DIY Valentine's Day Sign or Homemade Valentine's Day Cards Made Easy!
This Valentine's Day craft is fun and easy, even for toddlers and preschoolers! Get creative using simple arts and crafts materials. Make a DIY sign, or use for homemade Valentine's Day cards. Here is how to make your own XOXO craft!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Download and print! These printable stencils are free and available for instant download.
WHAT TO DO
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Keep your family busy this holiday season with fun and easy crafts and activities.
Most of these are geared towards younger children (up to age 8), given I am a parent to one and my teaching background is as a preschool and Grades 1-2 educator, but the Farmhouse Style Decorations are great for teenagers.
Shaving Cream Santa
This sensory activity is super simple to put together and, more importantly, fun! You just need shaving cream and a laminated Santa (you can get your instant download here). Add plastic cutlery, cookie cutters, and more to make things even more fun. You can also practice sensory vocabulary during the activity to make things more educational.
Paper plate and Cotton Ball Santa
This is another simple and fun activity for little ones, and you likely already have everything you need at your house: paper plates, glue, cotton balls, markers, and construction paper (though you could also use colored markers instead). Check out the entire activity here.
Homemade salt dough ornaments are a great holiday gift, as well as a fun sensory and craft activity. You can find my salt dough recipe and tips for creating ornaments and other keepsakes here.
Gingerbread houses and baking cookies are two great activities to do with kids that are tasty as well! Want more ideas? Try marshmallow snowmen (simply use pretzel sticks and frosting to connect them, then decorate with candy and/or cookies! You can also try making winter versions of my sand cups (do snow cups instead; use whipped cream and/or white frosting instead of blue frosting, and find fun Christmas candy as toppings)
Paper Plate Christmas Trees
I'll be sharing an entire blog post on this one, but here are the basics to get you started:
1. Color paper plates using crayons, markers, or colored pencils
2. Fold in quarters. Cut out 1 quarter of the plate.
3. Roll plate into a cone and glue 2 of the 3 quarters together (one on top of the other)
4. Glue pompoms, ribbon, sequences, or other decorations on.
Christmas and Winter Busy Book
Looking for ways to keep your toddler or preschooler occupied, having fun, and learning? Be sure to check out my busy book pages, worksheets, and more!
Great Santa Traditions and Activities
Make this Christmas extra magical with my tips, tricks, and recommendations for making Santa even more special. Find everything from activities, to ideas for the little details, and new traditions to try. You can find the entire post here.
Pretend snow is a great sensory activity for young kids, and easy to make with baking soda and hair conditioner. There are tons of ways to dress the activity up to be more educational, too. Get the recipes and tips for how to use the snow to promote learning here.
Target Chanukah Banner Hack/Create Holiday Banners
Not every activity has to be put together from scratch. Store bought activity kits are great options, and there are tons of ways to hack them to make them even better. One example is this hack we did with a Chanukah banner kit purchased at Target. You can view all the details via my Pinterest Idea Pin here.
For the Adults: Winter Farmhouse Style Decorations
Create beautiful farmhouse style decor for your home with these easy tips. These projects are great for teenagers and adults, and look great year after year. Read the entire post here.
Even More Great Crafts and Activities Coming Soon!!!
In the meantime, be sure to check out my Pinterest for even more great ideas from around the web!
Ghost Themed Activities, Free Printables, Crafts, and More!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in the program supports my small business, and comes at no added cost to you. You can learn more here.
We have a new addition to our season library: Ten Timid Ghosts, by Jennifer O'Connell. This book tells the story of 10 ghosts in their haunted house, and an unwelcome visitor. It is perfect for teaching little ones counting skills, and unlike many number books, counts backwards.
We have enjoyed reading it again and again. To keep the fun going, here are some great activities to pair with the book! Whether your are looking for a homeschool learning unit, a preschool class theme, or just a way to keep your child occupied and learning during days at home, this list has something for everyone!
Tissue Paper Ghosts (On Paper)
This activity is simple, easy, and perfect for little hands (though big hands can help make it even flashier of a project). Using construction paper, glue, and white tissue paper, have your child form "ghosts" and glue them to the background. You can also use child friendly paint and more construction paper to put together a background scene!
3D Ghosts (Coming Soon!)
Using a plastic bottle or milk jug, tissue paper, a hot glue gun, and black paint, you can easily create a spooky ghost! Or, use a milk jug and a permanent marker. You can add battery operated lights to either, making them fun evening decorations for Halloween!
Stay tuned for the entire craft, with detailed instructions!
Ghost Sensory Activities
Shaving Cream Ghosts
Print the free instant download (below), laminate it, and grab your shaving cream.... it is the easiest sensory activity you can find!
Ghost Sensory Bin (Coming Soon!)
Use dried black beans, some small toy pumpkins (easy to find at the Dollar Store or online), and add large, stretched cotton balls for your "ghosts" (you can also create more elaborate ghosts by gluing a few together and adding googley eyes). Throw in some cups, tongs, and serving spoons, and you have a great sensory activity)
Play Dough Ghosts (Coming Soon!)
