Mother’s Day Ideas for Kids

 

There are so many fun Mother’s Day ideas for kids to make! All 3 of my children are now grown, but the bottom drawer of my nightstand holds many Mother’s Day treasures from them. When I am planning Mother’s Day ideas with our toddlers and preschoolers, I know that their mamas will appreciate them for years and years!

 

mother's day ideas

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Mother’s Day Ideas for Kids

 


More ideas for young children:

preschool science      preschool art with tea bags      favorite preschool activities

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




18 Fun Art Activities for the Outdoors

There are days when the outdoors is calling your name. Your art table in the classroom is ready to greet the children when they arrive. But it’s so nice outside! What to do? Check out these 18 fun art activities for the outdoors. Move those art materials outside!

Your kids will thank you.

There is something about losing the 4 walls and the ceiling that is so rewarding.

Another plus? Who cares if the paint drips! Everything just feels less restricted when it’s done outside.

18 Fun Art Activities for the Outdoors

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

18 Fun Art Activities for the Outdoors

 

 

 

Make your own bubble paint to create vibrant prints!

Collect rainwater to make this watercolor paint! (Learn, Play,

Imagine)

Paint with sticks!

Place a canvas on the picnic table for a beautiful watercolor

project

Take the paint to the sidewalk with this fizzing paint! (Kids

Activities Blog)

Hang paper outside for squirt paint fun.

Shaving cream paint is perfect for the great outdoors. (Happy

Hooligans)

Set up an easel and try this fun drip painting! (Childhood 101)

Put watercolors in a bottle for some spray painting.

Paint with fly swatters.  (Munchkins and Moms)

Get out the paintbrushes and rollers and have fun with water. (Happy Hooligans)

Toss painted balls into a box. (Kids Play Box)

Fingerpaint on the windows. (The Jenny Evolution)

Have fun painting with yarn. (Busy Toddler)

 

18 Fun Art Activities for the Outdoors

Bonus! Moms, make this summer much more fun! And easier, too!

preschool summer camp activities

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in the e-pack. Its jam-packed with gorgeous photos of super fun activities to do with the kids!

  • Several printable summer planning pages (art supply prep list, Summer Bucket List template, etc.)
  • Four summer themes with over 45 Simple and FUN activity ideas with full instructions and supply lists. With 80+ total activities and ideas to do!
  • Adventure ideas and tips – you can have adventures without leaving your backyard or use the ideas to get out and explore your community.
  • Tips and articles for a successful summer: managing sibling conflict, what to do with the toddler, how to enjoy a museum with your kids, etc.
  • Reading recommendations to go with each of the 4 themes.

For $12 you can download it now!

 

 

Here are more activities for little kids:

Easy Kids Art with Freezer Bags      Rainbow Activities for Toddlers    toddler sensory table

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Sunflower Garden Project for Kids

Inside this post: Sunflower Garden Project for Kids

When I was a new teacher I had no idea where to start when it came to gardening activities. I gardened with my own children, but that seemed easy because it was usually one-on-one. But with 16? It felt a bit daunting. Have you felt this way, too? Somehow I figured out how to put together a sunflower garden project that not only involved all 16 preschoolers, but involved 16 individual cups of seeds being planted and nurtured.

And it’s a hit year after year.

I will admit I don’t recall why I chose mammoth sunflowers, but they have been the easiest and fastest growing plants, year after year. Over the summer I will get emails with photos of the preschoolers standing next to their super tall sunflowers, beaming. They had nurtured their sunflowers every day with love, water, and sunshine. They learned what it was like to taking care of a living thing.

This is why I do this sunflower garden project year after year!

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Growing sunflowers with preschoolers - hands-on gardening fun! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Sunflower Garden Project for Kids

 

What you will need:

Setting up this sunflower garden project:

  •  Place soil in a bin along with a scoop.
  • Have seeds available in a shallow tray.
  • Fill spray bottle with water.
  • Place cups near soil.

 

Sunflower Garden Project

Before starting, share a book about how seeds grow. We displayed these on our science table along with a model that showed the sequence of a seed’s growth.


Sunflower Garden Project

Scoop soil into the cup. Poke 2 holes on the top and place a seed in each one. (I have them plant 2 because sometimes one never takes off.) Gently cover the seeds with soil.

Sunflower Garden Project

Spray soil with water.

Sunflower Garden Project

Sunflower Garden Project

I placed plastic wrap on top of ours and set in front of the window. This kept the soil moist and warm. Our preschoolers would give them sprays of water now and then, watching for those first signs of growth.

Sunflower Garden Project

In one week they looked like this:

Sunflower Garden Project

I made name labels and taped them to craft sticks, poking them into each cup. I realized afterwards that it would have been easier having the label placed directly on the cup, especially when the cups were covered with plastic wrap.

Scroll to bottom of post for free printable sunflower labels!

Sunflower Garden Project

Now they are ready to be taken home!

Sunflower Garden Project

 

Bonus! Get a full week of preschool seeds theme lesson plans!

Preschool Seeds Printables
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Foods With and Without Seeds Shared Writing Recording Sheet
2) Uppercase Alphabet Seed Packet Cards
3) Lowercase Alphabet Seed Cards
4) A to Z Seed Writing Task Cards
5) 1 to 12 Flower Pot Seed Counting Mats
6) Seeds Science Journal
7) Seed Shape Tracing Task Cards
8) Seed Sorting Mat
9) Seed Theme Beginning Sounds Sort (Seeds T, F, C)
10) Seed Sprouting Graph

Get Your Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Seeds Theme Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Seeds Theme Lessons Plans

 

Growing sunflowers with preschoolers - hands-on gardening fun! Teaching 2 and 3 Year OldsSunflower Garden Project

 

More ideas with sunflowers:

Fine Motor with Sunflowerspreschool science sunflowersToddler Science with Sunflowers

Sunflower Garden Project

Free sunflower labels for you!

free sunflower garden labels

Free download: Sunflower Garden Printable Labels

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




How to Use Scholastic’s My Big World in the Preschool Classroom

Inside: How to use Scholastic’s My Big World in the Preschool Classroom

We love to explore the world around us. I’ve mentioned many times how young children are more interested when what they are learning is connected to real life experiences. We read books and share our experiences during circle time. We have hands-on exploration and play during centers time that connect to these themes.

However, it can be a challenge to find literature and activities that are appropriate for our younger children.

Recently Scholastic contacted us to see if we’d be interested in reviewing their My Big World with Clifford. I’ve been using Scholastic for over 17 years, starting the first year I began teaching preschoolers. So of course I accepted!

Scholastic My Big World

Scholastic’s My Big World in the Preschool Classroom

A subscription to My Big World with Clifford includes 16 issues each school year, delivered in sets of 2 during the school year. Every issue is filled with simple text, big clear pictures, and easy to understand facts that young children can understand. There is also a big issue for the teacher that we used on our bulletin board.

We first read our magazines together at circle time, and then the children got to take their copies home. This gave them a chance to look at the magazine again, perhaps with their family.

Scholastic My Big World

Using My Big World with Clifford in the Classroom

The April edition of My Big World was all about taking care of plants.

You can grow plants. How would you take care of them?

I soaked some cotton balls in water and asked the children to come up, one at a time, to drop them into a jar.

Scholastic My Big World

We then placed some dried beans inside the jar, between the glass and the wet cotton balls.

We sealed the jar and examined what they looked like.

Scholastic My Big World

Scholastic My Big World

The next day we passed the jar around and noted how the beans had changed, comparing the beans to our model.

We could see that some of the beans had sprouted.

Scholastic My Big World

We did this for each day, noting how the beans were changing and growing. We would refer to the big Scholastic magazine that we had tacked on our bulletin board.

Scholastic My Big World

At the same time, we planted sunflowers. We looked at the photos in our classroom magazine to learn how to take care of our plants as they grew. There was even a sing-along in the magazine to go with the activity.

scholastic my big world

More about My Big World:

My Big World is suitable for preschool and pre-kindergarten children. You will get 18 issues that include an editorial calendar, online resources, skills & standards, and a section for Head Start educators.

You can read more about it here: Scholastic “Our Big World”

Scholastic on Twitter

Scholastic on Facebook

Scholastic on Pinterest

 

Disclosure: Scholastic sent me a few sets of “Our Big World with Clifford” magazines to use in my preschool classroom. However, I’ve been ordering from Scholastic for over 17 years and love their reading club and resources!

 

Scholastic My Big World

 

 

More ideas for young learners:

     learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids     Learning activities using music for toddlers and preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fun Indoor Rainy Day Activities

It’s raining outside. The kids have more energy than usual. You glance at the clock. It’s going to be a long day unless you can get them moving. How about some fun indoor rainy day activities?

I’ve put together some activities we’ve done, as well as activities from my favorite kid bloggers. Keep this post bookmarked for those days when you know you can’t get outdoors.

I’ve also created an rainy day indoor activities cheat sheet. Scroll towards the bottom of this page to find it!

Indoor Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers

 

Note: Some of the products shown in these photos were given to me free of charge from Melissa & Doug Toys. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are provided for your convenience.

 

Fun Indoor Rainy Day Activities

Recently Melissa & Doug sent me some of their favorite large motor toys to try with our toddlers and preschoolers. We live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, where we get a fair amount of rain. While we try to get outside whenever we can, there are days when it’s just too cold and wet to be out there.

I am a firm believer in balancing quiet and active time, no matter what the weather is like outside. Children need to move. Because of this, and our unpredictable weather, I make sure to have active indoor ideas on hand. It has saved us so many times! When I feel that energy level soar, we stop what we are doing and start moving!

Here are some of our favorites:

Ball Activities

Indoor Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers

One of our favorite indoor large motor toys are balls. Seriously, there are so many fun ways to use balls that get the whole body moving!

We are fortunate to have a large indoor gym where we can use balls to toss into our basketball hoop, to kick, and to throw to friends.

 

Here are some other fun ways to use balls indoors:

Kick the Cup:  This ball theme alphabet activity is fun way to practice identifying letter sounds while kicking a ball. (Mom Inspired Life)

Skee Ball: Let your little one get busy trying to get each colored ball into the appropriate basket! (I Can Teach My Child)

Indoor Counting Croquet: Hit the ball through the hoop in numerical order. (Toddler Approved)

Toss the Ball into the Basket: Grab an empty basket and toss balls (or bean bags) into it. (FSPDT)

 

Bean Bag Activities

Indoor Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers

Bean bags are another favorite fine motor toy, especially if you have less space. They can’t (usually) travel as far, for one thing. But they are also easy to handle and use in a variety of ways.

 

Here are some fun ideas to use with bean bags:

Tic-Tac-Toss: You only need tape and bean bags for this fun indoor activity. (Adventures in Wunderland)

Bean Bag Toss on the Stairs: Add some climbing to this fun counting activity. (How Wee Learn)

Shape Toss: Make shapes on the floor with tape and identify them as bean bags are tossed. (Learn, Play, Imagine)

Bean Bag Knock Down Game: Create your own targets using foam board. (Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls)

Paper Plate Color Toss Game: Keep track of what color the bean bag lands on! (Buggy and Buddy)

Bean Bag Stop and Catch: Stomp on the board to make the bean bag fly! (I Can Teach My Child)

Paper Plate Bean Bag Activity: Focus your aim so that the bean bag lands on the plate. (J Daniel 4s Mom)

Indoor Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers

I couldn’t stop there! I’ve included some other fun ways to burn energy indoors using different materials:

Walkin’ in the Jungle: Make big motor movements such as walking, stomping, jumping, and skipping to the song “Walking in the Jungle”.  (Preschool Toolbox)

Balloon Tennis: Keep balloons and fly swatters on hand when your kids have some extra energy to burn! (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Leaping Over Logs: Count how many blocks that need to be stacked and then the children leap over them. (Fun-a-Day)

Giant Alphabet Activity: Draw very large letters to get the whole body moving! (Lalymom)

Ring Toss: This game makes an excellent form of gross motor practice as well as helps with hand-eye coordination. (From ABCs to ACTs)

Animal Charades: Act out the animal card you draw from the pile! (Buggy and Buddy)

 

Indoor Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers

Melissa & Doug materials we used:

Dilly Dally Kickball

Giddy Buggy Kickball

Giddy Buggy Bowling Set

Dilly Dally Turtle Target

 

 

Free printable for you!

Rainy Day Activities Printable

 

Get your pdf download here: What Can You Do on a Rainy Day with Preschoolers?

 

Indoor Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers

 

More fun ideas:

Preschool Dramatic Play     Learn how to Count    toddler counting with race cars

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

Learning is much more fun when it’s part of play! When it’s hands-on and invites kids to use their creativity and imaginations. When they can touch the materials, move them around. That’s exactly what this fun alphabet recognition sensory bin delivers.

These types of activities are perfect for preschoolers who are starting to recognize letters in the alphabet. They might only be able to recognize a few of the letters, and that is okay! They are being exposed. They might be learning the letters in their names, or even spelling some familiar sight words.

This alphabet recognition sensory bin is appealing to all preschool literacy levels. This is ideal for the classroom! And it provides different textures for a fun sensorial experience.

And…it’s super easy to put together! Let me show you how.

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

The first thing you want to think about is what to put in the bin. It doesn’t need to be exactly like ours.

Some ideas:

  • Letters of some sort
  • Construction vehicles
  • Sand
  • Rocks
  • Construction pieces

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

We chose to use Kinetic Sand because of the way it feels and molds and moves. (Seriously, if you’ve never touched this stuff, you must. Grown-ups have just as much fun with it. It’s amazing!)

We added Lincoln Logs for a bit of construction fun.

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

We had some letter stones but you could easily use foam letters or even magnetic letters.

 

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

For some preschoolers, the fun will be using the construction vehicles.

For others, it will be using the letters, perhaps spelling their names.

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

Handfuls of sand can be mounded and moved. Structures can be built with whatever construction pieces you add to the bin.

Exposure to the alphabet in a playful way!

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

 

Bonus! Grab your Learn the Alphabet Mega Pack!

Learn the Alphabet preschool printable pack

With this 230 page pack, you can help your preschooler learn their letters while practicing early phonic skills, coloring, fine motor skills, handwriting, and more! For $15.00 you can download your digital mega pack now!

 

Fun Alphabet Recognition Sensory Bin

 

More ways to learn through play:

Shapes in the Sensory Bin

Color Sorting at the Water Table

Letters in the Block Area

 


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

It all started with a book I fell in love with, and some carrots I found in the dollar section of Target. In fact, when I found the carrots, there were only 6 left.

And I cheered. Thank goodness my husband gets this. Well, he’s used to it, since I’ve been teaching for over 17 years. You’d have thought I had won the lottery.

But seriously, I knew that I now had everything I needed for a fun spring gardening sensory bin for our preschoolers! I knew they’d love it, and I was right.

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

So it all started with a book I fell in love with, and some carrots in the dollar section of Target. And yes I did take a photo of them! I had to share with my pals on Instagram! (Cheers to the 268 friends who liked and commented on it. They get it!)

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

What we used:

  • Coffee beans
  • Letter tiles (came from some game years ago)
  • Tongs
  • Silicon garden pots (you guys – these are the best! I bought mine at a local grocery store, but am giving you a link so you can see them)
  • Kids garden gloves

I tossed everything into our sensory bin before the children arrived. I had my cherished book waiting to be read.

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

During our morning meeting I read Too Many Carrots. I love tying books in with our activities, by the way, and am doing even more the longer I teach. It just seems to bring our activities to life, and our preschoolers want to look at the book over and over again.

Once it was free-choice centers time, the lid came off our sensory bin, and the children dove right in.

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Pouring is always the first thing our toddlers and preschoolers want to do with any sensory bin we have. I will be honest – I’ve seen some really cute sensory bins on Pinterest, and I’ve tried some, but if our kiddos can’t scoop and pour, they aren’t near as in love with it.

I’m good with that, since scooping and pouring strengthen those hands and fingers!

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

I also pay attention to texture when assembling sensory bins. Our sensory seeking children especially love to feel all the textures that are available.

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Then, they started counting my beloved Target dollar carrots!

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

And then, the tongs got involved.

 

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

And one little guy impressed me with how many carrots he could fit on one tong.

Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

So there you have it! A fun spring gardening sensory bin for preschoolers that involved one of my favorite new books and those cute carrots from Target. At the end of the week I will pack it all up and save for next spring! (Do you all do this, too? )

 

Bonus! Printable books and activities!

spring theme activities preschool kindergarten

In the bundle, you’ll find printable books and activities for the following topics and mini-themes:

  • Seeds
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Gardens
  • Vegetables

The files will be sent directly to your e-mail, where you can download and save to your computer to print and use anytime you’d like!

To see more of what’s in this amazing pack, check out this link: Spring Theme Pack

 

 

 


Fun Spring Gardening Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

More spring activities to try:

preschool spring flower activities     spring fine motor ideas     spring activities for preschoolers

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Caterpillar Craft for Preschoolers

This easy caterpillar craft for preschoolers is a classic. You probably made them as a kid! All you need are some recycled egg cartons and a few other items for details.

It’s that easy.

We create our caterpillars before making our big butterflies, while we are learning about the butterfly life cycle in our science center.

preschool caterpillar craft
 
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 Easy Caterpillar Craft for Preschoolers

 

What you will need for this activity:

Caterpillar Preschool Craft
When our caterpillars arrive, we notice how small they are. Each day we record how much larger they have become. It’s amazing how quickly they grow!

The first part of this activity:

I cut the egg cartons so that each child got 3 sections. Then, they painted them.

Caterpillar Preschool Craft

The second part of this activity:

Once they are dry, use scissors to poke 2 holes at the front of the egg carton. The children will then push the pipe cleaner through one end and out the other, so that both ends are sticking out of the top. We twist them a bit. Then, glue the eyes on.

 

Caterpillar Preschool Craft
.
Caterpillar Preschool Craft
While we read books about caterpillars, we learned they have 12 eyes. But, the children only wanted to put 2 on them, since that is how many eyes they have. They also wanted to add smiley faces with Sharpies. I am fine with this. As long as they understand the true caterpillar. And we talked about this a lot.

 

Caterpillar Preschool Craft
Now we wait for our real caterpillars to turn into butterflies! Such a fun activity!
 
Caterpillar Preschool Craft
 

Get a Full Week of Butterfly Theme Learning and Play

Save time and get right to the playful learning with these printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and there are different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.

Preschool Butterfly Lesson Plans       Home Preschool Butterfly lesson

This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
2) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
3) Caterpillar Uppercase Alphabet Cards
4) Butterfly Lowercase Alphabet Cards
5) Butterfly Life Cycle Cards
6) Butterfly Symmetry Matching Cards
7) Butterfly Life Cycle Word Building Mats
8) Caterpillar Measurement Recording Sheet
9) Caterpillar Patterning Activity
10) Caterpillar Syllable Sort
11) Caterpillar Egg Leaf Counting Mats (Numbers 1-10)

Get Your Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Butterfly  Theme Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Butterfly Theme Lesson Plans

preschool caterpillar craft

 More activities for preschoolers:

preschool writing     circle time activities for preschool     preschool transitions while waiting


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




How to Develop Fine Motor Skills with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Inside this post: How to Develop Fine Motor Skills with Toddlers and Preschoolers

You are a parent wondering why your child isn’t writing his name yet. Or you are a teacher who is looking for ways to strengthen your young students’ hands and fingers in the classroom.

I understand your concern, because I’ve been there. And over the years I’ve found age-appropriate activities that help develop fine motor skills. These can be done in a classroom or at home.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite toddler and preschool fine motor activities.

how to strengthen fine motor skills toddlers preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

How to Develop Fine Motor Skills with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are 6 of our favorite ways to work on fine motor skills:

Play Dough

Playdough is one of the easiest fine motor activities to put together, even for young toddlers. We use playdough with every age group in our preschool, as those little hands and fingers are continuing to develop at every stage.

If you don’t already have a favorite recipe, you can find ours in this post.

fine motor strengthening with play dough

More to read: Fine Motor Squeezing Activity Using Play dough

 

Basters

Squeezing works the smaller muscles in the palm of the hand, as well and the thumb and fingers. We use basters with our toddlers who have less control than our preschoolers.

Looking for a fun way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills? Here's a fun water activity using basters!

More to read: Toddler Fine Motor Water Activity

 

Pipettes and Eye Droppers

As our toddlers transition to preschoolers, their fine motor control is a bit stronger. Most can begin using pipettes or eye droppers with water or watercolors. A lot of concentration is needed while using these tools, and it can be a nice calming activity for busy children.

Preschool Fine Motor Activity

More to read: Preschool Fine Motor Transferring Activity

fine motor art in preschool

More to read: Fine Motor Watercolor Activity

 

Tongs and Tweezers

Using tongs and tweezers is another wonderful way to work those hands and fingers! We start with tongs because they are easier to squeeze open. As those little hands and fingers get stronger, we switch to tweezers.

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

More to read: Fine Motor Tweezing Activity

 

Threading

Threading beads and using lacing cards also strengthen fine motor development. We start with large stringing beads and eventually switch to cut straws and then pony beads.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

More to read:  Motor Rainbow Craft

 

The Basics of Fine Motor Skills

Because I know how important it is to strengthen those hands and fingers, I’ve partnered with Heather from Growing Hands-On Kids as she launches her brand new book called Basics of Fine Motor Skills.

In Basics of Fine Motor Skills, you’ll learn which skills are important for fine motor development. You will also learn what fine motor development looks in children at all age levels.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Development

This is the perfect resource for parents, teachers, and therapists.

A 70 page PDF/digital download or 90 page paperback option is available. The paperback version is available on Amazon, so if you choose this option you will be redirected to Amazon to purchase.

 

 Click here for more information!


 

how to strengthen fine motor skills toddlers preschoolers

 

More fine motor activities:

Fine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home      fine motor activities all year long      preschool writing

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Spring Activities Using Flowers

I get so giddy when spring arrives! After a winter of little color, it’s hard not to be delighted with the beautiful flowers that adorn our neighborhoods. We love to explore color this time of year, so putting together preschool spring activities using flowers is so fun!

There are so many learning opportunities using flowers, too. We make sure to have vases of real flowers in our science area and we will grow our own as well.  Along with exploring live flowers and planting our own from seeds, we read various flower books, create flower art, as well as other hands-on flower activities. My spring and gardening Pinterest boards are packed with ideas, but I thought I’d share some favorites on my blog for easier reference.

Preschool Spring Flower Activities . This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Preschool Spring Activities Using Flowers

 

preschooler flower activities

 

 

 

preschool spring activities using flowers

 

 

preschooler flower activities

 

  • Work on fine motor while tearing paper to make colorful flowers. (3 Dinosaurs)

preschooler flower activities

 

 

Bonus! Make it easier with this preschool flowers lesson plans packet!

Preschool Flower lesson plans  Flower Lesson Plans for Home Preschool

Get a Full Week of Flower Theme Learning and Play

Save time and get right to the playful learning with these printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and there are different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.

 

This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Initial Sound Flower Building Activity
2) Flower Number Cards
3) Flower Petal Counting Emergent Reader
4) Flower Alphabet Matching Set
5) Uppercase and Lowercase Flowers for Hands-on Games and Activities
6) Flower Life Cycle Cards
7) Flower Roll and Graph Game
8) Flower Patterning and Sorting Cards
9) Name Letter Sorting Activity Mat
10) Shape Pieces for Flower Building with Shapes

Get Your Lesson Plans:

Preschool Flowers Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Flowers Lesson Plans

 

 

preschool spring flower activities


More fun activities for young children:

scented dough recipes      water table activities for preschoolers  15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Gardening Ideas for Kids

The weather is warming up. It’s time to plant! But, you know your little ones would LOVE to help. (Yes, they would!) So now you are wondering about gardening ideas for kids.

Children learn from growing things.

Children can learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence by spending time in the garden tending plants and growing their own food. Most children enjoy being outdoors and love digging in the soil, getting dirty, creating things and watching plants grow. (Source.)

Ready to garden with your children?

Preschool Gardening Activities

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Gardening Ideas for Kids

This collection not only contains ideas for growing plants, but also art ideas, sensory ideas, and outdoor garden art!

 

Teach your children how to plant seeds and take care of them with some simple tips.

Create a sunflower gardening project by starting your seeds in plastic cups.

For an miniature indoor garden, make a terrarium.

An egg carton makes a nice greenhouse. (Hazel and Company)


 

Gardening Ideas for Kids

 

Watch seeds grow in a jar. (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Grow plants from food scraps. (Modern Parents Messy Kids)

Use a coffee can to make a bug house. (Research Parent)

Dissect a flower and study its parts. (Sugar, Spice and Glitter)

Gardening Ideas for Kids

Explore real or artificial flowers with a garden sensory bin. (Mess for Less)

Examine different seeds with a magnifying glass and compare. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Use different colors of construction paper to make a flower garden. (Cutting Tiny Bites)

Draw bugs on stones and use in the garden. (Daisies and Pie)

Gardening Ideas for Kids 3

Dress up a terra cotta pot with thumbprint butterflies. (Upstate Ramblings)

Make a bird feeder out of a juice carton. (Red Ted Art)

Recycle empty water bottles to make colorful wind spirals. (Happy Hooligans)

Play this alphabet activity during your garden theme. (Buggy and Buddy)

Gardening Ideas for Kids

 

Bonus!

You want to start a garden with kids but are overwhelmed with where to start?

You have a green thumb but have no idea how to begin teaching kids?

Grab this guide, Growing the Seeds of Wonder, for the home or classroom!

 

affiliate sowing the seeds of wonder

 

More fun ideas for young children:

Toddler Alphabet Ideas     Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     Looking for a fun way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills? Here's a fun water activity using basters!

 

Gardening Ideas for Kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Gardening Ideas for Kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds



Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

I love building multiple skills with one activity. This fine motor rainbow craft for preschoolers does just that. We have not only fine motor building taking place, but also color recognition AND math!

Recently I shared our rainbow color sorting sensory bin. Our preschoolers were so excited to learn the order of the colors that I put together a 3-dimensional rainbow craft. We then used this as a prop while reading the book “Planting a Rainbow“.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

What we used:

  • Rainbow printable (scroll down for the link to download)
  • Beads in rainbow colors
  • Pipe cleaners in rainbow colors
  • Small clear or white plastic cups
  • Cotton balls
  • White glue



Putting it together:

I sorted the beads and placed them in matching bowls. (Not a requirement. I just happened to have some on hand.) I made 4 copies of the rainbow sheet and put them in clear plastic pockets. (Can I just say how much I love having these pockets? No laminator needed and I can reuse them with other activities!)

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

I first invited the preschoolers to place one bead on the matching color on the printable. (1:1 correspondence is another important math skill for preschoolers!)

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

The beads were then threaded in rainbow order onto the pipe cleaner. (I bent the end of one side of the pipe cleaner to keep the beads from falling off.)

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

 

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

Once those were finished, I got the white cups ready. Each rainbow needs 2 cups, 1 for each end.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

I poked a hole in the bottom of each cup and pushed the ends of the pipe cleaners into them and then twisted the ends inside the cup so they wouldn’t pull through.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

The next step was brushing the glue on the cups.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

And then sticking the cotton balls on the glue for clouds.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

When they were dry, we used them during circle time while reading Planting a Rainbow. As we came to each color in the book, we touched that color bead on our rainbow.

Free download: Rainbow Color Sorting Sheet

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

More ideas to try:

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers      Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin     Rainbow Crayons - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Exploring the rainbow is our favorite way to expose young children to colors and color mixing. I’ve share how we’ve made rainbows on bubble wrap and sorted rainbow colors in the sensory bin. But what about science? How can you wonder what happens while working with ROYGBIV? I’m thrilled to have found 15 rainbow science activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

Hands-on science that get young children excited about what will happen next!

Pouring, mixing, fizzing, squishing … ingredients that make early learning fun!

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Some of these activities are more suitable for preschoolers than toddlers. Close supervision is required.

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Skittles Rainbow Science: What happens when you add skittles to water? (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Scented Rainbow Science: What happens when you add vinegar to frozen baking soda? (Fun-a-Day)

Marshmallow Color Change Experiment: What happens to water after colored marshmallows are dissolved in it? (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Colorful Water Beads Experiment: What happens when you hydrate colorful water beads? (Little Bins)

Sparkly Fizzing Rainbow: What happens when you add glitter to baking soda and vinegar? (Preschool Powol Packets)

Color Changing Flowers: What happens when you place white flowers in colored water? (Laughing Kids Learn)

Rainbow Paper Color Science: What happens when you dip black paper into clear nail polish and water? (The Science Kiddo)

Make Your Own Rainbow: What happens when you take everyday items and shine light on them? (Lemon Lime Adventures)

Rainbow Salt Discovery Jars: What happens when you color salt using chalk and add it to a jar? (Preschool Toolbox)

Exploring Prisms: What happens as the light from the sun passes through the prism? (Buggy and Buddy)

Rainbow Ice and Salt Experiment: What happens when you color a block of ice and then add salt? (Powerful Mothering)

Rainbow Density Jar: What happens when layer liquid mixtures that have different densities? (Schooling a Monkey)

Traveling Colors: What happens when you add the colors from the rainbow onto salt and glue? (You Clever Monkey)

Rainbow Water Xylophone: What happens when you fill jars with colored water, each at a different level? (Mama Papa Bubba)

Rainbow Clean Mud: What happens when you add toilet paper to soap flakes and colored water? (Simple Fun for Kids)

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

More science ideas:

Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments      simple toddler science activities      science experiments for preschoolers



Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

Trains and train tracks are a staple in many toddler and preschool classrooms, mine included. They are not only fun to play with, but they are also very helpful when we are dealing with separation anxiety or need something to calm our environment. Recently our block area was transformed into train play with Old Tracks, New Tricks, a new book written by Jessica Petersen. We gathered all the wooden tracks we owned (we’ve had many considerate parents throughout the years who have donated what they no longer use) and our huge tub of Duplos (again, donated by many parents over the years). I watched as our preschoolers worked together to construct pillars and ramps, buildings and walls, all inspired by the book.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

 Full disclosure: I was provided a copy of Old Tracks, New Tricks for review. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

I introduced the book Old Tracks, New Tricks during our morning meeting. As I read it to our preschoolers, I gave them plenty of time to absorb what they saw on each page. When we saw how bossy the trains were to the 3 new tracks, we paused to talk about feelings. How did it make the new tracks feel when they were treated that way? But then the new tracks decided not to let those trains bother them. Instead, they got creative. The other tracks got involved, and eventually the trains wanted to be part of the fun. We watched what happened when the trains and the tracks had to work together and how they were rewarded with lots of fun. We compared it to how we work together on classroom activities.

Old Tracks, New Tricks Activity

I love getting the preschoolers involved in decisions. We knew we wanted to add trains to our block area after reading Old Tracks, New Tricks, but what would we put with them? We once again looked at the photos in the book and decided that we definitely needed Duplos. LOTS of Duplos.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

We decided to pull our gigantic plastic tub of assorted Duplo pieces out of the storage closet and add it to our block area. We filled another basket with trains. We were eager to get to work!

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

The preschoolers began stacking the Duplos, figuring out which tracks would need support. A lot of collaboration happened while the bricks were moved around, especially once the tracks were involved.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

“How can we raise the tracks?”

This was the first question that led to some pillars.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

Some of the tracks were completely substituted with Duplos.

“The trains can still travel across them.”

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

Structures were also made alongside the tracks, as walls and buildings.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

I love activities such as this because they encourage children to think of alternative ways to use materials. It’s also a great way to revive old toys, putting them to new use.

Train Play with Old Tracks, New Tricks

More About the Book:

Old Tracks, New Tricks is written by Jessica Petersen, who blogs at Play Trains, and published by The Innovation Press.  The rhyming text is fun to read as children predict the last words in each line. Jessica includes ideas to spiff up your wooden train tracks, such as with foil and even glow-in-the-dark materials for nighttime fun! The photos are bright and fun, showing  off lots of different ways to customize your tracks. While writing the book, Jessica kept in mind all the stages of the train lover, from toddlers to preschoolers and older.

Want to see more? The Innovation Press has provided a free preview of the first ten pages!

More ideas for kids:

Block Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers      16 Large Motor Activities for Kids that Are Perfect for Indoors - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     music and movement for preschoolers


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




15 Learning Games for Preschoolers

Games for preschoolers provide so many learning opportunities. We make sure to play these types of games in our classroom regularly. Sometimes we will play them as a large group at circle time, sometimes in groups of 4 during small groups, and they are also used as an activity during centers time. I am always looking for more ideas, so recently I got out my planner, opened up Pinterest, and went hunting for learning games. There were many available, but these are 15 that I loved the most. Oh, and a couple are my own, just because I love to share my ideas, too!

15 Learning Games for Preschoolers

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

15 Learning Games for Preschoolers

 

  1. Recognize numbers and colors: counting game with play dough.

  2. Count the flowers: spring math game. (Fun a Day)

  3. Practice sharing: rainbow fish game. (Science Sparks)

  4. Distinguish sounds: the sound box game. (Let’s Play Music)

  5. Count the flowers: spring flower game.

  6. Work on coordination: hook a duck game. (Play and Learn Every Day)

  7. Count the spots: ladybug counting game. (Modern Preschool)

  8. Build color skills: clothespin color game. (School Time Snippets)

  9. Count objects: number card game.

  10. Work on counting and color skills: Pete the Cat math game. (Buggy and Buddy)

  11. Space theme: moon math game. (Stir the Wonder)

  12. Learn colors: color match game. (Mama Bee Simple)

  13. Move while learning numbers:  Olaf bowling game (A Little Pinch of Perfect)

  14. Learn letters: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom alphabet bean bag game (Meri Cherry)

  15. Move while learning numbers: Hop on Pop game (Cutting Tiny Bites)

 

 learning games for preschoolers


 

More ideas for young children:

chalk ideas for kids      preschool writing    Learning the Alphabet - Activities for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Fun Rainbow Color Sorting Sensory Bin

After a grey winter, we cannot wait for our classroom to burst with color. So is it coincidence that one of our last winter themes involves the rainbow? I think not. During this theme I wanted a sensory bin that not only had every color in the rainbow, but also different textures and tools to strengthen the hands and fingers. It didn’t take me long to find the perfect items to a fun rainbow color sorting sensory bin.

Ready for some colorful fun?

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Rainbow Color Sorting Sensory Bin

What we used:

  • Color sorting cups
  • Rainbow pom poms
  • Rainbow buttons
  • Rainbow feathers
  • Tongs or tweezers

 

Book to go with this activity:

Planting a Rainbow

 


It all started with these color sorting cups that I found on Amazon. I just knew they’d be perfect for not only this activity, but many future activities as well. (Fellow teachers, I’m sure you understand how we must find toys that have multiple uses, right?)

I love how they nest (each cup is numbered on the bottom).
Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

I love how they stack.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

The children, of course, love how they can be knocked over.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

I placed everything into the sensory bin, along with some tweezers and tongs, as I am always looking for ways to strengthen those hands and fingers!

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

I needed to make sure everything was color coordinating, since this would be a sorting activity.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

The first thing the children did was start sorting them by color. They told me the yellow pom poms were popcorn.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

They would gently shake the bowl to make the pom poms jump up and down.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

And then all the colors of pom poms got involved, some ending outside the sensory bin. No worries, our children are working on picking up what falls on the floor.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

We also have a small broom and dustpan available for taking care of spills.

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

How to adapt this sensory activity for toddlers:

Set the buttons and small pom poms aside. Toddlers love the feeling of the jumbo pom poms! Replace the tweezers with small scoops. (We use these for lots of activities, by the way!) They will be more interested in scooping and pouring the pom poms than actually sorting them by color, but that’s okay. It’s all about exposure!

Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin

More ideas to try:

Rainbow Crayons - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds    Letter Beads Discovery Bottles     Preschool Color Game Using Legos

 

Have you seen what’s in our store?

 

The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO®

The Unofficial Guide to Learning with Lego® brings you over 100 awesome Lego®-based ideas that are perfect for educating in the classroom and at home. The book starts with the basics like learning colors and counting, all the way up to engineering and other STEM topics. (You might recall how we used our Duplo bricks in a STEM construction activity last year.)

Find out more about The Unofficial Guild to Learning with LEGO®, or for only $14.95 you can buy it now.

Preschool LEGO activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds