Winter Week 11: February 13-17

Art

Heart Prints

dsc_0033Do you need a last minute Valentine idea? Or maybe just a fun valentine craft. This fun activity combines printing or stamping with Valentines hearts. Printing (stamping) is one way to paint but enhance a different form of fine motor development than other methods of painting.

dsc_0028Take your toilet paper rolls- as many as you need- and gently push down the center to make the top of the heart. Then, turn it to the opposite side and crease the bottom to make the point of the heart. Just keep working it until it turns into the heart shape you are looking for. Place paints on a dip-able surface (ie. Paper plate, scrap piece of cardboard, etc). Let your child dip their hearts into the paints and stamp them onto the construction paper. You’ll end up with a collage of heart stamps, perfect for getting into the

Stuff to Have

Toilet paper rolls

Non-toxic paint

1 sheet construction paper

Developing Skills

Fine motor, art, colors

Cotton Balls

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.

Developing Skills

Fine motor, sensory

Problem Solving

Snowball Transport

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

Developing Skills

Fine motor

Early Math & Science

Melt & Freeze

As simple as it may seem, the change from snow to water is a scientific transformation… but with these ages we are just going to play with it, watch it change, and have fun! If you have some snow let your child, or help them, collect a bowl full of snow. You could take this chance to add some color to it, or just leave it sit in a visible location to periodically watch the change. Be sure to ask questions and take some time to feel the snow as it changes. Set it aside and watch it over time, or throw in bowls, cups, spoons, etc. and turn it into a sensory experience.

Stuff to Have

Containers to collect snow

Food coloring diluted in water in a spray or squirt bottle, optional

Bowls, cups, spoons, empty containers, etc.

Developing Skills

Early science, sensory

Cooking & Baking

Snowcones

If you’re thinking Snowcones?! Snowcones are a cold treat for a hot day, not for a cold winter day! You’re not the only one. I thought it would be fun though to mimic the snow outside in a tasty treat!

To make the syrup combine your choice of frozen fruit, we used frozen mixed berries, with about 1/4 cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of honey (or to taste). Let it simmer over medium heat until the berries start to break down and the syrup starts to smooth out. It took ours about 10 minutes. If it feels like deja vu, then you probably made our Ooey Gooey Lovey Poptarts! The process starts very similar!

Once it’s heated through and the berries have mostly broken down, I let it cool to room temp. and then I blended it in the blender to get all of those little lumps as smooth as possible.

When you are ready to make the snowcones blend up the ice in the blender. Put into a paper cup, and drizzle with the berry sauce. Enjoy this sweet snowy treat!

Stuff to Have

1 cup frozen berries

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons honey

paper cups

ice

Developing Skills

fine motor, sensory, cooking & baking, early science and 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!

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