes was not easy.  Normally, that would be a great thing but school was calling!!

My son had to feel around a bit too!

Finding her first gold coin!

Digging around...

After finding the gems and coins my daughter sorted her treasures into cups (shucks, no pics of that!)

A fun and mess free sensory activity to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rainbow Craft

This is such an easy, fun craft to do with your preschooler or even toddler. We also read the book Minnie's Rainbow to go along with our rainbow theme.

Here are the supplies needed to make this craft:
1. Construction paper for each of the rainbow colors
2. Paper plate cut in half
3. Cotton balls
4. Glue
5. Hole punch
6. Yarn or string

I didn't have my preschooler cut the strips for this craft but this is a good opportunity to practice those scissor cutting skills! Once the strips of paper are cut have your child glue on each piece of paper to the backside of the paper plate.  Gluing is also good practice for fine motor skills.

This next step is my daughters favorite part, gluing on the cotton balls!  I only take out as many cotton balls as I think the plate should hold otherwise Tiffany would happily use up our entire bag of cotton balls!

Lastly, I used a hole puncher and punched a hole near the top of the paper plate, strung through a piece of yarn and their you have it!  An easy, fun, colorful craft to welcome spring!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bottle Flower Stamp

Is their really something you can do with the bottom of an ice tea or soda bottle?  Yes! Believe it or not the bottom of this ice tea bottle makes a pretty flower stamp!  And please don't mind what's inside the bottle....those are colored sprinkles that I used for an I Spy bottle.

I put some paint in a dish placed the bottle on top and started stamping.

It was at this point that my 3.5 year old had her own idea.  Apparently, she wanted the flower to have a circle in the middle.  So, she put her finger in the paint and pressed on a little circle.

Final step, painting the flower stems and we have pretty spring flowers!  It has been fun doing winter crafts but so refreshing to finally do a flower craft!

I would love to hear about your flower or spring craft! Feel free to share on our Facebook page!