How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Inside: How to make delicious pumpkin muffins with toddlers and preschoolers – with some tips on making the process easier!

I will never forget the first time I did a cooking activity with my 2 and 3 year old students. I found the recipe and hauled all the ingredients to my classroom. I placed everything out on the table. I was so excited!

I opened my classroom door, greeting my sweet little friends, and invited them to join me at the table.

I fumbled to find the recipe I printed out. Then I gathered my measuring cups and spoons. I kept glancing at the recipe, making sure I would have the right amount.

My sweet friends tried to stay connected. They really did. But when I had to keep stopping to read the recipe and measure each ingredient, and then I had to stop and go soften the butter, and I forgot to grab a bowl for the dry ingredients…..

Well, I lost the attention of my little friends.

Several simply left the table to become engaged in something else. Some fidgeted and tried opening some of the ingredients that were at the table.

And then I realized I didn’t allow enough time for preparation, baking, cooling, AND eating in our mere 3 hours of class time.

It was not a pleasant experience and I decided that cooking with a classroom of kids was a lot of work.

Can you relate? 

But here’s the good news. I didn’t give up. I kept on creating those cooking activities, each time noting what did and did not work.

Fast forward 18 years. I think I’ve got this cooking thing down, my friends! And I’m going to share it with you. With this absolutely delicious pumpkin mix that I’ve been using with my own family. By scratch. Don’t be scared of that. It really is easy!

Hold my hand as I show you.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Watch the video on my You Tube channel:

 

Okay, first let me share some of my secrets. Ready?

  • Pre-measure the dry ingredients. I measure everything ahead of time and pour them into a sealable plastic bag.
  • Have small cups handy. At least 2 per child.
  • Have your wet ingredients measured out just before you start the cooking activity. Also, make sure the butter is softened and the eggs are ready.

Make sure the pan(s) you will be using are prepped and ready to go as well. You want as much done beforehand as possible so you can focus on the cooking experience itself.

Note: If you are doing this at home where it’s 1:1 with an adult, they can help you with the measuring. My pre-measuring is meant for groups of children in a toddler and young 3 year olds’ classroom setting, where we have limited adult help and perhaps not as much time.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

So, you might be curious what pumpkin muffin recipe was used. It’s actually a pumpkin bread recipe, but it worked just as well making muffins. Here is the recipe: Pumpkin Bread.

Go ahead and download or print the recipe. I will wait. Then make sure to come back here to see how I used this recipe with my toddlers and preschoolers!

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

I have this 22 year old KitchenAide stand mixer that I adore. It handles anything! And while I could have easily used a hand mixer, or even mixed it by hand, I decided to haul that baby into the classroom because I knew my students would love it! (I was right, in case you were wondering.)

I poured all of my pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and then dipped the small plastic cups into the bowl to collect the ingredients. I gave 1 cup to each child and invited them to pour the ingredients from their cups into the mixing bowl.

They were fascinated on how this process worked. Especially every time I turned on the mixer.

Then, we added the wet ingredients and butter.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here’s another tip: use disposable muffin tins. I love that these come with liners! But, you can easily use your own muffin tins and either spray them with oil or use cupcake liners.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

I really wanted our little friends to see the baking process, so we walked to the kitchen and had a short lesson on how hot an oven is, and that we need to be very careful.

My co-teacher, Mari, placed the muffin tins into the oven. We set the timer for 30 minutes and went to the gym to for some indoor large motor play.

We then returned to the kitchen, 30 minutes later, and pulled our pumpkin muffins from the oven. Mmmm…. they smelled so good!

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

We let the muffins cool while we had circle time.

When we gathered for snack time, we included half of a muffin for each child.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Every single muffin was eaten.

Success!

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are some more favorite recipes to use with toddlers and preschoolers:

Making Delicious Blueberry Cake with Kids

Quick and Easy Applesauce to Make in the Classroom

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




How to Make a Super Easy Fall Wreath with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Inside: How to make a super easy fall wreath with Toddlers and Preschoolers, using a paper plate! A fun keepsake to hang at your Thanksgiving get-t0gether.

Every holiday I love to display keepsakes my (now grown) children made in school.

I cherish them!

I have a special drawer that holds all these treasures, and every time I pull one out to display, I silently thank the teacher that made it happen.

After almost 20 years of teaching, I now get tagged in many personal Facebook photos, where alumni parents have pulled out holiday treasures their children made in my classroom, thanking me for creating memories they can display year after year.

So, a year into teaching, my co-teacher came up with a simple paper plate wreath that our 2 and 3 year olds could easily do. We display them during our preschool Thanksgiving Feast, and then the children take them home to hang in their homes.

I love traditions. I love these paper plate wreaths that we make year after year!

 

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

How to Make a Super Easy Fall Wreath with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Before we even get started making these easy fall wreaths, we explore the real deal.

We go outside and run in the leaves. We stomp in them, we toss them in the air, we admire all the different colors.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We read picture books about leaves, we create some leaf art, and we sing Leaves on the Tree. (This song, by the way, is a favorite with all of our preschool classes!)

Related post: Fall Watercolor Leaf Art

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

And then we get started on our paper plate leaves.

What you will need:

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Watch the video on You Tube:

Getting started:

  • Cut the centers out of the paper plates, so that you just have a ring.
  • Have a small container for each child, combining some glue and the brown paint.
  • Place these on the art table along with the leaves.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Making these easy fall leaves:

Have the children use a paintbrush to apply the mixture of brown paint and glue on the plate.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Then invite them to press the leaves on the glue and paint mixture.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Let them dry completely.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Using a hole punch, make 2 holes at the top of the wreath and string a short piece of ribbon through them and tie. This will be the loop for hanging.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Take a piece of wider ribbon and create a bow that will be stapled to the bottom of the leaf.

