1-2 Years

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The Wheels on The Stroller Go...

We all know the old "Wheels on the Bus." Next time you go for a walk, try singing "Wheels on the Stroller." Some sample lyrics: The visor on the stroller goes up and down. The girls in the stroller go whee, whee, whee (or wah wah ...(read more)

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Crawling to the ABCs

Go to an educational store or other store that sells alphabet stencils. Then place the alphabet stencils on a tile floor in your home. Place them randomly so that the child will learn the letters individually. Then cover the stencils with clear contact paper. Watch as ...(read more)

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Hunting for Dinosaurs

This game can be played indoors or outdoors, but we usually save it for a rainy day. Give a child a large basket and have her gather all of her plastic toy dinosaurs. Once she is convinced that she has them all, count them according to size (e.g., ...(read more)

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DIY: Seashell Picture Frame

Create a homemade seashell picture frame to remember your precious memories at the beach. Collect a variety of seashells from your summer vacation at the beach, and then glue them onto a simple frame for decoration....(read more)

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Fingerprint Art

Your child may not yet be able to color and draw pictures, but you can help them create some unique artwork using a stamp pad and their own fingers! Using non-toxic ink pads, press your child's finger into various colors of pads and then press onto paper. Little ...(read more)

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Crayon Games

While out and about, I always keep a bag of crayons in my purse for those moments in the day when like it or not, my kids are just forced to wait. When they tire of drawing and coloring pictures, we play crayon games (this is especially good for ...(read more)

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Chalk the Walk

Mark off an area of your driveway, sidewalk or any other washable surface and let your kids go to town with Sidewalk Chalk. You can ask them to draw shapes, letters or numbers, or just let the little ones doodle. I'll draw objects or animals and then ask ...(read more)

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Paper Tube Bird Feeder

Take an empty toilet paper tube and spread peanut butter all round the outside edge of the tube. Roll the peanut butter tube in bird seed. Cut a piece of yarn that is about 12 inches long. Attach it to each end of the tube to make ...(read more)

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Clothes Pin Names

Write each letter of your child's name on a separate clothes pin. On a piece of paper, write your child's name. Mix up the clothes pins and have your child find each letter in their name, match it to the letter on the paper, and clip it on ...(read more)

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Rock Family

Collect enough rocks to represent each member of your family. Paint the rocks either to look like each person, or simply write each person's name on the rock. Place your new Rock Family in your garden or near the front door for your family's enjoyment....(read more)

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Digital P's and Q's

With a stack of colorful cards and a Sharpie or with an easel and a marker, you can quickly send thank yous for all the gifts your children receive on their birthdays. Write on the easel or the cards "Thank you for the [write gift name here]." With your ...(read more)

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Homemade bubbles

Mix together 2/3 cup of dishwashing liquid (Joy or Dawn work best), 1 quart of water, and 1/3 cup of glycerin. Stir with a whisk to combine all ingredients. Then pour a small amount of the liquid into a bowl or bowls for the kids to use. ...(read more)

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Texture Walk

Take a texture walk with your child or children. Use the outdoors to take advantage of an excellent learning opportunity for your little ones. Take a walk and look for things that are soft like sand, dirt, etc. Look for pine cones or rocks that are hard ...(read more)

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Indoor Tennis

My son invented a great new indoor game when he found a splatter screen in the kitchen and started hitting one of his stuffed fabric balls...indoor tennis! Splatter screens are wire mesh covers with a plastic handle that are made to keep grease from popping out of the pan ...(read more)

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Toy Town

On a carpeted area or rug, tape down long (5 or 6 feet) strips of masking tape in straight and curved patterns. Make the strips intersect each other to form a system of 'roads' on the floor. Gather toys and divide them up by themes, i.e. railroad, farm, ...(read more)

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Special Soup

If you're trying to cook and your little one keeps demanding your attention, give them their own large mixing bowl and spoon. Hand them the odds and ends of whatever you're using: i.e. potato or onion peels, celery leaves, pasta, etc. Add water and any spices you feel ...(read more)

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Sticker Tag

A new twist on the old game of tag - great for all ages and sure to get your blood pumping. Get a bunch of stickers, any kind will work but I use sheets of colored adhesive dots that are inexpensive and can be found at office supply stores. ...(read more)

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Creating Snacklaces

This is a slightly more nutritious variation of candy jewelry. Cut yarn or string in different lengths for your child to wear as a necklace or bracelet. Let your child decorate it by stringing on Cheerios or small pretzels. Make extras - they're fun to carry around ...(read more)

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Twenty Questions: Interviewing Your Child

This is a neat exercise to do with or without a video camera, although a recording of this would make a great gift when your child grows up. Explain to your child that you would like to interview him or her (you can talk about what this means and ...(read more)

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Decorating Flower Pots and Planting Seeds

This can be a great party craft or a fun project at home. Have kids paint the outsides of their flower pots and allow to dry. When pots are dry enough to handle, have the kids pour in the potting soil and sprinkle seeds in. Hopefully in ...(read more)

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More Fun with "Old MacDonald"

After we've exhausted all of the animals we can think of while singing "Old MacDonald," we add tractors, crops (such as apples or tomatoes), puddles or ponds, etc. and stretch our creativity thinking of sounds to go with them. The kids love coming up with silly sounds to go ...(read more)

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Going on a Bear Hunt

With your kids, sing the old summer camp song 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt.' (If you can't remember the words, you can find them here www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/teddy/bearhunt.html). Afterwards go back through the song and discuss (depending on the age of your children) each environment they go through on the ...(read more)

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Mural Mania

By just using big pieces of chart paper or butcher paper, drawing becomes a new, exciting activity. Pick a theme- a park, city block, or zoo and create a mural on a huge sheet of paper. Lasts for hours- brainstorm all the things that could go in the ...(read more)

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Tissue Paper Butterflies

Use an assortment of solid color tissue paper or patterned paper. Using half-sheets (or smaller, depending on the size of the butterfly you want to make), lay the number of sheets that you wish to use on top of one another. Then, bunch them up a little in the ...(read more)

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Personalizing Placemats

With your child, cut out pictures from magazines of your child's favorite things - foods, toys, colors, etc. Give your child a glue stick and then help your child paste pictures onto a large sheet of construction paper, card stock, or poster board. Laminate your finished product and ...(read more)

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Go Fish!

Create a fishing pond for your toddler. With your child, cut out several paper fish from construction paper and attach a paper clip to each fish. Then tie a string to one of end of the fishing pole (yardstick or other rod) and a magnet to the other ...(read more)

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Magic Mud

This is a fun and messy project for kids. Get out as many bowls as you want colors. Fill each bowl with a several heaping spoonfuls of corn starch, mix with a little water and food coloring. Keep adding water until it's soupy. If you let ...(read more)

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Letter Learning

Start by drawing a big outline of a letter on a piece of paper and let your child color or paint inside the lines. Then cut it out and stick it up or you can join it to other letters in an alphabet garland or a special word or name. ...(read more)

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Color Matchbox

On a large sheet of paper, draw a big square or rectangle and divide it into ten smaller squares. One for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Grey, Black and White Then, using scraps of paper cut from magazines, have your child choose the scraps ...(read more)

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Verde means Go!

When teaching my son how to say red, yellow or green in Spanish, we practice in the car with the signal lights. Each light we pass I say if the light is Rojo (Red), Amarillo (Yellow) or Green (Verde). Then after enough repetition I ask him which color ...(read more)

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Building a Fort ...or Something Else

My toddlers love to hide behind and under things. I often find them under the table playing hide-and-seek, so we started putting a sheet over it to make a fort. Now we play a game called 'Build me a fort or something else' where they have to say ...(read more)

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Searching for Worms

Kids like gooey things, especially gooey things deep in the soil. Go out in your yard and let your children know that you'll be looking for worms. Help your children to move the soil around very carefully using either their hands or small trowels. Explain how worms help ...(read more)

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Painting with Straws

Drop a couple of drops of paint onto a piece of paper, and give your child a straw to blow the paint with. Be sure that they just use the straw as a blower -- something to move the paint around with. Some kids like to put their ...(read more)

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Homemade Sprinkler

Who needs a watering can in the summer when your child can water the pots/plants with a homemade watering can? You kids will love doing this! Take an empty and clean gallon-size plastic milk jug. Poke holes towards the bottom of the container with a hammer and ...(read more)

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Finding Buried Treasure

Have you noticed that little kids love sparkly items? With this activity your child can pretend to be a pirate searching for lost treasure or an archaeologist searching for ancient artifacts. Take some little rocks and spray paint them gold. Older children can "help" with this part ...(read more)

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Coin Collector

A great way to pass time at the doctor's office or in restaurants is to take out all of your change and have your child sort the coins by kind, size and color. They can stack them, create shapes with them, count them etc. If you have a ...(read more)

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Sticker Dots

We all know that young kids love playing with stickers, but the problem is that they really do stick to everything and it's often hard to peel them off. Your floors, walls and furniture pay the price. What I do is buy lots of sheets of multi-colored sticker ...(read more)

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Ice Cube Painting

Begin by filling an ice cube tray with water. Then, help your child to add a drop or so of food coloring to each cube, creating a variety of colors. Put the tray into the freezer until frozen solid. Once they are frozen, pop the cubes out ...(read more)

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Paper Bag Animals

Turn a brown lunch bag upside down so that the bottom of the bag becomes the top of the puppet. Use the flap for face, drawing on a nose and some eyes. When you open the flap, have your child draw a tongue under the flap or attach ...(read more)

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Cookie Cutter Sandwiches

This is a fun way to let your kids help in the kitchen and get them to eat their sandwiches. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (or something else that would be easy to cut through) and then help your child to cut the sandwich into a shape ...(read more)

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Puddle Jumping

When it rains outside, we put on our raincoats and rain shoes and go in search of puddles. With each puddle comes a story depending on the shape and location of the puddle and at the end of the story we jump into that particular puddle signifying the end ...(read more)

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Dollar Daze

This is a great activity if you are waiting at an airport, the doctor's office, or for a bus. Take out some dollar bills (or higher) and have your child find the numbers and letters printed on them. For older children, you can ask them to tell you ...(read more)

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The Goldfish Game

My children all played this precious snack-time game at their preschool, and it has remained our favorite way to eat goldfish crackers. How to play: Explain to your child that you're going to tell him a story while he eats, but he has to be patient and only eat ...(read more)

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Creating an ABC Book

Help your child to create his or her own ABC book. Start by cutting paper into even sizes (like cutting 8 1/2 by 11 inch pieces of paper into half). These will form the pages of the book. Over the course of a week or so, create the ...(read more)

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Shape Spy

When you're out walking with your kids, make it more fun and even educational by playing 'Shape Spy.' Your kids may know their shapes from a book or puzzle, but can they identify them in everyday objects? When you pass a stop sign, tell them you 'shape spy' an octagon. ...(read more)

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Water Bottle Fun

Have your child help you mix together bubble solution, water, and food coloring in an empty plastic water bottle. Your child can then shake it up or squeeze it to see lots of colorful, bubbly fun. This activity is a great way to teach about colors. But ...(read more)

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Go Speed Racer!

