Hands-On Math Activities for Preschoolers

When we choose math activities for our preschoolers, we look at playful ways to build counting skills. We also look for activities that can be adapted to different skill levels, since we have children at many different levels. Some of our preschoolers can count to 20 and beyond, while some are just starting to count to 4. Math is more than worksheets and flashcards. It’s about exploring numbers and counting, being completely engaged in the fun of numbers. Hands-on math activities for preschoolers.

 

Hands-on Math Activities for Preschoolers

 

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Hands On Math Activities for Preschoolers

Setting Up Activity Trays

Before the children arrive, we set up the math activity trays on a table.  We work with our preschoolers to keep the materials on the tray, although, quite honestly, this can be a challenge with younger preschoolers. It’s not uncommon for our younger children to want to pick up the pieces and carry them around the room, often dropping them off in a different center. However, we continue to model how to use the materials and keep them on the trays so that other children can easily work on them as well.

 

Storing Activity Trays

We store all of our materials in a shared storage closet with the other preschool teachers. We’ve found that storing each activity in a plastic gallon bag (zip top or sliding top) works well. They sit nicely upright in a box on a shelf.

 

math preschool activities

 

math preschool activities

 

Related posts:

how to make math fun for preschoolers      Preschool Math Activities     Learn how to count in preschool

Math Activity Trays for Preschoolers

Make sure to check out more ideas on my math pin board!



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




15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers

The cold weather is here. We love to explore ice this time of year! While planning winter theme, I found 15 fun winter ice activities for preschoolers. These are engaging, hands-on ideas that can be done in the classroom and at home. Ready for some winter fun?

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers

15 Cool Ideas with Ice - Winter Activities for Kids -Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

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15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers

 

  1. Freeze blocks of ice and paint on them.
  2. Explore ice and water in the sensory bin.
  3. Brainstorm ways to keep ice from melting. (Planet Smarty Pants)
  4. Scoop ice out of water for a chilly sensory experience. (Busy Toddler)
  5. Princess lovers will have fun with this ice castle excavation activity. (School Time Snippets)
  6. Add some STEM to your winter theme by experimenting with frozen magnetic pieces. (Little Bins for Little Hands)
  7. Explore a rainbow with melting ice. (Powerful Mothering)
  8. Practice letter recognition while trying to remove letters from ice. (Little Bins for Little Hands)
  9. Melt frozen hands with salt and water. (Happy Hooligans)
  10. Go fishing for ice and learn what happens when salt is added. (Science Kiddo)
  11. For a simple winter science activity, explore fizzy ice. (Toddler Approved)
  12. Freeze Lego figures in water and excavate them. (Lemon Lime Adventures)
  13. Do you want to melt a snowman? This ice melting activity looks like a fun sensory idea! (Munchkins and Moms)
  14. Make volcanoes from ice and watch them erupt. (Reading Confetti)
  15. Paint with gingerbread ice men. (Practical Mommy)

 

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers


 

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




55+ Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine motor development is an important part of the toddler and early childhood years. In order to learn how to draw and write, the hands must be strong enough to hold writing tools. Fine motor is also necessary for independence. Think about zipping a coat, buttoning pants, opening a door, getting a glass of water. These all require fine muscle control. And yet, according to some studies, children are entering kindergarten lacking fine motor skills. And then the question is asked how? How can we help our young children build strong hands? I hear this question often from my own preschool parents. And so I thought I’d put together a list of 55+ fine motor activities for home.

Yep, over 55 easy ways to help your young children strengthen their break from school skills. Simple ideas your children can do at the kitchen table, in the bathtub, or outside. 50+ fine motor ideas that use simple materials, many of which you already have in your home. Activities that are perfect when your children are on break from school, the weekend, a rainy day, any time!

Fine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home

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This collection of fine motor activities is geared for children ages 2-5. Some will be more suitable for younger children, some for older. Choose the activities you feel are best for your children and build on them as they are ready.

