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
Share the Love!
Ghost Themed Activities, Free Printables, Crafts, and More!
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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 my little one's recommendations for awesome fall books for preschoolers (and toddlers/early elementary students), plus corresponding activities,. here!
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!
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As my litrle guy gets older, he has taken more and more interest in having his bedroom be more than just a place where he sleeps. So, we figured it was time to make his room more of a big kid room, and opted to start with a reading nook (since he loves his cozy tent corner in his playroom so much). Putting this together was super easy.
Some of the other room essentials my little one loves are his hooded dinosaur blanket, his large giraffe, his weighted dinosaur plush (our OT prescribed weighted items, and we ensured the weighting was appropriate for his size), and his road rug.
The room is still a work in progress. We'll be upgrading to a big kid bed soon, and have been changing his decor from safari to dinosaur (since he is totally at that age!!). Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to make progress on his big kid room!
Be sure to pin this so you can easily reference it later!!
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:
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, 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.
You loved my 10 Toys Your Toddler Will Love (it was one of my most popular posts of 2020!), so I'm back with a new post, almost a year later. My child is obviously a bit older now, and has some new interests. These are the toys my little one is obsessed with right now. Of course, he is still interested in the toys on that last list, so be sure to check it out, too.
This list contains a number of educational options, as well as fun movement and art options. With it being cold and snowy in my part of the country, having tons of activities to choose from has been a lifesaver. Where relevant, I've included some of the activities we do using these products. So, without further ado, here is the roundup!
10 of the Best Toys for 2 and 3 Year Olds
Melissa and Doug Train Sets
My little one has been loving playing with his train sets (we have both of the sets below, plus an activity table). The toys build fine motor skills (i.e. putting tracks together), STEM skills (testing how to built elevated tracks, learning about cause and effect through working with the magnets and the swivel bridge), vocabulary skills, and imaginative play skills, making them perfect as an educational toy, too.
Some of the best vocabulary these sets can be used for are teaching relationship concepts and words, such as over, under, in, on, etc. These are difficult concepts for young children to begin with, so having visual aides is a huge help! Plus, the sets have the quality you expect from Melissa and Doug toys.
2. Play Food Sets
My little one loves his play food sets. Along with the Fisher Price food truck and thekitchen set we have, my child has been loving his ice cream parlor set. We paired it with kinetic sand for extra fun!
My child loves all things dinosaurs, but his favorite by far has been this amazing, educational dinosaur toy from Learning Resources. The toy builds color awareness and vocabulary, shape awareness and vocabulary, and fine motor skills. Other dinosaur toys he is obsessed with right now? The Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Party set, and his big T-Rex stuffed animal (also from Melissa and Doug, predictably; it is currently out of stock, but you can check back if interested here).
Of course Play-Doh would make an appearance on this list! It is a great sensory activity for young kids, and this truck builds find motor skills, too! Play- Doh makes products for every interest; they have cooking sets, truck sets, and more.
5. Mega Bloks
I've written before about why blocks are a great educational toy, so it isn't surprising that we have tons of them in our home. This Mega Bloks Peek a Blocks Amusement Park was a Christmas gift from my child's uncle (an industrial designer and inventor, no joke!), and it is a great activity to help build awareness about several different simple machines (specifically a lever and an inclined plane)!
6. Magnet Toys
Magnets are an excellent STEM toy, and these PicassoTiles are a lower cost (but durable) substitute for expensive MagnaTiles.We love using them for testing cause and effect, working on basic engineering skills, and discussing relational, shape, and color vocabulary!
7. Animal Play Sets
My child is obsessed with animals, so our home is filled with tons of animal toys. One of my child's favorites is the Battat Big Red Barn. It comes with 4 animals and a farmer, as well as the barn. My child spends tons of time playing imaginary games with the set!
Another favorite activity? Playing vet! My child loves his Melissa and Doug vet kit, and "fixing" his kitty and puppy.
8. Reusable Vinyl Sticker Sets
Tired of buying stickers only to have your child go through them quickly and need to buy more? We love vinyl stickers for this reason! My child loves playing with stickers, which means traditional options are an expensive choice (if you don't have sticker piles on paper, are you even a toddler/preschool parent?!). And what about stickers all. over. everything. Vinyl stickers stick to a ton of surfaces, but come off. Plus, these Melissa and Doug sticker pads come with great scenes that your child can use to mix and match during play. Huge score for my kid, for me, and for my furniture!
If your child isn't into dinosaurs or animals, Melissa and Doug also makes a ton of other varieties.
9. Active Movement Toys
My child is still obsessed with all the active movement toys included on last year's list, but we've added a few new items (including a Nugget couch and a new swing set!). Here are some of the other great new additions to our collection!
A balance bike can be a great way to start getting a child ready to move on to a real bike... and get moving! Make sure to get a helmet, too! My child absolutely love his Velo balance bike, and all his cousins have had one, too. While it is a bit too cold and snowy to use it at the moment, we look forward to spring so we can pull it out again!
PS: Nugget not in your budget? Check out the blocks I put on last year's list. We still use them a lot, and they are on many Nugget alternative round up lists I've seen! You can also add extra sets to get even more building capacity!
We also have a Little Tykes Mini Trampoline with a stability bar that my child absolutely loves. Why no link, then? Because the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend them. Not even mini ones! Why do we have one, then? In consultation with our child's therapy team, we decided (with adequate supervision and in following other recommendations for trampoline use from the American Academy of Pediatrics) that the risks of a mini trampoline were less than the risks of the other places my child was finding to bounce. Our home has specific factors that influenced our decision. Considering one for your home, too? Speak with your child's pediatrician first! There are many, many ways for children to stay active! .
10. Art Supplies
Looking to elevate your child's art supplies beyond the standard crayons and markers? My child loves his tabletop easel! It is great for painting, coloring, and comes with a white board, roll of paper, magnets, and chalk board! We have also paired Crayola markers, crayons, and finger paint, the Melissa and Doug vinyl stickers seen above, and Melissa and Doug animal magnets with the easel for even more fun!
Aside from fostering creativity, art activities are great for teaching fine motor skills, vocabulary, and color awareness, and this product offers letter magnets to help with teaching letter awareness and basic literacy skills such as phonological awareness!
I hope you'll find this roundup as helpful as last year's! Have an idea to add? Comment and share!
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May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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