Sometimes there are just craft activities that are too cute to pass up. And this one using those little chubby feet is one of them. It doesn’t encourage the same independence and freedom that most activities have on here, but I figure one every now and then is ok! Plus, now we get to hold onto this sweet memory!
To make it easiest I would get prepped first. Have your paint, brushes, construction paper, wet cloths nearby and maybe even set up on top of newspapers on the floor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up doing advanced yoga reaching for the paper or a wet cloth while I’m holding onto my child’s foot… keeping everything from touching and making a mess! Paint the bottom of one foot with your child’s selected color of paint. Help them or let them stamp their foot on the paper. Clean the first foot off, and then paint the second foot. To make a heart have a child stamp the second foot on top of the heel of their first footprint to create the pointed bottom of the heart and toes create the two rounded tops. Your child can add more paint and decorations to their hearts if they would like.
We’ve done this each year for my kids and we have fun every time!
Stuff to Have
Stickers, ribbon, crayons, markers, etc. (for optional decoration)
sensory, art, printing, colors
This is the same idea as the classic sensory sand table (the at-home version) only instead of sand use cotton balls or white craft balls. Fill the large plastic container with 1 or 2 bags of cotton balls. Your child can dig in and experience the texture of the cotton balls, the weight, and also volume when they use the cups and measuring cups.
Stuff to Have
Bag of cotton balls
Large plastic container
Measuring cups, bowls, spoons, etc.
Fine motor, sensory
Set out cotton balls (or craft balls) in a large bowl along with the empty muffin tin or ice cube tray. Let your child experiment with different types of utensils (tongs, spoons, tweezers) to move the cotton balls from the larger bowl to the small compartments. Younger children will have an easier time using spoons, and older children might enjoy the challenge of tongs or tweezers.
Variation: If using colored craft balls make sure to talk about the colors. Older children might enjoy sorting by color adding an early math concept to this activity.
Stuff to Have
Cotton balls or craft balls
Spoons, tongs, tweezers, etc
Muffin tin or ice cube tray
Early Math & Science
Adult prep, making the mittens: Grab 5-8 different colors of construction paper. Use your own hand, or your child’s hand to trace around. Make sure to keep all 4 fingers together and thumb sticking out to get the mitten look. Cut 2 mittens out of each color. Have children match the mittens based on color.
Variation: cut out 4 mittens from each color. Cut 2 small and 2 large. Children can not only match based on color, but also based on size.
Stuff to Have
5-8 pairs of construction paper mittens
Early math, colors
Cooking & Baking
Ooey Gooey Lovey Poptarts
In a saucepan, bring strawberries, honey, and water to a simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. It should become the consistency of jam. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile on a floured surface, roll out one half of the pie crust. Cut out heart shapes- or your preferred shape. We did some circles with hearts cut out of the middle this time! Repeat with second half of dough so that you have a matching number of tops and bottoms. Spoon 1-2 teaspoons (it takes less than you expect!) of cooled filling into each of the bottom halves of your pop-tarts being careful to stay away from the edges. Brush edges with water and place the pop-tart “tops” on. Press the edges all the way around with a fork to seal shut. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes or until golden.
There are a lot of fun ways to get your child involved in this and they will love it. Pouring in the strawberries, squeezing in honey, and dumping the water are good ways to start. And then cutting out the dough and filling the poptarts are other fun ways for them to help. They will love putting these together and then getting to try out their creation when it is done!
Stuff to Have
1 package refrigerated pie crust
1 ½ c. strawberries or mixed berries (I used frozen mixed berries)
2 T honey
Cooking and baking, fine motor, science, math
Add on Activities
Large Motor: As it starts to get colder getting large motor movement into the day gets harder and harder to do. Definitely take every chance you can to bundle up and get outside to run, jump, climb, and play! But on the days that you can’t, get creative. Try yoga for young children, keep a balloon up in the air, toss scarves up and try and catch them, or have a silly dance party. Not only will your kids have fun, they will be learning and growing at the same time!
Music and Rhymes: Have fun looking for winter themed music and rhymes! Hearing rhymes and the sing-songiness of music is building a foundation of phonics for learning letters and reading in the future! But for now, just be expressive and silly and have fun with it!
Books: Head to the library or read some of your favorite winter books. Reading is such an important activity for building vocabulary and adding to that foundation for reading in the future. Not only are they getting so many learning benefits from reading, but you are getting special one on one time with them!
Join us on Facebook! For more tips about play, activity plans, large motor, music and rhymes, and book ideas check out the Real. Meaningful. Family. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/realmeaningfulfamily/
Mostly enjoy your child and happy playing!