St. Patrick’s Day Craft for Toddlers

We just finished the easiest and very fun St. Patrick’s Day craft that I put together for our toddlers! I had some cardboard sitting in the storage closet so I decided to cut them into shamrock shapes, using a cookie cutter. I tinted some glue green, provided the toddlers with small pieces to place on top of the green glue, and hung them in the window. Easy, hands-on, fun!

St Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

St Patrick’s Day Craft for Toddlers

 

What you will need for this St. Patrick’s Day craft

 

St. Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

 

Setting it up:

 

Place the cardboard shamrocks, tinted glue, and small pieces on a table along with the paint brush. Paint the shamrocks with the tinted glue and then add the small pieces. Just like a collage!

 

St. Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

 

The activity:

 

Sometimes toddlers will want to first put the materials on the cardboard before the glue. I tell our toddlers that the materials need something sticky first. I show them the glue and the brush, and invite them to brush the glue onto the cardboard.

 

St. Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

St. Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

St. Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

 

How we displayed them:

 

For those of you who have seen my classroom, you know how I love to display the children’s work.  I used a hole punch to place a hole on the shamrocks and strung them in our window, just as I did our valentine hearts.

 

St. Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers

 

 

And, that is how simple these are! Our toddlers loved creating them, and not one looks like the other. Just as it should be.

 

St Patrick's Day Craft for Toddlers


 

More ideas:

St. Patrick's Day Ideas that are Perfect for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      St Patrick's Day Sensory Bin - Fun with Gold Coins and Treasure Chests - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     St Patrick's Day Ideas

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




20 Eric Carle Craft Projects for Kids

 

We are in love with the author Eric Carle, so I thought it would be fun to put together 20 Eric Carle craft projects for kids that go with his books.

Literacy is a very important part of our toddler and preschool curriculum. We read several books each day and often will invite the children to create a craft that connects to one of them. Our 3 year olds also enjoy circle time activities that go with the books, and we will also extend related activities to other areas of our classroom, such as the light table and writing table. We even add literacy to our block corner. Our goal is to set a firm foundation for the love of books that will stay with our students their entire lives.

 

Eric Carle Crafts

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

20 Eric Carle Craft Projects for Kids:

 

More resources:

 

More activities that go with books:

kids cooking      Water Activity for Kids      rainbow+fruit+8.jpg

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Marble Valentine Heart Activity for Preschoolers

Another holiday is coming up! And there are so many cookie cutter crafts available. But whenever I can squeeze in some child-directed process art, I do. This marble Valentine heart activity for preschoolers is all process art, and yet because it’s in the shape of a heart, it fits right in with Valentine’s Day.

I am often asked what’s the difference between teacher-directed and child-directed. It comes down to this: if you can hand them the materials and let them do their own thing, it’s child-directed. If you are sitting right there, guiding them every step of the way, it’s teacher-directed.

This is definitely child-directed!

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Marble Valentine Heart Activity for Preschoolers

 

What you will need:

Paper doily hearts

Marbles

Red tempera paint

Something to transfer the marbles to the heart, such as bug tongs

A box lid

Setting it up:

Pour some paint into a bowl. Add the marbles and bug tongs. (Or whatever you choose to use for transferring the marbles.)

Place a paper doily heart inside the box lid.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

Invite your preschooler to transfer the marbles from the bowl to the box lid.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

Hold on to the sides of the box lid and tip it back and forth to move the marbles. This takes some upper body coordination as the preschoolers figure out how much tipping is needed to move the marbles around.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

If you want a bigger challenge, use a larger box lid. More thought will be needed to figure out how to get the marbles to get to the paper heart, not just the box lid.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

Busy children especially love this activity because of the motion involved. They don’t even need to sit. Move the chairs away from the table and let them stand. They actually might use more of their body this way, too.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

This is also a good activity for those with low motor tone. It uses the fingers, hands, arms and shoulders.

 

I love this photo because it shows how much we reuse our box lids! You can see several different colors of paint plus glitter from previous paint rolling activities.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

How to adapt this for younger children: 

We’ve used sensory balls and golf balls. I suggest starting with the sensory balls since they are larger and lighter, and then move to the golf balls.

Marble Valentine Heart Activity

Related posts:

Foil Valentines Hearts      Painting with Frozen Watercolor Hearts - A fun Valentine's activity for kids!     Preschool Valentines Activity - free printable! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 

Marble Valentine Heart Activity


And make sure to pop over to our Valentine’s Day pin board!

