Monday, August 30, 2010

Circle - Shape Monster - Free toddler / preschool craft

This week, we are working on a shape review, so we are focusing on one shape per day. Today, we reviewed circles by reading a book, watching a powerpoint presentation, playing a shape game, and singing some songs. In addition to that, we talked about how we could take a simple circle and turn it into a variety of things, and then the kiddos got their chance to do just that! After all of that, we created this adorable shape monster (so easy). I used my circle punches and circle die cutter with my Sizzix. Let the children be creative by placing the pieces (in different colors) on the table for them to choose from.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It's that time of year, and we are getting back into the swing of preschool around here. Our actual curriculum doesn't get started until September, but we are practicing our skills and learning the routine. This week, we are doing CHOO CHOO trains as our theme. I hope to share with you more of the fun crafts and projects we are doing this week (such as cubby labels and train picture frames made from my Silhouette die cutter and a fun tracing worksheet with a choo sticker made with my Xyron Create-a-Sticker machine). I love technology (when it is working!) This craft is a shape train puzzle that I found an image for on the internet (and I can't give credit because I don't even know where I found it, but thank you to whoever posted this!) I used the template to cut out pieces for everyone, and I printed a template for them to use as a puzzle. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they were all able to match the pieces. The ages ranged from 18 months to 5 years old. (The picture above was done by a 2 year old). Have fun!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Balloon Nose Clown Craft - Circus / Carnival

I cannot take complete credit for this as a friend shared the idea with me. The kids had a great time creating these clowns (even if they are kinda scary - IMO). We had an entire circus / carnival week, and these were the biggest hit of all the crafts. They are just a paper plate with some construction paper shapes and hair. We punched a hole in the middle and stuck a barely blown up red balloon through it and taped it down in the back. Easy and cute!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DIY Projector Screen - tutorial

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged, and I apologize because I am crazy busy with work, college, and soccer practice/games. I recently decided I wanted to add a projector screen to the daycare but didn't want to spend a fortune so here is what I came up with. I spent $22 for the fabric, ribbon, and dowel rod, and I didn't get anything on sale, so this really could be a lot chaper. I bought one yard of white fabric (I don't even know what it was now, but I made sure it was thick enough), and one yard of a cute black, pink, and white rick rack fabric. I bought two rolls of black with white dot ribbon (because my fabric store never has any grosgrain prints by the yard!!!). If you were to buy by the yard, I would suggest about 7-8 yards, but you will have to measure your own. I doubled the size of the screen (so it goes down the front and back) and added 24 inches to that amount.

You can use any rolling shade pattern, but it's simple. You basically cut your fabric to the size needed. Sew right sides together around 3 sides leaving the top open. Turn. Sew about an inch or a little more on the bottom to form a casing (and you can leave that open or stitch closed once the dowel rod is inserted). I used a 1 inch dowel for weight. to attach it to the wall, hubby used a 1x2 and just stapled the fabric to the back, lifted it up to screw it into the wall and let it fall over the top of the wood. Make sure you place your ribbon before you do that, but it's very simple. Looks cute rolled up because the fabric shows!!! (I didn't have much room, so I put mine over my bulletin board). The kids are absolutely loving this!!! We have been using a circle time powerpoint presentation with all of our songs (good morning, weather, days of the week, months, etc.) and I try to create one or two extra for our theme each week. We are talking about picnics this week, so this is our watermelon seed counting presentation. Hope this inspires you to do something new :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Craft Ideas - Knuffle Bunny craft

Just a few craft ideas from this week. The first one is a fingerpainted chick. Just have the kids fingerpaint a circle/oval shape on the paper, draw on some legs and a beak with an orange marker, add a yellow feather and a googly eye . . . so much for that, huh? I had my kids do their painting on a piece of white cardstock, and we glued that to a piece of orange construction paper (for a fun little border).
I love the way they all look different! I forgot to tell you that we added these little party hats. I had one who insisted on drawing a beak on the top of the chick's head, and then she changed her mind so we fixed it with a hat . . . then most of them wanted one. LOL. We work on ways to fix our mistakes without starting over or getting frustrated.
And next we have KNUFFLE BUNNY!!! This book was a hit, of course, because I have lots of kiddos with blankies and pacifiers! They could definitely relate to losing their security object.

