Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)

Beach Fun at Home

Some of my favorite summertime memories include spending time with my family at the beach.  However, when it’s not possible to get to the beach, we have some ideas for creating a “Beach Staycation” to bring the beach to you!

Craft: Sand Art

With just paper, a glue bottle, and a little sand, you can make some beautiful sand art.  Start by having your kids draw designs with the glue on a piece of paper. Once the design is done, pour sand over the glue and paper. Make sure the sand covers all the glued areas.  Next, dump the excess sand off the paper (you may want to do this outside or over a plastic container or newspaper to minimize the mess. In addition, if there is a lot of glue, you may want to wait until it has dried a little to avoid the glue dripping). When the excess sand is removed, you have a beautiful sand picture.  See this easy to follow youtube video by Shezcraft for a visual demonstration.  For older kids, you could have them use different colored sand for a more detailed design.

Activity: Sand and Water Sensory Bin

Summertime calls for play with sand and water. Making an ocean themed sensory bin is a great way to bring the ocean to you.  The Fun for Learning website has a gorgeous, easy to make, sand and water sensory box that allows kids to play in both sand and water at the same time.  All you need is a large plastic container, sand, blue dye, a few shells (rocks will also work), and some small ocean themed toys.  Take a look at their website for instructions and pictures of their beautiful end product. When you see the pictures of the possible creations, you will want to join in the play!

Snacks:  Sand Pudding & Ocean Jello Cups

My kids love making sand pudding.  It’s a simple and fun snack that definitely makes you feel like you are at the beach.  All you need is a sand bucket & shovel, vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, and some ocean themed candy.  The Three Snackateers have a great easy to follow Sand Pudding recipe with some creative ocean themed toppings. My girls have decorated the top with Sweedish Fish, Gummy Sharks, or Teddy Grahams swimming in lifesaver “floaties” or lounging on towels made of fruit roll-up-by-the-yard. 

Ocean Jello Cups are another big hit in our house and are also easy to make with just a few simple ingredients including blue jello, whipped cream, and Swedish fish. The Tip Toe Fairy has a fun “fishing” design that I’m sure kids will love.

If you are doing a staycation at home or just looking for some summer fun, we hope you enjoy these ideas!

Grade Levels: Preschool-Elementary School 

Age Levels: Choose from this list. Delete those that do NOT apply. 

  • Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)
  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)

Tags: 

Art, Culinary, Food, Parent-Led, Sensory Learning

Developer:

Karena Rush

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 08/04/2021

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)

Indoor Snow Day

Grade Levels: Toddler-Kindergarten 

Age Levels: Birth-36 months (infant/toddler); PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool); 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)

Description:  Winter is coming which means many of us will have our first snow day of the season soon.  While many kids love to play outside in the snow, others prefer the warmth of their home so we are going to share some ways to enjoy the snow without getting cold!  For example, if you have a water table, why not fill it with snow and allow your child to play with the snow inside.  Add toys to create a winter wonderland or make up a plate of small items to make mini snowmen.  Raisins or small candies make great eyes; mini carrots or candy corn can be used for the nose; licorice, Twizzlers, or fruit roll-ups make great scarfs; and celery, pretzel sticks, or twigs from outside can be used for the arms.  You can also paint snow with watercolors! This could even become a science experiment as kids mix the colors to make new colors.  For more details and other activities, visit the Parenting with Principle website that offers 15 snow day crafts and activities to do with your young kids inside or visit the  CBC parents website that offers some additional sensory snow activities. 

If your child doesn’t like the feel of snow, how about making some snowy snacks such as snow cream or maple taffy.  Emmamadeinjapan offers a “how-to” video for making snow cream (or see  Happy Hooligans for written instructions.  Maple taffy is another delicious treat (see CBS kids for a fun demonstration and then visit  Martha Stewart for instructions).

Finally, there is no better activity on a cold winter day than snuggling up to read with your child.  A wonderful classic snow day book is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  Head to your local library to check out this book or watch a beautifully animated version provided by the EJK foundation here.

What materials do I need?

Activities:

  • Indoor snowman:  snow, a cookie sheet to hold the snow, materials for eyes (such as raisins, m&ms), nose (i.e. carrots, candy corn), scarf (yarn, Twizzlers, fruit rollups), arms (celery, twigs, pretzel sticks), or toys from around the house such as Mr. Potato Head parts to use on the snowman
  • Snow paint: snow, paint brushes,  water colors
  • Snow Table:  snow, something to place the snow in such as a sand or water table, a plastic container, a casserole dish, or a cookie sheet, toys for pretend play

Snowy Snacks:

  • Maple taffy: snow, maple syrup
  • Snow cream (ice cream): snow, vanilla, 10 ounces sweetened condensed milk

Tags: 

  • Art
  • Science
  • Creative Thinking
  • Culinary
  • Sensory 

Developer:

Karena Rush

Credit: 

Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 12/15/2020

Categories
Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Homemade Aromatherapy Playdough Recipe

Making aromatherapy playdough can be a soothing activity enjoyed by parents and children.  Using calming essential oils such as lavender paired with the stress relief that comes with squishing playdough, parents and children can enjoy a relaxing activity together. No essential oils?  No problem!  The Stay at Home Educator offers an easy recipe with materials that are likely readily available in your home (or experiment on your own with spices and other fragrant items you have in the house).

For video instructions (with a slightly different recipe) click here:  HGTV 

Grade Level: Pre-K

Tags: Art, Sensory

Developer:  Karena Rush

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 07/02/2020