25 Days of Fall: 25 Craft Ideas and Hands On Activities For Toddlers and Preschoolers

25 Days Of Fall-

The beautiful colors have arrived! This is one of my favorite times of year. The food, the scents, and the amazing craft projects! We have compiled a list of  25 different activities and projects for fall that we are doing with our little one. From painting projects to sensory bins, we bet that you’ll find a few projects to do with your own children, if not all of them!

Don’t forget to stop by our Etsy shop for handmade educational supplies. We specialize in sensory activity supplies and sensory bins kits. Each of our sensory bin kits comes with a brand new book related to the theme of the kits! Click the image below to be taken to our shop.

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1. Apple Stamping – What says fall more than apple projects? Stamping projects are great for toddlers as they are super simple to do. For this fun painting project, you will need:

1 Apple
A Fork or Two
Painting Paper ( or paper thick enough to paint on )
Paint ( Washable 🙂 )
A Sharpie

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We LOVE these painting projects! You can use almost anything to “stamp” with and we’ve done a million of them. From apples to oranges, potatoes to lemons, these types of projects are incredibly easy to put together and they make some pretty cool designs and prints. For this activity, you just cut an apple in half, insert a fork to act as a handle and let the little ones go to town!

Variation: You can cut the apple either horizontally or vertically. Both make some pretty cool patterns and designs 🙂

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2. Harvest Sensory Bin –  Oh sensory bins! We’re big fans of these types of opened ended activities for our daughter to explore in. Here are the items you will need to create this sensory bin for your own little ones:

Fake Leaves
Brown and Yellow Rice ( Dyed )
Plastic Gourds and Pumpkins
Yellow Glitter ( optional )
Shovels / Spoons / Measuring Cups

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We created this sensory bin to go along with the latest addition to our library, ” I Love Fall “. We have this sensory bin kit available for purchase in our Etsy shop for purchase. Each of our sensory bin kits includes plenty of manipulatives and a brand new copy of a book that relates to the theme of the kit. For this one, the book ” I Love Fall ” is included! Click here to be taken to this listing.

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3.  Corn Shakers – I know it may seem crazy to give a loud two year old something EVEN louder to add to the mix, but she had so much fun creating these little shakers. For this project, you will need:

Plastic Cups
Wax Paper
Rubber Bands
Popcorn Kernels
Yarn and/ or Raffia

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To make these corn shakers, you first need to roll out your wax paper and cut out a circle that will fit over your cup. We made these circles are the large side to ensure that we had enough to work with when securing our tops. Next, add about 1 tbsp of popcorn kernels to your cup and place your wax paper over the top. Secure your paper to the cup by adding a rubber band. Then wrap your yarn and/ or raffia around your cup to add simple details.

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4. Leaf Rubbing – We all remember doing these in kindergarten! They are classics and they just HAVE TO been done with the next generation. Leaf rubbing is a project that can be done across a variety of subject areas. From science observations to hands on learning activities, leaf rubbing is such a great way to connect to the world around us and observe natural formations. For this project, you will need:

Dried Leaves
Paper
Crayons ( paper covering removed )

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If you never did these as a child….Simply lay a leaf on a flat surface and lay your piece of paper on top of the leaf. Press down and color over the paper, over top of where your leaf is. Over the summer, when we explored colors, we recycled some old crayons and made new heart shaped ones. These heart shaped crayons were PERFECT for this project. The shape of these crayons were perfect for LC’s little hands to grip on to!

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5. Torn Paper Acorns – This is such an easy project for the little ones that need to work those little hands muscles! It’s also great practice with a glue sticks. After 3 months in a kindergarten classroom, you’d be surprised how many kids do not have any experience with a glue stick! Always using way too much, like the whole stick, and there is ALWAYS a good amount in their hair. Try this project out with your smaller kids! There is very little prep work and they will love it! To make your own torn paper acorns, you will need:

1 Piece Of Orange Construction Paper
Acorn Outline ( We drew our own, but you can find one here )
A Pair of Scissors
1 Piece of Brown Construction Paper
1 Glue Stick

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First, draw an outline of an acorn on your orange piece of paper, or print an outline out using the link above in the supply list. Take your brown paper and cut it into strips. Take these strips of paper and let your little ones tear them into smaller square pieces. Now let them glue these smaller torn pieces of paper to their acorn outline!

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6. Leaf Sensory Bag –  One of my favorite things about this time of year is being able to see all of the beauty colors that nature creates on her own! This sensory bag project perfectly captures those colors and it can also keep your little tikes busy for a while! To create this sensory bag, you will need:

1 Gallon Sized Ziploc Bag
Clear Packaging Tape
5 to 6 Cups of Water
5 to 7 Drops of Yellow Food Dye
1 tbsp of Fake Leaves
1 tbsp of Fine Glitter ( Brown or Orange )
Large Flake Glitter ( Gold )

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Add all of the items listed above to your Ziploc bag, all but the clear packaging tape 🙂 . You can either let your little ones explore with this sensory bag outside, or use the clear packaging tape to tape the bag to a glass door in your home. Either way, the beautiful fall colors of this sensory activity will be so engaging, you probably won’t hear them make a peep for a while! NOTE: Our sensory bags ALWAYS leak, no matter how much tape we use or secure our lock is. This is why we recommend to do them outside or to tape them upright to a glass door. Learn from our mistakes 😉

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7. Jack O’Lantern Busy Bag – This is a busy bag that we originally created back in October for Halloween. However, some people will argue that Jack O’Lanterns are not specific to Halloween, so we’ve included them here in our Fall projects list. For this busy bag activity, you will need:

2 Pieces of Orange Felt
1 Piece of Black Felts
A Sharpie
A Pair of Scissors
A Plastic Ziploc Bag

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First, cut out two pumpkins shapes from your orange pieces of felt. Next, using your black piece of felt, cut out several eye and mouth options for your pumpkins. To keep all of these items together for future use and easy storage, we seal them away in a small Ziploc bag!

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8. Corn Counting – This is a project we actually created for the month of October, but LC loves bringing out her cards and playing with this counting game. It could be because she likes to count, but I’m thinking it’s because she gets to eat some candy at the end! For this activity you will need:

Candy Corn Number Cards ( We made these ourselves! Incredibly easy to create )
A Bag of Candy Corn ( or maybe two if you enjoy these sweet treats 🙂 )

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To make our number cards, we used large note cards, a black sharpie, and orange and yellow crayons. We created numbers 1 – 10 for LC to use and used contact paper to seal them in order to have them for continued use. Starting at one, we went through each card and placed that amount of candy corn on each card. It’s sounds pretty simple, but what it does is correlate a physical amount of some object with the numbers they have seen and have been learning. This is a very important skill when it comes to math and understanding addition and subtraction problems.

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9. Bobbing For Apples – This is such a cute idea for a sensory activity! Since we aren’t experiencing chilly days just yet, we decided to enjoy this water activity outside in the sunshine. For this cute sensory activity, you will need:

Fake Mini Apples ( We FINALLY found our set at Michael’s Arts and Crafts )
One Large Bowl
Water
Basket or Another Bowl
Tongs

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This activity is pretty simple to put together, but our daughter played with it for almost an hour straight! Just fill your large bowl up with water, add the apples, give your little ones the tongs and let them get to “bobbing “.

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10. Autumn Tree – The beauty of fall comes from the changing leaves. We did this super simple painting project using a scrub brush to create a really cool effect. While it was a bit messy, the little one sure did have fun and loved the colorful tree she created! This painting projects requires:

Scrub Brush
Painting Paper
Paint ( Red, Orange, and Yellow )
A Sharpie
A Paper Plate

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Using a large sheet of painting paper, we drew a large outline of a tree. Next, we simply added paint to our paper plate and let our daughter use the scrubber to create this colorful autumn tree.

