Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gail Gibbons - Virtual Book Club Linkup

My friend at Fantastic Fun & Learning is part of a monthly Virtual Book Club, this month we are reading book's by Gail Gibbons. This goes perfectly with our summer long animal theme. We spent the week talking and reading about snakes and had fun with lots of different snake activities. I would of loved to have a real snake for Little Bit to watch all week but my husband would of probably moved out for the week. :)

Decorate a Snake with Leaves

I cut out a snake and we used dead leaves to decorate it. Before we started we read several books about snakes. Hannah loved looking at the pictures and was fascinated to learn that snakes live in trees.

Our leaf snake will be added to our animal wall.

Button Snake

We practiced our fine motor skills with a button snake. The idea came from Fun & Engaging Activities for Toddlers. I sowed a button to one end of a ribbon and a piece of fabric to the other. Then cut small squares with a small slit large enough for the button to fit through.

Little Bit enjoys practicing with the button. We also used this to practice patterns. Somehow both times I snapped pictures of Little Bit playing she was in her PJ's :) 

We read lots of books about snakes. Little Bits favorites were My Snake Blake, Lizard's Home and Hide and Snake.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sensory Bin Link-Up

My daughter loves sensory bin; she pours, scoops, and digs for hours. Sensory bins are a great way to explore a theme such as a color, holiday or topic. There is no end to how you can use sensory bins.

CrayonFreckles is hosting a sensory bin link-up with tons of great ideas for sensory bins. Hope over to her page and checkout all the amazing ways that sensory bins can be used. Below are the bins I have blogged about and the link to my Pinterest sensory board.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Zoo Scavenger Hunt

Today, we went on a scavenger hunt at the zoo! We have been talking about animals, making animals for our animal wall and going to zoo classes all month. This scavenger hunt was a great way to look for animals and talk about them. Little Bit loves 'I Spy' and the scavenger hunt book was perfect! As we walked around the zoo and saw a different animal she would say, "Do I have that animal?" then look through her book.

When we found one of the animals that was in the book Little Bit pulled out her stamp and stamped the box. She loved this, to my surprise, I was expecting her to enjoy it but possibly loose interest after a few animals. Little Bit played all the way through the zoo and was upset when we had to leave and could not continue looking for animals.

I originally found the idea at We Wilsons and created a book based on the animals our zoo has. The Zoo Scavenger Hunt Book was printed, double sided on paper then cut and stapled together. It was easy to make.


We ended our scavenger hunt feeding the goats and alpaca, which of course were in our book. :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

4th of Juy Activities

4th of July is a fun holiday for us, it is a summer holiday with fireworks and it is just a few days before Little Bit's birthday. We are planning lots of fun things to celebrate the 4th of July this year. Below is a list of the activities, books and sensory play that I found with a 4th of July theme.  
The site Gift of Curiosity has a post that includes several activities such as sorting, matching, and fine motor skills. We will use several of the activities.
Sense of Wonder has a fun art project using pom-poms to make fireworks.
Not Time for Flash Cards uses star cookie cutters as stamps, this is so simple and fun.
A fun, messy, and patriotic art activity from Coffee Cups and Crayons.  
Sensory Bins

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Animal Footprints

I found this fun animal print activity on the site Teach Preschool. We used different animal figures based on their feet, paws, or hooves. We discussed what each animal's feet looked like and how they used them. Little Bit liked the beaver because the tail made a mark like the feet.
We are having lots of fun learning about animals. Check out my previous post to see what all the fun things we are planning to do this summer with animals.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Footprint Art

We spent the morning painting with our feet. This was an easy activity that Little Bit LOVED! My husband cut a box so that it would lay flat on the ground. I added a little paint to a few bowls and Little Bit had at it.

After painting with her feet for a while, Little Bit decided to use her bat, knee and fingers. The best part was watching her run around with paint on her feet.

I modified this activity from an activity found on The Imagination Tree blog.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sidewalk Paint

We spent the morning painting our driveway, it was so much fun. Little Bit loved painting and brightening up the driveway. To make the paint I mixed cornstarch, water and food coloring. Our drive is rougher than the average so the paint did not fully show up until it dried, which doesn't take long here in Florida.

I found the idea for sidewalk paint at All Things Simple. The idea for using sponge brushes and a cupcake pan also came from blog.

Recipe for Sidewalk Chalk
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
food coloring

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our First Invitation to Play

My friend and fellow blogger from Fantastic Fun and Learning told me about Invitations to Play a few months back. However, with school ending I did not actually set one up until today.
I loved it! And I was not the one playing! :)  

After looking around online, mainly on Pinterest, I decided to just set up a dinner play area. While Little Bit napped I set up the living room with a few things for severing dinner. I have been told and read that Invitations to Play are about setting up toys in a new or different way. With that in mind I added a few real kitchen items to make it special. This is what I used:
  • table and chairs
  • Mickey Mouse, duck, and baby
  • table cloth
  • 3 cake plates (real)
  • napkins (real)
  • forks (real)
  • cups
  • pitcher
  • play food 
Little Bit loved it! She immediately set out the plates and began asking what they wanted to eat. It was fun to watch her play and listen to her talk to her "guest" the way we talk at dinner. I saw a big difference in how she played when it was presented in a different way and all out for her to run with.

I will post any more Invitations to play as we use them. What is your favorite Invitation to Play? 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer of Animals

This summer we will be focusing on all things animal. Little Bit and I will be taking three different classes at the zoo that is just for preschoolers. I am excited to go to class with Little Bit, she loves animals and watching her in class should be fun.

The first class is all about how animals grow from baby to adult. The second class is all about Florida animals and the third class is about being a zoo keeper. The first class starts this week and the last class ends in August.

To prepare for talking about animals I pulled together a few things to get started:
  • Animal pictures: I printed LOTS and LOTS of animal pictures. The pictures all go along with one or all of the class themes.
  • Small animal figures: we can use these in many different ways.
  • Animal Books: it is amazing how many animals books we had around the house.
  • More will be added to this list as the summer goes on.
There are so many things that you can do with animals. Below is a list of activities we will do, this is not a complete list by any means. If you have any favorite animal activities please let me know.

Animal Activities:
  • Sorting picture by air, land and water animals
  • Match picture of mom and baby animals
  • Math animal figures to animal picture
  • Animal shape cookies to decorate
  • Foam animals - decorate, play, sort, etc
  • Animal print match up
  • Patterns with animal figures
  • Visit the zoo, petting farm, state park, etc
  • Books, books and more books
This is a list of some of my favorite ideas from fellow bloggers.
Sensory Bins:

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Pantry Sensory Bin

Before Little Bit took her nap I told her we would swim in the pool. Of course when she woke up it was raining so I created the last minute Pantry Sensory Bin. I looked through the pantry and found dry goods that were expired (crazy what is hiding at the back of the pantry) and boxes that were almost empty.

Our sensory bin had the following items:
  • brown and white rice
  • oats
  • Chinese noodles (crunchy kind)
  • 4 jumbo pasta shells
  • 15 bean soup
  • cups
  • bowls (all sizes)
  • Indian spice holder (this was Little Bits favorite container)

The Pantry Sensory Bin kept Little Bit busy through the rainy afternoon and rainy next day. So, what is your favorite sensory bin? These are a few of my favorite from fellow bloggers.