 

 

 


 

Join us in having a kind classroom

Kind Classroom

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Toddler Valentine Crafts

Have you tried to find toddler valentine crafts only to see they are way too complicated? I am always searching for ideas on Pinterest and am amazed at how many ideas are tagged for toddlers but really are more for preschoolers. So, when I put this toddler valentines craft collection together, I paid close attention to the details. Here are 15 valentine crafts that teachers, caregivers, parents, grandparents…anyone with toddlers…can try with their little ones.

Valentine's art that is fun for toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Toddler Valentine Crafts

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Toddler Valentine Crafts:

  1. Use a salad spinner to create beautiful doily hearts.

  2. Mix some shaving cream and paint for marbled hearts.

  3. Scrunch tissue paper to make a Valentine’s wreath. (Happy Hooligans)

  4. Glue yarn to make a textured heart. (Toddler Approved)

  5. Use an embroidery hoop to make handprint sun catchers. (Two-Daloo for Crafty Texas Girls)

  6. Cut a sponge into a heart shape for fun valentine stamping. (Learn-Create-Love)

  7. Shape a paper tube to make painted hearts on paper. (Housing a Forest)

  8. Make a super sweet hearts using handprints. (Roots and Wings)

  9. Create a Valentines card using both feet. (Mikilani for Toddler Approved)

  10. Trace your child’s arm and use cookie cutters to make a tree of love. (The Preschool Toolbox)

  11. Cut hearts from bubble wrap for fun Valentine printing. (Mess for Less)

  12. Glue torn pieces of tissue paper into a heart shape. (Love, Play and Learn)

  13. Add some sensory by making some sticky Valentines sun catchers. (Simple Fun for Kids)

  14. Cut coffee filters into heart shapes and make them colorful. (No Time for Flash Cards)

  15. Strengthen fine motor skills while using q-tips to paint hearts. (Learn, Play, Imagine)

 valentine's crafts for toddlers

Here are more ideas you might like:

Fun Toddler Painting with Legos     30+ Easy Indoor Activities for Toddlers    Toddler Alphabet Ideas

 

Follow us on Instagram where you can see daily snippets from our classroom!


 

Join us in having a kind classroom

Kind Classroom

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fun Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

One of our themes for January is ice and snow. It’s iffy if we will really get snow in our neck of the woods, but this year we got a record amount. I’m talking multiple snow days with piles and piles of snow! So, when we finally returned from our snow break, it only seemed fitting to read All You Need for a Snowman and create a fun snowman craft with pom poms.

And the cutest little black hats.

And carrot noses made out of pipe cleaners.

Oh, and googly eyes. I have to mention them again since I apparently really, really love those goofy little things.

 

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Fun Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

What we used:

Creating these snowmen:

Select a larger and smaller pom pom. (This is a great lesson on size discrimination.) Squirt some tacky glue on one and stick the other to it.

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

Then squirt some tacky glue on the face for the googly eyes and pipe cleaner carrot nose. Working with such small pieces requires concentration and builds fine motor skills. Oh, and we learned that it’s easier to place the snowman on its back while adding all the features.

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

Squirt some glue around the rim of the hat and plop it on the top of the snowman. Add a twig arm on either side of the snowman’s body.

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

When the snowman is completely dry, wrap a felt scarf around the neck, if desired.

Okay, so I found the cutest tiny shovels. (They are here if you are curious.) Look how darling this snowman looks completely adorned!

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

However, not all the children wanted to add everything. Some chose to keep their snowmen basic, and that is perfectly fine. What they wanted to add was their choice.

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

I am in love with these little guys and the children are, too!

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

They look so sweet when grouped together, too!

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

Here are more snowman activities you can try:

Playdough Snowman

Spool Stamped Snowman

Bubble Wrap Printed Snowman

Snowman Sensory Bin

Cute Snowman Craft with Pom Poms

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

You need to come up with a quick winter activity that is easy to set up and doesn’t make much of a mess. Hello, easy winter art with paper mittens! And I’ve even tossed in a free printable. This winter craft is perfect for the classroom, during a play date, on a quiet afternoon at home.

If this looks familiar, that’s probably because you are recalling our no-mess pumpkin art. Same idea, different season.

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

What we used:

Getting started:

Pour some paint into a dish and add some marbles. After downloading the free printable mitten, cut it out and place it inside the plastic bag.