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11. Fall Sensory Tray – There are plenty of items to can throw together to make this fall themed sensory tray! You could add mini pumpkins, pine cones, and even acorns. For us, we stuck to items that we already had in our home. To make this sensory tray more inviting, remember to add colorful and shiny items! To create this sensory tray activity for your children, you will need:

Playdough
Fake Leaves
Large Jewels
Sticks
Cinnamon Sticks
And anything fall themed you can think of 🙂

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We made “fall cookies” with our playdough that actually smelled like cinnamon thanks to our cinnamon sticks! We also used this sticks as rolling pins, but you could always incorporate actual playdough tools to this sensory activity.

Looking for a homemade playdough recipe? Check out our post all about homemade sensory materials ” Homemade Sensory Materials: The Best 10 Recipes For Sensory Materials “. This post features 3 different recipes for playdough, Flubber, Floam, the trick to amazing sensory bottles, and even Moon Sand !

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12. Yarn Wraps – This is a great fine motor skills project idea! Our 2 year old is beginning to work with lacing items, and this project is an awesome way to start that journey.  To create these beautiful wraps, you will need:

Cardboard
Colorful Yarn
A Pair of Scissors
Tape

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Trace a leaf on to your piece of cardboard and cut out this shape. If you have a big enough piece of cardboard, I’d recommend cutting out a few leaf shapes. Unwrap enough yarn from your roll and tape the end to your cardboard cutout. Now let your children begin to wrap this leaf cut out with their yarn. We purchased this amazing yarn at Walmart. It fades back and forth between colors which makes these leaf wraps even cooler !

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13. Autumn Leaf Suncatchers – Suncatchers are incredibly easy to make and you can do them with almost any theme you can think of!  For this activity you will need:

Contact Paper
Yellow, Orange, and Red Tissue Paper
A Pair of Scissors
Black Construction Paper

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First, take your tissue paper and cut into small squares. Now take your black construction paper, fold it in the half, and then cut out your leaf shapes like you would cut out a heart. Once you have your leaf shape cut out, keep it folded and cut a smaller version out this shape out. This will give you your black border.

Cut a rectangular portion of contact paper off from the roll, lay flat and remove the white paper. Lay down your black border towards the bottom of your contact paper. This way you can fold the top portion of contact paper over where your leafs are in order to seal them later in the project when you are done. Once your have placed your black border on to the contact paper, let your little one add the tissue paper to the center of the leaf to create their colorful leafs. Once they are done, NOW you fold over your contact paper and press to seal.

Trim the excess contact paper off from around from the leaf’s border and you’re all set. Add a small amount of tape to the back of the leafs and hang them in a window. They will be even more beautiful once the sunlight shines through!

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14. Painting With Pine Cones – You can paint with just about anything! Since we’re enjoying fall, we thought it would be fun to paint with something that was keeping with that theme. It’s actually pretty hard to paint with a pine cone and NOT get messy, but we sure had fun! 🙂 We’re on a mission right now, trying to get our daughter over her obsession with keeping her hands clean. So a project like this helps to encourage her to get a little messy. For this painting project, you will need:

Pine Cones
Paint
Painting Paper ( or paper thick enough to paint on )
A Paper Plate

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There’s really nothing to setting up this project. The hardest part for some may just be finding a pine cone. If you can’t find one out in your backyard or on a walk, there actually see bags of them at Michael’s and Walmart this time of year. Just lay out your piece of painting paper, put your paint on a paper plate, dip your pine cones into the paint and stamp away! This can be a very messy painting project, so we would recommend you doing this one outside, or at least in a place where a pine cone could roll on the floor and it would be okay!

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15. Turkey Tracks  Thanksgiving is something we always look forward to once the leaves start to change and the crisp fall air arrives. What says Thanksgiving more than a turkey project ?! For this project, you will need:

2 Pipe Cleaners ( For One Foot )
Painting Paper
Paint
Paper Plates

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To make your turkey feet, hold your 2 pipe cleaner together and fold in half. Bend out three of the “toes” to form your turkey feet. Take the fourth ” toe ” and wrap in around the ” ankle ” to secure your foot and toes in place. Place your paint on a paper plate for easy clean up, dip your turkey foot into the paint and ” stomp ” away ! Side Note: Yea, red paint probably wasn’t the best choice for making our turkey tracks…. maybe she’s still on her Halloween kick?

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16. Mess Free Leaf Painting – We thought we’d be nice and share this idea for a MESS FREE painting activity that your little one will love just as much as ours! Seriously, no paint on clothes, hands, feet, or faces. The clean up is a breeze and contained in a container with a lid. Try this one today! For this mess free painting project, you will need:

A Container With A Lid
Paint
Marbles
Leaf Print Out ( We drew our own, but here are some useful coloring sheets to use 🙂  PUMPKIN or LEAF )

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Once you have your coloring sheets, cut them to fit into your selected container. Add a small piece of tape to the bottom of your container and then place your paper into the container. This way, the picture stays in place while it’s being “painted”. Add a handful of marbles and a few globs paint, secure the top on to your container and give to your child to shake it up!

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The marbles will create a pretty cool textures and print on the picture and you’re left… with NO MESS 🙂 You’re welcome !

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17. Turkey Bar – This is a cute and simple activity that allows for your little ones to get creative. Just present them with this tray and let them create their very own turkeys. For this activity, you will need:

Construction Paper
Googly Eyes
Glue Sticks
Scissors
Tray

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Using your construction paper, cut out several large circles for the turkey bodies in various colors, as well as lots of feathers and beaks. Add these pieces, along with your googly eyes and glue sticks, to a tray and present to your children. This activity is very easy to put together and you can add other elements as well. You could use real feathers, pipe cleaners, or even large jewels to make each turkey unique !

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Let your little ones help you decorate and use these cute little turkeys as place holders at the Thanksgiving table! This lets your children get involved and be creative, but it also takes one more thing off your plate for that crazy day 🙂

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18. Salt Dough Leaves – This was our first time making salt dough, but it was actually easier than we thought. However, I had no idea our creations with this dough would take so long in the oven. Keep that in mind when doing this project! It took some work, but LC was so proud of her creations and couldn’t wait to paint them. To create your own salt dough leaves, you will need:

2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Cup of Warm Water
1 Cup of Salt
Paint
Paintbrushes
Glitter ( Fall Colors )

You will first need to make your salt dough. To do that, simply combine your warm water and salt in a large bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved. Preheat your oven to 250*F.

Gradually add in your flour. We found that after we added in our 2 cups, we still needed to knead it a bit on a floured counter top. We took small pieces of our dough and created leaf shapes. We placed these leaves on a cookie tray and baked them for about an hour and a half. The time to bake is really based on how thick your creations on. For this thicker items, you’ll want to leave them in the oven longer, but just remember to keep an eye on them.

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After they were FINALLY done baking, we let them cool for about 2 hours. We wanted to make sure that they were completely cool before we started to touch and paint them.

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After we painted our leaves, we sprinkled on some glitter as a final touch!

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19. Candy Corn Letters – We couldn’t do a list of activities and projects without including some sort of educational options! This Candy Corn Letters project is easy to put together and is quite tasty as well. For this activity, you will need:

Letter Sheets ( Make your own, or print off these )
Candy Corn

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Help your little ones get their little fingers moving and line each letter using the candy corn. Just try to not eat too much, those Ws take up a good amount of candy 🙂

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20. Fall Wreath– Whether it’s decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas, we all love decorating our homes this time of year. Create these cute wreaths with your little ones to bring in those beautiful, warm fall colors into your home! For this cute painting project, you will need:

Painting Paper ( or paper thick enough to paint on )
Paint ( Orange, Yellow, and Red )
Scrub Brush
Paper Plate
A Sharpie

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Using your Sharpie, draw a circle on your painting paper and add a cute little bow if you’d like. Next, add your paint to your paper plate for easy clean up and let your kids use the scrubber to create their colorful fall wreaths.

