Last year J was set on being a race car driver for Halloween. Give me a quick and easy store-bought costume anyday. So I happened on a great race car driver costume at the Disney Store (the link shows the 2011 version) and called Halloween-prep completed. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking he needed a race car to go with his outfit. Fast-forward to October 30th about 8 pm. My parents were visiting and my mom agreed. He needed a race car.
That night we ended up crafting a Lightning McQueen race car out of a diaper box, wrapping paper and a few craft supplies I had around the house. Our finished product turned out so cute! J loved it. In my non-biased opinion, he was the cutest trick-or-treater around!
How to: It was so quickly crafted (and so long ago), I don’t remember details. Lots of folding and refolding cardboard (the hard part), taping and retaping! We wrapped a diaper box in metallic red wrapping paper (it was actually Christmas paper but you can’t tell), added some foam tires, construction paper eyes and decals (the letters are foam stickers).
A little a lot of tape and glue and you have the perfect race car for a Lightning McQueen fan. Using duct tape, we attached Christmas ribbon to act as suspenders so that J could wear his car for trick-or-treating.
This year…. J’s again adamant that he is a race car driver and wants the SAME EXACT costume. Part of me says, “That’s not much fun!” and the other part sighs with relief. No work needed this year!
Sometimes our library visits are well organized, I’ve searched for books ahead of time, placed some holds, and researched authors. Other times, it’s a random treasure hunt. I love when you just happen to find great reads roaming the shelves! I have a feeling both of these authors will be place on our favorites list.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson is wonderful. Fletcher, an adorable little fox is concerned for his good friend when it begins shedding…. leaves. He tries to come to his friend’s rescue to no avail. Then he discovers that his friend still has beauty to share. Fletcher is simply adorable. The artwork by Tiphanie Beeke captures the story perfectly. I love it!
South by Patrick McDonnell is a picture book, perfect for a toddler or preschooler “reading” on their own or for mom and dad to join in. A tiny bird sleeps through the last moment of fall, and finds alone when all his bird-family have flown south. A friendly cat saves the day as they make the trip towards southern warmth together and the tiny bird reunites with his family. No words, just pictures. A story beautifully told.
Enjoy storytime and then go outside and play in the falling leaves!
I came across this brilliant idea for sunbleached puzzles. They were so easy to create and great entertainment (and practice) for a puzzle-lover. It was also a great little lesson in the sun’s effects.
I set out foam bath letters and numbers on dark construction paper and left them to sunbathe awhile on the deck. J enjoyed watching the process, impressed by the magical results! We then brought it all inside to start putting it all together. You can make this activity more difficult by adding extra foam letters to the choices.
This is great practice at letter recognition. It’s also great way to help them learn how to spell their name, memorize their phone number or address.
The link above used magnetic letters and shape blocks to create their puzzles. You could also cut your own shapes out of colorful foam.
Posted in address, Counting, Early Preschool (3-4 years), Homemade Games, Letters, Life Skills, Name, Phone number, Puzzles, Shapes, Summer, Toddler (2-3 years)
Tagged Letters, Life Skills, Numbers
I came across some foam ice cream and popsicle stickers in Target’s dollar section. They were too cute to pass up. I thought they were perfect for summer and was sure to put them to good use.
**If you can’t find them at Target anymore, it would be simple to cut out similar foam shapes.**
I created pattern cards as one activity using the popsicle stickers. Beforehand, I began both color and shape patterns on cardstock. I then gave J the pattern cards and a bowl of the extra stickers to continue each pattern.
With the ice cream cones, I created different color combinations for him to mimic.
After already creating my pattern cards, I thought it would be really cute to have made multiple dips on each ice cream cone for him to mimic. Opportunity missed on that one!
Btw, J just set the stickers in place so that we could redo the activity again.
You may have seen this post I wrote last year about entertaining a toddler with just a paintbrush and bowl of water.
Well, this is still a winning activity with J at 3 years old. The neighbors (age 4 and 5) have even joined in on the fun.
So far it’s been a success at 1, 2 and 3 years old!
Check out the July 4th Index to see some of my favorite Independence Day activities, snacks and lessons from around the web.
Also check out the activities J did last year for July 4th.
ETA: Adding the list here before I delete the page.
Here’s some of my favorite activities for Independence Day.
Doilie Fireworks (how creative!)
Cookie Cutter Star prints
Popsicle Stick Flag
DIY Placemats (lacing)
Sidewalk Chalk Star Stencils
From 2 Teaching Mommies
Spangled Sandwich Pops (so cute AND easy!)
Patriotic Juice (if this actually works it would be pretty cool!)
This is the season to pick your own fruit! We’ve done this twice now. Last year we picked apples when J was 2.5 years. This month we picked strawberries. This is such a great activity. For someone like me who can’t manage to grow anything, this is the only way he’ll probably ever see for himself where our food comes from (other than the grocery story!)
He’d much rather sleep in his crib.
Of course he loved enjoying the reward of his hard work too!
I’ve found this website helpful in searching for farms where you can pick your own fruit/vegetables. They have maps of each state so you can find farms for your specific county. For those like me who are completely ignorant about which foods are harvested in which season, they also have harvest dates for your region.
Posted in Age Range, Childhood (5+ years), Early Preschool (3-4 years), Holidays and Seasons, Local Attractions/Vacation Spots, My Little Helper, Outside, Preschool (4-5 years), Science, Spring, Summer, Toddler (2-3 years)
Tagged Attractions/Vacation Spots, Outside fun, Science
This is something I wrote on our family blog from last summer. It’s a great alternative to spending money on a store-bought water table. J’s is still just as entertained this year at 3 years old as last!
We’re still playing with water almost every time we head outside. I noticed that they sell water tables at all the stores but thought it was a little ridiculous to spend good money on a glorified bucket! So we made our own water table with what we had. All it required was pulling out a flat storage box (luckily it was just lying there empty under my bed) and J’s wagon. It’s a perfect fit! He loves it. And when there’s no shade, I just wheel the wagon into the garage.
I found that sand/water wheel last summer on clearance for $2. He played with it in the tub until this summer’s homemade water table.
Here he is trying to pour water into a dropper. Smart boy! Pouring is easier than manipulating the dropper to fill it up. Too bad the experiment wasn’t so successful.
He loves blowing bubbles
Pouring is much easier with a funnel!
I made some blue ice cubes that he liked scooping into the tub, stirring them, letting them melt in his hand, watching the water turn blue, and then refilling the tray to make more ice.