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!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Simple For Mom: Workbooks

One day while at Dollar Tree, I stocked up on workbooks they had. While we rarely use these, it has really come in handy during this pregnancy with my older two children (6 and 4). They both go to school, so they are used to having things to do. When I don't have a learning activity lined up, they love to do these workbooks. They will typically complete one workbook in one sitting, but they spend about an hour doing so. 
These workbooks are great for children who are older who want some sort of stimulation even when you are not feeling so hot :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Round-Up 2012

Here are a couple of ideas from last year for St.Patrick's Day activities. We will of course be adding to this this year!

Clover Cookie Cutter Prints

Fine motor, art, colors...lots of fun with this one!

A fun little craft for making a leprechaun face.

Lucky Charms Math

This is a great math activity!

Paper Plate Streamer Rainbow
Talk about colors while providing a fun craft to use for gross motor activities.

Shamrock Potato Print

Kids love paint, they love dipping stuff in paint, and they love seeing the prints paint make. A great fine-motor craft that produces a recognizable picture for the holiday!

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock

Work on fine motor skills while learning about colors, science, and texture!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Let's Practice Brushing our Teeth!

Before J's first trip to the dentist, we did a quick unit on teeth. We talked about why to brush/floss, how to, especially bad foods, etc. Here's an activity we did that turned out pretty fun and useful.

You'll Need: At least one teeth photo (laminated), toothbrush, water, various foods (the stickier the better!)

I laminated a few teeth photos (found on GoogleImages). Then J
fed the photos some good and not so good foods. We took note of how each food effected the teeth (ex, icing got stuck all over the teeth). Of course I let him try some of the foods too, as evidence shows in the photo! It did give him some real experience with how the foods felt in his mouth and helped him better describe the feeling.
Then we practiced brushing the gunk away. It was a good way to get him to see the purpose of brushing. We talked about where to brush (front, back, top, sides,...) and how to brush and practiced the strokes. After our fake teeth were clean, we headed upstairs to brush some real teeth. 
We'll probably do more practicing like this as he gets older. It was a fun way to teach and practice a very important part of life!
We also started a new tooth brushing song during this activity. I got tired of our normal brushing song (This is the way we brush our teeth... like the mulberry song) and decided we needed a change. J thinks our new brushing song is fun. I sing to the tune of "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair"... and just change the words to... I'm gonna brush that cheese right off of my teeth, I'm gonna brush those blueberries right off those back teeth... filling in whatever he just ate and wherever I'm brushing in his mouth. He likes to remind me all the different foods I have to brush off. Now one year later and he still likes me to sing it.
Age attempted: 2.5 years

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Simple for Mom: Foamies Kits

Foamies are great for the day you need a simple craft project. The kit comes with all of the foam pieces pre-cut for you so that you just add glue! My kids love to make these.

I have always bought mine at Joannes Crafts. You could get them at just about any craft store I am sure. Joannes will have them go on sale. You can also sign up for their mailer that will give you 40% off regular priced items if you don't want to wait for the sale. I love to buy several packs when they are on sale so we can have something simple to do when I need simple!

While completing these kits, your child will learn about gluing skills, how small pieces come together to make a whole, will practice fine motor skills, and will have some interesting texture with the foam pieces.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Simple for Mom: Oriental Trading Magazine

I typically do learning activities that require a fair amount of prep work on my part. I am currently 13 weeks pregnant with my fourth child, however, and most days find it pretty hard to do the work I usually do. I got thinking about ways to still do learning activities when you are on a time budget--whether it is because of sickness, business, taking-care-of-a-newborn-ness, or pregnancy-ness. 

My first thought was Oriental Trading Magazine. They have a whole lot of fun activities you can do with your children. The activities come ready for you to do--you just open it and get started. It is also quite inexpensive per project.

There are a couple of tricky things about going this route. 

One is that you are buying in bulk. The mailbox you see pictured above came in a kit of 12. I have three children, not 12. There are a few ways to resolve this. One is to save the extras for next year. Another is to give them to a friend. You could also invite friends over and have a little craft party. Finally, you could ask a friend or two if they wanted to go in on it with you before you ordered.

The other tricky thing about this is that you have to order in advance if you want the item by a certain time. Shipping doesn't take long, but longer than it takes you to run to the dollar store. They do have plenty of activities you can get that are not holiday specific, so you could either go that route, or go order today and just get everything you want for St. Patricks Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, etc. Shipping is usually free if you order $50 dollars worth or more, so I usually get things for several holidays at once anyway. 

Just so you know, I was not asked to promote this company and I don't get anything if you buy anything from them. I just think it is a nice solution for the mom wanting to do activities but unable to spend the time getting them ready--for whatever reason. It is also a fun place for parties. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine Books 2012

Can you believe I have never done a Valentine book list on this blog? It might be because it is kind of tricky to find good Valentine books. Plus Valentines Day seems to just sneak up on me--suddenly it is February and Valentine time.

Biscuit's Valentine's Day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Biscuit is a beloved character of my oldest daughter. This is a safe story to read (some Valentine books revolve around boys hating girls or vice versa, which can be okay for older children since you can talk about what is and isn't nice, but not okay for younger children).

Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart by Jane O'Conner
Another beloved and trusted character. Fancy Nancy is great especially for preschoolers and older.

Valentine's Day: A Sparkle 'n' Shimmer Book by Michelle Knudsen
This is a good one for your little one.

Will You Be My Valenswine? by Teresa Bateman
This is a great one for the child who likes to laugh. It also shows the love of a parent. Cute little story.

Where Is Baby's Valentine?: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Karen Katz
This is a great one for your baby or pre-toddler. Even the young toddler will really enjoy this.


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