Me and My "Guys"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby preparations...

I am due for a baby in a couple of months and I know there won't be time to plan activities for my two year old for a while, so I am doing it now. I have made my plans with songs and activities and prepared the materials for them for March and April. I have the rest of the year sketched out and you will see those activities appear over the next couple of months. When we do the activities, I will post pictures so you can see the results.

Several Easter Activities in one...

I am going to try to write about several Easter activities in one post. Many of these ideas were taken from All of these activities are a great way to develop language in your child, and many of them will help develop creativity, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and critical thinking skills.

1. Sponge Painting with Easter shapes. You can buy or cut out Easter shapes for your child to paint with. Fine motor, language and creativity

2. Sandpaper rubbings - cut Easter shapes out of sandpaper and have the child put another paper over them and color them. Fine motor - also science related because the child will see what happens when you color on different kinds of paper, language

3. Cottonball Easter bunny. I cut out a bunny shape and I will have my son glue cottonballs on to it. Fine motor skills, language

4. Painting on Easter egg shapes. I cut out large Easter eggs and I will have my son paint on them. I am also going to cut out an Easter egg large enough for the wall so he can color it with crayons at will. Fine motor, language, creativity

5. Bunny Hop: I cut out several large Easter egg shapes. I am going to cover them with clear plastic laminate and my son will be able to jump from one to another. We can talk about colors as we do this: "Jump to the green one." gross motor, language

6. Size sorting. I cut out different sizes of bunnies and different sizes of Easter eggs so he can sort them according to size. I also cut out two of each Easter egg for him to match up. Critical thinking, language

7. One little, two little, three little Easter eggs. Four little, five little, six little Easter eggs. Seven little, Eight little, Nine little Easter eggs. Ten little eggs in my basket. I cut out small eggs - enough to match up with each number. I wrote out the song on construction paper and taped the appropriate number of eggs under each part of the song. Language

Other fun activities:
Shaving cream painting with pink or yellow shaving cream.
Put plastic bunnies and eggs in the water table or bathtub.
Put yellow or pink food coloring in the water table.
play dough
Set up a farm with animals and tractors so they can act things out.

Easter/April books

Owen's Marshmallow Chick
Five Little Chicks
The Easter Bunny that Overslept
The Easter Egg Farm
The Night Before Easter
A Colorful Easter
I Need an Easter Egg
Easter Bugs
Easter Mice
Just and Easter Egg
It's Not Easy Being a Bunny
The Runaway Bunny
If You Were My Bunny
Rosie Rabbit Goes to Preschool
My Friend Rabbit
The Velveteen Rabbit
Little Rabbit Goes to School
The Rabbit Who Didn't Want to Go to Sleep
Informational books about bunnies, chicks, eggs, etc.

I have to look into these books a little more to see what ages they are appropriate for.

St. Patrick's Day books to reserve at the library...

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
by: Tomie dePaola

Jeremy Bean's St. Patrick's Day
by Alice Shertle

Leprechaun Gold
by Teresa Bateman

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
by Tomie dePaola

Informational books about potatoes and Ireland with pictures appropriate to the age of my child.

Disclaimer: I haven't read the books I have listed, so I don't yet know what age they are appropriate for. I will let you know when I get to March.

Pot of Gold

This could be a fun activity to use in a lot of different ways.

1. Use it as a reward system for a behavior you are trying to teach. Each time they demonstrate the behavior, they get to put a piece of gold in the pot.

2. Use it to teach numbers. This is what I am doing with my son. We are only going to use 5 gold coins because that is the number he is working on counting to. I want him to start recognizing the numbers as well as knowing them. This is just an activity that I will have sitting out and he can play with it when he wants to.

3. You could also use this as a number/object matching activity. Let's say the child is practicing counting to 3. Cut out six pots and the numbers 1, 2, 3. The child will match the number with the correct number of pots. This would be appropriate for older preschool children.

I'm a Little Leprachaun

This website has tons of ideas for every holiday.

When I do songs, I like to write the words out and have pictures that go with them. As you can tell, they don't have to be perfect pictures. Just a symbol that represents the idea in the line or in a couple of lines that will help the kids remember. The more kids see language, the better.

Jello Art

I saw this idea on You can mix up the jello and put it in a spray bottle that they then spray onto St. Patrick's Day shapes. Or you can just use it as a sensory experience and let them go to town playing with the jello in a big bowl or tub.

Torn Paper Art

This is fun for kids of all ages. They can even help you tear the paper. Tearing paper is good for their fine motor skills and is a skill that is assessed in some preschools. There are many ways to do this activity. You can just have a blank sheet of paper that they glue or tape the papers on or you can have St Patrick's Day shapes that they can glue or tape the papers on.

Shamrock rubbings

To add variety to their art experience, cut out shapes from sandpaper or other tactile papers. They put another paper over the top and use crayons to color over it.