The activity:

Invite your child to transfer the marbles from the paint into the bag.

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

Once all the marbles have been added, seal the bag and start pressing on top of the bag, moving the marbles around.

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

You can even shake the bag a bit to get the marbles moving. (Just make sure it’s sealed tight!)

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

This activity is not only develops fine motor skills, but it’s also a fun sensory idea. Children who have an aversion to getting paint on their hands will feel more comfortable having the ingredients inside the closed bag. Sensory seeking children will enjoy pressing on the smooth plastic and moving the marbles around.

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

When finished:

Remove marbles and paper mitten from bag. That’s it! Easy peasy and fun.

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

As promised, here is your free download: Free Mitten Printable

Easy Winter Art with Paper Mittens

 


From our store:

This Winter Science Activities packet is filled with 10 hands-on learning activities that are sure to capture the interest of your little learner. Teach little learners about states of matter, density, chemistry and more with really fun experiments. All the activities come with detailed instructions, material lists, and some experiments include printables. For only $3.00 you can buy it now.

Winter Science Activities Book Button

 

More ideas to try:

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers      20 Ways to Teach Counting to Preschoolers     Fine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Winter Snowman Art for Toddlers

Toddlers love to stamp objects. You might recall our toddler ocean art painting, and our color mixing with paper tubes. This is the same concept. Instead this time we used empty sewing spools. It turned out to be such an easy winter snowman art for toddlers! They got to do what they love most: moving objects up and down. Having fun at the art table!

Many years ago someone donated a huge box of empty sewing spools. We have used them for counting activities at our math table, for stamping with play dough, and as loose parts in our block corner. After cutting snowman shapes out of paper, I realized the spools would resemble snowflakes when stamped in paint. We’ve done white paint on blue paper, but for this particular activity I decided to go with the color scheme we were using that week, a blue tone. We had lots of white “snow” at our play dough table and sensory bin so we knew that snow is not blue unless it is tinted.

Easy Winter Snowman Art for Toddlers

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

 

Easy Winter Snowman Art for Toddlers

What you will need:

  • Empty sewing spools
  • Blue or white paint
  • White or blue paper

 

toddler winter art

 

Setting it up:

Cut paper into a snowman shape. Pour a shallow amount of paint into a tray and place the empty sewing spool in it.

toddler winter art

toddler winter art

 

The process:

Take the spool from the paint and stamp it on the paper. Or slide it. Because that’s fun, too!

toddler winter art

toddler winter art

 

After drying, I decided I wanted them displayed in our window. I used a hole punch and then opened a paper clip to use as a hanger.

toddler winter art

toddler winter art

 

 

Dancing snowmen in the window!

 

Easy Winter Snowman Art for Toddlers

 

 


More activities for toddlers:

Fun Toddler Painting with Legos      simple toddler science activities     toddler play activities




Easy Winter Snowball Art for Toddlers

I woke up at 4 in the morning with a thought on how we could put together easy winter snowball art for toddlers. I guess it had been on my mind! Seriously, this was such a simple thought, and yet I knew toddlers would love it. Why? Because it involves painting.

And painting.

And painting.

What I know about toddlers is that they just want to paint. They don’t care what they are painting on, really. They just love to move their arms and hands and fingers. So, I knew we could tie this in with our winter theme. And, ahem, I am certain I am not the only one to come up with this idea. It’s just that it came to me at 4 in the morning. I’m sure others have tried it, too!

Easy Winter Snowball Art for Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Winter Snowball Art for Toddlers

 

What you will need for this activity:

 

simple toddler art for winter

 

Setting it up:

Pour paint into containers, add brushes, and turn the muffin tin upside down. Invite the children to paint the tops of the muffin tins.

 

simple toddler art for winter

 

They might get side-tracked and paint their finger. Because, curious minds wonder how paint feels on the skin! (Note: toddlers tend to want to wipe any paint off their hands immediately. Even the smallest amount. We now keep a pack of baby wipes on the table for this reason.)

simple toddler art for winter

simple toddler art for winter

 

Make a print:

When they are finished painting (and not all the circles might be painted, and that is fine), have them press the paper on top of the muffin tin. Show them how to pat the paper all over.

simple toddler art for winter

 

Lift the paper from the muffin tin.

Look at their expressions as they lift the paper from the muffin tin. They love seeing those white circles on their papers!

 

simple toddler art for winter

simple toddler art for winter

Simple Toddler Winter Art

Simple snowballs.

 

Easy Winter Snowball Art for Toddlers

 

You can find more winter activities on my pin board!

 

Here are more ideas:

Fun Activities for Kids     Preschool Bear Theme   toddler painting with golf balls

Bonus! Looking for creative ways to keep toddlers busy? Here are 100 fun and easy activities toddlers will love. If you are a parent, grandparent, or caregiver to toddlers, THIS is the book for you. Click on the photo below for details!


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Winter Watercolor Snowflakes

We welcome each year with our easy winter watercolor snowflakes. Using pipettes and other types of droppers not only strengthen fine motor development, but they are also fun to use! Once preschoolers learn how to use them, they want to keep going, such as with our pine cone art and our colorful waterfalls. This type of activity is definitely is part of my top 10 ways to get fingers ready for writing.

 This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Watercolor Snowflakes - Beautiful Winter Art by Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Easy Winter Watercolor Snowflakes

What you will need for this activity:

 

 

Preparing the activity:

Pour the liquid watercolors into containers and thin with water to desired strength. I suggest placing the snowflakes on some sort of tray that can contain the watercolors, because preschoolers love this activity so much that excess watercolors will flow off the snowflake.

Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Invite the children to squeeze the watercolors onto the snowflakes.

You  might need to show them how to squeeze the paint into the pipette and then release it onto the snowflake. You will know when they get it – their faces will light up!

 Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 If you don’t have access to the pre-cut tissue shapes, you can cut your own out of coffee filters. We’ve done this in the past and they work well.

 

Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds 

 

Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

When they are finished, let the snowflakes dry completely.

 

 Watercolor-Snowflakes - Winter art for kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Displaying the watercolor snowflakes:

 

We’ve primarily displayed our watercolor snowflakes on bulletin boards, as shown below, often mixed with other artwork. They also look lovely as window displays and can also be turned into festive garland. You could also hang them from the ceiling, as we did with our watercolor doily art.

Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Easy Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 Head on over to my winter Pinterest board to find more fun activities like this!

 


Watercolor Snowflakes - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Related posts:

17 Winter Snacks for Kids      15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers      Winter Math Ideas for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

From our store:

This Winter Science Activities packet is filled with 10 hands-on learning activities that are sure to capture the interest of your little learner. Teach little learners about states of matter, density, chemistry and more with really fun experiments. All the activities come with detailed instructions, material lists, and some experiments include printables. For only $3.00 you can buy it now.

Winter Science Activities Book Button

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Toddler Snowman Art

Rolling paint on textured surfaces make the best prints, and that’s exactly what we did with this easy toddler snowman art activity. By now you must know our love for bubble wrap, right? Remember when we made rainbows from bubble wrap? Well, this easy snowman art uses the same technique. Rolling the paint across the bubble wrap works the muscles in the shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. These are the types of activities we love to do for future writing!

Grab some bubble wrap and get ready to watch your toddler have fun!
Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Toddler Snowman Art

 

What you will need:

Recycled bubble wrap

Brayer

White tempera paint

Blue paper, cut into a snowman shape

Felt scraps for scarf (cut into a strip that can tie around snowman)

Eyes (I found some clip art online)


 

Get started!

 

Pour paint into a shallow container. Dip brayer into it and then roll onto the bubble wrap. This is the fun part, so it’s okay if your toddler wants to roll over and over and over again.

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

When your toddler is finally winding down, place the paper on top of the painted bubble wrap. Show your toddler how to rub the paper as it presses onto the bubble wrap.

 

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Pull the paper off the bubble wrap and show your toddler the print. You just might get a nice smile. Your toddler just might want to do this again!

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Let snowman dry thoroughly. Then, add eyes with a glue stick or white glue. Tie felt around the neck.

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Our toddlers were so happy to show off their snowmen!

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

We hung ours on the bulletin board so they could be admired for awhile. Toddlers love seeing their work displayed!

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds


Want to see snippets of our day in the classroom? Follow us on Instagram!

Easy Snowman Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Looking for more winter ideas? Head on over to my winter Pinterest board!

 

 


More fun for kids:

how to cook with kids   learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids     Favorite Fingerplays for Preschoolers

 

 

Learn with Play

A giant collection (150+ activities) of hands-on kids activities. Perfect for teachers, caregivers, parents, babysitters, and anyone with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in their lives!

Find out more about Learn with Play or for only $14.95 you can buy it now.

