Dinosaur Feet Craft: These Dino Feet Were Made for Stomping

Learning about dinosaurs is fun! Here’s how to make your own dinosaur feet craft for stomping around.

Make dinosaur feet out of a cereal box and duct tape

  1. Draw dinosaur feet on a piece of cardboard, like a cereal box.
  2. Cover dinosaur toes with one color of tape.
  3. Cover dinosaur feet with another color tape.
  4. Make a strap by folding a long piece of tape in half and taping it to the bottom of the feet.

Dinosaur feet

5.  Use velcro dots to fasten dino feet to kid feet. Several dots make them adjustable so all the kids can try them out. Or Mom.

Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
Now stomp, stomp, stomp and roar like a dinosaur! Make some tracks in the sand, too.
Get ready to make some dinosaur tracks in the sand. Love Bug is getting ready to make some more tracks in our indoor sand box.

Like it? Pin it.

make your own dinosaur feet This dino fun was inspired by the dinosaur feet craft at Activity Village UK.

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Water Beads and Shaving Cream Pretend Play

“Cake batter” (shaving cream)…

shaving cream pretend play for preschoolers

Plus some “sprinkles” (water beads)…

add water beads to shaving cream

And a spoon for mixing and spreading…

spreading shaving cream over water beads

And you have some wonderful, quiet, sensory fun.

Cost: about $4, but only because my 4-year-old grabbed the shaving cream can and emptied the entire contents onto the tray.

I thought, “Cool. That’s some rockin’ fine motor skills, being able to operate a spray can of shaving cream.”  Nice job, little guy.

For more information about where to find water beads and ways to use them, see our Water Bead Science post.

waterbeadscience

Water beads should not be ingested. Please supervise children and pets closely when playing with water beads. 

For more preschool fun and learning, follow our Preschool pin board on Pinterest.

We’ve also been playing with snow….indoors over at Kiwi Crate’s The Studio.
indoor snow play

Letter Matching

All of a sudden, Love Bug, age 3, has a new obsession….letters!  He doesn’t know the names of them yet, or the sounds they make, and sometimes he calls them numbers, but he has been carrying around our collection of magnet letters for a few days and smiling proudly, as he decorates the refrigerator with them.

So, this morning, I pulled a few random letters off the fridge and put the same alphabet cookie letters on a tray and we played a matching game. This is fun, see, because when you match a letter, you get to eat a cookie.
 He was so excited by this, he asked for paper and he wanted me to draw some letters. I did, then asked him to find the matching magnetic letter. I kept it focused to the same six letters we’d used with the cookies.
 This is all so sweet because he is truly growing from the toddler I have to keep occupied during learning time, to the kid who is eager to learn, too. Not that he wasn’t learning before. But now, well, he has some things he wants to know and he is going to get to the bottom of this letters thing, so determined is he.

Sweetest of all, a few hours later, he came up to me, his little fist closed tight around one of those magnetic letters.  “This,” he said, “is yours, Mom.”  It was the letter “M”.

Ain’t no party like a linky party ’cause a linky party don’t stop. 
(Sorry, I get bored posting the same thing about linkies at the bottom of all my posts so I have to keep it interesting.)

Learning With Literature: The Snowy Day

 The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a Caldecott winner and a Before-Five-In-a-Row selection.  And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of this wonderful book. Quite significant, is that it is the first children’s book to have an African American lead character.

I have a very clear memory of having it read to me as a child.  I remember how magical the book seemed.  The giant mountains of snow and Peter, so small in comparison, discovering the wonderfulness of playing in new snow.  And now I wonder what books will stand out for my kids when they are older.

My 5 year old, The Queen Bee, and I  spent a few days learning with this book to prepare for our trip to see the play at a wonderful local theatre, Adventure Theatre, at historic Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Maryland.  And what a production it was.  If you are anywhere near the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, I highly recommend this production.  I have never seen anything at Adventure Theatre that wasn’t terrific, but this was exceptional.

After the show:  Alan Wiggins, who played Peter, and Calvin McCullough, who played the roles of Harold and Arnold in Adventure Theatre’s production of The Snowy Day.

 

Click here for a great video of a reading of The Snowy Day.  This can also be found on Adventure Theatre’s website.

In the days before the play, we did a snowman math activity with dot-a-dot markers, inspired by Rachel at I Heart Crafty Things.

The learning task for my daughter was to sound out the number words on the pink cards that she did not know.  She then made a fun snowman for each number and decorated it. Then she tried to teach her 3 year old brother number recognition but he was more interested in doing this with the dot-a-dot markers:

“Well, good for him!”, I thought, pleased beyond measure that he is not eating them, drawing all over his body with them or using them to color one of his siblings or our pets. Moving on…

One of our favorite activities was finding this great to-along book:  Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert Munsch. Thomas refused to put on his snowsuit and struggles ensue. His teacher winds up wearing the snowsuit.  You really must go and listen to the author read this and many more of his other books on his website. He is hilarious. My 7 year old has stayed up late into the night listening to these on the lap top in his bed. He can now recite many of the stories from memory. They are all truly silly and fun and Munsch is a wonderfully animated storyteller, which comes through, even in these audio recordings.

More Snowy Day Activities

Sparkly snow play dough, inspired by Ten Kids and a Dog.  This was very easy to make.  You add glitter to the basic dough recipe. I made the kids’ each a little jar for their Christmas stockings and they’ve played with it many times since.

Shaving cream snow and dollhouse figures to act out the story. We manipulated the dolls feet in the shaving cream to make tracks like Peter did in the book. I also gave each child a popsicle stick to make a track in the snow, like Peter.  Can’t you see Peter underneath all of this shaving cream snow?  No. Well, he’s in there. Shaving cream is messy and fun and both my 5 and 3 year olds and a visiting friend had a great time with this.

Melting Ice and Freezing Letters and Numbers Activity  We had a great time learning about how ice melts, as well as playing with plastic letters and numbers frozen in a block of ice to make words and math equations.  You can read more about those activities here or click on one of the photos below.

You can find more books with activities to go along on our Learning With Literature page. Next up in our Learning with Literature series, The Mitten, by Jan Brett.

Wanna see where I hang out?  Check out these awesome linky parties for more great ideas from these fabulous momma bloggers. 

Science, Math & Reading All in One

We just did a great little activity that my kids, from ages three to seven, loved.  It involved math, science and reading and it only cost me $1.

I filled a pie pan with water for each of them and sprinkled in plastic letters or numbers from a dollar store magnetic set.  Each pan of water was geared towards  what each child is currently working on.

I left the pans of water outside to freeze overnight, and this morning we got to work excavating.

Here’s the Science Lesson:

I asked them a few questions to get them started, but they took it from there.

How do you get frozen objects out of a block of solid ice?  First they decided to try using tools:  a butter knife, a sharper knife (don’t worry, it’s a kid-safe knife).  That chipped a bit of ice away but not much and the letters were in danger of getting stabbed and broken.

What do people use to melt ice on sidewalks and roads?  Salt!  They loved pouring salt on the ice.

Then they wondered, would pepper melt ice?  They decided yes, because it’s spicy, so they tried it. No, pepper does not melt ice, they concluded.

How about pouring on warm water?  Yup, that helps a lot.

The most effective thing, they discovered, was to run the block of ice under hot water in the sink.

 Then they got to work playing with what they’d found in the ice.  Firefly, my 7 year old made multiplication equations. The Unifix cubes on the left are what he used to figure out the problem.

He tried to come up with as many combinations as possible with the numbers that were in the ice, then we added more numbers. Lots of great multiplication practice. Now, had  I asked him to do this in writing, on paper, oh the whining, can’t you just hear the whining?  On the other hand, “dig plastic numbers out of ice and make equations” got this reaction:  “This is so cool, Mom!”

The Queen Bee, my 5 year old,  made up words from the -ot family with her treasures from the ice.

She loved this and immediately wanted more magnets to work on more word families. She spent a lot of time doing this. After -ot, I gave her -at, -it, -in, and an. Whenever she put a letter in front that didn’t spell an actual word, we called them silly words and sounded them out anyway (gat, uin, wot, etc.)

Love Bug, my 3 year old, got a handful of random letters to work on letter recognition.  He pretty much didn’t want to play with his letters or make any guesses as to what they were once he freed them from the ice. It was more about the process of getting them out for him. That’s okay. I just exclaimed excitedly, here and there, “Oh, look, you got a letter D out of the ice!”  and “Wow, now you have a letter P, like p-p-p-popcorn and p-p-p-purple!”

He very much enjoyed sprinkling salt on the ice, running the ice block under water, and freeing the letters.

The day prior to freezing the letters and numbers in the ice, we put them into the little infant blow-up pool, along with some water, and went fishing:

That was fun, too. Love Bug loved fishing the letters and out sticking them to our magnetized door.  His siblings loved spelling words with them and helping him get the letters out. They were a little tricky with these fishing rods. Next time we will attach a larger magnet to the end of the string. This one couldn’t support the weight of some of the letters.

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