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!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine Round-Up 2012

It is almost "that heart time" as Brayden refers to it. Here are our Valentine posts from last year!

Clay Hearts

A fun craft activity you can give as gifts. This is great for baby on up.

Heart Hands

A cute craft to say "I Love You" to someone. Framed, in a card, or just a paper are all special!

Sensory Activities

This activity was so popular that my kids have hardly left it alone for the last year! I think it will be a hit with your children too!

"V" is for Valentine

Decorate your V for Valentines day.

Valentine Candy Sort

This is a great sorting activity.

Valentines Day Snacks
Raegan compiled a list of snack ideas for you to make!

Valentine Dump Truck Card

A cute valentine that will especially appeal to the boys!

Valentines Galore!

Since we were in our infant year last year, we had no archive of Valentine activities. I searched the web and created a list of fun ideas to do for Valentines Day!

Valentine Magnets

Do this activity to add to your precious Valentines decor!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 5 Pinterest Winter Finds

Puffy Paint Snowflake Painting
by Frugal Family Fun Blog
Great For: Art

Shredded Snowman
Great For: Sensory, Art

Borax Crystal Snowflakes
Great For: Science

Build A Snowman Sensory Tub
Great For: Sensory, Fine Motor

Number Snowman
Great For: Numbers

You can see more learning activities I have found and pinned or repinned here: http://pinterest.com/valplowman/learning-ideas/

Friday, January 20, 2012

Egg Carton Snowman

I had extra egg cartons (cardboard) from the grocery store and I was convinced that something fun could be done with them. I had an idea, but when Val posted the Puffy Paint snowman ( http://learningdevelopmentactivities.blogspot.com/2012/01/puffy-paint-snowman.html ), I knew that my idea just got a new twist!

Prep: Cut cardboard egg carton compartments out. They will stand up on their own, and they don't need to be pretty. :)
Make puffy paint (equal parts glue and shaving cream). I used 1/4 cup of each and it was WAY too much for 3 snowmen. Maybe try 1/8 cup (2 T) of each to start. I felt like I wasted a whole bunch of glue.
Gather supplies: paintbrushes, cut out carrot nose (construction paper), buttons, beads, wiggly eyes (or cut out of paper), small squares or circles for the mouth, ribbon for scarf, glitter. The decorations are optional, so go wild with what you have on hand. Oh, and you'll need toilet paper.

I put down a coffee filter for them to paint on so it didn't get on the table. It's easy to clean up, so that part is not necessary.
Stuff one carton w/ toilet paper for stability. Paint with puffy paint.
Stuff 2nd carton with toilet paper (this allows for stacking like a snowman is built). Either paint in hand or while on the 1st carton.
Stuff 3rd carton (head). Paint. Decorate!! Allow to dry before moving. Should take about 12-24 hours to dry, depending on the amount of paint used.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Puffy Paint Snowman

My daughter made this in preschool and has been ever in love with it since.

This is made from puffy paint, which is simply equal parts shaving cream and white glue. You mix the two together and then paint with it, or glob it to make a nice snowman. 

She also used pieces of construction paper to create the eyes, noses, mouth, hat, and arms. Lay flat to dry. Once it is dry, you can touch it and feel is puffiness! Now she just wants it to have feet so it can walk around like Frosty :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Surviving Winter: Story Time at the Library

image source
I think a huge secret to making it through the winter months and still being sane, happy, and even a bit improved is to get a change of scenery every so often. One way to do this is story time at your local library. How awesome is the local library? All that free stuff? 

Every library does story time differently. For some, it is a "come one, come all" thing where you just show up and get some stories read. My library requires you sign up ahead of time, but they do really neat things for the children with fun crafts, handouts, and treats. 

And not all storytimes are at the library. We have a non-profit center close to our home that focuses on the history of the American West. They do a free storytime weekly that is full of stories, games, crafts, and food, and it is come one, come all, no sign ups required. Learn about the resources you have around you by asking moms with older children, reading the papers, and checking websites. 

Storytime offers a love of reading along with a social outing that is low-pressure. This is a great winter, rainy day, or hot day activity!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Surviving Winter: Extra Book Reading

Part of combatting winter crazies is keeping the mind engaged. When you are stuck inside for longer hours than usual, reading extra books is a fun way to pass the time and engage the mind. Try adding an extra story session to your day at some point--maybe after breakfast or lunch or just before nap time. Chase the winter blues away with a pile of books.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Surviving Winter: Baking

My idea behind surviving through the winter months (with sanity, happiness, and fun) cooped up in the house is to find things that will keep my children so they don't feel the need to pull out every toy and game we own and to prevent bickering that can happen when people are bored. We have structured  days, but you need some free play. 

Baking is something that all three of my children love to do. The measuring, pouring, mixing...not only is there a lot to learn while baking (math, fine motor, life skills), there is a lot of time to talk. It is a great moment to bond and get to know your children a bit better. Plus, you get food made at the same time! Yum!

So do some baking this winter. Your tummy and your child will thank you for it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter Books 2012

Time for some great winter books! These really are all must-haves in our home.

The Big Snow by Berta Hader and Elmer Hader

Caldecott winner of 1949. This is my four year old's favorite winter book right now. She is my major animal lover and this book is right up her lane as a story about the animals preparing for winter.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

This is a great story for sparking the imagination of children. What do snowmen do at night? Why do their shapes change over time? It must be that they are out playing with their friends.

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

This is a total classic. It is a wordless picture book, which is great on so many levels. My two year old loves this for telling herself the story.

Here Comes Darrell by Leda Schubert

This has been a favorite of my six year old son's for several years. It is about Darrell and the various service he does for his neighbors. It isn't all about winter, but part of it is and it is definitely worth taking note of. Anyone who loves equipment like plows and tractors will love this book.

A Polar Bear Journey by Debbie S. Miller

This is another favorite of my animal-loving four year old. This book is factual and offers lots of information on polar bears told in a way that is interesting to children.


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