150+ play activities for kids

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Salt and Watercolor Painting

I love to strengthen fine motor skills at the art table, so this is why salt and watercolor painting is one of my favorites for our preschoolers. I’ve talked about pipettes before, such as with our pine cone art and our colored waterfall art. What I love about this particular activity is that the salt allows the colors to travel. When you add different colors, you can see them mix in the salt. Science, fine motor, AND art!

Salt and Watercolor Art
 Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

What we used:

 


Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

The process:

 

Squeeze glue onto paper. We talked about how the glue was “dancing”.

 

 
Then, spoon salt on top of the glue.

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

You can also shake the salt. This is a fun activity by itself!

 
Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Shake off the excess salt.

 

Applying the watercolors:

 

Use the pipettes to transfer the liquid watercolors on top of the salt.
Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

There are always those who want to use 2 pipettes at the same time!

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

As the salt absorbs the paint, and they both mix with the glue, an interesting texture appears.

 Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Some of the preschoolers poked and pulled at the mixture, finding the feeling fascinating.

 Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

When finished, let thoroughly dry. Some of the salt might flake off if there was not enough glue. I made sure to shake each one over the garbage can before sending them home, so that the excess was removed.

 

Exploring Science and Art with Salt, Glue, and Watercolors - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Make sure to follow us on Pinterest!

 


Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

More ideas for young children:

Watercolor Snowflakes - Beautiful Winter Art by Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds          Preschool Hibernating Bears     Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments

 

Check out our science pin board for more fun!

 

From our store:

This Winter Science Activities packet is filled with 10 hands-on learning activities that are sure to capture the interest of your little learner. Teach little learners about states of matter, density, chemistry and more with really fun experiments. All the activities come with detailed instructions, material lists, and some experiments include printables. For only $3.00 you can buy it now.

Winter Science Activities Book Button

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




20 Winter Crafts for Preschoolers

As the temperatures are dropping (it’s in the low 30s where I live right now), I am thinking of all the activities I can add to our winter unit! I found a fun collection of 20 winter crafts for preschoolers that I wanted to share with all of you. Actually, older children would enjoy them, too!

If you are a teacher, these activities would work well on your classroom art table. They also display well on bulletin boards or windows!

If you are a parent, make a pot of hot cocoa for the kids and settle down at the kitchen table with your kids. Have fun making these winter crafts! (They also work great for play dates!)

 

20 winter crafts for preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

20 Winter Crafts for Preschoolers

 

1. Trace your child’s hands to make handprint penguins. (Crafty Morning)

2. Make a snowflake from cotton balls. (No Time for Flashcards)

3. Create shimmery frosted pine cones.

4. Cut leftover bubble wrap into circles to create snowmen.

 

Winter Crafts for Preschoolers

 

5. Use a cereal box to make a tissue paper snowflake. (Happy Hooligans)

6. Stamp your painted hands on paper several times to make handprint snowflakes. (Mamas Like Me)

7. Drop watercolors onto tissue paper to create colorful snowflakes.

8. Mix together two ingredients to make frosty snowmen.

 

Winter Crafts for Preschoolers

 

9. Create stuffed teddy bears out of paper and put them to bed to hibernate.

10. Download a free template and decorate paper mittens. (In the Playroom)

11. If your children have good scissor skills, they can cut their own circles to make a paper snowman. (School Time Snippets)

12. Create shape penguins after downloading free color printables. (Our Homemade Life)

 

Winter Crafts for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

13. Place a white handprint onto paper to make a polar bear. (We Love to Sew)

14. Use one egg carton cup to make an adorable painted penguin. (Kiwi Crate)

15. Put a snowman in the window with this cute winter craft. (Glued to My Crafts)

16. Recycle paper tubes to make a tall snowman. (Craftaholics Anonymous)

 

Winter Crafts for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

17. Turn a bag into a penguin puppet! (Family Education)

18. Use 3 different sizes of circles to make an aerial view snowman. (Tiny Craft Room)

19. Make a colorful snowflake out of craft sticks. This is a great fine motor activity, too!

20. You can also make snowflakes out of puzzle pieces and paint them white. (Lisa’s Craft Room)

 

Winter Crafts for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Looking for more winter ideas? Head on over to my winter Pinterest board!

20 winter crafts for preschoolers

 


More fun for kids:

how to cook with kids   learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids     Favorite Fingerplays for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Learn with Play

A giant collection (150+ activities) of hands-on kids activities. Perfect for teachers, caregivers, parents, babysitters, and anyone with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in their lives!