Knuffle Bunny is a great story! Our craft is a dryer with Knuffle Bunny in it. To make it, cut the center out of a paper plate and paint that gray. Set aside to dry. Take a piece of wax paper and trace a paper plate on it. Cut just inside the line. I don't have the Knuffle Bunny template that I used, but you can free hand it. Make your bunny from construction paper and add the features. Glue the bunny to the wax paper and then staple on the back of the plate. Glue a black square on for the door. As much as I prefer cute little crafts, my kids LOVED this one because it gave them something to tell their parents. Many insisted on carrying them around all day - lol.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Preschool Toddler Theme Week

Long time, no blog, huh? Well, it's partly because I didn't find the time and partly because I'm crazy busy (like the rest of the world). My college classes have gotten much more serious, but I'm truly enjoying myself. It's just difficult to find time to work, do homework, and still be a mother . . . .

However, we did manage to sneak out of town over the weekend for a trip to San Antonio (Sea World), and we had a blast!!! The weather was gorgeous, and none of us had been to Sea World so it was a great adventure. I loved the whales. The kids loved feeding the dolphins.
Back to work though . . . . it's a gorgeous day here, and the kids are playing in the sand so I have a few moments to update you on this week's theme. We are learning about Easter stuff (bunnies, eggs, chicks). We have a busy week planned, and we are very excited about the Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday as well as the possibility of the Easter Bunny stopping by to leave us some goodies.
I recently created a powerpoint presentation of our circle time songs using music by Dr. Jean Feldman. I just threw it together with an owl theme (since that is our room theme), and the kids love it. I don't use every song every day, and I plan to add more to it, but typically we sing "Hello, How are You" to start, followed by "Days of the Week", "Months Macarena", and "What Will the Weather be Today?" Her music is available for download online, and I recommend it. We have her "Tidy Up" song at the end of the presentation, which I use several times during the day, and the kids seem to clean much better with it on. (We use this presentation every day)
Monday - Egg color / shape powerpoint presentation (I can email this to you, but it is just a simple slide show with 10 colors of eggs (one per slide), two slides containing five of those colored eggs so I can ask for volunteers to find a certain color. Then, there are two slides with bunnies hiding shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle). When you push the button, the bunny moves to reveal a shape, and you have a child tell you the shape. ( if you want me to send it to you)
Tuesday - Egg numbers and letters magnet board activity. These are from (can't say enough nice things about this site - it's wonderful). They are just egg shapes with numbers and letters on them. For fun, print out a bunny graphic (I got mine from, laminate, and glue to a craft stick for a themed pointer.
Wednesday - Egg visual discrimination game. (this is also from We play this as a group and also at individual centers.
Thursday - review ppt presentation on colors/shapes
Friday - review letter / numbers activity
SONGS (in addition to what we sing everyday)
Little Bunny Foo Foo
I'm a Little Bunny
The Bunny Hop (poem/movement)
Bunny Hop Race (hop to basket, drop in egg - relay type)
Hot Egg (Hot Potato) to bunny music
Color egg hunt (they will hunt for a color designated to them)
Egg spoon race
Easter Egg hunt
The Night Before Easter
The Easter Bunny is Missing
Max's Easter Surprise
Knuffle Bunny
Language: Easter Egg Tracing, Bunny Writing skills (
Math: Plastic egg counting/sorting. Egg patterning.
Discovery: dying Easter eggs
Manipulatives: Plastic egg size sorting, file folder games (size sort, puzzle match)
Sensory: Pom Pom egg match (put matching poms for each plastic egg)
Blocks: Add bunny, chicks, and easter eggs
Dramatic Play: Easter Egg hunt supplies
Phew - that was a lot to share. And lastly, today's craft was painted Easter eggs. Just mix regular paint colors with white to make them pastel and let the kids use their imaginations. For fun, bring in dot paint/markers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lucky Leprechaun craft

Ok, I had great intentions with this craft. I made a pattern and scanned it, and I threw away the original pieces without looking to see if they scanned properly (I know - get it together chick!). Anyway, when I went to share it, it's gone because today is trash day. So, I am just going to tell you this is super easy to make yourself, and you have to trust me. Cut a circle from white cardstock or construction paper (use a toddler plate for a template). Do the same for a piece of peach tissue paper. Cut a green hat from construction paper, and then cut a band and a buckle. I used lime green for the band, but black or white would work too. Cut an oval nose out of pink construction paper and two little black eyes. Then cut orange strips for the hair. I used a paper crimper to add texture, but you can leave it alone or fold your paper in accordian style. I like to outline stuff with a permanent marker, but that's completely unnecessary. Use your marker to add eyebrows and a whimsical mouth after you glue everything together. SO CUTE (as my 2 year olds like to say about them).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I can't take credit for this cute craft project. It came from my Mailbox book - Day by Day Preschool Plans. This week is a Dr. Suess theme, and this craft is related to One Fish, Two Fish.

It was very simple to do, and the kids had a great time. Cut out a white fish bowl shape and then draw a black mark across it as in the picture. To make the water, mix blue food coloring with some corn syrup. Have your two fish cut out ahead of time, one red and one blue for each child. You can draw on eyes and a mouth on the fish. Let the kids paint the corn syrup mixture on the fish bowl and then stick the fish in there - be sure you talk about how many fish and the colors as you do this. Set the craft aside for several days on wax paper to dry. (Corn syrup takes a while, and it will drip if you hang it up - believe me . . . . I can't tell you how many times I have gotten corn syrup drips on the wall.) It is such a cool finish though - it's worth using it instead of paint!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stuffed Dinosaur Softie - Preschool Craft

Stuffed Dinosaur Craft for toddlers and preschoolers

I'll try to make this as quick and easy as possible. This craft was easy, but it does take some work on your part ahead of time. You don't have to sew these. You could use the pattern to make a paper craft, and you can even stuff them by hot gluing the edges or stapling them and stuffing polyfil or paper in your dino. I make dolls for fun, so I didn't mind sewing this up, and it took less than ten minutes to sew six of them so don't fret! Print out the pattern piece, cut out, trace on your doubled fabric and sew on traced lines. Then cut it out 1/4 inch from sewing line, clip corners, and turn. (When sewing, leave a one inch slit between the legs on the belly open for turning and stuffing.) Stuff it as firm as you want (my toddlers got bored pretty fast with stuffing so ours are a little limp). I used hot glue to sew the opening closed, but you can sew it if you aren't as lazy as me!!! I let the kiddos decide colors and decorations so every dino was different and adorable. We used craft glue to attach our FELT decorations. I used hot glue on their eyes after they glued them with the craft glue (because I wanted to make sure they were stuff on there.) Obviously, buttons can be a choking hazard and are not recommended for young children . . . blah blah blah - you know the drill.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shape-o-saurus - Preschool Dinosaur Craft

