Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Besides being cute, what I liked about this project was that it required my little ones to follow directions, pay attention to detail and color, and work with a glue pen and the fine kernels of rice.
To do this project, you will need colored rice (see my posts under "fun with foods" for instructions on dying rice), a piece of construction paper and glue--I used a glue pen. Have your child draw (or draw it yourself) an arch with the glue. Then have them add red rice as you would add glitter, to the arch. Repeat, varying the colors until you have a completed rainbow. You can use this activity to talk about the letter "R" because both rice and rainbow begin with R.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The kids were intrigued that we were using food to make art, and enjoyed the novelty of using food in such a way. They also liked that the oranges smelled so juicy! The prints turned out really neat. All in all, this was an enjoyable little activity. And of course, we ended the activity by eating a nice, clean orange for snack!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Here's a bright idea! How about going vertical with your play? We tried it with playdough this past week, and it was a blast! Really, you could try this activity with any activity that you normally do horizonally--writing, coloring, playdough, you name it, and then just take it vertical.
We whipped up a batch of new yellow playdough and then smooshed it into little pancakes on the sliding glass door. You could also try using a wall or the fridge; any vertical surface will do. Then we dug out the rubber stamps to make imprints and the cookie cutters to make some nice shapes. What fun, and oh, the novelty of trying an old activity in a new way! The kids really loved this, and I loved seeing how they had to use arm muscles in ways they had never had to in previous play.
Going vertical uses upper arm muscles in a unique way that horizontal play doesn't allow for. I loved seeing my kids using those muscles to make sure their pancakes stayed put on the door. Try this activity and let me know how it goes for you!
Friday, January 16, 2009
This activity is so great because it deals with several different areas of learning. Children learn to match and sort the shapes, work with a sticky medium like glue, and they get a really tactile experience handling all the different materials. It's a great verbal booster as well. You can use the opportunity to talk to your child about how each material feels, whether it's durable or fragile, whether it's quiet or crinkly, soft, smooth or rough. My kids just loved this activity, so it was well worth the extra time it took to gather and cut out the materials. I have a feeling it will be gracing our fridge for many months to come.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
My two year old had a great time with the finger paints too. What I like about finger painting is that it's such a tactile experience for the kids. My two year old especially likes squeezing the paint between her fingers and rubbing it in globs on the paper. It doesn't matter if it doesn't look all that great in the end. This activity is all about the journey, and not the product. I hope your little ones enjoy this as much as mine did!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Here's what you do: You will need one pipe cleaner per bracelet and an assortment of cloth covered buttons (or any kind of button with the hole in the back). Have your child string the buttons on the pipe cleaner. Then just twist the ends together to form a ring and tuck the sharp part of the pipe cleaner in and away from their skin.
You can have them sort the buttons into categories during this activity, or have them make patterns with the buttons. For the really little ones, just have them identify colors or buttons that are the same. Or, just have a blast making really funky and cute jewelry!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
First, I filled an ice cube tray with water, then added food coloring to the different slots (be sure not to overfill so that the colors stay separated). I dropped a Popsicle craft stick into each section to use as a handle. I then tossed the tray in the freezer. The next day, we popped the cubes out of the ice tray, ran each cube under cold water for a moment to wet the surface, and had a fabulous time using these Popsicles as watercolors.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Here's what you do: First, I mixed food coloring and water in the different compartments of an ice cube tray. Then, I laid several coffee filters on wax paper. The kids used a pipette (or eye dropper) to drip the colored water onto the coffee filters. They were fascinated with the way the colors bled an blended on the filter. We noted how the colored water just beaded up on the wax paper. To finish, I folded the dried filters into butterfly wings and added a pipe cleaner to hold the wings together and to form the body.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
My three year old really got into this activity. First he sorted by object, putting all the jelly beans in one container, all the buttons in one, and so on. Then, because he was really into the jelly beans, he decided to sort the jelly beans by color. He did find the tweezing difficult, and ended up using his fingers for most of the activity, but still gave the tweezers a go for a little while. When he was ready to put everything away, I had him experiment with which objects were easier to tweeze and which were more difficult. We discovered that the rough objects (like the cloth buttons and the Cherrios) were easy to pick up and the smooth objects like the beans were more difficult. This led into a discussion on texture.
This activity is so great for so many reasons. Not only is it fun for your kids, but it provides some wonderful opportunities to fine tune their pre-math skills. Spend time talking and experimenting with different ways to sort the objects and take the opportunity to talk about texture and shape, letting the children explore the different objects with the fingers. The tweezing aspect gives them a chance to work on those fine motor skills which will be so helpful once they start writing and drawing.