Find out more about Learn with Play or for only $14.95 you can buy it now.

150+ play activities for kids




20 Easy Gifts Made by Kids

Every December our preschoolers make Christmas gifts for their families. When thinking about kid made Christmas gifts, we want them to be something that will either be a keepsake item, or something that the receiver will enjoy using now. When I did a search on Pinterest for kid made gifts, many that I found were too complicated for little hands. As I searched deeper, I found 20 easy gifts made by kids that are appropriate for this age group. Yes, they do need adult assistance, but they all allow the children to add their touches as well. The more the child can do, the better. (This is easier for older preschoolers, of course.)

 

20 cute and easy gifts made by kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

20 Easy Gifts Made by Kids

 

1. Decorate a picture frame ornament and insert a photo of the child. It will be treasured by the receiver for years and years.

2. How about a little pampering gift for an aunt or grandma? These yummy smelling bath salts are so easy for kids to make. Even toddlers can mix it up easily!

3. For moms, aunts, and grandmas, how about a handprint apron? (Simply Kierste)

4. If Dad loves baseball, he will love this “my heart belongs to Dad” baseball plate. (All Fired Up)

Kid Made Christmas Gifts

5. Grandparents love keepsakes! This handprint poem can be framed and enjoyed for many years. (Living Montessori Now)

6. Do you know someone who loves birds? These shaped bird feeders are easy for little fingers to make, and hang nicely outdoors for our feathered friends. (Messy Little Monster)

7. Instead of just sending photos to someone special this Christmas, add a kid-made photo holder with them. (Teach Me Mommy)

8. Let your toddler put stickers on baubles for a pretty Christmas ornament gift. (My Bored Toddler)

Kid Made Christmas Gifts

9. Show the love with these fingerprint heart ornaments. (Mum in the Mad House)

10. Sharpies and white ceramic tile make a nice coaster gift. (Paging Fun Mums)

11. Kids love to make jewelry for special people! How about letting them make salt dough necklaces and bracelets? (One Perfect Day)

12. An office is not complete without a painted rock paperweight, especially when made by a little special person. (Happy Hooligans)

Kid Made Christmas Gifts

 

13. Draw on fabric and secure in an embroidery hoop for a special wall art piece. (Mama Papa Bubba)

14. Adults can help kids make glycerin soap to wrap as Christmas gifts. (Gift of Curiosity)

15. Mom or Grandma would love a ring dish made by a child! (Mama Papa Bubba)

16. Craft sticks glued around a can make a nice personalized pen holder. (My Little Bookcase)

Kid Made Christmas Gifts

17. Recycle broken crayon pieces to make colorful melted crayon rocks. (Red Ted Art)

18. Do you know someone who loves their garden? Make a wind chime from an old gardening pot! (Sugar Spice and Glitter)

19. Remember Shrinky Dinks? Kids can make cute keyrings with them! (Messy Little Monster)

20.  These DIY hand painted votives are so easy that even toddlers can make them. (Rhythms of Play)

20 handmade gifts kids can make

Make sure to wrap your child’s gift in a handmade gift bag!

Christmas Wrap Made by Kids

 

What have been your favorite kid made gifts? Please share in the comments section!

20 cute and easy gifts made by kids

More ideas for young children:

Easy Christmas Ideas for Little Kids     Christmas Painting Activities      Christmas Sensory Play Activities

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Teaching Preschoolers the Elements of Art

I have written quite a few posts on the value of art in the preschool classroom. Art is just as important in our curriculum as reading, writing, science, and all the other areas of learning. Teaching preschoolers the elements of art allows them to explore creativity while strengthening fine motor skills and hand-eye development.

But how do we teach these elements of art?

Really, it is quite easy if you provide the materials that allow preschoolers to explore. I thought I’d share some art activities our children have enjoyed over the years, each focusing on one or more of the elements.

Teaching Preschoolers the Elements of Art

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of Art Parts: A Child’s Introduction to the Elements of Art for review. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Teaching Preschoolers the Elements of Art

Recently author Kim Bogren Owen sent me a copy of her book Art Parts: A Child’s Introduction to the Elements of Art. Using simple text and children’s art, Art Parts introduces children to the 6 elements of art:

  • Art is lines.
  • Art is shapes.
  • Art is color.
  • Art is texture.
  • Art is space.
  • Art is feelings.

