STEM activities are activities that work on science, technology, engineering and math. They are very prevalent right now because these are where our careers are headed. This is where most of the jobs will be in the next 10 or 20 years.Continue reading
Do you want to do all the fun preschool activities at home, but you feel super overwhelmed? You see them all on Pinterest but you can’t keep them straight and struggle with which ones to do when?
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Large motor activities are so important – especially in the winter months when you feel like you’re stuck inside all day. Grab this animal action dice printable and get to moving!
My kiddos love large motor activities and I love easy large motor activities so this one is a win/win for us. They love acting like animals (making their movements and sounds) so I figured this activity would be perfect for us on a “stuck inside” day.
This toddler sorting activity addresses lots of skills and is super easy to put together. I even adapted it to add my 5 year into it as well.
It’s cold outside. So we have been focusing on some indoor activities for the kiddos. We’ve done large motor, literacy/math for my older kiddo and now we’ve done a toddler sorting activity for my 2 year old.
This activity is so easy to put together! My 2 year old actually was able to help me put it together (this wasn’t planned. But as we all know, toddlers don’t care at all about what is planned and what isn’t planned.
Being stuck inside in the winter is not fun. Head to the dollar store and pick up these foam heart shapes! This is an easy Valentine’s Day activity and here are 10 different skills you can reach with it.
Did you know there are tons of household items you can use to paint? They can be found in the kitchen, bathroom, play room, etc. Read on to find out more!
As much as I hate to admit it, it’s going to start getting cold outside. I don’t play outside in the snow. That’s something special we save for when Daddy is home (aka, I hate it and refuse to do it, so Daddy does it).
But when we’re inside, I do “plan” stuff for the kids to do that don’t require a screen. It’s rare, but I do it.
When I taught preschool, I rarely had the kids paint with actual paintbrushes. To me, regular paintbrushes were just no fun and honestly, made the paint gloppy and took forever to dry. So I would always find other things around the classroom that they could use to paint. Since I started this blog I have been meaning to write them all down for you guys, so here you go! At the end of the post you will find the printable version.
50 Different Household Items Your Kids Can Use to Paint
3. Pastry brush
4. Potato masher
5. Bottom of a peanut butter jar
6. Lid of a peanut butter jar
7. Pieces of pasta (wet or dry)
8. Plastic cups
9. Tin foil crumpled up
10. Straw (blow into it onto wet paint)
12. Apple (cut in half or the bottom)
13. Cotton balls (use clothespins if your kiddo doesn’t like getting super messy)
14. Toy cars
15. Golf ball (place your paper in a box and drop the golf ball onto wet paint on the paper and roll around the golf ball)
16. Pencil Eraser
18. Marker cap
19. Pipe cleaners
20. Crumpled up plastic wrap
22. Wooden skewer
27. Cosmetic sponge
28. Dental floss
29. Nail brush
30. Wine corks
31. Bubble wrap
34. Cut up pool noodle
35. Cupcake liner clipped on a clothespin
36. Ice cubes
37. Icing knife
38. Credit card
39. Crumpled paper towels
40. Dry beans
41. Rice wrapped in panty hose
42. Hair brush
44. Rubber stamps
45. Paper towel/toilet paper roll
46. Dish sponge
47. Alphabet blocks
49. Shaped magnets
50. Dryer sheets (held by a clothespin)
I am willing to bet you have most (if not all) of these things already in your house. Ok, maybe not the panty hose (if you’re anything like me) but you can find something similar for sure!
Enjoy making messes! 😉
Sensory bins are our go-to in our house. They’re so easy and they keep your kids so busy! Bonus – they can also be very inexpensive.
Sensory bins are life.
The Dollar Tree is also life. That is always my go-to when I need stuff (that they sell). My friends usually come to me first when they wonder if The Dollar Tree sells something in particular. What can I say? I’m cheap and everyone knows it.
I did a post a while back with sensory bins. I went through the aisles of The Dollar Tree and grabbed anything I could find that I thought would be good in a sensory bin. Thus, my first sensory bin post was born. And I can’t look back on it anymore because it makes me so sad to see D’s chubby little toddler hands! WAHHHH!
I also did some sensory bottles for the babe when she was tiny. We actually still use them!
You can also find the bins from The Dollar Tree – this is what I use
I had on my list to make a big giant list of all things sensory (and you can download the printable list at the end) so people can keep it on them and take it out when you need to. It’s a whole list of sensory bin ideas. You can take anything from column A (fillers) and add it to anything in column B (tools/toys). And they are all available at The Dollar Tree! (disclaimer, they are all available at MY Dollar Tree in Villa Park, Illinois) 😉
Here we go!
*Cut up drinking straws
*Clean mud (shredded bar soap, torn up
toilet paper and water)
*Shaving cream (will need new each time)
*Salt (table, sea or
*Battery powered Christmas lights (seasonal)
*Fake leaves (seasonal)
*Easter grass (seasonal)
*Marbles (NOT FOR LITTLES!)
*Pony beads (NOT FOR LITTLES!)
*ABC beads (NOT FOR LITTLES!)
Column B (tools/toys)
*Silicone pasty brush
*Fork/knife/spoon (play versions)
*Party favor cups
*Easter eggs (seasonal)
*Small ceramic pots (seasonal)
*Gardening tools (seasonal)
*Sand toys (seasonal)
*Gardening tools (seasonal)
*Small plastic storage containers
*Water balloons (seasonal)
If you’re ready for more education at home activities, you can find them here.
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I had way too much fun creating all of that! Use your noggin when it comes to things that are age appropriate, alright? alright. Have fun!
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Sometimes you have a kiddo who really enjoys playing with one thing. This may make you feel like you can’t work on any skills besides that one thing. We need to get creative!
As a parent, you may not have time for that – ha! And I totally get it. So I’m here to get creative for you with a great alphabet activity for kiddos who love blocks.
Dylan has been having a blast with his big Duplo blocks. He grabs the big bucket and drags them into my craft room and goes to town. He builds trains, spiders, buildings, cars, “shooters,” airplanes…you name it, he’s built it. He even uses the bucket as part of his play. It’s usually a body of water – ocean, lake, river, whatever.
I have been wanting to get him exposed to the alphabet as he starts preschool in a few weeks (right after Labor Day) but he has no desire. So I thought back to my preschool days. When lesson planning, I always catered to the boys because they were more stubborn. I would be more likely to see boys doing a “girl activity” than girls doing a “boy activity.” So I used the blocks to my advantage a lot.
Sensory activities can be enhanced to work on any skill!
It’s important to take kids’ favorite toys and incorporate other skills into them. This is also why I did so much sensory when I taught. Most of the students I came across really enjoyed sensory play. I learned that they would pretty much do anything, as long as I added it to the sensory table. So, if we were working on colors, I would add different colored items to the sensory table and we would work on sorting. If we were working on numbers, I could add number cards to the sensory table with small objects so they could count and work on one-to-one correspondence. You can adjust your targeted skill to their interests.
Find out why I think flashcards are a waste of time!
I took out his Duplo blocks, measured them and then created rectangles for the 2 part blocks. I printed this out and cut them up and taped them to the front of each block (I didn’t have a lot so I used both sides of the blocks for the letters – uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other side).
At first, I’m not gonna lie, he ripped them off and told me he didn’t want them on his blocks. So, obviously not on my side. But I put them back on and he was playing with them. He wouldn’t stack them according to their letter and picture (which is fine because my intention was just to get him exposed to the letters), but I did catch him repeating the letters as he picked them up or saying the picture.
In my book, that’s a success.
You could really do anything on these. Animals, people…tailor it to their age group and interest.
Alphabet Block Activity Skills
- Exposure to letters: As I mentioned, the alphabet is not super age appropriate for a 3 year old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t expose them to the letters so they start to recognize them. My intention of this activity was NOT to get him to match letters with their sounds. It was to expose him to the alphabet.
- Fine motor: Stacking the blocks helps strengthen fine motor skills, which I always talk about. It is important for pre writing, too!
- Creativity: If they bypass the alphabet activity altogether and only stack/build (which is fine, by the way!), then they are working on exercising their creativity. Don’t worry – they’re still seeing the letters!
- Turn taking: If they grab a sibling or a friend, this works on turn taking and cooperative play.
You can download the letter version here for your own use.
Looking for more activities that help with letters? Check out this simple DIY Letter Flip Book!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I love sensory play. I also love to add it into our daily routine because Dylan loves it. I can tell when he needs it and usually when he gets it, his attitude changes. I’m always the first to suggest it in my mommy groups for toddlers who misbehave. People who aren’t in education usually think I’m crazy (among other reasons also, I’m sure) but I often times hear people come back and say how it was a great idea. When I taught, the sensory center was always my most favorite center to plan. Kids could get lost in there! Heck, I could get lost in some good sensory play!
Like most of my projects, all of my supplies were purchased at The Dollar Tree except the sandwich bags and food coloring, because I already had that on hand.
All we did was squirt some hair gel into some sandwich bags and added a few drops of food coloring.
Then you let out all the extra air and zip it shut. After I pried it from Dylan’s hands, I taped them up on the back door. The sun will look so cool shining through the colors!
He loves to write letters in them, squish them, put his hand prints in them.
I also propped Reagan up to check them out. So not only does this allow her to do sensory play, but it is working on her trunk strength and core muscles to attempt to stand on her own. And she is none the wiser 🙂
So, this is a great activity for both ages. I often times see Dylan running over there to get some sensory things going. Reagan needs help, but she loves it too.