Cereal Rainbows

Image 3Last week, a friend asked me to plan and instruct activities for her twin 3 year olds birthday party. I was trying to think of something easy, fun and educational to keep 25 plus children engaged. Rainbows immediately came to mind because I know how much children love exploring with color. Cereal Rainbows was one of the projects I chose for the morning. Before we began to make the rainbows we had a quick “mini-lesson” about the colors of the rainbow and the order it takes to make a traditional rainbow. I hung examples of the colors, color words and the order of the rainbow around the room and on the tables for the children to use as a reference.

Image 8Giving children multiple forms of supportive helps me to reach the different types of learners in the room. It also builds independence as well as confidence in the children when they succeed.

What you need:

1 box of Fruit Loops or a store brand Fruit Loops like cereal

Glue

Cotton Balls

Construction paper or Card Stock paper

Let’s get started:

Use the glue to make the line on the paper for the first red row of the rainbow.

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Children will then glue down all red pieces of cereal on the glue line. You may want to have your child sort the colors before they begin… grouping all the reds, oranges, yellows etc.

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You will then repeat this step for each color of the rainbow. I recommend doing this one row at a time.

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When all the colors of the rainbow are glued down add cotton balls to the ends of the rainbow to represent the cloud. I like to pull the cotton ball apart a little bit to make it look more realistic.

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Cereal Rainbow

10 Ways to Use Magnetic Letters

One thing I always like to have on hand in my house are magnetic letters. I have been lucky to collect several sets over the years with a variety of sizes. You can usually find them at dollar stores, Target and Walmart stores or amazon. You can purchase both uppercase and lowercase letters. I like having a variety of letters.

There are many different ways you can use magnetic letters depending on the age and level of your child. The following are examples of activities ranging from the age of about 1.5 years old through elementary school age. It can be helpful to have your child work/ play with the letters on a metal cookie sheet.

  1. Put the letters in alphabetical order
  2. Have your child sort the letters by color
  3. Have your child sort letter by uppercase and/ or lowercase
  4. Sort numbers and letters
  5. Match the uppercase and lowercase letters
  6. Have your child start building familiar words, start with their name and the names of family members. Write the names on a piece of paper or sentence strip and have your child use it for reference. You can also add a photo next to the name of each person or object. This is helpful for non-readers. It will begin to develop early reading skills, strategies to recognize and decode new words.
  7. Let your child build words from their favorite books, the names of the main characters or animals in the book. Show your child how to locate these words. Highlighting the words is helpful for young learners.
  8. Make a list of sight words. Then, have your child build the words 3 times each mixing them up each time and rebuilding the word. See the word list below:sightw25
  9. Play the find the letter “K” game. Call out letters and have your child find the letters. Children like when you set a time limit to make it seem more like a game. Start with 10 seconds and then challenge them to do it in 5 seconds.
  10. Write words on sentence strips or paper and then have your child put the magnetic letters over the letters on the paper.images-2

DIY- Homemade Valentines

My children love-making homemade Valentine’s for family and friends. These are super easy to make and the best part is you can use materials you have around the house.

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Save yourself a trip to Target or CVS this Valentine’s Day and follow these easy steps to make your classroom Valentines this year. Your child can share their personalized cards with their classmates, each card will be unique and hand crafted with love.

Start by going on a scavenger hunt around your home for materials.

What you can use:

glitter

glue

card stock paper

cray-pas

crayons

scissors

scrap-booking paper

paint brushes

water-color paints

These are some of the things we used.

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I started by cutting hearts out of the card stock paper for the Valentine. Then, my children used crayons and cray-pas to decorate the heart. When they finished decorating the hearts they used water-color to paint over what they had drawn. The water resists the wax from the crayon and the cray-pas leaving a pretty contrast.

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We then cut up heart scrap booking paper and glued small hearts on to the card stock Valentine. Then, they added glue to the parts of the heart they wanted glitter on. Next, we sprinkled glitter over the heart and shook the extra glitter onto a tray.

Valentine-47Happy Valentine’s Day!

Perler Beads… BIGGIE Size

After my last post about Perler beads a friend told me how much her children love them too. Her daughter Charlie loves them so much that she made 100 Perler Bead creations for her 100th day of school project! When Charlie sent me the picture of her Perler board I was super impressed and had to share it! You can see how creative Charlie is from her work and I hope it will be an inspiration for you and your children.

Awesome, awesome work Charlie!!

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Charlie and her mom Krissy @ whoneedsanap.me also shared that the beads come in the BIGGIE size. Perfect to keep the little ones busy especially on a snow day.

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I have to say I am super excited and have already purchased the BIGGIE beads for our home!

Happy “Perler-ing”!

Perler Beads

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One of the things that my 4-year-old and her friends both boys and girls love are Perler beads. I wasn’t that familiar with them until my daughter made one at a friend’s house. She ran home so excited with her colorful creation. They were an instant hit here and I thought we should try them. I was able to find Perler beads and pegboards on amazon.com.

Perler beads are small beads that you place one by one on a small peg board.

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The peg boards come in different shapes and sizes. After spending some time looking around I found you can find boards to make animals, shapes, flowers, rainbows and a bunch of other shapes.

Click here for directions: Perler beads

I found that this activity  helps children with patterns, color recognition and fine motor skills as well as helping children build stamina and concentration. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment when they have the completed project. I do not recommend these for children under the age of 4 and I suggest someone supervises this activity. The Perler beads are very small.

JELL-O Heart Painting

Have you ever painted with liquid JELL-O? It smells so yummy!

What you need:

1 box of red instant JELL-O

Cardstock

Paint brush

Marker

Lets Get Started:

The first thing you need to do is make the instant jello in a bowl. Follow the directions on the back of the box. I only used 1 cup of hot water for a more vibrant color. Do not refrigerate.

Then, use a piece of cardstock paper and draw a large heart shape almost as big as the paper.

Use the liquid gelatin as you would paint. Dip the paint brush into the bowl and tell your child he can paint. Have your child paint in the lines of the heart. The “paint” smells delicious and will heighten their senses. The Jell-O may not go on the paper as smoothly as regular paint so texture may be seen on the paper.

Things to ask your child while they are working on this project:

  1. What do you smell while your painting?
  2. Is it sweet-smelling? What does it make you think of when you smell it?
  3. How does the paint feel? You can suggest words like; bumpy, smooth, sticky, hard, grainy and gooey. It is a perfect opportunity to get some of their sensory words to develop.
  4. Does it feel different or the same as the paint you usually use? If, so why.

Coffee Filter Valentine

I love using coffee filters when crafting with my kids. I especially love how fascinated they are when they add water paint  to the coffee filter. A perfect opportunity to discuss why that happens. The craft focuses on science, math, fine and gross motor and as always creativity!

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What you need:

Coffee Filters

Scissor

Water color paint

A cup of water

Mod Podge- a water based sealer, glue, finish

2 paint brushes

Cardstock paper

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Lets get started:

First, you will paint with water colors onto the coffee filter. It works well if stack multiple coffee filters (2 or 3) and the colors seep through.photo(1)

When you are finished painting fold the filters in half.

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 Cut a symmetrical heart shape from the folded filter. You can either eye it or use a marker to trace the shape.

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Open the filter and you should have a heart. Now you can be creative about how you fold and cut shapes from the heart.

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My daughter remembered how she cut up snowflakes and used the same technique. I demonstrated how to fold and cut small hearts and shapes without cutting too much. Do not discard the scrap cuttings.

photo(5)When you have finished cutting open the heart many little hearts and shapes will appear, magic! With younger children you may want to do the cutting for them.

photo(8)Place the heart onto the center of the cardstock paper and spread the cuttings around it. If you have a thicker paint brush use that to spread the Mod Podge, and gently “paint” it over your heart. Be sure to cover the entire heart and any other cuttings. Think of it as sealing everything down on the paper. It is similar to liquid glue.

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Let the paper dry for about 20 minutes and you will have a homemade Valentine.

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More Valentine crafts to come…