Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Easter!

Some fun, educational things to do with your 
preschooler using eggs, bunnies, etc.
Hope you enjoy and have fun
making some of the crafts and
implementing some of these ideas!


Egg Color Grouping:  - Place 6 large plastic eggs (taken apart), 6 
       smaller eggs of the same colors, and two small items of each 
       color, into a small basket.  The child has to find and place two, same colored items into the same colored small egg and then place that into the matching large egg.  They should end up with 6 filled eggs.  

Eraser Patterns:  - Buy a couple packs of Easter erasers at the store (can be found at most 
dollar type stores.  Have the child make patterns with them and then say each pattern to you.

Egg Puzzles - copy some clipart pictures of eggs onto cardstock, cut out the eggs and laminate for durability.  Cut each egg into 2 pcs with a funny line shape.  Put all the pieces in a small Easter dish and see how many eggs your child can find.  Have them count.

Sorting Erasers  - I found these thin foam shapes you can use with your erasers or you can just cut shapes out to match whatever erasers you have.  Have child sort the erasers onto the correct  foam piece.  Count.  Which one had the most, least or were equal?

Play-Doh-  You can make your own pastel colored play dough or use store bought.  Give them lots of cookie cutters or chocolate molds to use.

Number Match - Make up some cards and place a different # of stickers on each card.  Have the child count the stickers and then find that number card and match it with the correct card.  If they do not know their numbers yet.  Have them turn the card over and count the dots on the back.

Eraser Math - Use the erasers and shape mats.  Have child place some erasers on the first mat, then have them place erasers on the second mat.  Have them count the erasers on each mat and then say the numbers in a math problem...have them transfer all the erasers onto the last mat and say the whole problem.  Example:  2 erasers + 4 erasers = how many all together on the last mat?

Finger Puppets - Look for cute finger puppets at dollar stores or I actually got these on a cake one year.  The kids love them.  They can use them to put on a little play for you or a friend or you can use them in the sand table.

Sand Table - You can fill your sand table with either sand or with Easter grass. The kids love it both ways.  They love to look for things in the grass, or plant/hide things in the sand.  These little carrots in here used to be filled with powder candy (which I ate!  LOL).

Arts & Crafts

Chocolate Bunny - Print out your bunny shape and then mix dry chocolate pudding mix with some brown paint to make it small like chocolate.  Let them paint their bunny.  While the paint is wet, add the sticker eye and bunny tail so they stick. Let them use candy sprinkles to decorate it.  When dry...cut out and hang in the windows or around the room.

Easter Egg Cards - Here are two types of fun cards your child can make to brighten someone's day.  One that the top slides apart and open where the front flaps open to reveal a message.

Sweetened, Condensed milk painted eggs -  pour a little condensed milk into a few small bowls or paint cups.  Mix in either liquid paint or just food coloring.  Use tag board or cardstock to cut out big egg shapes.  Let them paint with the milk and decorate lots of Easter eggs.  When these dry, the are really shiny. 

Crepe Paper Eggs - Cut an egg shape from a piece of clear contact paper.  Peel the back off and lay sticky side up on the table.  Have your child tear pieces of pastel crepe paper and stick them to the contact paper in any design they want.  When all the sticky parts are covered, these are pretty to hang in the window and let the sun shine through.

Bubble Eggs  - put some water in some shallow bowls and add food coloring or liquid watercolors to make the colors you want for eggs.  Add some dish soap to each bowl.  Use a straw to stick in each bowl and blow bubbles until they are above the rim of the bowl.  Lay your cut out egg shape over the bubbles for a second and remove. As the bubbles pop on the paper, it leaves a cool design.  Repeat with different colors until you are happy with your colored egg.

Marble Eggs - You can do one big egg on a sheet of paper or draw smaller ones.  Lay your paper in a shallow pan or if you have a flat top to a box, that works great too.  Choose your paint colors and drip some dots of paint around the outside of your drawn eggs.  Place about 5 marbles in the pan or lid and pick the whole thing up and while holding onto the sides of the box....gently roll the marbles all around...through the paint until your egg is colored to your satisfaction.  let dry and then cut out to decorate with.

Basket of Eggs - Have two basket shapes cut out for each child.  Let them draw lines on each side to make it look like a wicker basket.  Have them use a glue stick to glue the two handles together and they can help you staple around the outside of the actual basket part. Open the basket up a little bit in the middle and let them put some grass inside.  Give them some Have them cut a couple egg shapes and use markers to decorate and add tho the basket.

Chalk & Tape Eggs  - Use tag board to cut out egg shapes.  Use skinny tape to let them tape a design on their egg. You can help them with the tape.  Then use a paint brush to brush water over the egg.  Not too much.  While it is wet, use chalk to color in the taped off sections.  The water helps the chalk blend.  Once they are done, remove the tape to see a beautiful egg.

Bunny Bags

Bunny Plate Craft

A couple of fun games I found at the dollar store:

I hope this gives you some ideas!  Haven't even gotten to 
books, songs, foods  LOL
But I feel this is getting long and it is late and I better get to bed!

Last but not least!  Fill a bunch of eggs and hide them
and have a huge Easter Egg Hunt!  

Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Fun!

St. Patrick's Day Fun!


  I know this is close to St. Patrick's Day, but thought I
would post anyway  just in case someone was looking for
some last minute ideas for their preschoolers!
Here we go!


The Luckiest St. Paddy's Day Ever
Ten Lucky Leprechauns
Happy St. Patrick's Day Curious George
The Last Snake in Ireland


Torn Paper Rainbows - Let them tear paper and glue into a rainbow (great motor skill)      

Rainbow Hats - Let each child cut one strip of each color of the rainbow.  Measure their head 
and staple a sentence strip into the band for the hat.  Let them color a pot of gold to be attached to the
front of the band.  While they color, you can staple the rainbow onto the front and backside of the band (creating a rainbow over their head. Let them add stickers or decorate their band while you cut out their pot of gold.  These are great to keep and wear if you go on a hunt for gold or for a leprechaun!                                            

Mixing Hands Rainbow - First, have child color their pot of gold to be cut out and attached to the white paper strip.  Next, have a sink or bucket of water ready and some towels.  Paint one hand red and press coming out of the gold.  Then paint their other hand yellow and press that where the third hand print would go.  Have them rub their hands together while saying:
                         Abracadabra, Alakazam......I'm going to find me some gold!
Then watch them be amazed that their hands have turned ORANGE!!!  LOL  They love it. Keep painting their hands and saying the chant until they have their rainbow completed.

Leprechaun Mask/Hat - Give each child a paper hat to color or decorate with shiny paper and whatever they would like.   Then give them a sheet of paper and let them cut little snips that whole way around to make a can curl the pieces a bit.  Attach the beard to the hat with an opening for their face.  Attach the entire thing to a headband.  It is fun to take a picture of each student with the mask on and print them out and place on a bulletin board to see if they can guess who is who.                                           

Collage Shamrocks  - Give each child a cut out shamrock shape and place lots of different 
green collage items on the table (such as green foam, glitter, markers, yarn, stickers, tissue paper, etc).  Let them decorate it how they want using all green.  They can add a rainbow if they would like.

Shaving Cream Shamrocks - The picture shows a heart we were doing for valentine's Day, but you can do three hearts and let them glue them into a shamrock.  First put some shaving cream on a plate.  Next squirt green, yellow and blue coloring onto the shaving cream and use a craft stick to pull through the cream to mix the colors a bit.  Then take a heart shape and lightly press on the shaving cream.  Pull it up and then scrape off the excess will leave the coloring on the paper in a very cool design.  Glue your hearts together onto a sheet of paper and add a stem.

Paint Dotter Rainbows - use paint dotters on half of a paper plate to make a rainbow.
Add the things that you need to make a rainbow - sun and rain.  We added cotton ball clouds. One cotton ball per child was enough......they just pulled them apart into bigger sections.

Shamrock Glasses - I had these made ahead of time for the kids to wear.  I used green tag board or cardstock.....folded it in half and cut out a shamrock shape and the ear piece and then unfolded.  The kids really liked them and they held up quite well. (Sorry the pic is blurry, but it is from 18 years ago, scanned and blown up LOL)

Centers & Activities

Matching Leprechauns - I printed out a sheet with two leprechauns and laminated.  Set a pile of numbered shamrocks on one leprechaun's belly and set out a small pot of gold pieces for your child to match the number of gold pieces to the card so they become twin leprechauns.  If the child does not know their numbers yet, they can turn the card over and count the dots on the back of the card.                                                                               

5 Little Leprechauns Flannel Story/Song - I printed out 5 leprechauns and other pictures to go with the song, laminated them and added velcro to the back because I still love flannel boards and think the kids do too!  You can do this activity during circle time and hand out a picture to each student to bring up to the board when it is mentioned and then you can also leave this out as a center for them to retell the story on their own with all the pieces.

Five Green Shamrocks Song - Once again, I printed shamrocks and laminated them and added a craftstick stem.  I had this little pot the I could stick them into, but you can take some green play-doh and put in a cup and that works just as well.  As you sing the song, add a child's name to come pick a shamrock....repeat the song until everyone has had a turn.

Blarney Stones (One to One) Activity - Use an ice cube tray (I just happened to have a green one - this pic is from our dinosaur week where they used the stones as dino eggs) and green gem stones to have them match one stone per cube space.

Patterning, Sorting, and Sand Table - find lots of different green items, poms, shamrocks, gold, etc and these can be used at a center for sorting and patterning or in the sand table or sensory bin.  Children love to look for treasures as much as the leprechauns do!

Hot Potato - We use either a little leprechaun troll, a gold egg or even a piece of gold and play some Irish music while passing the object around.  The last child holding the treasure, is The Lucky Leprechaun!!                                                

Leprechaun Hat Game - This pic is from about 18 years ago of my son and the day care kids during our St. Patrick's Day party :)  I just used an empty oatmeal container and wrapped with paper and a green piece of poster board for the bottom.  They were on teams and had to stand back all around the hat.  Each team had different colored gold pieces (gold, green and purple)  They all threw their coins one at a time till all coins were thrown and then we tallied up each color.

Magic Magnets - if you can find some magnets for St. Patrick's Day.....these are great to make up songs with or let the children each make up a story during circle time.


( I think both of these were from Family Fun 2007)

You can also make rice crispy treats with Fruity Pebbles or Lucky Charms
You can search for the recipe to make the layered Rainbow Cake/cupcakes.

Hope this gives you lots of ideas to have a 
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

You can also make the hat at the very beginning, using an empty
popcorn tin and shiny wrapping paper with a piece of
cardboard for the brim.  
Fill it with green necklaces, treat....such as those listed above or 
you can add Rolos (gold), ring pops, etc!

Leave a note from a leprechaun that snuck into your house or room
during the night and left a surprise for you to find.  Go on a hunt 
and find the hat with treasures and maybe a treat to eat for snack 
time!  So much fun to be had!

May the luck of the Irish...Always be with YOU!!