Use white and black play dough to create adorable ghosts. Add googley eyes when dry (using a hot glue gun) for even more fun!
Free with Subscription for a Limited Time!
Grab your free 10 Timid Ghosts PDF today, before this offer disappears!
This activity book has 16 pages of fun and learning for your preschooler! Coloring pages, puzzles, counting activities, same/different activities, vocabulary tracing, and more! But don't wait to subscribe! This activity book is being added to my upcoming storefront soon, and will be removed from the free library.
Available for Instant Download
Use this free printable as a coloring page, laminate for use as a sensory mat, or laminate and use to practice tracing and coloring again and again!
More Great Book Recommendations!
If you love 10 Timid Ghosts, check out my list offavorite seasonal books for preschoolers!
More Seasonal Content
Also be sure to check out these great seasonal activities this fall!
SAVE OR SHARE!
Grab your free fall color awareness and counting printables on my exclusive parenting group!
What will you find in this latest release?
How can you download these free fall printables?
Simply join The Mindfully Scientific Caregivers Group on Facebook! The group is 100% free, and a great place to connect with other mindful and evidence based parents. Plus, I regularly release new printables there, and it is a great place to stay updated on what is happening on the blog without having to check your emails!
What age are these activities for?
These free fall activities are great for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners, though older children may also enjoy the iSpy activities.
Free Instant Download!
Not interested in joining? Check out this mini activity book; 5 pages of free printables for instant download. Your preschooler or kindergartener will love coloring, practicing their writing, or learning to count with these worksheets. They can be used digitally, or printed.
Disclaimer: By downloading the following workbook, you agree to no reproduce without explicit written permission from The Mindfully Scientific Mama.
Find even more fun and educational activities for your toddler, preschooler, or elementary age child!
Check out these great seasonal educational activities, crafts, and printables... all 100% free!
After a long July enjoying time with family, I am back with brand new printables! My latest pack is a fun, summer themed coloring book. Like my other printables, it is 100% free! So, how can you get yours? Just sign up for my Facebook Group, Mindfully Scientific Caregivers Group.
There you will find tons of other free printable content, and like minded parents, including me. Connect with other parents, ask question, share your parenting victories, and more; all in an environment that is pro-evidence. Plus, get early updates about new blog content.
What will you find in this coloring book? Fun beach themed coloring pages, camping themed coloring pages, hiking themed coloring pages, and more! The book is 23 pages long; that is longer than some of the coloring books I've found in stores!
Plus, because this is a digital download, you can print it again and again, instead of getting a single use out of the books you see in stores.
So what are you waiting for?!?! Sign up TODAY!
Looking for other free educational printables, free coloring pages, and free printable activities for kids? Check out these great resources!
Don't forget to share so other parents and educators can find these great resources!!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. Commissions earned help support my small business, and my participation in the program comes at no added risk to you. You can learn more here.
New Sensory Bin Inspiration! Summer Themed Sensory "Beach"
Sensory play continues to be a family favorite, and with summer approaching, it was time to bring the season to the sensory bin! But why stick with a basic kinetic sand sensory bin? I upped the ante by including water beads (for some extra texture contrast).
Putting together this sensory activity is easy with a few simple items:
Water beads can be a choking hazard, so this may not be appropriate for younger toddlers (and make sure to monitor a child of any age, especially if they may put the beads in their mouth or nose). That said, this is a great preschool activity (and can be a good toddler activity for the right child, with supervision).
Looking for more sensory bin inspiration? Check out my growing library of ideas, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!
And check out more great summer content:
NEW TO THE RESOURCE LIBRARY!!!!
Free Fun Father's Day Question and Answer Printable for Kids, plus 15 more fun questions to ask kids about their Dad!
Grab your copy of this question and answer activity for Father's Day! Guaranteed to get some laughs from Dad, this Q&A for kids is perfect to include in a scrapbook, picture book, card, picture frame, or on its own. Want to see how your child grows? Have them do one every year! "Kids say the darnedest things", am I right?!
You can get yours by subscribing to my mailing list here. There are loads of other great, free printables available on my subscriber's library, too. I'm always adding new content, so once you sign up, check back regularly. Also follow me on social media for updates (my newsletter will be coming out soon with updates as well).
Are you looking for great gift or celebration ideas for Father's Day? I have you covered with this Father's Day post (more ideas are being added regularly). There are also free cards available for immediate download there.
If you do this activity with your child, be sure to tag me on my social media accounts! I'd love to see what creative thoughts they have about their fathers.
Want to elaborate on this activity? Try some of these questions out:
Have other fun questions to ask the Dads in your life? Comment below to share!
Be sure to share this article!
10 Low or No Cost Outdoor Family Activities for the Spring and Summer (that AREN'T going to the Beach!)
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and commissions earned help support my small business. You can learn more about this program here.
When the weather starts getting nice, my family loves spending as much time outside as possible. We are outside on days we work from home (I am writing this from a lounge chair on my deck!), we play outside, eat outside, and generally find every excuse possible to be outdoors. But every parent has had the experience of their child feeling bored with outdoor free play. Here are 10 ideas that are low or no cost, and perfect for keeping the entire family entertained outside throughout the warmer months!
2. Water Play
3. Messy Art Activities
4. Take a Nature Walk
If you happen to live in or around Westchester, I also strongly encourage you to check out Lasdon Park's Dinosaur walk!!! It is an amazing resource available FOR FREE!!! The trail isn't particularly long by adult standards, but it is perfect for little feet. Along the way take time to learn about the different dinosaurs, their environment, and more. The trail also offers a virtual reality experience and stations where you can scan signs to learn more!
6. Outdoor Movie Nights
7. Get Dirty!!
Mud kitchens, dirt play, sand boxes, and mud pies are all great ways to have fun getting dirty! While many parents cringe at the idea (admittedly, I am included in that), kids love it. Warm spring and summer days are perfect for getting dirty, because you can do it in a swim suit. Just spray off with a hose when done!
8. Backyard Camping
Grab a tent, a sleeping bag, and a flashlight; then head outdoors! You don’t have to sleep outside to experience the fun of camping! Get comfy, light a fire in your fire pit if you have one, and roast some marshmallows. When it is time for bed, you can always head inside, but not before taking a long gaze at the night sky! There are some great apps out there that help you discover stars, planets, and constellations.
9. Go for a Bike Ride
Even small children can partake in family bike rides with a balance bike (which is obviously a lot slower than a regular bike, but a great tool for helping kids get ready to use a big kid bike!) or wagon attachment. Biking is great exercise, and allows you to get out and explore faster than using your own feet. My community has some excellent cycling trails, or just take a ride around your neighborhood.
10. Obstacle Course
Want even more ideas? I update my Instagram stories regularly with new activities I am doing with my preschooler, or things we are doing as an entire family. You can also find great ideas from around the web on my Pinterest account!
What are some of your family’s favorite outdoor activities for the spring and summer? Comment below and let me know!
Be sure to share this with other parents looking for creative ideas to stay busy outside this spring and summer!
Fresh spring coloring pages have hit the website and are available for immediate download!
As I do every season, I am making select coloring pages available for immediate download. This new PDF has 6 different pages that are perfect to brighten the entire season. There is something for every skill level, and the printable pack is perfect for rainy days indoors. Be sure to head over to my main Spring resource page to check them out!
Plus, you'll find access to tons of other great content.
And more! Content is being added regularly, so stop back to check out what's new!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more here.
I'm a huge fan of simple yet flexible crafts and activities for young children! Cotton balls, glue, and paper are three things that I find endless use for in my home, especially in combination with one another. This cotton ball craft is super easy to modify and use for a variety of ages. Here are some ways to do the activity in your home!
Cotton Ball Sheep Crafts for Kids of All Ages
Where to Start
You'll want to either trace a sheep shape, or download one of my templates (they are free and available for immediate download... no strings attached!). You can use these as coloring pages as well as for the cotton ball sheep crafts described below.
Other materials you'll need:
Toddlers are just developing fine motor abilities, and this activity is a great way to help build them! Allow your child to paint glue onto the stencil, pick up cotton balls and place them within the lines of the sheep.
Have your child color the sheep's face, then use glue to apply the cotton balls. Once done, help you child cut out the sheep.
For Elementary Age Kids
Start by decorating the sheep's face; color, paint, or use another medium to give it some color.
Then, laminate the entire paper.
Once the paper has set, heat up a hot glue gun. If your child is super cautious, you may choose to have them help with the glue, but you will probably want to be the one using the glue to help avoid burns. Apply small dots of glue onto the sheep's body, then add cotton balls (they can be pulled a bit to make a more woolen texture, or applied as is).
Have your child cut out the sheep once dry/cool.
Using the hot glue again, apply two popsicle sticks in a cross shape to the back of the sheep. Then, glue two more popsicle sticks together, one on top of the other. Apply those to the bottom back of the sheep, sticking out towards the bottom. Now you have a sheep puppet or planter decoration!
Want to dress up the sheep more? You can use food coloring or water colors to dye to cotton balls for a rainbow sheep, apply glitter using regular craft clue, add googley eyes, and more! Your imagination is the only limit!
Expand on the Activity Even More!
Want to build on this craft with other educational activities? Here are a few ideas!
Sheep Themed Kids Books
Farm Songs and Activities
Old McDonald (Had a Farm): Perfect for toddlers, Old McDonald is a great way to work on animal sounds and vocabulary! We love pairing it with farm puppets or my child's farm yard play set!
Take a trip to the local community farm/farm museum: In our area, we have tons of community farms and farm museums, and growing up, we had plenty near us as well. A quick Google search can help you identify the resources available near you. If you are in the Metro New York area, here are a few options you'll love:
And in the Boston Metro area, be sure to check out Drumlin Farm!
Educational Spring Printables
Use this activity along with these great printables to create a spring thematic unit!!
More Spring Crafts & Activities
Check out these other great crafts, which pair perfectly with the cotton ball sheep craft, books, and printables for a spring thematic unit!
Be sure to save this on Pinterest for easy access to these great ideas later!
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
Find more recipes, product recommendations, activities, and more!
View my author page for Westchester County Mom here.
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