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Water Table Play

21 May


Okay, so for $99.99 dollars at Walmart you can buy the water table pictured above.  I know a hundred bucks is a nice chunk of change, but trust me.  Water tables provide so much more of an amazing learning experience than you may think.  It is not just about your little one splashing and making a mess.

First off, your child will have a great time practicing their sensory skills.  Give them a bowl and a tiny cup.  Have them count how many cups it took them to fill that bowl.

Other items to use in water tables that most parents/nannies/teachers may not think of:

-Eye droppers

-Toy Cars

-Toy/plastic animals

-Paper

-Sand (Nifty idea: have the child(ren) make animal tracks in the sand with the plastic animals)

-Shovels/buckets/cups

-Sponges

-Baby Dolls

My favorite water play activity is something I’d like to call “Water Babies”.  Fill the table up just covering the base, squeeze in a dab of soap (enough to create some bubbles), then throw in some sponges and naked dolls/ babies.  Walk the child through the steps of giving the baby a bath and drying them off.  This instills empathy, mimics self-help skills, and shows responsibility.  Your child will feel important that they are actually giving a “baby” a bath.

This is also a very cute activity, as children typically say the most adorable things while cleaning their baby dolls.

**Remember, this activity is suitable for little boys too.  I think it is important for boys to play with dolls because like I said, it instills empathy.

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St. Patrick’s Day Pot o’ Gold

13 Mar

Items Needed:

Mini Milk carton, emptied and rinsed, with the top half cut off

One pipe cleaner

Buttons

Hot Glue Gun

Gold Paint

Black Paint

Paint Brushes

—————————————————

DIRECTIONS:

Have the child(ren) paint the milk carton black, then set out on a newspaper to dry

Have them paint the buttons gold.  Set those out to dry as well

Hot glue the pipe cleaner tips onto the inside of the milk carton to act as a handle (or punch holes in carton and twist them on)

After the buttons (coins) are dried, have the child(ren) count them.

You can even play a leprechaun hide-and-seek game by hiding the coins and giving out clues on where they are.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY 2012!

First the Egg

28 Feb

Okay, so upon reading Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s “First the Egg”, you may say “That’s it?”  Honestly, I had the same thought when I first read this book…until I discovered the fun in it.  At the nursery school, my kids learned a lot from this book.  It helps them to cognitively understand the sequence of events; for example: “First the tadpole, and then the frog!”  After the children became more familiar with the book, I allowed them to answer in unison what would come next.

“First the Egg” made some of my most quietest students yell out loud; this was so pleasant to see.  So, this is why I love this book so much–definitely in my top 10 favorites as far as children’s books go.

NIFTY CRAFT ALERT:

Really want to make your kids feel smart?  Try photo copying the pages and cut out the featured items.  Then, have the children glue them on a piece of construction paper in order.  They can decorate the project afterwards with crayons and pom-poms if they want.

Paper Valentine’s Day Flowers

27 Jan

What you will need

Empty Egg Carton

Paint

Pipe Cleaners

Doilies

Bingo Markers

Construction paper, Stapler, & Scissors

Directions

Cut up the egg carton in order to separate the pockets where the eggs sit

Have the child paint the carton pieces their color of choice

Lay carton pieces out to dry

While pieces are drying, have the child use the bingo markers on the doilies

Take two pieces of construction paper and staple the short ends to one another for the child

Roll up the paper into a funnel-like shape (this piece will act as the bouquet holder)

Poke the pipe cleaner through a doilie, then through the bottom of the egg carton piece…continue this process for the creation of each flower

Pinch a knot at the top of the pipe cleaner to secure

Put the flowers in the paper bouquet holder and the child can give them to someone special for Valentine’s Day 🙂

Optional*- For extra security, add a dab of hot glue underneath the doilie

A spritz of Febreeze makes them smell nice as well

***I will be adding fun video tutorials to make craft directions easier to follow…Stay tuned!

Valentine’s Day Project

17 Jan

 

What you will need:

4 large popsicle sticks

Red or pink paint

Small puzzle pieces

Glitter paint

Hot glue

Photograph of child

Permanent marker

**Paint popsicle sticks the child’s color of choice.  These will act as a frame for the picture.

Paint non-picture-side of the puzzle pieces with the glitter paint.

Hot glue puzzle pieces around the popsicle picture frame

Hot glue picture of child underneath the frame

Write in permanent marker on the top and bottom popsicle sticks (horizantally) either…

“You hold the pieces of my heart”

OR

“I love you to pieces!”

Cute huh?..Don’t forget to send pictures to theniftynanny@gmail.com!