hands on : as we grow http://handsonaswegrow.com Hands on kids activities for hands on moms. Focusing on kids activities perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:33:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Can You Follow the Number From Start to Finish? http://handsonaswegrow.com/follow-the-number-maze/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/follow-the-number-maze/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 02:00:46 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=51095 Make a maze to follow the number (or letter, sight word, shape, color, etc) from start to finish. A fun number maze to reinforce number recognition.

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George is on a roll with counting and learning his numbers. Now that he can count to 20 pretty well on his own, we’re working on number recognition a little bit now.

We play UNO a lot, which helps a lot with number recognition. However, I notice when we’re playing that he gets stuck on the number 8 often.

This simple number maze reinforces learning a single number (or letter, sight word, shape, color, etc) in one setting.

Find more ways for preschoolers to learn to recognize numbers, count and one to one correspondence here.

George won’t forget the number 8 now after following it through the maze!

follow-the-number-with-tape

I made a number maze by writing a grid of numbers on butcher paper – or art paper (affiliate link). You can do this smaller on just a sheet of regular paper too. But we like doing things big!

I first wrote the number 8 from the top to the bottom, going back and forth, making sure it was connected like a maze.

Then I filled in with other random number to 10.

I set out a roll of painters tape and a scissors (affiliate link) for George to follow the number 8 from the start to the finish.

follow-the-number-through-the-maze

He connected the first number 8 to the next one and cut off the tape.

Then again, connecting that 8 to the next one. And so on.

He observed that his tape lines looked like numbers too – at first it looked like a 4 and then towards the end he thought it looked like a 5.

following-the-maze

He kept telling me:

There sure is a lot of 8’s Mom!

number-maze-with-tape

He did it successfully. He thought it was so tough and hard to do. But yet didn’t struggle at all with any of it. I love thinking that he’s being challenged when in reality its something he’s fully capable of doing.

It is a great way to give him confidence in himself for new things he’ll be learning.

follow-the-line-of-numbers

Have you seen our other number mazes?

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Find the Letter on the Heart http://handsonaswegrow.com/find-letter-heart/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/find-letter-heart/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 02:00:05 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=51163 A find the letter activity with a Valentine's twist. H is for Heart also works on fine motor skills as your child finds the letter!

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Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be only about crafts for the kids to do. We usually use it as an opportunity to sneak in some lovely learning too!

Plus, this one works on fine motor skills.

I adapted this find the letter activity from a previous activity we did in the fall that I shared on PBS Parents, that was A is for Apple.

Find the letter on the heart and clip it!

The point of this activity was to work on lowercase letters a little bit.

I knew George had the uppercase letters down pat.

And I am pretty sure he has most of his lowercase letters figured out too. But I know they’re still new to him, so I want to work on them just a bit. In a super fun way, of course.

Find the letter - H is for Heart activity

I cut out a large heart from 12×12 scrapbook paper. Pink, of course.

In the center, I wrote:

H is for Heart

h is for heart

Twice, because I wanted him to find both the upper and lowercase H’s.

And then around the outside of the heart, I first wrote a bunch of H’s and h’s spaced out and then I filled it in with random upper and lowercase letters.

I made a toddler version for Louis too. Working on shapes instead of letters though. Just a simple ‘Find the Heart Shape’ version instead.

Instead of Find the Letter - Find the Shape!

For both of them, I included a fine motor element.

Paper clips for George and clothespins for Louis.

I thought the paper clips would be too tough for Louis to figure out.

Clothespin fine motor skills

Turns out the clothespins are still too hard. Louis struggled a lot with them.

I helped him pinch them open (along with him, so he’d see and also work his fingers a little still). He’d point to the heart and I’d help put the clothespin on.

Find and clip the letter on the heart

George clipped each of the letter H’s around the heart with a paper clip.

H is for Heart

Not tricky enough for him! He found them all with no problem. Upper and lowercase. Way to go George!