 

55+ Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Related posts:

Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      how to make math fun for preschoolers      Shape Activities for PreschoolersFine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Top 10 Toddler and Preschool Posts for 2016

As each year comes to a close, I love looking back and seeing what worked. Every time I put a post together, I wonder how many will find it useful. I can never guess how well any of them will do. I hit the publish button and wait. And yes, it’s always the biggest thrill to watch a post just take off! I am excited to share with you our top 10 toddler and preschool posts for 2016. Some of these have been around for years, others were just written this year.

Top 10 Toddler and Preschool Posts for 2016

 

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Top 10 Toddler and Preschool Posts for 2016

 

  1. Ice Painting

ice painting for kids

I had NO idea how popular this post would be. It was my first viral post and goes crazy every January. It shows me that you all love simple and fun activities. I don’t blame you. I do, too!

2. Music for Energetic Kids

 

17 Action Songs - Gets Toddlers and Preschoolers Moving! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

All of my posts that deal with busy kids do well, but this one is at the top. I love using music to get those wiggles out, especially on days where we cannot get outside, or we just simply have lots of energy stored up.

 

3. 67 Free Printables

Free Printables for Preschoolers

This post took off as soon as I hit publish. I’m not surprised. I love free printables! I don’t have a lot of time to search for printables as I put together my weekly activities, and I figure you don’t, either. So I wanted to have a one-stop place you could go to find them.

4. Simple Journals with 3 Year Olds

how to journal with 3 year olds

This post is near and dear to my heart and it always ranks in the top 10, year after year. I’ve had many, many readers send me emails saying how they started using these simple journaling ideas with their preschoolers with great success. That just puts a big huge smile on my face!

5. Music and Movement Activities

music and movement for preschoolers

Another fun collection of activities that can be done to music! There are some fun instruments you can make, too.

 

6. All About Me

22 preschool all about me theme ideas

We start each school year with an all about me theme. We not only learn more about ourselves, but about our friends as well!

7. No-Cook Snack Ideas

no-cook fun snacks for kids

This collection was put together when I realized sometimes we cannot have access to the oven upstairs. I know other classrooms are in the same position, so my hope was to give you some options so that cooking activities could still take place.

8. Toddler Valentine Crafts

valentine's crafts for toddlers

Normally evergreen posts are the only ones to make the top 10, but this particular collection gets a lot of love, year after year. I think it’s because most Valentine’s crafts are too complicated for our younger children. I’ve found that even if they are supposed to be geared for toddlers, they are still too involved. But I was able to find 15 that are appropriate for toddlers.

9. Creating a Preschool Circle Time

Creating a Preschool Circle Time - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

This post gets a lot of attention year-round, but especially during the summer when teachers are planning the new school year. There are a lot of posts out there about circle time for older preschoolers, but not 3 year olds.

10. How to Set Up a Preschool Classroom

How to set up a preschool classroom.

Another post that is near and dear to my heart. I love that there are 7 early childhood settings to tour, and that I got to work with them while we put this together.

#1 video on my Instagram account in 2016:

Scooping cranberries out of water. . #kbn #blogcreate #teaching2and3yearolds #teachersfollowteachers #earlylearning #preschool #iteachtoo #ece #childhoodunplugged #instateacher

A video posted by Sheryl Cooper (@teaching2and3yearolds) on



 

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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Hibernation Activities for Preschoolers

After we explore snow and ice, we start finding hibernation activities for preschoolers. We learn what animals do during the winter, that bears sleep a lot in caves. We also tie this in with our day and night theme, having a pajama day. I’ve put together this collection of hibernation activities, crafts, snacks, songs and books that you can use in your preschool classroom or homeschool.

 

Make sure you are following our winter Pinterest board!