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21. Apple and Cinnamon Sensory Bin: Warm Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal screams Fall to me. I’m not big on pumpkin flavored …. anything, really. This sensory bin activity is easy to put together, fun to play with, and above all, SMELLS DELICIOUS! To create this bin for your little ones, you will need:

Oatmeal
Fake Apples ( We found our set at Michael’s Arts and Crafts )
Cinnamon Sticks
Measuring Cups

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Look at the cute cinnamon mustache face!

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22. Pumpkin Name Puzzle– Here is another fun, but educational project for you and your children to create and use together. For this fun puzzle activity, you will need:

Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
1 Piece of Construction Paper
Orange, Green, and Brown Crayons or Markers
A Black Sharpie

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First, write each letter of your desired name on the popsicle sticks. Line these sticks up and trace them on to your piece of construction paper and then write the letters on these traced popsicle sticks as well. Color your popsicle sticks and the matching traced set orange.

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Next, use your brown and green crayons or markers to add and color your stem and leaves to the top of your “pumpkin”. Your puzzle is all ready for your little one to explore and learn with!

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23. Shape Turkeys: Here’s a fun project to do with your little ones that also allows you to focus on shapes, grouping items, and fine motor skills! >> For this project, you will need:

Construction Paper
Scissors
Glue Sticks ( Optional )
Googly Eyes

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This project touches on so many concepts and skills! Putting all the pieces in place, including the googly eyes, is a great activity for focusing on refining fine motor skills. While grouping all of the like shapes together is a great activity for developing math skills. And finally, this project is wonderful for little ones that are learning their shapes and that these shapes come in various sizes. You could even turn it into a game by laying all of the shapes pieces out and asking them to find all of the squares, or triangles, for example.

You can have your little ones glue their shape turkeys together, or just assemble them without glue so that you can repeat this project over and over again.

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24. Torn Paper Candy Corn: Torn paper projects are a fantastically easy way to focus on refining fine motor skills and little kids love them! Our little one has become a master with a glue thanks to us doing this projects together all the time. For this adorable candy corn project, you will need:

Black, White, Orange, and Yellow Construction Paper
White Crayon
Glue Stick
A Pair of Scissors

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Use your white crayon to make a large candy corn outline on your piece of black construction paper. Cut your orange, yellow, and white construction paper into strips and then have your little ones tear these strips into small squares. Now, take these pieces of torn paper and hand them over to your children along with a glue stick. 🙂

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Our daughter is a bit particular about sorting colors, so her candy corn actually looks like a piece of candy corn. When we tried to get her to put a different color in with the others, she just wasn’t having it! Oh well.

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25. Harvest Scarecrow: We did this activity for Halloween and since we had so much fun creating out scarecrow, we brought all the supplies out again to make some new guys for fall! For this scarecrow project, you will need:

White, Red, and Brown Construction Paper
Scarecrow Outline ( We drew our own, but here’s an outline for you to print off )
A Pair of Scissors
Glue Stick

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First, either print off the scarecrow from the link provided above, or create your own on a piece of construction paper. Next, using a piece of red construction paper, tear up little pieces for your little ones to use in creating their scarecrow’s shirt. Create his hat using brown construction paper and cut out a few circles for his buttons to add at the end. This project is simple to put together and your little ones will have fun dressing their new friend!

That concludes our Fall projects and activities list! We hope that you have found at least one activity to do with your family, or at the very least, inspired you to get into the Fall spirit. We’d love to hear from you and hear about your experiences with our project ideas. Enjoy!

Brittany XOXO

Be sure to swing by our Etsy shop for handmade educational supplies. We have tons of supplies for your sensory bin activities and each of our sensory bin kits come with a brand new book that relates to the theme of the kit! Click the link below to be taken to our shop 🙂

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Looking for something for you? Check out LC Designs’ Etsy page featuring hand painted inspirational canvas pieces, magnets, and cards! Click the link below to take a look at all of these motivating pieces!

LC Designs

Homemade Sensory Materials: The Best 10 Recipes For Sensory Activities

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With a 2 year old that loves to explore, we find ourselves doing more and more sensory activities every week. Like any toddler, our little one loves to explore, play with her hands, and dive right into projects. We’re still working on messy play as our daughter does NOT like getting her hands dirty. We’re big fans of sensory bin activities and run our own Etsy shop dedicated to these supplies. Since sensory materials, like playdough and slim, can get a bit costly and messy over time, we’ve been making our own and started the Etsy shop as a way to provide these materials at reasonable prices. Making your own sensory materials can still be a bit expensive at first, but you do get more for your money in the long run. We’ve played around with recipes and techniques and have compiled our favorites here for you! Check out our list of our favorite sensory items, recipes, and fun ideas to do with them below. Enjoy!




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Homemade playdough is incredibly easy to put together and making it yourself allows you to personalize the texture, color, and even the scent! Here are 3 of our favorite homemade playdough recipes and a few activities that we’ve done with them in the past just for fun, as well as for educational connections.

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Recipe:

1 Cup of Conditioner
2 Cups of Cornstarch
Food Coloring ( Optional )

How To:

1. Add your conditioner and, if desired, food coloring to a large bowl and mix well. If you’re trying to achieve a certain color, it’s best to use a conditioner that is white. This makes getting your desired color a lot easier! Be sure to add a generous amount of food dye as you will be adding cornstarch ( white ) which will lighten your color.

2. Add your cornstarch and mix everything together. Once it becomes difficult to stir with a spoon, you’re almost there! Take the playdough out of the bowl and knead it for a few more minutes. Store in a Ziploc bag or an air tight container.

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Here is a Halloween playdough tray activity we put together for our little one using this awesome playdough recipe. Our playdough turned out more of a peach color when we were shooting for orange, so don’t hold back on that food coloring if you’re trying to get a specific color! To view this sensory tray activity, or other Halloween themed project ideas, visit our post ” 31 Days of Halloween “.

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Recipe:

2 Cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Glitter
1/2 Cup of Water
2 Tbsp of Oil
Food Coloring

How To:

1. In a large bowl, add your water and food color. Mix together and then add your oil and glitter.

2. Add your 2 cups of flour to the bowl and begin to combine everything together.

3. Once it becomes difficult for you to mix with a spoon, take your dough out of the bowl and knead it on a counter top. I found it helpful to flour the counter top, just like how you would when you are baking :). Store in a Ziploc bag or an air tight container.

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We created this playdough for a fall sensory tray activity. This playdough is so incredibly easy to put together and the texture is create for little ones. Just like most toddlers, anything with glitter draws our little one in and this project was a hit with her!

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BONUS RECIPE ! Here is a recipe for a more traditional playdough.

Recipe:

2 1/2 Cups of Flour
1 Cup of Water
1/2 Cup of Salt
2 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil
Food Coloring

How To:

1. In a large bowl, combine your water and food coloring. Now add your salt and oil to the bowl and mix well. Your salt doesn’t need to dissolve.

2. Add your flour to the mix and combine to form a dough. Flour a smooth surface and place your dough on this surface to knead until you get your desired doughy texture. If you find that your dough is still a bit sticky, just add small amounts of flour and knead it some more. Store in a Ziploc bag or an air tight container.

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When we created this playdough, we used it for a letter building activity for our daughter. We have been working our way through the alphabet, and for our Letter P unit, we touched on “playdough”. Letter building with playdough is a great sensory activity, but it also helps with letter recognition and formation, while also being a great activity for refining those fine motor skills! All you need is a smooth surface, playdough, and letter cards. You could also had some tools, such as a rolling pin or silverware, in there for a more interactive and inviting center for little ones.

