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




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




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




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




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




Here’s a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

Inside: Here’s a quick way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills – and it’s fun and easy, too!

I love those moments when you already have an activity planned, not realizing just how much you’d need it.

Yesterday morning our toddlers were a combination of teary, tired and energetic.

I’m sure anyone with toddlers knows how this combination plays out. It can make for a long 3 hours.

But somehow I had foreseen this (okay, perhaps I just got lucky), because I had put together one of our favorite calming activities that just so happens to tap into the fine motor area.

An activity that saved our last 30 minutes of class.

An activity that is one of my favorite ways to strengthen fine motor skills.

Win-win!

 

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Here’s a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

Contact Paper and tissue paper shapes.

That’s all you need for this easy toddler fine motor skills activity.

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

Setting it up:

I needed an activity that could be set up in seconds, because this was happening as soon as we returned from being outside. Since we are only on week 3 in our toddler classroom, we are still working on the waiting part. (Let’s be realistic – this will be the case for the entire school year. Toddlers aren’t wired to wait.)

So, I had like maybe 2 minutes max where I rolled out the Contact Paper, sticky side up, and taped the edges to the table. I grabbed the tissue paper squares and set them beside the Contact paper.

Thankfully I did this as we were headed outside.

Because when we returned to the classroom, I almost lost everyone. That last 30 minutes can be difficult, as the children are getting tired.

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

When we entered the classroom, I invited the children to join us at the sticky paper table. And I held my breath for just a moment, hoping I could pull our toddlers out of what could have been a downward spiral.

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

It worked! Worked like a charm.

Once they realized the paper was sticky, I could not hand them the tissue paper shapes fast enough.

Their little fingers had to pinch the tissue paper, transport it, and then drop and press it onto the sticky Contact paper.

This fine motor activity was such a hit that some of the children stayed at the table for a good 20 minutes. That’s pretty amazing for this age group!

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

Oh, and this fine motor activity has a nice result, too!

After we were finished placing the tissue paper onto the sticky paper, I removed the entire piece from the table, carried it over to our dramatic play area, and pressed the sticky side onto the glass of our window. No additional tape needed. And it’s easy to remove!

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

 

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

I think it adds some fun color to the area!

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

And there you have it. A quick way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills. Easy peasy fun!

 

Watch the video on You Tube:

Here's a Quick Way to Strengthen Toddler Fine Motor Skills

More toddler activities to try:

Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

The Best Books for Busy Toddlers

Playful Toddler Alphabet Activities

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

 Inside: Easy art tips for toddlers that work well at home or in the classroom.

Toddlers have energy. This we know. So the thought of handing them a paintbrush might be a bit scary.

 

(Insert visions of toddler running around the room with a paintbrush in hand, dripping everywhere.)

 

But with some different approaches to setting up the table, along with activities that toddlers love, art with toddlers can be downright pleasant!

 

Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

 

 This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Like everything else, I’ve paid close attention to what type of art works well with toddlers, how to set the area up, and how to keep a handle on the mess.

I will be upfront with you: I am okay with mess. I actually delight in seeing a toddler’s little fingers dipping into the paint, smearing it across the paper. I know how important it is for them to experience the different textures while they explore the materials. I don’t even mind glitter. (I just might have lost a few of you now. Sorry!) But I do take steps to assure that the mess is contained at the art table. And I work hard modeling how we use the materials and how they stay at the table. We even have baby wipes and towels handy and our toddlers learn how to use them.

I do hope these tips and activities will inspire you love inviting your toddlers to the art table!

Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

 

 Tip #1: Add dish soap to paint.

 

BUBBLE PAINT

 

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

 

Tip #2: Have a sink close by.

 
toddler art tips

 

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

 

Tip #3: Save those box lids.

 

Toddler Painting with Balls

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

 

Check these out:

 

 

Tip #4: Cover the table. 