A fun game for your little speed demon: Find a large concrete area. The driveway is a good choice, as long as it's safe! Draw a chalk racetrack on your driveway, and then let your child speed around it on her trike or big wheel. ...(read more)

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Musical Hoops

This is a great activity for groups of 2-6 children and a non-competitive alternative to musical chairs. Gather up several hoops or jump ropes tied in a loop, one for each child and adult. Place a different instrument (maracas, drums, home-made shakers, xylophones, etc.) in each hoop. ...(read more)

Ghostly Garland

This Halloween craft is also great way to recycle! Gather some used tissue paper or newspaper. Cut or tear the paper into pieces that are about 1' x 1' (if using newspaper, make the squares a little smaller). Have your child wad the paper up tightly into ...(read more)

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Q-Tip Geometric Designs

Early math concepts include shapes. Help your child to learn his shapes in a fun way. Have your child take Q-Tips and place them on construction paper to make different shapes. You can also encourage your child by asking him to make a triangle or a square. ...(read more)

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All about My Daddy (or Mommy)

Here's an idea for a cute Father's Day or Mother's Day gift. Staple several pieces of construction paper together to make a book. Ask your child to draw a picture of her daddy (or mom) on the cover. Depending on her age, you can help her by ...(read more)

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Super Letter Hunt

Play a hidden alphabet game with your child. Write each letter of your child's name on a separate piece of paper. Then hide the letters throughout your house and send your child on a letter treasure hunt. When she has found them, help her put the letters ...(read more)

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Cheesy ABC and 123 Pretzels

Little helpers can practice measuring and pouring while making these pretzels with you, and they will love shaping the pretzels into letters, numbers, or any shapes they choose. 1) Preheat oven to 425. 2) Lightly spray a cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray. 3) Put 1 1/2 cups warm ...(read more)

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Halloween Goo

Combine the ingredients listed to make a squishable, oozy material. This is great at Halloween! It can be placed in a wicker basket in a doorway, and it will ooze out. Or place it in a container and have kids feel it while blindfolded. If the ...(read more)

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Time to Rest

Pick a slow song or lullaby. Tell child to pretend to sleep with you or just lie down and listen. Play as much of the song as you like. This exercise encourages your child to experience relaxation and to listen. ...(read more)

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Magic Cups

This simple game for toddlers and preschoolers is based on the same principle as peek-a-boo, the favorite game of many infants. To start the game, hide a small toy under one of three cups while your child is watching. Then move the cups around and ask him to guess ...(read more)

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Drawing Music

Put on some music for your little one. It can be classical, jazzy, kids or adult music. Give him a paper and crayon and have him draw the music he hears. Does it make him want to make slow, lazy loops or fast and frantic dots? ...(read more)

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Counting Cards

This is a very simple activity that reinforces numbers, both writing and counting. Using 3x5 cards, write the numerals 0-10 or if your child has mastered to 10, 0-20, one number per card. One the reverse side of the card, use small reward stickers and stick on the ...(read more)

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Ice Ornament

Create an "ice ornament" or "ice sculpture" by arranging natural objects found on a nature walk (like pine cones, leaves, sticks, rocks) in a shallow pan. Fold a length of string in half and lay it in the pan so the fold is over the edge of the pan ...(read more)

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Bubble Count

My 4-year-old daughter made up this game, and I thought it was rather clever! As I blow bubbles, she pops them with her finger and says a number, starting with the number 1. As the bubbles float by, she pops them and counts the next number, and the ...(read more)

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Summer Walk

Go for a summer walk through the neighborhood and point out the changes since spring and winter, or have you child point out the changes, if he or she is old enough. This works with any season and is a great way to teach your child about seasons and ...(read more)

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Follow the Clapping Leader

You can do this with just you and your child or with a group of children. Clap out a rhythm on your shoulder, knee, arm, or some other body part, and your child or the group of children must follow. Any number can play this game and if you are ...(read more)

Glitter Fireworks

These fireworks pictures are great decorations for 4th of July or New Year's. Spread glue on paper in radiating shapes (with rays like the sun or branches like trees). If the glue is soft enough, put some on the paper and blow air at it through a straw to ...(read more)

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Jump Inside the Circle

Best played with a group of children. Have everyone sit in a large circle facing each other. One adult describes a child in the circle using visual clues, and everyone tries to guess which child it is. Example: "This person is wearing a red sweater and blue ...(read more)

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Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments

Let the kids decorate the tree this year with these simple ornaments that smell as good as they look. To make the ornaments: 1) Combine 1 cup applesauce and 1 cup cinnamon in a small bowl until it forms a dough. (If dough is too wet, add a ...(read more)

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Shoe Box Trains

Shoe boxes come in handy for so many crafts - here's another idea for any empty boxes you have lying around the house. Have your preschooler decorate the shoe box with markers, crayons, stickers, and other art supplies. Once they've finished decorating the shoe box, poke a hole ...(read more)

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Valentine Stained Glass

To make a festive Valentine's Day window decoration, cut a large heart out of 2 sheets of red, pink, or white construction paper. The heart must be the same size & placement on both sheets because you will be using the heart-shaped holes not the hearts themselves. Next ...(read more)

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Peanut Butter Caterpillars

This is a fun snack for your child to make. You will need one banana, peanut butter and raisins. Begin by slicing a banana into circles. Use peanut butter to stick the slices together to form a caterpillar as your child desires. Use raisins for the eyes, mouth and nose. ...(read more)

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Making a Small Menorah

This is very cute and easy project for young kids to make at Hanukkah. Buy a small rectangular piece of white tile (about 8"-12" long x 3" wide). Have your child paint the tile. Once the tile is dry, glue a small piece of tile in the ...(read more)

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Spring Collage

Go on a nature walk in the spring and pick up wild flowers, leaves, twigs, feathers, and other signs of spring in a paper bag. Next, help your child write "spring" on a paper plate. Then have him or her glue on the spring items to the plate. A pretty ...(read more)

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St. Patrick's Day Lucky Clover Craft

Talk to your child about things she feels lucky to have in her life. It could be friends, family, pets, toys, etc. Then cut out a large four-leaf clover on green construction paper. For older children, you can draw the outline of the clover and have them ...(read more)

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Tissue Paper Earth

Have your child draw and cut out a large circle on cardboard paper. Help them to draw some of the continents on their circle, creating a sketch of the Earth. Next, wad up pieces of blue and green tissue paper -- green for the continents and blue for the ...(read more)

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Plant a Tree!

It's just that simple - plant a tree! Use this experience to honor a loved one. Teach your child about the many functions of trees and how they benefit our environment. Be sure to include a basic botany lesson -- how the roots will help the tree to drink ...(read more)

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Spring Cleaning!

Get the whole family together to do some spring cleaning - outdoors! Visit a park or lake nearby and spend an hour or two picking up trash in the area. Teach your child about litter, appropriate places to put trash, keeping our world clean, and recycling. Be sure to take ...(read more)

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Cinco Means Five

A great thing to do on Cinco de Mayo is teach your little one some Spanish words! You can select five words such as five colors or five fruits or vegetable or maybe 5 days of the week. You can also teach five words each week ...(read more)

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Egg Shaker

Here's an idea for a fun Easter treat that does not involve candy! Fill half of a plastic Easter egg with about 1 tablespoon of rice or small dried beans. Put a thin layer of craft glue around the rim of the egg and then snap the other ...(read more)

Sidewalk 'Painting'

On a warm day, take the kids outside to 'paint' the sidewalk using water instead of paint. They love that they are painting, but you don't have any clean-up! They can also do handprints and footprints by getting their hands and feet wet....(read more)

Rainbow Stew

Stir together 1 cup cornstarch, 4 cups water, and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat on the stove until thick. Remove from heat and wait for it to cool. Pour the mixture into sandwich-size ziploc bags, filling each one halfway. Scatter drops of ...(read more)

Touring a Fire Station

Contact your local Fire Station and ask if they give tours. Most fire stations will provide tours for children and will tailor the tour to the age of the children attending. This is a great group activity! Many stations will even allow you to have a birthday ...(read more)

Tactile Fun with Textures

Using different textured materials (e.g. corduroy, silk, wool, etc.), cut out 4X4 squares of the materials and then punch hole in one corner. Hang all of the fabrics together on a single shower curtain ring. Babies can use this to explore different textures, toddlers can find new descriptive words for the ...(read more)

Go Fish . . .for Toys

Take a few of your child's favorite small toys and tie one end of a short length of string to each of them. Tie the other ends of the string to the tray of his or her highchair or tape them along the outer edge (make sure the tape is ...(read more)

M&M Math

Dump a bag of M&Ms on the table and ask your child to sort them into different piles, by color. Then ask her to create vertical lines to show, without counting, which color has the most M&M's. You can add to the game by asking other questions such ...(read more)

Calling all Budding Thespians

Instead of simply reading your child's favorite book again, make it interactive. Let him/her choose a page or scene from the book and act it out. For example, my son loves construction equipment, so he goes through his books and tells me to be one of the bulldozers ...(read more)

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Choose-a-Chore

Toddlers love to 'help' around the house. A great way to teach them to help with chores and enjoy them at the same time is to turn them into a game. Let your child choose a chore to help with (e.g. laundry or unloading the dishwasher). For ...(read more)

Say Cheese: Homemade Photo Albums

Help your toddler remember friends and relatives whom they do not get to see often. Choose or take a photograph of each person you wish to include in the book. Using colored markers, let your child help write the name of that person on a piece of paper. ...(read more)

Itty Bitty Bye... About So High

This is a great treasure hunt game that can be played indoors or out with older children and ones as young as 2. My 7, 5, and 3 year olds love it. Pick an object to hide and show it to your child. Your child covers their ...(read more)

Finger Painting with Pudding

Prepare pudding and tape paper to a table. Feel free to add food coloring to make a more colorful 'paint.' Give each child his or her own container of pudding, then let them use their fingers to paint on the paper. In addition to creating a pudding masterpiece, ...(read more)

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Homemade Playdough

Mix together the flour, salt, water, food coloring, cream or tartar, and cooking oil in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture forms a large 'ball' and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the ball from the heat. Once ...(read more)

Noodle Art

Let your kids get creative with what's in the pantry. Each time I cook pasta, I always save a little bit of the noodles in a baggie. Then once we have accumulated enough different types of noodles, we make art. Let the kids use their imagination and ...(read more)

Paper Plate Masks

Use a small white paper plate as the base for a child's mask. Cut two holes about where the child's eyes will be, then punch one hole on either side of the paper plate and tie a piece of string or yarn through each hole. This will be ...(read more)

Paper Tube Maracas

Take an empty paper towel or toilet paper tube. Cover one end with a small square of construction paper and fasten the square to the tube with a rubber band. Then fill the tube with dried beans or uncooked rice -- you can experiment with different amounts and ...(read more)

Picture Toast

Read a book with your child. In a small cup, mix 1/4 cup of milk with a few drops of food coloring. Use a Q-tip to paint the colored milk onto a piece of bread. Ask your child to paint their favorite part of the story or ...(read more)

What's Missing?

On a cookie sheet, place 5 or 6 small objects, such as a spoon, brush, book, toy, sock, or crayon. Allow your child to look at all the items on the cookie sheet. Have your child turn around, so you can remove one of the objects from the ...(read more)

Picture Sort

Sort pictures into groups of boys/girls, tall/short, hair color, or young/old. Kids could also make a line of all the pictures from youngest to oldest or shortest to tallest.

