Sunday, May 14, 2017

Creative Table - Week 8 {while Mom is away}

We started our "Creative Table" a few months ago, and it has been such a great way for me to get back into a routine with my kids, providing them with stimulating and intentional activities. The kids are loving it, and so am I.

I would love to continue our creative table, but need to take some time off for Sweet E's arrival, and during those first few crazy weeks. So I have set up these Activity Drawers to hold my big kids over until we resume our projects!

The Activity Drawers are basically a collection of "invitations" similar to our creative table, except that they are more accessible for independent play. I have these set up at their homework station/art corner.

Here is what is inside them:

Drawer 1 - Scissors and Punches!

I grabbed a large stack of scrap paper, and provided assorted "fancy" scissors and punches. I know Little M&M will enjoy this, and I have a feeling Honey Pot will take to those fancy scissors too!

Drawer 2 - Fingerprint Art

We loved this activity on our creative table several weeks ago. So in this drawer I provided the kids with our inspiration book, ink pads and blank paper, as well as four drawing prompts I created for them!

Drawer 3 - Playdoh

Playdoh is always a hit. We usually make our own, but I wanted an assortment of colors readily available for the kids in our busy household! To help engage them, I've also provided assorted tools, spring cutters, and (new to our playdoh collection) extruders!


Drawer 4 - Bean Bin + Alphabet Match

I put this together very easily. Hidden within the drawer of beans are all 26 uppercase letters (paper cutouts) and the kids need only to find them, and match them to their lowercase counterpart.

So there they are! Super simple to put together, and I think they'll be just the perfect thing for us as we transition from a family with two kids, to a family of three kids! See you soon!

Friday, May 5, 2017

5 Preschool Activities, for Independent Play!

At the end of my pregnancy, I'm taking it really easy! But with Little M&M only going to preschool 3 days per week, I still have several days at home with just him and me. So I threw together five "invitations" over the last two weeks to keep him happy and busy independently. Take a look!

Cutting Basket

For his first activity, I pulled together various materials with which he could practice his scissor skills: scrap paper, straws, ribbon, yarn, and pipe cleaners.

Additionally I had drawn a few lines and shapes for him to cut out if he wished.

This basket entertained him for quite a long time! His favorite thing to cut was the straws, though over time he gave everything a whirl. He even grabbed our tape and started constructing various things out of his snippets! I'll be sure to offer this again when the baby arrives. To help gain Honey Pot's interest when I offer this over the summer break, perhaps I'll include more paper and some of my fancy scissors!

MagnaTile Alphabet

The next day's invitation comes from a free printable I found over at Adventure in a Box, and they also offer numbers! I left this out for Little M&M while I was relaxing nearby. MagnaTiles are one of his favorite things to build with, so he mostly just made structures as usual. But he did try out a letter or two!

Lacing Tray

The next day he was home with me I put together this tray for lacing practice. It included charms and beads of various sorts, jingle bells, necklace strings, the straws he cut up on a previous day and a vehicles lacing set I've owned for several years (I believe it originally came from the Target Dollar Spot). This invitation was as popular as the cutting basket. He made several necklaces for the both of us to wear, and he also tried some vehicle lacing cards.

Hammering and Poking Tray

I had been wanting to put together an invitation like this for a while! Inside I included scrap pieces of cardstock, cardboard, an old egg carton, a piece of a foam pool noodle from Dollar Tree, toothpicks, golf tees, giant push pins and a mallet. Nearby I also included toy tools like his hammer, nails and some playdoh to use with them. I told him he could use the items however he wished (this is the whole purpose of "invitations" really) and he had a blast! His favorite thing was using the mallet to hammer golf tees into the pool noodle. Though the egg carton is always popular with him as well--it was completely destroyed by the end of his play session.

Large Number Recognition + Painting with Water

Another offering recently was to paint with water on our chalkboard wall. He enjoys this activity any day, but today I added large numbers for him to identify and then erase with water. A few months ago while we were grocery shopping he took it upon himself to count all the way from 1-1000. He did it successfully too, by the end of that afternoon. So I like to see if he can read these big numbers that he can count to, and he can!

When he was finished, he used all of these various painting tools to paint the whole chalkboard with water pictures. He loves doing this! He pulled out the chalk later too and that really added to his play. In the future we can certainly do more number activities like this, including skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's!