Super Heroes

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?

We recently had march break and I wanted to do an activity which would interest all the age groups that would be in my home..so super heroes.  Though I don’t think the youngest have had any exposure to super heroes I figured the activities would interest them none the less.

Hero Mask

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For this I free hand drew some mask shapes on poster board and had the children decorate with stickers and markers.  Once they were done we tied a ribbon to each end so that they could wear them around the house.

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Hero Wrist Cuffs

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I have tons of leggings with holes which cannot be fixed so I chop the bottom part of the leg and save it for crafts such as this.  You could also use old socks or toilet rolls.

Their first attempts were either just blobs of paint or a copy of the one I did (red) but once they started their seconds they really took their time and planned their designs.  I haven’t seen my girls so engrossed in a craft in quite a while so I guess I finally nailed it with this one.

 

Activities for budding Veterinarians

In conjunction with our love and bucket filling activities of the past few weeks we recently did a caring for animals theme.  We set up an animal hospital and took turns being doctors and patients, bandaged paper animals and did a simple matching game.

Animal Hospital Sign

As a team the kids decorated their own sign for the hospital.  I laid out a large piece of paper with crayons and markers and then I added the final touch (which is animals cut out from my old telus calendar).

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Animal Hospital

This was a lot of fun.  We hung up our sign and everyone was so proud.  Next we set up a few chairs for the waiting room and a small table covered in a sheet with a pile of tools set beside.  Everyone wore one of my collared shirts as their lab jacket.  We then got to work checking out all the animals and applying real band aids where needed.

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For my girls who can read and write I made pretend forms for the doctors to fill in and a clip board to work on.  Next time I think I will give them a list of medical terms so they can fill the forms properly and of course learn how to spell the words.

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Bandage Craft

This was lots of fun for the kids and great exercise for their little hands.  I found some animal colouring pages at activity village  and then put some Xs to mark the spot where the bandages were needed, I also gave them tiny stickers to put on the bandages.

 

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Matching Activity

For this I quickly drew an animal and again marked it with Xs but this time I drew band aids on the surrounding paper and had the kids draw lines to link them.

 

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Have fun!

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!

Winter Crafts

My December was quite busy with work and other obligations and I found I didn’t have the time to blog, so here are a few things we worked on that didn’t make it to my site earlier this winter.

Paper plate Snowman 

This is a pretty quick craft to set up and you most likely have all the materials at home.  I stapled two plates together and pre-cut some arms, nose and hat.  I also found some buttons and yarn for a scarf.

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Snowy Tree

This is another easy one.  I pre-cut a tree, glued it to a plain paper and gave it to the children with a pile of cotton balls and a small dish with liquid glue.

 

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Snow Clay Ornaments

I found the recipe for the clay over at Growing A Jeweled Rose and after making the clay I gave the children some cookie cutters and some random things to decorate with.  I used a straw to punch the holes and then we waited a few days for them to dry.  After they were dry I painted them with a coating of glitter glue and glued on any decorations that fell off.  They really made beautiful Christmas ornaments but really this recipe could be used for any holiday.

 

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Gingerbread Men Ornaments

A fairly similar activity to the above is our gingerbread men.  I used our chocolate squirrel dough but found I needed to add a bit more flour as it was pretty wet.  You could make and remake as many people as you wish but we were making gifts so we were looking for a finished product.  Again use some cookie cutters and decorate with whatever you wish.  We used beads and buttons.  For the youngest of our group I left the dough in the cutter as she pressed a little too hard/deep with the buttons and lost the shape of the man altogether.  You could air dry the men but I ended up speeding up the process by placing them on a lined baking sheet at the lowest temp of my oven for about 30mins, it didn’t fully dry them but at the same time it also didn’t melt the plastics.  I didn’t poke holes this time, instead we hot glued some rope at the top.

 

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Bubble wrap snow painting

This is a pretty fun craft using bubble wrap, of course you may want to pop all the bubbles first for double fun.  I cut the wrap into chunks and then formed a little ball so the kids would have something to grasp, and used an elastic to hold the shape together.  We dipped the bubble wrap into some white paint and then made it snow on some paper.  If you switch the colour of paint this could easily be adapted to an underwater theme as well.

 

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Coffee filter snowflakes

We used to use filters but replaced them with a reusable one and so have a whole pack left over, instead of throwing them out I’ve been looking for ways to use them.  This craft is the perfect opportunity and is a great way for the kids to get some scissor practice.  With regular paper it can be hard to make snowflakes as you have to cut through so many layers of paper, the filter is thin and so it becomes easier to cut.

Fold the filter in half, and then again and again till your desired level of thickness.  Then cut shapes out on each edge and unfold

 

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Cheers!

 

 

Owl Crafts

Owl Crafts

Toilet Roll Owl

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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.

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Hoot hoot aren’t they cute!!

 

Silky Green Paint

Silky Green Paint

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With Halloween approaching I’ve been trying to come up with some ooey gooey activities.  This paint is green and messy but the texture is quite silky.  The kids had a blast feeling this paint and I had to make a few extra batches as they quickly smeared their papers.  My original intent was for the children to make a green gooey background to stick some foam pumpkins thus creating a pumpkin patch.  I did the pumpkin patch craft last year with my girls and got the desired results, but the toddlers were far more interested in smearing the paint and rubbing it between their hands.  Something I’ve learned along the way is that it is ok if the activity takes a different direction then what was planned.  The children were really enjoying a sensory moment and so I went with it.  The pumpkins still came into play though as one child used it as a painting tool, she scooped and smeared the paint with it.  Either way the activity was a blast.

To make the silky paint I filled a pie plate with shaving cream and then mixed in a few blobs of tempera paint.  I have a feeling that the type of shaving cream may make a difference in the consistency of the paint, in the past I used men’s cream and the paint was very thick and left a puffy texture when dried, while the women’s I used this time made a very thin paint which soaked through the paper and dried flat.

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Happy Halloween!

Easy School Bus Craft

Easy School Bus Craft

My newest day care addition loves all things vehicle related and with it being back to school time I decided to do this easy craft with the gang.  Cut a school bus shape out of yellow paper, cut some squares or rectangles for the windows and some circles for the wheels.  Lay all the parts on the table and discuss where the parts go and what shapes they are.  For more fun you could print little pictures of the kids to put in the windows, or look for pictures in a magazine.

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After they were done with the gluing I offered them markers and stickers to further decorate their bus.

This was a fun and easy way to review shapes and colours, and why not start a round of ‘wheels on the bus’, enjoy.