Making Play Binoculars

Tape or glue two clean toilet tissue cardboard tolls together and then tape some string to each roll so that the child can put it around his/her neck. To make it extra fun, paint, color or add stickers before or after taping/gluing the rolls....(read more)

Oatmeal Drum

Making a drum out of the tall 42 oz cylindrical shaped oatmeal container. Take top off and cover the container using decorated paper. You can use glue to seal the edges. Then seal opening with construction paper by securely using tape. Little kids will enjoy drumming ...(read more)

Letter Hunt

Get a stack of index cards and write one letter on each card and then hide them around a room. After hiding the letters, ask your child to find as many of the index cards as possible. As they find each card tell them to say the letter out loud. ...(read more)

Blessing Ring/Birthday Ring

Cut thin strips of colored construction paper. Write the name of a blessing on each piece of paper. (Optional - Decorate the paper with stickers, etc.) Link the pieces of paper to form one long chain that you can hang on the fireplace or anywhere in the house. ...(read more)

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Popsicle Painting

Paint pictures on white paper using different colors of popsicles. You can use this activity to illustrate the concept of melting ice turning into water.

Homemade Crayons

This is a fun craft you can do with your leftover broken crayons. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Get a muffin tin and line it with foil, spray foil lightly with non-stick spray. Then, take your old, broken crayon pieces (use pieces smaller than 1/2 inch) and ...(read more)

Pantry Painting

Painting doesn't have to be limited to paint brushes. You can use lots of different painting tools to produce different artistic results. Some ideas include: feathers, twigs or leaves, eyedroppers, toothbrushes, vegetable and pastry brushes Also, try adding something to change the texture of the paint. ...(read more)

Homemade Playdough -- No Cooking Required!

Into a large bowl, put 3 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tablespoons of warm water, and 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil. Knead all ingredients together and form into balls (this is a great sensory development skill for younger children). Then gently work in a few ...(read more)

Spin Art Cards

Have your little one help create birthday and/or holiday cards using a spin art machine. Once your child has completed the spin art, they can then add their artistic touch by 'signing' or adding a personal message....(read more)

Balloon Ball

Find a fairly large, open area of the house where your child won't be in danger of running into anything. Blow up a balloon and show your child how to hit the balloon into the air with his/her hands. Try to hit the balloon back and forth, counting ...(read more)

Mixing Colors

Teach your child how to mix two colors together to make another color (e.g. yellow blue makes green and red blue makes purple). To begin, fill up a couple of clear glasses with water. Then, allow your kids to add drops of food coloring to make your color mixes -- ...(read more)

Inside Out Science

Science isn't just projects, it's everywhere. My kids enjoy learning about things by taking them apart to see what's inside. Collect a few flowers and examine them together. Talk about their texture, take them apart carefully so you can see how they're made. Squish them in ...(read more)

Where I Live

All kids should know their address, but sometimes it's hard for little ones to memorize it. Help them by making your address part of a rhyme. Here are some examples: When I see my house I start to holler: 'That's where I live, #57 ...(read more)

What's the 411? Important Information about Where You Live

Take a picture of your house and paste it on a piece of construction paper (older children can help with this). Cut out a picture of your state and paste it on the paper as well. Then write out your full address, city, state, and telephone number. If you have ...(read more)

Painting with Marbles

Place a white sheet of paper on a cookie sheet or other pan with taller sides. Place several drops of paint (different colors) on the paper. Then, place a few marbles in the pan, have your child roll them around, and see what designs can be made!...(read more)

Toddler Charades

My 3-year old loves playing this simplified version of charades. Imitate an animal or object and have your child guess what you are. Alternatively, imitate an activity and have your child guess what you're doing. Take turns. Be sure to explain to your child that there ...(read more)

Playing Elevator

Spread a towel on the ground for your 'elevator.' Step in and push the pretend button to travel to different floors. Describe each step: 'The door is opening' (show with your hands). 'We're getting on the elevator' (step on the towel). 'We're pushing two' (push ...(read more)

Pack-n-Play: Packing for an Adventure

Have your child pack a backpack, small suitcase, or any available bag for 'taking a trip.' They can pack whatever they think they'll need - socks, jammies, toys, toothbrush. Take the bag to a pretend destination. What will you do there? Did you pack everything you ...(read more)

Creating a Memory Art Book

When my toddler was still very young, I purchased a nice, large, spiral-bound sketch book. Every so often when he is coloring, painting, or using his markers, I get out the sketch pad and have him color on one of the pages. I date each page in the ...(read more)

Painting with Cars

Cover a table with butcher paper. Using washable paint, put some into little trays. Then, take a few little cars that have tread on their tires. Dip into paint and roll onto paper. Mix it up by using a few different colors....(read more)

Leaves, Acorns, and Rocks, Oh My! Building a Nature Collection

Children love to collect various items on an outdoor walk. Next time you go on a walk with your child, bring a bag with you. As your child collects leaves, acorns, and rocks, put them into your bag. When you arrive home, you and your child can ...(read more)

Oodles of Doodles

When I need to distract my two-year-old twins while waiting at the doctor's office, on an airplane, or when we're at home, we play a game we call "oodles of doodles." I grab a pen and paper or, even better, a magnetic doodle pad and draw an animal, trees, ...(read more)

Paper Cup Telephone

Take 2 sturdy paper cups. Poke small holes in the bottom of each cup. String a long (6 ft or so) piece of yarn or kite string through the holes and secure with a knot. Pull the string tight and you can talk and listen through your ...(read more)

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Cardboard Box Creations

Use a large cardboard box, big enough that your kid can crawl into it (stove or refrigerator boxes work great) and create your own playhouse, fort, car, truck, whatever he or she would like! Just cut windows and doors and decorate the outside of the box with markers ...(read more)

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Squirrel Hunt

We leave the house and set out on a squirrel hunt. We spy them in trees, digging up nuts, chasing other squirrels. Count how many you can find! It's great - they are everywhere!

Indoor Sledding

Take a laundry basket or a big cardboard box . Put your toddler inside and drag them around the house for some indoor sledding.

Pillow Mazes

Collect all the pillows and couch cushions you have and pile them in one room. Create mazes with them and have a blast tumbling around the room.

Sponge Painting

Cut several sponges into simple shapes: rectangles, triangles, circles, squares. You can get fancy and make a few stars or fish too! Use the sponges to dip into children's poster paint and sponge away on heavy set paper. You can create patterns, objects ...(read more)

Bathtub Painting

Mix the same amounts of Dr. Bronner's or similar soap and corn starch. Divide in several containers and add food coloring. Paint the tub with a brush or fingers!

Singing Memories

Here's a fun way I have to help my toddlers remember holidays, visits with family, or outings in the city. I make up songs about each memorable event. You don't have to sing on key to get your kids hooked on these personal songs. You can either ...(read more)

Picnicking Indoors

For those long winter days when you can't get outside, your toddler will love having an indoor picnic. Have your child help you pack up a basket full of food. Together, you can then lay out a tablecloth or a sheet on the floor and put out plates ...(read more)

Counting Sticks

This is an activity to help your toddler with counting. Take large tongue depressors and glue different amounts of beans or fuzzy pom-poms onto them. Make enough sticks to show numbers 1-10. Let your child help you count each bean or pom-pom that is on the stick. You can write ...(read more)

Eat Your Colors

My two-year-old twins love shouting out colors. One fun way to encourage them to eat fruit and to show off their knowledge of colors is to cut up a fruit salad with strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, kiwi etc. and then shout out 'eat something red...eat something orange.' ...(read more)

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Tall Tales for Your Toddler

Try just starting a story in a quiet-ish moment. It can be a total non sequitur, no moral, no point, no lesson. Look at your little one and start with 'Did I ever tell you about ...' and just take it from there. The funny cat that ...(read more)

Cabinet Chaos

When my kids are home on a rainy day or I just want to entertain them in some way, I let them pick a cabinet or drawer in the kitchen and we empty the whole thing. The kitchen utensils drawer or one filled with tupperware storage containers or plastic ...(read more)

Shoe Hunt

My kids love to try on and wear my husband's and my shoes, so we made a game out of it. Get several pairs of shoes and put them in pile, then have the kids race to the stack and try to put on a matching pair. When ...(read more)

'I Spy' Bottles

Remove the wrapper from a two-liter plastic bottle. Insert 5-10 'I Spy' trinkets (penny, marble, plastic figures, bottle cap, etc.). After inserting the trinkets, fill the bottle three-quarters of the way to the top with beans or rice. Tell your child how many 'I Spy' items are in ...(read more)

Counting Beans

Keep a plastic container filled with different beans -- all colors and sizes. On a rainy afternoon, spread out a sheet or blanket on the floor and pour the beans out on a baking tray on the sheet. Give your toddler different cups, spoons, muffin tins ...(read more)

Handmade Snowflakes

Take a piece of white paper. Have the child fold it several times into a small piece. Cut off the corners, and cut triangles into the sides and open! It should resemble an original snowflake art to be hung in a window. You can make several and ...(read more)

Tray of Colors

Get a baking sheet tray. Choose a color and ask your child to find as many things as he can of that color. For example, if you said 'red', your child could find an apple, a red car, a red crayon, a red flower, a red bottle of nail ...(read more)

Crazy Centipede

Cut out circles of colored paper for your child and ask your child to stick them in a row on paper, with each circle overlapping slightly. Then draw eyes with a marker or glue on googly eyes from the craft store. For the finishing touches, add antennae and ...(read more)

Making Puppets

Puppets are fun to make and great to play with, especially when acting out stories. Silly dog -- An old sock can be quickly transformed into a "silly dog" puppet. Make a dog from a sock by cutting out two ears from some felt -- or any sort ...(read more)

Tiny Treasure Hunt

Loosely hide some tempting objects in your garden for your toddler to find and investigate. For little ones, you might use bigger objects and give a few hints; older children will enjoy more of a challenge. Try a folded-up dish towel with some toys hidden inside, a box ...(read more)

Laundry Fun

Get a large bowl. Have your child fill the bowl with water and add a small amount of soap -- either laundry detergent or dish soap will work fine. Then let your child wash some of their doll or teddy bear clothes and hang them on a ...(read more)

Target Practice

Put a large non-breakable bowl or bucket on the ground and ask your child to throw a ball in it. If she gets the ball in, ask her to take a step back and try again. See how far away she can be and still hit the target. ...(read more)

Jack and Jill Fetching A Pail of Water

Take either two bowls or buckets and a big sponge. Fill the first bucket with some water, but not all the way full. Have your child soak up the water with the sponge and then wring it out in the empty bucket. See how many times or ...(read more)

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Off to the Races (Indoors)!

Create an obstacle course with masking tape on the floor around various things inside your house. For example, you can have your kids crawl through big cardboard boxes, climb onto the couch, crawl to the end of the couch and then jump down onto a stack of pillows, ...(read more)

Polly Want a Cracker

Take a cookie cutter and punch a nice shape out of a slice of white bread. You can save the scraps for breadcrumbs or make ones with the center cut out. Punch a hole into the bread for yarn to hang, thread the yarn through the bread shape. ...(read more)

Paper Dolls

Take a sheet of paper and fold it into fourths, lengthwise. Draw the outline of a doll on the top fold, making sure that the figure touches both sides of the paper. Cut out the figure with scissors and spread it open. If you don't cut along the creases, you ...(read more)

Easter Egg Mobile

Cut out Easter eggs out of colored construction paper, or decorate white paper eggs with markers, paint, yarn, etc. Punch a hole in the top of each egg and tie it with string onto the bottom of a hanger. Presto! Your very own Easter mobile. You can also do a ...(read more)

Ziploc Bag Painting

A fun way to teach colors and color mixing (red and white make pink, etc) with less mess. Take large storage bags and have your child pour a little paint, just one color, in the bag (if you have paint with squirt tops, that's even better!). Then, have ...(read more)

Growing a Garden

After the cold weather is over, invite the children to explore in the backyard with you. Buy a children's gardening set (trowel, spade, gloves) so that they can help you clear the dirt in order to prepare the soil so that you can plant pretty flower seeds or tomatoes. ...(read more)

Bug-gy Safari

This is a fun spring and summer activity. Children love pill bugs (also known as roly-poly bugs), and these bugs become good pets for a little while. On a nice day, take a walk outside with your kids, and keep your eyes on the ground for any pill ...(read more)

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Bug Catcher Jar

Help your child make a bug-catching jar for your next walk or park outing. Begin by cleaning an empty plastic peanut butter jar. Soak the jar in water to remove the label. Then, cut a few holes in the lid with a knife or utility scissors. ...(read more)

Playing Footsies

Every six months, trace your child's foot to see how much his or her feet have grown. As your child grows older, he or she will have fun painting the toe nails, drawing happy faces on each toe, or just being creative. This is a fun art project ...(read more)

Handprint Art

Here's a great idea for the next time you're looking for a creative gift. Paint your child's hand with fabric paint and apply to a clean t-shirt or apron. Write your child's name and the year in paint or permanent marker underneath the hand print. You can ...(read more)

Fun with Melting Ice

Kids will love this game of watching a toy slowly melt out of a block of ice. Begin by cutting the top off an empty, clean milk carton. Put a toy inside and fill the milk carton with water -- you don't have to fill it all the ...(read more)

Tricycle Wash

Let your child 'wash' his or her 'car.' Kids enjoy washing their ride-on cars and scooters, and this will entertain them for at least 15-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the little ones if they may drink soapy water. You also don't have to use soap -- this ...(read more)

Portable Flannel Box

Create a fun, portable flannel board for your next road trip or doctor's office visit. To begin, cover the top of a shoe box with felt, secure the felt underneath with glue, staples, or a hot glue gun. This will form the base of the flannel board. ...(read more)

Letter of the Week

A fun way to learn the alphabet is to focus on learning one new letter each week. You can use letter flash cards and letter magnets to reinforce the shape of the letter, and print a page that relates to the letter from the internet for your child to ...(read more)

Making a Placemat

Instead of throwing away the attraction maps that you receive from an amusement park, keep them and make placemats from them. Let your child pick out which part to use, cut the map to size, and cover the map with clear contact paper. Easy and cheap placemats for ...(read more)

Serving Up Smoothies

Going to the store to pick out fruit ingredients for making smoothies. My favorite recipe is to add two cups of milk to a blender, and to that add 1/2 cup of strawberries, 1 or 2 sliced bananas, and 1/2 cup of yogurt. It is so tasty, and ...(read more)

Fingerpaint/Bodypaint

On a nice sunny day, let your kids strip down to a diaper or undies/swimsuit and let them fingerpaint outside. Have paper ready, but you can also let them paint on your kiddie table or let them paint themselves. My kids painted their whole bodies and all our ...(read more)

Sidewalk Shape Game

Draw shapes on the sidewalk with chalk (do 2 or 3 of each shape if you have multiple children). Then make a game out of finding the shapes. For younger kids, you can just ask 'can you find the triangle' and have them go stand on it. ...(read more)

Bubble Painting

In a cup, mix equal parts of water and dishwashing liquid (not dishwasher detergent). Add paint to this mixture until you get the color you want. Use a straw to blow bubbles in the paint mixture until the bubbles froth up a bit over the cup -- older ...(read more)

Construction Junction

If you have any new construction happening in your area, find a good place to park and let your kids watch the bulldozers, cranes, and large trucks. Let them watch the construction workers build houses, etc. For older kids, you can name the different kinds of machines being ...(read more)

Making a Piggy Bank

Make a piggy bank out of an empty coffee can. Begin by gluing pink felt around the can. Then, help your child to add googly eyes to the front -- or draw eyes on with a marker -- and glue two small felt triangles to the top of ...(read more)

Pretend Grocery Store

Set up a room in your house like a grocery store. Put some of your kids' favorite foods on tables and other low pieces of furniture -- these will make the aisles of the grocery store. Then give your kids something to use as a basket. My ...(read more)

Birthday Hat

This year, let your child create his or her own birthday hat! To begin, staple or tape a piece construction paper into the shape of a cone. Then, let your child decorate the hat with glitter glue, ribbons, streamers, pom-poms, foam letters -- whatever your child can dream ...(read more)

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Cookie Math

The next time you bake sugar cookies, use this activity to help your child work on counting skills and learn the significance of numbers. For example, your child can add three chocolate chips to a cookie because he is 3 years old, and he can create a cookie with ...(read more)

Ring in the Big Day

When your child is having a hard time waiting for a special day to arrive, use this craft to help him or her mark the time still left until the big day. Create a stack of construction paper strips; each strip should be big enough to staple or tape ...(read more)

Dishwasher Sorting

My son loves to play with the dishwasher while I am cooking dinner. When the dishwasher is clean, I put all of his plastic spoons and forks in the silverware holder and let him practice taking them in and out. I also include our stainless steel spoons since ...(read more)

Making Popovers

Kids love to cook and this recipe is easy and rewarding. Let your preschooler pour ingredients into the bowl and help mix them all together. Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. While preheating the oven, put your ungreased muffin pan in the oven so that ...(read more)

Bowl-O-Fun

My son loves to take things in and out of bowls and bags. He works at it like it is his job. I keep a bowl on our dining room table full of adult-items suitable for a baby (old tube of shampoo, wooden spoon, sunglasses case, basting brush, ...(read more)

Postcard game #2

Does your preschooler enjoy opening your mailbox, grabbing the contents, and shouting 'my mail'? Give her a reason for her glee, other than your daily delivery of bills and catalogs. Keep a stack of 4x6 index cards at hand, and, every few days, ask your little one to ...(read more)

Indoor Boat Ride

While on a bed with your child/children, pretend you are on a sailing boat. Locate marine life (jumping dolphins, sharks, whales) and search for land. Have your child create a story about why you are on the boat and where you are going, even what you will see ...(read more)

Laundry Basket Ride

On a carpeted surface, push your child around in the laundry basket while changing loads of laundry. They love the ride and then can take their own turn pushing around dolls and stuffed animals themselves!...(read more)

Indoor Balance Beam

If you have a little gymnast in your house, use this activity to get him or her off the furniture and onto a safer surface. Grab a bunch of throw pillows from around the house and line them up on the floor. Let your child walk across the ...(read more)

Indoor Jump Rope

Here's a clever way to re-purpose your jump rope or even a long piece of yarn. Stretch your jump rope, or other long string, on the floor and use it as a "tightrope"; your child can walk backwards, forwards, eyes closed, etc. For an added "circus" touch, give ...(read more)

Ants on a Log

Children love to be in the kitchen. This is a simple sanck recipe, for children to make. Cut celery stalks in to 3 inch pieces. Let child spread peanut butter into center of stalk and add raisins to create ants! If child has a peanut allergy, you ...(read more)

Sock Toss

This is easy indoor entertainment for preschoolers. Mark a line of masking tape on the floor, and set up an empty bucket or laundry basket or other receptacle a couple of feet beyond the line of tape. Take turns seeing if you can toss rolled-up socks into the ...(read more)

Face Collage

Take a stack of old magazines and cut out eyes, noses, mouths, ears, and hair. Then, draw an oval on a piece of drawing paper or construction paper. Give your child the cut-out facial features and the blank oval for a face, and let him or her create ...(read more)

Colorful Cupcake Decorating

Kids really love this activity. You and your child can begin by baking a batch of cupcakes as you usually would (using a simple cake mix is the easiest). Make the cupcakes nice and big so that the children can hold on to them for easier decorating. ...(read more)

What's Your Middle Name?

This is a fun game that helps kids learn their letters. We have an imaginary friend named Samuel Serendipity and we continually change the first letter of his middle name and then think of all the words his middle name could be. Ex. For Samuel P. Serendipity, my ...(read more)

Milk Carton Blocks

Don't throw away your empty milk cartons... start washing them out and creating a collection. When you fold down the top of the milk carton, they can become excellent building blocks -- large enough to build a fort. Once you get a good number of them collected, allow ...(read more)

Colored Jello Fun

Follow the directions to create clear gelatin (Knox is a common brand). Then fill up an ice tray with the clear gelatin liquid and put a few drops of different food coloring liquid in each cup. Cool according to the package directions. Once the gelatin has cooled, ...(read more)

Whose Name Is It?

On a piece of paper, write the name of your child, a family member, friend, pet, favorite character from a book or TV show, etc. and ask your child to guess whose name it is. If she needs help you can give her clues (example: it is someone in ...(read more)

Thumbprint Tree

This is a fun art project for little ones! To get ready, cut out a tree trunk and branches on brown construction paper and glue it to a light colored piece of paper. Then, take your child's thumb (or let your child do this part herself) and put ...(read more)

Puzzle Stories

Wooden puzzle pieces, especially the chunky ones or ones with pegs, make great 'characters' for pretend play. If your child is through with fitting the pieces into the spaces, or just never took to puzzles, store the board and use the pieces. If you want to be really ...(read more)

Creative Gift Bags

Your little one can help create a gift bag. Take a solid color paper bag and have your child apply stickers of their choice to it. They can also use markers to create a personalized message. I've found this is a great way to get my child ...(read more)

Family & Friends Photo Album

Have your child put together an album with pictures of their family and friends. I like to start with many pictures and allow my daughter to select the ones she would like to include in 'her' album. While we are selecting the pictures, she also tells me a ...(read more)

Fruit Kabobs

Let your child slice some of his or her favorite fruit into bite size pieces with a plastic knife. Your child can then put the fruit onto chop sticks or wooden skewers. This is a great time to practice colors and counting. Enjoy the fruit kabobs immediately, ...(read more)

Pasta Jewelry

Spread some of newspapers over your work area, and then pour some different pasta shapes out on the newspaper. Let your child help you paint each of the pasta shapes with different colors of craft paint, and then let the paint dry thoroughly. While the paint is drying, ...(read more)

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Coffee Filter Flowers

Begin with a stack of white, basket-style coffee filters. Give your child a stack of the coffee filters and a bunch of markers, and let him or her decorate them. These will form the petals of the flowers. Once they're done, group the filters into stacks of ...(read more)

Nature Silhouettes

This activity combines the challenge of a nature hunt with the satisfaction of a simple painting project. Help your child to search the yard or park for an interesting stick, flower, leaf, or rock. Once you arrive home, place your child's treasure on a piece of white paper ...(read more)

