No Mess Baby and Toddler “Painting”

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Here’s an activity that you can do right now! Whip out some light colored construction paper (I’ve used tan) and a paintbrush and some water. Have your baby “paint” away.

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My daughter is 17 months old and she loves this activity.

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Yes, sometimes she just likes dumping out the water…

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And then this activity turns into table washing, too!

This activity is great for improving fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and just plain fun. A little goes a long way!

 

 

Fun-For-All DIY Bookmarks

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DIY Bookmarks!

For this fun little project I actually recycled some cardstock scraps. Initially, I had been cutting out random preschool printables and almost threw away the scraps, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! I’m glad I didn’t, too, because my daughter absolutely loved making these bookmarks.

First, we color and drew on strips of the cardstock (as you can see below):

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Afterwards, I had her punch holes at the top of each bookmark, and she loved it:

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And finally, we cut strips of yarn and tied them through the holes! Here’s a few examples of my daughter’s bookmark creations:

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This DIY bookmark craft project turned out to be a winner. It was super fun, didn’t cost us a thing (because we recycled paper and had the rest of the materials already), and the bookmarks will make fantastic gifts (not to mention they will make fantastic bookmarks). 😉

 

 

 

 

paint outside (and inside) the box

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Sometimes painting on paper gets old for a preschooler, I’m afraid to say. So, we have to spice up the activity a bit! I found a couple of wooden boxes at Target for 3 dollars. My first intention was to use them as-is for activity trays, but as they just sat around empty I realized maybe I could spare one for an art project. I said, “Hey, you wanna paint a box?” My daughter was all for it.

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Once the paint dries I will let her have at it with glue and sequins and glitter and whatever else I find laying around. I might not want to use it as a decorative piece when she’s done, but she’ll sure have fun. 😉

Also, this project got me to thinking that I could probably let her paint other unconventional things and objects for fun: plastic bottles, tin cans, and the sky is the limit. In the end, all of this painting practice helps advance her dexterity and fine motor development. And it’s fun!

do-it-yourself Montessori “metal” insets

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What metal insets looks like ^

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Found this frame matte laying around, which got me thinking ^

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Cut out each shape and glue down pony beads to make little peg handles . Also, for now I am completely fine with not having the exact kind of shapes that the original Montessori metal insets have. Learning to trace inside and outside of stencils is the goal ^

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Metal insets are wonderful because they are weighted down. The child doesn’t need to hold the stencil down while tracing. With this DIY version I had to teach my daughter to hold down the stencil while tracing. She didn’t mind and this process adds an added challenge ^

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And here she is turning her well traced circle into a person ^

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It all counts… especially when they’re enjoying themselves!

~Thanks for reading~

arts and crafts (free play)

 

First of all, I have to say that arts and crafts are so very important for children to learn appreciation for. I have always really encouraged my daughter’s drawing and art projects more than anything. Finishing an art project (whether it’s a painting, or a scribble, or a play doh sculpture) gives an instant gratification; a concrete accomplishment. I think older kids and teenagers should be encouraged just the same. Adults too, but I will get down from my soap box. 🙂

glue projects

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I found some foam shapes at the Dollar Store. Our Dollar Store has a pretty awesome section of random preschool and kinder garden materials. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them (should they be for a counting activity, or what?) but I decided I only paid a dollar for them so might as well let her have some fun! My three year old loves gluing. Maybe all kids love glue. Your child will have tons of fun, and below the surface she is refining motor skills, hand eye coordination, and concentration abilities. Anyway, you definitely don’t need foam shapes to have your preschool kid have fun with glue. I used to just cut strips of construction paper and she could glue those down all day long. But, now what shall I do with dozens of sheets of glued down shapes?

rubber stamp fun

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My daughter received this mini stamp and colored pencil kit as a gift over the holidays. I am sure you can find pretty inexpensive stamps at craft stores, Amazon, etc. Anyway, it is one of her favorite things to do. She loves it. I often use very inexpensive index cards (found at office supply stores, Target, etc.) in place of large sheets of paper for many of her shelf activities, otherwise she leaves huge portions of the paper unused.

stencils

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Stencils are great. You can find them at office supply stores, craft stores, discount stores… maybe even drug stores. They come in all varieties (geometric shapes, letters, animals, hearts, etc.). For this activity I place sheets of paper, small pencils, and a pencil sharpener on a tray. The mini pencils and sharpener are sort of a sub activity of this activity (practical life), and make it even more inviting. Tracing and stenciling aid in fine motor skills and developing the muscles in the hand necessary for being able to later write letters and such.

~Many more posts on arts and crafts are sure to come in the future! Thanks for reading~