Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hunting for Hearts

This activity will reinforce the concept of shapes
(Math Development), in a really fun way.


Heart Cut-Outs
Basket/Bowl (optional)

Cut out several medium sized hearts
(Foam Sheets, creative)

• Hide the hearts around the classroom, or the house.
• Review what a heart is, let the child see one of the hearts.
• Explain the game.
• Give the child a small basket to carry.
• Help them to find the hearts as needed.


Count the hearts, once they are gathered.
Allow the child to play with the hearts that they have discovered.

Happy Heart Hunting!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Save The Construction Paper!

I am always looking for new ways to get my child interested in Art. After all, it helps his Fine Motor Development. How can I make the “same old” Art materials… “brand new”? Here is an idea. What if I saved a piece of construction paper, and used something else instead?

Yesterday, I put out “Bingo Dots”.
He was interested (but not for long).
Same construction paper. Same tools.

But then…

I went to the kitchen and put foil where the paper had been.
"OOOOooooooo, Mommy”, he exclaimed.
He loved it, and he played for a very long time.
"Dot,Dot,Dot!" :)

*Optional: If you don’t have “Bingo Dots”, try crayons on the foil
it looks awesome!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dollar Store Science

I am sure that this won't be the last time that I mention my love for the Dollar Store...or the dollar bins at Target.
With that said, I want to share with you... my "latest" Dollar Store find.

It was a 3 pack set of magnifying glasses.
(FYI:the smallest things excite me.)

Only a dollar...but priceless when you think about the learning that can take place.

Take a closer look...

Yesterday,my son swore that there was a bug in the floor.


Me: No buddy,it is not a bug.


Me: It does look like a bug..but it is coffee,remember we played with coffee and you made a mess?


Me: Here, I will show you. This is a magnifying glass it helps us see things that are small. Let us look again and see if that was a bug on the floor.


There you go!

He used a Scientific Tool to discover the coffee grounds...and a spider web.(I dusted right after.) :)

We talked about big and small too.
All of this, from a dollar store find.

Extention: *Take the investigation outside!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thats Just How I Bowl

My husband always wonders why I save plastic bottles and containers. He may never know how much money they save him. When they are all cleaned out,they can be used for countless learning experiences.

One of the activites that we do with empty bottles is "Bowling".

-Empty,clean plastic bottles
-Various balls (heavy enough to knock over the bottles)
-Optional: a container,bowl or basket)

1. Arrange the bottles as desired.

2. Put a piece of tape a few feet away from the pins( starting point).

3. Put the balls in a bowl & place them to the side of the tape.

4. Stand on the line and roll the ball towards the pins.

(ok,or straddle the line)

5. Set it all up, and play again!

*This activity is also great for Social Development(Turn Taking)
and Gross Motor Development.

Children Love Post-It Notes. Post-It Notes, Who Knew?

My son and I went to the store last night. Out of all the things in the world that he could ask for, he wanted Post-It notes. Did I mention the fact that he is two? “How does he even know what a Post-It is?”, I thought. Then, I remembered seeing him play with them at my mother’s house over Christmas Break.

A good friend that I did my student teaching with always said that her students loved Post-It notes.

“They act as if they have received a million dollars when they get a Post-It Note from me”, she said.

I was not sure why my son wanted them. But, I knew that it was a great chance to integrate learning into his interests.

I put out chunky crayons/ markers and let him explore those materials (Fine Motor: Pre-Writing Skills). He used the Post-It(s) as stickers. They were just the right size for his tiny fingers!

Look at him go!

*Extended Learning: Put writing utensils and Post-It Notes in your Dramatic Play Area to facilitate Literacy Skills.

Post-It Notes, Who Knew?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Really Red Play Dough

Letting children help in the kitchen does more than keep them busy. They are actually learning Science & Motor Skills. One of the things we do in our kitchen is make play dough. Learning and saving money…you can’t beat it. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought we would make “Really Red Play Dough".

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
Red food coloring, one packet of Fruit Punch Kool-Aid or ½ container of Cran-Grape Crystal Light

In saucepan,or large bowl, mix all dry ingredients with a spoon. Next, add a generous amount of food coloring, the oil, and water. Mix well. When all the ingredients are combined, place the pot on the stove. Set the burner on medium heat, stirring constantly!
Once the dough has formed a ball, remove it from the stove. I set the dough on a piece of wax paper to cool. When the dough is cool, I like to add a little flour. Then, knead the dough until it’s a nice consistency.

Optional Fun…

*Instead of food coloring and Kool-Aid, you can use Beet Juice or Cocoa.

>Language Development: Engage the child in dialogue during play. Talk about how the dough smells, looks and feels.

*Storage: Store in a plastic container or a Ziploc bag for about a week.