Browsing Tag

simple craft

Growing Up

Simple Christmas Garland for Kids

A super simple Christmas garland for kids to make. Use only one item from around the house.

Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved decorating our house for the holidays. Popcorn strings for the tree, oranges spiked with cloves for the dining room table, Christmas countdown chains!  There must have been a latent homemaker in my little kid heart from the beginning.  And now our girls are loving the process of getting ready for the holidays with decorations and activities leading up to the big day!

We do a number of things to try to get our house and our hearts ready to celebrate Christmas.  It has been such fun to create traditions with our girls.  One of our favorite things is our Christmas book basket.  I put it out on December 1st for the kids to dig into all month.  And every few days, I try to come up with an activity that goes with one of the books in the basket.

Our latest activity is actually based on two books that are both about getting ready for Jesus: Who Is Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate and Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Apple Stamp Phonics for Short Vowel Sound Aa

Apple Core Stamps - project for short-vowel sound Aaɑ

Apples!  It is almost apple season around here – I got a great deal on Gala apples last week.  Our girls love apples.  G likes her’s without the peel.  W likes her’s with – and will eat G’s discarded peels.  Last week we were having snack time after working through the very first lesson in The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.  And I suddenly had a great idea for a craft to reinforce the concepts taught in that phonics lesson – the short vowel sound for Aaɑ.

It seems like there is no shortage of apple activities out there.  And I hesitate to share this one with you, but we did it and enjoyed it, so I am sharing!  This simple activity built upon a number of facts the girls already know, and added a little bit more to their understanding of apples.  Here’s what we did.  Continue Reading

Growing Up

Thinking of Others: Making Birthdays Special

Thinking of Others, making birthdays special.

Thinking of others is not something that comes natural to us.  We tend to be pretty self-focused.  This is proven true by examining little ones.  They have to learn empathy.  They have to learn to relate to others with kindness and self-lessness.  And they have to be taught to be caring.

I can think of almost no other place where this self-focus can be seen in kids than when it comes time to give a gift.

You know the drill:

You walk into Target and you lay out the game plan for your shopping trip: purchase a gift for Johnnny’s birthday.

Immediately upon entering the toy aisle, your little one starts shopping.  But not for Johnny.

Suddenly she finds toys she NEEDS!  RIGHT NOW!

She forgets the purpose of the shopping trip.  So she needs a little refocus.

Once you get her all refocused on the purpose of the trip to Target, she starts to have her own ideas for what Johnny might want.  And what Johnny might want looks eerily like what she might want.  I assure you, sweet girl, that Johnny does not want a pretty princess dress for his birthday.   Continue Reading

Growing Up

Spin Art Easter Eggs

Spin Art Easter Eggs - such beauty from a FUN activity!

We have been decorating Easter eggs for a few years now.  And each year we have tried something different.  It is in my nature to always be trying new things.  I am likely passing this down to my kids.  And I suppose they will come to expect something new and different each year.  Thankfully, there are TONS of ways to decorate Easter eggs.  I did a little brainstorming this year and came up with three different ways to decorate Easter eggs with our toddler/preschool girls.  First up was spin art Easter eggs.

For the first idea, I wanted something that was not as big of a mess as one of our previous year’s attempts, but was still engaging and interactive for the girls.  Let’s be real: I wanted to WOW them!

And what we ended up doing really did wow them!  And it was almost completely mess-free! Continue Reading

Growing Up

A Box-o-Lantern for Preschoolers and Toddlers

A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern

Are you not quite ready to carve a pumpkin with your little ones?  I know we aren’t!  There’s something about toddlers and sharp objects that should not mix.  In fact, I don’t really like to carve pumpkins at all.  We will get to cutting open a pumpkin later in the season to explore the insides and get all gooey.  But to start off our fall fun this year, we created a fun no-carve alternative to a pumpkin that will last all season.

This project was borne of a painting session we were doing that I wanted to extend until we could get the girls in the bath before nap time.  We were working on painting our salt dough hand prints from our first day of preschool and I had out the yellow and orange paints.  The girls painted their salt dough hand prints WAY faster than I was expecting, so I quickly looked around the house for something to extend our painting fun. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Grandparent’s Day Craft for Preschoolers

Grandparent's Day craft and poem for preschoolers

We have not always been good about getting things in the mail.  And when I say “we,” I mean I have not been good about it.  But we are in the midst of our first preschool unit on mailmen and I took the opportunity to challenge ourselves to get something in the mail in time for Grandparent’s Day.  So I came up with a cute, simple Grandparent’s Day craft for our girls to do. Hopefully they will get to the grandparents some time before the end of the week!

I was doing a little research on crafty things we could make for our 3 sets of grandparents and I came across this cute poem and craft from Joyfully Thriving for Valentine’s Day that I really liked.  I thought it would really work for the grandparents that live in Texas (and for the local ones, too!).   Continue Reading

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