Thursday, May 19, 2016

Letter X: X-Rays: Craft, X-Ray Match, X-Ray Light Box (Day 2)

After reading a couple X-Ray Books from our Letter X Booklist, we did the following activities.

X-Ray Craft: We talked a little more about X-Rays and I showed Easton a picture of a "hand x-ray" on my phone. I told him we were going to make an x-ray of his hand. However, once I brought the black paper and chalk out he forgot all about the x-ray, and just wanted to draw. So, that's what we did. After a few minutes of drawing, he was ready to make his x-ray craft. We talked about how the arm has two bones and how each finger is made up of bones. Here's what you need:
  • Black Paper
  • White Chalk
  • Glue
  • Q-Tips
Have your child place their arm/hand onto a piece of black paper. Draw around his arm/hand with chalk. Draw lines of glue where you'd like your child to place the q-tips (bones). Have child place q-tips on the glue. Hang on the fridge to revivew the letter X this week!

X-Ray Match from Tried and True: Easton had so much fun with x-rays today! I found the neatest pretend play X-Ray Pictures on Tried and True. We matched x-ray pictures to their matching drawn pictures. You'll need to print the X-Rays on Vellum Paper, but the drawn pictures can be printed on regular printed paper (see below). I showed Easton the three animal X-rays first. We talked about each of the pictures and I'd have Easton guess which animal he thought they belonged to before matching them. We did a similar thing with the human x-rays. 

X-Ray Light Box - DIY from Happy Hooligans: This was such a neat activity! Most light boxes are expensive, so I was so excited to find a DIY light box tutorial. This was so easy to make and very affordable. You may even have everything you need at home! Click the title "X-ray Light Box - DIY" for a complete tutorial with pictures. Here's what we used:
  • Clear, Plastic Bin (make sure the bottom of the bin is flat, so the pictures lay flat)
  • Wax Paper
  • Tape
  • LED Camping Light (OR a strand of Christmas Lights)
  • Translucent Items - we used our X-Ray Pictures and Blokus Pieces 
1) Tape wax paper to cover the entire inside of your bin (this is the trickiest part!)
2) Turn on the light and place the bin upside down over the light. That's it!
3) Use x-ray pictures, blokus pieces, magna tiles or any kind of translucent items to play with!

We looked at all the X-Rays on our light box and talked more about each of the pictures. After a few minutes, Easton was ready for something new. I brought our our Blokus Pieces and Easton had a lot of fun pretending with the game pieces. We "built" houses with the pieces and reenacted the story of the three pigs. Later in the week, my sister brought magna tiles over to use with our light box. We had lots of fun! 

Blokus Game Pieces

Letter X: Alphabet Exercising, Songs, Handprint Art (X-Ray FIsh), Booklist (Day 1)

EXercising with the Alphabet: Easton had the best time jumping around and acting this out with the alphabet today! You need:
  • One Bin (anything to hold your letters)
  • A set of Letters - I used our tub foam letters
  1. Have your child draw one letter from the bin
  2. Look on the chart (posted below) from the Kids Activity Blog to see which exercise to do for that letter
  3. Exercise and have fun!
A - Act like an Alligator
B - Bend your knees
C - Chair Pose
D - Dance
E - Elephant Stomps
F - Fly like a bird
G - Gallop like a horse
H - Hug your friend
I - Itsy Bitsy Steps
J - Jump
K - Kick
L - Leg Lifts
M - March
N - Noisy Steps
O - Open and shut your arms
P - Pop up from the ground
Q - Quiet Hops
R - Run in Place
S - Side steps
T - Turn
U - Under mom's legs
V - Vacuum
W - Wiggle
X - X jumps
Y - Yoga
Z - Zig Zag

Handprint Art (X-Ray Fish): I found this idea on Red Ted Art and thought it would be a great addition to our Alphabet Handprint Book.

Letter X Songs from The Measured Mom: We love learning new songs each week! Our favorites were: X is in Taxi, X is in Mixing, X is in Six Ducks, X is in Fox, and X is for X-Ray.

Letter X Booklist from The Measured Mom: From the list and options I could find at our library, these were our favorites: The Crayon Box that Talked; Taxi Dog; Max's ABC's; My Mom has X-Ray Vision; Jessica's X-Ray; and Hattie and the Fox.

The Measured Mom

Monday, May 16, 2016

Letter W (Day 5) - Water Beads: Painting, Sensory Play, Sensory Bottle

One of Easton's favorite (possibly very favorite) sensory activities during our letter of the week series are Water Beads. While learning about Letter R, we made a Rainbow/Rainforest Sensory Bin with water beads. The beads come in a little pouch and if you put the beads in water, they more than quadruple in size (first picture below). The beads are slippery, squishy, transparent in water, and even bounce! Below are a few activities we did with Water Beads while learning about Letter W.

Water Bead Painting: I drew a Letter W on a piece of white paper and placed it in a cookie sheet. I squirted some paint and placed some water beads on the paper (first picture). Easton explored for a little while before adding the cookie sheet cover. We moved the cookie sheet back and forth and watched the beads roll around in the paint (second picture). Once the paint dried, I cut out the Letter W and glued it onto black construction paper.

Water Bead, Water & Shaving Cream Sensory Play: I like introducing things one at a time with sensory bins. I feel like this allows Easton to explore more than he normally would if I brought everything out at once. Expect your kid(s) to get messy, explore and have fun in their way. Here's the order:
  • Muffin Tin, Water, Measuring Cups - Easton loved pouring water into the muffin tins. 
  • Add Water Beads - Easton made "water bead soup" for each of the muffin tins to eat. 
  • Add Shaving Cream - Easton made "water bead muffins" and loved watching the water beads disappear into the shaving cream 

Water Bead Sensory Bottle:  I didn't take a picture of ours, but we filled an empty water bottle with water beads. Connor (11 months) loved pushing the bottle around and watching the beads bounce back and forth. Click the link for a Water Bead Sensory Bottle tutorial from the Primary Pack.

Letter W: Watermelon: Craft, File Folder (numbers), Watermelon Moon Sand

Watermelon Craft: I found this Watermelon Craft on Counting Coconuts. I cut two letter W's - one red and one green out of construction paper. Easton dipped his finger in black tempera paint and made seeds on our red W (see first picture below). When the paint dried, we glued the red W onto the top of our green W, making our letters resemble a Watermelon. Then, we glued our watermelon onto a piece of white card stock (see second picture below).

Watermelon File Folder: I printed and made our Watermelon File Folder from Preschool Printables. To make this more fun, I hid the watermelon pieces (with seeds) around the room. Easton found a watermelon, counted the seeds and placed it on the corresponding number.

Watermelon Cloud Dough: I found a tutorial for Watermelon Moon Sand on Growing a Jeweled Rose. However, I bought the wrong kind of sand, so this didn't work for us! I improvised and decided to try a version of Watermelon Cloud Dough. Our cloud dough was more pink than shown in the pictures, and next time I'll try to make it more red. All you do is mix the first four ingredients together with your hands. Add more oil if the dough doesn't stay together in a ball. Here's what we used:
  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Baby Oil
  • 1 Packet Watermelon Gelatin - we loved the smell of watermelon while playing. I wonder if watermelon kool-aid would work better?
  • Red food coloring - I used red liquid watercolors to make the dough pink. 
  • Black Beans - we used these as the seeds 
  • Stacking Cups - these added a lot more fun to our play!


I love bringing things out in steps with sensory bins. I feel like it allows children to explore longer. We started with only the cloud dough. When Easton was ready for something new, we added the stacking cups. When Easton was ready for something new, we added the watermelon "seeds." 

Letter W (Day 2) - Worms: Worm Painting, Growing Worms, Worm Sensory Bin

Worm Painting: I saw the idea of painting worms with noodles on lasting thumbprints. Instead, I had a bag of gummy worms for our other activities this week, so I thought it would be fun to paint with gummy worms! I drew a "Letter W Worm" on a piece of paper and had Easton dip the gummy worm in washable tempera paint and onto his worm. Easton really enjoyed this activity.

Growing Worms: I remember going to restaurants when I was little and loving to make "worms" grow. For this activity, you'll need: A straw with a wrapper, water, and a pipette.
  • Gently slide a straw wrapper down to the bottom end of a straw. The wrapper will look like a spring or accordion. 
  • Remove the crinkled straw wrapper from the bottom of the straw.
  • Use a pipette to drip a few drops of water onto the wrapper, and watch the worm grow.

Worm Sensory Bin: I saw an Ooey Gooey Worm Sensory Bin on the Measured Mom blog, and decided to make a similar one using gummy worms instead of noodles. This is an edible sensory bin, and Easton was thrilled to find out the "dirt" was actually yummy, chocolate pudding. We used gummy worms, chocolate pudding, and our play kitchen set (measuring cups and spoons, tongs, bowls, whisk, etc.) in our Worm Sensory Bin.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Letter W (Day 4) - Water Activities: Waterfall Painting, Water Balloon Shapes & Baseball, Pool Noodle Water Wall

Waterfall Painting:  I've wanted to try "drip painting" for a while, so this Waterfall Painting Tutorial from teaching 2 and 3 year olds was perfect. Here's what you need:

Water Balloon Shapes & Water Balloon Baseball: I saw Water Balloon Numbers on the measured mom blog. We already did a number activity this week, so I thought water balloons would be a fun way to review shapes. I drew shapes on our driveway with sidewalk chalk and filled up our Buncho Balloons from the grocery store - there is no tying involved and you can have 100 balloons filled in a minute (see first picture below)! I would call out a shape and Easton would find and throw the balloon at the shape. We had so many balloons, we decided to play Water Balloon Baseball afterward. What a fun afternoon!

Pool Noodle Water Wall: I saw a Pool Noodle Water Wall on Teaching Mama, and knew we had to try it! We added a few other things to make it our own. Here's what you need:
  • Peg Board - Home Depot for $6
  • Pool Noodles - Dollar Store
  • Funnels - Dollar Store
  • Water Bottles (optional)
  • Pin Wheel - Dollar Store (optional)
  • Zip Ties

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Letter W: Watercolor Alphabet, Songs, Handprint Art (Whale), Window Markers, Booklist

Watercolor & Crayon Resist Alphabet: To review the alphabet as a whole this week, we used watercolors to go along with our W theme. I used a medicine lid and markers to outline 26 circles on a piece of large, white paper. Inside the circles, I wrote one letter of the alphabet with a white crayon. Easton painted the circles with water colors to reveal a letter of the alphabet. He identified each letter and reviewed a lot of colors as well. Use this activity with numbers, shapes, etc.

Letter W Songs: I found our Letter W Songs from the measured mom blog. Our favorites were: W is for Watermelon, Wheels on the Bus, and W is for Woman (There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe). We reviewed this songs every day this week.

Handprint Art (Whale): Easton has always loved whales, so I knew he'd be excited about a whale art project! I saw a similar idea on Pinterest from mommy minutes.

Window Markers: I bought our Window Markers a while ago to use on a rainy day, and thought they'd be perfect for our Letter W week! I mostly let Easton color with them, but we did review our Letter W, shapes and some other letters along the way. I kept the markers on the counter during the week, so Easton could enjoy them all week. We had a lot of fun with these! Note: These came off from the window very easily with a wet wipe.

Letter W Booklist: I found our Letter W Booklist on the measured mom blog. From the selection I could find at our library, these were our favorites: I Went Walking, Where the Wild Things Are, Mrs. Wishy Washy, Wings on Things, The Wind Blew, and the Watermelon Seed.

Add Wheels on the Bus with Craft:

Bus Craft from I heart Crafty Things: I printed out pictures of me, my husband, Easton and Connor to use as the driver/passengers on the bus. After gluing all the pieces onto our bus, Easton chose where our family pictures belonged. Looks like dad is the driver. Easton loved this craft! Click the title "Bus Craft" to view the original tutorial.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I am a Child of God (3): "Growing Up" Slideshow & Puzzles


Song: "I am a Child of God" Children's Songbook page 2.

Opening Activity: Go through each child explaining how they have different characteristics of their parents. Some children may have the same color of hair or eyes as their mother. Some children may love to ski and bike like their father. Teach the children that they grow up to be just like their parents. Optional: Hold up a picture of the children's families for them as a visual aid, while explaining the same principle. Next, hold up a picture of Heavenly Father. Remind the children that He is our spirit father and we are His spirit children. He is kind, loving and understanding. We can also become like Him.

"Growing Up" Power Point: Every kid LOVED this slide show. One slide is a picture of a baby animal, followed by a picture of the grown animal. For instance, a puppy is followed by a dog, a chick is followed by a chicken, a lion cub is followed by a lion, etc. Have the children tell you about the pictures and guess which picture will come next. The last two slides are a picture of children followed by a picture of Heavenly Father. Again, talk about the nature of Heavenly Father (kind, loving, understanding, forgiving, etc.) and how we can become like Him. Review how much Heavenly Father loves and cares for us. Click here to view the powerpoint: Growing Up

Growing Up Puzzles: Print the puzzle pieces and color/laminate them if you'd like. For toddlers, it helps to attach the two pieces together with a paper clip and place them in a paper bag. Have the children take turns drawing one of the paper clips and connecting the two puzzle pieces. This idea is from the Friend Magazine titled "You grow to be like your parents." You connect two puzzle pieces together to show what things become (ie: a tadpole connects to a frog, child to a parent, etc).  Click here to print the puzzles