Art Parts is designed for children between the ages of 3-8 and includes blank pages after each element where children can experiment each of the 6 concepts. In the classroom, rather than experiment directly in the book, children can create on pieces of paper where they can then be displayed, put in a memory book, and/or taken home.

Art Parts would be a great addition to your art center. The book includes an activities page for parents and teachers to expand on concepts in the book.

After reading Art Parts, I reflected on some art that we had done in the past few years. How did we add elements to them?

Art is lines.

 

Day and Night Activities for Preschoolers

Painting with Golf Balls and Marbles 

As our preschoolers moved the balls back and forth, they made lines of paint on their paper.

Fun Spin Art Spiders for Preschoolers

Spin Art Spiders

Squirting paint onto paper and then spinning it created interesting lines.

preschool Easter art

Painting with Easter Eggs

This process was the same as the marble and golf ball painting, except we used plastic eggs instead.

preschool spring art

Painting Spring Flowers

We painted lines for stems using feathers.

fine motor art in preschool

Colorful Waterfalls

Squirting watercolors from pipettes on a vertical surface causes the paint to drip down the paper, creating lines.

 

Art is shapes.

Easter Egg Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Stamping Circles

Painting with paper tubes and plastic eggs create circle shapes.

Abstract Painting with Kids

Abstract Painting

We explored shapes as we stamped onto canvas.

 

Art is color.

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

Little Blue and Little Yellow: Mixing Colors

After reading Little Blue and Little Yellow, we stamped two colors to make a third.

Preschool Art Ideas

Learning About the Colors of the Rainbow

Each year we create some sort of display that features each color of the rainbow.

Rainbow Crayons - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Rainbow Crayons

We sorted crayons by color and then made our own rainbow crayons.

Fun Toddler Painting with Legos

Painting Rainbows with Legos

We drove Lego bricks through puddles of paint in the colors of the rainbow.

Preschool Painting with Balloons

Painting with Balloons

Using slick paper, we explored mixing colors while painting with balloons.

Art is texture.

simple toddler art for winter

Snowball Prints

Painting on top of muffin tins allowed us to experience texture as we pressed paper on top, creating a print.

Easy Pumpkin Painting for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Making Prints with Pumpkins

Wrapping our hands around small pumpkins created uneven marks of paint on our paper.

Freezer Bag Painting for Preschoolers

Painting with Marbles in Freezer Bags

Pushing marbles and paint through plastic is an interesting texture on our hands and fingers.

Toddler Painting with Balls

Painting with Nubby Balls

The texture of these balls created interesting prints as we rolled them back and forth across the paper.

Art is space.

toddler winter art

Snowflake Snowmen

While stamping with spools, we noticed the space around the paint.

Art is feelings.

introducing art to preschoolers

We talk a lot about our feelings and will draw them on paper.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to teach elements of art to preschoolers?

Teaching Preschoolers the Elements of Art

Related posts:

Toddler Art Tips      10 favorite painting activities     Preschool art at the easel


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Toddler Farm Painting Activity

If you have a toddler or two (or a classroom full) that isn’t quite interested in art, you simply must try this hands-on activity! You might recall our toddlers having fun driving Lego bricks through paint, and also fire trucks and cars. Well, this toddler farm painting activity is very similar, except we used big chunky farm animals and farm vehicles.

Any time we do one of the above activities it’s a hit. A huge hit! And if you happen to have a busy toddler (that’s like 90% of the toddler population), this activity is perfect.

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Toddler Farm Painting Activity

What we used:

  • Brown washable tempera paint
  • Big sheets of paper to cover the table
  • Chunky farm animals
  • Farm vehicles (trucks and tractors)



Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

We poured paint into trays and added some dish soap. (Even though we use washable paint, we add the soap for extra washability. Not sure if it’s necessary, but we do it anyways.) We also removed the chairs so that they could easily walk around the table as they moved the animals and vehicles.

We placed an animal in each tray of paint and invited our toddlers to explore. Love how this little guy is checking everything out first.

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

Then, let the stamping and rolling begin!

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

See how nicely toddler hands fit around the larger farm animals?

Toddler and PrescToddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

Now here come the vehicles! The tractors are always a favorite. If you do this activity around Halloween, some of your toddlers might have just visited a pumpkin farm where they saw tractors. If so, this activity is even more exciting to them!

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

Now for the unplanned part. You all know how not everything in our day is necessarily planned. Some of the best moments happen spontaneously. One of the reasons I love my job so much!