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

And that’s it! A simple fall leaf that kids can make!

Super Easy Fall Wreath for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Preschoolers

While planning for November, I was amazed to find so many Thanksgiving craft ideas for preschoolers!

During this month we do a lot of different turkey crafts that work on our fine motor skills, strengthen our color recognition development, and that allow us to be as open-ended as possible so that we can be creative.

We focus on the thankfulness part of Thanksgiving with our 3 year olds. This is a great time to help our youngest preschoolers learn how to reach out to others, to express gratitude for what is given to them.  We talk about our families and the good food we are blessed with. We end our unit with a Thanksgiving feast, where all our families come together and bring food that we eat together. I just love this time of year!

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Please share in the comments section below!

thanksgiving craft ideas

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Preschoolers

 

Thanksgiving Craft Activity

 

Thanksgiving Craft Ideas

 

25 Thanksgiving Crafts for Preschoolers

Are you following my fall Pinterest board?

 


More ideas for young children:

Spider Counting Craft for Preschoolers     Apple Stand Dramatic Play     Fall Activities for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

Inside: Here’s a fun fall painting activity for energetic toddlers that can be done standing up, shaking a jar back and forth. Perfect for getting those wiggles out!

The past few days our 2 year olds have had a huge case of the wiggles.

They simply don’t want to stop moving!

Now, if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I write about this topic often. Toddlers equal high energy. And I set up my classroom and schedule with that energy in mind.

But lately that energy level has been bigger than it’s been since school started in September. I know the daylight savings time change hasn’t helped.

I had a fall leaf painting activity planned at the art table, but knew most of our toddlers were not going to sit still for it. At least, not for very long.

I recalled our friendship activity from last fall, when our toddlers rolled a jar back and forth.

Why not try a similar approach, except this time as an individual activity, with lots of shaking going on?

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

What you will need:

  • Some sort of container with a lid
  • Leaf-shaped paper (I’ve provided a free printable download towards the end of this post)
  • Orange washable tempera paint
  • Small pinecone
  • Shallow container

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

Preparing this activity:

Squirt paint into a container and thin it a bit with a small amount of water.

Place pinecone in container of paint.

Have paper leaves and jar ready to go.

 

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

The activity:

Have your child move the pinecone in the paint so that it is fairly covered.

Place the paper leave in the jar and then drop the painted pinecone in the jar.

Screw lid securely on jar.

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

Instruct your child to hold onto the container with both hands and shake it. I love using a clear container so that the child can stop and look through the jar, noticing how the paper leave is getting covered in paint.

This is a great activity for energetic toddlers because they can move around while shaking the jar. You could even do this to music!

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

When finished, pull the paper leaf out of the jar and let it dry. That easy! And fun!

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

Here’s a free leaf printable you can use:

Watch the video on You Tube:

 

Fun Fall Painting Activity for Energetic Toddlers

Related posts:

Splatter Painting Action Art

Muddy Pig Sensory Fun

Favorite Books for Busy Toddlers

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

Inside: Looking for a fun art activity that also strengthens fine motor development…with beautiful results? You will want to try this fall watercolor leaf art for preschoolers. We add this to our fall theme every year!

You know when you’ve found a gem of an art activity when the children do not want to leave the art table.

 

Seriously! This watercolor leaf art has all of the positives – easy, fun, develops skills, and is a process art with beautiful results!

 

I know you’re curious, so let me show you a bit more.

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers 

What you will need:

 

That’s it! Just 3 things.

 

Now, for those of you who’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I have this thing for pipettes. They are one of my very favorite fine motor tools in the preschool classroom. If you aren’t familiar with how I’ve used them, let me share:

 

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

Setting up this activity: 
Pour liquid watercolors into containers and add pipettes.

 

 

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

Place the tissue paper leaves on a tray.

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

Model how to place the pipette into the container of watercolors and squeeze, filling it.

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

Then, transfer the pipette filled with watercolors to the tissue paper leaf and squeeze again to release the watercolors.

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

Once the preschoolers get a hang of this, they will want to do several. They absolutely love this activity!

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

I love how the different colors blend!

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

 

When finished, crumple up the tissue paper leaf a bit and let it dry on the tray. This gives it sort of a tie dye effect.

 

Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers

How to use them:

  • Make a wreath! Cut the center out of a paper plate and glue the leaves on it. We love displaying these during our Thanksgiving Feast!
  • Make a banner! String them together and hang across the mantle or a window.

 


Fall Watercolor Leaf Art for Preschoolers
Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

Inside: Are you dealing with energetic preschoolers? Here are 5 important tips for a calmer classroom that I learned during my years of teaching this age group.

There was a time I really struggled with the energetic preschoolers. I mean, I know little kids have lots of energy, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be to handle that energy in the classroom.

I felt like there were constant struggles.

Centers time involved grabbing, pushing, sometimes running from activity to activity.

Circle time felt impossible as they wiggled and talked really loud when pointing out something in a book I was trying to read.

Small group time felt impossible as they would stay on task for what felt like 1 second and then want to leave.

Trying to get them back to the classroom from recess felt like torture. They wouldn’t line up when called. They just kept on running around.

I was a new teacher that had certain expectations, and they became really difficult while dealing with my energetic preschoolers. I was at a loss.

I would love to tell you that I found some magic solution overnight, and the problem was solved. But….nope. It took me many years of observing and noting what was working and what wasn’t. I tweaked my schedule so many times, changed the layout of our classroom, tried different types of activities.

I read books, took classes, got to know other teachers online. (Check out our Preschool Teachers’ Network on Facebook!)

I started learning what worked and didn’t.