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It’s a Windy Race to Make the Kids Silly http://handsonaswegrow.com/windy-race-silly/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/windy-race-silly/#respond Thu, 22 Jan 2015 01:35:13 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=50897 This fun activity doesn’t require much explanation. But it’s fun nonetheless. You’ll need paper plates and tissue paper. And something to mark as a goal. We used a dining room chair and underneath it was the goal.  But anything can be used – a clothes basket, table, anything that gives them something to aim for. The […]

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This fun activity doesn’t require much explanation.

But it’s fun nonetheless.

You’ll need paper plates and tissue paper. And something to mark as a goal. We used a dining room chair and underneath it was the goal.  But anything can be used – a clothes basket, table, anything that gives them something to aim for.

Make a windy race to challenge the kids

The object is to move the tissue paper with wind.

And to create the wind by fanning the paper plate.

Any type of movement works as long as the kids don’t touch the plate to the tissue paper (my boys tried that…)

I loved seeing all three boys doing an activity together for this!

A race for all ages of kids to explore air movement

Of course, Henry understood it a lot better and found easy ways to blow the tissue paper. He swung his arm back and forth standing up.

Louis just laughed and giggled while he moved his. Not really understand what he was doing, but joining in anyway.

A race for all ages of kids to explore air movement

George tried so, so hard. Fanning the paper plate without much success. Fanning it soooo fast and didn’t know what wasn’t working.

Finally, I mentioned that his plate needs to be behind the tissue paper and not over the top.

That did the trick!

Blow a tissue paper with only a paper plate

They raced their tissue paper to the chair! Make it a challenge or a race, whatever your kids get more excited about!

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14 Valentine Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids http://handsonaswegrow.com/14-valentine-scavenger-hunt-ideas/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/14-valentine-scavenger-hunt-ideas/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 02:00:51 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=50598 While I was looking for ideas to do our latest Valentine scavenger hunt, I found a bunch of Valentine scavenger hunt ideas to try too, they're so lovely!

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There are so many ways to do a scavenger hunt, aren’t there? We have so much fun with them! Whether its a spur of the moment scavenger hunt or a themed one like these Valentine scavenger hunt ideas!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and while I was looking for ideas to do our latest Valentine scavenger hunt, I found a whole bunch of other Valentine scavenger hunt ideas to try too, that I thought I’d share them with you.

If you’re ever looking for any type of scavenger hunts to do with the kids — here’s 32!

Below are 14 ways to go on a Valentine scavenger hunt. The kids will sure LOVE these!

14 ways to go on a Valentine scavenger hunt!

14 Lovely Valentine scavenger hunt ideas!

Our latest… and my favorite if I must pick one… a scavenger hunt for the kids to find all the ways I love them. Every day, until Valentine’s Day.

Send the kids on a heart scavenger hunt and work on letter recognizing and letter sounds! From Mom Inspired Life.

Or a heart scavenger hunt that has them matching numbers!

Or add a secret message when the letters are put in order! From Reading Confetti

Go on a heart hunt…. over and over again! From the Pleasantest Thing

Have the kids hunt for the things they love.

Try this Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt with clues from Teach Mama.

A combinations of the things you love about your kids and clues to find the next one! From Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

A scavenger hunt with clues (you can use!) to find a Valentine’s Day prize at the end. From Savvy Spending

Send the kids on a hunt to find all the hearts to find the secret message. It comes with free printables too! From The Educators’ Spin On It

A treasure hunt for their Valentine’s Day goodies! This is great for even the littlest one to search for! From Love Play and Learn

Search for hearts everywhere and snap photos! From Still Playing School

Set out Hershey Kisses to hunt for and match the numbers! From Reading Confetti

A wonderful scavenger hunt with clues that also has them doing activities together before getting their next clue! Love this from Sonshine Classical Academy

Valentine scavenger hunt ideas for kids to do

And Easter is right around the corner, you may be inspired by some of these not-so-traditional Easter hunt ideas for kids!

14 Valentine Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Kids on handsonaswegrow.com

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LOVE Banner for Kids to Make http://handsonaswegrow.com/love-banner-kids-make/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/love-banner-kids-make/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:00:22 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=51081 I LOVE this LOVE banner the boys made! This is so simple and fast to do. I don't know why we wouldn't make a banner like this for all holidays & occasions!

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Its official. I’m officially in Valentine’s Day mode… and that may be good or bad since its still only mid-January! Eek!

But, I LOVE this LOVE banner the boys made! I think I could keep it hanging in the doorway all year long!

Its beyond simple too.

LOVE Banner for the kids to make

I cut out the letters from white card stock.

The boys decorated them however they wished! They chose to use crayons and make their own designs.

Designing their letter for the LOVE better

George and Henry both colored them. They each picked two letters to do.

George the L and E and Henry got the O and V. Louis was off playing trains that he didn’t want to join in.

I cut out 4 squares of pink card stock while they were making their designs.

I also punched two holes at the top of each square, a couple inches apart.

Glue letter onto pink square to make LOVE banner

When their letter designs were complete, they each glued their letters on the pink square.

Then they threaded their letters onto red yarn. They worked together to decide what order they needed to be in to spell LOVE. Henry was an awesome older brother helping George know where his letter should be.

Thread letters together to spell LOVE

I then hung it up in a doorway. Or it would look great in a window too!

You know how I love window decorations! Did you see our heart garlands we made last year?

LOVE Banner for the kids to make

This was so simple and fast to do. I don’t know why we wouldn’t make a banner like this for all holidays and occasions! How cute would this be with their name for their birthday?!

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Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt to Find the Ways I Love You http://handsonaswegrow.com/valentines-scavenger-hunt-kids-love/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/valentines-scavenger-hunt-kids-love/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 01:01:25 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=51026 A Valentine's scavenger hunt for kids to search and find all the ways I love them. Find a new heart and reason every day until Valentine's Day.

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I have been wanting to do a Valentine’s scavenger hunt for a long, long time… probably since last Valentine’s Day! I wasn’t sure how exactly I wanted to do it, but I had ideas floating around in my head.

We’ve done a simple Valentine’s scavenger hunt in the past with just some numbered hearts to find and match. It was a great number learning activity and the heart twist made it fun.

I knew I wanted it simple like that again, but it wasn’t until I saw this heart-a-day banner from Jones Design Company that I knew exactly what our scavenger hunt would be.

A Valentine's scavenger hunt to find all the ways I Love You

I told the boys the night before that we were going to do this scavenger hunt. George was so excited in the morning that he wanted to do it right away.

I’ve been trying to get them to play more outside lately, so this was my ticket. In order for me to set up the scavenger hunt, they would need to head outside and play first in the morning. They ended up going for a walk with Dad and I had some time to get this ready.

To set up this Valentine’s scavenger hunt:

I cut out lots and lots, and lots more hearts. I cut out about 30 for each of the kids, each kid got a different color.

The number of hearts depends on the number of days until Valentine’s Day. I also cut out extra to do a bigger hunt on this day. They ended up having 8 hearts to find for this particular hunt, but the scavenger hunt will go on every day until Valentine’s Day.

The kids can cut out the hearts too if you want to include them in on the setup. See the pretty heart garland they cut and made last year.

On each of the hearts I wrote something I love about each of the boys. Henry had the purple color, George the light pink and Louis had the bright pink. I actually didn’t end up writing any on Louis’s because he can’t read them and wouldn’t appreciate it much yet anyway. His were kept blank.

Hearts written with all the ways I love my kids for Valentine's scavenger hunt

There were three hearts left for directions.

The first heart was the beginning of the scavenger hunt that they would find when they got back home:

Valentine's scavenger hunt for kids to find all the ways I love them

On the back of Henry’s starting heart, I wrote extra directions since he is the only one that can read.

I wrote to have him read his brothers’ hearts to them so they’d know what to do, as well as the ways I love them. I also wrote to tell him that there would be 8 hearts to find today, and 1 heart each day until Valentine’s Day.

Then another heart gave them directions to hang the hearts they find on their bedroom door. A fun way to see the reasons I love them so much!

Valentine's Scavenger Hunt Direction Heart to Hang on Doors

And the last direction on a heart said that when they spot someone else’s heart to not let them know about it. Let them find it!

Of course, these were hidden, so the directions weren’t followed from the start. But that’s okay. I meant for them to follow this for the additional days until Valentine’s Day  more than this initial scavenger hunt.

Valentine's scavenger hunt to keep other's hearts secret

And then they came home!

It was excitement from the start!

Henry was in before the other boys and read his right away.

Beginning the Valentine's scavenger hunt!

George and Louis gathered around him as they came inside too. And then they were off to find their 8 hearts!

Searching and finding all the hearts with reasons I love them

They were so excited to read the ways I love them.

I even got extra hugs and kisses when they found the hearts that said I love their hugs and kisses.

Lots of love and hearts to find!

And now their hearts are hanging on their doors to be added to every day until Valentine’s Day.

Hang the hearts from the Valentine's scavenger hunt on bedroom door - a new heart every day

A new heart, and reason I love them, will be hidden each night (much like you guys that do the Elf on the Shelf) and the boys will search and find the heart every morning until Valentine’s Day.

And their bedroom door will hold all the reasons I love them so much!

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Challenge Kids to Drop the String in the Cup http://handsonaswegrow.com/challenge-kids-drop-string-cup/ http://handsonaswegrow.com/challenge-kids-drop-string-cup/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 03:00:46 +0000 http://handsonaswegrow.com/?p=50698 This challenged the kids' hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills in a way that wasn't about strengthening, but about steadiness and focus.

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Once we get snow in Iowa… there comes snow days and late starts. And I need activities to fill the time!

This was one that we did on a late start morning that had the boys challenged and wanting to do more and more. And best of all, it was suited for all three boys!

This challenged their hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills in a way that wasn’t about strengthening, but about steadiness and focus.

I lined up a chair backwards for each of the boys to stand on and placed a cup below it (not under it).

I secured the cup in place with painter’s tape because I knew it would get bumped around.

cup-chair-setup

Before I share what we did for this activity, I want to put out a word of ‘warning':

In all honesty, when we do this again, I’ll probably have them stand on their beds, or over the stair railing. We may have tipped over a dining room chair and broke it. But, I still want to share this activity because the boys really enjoyed the challenge and I think there’s a way to do it without anyone or anything getting hurt.

We like breaking rules like this! Check out the indoor obstacle course that had them climbing on tables.

On each chair, I placed 3 strings of yarn. Each in different lengths.

The longest one I cut to about my height. The second was half that. And the third was half of that. Depending on how tall of an object you have to go from will determine the length of yarn. But it doesn’t really matter to be really specific.

The boys then each climbed on the chair and first sorted through their strings to find what they had.

They observed and found they had one super long one, a short one, and then found a medium length piece of string too.

My challenge to them was to get their strings into the cup from standing on the chair. And I asked:

What string do you think will be the easiest to get into the cup?

string-in-the-cup-lineup

Their answer was the short string.

They quickly changed their answer when they started with the long one. They realized that they could never reach down that far with the short string to get it in the cup. It was merely hit or miss.

drop-the-string-in-the-cup

They had really good luck the first round. I think because they were the most nervous and trying really hard then.

Some they made…. some they did not…

cup-result

The longest string was always the most successful.

They had a good time. Even after Henry tipped the chair over. He got back up and wanted to do it again. We then made a rule that they couldn’t touch the chair back at all. I also moved the chair closer to the cup.

If you do this activity on the chair be sure that its a sturdy enough chair. Or you can sit on it to weigh it down when they’re reaching over. I obviously don’t want any kids, or chairs, to get hurt! Please use your discretion and be smart.

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