Well, first of all, I didn't have time to take a picture of the craft from yesterday because I was doing another observation for school, BUT they did a cute little dinosaur headband that is very simple. We just cut out bright green strips, added a strip of triangle shaped teeth, two white oval eyes and black circles in those . . . voila - dino headband. Oh, to make it, you staple the strips together and glue the pieces on. Tape over the staples for safety.
For our SHAPE-O-SAURUS (which is mighty cute), we cute out two squares, one oval, one circle, one rectangle and a tail shape from bright green paper. Next, we cut out yellow triangles. I did this myself because we aren't ready for scissors just yet. I punched out a black eye and lots of darker green dots/circles for the body. Then we started glueing. They all looked different. Some were holding their heads down looking for food while others were looking for friends. Some had more spikes than others . . . that's what I love about crafts because even if they are organized, everyone can express themselves differently. To finish off, you can simple draw on a mouth and draw a straight line down the square legs with a black marker and draw on toes. Be sure to talk about the shapes before and during this project.
Today, we also did a dino match worksheet. If I could figure out how to attach pdf files, it would be nice, but I am still technologically challenged. I create my own worksheets most of the time. I used graphics from and created a simple matching sheet for them.



Math center - counting dinosaurs and dinosaur math mats

Sensory table - dinosaur puzzles (printed, laminated, and cut out by me) hidden in sand

Dinosaur match - same concept but two of each dinosaur hidden in the sand

Blocks - large dinosaurs added

Art - misc. dino coloring sheets

Playdoh - dinosaurs added to make fossils by pressing dinos into it

Dramatic play - dinosaur cave and foot prints

Literacy - Dinosaurs with names for ghost tracing

Teacher table - dinosaur match file folder game, dino shape match, dino colors (depends on level), dino scissor skills, dino writing skills, dinosaur match worksheet

Friday, February 19, 2010

Big Mouth - Tooth stamping - Dental Health Week

Another really easy craft for dental health week. Cut out a large mouth shape from black construction paper. Use a square stamp (or to make one, cut a square from a sponge and hot glue it to a clothespin) and white paint to make the teeth. Sooooo simple, but they enjoyed it. You might also have one already made up so they can see the teeth, and some extra paper because they love to continue stamping when they are done with this!

Tooth Pocket Poem - Dental Health Week

I didn't take a picture of this one because they wouldn't put them down long enough for me, but it's a simple craft and lots of fun. I printed this saying on a piece of colored paper at the bottom:

Three little teeth were lined up in a row. Others were on top, but these were below.
One little tooth had some brushing to do. He fell out and then there were two.
One little tooth wanted tooth fairy fun. He fell out and then there was one.
One little tooth bit an apple core. Now there are no more!
Above that saying, I put little black paper pockets approx. 2 x 3 inches. To glue them on, just put a thin line of glue around three sides leaving the top open and attach them to the paper (I did this in advance). Cut out small teeth from white paper about 2 inches wide (3 for each child). With the kids, I let them choose their background paper color, and we glued our printed paper to it. Then, we went over the pocket poem, and they got to pull them in and out of the pockets while I read it.


I'm not going to lie . . . . dental health week isn't as much fun as a lot of others, BUT it is important for them. I was happy to hear a good report this morning when one of the parents said "Oh, now I understand why she has been letting me brush her teeth without a fight. You guys are talking about it here."

Well, this is probably the favorite craft of the week so I'll get to it. You just cut out a simple toothbrush shape (long rectangle with rounded ends). Use any color. For the "brush", cut a small white rectangle and make slits in it. For the toothpaste, you mix shaving cream, glue, and paint. I just eyeball it, but there's more shaving cream than anything else. Just drop of paint and a little more glue than that. To put it on the picture, we used a plastic knife and "plopped" it on there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Let's learn about healthy teeth!

This is far from an exciting craft - sorry for the ugly pic. It is, however, important for the kiddos to learn about this stuff, and this is a great way to teach them about getting their teeth clean. You start with a yellow (or brown) tooth cutout. Glue that on to a piece of paper (or you can wait and put it on a colored paper after they are done if you want it to stand out better. Today was a professional day for teachers, so we wanted to take the day off of school too . . . so we hurried through craft time. To paint it, take white paint and an old toothbrush and have the kids BRUSH their teeth clean with the white paint. Encourage them to use circular motions and to cover the entire tooth. This tooth was painted by a 21 month old.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Party - Sugar cookie bouquet flower pot craft

My toddlers don't understand the concept of Valentine's Day, so we made a special Valentine for the person/people we love the most (usually mom and dad). I'm sorry that I don't have many pics, but it gets really crazy at parties, so I think I was doing good to get a picture at all! LOL.
These are easy to make, and the kids had fun making something special for their "Valentine". We actually made handprint heart cards (I'll try to get a picture) to go along with these. To make these flower pot cookie bouquet, first I bought terra cotta pots at Hobby Lobby and painted them red with acrylic paint (spray paint would be nice, but it's too cold here). I bought floral foam and cut small circles with a biscuit cutter about 1-1.5 inch thick. Shove that down in the pot, glue on some shredded paper, and you have your pot. For the cookies, I made sugar cookies from a packet and cut out with a flower shaped cookie cutter. Shove a wooden skewer up in the cookie (I cut mine down to about 8 inches, but don't put the cut side in the cookie if they are the type that splinter - mine were). Bake the cookies and let cool before handling. For the icing, I mixed 1 cup of confectioner's sugar with 3 teaspoons of milk until smooth. Then I added in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (apparently you can use almond also) and 2 tsp. light corn syrup. You can add more corn syrup if it's too thick. Mine was a little runny. Add in your food coloring and use baking paintbrushes to paint your cookies. We added sprinkles as well. Let them dry and then put them in your flower pot to send home.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Paint stamping - Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Paint Stamping
This is an easy project, and they LOVE it. I took regular paint stamps and hot glued wooden clothespins for handles (saves on the mess). Pour some paint in paper plates and spread it thin.
Stamp, Stamp, Stamp!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine Teddy Bear Craft

Valentine Teddy Bear Craft
This craft takes a little time to prepare, and it's a little tedious for toddlers, but they were so cute when they were finished, and the kids really enjoyed making them. They have been telling me to look at them all day.Proudly displaying their teddy bears for a picture!
As always, right click on the pattern and save as. Open and print. Cut out as directed. The only extra information I can think of right now is that I used a permanent marker to make stitching marks on the inner ear, and I outlined the flower petals and flower center. Oh, and I used a circle punch to make black circles for the ladybug wings.
We glued in this order: dots on wings, wings on body, head, ears, inner ear, nose, eyes, hands, legs, feet, stem, leaf. Then we glued the petals on the flower center and attached that to the stem/hand. I let the kids draw their own mouth, but I helped with the line down from the nose, and I drew on the eye brows.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tissue paper flowers - Heart Collages

Tissue Paper Flowers

Supplies needed:

Tissue paper (in various colors)

small bowl or circle for tracing

hole punch

green pipe cleaner
You will be amazed at how easy and quick these little flowers come together. I used a small cereal bowl for my template. It was probably a 4 inch circle. You can do any size you want, but remember to use the appropriate size chenille stem/pipe cleaner to hold the weight. Cut out 10 circles per flower. You can use a solid color mix them - either way is cute.

Stack your 10 circles and punch two holes in the center approx. 1 inch apart. Thread your piper cleaner up through back and then back down through the other hole leaving approximately 1.5-2 inches of pipe cleaner and wrap around the stem tightly. Next, you will start with the top piece of tissue paper and fold in toward the center of the circle pinching the bottom of each piece as you go. Do this for each piece of tissue until you have reached the last piece. Crimp/pinch a little less with each piece, and you will have a gorgeous tissue paper flower. We wrapped our stems around our clothespin wall hangers so you can't see them in the pic, but you can add paper or pipe cleaner leaves. This is a great gift for parents, and it's adorable when used with other crafts. Put them in a vase or cup. Let a teddy bear or other paper animal craft hold the flower. Make a basket of these flowers. What are you going to do with yours?
I'm not going to give you a supply list on this one because it's up to you what you use. I personally used my Sizzix die cutter to cut out a supply of prim hearts in magenta, pink, hot pink, red, and purple. I let the kids glue the hearts to white paper however they wanted. Then we added some red glitter for extra interest. I always love doing collages because the kids get to be as creative as they want, and nobody ever has the same picture.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Love Bug Valentine Card Holder - Paper Plate

Love Bug Valentine Card Holder
We finished up our Fairy tale unit yesterday so today we reviewed our Fairy Tales and began preparations for Valentine's Day. We are having a Love Bug themed Valentine's Day party, so we made these cute Ladybug / Love Bug Valentine card holder. Start with two paper plates, and cut one in half (or just above half way) with pinking shears.