Here I am, 18 or so years into teaching (I’ve stopped counting), and while I don’t have everything figured out, I think I have a pretty good handle on dealing with energetic preschoolers.

NOTE: Scroll down to find a coupon on our newest addition to the classroom: The Wiggle Seat!

Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

Disclosure: I was given 2 wiggle seats to try in my classroom. Affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.

Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

1. Make sure your schedule is balanced with quiet and active activities.

Preschool children, especially those with what feels like a never-ending supply of energy, cannot be expected to sit for long periods of time. I learned that after circle time, for example, we needed to go outside or to the gym. Then, when we returned, we could have small groups, which is once again a more focused time. After small groups we could have music and movement, getting the children up and moving.

Balancing quiet and active times is important.

Even if it’s not time to go outside yet, you can stop what you are doing, turn on some music, and invite your preschoolers to dance. Even a couple of minutes of this will release some energy so that you can return to what you were doing.

Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

2. Provide hands-on activities that get the whole body moving.

I love to create activities that get the larger muscles in the body working. Activities that involve big motions. Activities where you can remove the chairs from the table and keep the children standing. Even better if they can walk around the table during the activity.

Here are some of my favorites:

Farm Painting

Friendship Art

Splatter Paint

3. Break up your circle times.

Shorter circle times are more successful for all preschoolers, but especially for those who have a hard time sitting. Our preschool class has at least 3 circle times each day: morning meeting, weather and books, and music and movement.

Related posts:

Brilliant Circle Time Strategies When Kids Can’t Sit Still

Creating a Preschool Circle Time

Learning Songs for Circle Time

 Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

4. Get them moving!

When little kids need to move, they are telling you something. Rather than fight it, embrace it. If you can get the kids outside for a longer recess, or if you have access to a gym, GO. Let them run and climb and throw balls.

If you can’t do that, find the biggest area of your classroom (ours would be our circle time area), find upbeat music, and invite your preschoolers to move their entire bodies. I like to have juggling scarves on hand to toss in the air. They are soft so they cannot hurt anyone when they fall. Because, as we know, children with a lot of energy can also be great throwers.

Related posts:

Music for Energetic Kids

Music and Movement Activities

 Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

5. Have a stash of quiet, calming activities on hand at all times.

There are those days when no matter how hard you’ve worked on the above, you still have a room filled with kids who cannot settle down. Those are days when I realize I need a new plan.

And fast.

For this very reason, I make sure to know where our stash of quiet activities are. I can pull them out in a flash, get the children engaged, dim the lights, turn on some soft classical music.

Here are some ideas for you to consider: 15 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers

Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

Your turn! 

What are your favorite tips for helping energetic preschoolers? Share in the comments section!

 

Wiggle Seat Inflatable  Sensory Chair Cushion for Kids

Recently I was given 2 wiggle seat sensory chair cushions to try with our preschoolers. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as I was focusing on strategies to help our energetic kiddos while also putting together this post.

How the wiggle seat works:

  • Helps children stay calm and focused while sitting
  • Inflation level is adjustable (comes with pump)
  • Causes the body to stabilize itself, improving posture
  • Is a good size for kids chairs and tables (13″)

How we used it:

I first placed them at our small exploration table and showed the children how to sit on top of it. I then kept them in a special location of our classroom and the children now go and get a wiggle seat and place it on any chair they wish to sit on.

More information: Wiggle Seat Inflatable Sensory Chair Cushion for Kids

 

Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

 

Energetic Preschoolers? 5 Important Tips for a Calmer Classroom

 

The Survival Guide for Preschool Teachers

Whether you are a brand-new teacher or one that has a background in teaching, this free survival guide is meant for YOU. It is loaded with my favorite tips for an easier, more successful school year.

LINK: The Survival Guide for Preschool Teachers

guide for preschool teachers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 




How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

Inside: How to make an itsy bitsy spider puppet with toddlers – and then use it as a prop during circle time!

You invite your toddlers to join you at circle time. You have the song Itsy Bitsy Spider cued on the CD player. You’ve planned this moment. You’ve written in your planner.

Most of your toddlers join you at first. A few are busy in other areas of the classroom. You can deal with that.

You turn on the CD player and the song starts playing.

One child leaves the circle time.

Two other children push each other because they are in each other’s space. And then it feels like no one even cares about the song.

Props, my friends. You need props. Especially if they are made by the children.

But I didn’t always know this. Nope, not for many years. But let me tell you, the props we made created a circle time where I had all of their attention. And they stayed focused. And absolutely loved being able to take their props home.

 

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

Watch it on our You Tube channel:

Before we started this puppet making activity, we had already been singing some favorite spider songs. We also read Itsy Bitsy Spider. It was then that I remembered how props would make this activity come to life.

What we used to make our Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppets:

  • Paper plates (flimsy ones are just fine)
  • Black and white spider printable (scroll down to find the link to download)
  • Black and/or brown crayons
  • Large craft sticks
  • Glue stick
  • Stapler
  • Scotch tape
  • Googly eyes (optional)

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

Setting up this spider puppet activity:

Because I was doing this activity with my 2 year olds, I put together the puppets ahead of time. I stapled the paper plate to the craft stick, placed a bit of scotch tape on top of the bottom sides of the staples, as they can be poky. I cut out the spider and glued it to the front of the paper plate.

Altering this activity for older preschoolers:

Have them cut the spiders out and glue them onto the plate.

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

Making the spider puppets:

Hand your children crayons and invite them to color the spider.

When finished coloring, use a glue stick to place the googly eyes on top of the eyes on the spider printable.

Note: I should have skipped the googly eyes with our 2 year olds, as they became obsessed with peeling them off. Most of our spider puppets ended up not having googly eyes by the time we used them during circle time.

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

Once the puppets were assembled, I called the children to the circle time area. We used them while singing to these 2 songs:

We also used them while reading the book Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Related: Favorite Preschool Fingerplays

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

And that’s how to make an itsy bitsy spider puppet with toddlers.

Something fun to create and use!

Grab your spider printable here:

How to Make an Itsy Bitsy Spider Puppet with Toddlers

More ideas for toddlers:

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art with Printable

Strengthen Fine Motor Skills Making Window Art

10 Songs You Will Want to Add to Your Toddler Playlist

 

Why I love props for circle time, and other tips:

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

Inside: Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love -These are our favorites with our 2 and 3 year olds!

After teaching for as long as I have (almost 2 decades as I write this), I’ve done a lot of observing toddlers and preschoolers at the sensory bin. No matter how we set that bin up, no matter how many hours we’ve thought of ways to add on to it, no matter all the little details we are so excited to add, there is one must.

There must be tools and materials that allow scooping and pouring.

That is what they love most about the sensory bin.

And so, I’m going to share our top 7 fall sensory bins toddlers and preschoolers love.

That all involve scooping and pouring.

That work perfectly with your fall theme.

 

Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

Our favorites, in no particular order.

1. Quick and Easy Fall Sensory Bin

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Once you add the dyed rice, fill the bin with whatever fall materials you have!

LINK: Here’s a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

2. Apple Literacy Sensory Bin

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

Add some alphabet pebbles to your apple sensory bin for some letter recognition.

LINK: Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

 

3. Fun Fall Farm Sensory Bin

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Have fun scooping and pouring corn kernels while also playing with the farm animals.

LINK: Fun Fall Farm Sensory Bin

4. Fall Pom Poms and Leaves Sensory Bin

Fine Motor Sensory Bin for Fall

Sort fall colored pom poms and scoop them into the matching-colored containers!

LINK: Fun Fall Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

 

5. Apple Cinnamon Sensory Bin

This fragrant sensory bin can be adapted for toddlers and preschoolers!

LINK: Fall Apple Sensory Bin for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

6. Sunflower Sensory Bin

In early fall, while sunflowers are being harvested, invite your toddlers and preschoolers to have fun with this sensory bin.

LINK: Preschool Sensory Bin with Sunflowers

 

7. Halloween Sensory Play

Pumpkins and orange tea lights are part of this fun Halloween sensory bin.

LINK: Halloween Sensory Play for Preschoolers

 

Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

 

I am proud to be a co-author of this awesome book, Learn with Play!

A giant collection of hands-on activities!

The perfect book to have on hand for inspiring you on holidays, weekends, or anytime the kids just need something to do!

More information: Learn with Play

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Here’s an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Inside: Here’s an easy farm sensory bin for preschoolers that involves lots of scooping and pouring – a perfect fall fine motor activity!

Whatever they find, they want to dump.

This is what young children do, but I admit it can be a challenge. Just after I set something up, it gets knocked down, carried away, dumped on the floor.

And while it can be frustrating, I know better. Having taught this age group for so long, after reading so many different articles about why they insist on dumping, I know they are not doing this to make life harder on adults.

And so, my friends, I have discovered how to redirect these busy little humans to a place where it is okay to dump. To pour. To spill.

What I’m going to share with you today is part of our farm theme, but it can be used with any theme, with many different types of materials.

Click here to pin!

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Here’s an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Notice I have included the word easy. That’s because I like easy. I need easy. And I suspect I’m not alone.

And I’ve found over the years that toddlers and preschoolers like simple sensory bin ideas. While they might enjoy the different props we put into the sensory bin, what they really love is the filler – the main ingredient – and what we’ve provided for them to scoop and pour those ingredients.

They want to scoop. They want to pour.

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

What you will need for this easy farm sensory bin:

  • Corn kernels
  • Farm animals
  • Any other small farm toys you might have (although not necessary)
  • Scoops
  • Cups

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

How to set up this farm sensory bin:

  • Pour the corn kernels into the bin.
  • Add farm animals and other materials.

I know – that sounds a bit too easy, right? Exactly.

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Before introducing your preschoolers to this farm sensory bin, get them acquainted with farm animals. We love to sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm while also reading some fun farm books.


 

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

You also might want to have some farm painting going on at the art table.

Oh, and you simply must let your preschoolers experience painting muddy pigs. In plastic bags! (Seriously, this was SO much fun!)

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Once you invite your preschoolers to explore this farm sensory bin, stand back and observe. And if they start dumping stuff in other areas of the classroom, redirect them to this bin.

“The puzzle pieces need to stay on the table, but you are welcome to pour corn kernels in the sensory bin.”

You’ve offered them a way to continue dumping, in an area that is more contained.

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

How do you handle dumping materials in your preschool classroom? Make sure to join our Facebook community where lots of ideas are shared!

 

Planning a farm theme? We’ve done the work for you!

Preschool Farm Lesson Plans

Get ready for fun and learning with preschool unit lesson plans for the farm!

24 interactive thematic lesson plans for young children that cover:

  • Literacy
  • Math
  • Science
  • Fine Motor
  • Sensory
  • Gross Motor
  • Art
  • Social Studies
  • Music
  • Circle Time
  • Social/Emotional

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers (Free Printable)

Inside: You must try this awesome muddy pig sensory art for toddlers! Well, preschoolers, too! And everything is contained in the bag during the process. How cool is that?

My toddlers have been obsessed with farm books this year. Have you found that to happen with your little ones? They get so hooked on one type of book that they want you to read it over and over again?

And it’s not just farm books. Finger plays and songs, too!

So, I came up with what I had hoped would be a fun sensory art activity.

Muddy pigs.

I was inspired by my no-mess pumpkin art that is going crazy right now. I decided to try a similar method, this time using a pig printable (provided for you at the end of this post), paint, and shaving cream.

Huge hit!

Click here to pin.

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

I am always looking for activities that expose our toddlers to different textures. Even better if it gets their little fingers moving. I had already introduced them to pressing tissue paper squares on sticky paper.

 

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

What You Will Need to Make Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

How to Make Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art

I printed the pig on light pink paper and then cut it out.

I had 1 plastic bag for each child, ready to go with names on the bags.

See the details in this video:

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

I then squirted some of the brown tempera paint as well as the shaving cream into the bag.

I sealed each bag after adding the paint and shaving cream.

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

Pat, Pat, Pat!

The room was filled with patting noises as our toddlers patted and mixed the shaving cream on top of their pigs, inside the bag.

Those little hands were so busy!

They just kept on patting the tops of their bags until they decided they were finished and wanted to move on to something else.

Related: Freezer Bag Painting

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

Let Them Dry

As our toddlers finished patting their bags, I tossed them on the counter. I knew I could deal with the next process after I said goodbye to my little friends that day.

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

Once the last child had departed, I opened each bag and pulled the painted pigs out, placing them on trays to dry.

I then rinsed out each bag so that it could be used for another project. Why add to the waste if we can reuse them? (And I already have another activity in mind using the same bags. My mind never stops, I tell you!)

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

One Last Step (Optional)

I decided to place the muddy pigs onto green paper using a glue stick. This made them a bit sturdier for displaying in our classroom, plus the pigs were more visible against the colored paper.

 

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

And there you go! Process art that combines fine motor and sensory – at the art table! We love our awesome muddy pigs!

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

Don’t forget to download your free pig printable!

Awesome Muddy Pig Sensory Art for Toddlers

 

Need some tips for toddler art? Check this out:

Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

PLAY: Playful Activity Plans for Your Busy Toddler

Parents, do you have a busy 2 year old that is getting into just about everything?

You’ve decided to try to do a craft, but what what will it be? And do you have time to get to the store and gather all the ingredients?

We’ve got the perfect solution!

Toddler Play Activities

PLAY: Playful Activity Plans for Your Busy Toddler

These are 35 hand-chosen activities that you can do with your toddler. A simple 15 minutes worth of time that will keep your toddler busy while you are both connecting to each other.

More information: PLAY: Playful Activity Plans for Your Busy Toddler

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




20 Free Preschool Printables for Fall

Teachers, are you planning your fall theme? Parents, are you looking for a quick fall activity for this afternoon? Well, here you go. 20 free preschool printables for fall.

Yes, free.

And fun. And educational!

In this collection you will find math, literacy, colors, shapes, fine motor, science and music. All perfect for fall.

Make sure to also check out our collection of 67 free printables that are fun for any time of the year!

20 Free Preschool Printables for Fall

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

20 Free Preschool Printables for Fall

Simple Apple Counting Activity: Work on one-to-one correspondence with apples.

Apple Graph Activity: Sort apples by shape and color with printable apple cards.

No-Mess Pumpkin Art: Quick and easy and so much fun!

Sorting Leaves by Color: Go on a leaf hunt and sort leaves by color during circle time.

Stamping with Apples: Download the apple printable and stamp red paint on it!

Fall Printable Activity Pack: 20+ pages of do-a-dot pages, math, and language. (Little Pinch of Perfect)

Fall Coloring Pages: 6 fall-themed coloring pages for preschoolers. (Red Ted Art)

Apple Dot Painting: Create colorful apples with Do-a-Dot markers or pom poms. (The Resourceful Mama)

Apple Seed Counting: Save your apple seeds for this simple and fun math activity. (From ABCs to ACTs)

Fingerprint Bats: Create a bat silhouette using your fingerprints and a bat template. (Crafty Morning)

Apple Tree ABC Match: Match upper to lowercase using dot stickers. (I Heart Crafty Things)

Leaves Color Matching: Explore the colors of fall while matching various colors of leaves. (Life Over Cs)

10 Fall Songs: These songs and chants are perfect for your fall curriculum. (Teaching Mama)

Candy Corn Printables: A fun way to work on letters and numbers, plus a pumpkin and tree activity. (This Reading Mama)

Apple Counting Match Up: Use these apple cards for 1 – 10 number recognition. (FSPDT)

Pumpkin Matching: From happy to spooky faces, these can be used as a puzzle or a memory game. (From ABCs to ACTs)

Fall Counting Cards: Go on a walk to collect nature materials. Then count them using these fall cards! (Natural Beach Living)

Pumpkin Outlines: A simple outline of a pumpkin for art and craft activities. (Gift of Curiosity)

Fall Dot Marker Pages: These pages are perfect when you are looking for quiet activities. (3 Dinosaurs)

Pumpkin Lacing: Strengthen fine motor skills with a fun lacing activity. (I Heart Crafty Things)

Pumpkin Shape Matching Game: Learn different shapes while playing this memory game. (Life Over Cs)

Fall Playdough Mats: Bring fall to your play dough table! (This Reading Mama)

Fall Leaves I Spy Game: Download the printable and go on a leaf hunt while playing this game. (And Next Comes L)

Stamped Fall Tree: Stamp paper tubes in paint onto a printed tree. (Crafty Morning)

Leaf Hunt: Get outside and hunt for leaves, sorting them by color. (KC Edventures)

What’s Inside an Apple? After exploring a real apple, record your observations on this sheet. (Buggy and Buddy)

 

Okay, I added 3 more, for those of you who might have actually counted. I keep finding more!

20 Free Preschool Printables for Fall

 

More fall ideas for preschoolers:

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable Cards

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

Fall Sensory Bin with Pom Poms

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




The Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Theme Activities

Inside: The ultimate guide to preschool theme activities that we love! 

 

I get so giddy when October arrives! There are so many fun fall activities to choose from, indoors and out. One of my favorite themes this month involves pumpkins. As soon as I see them in the grocery stores, I am ready! So I put together this huge collection of 90+ fun preschool pumpkin theme ideas as a resource.

Finding this collection was amazing, to be honest. I mean, I knew there were some good ideas out there for the preschool pumpkin theme, but over 90? And not just art. We are talking fine motor, literacy, play dough, math, science, sensory, dramatic play, cooking, small world, and large motor!

In case that’s not enough for you, check out our huge fall pinboard, too!

preschool pumpkin theme activities

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Theme Activities

 

Pumpkin Art

Pumpkin Painting

Spin Art Pumpkins (Rainy Day Mum)

Fingerprint Jack-O-Lantern (3 Dinosaurs)

Color Mixing Paper Plate Pumpkins (Messy Little Monster)

Plastic Bottle Halloween Lanterns (Messy Little Monster)

Pumpkin Window Decorations (Kinder Kraze)

Halloween Confetti Eggs (Munchkins and Moms)

Pumpkin Suncatchers (Preschool Inspirations)

Decorating a Paper Pumpkin (Play and Learn Everyday)

Mix and Match Pumpkin Faces (Handmade Kids Art)

Pumpkin Plate Shaker (Kitchen Floor Crafts)

Stained Glass Pumpkin Suncatcher (Crafts on Sea)

Paper Mache Pumpkins (Mini Monets and Mommies)

Pumpkin Craft and Treat Holder (Buggy and Buddy)

Melted Crayon Pumpkins (Nothing If Not Intentional)

Textured Pumpkin Patch (Edventures with Kids)

Marbled Pumpkins (Simple Fun for Kids)

Fluorescent Pumpkin (Simple Fun for Kids)

Scented Pumpkin Puffy Paint (The Chaos and the Clutter)

Scrap Ribbon Pumpkin Suncatchers (Fireflies and Mud Pies)

Silly Pumpkin Faces (P is for Preschooler)

 

Pumpkin Fine Motor

Hammering Pumpkins

Ring Around the Pumpkin (Sunny Day Family)

Chalkboard Pumpkins  (Sunny Day Family)

Mr. Pumpkin Head Pumpkin Decorating (B-Inspired Mama)

Pumpkin Felt Faces (The Nerd’s Wife)

Scrub the Pumpkin (Mama’s Happy Hive)

Cutting Practice Pumpkin (I Heart Crafty Things)

Pumpkin Pick-Up (Stir the Wonder)

Mini Pumpkins and Felt (Buggy and Buddy)

Stickers on a Pumpkin (Simple.Home.Blessings)

Pumpkin Seed Sorting (Mama Papa Bubba)

Mini Pumpkin Name Game (School Time Snippets)

 

Pumpkin Literacy

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater Pack (3 Dinosaurs)

P is for Pumpkin Polka Dot Activity (B-Inspired Mama)

Pumpkin Alphabet Activity on the Window (Mom Inspired Life)

“It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse” Activity (Where Imagination Grows)

Mini Pumpkin Name Game (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

 

Pumpkin Play Dough

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Play Dough (Pre-K Pages)

Pumpkin Play Dough Sensory Tray (The Eyes of a Boy)

Five Little Pumpkins Play Dough Retelling Activity (Growing Book by Book)

Textured Play Dough (Mama’s Happy Hive)

Invitation to Play with Pumpkin Play Dough (I Heart Crafty Things)

Play Dough Pumpkin Patch Train (Play Trains)

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough (Kitchen Floor Crafts)

Pumpkin Cornstarch Dough (Our Little House in the Country)

Amazing Pumpkin Spice Play Dough (Mama Papa Bubba)

Pumpkin Pie Scented Play Dough (Mama OT)

Fall Inspired Pumpkin Play Dough (Your Modern Family)

 

Pumpkin Math

Counting Pumpkins in Sand (3 Dinosaurs)

Pumpkin Seed Measuring (Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes)

Measuring with Pumpkins (Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes)

Pumpkin Grid Math Game (Stir the Wonder)

Mini Pumpkin Math (PreKinders)

Pumpkin Seed Counting Game (Mama Papa Bubba)

Pumpkin Seed Puzzles (I Can Teach My Child)

5 Little Pumpkins Sticker Activity (Rainy Day Mum)

Pumpkin Counting Activity on the Light Table (Where Imagination Grows)

Pumpkin Counting Cards – Free Printable (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

5 Little Pumpkins Sticker Activity (Rainy Day Mum)

Pumpkin Counting Activity on the Light Table (Where Imagination Grows)

Pumpkin Counting Cards – Free Printable (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

 

 

Pumpkin Science

Pumpkin Sink or Float Boats (The Preschool Toolbox)

Bubble Science with Pumpkins (Preschool Powol Packets)

Pumpkin Guts Exploration (Stir the Wonder)

Pumpkin Cano (Little Bins)

Pumpkin Sensory Science (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Pumpkin Spice Fizzy Science (FSPDT)

 

Pumpkin Sensory

Pumpkin Sensory Play

Pumpkin Texture Sensory Play (3 Dinosaurs)

Pumpkin Washing Station (Natural Beach Living)

Pumpkin Washing Sensory Bin (Where Imagination Grows)

Pumpkin Patch Small World Sensory Play (Buggy and Buddy)

Little House in the Pumpkin Sensory Play (Adventure in a Box)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Scented Rice (Mama OT)

Pumpkin and Acorn “Soup” (And Next Comes L)

 

Pumpkin Dramatic Play

Pumpkin Stand

Pumpkin Patch (Pre-Kinders)

 

 

Pumpkin Cooking Activities

Pumpkin Bread (Crafty Moms Share)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies (Simple.Home.Blessings)

Healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Mama Papa Bubba)

Pumpkin Pancakes (Mama Smiles)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Mama Smiles)

Cinnamon Pumpkin Brownies (Mama Smiles)

 

Pumpkin Small World

Pumpkin Mountain Railroad Building (Play Trains)

Pumpkin Car Tunnel (Adventures of Adam)

 

Pumpkin Large Motor

Pumpkin Chunkin’ Game (B-Inspired Mama)

 

preschool pumpkin theme activities

 


Bonus! Grab this fall literacy collection for your preschoolers! Over 66 pages of learning activities to go with your fall theme. Buy it now for only $4!

Fall Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

More fall ideas for preschoolers:

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 hands-on activities from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      Preschool Apple Theme Ideas - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     20 Free Fall Printables for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

Inside: How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

When I was planning our family theme for our toddlers, I was frustrated.

As I searched for activities, nothing seemed developmentally appropriate for toddlers. Actually, I encounter this with many of the activities I see on Pinterest. They might say they are for toddlers, but they really are not.

I knew I needed to simplify our family theme, so I came up with my own idea. Oh, and a printable, too! (You can find that towards the end of this post.)

We never really know how an activity works until we try it. And I can tell you that this simple family book for toddlers worked!

 

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

We have a family tree in our classroom. During back-to-school, I ask our families to send me a digital family photo. I then make a copy of these photos and place them in twig frames that surround our classroom tree. You can see it in my You Tube video.

Related: How to Encourage Friendship with Art

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

I folded an 11 x 17 inch of construction paper in half, so it opened on the right side like a book.

I then cut the top to resemble a roof and made a couple of cuts at the bottom to resemble a door that can open and close.

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

I made one of these for each child in my 2 year old class.

I then made copies of my family printable. (Note: You might need to make more than 1 copy for some children since obviously not every family has the same mix. Make as many copies as you need to get the correct amount of family members and genders.)

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

I went through my students’ questionnaires so I could see who was in their families, dogs and cats included. (I like to have our family theme at the beginning of the year, when I am just getting to know them.)

I cut apart the different family members from the printable and had them ready to go for each child.

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

Watercolor the House

We invited our toddlers to paint their houses with watercolors.

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

Who’s in your family?

After the paint was dry, I sat with each of my students, one by one, to talk about who is in their family. I had already written the names of each family member underneath the printed family member.

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

Glue the Family Members Inside the House

I gave the children a glue stick to adhere the family members inside the house.

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

A fun and simple way to talk about “My Family” with toddlers!

 

 

How to Create a Simple Family Book with Toddlers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Here’s a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Inside: Here’s a quick way to put together a fall sensory bin so that you aren’t running around at the last minute trying to find all the materials. You will feel much more organized!

Sometimes we have this great idea for the classroom, but end up exhausting ourselves as we rush around trying to gather materials.

You have this idea in your head. You might have thought about it while drinking coffee from your to-go cup as you headed to work. You might have thought about it days before, but forgot to gather everything together beforehand. Or maybe the idea you had in your head simply wasn’t coming together as you had planned.

When this happens, you end up feeling defeated before you’ve even opened your classroom door to greet your toddlers and preschoolers.

After having this happen to me countless times, I decided I needed a plan. And I was going to start this plan with a fall sensory bin that I just knew our children would love.

And it started with dyed rice.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Here’s a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Toddlers and preschoolers love to scoop and pour, so I first think about what the base of our sensory bin will be. I love using rice because we can easily color it to match the theme or season, and we can save it for another use. Since our preschool consists of 4 different classrooms, we share what we use. We have a dedicated shelf in our storage room that contains gallon-size Zip-Lock bags that are filled with different colors of rice. It really makes it easy to plan ahead when the rice is already dyed and ready to go.

But How to Dye Rice?

It’s easy!

  • Grab a gallon sized plastic baggie that can be sealed.
  • Pour about a cup of rice inside the bag.
  • Add about a teaspoon of white vinegar.
  • Add as much coloring as desired. (I love using Wilton icing color!)
  • Seal the bag and shake until the rice is coated well.
  • Open the bag and dump the rice onto a paper towel, spreading it out so it’s a very thin layer.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.

If you want to have different colors of rice, do the above procedure for each color and then, when dry, mix the colors.

Once you have your main ingredient ready to go, it’s easy to gather whatever other items you want to add.

For this fall sensory bin, I added:

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

When I arrived that morning, all I had to do was dump the dyed rice into the sensory bin and add the other materials.

No racing around at the last minute.

I had time to put a few other activities together before greeting the children.

That’s exactly how I like my mornings to start!

How This Fall Sensory Bin is Used

Toddlers will really be into the scooping and pouring. This is always one of their favorite things to do, and it’s a great way to develop those fine motor muscles.

Related: Fine Motor Squeezing Activities

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

At first they will want to use their hands. The feeling of the rice slipping between their fingers is a great sensory experience.

 

You can see that in this video I took in the classroom:

 

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

We talked about how the rice falling into the container sounded like rain.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

As their hands and fingers strengthen, they will start wanting to use the tools that are provided. In this case, it was small scoops. We also provided tweezers for our preschoolers.

We talked about how the rice falling into the container sounded like rain.

Preschoolers will start noticing the other materials in the bin.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

I wanted to add some color sorting, so I found some colored plastic containers at the dollar store that were the same color as the felt apples.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

How to Alter this Activity for Other Themes and Seasons

Once we pack up this sensory bin, the rice can be used for other themes and seasons. For example, this red and green rice can be used again at Christmas along with some big jingle bells and tongs. Brown rice can be used in a gardening sensory bin and also a forest sensory bin. Yellow rice can be used in a sunflower sensory bin as well as a summer weather sensory bin. See what I’m getting at? Make it easy on yourself!

Related: 15 Quiet Time Activities

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Discover the magic of glorious, calm, and peaceful days with kids!

quiet bins for preschoolers

A Year of Educational Quiet Bins: TELL ME MORE ABOUT THEM!

 

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

 

 


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art (Free Printable)

Inside: The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

Stamping fresh apple halves in paint is an art activity that’s been around for a long time. One of those classics you probably did as a child, too. And it really is such a fun activity with lots of arm movement and loud tap, tap, taps as the apple is slapped onto the paper.

But while this well-known art activity is loved by preschoolers, it can be really frustrating for a toddler.

Imagine that small hand trying to reach around the apple half, then dipping it into wet tempera paint. Now that hand needs to move that slippery apple half to the paper. And while being transferred to the paper, the apple is too slippery to handle so it drops.

Perhaps on the table.

Perhaps on the chair.

Perhaps on the floor.

And now the toddler is frustrated. His short attention span encourages him to move on to something else.

Yep, I’ve seen this many times. And I can’t believe how long it took me to find an easier way. It completely changed this fall art activity.

 

 

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

Let me first let you know that I honestly cannot say this is my idea. In fact, I’m most certain it’s not. I somehow discovered it many years ago, long before Pinterest was born.

The simple trick to adapting this apple stamping activity for toddlers is carving a handle on the round side of the apple slice.

I will now add another trick. Well, actually, a tip.

To really make this activity work with toddlers, have everything ready before you get them to the art table.

Trust me on this.

Related: The Best Ideas for Busy Toddlers 

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

Setting up this activity:

Before we opened our classroom door and greeted our toddlers, we cut the apples in half and then carved the handles into them. Rather than trying to explain how we did this, I will show you in this video:

Pour the paint into shallow containers.

Place one apple half in each container of paint.

Place everything on the table.

It’s ready to go!

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

Now here’s what you will need:

  • Apples, cut in half
  • Red washable tempera paint
  • Paper that has an apple outline. Note: I just happened to make for this activity and I am sharing with you towards the end of this post.

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

Once your toddlers are seated at the table (or standing, as some busy toddlers don’t like to sit, so we just remove the chair), you might need to demonstrate how to transfer the apple from the container of paint to the paper.

They might start off slowly, or they might put all their energy into it. But once they get started, they are hooked.

After all, this involves big movements as the entire arm is going up and down.

And there is noise as the apple hits the paper.

This is what toddlers love. It’s the process that matters most!

Related: Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

Once they are finished, let their artwork dry.

You can stop at this point.

OR

You can cut the apple out and glue it to green paper.

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

And there you go!

 


While we are on the subject of apples, check out this mega collection of apple activities!

fun preschool apple theme activities

 

 

The Easiest Way for Toddlers to Make Fall Apple Art

 

Discover the magic of glorious, calm, and peaceful days with kids!

quiet bins for preschoolers

 

A Year of Educational Quiet Bins: TELL ME MORE ABOUT THEM!

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Apple Graph Activity with Free Printable Cards

Each year during our fall theme we ask our preschoolers to bring an apple to school to make applesauce. But before we cut into our apples, we sort and graph them. I put together this apple graph activity with free printable cards as a way for us to add some simple color recognition and math to our preschool day. It’s a great learning activity for circle time so that all the children can participate at the same time.

preschool apple sorting free printable

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Apple Graph Activity with Free Printable Cards

What you will need for this apple graph activity:

  • Yellow, red and green apples
  • Apple cards (free printable is available at the end of this post)

You will also want to have some apple books available.

A few days before we did this activity, we sent home a note asking each preschooler to bring one apple to preschool. We do activities like this quite often (such as our color wheel) and the children love being able to share something from home.

I chose to place 3 large sheets of construction paper in the middle of our circle time area – yellow, red, and green. I then placed the apple cards on the sheets of paper, matching the colors.

preschool apple sorting free printable

As the preschoolers arrived, they brought their apples to circle time.

preschool apple sorting free printable

As I called their names, they placed their apples on the matching sheet of paper.

preschool apple sorting free printable

Then they picked up the matching apple card.

preschool apple sorting free printable

We did our apple graph on a pocket chart, but you can do this on the floor if you do not have one. Just create a column for each color. As the preschoolers picked up their cards, they placed them in the yellow, red, or green column.

preschool apple sorting free printable

We continued until all of the apples were sorted and the cards were on the graph.

preschool apple sorting free printable

preschool apple sorting free printable

 

preschool apple sorting free printable

We then counted how many apples were in each column, noticing that we had more red apples than any other color.

Activities such as this are a great way to work on simple counting skills, while also building our color recognition skills. We will later use these apples for taste testing and making applesauce.

preschool apple sorting free printable

Using graphs during circle time is a great way to involve all of the children and builds language skills. They are very meaningful to children because they involve real life items or situations. In fact, our preschoolers cannot wait for our question-of-the-day because they can share their ideas and we can count to see what column has the most.

How to you use graphs with your preschoolers?

preschool apple sorting free printable

Free Printable: Yellow, Red and Green Apple Graph Cards

 

We’ve made lesson planning easier!

Preschool Fall Lesson Plans

Download and use today! 

 

 

More fall ideas for preschoolers:

 

fall activities for preschoolers      Fall watercolor art     Fall Science for Preschool with Squirrels and Acorns

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds