A Fall Activity: Painting with Corn

Happy Fall Y’all!

Have you tried the new Maple Pecan Latte?! It’s amazing – and the first thing I knocked off my Fall Bucket List!

Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite season.  Although now that I live in the South, fall doesn’t feel much different than summer until we hit at least mid-October.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m not fully embracing this new season with pumpkins and leaves and scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove!

It also means that I’m starting to do more fall activities with the boys, especially Lucas! I feel like I spent a crazy amount of time last year looking at fall activities for toddlers and preschools but never did them.  Now I have this mish-mash of ideas in my head and have decided to just roll with them!  I also like have “non-traditional” learning activities planned for Andrew’s nap time since Lucas isn’t as into letters and math and writing in the afternoon as he is in the morning.

This one was a totally winner!  And super easy to set up. Both boys love to eat corn on the cob so I thought we’d do something fun with ears of corn!  Plus the texture of the kernels makes really cool patterns.

You’ll need a few ears of corn (with the husk on preferably), paper plates, fall colored washable paint and a roll of paper – all of which we had on hand except for the corn!

Anyway, first we husked the corn and Lucas thought that part was super neat – maybe that means I’ll have a helper in the kitchen next time we have corn on the cob for dinner.  Next I let him roll the cobs in paint I had put on paper plates and then we just rolled and rolled and stamped and stamped with different colors.  We talked about how it felt “bumpy” when we rolled the corn and what pattern they created.

Then I just kind of let him have free reign to do whatever he wanted.  He ended up using the husks like a paint brush and then added the silk to make it even more brush like – watching him roll the silk in the husk was super cool!  I love seeing him create and solve problems on his own.

We drew pumpkins and rocket ship and dogs and spookies.

Then he decided he wanted to use his hands and feet!  It gave us another chance to talk about texture and how wet and squishy the paint feels on his hands and toes! Oh and to make a mess – a HUGE, SUPER FUN MESS!

Needless to say he was COVERED in paint by the time we were finished – thank goodness that paint is washable.  And that we were outside because he got a major squirt down with the hose.

While we watched his creation dry (and I cleaned up) he enjoyed a banana popsicle – because even though we’re doing fall activities it’s still 90 degrees here!

Have you started doing fall activities with your toddlers and preschoolers?!  Do you have a favorite?  I’d love to know what you’re doing with your kiddos this season to share links, Pinterest boards, or just let me know in the comments!

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Toddler Activity: Mining for Shapes

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I’m always trying to come up with new things to do with Lucas during the day.  I browse Pinterest a lot and try and take what I find there and make it fit us.

I saw a super cute mining activity and thought it would be fun to try.  The site I found used gems with magnets and a magnetic pole to do the mining.  I didn’t have anything like that in my house, so we went “old-school”

Here is what you’ll need:

A small container

Dried black beans, I think I had 2lbs worth

Foam board (the kind you get at the craft store – I got a pack of 32 small squares for $0.98 at Walmart)

Tin foil

Things to mine with (we used kitchen tongs and some measuring cups)

If you’re feeling super adventurous and want to make a miners light you’ll need:

Construction paper

Tape

Part of a paper towel roll

Yellow crepe paper or tissue paper

I cut shapes out of the foam to make the gems we’d be mining for (we had green emeralds, “red” rubys, circle amethysts and diamonds).  I used the foil to make wrap around the diamond shape to make it shine.

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A small container and some beans and we’ve got ourselves a coal mine!

Toddler Mining Activity

To make the hat I just used the construction paper to fit L’s head.  Then cut of a piece of the paper towel roll and added in the yellow “light.”  I wasn’t too sure L would wear his miner’s hat but he did and thought he was hot stuff in it!

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I just kind of let him go to town trying to find all of the gems.  We ended up with a LOT of black beans on the floor but had a ton of fun in the process.

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It was awesome to hear him identifying each shape and color (he’s super into diamonds right now so I knew he’d love that one).

This activity kept him occupied for a good 30 minutes.  I still have it put together and plan on bringing it out again when I need a few minutes to get some things accomplished!

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What are you favorite activities to do with your little ones?  I’d love it if you’d share them below!

Letter of the Week: “C” and “D”

Letter of the Week C and D

I’m back with some more Letter of the Week fun!  This time I’ll be sharing what we did for “C” and “D.”

As I mentioned before, I try and do a few things with each letter:

  • A Letter Craft – you know, making that letter into something
  • A Sensory or Fine Motor Skill
  • A “Math” activity – more like counting, sorting, measuring, etc.
  • A Cooking Activity – L loves helping in the kitchen and we keep it really simple
  • A Coloring Page or Another Craft if I can come up with something.

Again, don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself – especially with a 2 year old!  I don’t do those things every week (as you’ll see) and sometimes we really fall behind.

LETTER OF THE WEEK – “C”

I always start with a letter craft.  This week we made a “C” Caterpillar.  We used lots of glitter (Lucas was very into glitter that week) and poms and pipe cleaners.  It is certainly the work of a 2 year old – and I LOVE it!

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For our cooking activity we made Cookies – not even CLOSE to being original but Lucas likes stirring things and they’re pretty easy to make.  We did chocolate chip cookies actually for lots of “C” goodness.

We also had a Car Wash!  It was super easy to set up and really entertained Lucas – like for a LONG time (which is awesome for a toddler mom).  We got a little wet, but hey, it’s just water!

We took some of our matchbox cars and a few bowls of water and a brush.  It was easy as that.  Easy activities that provide a decent amount of entertainment time are winners in my book for sure.

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Coloring pages found at education.com are easy and we love to color!

Finally we did some counting activities.  We sat down and counted everything we saw…his cars, his books, his stuffed animals.

All very easy activities but it gave us a bit of structure to our day and made learning fun!

LETTER OF THE WEEK – “D”

“D” was a fun week for us!

We made a Dinosaur out of the letter D.  Some green construction paper, paint, eyes and glue and we were good to go!

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We did a Dino Dig for our sensory activity.  I had set up the exact same thing for part of his second birthday celebration so I just recreated it (the sand was still in the pool at that point)!  He loved digging for the dinosaurs.

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D was for Dance Party this week too.  Okay, this was not a math activity at all BUT Lucas loves to dance.  And there is just something about the joy on his face when we turn on music and all go to town dancing.  Let’s just hope that Lucas got my dance skills and NOT Darrin’s…

For our food we made Dirt – yes that Dirt that we all grew up with at birthday parties at school. Smashing Oreos, mixing pudding, spooning everything together was really, really fun for us.  I used the recipe found here as my guide (although we didn’t use gummy worms)!

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Are you doing any preschool activities at home with your little ones?  I’d love to hear what you’re doing – I’m always looking for fun new activities for us so make sure to share!

Fall Hand Print Tree Craft for Toddlers

Hand Print Tree Craft

I am a huge fan of hand (and foot) print art projects for kids.  They are fun for the kid and I love looking back at how L’s hands and feet have grown over the years.

I also think they make cute, personalized gifts and cards!

We are doing a Letter of the Week “program” (and yes, I use that word very, VERY loosely!) and when we got to “H” I thought a hand print tree would be a fun activity, plus we fit it in for fall and made it one of the fall projects we display in our frame!

This was super, easy to do.

You’ll need:

  • White paper
  • Construction paper (I didn’t have brown for the trunk so I used black)
  • Paint (I used red, green, orange and yellow because that’s what I had in fall colors)
  • A paint brush
  • Paper plate
  • Wipes (lots and LOTS of wipes)

First, make a tree trunk using the construction paper.  Mine does NOT look that great at all, but hey, it’s a toddler art project.  Glue it onto your white paper.

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Next I got L all ready to get his hands messy!  Because I had six branches on my trunk and four colors I decided to do two of two colors and one of the remaining two.  I let L decided which colors we’d use more of!  I also used both hands just because (but using one would probably make it easier).

Just apply the paint to their hand using a brush and press downward.  We’ve done a lot of these types of projects so we’ve got a pretty good system at this point, but the first few times doing this with a toddler can be tricky (especially if your toddler is anything like mine!).

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I just let it dry and that was that!  We have an adorable fall tree hanging in one of L’s artwork frames in our kitchen.

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Do you do Hand Print Art?  What are some of your favorites?  I’d love to see photos!