Dec 28, 2013

Toddler Craft Ideas for Winter

There are many craft ideas for the winter holiday season for young children to make. Sometimes, the material and steps are not age appropriate for toddlers, ages one to three. The following crafts bring fun results through simple methods. They allow toddlers to have the hands-on enjoyment of creating art, as well as providing sensory experiences and introduction to new material.


Winter Snowflake Art Activity

Materials Required:

  • Dark construction paper (black, or blue)
  • Large Paper Doilies
  • Small Paint Rollers
  • White Paint (kid safe)
  • Tape
  • Small shallow paint containers

For the following art activity each toddler is provided a piece of dark construction paper, black or blue, with a large paper doily taped in the middle. White tempera paint is then placed into small shallow containers beside each child with a small paint roller made for children, which can be purchased at most craft establishments or large outlet stores. Alternatively, the toddlers could use a large paintbrush or sponges for painting. Young children love to paint, and enjoy the process equally and perhaps even more than the product. The children will hopefully paint their entire paper white. When dry, the doily is carefully peeled off by grown up hands and the image left behind resembles a winter snowflake.

Photo from SheKnows Parenting


Snowmen Craft Activity

Materials Required:

  • Contact Paper
  • Scissors
  • Cotton Balls
  • Googly Eyes
  • Orange Paper
  • Black Paper
  • Paper plates or firm paper (optional)

Before the toddlers begin this activity, the caregiver has some material to prepare. Small carrot noses and black hats should be cut out as well as snowman shapes from the contact paper. If this activity is being prepared for a large group of toddlers and there is a budget, simply make the snowmen smaller to allow the contact paper to be spread into more individual projects.

This activity is a fun, sensory experience for young children as they place soft cotton balls onto sticky contact paper. This paper can be found at most stationary or office supply stores. The children are provided snowman shapes and when the paper is peeled back, they are left with adhesive paper that can hold the cottonballs. The children can cover their snowman and finish the project off with eyes, carrot nose and a hat. Alternatively, the contact paper can be glued or stapled to a firm paper, such as small paper plates or thick white paper.


Painting with Holiday Cookie Cutters

Holiday cookie cutters provide wonderful winter shapes for paint stamping. The material required is paint, paper and the cookie cutters. This activity can be done as a group activity with toddlers on a large piece of paper taped to a table. The paper can then be used for wrapping paper or card making.

Final Thoughts

Toddlers love to be introduced to new material and fun hands-on activities. They may try to place the material into their mouths, but through the learning experience of cause and effect will soon realize it's better for paint to be used on the paper! Parents and grandparents truly appreciate these first time holiday creations.

Dec 18, 2013

Mitten Preschool Songs

Mitten Song #1

To the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"

Warm. warm. warm and dry
Mittens feel so nice.
So grab a pair in chilly air
Or in the snow and ice.

Mitten Song #2

To the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"

Each mitten has a pair
Each mitten has a pair
Can (child's name) find its friend
(He/She) 's looking here and there.

Mitten Song #3

Thumb in the thumb place
Fingers all together
This is the song
We sing in mitten weather

Mitten Song #4

To the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus"

The mittens on my hands
They keep me warm
They keep me warm
They keep me warm
The mittens on my hands
They keep me warm
All winter long!

Mitten Song #5

For Jan Brett's The Mitten

To the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"

The mitten on the ground.
The mitten on the ground.
Heigh-ho! It's cold outside.
The mitten on the ground.
The (mole) snuggles in.
The (mole) snuggles in.
Heigh-ho! It's cold outside.
The (mole) snuggles in.
(After the last animal, all pretend to sneeze and fall out of the mitten.)

FURTHER RESOURCES: Snow and Ice Preschool Activities
                                            Winter Felt Board Activities

Online Early Childhood Workshops with Circle of Ideas 

Dec 15, 2013

Snowflake Preschool Songs

Learning about seasons is a steadfast component of most early childhood environments, whether at home, preschool or daycare. If children experience winter with hands on experiences, then songs contribute to the learning process. Music helps with language development and concepts. Throughout the winter, most of the songs we are familiar with fall under Christmas tunes. But, including winter songs about the season helps create an inclusive program for all. In preschool and daycare settings, snowflakes are a common theme for crafts and books. Following are some song and poem suggestions.

Snowflakes are Falling Down

(To the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down)

Snowflakes are falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
Snowflakes are falling down
Quietly without a sound.

Snowflake Poem

This poem is very lyrical and could be used with a piggyback song. It works well with felt snowflakes props to use on a flannel board.

One little snowflake with nothing to do,
Along came another and then there were two.
Two little snowflakes playing in a tree,
Along came another and then there were three.
Three little snowflakes looking for some more,
Along came another and then there were four.
Four little snowflakes that finally did arrive,
Along came another, and then there were five.
Five little snowflakes having so much fun,
Out came the sun and then there were none.

Snowflake Action Song

The next song is a great action song for circle time or a group of children together. When running a circle time with a group of young children, it is essential to find songs that allow them to stand up and move their bodies around.
(To the tune of Are you Sleeping)

Dance like snowflakes
Dance like snowflakes
In the air
In the air
Whirling, twirling snowflakes
Whirling, twirling snowflakes
Here and there,
Here and there.

Snowflake Teaching Song

One of the lessons to teach young children about snowflakes is how each one is different when observed closely. Just like people, we are the same, but different. Snowflakes are created when water droplets freeze on small ice particles. For young children, this song will help with this early introduction of winter weather concepts.

To the tune of I'm a Little Teapot.

I'm a little snowflake, falling down,
With so many all around.
We are not the same as you will see,
No other snowflake looks like me!

FURTHER RESOURCES: Snow and Ice Preschool Activities
                                           Winter Felt Board Ideas

Online Early Childhood Workshops with Circle of Ideas 

Snow and Ice Preschool Activities

Activities surrounding ice for a preschool curriculum are appropriate during the winter season as many young children are experiencing these weather conditions at this time of the year. Bringing the weather inside to the classroom environment as well as bringing an indoor activity, like painting, outside is a fun way for preschoolers to learn and explore the cold sensations of ice and snow. In addition, even if the weather is warm outdoors, the ice can be made in the freezer for children to enjoy. The following article will present some craft, science and sensory activities for an early childhood setting.

Snow Inside a Sensory Table

A sensory table is commonly used for sand or water, but it can provide young children with hands-on experiences and learning opportunities with a variety of material. Snow can be brought into a sensory table from the outside along with pails and shovels. In addition, play dough and/or sand molds can be used with the snow to create shapes. The teacher can facilitate a learning process by asking open ended questions, such as why do you think the snow is melting?" and "What is the snow melting into?" and so forth.

Ice Exploration in a Sensory Table

Ice shapes made in a freezer, or placed outside overnight if weather is below freezing, with different shaped containers is a gret activity for the winter season during an ice and snow theme. A few drops of food coloring can be placed in with the water to make different color ice shapes. Placing little toys inside can be enjoyable for young children as well. The containers should have a wide opening to allow the shapes to easily fall out into the sensory tables. When all the ice formations are created and emptied into the sensory table, tools can be placed inside the table as well to allow children to explore the ice while fostering fine motor skills, such as spray bottles of water, salt shakers, and eye droppers

Check out these amazing sculptures from a preschool website:
From Dunluce Preschool Website

Painting with Ice

Ice can be used instead of a paintbrush to create a unique way of making art. The ice brushes are created by using ice popsicles, which the caregiver can make by using store bought popsicle trays filled with water. When the ice sticks are ready, then each child will be provided a piece of paper, preferably finger painting paper which is shiny and firm enough to absorb liquid. Powder paint is then shaken onto the paper and the children can use the water melting from their ice to create the paint and picture.

Creating Art Outside in Winter

There are a variety of ways to create art outside with the winter weather. One way is to provide children with paint pucks and paintbrushes outside to paint ice, hard snow or the snowman! Another idea is to fill spray bottles with color water made with a some drops of food coloring. The spray bottles will leave color designs on the white snow.This activity does leave the the hands cold, so it is a good idea to warm up inside right after the creative fun.

Ice and Salt Science Experiment

A science tray filled with ice cubes and a salt shaker provides young children an opportunity to explore the two elements together, and determine what happens to the ice when salt is placed onto it. This can turn into a lengthier science activity as predictions by each child and then the results are recorded. Furthermore, the preschoolers can learn that salt is used on our roads and sidewalks to melt the ice for safety reasons.

FURTHER RESOURCES:   Winter Felt Board Ideas