Saturday, December 22, 2012

Contact Paper Sensory Experience

Tape the contact paper upside down on the floor with the sticky side up.  Encourage children to push on the paper with your hands or take off those little socks and shoes and let the little ones explore! Watch their faces as they try to figure out what this is all about.

This simple, inexpensive activity will bring fun and delight as the little ones crawl and walk across the sticky paper.  Roll cars and trucks and other toys across the paper also.

Youngsters will  develop their fine and gross motor skills, as they push, pull, roll toys, crawl and walk across the contact paper.

Materials Needed: Contact Paper, Tape
Skill Development:

Cognitive thinking skills are encouraged as the children explore the sticky paper and attempt to figure out how much strength is needed to pull off my foot, put down my foot, pull off my foot.

Language skill development and vocabulary increase develops from verbal interactions between you and your child, as you use new vocabulary words and prepositions.

contact paper, sticky, push, pull, on, off, crawl, walk, jump, hop, set, lift

Social & Emotional skills of attachment, initiative and self regulation  are encouraged through; one on one interactions, independent exploration and  small and large group involvement.
Literacy Extension Activites
Create Literacy Experiences by adding pictures under the contact paper.  Adding props to your favorite books and finger play songs will encourage interaction as you sing your songs and read your stories with the children. 
  • "Itsy Bitsy Spiders" under the contact paper will encourage the children to jump on the spiders.

  • Duck pictures will encourage counting the ducks as you sing or read "Five Little Ducks."

  • "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" animal pictures will encourage the children to find the animals as you read.

  • "Old MacDonald had a Farm" pictures will encourage animal recognition.

Pick your favorite song or story book and extend this open ended activity. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sewing Cards

Fine Motor Skills are developed and strengthened through this activity of sewing.  Pull yarn through the holes of your home made sewing cards.

Create seasonal templates and templates to enhance weekly themed activities.  Other skills developed through sewing activity include  hand/eye coordination, colors, shapes, and early literacy.

Math skills are encouraged as you "count and sew"  the holes on the sewing card as you pull your thread around the card.
Materials needed:  Card stock or thin foam of various colors, yarn (string or shoe laces), hole puncher, masking tape, scissors

  • draw or copy template picture
  • copy on card stock  (laminate picture for extra durability) or thin foam
  • punch holes around the picture with hole puncher
  • cut strips of yarn long enough to go around template
  • you can attach yarn (string or shoe laces) to card or leave separate
  • masking tape on the ends of the yarn will help avoid shredding.

Environmental Print Sewing Cards 
Create sewing cards with your favorite cereal boxes or other empty boxes containing print. Cut off front/back of box and punch holes around outline. 

Pattern Pumpkin Faces
Follow the pattern cards to create felt pumpkin faces.  While developing and strengthening fine motor skills, you will also learn shapes, colors and patterns.  This activity can also be used as a social/emotional development activity as you use your patterns to describe "how" the pumpkin is feeling. 
Thank-you Sarah P. for a great pumpkin face activity.


Materials Needed:  Orange and Black Felt, Card Stock, Black Marker

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mr Potato Head - becomes - Mr Pumpkin Head
Here is a great Fall activity shared from my co-worker, Sarah P.
Materials:  various size carvable pumpkins from craft store (Sarah found the small pumpkins at the dollar store!)
Various Mr. Potato Head body parts
Carvable pumpkins become great Mr. Pumkins.  Poke your wholes and away you go. 
Children develop fine motor skills while creating various pumkin faces. 
Social & Emotional skills are developed while they share with friends and create independently and in small group settings.  Encouraging development of initiative, attachment and self regulation skills.
Language skills and Cognitive skills are developed as they learn, verbalize and name body parts. Sizes, colors and shapes are developed as the children use various pumpkin sizes and shapes with various body parts.
Math skills are developed as children count body parts, use various sizes of pumpkins and compare Mr. Pumpkin heads.

Independence/Self Help skills are developed as children learn to take care of classroom materials and clean up after themselves.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Picture Cube

5 Senses/Body Parts Cubes

Materials Needed:                               

card board or square card board box

plain wrapping paper - brown packaging paper or brown paper bags work very well

pictures of body parts

words to match pictures - written or typed

glue and scissors

Creating Cube                            

Create box structure from card board (or use square box)

Wrap with plain paper and glue picture of body parts to each side.

Write or type, and paste, word to match picture on each side of the cube. 

This picture cube is a great tool to assist when studying 5 senses or body parts.  The class sits in a large circle while the cube is rolled from one child to another.  The child with the cube, names the body part which is showing on top.  The rest of the children can assist the child with the cube by touching the body part  - or blinking eyes, sticking out tongue...


