Friday, July 29, 2011

Dinosaur Week

These dinosaurs with jointed limbs were fun for the little ones. Anything with a glue stick and googlie eyes is a guaranteed winner. They could customize their dino with different colored spikes in any number.
I tried to teach the idea of fossils to the children. They loved being able to pick out dinosaur shapes and different colors to make their own rubbing/fossil. I cut dinosaur shapes out with the cricut and was pleasantly surprised to find that during a test run the card stock was thick enough to make a good rubbing. I originally thought I would have to add glue and sand to each cut out.

The children were so quick to make the connection between baby dinosaurs hatching from eggs just as baby birds do. They loved making their own hatching baby dinosaur eggs.

Our local library has a great youth encyclopedia about dinosaurs. The pictures are engaging and all of the children enjoyed thumbing through it at least once during the week. We reviewed some of the habitat photos before making our own. Ponds, trees, rocks and of course dinosaur cutouts made these a fun activity.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Safari Animals

This National Geographic Kid's Safari book was great. The photos gave perfect examples for the children. I checked it out at our local library.

For the giraffes, I cut out ahead of time the neck, head and strip of hair. Older kids cut out their own spots, but I cut out a pile for the younger ones to choose from. Brown, tan and orange crayons or markers were left out to make faces.

These layered lion faces made good practice for little hands who are still learning how to handle scissors. The mane required just simple straight cuts. Pipe cleaners were woven in and under the nose- easier than trying to glue them down.

Handprint elephant.

Paper plates, ear cut outs, accordion trunk and optional tusks.

I found a free printable download for these bendable monkeys. The kids could color the body before assembling and pick out any color pipe cleaner. The children loved attaching the monkeys to anything in the house. Double sided sticky tape made assembly quick and clean- no waiting for glue to dry (a huge bonus with little ones).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tips: Buying a Board Game

1. Make sure it comes with instructions. (I know, nothing too revolutionary here.)

It took some far reaching, into the outskirts of my 7th grade memory banks, to remember how to play chess. I just can't say no when one of my cute kids asks to play a game!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Week: Sunny Hands

White paper plates- my new favorite painting "paper." It is thick enough that it won't tear even if the artist paints the same spot 20 times. To help keep fingers clean, I taped the plate to the table cover. That way, artists didn't have to "hold down" the paper or keep it from moving around with brush strokes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Week: Ice Cream Cones

First we started the ice-cream machine. It was fun to help out, but waiting for anything as exciting as ice-cream requires an extra in-between activity:

Lots of "flavors" - which is your favorite?

Don't forget the rainbow sprinkles!

10 scoops- only at pre-school (or in your dreams)!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eagle Art

I love this Picasso art! Children traced their hands, then one foot to create the body. I helped cut out feather shaped card stock for the head, tail feathers and beak.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Week

Salad spinner firework art. This was my first attempt at this type of project. Trial and error seemed to show that a few little drops of paint clustered around the middle made the best designs. The kids love squeezing the paint on to the paper and spinning it with out help. I love that the paint stays in one easily cleaned area!

Bean bag toss. Each child helped design a monogramed bean bag and helped assemble the score plates. Great for number recognition with the younger ones and simple adding for the older.

Red, white and blue wands. We had tooo many super heros running around after these were made! Using the cricut to cut out different colored stars in 3 sizes made this craft quick to put together. Double-sided sticky tape made it easier for the little fingers to assemble. Michael's crafts has loose dowels in different sizes, but I found this pack of precut lengths perfect and less expensive than cutting it myself.

Liberty necklaces! The children practiced lacing with straws and hole-punched stars. Using tape at the end of the string to make things a little easier.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Berry Layers

No recipe needed here- just layer your favorite fresh fruit with scoops of freshly whipped cream. My favorite summer treat is a toss up between this and homemade strawberry ice cream. Oh wait, we shouldn't forget homemade peach cobbler. I love summer!