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We LOVE creating sensory bins with rice! It’s a great filler and always provides for bright and inviting colors. Creating colored rice at home is so simple and you can personalize the color to whatever you wish. The next time you’re at your local grocery store, or even an arts and crafts store, check out their coloring options for some inspiration!

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Recipe:

1 Cup of Rice
1 Tsp of White Vinegar
Food Coloring

How To:

1. In a large Ziploc bag, add your rice, vinegar, and food coloring. Seal the bag and mix well. For vivid and consistent coloring, be sure to add a good amount of food coloring, especially if you are making more than 1 cup of rice at a time. For example, when I make a cup of rice that I want to be a bright and beautiful yellow, I usually add about 8 – 10 drops of food coloring. You want to add enough food coloring to fully color all of your rice, but also enough to make your color pop!

2. Once your ingredients have been mixed well, lay a cookie tray out and line it with either parchment paper or wax paper. Dump out your rice onto this paper and try to smooth it out. This will help your rice dry faster. Lay your cookie sheet in the sun to dry, or leave alone for a good 3 to 4 hours. Once your rice has dried, break apart any portions that have clumped together and it’s ready for your sensory play. Side Note: That vinegar smell will go away the longer it stills out. 🙂

We make sensory bin rice ALL THE TIME! Visit our Etsy shop for already made rice sets and sensory bin kits! Each of our kits features colored rice, plenty of manipulatives, and a brand new book that relates to the theme of the kit. Click the link below to be taken to our shop’s main page 🙂

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Colorful pasta is another great filler for any sensory bin activity, but it can be a bit tricky to do yourself. After many experiments with different techniques, varying pasta sizes, and quantities, we have finally found the perfect way to dye pasta yourself! With this material, we have found that patience is key. If you’d rather just purchase this amazing filler, we also have this material in our Etsy shop! 

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Recipe:

1 Cup of Uncooked Pasta
2 Tsp Rubbing Alcohol
Food Coloring

How To:

1. In a small Ziploc bag, add your pasta, rubbing alcohol, and food coloring.

2. Carefully seal the Ziploc bag and shake it up a bit. Let the bag sit upright in a safe place over night. Be sure to place your bag in an area that you won’t mind a mess. We cover a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper, place our bags on that, and let it sit out in the garage. We’ve had our bags tip over before, so learn from our OOPS moments and hopefully you won’t end up with pink splotches on your garage floor! 🙂

3. After your pasta has soaked overnight, remove your pasta from the bag using a slotted spoon and lay it out on a few pieces of wax or parchment paper. It’s best to let it dry for another day, as this also helps the smell of rubbing alcohol diminish. Over time, that smell will go away.

Helpful Tip: Dying pasta at home can be a bit tricky, but it’s not impossible to achieve the result you want. Just remember that in order for your pasta of choice to get a great consistent coloring, the pasta will need to be completely covered in your rubbing alcohol/ food coloring mix. To achieve great coloring, it’s best to dye small amounts of pasta at a time, or you can just increase the amount of rubbing alcohol and food coloring you’re using

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Corn kernels are a great and fun filler for any sensory bin activity! Either left with their natural corn, or dyed a bright and beautiful color, your little one will love this material to explore with. Once you figure out the right way to dye these kernels, it is incredibly easy to do.

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Here is our little one doing a fall themed sensory bin activity using corn kernels, fake leaves, and letter magnets. Keep an eye out for our other fall themed activities and projects in our ” 25 Days of Fall ” post coming out later this week !

Recipe:

1/2 Cup of Corn Kernels
1/2 Cup of White Vinegar
Food Coloring

How To:

1. In a Ziploc bag, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Make sure that your kernels are completely covered and submerged in the vinegar.

2. Let your kernels sit in the bag for at least 24 hours. Make sure your Ziploc bag is sitting upright. Once they have soaked, use a slotted spoon to remove your kernels from the bag and place them on a piece of wax paper. Let them sit out and dry for another 24 hours. Be sure that your kernels are spread out and not clumped together so that they will actually dry 🙂

 

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What child doesn’t love slime? Well….mine! Our little LC doesn’t like getting her hands dirty or sticky. She’s better about it than she use to be, but we’re still working with her. We keep presenting her with projects that force her to get a little messy. She always has the option to not do activities like this, but we still try to encourage her. One way we get her to engage in sticky project is by using bright and inviting colors. Glitter helps too!

Recipe:

1 Bottle of Elmer’s Clear Glue
1/2 Cup of Sta-Flo Liquid Starch
Fine Glitter
Food Coloring
Vinegar ( for Clean Up )

How To:

1. In a bowl, combine the bottle of glue, glitter, and food coloring.

2. Add your 1/2 cup of liquid starch and mix everything together well. Super simple, right?

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Special Note: This is REALLY slimy stuff. When we make this solution, we like to play with it outside! It’s incredibly fun to play with, but it can be a bit messy. Use vinegar to get it off any surface that it may get stuff to and it works create for getting it off your hands too!

Variations: You can get different kinds of confetti to add to this goop to correlate with any theme! We recently made this goop again and made it a Halloween themed activity by coloring it orange and adding large Halloween themed confetti to the mix!

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Yes, FLOAM! I remember playing with this stuff when I was a kid, so we created our own at home just this weekend for LC to play with.

Recipe:

2 Tsp Borax
1 Bottle of Elmer’s Glue ( White )
1/2 Cup of VERY Warm Water
1/4 Cup of Warm Water
2 Cups of Styrofoam Beads ( Poly-Fil Micro Beads )
Food Coloring

How To:

1. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of VERY warm water with the 2 Tsp of Borax. Stir until the Borax has completely dissolved and set aside. NOTE: Be sure to actually be using VERY warm water during this step, as it will help the Borax dissolve quicker.

2. In another bowl, pour in your entire bottle of glue and 1/4 Cup of Elmer’s glue. Add the food coloring and mix everything together well. Note: Be sure to use warm water during this step, as it will help all of the ingredients combine easily.

3. Pour each of the bowls into a large Ziploc bag. Add in your 2 cups of Styrofoam beads, seal the bag, and squeeze and roll the bag to combine. At first, it may seem like it’s not working, but the more you squeeze the bag and combine those ingredients, everything will start to form perfectly! After a while, we took our Floam out of the bag and ” kneaded ” it on our counter top. Once the glue stops sticking to your hands, you’re good to go with your Floam!

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You can find these Poly-Fil Micro Beads at almost any craft store, but we got super lucky and found our bag at The Dollar Store! Since they have all of their Christmas decor out already, these Styrofoam beads were being sold as fake snow and one bag was exactly the amount we needed. For storage, I would recommend an air tight container of some sort.

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Recipe:

1 Tsp of Borax
5 oz. Bottle of Clear Elmer’s Glue
Food Coloring
1 Cup of Hot Water
1/2 Cup of Warm Water
Glitter
Vinegar ( For Clean Up )

How To:

1. In a bowl, combine your hot water and the 1 tsp of Borax. Stir until the Borax dissolves.

2. In another bowl, combine your 1/2 cup of warm water, all of your bottle of clear glue, food coloring, and glitter.

3. Pour your bowl of the borax mix into the other bowl and wait about one minute. Stir to combine everything as best as you can. Pour out the excess water and remove your ” Flubber ” from the bowl. Knead your Flubber together on a counter top until it is firm and no longer slimy.

 

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Moon Sand is so easy to create and it was so much fun for our little one to play in. We made a batch for our ” Letter M ” exploration where we learned about all about the moon and created a ” Moon Exploring ” sensory bin activity. For this sensory bin activity, we simply added our moon sand, plenty of buttons and jewels in various shades of blue, and a few tools. Super simple!

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Here is our recipe for creating Moon Sand yourself. Chances are that you already have these items in your home. For storage, we just placed our sand in a large Ziploc bag until our next “moon landing” adventure!

Recipe:

8 Cups of Flour
1 Cup of Baby Oil
Food Coloring

How To:

1. Add your baby oil and food coloring to a large bowl and mix together. If you add your food coloring to the flour, or even last, it will just clump up and you won’t get your desired effect.

2. Take your 8 cups of flour and dump them into a large container. We used our sensory bin container for this step. To this container, add your baby oil and mix everything together well. Side Note: Use and large spoon or wear gloves when doing this last step. I didn’t and my hands were a weird shade of gray for a few days and I had to use a ton of Dawn dish soap to get the baby oil off! You’re welcome 🙂

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Sensory activities can be done in various ways and if you’re on the go and need something to entertain your little ones, sensory bottles are the way to go ( These are great at restaurants! ). Sensory bottles are incredibly easy to put together and they help you re-purpose used water bottles. You can go the basic route and just add water, a bit of food coloring, and glitter, or you can go all out and create an ” I Spy ” game!

The trick to making an awesome sensory bottle…. BABY OIL! Since baby oil and water don’t combine, it makes for a really cool effect in your bottles. Glitter and coloring enhance the appearance of your bottles and make them irresistible toys for little ones! We recently made these Galaxy themed sensory bottles while we were learning all about space during our ” Exploring The Letter S ” unit.

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Recipe:

Water Bottle ( We used a plastic mason jar and it actually didn’t leak AT ALL )
Baby Oil
Water
Glitter
Food Coloring

How To:

1. The amount of water and baby oil you will use depends on what size water bottle you have. You will want to fill up your bottle up half way with water.

2. Add your food coloring and glitter to your water bottle. Secure the cap and shake it up! This will be a good test to see if you truly have a leak proof bottle.

3. Now fill up the rest of your water bottle with the baby oil. Secure the cap again and shake it up to create your cool effect! HELPFUL TIP: If you have super glue in your home, you may want to use it to help you secure your top on to your bottle after all of your ingredients have been added. We all know that little ones are curious and they WILL try to unscrew that cap!

 

We hope these super simple recipes inspire you this weekend to create some hands on fun with your little ones. There’s a chance you already have all of the ingredient for one of these items already in your home!

Brittany XOXO

Be sure to swing by our Etsy shop for your sensory bin supplies. Check out our sensory bin kits that feature all of the materials for an activity, along with a brand new copy of a book that relates to the theme of the kit! Click the link below to be taken to our shop.

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Exploring The Letter R: Rain, Rainbows, and Rhinos

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter R ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter Q: Q-Tips and Quails “.

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During this letter exploration, we actually got to experience more rain than we cared to thanks to Hurricane Matthew! Here in North Carolina we experienced lots of flooding and power outages, but our neighborhood seemed to have been spared from much worse conditions. It just so happened that we were starting our letter R unit, where we were going to learn all about rain, rainbows, and rhinos. I guess we got what we asked for, huh? It rained and rained and rained!

Here are the activities and projects we did for the Rain portion of our letter exploration unit:

Rain Sticks

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To make our rain sticks, we used a paper towel roll, some parchment paper, two rubber bands, a few markers, and some corn kernels. First, let your children color and decorate the paper towel roll. Cut two circles out using your parchment paper, but make sure they are big enough to cover the holes AND go drape down the roll a bit. This will help ensure that this paper doesn’t pop out of place while your little ones are shaking them! Cover one end of your roll with a parchment paper circle and secure it into place with a rubber band. Drop in a handful of kernels into your roll and then secure the other end with the second parchment paper circle. And now you have a, very loud, rain stick 🙂

Rain Sensory Bin– Sensory bin activities can be so incredibly easy. Sometimes, we over complicate things by trying to incorporate a theme, or making sure our manipulatives match. We forget that children don’t necessarily need sensory activities with all this extra stuff going on. Really, all they need is a few items for them to explore with all on their own. For this unit, we just added water to our sensory bin and gave LC plenty of tools to play with and create her own ” rain “. She used watering cans and small buckets to dump her water back into her bin. She loved it! To be fair, LC loves playing in water, so we knew she’d love this activity!

Rain Cloud in a Jar

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This rain cloud activity we did was incredibly easily, but it was so fun to watch! All you need to create your own rain cloud is a glass of water, food coloring, and shaving cream! It’s best to use a clear cup for this activity, since you want to see the cool effect from the food coloring and cream. Fill your glass up with water, but be sure to leave enough room for your ” rain cloud “. Add the shaving cream to the top of the water. Now drop in several drops of food coloring and watch the magic happen! We probably stared at this glass for about 30 minutes together. It just looked so cool and after awhile, your shaving cream turns the same color of dye you dropped in. It’s a very cool effect!

Here are the video resources we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Playing In The Rain

Rain Rain Go Away

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We couldn’t learn about rain without also talking  about rainbows! After Hurricane Matthew left our area, we were able to see lots and lots of beautiful rainbows. Seriously… I couldn’t have planned this letter exploration any better. Thanks Mother Nature!

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Skittles Experiment

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Since we were experimenting with colors, we did a cool like “science” project with a bag of Skittles, water, and a plate. Simply lay out your Skittles and slowly add enough water to cover half of the candies. Just give it a few minutes and watch the colors start to spread! Here is a really cool video we watched and got some inspiration from.

Rainbow Writing

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Throughout our letter exploration units, LC has really come to know the letters of the alphabet. We thought we’d start getting some practice with creating and writing these letters and found this super cool sand writing activity! To do this activity with your own little ones, you will need a cookie tray, sand, alphabet cards, and a piece of rainbow scrapbooking paper. Cut your piece of rainbow paper to fit into your cookie tray, lay it on the sheet, cover with a thin layer of sand, and you’re ready to start rainbow writing!

Rainbow Sensory Bin– Since we did a “bland” sensory bin activity earlier in our unit, we thought we’d change it up for our rainbow unit with a Rainbow Rice sensory bin! All we did was use one of our rainbow rice sets with measuring cups and let LC explore with all of the colors of the rainbow. If you’d like to look at our Rainbow Rice sets, check out our Etsy where you can purchase this set for your little ones to explore in. Click the image below to be taken to our shop 🙂

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Here are the video resources we used for the Rainbow portion of our unit:

How A Rainbow Is Formed ( This video is a little advanced for toddlers, but LC could not take her eyes off of it! )

The Rainbow Song

Rainbow Song #2

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Rain and Rainbows go together so perfectly that we just had to through a crazy creature into the mix this week. A creature that definitely DID NOT go along with the rest of our theme, RHINOS!

Here are the activities we did for the Rhino portion of our letter exploration unit:

Rhino Coloring Sheets– Here is a link to the Rhino coloring sheets we used for this portion of our letter unit. We colored a few of these sheets, but we also painted some of them using the color gray. Grey isn’t a color we often use, but we thought it would be cool for LC to explore using a bland color after her rainbow unit!

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our unit:

Rhino: Animals For Children

Video For Children: Rhinos

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Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, this letter exploration unit was pretty easy and engaging! We learned and experienced way more than we wanted to about rain, but we also got to experience some real rainbows. With the way this week went with our letter exploration, we half expected a Rhino to show up in our lawn some way. Thankfully that wasn’t the case! We hope that you enjoyed this letter unit. If you did, continue on to our next exploration all about the letter S: ” Exploring The Letter S: Sleep, Space, and Seahorses

Brittany XOXO

Don’t forget to visit our Etsy shop for handmade educational supplies. We have tons of sensory bin rice and pasta, as well as some wonderful holiday themed sensory bin kits. Each of our kits features a brand new book that relates to the theme of each kit. Click the image below to be taken to our shop’s main page.

