Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wind and Kite Preschool Activities

Easy Preschool Science: Testing the Wind

Weather is a theme for March at Poppins Book Nook. "The Wind Blew" by Pat Hutchins would be a great book for our Wind theme, but My Firefly clearly picked another one as her very favorite. Based on the book, we followed the yellow feather gone with the wind and experimented with other items that can be moved by the wind. You can find our previous Poppins Book Nook activities here: Thing 1 and Thing 2 Paper Plate Decorations.


Silly Dilly Duckling, or the Science of the Flying Feather.

Our favorite book of the month is "Silly Dilly Duckling" by Claire Freedman. The book has it all: chasing a yellow feather gone with the wind, cute animal characters, a friend's helping hand, and a silly spring duckling.

The concept of "the direction of the wind" is covered in the book: the wind blew up, down, and around; the feather drifted down the hill, caught on a corn stalk, and ended up in the river. We enjoyed a little "Seek and Find" yellow feather game on each page.


Preschool Science: The Wind Experiment

We had a warm sunny day with the winds around 15-25 mph.

We brought out a basket with several objects: feathers, a paper plate, a shoe, an empty plastic bottle, a stuffed toy, an umbrella.

The predictions to make: Which object can be moved by the wind? Which object can fly with the wind? Which object can fly faster?


My 3 y.o. predicted that the shoe wouldn't fly, and neither would the paper plate. Was she surprised and delighted to chase the plate - the best flying object out there. She loved playing with the umbrella in the wind and it allowed her to observe the changes in the direction and strength of the wind. We couldn't agree on the plastic bottle: it rolled and rattled for a minute, and then would stop moving - confusing?


Simple DIY Kite

Pictured below: hexagon shaped plastic, 2 light weight sticks, tape, plastic strips for the tail, rope.


This little kite was the nice size for her to control and enjoy. She was running for so long - awesome physical activity!


Weather

It's time for the Poppins Book Nook - a book club that goes live on the last Monday of each months.
You can find our previous Poppins Book Nook books and activities here: Poppins Book Nook.

The theme for this month is "Weather". Visit the hosts of Poppins Book Nook to find out what the kids were up to, their adventures and discoveries.


Kid's Meteorologist in the Making Bundle Giveaway

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers
a chance to win a brand new storybook
or product that ties in with our theme for the month.

This month one lucky entrant will win
the Kid's Meteorologist in the Making Bundle.
The winner will enjoy two fun weather themed learning items.
Weather Tracker and
National Geographic's Kid's Everything Weather.



 


Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Lacing Card - Paper Plate Craft for Preschoolers

Lacing Card Play Basket

The great benefits of lacing activities for preschoolers: pencil grip practice, hand-eye coordination, attention skills practice, learning and creating patterns. This quiet time activity is awesome. Why wouldn't my child just sit down and do it for any noticeable length of time? She has to pay attention to develop those important attention skills.

This craft was a challenge for her to get engaged and motivated - she is looking forward to Easter and loves baskets. So I offered her this Play Basket lacing activity.


The supplies used for the Play Basket craft:
a paper plate, lace, a hole punch, scissors.

  • I precut the margins of the plate at regular intervals and punched holes in every flip.
  • My Firefly had to lace the plate creating a simple in-and-out pattern.
  • The basket handle is standing up by itself because the ribbon is stiff at the edges. We tightened the ribbon to bring the basket walls up. I weaved the ends of the ribbon together and finished with the bow.
  • Decoration: My Firefly used spring stickers to decorate the basket.

Find more Spring Activities and Crafts here:

Easy Pretty Foam Chicks
Spring Flowers and Frogs Painting and Stamping
Bunny Books and Sight Word Games

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fun Spring Play Date Ideas

10 Fun Playdate Activities and Crafts for Kids

Are you planning a play date for your 2-6 year olds? Here are some bright and easy ideas for guaranteed fun! Let them build those life lasting friendships while enjoying all things spring and new life. These ideas are brought to you by The Weekly Kids Co-Op. You can find our previous spring collection here: 12 Cheerful Spring Paintings and Paints.


Pictured above:
Spring Themed Small World from B-Inspired Mama.

Pinwheel Weathervane for Preschool Wind Watching from Powerful Mothering.

Adorable 3-D Foam Chicks from My Bright Firefly.

Free Printable Spring Mega Bloks Puzzles from From ABCs to ACTs.

Hoppin' Froggies from Christianity Cove.


Pictured above:

Flower Arranging Kids Activity from Moms & Crafters.

Marshmallow Sculptures Easter Craft from B-Inspired Mama.

Baby Chick Texture Art from Sand in My Toes.

A Weather Doll Can Solve Power Struggles Over Clothes from Books and Giggles.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Easy Foam Chick Craft for Preschoolers

Adorable 3-D Foam Chicks - Scissors Skills Practice

We made some fun chicks to go along with the fun Easter book. Playing with colors, tracing circles, scissors practice - My Firefly loved this little activity and surprisingly could do almost all of it by herself. The chicks are quick to make with just a few easy steps. So I gave her an opportunity to plan her work - that was the best part!


There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick! Easter Activity

The Old Lady books are the best to introduce or review the new vocabulary, and for retelling or reenacting a story in an easy and fun way. I love how each book follows the same pattern recognized by kids easily, but there is always a surprise on every page!

Pictured below: the chicks were excited to talk to each other about the upcoming Easter.


Foam Chick Craft

The supplies that could be used for the easy chicks:
craft foam, chenille stems, google eyes or sticker jewels, feathers or washi tape, pencil, scissors.
We used glue only for the feathers on one of the chicks.


Pictured below: the body is a foam circle folded in half. Kids can try to poke the pipe cleaner through the foam: it comes through easily. My 3 year old managed to do it half of the time. Use a pencil to mark the spot before poking.

We used the sticker jewels for eyes. Orange chick has feathers glued for the wings and tail. The other chicks are decorated with washi tape strips.


To form chick's feet, bend the stem in a zigzag pattern leaving an extra inch at the beginning. Connect the two ends together spreading the toes. Screw in the loose end.


Tracing Circles and Scissor Practice

Tracing objects to make a shape is always a winner for My Firefly these days. She practiced holding a cup steady while tracing. It really helped this time that the cup was see-through.

Foam is a nice material for beginning cutting... and cutting out a circle is a big challenge for the little fingers! The cuteness of the project allowed for the motivation to try again - I love that!



The chicks are ready for "talking" and moving. They can stand up and sit down. They might even love some popcorn!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Painting Spring with Cool Effects and Fun Supplies

12 Cheerful Spring Paintings and Paints for Kids from The Weekly Kids Co-Op

Colorful, creative and cheerful, these painting activities can easily brighten up a rainy day and bring a smile. The lovely sensory experience and practicing fine motor skills through playing and creating: kids' all time favorite. So much that the easiest and coolest technics and materials are used! The previous Weekly Kids Co-Op can be found here: The Science of Spring: Observation Skills


Pictured above:

Play with colors on coffee filters. Easy Coffee Filter Flowers from Spark & Pook.

Explore the ways to paint an egg. 3 Different Ways to Color Easter Eggs from My Big Fat Happy Life.

Hand print a cute frog and stamp spring flowers using easy DIY stamps. Spring Flowers and Frogs Painting and Stamping from My Bright Firefly.

Paint using cookie cutters. Fun and Different Way to Use Cookie Cutters from 3 Dinosaurs.

Fast and easy way to paint grass and stems. Flower Cards from Wugs and Dooey.

 
Pictured above:
 
Painting doilies - lovely! Spring Flower Craft from Cutting Tiny Bites.
 
Use pipettes to color paper towels - a wonderful sensory play! Easter Egg Garland from Stir the Wonder.
 
Play with bubble wrap and paint. Easter Egg Painting from Best Toys for Toddlers.
 
Bubble wrap is the best for painting the tortoise's shell. Bubble Wrap Tortoise from Crafty Kids at Home.
 
Is it easy to paint the whole house? Find out here: Cardboard Playhouse Messy Play from Playful Matters.
 
Paint, glitter... and soap: the result is fascinating! Magic Milk Process Art and Science for Kids from The Science Kiddo.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Flowers and Frogs Painting and Stamping for Kids

Frog Handprint and DIY Chenille Stem Stamps

Mouse's First Spring was our inspiration for printing and painting spring flowers. And the sensory play with beautiful colors here has kept my preschooler coming back to this painting for 3 days. She loved making handprint frogs and had to stick a smiley green creature into every paper she worked with. She made a colorful scenery for every family member and friend she could think of! We also used some of the flowers for our reading games found here: Bunny Books and Sight Word Games.


Frogs and Spring Flowers Painting Unlimited

Pictured below are some samples My Firefly created. The fact that she couldn't stop painting gave us a great opportunity to practice planning for the painting.

She had to place the frog onto the paper first: it is the biggest element. Then she has learned to paint the bigger flowers first and fill the space with the smallest flowers. The first picture below: there is just not enough space for everything; and the hyacinth had to fall down!


DIY Chenille Stem Stamps Spring Flowers

To make the stamps, we used the pipe cleaners of the corresponding color. They don't have to be, but it helped to color code for painting.

The first picture below: to make a daffodil, fold the yellow pipe cleaner as pictured, then bend it to create a circle and screw the loose ends to form a handle for the stamp.

The second picture below: to make a hyacinth, find the middle of a pipe cleaner and wrap it around your finger to form a circle. Screw the ends together twice. Move the finger to make the next circle. I made 4 circles and screwed the loose ends together to form a handle for the stamp. We used pink and purple for the hyacinth.


Spring flowers we painted:
  • Red tulip and purple crocus can be made with a stamp of the same shape.
  • Pink and purple hyacinth.
  • Yellow daffodil.
  • The green stamp is for the frog's head and eyes.


Creative Spring Painting for Toddlers and Preschoolers

The hand print frog: My Firefly chose the color for the frog from the paints in front of her (green), painted her left palm with the brush (body) and four fingers (frog's legs). She made the print. Then we turned the paper around so that frogs' legs are towards her.

We used the green stamp to make the frog's head. The inside of the head can be filled with color using brush, or left white. When the paint is dry, we used a black marker to draw frog's face.


Pictured below, stamping away! She loved it so much - we had to get our paints out for 3 days. All of her pictures are beautiful and very different.

Oh, so much color at the end of such a long winter!


This picture is for Nikki, a beautiful tender girl, who is graduating from the military basic training camp in 2 weeks. Happy Birthday, Nikki, and hold on in there!


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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bunny Books and Sight Word Games

"Chasing the Bunny" Games for Sight Words or 3 Letter Word Beginning Reading

Our favorite Easter books are bunny books: we'll be reading our bunny set as a new Easter tradition. My Firefly is starting reading by herself. So I thought of making a quick The Runaway Bunny game. Since she is 3 years old, the few sight words she knows are easy for her. The challenge and excitement is the 3 letter words. That's what we play with when following the adventurous bunny through the stream with fish, the hidden garden, and the mountain of rocks. See our previous spring activities here: The Science of Spring: Observation Skills.


Finding Bunny Sight Word Game for Easter

"The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown is our book of choice for this game. Toddlers and preschoolers find something new in it with every reading! The famous bunny travels through all the exciting places with his mother chasing him.

We decided to help Mommy Bunny find her traveler. The first set of the game is a trout stream. The cards on the blue tray have a fish image on one side and the word on the other side.

  • The players are to take turns to catch a fish. Each player reads the word.
  • If the word is read correctly, the player keeps the cards.
  • If the word is not read, the fish goes back into the stream.
  • One card has an image of a bunny. Whoever finds the bunny is a winner.


Fish in the Trout Stream Colored Sand Preschool Art

The fish are a coloring page printed on the thicker paper. My Firefly painted each fish with the white glue and used the salt shaker to shake colored sand over the fish.


The Hidden Garden

We used DIY stampers to stamp the flowers onto construction paper. My Firefly also wanted to make a hand print frogs.

Spring Flowers and Frogs Painting and Stamping for Kids

I cut the picture to make cards. On the down side, each card has a word to read, or an image of the bunny.


The Mountain of Rocks

I wrote words on construction paper cards and crumbled them to make "rocks". The mountain of rocks turned out to be a winner! It's so great for little fingers to open the rocks, read a word, and close them again. One of the rocks is a hidden bunny.


Bunny Books

Quiet Bunny by Lisa McCue
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Little Bunny by Lauren Thompson
Bella Loves Bunny by David McPhail
Curious George Flies a Kite by H.A.Rey
What Am I? Easter by Anne Margaret Lewis

Creative Easter Activities for Kids



DIY Resurrection Eggs for Toddlers & Preschoolers from Bare Feet on the Dashboard
10 Ways to Decorate Eggs from Betsy’s Photography
Spring Tot Trays from Something 2 Offer

Washi Tape Easter Eggs by Teach me Mommy
Resurrection Garden Sensory Play from Schooling a Monkey
PEEPS Candy Science from Schooling a Monkey
PEEPS Engineering Activities from Schooling a Monkey
Messy Play: Dyeing  Easter Eggs from Schooling a Monkey
Easter Tuff Spot Play from Adventures of Adam
Bunny Books and Sight Word Games from My Bright Firefly
Easter Egg Puffy Paint, with a Montessori Twist! from Study at Home Mama
 

 
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Science of Spring: Observation Skills

Spring Nature Walk Preschool Activities with The Weekly Kids Co-Op

There is a lot to explore and observe when welcoming the spring season. A cute little duckling or a first spring flower can be that perfect object to brush those much needed observation skills! Connecting with the spring nature and the new life is very exciting for the little scientists. Take a look at these articles for some ideas and inspiration - they are all so beautiful! The previous Weekly Kids Co-Op can be found here: Simple Preschool Math Activities.


Pictured above:

An Invitation to Explore the Flowers: Open Ended Native Flower Play Dough Activity from Playful Matters.

Windsock Science Experiment. Make predictions and discuss the wind before going outside! A STEAM Filled Windsock Art Project for Kids from B-Inspired Mama.

Positive Experience with Nature as an Invitation to Read! Connecting Kids with Nature and Beginning Reading

Animal Field Studies - Chipmunk. Studying the Chipmunk and What They Eat from Tree Valley Academy.

Read a book, make a cute stick picture frame, and graph you observations with the brave squirrels! The Secret Life of Squirrels Book and Activities from Dabbling Momma.

You can also find this helpful:
Create a “SPRING IS…” Book With Your Child from One Time Through.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simple Preschool Math Activities

Colors, Counting, and More Play with Math for Preschoolers

The Weekly Kids Co-Op articles looked beautiful last week: all the colors of the rainbow and so many wonderful ideas for play and learning! Up for review today are some bright Math activities and resources that we had and loved this past week. The free printable pages featured here are creative and engaging. Huge thank you to the wonderful bloggers who gave us many happy hours of playing with Math! The previous Weekly Kids Co-Op can be found here: The Most Adorable Sun Catcher to Brighten Your Day.
 


Fun Math with Play Dough Mats



Play dough mats can be wonderful for playing with math! Practice finding the same/ different, or build your own same/different parrots found here: Invitation to play: play dough mat and feathers from My Bright Firefly.


Learn (or review) the colors of the rainbow. Pictured above: Free St. Patrick’s Day Play Dough Mats from Stella123.

Fun Math with Jack Be Nimble

Jack, be nimble!
Jack, be quick!
Jack jumped over the candlestick.
Jack jumped high... Jack jumped low...

We made Jack from the foam letter J and let him jump over the birthday cake candle. It was nice review of opposites: high - low, quick - slow; and a preposition - over.

The Prewriting Practice page (pictured below) became a pretty and engaging activity with patterns: how nimble was Jack? My Firefly (3 y.o.) looked at her new page and immediately exclaimed, "I need to help Jack to jump!"

Jack Be Nimble Activity & Free Pack from 3 Dinosaurs. Shapes activity page (as seen in the collage above) is part of the pack.


Count and Clip Cards

The counting cards pictured below are our favorite because they are funny and have all the bright colors, and are based on the favorite book. Free St. Patrick’s Day Pack from 3 Dinosaurs.

We also love Princess counting cards (pictured in the collage above): Sofia the First Printables from 1+1+1=1.

Counting farm animals with Do-a-Dots was so much fun! Farm Animal Counting 1-10 Printable from Simple Fun for Kids.

Making patterns and counting with goldfish crackers is such a cool idea! Goldfish Printables for Preschoolers from Totschooling.


Also, we found this awesome giraffe might be quite helpful with practicing shapes and patterns: Busy Hands: Shape Giraffe from Sand in My Toes.


 The meany face above, "You could take my picture, but I am NOT sharing MY counting cards!"

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Nature Hunt

Connecting Kids with Nature and Beginning Reading

Last year's spring pictures are ever more lovely as we still have several inches of snow on the ground. We took kids to the Nature Hunt at the park to discover the signs of spring and the new life coming to the park. Kids were using a DIY spring picture book with a word per page and letters for beginning sound and tracing. This book became My Firefly's first reading supply and a favorite toy for a year - positive experience with nature is indeed the best foundation for learning! You can also find a preschool game for sentence structure here: Building Sentences with Picture Words.


DIY Spring Picture Book for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We went for a walk in the park the day before and took the pictures. Connecting with nature is always a brilliant idea, but a lovely spring day is special and cheerful when you have a camera in your hands!

I added a word per picture with the letter for the beginning sound of the word (see below). The pictures are printed on the regular paper and laminated. We punched holes and bound the pages with a ring.


Spring Nature Hunt for Tots

Each 2 year old was given a book with the task of finding the pictured object. As simple as it sounds, this was not an easy activity for our little ones!

The big rock was the first given object. It took kids a minute to realize that the rock is the same while they were standing in front of it with the pictures in their hands. The little explorers got better and faster through their hunt. It took them no time to find the last exciting object - a train in the playground.


My Firefly's fun memories of exploring the spring nature and a lovely day at the park with friends stayed with her - happy and fresh - through the whole year. Who would expect? She loves playing with her book: making up stories, reading the letters and working on the beginning sounds of the words, tracing and coloring all by herself. She uses dry-erase markers on the laminated pages.

It turned into the best quiet time activities for her! Also, take a look at these lovely toddler activities: Create a “SPRING IS…” Book With Your Child from One Time Through.

Outdoor Play Challenge


This article is part of the "Outdoor Play Challenge" series, with over 30 wonderful outdoor play ideas coming every day in the month of March! The calendar and the full list of activities are available here: Outdoor Play Challenge hosted by Building Blocks and Acorns.

Happy Spring Hunting for your little ones!

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

30+ Beautiful Easter Baskets

Playful Baskets Arts and Crafts for Easter

Oh, the joy and warmth of Easter! It is ever more wonderful when we share it with our little ones. This collection of playful basket ideas - arts and crafts made by kids or for kids - show and share all the love with them! We hope you'll find some inspiration here, and make (or personalize) that perfect Easter basket. There are some Easter crafts and treats to fill the basket. You can also find our 10 fun ways to help kids turn around a terrible, horrible, no good, bad day here: How to Reset a Bad Day.

At the end of our beautiful collection you will find
more BRIGHT SURPRISES!!! 
  1. Spring and Easter ideas for kids: food, d├ęcor, creative activities and crafts, fun inside and outside. Brought to you by some of the best sites on the web.
  2. Mega Cash Giveaway. What would you do with the extra $500 for this spring season? 3 cash prizes $500 each are given away from our families to yours!

Pictured above:

Mini Easter Basket Craft from Paging Fun Mums. Easy pretty baskets are perfect for a playgroup or classroom activity.

The Perfect Peck Easter Basket from Bare Feet on the Dashboard. This basket is frugal, durable, and so cute!

Paper Plate Baskets from Nurture Store. The paper plate baskets encourage creativity and make you smile.

Egg Carton Art from Creative Family Fun. The pretty basket is a low prep and lots of fun to make.

Cute Baskets Made from Old Milk Bottles from My Little 3 and Me. A milk bottle, washed and dried, scissors and some paint is all it takes to make these creative baskets.

Fabric Collage Keepsake Baskets from I Can Teach My Child. This basket is out of the ordinary: kids and parents would love these beauties.


Pictured above:

Daffodil Biscuits with Royal Icing from Kids Chaos.

Chicks in the Sun Invitation to Create from Here Come the Girls.

Mini Upcycled Plastic Cup Baskets from Inheriting Our Planet.

Mason Jar Crafts: Playdough Easter Bunny from Bonbon Break.


Pictured above:

Creative Bunny Basket from Kids' Creative Chaos.
Felt Carrot Bag from No Time for Flashcards.

Egg Sponge Painting for Kids from Buggy and Buddy.

Paper Plate Cookie Box from Kids Chaos.

Bunny Bags Kids Craft from Fun-A-Day.

Simple Pretty Paper Baskets from East Coast Mommy.


Pictured above:

Spring Chick Juice Box Cover from Sugar Aunts.

One Cute Basket from a Milk Carton from A Little Pinch of Perfect.

Tissue Box Easter Bunny Basket from East Coast Mommy.

Egg Shell Art from Craftulate.

Cake in a Jar : Easter Chick Activity from Messy Little Monster.

Yoghurt Pot Baskets from The Craft Train.


Pictured above:

Washi Tape Thread Spool Carrots from Crafts by Courtney.

Homemade Flowers for Kids to Make - Heart Petal Flowers from The Mad House.

Foam Bath Puzzles from My Little 3 and Me.

Easter Bunny Push Pops from Anders Ruff.

Bunny Tails Color Matching from Twodaloo.

Egg Number Match from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes.

Egg Chicks from Hodge Podge.


Pictured above:

Lacing Card - Play Basket from My Bright Firefly. This simple play basket encourages creating patterns and attention skills practice.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading all these articles and looking through the pictures. This is truly a treasure and joy of Easter and spring. I hope, you will find this collection entertaining and inspiring.


Win one of THREE $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

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