Fine Motor Fun!

Does your child need to work on their fine motor skills but all the usual skills such as: tracing, coloring, stringing beads, etc. seem to bore them?

Fear not I found a wonderful fine motor activity that I am sure your child will love!!

All you need are coins and a piggy bank! Make sure to supervise while they are doing this so they do not put any coins in their mouth!!

Fine motor for preschoolers

Gather all of your coins around the houes and have your child put them into the piggy bank one by one. This really takes some planning on there part and is some good fine motor practice!!! 

Winter Time Activities

I have included two fun Christmas themed activities that I have been doing with my little one at home, that I know your children will love!!

The first fun activity is a felt tree!

Preschool Christmas activity
Felt Tree

Felt is extremely inexpensive and I had some left over from some classroom projects so I cut out a triangle shape and used command stripes and attached it to a door. (you can attach it to anywhere in your house).  I have seen people on Pinterest use different shapes, colors and even different objects as ornaments.  I choose to use plain circle to get language such as ball or specific color names out of my little one.  If you are working on colors or shapes you can cut out different shapes and colors and have your child request what color and shape they want to put on the tree. They can also tell you what color or shapes they are taking off the tree.  Feel free to get creative! This is just a fun thing your child can do and hopefully it will keep them away from your Christmas tree!  We also have a Christmas tree in our classroom and it is a big hit! 

Felt Christmas tree
Fun times

I pinned a Pinterest pin of doing this with circle and snowmen pieces, which I will be doing in January for sure!

Christmas activities for preschoolers

Another fun activity involves contact paper!!  

Contact paper is new favorite thing! So I drew a Christmas tree on  the non-sticky side of contact paper and then taped it to my door.  I took the paper off of the sticky side and that is facing out. I then used pom pom balls as ornaments which will stick to the contact paper! (I get my pom pom balls from the Dollar store!) The contact paper will stay sticky for the whole month of December! (Wish I would have gotten this up sooner, sorry!)  Contact paper is VERY cheap and can be found at stores such as Walmart, Target, Meijer, etc. Typically it is kept in the house ware section of stores (where you find shelving paper).
Christmas tree activities

Give these fun activities a try!  They will keep your little one busy for a little bit so you can get something done!

Christmas presents

Parents always asks me "What would you suggest I get my child for Christmas." Not having a child of my own until a little over a year ago, I would just randomly suggest things but now I am more strategic on what I buy or suggest for Christmas presents!

While putting together your Christmas list ask yourself the following questions!
What does your child:

I'll give you some of my favorite things right now!

What does your child want:

This is one of my favorite parts but also the part I dread! I love going through catalogs and magazines with kids! The one thing I hate is all the commercials that come on and after each one, no matter what it is, our kids say "I want that!"   Let them make a list but go through and ask yourself will my child play with this more than a few times? Here are some things that I think every child can benefit from!

A Kitchen

Every child can benefit from a play kitchen. Having a kitchen gives your child the tools to expand there imagination. Help them learn to pretend play. Get down at there level and talk about what you are doing.  Make sure your child not only plays with the kitchen but also brings someone food once it's cooked! This will help with language development as you can ask your child questions such as "what did you make me?" This also is a great opportunity to label all types of food that you have and talk about what items in the kitchen do. The oven cooks food, I wash my hands at the sink, etc. 

Little People Toys


Little people toys are another great tool to build language and play skills 


Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head seems to be a very popular toy with the kids right now! While playing with them label the objects and teach them where to put the hat, boots, etc.  You can also talk about the color of the objects to get in some color naming! This is a great vocabulary activity!!


Leap Frog Letter Factory Video

This is a great video to teach letter names and sounds!  When I show my students this video they seem to pick up the letter sounds and names VERY quickly!


What will your child read?

I found the coolest books the other day! These books are not only great reads for preschool aged but they also have a great fine motor component! A great book to bring to the restaurant to keep your child busy! 

These  books have raised buttons on each page.  Your child can practice counting and fine motor skills at the same time!  It's like popping bubble wrap but the fun doesn't end!


Art Project

I got this idea from my dear friend Tina. This is a fun project to do with your little one and can be turned into a great and cheap present for your family members!! 
Tina has a Facebook page called Too Much fun with Kids

All you need is: paint, contact paper and something to paint on (I chose a canvas but my friend Tina picked a shirt!)  TIP: if you shop Michael's or Hobby Lobby you can get a pack of 5 canvas for really cheap! I actually need to go stock up now!

Fall art projects for preschoolers and up
Here are my supplies...I forgot to get a picture of the canvas prior to using it! 
Once you decide what you will be painting, print off a picture online or free hand the picture onto the contact paper. Cut it out, stick it to your canvas or shirt (sticky side down) and let the kids go to town and paint away! If you would like to paint on fabric you can use acrylic paint as it is permanent, but it will fade through washes. 
Preschool fall painting projects
Fun art project for fall
 To keep hands as clean as possible put lotion on before painting and it will wash off easily and quickly! 

We chose to paint a pumpkin to display for the fall!  You could paint a Christmas tree for the holidays, letter of your last name, dad, mom, etc! The possibilities are endless!  Have fun getting crafty! 
Easy Fall preschol project


Taking your child out to eat

Taking children out to eat can become more of a pain then fun, which leads us to not do it as often as we should. Unfortunately this is not always the best option because we need our children to know how to behave and act in public. I've got a few do's and dont's when taking your child out to eat! 

DO NOT start trying this at a fancy restaurant. FieldStone is not where you want to start this journey! You will become frustrated with your child's behavior and other people will look at you and all too quickly you will give up.

DO start someplace that can be noisy and kid friendly.  McDonald's is always a good place to start but soon branch out if you can because your child needs to know that not all restaurants have play areas, and lets be honest sometimes at McDonald's the kids don't behave like you would like to see. :)  Try somewhere like Culvers or Texas Roadhouse. Both of these places are louder and are used to having children around!

DO NOT show up empty handed. If you go to a restaurant even the best child will not just sit for 10-20 minutes and wait for there food. They need something to do. Which leads to my next do! 

DO bring along something for your child to do. Crayons and a coloring book, one of their favorite story books, a favorite toy (OR THREE), iPad or iPhone. These will just keep there little hands and minds busy while you can try to relax and enjoy your meal! Search for those toys at the bottom of the toy box that they haven't played with in a while.

DO be mindful of the time. If your child eats at 5 show up at 4:30 and order so you know food will be there around the same time they usually eat. Sticking to a schedule is important...which will be one of my next posts!

DO NOT show up at 5 or 6 on a Friday or Saturday night and expect a table right away. You will end up waiting around 45 minutes to an hour on these nights. Go early or stick to a week night! 

DO tell your child the rules for going out to eat. Some common rules include: quiet voices, stay in your seat, listen to mom and dad, any whatever else the rules are at home! 

If your child breaks one of these rules there needs to be consequences. If your child is loud and disrupting the entire restaurant my suggestion would be to tell them "You need to be quiet or you will go to the car." If your child continues to yell or break your rule make sure you are ready to follow through. Have one parent take that child to the car while everyone else finishes there meal.  While you are in the car DO NOT talk to them or give them any positive attention, this will reinforce there bad behavior.  If this is a common problem you can also have a baby sitter or friend come and be ready to take them out of the restaurant and then the rest of you can finish your dinner.  If you do this make sure the baby sitter or friend knows that they aren't to play with your child that this is a punishment!  Make sure you are ready to follow through on whatever you say or your child will continue the negative behavior. 

I hope everyone is able to take there child out to eat every now and then! I must say all of your children have great manners at school so I know they can do it at a restaurant!