Cubes can be creating using various pictures to support your lesson theme of the week/month.

The cube activity can be used one on one or in small and large groups.  Every child in the group is encouraged to participate which encourages social and emotional development.

Cognitive thinking skills and language development are encouraged through naming and using body parts.

Small and large motor skills are developed during this activity while rolling/catching and pointing to body part on cube, also through individual children showing and using body parts. 

This activity also encourages development using various learning styles through the use of visuals and verbal skills.   


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Painting with what....?

Toddlers will paint anything, anytime, anywhere.  Young children seem to enjoy - brushes, rollers, hands, scrunchies, paper, utensils, ect...

When I recently filled the paint cups with clear water and a brush - the youngsters went to town painting the school buses, firetrucks, dump trucks and anything else they could reach. 

Take the activity outside and they will paint the walls, the slide, the table, the fence and everything else in sight.

As the toddlers paint and paint, developmental skills in several learning domains; fine & gross motor, cognitive, self help, social emotional and language, are developed and strengthened.

The mess and clean up time - minimal, it's just H2O!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Riding on the Bus

Dramatic Play: Bus Ride                          

Supplies needed:  chairs, dramatic play prop items; clothing, jewelry, tote bags, purses, shopping bags, hats, glasses, baby dolls, wheels on the bus book & cd

This dramatic play bus ride is an open ended activity, allowing children to explore and use their imagination. Provide the children with various prop items and set up the chairs two by two to represent riding on a bus.  Additional items such as baby dolls and stuffed animals are used to further enhance the imagination.  Shopping and tote bags allow the children to "shop" filling their bags with various items found throughout the room.  Environmental print is added to the dramatic play center by providing empty food boxes and containers.  Literacy is encouraged with "The wheels on the bus" book and music cd. 

Activity Extensions:     

Creative Art:  Provide a large card board box for painting and create a "bus" for the children to climb in and out of.

Block Area:  Provide various blocks with school bus and people figures. Create roads and bus garage with blocks.

Areas of Development:

Bus Ride dramatic play activity will encourage and enhance development in fine and gross motor, language, cognitive, social emotional and self help learning areas.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Working at the Car Wash

Car Wash - Dramatic Play

Items needed:

Riding toys

water squirt bottles & buckets

bath bubbles

various cleaning tools - brush, scrubbies, sponges, towels

Fill containers with water and a drop of bubbles and the children

will be on their way to cleaning not only their cars, but everything

else in sight!  Children will work their fingers and hands pushing

out the water and scrubbing the cars.  As fine and gross motor

skills are developing, language skills are also enhanced as you

expand this activity with print such as, car wash signs.  This

activity can be further expanded through the use of baby dolls,

registers with play money and dramatic play clothing, encouraging

development of cognitive thinking skills.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Literacy/Sensory Theme Boxes

Literacy/Sensory Theme Boxes

Popular children’s finger plays and stories are used as a base to create theme boxes.
Theme boxes contain activities to encourage development of skills through sensory play, enhancing the five senses:
Hear, See, Smell, Taste, and Touch

Each theme box contains activities to be implemented and enhance curriculum.

 Previous posts contain information on creating the following four literacy/sensory theme boxes.
5 Little Ducks
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Old MacDonald had a Farm

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Young Children learn through their Five Senses

What is Sensory Play?
“Sensory play is currently seen as one of the key areas of play for babies and young children and is a crucial part of their development.  Sensory play is play that involves the use of one or more of the five senses, touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing.
Elaine Lambe 

Literacy/Sensory Theme Box - Old MacDonald has a Farm

Kit contains:
nBook – Old Macdonald had a farm
nBook – Peek – a – Boo Mama!
nBook – Oh Look!  By Patricia Polacco
nPaint and paint brushes
nPlastic/rubber farm animals, barn, tractor
nPlay dough
nPuppets and masks
nSmall bags
nWater bottles

Book and CD Activities:

nRead books in small and large group settings.
nListen to CD – Old MacDonald had a Farm and We’re on our way to Grandpa’s Farm – with felt board pictures and plastic farm animals.
nSing song – Old MacDonald had a Farm with animal props on sticks or plastic/rubber farm animals.

