Monthly Archives: October 2010

Autumn Tree

This is a simple activity to do in the fall. I brought this along on a trip to complete in our downtime at the hotel. 

I found a bag of glittery leaf stickers for $1 (either at Target or Rite Aid?).  I drew the tree trunk prior to the activity, but this certainly doesn’t need to be done beforehand.  Since they were foam stickers, J had no problem filling his tree completely on his own.  And I thought the end result looked really good!

This would be a good travel activity.  It involves little to pack and will keep them occupied for awhile!

Age attempted: 30 months

(We did a similar activity with dot markers last year.)

My Little Chef: Baked Apples with Cranberries

I found this recipe in the mail from my grocery store and knew it was something J could do with me.  I had all the ingredients, so we could do it right away!

Baked Apples with Cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 375*F.  Core the apples, leaving the bottom closed (creating a small bowl in the apple).  Peel the top half of the apple. 

2.  Fill the apple with dried cranberries (I used frozen and it was fine). 

3.  Top with a spoon of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of butter and sprinkle with cinammon. 

4.  Bake for 35-45 minutes (until the apples are soft). 

J helped with steps 2 and 3 and then of course helped with eating. This was a simple cooking project for him. You can make just one or a dozen.   I really decided to do this last minute because I had all the ingredients, no planning required. 

 stuffed-apple I forgot to take end result pictures of my own, this is from Nicola’s Blog ( http://nicolakeegan.wordpress.com/2008/11/08/apples-apples-more-apples/ )

This would be a good recipe for any age toddler, even the youngest could manage this.  Preschoolers could accomplish it mostly on their own.  You could create a picture list for them to follow on their own.  All ingredients are safe for taste sampling if they get distracted while “cooking” and if they were to add more than the actual recipe called for, no harm done! Use a spoon or tongs for adding the cranberries and you’ve included some fine motor skill practice!

It’s also a great activity for autumn after picking your own apples!

Age Attempted: 30 months

Autumn Collage

 Curious George Seasons (CGTV Spin-the-Wheel Board Book)J made this collage by combining autumn stamps, stickers, and cut-outs from magazines/junk mail (I just saved so over the past few weeks).  We did this activity after reading Curious George Seasons

 I started all our fall activities with this collage.  You could end the season with this activity and have them pick out the stickers and pictures that would apply as a good review instead or add a few new items to the collage as you learn about them (acorns, leaves, turkeys, squash, pumpkins,…).

I’ve already started saving clippings from junk mail for our winter collage.  Might as well put that junk mail to good use!

Candy Corn Puzzles

I thought this would be a good activity to work on sizes.  I prepped the activity by precutting the pieces, creating small, medium and large pieces similar to candy corn. If you can tell in the picture, I also drew the outline of the candy corn on the black paper.  This step probably wasn’t needed though.  J glued the pieces in order (small, medium, large) to create the candy corn.  I did have examples of candy corn out (since he’d never seen them before!).  This was simple to prep and good practice for J.

We also used this same concept to create door knob hangars for J’s cousins.  I precut the black paper, including the circle for the door knob and J decorated it with a smaller version of the candy corn puzzles and adding their name.  Later I covered them with clear contact paper for durability.  You could also use foam or cardstock if you didn’t want to “laminate” them. 

Age Attempted: 30 minutes

Matching Craft with Jack-O-Lanterns

These pumpkins were fun to make and they incorporated a few new shapes and lots of matching practice for J. 

Prior to this activity, you need to have a selection of eyes (each pair a different shape), nose (shapes to match the eyes) and mouths cut out.

**There aren’t noses on this example b/c I wasn’t intending to include noses at first.

I first had J paint a bunch of plates orange with a small green stem at the top of each one.  We made eight different plates so I did help paint some of them.  I think he focused on 3 while I did the rest.  You could  just print off some pumpkin clip art online instead of painting (but then you’d miss some of the fun!).

The next day when the plates were dry, I set out the collection of mouths to choose from and J glued one mouth on each plate.  We focused on location, the mouth is at the bottom of the face and he tried to glue in in the appropriate spot on each plate.  I then set out the eye choices, mixing up all the different shapes and he had to match the shapes to create each pair of eyes.  I was intending to stop here, thinking the activity was long enough already, but J insisted they needed noses.  So I quickly prepped some noses and he matched them to the correct plate. 

We strung the string through each plate and hung them on our door.  J was quite proud!

Age attempted: 30 months

Chocolate Oat Acorns

This was another of our autumn activities.  It’s fun, cute and easy prep (using things I already had around the house). 

Before hand, I cut out a square with cardboard (the original activity said to use a paper bag, but I didn’t have any).  I also drew the acorn onto the cardboard. 

I first had J use a brown crayon to color the “hat” of the acorn and a white crayon for the bottom.  He then glued the chocolate unto the hat and the oats onto the bottom.  We focused on trying to fill the ENTIRE hat/bottom, making that the goal.  Fortunately he had no idea you could EAT the chocolate and so didn’t try until I suggested it (when he was finished with his acorn). 

Once the glue was dry we emptied the excess. 

Age attempted: 30 months

Spaghetti Spider Web and Handprint Spider

We’ve been reading Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider, so we did this activity to go along with it.

WEB: I decided to do this last minute since I had all the materials on hand anyway.  All you need is cooked spaghetti, glue, and wax paper.  Dip the spaghetti into the glue and then lay it onto the wax paper.  When finished, let the glue dry COMPLETELY and then peel it off the wax paper. It’s possible I used too much glue since after J was finished, I went back and drop some glue on the spots where the spaghetti overlapped.  It did help the “web” stick together, but made it hard to remove from the wax paper. 

SPIDER: Trace handprints on black paper and then cut out (removing the thumbs).  Glue the palm portion of the handprints on top of each other.  Glue black pom poms onto spider body (I used black sponge curlers cut up into pieces b/c it’s what I had).   Top with googly eyes. This was easy and quick to do.

Age attempted: 30 months; J LOVED this activity, especially making the web (though obviously his web is quite sporadic and not at al symmetrical!).  It was really easy but quite unique.