Staple the plates together around the edges (food side in). Then have your child(ren) paint the paper plate red. Let that dry. Once it is dry, cut out a black circle (use a small bowl for template), eyes, red hearts, and black dots. Glue the antennas on (I used hot glue for security on these). Have the kids glue on dots and the face and draw a mouth with a white crayon. You can add ribbon hangers by punching holes and tying ribbon to it. Now, you just have to drop their cards in the little pocket.

More to come, but I'll give you a sneak peek. We are going to have LIVE ladybugs at our party. You can order them on ebay and store in the fridge. We will decorate baby food jars for their little homes. We are also going to make a special Valentine gift for the parents using cookie dough and a flower pot. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fairy Tale Week - Little Red Riding Hood

The Little Red Riding Hood project takes a little more time than the usual craft, so plan ahead if you want to do this one. I got this idea from here: There are lots of finger puppets here including Red Riding Hood and the wolf. I did not follow the wolf directions, and I changed Red a little. I drew my patterns out, and you can use them if you wish. Just right click and save to your computer, open and print. I used supplies I had on hand, so you can do the same - change to fit what you have. I used red felt, peach/skin colored felt, beige felt, black felt, light blue felt, brown doll hair scrap (you can use yarn), google eyes, permanent marker, Aleene's craft glue (or similar). For the wolf, I used a gray fur I had in my stash, but beige, brown or gray felt would work just as well, google eyes and glue. Follow the directions in the video link to make the puppets. The kids really love these (even if the wolf was huffing and puffing and blowing grandma's house down during dramatic play - lol).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fairytale Week (cont'd) - Wednesday - Cinderella

We are back in the routine after almost a week out due to an ice storm! (Sorta!) We are continuing our fairytale theme since we missed a few days. Today, we read the story of Cinderella. We continued our centers from last week but added a computer center. It's a slow process, but they are learning to use the computer mouse, and today they got to read an interactive Cinderella story online and follow directions for clicking on things in the story. We also created this glass slipper above. It's a lot cuter in person because the glitter really shines and shimmers. To make this, use the pattern below (right click and save to your computer - print out) and cut out the slipper from wax paper. Glue that to black paper with a watered down glue mixture and spongebrush. Then sponge the glue mixture on the shoe and sprinkle the glitter on - easy peasy!

Next, we worked on name puzzles (name and letter recognition). I have a Silhouette Digital Craft Cutter. I think this is the coolest toy in the world and a necessity. I bought mine for about $149.00 on sale locally, so I am sure they can be found for that price or cheaper. It has so many capabilities, and I only use it for simple stuff - but I still love it. If you don't have this toy, you can do this with MS Word or Publisher. I just typed in the names with an Arial font and printed the outline, and then I cut out the letters with cute paper. I let the kids do this without any help, and I was surprised at how well they did. After they finished, we talked about the letters and the names, and they colored a picture on their papers.
Next, we had to make some magic wands - Bippity Boppity Boo! These are also easy peasy. I cut out stars (with my Silhouette digital craft cutter - but you can cut by hand - I'm lazy). We used some ribbon from our collage stash, popsicle sticks, glue and glitter. I used the hot glue gun to put the ribbon the sticks, and then they picked their color and glued to the stick, spread a glue/water mixture on the front (less water is better - they curl - see!) and sprinkled on the glitter. Then they let their imaginations run wild turning things into whatever they wanted.
Have a MAGICAL day!