Search results for 'rubber bands'

Fun with Rubber Bands – Invitation to Play for Toddlers

27 May

Rubber bands - Invitation to Play for ToddlersOk, so not the most creative, but still pretty good.  I just wrapped rubber bands onto a bunch of Gigi’s toys and set them out on her play board, along with a jar of a thousand rubber bands.  She wasn’t too keen on her toys being wrapped up.  I think she has to be a little older for that one.  But she did love dumping the rubber bands out and covering Dolly in them.  (Dolly, is Gigi’s favorite doll, who I can NEVER EVER lose because we don’t have another and that would be REALLY REALLY BAD.)

Rubber bands - Invitation to Play for ToddlersRubber bands - Invitation to Play for ToddlersSo after G made a huge rubber band mess we cleaned them all up.  Or I should say Dolly cleaned them all up because she wouldn’t let me touch and she manipulated Dolly’s hand to put all the rubber bands back into the jar.  It was actually pretty awesome.

Rubber bands - Invitation to Play for Toddlers

Make Your Own Geoboard

3 Mar

Make your own geoboard for kids - meri  cherry blogI love coming up with new, hopefully innovative, ways to use styrofoam. It’s always popping up in some package or game.  I’m thinking this geoboard my almost 3 year old made for my 1 and half year old counts.  Geoboards are a fantastic way to practice shapes, strengthen and develop fine motor skills and encourage design.  Go team effort! And hooray for combining art and math!

make your own geoboard for toddlersI started off bringing home this real geoboard from work for a few days.  Gigi was really into it.  She was able to make squares and triangles, which turned into a game where I would make big triangles because I am “the mama,” and she would make little triangles because she is “a little girl.”  Man, this is a cute age (when they are not freaking out.)

make your own geoboardWhen this rectangular piece of styrofoam showed up in a box I thought it would make a great geoboard, plus Gigi is hardcore into hammering.  I figured if nothing else, it was an excuse for her to wear her construction hat, which kind of kills me.  First she painted the styrofoam with paint dots, then she went in for the tools.  She loved hammering in the golf tees, which went in with ease.  I showed her how to use the back of the hammer to take them out too, which was so cool.  We’re very professional around here.  Eventually she tired of hammering and I brought out some rubber bands.  It was such a natural progression from her play with the “real” geoboard.  She knew just what she wanted to do…big triangles and little triangles : )

make your own geoboard for toddlersWhen D woke up from her nap I set out the geoboard with some toothpicks, golf tees, rubber bands and glow sticks.  I know the glow sticks are pretty random, but we had a bunch left over from our glow in the dark tutu extravaganza so I figured why not.  D actually liked sticking the glow sticks in the best.   Please consider your specific child when using materials like these.  We feel very comfortable with toothpicks, etc.  and I am watching closely, but you may not, so please use your own discretion.  Safety first.

make your own geoboard for toddlersmake your own geoboardmake your own geoboard for toddlersWe’ve used our geoboard a bunch of times now.  Sometimes it even acts as a great hiding spot for little figures.  It’s a really fun addition to our play and I love that both girls can use it.  I’d love to make a whole geoboard city out of big pieces of styrofoam at some point.  Hmm…I may need to buy my girls a really big present stat.

make your own geoboard

10 Simple Invitations to Play for Toddlers

19 Jul

10 Simple Invitations to Play for ToddlersAs a mom of two little ones, I am constantly trying to find new and fun ways to excite and engage my girls.  It’s not always easy, but here are some simple ways I’ve found that have really worked well.

Evolving Canvas for Toddlers - Invitation to Play1.  LET THEM PAINT!  My daughter has spent hours painting.  I don’t mean at one time.  She’s only two.  But she definitely gets her paint on.  We recently hung an oversized canvas on the wall in the playhouse and it’s been a fantastic visual invitation for her to paint, paint, paint.  I got a few of these canvases marked down 90% at Aaron Brothers.  If you ever see them on sale, don’t hesitate.  I wish I had gotten more.  You can put them on the grass or a tarp for a play date, hand out brushes and rollers and the kids will love it.  The big size is really appealing to little ones.

salt dough sculptures with toddlers2.  Making Salt Dough is super easy.  It’s one cup water, one cup salt, two cups flour.  You can read a post I did about it here.

water beads for little ones - great toddler activity3.  Oh, how I love water beads.  These things are so freaking cool.  I may like playing with them slightly more than Gigi but I am confident when D gets old enough she will love them even more.  They are so bouncy and colorful.  They are really hard to resist.  Plus you can reuse them, which is pretty amazing.  Read more about what we did with water beads here.

plant a garden with your toddler4.  Planting a garden is super fun for kids.  We made a whole day of it and Gigi loved it.  Truth be told, our garden is…kinda…welll…dead at the moment.  But we really enjoyed planting it and if I had a greener thumb I’m sure it would be awesome.