Ideas for the Hibernation Theme

Ideas for the Hibernation Theme

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Hibernation Activities for Preschoolers

 

  1. Make stuffed bears and tuck them into bed for the winter.
  2. After making a hibernation sensory bag, manipulate the animals to find places they can hibernate. (School Time Snippets)
  3. Print off the free pattern to make a paper bag skunk. (I Heart Crafty Things)
  4. After reading “Every Autumn Comes the Bear“, make a cave from a paper plate. (Almost Unschoolers)
  5. Create a large cave for kids to crawl into and pretend to hibernate. (Raising Cajuns)
  6. Strengthen math skills while playing this bear more or less game. (Pre-K Pages)
  7. Invite the children to make yummy snacks that go with the hibernation theme. (Preschool Plan-It)
  8. Trillium Montessori shares many hibernating activities for kids. (I love their unit studies shelf!)
  9. After making bear caves, you can turn them into a letter recognition game. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
  10. Learn about how bats hibernate and then download this printable for a fun craft. (Learn~Create~Love)
  11. Welcome to Mommyhood in Holland shares ideas for a hibernation activity shelf.
  12. Explore hibernation with this hedgehog hibernation basket. (The Imagination Tree)
  13. Download one of these bear printables for a fine motor activity. (Totally Tots)
  14. Sing one of these hibernation songs. (Fun 4 Kids)

Books for your hibernation theme:


More ideas for young children:

 

Learning Themes for Preschoolers   winter circle time ideas    winter learning activities

 

Check out our science pin board for more fun!

Hibernation Theme Ideas

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




Winter Activities for Preschool Circle Time

When planning winter activities for preschool circle time, we make sure to include kids songs, stories, and learning ideas. Circle time is a great way to help build language and social skills while also learning new concepts. Each day our preschoolers hear at least one story, sing songs and/or recite finger plays, have the opportunity to hold and flip though books, and have short discussions. Some days we also have one sharing person and we will also play a large group game or involve all the children in some sort of activity.

winter circle time ideas

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

 

Are you planning your preschool winter curriculum? You will want to make sure to pin this as a resource!

 

 

Winter Activities for Preschool Circle Time

kids winter activities

Winter activities for circle time:

 

 

preschool winter books

Winter books to read at circle time:

 

More winter ideas:

Preschool Bear Theme   winter themed sensory table   winter learning activities

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




17 Winter Snacks for Kids

It’s cold outside and you are looking for more indoor activities to do with your children. Well, how about getting together in the kitchen? I’ve found 17 winter snacks for kids that you can do in your home’s kitchen or in the classroom. They’d even be fun to do during a play date or for a holiday party! Or how about during winter break?

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

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There are many benefits when young children help with a cooking activity. Cooking builds language skills, self-confidence, and strengthens basic math concepts. Cooking invites children to explore with their senses. They might even be willing to try new foods! And, most importantly, young children love cooking because they get to do it with their favorite grown-ups.

Ready? Here you go!

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

Easy Snowman Snack (Sunny Day Family)

Healthy Snowman Snack (Red Ted Art)

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Mittens (Happy Hooligans)

No-Bake Snowflake Cookies  (Sunny Day Family)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

Banana Snowman (Pre-K Pages)

Kid-Made Snowman Treat (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Chocolate-Covered Reindeer Cookies (Natural Beach Living)

Polar Bear Hot Chocolate (Mom Endeavors)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

White Chocolate Snowman Lolly (Kids Craft Room)

Cinnamon Sugar Snowflakes Snack (Happy Hooligans)

Homemade Edible Snowman (Kids Creative Chaos)

Best Ever Homemade Hot Chocolate (The Realistic Mama)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

 

Creamy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (Tiny Tummy Tales)

Hot Cocoa Crispy Squares (Three Different Directions)

Snowman on a Stick (Dukes and Duchesses)

Kids Winter Morning Glory Muffins (Tiny Tummy Tales)

2-Minute Cinnamon Swirl Mug Muffins (Wholesome Yum)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

Cooking is fun all year long! Check out my cooking with kids inboard for more fun ideas!

