archive for the 'DIY' category

DIY Art Center Yarn Cans

I put together these cute yarn cans for my self-help art shelf. They are easy to make and keep the yarn contained and neat. I used plastic mason jars, but any plastic container with a lid will do. Simply fill the container with yarn, poke a hole in the lid, and pull a small amount of yarn through the hole. The children can then pull out the length of yarn they want, and cut with scissors (this may take some supervision with younger children). Finally, label the can with the corresponding color name of yarn.

MATERIALS USED:

– Yarn
– Plastic containers with lids
Our free color labels


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Apple Lacing Cards

These colorful lacing apples are the perfect table top activity for fall. They keep my preschoolers happily amused, and help to improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They also increase their ability to concentrate. While supervising this activity, put an emphasis on the in and out motion, and encourage proper hole placement for the shoe lace. Some children will pick this concept up quickly, while others will simply want to lace it their way.

Materials Used:

Foam sheets
Shoe laces
Hole punch
Our free apple template


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Fishy Friends Felt Board Activity

This fish match up game is a quick and easy way to teach colors and provide visual discrimination practice. It can be used as an independent table top exercise, or as a small group activity. In addition, it makes a fun and interactive circle time activity. Pass the fish pairs out, then go around the circle and ask each child to find their fish’s friend. Next direct the children to place their fish pairs side by side on the flannel board. Another alternative is to have the teacher place a fish on the board, and then have the child with the matching fish come up and complete the pair.

Materials Used:

– Felt board
Felt
Tacky glue
Scissors
Glitter Glue
Googly Eyes
Sequins
Our fish template


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Under the Sea Play Dough Activity

This play dough tray is the perfect addition to any ocean theme. Preschoolers will enjoy building their own seascapes with driftwood, shells, and other goodies. I am so excited to present this invitation to play.

PLAY DOUGH RECIPE:

– 2 cups of plain flour
– 2 tbsp. of cooking oil
– 1 cup of salt
– 1 tsp.cream of tartar
– 2 cups of water
– Water color or food coloring

Add the color to the water and mix well. Mix all of the ingredients into a large pan. Cook slowly on medium heat, stirring until the dough thickens. Remove from heat, let cool, and knead.

MATERIALS USED:

– Driftwood
Seashells
Ocean animal figurines
Acrylic craft jewels
– Starfish


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Garden Felt Board Activity

Children love to use the flannel board, and I give them that opportunity as often as I can. This table top board is perfect for a small group. I like to gather two or three children and have them work together to create a scene. Once the activity is completed, preschoolers practice pre-reading skills by telling oral stories (about their picture) and acting them out. The possibilities are endless. This springtime activity also teaches color recognition, association, and helps improve visual perception skills.

Materials Used:

– Flannel board
Felt
– Our garden board felt templates
Scissors
– A Ziploc to store the felt pieces


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Bugs and Flowers Sensory Bin

Last week Zoey wrote about her garden sensory bin. I thought it was completely amazing, and could not wait to come up with my own variation. This bin uses the same base (brown colored rice) which looks exactly like mulch. Mini pots are holding flowers, but I am hoping my children will also use them to sort the different types of bugs.

That’s the wonderful thing about sensory bins; they are literally bins overflowing with learning opportunities. Looking forward to seeing those little green thumbs!

MATERIALS USED:

– A large plastic bin
– Brown colored rice (tutorial here)
– Plastic bugs
– Mini flower pots
– Silk flowers
– Gardening gloves
– Tweezers
– Rake
– Shovel
– Watering can


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Garden Sensory Bin

Spring has definitely sprung in our classroom. The seeds, the children planted, have started to sprout. The butterflies have emerged from their chrysalises, and the children’s colorful kites are hanging from the ceiling. To go along with all of this, I set up a garden sensory bin, that needless to say, has been a popular spot in the room this week.

As a base I used colored rice. I then added a shovel, a rake, a sifter, a pair of large tweezers, and some garden fruits and vegetables. Large plastic carrots, left over from Easter, made the perfect receptacles for all the goodies. The children all had a great time using their imaginations and motor skills while “gardening”.


MATERIALS USED:

– Rice
– Brown and black liquid watercolors (refer to our (post on how to color rice))
– Rakes and shovels
– A sifter
– Large plastic tweezers
– Plastic strawberries and carrots
– Large plastic carrot containers


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Garden Match Up File Folder Game

Nothing designates the arrival of spring more than flowers and fluttering butterflies. This eye-catching file folder game puts the two together, and provides children with the opportunity to brush up on their color recognition skills.

MATERIALS USED:

– File Folder
– Construction paper in various colors
– Our free butterfly and flower templates
– Scissors
– Glue
– Puffy paint


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