Fine Motor Activities:

nScented Play dough – form animal shapes out of play dough
Straw with animals
fill & dump with small bags or containers
Cut straw with child safe scissors
Gross Motor Activities:
nAnimal walk – move and make sounds like farm animals – include puppets and masks.
Floor play – plastic/rubber farm animals with barn or box and tractor/trucks.
Creative Art Activities:
Animal foot prints – stamping animals in finger paint on paper
Pigs in the mud – dirt and water in sensory table or container. Water bottle to create mud. Paint pig shapes with mud and brush.
Development and Learning Areas:
5 Senses – hear, see, smell, touch
Cognitive – listening/thinking skills, colors, shapes, sizes, prepositions
Motor – fine motor strength, hand/eye coordination, large muscle balance, coordination and strength
Language – increase knowledge and vocabulary of animal names and sounds, prepositions,
Social/Emotional – attachment, initiative, self regulation, sharing, self help

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Itsy Bitsy Spider - Literacy/Sensory Theme Box

Kit Contains:

Book – Itsy Bitsy Spider and There’s a Spider on the Floor.

Rubber & plastic spiders

Sing-along CD – Raffi
Pictures of Spiders – various sizes
Clear Contact Paper
Buckets for fill – n – dump and sorting.

Book – The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Books and Activities:

Book - Itsy Bitsy Spider – read and sing
nBook – The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

nMusic CD – Itsy Bitsy Spider with spider pictures on felt board.

Music Cd - There’s a spider on the floor with rubber/plastic spiders
Motor Activities:  
Itsy Bitsy Spider Finger Play – Sing and do motions.

Revise finger play words – “the great big spider” and the teeny weenie spider.

Contact paper on floor – sticky side up for walking and touching. Put spider pictures under contact paper.

Paper plate with yarn – cut slits around plate and tape yarn to back of plate. Wrap yarn around plate to create web.
Sorting Activities:   
Buckets to carry and “capture” spiders – fill and dump.

Different size buckets and spiders for sorting – little and big spiders. 
Touch and See - Sensory Activities:
Plastic/rubber spiders with shaving cream

Sensory bottles- sand and spiders

Spiders in sand – sensory table or container
Art Activity:  
Finger painting with scented bath tub paints on trays with plastic spiders.

Sensory table with water – after painting on trays – put hands and spiders in water to color water and create bubbles.  
Development and Learning Areas:
5 Senses – hear, see, smell, touch
nCognitive – listening and thinking skills, sizes, prepositions, body parts
Language – vocabulary increase, rhyming, prepositions, word/picture association
Motor – finger/hand strength, hand/eye coordination, large motor strength, balance and coordination
Social/Emotional – initiative, attachment, self regulation, sharing, self help

Bubbles - Literacy/Sensory Theme Box


nKit Contains:

Sesame Street Bubble Book

nBubble machine

nWords to bubble finger play

nBubbles – scented/colored

nWater play materials – scoops, nets, bubble bath

nBubble wrap
Finger paint and finger paint paper
Book & Song Activities:

Read books and sing finger play song. Blow bubbles with wands and bubble machine.

nBook – Sesame Street - Bubbles

nSong/Movement – Let’s blow a bubble

Books – Bubble, Bubble and Pony takes a Bath
Bubble Songs:
Song 1
Let’s blow a bubble, it isn’t any trouble
Watch it float up to the top and then go pop!
Bubble, Bubble, Bubble, POP!
Bubble, Bubble, Bubble, POP!

Song 2                    
Catch a bubble in your hand, in your hand
Catch a bubble on your head, on your head
Catch a bubble on your nose, on your nose
Stomp a bubble with your foot, with your foot
(If you’re happy and you know it)
Bubble Activities:    
Blow bubbles with various size wands for children to catch, pop, stomp.
Sing bubble song as children catch the bubbles.
Children blow bubbles with individual bubble containers.
Bubble machine
Scented and Colored bubbles used.
Bubble Water Play:
nBubble bath used to create colored and scented bubbles in sensory table or container. Wash baby dolls, animals, car wash.

nChildren use nets and scoops to scoop and dump water and bubbles.

Water wheel 
Art Activities:

nBubble Wrap painting with finger paint.

nPress finger painting paper on bubble wrap to create designs.

nCreate new colors by combining colors on bubble wrap.
red + yellow = orange 
blue + yellow = green
red + blue = purple
Motor Activites:

Tape bubble wrap to floor.

nWalk on bubble wrap and pop bubbles with feet – with or without shoes. 

Push and pop bubbles with hands.
Roll across the bubbles with your whole body.  
Development and Learning Areas:
5 Senses – hear, see, smell, touch
Cognitive – listening/thinking skills, prepositions, body parts, colors, sizes
Language – rhyming, prepositions, vocabulary increase, word/item association.
Motor – small and large muscle strength, hand/eye coordination.
Social/Emotional – small and large group activities promote development of initiative, attachment and self regulation, increase use of verbal and self help skills.