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Naturally Educational » 1-2 (Toddlers)

Shaving Cream Pumpkin Art

Shaving Cream Pumpkin Art

My children have been asking me when we could do shaving cream art again. The tactile experience helps build learning and the kids have a ton of fun playing with paint and shaving cream. So, we made shaving cream pumpkins! Materials: posterboard foaming shaving cream paints (Halloween colors) 1. We traced and cut-out a pumpkin shape from poster board. 2. Then I poured foaming shaving cream and some paints (mostly orange with a little green and purple) into a flat-bottom container.  … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), Art, Bodily-kinesthetic, Fall, Featured, Touch

Picture Books to Get in the Fall Spirit

Picture Books to Get in the Fall Spirit

Fall is my favorite time of year–the apple picking, drinking cider, butternut squash,  colorful leaves, crisp air… Here are some children’s picture books about Autumn, harvest time, and falling leaves: Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, by Julia Rawlinson, shares the story of an adorable fox who tries to return the autumn leaves to the tree. His woodland friends try to tell him that the tree doesn’t need the leaves anymore but Fletcher thinks that the wind, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Fall, Featured, History and Culture, Weather

An Apple for Teacher: Cardboard Tube Mini-Apples

An Apple for Teacher: Cardboard Tube Mini-Apples

I think these cute mini-apples would make nice gifts for someone special in your child’s life.  And while I enjoyed the crafting, they are so easy to make that toddlers can join in the fun, too. And all you need is a cardboard toilet paper tube, some paint, and chenille stems! Materials: cardboard tube green or red or yellow paint green chenille stem brown chenille stem scissors hole punch Directions: 1. Cut the cardboard tube into three circles, approximately 1/2 inch thick. 2. Punch a … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured

A is for Apple Sun Catchers

A is for Apple Sun Catchers

We make new sun catchers for our windows every season. There are a few ways to make easy sun catchers and this is the simplest! For the early fall, we made apple sun catchers with an upper and lower case letter “A”. Materials: permanent (“Sharpie”) marker plastic (from a clear plastic bag, packaging, folders, whatever you have on hand) tissue paper (for whichever color apples you want, plus green for the leaf) glue glitter (optional) to hang: either glue stick OR a hole … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Fall, Featured, Science

Check it Out: Quoted in Parents Magazine

Check it Out: Quoted in Parents Magazine

Parents are often concerned about “brain boosters” and “school preparedness”. Part of my mission is to alleviate some of the pressure and stress we place on ourselves and encourage everyone to pursue the educational opportunities in our everyday enjoyment of life with our children. I welcome the opportunity to share my educational philosophy and some of the latest studies that show that reading aloud, play, outdoor exploration, and creative expression, along with plenty of love and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), Me, School Preparedness

Forest and Woodlands Activities and Crafts Round-Up

Forest and Woodlands Activities and Crafts Round-Up

In almost every season we love to go out hiking in the woods. We never know what forest creatures we’ll find! And we love seeing how the trees change over the seasons. There are so many great lesson plans, crafts, activities, songs, and books for studying the forest! The Forest-Friendly Linky from the Smart Summer Challenge* really made me want to get out and explore the nature surrounding us! Some of the ones from our participants (and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Educational Blogs, Featured, Smart Summer Challenge

Backyard Science Activities, Crafts, and Books

Backyard Science Activities, Crafts, and Books

Children are natural scientists and the backyard is the perfect laboratory. Whether you are digging in the garden with kids, chasing butterflies and other bugs with your children, or studying animals with junior naturalists, you are sure to find plenty of ways to explore nature. I really dug the ideas in the Backyard Science Linky (get it? digging? for backyard science?) of the Smart Summer Challenge*! Some of the ones from our participants (and other hostesses) … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), All Ages, Ecology, Educational Blogs, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge

Government, Democracy, and Currency Activities

Government, Democracy, and Currency Activities

As a former history and social studies teacher, teaching about government should come natural to me.  However, I found it challenging to break down this complex topic to a preschool or kindergarten level.  Focusing on national symbols or a simplified version of democracy worked really well for us.  We also explored currency as part of this week.  For primary school students, looking at local government may be more comprehensible than broad questions of national politics. These … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Educational Blogs, Featured, History and Culture, Smart Summer Challenge

Outer Space Songs for Preschool through Elementary School

Outer Space Songs for Preschool through Elementary School

We like to sing songs as we learn. Audio cues have always helped me remember information and it seems to work well with my children, as well. Here are a few songs about the planets in our solar system. Please note these are not my original lyrics. I have found them at several different places on the Internet without a listed author. If you wrote any of these (or know who did), please let … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Musical, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Songs

Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft

Butterfly Coffee Filter Craft

After we released our butterfly friends it just seemed like there was something missing from our home. So, we made one of our favorite crafts: coffee filter butterflies.  This is such a simple little craft and the children love both the process and the results! (I’ve joked that my next book should be titled, “101 Crafts with Coffee Filters,” because I love this strong, versatile material!) Materials: two coffee filters markers (including dried-out markers that you were about to … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Featured, Science, Smart Summer Challenge, Summer