Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth Day Suncatcher

My tot and preschooler really enjoyed making Easter themed suncatchers, so I thought we would create new suncatchers in honor of Earth Day.  My preschooler knew the Earth was made up of land and water, but when looking at the blank coloring page she wasn't sure which was which.  So we started by discussing where the land and water was located then she was ready to start!  Here's our version of an Earth Day suncatcher. 

  • Earth coloring page (I printed one from the Internet) 
  • green and blue craft tissue 
  • red construction paper 
  • clear contact paper 
  • paper clips 
  • pencil
  • scissors 


1. Trace half a heart on a folded piece of red construction paper.  Cut out the heart and set aside for later.
2.  Paper clip a sheet of clear contact paper to the Earth coloring page (sticky side up).  
3.  Use the blue and green craft tissue to cover the water and land on the Earth.
4.  Place the cut out heart over the tissue.
5.  Use a second sheet of clear contact paper to cover the globe, sealing in the tissue and heart.
6.  Use scissors to cut out around the Earth.
7.  Hang and enjoy!   


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flower Mosaic

Last week we ate lots of hard boiled eggs and egg salad sandwiches for lunch.  With Earth Day just around the corner I hated to see all those beautifully colored eggshells thrown out.  So instead I decided to turn what would be trash into a handmade treasure.  I found an eggshell mosaic craft at Teaching Tiny Tots and adapted this idea into the prefect Earth Day/Spring project.  My preschooler and tot used our colored Easter eggshells to create beautiful flower mosaics.  

  • colored Easter eggs
  • flower picture (I printed a flower coloring page from the internet, but you could draw your own)
  • glue
  • small dish
  • paintbrush 


  1. Peel eggshell from egg.  Break eggshells apart into small pieces. 
  2. Pour glue into small dish and use paintbrush to spread glue onto flower picture. 
  3. Place eggshells onto glue.  
  4. Shake off any excess shells.  
  5. Let dry.  

  I love how this craft ties in Easter, spring and recycling!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Crafts

I know this post is a little late, but here are the Easter crafts my tot and preschooler worked last week.

We made paper plate Easter Bunnies.  This was a quick project that required only a few supplies.  My preschooler enjoyed creating her bunny while my tot simply enjoyed squeezing the glue!    

We used clear contact paper, tissue paper and construction paper to make "stained glass" crosses.  There was a little bit of prep work involved in this project, but my preschooler was happy to help!  I love the way the crosses came out and look forward to making more suncatchers for other themes.  If you're looking for a great tutorial on how to make these crosses check out Kinder-Craze.   

We used an egg shaped cookie cutter, beads and boondoggle to make playdough Easter eggs. 

And yes we colored Easter eggs!  Nothing fancy here.  Just a classic Easter egg decorating kit bought from the grocery store!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Learning Trays

Here are the April learning trays I set-up for my preschooler.  These trays are all Easter themed.  Each day I pull out a few trays for my preschooler to work on.  Sometimes we work together on these activities and sometimes (when I'm confident she understands the task), she'll practice these trays by herself. 

Jelly Bean Pattern Mats
Source: Criss-Cross Applesauce
Skills Practiced: building AB, ABC, ABB, AAB and AABB patterns using manipulatives (jelly beans)

Missing Number Eggs
Source : Kindergarten At Heart
Skills Practiced: identifying and reading numbers 1-100, finding missing numbers 1-100, using the terms before, between and after for numbers 1-100
Rather than write the missing numbers on this printable, my preschooler placed plastic number tiles on the missing number egg.  We have a large canister of plastic number tiles, from which I pulled out only the numbers she would need for this task.  So Instead of worrying about how to write the numbers correctly, she was able to isolate the task of identifying and reading two digit numbers. 

Egg Themed Syllable Sort 
Source: Kinder Kids Fun   
Skills Practiced: breaking words down into syllables  
Learning how to break words down into syllables is an important prereading skill, so I was excited to come across this free syllable sort download from Kinder Kids Fun.  My preschooler identifies a picture and says the word aloud while clapping the syllables.  Then she places the card under the correct category - 1, 2 or 3 syllables.

Fill the Easter Basket 
Source: Criss-Cross Applesauce
Skills Practiced: color identification, turn taking, addition/subtraction readiness, reading color words

Skip Counting  
Source: Criss-Cross Applesauce, printable available HERE
Skills Practiced: using a hundreds chart, skip counting by twos, identifying number patterns    
The first couple times we did this tray, I mixed up the skip counting cards and had my preschooler put them in order, skip counting by twos.  This week when we use the tray I'll have my preschooler use the cup of beans to mark off the numbers on the hundreds chart that would be used to skip count by twos.

Graphics by Scrappin Doodles

Bunny Hundreds Chart 
Skills Practiced: identifying numbers 1-100, coloring, understanding a hundreds chart   
My preschooler loves this activity!  Last month we worked on the leprechaun hundreds chart from Lil' Country Kindergarten.  Though she was familiar with numbers 1-100, it was her first introduction to using a hundreds chart.  These coloring activities have allowed her to practice reading two digit numbers in a fun way. 

Easter Poem
Source: Poem from CanTeach, printable from Criss-Cross Applesauce available HERE
Skills Practiced: reading sight words, comprehension, creativity
This month I chose a repetitive Easter poem for the poetry tray.  We'll read this poem many times, each time focusing on different literacy skills.  First I'll read the poem to my preschooler and ask her to close her eyes and imagine the things she hears me read.  Next we'll read the poem together and circle any words she is already able to read.  Then I'll pick three sight words to introduce using the Montessori three part lesson.  After learning the sight words she'll locate them in the poem and color them using colored pencils.  When she is able to read the poem by herself (some actual word-by-word reading, some memorization) she will glue a copy of the poem into her poetry notebook and draw her own Easter pictures. 

Bunny Graphic by Scrappin Doodles


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sensory Tub

Here's the Easter sensory tub I created for my preschooler and tot.  I kept this tub very simple and used items we already had from past Easters.  
Easter Sensory Tub  Materials
Easter grass 
Plastic Easter Eggs
Egg Carton 
Plastic Egg and Bunny Figurines 
Speckled Eggs
Small Easter Basket
Egg Noise Makers 
The egg noise makers could be used purely for fun, but they also had a learning component inspired by a post from Living Montessori Now.   I paired three pink eggs with three blue eggs.  I filled each pair of eggs with a different set of items (macaroni, coins, dried beans).  As my kids played with the noise makers they matched the eggs by sound. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jelly Bean Color Game

Last month I created a game called End of the Rainbow that ended up being one of my most popular posts!  This month I created a similar game with an Easter twist! 

To play all you need are 20 jelly beans per player and a copy of the printable materials below!

 To grab a copy click the image below or click HERE

Graphics by Scrappin Doodles


1. Shuffle cards and place them in a pile face down.

2. Each player takes a game board and places 20 jelly beans (various colors)  on the corresponding colored jelly bean on their game board. 

3. Players take turns choosing a card and placing the correct number/color of jelly beans in the Easter basket.  If a player draws a blank card he skips his turn.  If a player draws an Easter Bunny card he chooses any color jelly bean to put to his basket.    

4. The first player to fill their Easter basket with all their jelly beans wins! 

Start with all the jelly beans in the Easter basket and play the game in reverse.  The first player to empty their Easter basket wins! 


Meeting the Needs of Learners 
I created this game for children able to read color words.  The cards for this game include only color words and are not actually colored in.  If your child is not able to read color words yet, this game can be easily modified.  Simply help your child color in the jelly bean cards before playing. 

Skills Practiced

Reading color words
Counting numbers 1-20
Comparing quantities 
Sorting by color

I link-up at these great parties!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Jelly Bean Pattern Mats (Freebie!)

Are you ready for Easter?  I have a few Easter freebies to share with you this week.  Today I have two jelly bean pattern mats to share.  These mats will help young learns practice the following patterns: AB, ABC, ABB, AAB and AABB.  I laminated a set of mats so my preschooler can practice these patterns using real jelly beans and I also printed a set of mats for her to use with crayons.  

Click on the image below to grab a copy or click HERE

Be sure to check back tomorrow for another Easter themed freebie!

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