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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween is quickly approaching and we’ve been having a blast preparing for the big day.

 

Pumpkin Shape Activity

For the toddlers this was a great activity to talk about shapes and facial parts (i.e. eyes, nose …).  They also love to glue, even when there is nothing to stick.

I gave each child a pile of shapes and a plain pumpkin base, we discussed each shape and what was needed to make a face.  After they glued their chosen parts on they decorated with markers.  I imagine with older children the body parts would be in the correct places but it was lots of fun anyhow.

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Sparkly Play dough

For this recipe we used my usual cooked play dough recipe but added Halloween colours and sparkle.

Combine the following in a pot

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbl cream of tartar

Combine the following and add to the pot

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp food colour, this time I used tempera paint
  • 1 tbl oil

Mix the two together and cook over medium heat, continue stirring (3-5 mins) till forms a ball, knead on counter till cool (I add in the sparkle at this stage, and also some spices).

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Egg Carton Spider

As seen in the pictures with the play dough we also made egg carton spiders.  Cut the egg cartons apart and paint black.  You could use pipe cleaners, paper, wooden sticks etc. for the legs.  We used pipe cleaners and so I pre cut holes for the kids as its hard to poke them through on their own.  The last step was to glue on eyes, as many as they wished.

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Spelling Salt Tray

This was meant for my girls who are 5 and 7.  Start by making coloured salt (mix table salt and a few drops of food colour in a ziplock bag, I also added some spice for a delicious sensory experience), next place it in a shallow pan.  I provided a paint brush for the writing but you could use your finger as well.  I also made a quick word sheet with Halloween words.  For younger children you could give them cards with squiggly, zig zag, and straight lines to copy.

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Slime

For a sensory treat we made a slime recipe found over at MamaPapaBubba.  Its seems more like a thick goop then slime but either way its fun to play with and easy to make.

Start with mixing 2 cups of liquid school glue and 1 1/2 cups of warm water, food colouring and sparkles.  In another container mix 1 1/3 cups warm water with 3 tsp borax.  Mix the two solutions together- the reaction is really cool.  Keep mixing and enjoy.   I packed mine up in little jars and topped each with a little toy bug.

 note: there seems to be a bit of debate about using borax and so to be on the safe side I would ensure the kids don’t eat this slime and wash hands when done playing

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Rainy Day Play Doh

Rainy Day Play Doh

Yesterday it was my first time having all 5 kids around together (that is my own 2 and the 3 in my day care) and it rained.  Those of you who know me know that I have a fairly small home, which can get a bit cramped, and we all go a little squirrely when kept indoors.

What to do?  Make Rainy Day Play Doh.  Actually we had some on hand and so we played with that to start.  We have a bunch of play doh toys from kits but I find the kids really get creative when given other objects.

This time we used

  • beads
  • buttons
  • googly eyes
  • little pipe cleaners

could also use

  • kitchen utensils
  • cookie cutters
  • straws
  • toothpicks
  • things from nature (sticks, rocks, flowers etc.)
  • animal figurines
  • craft sticks

Basically anything lying around could be used and the imagination that occurs is amazing.

 

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Play Doh Recipe

put in a pot;

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbl cream of tar tar

combine;

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp food color or 1 pkg jello powder
  • 1 tbl oil

Add this wet mixture to the pot and cook on med heat, stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes, it should start forming a ball and will looked ruined but its not.

Pour out of the pot and knead until cool.

 

have fun!