Spring Week 2: March 13-March 17

Art

Make Kites

I always picture March as a blustery, half spring, half winter sort of month, and the kind of month that kite flying is optimal. I don’t know if it really is, but why not make a cute kite craft in March! I start by cutting out a kite shape from white construction paper, and from there it is pretty simple. Let your child decorate their kite with various materials as they choose (ideas below in the materials list). Just like other activities you are the judge of what they can and can’t do. Our youngest toddlers are going to need help and might only experience the materials. Older kids will need less help. The key is to help with what they need help with, without taking over. Let your child practice their creativity, their ideas, let them mess up, get glue on their hands, and see what works and what doesn’t. To finish off, hang yarn or strips of fabric or paper at the bottom of the kite for the tail. Hang up to enjoy!

Stuff to Have

Construction paper cut into a kite shape

Decorations for the kite: paint, colors, markers, stickers, extra fabric, yarn, pipe cleaners, etc. Anything your child will enjoy decorating their kite with.

Glue

Developing Skills

Fine motor, art, gluing skills

Fine Motor

Seed Sort

There are two main concepts in the seed sort, fine motor and classification, which is an early math concept. This week the focus is the actual movement of sorting seeds. Add spoons, tongs, tweezers, and cups to utilize different fine motor muscles. They can sort them into a muffin tin or ice tray, but focus more on the movement of picking up the seeds, whether by their fingers, tongs, tweezers, or spoons. Younger children may be challenged just using their fingers. As children progress, they may want to try a spoon, then tongs, then tweezers. The smaller the object (ie. Tweezers) the harder they tend to be to hold. Keep talking about colors, shapes, and any other characteristics you notice as your child goes through this. What utensil is easier or do they prefer? What are these seeds for? What do they look like? Take advantage of simple activities, and draw out learning experiences from all areas of development.

Stuff to Have

Various seeds (larger seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, and corn seeds are good for this)

muffin tin or ice tray

Utensils: spoons, cups, tweezers, tongs, etc. (optional)

Developing Skills

Fine motor, math (sorting), sensory

Early Science & Math

Make A Nest

Gather items from around the house and outside to spread around for birds to collect. Birds begin their nesting search well before we see many birds or nests starting to appear. Use the opportunity to talk about what process a bird goes through to make a nest and why they do it. Talk about what your “nest” is like, and how it is the same or different.

Stuff to Have

Yarn, scraps of fabric, grass, other light materials (be sure to use materials that are natural and not harmful to birds)

Developing Skills

Early science, sensory

Cooking & Baking

Shamrock Cookies

Well, if you do your cooking activity on Friday, it will be St. Patrick’s Day! So, you’ve got to do something green at least, and how about some Shamrock sugar cookies! Let your child roll out the prepared cookie dough to about ¼ inch thick (with some assistance of course, this can be a tricky task for adults at times!) Be sure to keep plenty of flour underneath the dough to prevent it from sticking. When the dough is rolled out, use the cookie cutter to cut out shamrock shapes. Bake according to the package or your recipe instructions. Let the cookies cool. Meanwhile, mix up your frosting with green food coloring. This is so fun for kids to be involved in and watch the transformation of white frosting to bright green! Make it as bright or muted as they would like. When the cookies are cool and frosting is made, let your child smear on the green frosting. Activities like this are packed with science, math, and fine motor experiences! Plus, if it is just for them, your child gets to have so much freedom in creating the finished product giving them such feelings of accomplishment and pride.

Stuff to Have

Sugar cookie dough, store bought or homemade

Frosting, store bought or homemade (but add your own food color for the fun of it!)

Green food color

Shamrock cookie cutter

Developing Skills

Cooking and baking, science, math, fine motor


In my opinion before any of these activities happen, there should be a good dose of large motor activities, reading, and singing and rhymes! If you missed it, you can see my babbling on last week on this topic for more information!

Large Motor: Run, jump, leap frog, have a dance party, ride a trike, climb a slide, jump on a trampoline…

Reading: One book, two books, red book, blue book; books that are high, books that are low, books from here to here to there, books that are everywhere… Ok, I’m no Dr. Seuss but you get my drift! Reading is so important! And you know what, you don’t even have to read the words. Talk about the pictures, point out colors, relate the book to your child’s life. Talking, conversing, hearing new words being tied to familiar things… that is how your child is making new connections.

And finally music and rhymes! Another great way for kids to hear the sounds in words! These are skills that will come back to them when they are learning to read later on. Do an internet search for Spring songs for kids. You will find a lot of great little rhymes and songs to add throughout the day. You don’t need to have a set “music time” that you sit down and sing, just sing them as you go about the day!

Happy Playing!

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