Related posts:

how to cook with kids      no-cook fun snacks for kids     20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

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

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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




17 Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

One of the questions I hear often from other early childhood teachers is how can we teach preschoolers how to read. Really, it’s about exposing them to a print-rich environment and plenty of playful literacy activities. We do this all year long, changing some of them so they reflect the current season or theme. With winter approaching us, I thought I’d put together a collection of 17 fun winter literacy activities for preschoolers. These can be done in the preschool classroom or at home.

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

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17 Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Please note that some of these activities are a bit more advanced for preschoolers who are ready to sound out letters or start recognizing simple words. Wait to use these until you feel they are appropriate.

 

This snowball name activity also strengthens fine motor skills. (Fun-a-Day)

After reading The Mitten, invite your preschoolers to do some visual sequencing of the story. (Play to Learn Preschool)

Recognize letters while doing the penguin plunge activity. (Mom Inspired Life)

Download these free arctic animal word cards for a winter pocket chart. (Pre-Kinders)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Winter is a fun time for an arctic animal sensory writing tray. (Fun-a-Day)

Download these free winter writing labels to use at your writing table. (Preschool Inspirations)

Go on a letter hunt in the snow. (Coffee Cups and Crayons)

Strengthen letter recognition with this fun hot chocolate game. (Toddler Approved)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Match the letters in the alphabet with this snowman letter matching activity. (Totschooling)

Throw pretend snowballs at letters while learning letter sounds. (Mom Inspired Life)

Work on letter recognition with these free arctic animal cards. (Preschool Powol Packets)

Build your name with free snowman letter printables. (A Dab of Glue Will Do)

Write your name using ice pens. (Preschool Powol Packets)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

Put together a gingerbread name activity with homemade scented playdough. (Books and Giggles)

When your preschooler has mastered letter sounds, here’s a fun snowman sight words game to try. (Sparkling Buds)

Make shadow puppets for the Gingerbread Man. (Adventure in a Box)

Practice writing letters using these fun winter tracing pages. (Learning 2 Walk)

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

You can find more activities on my literacy pin board.

Bonus! Get this preschool alphabet packet today! This 245 page packet includes printables for all 26 letters of the alphabet.

For only $6.00 you can buy it now.

 preschool alphabet packet

 

Fun Winter Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

More winter activities:

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers     20 winter crafts for preschoolers      Keep kids busy during winter break with these fun activities! - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

What is it about jingle bells that we love so much? No matter what activity we use with them, it is a hit. It’s hard for me to say which activity they’ve loved most, because making and using our jingle bell sticks was a lot of fun. And sorting jingle bells by color was popular, too. But when we put this jingle bell magnetic sensory bin in our classroom, it got immediate attention.

Since this was the week we were also exploring magnets, we added other items to the bin as well. Some were attracted to the magnets, some were not. A bit of science at the sensory table!

 

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

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Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

What we used:



Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

It’s always fun to see what a magnetic wand picks up. Moving it through the rice allowed some buried treasures to be found.

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

Using a variety of sizes made the bells fun to hold, too. (And then wonder why they didn’t make as much noise when the hands were wrapped around them.)

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

 

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

 

We also added small boxes and containers to place the small items in. Always a favorite with this age group!

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

Some ideas for the miscellaneous items:

  • Puff balls
  • Metal lids from containers
  • Metal rings
  • Juice can lids

You might notice those metal rectangular pieces. When I worked in retail years ago, they changed their signs’ frames and asked if my preschool could use them. They are truly the best magnetic pieces ever! The bottoms of each one have a magnetic strip that was used to keep the signs on the racks. Our toddlers and preschoolers create some amazing buildings with them!

 

 

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

And that’s it! Super easy, right?

 

Make sure to follow our Christmas pin board for hundreds of other fun activities!

Jingle Bell Magnetic Sensory Bin

 

Related posts:

12 Christmas Dramatic Play Activities      16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers     christmas playdough activities


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

We  love using bells year round, but especially before Christmas, when we actually devote a week to it. We have bells at the science center, bells in the sensory bin, even bells in the block corner with Magnatiles! So when I saw the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell, I knew it would be a great way to add some literacy to this theme. I thought of a way to make easy Christmas jingle bell sticks that we could use while reading the book.

Fun, right?

I’m not sure what the preschoolers loved more: making the jingle bell sticks or ringing them while reading the story. What a great addition this was to our jingle bells theme!

 

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

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Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

What we used:

First, paint the sticks. We gave our preschoolers a choice of red and/or green.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

Let them dry.

Then, attach the jingle bells.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

I asked each preschooler to choose 4 jingle bells.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

Then it was time to thread the bells onto the chenille stems. This can be a bit of a challenge, so I was there if some help was needed.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

After the bells were threaded on the chenille stem, it was time to secure them to the stick.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

We taped one end of the chenille stem to the stick and then wrapped it around several times.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

You can secure the end of the chenille stem with more tape, or wrap it around itself a few times.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

How we used these jingle bell sticks:

As we read the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell, we rang our bells every time I read the words “swallowed a bell”. This is a great way work on comprehension skills and figuring out what comes next.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

The jingle bell sticks can then be taken home to enjoy with family while singing Christmas carols.

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

Easy Christmas Jingle Bell Sticks

More Christmas ideas for young children:

 

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

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

Last year, when The Imagination Tree first shared their Kindness Elves idea, I was intrigued. During a season that can be focused on asking for gifts, I love the idea of instead focusing on what we can give others. So this year when I heard that the the Kindness Elves were going to be an actual product that could be purchased, I placed my order. Using the Kindness Elves with preschoolers is going to be a new tradition in our classroom.

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

First, a bit of background about the Kindness Elves. The idea was created by Anna from The Imagination Tree. She wanted her family to focus on the sense of gratitude for what they have and the kindness towards others. She came up with the idea of using the Kindness Elves to share kindness and gratitude.

And I am beyond thrilled that she put together her own elves to sell – elves with their own house that was designed by a real architect!

Today our Kindness Elves arrived on my front porch. I could not wait to open the box! And when I did, I found the elves peeking out of their house’s window.

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

I was beyond impressed with the quality of these adorable dolls! And their house has a working mailbox!

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

I also purchased the accessory kit. It is packed full of amazing extra goodies to use with the Kindness Elves, such as 50 acts of kindness cards.

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

My plan is to place one of these cards somewhere in our classroom each morning with the elves. What a great lesson on doing something for others!

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

The accessory pack also comes with mini postcards for the Kindness Elves to write to the children. These will be on our preschoolers’ sitting stools when they arrive each morning.

Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

There is also a kindness resource pack for teachers. You will see all of this when you click on the link later in this post.

Here’s a video that will give you a better idea of how cute they are:

 

Good news! Because I love these Kindness Elves so much, I’ve decided to help sell them by being an affiliate! Here’s your link to order or get more information: http://bit.ly/2gPQU9J



 Using the Kindness Elves with Preschoolers

 

Related posts:

12 Christmas Dramatic Play Activities      16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers     christmas playdough activities

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Christmas Sensory Play Activities

I just love this time of year. I always have! We play Christmas music softly in the classroom while we enjoy various activities. There is such a wide variety of Christmas sensory play activities for toddlers and preschoolers! While my co-teacher and I were planning our December curriculum, I was thinking about how we could add some sensory in more areas than just the sensory bin. You caught a glimpse of this when I shared my collection of 5 senses activities. So, I went to my Pinterest page. (Yeah, I’m just a little bit addicted. Okay, a lot.) I thought I would share with you some fun ideas that I think all preschoolers would love this month!

