Munchkins and Moms

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dice Activities for Preschoolers

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First off, let me say DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS ACTIVITY IF YOUR LITTLE ONES STILL PUT SMALL ITEMS IN THEIR MOUTHS. There. Now that that is off my chest I can go on.
As I cleaned out my old teaching supplies the other day, I came across a small container with tons of dice in it. Dice that I collected throughout the years to play fun math games with, or simply to replace dice from missing board games. They were so colorful and fun that I felt really bad about putting them away without at least trying to do an activity with them...but what can a preschooler (or toddler, as you'll see my two year old involved as well!) do with dice? He's just beginning to understand 1 to 1 correspondence, and I suppose we could just count the pips (dots), but that seemed like a rather dry activity. As I took another look at them I thought they look like super fun miniature building blocks! So that's where we started :-)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Rainy Day Window Art

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The last couple days have left us cooped up indoors because of the rain. I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of rainy days. The kids are cooped up in the house as opposed to playing in the yard most of the day. That kind of drives them (and me!) crazy. While I was trying to keep us occupied, I kind of fumbled into this new painting technique that gave a pretty neat effect. I'm calling it "Rainy Day Art" inspired by our wet weather and the water drop effect on the paper :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pattern Blocks and Play Dough

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If you follow Munchkins and Moms on Instagram, then you might have seen a sneak peak of this post a couple weeks back. It was totally unplanned and I was caught off guard with how much both of my boys really enjoyed it!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

10 Ways to Use and Play with Mini Tractor Toys

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It would be an understatement to say my boys love tractors. Seriously, they dig them (pun intended) ;-) And I know they're not the only ones. These CAT toy tractors are in nearly every tot's household. They get some major bang for very little buck!
Here's a small list of 10 ways your kids can enjoy these toys in your house
(starting from the top left of the image and working my way down):
1. Construction Zone Cake (and it totally doesn't have to be for a birthday. How about just a tractor cake to celebrate it's Friday?) :-)
2. Alphabet Construction Zone What a great way to use those magnetic letters!
3. Alphabet Sensory Bin Dig Mixing the tractors with rainbow rice might be fun for little fingers!
4. Tractor Construction Site Part sensory bin play, part small world exploration, what's not to love?!
5. Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site Sensory Bin Based on one of our favorite bedtimes stories!
6. Construction Zone Breakfast We had a great time with this one!
(the following links are not pictured in the collage. Please click through the title to see them!) 
7. Excavating Hearts Construction Zone Who says tractors and hearts don't go together?
8. Snowy Construction Zone So much fun!!
9. Painting with Tractors A fun and different way to create art!
10. Simple Tractor Play This one is our everyday ready to play activity.  
How do your munchkins play with their tractors? Leave me a comment if you have new ideas to add to this list! Or stop by our Facebook page and leave a picture! (you can also follow Munchkins and Moms on Instagram and Pinterest!)

"The Very Busy Spider" Cutting Activity

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Scissors can be a scary thing to introduce to toddlers. Will they cut themselves? Will they cut their hair (or someone else's hair?!?) Do they really need to learn to use scissors yet? Of course there's always a risk of cutting things other than the items offered item, but with proper supervision, teaching scissor skills to toddlers is a fun and rewarding task! It helps build confidence and fine tune those fine motor skills. So no need to wait for preschool or kindergarten teachers to do the job, pull out some safety scissors and let your little one cut away!
If your munchkins are just starting out with scissors, the worst thing you can do is offer him/her a cutting page where they are to follow the lines in a pass/fail type of activity. This may be appropriate for preschoolers and children who have already mastered the skill of cutting, but for little ones just learning how to hold and control scissors it is not a developmentally appropriate activity. These children need the freedom to learn how to appropriately hold and control scissors before they should be expected to cut straight and zig-zag lines with them. That is why I offer fun (and usually themed) cutting trays to my 2 1/2 year old. Visit some of out other Cutting Tray Activities for more ideas!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tape Resist Heart Art

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I love hearts. Valentine's Day or any day of the year, hearts are just my favorite shape :-) If you're following Munchkins and Moms on Instagram, then you saw our Heart Art there just a couple days ago (Instagram followers always get a sneak peak at our activities!) Well, I've finally got a few minutes to post how we did this cute and simple art project!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Conversation Heart Toast

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I will be the first to admit I don't like conversation hearts. At least not the original ones, but I can eat the tangy kind all day long! And they are in every single store and at every singe check out aisle right now. I've been tempted a time or two to buy some (for educational and learning reasons, of course!) but have yet to give in to those temptations. In the meantime, we came up with a way to have fun and yummy "conversation hearts" as a snack at home, I give you Conversation Heart Toast!
Two of our favorite snack activities involve toast: Painted Toast Snack and Letterpress Toast. For a fun Valentine's Day treat, I simply combined the two activities into one!