This is such a fun yet simple activity to encourage children to develop their fine motor skills.
Plastic lacing needles (or regular sewing needles if you are doing this activity with children old enough to use them)
Coloured embroidery thread (or regular thread if using sewing needles)
Make sure you tie a knot in the end of the embroidery thread before you start sewing. If you are doing this activity with younger kids (or if the thread keeps slipping) you can tie the thread onto the eye of the needle after threading it.
Showing the kids how to do a simple straight stitch is an easy way to start. To help them grasp the concept you could draw dashes on the leaves with a pen or marker, but once they get the hang of it they can get creative!
This is a great process oriented activity, and the kids really get into it. I’ve done sewing with kids as young as three and it’s so wonderful to see how quickly they get the hang of it and how strongly they focus on it.
Have you ever tried sewing with children? How did it turn out?
As much as I will miss the fun of summer, I do really enjoy Fall (or Autumn as some may say). For the first day of Fall I thought I’d show how to do a tape resist painting in Fall colours.
This is a great activity because it is very process based, the child doing the activity can choose what paint to use, how much, where to put it, what types of brush strokes to use etc. At the end of it though, you also end up with a nice project that you can display.
I used a handmade textured brush but you can use a regular paint brush, foam brush or even have the kids paint with their fingers.
Use tape to section off areas of the canvas. You can use masking tape or painters tape, whichever you have on hand. Older kids can do this part themselves but younger kids may require you to give them pieces of pre cut tape or put the tape down for them for the youngest ones.
This is more or less what the canvas will look like when you’ve finished taping it. You can do a geometric pattern or make it more random. For a fall painting it would also be neat to create a tree trunk and branches out of the tape.
I chose red and yellow paint because they would mix to create orange. Using primary colours would also be good to teach colour mixing, or you could use favourite colours, colours to match a season or theme or whatever you have on hand 😉
Here’s the toddler completed painting. He was really interested in applying a lot of paint to one fairly circular area.
Here’s the end result! A Fall coloured tape resist painting for the first day of Fall 🙂
There is something magical about waking up to find that school has been cancelled and you have a snow day. Or, if you’re like me, setting your alarm for a few minutes before the time that the decision to stay open or to close is to be made and then obsessively checking Twitter, Facebook and the news until it’s finally posted. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Snow day!
If you’re a teacher or a child care provider a snow day can be a nice day to relax, or to get ahead on planning (or caught up on planning). If you’re a parent with little ones at home however, you have an unexpected day to fill with activities.
Here are some fun activities to keep your kids engaged and having fun on a snow day.
Movie day. Stay in your pajamas, pop some popcorn and watch a family friendly movie like Inside Out or Minions.
Snuggle up and read.Whether you’re a kid or an adult, snuggling under a warm blanket and enjoying some hot chocolate with a favourite book is great way to spend some time indoors when it’s stormy outside. When the forecast is calling for snow I usually make sure I have time to head to the library to pick up a few books.
Active indoor games. If you have a Wii or Kinect for X Box it’s a good way to let your kids play some video games while still staying active. There’s a large variety of active games available for these systems like sports, carnival games or dance games. If you’re looking for some active indoor games that aren’t video games, you can try having a scavenger hunt indoors, playing games like volleyball or keep it up using a balloon instead of a ball, or competing to see how many bean bags or ball bags you can toss into a laundry basket or smaller container.
Baking. If you already have some supplies on hand, baking can be a fun way to keep your kids entertained while they’re inside. Plus you’ll have some delicious treats when you’re done! Here’s a link to my favourite brownie recipe. It’s a very simple recipe to follow, doubles well and the brownies it makes are fabulous.
Crafts. Whether your children are older or younger, crafts are a good way to keep them engaged in an activity. From colouring or painting, to crafts that are a little more involved, there’s a craft for any age, skill level or interest. Here’s some links to fun kid’s crafts you can do on a snow day: Hand Print Penguin, Winter Tree Silhouette, Paper Plate Snowman.
Just because it’s a snow day though, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day if you don’t want to. Bundle up in some warm clothes and head outside to build a snowman, go sledding or make some snow paintings in your backyard using spray bottles filled with water and a little bit of food dye. Don’t forget the classics of building a snow fort and having a snowball fight!
Whatever you choose to do on a snow day, stay warm and safe, and enjoy it! What are your favourite things to do on a snow day?