Toddler Activities

Blooming Seed Start Hearts

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Our two-year-old goes to school two mornings a week and though it was a winding, and at times difficult, road finding a classroom environment we felt comfortable with, we all absolutely adore his teachers and school! So as the year comes to and end, I wanted to do something special for them to let them know how much we appreciate them and all the hard work they do. (Because as cute as two-year-olds are, caring for a group of them all day, every day is no easy task! Trust.)

I love DIY projects, especially when my kiddo can participate in the making part. I also love useful gifts so seed starts hearts fit the bill for both of those things.  Not only are they super easy to make, they’ll leave a lasting impression as they bloom over the summer months!

Ingredients:

1 cup Flour

1/4 Cup Cornstarch

1/4 cup Water (give or take)

A handful of Epsom salts

Seeds! I used organic Echinacea seeds because they’re beautiful flowers and what teacher doesn’t need an immune booster around?! I included directions on how to plant them but also how to use the echinacea once it blooms. If they’re into that sort of thing. If not, who cares it’s still a pretty flower to have around!

(Want them to have more color? Add some simple spices like cinnamon or paprika, or even a dash of spirulina.)

To Make: 

  1.  Mix the flour, cornstarch, Epsom salts and water until it makes a play dough like consistency.
  2. Shape into whatever your heart desires. I used heart-shaped baking molds, but cookie cutters or even seed balls are fantastic!
  3. Sprinkle generously with seeds, or roll through a pile if making a ball. We made carrot seed balls for ourselves and my toddler absolutely loved rolling the dough through the tiny seeds.
  4. Let fully dry in a warm spot, but not in direct sunlight.
  5. Depending on the shape you make, you can poke small holes in them and add string once dried. That way, if your teachers aren’t gardeners they can hang them up as either decoration or a mini bird feeder.
  6. I wrapped them with some cute string and added a card that had planting instructions on one side and Echinacea-uses on the other. I also used some envelopes that my little dude stamped when we did our eggplant stamping last week. Bonus!

 

Here is our test run, drying:

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I’ll post photos of the final product soon, all wrapped and ready!

 

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Toddler Activities

Bookworm Wednesdays: Tap Tap Boom Boom

Tap Tap Boom Boom

Written by Elizabeth Bluemle and Illustrated by Brian Karas

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April showers bring May flowers, but we can still enjoy those rainy (or snowy, in Vermont) days while they’re here!

Why I Like It:

The rollicking rhyme scheme is fantastic for reading aloud.

The repeating phrase of “tap tap boom boom” is so much fun for any toddler. My two-year-old loves to say it even when we aren’t reading the book.

The cool illustrations have so much to look at and talk about, almost every page is an adventure.

There is some great vocabulary in this book, including words like “congregate,” which are super language-builders and discussion starters!

The author used to live in NYC, where this book takes place, but now lives in Vermont.

Keep It Going: 

Cloud Art: IMG_4888

Supplies needed:

Cotton Balls and/or Cotton Pads for clouds

Cotton Swabs for rain drops

Washable Paint

Tweezers, Tongs, or Chopsticks (for holding the cloudy shapes)

Glue or Mod Podge

Dish or hand soap

How To:

Mix some glue or Mod Podge with the paint (add a drop of dish soap to make it an easier clean-up.) and then cover those cotton balls/pads!

Using tweezers or tongs, place the sticky clouds on the paper.

Add some drops of rain using the cotton swabs.

Why bother? This is a great way to build fine motor skills, especially if your kiddo is using tweezers or tongs to place the cotton balls on the paper. Holding cotton swabs is also good for those fine motor skills, and all of this helps with hand-eye coordination. Beyond that, using alternative painting tools really gets those cognitive skills fired up…one of the benefits of thinking outside the box!

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Disclaimer: This one is done with homemade paint, so I only had one not-super-bright color. If you make your own paint or use store-bought, it might be fun to have a variety of colors to make black or gray clouds, different colored raindrops, and rainbows!

Splat Clouds

Supplies Needed: 

Stockings, tights, old socks, whatever. (I used old pantyhose I found at a thrift store.)

Old play dough , sand, birdseed.

Washable Paint.

How To:

Fill the foot of the stocking or whatever you’re using so it makes a cloud-like shape. Tie off the top, leaving a small handle.

Dip in paint and splat on the paper.

Once the paper is covered in clouds, you can add some rain drops or just leave it as a cloudy day.

 

Active Reading Activity:

Whenever you read the words “Tap Tap Boom Boom” have your child bang a drum, jump up and down, or do a yoga pose. This will help them build those listening skills while also keeping them engaged, especially kinesthetic learners!

 

Count The Booms:

As you read, see if you can count how many times you say the word “tap” or “boom.” You can use tools to help you keep count, like drawing lines on a paper or lining up cars or other materials.

Rainbow Fun:

My two-year-old really likes the page with the rainbow, so we have to add some rainbow fun here too! Besides painting and drawing rainbows, we used prisms and the shiny sides of old CD’s (remember those?!) to make rainbows shine from the windows.

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