messyplayforeveryday

A collection of fun activities for little hands!

Thank You Gift for Teachers

Every time you open a new door an old one closes.  For me there can’t be a goodbye without a thank you.  When trying to think of an idea for a thank you gift for my daughter’s preschool teacher I realized that due to the type of preschool she’s in which offers before and after care she has interactions with several different teachers.  My decision was that I’d certainly give her classroom teacher a gift, but that I also needed to acknowledge the importance of the others as well.  Here’s what I came up with (sorry for the poor photography it was late at night when I finished!).  Here’s what you need

Colored oak tag

Thin marker

Vase or planter

Styrofoam Insert for the planter

Wooden Skewers

Elmers Glue

Ribbon (if you feel like decorating)

All I did was trace my daughter’s hand and had her cut them out.  We wrote the name of each teacher on the front and she thought of something special she enjoyed with each teacher which we wrote on the back.  We then glued a skewer to each hand and let them dry completely.  We then cut out a large heart and wrote on it “Thank you each for touching my heart” before gluing a skewer on it.  I placed the foam insert into the bottom of the planter and poked the skewers with the heart and hands into it arranging it nicely.  My last touch was gluing a pretty ribbon and we were done!  The teachers really enjoyed it and my daughter loved watching them check out their hand to see what she had written.  Have fun creating your own!

Leave a comment »

S’mores In A Bag

Image

Sometimes it’s nice to have an easy, yummy dessert idea for the kids.  This one is super simple and the kids will really enjoy it.  All you need are

Mini Marshmallows

Milk Chocolate Chips

Graham Sticks (I used the graham bugs from Keebler)

Baggies

My kids really enjoy eating this, but they also like to help put it together as well.  Give each child a 1/2 cup measuring cup and let them place a scoop of each of the ingredients into the baggie.  Tahdah, all done!  Give a bag to each kiddo for dessert and they will be very happy campers!  The trick is trying to not eat it yourself before allowing the kids to have some!  Enjoy!

Leave a comment »

Gone Fishin”


My son loves this activity and will play for an hour or more! My daughter and I whipped it together while he was napping one day since it was raining and we knew we’d be stuck inside the rest of the afternoon. Here’s what you need

construction paper

scissors

paper clips

string

ruler

magnet

Draw fish shapes onto the construction paper and cut them out ( I had my 5-year-old do the cutting). Place a paper clip where the mouth should be and the fish are done. For the pole take the ruler and tie the string on one end. At the opposite end of the string tie the magnet and you’re good to go! We adapted this activity for each of my little ones. For my son as he caught a fish he would tell us the color (he’s 2) and for my 5-year-old daughter I wrote some simple words she’s working on reading and she would read them as she caught them. You could do this math problems, the alphabet, numbers etc depending on the skill your child is working on. As we caught them we even dropped them into a bucket just like we do when we actually fish. So fun!

2 Comments »

15 Ways to Emotionally Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

In 5 short weeks my daughter will be starting kindergarten (how did THAT happen?!).  When you ask people what to do to prepare them for this new adventure most will immediately give you ways to academically prepare them for the day, but no one every says how to prepare them mentally and emotionally for it.  So here’s a quick list of things to try with your soon to be kindergartener.  Please remember that while all of these things are going to be useful tools to prepare your child, it may not stop them from crying or not wanting you to leave.  At the end of the day your child is a child and this journey, while exciting, is also very scary so support them in every way possible!

1.  Visit the school as many times as possible.  Play on the playground, look at the classroom and meet with the teacher so on their first day it’s not unfamiliar.

2.  Go to the library and take out some “First Day of Kindergarten” books.  Most of your child’s favorite cartoons or characters have created books on this topic so read them and let them see how these characters react and adjust.

3.  Write a social story depicting the first day.  A social story is a story you write incorporating in your child and walking them through what the first day may look like.  To make it even better take pictures and include them in your book.

4.  Find out (if at all possible) the names of some of the children in their class and set up several play dates.  This will help them on the first day when they see a familiar face.

5.  Take them shopping or let them look through their closet to pick out a first day outfit.

6. Have your child help you write an “Exciting and Scary” list where they tell you things they think will be exciting and scary about kindergarten.

7.  Get a schedule of the day (we got one at orientation) and run a mock school day at home.  It’s not only a fun rainy day activity, but will also let them feel a little more confident as to what will happen.

8.  Find a special from home trinket to wear or tuck in a pocket.  We made a locket for my daughter with a picture of our family in it.

9.  The night before allow them to help pack their own lunch or snack.

10.  Include in their bag a special note or picture so they’re reminded that their not alone and you’re still thinking about them.

11.  Have your child draw a picture of what the first day may look like.

12.  Do a dry run of drop off.  Drive or walk to the school and show them where they will be going.

13.  Practice walking to the classroom from the door they will enter the building in, as well as down to the bathroom and back to the class.

14.  Talk, write, paint etc.  about the emotions they may be feeling about leaving their familiar routine and beginning kindergarten.

15.  Finally and most importantly, validate how they feel and tell them how you felt on your first day.  You may even show them pictures of your own first day of school to help them see their not alone and even you had the same experience.

Best of luck on your first day preparations and may your little ones have a great school year!

Leave a comment »