 

toddler art

 

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

 

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

 

Check this out:

 

 

Tip #5: Raid your kitchen drawers.

 

toddler painting activities

 

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

 

 
 

 Tip #6: Start saving paper tubes.

Little Blue and Little Yellow Activity

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

 

Check these out:

 

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

 

 

preschool spring art

 

 
Clip sponges to clothespins for a fun painting experience!

 

Check this out:

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Check this out:

 

 

Tip #9: Let them explore.

 

toddler painting activities

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

 

 

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

 

 Easy Kids Art with Freezer Bags

 


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

 

You can see this activity here.

 

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

 

 Foil Valentines Hearts

 

 Try painting on tin foil!

 Check this out:

 

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

 

toddler art

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

More ideas for toddlers:

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

 

Easy Art Tips for Toddlers

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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Fine Motor Art: Colored Waterfalls

We love to use our pipettes for preschool fine motor art! Using pipettes strengthens the pincer grasp, important for future writing skills. In this activity, we set the paper vertically so that the paint could drip down the paper, creating a waterfall effect. It was a huge hit with our preschoolers!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

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Preschool Fine Motor Art

Watch the video:

What you will need:

There are many different ways you could attach the paper horizontally. We use acrylic sign holders.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

The process:

  • Pour the tempera paint into the containers and thin with a bit of water.
  • Add the pipettes to the containers.
  • Place the acrylic stand(s) on the table.
  • Attach a sheet of paper to each acrylic stand with some sort of clip.

Note: We placed a tray under the acrylic stand and then a paper towel on top of the tray to catch all the drips.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

Each and every time we use pipettes, the children are fascinated how they can suction the paint in and out.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

It takes a bit of practice using the pipettes, but once it’s mastered, the children love it!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

Working on a vertical surface puts the wrist into an extended position. (You can read more about the benefits of working on a vertical surface here.)

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

What is fun about this activity is how the paint travels down the paper. You can see here why we place paper towel under the acrylic sign holder!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

The colors merge as they flow down the paper.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

Colorful waterfalls!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

Bonus! Grab your copy of this fun scissor practice packet:

Preschool Scissor practice activities

32 pages total of scissor practice activities in a age appropriate and developmental sequence. For preschool through 1st graders.  For only $2.99 download your PDF digital product now!

Looking for more fine motor ideas?

Preschool Fine Motor Art


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Art with Balloons

Have you ever tried preschool art with balloons? If not, you have been missing out. Seriously, this is so much fun.

FUN!

I’m not sure if it’s handing the balloons that makes it so much fun, or smooshing the paint around. (Smooshing might not be a word, but I’m going with it.)

While we continued to paint at the art table with our toddlers, we added an additional challenge with our preschoolers.

We painted vertically. 

Yep, we took this activity to the easel. It created a new challenge, but our preschoolers were up for it.

 

 

Preschool Art with Balloons

 

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Preschool Art with Balloons

 

Preparing this activity: 

 

We did not completely blow up the balloons, as we wanted the children to be able to grab them. We also used smaller balloons for easier handling. (Although now I’m thinking how fun this activity could be with really large balloons. Hmm….)

 

Pour paint into containers and set a balloon in each one. We wanted at least 2 colors for color mixing fun.

 

Preschool Art with Balloons

 

 

Can you tell that our easel gets used a lot? Hard to believe it was new last fall!

 

Preschool Art with Balloons 

 

 Now, some clever preschoolers figured out that it was easier to handle the balloons if they pinched the knot. The teacher in me was thrilled because I could see some good fine motor strengthening happening.

 

Preschool Art with Balloons

 

Balloon Painting with Toddlers

 

You are probably wondering why I’d want to even try this art with toddlers because of the possible mess. Ah, but if you have been following my blog for awhile, you know mess does not scare me. I want them to experience different tools and textures.
(Note: if you are looking for mess-free art, try this.)

 We simply placed large sheets of paper at our art table, along with the trays of paint and balloons.

 

Preschool Art with Balloons

 

 They knew just what to do. And they loved the slip-sliding that started happening.

 

 Preschool Art with Balloons

 

And that’s it! Pretty easy, lots of fun. And if the mess scares you, take it outside! This would be a fun one for the patio.

 

 

More painting fun for toddlers and preschoolers:

Preschool Painting with Tea Bags      Painting with Frozen Watercolor Hearts - A fun Valentine's activity for kids!      easy toddler friendship art

 

Watch it on You Tube!

 

 

 


Preschool Art with Balloons

You can see our daily activities on Instagram!

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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds on Pinterest

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy 4th of July Crafts for Kids

 

If you are planning  a 4th of July camp or children’s party, or if you are wanting to add some kid-made Independence Day decor to your house, check out these easy crafts! You’ll find red, white, and blue to hang, light, squeeze, shake, and even eat. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Even older children can join in the fun! So, celebrate America’s birthday with your children with some fun creating!

 

What are your favorite 4th of July traditions? Hop on over to my Facebook page and let me know!

 

 

Easy 4th of July Crafts for Kids

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Easy 4th of July Crafts for Kids

 


Easy 4th of July Crafts for Kids

More activities for kids:

preschool summer camps      Fun Summer Sensory Bin for Preschoolers      Fun Summer Activities for Preschoolers

 

 




Homemade Father’s Day Gifts

Homemade Father’s Day gifts made by kids are the best. Well, ALL gifts made by kids are the best. There is something about those handprints, those scribbles, those photos that capture your sweet little one at the age they are right now.

Trust me on this. Many years from now you will look back on this gifts and smile. I’m so glad my husband and I saved all those parent gifts our children made throughout their childhood years!

I probably said something similar in my Mother’s Day Gifts post, but it’s so true. I have a drawer in my nightstand that holds most of these treasures. Okay, there might be a box in the garage, too.

 

Homemade Father's Day Gifts

 This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

 

 

Homemade Father’s Day Gifts

  • You Are My Superhero – Create a darling painting for dad using a hand and footprint. (Glued to My Crafts)

  • I’m Hooked on Daddy – This handprint on canvas would especially be cute for the dad who loves fishing. (Glued to My Crafts)

  • Hands Down … Best Dad Ever – Need a quick gift? Download the free printable, add handprints, and pop it into a frame. (Catch My Party)

Homemade Father's Day Gifts

 

  • DIY Photo Tile Coasters – For less than $5 you can purchase individual tiles and add photos to make a personalized gift for Dad. (Pop Sugar)

  • Decorated Golf Balls – If Dad loves to golf, he will love his own unique golf balls. (Laughing Kids Learn)

  • Framed Sand Foot Prints  – The sweetest keepsake that uses sand and plaster of Paris. (Paging Fun Mums)

Homemade Father's Day Gifts

 

 

 

Homemade Father's Day Gifts

 

 

 

  • Father’s Day Printable Questionnaire – Here’s another fun idea that you can do at the last minute. The answers are sure to make dad chuckle. (Kinzie’s Kreations)

  • Trinket Box – Glue popsicle sticks together for a place for Dad to store his keys or other small items. (Craft Elf)

  • Toddler Keepsake Key Chain – A simple idea for toddlers (or older kids) that involves plastic and markers. (Crafty Creative Kathy)

 

Homemade Father's Day Gifts

More ideas for young children:

Learning-Activities-for-Preschoolers      Farm Activities for Preschoolers     teaching kids how to count from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Homemade Father's Day Gifts

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




44 Preschool Learning Activities for the Outdoors

You’ve planned your learning activities for the classroom or homeschool, but it’s just too nice outside to be indoors. What to do? Take learning outdoors! I’ve put together 44 preschool learning activities that are perfect for the outdoors.

Counting.

Measuring.

Letter hunts.

Science with nature.

And more.

Lose the 4 walls and the ceiling and get outdoors with this fun collection!

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

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44 Preschool Learning Activities for the Outdoors

The photo collages beneath each group of activities is shown left to right, starting with the first activity in the group. When you click the title of the activity, you will be taken to the original post with full directions.

 

  • Paint with Bubbles: Whip up a batch of vibrant bubble paint and make prints.
  • Outdoor Canvas Painting: Collect flower petals and add them to a watercolor canvas art activity.
  • Water Spray Alphabet Hunt: Work on letter recognition or letter sounds with water and a spray bottle! (Mom Inspired Life)
  • ABC Excavation Sensory Bin: Fill ice trays with ABC beads and freeze for a fun letter exploration activity. (Parenting Chaos)
  • Garden ABC Hunt: Get outside and enjoy some fresh air while practicing letter recognition. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
  • Alphabet Ice Boats: Match the letters on the boats as the ice starts to melt. (School time Snippets)

preschool learning outdoors

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Bubble Play: Make your own bubbles and try some fun activities that little kids love. (Red Ted Art)
  • Floating Flowers: Collect flowers from the garden and add to a tub of water. (Twitchetts)
  • Learn with Leaves: 7 math activities that you can do outside! (Crafts on Sea)
  • Exploring Senses in Nature: Make an easy DIY mystery bag and fill with natural materials for a fun tactile sense activity. (Natural Beach Living)
  • Play with Helicopter Seeds: These are fun to use for large motor activities, nature hunts, fine motor, counting, and in crafts! (Lalymom)
  • Outdoor Play Ideas Jar: Use the free printable for activity ideas, place in a jar, and let the kids pick a fun outdoor idea. (Kitchen Counter Chronicles)

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Cutting Lavender: If you have lavender in your yard, invite your child to snip it for some fine motor fun. (Teach Me Mommy)
  • DIY Dice Game: Work on gross motor development while completing the task that the dice lands on. (Days with Grey)
  • Hammering Ice: Fill ice cube trays with water and small plastic bugs, freeze, and take outdoors to hammer! (Beauty Through Imperfection)
  • Sink or Float Science: Fill a tub with water, collect items, and see if they sink or float. Use the free printable to document results. (Buggy and Buddy)
  • Blow Bubbles with Household Objects: Discover which household objects work best to blow bubbles. (Playground Parkbench)
  • Spread Shaving Cream on Blocks: Help your children develop spreading skills with this fun activity. (Happy Hooligans)

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Safari Small World: Create a safari small world in the sandbox with loose parts, including  natural materials. (Little Worlds Big Adventures)
  • Nature Number Art: Collect items on a walk, roll the dice, and create something with that many of the pieces. (Mosswood Creations)
  • Sand Cast Starfish: Next time you go to the beach, make this fun keepsake! (Crafts by Amanda)
  • Shadow Art: Add some hands-on STEAM to your outdoor time with this fun art and science activity. (Rhythms of Play)

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Stone Faces Craft: Collect rocks on a nature walk and use the free printable to create funny stone faces. (Messy Little Monster)
  • Earth Craft with Rain: Use markers on paper and see what happens when rain falls on it. (To Be a Kid Again)
  • Jackson Pollock Art: Drip paint on a large sheet outdoors! (Learning and Exploring through Play)
  • Nature Paintbrushes: Collect pieces of nature while on a walk and then use them to paint with. (Messy Little Monster)

 

preschool outdoor learning

Looking for a more structured summer camp program for your kids?

preschool summer camp

Let the kids have the best summer ever! They will be busy learning, making and playing active games. Each day Summer Camp at Home offers 3 different activities.

Click here to read more >>>> Summer Camp at Home

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

 

 

More ideas for kids:

summer sensory bin      Fun Summer Activities for Toddlers     Fun Summer Activities for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




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

 

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Mother’s Day Ideas for Kids

 


More ideas for young children:

preschool science      favorite preschool activities

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds