Friday, June 28, 2019

Joke Books

A sense of humor helps children build resilience, self-esteem, and critical thinking skills. When a child can tell or understand a joke, it shows that they can think critically about sentence structure or even constructs in society.

  • Children up to the age of one experience humor through absurd events such as parents saying silly words or playing peek-a-boo.
    A family-friendly joke book!
  • At age two to three, children find humor in language. Surprises, rhymes, and nonsensical words can make them laugh. This shows an understanding of language.
  • By ages three to five, children have an understanding of how the world works, and when that perception is altered, it can be humorous. For example, a cow that says oink is incongruous to their idea of how a cow is supposed to sound. This is an early sign of critical thinking.
  • Children older than five years old begin to show an appreciation for different types of jokes as they develop their own tastes. Exaggeration, puns, and irony become more common and show a more complex understanding of language.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

More Sticker Fun!

Playing with stickers can help children with so many skill areas! Pulling out a fresh sheet of stickers can bring on big smiles from kids of all ages! And the best news is that children don't even realize they are working on important developmental areas!

A few reasons why EVERY child should play with stickers:
  1. Stickers are a fine motor powerhouse! Working with stickers is a great way to practice pincer skills!
  2. Bilateral Hand Coordination. Both hands are involved in the work of peeling stickers
  3. Visual Scanning. Kids will scan the sticker sheet to find the sticker they want.
  4. Handedness. You can put a sticker on just one shoe to help a child learn to put their shoes on the correct feet.
Take some time this summer to practice these important skills while "playing" with stickers!

Looking for some great sticker books? We've got you covered!

It's Rhyming Cats and Dogs Set of 2
Set of 2 Sticker Books
Have fun meeting cute cats and dogs in this hilarious set! Read the funny rhymes, then use your stickers to decorate the card press-outs at the back of the book.








Nursery Rhymes Coloring Book With Stickers
Coloring Book With Stickers
Over 90 pages of favorite nursery rhymes to color! With more than 100 stickers to use in the book or anywhere you want!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Benefits of coloring

With the development of technology, coloring has taken a back seat in children's learning. Coloring seems like a simple task but there are so many learning benefits for children when they are coloring.
Here are six learning benefits of coloring activities.
        1.  Fine Motor Development: Coloring helps children develop good finger grip. It provides an opportunity to practice holding a pencil the correct way and aids in developing those fine motor muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrist.
Includes stickers!
        2.  Concentration: Children’s length of concentration develops and improves over time. Coloring requires good concentration and this type of focusing on one task can help a child develop his or her overall concentration levels.
With over 90 pages of favorite nursery rhymes to color and more than 100 stickers to use, our Nursery Rhymes Coloring Book is perfect for practicing your coloring skills!
        3. Color Recognition: Using different colors gives children an opportunity to explore different combinations and lets them see how they can change the appearance of the picture. It is great also for gaining awareness of the lesser known colors.
        4.  Hand & Eye Coordination:   Coloring assists in the development of hand & eye coordination as the child learns to color within the specified area. Staying inside the lines takes considerable skill and when they master it, they gain a sense of pride and achievement.
         5.  Sense of Pride and Achievement:   We need to give young children every opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. If they can create something that is aesthetically pleasing, then this will help in the positive development of their personality.
         6.  Creativity: Coloring stimulates creative thinking. As their confidence grows, they are more likely to take risks and experiment with color, patterns, and special effects with pencil or marker strokes.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Preschool Sports


Engaging in an athletic activity outside is very important for your preschooler’s development, and it can be a lot of fun too. Read on to learn about some of the other reasons why you will want your child playing sports.

Social Development and Benefits
Playing games of any kind is especially important for children when they are between three and five years old. When they start to play games, they will learn about following rules, taking turns, working with others, and how to win and lose. Sports can help your child learn these important lessons in a way that’s fun.
Let's Play Ball!

Great for Their Health
Playing and running outside will be really beneficial for your child’s health and physical development. Children are spending more and more time inside the house and this is reducing the opportunities for them to develop strength, balance, and coordination.

Meeting New Friends
Learning a sport with other children his age is a great way for him to meet other kids and make a few friends. It’s also a great way for you to make friends too.

Boosting Their Self-Esteem
There are dozens of studies that show the effects of sports on a child’s self-esteem. Giving your child an opportunity to play with others and compete can have powerful effects on your child’s confidence, even at a very young age.


Let’s play ball! Learn all about Soccer with this shaped board book that looks and feels like a real soccer ball!

Perfect for anyone who wants to get their child started early, Let’s Play Soccer teaches little ones the basic terms of the game. Shaped like a soccer ball, the book also features a textured, padded cover with stitching that feels like the real thing! Photographic interiors feature simple text that focuses on the joy of the game for kids and parents alike. Because having fun is the most important part!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Books for Buggies!

What are the jungle friends doing today?

Infants will love this sweet storybook perfect for reading while talking a walk with mom or dad! 
Buggy books include an attachment for strollers or buggies. Featuring bright, bold colors that provide visual and interactive stimulation for babies on the go!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Hello Summer!

The first day of summer (or the summer solstice) is the longest day of the year! What a great excuse to make a creative summer craft!

Hello Summer!
(Mixed media sunshine)
You will need:


  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Piece of cardboard or sturdy paper
  • Yellow craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Assorted items such as
    • buttons
    • felt shapes
    • wood pieces
    • textured paper
    • beads
    • foam
    • macaroni
How to:
  • Cut out a circle in a piece of cardboard
  • Glue assorted items to the cardboard and let it dry (try setting it in the sun for quicker dry time)
  • Cut out rays using the yellow construction paper
  • When the circle is dry, paint over the entire thing with the yellow craft paint
  • Glue the rays to the back of the sun circle
  • Hang and enjoy!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Beach and Ocean Sensory Bin

Beat the heat with this fun water sensory bin!

You Will Need:

  • Under bed storage bin
  • Ocean animal toys
  • Decorative shells (try the dollar store)
  • Play Sand
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring (optional)
How to:
  • Pour sand on one side of the bin
  • Place shells at the edge of the sand to create a barrier between the sand and water
  • Add food coloring to the water and stir 
  • Slowly pour water in the other side of the bin. It will need to be shallow to keep the water from going over into the sand.
  • Add the ocean animals

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the freedom of the slaves in the United States. The name Juneteenth is a combination of the words June and nineteenth. The day is also called Emancipation Day and Freedom Day.

Here are some Juneteenth Facts:

  • On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect abolishing slavery. Texas would not accept the Emancipation Proclamation and kept their slaves. 
  • More than 200,000 African Americans were still enslaved in Texas after the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger along with Union soldiers entered Galveston Texas and forced them to free their slaves.
  • Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth a holiday on January 1, 1980.
  • There is a flag that represents Juneteenth. It has a rectangle on it. The top of the rectangle is blue and the bottom is red. There is a white 5 point star in the middle.
  • Juneteenth is celebrated in many different ways with BBQ's, reading of poems, singing songs and more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

It's International Picnic Day!

Summertime is made for picnics! It doesn't matter if they take place in the backyard, at a local park or at the beach.
Pack a picnic basket, bring some sunscreen, lots of water and plan some easy picnic games!

Need some ideas? We've got you covered!

Easy Volleyball
Tie a length of string or yarn between two trees. Let the kids try to hit balloons or foam balls back and forth.

Frisbee Throw
Line all the kids up behind a line. Let them each take a turn throwing the frisbee as far as they can. Mark the spots with craft sticks with their names on them. Who threw the farthest?

Bucket Races
Place a bucket with water on one end and an empty bucket on the other. Make sure each team starts with the same amount of water. Have the kids dip a cup in the bucket of water and run to put it in the empty bucket. Then run back and give it to their next teammate. The team who can fill the empty bucket with the most water wins.

Face Painting
This homemade face paint comes off with soap and water!
For each color you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cold cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • food coloring
Stir together the corn starch and cold cream until well blended. Add the water and mix well. Add food coloring one drop at a time until you have the color you want. Use small paintbrushes to apply.
*Leftovers can be stored in small containers

Monday, June 17, 2019

Paper Plate Frisbee

Here's a fun craft if you are looking for an easy and inexpensive activity this summer!


All you need are:

  • Paper plates
  • Shipping Tape
  • Colorful markers
  • A little imagination!

Friday, June 14, 2019

How The Rhinoceros Got His Skin

A classic Rudyard Kipling story has been simply retold for little ones in this beautiful picture book.  Bright illustrations on every page accompany the wonderfully funny tale, making it perfect for reading.  


After reading this fun tale, make your own Rhinoceros!

You Will Need:

  • Paper Plate
  • Grey, black, and white paper
  • Grey paint (or mix white and black)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
How To:
  • Cut the paper plate into the shape of the rhino's face
  • Paint the face
  • While the face dries, cut out ears, tusks, eyes, and nose
  • Glue all pieces 


Thursday, June 13, 2019

June is National Zoo Month

Foam Cup Lion Craft 


You Will Need:
  • Small Foam Cup
  • Yellow Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Orange yarn
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Googly Eyes
  • Brown Marker
  • Scissors
  • Tacky Glue
How To Make:
  • Paint the outside of the foam cup with your yellow paint. Let it dry
  • Cut out orange strands from your yarn roll
  • Add a line of glue in an oval around the cup
  • Place the yarn pieces all around the cup
  • Cut out the lion's ears from the construction paper and glue to the cup
  • Add eyes and the mouth, nose and whisker dots

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

June 15 is National Smile Power Day

Create Silly Smiley Faces!


You will need:
  • Construction Paper
  • Popsicle stick (or similar)
  • Crayons/colored pencils
  • Glue
To make:
  • Cut construction paper in the shape of a smiley face
  • Have children draw their smile onto the construction paper
  • Glue the popsicle stick to the back 
Have a smile parade! How many different smiles do you see?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Flag Day is June 14

Celebrate our flag with this 
Stars and Stripes Sandwich Bag Craft

You Will Need:
  • Ziploc Sandwich Bag for each child

  • Star shapes cut out of red, white or blue construction paper
  • Ribbons, glitter, sequins, or stickers in red, white and blue colors
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Two hand towels
  • Iron
  • Scissors
How To:
  • Have children choose their decorations
  • Allow them to place their items in their bags sparingly and evenly (bags should be flat on a table)
  • Place the bag between two pieces of foil with a towel between the foil and the table and the foil and the iron
  • With the iron set on warm "iron" the bag
  • Peel away the foil and allow to cool
  • Have children trim their bag into star shapes

Monday, June 10, 2019

June 25th is Eric Carle's Birthday!

Celebrate Eric Carle's birthday and the arrival of summer with this cute "Tiny Seed" paper plate handprint flower.


You will need:
  • Small Paper Plate
  • Yellow Tissue Paper
  • Green/Orange Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Pencil
How to:
  • Cut the yellow tissue paper into small squares (let kids practice their cutting skills)
  • Place a good amount of glue all over the paper plate
  • Place the tissue paper on the paper plate to completely cover it
  • Set the paper plate aside to dry
  • Trace child's hand on the construction paper
  • Cut out handprints to make the petals of the flower (depending on the size of the child's hand you will need 6-10 handprints)
  • Staple the handprints around the paper plate
  • Draw and cut out a stem and staple it to the plate 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Handprint Corn on the Cob

This handprint corn on the cob is the perfect way to celebrate Corn On The Cob Day on June 11th!


You will need:
Yellow Paint
Paintbrush or straw
Green construction paper
Plain paper
Any other color of construction paper


How to do:

  • Trace child's hand on plain paper
  • Cut out the handprint
  • Glue it to the full-size sheet of construction paper
  • Cut out two green corn husks
  • Glue the corn husks as shown
  • Use a paintbrush (or a straw) to paint yellow corn kernels on the hand print only
  • Allow the paint to dry

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Father's Day Book

Father's Day is a day for fathers and father-like figures

Show dad how much he is loved when you create 

this cute Father's Day Book!

Need some inspiration? Take a look at the book I made for my dad a few years back. Even though I am all grown up, my dad still had tears in his eyes when I gave him his book :)


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

National Gingerbread Day....in June?!

Each year on June 5, gingerbread lovers across the nation observe National Gingerbread Day, a day that was created to bring attention to gingerbread.

Make a No-Mess Gingerbread Sun Catcher

What you will need:

White flimsy paper plates or white card stock
Sticky (Contact) paper
Tissue paper squares in various colors
Buttons
Wiggle eyes
Assorted colors of yarn
Double-sided clear tape

Preparing the gingerbread suncatcher ornament:

Draw a gingerbread person in the middle of the paper plate

Cut the shape from the center

Cut the contact paper so that it covers the gingerbread space on the paper plate

Place the contact paper sticky side down on the cut-out area of the paper plate


Creating the gingerbread suncatcher:

Press the tissue paper squares on top of the sticky side of the contact paper

After tissue paper squares are stuck on the paper, cut another piece of contact paper to cover the open side

Now both sticky sides are touching each other, so the tissue paper is secure. 

Cut around the gingerbread shape so that you leave white trim around the entire shape.

Punch a hole near the top of the gingerbread suncatcher

Tie a piece of yarn through the hole near the top of the sun catcher to create a loop for hanging.

Place the double sided tape on the areas where the decorations will go

Have children decorate their gingerbread person

Hang and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June is National Aquarium Month

Make mini aquarium sensory bottles so kids can tap on the aquarium wall without getting in trouble as they shake up some ocean animals, make some waves, and learn about the creatures of the sea.

You will need:

  • Sand
  • Empty bottle
  • Small ocean toys
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring (optional)
  • Small Shells (optional)


How to make:

  • Fill the bottle with approximately 2 inches of sand
  • Fill bottle with water. If the sand is dusty overflow the water bottle so the dust runs out
  • Have the child add small shells and a drop of blue food coloring
  • Close the bottle tight and the sensory bottle is ready to be played with!
  • You may want to seal the bottle shut by gluing the lid. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

National Donut Day!

Everyone loves donuts, there's something about that delicious deep-fried treat that brings a smile to everyone's face.
Celebrate National Donut Day this Friday, June 7th with this fun game of Donut Ring Toss!

Donut Ring Toss

Be prepared for infectious fun and giggles when you transform some humble scraps of cardboard into a DIY Game of Ring Toss for classic garden fun and healthy competition. 
You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Paint/crayons/colored pencils
  • Stake or basket to throw the ring onto/into
How To:
Cut cardboard pieces into same size circles. Cut out the middle of each circle to create the donut. Decorate using paint, crayons or colored pencils.
Set up your game outside and have fun!





Check out our FREE June Activity Calendar for a fun Donut Recipe!

Friday, May 31, 2019

National Egg Day

June 3 is an excellent day to practice egg puns and recognize National Egg Day.
One of the most perfect foods, eggs are packed with protein, amino acids and have no carbohydrates or sugar. Use #NationalEggDay on social media to show how you like your eggs!  And make some......

ICE EGGS

You will need:
  • Balloons (round work best)
  • Small toys/colored rocks
  • Water (tap)
  • Freezer
  • Optional
    • spoons
    • magnifying glasses
    • food coloring
How to make:
  • Find small objects to freeze inside the balloon
  • Using both hands open the top of each balloon by working your fingers down the narrow neck of the balloon
  • Drop one small object inside the balloon
  • Fill the balloon with water
  • Optional
    • Use food coloring to color the water inside the balloon
  • Tie the balloon
  • Place in the freezer overnight
  • The next day
    • remove the balloon (you may need scissors)
Play:
  • Ice Egg bowling
  • roll them around the ground
  • smooth them with your hands
  • Hold them up to the sky to see the objects inside
  • Crack the eggs open using the spoon to find the treasure inside
  • Use the magnifying glasses to study the patterns and objects inside


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Water A Flower Day


Plant a flower together
and place it in a sunny
spot!

Don’t forget to
water it!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Friendship Color Mixing

June 8th is National Best Friend Day!

Red, yellow, and blue are great alone, but when you mix them you create something beautiful.  This is how lasting friendships are formed.  Two individuals coming together to create something beautiful FRIENDSHIP

Have children pick a friend to work with for this fun paint project



You Will Need:
  • Red, Yellow and Blue Tempera Paint
  • Plastic plates
  • Flannel sheets or any material that absorbs
  • A small amount of water
  • A large piece of paper
How To:
  • Pair children with a friend
  • Dilute the paint with a small amount of water
  • Each pair of kids needs a plate of yellow paint, red paint, and blue Paint
  • Have the children place one hand in one of the primary colors and make a handprint on the paper
  • Have them answer these questions
    • What does the paint feel like on your hands?
    • What do you think will happen if you hold hands and mix the colors?
  • Now have the children place one hand in the primary colors and then touch hands
  • Have them make a handprint on the paper
    • What color did it make?
    • How many different colors can you make?
  • Hints:
    • Yellow + Blue = Green
    • Red + Blue = Purple



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sink or Swim?

Teaching science is easy with this fun activity!



You will need:
Bucket or container for water
Small objects
Sheet of paper
Pencil/Pen


  • Make four columns on the sheet of paper. 
  • Mark one column as name of object, one as sink, one as swim (float) and the other as results
  • Have children grab different objects and write the object's name on the sheet of paper
  • Fill the bucket with water
  • Before putting the objects in the container of water ask each child if the object will sink or swim
  • Mark appropriate column (sink or swim)
  • Drop one object in the bucket
  • Did it sink or float?
  • Note the findings on your paper
  • Repeat until all objects have been observed.

How many did you get right?



Friday, May 24, 2019

In Flanders Fields

Memorial Day is a national holiday that is celebrated on the last Monday in May. Sometimes, it is called Decoration Day because following the Civil War, people went to cemeteries to place flowers on or to "decorate" the graves of loved ones who died in the war.

After World War I, it also became known as Poppy Day after Canadian Army Col. John McRae wrote a poem titled "In Flanders Fields." The poem expresses his grief over the thousands of soldiers who died on the Flanders battlefields in Europe.


You can make your own poppies for decorations this Memorial Day with instructions I found at howstuffworks.com. 


Supplies you will need: 

Red crepe or tissue paper
Black or dark blue crepe or tissue paper
Green chenille stems, one for each poppy
Scissors
Margarine container lid, about 4 inches in diameter
Smaller lid, about 2 inches in diameter
Pen or pencil

Fold crepe or tissue paper three times for each flower you want to make
Place the large lid on the red stack of paper and trace around it with a pen or pencil
Repeat with black or blue paper and a smaller lid
Cut the circles out.
Using three circles of each color for each flower, stack the circles together and place the smaller circles in the middle of the larger ones.
Carefully, poke a hole through the center of the stack from the bottom with a chenille stem. Bring the stem up through the hole, leaving about 4-inches of stem above the flower.
Bend the top stem down and poke it through the paper about 1/2-inch from the first hole. Carefully, pull the stem down and twist the end around the long end of the stem to secure it.
Pull the crepe paper petals slightly away from each other to form the poppy.
Place your poppies inside a vase and use as a meaningful decoration for Memorial Day picnics and get-togethers.