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Celebrate National Good Neighbor Day

September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day. I don’t think it ought to be just one day a year, but if it reminds us to be kind to our neighbors, why not make a day of it!

Some fun ideas to try with your preschooler on that day or the whole month long is to make cookies with your child to take next door, create a card, or just make a little visit to a neighbor in your neighborhood. Talk with your child first about neighbors. Who they are, what they mean to you and how we can befriend them and be good neighbors.

What do you think?

An “All About Me” book

Often when an older sibling goes off to school, your younger preschooler may experience sadness or frustration that they are left behind. A great idea to help your younger one feel special and “big” is to help them make an “all about me” book.

What you’ll need:

  • Plain and/or construction paper
  • Art supplies (glue, markers, crayons, etc.)
  • Pictures or drawings of things your child likes to do

What to do:

  1. Staple plain paper together, preferably with a different colored cover, in order to make a book.
  2. Have your child tell you about themselves: physical descriptions, favorite foods or things to do, all about his family or favorite pet.
  3. Write these down on the pages.
  4. Find unique objects to glue into the book, or help your child cut out pictures to make a collage or draw her own.

Display the book proudly and read it together, adding to it as your child is interested.

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Sensory Flower Activity

Your preschool child will enjoy this sensory activity while at the same time stimulating their senses. They will touch, smell, and observe.

What you’ll need:

  • Colored squares of paper
  • Colored pencils (triangular-shaped profile pencils help with grip, but not necessary)
  • Scissors
  • Black permanent marker
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Aromatic aerosol spray

What to do:

  1. Have your child cut the colored paper into 4-inch squares.
  2. They should then fold in half corner to half corner, and then in half again. (Folding can be tricky for little fingers so be sure to help)
  3. Have your child draw a curved line from corner to corner. Then cut through all thickness at the same time.
  4. Open out the flower and draw a black dot in the center with a permanent black marker. The flower can then be further colored by your preschooler.
  5. Your child can then use green colored pipe cleaners for stems, pasting the stem under the flower.
  6. Have them make several colored flowers, experimenting with cuts and folds to make different flower styles.
  7. With the flowers complete, help your child draw or cut out a paper vase for their flowers. You can even place them in a real flower vase.
  8. Spray a touch of flower-scented spray on each flower to add the final touch to their arrangement!

What do you think?

Music Wall

Every child loves to make sounds, particularly loud ones. Try this fun idea to help them make music instead of just noise. Summer is a great time for this activity because there is more space outdoors usually, and less chance of you getting a headache! This can also be done indoors, but you might want to warn your neighbors and invest in some earplugs. Help your child set up a time to hold a concert for other family members.

What you’ll need:

  • A long piece of wood or rope
  • Old pots and pans, lids, trays, metal bowls, etc. (these are the "instruments")
  • Wooden sticks or cooking spoons (these are the "drumsticks")

What to do:

  1. Nail a piece of wood between two sawhorses or a-frames, or tie a rope between two trees or poles—make it long and sturdy enough to accommodate a few instruments
  2. Gather old pots and pans, lids, trays, metal bowls, even plastic water jugs or whatever you can come up with (thrift stores are great for this).
  3. You can nail or screw items to the wood, as well as hang them with rope—depending on the sound effect you are looking for.
  4. Stand back and watch the inner drummer in your preschooler emerge!

What do you think?

Art Night

With all the painting we’ve been doing lately, your kids will want to show off their creations. A fun idea to try with your adult friends and their preschoolers is an Art Night.

Invite whomever you’d like and get creative! Summer is a great time for this activity because you can have tables and art supplies set up outside, which will minimize the mess inside. Have various mediums, such as paint, watercolors, finger paints as well as fun textured items like feathers, buttons and other objects for creating on hand. Butcher paper on the table can be the canvas, as well as wood pieces, or a large canvas for all to contribute art.

Be creative—the sky is the limit. Remember, Art Night is not about creating the best art, it’s all about creating and being together with friends.

What do you think?

Wax Painting

Okay, so we’ve been on a painting kick lately for these preschool activities. Here’s the last one, I promise (at least for a while).

What you’ll need:

  • Wax candles that can be held in the hand
  • Colored paint and paintbrushes
  • Paper

What to do:

  1. Use the candles to draw a picture on paper. Don’t worry if it’s difficult to see what’s been drawn with the wax.
  2. Use the colored paint and paintbrushes to paint over the candle drawings.
  3. Your pictures will appear like magic! Have fun!

What do you think?

Magic Painting

Your preschooler will love this simple painting activity!

What you need:

  • Old magazines
  • Cardboard paper
  • Glue stick
  • White tissue paper
  • Small bowl filled with water
  • Big paintbrush

What to do:

  1. Find some colorful pictures in old magazines, and cut them out.
  2. Stick the pictures, using the glue stick onto the cardboard.
  3. Cover the picture with the white tissue paper.
  4. Paint water over the tissue paper with the big paint brush. Watch as the colorful pictures appear through the tissue paper!

What do you think?

Popsicle Stick Ice Painting

I don’t know about you, but where we are it’s still hot, hot, hot! So, here’s another fun painting activity you can try with your preschooler.

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Ice cube tray
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Powdered tempera paint in red, yellow and blue
  • Spice shaker containers
  • Shiny freezer wrap paper or finger painting paper
  • Red, yellow, blue, orange, purple, green and black crayons

What to do:

  1. Fill the ice cube tray with water.
  2. Lean a popsicle stick in each hole and freeze tray.
  3. Cover your work area with a plastic table cloth or newspaper.
  4. Have your child rub an ice cube all over the shiny, freezer wrap paper. Sprinkle dry paint on the wet paper.
  5. As the ice melts into the paint, use another popsicle stick or ice cube to make designs in the colors.

What do you think?

Celebrate National Kids Day

August 3rd is National Kids Day. Take the day to celebrate all the kids in your life. Some fun and free ideas might include:

  • Relax with the kids and enjoy looking through old childhood photographs of you growing up and the kids as they’ve grown up. Share your favorite memories and activities you enjoyed as a child. Take pictures on National Kids Day and start to organize, with your children, scrapbooks they can share with their kids in years to come.
  • Instead of kids making coupons for parents, adults make a coupon for the kids. Develop a list with the kinds of things your family hasn’t had time for lately. Together, create a coupon booklet. Then kids redeem the coupon any time they want a little extra attention

Check out http://www.kidsday.net/ for more ideas.

What do you think?

S’more Rollups

Hate the mess of making s’mores over a campfire? Try this recipe activity to reduce the mess but get the same great taste.

What you’ll need:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Mini marshmallows
  • 8" flour tortillas
  • Aluminum foil

What to do:

  1. Spoon 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and a dozen miniature marshmallows into the center of a tortilla.
  2. Roll up and wrap in foil and set in campfire coals for about 4 minutes or on a hot grill for about 8 minutes, flipping it halfway through.
  3. Use tongs to remove.
  4. When the foil is cool enough to hold, fold one end down. Be sure it is cool enough for serving.

With the foil around the wrap the sticky goo of the s’more is kept safely inside. Enjoy!

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Teach Me Mommy is a preschool activity guide by Jill Dunford. You can order it here or at Amazon.com.

Inspired by the book, this website is a place where anyone can share preschool activities, games, learning ideas, and teaching tips to help young children learn and grow.

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