Taken from:

Five Green Shamrocks

Cut five shamrocks out of green felt and use the following verse. Taken from the following link:

Five green shamrocks growing outdoors
(child's name) picked one, and that left four.

Four little shamrocks, green as they can be.
(child's name) picked one and that left three.

Three little shamrocks, playing peek-a-boo.
(child's name) picked one, and that left two.

Two little shamrocks nodding in the sun,
(child's name) picked one, and that left one.

One little Shamrock for St Patrick's Day fun.
(child's name) picked one, and that left none.

Shamrock size sorting

Cut out shamrocks of three different sizes and have kids sort them from biggest to smallest or vice versa. You can also do a matching activity with these. Just cut out two of each and have them match the size to each other and then sort them.

I got my patterns from the following websites:

Friday, December 11, 2009


I found this link today and I thought it had some interesting songs and some good activities to go with those songs.

Your Child's Art Kit

Fun things to add to your child's art kit or to add variety to their art experiences:

Shaving Cream
Paint Cups to store and use the paint from. They can be purchased at teacher supply stores.
Paint Brushes - different sizes and shapes
Roller Brushes
Sponges with different textures
Water Color Paints
Finger Paints
Poster Paints
Construction Paper
Fingerpaint Paper
Poster Paper
Large and small paper
Paper cut into strips
Torn paper of different sizes and shapes
Index cards
Colored Pencils
Pens and Pencils
Dry Erase Markers
Easel for painting
Easel with a white board and/or chalk board
Soap Shavings
Pine Cones
Tape - a variety, some stores even carry colored tape.
cotton balls
cotton swabs
googly eyes
popsicle sticks
wooden shapes

What you can add to your child's art experience from the kitchen:
Corn Meal
Corn Starch
Food Coloring
Dried Noodles
Evaporated Milk
Corn Husks
Plastic bags

You certainly don't need ALL these things at once. These are just some ideas to keep you thinking of what you can do to add variety to your child's art experience.

Shaving Cream Art

Shaving Cream is so fun for kids to play with and there are so many different things you can do with it...and it's CHEAP.

Add to it for variety:
food coloring
corn meal
It's fun to make the colors and scents match the season.

They can do it on anything:
the table
construction paper
fingerpaint paper

Gingerbread Houses

My husband and I design and make our own gingerbread house for a date night every December - well, I should say, we just started doing it last year, but we are looking forward to doing it again this year.

For Family Home Evening, we do one as a family. It doesn't have to be precise. It's just fun. My son thought this was the best because he got to decorate the house with candy, frost the crackers and eat his work for a few days afterward. We had the best time just letting him put the crackers and candy wherever he wanted to put them and, as you can tell, we ended up with a pile of candy on one side of the house. He just loved it.

Glue Art

Whoever knew glue could be so much fun. One day, my son asked for a bottle of glue. I gave him a piece of construction paper and I let him do whatever he wanted. We have been able to talk about circles, lines, holes - sometimes there are holes in the glue dots on his paper. It's fun to say - "how many have holes - 1, 2, 3 of them have holes. The rest have no holes." His little 21 month old brain thinks this is so fun. It seems to be helping him develop hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills. He is starting to be more precise with where he puts the glue and is becoming purposeful - wanting to make circles big or small, make lines, or just make dots - whereas before he just would squeeze the bottle and it would come out however it came out. I let him have a few googly eyes to add to his art and he thought that was the best.

Five Little Gingerbread Men

Five little gingerbread men lying on a tray.
One jumped up and ran away, shouting,
"Run, Run as fast as you can. You can't catch me.
I'm the gingerbread man".
Continue with 4, 3, 2, 1

I traced my gingerbread men from a paper template onto felt, then cut them out. Then I glued SMALL googly eyes on them and drew a smile with a permanent marker. My son likes to do the story on the floor. We do the first part and when they run away, he takes one, makes the gingerbread man run, and puts it behind my back. To add more math in, I ask him how many are left and we count down each time (4, 3, 2, 1).

I adapted the story from this website:
and from the book, The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt.

Spice Art

I cut out 3 gingerbread men shapes. We used cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger. This is messy. First, Andrew squeezed glue onto the gingerbread men. Then we sprinkled the spices on. In order to conserve my spices and to keep down the mess, I put tape over most of the holes on the spices. When we had a pile of spices on the table, I scraped them into a bowl and he was able to practice scooping and pouring.

Hand/Eye Coordination - putting the glue just where they want it, pouring the spices just where they want them, and if they are scooping and pouring - that is a pretty involved skill for a little guy.
Fine Motor Development - It takes a lot of strength to squeeze out the glue
Science - smelling different spices and watching them stick to the glue.
Vocabulary Development - gingerbread men, spices, glue
Math - Recognizing 3, counting to 3 (Depending on your child's age)