This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Friday, October 28, 2011


My girls are freaked out by bats. I don't know how or why this happened (since neither parent has bat issues), but somewhere along the way they got the idea that bat=bad. So, added to our Halloween/pumpkin week was also a day of bat fun! We read Stellaluna first (I love that book! There's a special place in my heart for that sweet little critter!). We read the book slowly, taking time to talk about what she ate, her habits, the bird comparison, etc.

Then we made the I Know A Lot About Bats book. For my 2 year old I printed off pictures of the bats (one hanging upside down, one eating fruit, a moon for nighttime, and others).

Then we reviewed the letter B. I used capital B's to make the wings and let them glue and create. I also printed out a few pictures of a bat flying, used contact paper to laminate it, and cut in into increasingly more difficult puzzles for the girls to solve.

Then, for my 4 year old, we worked on drawing bats. She loved it! It fit in well with reviewing -at words,too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

5 Great Halloween Ideas

You know how you start to look around the internet and find tons upon tons upon tons of great ideas out there for {insert item here}. Since this is a learning blog, I am thinking about learning activities available.

I have fallen into love of Pinterest like many of you. A great thing for me and Pinterest is putting ideas I love for learning ideas all in one place. I don't want to keep these ideas to myself! I thought I would share my top 5 ideas I have seen for fun fall ideas...you know, because you probably can't find enough (wink wink).

Don't Eat Frank Game
Prepared Not Scared

Yummy Treats!

More Yum

Halloween Party Planned

Banana Ghosts

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Candy Corn Tissue Art

Here is a fun and simple Halloween activity that is also benign (meaning, it is not scary in the least. Another bonus, for those of you who don't like Halloween, it is a seasonal activity that is about candy, not Halloween). 

Kaitlyn did this in her preschool class this year. You can see it is rather simple-- white triangle and tissue paper squares. The tissue paper was not glued (hence the missing square), but rather was dipped in water and put on the paper wet. When it dried, it stuck.

Here is the cool possible bonus. Kaitlyn's teacher has done this in the past, but the tissue paper bled onto the paper, so the color transferred. That is what she was going for (she didn't know what happened--apparently the tissue paper brand or type might be of importance). If yours does bleed, you would want to remove the tissue paper before it dried so it didn't stick to the white paper.

I am going to try this out with different tissue papers and see if I can figure out which papers work for bleeding. My guess is the waxy feeling paper will not bleed while the rougher feeling paper will. I am starting with cheap dollar store paper...I will keep you updated when I have answers, but until then, I wanted you to have the chance to do this if you wanted! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Recipes

DearlyDomestic.com has some great Halloween recipes posted, including this one for Candy Corn Pudding. Looks like I need to add Cool Whip to my shopping list for this weekend. This may be perfect for our Trick-or-Treat get together for all the kiddos to snack on!

It also looks easy enough for the kids to help put together, too!

Candy Corn Pudding

*2 Large Boxes of Vanilla Instant Pudding

*Yellow and Orange Food Coloring

*Cool Whip

*Candy Corn

Make pudding according to directions on box. Separate finished pudding into 2 separate bowls evenly. Color w/ food coloring. Top w/ a layer of Cool Whip and candy corn! Enjoy!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paper Plate Ghost

Paper plates are amazing. I think you can turn a paper plate into just about anything. 

Here we have a paper plate ghost. 

  • Paper plate
  • White paper (if arms are desired)
  • White crepe paper
  • Black paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or stapler
This is a simple paper plate activity because the end-product is white. 
  1. If hands are desired, draw and cut out the arms/hands. Either you do this or have your child do it if scissor skills are up to it.
  2. Cut out black eyes and mouth. You can draw and cut out, or you can draw and have your child cut out, or have your child draw and cut out. You will know what is appropriate for your child.
  3. Cut several pieces of crepe paper.
  4. Glue or staple all pieces on. I like glue because the child can do it, but a staple has the potential to hold better.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Corn Puzzles

I thought this would be a good activity to work on sizes. I prepped the activity by precutting the pieces, creating small, medium and large pieces similar to candy corn. If you can tell in the picture, I also drew the outline of the candy corn on the black paper. This step probably wasn’t needed though. J glued the pieces in order (small, medium, large) to create the candy corn. I did have examples of candy corn out since he’d never seen them before.  This was simple to prep and good practice for J.

We also used this same concept to create door knob hangars for J’s cousins. I precut the black paper, including the circle for the door knob and J decorated it with a smaller version of the candy corn puzzles and adding their name. Later I covered them with clear contact paper for durability. You could also use foam or cardstock if you didn’t want to “laminate” them.

Becca also blogs at Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Fun: Face Painting

I remember one time as a child standing in line for over an hour to get my face painted. That is dedication! Children seem to love to get their faces painted. Now, I am no artist. You can, however, easily paint fun holiday themes if you break down the picture into simple shapes.

Take the jack-o-lantern pictured above. A simple orange blob, some black eyes, nose, and mouth, and a green stem and you are done. I didn't make that, though, my sister-in-law did, and she is an artist. 

Here we have a spider web. You have a white web made from drawing various lines. You then have  black spider, which is made from drawing a couple of circles and some legs. 

Finally, we have a simple ghost. A white oval-ish with some black eyes and nose. 

There are a few different types of paints that people often use for doing face paints.

The first is a simple crayon or pencil. I haven't tried these, but a youth group at my church does face paints every year at the Halloween party, and they seemed to think they were not as easy as paint, which makes sense to me:

You then have actual face paint:

My sister-in-law just uses normal old acrylic paint:

Try this out with your children! You can do it for any holiday, sporting event, or even just something fun to do along with your weekly theme.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Science Book

Little books are a great way to reinforce what a child has learned about a particular subject. Kaitlyn made this bat book at preschool. 

They learned all about bats. At the end of the unit, they each choose four things they knew about bats and colored a picture of each item on a page for this book. So Kaitlyn had that they slept in the day, had wings, is not a bird, and likes to eat nectar. The great thing is that she loves to look through it and tell me what each page is a picture of, so it helped reinforce as she made the book, and then helps over and over (and over) at home :) as she tells me about it (again). 

You could do this for any unit you are learning about. Bugs, animals, plants, machines, vehicles, space...it is endless. This is a great way to work science into your week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baked Apples with Cranberries

This is cooking project we did after apple picking last year. I found the recipe in the mail from my grocery store and knew it was something J could do with me. I had all the ingredients, so we could do it right away!
Baked Apples with Cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 375*F. Core the apples, leaving the bottom closed (creating a small bowl in the apple). Peel the top half of the apple.
2. Fill the apple with dried cranberries (I used frozen and it was fine).
3. Top with a spoon of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of butter and sprinkle with cinammon.
4. Bake for 35-45 minutes (until the apples are soft).
J helped with steps 2 and 3 and then of course helped with eating. This was a simple cooking project for him. You can make just one or a dozen. I really decided to do this last minute because I had all the ingredients, no planning required.
stuffed-apple I forgot to take end result pictures of my own, this is from Nicola’s Blog (ours did not look so pretty anyway!)

This would be a good recipe for any age toddler, even the youngest could manage this. Preschoolers could accomplish it mostly on their own. You could create a picture list for them to follow on their own. All ingredients are safe for taste sampling if they get distracted while “cooking” and if they were to add more than the actual recipe called for, no harm done. Use a spoon or tongs for adding the cranberries and you’ve included some fine motor skill practice.

Becca also blogs at Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fabulous Fall Fun: Playing in Leaves

If your children are like mine, you already know that leaves=fall fun. Did you ever think about the learning value to playing in leaves? We have little child-sized rakes for our children. They work on their gross motor skills as they rake leaves, jump in the piles, and toss the leaves in the air.

They also get some great sensory input as they touch the leaves with their hands and feel them crackle. 

It is also a great time to learn scientifically about the changing leaves. Why do they fall from the trees? Why do they change colors? Why do they only do this in the Autumn? So as you enjoy your Fall weather, be sure to include a fun leaf-jumping activity and have fun while learning.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Books 2011

Here are 5 new recommendations for Halloween Books for you this year.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro

My children enjoy these "old lady" books so much that we own almost all of them. This is the Halloween version.

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex

This book is a parody on the classic book "Goodnight Moon."

Fancy Nancy: Halloween...or Bust! by Jane O'Conner

The Fancy Nancy books are an absolute favorite in our home. The kids love Fancy Nancy. The books bring in extensive vocabulary. This is our new Halloween book for this year.

10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman

Count down backwards with this fun Halloween book.

Pick a Perfect Pumpkin by Robin Koontz

This is a book that is heavily science-oriented designed to teach about pumpkins.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spaghetti Spider Web and Handprint Spider

This is another activity we did last year, perfect for October. It accompanied one of his favorite books at the time, Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider

CREATING THE WEB: I decided to do this last minute since I had all the materials on hand anyway (anyone notice a trend here...we do A LOT of last minute activities!). All you need is cooked spaghetti, glue, and wax paper. Dip the spaghetti into the glue and then lay it onto the wax paper. When finished, let the glue dry completely and then peel it off the wax paper. It’s possible we used too much glue since after J was finished, I went back and drop some glue on the spots where the spaghetti overlapped.  The extra glue did help the “web” stick together, but made it hard to remove from the wax paper.  Obviously J's web is quite sporadic and not at all symmetrical, but boy did he have fun!

CREATING THE SPIDER: We traced J's handprints on black paper and then I helped him cut them out (removing the thumbs). J glued the palm portion of the handprints on top of each other, creating the spider's body and legs.  Next J glued black sponge curlers onto the spider body (you could use black pompoms).   The last step was adding the googly eyes.

J loved this activity, especially making the web. It was really easy but quite unique.

Becca also blogs at Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Books 2011

Here are five more book recommendations for your reading this Fall!

Colors of Fall by Laura Purdie Salas

This is a new book that talks about the colors you can see in fall and uses photos.

Autumn Is for Apples by Michelle Knudsen

It can be hard to find apple books that hold the interest of younger readers. This one is simple and rhyming, which really holds the interest of the young.

Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie by Herman Parish

This is another new book this Fall. We were lucky enough to stumble across it at the library, but quickly had it snatched away by a requestor! Anyway, if anyone can make apples fun, it is Amelia Bedelia. It is a great introduction to Amelia Bedelia to get your child interested in her character young before moving on to the pre-chapter books later in preschool years.

Who Loves the Fall? by Bob Raczka
This is a fun rhyming book about the wonders of fall. This is fun for preschoolers and younger.

Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
These characters might be familiar to your child. This is a funny book your child will love.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall Shape Tree

Brayden made this fun project in first grade.

  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
Have your child draw and cut out a tree trunk if appropriate. If not, do that ahead of time. Then have your child cut out various shaped leaves from different colors and glue to the tree. Again, if your child is not ready for scissors, you cut out the shapes ahead of time. Talk about the different colors and shapes as you go. When you are done you will have a fun fall picture!


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