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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chalk Solar System!


This was an awesome activity for talking about “orbiting”! I drew the circles for the planets and the kids colored them in.


The kids walked the orbits and claimed they were planetsSmile


Play-Doh Solar System

As we rolled the planets we talked about size and distance. This isn’t to scale obviously:)


The kids loved rolling tiny little bits for the asteroid belts!


The best part was when I told each student a planet, and they had to find it in the line and smash it! They loved it!


Next time we might make a bigger project out of this with different colored dough and let it dry!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Illuminated Solar System Craft


This was a really fun craft with an awesome finished product! Follow these steps to do it with your kids!

1.Trace different sized circles on to a sheet of black paper(we used 6 papers total). Trace that same size circle on to translucent paper. This is a great time to talk about the size of things in the Solar system. This is not to scale but we did make Jupiter larger than Earth and smaller than the sun, and so on:) The kids had fun searching for different sized circle things to trace!


2. Use glue to cover each translucent planet with tissue paper. We looked at a poster of the planets to choose our colors. Use the brush to “paint” down the tissue.


3. Cut the black circles out, without cutting the rest of the paper.

4.Once the tissue has dried, tape the planets to the back of the black paper in the right spots.

5. if you want stars and an asteroid belt, just use a pin to poke holes:)

6. Tape it all up on a sunny window and enjoy!

The pictures really don’t do it justice! It looks so cool and the kids love it!


Hard to get a picture but Earth is my favorite!


Here’s a further back shot so you can see how it is on the window. I love it!


Foam Shape Picture Starter

IMG_20130226_121439These large, foam, self adhesive, shapes are in the Target dollar spot right now. We used them as picture starters! First give your child their choice of a shape or 2. Then let them stick them on and come up with the rest of the picture with markers or crayons:) We also used this art prompt as an opportunity to review our shapes!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Solar System Preschool Activities

Here is last year’s post, just follow the link or click the picture below…

Solar System Activities


We did a bunch of the same activities as last year but I changed up a few…

Tonging different sized marbles into a large deviled egg tray. The idea was for it took look like planets in orbit. I loved how some of the marbles were large and heavy and others, were medium and then small. It gave a different feel each time they picked one up. That means they had to adjust their strength on the tongs each time.


I added a large magnifying glass to these space flash cards. They used these a lot! They loved looking at the stars and planets close up.


This year we put our magnetic planets on a metal baking sheet with a flash card showing the order of the planets. They didn’t all follow the order:)


I love putting puzzle pieces in a little basket. The children seem more drawn to complete it and try it.


Another new thing I am doing this year is putting worksheets on our dry erase easel. They are in page protectors so the children can erase and redo them. This also makes it easy to switch them out. Another reason I did this is because writing on a wall can strengthen different muscles in the hand than writing on a table can.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Rainbow Crafts

I recently did another post for a blog I write for about rainbows! After my 2 older children were done, my 2 younger children just had to make rainbows too!

Ally is only 2 so I did dot paints with her.


I drew one arch at a time and then she would paint it and then I would draw the next arch. Baby Brandon thought the paints looked like something to eat;)


She loved the process and results!


For my almost 4 year old Jack, we used tissue paper squares from Oriental Trading.


I would draw an arch with glue and he would wrap a little square on to his pencil eraser and then stick it on the glue. Here is a video showing how presented by my Jack-Jack!

I started helping to add papers too when he got to yellow and he really enjoyed that! He liked that we were doing it together!


He loved this project and it was so pretty and textured when it was done!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 Ways to Play and Learn with Chalk!

Click on the green titles for a link to each post explaining the activity further, if you need more info or variations on the activity. Most of these are self explanatorySmile


Wet Chalk Painting!

Wet the side walk first and the colors are so much more vibrant! Great for a hot day!

Circle Jumping Game!

Draw different color circles and jump across using just one color path.

Letter Jumping!

Circle with letters in them so that they can jump as they chant their alphabet! Don’t fall in the water!

Hop the Planets!

Draw the planets and the Sun and have the kids space jump to each planet as the call out it’s name!


Bike Path

Draw a path with arrows to ride bikes or push cars! Not enough space? Just draw a scaled down version for them to drive cars on!

Erase the Number Game

Whisper a number in their ear or show it with your fingers and they have to erase that number till they are all gone! You could do the same thing with letters or words!

Obstacle Coarse

Draw squiggly lines to follow, straight lines to jump over, spirals to spin on! The possibilities are endless!

Counting Practice

Circles with numbers to jump and count! Great way to slow a child down who rambles off their counting too fast!

Name Writing

Write it once and then let them trace over it in every color of chalk! Great fine motor work and beautiful results!


Following Directions

Draw shapes and play a follow directions game. Make it as fast and silly or as slow and simple as you want!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Easter Egg Stuffers! No Candy!

I just went to the dollar store to grab some Easter egg stuffers before all of the good stuff is gone! I got:

  • Puffy stickers
  • tops
  • balls
  • movable erasers
  • game watches
  • balloons

Cut the sticker sheets apart so that you can put 2 or 3 per egg!


I spent 10 dollars and filled 72 eggs(that I saved from clearance last year)! With No Candy!


I tried to pick things I knew my kids would like and weren’t total junk! That is why I went early because they have a lot more variety! Don’t just look at the Easter section, go to the party favors, school supplies and everywhere else depending on your child's interest.

Other ideas could be:

  • gold fish(or any snack)
  • coins
  • tiny nail polish
  • hair clips
  • fake tattoos
  • play jewelry
  • Water beads
  • mini tools
  • color changing water tablets
  • stamps
  • pencil toppers
  • whistles

I still plan on putting SOME candy in some eggs but I just don’t want candy OVERLOAD:)

What do you put in your eggs???

Thursday, February 14, 2013

9 Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Valentine’s Day More Special for Your Kids!

(I know Valentine’s Day just ended but I am posting this to pin for next year;)


These could be adapted for any holiday! They take hardly any prep or planning and they are CHEAP and Easy!!!!!

1. Give books instead of cheap plastic toys! I picked out one book for each of my children but all of the books went into our family Library! So much better then plastic toys that are just going to end up in the garbage!


2.Have something for them to wake up to! We decided to let the kiddos indulge in some chocolate covered strawberries! They were absolutely giddy!!!


3. Add Sprinkles!!! I have a stash of sprinkles that I use to make normal meals into HOLIDAY Food!!!! Same food but the kids go nuts!!!


4. Cookie cutters! Add them to their play-doh or use them for tracing to make holiday art!


5. Books! Gather all of your holiday books and read them! Or check them out from the Library! We decided to have a book picnic because it was so nice out!


6. Make a regular lunch special! I used a heart cutter to cut the red bell peppers and then chopped the scraps up and added it to the pasta. The fruit leather has hearts cut out and they are placed on the apple sauce! The pink milk is just soymilk with a few strawberries blended into it! It only took me about 5 extra minutes to make lunch!


They loved it!


7. Send them something in the mail! You could also have family do this or just slip the letters into the mail box when they aren’t looking!


They loved getting their own special mail! And the notes were just simple valentines from me!


7. Help them play with their Valentines! I didn’t realize how many valentines are toys now! There were sticker puzzles and mazes, and even this little soccer game that you fold out of paper! I think he might have tossed these if I hadn’t noticed!


8. Play games with the treats! It makes them last longer and they have more fun! We liked balancing the sweet heart on our nose and trying catch it in our mouth! Yes, like a dog lol


9. Learn with your treats! My 6 year old practiced grouping and dividing.


And my four year old sorted and talked about more and less!


These same ideas could be used for any holiday and they take almost no planning at all!!

Do you have any special things you do for your kids on Valentine’s Day??