Monthly Archives: March 2011

Flower Vase

Last year I saw these cute flowers in Target’s dollar section and decided I could put them to use somehow.  The girl in me needed a change from trucks, trains and car apparently.  The flowers are actually pens (just don’t tell J!!!).  I was planning on making a “vase” with holes on top (with a yogurt container or something) and letting him play with it similar to the pipe cleaner in a bottle toy.  I ended up finding a container that already had the perfect size holes in the top and went with that.  The container was in the cheap section at Toys-R-Us and had a set of foam bath toys inside. 

This activity is harder than the pipe cleaner in a bottle.  As you fill up each hole, it takes some effort to search for the empty holes underneath your growing bouquet and get the flower to fit together. 

He’s also turned the party whistles into mini-vases like this. 

He's quite proud of his idea!

These were all activities he did last Spring (24ish months). 

I think this would be a cute simple gift for him to give a little girl.  All girls love flowers! 🙂

Get Outside!!

Here’s a few outside activities your little one might enjoy!

Fun Ways to Use Sidewalk Chalk (circles, arrows)

Painting with Water

Washing the Car

Color Mixing with Ice

St. Patrick’s Day Index 2011

Just saving the index for next year before deleting the page! I hope you found it helpful.

Here’s some favorites from my search online.  I use these lists to help while planning activities or just pulling something up in the spur of the moment.  I hope they help you too!

Dot Marker Phonetics

I had the dot markers out this week.  I remember thinking these markers were so expensive and wondering if they were worth it.  Well, in our house they’ve gotten lots of play time and J still loves them.  They were some of the first markers that I let him use actually (see J’s autumn tree here).   

I made up this quick color sheet for J to use with the markers.  He had to match the sound of each letter (or object) to it’s corresponding color.  So he painted a green guitar, a purple panda, etc.  I had him match the sounds and make a guess first, then he could check his answer by looking at the color names written on the marker to see if he was correct.  He actually really enjoyed this activity and thought he was basically just coloring.  He had no clue he was learning too 🙂 

Here’s the before (the pictures are just clip art):

Here’s the after:

 Age attempted: 34 months


Toddler Made Puzzles

Every now and then I’ll print out a scissor worksheet for J (just do searches on google and you’ll find lots of options).  It’s really good practice.  Using scissors requires lots of fine motor skills!  Honestly most of the worksheets are too hard for him at this point, but he enjoys them.  We really should practice this more often!

So J came up with this activity on his own.  One day he was having tons of fun cutting up one of the worksheets and went way beyond just cutting along the dotted lines.  He then announced that he had made a puzzle and I looked up to see him refitted all the pieces together! 

This has become one more activity he wants to do after scissor practice.  We mix up the pieces and he fits them back together like a puzzle. 

Age attempted: 34 months

Dot Marker Counting Cards

I made some quick counting cards and J used the dot markers to fill in the correct number of dots in each rectangle.  I got the initial idea at Children’s Learning Activities (I just can’t find the exact post).

This could also easily be done with stickers, stamps, finger prints, candy/manipulatives.  Change up the material you use and toddlers think you’ve given them a brand new activity!

Winter Index 2011

**A little blog business.  Before deleting the page, I’m posting my winter index to save for next year.**

Here’s the list I’m using while planning winter themed activities.  This index will likely change as I add activities.  I will change the font color as we complete activities and you might see some of my favorites highlighted in posts.  

**When I get around to it, I will add a Valentine’s list to this page. As of now, I’m not planning that far in advance!**

  • Snowflake matching
  • Snowman buttons/shapes
  • Snowflake pairs
  • Snowmen rice crispie treats
  • How to Build a snowman (order the images)
  • Winter Collage
  • What’s Missing?
  • Scarf Sorting
  • Gel stickers/puzzles
  • Snow Unit
  • Snowman buttons
  • Winter Unit
  • Winter Nature Walk
  • Penguin Appetizer
  • Donut Snowman
  • White as Snow

    How I Use an Index:
    I’ve learned that if I don’t organize my online finds, I forget about them.  I created the indexes to keep that from happening.  I create the ongoing list of  potential activities that I then pull from when planning.  Sometimes I have activities planned out way in advance.  And then there are the weeks I get behind.  The index works great to pull ideas from quickly.  We DO NOT accomplish each activity on the list, that is not even my goal.  I can always use the same index to pull from next year, hopefully lessening my prep work in the future too.   For now I am only posting my seasonal indexes. 
    I hope you find these lists helpful too!  

    Counting Clovers

    This activity was done with no prep (it seems most of our activities this month are no prep since I’m crazy busy getting ready for a baby). 

    I cut out the squares while J counted how many we had ( cut out 9 of them).  We then numbered them together (and he decided to make a number line with them).  I explained to J how to make clovers using a green marker and green circle stickers.  I used directional words like left, right and above (or sometimes “on top”) when describing where the stickers should be placed.  I also used this activity to practice ordinal numbers (first, second, third). 

    At first I drew the stem myself and he added the stickers.  He counted and told me when I had made enough stems to match the number written on each square.   Then he made the stems himself too.  I actually didn’t have a lot of stickers left so he also used a green dot marker to create some clovers.

    Age attempted: 35 months

    Spring Index 2011 is Up!

    If you’re looking for more ideas for Spring activities, check out the Spring Index page.  It has ideas from all around the web, from crafts to snacks to learning to games to Bible suggestions.

    ETA: Here’s the 2011 list before I delete the page.


    •Bird matching printable (click on “Bird Match File Folder Game”)


    •Outdoor Scavenger hunt



    •Nest snack
    •Duck Ice cream snack

     BIBLE Verses

    •But ask the animals what God does.
    They will teach you.
    Or ask the birds of the air.
    They will tell you.
    Or speak to the earth. It will teach you.
    Or let the fish of the ocean educate you.
    Are there any of those creatures that don’t know
    what the powerful hand of the Lord has done?
    He holds the life of every creature in his hand.
    He controls the breath of every human being. (Job 12:7-10 NIrV)

    Lucky Charms Math

    I gave him a little bowl of Lucky Charms cereal and first had him sort the marshmallows using the sorting printout here.  I actually had a bowl of cereal to sort myself.  I’ve found this often helps J stay focused and work more independently.  Sometimes if he’s doing an activity with me just sitting there next to him, he’ll ask for my help more often.  If I have my own activity to work on, he’s fine doing this by himself.  It’s also a great way to teach something new since I’m basically modeling what to do (and helped a lot when we did the charting later). 

    After sorting the marshmallows, he graphed them using the chart here.  We practiced reading the graph to find out how many marshmallows he had in each category (without actually counting), and quickly determine which category had the most and the least. 

     J did really well on this.  He waited so patiently to eat his marshmallows (I did let him eat the broken ones and the cereal as we sorted). 

    Here’s another chart that would work well for coloring, but there’s not enough space for actually charting the marshmallows.

    Age attempted: 35 months