Whether you love Valentines day or hate it, these Valentines Day STEM Activities will be a hit with your preschoolers! I was never a fan of the holiday until we had our daughter, now I am all aboard the silly holiday bandwagon… Without the pressure of making extravagant date night plans or romantic gestures, I find myself really enjoying the holiday actually. I mean, making messy construction paper cards to tell people you love them or creating a pink lava lamp explosion while eating chocolate, what’s not to love? I’m not particularly crafty, nor inclined to spend a lot of time making perfect looking crafts my kid has little interest in. She DOES love a good science experiment though, so here are our favorite easy Valentines Day STEM Activities!
Get into the Halloween spirit with this Witches Brew! A not so spooky Halloween activity for kids. Having a preschooler makes the holidays so much more fun! Halloween can be a tricky one, though, as the little ones are not quite ready for the spookier side of the holiday. Trying to get in the spirit of the season I decided to take an old classic and add a bit of Halloween cheer to it! Read on for the simple ingredients and how to’s… Read more
Apple pie playdough, apple picking, apple pie making, we’ve been on an apple kick around here! While pondering new ways to use our delicious smelling apple pie playdough, I came up with the idea to create our own board game. Honestly it’s just a rip-off of the old High Ho Cherry Oh game we saw in a thrift store the other day, but the little is super excited so it’s a win:) We’ve had a ton of fun playing the game, practicing counting, and picking the delicious ‘apples’ on our game! Read on for a quick tutorial on how you can create your own!
At the risk of inundating you with posts about my love of play-dough, here are some ideas on how I bring our favorite activity into the fall season! Read on for pumpkin spice, apple pie and even an Horchata inspired fall playdough because here in San Jose it’s likely to be 80 degrees in the fall and an icy glass of horchata goes great with this vanilla cinnamon playdough!
You all know those people who start dreaming about pumpkins and sweaters and halloween costumes in July? Not ashamed to admit I am one of them! I do try and keep it in check until at least September for those summer lovers out there:) As a blogger it works in my favor though! I can secretly dream of all things fall while compiling this post of fall toddler activities. Ready for you whenever you’re ready to embrace the *best* season!
Days with a toddler or preschooler can be loooong! For me it’s always the 2-5pm window where I’ve used up my energy on the mornings outing and the little one is growing restless but the thought of playing dress up for another hour is like nails on a chalkboard. I love playing with my daughter, and I give her plenty of time for self directed play as well, but sometimes I want an activity I can set up that I know will buy me 30 minutes at least of engaged play where I have to expend a minimum of energy! These materials have taken us from pre-toddler to preschooler and they are the open ended, versatile toddler supplies we’ve found to be best for hours of fun!
When we had my daughter, our first child, we totally fell into the trap of thinking we needed to BUY ALL THE THINGS… We were gifted so many great toys and baby items as well. In retrospect, I realize the baby merch market totally keyed in on our ‘New Parent Anxiety’ and we ended up with so many things that were barely used! Now that we have a better handle on how to keep her healthy and *sometimes* happy (she’s 3, so…;) I’ve started to look at clearing out our home clutter and providing open ended activities, rather than toys. It feels so good to minimize the clutter and not feel the need to buy her every toy we see at friends houses.
Before I was a parent I had no idea the amount of STUFF I would accumulate just by virtue of having a tiny human in the house! I am by no means an expert at minimalist parenting just yet, but we are making our way there and I’ve learned a lot along the way. If you are feeling overwhelmed by toys and are looking to simplify, here are my top 10 toy free activities for the minimalist toddler parent!
Despite our best intentions, 3 years into Parenthood we seem to have acquired an amount of plastic toys, stuffed animals and play equipment that is beyond belief. We didn’t set out to buy all the things, but somehow ended up with more toys than the little could possibly play with in a year. There seems to be a growing movement of young families towards minimalism, however, and it is a really refreshing concept! There has long been a school of thought that children need fewer toys and more opportunities to use their imaginations, the Montessori and Waldorf methods of education to name a few. There was even a nursery in Germany that took away every. single. toy. and the children thrived!
Happy (cold) first day of spring! We had a brief break in the rain and put together this spring nest toddler activity to combine some outdoor exploration with some quiet indoor play. Bonus, it uses just the materials you have in your yard and kitchen!
We were inspired by an activity from this book (which is awesome!) where you put materials out in bowls and observe which ones birds choose to use in their nests. Unfortunately the birds didn’t cooperate… and a three year olds attention span isn’t well suited to patient scientific observation;) So we decided to make our own nest! This is the perfect springtime activity, and I love that it incorporates outdoor exploration with some quiet indoor play. We wandered around in the backyard and chose flowers, leaves and twigs while talking about what might make a good nest. I made sure to grab some long twigs that I knew we could weave together, but also let her choose anything that caught her eye.
Leaves, twigs and flowers
Egg (I had some early easter confetti eggs I found for $2 at, Target which were a fun addition, but you could use any type of egg you have on hand)
Scissors/clippers for twigs (make sure to get some green/live ones so that they are flexible)
We simply worked together to twist the sticks, tie pieces together with the twine and weave pieces in and out. E was more interested in playing with the string and exploring the different materials than actually building:) Our spring nest didn’t turn out quite as ‘nesty’ as I was anticipating, but we did have a good conversation about springtime, different types of homes etc. It’s also a good chance to explore which materials work for weaving and which break. We used this tray, which is my new BFF for activities bc it contains the mess (as much as toddler messes can be contained;)
If you’re looking for more natural material ideas for warmer weather, keep an eye out for more posts on creating a backyard playground. In the meantime you can setup your own Easy Mud Kitchen which offers so many options for free play outside! Have fun making your own spring nests:)
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I always feel guilty throwing out an old bouquet, which means the flowers usually languish on the dining table until they are really sad looking… (Although the filter I used on this picture makes them look amazing still, just goes to show you can’t believe everything you see on the internet haha!) In the interest of giving these flowers one last burst of life before I composted them, we used the wilting blooms in this mornings flower painting art project.