Friday, February 19, 2010

More Fun With Snow

Looking out our window, the snow is melting fast.
Better bring some in to play with, it may be the last

My tot has an infactuation with "things that go".
I am always on a mission to link his interests with learning.
That is how today’s idea came to be.
We brought snow in from outside,and added chunky cars.
I put the snow on large, shallow tote lid.

He used a shovel to bury and find the cars.
We pretended the cars had trouble driving in the snow and the rescue vehicles had to come and help.

After playing, we incorporated books about snow and cars.

-Leave the snow out during naptime, observe the changes afterwards.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wobot...I mean,Robot

That is what my son says when he pretends to be a Robot.
He has been into Robots, as of late. In an effort to expand his play-I wanted to make a super easy Wobot…I mean,Robot costume.

I used a paper grocery bag that we saved from the Commissary.

Then, I decorated it. I chose to use paint.
(My son was having lunch with his Dad, so I did it myself.)

After the paint dried, I cut a whole at the top. (head)

Next, I cut one whole on each side of the bag. (arms)

By then, my son had returned from lunch.
I invited him to put stickers on the Robot.

But…he wanted to put them on his face instead.

Finally, it was time to put on the Robot costume.

He wanted to add a hat from the "Dress-Up" shelf, so we did.

He was so excited, and moving so fast…that it was impossible to get a good picture!

*You don't have to use paint!
Have children decorate the robot with markers or crayons.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mitten Match-Up

Create a relatable game that facilitates cognitive development.

Here is what you need:

You will need to cut a template, so that all of your mittens will look the same.

Trace the template so that you have matching mittens. Don’t forget to trace, turn the paper over and trace again.

Cut the mittens out, and set them aside.

Glue construction paper, or cardstock to a piece of the cardboard.

Glue the mittens to the cardboard.

*Repeat steps until each mitten is mounted.

Tips for playing:

For very young children, you could start by giving them one card to hold. Lay two other cards in front of them (the match should be included). Ask them which mitten matches the one on their card.

For older children, you could play the classic memory game.

The Snow Shop

As my toddler grows,so will his play. He has taken great interest in dramatic play,as of late. The most noticeable changes have been with the complexity and duration of his play.

Last night, all he wanted to do was play restaurant.

During the day, I caught him taking something out of MY refrigerator to make room for HIS Pretend food…because it was Pretend hot.

This is his interest,I am going to use it for learning.

How can I expand this play?

Since we are snowed in, and he has a cough...might as well bring some snow in.

We can throw in his play dishes that he always uses...a shovel...and perhaps some dishes from the kitchen.

Instead of using play food...

We can serve up snow.

We will talk about how cold it is, so we might want to wear our mittens.

We may even bring a few friends along.

MMMMMmmmm...Best Snow Shop in Town. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Hearty Messy Table

Pouring, scooping, measuring and more…
that’s what the messy table is for.

Here is another idea that promotes motor development and color/shape recognition through play.

Here is what you need:

A plastic container
Red Food Coloring
Small Hearts (I found ours at Wal-mart)
Spoons, Cups

My son played with this for the longest time. He enjoyed seeing the water change, and catching the hearts in a measuring cup.

He pretended that the hearts were fish.
“Mama, Hearts"(As he makes a fish face)

I’m not sure which was cuter, the fact that he said “Heart”…or the Toddler Fish Face. :)

Homemade Multicultural Crayons

February is one of my favorite months. It is the month of Valentine’s Day, and African American History. I would be remiss if I did not mention African American History Month on this blog.

My son is only two, so I don’t think he is ready for the speeches about Harriet Tubman. What I can do, however, is begin to help him appreciate the differences among people. People look different, and that’s o.k. Introducing my son to this concept will help with his Social Emotional Development.

There are a number of things that can be done to help children with this concept…here is one to get you started.

I am sure you have heard of melting old crayons to make new ones…but what if you only used browns…and tans…? You would have multicultural crayons!
First, gather all of those broken crayons and peel off the paper.

Put the crayons in a muffin pan and melt the crayons at 250F for about 15 minutes.

When they have cooled all the way, just popped them out.

There you have it, a Homemade Multicultural Crayon. I love the size of these crayons. They are just perfect for fine motor fun!

Happy African American History Month!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Sweet Masterpiece: Painting with Icing :)

This art activity is one of my favorites. It promotes fine motor development and reinforces color recognition.

Here is what you will need:

Food Coloring or Tempura Paint
Craft Sticks (Optional)
Card Stock or Heavy Construction Paper

We used tempura paint and mixed it with the icing, to make Valentine’s Day colors.(The children may want to help mix the colors, which is great for science development.)

Set out the materials, discuss, and allow children to explore them.

“Pink!!!” (He identified a color…best thing to happen all day!)

Think Pink

I just found a cute alternative to using finger paint. It was SUPER EASY to make.

All you need is a few teaspoons of flour, food coloring, and water. Mix the ingredients until they have the consistency of a paste and that’s it!

Since my son is still warming up to the idea of “getting his hands dirty”, I began by using craft sticks.

He eventually stuck his finger in the paste, only after I did it, for the total “Sensory Experience”.

We even talked about the color, and texture of the paint.

*This art activity facilitates Fine Motor, Science/Sensory, and Language Development.