Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tub Fun Tuesday-Foam Shapes In The Bathtub

Today's idea involves a package of craft foam, some scissors, and a little creativity.  My tub fun idea today is all about making foam shapes that your child can wet and then hang on the bath or shower wall.  My favorite things to make are clothing outfits (pants and shirts, skirts and blouses, dresses) and flowers/landscape scenes.  However, the possibilities are endless....ABC's, numbers, shapes, rainbows......Your kids can hang the shapes on the tub wall and then use bath tub crayons to complete their wall art.  You don't have to be an artist to create these fun foam scenes either.  Kids have fun regardless of your Picasso quotient.  Older children enjoy creating their own shapes as well.  It is also fun to hang your foam shapes on windows.  I can see this being a fun activity for my preschoolers when it is nasty outside!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Use Up Those Easter Jelly Beans With Jelly Bean Math

All kids need to learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  Knowing these skills is essential for moving on to higher math, and these basic math skills will be used daily for their entire lives.  However, some kids find learning math to be a chore rather than a fun learning experience.  I have one of those kids so I am always on the lookout for ways to make learning math appealing, and when I came across using jelly beans for math equations I was sold.  Jelly beans are tasty, economical, and usually plentiful after Easter.  This makes using jelly beans fun for kids and practical for their teachers.   I am including links to pages that have great jelly bean ideas for beginning math problems. Thank you to the blogs Feels Like Home and Kids Activities Blog for some great ideas.   Enjoy!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Thar's Gold In Them Thar Hills.....OK Sandbox!

I had some "gems" (floral arrangement beads) and "gold" (rocks from our yard that we spray painted gold) left over from a library program.  I decided to add them to our sandbox and let the kids discover the treasure while they were playing.  They loved panning for gold in the sandbox and the two youngest each gathered quite a collection.  After a while, my oldest daughter asked her younger siblings if they wanted to play store and purchase some items that she had available (rocks, leaves, sticks, etc.) They said YES!  This proves to me that even
imitation money can burn a hole in your pocket and further proves to me that my oldest is going to be in sales some how, some way,  some day!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cloud Dough

Cloud dough is silky, moldable, and all ages find it fun to play with.  You can make pretend cakes, build castles, play with toy figurines in it, make a snow village out of it, and I could go on and on as the pretend play is limitless.  Two ingredients make up this recipe so it couldn't be simpler to create!  You can make an edible version for younger children that may still be putting things in their mouths....just replace the baby oil with vegetable oil.   Thank you to my friend Sherri for sharing this recipe from Happy Hooligans with me.  My oldest daughter made this recipe yesterday as part of her "real life" school work and my two youngest played with it non stop for a good hour.  Very fun!  Here is the link to find the recipe.  http://happyhooligans.ca/cloud-dough/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Felt Pictures...A Quiet Activity Perfect For Little Hands!

I am always on the look out for quiet and fun activities for my little guy.  I made felt pictures for him when he was one and was desperate for something (anything lol) to quietly keep his attention at church.  At the time, these felt pictures were way to advanced for him and he wanted nothing to do with them.  Fast forward 3 years and he loves them.  He pulled them out of my church bag the other day and started to play with them.  He was so excited to be able to put the pictures together himself with no help from anyone.  I have 3 sets made (a snowman, a Christmas tree, and a turkey) but I am making more now that I see how much he likes them.  I am guessing our 5 year old will like them as well!

Making these felt pictures is simple.  You need one piece of felt that will be your base (a piece that is about 8 1/2 x 11) and pieces of felt in different colors that you cut out to form shapes for your pictures.  For my snowman felt picture, I simply cut out 3 circles of white felt and laid them on a blue background.  I cut out white cloud shapes.  Then I added arms made out of brown felt, and a green tree.  For my Christmas tree, I cut out a large green triangle, a small rectangle out of brown, and several small circles out of a variety of colors for decorations.  I then cut out a yellow star for the top of my tree.  I laid all of these on piece of blue felt.  For my turkey, I cut several feather shapes out of a variety of colors, a larger brown circle for the body, and a smaller brown circle for the head.  Then I cut out a yellow beak, a red waddle, and yellow legs.  I laid all of these down on a tan piece of felt.

These pictures are great for hand/eye work and really inspire creativity.  Kids will come up with lots of different ways that the pictures can be put together.  They are quiet activities that will keep a little one's attention at church or at restaurants.  I am not sure what my next felt pictures will be....but I will be making more soon.