Invitation to play for toddlers - poking and balancing5.  We are going through a major poking phase at the moment.  I’m constantly looking for things that will poke into other things.  It’s great for fine motor and I find that the more things we find, the more Gigi gets excited by it.  I think there are a lot of ways to expand on this activity, but so far a great introduction to balance and motion.

washi tape carpet games6.  I keep my washi tape collection in our family room so it’s always handy.  We use it for everything.  I think tape was one of Gigi’s first words.  There are so many old school games you can tape out on the floor or carpet.  We’ve tried hop scotch, color jumping, marble runs and race tracks.  The marble run was our favorite so far.

washi tape and watercolors - painting for toddlers7.  This fantastic and super simple painting idea came from The Artful Parent, a book I highly recommend!  You can tape out names, letters, numbers, designs, etc. and use all different kinds of paints.  It’s a really fun project.  Read more about it here.

science for toddlers - invitation to play8.  Water play with food coloring has become a staple in our house.  We use it for play groups, play dates and just hanging around the house solo.  Kids love water no matter what, but they love it even more when it’s rainbow.  I love the idea of exposing Gigi to basic science at an early age.  I loved my science kit when I was younger.  There is something so exciting about test tubes and the possibility of an explosion.  I can’t wait to take our science play to the next level.  Fun at Home with Kids has some fantastic ideas for playing with baking soda and vinegar that we are definitely going to try this summer.

Rubber bands - Invitation to Play for Toddlers9.   Rubber Band Play  It doesn’t get more simple than this.  Get some rubber bands, wrap them around some toys, put some in a pile and go get some work done while your child snaps, pulls and plays.

Invitation to play - paint your friends10.  This was super fun.  I found some old acrylic easel frames at a local thrift store for 95 cents.  I helped Gigi pick out some photos of friends that she liked and printed them out in black and white.  I cut them to fit in the frames and let Gigi paint them.  She was cracking up as she painted her friends orange, green and yellow.  She went on to paint her parents next.  It was super fun.  You just wash the paint off with water and are ready to go for round two.  There’s something about painting on the acrylic rather than the paper that makes this so engaging.  This is something we will definitely do again.

Please let me know if you try any of these ideas.  I would love to hear from you. Have fun!

10 Simple Invitations to Play for toddlersZero to Two Fantastic Play Ideas for Your Baby and Toddler! This ebook is AMAZING!

Why I’ve Been MIA-Kindergarten Classroom Set-up

21 Aug

Woah, it’s been a loooong week setting up my classroom for back to school next week.  Long but really fun and exciting.  It’s definitely not done yet, but much progress has been made.  Here are some homemade highlights:

International Silks and Woolens was nice enough to donate some fabric to our classroom so I made the cute little red and cream pillow above.  It gave our couch a perfect little facelift.

I’ve been collecting recyclables from around the house all summer.  I got out the spray paint today and went wild.  The water bottles took to the paint best.  The toilet paper rolls didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  In the end though, everything had a nice yellow tint.

Everything dried in ten minutes, which was pretty cool.  Then I stapled and hot glued gunned the best pieces to make this super cool bulletin board.  I LOVE IT!  Really cool and a great conversation piece for the kids.

By the end of today I was totally exhausted and needed to sit, so I worked on labels for a while.  I am trying to reuse and repurpose as much as possible, so I found some old cardboard and made these labels for some of our art supplies.  I think I’ll use cardboard for all the other labels as well.  I like how thick they are.  It’s somehow very satisfying to me.

This our main art supply area.  It’s a fabulous buffet of everything from paint brushes to rubber bands.  Everything is set up at the perfect height for the kids to experiment with.  I love this thing.

And last but not least, thank you IKEA!  THe lids may be a little flimsy, but the clear windows on these rule.  Well done.

I’m resting all weekend and then back in the classroom Monday for bulletin boards, more labels and planning.  It’s going to be a great year.

You can see more photos of my classroom here