Crayola Model Magic

Any type of textural manipulative is a great thing for toddlers. It helps to strengthen their fine-motor skills. Without developing and strengthening the muscles in their fingers now it will be harder for the child to hold a pencil and write or to hold scissors and cut when they get older.

I think that Crayola Model Magic is a wonderful product. I love making my own dough but this stuff is such a wonderful texture it is so light weight and molds so easily for little hands. The best part is that it does NOT fall apart or stick to anything! I buy the individual packs because this dough does air dry so I have found that it's best for one-time use.

We used corks, rocks and other objects to push into the dough. Cookie cutters would work great too!

October fun! Pumpkin Painting

When you have toddlers carving pumpkins isn't always fun. The knives are dangerous, the insides are messy and really there's not much for them to do. So why not paint the pumpkin?

Whenever painting a great art tool is a drop mat or art cloth of some sort. A great re-usable one like a thick table cloth work great because after paint falls on it you can either hang it outside to dry and re-use the next time or wipe it down after each use. For a quick drop cloth take a trash bag and cut it down the seams/sides. If you want the trash bag to stop sliding on the table wipe the table down with a damp cloth and the trash bag will cling to the table. (a little preschool teacher trick)

I use an old white T-shirt as a smock so we don't ruin our clothes.

toddler marble art

Traditional marble art is not age appropriate for toddlers because of the small size of marbles but that doesn't mean you can't do it with bigger balls.

Things you will need:
* a box of some type
(When you buy large bundles of paper they usually come in big boxes with tops...the tops work perfect, you can always go to your local costco or smart and final to find a box that will work also.)
*paint (if you don't have washable paint you can always add a few drops of dish soap into any paint to help it to wash off easier)
*Paper (any color any size)
*large plastic balls (these will wash off the easiest)

First place the paper inside the box

add paint

let your little one hold both sides of the box tilting it side to side to roll the balls back and forth and watch the paint make tracks across the paper

If your little one is anything like my son, cars would also be a very fun object that would make fun tracks across the paper.

Color bags!

Color bags are a great tool to have for creating those teachable moments.

In our house we are working on the colors Yellow, Blue and Red. I went though our toys and picked out objects that are those solid colors. Blocks, cars, balls, legos ect. and put them in ziplock bags for easy storage but color bins or fabric bags would work great as well. (Please not if you use plastic ziplock bags like I did please do not leave them within child's reach)

Everyday I takeout one of our color bags and I take one object out at a time. "This is a ball, a yellow ball." We (meaning I) talk about the object and color. I say it and my son repeats it, then we move onto the next object. Once we have done each bag a few times each I take out two bags and two colored bins. I dump out all of the yellow objects and all of the blue objects and we sort them. We put the blue items in the blue bin and the yellow items in the yellow bin saying each color. This helps with color identification as well as sorting which is a preschool early math skill.

This is a fun and simple way to learn colors. For older kids or more advanced toddlers you can start to introduce A/B color patterns such as yellow blue yellow blue.