 

A Collection of Christmas Sensory Play Activities

 This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Christmas Sensory Play Activities

 

1. Add silver and gold watercolors instead of food coloring to make festive silver and gold play dough. (Craftulate)

2. Involve your sense of touch and hearing by painting with jingle bells.

3. Experience different textures while creating paper mache Christmas ornaments for the tree. (Buggy and Buddy)

4. Use painters tape to make a sticky sensory tree. (How Wee Learn)

5. Dye rice red and green and add some peppermint extract to make a fun Christmas sensory bin. (Stir the Wonder)

Sensory Play Activities Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds 1

 

6. The hands will love the feeling of  Santa slime! (Growing a Jeweled Rose)

8. The room will smell so yummy when you make a batch of gingerbread play dough.

9. Strengthen fine motor skills with this peppermint writing activity. (Kids Play Box)

10. The room will sound like Christmas after making jingle bell noise makers. (Meri Cherry)

11. Involve the nose by making Christmas sensory cards. (A Little Learning for Two)

 

Christmas Sensory Play Activities

12. If you have bubble wrap available, make some sensory trees. (Mummy Musings and Mayhem)

13. Gold food coloring and glitter make a sensory delight for the hands and eyes. (The Imagination Tree)

14. Learn with Play at Home has a shivery snow sensory bin that truly is cold!

15. Read the book “The Sweet Snow of Christmas” and fill a tray of items that smell like Christmas. (Teach Preschool)

16.  Delight your sense of touch by making a foam geoboard tree. (Fun-a-Day)

 

Christmas Sensory Play Activities

17. Create a Christmas sensory book for younger children. (Baby Centre)

18. Add some science to your sensory play with a melting Christmas tree baking soda activity. (Little Bins for Little Hands)

19. Make some Santa binoculars so you can enjoy the sights of Christmas! (Meri Cherry)

20. Put together jingle boxes for some fun Christmas listening games. (Nurturestore)

21. Explore peppermint scented paint with your fingers. (Growing Hands-On Kids)

 

Christmas Sensory Play Activities

Ready for some more Christmas Play ideas?

Simple Fine Motor Snowflakes

Felt Button Tree Ornaments

Over 700 Christmas Ideas for Little Kids!

Christmas Sensory Play Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds


 

I’m so excited to be selling  these darling kindness elves!


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play Activity

Every year we kick off Christmas with a gingerbread theme. We have several different versions of the gingerbread man that we read each day. We make gingerbread cookies and gingerbread ornaments. This year I tried something new that our preschoolers have adored! This Christmas gingerbread sensory play activity involves filling, pouring, and counting. I scented the dyed rice for an extra sensory delight, since we were also exploring our five senses.

If you are looking for a fun sensory bin for your preschool gingerbread unit, you must try this!

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play Activity

I will admit, I was having fun on Amazon when I noticed these paper mache gingerbread men boxes with lids.

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

I fell in love immediately. Our preschoolers love any containers with lids. But gingerbread men? I had never seen these before. I got all giddy, just like when I found the pumpkin jingle bells. Fellow teachers, please tell me I’m not alone here! And so then I knew we needed little gingerbread men bendables to put inside the gingerbread containers. And we already had a gingerbread house.

My mind was spinning, I tell you! When my purchases arrived over Thanksgiving break, I was in the kitchen dying rice red and green. While the turkey was defrosting and I needed to get the table cleared and set for guests. Just being real here!

But, I did have some restraint. I did NOT go into my classroom during the break. I actually waited until that Monday morning before the preschoolers arrived.

 

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

I got everything set up before the classroom door opened. We read our first gingerbread book before opening centers time.

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

When it was centers time, this Christmas gingerbread sensory play activity was an immediate hit. First they wanted to fill the gingerbread house with rice.

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

And then they started playing with the little gingerbread figures.

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

They decided to see if they could fit all 12 in one of the gingerbread man boxes. They counted them as they placed them inside.

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

They couldn’t all fit inside, so then they placed one gingerbread boy figure inside each cardboard gingerbread boy box. 1:1 correspondence!

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

Then I noticed the preschoolers lining them up along the edge of the sensory bin. More counting and figuring out that they all weren’t completely the same.

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

 

You can see a video of our preschoolers actually playing with this on Instagram.

We will expand on this activity with some gingerbread man cookie baking tomorrow!

Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play for Preschoolers

Related posts:

12 Christmas Dramatic Play Activities      16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers     christmas playdough activities


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds