April Materials List

Here is a list of the things we will need in April. Hopefully this will help you prepare for some of the things that are not as easy to have on hand. Be sure to check the activities or weekly plans for more specific details about the materials to have. You can find links to all of that on the Spring Activity page. You will also find below printables of this list, both in color and black and white depending on your preference!

April Materials

April Materials Color

April Materials B&W

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Spring Week 1

Week 1

Believe it or not Spring is already here… well at least here at Real. Meaningful. Family! Spring doesn’t officially start for a couple of weeks, and the weather has been teasing us lately with occasional spring temperatures, but we are going to jump right in with Easter and St. Patricks Day activities! And I’m so excited!

A few notes to get started… I did some tweaking to the plan because I have to stress these activities are by no means meant to create “preschool” for these young children. It is extremely important that the activities not be mis-construed as a set “learning” time, rather as a set time to be together, have fun, and play. What I found with my toddlers and young preschoolers was that if I didn’t have a set time to play with them, all my other work got in the way! It takes prioritizing and being aware of what we’ve got going on to make sure we are sitting down and playing, reading, singing, moving, dancing, rhyming… with our little ones. So, you’ll find at the top of each weekly plan a little disclaimer of sorts that I am going to always have up their to remind ourselves what these activities are meant to be!

The other note that I am excited to mention is that the entire spring activity plan is ALL up on the blog. Woohoo! On the main page if you hover over Toddler Activities, and click on Spring, a schedule of all 13 weeks will come up! With each week is a link to that activity plan, and below the link to the activity plan are the blog posts about the activities that I have gotten up on the blog. That is also where you can find the materials lists for March, April, and May (April and May will post the Thursday before they begin). I am planning on blogging a bit about each week before they come and will include a link to the new week plan, but just in case I don’t it’s all there and ready to go!

Ok, so enough with the notes, here’s the good stuff…

Spring Week 1

March Materials List

Spring Activities

Happy Playing!

Winter Week 5

New year 2018

Winter Week 5: January 1-5

Art

Choose a Craft

It’s a very busy time of year. Take this art day to choose a craft that your child loves to do, but it doesn’t seem like you ever have time to do it. Maybe they looove playing with play dough, but you just never get it out. For us, it’s finger painting. I don’t know why, but I don’t ever just get out the finger paint and let them go. I just don’t think of it, but they love it when finger paint activities come up in our activity plan!

Fine Motor

Homemade Snow

Shaving cream apparently has about a million uses, including several fine motor and sensory activities for young children. It really is a great medium that kids will have a ton of fun with. Mix a box (or a half box depending on how much you want to make) of cornstarch with a can of shaving cream in a large plastic container. Mix together to get a fluffy, snowy, moldable consistency. Let children dig in and play as they like, ask a lot of questions, and occasionally give new ideas for play (ie add toys, cars, containers, scoops, spoons, cookie cutters, etc).

Stuff to Have

1 box cornstarch

1 can of shaving cream

Large plastic container

Developing Skills

Fine motor, sensory, early science

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 Science & Math

Mitten Match

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

Developing Skills

Early math, colors

Cooking & Baking

Marshmallow Snowflake

I saw this a while back for older kids, and I thought it would be something fun to do adapted for younger kids. The premise is to take the stick pretzels and stick into the marshmallows and connect into different shapes. Since it’s winter we are calling them snowflakes, but don’t worry if you end up with a line of pretzels and marshmallows. The key is to let your child work on their fine motor abilities with these fun new materials! I would definitely demonstrate along side to give your child new ideas and things to try. Talk about shapes, what you see your child doing, and describe what you are doing! I think kids young and old will enjoy getting involved in this activity!

Stuff to Have

Pretzel sticks

Mini marshmallows

Developing Skills

Fine motor, sensory


Don’t forget the ever important large motor, reading, and music & rhymes! All three of these have a huge developmental impact on our kids, and they happen to be super fun! Since it is colder, getting large motor movement into the day is 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 dance party. Not only will your kids have fun, they will be learning and growing at the same time!

To keep reading fresh, head to the library or dig out 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!

And finally, 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!

Happy Playing!

Winter Week 4

Winter Week 4: December 25-29

It always bugs me a little bit that Christmas Day arrives and the next day it just kind of disappears. I mean we’ve been building up to this day since October, it should at least stick around for the whole week. Our family has Christmas gatherings well into the weekend after, so I have no problem including Christmas activities throughout this week. This is a week to do activities if you have time for them, but it’s also a great week to lay low, snuggle, read books, watch movies together, and recover from the busy-ness. Do what works best for your family!

Art

Paint a Christmas Tree

Sometimes things just need to be simple. This is a simple craft for children to paint a Christmas tree however they want. Tape the construction paper tree to another piece of paper or newspaper to protect the work surface. Then let children use their creativity to paint their tree to their liking. It’s a great chance to enhance fine motor skills, creativity, and color recognition.

Stuff to Have

Construction paper Christmas tree

Paint

Paint brushes

Developing Skills

Fine motor, art

Sensory

Snow

Time to go play in the snow! If you don’t have any snow grab ice from the freezer to play with. Snow is a great sensory activity and kids always love it. Talk about the cold, the texture, what happens when it melts and ask lots of questions (ie. Does it stick together, can you make a ball?…). You can use bowls, spoons, cups, buckets, any container and scoops to experiment with moving the snow around.

Stuff to Have

Snow (or ice)

Buckets, bowls, spoons, etc.

Developing Skills

fine motor, sensory

Fine Motor/Problem Solving

Snowball Chute

This is a fun variation on the ping pong ball drop from last summer, but there are lot’s of ways to change it up. Start by gluing 2 magnets onto the back of an empty toilet paper roll or a paper towel roll, this is your chute. Stick this to the fridge. Now your child can drop snowballs through the chute. Stay tuned for the upcoming blog about this and I will give more ideas to add to this activity!

Stuff to Have

Cotton balls or white craft balls

Empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls

tongs, spoons, tweezers, etc, optional

Developing Skills

Fine motor, perceptual motor, problem solving

Early Science & Math

Measure Snow

If you are lucky enough to have an accumulation of the white stuff by now, you can easily take some outside play-time to practice using different forms of measurement. You can do many things to measure snow, use plastic measuring cups of various sizes to scoop the snow and compare amounts. You can also use rulers to measure the amount of accumulation on the ground. Be creative with types of measurement, but also keep it simple. The point is to start early thinking about height, length, and volume and how these things can be different (more/less, big/small, long/short, etc). If you don’t have any snow, use anything inside or outside to start demonstrating these characteristics.

Stuff to Have

Plastic measuring cups

Ruler

Other measurement devices

Developing Skills

Early math, sensory

Cooking & Baking

Free

Choose one of your own favorite treats to make, or if you are tired of cooking and baking from all of the Christmas food and treats you have made, take a break and just enjoy being with your family!


Don’t forget the ever important large motor, reading, and music & rhymes! All three of these have a huge developmental impact on our kids, and they happen to be super fun! 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 Christmas music dance party. Not only will your kids have fun, they will be learning and growing at the same time!

To keep reading fresh, head to the library or dig out your favorite Christmas and winter books. I love when it is time to pull out our favorite Christmas books and my kids love reading the “new” books over and over. 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!

And finally, have fun looking for winter and Christmas 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!

Happy Playing!