Nursery Rhymes

We’ve done so many winter related crafts lately that I’m finally getting a bit sick of it, by chance my daughter picked ‘the three little pigs’ book at the library and it was the perfect inspiration for a nursery rhyme themed week.

We read and sung a variety of rhymes but focused on the three little pigs, three little kittens and humpty dumpty.

Three Little Pigs

We had a blast building homes and little pigs with pink dough and a variety of beads, googly eyes, straws and twirled pipe cleaners.

 

WP_20140324_002 WP_20140324_003 WP_20140323_001 WP_20140323_002

 

Here are some more ideas, a paper plate pig with googly eyes and an old bottle cap nose, a circle pig, and three little houses (straw, sticks and bricks).

 

WP_20140327_003 WP_20140325_006 WP_20140325_004

 

WP_20140327_002 WP_20140327_001

Three Little Kittens

For the three little kittens we did two activities.  The first being a fun craft with a drawn kitten who needs mittens- the children glued the mittens on for the kitten.

WP_20140331_005 WP_20140401_009

The second we pretended to be kittens hanging our mittens to dry.  For this you will need a length of rope, clothes pins and mittens.  I hung the rope across my kitchen and attached the ends to the cupboard door knobs.  I filled an old coffee tin with mittens and filled the rope with clothes pins.  Grasping the pins and actually attaching the mittens to the rope was quite difficult for the toddlers and so they lost interest pretty fast, but the baby loved pulling all the mittens that I hung off the rope.

WP_20140401_002 WP_20140401_003

Humpty Dumpty

This rhyme was fun to work with.  We did a few activities where we put humpty together again and the kids seem to enjoy that they could do it though in the rhyme all the kings horses and men could not.

With some old poster board I created egg shapes and then cut them into pieces for a puzzle.  For my group I did two big zig zag cuts to make them easy, you could make many smaller pieces for older children.  We played with them for awhile and then glued them completed to a paper to send home.

WP_20140403_001

We also had a humpty dumpty snack- he didn’t get put back together this time.  I boiled some eggs and once cooled had my girls draw on faces with sharpie markers.  For lunch the following day I got all the children to break their humpty’s and then peel him and eat him, they found this amusing too.

WP_20140401_013 WP_20140401_012 WP_20140402_002

Nursery rhymes are such fun whether you are crafting as above or snuggling and reading together.

 

 

 

Tracks in the snow

Tracks in the snow

Recently we’ve focused on tracks.  Its been so cold here (like -40C) so we’ve been a bit confined to the house, maybe not the best time to be looking for animal tracks but fun none the less.

Child Tracks

To start we made our own tracks.  I set up a sort of foot print making assembly line and had the kids take turns going across it.  I placed a bucket with black paint at the start, followed by a long sheet of paper and then a damp towel at the end for clean up.  The kids had a blast and have asked to repeat the activity since then.  My daycare families really appreciated the finished products as well.

WP_20140113_001 WP_20140113_003

 

Animal tracks in play dough

I made a batch of my usual cooked play dough and left it white to resemble snow.  I then had the children flatten it and make marks with some little toy animals.  What was really cool is that some of the animals actually made accurate tracks.  Once the kids were done exploring the prints they went on to some imaginary play- creating homes for the animals and people, and starting up a bit of a dialogue and story line.

WP_20140114_001 WP_20140114_002 WP_20140114_003

 

 

Matching Game

There are so many great resources on-line and so I searched around and found some animals and their matching prints.  I glued them onto construction paper and shuffled them up creating a matching game.  You could also have the kids make a little book with one or two animals per page.

WP_20140114_005

 

Animal Track Painting

Using the same animals as the above play dough activity we made paint prints.  I set up a tray of paint with the animals and let the children explore.

Nature Walk

The best activity is a walk if the weather permits or you live somewhere that animals cross often.  We have found the usual cat, dog and people tracks so far.

Well it was a pretty fun week spent indoors, hopefully things will warm up soon.    Happy tracking!

Squirrels

Squirrels

I really love squirrels, they are so fun to watch.  They are such resourceful, busy, and amusing little animals.  This time of year I especially notice them (likely because the trees are all barren).  This week at my home we have been learning about squirrels, besides reading some library books and observing them in nature we have been doing the following…

Chocolate squirrel play dough

WP_20131118_001

For this I used my usual cooked dough recipe but added chocolate powder, here is the recipe,

combine in a pot:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbl cream of tartar
  • few tbl of cocoa powder

add to the pot, and cook over med heat

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tbl oil
  • usually a few tsp food colour but the cocoa made a nice brown colour on its own

keep stirring over med heat till a dough forms (3-5 mins), remove from the pot and knead until cool

WP_20131118_002

On the table I placed our new cocoa dough and some acorns, pine cones and nut shells.

WP_20131118_004 WP_20131119_003 WP_20131119_005

 

Busy Squirrel Paper Craft

I pre-cut a side profile of a squirrel and a fat S shape for the tail, and provided the kids with glue, eyes, and a nut shell.  From there they glued all the parts on the correct spots.

WP_20131119_001 WP_20131118_005

 

Happy squirrel watching!!

Owl Crafts

Owl Crafts

Toilet Roll Owl

WP_20131107_001

We have been discussing nocturnal animals around the day care lately and so I pulled out this fast and fun owl craft.  Take a toilet roll, flatten and cut a chunk out of top to leave two horn shapes, then draw on a beak and eyes (if the children are older allow them to do this on their own).  Give the kids some paint, crayons, markers etc. and have them decorate the owls.    For older children it would have been fun to do a collage or have them decorate with other materials (feathers, sequins etc.).

Decorated Cut Out Owl

I also cut large owl shapes from brown paper and had the kids decorate as desired, here are a few pics of the ones my girls did.  Not shown are the ones done by the toddlers who scribbled lots of colours all over and glued on two huge googly eyes and a pre-cut triangle for the beak.

WP_20131107_006 WP_20131107_004 WP_20131107_003 WP_20131107_005

Hoot hoot aren’t they cute!!

 

Autumn Activities

Autumn Activities

It’s fall, I love the autumn.  There are beautiful leaves everywhere, nicely chilled temperatures good for wearing hoodies, busy squirrels to watch scampering about, everything about it is amazing.

We’ve been exploring the fall in a few ways.  First we’ve been collecting lots of goodies from nature for crafting such as pinecones, leaves, acorns etc, and of course we have been tasting the fall bounty.

Sensory bins

Our first bin consists of all those things found above, I gave the children some tongs to move the items around/categorize.

WP_20131002_003 WP_20131002_004

Our second bin is fall coloured jello.  This was a blast, the children enjoyed the texture as they squished it, smelled and mixed it.  They were given spoons and little bowls to dump and fill and even when asked if they wanted to stop and go outside (which usually pulls them away from all activities) they remained playing with the jello.  It’s a messy activity but great fun.

WP_20131003_006 WP_20131003_001

Leaf Turkeys

This is a great activity for thanks giving.  Collect some leaves, cut a shape for the body (mine is like a peanut), cut some triangles for the beak, and give the children some googly eyes.

WP_20131007_004 WP_20131007_005 WP_20131007_006

Scissor Practice

After doing the turkey craft one of the toddlers wanted to use the scissors so why not practice with all the extra leaves we brought in, saves paper.

WP_20131007_007

Nature Collage

We did this one at the park, collect some items found in the area (nothing too heavy), spread some paper with glue and stick away.  Older children may make a scene or pattern.

WP_20131002_006 WP_20131002_005

 

Leaf printing

This last craft I did myself after the kids were done painting and there was quite a lot of paint left on the tray.  I lightly brushed paint onto the leaves we had gathered and gently pressed them onto to paper.  I then cut them out and hung them around my kitchen for some fun autumn decor.  This would also make some beautiful gift wrap.

WP_20131007_008 WP_20131007_011

 

Hope you’re enjoying the fall as much as I am, don’t forget to jump in some leaves.

Binocular Craft

Binocular Craft

WP_20130820_004As part of our recent Safari Theme we made binoculars.  Its a very quick and easy craft which lends well to so many pretend play themes, as well as looking at nature.

For each child you need two toilet paper rolls, a strip of paper with materials to decorate and a string.  Cut a strip of paper which can easily wrap around both rolls (this is what will be holding the craft together) and have the children decorate it (the skies the limit here).  Cover the plain side of paper with glue and then place the toilet rolls in the middle and wrap the ends of the paper over with one side covering the other.  Punch two holes and tie an end of the string to each side of the binoculars.

WP_20130820_005

 

Quick and easy.  Now its time to go on a bear hunt (check out ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt‘ by Rosen and Oxenbury for a fun song/book to add to the activity), or bird watching or on safari.

 

 

Nature Art

Nature Art

We’ve been going to the same park almost daily due to the fact its the only park with in walking distance with shade so we decided to mix it up a bit and do some crafting while there.

Collect as many nature items as you can find;

  • sticks
  • pinecones
  • leaves
  • flowers
  • grass

Lay out all the items and make a picture with it.

WP_20130722_005

Here is my eldest daughters creation, a house with a flower garden, tree and bird flying above.  Beautiful.

For more crafting at the park try our paper plate beach.