Backyard Boogie

Take your music and dancing outside for a change! With an extension cord or an outside outlet, you can play your kids favorite music or some of your old favories (we've played Abba, Billy Joel and the Eagles) and have a backyard dance party. I have ...(read more)

Snow Painting

On those cold snowy winter days, bundle up your kids and give them a couple of spray bottles. Fill the spray bottles with water and add a little food coloring to each one. The kids can spray the colored water onto the snow and create a masterpieces!...(read more)

Microwave S'mores

There's no need to go camping for this quick and tasty treat! You can have your preschooler assemble these. Begin by letting your child break a graham cracker in half and a chocolate bar into half or thirds. Then, help your child place one graham cracker half ...(read more)

Sink Soak

This will keep your little ones busy for a long time. Fill the kitchen sink or bathroom sink with some water. Then give your kids measuring cups, spoons, plastic bowls, etc. and they will have a splashing good time. You may want to put them in short-sleeve ...(read more)

Sound Hike

Take your child on a walk around your neighborhood and listen for different sounds of nature. Can you hear birds chirping, leaves rustling in the wind, sticks breaking underfoot, dogs barking, or water flowing? Now, listen for 'people' noises: people talking or laughing, children playing, cars and trucks ...(read more)

For the Dora Lover

Whenever you need to explain that you have to go somewhere to your little one who loves Dora, make it into an adventure! When we go to the bagel shop I say, 'We have to go up the hill, through the park, to the bagel shop.' My daughter loves it ...(read more)

Bird Watching

If you are in an area with several kinds of birds, take the time to learn the birds and point out the different kinds to your child and say hello. In our local park with have sparrows, cardinals, and bluebirds, and we say hello to them and talk about their ...(read more)

Kitchen Bowling

Another indoor, rainy day activity. Raid your recycling bin for a bunch of plastic bottles. Stand them up on the floor in a group. Then have your players stand a distance away, and take turns rolling a ball towards the 'pins.' You can give each child ...(read more)

Sketch Together

Much as children love to draw wild abstractions, they also like to see the creation of representational pictures. If you enjoy sketching at all yourself, it is great fun to pick up a sketch pad and draw alongside your preschooler. No matter what your picture looks like, you ...(read more)

Making a Picture Frame

Cut out one rectangle-shaped piece of cardboard to at least 5" by 7". Cut out another frame-shaped piece of cardboard to the same dimensions. Staple three of the outer edges together so that a 4" by 6" photo can fit inside. Get out the glue, glitter, and ...(read more)

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Shopping List

Little ones always seem to be interested in going to the grocery store and being in charge of the shopping list. But since most kids under the age of 5 can't read, you can create a special shopping list just for them. With your child, take old newspapers and circulars ...(read more)

Preschooler "Baby Book"

Every preschooler loves to talk about and praise themselves! Take a small photo album or scrap book, and let your preschooler choose his favorite photos and mementos to put into the book. Then he can share the pictures and stories with friends and family. This is especially ...(read more)

Red Light, Green Light Clean-Up Game

Anything to make clean-up interesting! Make it a "race" using Red Light/Green Light, either between siblings or with your own participation. On the "Green Light" command, put away as many toys as possible before you have to temporarily "freeze" on the Red Light command. ...(read more)

What is a Dozen?

Help your preschooler learn what a dozen is and practice counting to 12. Let your child decorate an empty egg carton with crayons, markers, stickers, and/or paint. Then he can fill each compartment with any small item, such as marbles, small toy cars, crackers, or whatever he'd like, as ...(read more)

Red Car, Green Car

Whenever we're in the car and my toddler seems bored I ask her to find a red car. She loves this game! It's turned into finding all different colors. You can also do this activity by asking what color the car in front of you or beside ...(read more)

All-Season Snowman

Make an indoor snowman any time of year using stackable boxes and household items for clothes and eyes, nose and mouth! Use your preschooler's creativity, but some suggestions are vanilla wafers for eyes, raisins for mouth, and a cracker for a nose. ...(read more)

Colored Ice

Young children are fascinated by changes in their environment. This activity is a very simple way (especially on a hot day) to cool off while learning a little about science. Make ice cubes with water that has been colored with food dye. Best colors are red, blue, ...(read more)

Dye your Daisies

A fun way to help your child visualize how plants use water is to add a few drops of food coloring to a glass of water, then place a white daisy into the glass. Over the next few days the daisy will change colors as it "drinks" the water. ...(read more)

Feelings Journal

Sometimes kids have a really difficult time dealing with strong feelings, and those feelings can come out directed at mom, dad or siblings in a negative way. Try to channel and understand those trying times by keeping a "Feelings Journal." When your child comes home from school or ...(read more)

Flower Pots

Your little ones can make flower pots using plastic flowers and flour, water, and food coloring. Mix the flour with the water and food coloring to make paste. Place the paste mixture into a plastic container (recycled food containers work great) to make the base for the flowers ...(read more)

Turtle Bowls

Use a paper bowl and construction paper to make a fun turtle craft. Help your preschooler cut out a circle and 4 triangles from green paper. Turn the bowl upside down, making the turtle's shell, and glue or tape the green circle to the edge of the bowl, ...(read more)

Homemade Sand

Make sand at home! Half the fun is creating, and half is playing with the material. Mix all listed ingredients together in a plastic bin, and then give your child small containers, shovels, funnels so that they can dump and fill. Toy cars and bulldozers are also ...(read more)

Crayon Resist Paintings

Have your child draw a picture with crayons, pressing down firmly to leave a heavy coating of crayon. Light colored crayons work best. Then have your child paint over the crayon drawing with watercolor paint. It's better to use a darker color of paint and lots of ...(read more)

Number Plates

Practice counting with this easy activity. Draw lines on a plain paper plate to divide it into 4 or 8 wedges. Write consecutive numbers in the wedges (1 through 4 or 1 through 8). Have your child count out and glue the corresponding number of beans or ...(read more)

Candles on a Cake

Who doesn't love a birthday cake? Use this fun idea to help your little ones work on addition and quantity. Begin by making a cake out of playdough. Put candles in the cake and count them. Then place the cake on a plastic lid and make another one. ...(read more)

Flower Handprints

A cute variation on the hand print. Dip your child's hand in paint (or paint her hand with a paintbrush). Place painted hand on construction paper with fingers spread out. Repeat two more times to make 3 hand prints side by side. Glue a strip of ...(read more)

Butterfly Picture

Make a butterfly picture from your child's feet! Trace your child's feet on paper in a V-formation. Glue a popsicle stick in the middle of the V (the body of the butterfly). Add pipe cleaner antennae. Let your child decorate the inside of feet (wings) with ...(read more)

Music Acting

Play or sing a song that tells a story or describes movement such as "Jack and Jill" or "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain." Act out the movements to the story. This activity will encourage the children to listen to the words of the story and follow direction. ...(read more)

Slow and Fast

This activity can be done with or without music. If you have a CD with different tempos of music, randomly play small sections of songs that are fast or slow. When your child hears a fast song, tell him to move fast. When the song is slow, tell your child ...(read more)

Wrist Bells

Make wrist bells for your child to use as instruments. Choose either elastic or ribbon. Cut a piece of elastic or ribbon that will fit snugly but not too tightly on your child's wrist. String 2-3 bells on it and tie it on your child's wrist. Now he is ready ...(read more)

Marching to Tunes

Pick a song that you can march to. Demonstrate how to march and encourage your child to march with you to the beat of the song. You can march while playing an instrument such as shaking a bell. This activity teaches your child to listen and move to the beat ...(read more)

Animal Freeze Dance

You can play this with or without a song. Pick an animal and say, "Dance like a rabbit!" After a little while say, "Freeze." Then stop moving and then call out another animal to imitate its movement. Between animals say, "Freeze." You can take turns with your child ...(read more)

Playing Rhythm Sticks

Choose a song that has a good beat to play rhythm sticks with your child. Give two rhythm sticks to your child and use two for yourself. You can either buy rhythm sticks or make them yourself with round wooden dowels (each stick is approximately 5 inches). Encourage your child ...(read more)

Simple Scavenger Hunt

This simple scavenger hunt can be done by children as young as 18 months and is a fun activity for a rainy day. Draw pictures of 2 common household items, such as a shoe and a book, on an index card or piece of paper and write the items' ...(read more)

You Are My Sunshine!

A fun twist on the song "You Are My Sunshine." In this modified version, you replace "sun" with the name of your child or members of your family, friends, etc. Our rendition will go, "You are my Gwen-shine, my only Gwen-shine, you make me happy, when skies are ...(read more)

Clean Up by Color

Get large plastic buckets (or sand buckets if you have lots of really little toys )in a variety of solid colors (red, blue, yellow, green, pink). Ask your child to clean up his/her toys by putting the toys in the bucket corresponding to the color bucket. Great for ...(read more)

Tea Party Time

Help your little one to learn good manners by having a tea party. Set a table with your finest plastic ware and be sure to use your best manners. Modeling this behavior in playtime helps your little one to remember it at dinner time....(read more)

Picture a Good Choice Being Made

Responsibility charts can be hard -- and overwhelming -- for our younger children. Make the process easier by creating a picture that your child can help you finish by making good choices. For example, if your child is really into dinosaurs, you could draw the background of a ...(read more)

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

Sometimes it can be hard to stop doing something that is fun. A good way to make the transition easier is to help your child say goodbye to whatever it is that your child is doing. For example, if your child is playing with a toy and it's ...(read more)

Five Minute Warning

Another great trick to get kids to cooperate when it's time to change activities or leave a fun event is to give them a "five-minute warning." With older children, this can be a great way to not only help them to transition between activities but also teach the passage ...(read more)

First and Last Letters

A great way to begin teaching your child to recognize his or her name in writing is to focus on the first and last letters of the name. So, for example, if your child's name were Bobby, you would focus on teaching B and Y first. This can ...(read more)

Magna Doodle Names

This game is a great way to pass the time on a road trip or a wait in a restaurant. Use a travel Magna Doodle to help your child learn to recognize names. You can start with the child's name but then move on to other words like ...(read more)

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Dice

Posting a list of rules and responsibilities for your house can be a good way to help your child remember the things that you find to be most important -- and to help your child begin reading. For younger children, you can add pictures to your list of rules ...(read more)

Countdown to Your Turn

Sharing is always a difficult thing to do (even for grown-ups) and can be especially challenging during playdates and playgroups. One way to make a "turn" seem more finite and concrete is to have the kids count to a certain number and then the turn is over. For ...(read more)

Sing a Song of "It's My Turn"

It happens on every playdate -- two children want to play with the same toy. One way to help them to learn to take turns and work things out for themselves is to have them sing a song while playing with the toy. Once that song is over, ...(read more)

Learning Feelings

Next time you're reading your child's favorite book, be sure to help your child to name the different feelings that the characters might have. The Olivia and Pigeon books are especially good for this. You can talk about why Olivia is frustrated that she can't find her favorite ...(read more)

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Helping Game

Kids love to be helpers. Next time you're working in the kitchen or doing chores around the house, get your child involved. Give them a task that is manageable, one step at a time, and help them learn to be more self-sufficient and responsible in the process. ...(read more)

Clean Up Song

Every preschool teacher has his or her favorite clean-up song. Find out what your child's teacher uses and incorporate it into your daily routine. A favorite that we use is "Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share." It works ...(read more)

Picture Labels

Labeling your child's room is a great way to begin teaching your child word recognition. Start with easy words, like books and toys. A picture can be added to the label, too, for pre-readers. You can then progress into harder words, like trains, trucks, animals. This ...(read more)

The Cheese Stands Alone

Make your next clean-up time a little more fun by making up a song to go along with the process. We use "Farmer in the Dell": "The dolls go on the shelf, the dolls go on the shelf. High ho the derry-oh, the dolls go on the ...(read more)

Mix and Match Faces

Cut out several faces -- pictures from magazines, pictures of family members, and/or pictures of animals. Then cut them in half lengthwise (this usually works better if you mount the faces on cardboard or cardstock first). Mix up all of the faces in a big pile and ...(read more)

Natural Mosaics

Next time you return from a nature walk with a pocketful of rocks and leaves, put them all out on your kitchen table and see if you can create a mosaic from them. Sort them by color or shade and then arrange them into a pattern. You can ...(read more)

Sorting shapes

Get a bunch of household objects that fall into 3 shape categories -- circle, square, and triangle. For instance, you can use a wallet, a coin, a ball, a piece of bread cut into a triangle shape, a tomato. Once you have many objects, about 5 of each shape, put ...(read more)

Hula Hoop Dancing

Get out those tried and true hoops and have some fun! They can be used as a boat for "Row, Row Your Boat." You can dance around, inside and outside the hoop. You can play musical hoops and freeze inside like a statue when the music turns ...(read more)

Clap, Pat, Drum to the Beat

See what kind of rhythms you can make with just your own body. This can be done with two people or a whole group. Begin by clapping. Clap a slow, steady beat until everyone is clapping in unison. Then clap slowly and quickly. Can you ...(read more)

Monkey See, Monkey Do Music

Put on some fun music and take turns being the "monkey." The monkey's job is to imitate what the other dancer is doing. Does the music make you want to clap? spin? hop? roll? sleep? Monkey see, monkey do! Take turns and see how creative you ...(read more)

Winter Windows

Add a small amount of liquid dish soap to white tempera paint. Mix it thoroughly. Have your child paint pictures or designs on a window. Cover the windows with plastic wrap and let the paint sit overnight. The next day, remove the plastic wrap from the ...(read more)

Burlap Prints

Place the newsprint on your table or other flat surface. Tape the piece of burlap on the newsprint. Have your child use paintbrushes or sponges to paint the burlap. When your child has finished painting, lift the burlap from the newsprint and allow it to dry. Display ...(read more)

Straw Beading

For many kids, stringing beads on a string can be frustrating. You can make it easier if you let them string beads on a coffee stirrer or pipe cleaner. You can hot glue a bead on one end of a straw or bend the end of the pipe ...(read more)

Wintry Painting

Directions for making Crystal Paint: Combine 1 cup Epsom salt with 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring or liquid tempera paint to make different colors. Be sure to mix the paint well and store in a small jar. ...(read more)

Sing a Swimming Song

My 21 month old and I took swimming lessons together and learned a fun song to sing in the pool. It's sung to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus" and is called the "The Kids in the Pool." You can add any actions you like, but ...(read more)

Make a Pull Train

Help your children connect shoe boxes together with cord or string. Add an extra piece of string to the front box for a handle. Decorate boxes with colorful precut shapes (triangles, squares, circles, etc) Put special toys in the box cars, pull on the string and with ...(read more)

The Opposites Game

A great game to play while in the car, waiting at a doctor's office, etc. Start teaching your children antonyms. You say hot, they say cold. You say up, they say down. Continue and once they get the hang of it, siblings will play by themselves! ...(read more)

Fruit Stamps

Your preschooler will love making creative designs using ordinary foods. Cut oranges, lemons, or apples in half, and pour nontoxic, washable liquid paint into small shallow bowls. Dip fruit into paint and stamp onto paper. You can also try this with leaves, carrots, corn on the cob, ...(read more)

Family Flashcards

This is the grown-up version of the Who Loves Baby book that both my kids adored. Take photos of family and friends who don't live nearby and adhere them to card stock or have them laminated. Then either use them like flashcards or punch a hole in the ...(read more)

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Toddlers are curious about sounds, so find a few plastic bottles with wide necks -- The Container Store is a good place to look. Then fill the containers with different objects like pasta, beans or pennies. Be sure to seal the container tightly; you may want to ...(read more)

Building Block Boxes

Wrap empty boxes of varying sizes with brown paper bags. You can use shoe boxes, cereal boxes, Mac and Cheese boxes, etc. After they are wrapped, the kids can decorate them with crayons & stickers and then stack them as high as themselves. These are great for ...(read more)

Handprint Wreath

Trace your child's hand onto green construction paper or card stock. Cut out 10 - 12 individual hand shapes, allowing older children to help if they are able to use scissors. Gently fold a paper plate in half and cut out the center, leaving a circular outer ring. ...(read more)

A Sweet Ornament

Form a heart by facing two candy canes in towards each other. Glue the candy canes to sturdy card stock at the top and bottom. Let dry, then make a small hole at the top of the heart and run ribbon through the hole. (It's a good idea ...(read more)

Handprint Wreath Banner

Begin by making the banner from a half-yard square of white or cream fabric. Fold over the top edge to make a small dowel rod pocket and glue down the long edge. Now you're ready for your helper! Apply green paint to your child's hand and make ...(read more)

Museum I Spy

Every time we go to the art museum, we always play I Spy. We bring an art book or two (or when traveling abroad, we make color copies from books of the paintings that are housed at the museum we plan to visit) and review the paintings we're going ...(read more)

Sensory Adventure

When your baby is about 6 months old, take him on a tactile tour of your neighborhood. Put him in a Baby Bjorn or some other type of carrier (I found this easier than a stroller) and take a walk, pausing at points that might be interesting to touch for ...(read more)

Texture Book

Help your child create a book on different textures using materials around the house. Some textures that you can explore are smooth, rough, crinkly, soft, hard, and sticky. Materials that you can use to illustrate these textures can be cotton, sandpaper, aluminum foil, wrapping paper, tape or fabric. Make a ...(read more)

Crushed Chalk Art Work

First crush a variety of colors of sidewalk chalk (best if done without child's assistance). Place a layer of Elmer's glue in cookie cutters to make shapes. Once the shapes have been made with the glue, have your child pour the crushed chalk over glue shapes. Shake ...(read more)

Who Do I Look Like? Collage

Compare pictures of your child with pictures of his/her mommy & daddy. We like to point out which attributes match who (e.g. you have daddy's eyes and mommy's nose). We then put them all together in a picture frame to make a collage and hang it on the ...(read more)

One for the Money...

When your kids need to expend a little energy but going outside may not be an option, remove the pillows from your couch and place them directly in front of the couch. Then explain that the child can climb up and jump onto the cushions. We often count "One ...(read more)

Playing in the Band

When you are having a playdate or a group of children play together, gather any and all instruments you have. Be the drummer and create a consistent beat and have the children fill in with the other instruments. Explain what each instrument is and that they are a band. Now ...(read more)

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Anytime Butterflies

Make butterflies at home! Get a ziploc bag and fill it with bits of colored paper, glitter, beads, or whatever crafty items you have laying around. Then close the bag tightly and wrap a twist tie or pipe cleaner around the middle. The ends can be shaped ...(read more)

Wacky Whatever-Day

Read the Dr. Seuss book Wacky Wednesday with your child, and then create your own silly scenarios around the house. Place items that are out of place around the room, such as a shoe upon the desk or tape a sock to the wall. Your kids will ...(read more)

Making a Megaphone

Make a megaphone at home to show your child how his voice changes when using it. Simply find a large piece of thick paper or poster board, roll it up, and tape it. Take turns with your child speaking & listening. This is even more fun in ...(read more)

Homemade Memory Game

No need to have an actual memory game for your little ones to find pairs. Simply gather pairs of things from around your house such as a pair of shoes, a pair of spoons, a pair of hairbrushes. Lay these objects all around the floor & have your ...(read more)

Peekaboo Boxes

This is a fun activity that builds a toddler's fine motor skills, memory skills, and vocabulary. Tape pictures of family members, pets, friends, or easily recognizable objects, such as animals, household items, or toys, inside the lids of several boxes (one picture per box). Then, with your child, ...(read more)

Big Blocks

These blocks are easy to make and great for one year olds who aren't quite able to skillfully maneuver heavy wooden blocks yet, and older kids will enjoy them, too. You can make 2 types: 1) To make large blocks, fill a paper grocery bag full with crumpled ...(read more)

Color with Sugar

When out to eat with your little one grab the sugar packet holder have them tell you the color of the sugar packets (usually brown, white, yellow, blue, and pink). For variations empty the holder and have them put them back in it sorting by color. You can ask them ...(read more)

Sidewalk Skeeball

Draw some shapes on a wall or on the ground with chalk. Write a number (the score) inside each shape. Be sure to give the smaller shapes a higher score. Have the children (depending on their age) stand at a distance from the wall or ground (you can even ...(read more)

Story Strip

Use this activity to help build your child's memory skills and story-telling skills. Take simply drawn characters from your preschooler's favorite book (Very Busy Spider or Brown Bear, Brown Bear are good choices) and put them on a strip of accordion-folded paper. You can free-hand, trace, or find ...(read more)

Smelly Scavenger Hunt

Take your little one into the great outdoors to discover some unique smells! A local park or botanical garden would be the perfect location for this "smelly" activity. See if your child can find things in nature that smell: sweet, sour, flowery, minty, pine-like, and fruity ...(read more)

Sound Safari

On your next trip to the park, see if you can coax a little quiet time out of your child by going on a Sound Safari! Take a few minutes to stand still and listen to all the sounds around you. See if you can hear: birds ...(read more)

Handprint Art

This is a very simple, lightweight craft that is a great one to send by mail. Purchase some dessert-type disposable plates with a decorative border and some coordinating ribbon. Using non-toxic craft paint, paint your child's hand with a foam brush and make a print in the center ...(read more)

Jellyfish

Make a jellyfish with your preschooler and talk about animals that live in the ocean! Let your child decorate a plain white basket-type coffee filter. Once the decorations are done, attach a string to the top and streamers to the sides. Hang the jellyfish for one fancy ...(read more)

Couch Cushion Car Trip

Arrange your couch cushions on the floor like the inside of a car or bus. Take turns with your child being the driver and the passenger. Travel to crazy destinations like a lollipop forest, or alligator lake, or the north pole. Talk about what you "see" and ...(read more)

Making Faces

A fun way to teach your baby about emotions is to make faces and say what each one is. Grin a huge grin and say "happy face," an exaggerated frown and say "sad face." Stick your tongue and roll or blink your eyes for "silly face." There's ...(read more)

Sand Tracks

This activity works best at the beach or a large sand area at a local playground. With your foot, trace tracks in the sand in large spirals, waves, swirls, any design you like. Criss-crossing tracks work well; the more intricate the better. Then let your child run ...(read more)

Vegetable Painting

A good activity for a day when you are cleaning out your refrigerator. Do you have a wrinkled red pepper in there? Some floppy broccoli? Sprouted potatoes? They're not good for eating, but they are good for a little art project. Instead of the usual ...(read more)

Counting a Silly Walk

Take a walk with your child. Make up some silly steps to do together. Examples: Take two large steps and three tiny steps counting 1,2 - 1,2,3 - 1,2 as you go. You'll have fun, get some exercise, and practice counting -- all at the same time....(read more)

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What Will We See at the Zoo?

Before you go to the zoo you can get your toddler excited about all the animals he/she will see. Look through old magazines for pictures of animals he/she would like to see at the zoo. Help your child to cut the pictures out and paste them on paper. Staple the ...(read more)

Hand Cookie

This works well with a gingerbread or sugar cookie recipe. Prepare cookie recipe as you normally would. When you roll it out, instead of using cookie cutters, place your child's clean hand on the dough and cut around it. Use a butter knife or a dull utensil because little ones ...(read more)

Homemade Color Chart

Draw a big circle with black marker on a large white piece of paper or poster board. Divide the circle into six sections, like a pie. Have your little one help you color in one pie section with red paint (finger paint is especially good), leave the next one ...(read more)

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Toilet Paper Towers

Every time I purchase toilet paper, my sons love to open the package and build towers with the rolls. They try to build one as tall as themselves. They try to build two that are equal. It's a fun way to introduce math concepts like equal, same, ...(read more)

Sand Pictures

Have your child draw with white glue on a sturdy piece of paper. Both abstract and representational images work well. Then place the drawing face down on some sand. Shake off the excess sand; allow to dry. If you're at the beach, you can use this ...(read more)

Cotton Ball Snowman

Find different size cups or mugs for preschoolers to trace (no glass ones). If you don't have different size cups to use, try small round containers, lids, or unopened cans. You'll need three different sizes. On paper have preschoolers trace three circles in stacking order with the biggest on the ...(read more)

Animal Patterns

Here is a great activity when you are waiting at the doctor's office or at the airport or in the car. Start by making an animal sound and have your child imitate it. Then keep adding sounds and see if your child can follow the pattern (e.g. moo ...(read more)

Apple Star Stamps

Use apples to create beautiful, homemade stamps. Cut the apples along the equator to expose the core, which creates a great star stamper. Kids can dip the apples in paper plates of tempera paints and stamp on paper. Let the stamps dry and add drawings ...(read more)

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Sweet Sharing Lesson

This is a fun lesson in sharing. Have your child help you make brownies or cookies. When you are done, make up little plates and deliver them to friends in the neighborhood. Make sure you keep some at home for a treat after your walk. ...(read more)

Simple Sailboats

You can make these cute little toy boats in just a few minutes. They are great for preschoolers and kindergarteners to practice cutting with scissors, drawing, and molding clay. Cut a triangle from a piece of construction paper - this will be your sail. Decorate the sail with ...(read more)

Tissue Puppets

Scrunch a tissue into a ball, and drape another tissue over it. Twist the top tissue below the ball to make a floaty body. (You can tie it on with a rubberband to make it tighter.) Draw a face on one side of the ball and stick your tissue puppet ...(read more)

Balloon Barbells

Kids love balloons, and this is a creative way to mix up the fun a little bit. Blow up two balloons and tie the ends together. Try to make sure the balloons are about the same size. When your kiddos hit one balloon, it sends the balloon ...(read more)

Balloon Tennis

This is a simple, yet fun balloon activity that is sure to bring out the tennis star in your little one! Take small paper dessert plates and tape then to the end of a paint stir stick to create your tennis "racquet." Blow up any size balloon for ...(read more)

Firework Headbands

This is such a simple concept, but kids really get a kick out of making their own fireworks with this simple craft activity. Cut multiple colors construction paper into strips. The larger 12x18 paper works best. Cut in 1" strips on the long side. Place one ...(read more)

Fireworks Art

Your budding artist will have a blast smacking out these fireworks creations! Be sure to do this activity outside. Place a dollop of paint on a large piece of white paper (butcher paper works well). Use a plastic lid from a margarine tub or other container and ...(read more)

I See My Little One Looking at Me

There is just something magical about the cadence and content of Eric Carle's books. My kids loved Brown Bear, Brown Bear so much that we have made several book adaptations in our house. One is a book of friends and family members: "Katie, Katie, who do you ...(read more)

Pancake Letters and Numbers

If you are making pancakes for breakfast, try putting the batter in a squeeze bottle (i.e. an empty, washed out plastic ketchup bottle). Make letters or numbers in the pan. Let your child request the letter or number he or she wants for breakfast! Use the chance ...(read more)

Shooting Stars

This is a fun nighttime indoor or outdoor activity. Purchase a set of glow-in-the-dark stars, usually used for ceiling or wall decoration. Glue two stars, comets or planets back-to-back with a large popsicle stick in between. You can add some curling ribbon or streamers in between before ...(read more)

Mitten Snack

Use a mitten-shaped cookie cutter to cut two pieces of bread. Arrange the bread with thumb shapes together, like a mirror image. Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on the bread. Decorate the mittens with raisins, coconut, carrot slices, or thinly sliced celery. Older children can ...(read more)

Sun-Bleached Prints

You'll just need a sunny day, a few leaves (or other objects) and some construction paper for this fun, mess-free activity! Place a piece of construction paper in the sun. Have your child arrange leaves, sticks, or other natural items on the paper. Leave the paper and objects out ...(read more)

Animal Feet

We invented this game for one of our children who has sensory integration issues. At bedtime, have your child lay flat on his or her back or tummy. Let your child tell you which type of animal feet he or she would like to "walk" on their body. ...(read more)

String Painting

Dip some yarn or thick string into tempera paint. Drag, swirl or twirl the string onto construction paper that has been folded in half. Use several different colors if desired. Open the construction paper back up and fold the paper back over to imprint the string art ...(read more)

Freeze Dance Cards

With the proliferation of musical cards out there, we found a fun game to put that music to good use long after the celebration. We use them to play "freeze" dancing games. Open the card and everyone gets to dance their own way. When the card closes ...(read more)

Reindeer Pokey

You put your antlers in, you put your antlers out, you put your antlers in and you shake them all about...are you dancing yet? You do the reindeer pokey and your turn yourself around, that's what the reindeer do, WOO-HOO!! Put those antlers up as you turn about ...(read more)

Button Christmas Tree

This project makes a really fun ornament or fridge magnet! Using popsicle sticks (plain or pre-colored), make a tree by gluing two full-length sticks in a cross shape. Then cut another stick into a 1/3 and 2/3 length for the graduated middle and top branch of the "tree". ...(read more)

Christmas Tree Handprint Shirt

This sweet handprint activity can be done with paint or with fabric. Purchase a plain shirt and different colors of green fabric paint. Each family member can paint their hand and start the tree base with the largest handprint first,upside down, fingers fairly close together. Allow the ...(read more)

Family Turkey Hands

As a holiday keepsake, each member of the family can trace a hand on construction paper. Superimpose hands on top of one another, largest to smallest for turkey feathers, then add a turkey head, beak and legs with marker to finish your keepsake family gobbler. You could also ...(read more)

Valentine Treat Bags

Whether it is for preschool parties, a visit to grandma, or gifts for the neighbors, Valentine's Day always brings a need for sweet treats! Enlist the help of your preschooler to make these easy and fun treat bags to hold your goodies. At a party supply store, buy ...(read more)

Trash to Treasure

Ever notice how the kids like the boxes as much as the gifts? Well, don't just throw those boxes away. I recycle all cardboard boxes by ripping or cutting them into artwork canvases. Using an extra large clip, mount the cardboard onto an art easel if you ...(read more)

Jingle Gloves

Sew jingle bells on the end of two or three finger of a pair of gloves. Sing one of your child's favorite songs and let them jingle to the beat.

Edible Ladybug

Push half of a red grape onto a toothpick. Push a strawberry with the top cut off through the other end of the toothpick. Cut the back of the strawberry to make wings. Press chocolate chips into the strawberry to give the ladybug spots....(read more)

Spider Pretzel

Spread peanut butter on a round cracker. Position 4 pretzel sticks on each side, like spider legs. Press the pretzels into the peanut butter, and place another cracker on top. Use peanut butter to attach raisins on top as eyes....(read more)

Indoor Beach Party

When winter is getting the best of you, have an indoor beach party with your kids (and friends)! Get out the swimsuits, sunglasses and beach balls, put on some Beach Boys tunes, lay out some beach towels and have a picnic! The kids will love getting out these ...(read more)

Learning to Write

This is a good activity for parents whose children are not in a preschool yet but are interested in learning to write letters, or where the preschool is not teaching at that level yet. My daughter loves to "trace" letters that I write to practice her form, so I ...(read more)

Birthday Memory Book

In honor of your child's birthday, ask every child invited to your child's party to bring a picture of him or herself to put in a memory book. At the party, place the picture in the memory book and ask each person to fill out a brief questionnaire (name, ...(read more)

Hanukkah Window Ornament

This is a wonderful addition to your window display of your Menorah. Glue popsicle sticks (or the larger craft sticks) together in the shape of the Star of David. (You can make this an educational activity by having your child count the number of sticks needed as well ...(read more)

Monster Truck Course

At some point, all little boys (and some girls) become obsessed with trucks and "crashing." My son loves to watch monster trucks drive over things, jump over cars, and crash, so we created his own race course on the living room floor. First we went around the house ...(read more)

Potty Training Chart

Having trouble getting your little one started with potty training? Here's an art project that will also offer an incentive to sit on the potty. Get a large piece of paper or posterboard. Write the days of the week across the top with a marker and then ...(read more)

Copycat Faces

Cut out magazine pictures depicting various emotions. Glue these images onto cardstock and show them to your child. Have your child mirror the facial expression and discuss what things might lead a person to be happy, sad, angry, scared...(read more)

Paper Clipping Art

When my toddler was learning to cut, I was constantly vacuuming up little paper clippings, until I came up with a creative use for them. Give your child scraps of colored paper and let them cut away. Gather up the clippings and have your child help you arrange ...(read more)

A Little Bit Louder Now!

Help your child learn to discriminate between loud and quiet music. Play your child's favorite music and have your child begin to dance while you slowly turn the volume up. Have your child dance faster as the music gets louder. Then, slowly turn the music down, and ...(read more)

Christmas Ornament Hand Print

This is a great memento from the holiday season. Dip your child's hand in white paint and press their palm to the bottom of the ball ornament. Then have them wrap their fingers up the side of the ball. Their fingers make the shape of snowmen, while ...(read more)

Sandwich Shapes

We all know the frustration of getting our toddler to eat lunch! Here's a fun tip to bring some fun to the same old sandwich. Instead of using bread, put your sandwich filling of choice on tortillas...this makes the game easier. Have your child take a bite ...(read more)

123 Clean Up

Here's an idea to help your child clean up and learn how to count at the same time. Say, "Let's put two things in the toy box" or "Let's put eight things in the toy box." Pick numbers that your child can count to. As they learn higher numbers, have ...(read more)

Handprint Gift Bags

Here's an easy way to make a homemade gift bag with a personal touch. Take a plain gift bag and have your child make handprints on the bag with paint. If you have more than one child, you can have them all put their handprints on the bags and write ...(read more)

Lacy Valentine's Day Cards

Cut out and glue a pink or red construction paper heart to the center of a paper doily to make a lacy edged, beautiful card. Decorate further with heart stickers or glitter for an even fancier card! Sign and distribute to friends and loved ones. ...(read more)

Homemade Valentine Cards

Use construction paper to make your own Valentine's Day cards! Cut out small squares of paper, about 5" x 5" or so. Fold them in half to make a card. Decorate with glued on items, glitter, stickers, stamps, markers or paint. Have your child sign the ...(read more)

3, 2, 1, Blast Off!

In an wide open space, indoors or outdoors, help your child to count backwards from 10 to 1, then yell "Blast off!" Run in circles a few times, with your arms open wide, like a rocketship.

Which One is Different?

Gather several similar small toys or objects that can be made into groups of two or three items which are alike (for example, three leaves). Then, add an additional item that is not related to the group in any way (for example, add a rubber duck to the group ...(read more)

Fireworks Painting

Let your child dump a spoonful of brightly colored paint on a black sheet of construction paper. Using a toothpick, spread the paint out in thin lines away from the middle. Before the paint dries, sprinkle glitter on the page. Hang the painting on the wall to ...(read more)

4 Hugs and 3 Jumps

Get a stack of 20 index cards. On half of them, write the numbers 1 through 10; on the rest, write action words like jump, kiss, and hug. Have your child draw a number card and an action card, then help him put the two together: "Jump 2 times" or ...(read more)

No-Bake Hamentashen Snack for Purim

This is a fun way to make some impromptu no-bake hamentashen for the kids to snack on during Purim. They will also enjoy "helping" to make these: Take soft, pliable slices of white bread and use a large, round cookie cutter to cut out circles. Then, fill ...(read more)

Pillow Cases for the Passover Seder

Help your child create handmade pillow cases to cover the pillows used for reclining during the Passover Seder. Using fabric markers, decorate plain, light-colored pillow cases. To prevent colors from bleeding through, insert a piece of cardboard inside the pillowcase while drawing. Ideas for illustration could include drawing ...(read more)

Passover Seder Placemats

This is a fun, simple activity to get the kids excited about Passover. Have them decorate placemats for the table, using construction paper and crayons, paint, or markers, along with glitter. Ask them to illustrate what the holiday means to them or to decorate it with Hebrew Passover ...(read more)

Dreidel Mobile

This is a cute Hanukkah project. Cut out one large dreidel from construction paper and several smaller ones. Have your child decorate the dreidel by painting or coloring it. You or your child can then write the Hebrew letters (nun, gimel, etc.) on the various sized dreidels ...(read more)

Skiing Cotton Ball Snowman

Take two cotton balls and glue them together. Then take two wooden stir sticks, like the kind for coffee, and cut them about 1-2" long each. Glue the wooden sticks to a piece of paper side by side. Then glue the two glued cotton balls, one on ...(read more)

Star Ornament

Glue together 5 wooden craft sticks in the shape of a star. The jumbo-size sticks work best. Before gluing together the top of the star, insert the ribbon to make the loop for hanging from the tree branch. Paint the stars and for extra sparkle use glitter ...(read more)

Holiday Candle

The perfect gift for the person who's hard to buy for! Help your child cut red and green construction paper into small squares, and then glue the squares to the outside of a clean baby food jar. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar and put a ...(read more)

Cool Whip Art

This is a fun and delicious way to make a "puffy" painting that will appeal to all ages: Scoop Cool Whip into as many bowls as you want colors. Sprinkle on about a tablespoon of jello, a different flavor/color per bowl, and stir just to combine. Let your ...(read more)

New Year's Noisemakers

If you're planning on being home on New Year's Eve with the kids, involve them in the fun. Create your own noisemakers by filling empty, clean plastic soda bottles with dry beans. Then cover the bottles with construction paper, wrapping paper, and/or stickers. (Stickers are your best bet for ...(read more)

Edible Play Dough

If you like, have your child help you with this part: Combine 1 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup honey in a large bowl. Then add 1 cup non-fat dry milk and mix thoroughly. Take another cup of non-fat dry milk, and slowly add, just a little at ...(read more)

Shaken Paintings

This art project is especially great for toddlers who love to shake and rattle things. Roll up a piece of white or light-colored paper and place inside a clean, empty Pringles can. Using a spoon if necessary, coat 3 or 4 marbles, one at a time into different colors ...(read more)

Edible Art

Set up a work space in an area where you won't mind creating some mess. Line up small bowls of dried cereal like Cheerios or Fruit Loops; small crackers, like Cheez-Its or Goldfish; and raisins, craisins, or other cut up bits of dried fruit. Include a bowl of icing ...(read more)

Traffic Light Snack

Take a graham cracker and split in half along the dividing line. Spread each cracker with peanut butter and dot with a red, green, and yellow M & M to create a "traffic light." Your kids can participate in all or part of this process. While ...(read more)

Handprint Reindeer Keepsake

Trace your child's hands on brown construction paper and cut the shapes out. Then cut out a head shape with ears (basically, an oval shape with a floppy ear on each side). Older children might like to do the cutting themselves. Have your child glue the hand ...(read more)

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Pot of Gold Scavenger Hunt

This is a fun St. Patrick's Day game. Make a pot of gold out of a small decorative black pot (found at a craft store) and fill it with gold wrapped candy. Hide the pot somewhere and then send the kids on a scavenger hunt. For older ...(read more)

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St. Patrick's Day Green Tasting Party

Have a green tasting party to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Serve all green foods, such as celery, grapes, pickles, olives, kiwi, limes, and green jelly beans. Talk about which foods taste salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. You can even make a simple chart with columns for ...(read more)

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Little Leprechauns

Help the Leprechaun to hide some gold candy coins or other treats for your kids! Using your hands and washable paint, you can create a Leprechaun trail through your house. Dip the side of your closed fists in green washable craft or tempera paint. Put them down ...(read more)

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St. Patrick's Day Magic Milk

Try this fun, healthy St. Patrick's Day drink. Have your child put a drop of green food coloring into a clear plastic cup. Then pour milk in. Watch it turn green! To make this more of a learning experience for your child, you can also try it ...(read more)

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Hanging Shamrock

You and your child can create a fun Irish shamrock just in time for St. Patty's Day! Trace a shamrock pattern onto green craft foam and then cut it out. Use white craft foam to create smaller shamrocks to glue onto the big green one. You can ...(read more)

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All Things Green

Cut out pictures from magazines of things that are green. Paste them onto a piece of cardboard to make a collage. This is a great way to introduce your child to new vocabulary words and, of course, to reinforce color recognition. To add a textural element, glue things like leaves, ...(read more)

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Going Green!

Plan a menu for the day where everything you eat is green: green milk and green pancakes or eggs for breakfast; green bread for sandwiches, green grapes, and green jello at lunchtime; green veggies at dinner. And of course, green cookies with green icing for dessert!...(read more)

Squirrel at the Picnic

Lay out a blanket and five things that you would take to a picnic -- for example, a basket, napkins, plates, bottle of water, food container. Sit with your child on the blanket and look at the items. Then tell your child to close their eyes and take one item ...(read more)

Top Chef

Let your child dress up in their chef's hat and apron, and then turn them loose in the kitchen! That's right... get out a large mixing bowl and spoon, and let your child select things from the pantry and the refrigerator to create their own recipe. (Of course, you won't ...(read more)

Scratch Art Eggs

Cut out eggs using card stock or manila paper. Have children color the entire surface of one side of the egg with different colors of crayons. Next, help your child paint over the crayon designs with black paint. Once dry, let your child use toothpicks or craft ...(read more)

Chocolate Covered Matzo

This Passover treat is as much fun to make as it is to eat! Melt about 8 ounces or 1 1/3 cup kosher for Passover chocolate chips combined with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. In a pinch you can also ...(read more)

Matzo Pizza

Mmmm. Pizza. It's a shame for the family to miss out on this kids' favorite just because it's Passover. Instead, why not try making matzo pizza? To begin, preheat oven to 450. Then brush a bit of olive oil onto a sheet of matzo. Top with ...(read more)

Make your own candlesticks

Children can make their own candlesticks by first decorating the outside of an empty kid-sized water bottle. Try using tissue paper covered with glue works nicely (think decoupage). This makes a really beautiful candlestick. Once the decorations have dried, the child can fill the bottle with sand ...(read more)

Challah Bread Board

This is a cute craft for the kids and fun way to have them add to your Shabbat celebration. Take a medium sized piece of wood (8x8 or larger). Have the kids sand it down until smooth. Then decorate with tissue paper, sparkles, etc. Cut out ...(read more)

Water Bottle Egg Shakers

This is a fun way to recycle your used water bottles. Fill an empty plastic water bottle with rice and then glue the lid on securely. This will make for a really fun maraca or egg shaker type of instrument. An alternative is to fill the water ...(read more)

Is it Bigger or Smaller?

Children at a young age can start to do math with simple concepts. Determining which of two given numbers is bigger or smaller can give young kids the confidence that they need to move on to more complicated math concepts. Once a child can count at least from ...(read more)

Edible Bird's Nest

This is a great activity for springtime, especially if you're lucky enough to a have a bird's nest in a tree by your house. Melt 1/4 c. of butter in a saucepan. Add 4 cups mini marshmallows to the melted butter, and stir over low heat until mixture is ...(read more)

Valentine Heart Sandwiches

Make lunch fun on Valentines Day (or any other day) by making heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Simply make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as usual and then use a heart shaped cookie cutter to shape them. Preschoolers can help spread the jelly using a spoon or ...(read more)

Paper Plate Maracas

This is a project that your child can do (almost) all by herself! Begin by putting a handful or two of dried beans, rice, or popcorn in a paper plate. Then help your child staple another paper plate securely on top of it. (You can also use a ...(read more)

Fire Engine Shapes

All kids love bright red fire engines. Use this activity to help your child make one of his own and learn his shapes at the same time. Begin by giving your child pre-cut red rectangles and circles. Let him move the shapes around until he thinks it looks ...(read more)

May Day Cones

Did you know that May 1st is called "May Day"? Here is a fun activity to celebrate the day and to do something nice for friends and neighbors. Have your child color a picture or design on a piece of colored paper. Be sure to incorporate "Happy ...(read more)

Shamrock Counting

Make a grid of 6 squares on a piece of paper, and write the numbers 1-6 in each square. In box number one, have your child place one shamrock sticker. In box number two, have your child place two shamrocks. Continue in the same way through ...(read more)

Beach Ball Tic-Tac-Toe

Before the game begins, blow up 9 swimming rings and lay them in rows on the yard, 3 rings across and 3 rings down. Tie the rings together, which should resemble a tic-tac-toe board. Two children will then take turns throwing a beach ball at the rings. They ...(read more)

Pin the scale on the fish game

Before playing this game, cut a fish shape out of a plastic tablecloth. Take the tablecloth with the fish cut out from the middle of it, and place it in the shallow end of the pool, holding it in position by placing a large rock on each corner. ...(read more)

Being Savvy Today

The Joy of Making Lists

Jul
14
2014

This is what happens when the MTV generation grows up. We chronicle our lives in lists. We count down, like the old video marathons or Letterman's standby. We compile, rank, and shuffle. We enumerate, therefore we are. So, what's the point of all these lists? Is it just the

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