Friday, September 28, 2012

Kid's Co-op: Fall Fun


It's Kid's Co-op time! Link up your favorite kid-related posts and then check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers.

Last week there were so many fun ideas linked up to the Co-op.  Outdoor fun, indoor fun, cooking fun, and lots, lots more. This week I'd like to highlight a few posts full of fall fun.

Moms Like Me made these beautiful leaf glitter pumpkins.




Fit Kids Clubhouse made fabulous fall sensory bags.


And Boy Mama Teacher Mama created their own Indian corn. Didn't they turn out beautiful?


Now it's time for you to share all the fun you've been having! Please join up and share your favorite post. (And, we'd love you forever if you'd link back to us!) Your link will show up on all of the hosts' blogs. It's time to link up, visit some new blogs, and have a lot of fun!


If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Explore Nature: Leaf Collections


Collections are fun, aren't they? My girls love to collect items from nature. We have rocks, pine cones, feathers, acorns, and many more nature treasures scattered throughout our house. We recently took a day to collect leaves and learned how to use a leaf to help identify a tree.


I made simple books using several sheets of construction paper folded in half. I folded all the papers together, then used a stapler on the middle crease. While the girls were decorating their covers using fall-themed stickers, we talked about leaves. I showed them the difference between simple and compound leaves and we learned that this is an important thing to pay attention to when trying to identify trees.


Once our books were sufficiently pretty, we went in search of leaves. I took the girls to a nearby park that I knew had a variety of different trees. We ran around finding all sorts of different leaves. The girls started paying attention to the leaf shapes and would take off running anytime they spotted a tree different from one we had already seen. When we felt we had enough leaves, we came home to finish our books.


We used clear packing tape to attach our leaves to our books. We covered our leaves completely in the hopes that the tape would help preserve our leaves for awhile. Then it was time to try and identify our leaves. We looked at the shape and color. For instance, we noticed that the maple leaves in the picture below were green on the top and white on the bottom. This very important clue helped us identify it as a silver maple leaf. We put our observation skills to the test and were able to identify all of our trees. We used a field guide specific to Minnesota to help us identify our leaves. But, my favorite field guide to use with young children is the National Audubon Society First Field Guide Trees (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)


We had a great day collecting and in the process learned about observation, classification, and types of leaves. Not bad for a project that was a lot of fun!

What do your kids like to collect?

Pin It


If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

*Disclaimer: All Amazon links are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Creative Family Fun.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Know How To Play


A happy reminder for today. Go out and play!

If you would like to print this out as a reminder, click on the image 
and it should print as a 4x6 image.


Pin It

If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Planting a Rainbow - Virtual Book Club


Welcome to the Virtual Book Club for Kids, a monthly book club to help kids explore fabulous authors and new books. This month's author is Lois Ehlert. We chose to read an old favorite, Planting a Rainbow. It is a fun book which celebrates all the colors you can find in a flower garden. After enjoying the book, we decided to "plant" our own rainbow on our window by making a Planting a Rainbow suncather.



Supplies Needed:
Clear Contact Paper
Colored tissue paper, cut or torn into small pieces
Green strips of paper

I taped a large piece of contact paper, sticky side out, to our patio window. I then gave the girls the green strips of paper and all the tissue paper bits. I had prepped the projects by circles from the tissue paper. The kids can help with the tearing. Once we were all set up, I asked the girls to work together to create their own rainbow garden.



The girls loved working together to create their masterpiece. They made rainbow flowers, then added a sky, several suns, clouds, grass, and even a few seeds. It turned out beautiful! It looked like such a magical world with the multiple sun and the stained glass sky. When the girls were finished, I turned the contact paper around so that the sticky side was on the glass. We hung our masterpiece on the patio window so the sun can shine through it during the day. And, when we're ready to take it down, the contact paper will come off the window easily. (It will not leave a sticky residue on your window even if you leave it up for weeks. I've tried it!)



Get out the craft supplies and plant a rainbow!

