Articles on this Page
- 10/07/12--14:48: _Rainbow Alphabet Cr...
- 10/09/12--10:40: _Shaving Cream Marbl...
- 10/10/12--15:47: _Paper Art for Kids ...
- 10/12/12--01:30: _Yarn and Ribbon Wra...
- 10/15/12--03:15: _Travel Size Baby Tr...
- 10/16/12--02:50: _Alphabet Pumpkins a...
- 10/17/12--15:54: _Autumnal Nature Art...
- 10/18/12--15:00: _Hedgehog Hibernatio...
- 10/19/12--15:26: _The Artful Year: Au...
- 10/22/12--07:00: _Easy Sparkler Treat...
- 10/23/12--07:15: _Baby Place Space fo...
- 10/24/12--16:00: _Leaf Activities for...
- 10/26/12--16:16: _50 Activities for P...
- 10/30/12--08:40: _Jam Jar and Tissue ...
- 10/31/12--16:16: _Easy Cooking With K...
- 11/03/12--02:00: _Baby Sensory Play: ...
- 11/06/12--02:37: _Top Toy List for 2-...
- 11/07/12--15:04: _Thanksgiving and Gr...
- 11/08/12--14:41: _Introducing: Bed-e-...
- 11/09/12--06:46: _Moon Dust Sensory W...
- 10/07/12--14:48: Rainbow Alphabet Crayons
- colourful, old, broken up crayons (or a couple of boxes of cheap crayons)
- ABC ice trays
- an oven set to about 150 degrees C (300 F)
- can you find the letters from your name?
- which crayon shows the sound at the beginning of the word "cat"?
- can you match the crayons to this little word? (spell a simple, 3 letter word on card)
- if you make 2 sets you can ask them to match the letters together in an I-spy snap game
- can you find the P crayon and draw as many things that start with the P sound as you can?
- 10/09/12--10:40: Shaving Cream Marbling Autumn Leaves
- 10/10/12--15:47: Paper Art for Kids [from It's Playtime!]
- 10/12/12--01:30: Yarn and Ribbon Wrapped Pumpkins!
- 10/15/12--03:15: Travel Size Baby Treasure Basket!
- 10/16/12--02:50: Alphabet Pumpkins and 5 Playful Literacy Games!
- 10/17/12--15:54: Autumnal Nature Art Activities for Kids! [It's Playtime]
- 10/18/12--15:00: Hedgehog Hibernation Exploration Basket
- 10/19/12--15:26: The Artful Year: Autumn eBook Review and Special Offer!
- More than enough autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving crafts, recipes, and ideas to keep you and your family happily crafting year after year.
- Unique ideas that you won't find elsewhere as well as more traditional ideas.
- Projects that are adaptable from the youngest toddler to the oldest grandma.
- Interesting but easy-to-make crafts that will be enjoyed as much by the self-labelled non-crafty folks as by the supercrafters out there.
- Ideas to celebrate the seasons and holidays with your family. Some of which may even become family traditions...
- Coffee filter spider webs
- Felt bat garlands
- Doodle leaves
- Thanksgiving leaf banner
- Jack-o'-lantern pancakes
- 10/22/12--07:00: Easy Sparkler Treats for Bonfire Night or New Years!
- 10/23/12--07:15: Baby Place Space for 6-18 Months: Inspired by Montessori and Reggio
- travel size baby treasure basket
- large oval treasure basket
- an African drum
- small basket of real musical instruments
- basket of wooden tree blocks and mirrored blocks
- wooden, stacking rainbow
- black and white high contrast images mat
- Montessori style number bead stacker
- basket of sturdy, textured and lift-the-flap board books
- setting up a creative area
- setting up a writing table
- creating a cosy book nook
- 10/24/12--16:00: Leaf Activities for Kids! [from It's Playtime]
- 10/26/12--16:16: 50 Activities for Playing and Learning with Insects!
- 10/30/12--08:40: Jam Jar and Tissue Paper Luminaries
- 10/31/12--16:16: Easy Cooking With Kids [It's Playtime!}
- 11/03/12--02:00: Baby Sensory Play: Raspberry Spaghetti
- 11/06/12--02:37: Top Toy List for 2-6 Year Olds!
- 11/07/12--15:04: Thanksgiving and Gratitude Activities for Kids [It's Playtime!]
- 11/08/12--14:41: Introducing: Bed-e-Byes Baby Interiors and Discount Code!
- 11/09/12--06:46: Moon Dust Sensory Writing Tray
Create your own alphabet of crayons for a fun gift for preschoolers and a sneaky way to practise some early literacy skills at the same time!
You could play all sorts of playful literacy games such as:
Create some beautiful Autumnal leaves using a simple marbling technique with shaving cream, paint and glitter! Beautiful for creating Fall displays at home or in the classroom!It's been a long time since we first had a go at shaving cream marbling! It's such a wonderful combination of sensory, art and colour exploration and is the perfect introduction to the marbling technique for young children. The results are always beautiful and can be turned into anything you like, from wrapping paper, to gift cards or seasonal garlands.
Re-using art work to create beautiful stained glass pictures
by At Home with Ali
Mexican Paper Cuttings
by Crafty Moms Share
3-D constructions with rainbow paper
by Learners in Bloom
We'd love to see it!
Use yarn and ribbons to wrap around pumpkins, for a bright and beautiful alternative to pumpkin carving this Autumn season! Great for fine and gross motor co-ordination skills, as well as encouraging creativity and the opportunity to work on a larger scale.
hand-eye co-ordination, working on different media, creating art in 3-dimensions, fine motor skills, gross motor co-ordination, exploring textures and materials, learning new vocabulary (over-lap, wrapping)
Bean: 7 mos
It explains what to include, what not to include and why each type of item is beneficial!
This travel treasure basket contains:
natural objects such as large shells and pine cones (cleaned first)
lengths of silky and sheer ribbon, securely knotted together to create extra texture and interest
a range of chunky bangles
rounded, mirror blocks
wooden shakers and bells
large coloured pom poms
shiny golden eggs
metal jar lids
These can all be explored and investigated using all of the senses, as well as manipulated, examined. stacked and sorted, depending on the age of the child.
Please note, very clearly, to only use things you deem to be safe for your child. Nothing so small it could be a choking hazard, of course. And ALWAYS supervise your baby while they play, this is a key rule of treasure basket play. Read the original post for a full explanation.
Read how to create a Reggio and Montessori inspired baby play space for 0-6 months here
Put a new twist on the usual pumpkin decorating by incorporating some playful learning of letters and sounds! Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, these alphabet pumpkins promote great fine motor skills, concentration, creativity and phoneme-grapheme correspondence!
Once the surfaces were covered, we put the pumpkins in the middle of the dining room table and are now using them to play phonics games while we eat! Here are 5 fun games to get the playful literacy started!
Pumpkin Alphabet Games!
Spot the Letter: choosing familiar or important letters, such as those from your child's name, ask them to find a certain one as quickly as they can and point to it. "Can you find the letter at the beginning of Mummy?"
Letter Sound I-Spy: Say "I spy a letter that makes the sound Sssssssss like a snake! Can you find it?" Emphasise the sounds not the names of the letters.
Noisy Letter Buttons: Say "Find letter F and push it to make its sound noisy!" Child pushes on the foam letter F and says "fffffffff". Make sure they are making the sound not the letter name.
Letter or Number? Point to a random foam sticker and say "letter or number?" Child has to quickly discriminate which it is, a good challenge for young children!
Upper and Lower Case Snap! We didn't have any lower case letters (big shame as they are the best place to start) but if you have both on the same pumpkin, then point to capital D and say "find me his lower case partner!" Child looks for lowercase "d" and shouts "Snap!"Make it a race between siblings!
literacy: phoneme- grapheme correspondence (linking the letter sound with its correlating letter name), letter recognition, naming letters, recognising and distinguishing initial letter sounds, matching upper and lower case graphemes, recognising familiar sounds from own name
maths: recognising numerals, counting to 10, comparing and contrasting letters and numbers and knowing the difference
fine motor: un-peeling, sticking, re-postitioning, hand-eye co-ordination
creativity: using a range of combined media, working on a different scale and dimension
Bean: 7 mos
Use natural items found on walks this Autumn to create some beautiful and creative art work with kids! These ideas were all linked up to It's Playtime last week, with a couple of our own thrown into the mix!Top to bottom, left to right:
Conker or Chestnut Spiderweb from The Imagination Tree
Leaf Print Canvas from Create With Your Hands
Painted Pine Cone Hanging from Domestic Goddesque
Autumn Leaf Crown from The Imagination Tree
Discovering Milkweed from Simple Joyful Living
Printing with Horse Apples from Play Create Explore
Nature Adventure and Contact Paper Collage from Sugar Aunts
Create an exploration basket with natural treasures to find out about Autumn, hibernation and hedgehogs!
Science/ Knowledge & Understanding: understanding hibernation, habitats, nesting, animal behaviours, how hedgehogs look and feel, Autumn
Creativity: making models and representations using combined media, using one object to represent another in play, imaginative play
Literacy: introducing new vocabulary, storytelling through play
Sensory: exploring multi-tactile objects from nature using all the senses
Bean: 7 mos
See also: Conker Spiderwebs
See also: 40 Fabulous Autumn Activities for Kids
Get your own copy of this wonderful eBook packed with Autumn crafts, art activities, baking and family traditions by the very talented Jean of The Artful Parent for a very special price this weekend!
Here's the really great part! The eBook was priced at $9.99 (roughly £6.17) but from Friday 19th to Monday 22nd, Jean is offering a very special offer!
You can choose whatever amount you like at checkout! WOW! Personally I still think it should be bought for full price (I know how hard she worked on this!) but she'd like everyone to benefit, so if you can't quite afford full price, just pay what you can! Isn't that awesome?!
Remember you only have until Monday to take her up on this very special offer!
Make some super-simple, sparkler snacks (say that 10x really fast!) as a tasty treat on Bonfire Night or for for a kids New Year's Eve party!
This is really fun and easy way to create some edible sparklers for a really special treat. They are so easy that kids can do them completely independently- perfect! With Bonfire Night coming up here in the UK on November 5th, why not get the kids to make these for a little party? Or save the idea for New Years!
Create a simple yet stimulating baby play area using open-ended toys made from natural materials and incorporating some philosophies from Montessori and Reggio thinking.
The space includes:
The girls have really been enjoying playing here together in this new space and the lambskin rug has become a favourite spot for reading together. I look forward to seeing how the space evolves over the next few months!
Here is a collection of fun leaf themed activities and crafts for kids, from It's Playtime, with a few of our own thrown into the mix! These should keep your little ones busy as the leaves fall!Top to bottom, left to right:
Fall Leaf Embroidery Hoop Stained Glass [A Childhood List]
Making Leaf Prints [Buggy and Buddy]
Autumn Leaf Spin Art Garland [The Imagination Tree
Gross Motor Play in Leaves [3 Dinosaurs]
10 More Leaf Projects [Reading Confetti]
Do you know any kids who love bugs and all things creepy crawlie?! Here are over 50 fantastic activity ideas for keeping kids busy with their favourite topic, from art and crafts, to learning activities, tasty snacks and really icky sensory play!
Learning with The Very Noisy Cricket [The Educator's Spin on It]
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play Dough Storytelling [The Imagination Tree]
Incy Wincy Singing Song Sheet [The Imagination Tree]
The Very Noisy Cricket I- Spy Jar [The Golden Gleam]
Bug Spotter Sticks [Sun Hats and Wellie Boots]
Name Caterpillars [No Time for Flashcards]
Art and Craft:
Handprint Bee [Red Ted Art]
Blotto Painted Bugs [The Chocolate Muffin Tree guest post on The Imagination Tree]
Egg Carton Spider [Creekside Learning]
Miss Muffet [Toddler Approved]
Spider Web Canvas Art [Sun Hats and Wellie Boots]
Glow in the Dark Spiderweb [Living Life Intentionally]
[Centre] The Very Hungry Caterpillar Giant Collage [The Imagination Tree]
Lay a Sheet and Shake a Tree [Wildlife Fun 4 Kids]
Choice Chambers [Science Sparks]
Insect Mirror Discovery Box [Sun Hats and Wellie Boots]
Make a Light Up Bug [Mama Smiles]
Jelly(o) Worms [Taming the Goblin]
Bug Slime Spaghetti [The Imagination Tree]
Spider Cider [Momma's Fun World]
Butterfly Sensory Tub [No Time for Flashcards]
Spiders and Snakes Sand Tray [My Buddies and I]
Bug Sensory Bin [Smiling Like Sunshine]
Frozen Bugs [Exploring Stories]
Silky Spiderweb Weaving and Snipping [Boy Mama Teacher Mama]
Spider Web Gross Motor Game [No Time for Flashcards]
Fine Motor Paper Plate Spider [Momma's Fun World]
Hula Hoop Spiderweb [Craft to Art]
Spider Web Obstacle Course [Wildlife Fun for Kids]
[Top to bottom, left to right]
Catching bugs [Rainy Day Mum]
Touch a Tarantula [52 Brand New]
Bug Playdate Activities [The Educator's Spin on It]
Keeping Grasshoppers [Mommy With Selective Memory]
Watching Worms [taming the Goblin]
Studying Insect Camouflage [Mama Smiles]
Spider Cupcakes [Here Come the Girls]
The Very Quiet Cricket Breakfast [Famiglia and Seoul]
Spider Web Pancakes [Inspired Housewife]
Dirt and Worm Treats [No Time for Flashcards]
Spider Muffin Tin Lunch [JDaniel 4's Mom]
Books and Printables:
[Top to bottom, left to right]
Minibeast Stories [The Imagination Tree]
Cricket stories [Here Come the Girls]
Butterfly stories [Sun Hats and Wellie Boots]
Free Bug Pack [3 Dinosaurs]
Create beautiful stained glass lanterns using recycled glass jars, tissue paper and sequins! Perfect for an afternoon art activity on these dark Autumn and Winter afternoons and they look so beautiful glowing with candles on the mantlepiece!
They are VERY easy to make and look so beautiful, with the added benefit of offering completely open-ended interpretation and creativity so that no two will look the same.
PVA/ white glue
old glass jars (baby food, jam and coffee jars are great!)
tissue paper in any colour
sequins/ plastic gems/ glitter
Cakie chose to add sequins and glitter over her tissue paper layers of her own accord and they really did make the luminaries look even more stunning.
fine motor co-ordination, hand-eye co-ordination, creativity, working in 3-dimensions, understanding about glow through candlelight
Cakie: 4. 2
Bean: 8 mos
I love these fun and easily achievable cooking projects to do with kids that were linked up to It's Playtime! Special treats and seasonal goodies for the whole family that promote a lot of learning skills as well as providing special together time for parent and child.
Alien Cake Pops [Se7en]
Sparkler Treats [The Imagination Tree]
Easy Lemon Forkies [Life at the Zoo]
Poached Pear Cobbler [Little Wonders Days]
I can't wait to give these recipes a try!
Make a fun, creative and stimulating sensory play experience for baby using spaghetti flavoured naturally with fresh raspberries! Fantastic for promoting curiosity, investigation and exploration for babies and toddlers.
Bean thought her ship had come home when she first plunged her chubby wrists into the cool, slimy mix. She pulled it apart, examined it, dropped it, flung it, broke pieces off, squished it into her face, licked it and tasted it. The look of concentration and curiosity on her face really showed how much thinking and wondering was going on as she played and explored this new substance. She enjoyed her new "toy" and stayed absorbed in the experience for an extended period of time, crawling away and then back again to explore some more, repeatedly.
Here is a list of my favourite toys and resources for young children aged 2 to 6, which all promote open-ended play, curiosity, independence and creativity!
There are way too many for one post, so I'm starting with a general, go-to supply list for toys, and will follow up with other themed lists soon, including art and sensory products, baby toys and educational materials. I have stated that this collection is suitable from age 2, even though many of the products themselves are recommended from ages 3 and up. My own have been fairly reliable from age 2 and don't habitually put things in their mouths after this age. Please use your own knowledge of your child
when thinking what to buy.
Natural Wood Tree Blocks
Branch Wood Blocks
Stackable Wooden Rainbow
Colour Window Blocks
Castle Blocks Play Set
Schleich Toy Animals
Schleich Fairies and Elves
Animal Hand Puppets
Bake and Decorate Wooden Cupcakes
Melissa and Doug Dressing Up Costumes
Wooden Cakes Set
Wooden Ice Creams and Lollies
Farmyard and Animals
Rosebud Dolls' House
Dolls House People
Wooden Train Set
Wooden Pirate Ship
Playmobil Play Sets
Role Play Toys
Corolle Baby Doll
Wooden Doll's Pram
Doll's High Chair
Wooden Tool Kit
Wooden Fire Engine
Market Stall and Wooden Food
Construction Vehicle Set
Games, Puzzles and Beads
Pattern Blocks and Boards
Tummy Ache Game
Wooden Peg Puzzles
Farm Floor Puzzle
Snakes and Ladders and Ludo
Sensory and Investigation Toys
Ultra Slim Light Panel
Sand Pit/ Box
Water / Sand/ Messy Play Table
Large under-bed storage boxes
Wooden Rainbow Sound Blocks
Mirror Exploratory Box
Musical Instrument Set
Shaving Cream Paint
Top Educational Toys and Resources for 2-6 year olds
Top Creative Resources and Materials for 2-6 Year olds
Top Toys for Babies and Toddlers
Best Books for Babies and Toddlers
Best Rhyming and Interactive Books for Preschoolers
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Teaching Gratitude with Thankful Postcards [The Good Long Road]
Give Thanks Jar [Bowdabra Blog]
Thankful Turkeys [Train up a Child]
Thankful Heart Turkey [Craft to Art]
And here are 5 books to get you started on the subject of thanksgiving and gratitude too:
5 Books about Thankfulness [The Imagination Tree]
I'm very excited to be welcoming a new sponsor, Bed-e-Byes nursery interiors online store, here on The Imagination Tree this month, and to be able to offer an exclusive discount code just for you all!
There's a special offer for all readers of The Imagination Tree this month, with a 20% discount off all Bed-e-Bags Sleep Bags! All of my girls have slept soundly in sleeping bags from the post-swaddle stage up to nearly 2. They are a life-saver for tired parents as they ensure that the covers never fall off in the middle of the night, and they give peace of mind that baby is always kept at a safe temperature too. I definitely recommend them to all new parents!
This is a sponsored post.
Create some magical, sparkly moon dust for use in early literacy, mark-making and writing activities! A creative, original and fun way to get kids excited about learning, as well as being a great, Montessori style sensory experience too!
A few months ago we made some pink sensory salt in a mark-making tray, for drawing and writing in. The salt feels so soft and runs so smoothly through the fingers and we fell in love with it as a new sensory material and have been making lots of different types ever since! We used lavender oil to create a calming lavender sensory salt for pre-bedtime wind down which has been enjoyed ever since by both girls.
She independently sounded out and wrote the word "cat" and then helped herself to a jar of acrylic gem crystals and used them to carefully line up over the letters, making them stand out and look magical!
Learning Links: sensory and tactile exploration, mark-making, forming letters, recognising and naming phonemes and graphemes, fine motor finger control
Bean: 8 mos
Pink Sensory Salt Tray
Calming Lavender Sensory Salt
Search the rest of our Playful Literacy series here