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Exploring The Letter Q: Q-Tips and Quails

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter Q ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter P: Playdough, Pizza, and Parrots “.

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No, we didn’t learn about how Q-Tips are made or who created these little useful cotton swaps. Instead, we explored the various ways we can use them as tools, in craft projects, and in our sensory centers.

Here are the activities and projects we did with the Q-Tips portion of our letter exploration unit:

Painting With Q-Tips

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We used our Q-Tips as paintbrushes for an awesome painting project! First, we painted the letter Q and then we moved to a fall themed painting project. Using the Q-Tips and paint, we created a beautiful fall colored tree that looked incredible once we were done. This one was so easy to do!

Taking Care of Our Toys– We all know that, over time, our toys get dirty, slimy, and covered in an unknown sticky film. We thought we’d show our toy bin some love and clean them up using our Q-Tips as great little tools to reach in those tiny places. We filled up a large bowl with soap water and cleaned one toy at a time, bringing it back to it’s original beauty ! LC loves to help with chores and she was all about this ” fun ” project! Most children at this age think that soapy water is the best thing ever, so take full advantage while you can!

Science Center– We added some Q-Tips to our Science Center, where they can be used in a scientific manner. LC has been using them to clean her rock and gem collection, explore a pine cones, clean her bug observer, and even found some mud to poke around in!

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Birds seem to be a common thing in our letter explorations lately and since Q is kind of a hard letter to find items for, we just had to Quails! Seriously, how many other things can you think of that start with Q that would be interesting for a toddler? Yes, there’s Queen, but since LC already has a ” I’m the only kid around here ” complex, we decided to leave that one off the table! 🙂

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Q For Quail– Check out this wonderful quail project from ” My Creative Life “ that we did for this unit. This blog has some great ideas and craft projects for kids, so be sure to search around for other projects to do with your family!

Other Q Explorations – We stumbled across this other blogger’s letter unit this week and incorporated some of her ideas into our own unit. Check out her wonderful ideas and letter prompts!

Here are the video resources we used for the Quail portion of our letter exploration unit:

The California Quail

Running of The Quail ( LC found this one hilarious ! )

Quail Hatching

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Okay, we made it through this hard letter! Honestly, the most fun we had was trying to think of ideas for using our Q-Tips. Now that she is constantly ” in need ” of a Q-Tip, I have to say that all of our toys are bright and shiny and are the cleanest they’ve ever been! We hope that this post has inspired you in your own letter exploration and we hope that you’ll join us next week for our ” Exploring The Letter R: Rain, Rainbows, and Rhinos ” unit!

Brittany XOXO

Don’t forget about our Etsy shop! Click the image below to be taken directly to our page. You’ll find handmade educational items and supplies and kits for your sensory bin activities! We take custom orders too! Also, each of our sensory bin kits come with a brand new book that relates to the theme of the kit!

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Exploring The Letter P: Playdough, Pizza, and Parrots

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter P ! Be sure to check out our previous post: “ Exploring The Letter O: Owls, Oranges, and Ostriches “.

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Playdough is a staple in almost every household with kids. It’s in every single preschool classroom and who doesn’t love playing with it ?! I’m not a big fan of the smell of playdough, it makes me a bit nauseated actually, so we tend to make our own! Below you can find a link to our homemade playdough that smells amazing 🙂

Here are the activities we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Homemade Playdough – Check out our homemade playdough recipe here. It’s super easy to make and you only you need 2 ingredients!

Building Letters with Playdough

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Halloween Playdough Fun –

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Since Halloween is right around the corner, we did a fun Halloween themed playdough sensory activity! To see all of our other Halloween projects and activities, check out our post ” 31 Days of Halloween: 31 Craft Ideas and Activities For Toddlers “. Our Etsy shop also has a few sensory bin kits for this theme as well!

Here are the videos we used for exploring ” playdough ” :

Playdough Cookout Creations ( Product video, our little one is hooked to these types of videos lately ! )

Stop Motion with Playdough 

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Our little LC has recently discovered the world of PIZZA! Like most people, she just can’t get enough of it and since we take full advantage of her interests for our educational units, we just had to cover Pizza.

Here are the pizza activities we did for this portion of our letter unit:

Homemade Pizza

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Another cooking project with our little one! Lyanna loves to help us in the kitchen now, so we had some fun over the weekend making homemade pizza together. Of course, we turned this adventure into something educational for our little one. Together, we made the dough, watched it rise throughout the day, punched it down and let it rise again. Since LC is a big fan of painting, obviously her favorite part of this activity was “painting” on the sauce. We sprinkled on the cheese, lots and lots of cheese, and used the toppings portion as a good counting review 🙂 . We highly recommend doing cooking activities with your kids because it can be integrated into so many different subject areas and cover a wide variety of skills. Math skills, fine motor skills, cultural awareness, geography, and so on! You can pick up a pizza crust all ready to go from most grocery stores, but we love making our own. Here is our pizza dough recipe:

4 Cups of Flour
1 Tsp of Salt
1 1/2 Tbsp of Sugar
1 Package of Dry Yeast
1 Cup of Warm Water
1/3 Cup of Milk
1 Tbsp of Shortening

1. In a small bowl, add your warm water to your packet of yeast and mix together. Let stand while you work on the other portion of your dough.

2. Sift flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.

3. Add the yeast, shortening, and milk to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Mix together and punch dough into a satin finish. Cover and let rise ( 4 to 5 hours )

4. Roll your dough out. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes. This amount of dough usually gets us 2 pizzas, or enough dough for 4 calzones!

Pizza Sensory Bag –

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For this busy bag, you will need felt in yellow, white, red, and green, a pair of scissors, and a small Ziploc bag. Cut out the ” pizza crust ” using the yellow felt and the sauce from the red felt, and so on. ( See the picture above )

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We cut our pizza to be in an oval shape to actually work on this shape along with the other concepts we were wanting to cover. LC has been getting a bit hung up on this shape, so we thought it would be a great hands on learning experience. This was a great activity for working her little fingers and refining her fine motor skills, but it was also a great manipulative for counting practice. When you are done with your felt pizza, just place it in a Ziploc bag for storage.

Letter P Coloring Sheets – Here is a link to the coloring sheets we used for this letter exploration unit.

Here are the video resources we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Kids Take Over Pizza Store

Pizza Challenge

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Almost every week, we find ourselves in our local shopping center for some reason. During these trips, we try and stop by the PetSmart to let LC see some of the animals they have. Their fish area is one of her favorites to stop and check out, but lately she’s been very interested in the birds. We haven’t seen any parrots in the shop yet, but we thought it would be cool to teach our little one all about the birds she has been seeing, as well as parrots !

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

P for Parrot – You have to check out The Homeschool Creations’ website! We got this cute letter creation idea from their website and they actually have an idea for each letter of the alphabet. They are adorable !

Parrot Coloring Sheet – Here is a link to the parrot coloring sheets we used for this portion of our letter unit! If you are learning about other birds, there are actually a ton of coloring sheets here that feature various types of birds too!

Here are the video resources we used for the parrot portion of our letter unit:

Funny Parrot Compilation

Parrots: Majestic Birds 

Bird Noises

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Now that we’ve been doing these letter units for so long, we really don’t know what we’ll be doing once they are over! LC has been having so much fun learning about so many different things, we’ll have to find something to keep her happy! Next week, we’ll be covering the letter Q! Keep an eye out for that post : ” Exploring The Letter Q: Q-Tips and Quails “.

Brittany XOXO

Don’t forget to check out our Etsy shop for homemade educational supplies. We have tons of sensory supplies and sensory bin kits. Each of our kits come with a brand new book that relates to the them of the kit! Check it out by clicking the image below 🙂

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Exploring The Letter O: Owls, Oranges, and Ostriches

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter O ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter N: Nests, Night Time, and Necklaces ” !

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We’ve covered owls several times these past few months. From our ” Little Owl’s Night ” book unit, we learned about these creatures, their night life habits, where they live, and all sorts of other fun facts. We decided to come back to these adorable feathered fellas for this letter unit.

Here are the activities and projects we did for the owl portion of our letter exploration:

Paper Towel Owls

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Step 1: Take a paper towel roll and cut it in half, or you can use just a toilet paper roll. I suggest a paper towel roll because there are preschools, and people in general, that don’t like to use toilet paper rolls for projects. Hygiene reasons…. Anyways, after you cut your roll, color them using crayons or markers.

Step 2: On one end of your roll, fold down the edges to create your owls ears and form his head. ( See pictures above )

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Step 3: Using white and yellow construction paper, cut out two eyes and a beak. Using glue, attach these features to your roll. We recommend using Elmer’s glue, as it held better than when we used glue sticks.

Owl Masks

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Step 1: Color the back of your paper plate. We colored our mask AFTER we cut it out and it proved to be a bit more challenging for us.

Step 2: Fold your paper plate in half, draw an owl outline for you to cut out. Once you have cut out your mask, draw two eye holes for you to now cut out. The eye holes were incredibly easy to cut out using an Exacto knife, but remember to be very careful with this tool.

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Step 3: Take a small piece of yellow construction paper and cut out a triangle for your owl’s beak.

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All done! Look at the cute little owl face! 🙂

Little Owl’s Night – Check out our “ Little Owl’s Night ” book unit we enjoyed this past summer!

Here are the video resources we used for this portion of our letter exploration:

All About Owls

Funny Owl Videos

One Little Owl

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LC is a big fan of fruit and we’ve been playing with this interest throughout our letter exploration units. For the letter O, we decided to learn all about oranges. We learned about how they are harvested and the various ways they are used in different foods and sweet treats, and why they are a great snack option for our bodies!

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration:

Painting With Oranges

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Simple cut an orange in half, insert a fork into each piece, dip in paint, and GO!

Homemade Orange Juice

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It’s surprising that 4 ORANGES gave us only one cup of juice, but LC sure loved it! This is definitely a cool activity to do with your little ones and it gets those arm muscles working!

O Is For Orange – Here are some fun coloring sheets for you to use. We’ve printed off the whole alphabet to use over the course of our letter exploration unit!

Here are the video resources we used for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

How Oranges Grow

5 Little Oranges

Oranges: Exploring Fruits With Kids

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We all learned a lot about ostriches during this unit. Did you know that ostriches are the world’s largest birds and can run up to 70 mph, making them the fastest two legged animal!!! Crazy ! These birds are definitely intimidating, as they are pretty big and that fact about how fast they can run kind of freaked me out! However, LC loved learning about them and really enjoyed watching the videos we found. You can find the links to these videos below our activities.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Ostrich Sensory Bag

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Using black, peach, and white felt sheets, we created this ostrich busy bag for LC to use over and over again. You can find patterns for your ostriches here. This was a super simple project to do and now we have one more busy bag to add to our collection.

O Is For Ostrich

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We always try and get in one traditional letter craft during our exploration and this one was so simple to put together. All you need is a background piece of construction paper in any color, black and white construction paper, a marker or crayon, scissors, and a glue stick. Cut out your ostrich pieces from the black and white construction paper, as seen in the left picture above, and let your little one assemble on a piece of construction paper. When they are done, add the title ( O is for Ostrich ).

Ostrich Coloring Sheets – Here is a link to the ostrich coloring sheets we printed off for this portion of our letter unit.

Here are the video resources we used:

How Fast Can An Ostrich Run

Ostrich Watch

Videos For Kids – Ostriches 

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And that concludes yet another letter exploration unit. We’ve covered so much this week and even rekindled LC’s love for oranges! Remember, if you are following our letter units, we’d loved to hear from you and learn about your experiences. Stay tuned for our next unit: ” Exploring The P: Playdough, Pizza, and Parrots

Brittany XOXO

Be sure to swing by our Etsy shop for handmade educational supplies, sensory bin supplies, and sensory bin kits. Each of our sensory bin kits come with a brand new book that relates to the theme of the kit! We always have some kind of coupon code running for our shop. Make sure you are following us on Instagram to get the latest code offer! Our current offer is running until October 31. Get 40% off ANYTHING in our store with the code SPOOKY31. Click the link below to be taken to our shop!

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Exploring The Letter N: Night, Nests, and Necklaces

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter N ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter M: Monsters, The Moon, and Marshmallows “.

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For this portion of our letter exploration, we learned all about nocturnal animals, discussed our bedtime routine and how we prepare for night time, and what the beautiful night time sky looks like. LC seemed to really be interested in what happens at night after she goes to bed and what the animals outside of our home are doing while she sleeps. This was actually a pretty cool unit and we had lots of fun with our activities and projects!

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Night Time Sky Drawings – Using black construction paper, silver and gold crayons, and sparkly star stickers, we recreated the beautiful night time sky!

Little Owl’s Night – Over the summer, we completed a unit designed around the book ” Little Owl’s Night “. During the unit, we learned about nocturnal animals and what their lives are like since they are a bit backwards from our schedules. During this unit, we looked over our post about this unit and LC loved telling us all about the things she remembered. You can view this post by clicking here.

Coloring The Letter N

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This coloring activity gets children familiar with both variations of the letter they are learning about. We made this large coloring sheet ourselves, but you can find coloring sheets of your own here.

Day Time / Night Time – For this portion of our unit, we talked about the differences between day and night. We talked about what we do during these times, what outside looks like, and what the rest of the world is doing. This can be a difficult concept for younger children to understand, so we talked about specific things we do and when we do these things. For example, when do we put our pajamas on? When do we eat breakfast? When we lay down to go to bed, what does it look like outside? Is the sun shining bright or is it starting to get dark outside? LC may not fully understand these differences, but we’re getting there! Maybe this will help her understand when it’s okay to have a cookie. It’s definitely not at breakfast time when she keeps asking us! 🙂

Here are the video resources we used for our letter exploration:

Day Time and Night Time

 

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When we explored the letter E, we learned all about eggs and touched a little on nests. We rounded back for the letter N to learn more about these warm homes for eggs for this letter unit. We learned about the different types of animals that make nests for their eggs and families and how nests are made.

Here are a few of the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Paper Plate Nest

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For this project, you will need 2 paper plates, crayons, a stapler, some raffia ( straw or hay ), and egg cut outs. Over the summer, during our letter E exploration, we learned all about eggs! The egg cut outs you see in the picture above are actually from that unit. To create your own, just take a sheet of paper and draw a few medium sized eggs. Let your little one color and design them as they wish and then cut them out. For the nest, let your children color both sides of the paper plates. Once they are done, take one of your paper plates and cut it in half. Staple your two plates together and let your children fill their ” nests ” with the raffia and their eggs. While LC put her nest together, we talked all about the things we remembered for our egg unit, as well as all of the different types of animals we learned that make nests!

Nesting Bag

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A nesting bag is a bag of scrap pieces of materials that you put outside for birds. They can come take pieces from these bags to help them build their nests. For our nesting bag, we used the bag that our oranges came in, yarn, and raffia.

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We cut up the yarn and raffia into smaller pieces so that they are easy for birds to grab and to use in their nests. Finally, we tied our bag up in our tree for the birds to easily get to.

Here are the video resources we used for this portion of our letter exploration:

Bird Building A Nest

Animal Homes

BBC World of Nests

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Recently, LC has been collecting all kinds of play jewelry from her cousins. We’ve gathered quite the collection from play necklaces, party necklaces, and so on. For this portion of our unit, we decided to put these play items to use in various counting games and make a few necklaces of our own!

Here are a few of the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration:

Edible Necklaces

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We used some cereal and string to create these edible necklaces! LC loved these and so did our dogs. As always, they were there to “clean up ” her mess. This is a great activity for focusing on fine motor skills, but we also took this as an opportunity to practice counting. This project was definitely a hit!

Necklace Counting Games – LC has quite the collection of necklaces, so we’ve been using these pieces of jewelry to work on her math skills. We’ve also been playing dress up…. A LOT! One game idea involves these necklaces and dice. All you do is roll the dice, count the dots to determine the number, and then you put on that amount of necklaces. It’s incredibly simple, but LC loved getting to count and put her jewelry on herself and us as well!

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We hope that you enjoyed our letter N post exploration and that you will try these activities and projects with your little ones as well. LC has been getting an in depth look into each and every letter of the alphabet and we are so happy that we decided to dedicate so much time these explorations. We hope that you’ll join us next week for our next unit: “ Exploring The Letter O: Owls, Oranges, and Ostriches “.

Brittany XOXO

Don’t forget to check out our Etsy shop! We create homemade educational supplies including sensory bin items and kits. Each of our sensory bin kits include plenty of manipulatives for your little one AND a brand new book that relates to the theme of the kit. Click the image below to be taken to our page!

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Exploring The Letter M: Monsters, The Moon, and Marshmallows

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter M ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter L: Lions, Ladybugs, and Lemon “.

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Halloween is right around the corner and we couldn’t wait to do all of those spooky projects! We decided to cover monsters during this unit as a way to sneak in some holiday fun.

Here are a few of the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration:

Building A Monster

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Using various colors of construction paper, we created different parts of a monster’s body in different variations. We made heads, arms, bodies, eyes, and sets of feet. All you need for this project is construction paper, a sharpie, and a glue stick 🙂

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LC mixed up these body parts to create a few, very creepy, monsters. She’s a rockstar with a glue stick now!

Monster Sensory Bin

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Using green rice, googly monster eyes, a few sets of vampire teeth, and black beans, we created this adorable sensory bin to go along with the story ” There was an old monster “. Lyanna LOVED this activity and played with it for days! We love creating sensory bins based on books that we have read because it’s an outlet for us to get LC talking about the book, the things she remembers, and practice retelling the story. All of which are essential reading skills that children need experience with.

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We put together a version of this sensory bin that you can buy as a kit from our Etsy shop. The kit comes with all of the items you see in the pictures above, as well as your your copy of ” There was an old monster “. You can click here to be taken to this listing.

Monster Coloring SheetsHere is a link for some great monster coloring sheets.

Painting Monsters

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These used to be one of my favorite projects to do with my preschoolers! They are so easy to create and children just can’t wait to open the paper and see what their painting has become! All you need is white painting paper, or paper that is thick enough to be painted on, paint, a Sharpie, and some googly eyes. Fold your paper in half and then open it again. This will create a crease that will make folding it later a bit easier. Let your little one add paint however they choose.

NOTE: Try to get just enough paint on the paper. Too much paint will result in it leaking out when you fold it, and not having enough paint won’t create the same effect. Once your little one has added their paint, take the paper and fold it in half, just like how you did before. Lightly rub your hand over the piece of paper to make sure that the paint is blending and transferring. Now the real magic begins… slowly open the paper back up and watch your child’s eye light up!

Once the paint has dried, you can add facial features and glue on some cute googly eyes. For this project, we used googly monster eyes that we had found at The Dollar Tree!

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We loved the way these guys turned out! If you’re looking for a cool project to do with the kids, I would highly recommend this one. They are incredibly easy to create and don’t require any painting skills at all.

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Last Christmas, Lyanna was given a beautiful moon night light that lights up her room. Ever since then, she loves looking at the moon and talking about how pretty it is. Over the summer, we continuously read ” Little Owl’s Night ” where it talked about all of the nocturnal creatures that come out along with the moon. We decided to touch back on these two concepts during this unit and learn more about the moon itself.

Here are a few of the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration:

Coloring The Moon

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It’s the simple projects that seem to keep kids entertained the longest! Using a piece of black construction paper and silver crayons, we created the moon in the night time sky and added some lovely stars and the Milky Way.

Moon Sensory Bin

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We used moon sand for this sensory bin activity. You can find the recipe for this sand by clicking here. We added blue buttons and jewels for LC to play with. I will say that moon sand actually sticks MORE than regular sand. You were warned 🙂

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Coloring Sheets For The MoonHere is a link to a few different coloring sheets featuring the moon.

Here are the video resources we used for this portion of our letter exploration:

All About The Moon 

Moon Song Video

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M is for Marshmallows! We’ve been adding these yummy treats to our snack rotation lately and thought it would be awesome to incorporate them into our letter units. They are great for a quick, sweet snack, but there are also plenty activities you can do with them.

Here are a few of the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration:

Marshmallow Poppers

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Gather up these supplies and let the party begin. By “party” we mean a treat party for the dogs. LC didn’t quite understand that WE were suppose to catch them and the dogs were just too quick for her. It was fun none the less!

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Cut the bottom off of your plastic cups. In the picture, you’ll notice that we cut off the cylinder portion of balloon, but after trial and error, we realized that we were doing it wrong! Tie a knot in the cylinder portion of the balloon and cut of top of the balloon! This makes it easier for the balloon to stay on the cup and it gives you the piece to pull in order to make your marshmallows fly.

Once you have done those two steps, put the balloon around the bottom portion of the cup. Drop in a few marshmallows, pull the knot in the balloon, and watch the marshmallows go!

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In the end, Lyanna got tired of the dogs eating her treats. She wised up and decided that she would just use our poppers as a cup for the marshmallows and just eat them the normal way. What a party pooper! 🙂

Marshmallow Cupcakes

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For these adorable cupcakes, you will need a box of cake mix, icing, writing icing, sprinkles, marshmallows, and a pair of kitchen scissors. You will also need a few bowls for your sprinkles ( see pictures below ).

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Step 1: Follow the directions on the box and make your cupcake batter. Pour your batter into the cupcake liners, place in the oven, and let them bake away.

Step 2: While your cupcakes bake, you’ll want to get started on your “flower petals “. Pour your sprinkles into bowls and start by grabbing a handful of marshmallows. Cut each marshmallow at an angle and press the sticky portion into the sprinkles ( see picture above ).

Step 3: After your cupcakes have been baked and cooled, apply your icing. We then used green writing icing as the center of our flowers.

Step 4: Place your marshmallows petals around this icing center and keep placing them around the flower until there is no more room.

TA-DA! Adorable flower cupcakes! It may be a little tedious, but the results are so cute and even more delicious.

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As you can, LC tried… However, she ate more marshmallow than she could get on to her cupcake! This was a great project to do with our little one as it involved her two favorite things, sugar and bright colors!

Marshmallow Sensory Bin– If you haven’t been down the baking aisle lately, let me tell you about how the marshmallows options have changed! You can get marshmallows in different flavors, shapes, and sizes. From coconut to strawberry, from large to square. There are a million different options for you to select from. We bought 5 different kinds of marshmallows, put them in our bin designated for sensory activities and let LC have all the fun she wanted. It wasn’t until the end that she realized she could EAT them. What? I wasn’t looking to deal with a stomach ache from all that sugar!

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Thanks for reading our letter M exploration and we hope that we gave you some ideas to try with your little ones. If you happen to do any of these projects or activities, we’d love to hear about your experience. Next week, we explore the letter N in: ” Exploring The Letter N: Night, Nests, and Necklaces

Brittany XOXO

Be sure to swing by our Etsy shop for handmade educational supplies. We have colorful rice for sensory bins and sensory bin kits that come with a brand new book related to the theme of your kit! Check it out by clicking either of the images below 🙂

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