If you're interested in the Virtual Book Club, be sure to visit the Virtual Book Club Facebook page for lots of book-related fun!
Pin It 
Are you looking for more preschool craft and activities?  Check out Three to Five: Playful Preschool. Get over 25 activities, 10 printables, and links to even more play-based preschool activities in this new e-book. Hurry, and get it at the introductory price of $6.99 (until May 25). Download it here.
 
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1346032&c=cart&aff=218556&ejc=2&cl=206960

 
Follow me on 
for more fun!





Friday, September 21, 2012

Kid's Co-op: Exploring Nature



It's Kid's Co-op time! Link up your favorite kid-related posts and then check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers.

Last week there were so many fun ideas linked up to the Co-op.  Outdoor fun, indoor fun, cooking fun, and lots, lots more. This week I'd like to highlight a few posts to help you get out and explore nature.

KC Edventures shares 17 fun fall activities to get you outside.



Cute and Peculiar added nature finds to the sandbox for some fall fun.


Tea for Monkeys took their play to the beach for some exploration and sorting.


Now it's time for you to share all the fun you've been having! Please join up and share your favorite post. (And, we'd love you forever if you'd link back to us!) Your link will show up on all of the hosts' blogs. It's time to link up, visit some new blogs, and have a lot of fun!



If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Music: Exploring Drums & Found Sound


Homemade musical instruments are always a lot of fun and they're even more fun when you can play them in a multitude of ways. We made our own drums to help illustrate the idea that music can come from anywhere!


We began by reading Drum City by Thea Guidone. It begins with a boy drumming in his yard with a pot and spoons. Soon, people begin to join him, each bringing their own "found" drum until an entire parade was formed. My girls were in love and were ready to create their own drums.

Supplies Needed:
Empty canisters (bread crumb, oatmeal, coffee, etc.)
Construction paper (enough to cover your canister)
Scissors
Tape
Stickers
Markers
Crayons


To make our drums, we took construction paper, cut it to size and taped it around our canisters. Our paper was not quite large enough to fit around the canister, so we had to piece it together with a couple of different strips of paper. The girls then used stickers, markers, and crayons to decorate their drums.


Once they were ready, it was time to play. They experimented with the different sounds. It sounded different on the sides of the canister than it sounded on the bottom. It also sounded different when they banged with their fists than it did when they used the palms of their hands. After experimenting with sounds, we turned on some music and started drumming. We marched, we drummed, and we enjoyed our found sound.


As an additional example, I found this video clip from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. In the clip, Mr. Rogers visits with the cast of Stomp and they show him how they can make music with a variety of objects. 

We loved our "found" sound!

Pin It

If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Preschool Corner: A is for Apple


My plans for at-home preschool with AJ (age 3) began with a letter of the week idea. Our theme each day will be a different word that starts with the chosen letter. Last week was our first week; a week all about the letter A. Here are some of the activities we did for our "A is for apple" day.


Apple tree counting. For this activity, I took 10 index cards and drew a simple tree shape on each. I wrote the numbers 1-10 on the bottom of each card. AJ's task was to put the correct amount of puff balls on each tree. It was simple to set up and she had a lot of fun counting out the correct amount of "apples".


Paper plate apple craft. I set this up as a simple coloring and pasting activity. I used one paper plate and cut the sides to look like a half-eaten apple. I then cut out a stem and worm. I asked AJ to color and glue the pieces onto the apple. She's not one for realism (she is 3 after all), and opted for a blue squiggly apple. And in case you're wondering about the glue squiggles on the stem... that's her name! 


Apple stamping. When you're talking about apples, you have to do some apple stamping. Or at least, we always do! We've done this project before, but this time I used a large sheet of brown wrapping paper. I taped it down to the floor and we got to work. We did this project before school so that Lizzie could join in on the fun. I cut an old apple in half and stuck a craft stick into it. This makes the apple much easier for little hands to handle. We used red and yellow craft paint and started stamping. When we were done, we had a fun piece of apple wrapping paper.


Book resources. We always have a variety of books on hand for each topic. Here are a few of our favorite apple-related books.


Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington 
Ten Apples Up On Top! by Dr. Seuss 
The Biggest Apple Ever by Steven Kroll 
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

Other web resources: Here are some more fun apple projects I found.


No Time For Flashcards has a round-up of 15 fun apple activities from their archives.
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas also has a round-up of some of apples crafts and food they have done in the past.
Play Create Explore has a fun apple picking sensory bin
2 Teaching Mommies has a fabulous free printable apple-themed preschool unit.

What is your favorite apple activity?

Pin It


If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

*Disclaimer - There are Amazon Affiliate links in this post, which means that if you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a tiny percentage. Thank you for your support.

Friday, September 14, 2012

In Search of Turtles {World Animal Day 2012}


We're very fortunate to have a fabulous nature center located close to home. It boasts miles of trails, ponds, wildlife, a hands-on exhibit for kids, and even a fantastic nature playground consisting of logs, stumps and a small shed full of shovels for the kids to use. We still haven't seen the entire place yet! Earlier this spring, we went hiking and found their turtle pond. We had a wonderful time observing all the turtles resting on logs all around the pond. All summer we talked about going back, but never did. Finally one day in late summer, I planned a morning to hike to the turtle pond. 



We came prepared. We brought along a picnic breakfast, water, camera, binoculars, turtle guidebook, colored pencils, and notebooks. We were ready to be naturalists. We wanted to observe, record, and figure out what kind of turtles lived in the pond. What we hadn't counted on was the effect that our dry, hot summer had on the pond and the wildlife that lived there. Instead of a pretty wooded pond with turtles resting on the logs, we found a pond that was about half the size it normally is and covered in green. Needless to say, we didn't see a turtle.



Our learning took a curve that day as we discovered first-hand how the environment impacts animal habitats. We understood that we couldn't control the weather, but we talked about ways that we could help. We could keep areas clean by picking up trash and never littering. We also talked about leaving areas alone so that animals still had all the food and materials they needed to live and thrive. Turtles are particularly vulnerable and we were grateful for our nature center and it's turtle habitat. Were all the turtles gone? No, they were most likely underwater. The turtles were still around, but their pond just wasn't as nice of a place as it was this spring.



On our way out that day, we stopped by another pond to see what we could see and well... we didn't see water. But, we could tell that wildlife was still abundant in that area. In fact, it looked like they were having quite the party the night before as evidenced by all the tracks we saw in the mud. If you look carefully in the above picture, you'll see some of the many raccoon tracks we saw.

What do animals teach my children? They teach them compassion for others big and small. They teach them respect for their environment. And, they foster a love of learning that I hope will become a lifetime habit.

What do animals teach your children?

Join the Children Loving Animals Bloghop on October 4!
We have a wonderful group of bloggers set to share stories, crafts, activities, and more with you throughout the month of September.  For more informaion and updates, check out the Children Loving Animals Page.  If you’re not a blogger but would like to submit a story, please do so on the Facebook Fanpage.
List of Participating Bloggers:
3rd September: Susan @ http://kindergartenbasics.blogspot.com/
10th
 September: Rebekah @ www.thegoldengleam.com
14th September:Terri @ Creative Family Fun
17th September: Jared & Sunniva @ www.solgave.com
21st September: Jen @ http://www.kitchencounterchronicle.com/
24th September: Cerys @ rainydaymum
28th September:Stephanie @ www.boymamateachermama.com
29th September: Kat @ Creative Playhouse
30th September: Petunia @ http://www.gokidyourself.com/
1st October: Jacquie@ Edventures With Kids http://www.kcedventures.com/blog
2nd October: Jennifer Fischer http://jennifischer.blogspot.com (The Good Long Road)
3rd October: Penny @ Wildlife Fun 4 Kids http://www.wildlifefun4kids.com
4th October: ROUNDUP by Angelique Felix – The Magic Of Play

Pin It

If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!