Art and fine motor skills

Collage Art

This is a great project to help develop fine motor muscles and hand-eye coordination. I gave my son a glue stick, some life-like die-cuts, crayons and paper. I showed him a few times how to put a swirl of glue on the paper then pick a picture and stick it where he put the glue...he caught on fast* When he was finished I asked him what each object was and 'documented his words' (so no I didn't spell things wrong lol, I spelled it the way he pronounces it. This is a fun way to remember these sweet stages in their lives)

The lollipop was my favorite....he thought it was a tongue compressor that they use in doctor's offices...he said "open Mommy...Aaaaaa"
The shopping cart was "go shopping" the sandwich was "sam-which" and the cupcake was "happy to you" that's how he sings the birthday song :)

Lacing Cards

I got these lacing cards from scholastic's when they had their annual $1 sale...Gotta LOVE it***
I showed my son a few examples using my words I explained how to do it...."put it through the hole, then pull it...put it though the hole, then pull it" Giving kids new vocabulary words while learning a new skill is a great way to help them recall what they are doing. Soon enough he got it** and he was saying "put it through and pull*"

Unlacing the cards can be just as tricky***

Make your own lacing cards!!!
If you don't want to buy lacing cards, here's a quick link to Dr. Jeans web page on how to make your own!!!  (see Cheerios box in picture below) 


      • hole punch sides of boxes and sew with yarn like sewing cards


Groovy Smoothies!!!

Groovy Smoothies!!!

So my son has a slight addiction to The Fresh Beat Band T.V. show on Nick JR.! I am pretty particular when it comes to what he watches...I used to be super crazy but i'm loosing up*** Anyways it's a cute show and my son has actually leaned a lot about instruments, he has always loved playing music but now he 'pretends' as if he is the characters...my favorite is now he picks up his drum sticks or two of anything really and hits them together in the air and say "TWO, THREE, FOUR..." then begins to drum his little heart out. Super Cute! anywhoo....in the show they have a local smoothy join lol and they get 'groovy smoothies' I decided we could make yummy groovy smoothies too! The easy recipe is below!


What you'll need: 
*a blender 
*frozen fruit 

In your blender add a handful of frozen fruit (any kind you like) 
a few large scoops of yogurt, (we used regular)
a few splashes of juice (we used orange juice) 
blend well...and enjoy***

My son was soooo excited to drink his 'groovy smoothy' he ran up to me and said....."SWEEET" (a key phrase used by his favorite character twist lol)


Water Table Fun

This is my dream water table. How cool is this one! I love the clear cover so you can see inside even when it's not being used.
words to live by*
So because I don't have $300 for my dream water table and I really don't want to waste money on a cheaper plastic version that will end up at a garage sale eventually, I have been doing a lot of research on how to make my own...in the mean time it was a very hot day and I felt the need for some water play***

So I used what we had on hand....a large Tupperware and a few smaller ones, some paint brushes and a few squirting toys! And ya know what.....We had soooo much fun! Sometimes the BEST toys are NOT toys at all***

what's better then getting all wet on a hot day***

Here's another creative Mommy...she used her daughter's baby bath.

I love this idea...

I want to get a large storage bin, and a small table to attach it to and use it as a water table/sensory table. I will share lots of fun sensory ideas soon***

ENJOY*** and remember it's not about how much you spend on a toy it's about the memories you and your child take away that will leave a lasting impression.


Sidewalk chalk paint! So EASY to make!!!

Sidewalk Chalk PAINT !!!
I made this a while back in one of my child development classes and I did it with my son tonight! Such a fun and easy summer project!!!

What you will need:  Corn Starch, water, food coloring and paint brushes

Mix equal parts corn starch and water, stir well. For these mini pie tin holders I used 1/2 tbs of water and 1/2 tbs of corn starch. I used 1 drop of food coloring in each section.

We did a little splatter paint
It was really fun to paint on the sidewalk and it drys just like sidewalk chalk.

WARNING!!!!    The Green will leave a slight tint on the concrete! Maybe leave that color out! The other colors wash right off, no problem!!!



A few yummy summer treats!

Fruit Pops!!!

Things you will need: Popsicle molds, fresh or frozen fruit and white grape juice! 

put in your fruit!

add the white grape juice
freeze and enjoy!!!

Here are a few quick and delicious frozen treats you and your kids will surly enjoy on a hot summer day!!!

Frozen CAPRISUN....if you have have never tried this....you are missing out!!!  Simply put your favorite flavored pouch in the freezer....once frozen, cut off the entire top of the pouch. You can eat it like a push pop like my husband does or you can go at your frozen treat with a spoon, like I do. This will keep you kids cool, refreshed and entertained for a long time!!! DELICIOUS!!!!

Frozen Yogurt Snacks! Simply pop them in the freezer and enjoy! You can use any brand but I found these at trader joes, they have no added coloring, just good old fashion yogurt in them! For younger kids like my son I freeze them then cut it in half, I wrap a paper towel around it for him to hold. He LOVES these. Another great tip for Moms with little ones who are teething....these are a great snack for them...the coldness helps with the pain of teething and its yummy too!

What is summer without OTTER POPS? I loved these as a kid, when I think of summer I think of swimming, riding bikes and OTTER POPS! They were a staple in my house growing up and they still are. Just last night my husband and I cuddled on the couch after our son went to bed and we each ate a few too many otter pops! SO YUMMY!!!! 

Watermelon and Watermelon Jello!

Watermelon is a timeless treat!

I wanted to save the rind for a yummy project later so I used a melon baller to scoop out the watermelon.

scoop out all the watermelon guts
you may have to cut a section on the bottom so your watermelon will lay flat on the bottom

enjoy the yummy watermelon

Now onto the watermelon Jello! You will need red flavored jello, I bought watermelon and then realized it was pink so I added red food coloring.

make jello
pour in rind and refrigerate.

So unfortunately our watermelon rind had a big spill lol so here is a link to the 'original' recipe for this fun project! I hope it works out better for you then it did for us lol


ENJOY these yummy summer treats! 

A few Summer activities to keep your little ones busy!

Magnetic Fun! I have made this fun re-useable activity in my preschool classes before but it's great for the toddler age group also!!!

start with a strong glue, magnets, and pom pom balls.

Glue a small piece of magnet to each pom pom ball. Let dry.

We use this book in my preschool class with the big 'bingo' markers but it works great for this activity too!

place your chosen page on a magnetic surface. We used the bottom side of a cookie sheet!
Because they are magnetic, this activity can be cleaned up and played with again and again!!!

A few more fun activities!

Good old crayons and paper!!!
Paint with pom pom balls! You don't always need paint brushes to paint!
'stain glass' painting! you can find these small plastic shapes to paint at any craft store!

Side walk chalk!!!!

I try to always add a 'learning' component to our fun activities!  

My son drew this and said 'airplane'! he's a the next Picasso! LOL

play-dough letter! When teaching letters to preschool age and younger it is important to focus solely on Uppercase letters first until your child has mastered them, then introduce lowercase! 

I hope these few ideas will start you off with a few fun summer activities! More to come soon!!!