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, August 27, 2012

Number Race

This is an activity you can adapt to work with any theme you have going on that week. This week, it was bugs (Kaitlyn did this at preschool). You have six different items that go along with your theme and assign them a number. You then give the child a dice and have her roll it. Each time she rolls a number, she marks that number on her page. The first number to be filled up wins the race! 

For older children, you can add some challenge by having the child predict which number will win. After the activity is over, have him write about which number he thought would win and which did win. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shape Art

This one is super easy for you to do (can you tell I am into the easy things these days?).

Have your child create an animal. Have her draw the animal and then cut it out. Then have her cut out pieces of paper in the shape of your choice and glue them to the animal. In the end, you have some fun abstract art!

If your child is not old enough to cut, you can either cut for her or have her tear pieces of paper. For little ones, even if all they do is glue the pieces on, they enjoy it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ever Changing Collage

I have been missing in the blogosphere for quite awhile now.  In light of Val's precious addition and obvious busy-ness I thought I would try to finally post some of our recent activities. We are in the middle of a major move, so please bear with me. I'll do my best!

This ever changing collage is an activity I have done with J a few times over the past few months (3.5-4 years). I tape a piece of white contact paper upside down onto the table (the sticky side should be facing up). I then lay out an array of supplies for him to use to create his artistic masterpiece. I love that this activity truly ignites their creativity. J has evolved from created random collages to images that I can actually interpret clearly.

The fun aspect of this activity is that it is ever-changing. If they don't like the way a certain part of the collage looks, they can rearrange the pieces easily. This is perfect for my little perfectionist. If they begin to lose interest, just add a few new materials to the mix. Creativity rejuvenated!

Here is a picture of his more recent masterpieces.

This is our house and garage with a tree in the front yard, the sun shining, a bird flying, and colorful flower-buttons filling the garden (can't recall a time when my garden looked so good!).
The materials included foam shapes, colorful popsicle sticks, and colorful buttons. These seem to be his favorite materials to use since they leave nothing behind when removed from the contact paper. He gets annoyed when the other materials leave a tiny bit of fuzz or string behind. Did I mention he was a perfectionist?

We have also used pop poms, cotton balls, q tips, fabric pieces, ribbon, larger sequence, toothpicks, straws, pipe cleaners, jewels, rope, and shoe strings. I have found providing just 2 or 3 different materials at a time is enough for him. He gets overwhelmed if I put too many options in front of him. For the above example, I first gave him only the colored popsicle sticks. After he had time to play and create, I brought out the buttons and foam pieces. Bringing out the materials at different times really helps him explore each one's potential (and certainly makes the activity last longer!).

This activity would work for almost any age. Of course watch for choke hazards for those that like to mouth everything in site.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beginning Sounds Caterpillar

This is a time of year I seem to equate with insect activities. I don't know why, but it is the way my head works. Maybe I am looking forward to saying good-bye to them as the colder weather is in sight? :)

This activity helps focus on first sounds. It is very simple. Draw or create on the computer several circles. Draw or create a caterpillar head. Then print, draw, or find in magazines things that start with the letter C. Have your child color them/cut them out/etc. Have your child glue them into the caterpillar circles.

As your child does this, ask what each thing is and emphasize the "c" sound.

Simple as that!

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Baby...

So I have a new baby at home! This is my fourth child, Brinley. She is just precious.

Things will probably be a little slower for a bit around here as we all adjust and get back in the swing of things, but we will be back. So hang in there! My goal is to still have one post each week for you. Have a fabulous end of summer!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Daily Shapes

Everything around us is made of shapes. Helping children see this helps them to learn and recognize shapes more quickly.

For this activity, you take a piece of paper and fold it in half, hot dog style. You can print something on the paper like this one is, or you can just as easily write on it. Draw or print lines between the shapes and either you cut or have your child cut the lines between the shapes.

Find pictures of shapes. These could be printed, drawn, or from magazines. Have your child cut and glue them inside the hot dog paper, so if your child opens the circle flap, she will see the things with circles. This picture shows the flaps all open so you can see what is there.

Simple, fun, and effective!


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