It happened to be a nice day outside and we had water in the outdoor sensory table. When we were finished with the farm painting activity, I put everything into the outdoor water table along with sponges.

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

This might have been even more fun than the painting part! Our toddlers carefully rubbed the paint off of the animals and vehicles.

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

This is a great fine motor squeezing activity and it saved me from having to wash them all in the sink. Let’s be honest!

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

And that’s it! A simple fun farm activity for toddlers. If you try this, let me know if your toddlers love it as much as ours have.

Toddler and Preschool Farm Painting Activity

More ideas for toddlers:

Fall Process Art for Toddlers      simple toddler science activities      easy toddler friendship art

You can find more toddler activities on my toddler pin board!

 

Bonus! Looking for creative ways to keep toddlers busy? Here are 100 fun and easy activities toddlers will love. If you are a parent, grandparent, or caregiver to toddlers, THIS is the book for you. Buy now for $9.99.

Easy and fun toddler activities

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Toddler Art Tips

Putting together toddler art might seem a bit overwhelming, especially when you add their endless energy and desire to get as messy as possible. I’ve had many parents look at me like I’m crazy when I share our latest creation at the art table. Now, I know that it might seem easier for me since I’m in a classroom setting. But even as a young mama I turned our kitchen table into an art center for our 3 children. Once I saw how much my children enjoyed exploring new art materials, it encouraged me to find more ideas. Same with my toddler classroom. Here are some toddler art tips I hope might help you consider giving art a try with your young children.

 

Toddler Art Tips

 

 This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

 Toddler Art Tips

 

 Tip #1: Add dish soap to paint.

 

BUBBLE PAINT

 

Even though we use this washable tempera paint, we add a squirt of dishwashing liquid as an extra precaution.

 

Tip #2: Have a sink close by.

 
toddler art tips

 

From the very first day of school, we show our toddlers how to wash their hands with soap and water. We also keep a packet of baby wipes close by.

 

Tip #3: Save those box lids.

 

Toddler Painting with Balls

  Box lids rock when it comes to toddler art! It confines the “mess”. If paint is involved, they will want to also paint the box lid. I promise you. We also love these art trays.

 

Check these out:

 

 

Tip #4: Cover the table. 

 

toddler art

 

If you want to protect your furniture, cover it with a cheap vinyl tablecloth, newspapers, or any kind of large recycled paper.

 

Sometimes we do our artwork directly ON that large sheet of paper for a mural.

 

Check this out:

 

 

Tip #5: Raid your kitchen drawers.

 

toddler painting activities

 

 
Kitchen gadgets are so fun with paint! I have been known to get giddy when I find the perfect gadget at Goodwill.

 

 
 

 Tip #6: Start saving paper tubes.

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

 
If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you know there are so many ways to use paper tubes! The easiest way to use them is inviting your child to dip them into a shallow tray of paint. Stamp on paper. Yep, that easy!

 

Check these out:

 

Tip #7: Keep a stash of sponges and clothespins.

 

 

preschool spring art

 

 
Clip sponges to clothespins for a fun painting experience!

 

Check this out:

 

 

Tip #8: Use frozen food containers as paint holders.

 

 Easter Egg Art for Toddlers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 
Just add paint and brushes and you are set! We wash and reuse ours over and over again.

 

Check this out:

 

 

Tip #9: Let them explore.

 

toddler painting activities

 
 Many toddlers love to get their hands involved. And yes, sleeves might also get involved. And the front of the shirt. This brings us back to #1 and #2.

 

 

 Tip #9: It’s okay if they don’t want to get their hands messy.

 

 Easy Kids Art with Freezer Bags

 


 Squirt paint on paper and place a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper on top. Let them place their hands on top of this so that they do not actually get paint on their hands.

 

You can see this activity here.

 

Tip #10: It’s okay to go beyond the brush and paper.

 

 Foil Valentines Hearts

 

 Try painting on tin foil!

 Check this out:

 

Tip 11: Use sturdy paint cups and good toddler paint brushes. 

 

toddler art

 

Paint pots and easy-grip brushes work well with this age group. 

 

 
Let your toddlers have fun with whatever you choose. Give them time to explore!

 


 

 

More ideas for toddlers:

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers     Toddler Alphabet Ideas     Looking for a fun way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills? Here's a fun water activity using basters!

 

 

Toddler Art Tips
Learn with Play post footer
Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds