Sensorial Busy Bin

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I’ve posted about sensory bins before (No Mess Sensory Bin) but now that my youngest daughter is older we are re-visiting a lot of the same activities that I did with my first daughter. My oldest is enjoying everything again too.

For this sensory bin I just threw in a lot of small items and spoons to practice scooping and pouring. There’s smooth gems, and puffy cotton balls, etc. Throwing in some scented objects (like the tea tree oil toothpick container) is fun too. I save all tiny random objects around the house (like nuts and bolts and twist ties, for example) to switch out. Keeps them entertained in different ways for a quite a while!

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DIY Weather Chart for Toddlers/Preschoolers

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This is a very simple weather chart that can get your toddlers/preschoolers thinking about weather and the atmosphere around them. I made it from felt. My inspiration came from an image I saw on Pinterest (in photo below):

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This paper plate version is very simple and I love the cotton balls for the cloudy weather. I wanted something more permanent and so I made it out of felt (and I was on a felt sewing kick for a while). I drew the images on paper and cut them out to use as stencils. I free cut all of the letters out (very tedious but they sell pre-cut felt letters at most craft stores which would be easier) and sewed everything down. It’s a very easy sewing project and the kids enjoy it!

Simple Color Sorting

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Who knew colorful puff balls could be so entertaining. We already had some but apparently ones of different colors and shapes brought on a whole new world of play. I found these at the Dollar Tree and I’m probably going to go back and get one or two more of the different color variety packs.

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They are also really great for color sorting activities and counting activities. I gave my almost-3-year-old some measuring spoons to scoop the balls and sort them into a container (in the picture below). I have her say each color out loud as she puts one in. Color sorting is old news for my 5-year-old so she decided to build a bunch of mini-snowman (in the picture above).

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Great for counting practice too.  ^

Another great color sorting material I found at the Dollar Tree are these heart beads. We use the basic pony beads a lot for color sorting and stringing but changing up the shape makes it new again! Worth the one dollar.

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Pouring and scooping practice. I found the pack of mini paper cups at the Dollar Tree as well.

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I should have snapped a photo of all the mess that was made afterwards when they discovered how fun it is to dump everything and scramble it all over the floor (but that quickly turned into clean up time)!

Pretend Play – DIY – Magic Mirror

100_6437Cut out some cardboard in the shape of a hand mirror. Cut out some aluminum foil in the size and shape that will fit the cardboard cut-outs. I used a glue stick to adhere the foil to the cardboard, and it worked really well to smooth down the foil.

I think these magic mirrors could be made a lot better than I did here. I didn’t have good scissors to cut the cardboard so they are far from perfect. A box knife would work a lot better! They also could be decorated with stickers, glitter, and painted for another project.

100_6438All-in-all they were fun for my 5-year-old and almost 3-year-old. They pretended the mirrors were the magic mirrors from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

Anyway, It beats having to supervise them with real mirrors. Of course, it doesn’t work as a real mirror but it’s still fun for pretend… and it’s basically free to make if you already have the materials on hand!

Sewing with a preschooler!

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I ordered some plastic needles and plastic sewing canvases from Amazon. There are some nice First Sewing Kits out there but keeping it simple is less frustrating. My 5-year-old is able to make basic stitches by herself! Even my two year old attempts but she still needs a lot of guidance with it (I help her put the in and she has fun pulling it through).

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She did most of the stitches in the picture above (not all at once).

Sewing is great for improving fine motor skills, concentration, and a practical life skill. It’s more of a craft these days but it’s still important to learn IMO. At this stage I help her correct any errors so it’s not frustrating for her. I want her to be comfortable with stitching before worrying about anything else.

~ check out more at http://www.everyonecanmontessori.com ~

Simple preschool activities you can do right now

I’m back to blogging again after taking a break for a year. In that time I had my third child! I want to continue where I left off with posting DIY and other preschool activities that I am doing with my children. My inspiration and ideas come mostly from around the web (all the great parenting blogs out there and Pinterest) and other parenting resources. I wrote more about this in my About Me section that you can find at the top of my webpage. Thanks and would love to have you follow along and hear other ideas!

100_5563Play with beads. Fill them up. Pour them out. Toddlers love this but require 100% supervision.

100_5367 100_5361Dip toy cars in water and make water tracks across colored construction paper. You don’t need very much water so even if it spills it’s not a big deal.

100_5319Use Q-tips for painting. Great for tracing letters.

100_5383Thread pipe cleaners into small holes.

~More to come~

DIY Recycled Jumbo Crayons

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So, I’ve seen this melting of the broken and forgotten crayons lots of places, and I finally tried it out myself. Actually, I stole the directions from this lady’s blog: http://www.imagineourlife.com/ Her blog has tons of awesome free quiet book patterns as well!

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For the nice round shape of the crayons I just used a regular muffin tin.

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My almost-four-year-old helped me sort the colors into the muffin tin, and after they were finished she loved coloring with them.

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But most of all, both of my daughters loved stacking them over and over, and hiding them around the house like buried treasure. Lots of fun and worth the effort… not to mention SO EASY. I also feel good about using up all of our broken crayons.

 

Writing Practice in Salt

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I have been wanting to try this activity out with my almost-four-year-old for some time now, either with salt or cornmeal. I am really glad we did! Basically, get a shallow tray and fill just enough with salt to create a thin layer. Then practice! To erase just shake the tray gently.

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In the above photo she is practicing an “F”. Writing in the sand doesn’t always produce a perfect looking letter no matter how precise you try to write it. It’s a fun way to get your kid to practice though!

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And my daughter would have fun just drawing in it too. She would often turn away from me and lick the salt off her fingers… as if I didn’t know what she was doing!

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). 😉