With all that is going on in our house we started to miss our friends. No better excuse than to throw a valentines party where we could get together, create and play.
We pulled out all the pink and red paper, stickers, glitter we could find to make our valentines to send out to all our loved ones. Keeping it simple and creative can make this holiday less about "stuff" and really about love.
I needed a reminder of what I loved about my life as a stay at home mom. Extra stress was leaving me a worn out complaining mom...as well as a few other words that aren't nice to hear or read for that matter.... But the reality was I didn't like who I saw in my children eyes. So I decided that the week of valentines we were going to celebrate with a week of love. Acts of service, written notes, special treats and quality time. A much needed change of pace for ME. Since I seemed to be the only one struggling with needing to remember.
I created a simple outline circle that can be filled in to express any thought or acts of service that you might want to add to your week of love celebration. I REALLY need my car vacuumed so I am hoping that I find a coupon for that in my valentines box this week ;)
Need a Preschool lesson: Check out the link below
Free Printable Valentines PDF files below!
Adding fun heart shaped food can also add your valentines celebration. Pancakes, pizza, sandwiches all can be added to a lunch box for a great surprise.
I rolled out the pizza dough for our friends party and let the kids decide on their toppings (most of them just wanted cheese) and we munched away the yummy heart shaped pizza! Here is where I got my inspiration:
This is the time of year where I start to long for spring and those warm summer days. When I am sick of icy steps and melting shoes and little ice melt salt rocks all over in my car. Deep breathe, I admit I might be going a little crazy. But while it is here we might as well use it to learn right?
Melt a snowman-explore ways to melt a snowman
Marshmallow painting-snow scene
Paint on snow with water colors
Put snow in the bath tub
Build a snowman out of boxes
Snowflake Weaving-see below for free printable
Snowball fight with socks
Snow globes with baby jars
Snow Clay recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose
What slides on snow? Explore different things that will help you slide across snow
My kids are CRAZY about Wild Kratts and this was good addition into our snowflake exploration.
Reading Time: some of the books we used
Don't have snow? See below:
It the most magical time of year! And we are celebrating it how in different ways, in preschool as we count down to our Christmas Traditions.
I personally LOVE the Norway tradition of NO CLEANING on Christmas Eve (though I want to add no cooking to it) and wanted to make it the WHOLE month of December but no one else was down with that plan. So I asked family and friends about their unique traditions of celebrating this holiday season. Picked ones that could be included in our preschool time and ta DA! Here you have it!
List of Activities
Free Printable Letter to Santa
Start saving your card board boxes, gather up those rubber ducks and send out the invites! Because it is that time of year to bring out the spooky mom skills for some cheap halloween fun for some preschool kids.
Key to making these games and prizes under $27 is to use what you already have. Don't have rubber ducks? Then use those plastic bugs or zoo animals instead. Find the candy in bulk section at your local store and place them in individual baggies from the dollar store (you get 40 mini bags for a $1).
None of the $27 budget went towards the games. It all went towards candy and prizes for each of the games and the little bags that I divided them up in. The kids joined in and the pictures show what was created.
Witches Kitchen Toss
Give a Dog a Bone
Bat Cave Golf
Duck Pond Matching
Pin Spider on a Web
Make a Monster Station
Witches Kitchen Toss: Pull out those pots and pans from the kitchen and place them in a circle. Use a ball or bean bag to toss.
Give a Dog a Bone and Bat Cave Golf: (pictured above) Simple easy cardboard creation (I was in a hurry and so it looks so funny). I found the bones for the Dog game in the form of glow stick bones.
Pin Spider on a Web: Use a black or white trash bag to make a web and print off a spider here. Starting to see the idea? Using what you already have, keep it simple and all about the fun.
Witches Slime (Recipe found here)
Assorted Halloween Plastic Toys
Other Ideas (but they add to the cost):
Ghost String cheese
Free Printable Party Invite
2. Surveys online (look for the link on the button below). I know you have seen these post before but I am not selling any pay your rent schemes or making $200 extra a month. Just a little extra money built up over time that can cover supplies. It takes 5-10 minutes of TIME for each survey and only get $3 for each one but other time this allows me to save up for supplies that we might need without spending any money out of our family budget. Pinecone research allows me to be paid through amazon gift cards, which is a great place to find the supplies we need.
3. Use your public library for books. Sometimes we forget that we have a great resource for learning right in our neighborhoods. Some even have music time or toddler time where they can gather with other kids.
4. Free public events like free admissions to zoo, museums and community programs are great ways to add to learning. Lots of communities even do free garden plots, which is a great way to teach through hands on learning and get produce at the same time ;)
5. Dollar store or dollar section, best places for paper, stickers and glue. Keeping this cost down is probably the easiest to do. Check thrift stores too!
6. Start a "joy school" with others and split the cost of supplies and materials with the group. Keep track of the materials by placing them in a bin for easy sharing and organization.
Use what you have! Toys they already have can be added to any sensory bin, toilet paper rolls can create a number of things, as well as paper plates. Boxes can become cars, tunnels and even a space stations.
Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger.- Center of Disease Control
8 ways to teach water safety to kids:
Lakes, Rivers and Oceans
These water areas have their own set of rules.
8. Set up sensory bins to explore the different dangers that Lakes, Rivers and Oceans have. For example, in Lakes it is hard to see the bottom and they have rocks, fish, and plants unlike a pool. Oceans have tides and currents and fish like jelly fish that sting. Not to scare them but teach them differences between bodies of water and the swimming pool.
For great color pages for teaching water safety check out Elementary Safety.com!
How do you teach water safety? I would love for you to comment below to share your ideas!
The month of June was especially busy for us. Needless to say preschool was on the back burner and when we finally did preschool the kiddos were overly excited. Like all activities done in a hour excited....(what was I thinking, why didn't I spread it out all day long). But I am happy that we can pick up school again with this 4th of July theme for studying letter F.
Simple construction Paper Flags
Keeping it simple was key. I picked activities that would help us with using glue and better understanding patterns with the streamers. This one was harder for little sister but big brother helped her which is EXACTLY what this momma was hoping for!
Red, White and Blue construction paper
Red ,White and Blue Ribbons or streamers
Firework Glitter Pages
They liked this one the most! But glitter is ALWAYS messy, so do this activity outside. Again I wanted to work on glue skills and fine motor skills.
Flag Fruit Pizza
Couldn't do an activity that didn't involve some sort of treat. This was another great pattern activity as well as counting. Strawberries and blueberries are our favorites, which made this easy decision when it came to this letter F themed treat. (see our post about summer treats for the recipe)
Teaching weather was most fun as it was warm enough to start taking some of these lessons outside. Weather for me was hard to explain on a preschool level but easy to demonstrate with all sorts of activities. I collected links from all my favorite activities and put them here for easy access. There were so many good ideas out there to explore weather that it was easy to put the activities together.
Felt bug scavenger hunt was a huge hit! I would describe a bug and they would have to look around the room to find the right one. For example for a spider I said things like this,"we are looking for a bug spins a web, eats other bugs and has eight legs." Then my little man would search for the spider and put it in his vinyl mason jar.
Each day we read a book about different bugs, (I posted pictures of our favorites below). To help the little lady stay engaged during reading some of the longer books I gave her the felt bugs I made to hold while we read each story.
Need more activities?
Free bug scavenger hunt printable!
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of glue
1/2 cup of liquid
You are going to want a plastic container and plastic spoon for mixing.
Measure out the water and mix it with the glue. Stir together well. Then if you want add your food coloring of choice and glitter if you want and mix it in.
Then measure out the liquid starch adding it to the watery glue mixture. Stir and stir and stir and then mix with your hands until it is no longer watery. Then PLAY! (we added bugs to add to the fun).
Hello, I'm Lindsey
A wife to hubby pursing higher education, a mother to two energetic kids, obsessed with all things farmhouse vintage and believer that food always taste better when it is shared.