by Jamie Hinckley on Jun 28, 2012
So my six year old has been begging for quite a while now to sell lemonade. I have been crazy busy with moving and kept distracting him and putting him off. I finally gave in this week.
Why in the world didn’t I let them do this sooner??? Seriously!!!!! It kept them so busy!!! I would let them have one every single day if it didn’t bug the neighbors!
The hardworking adorable boys waiting anxiously for cars to drive by!
They spent all day coloring signs… really nice detailed signs! Apparently they are more motivated to really do a good job if they think it will make them more money!$!$!
So after working all day on signs they set up a little table with cups and waved and jumped at every car that drove by… really the cutest thing ever!
I decided that anyone who drives past a lemonade stand without stopping is completely heartless!
Working hard on his sign!
We turned the lemonade stand into a math lesson. The kids counted the money and then divided it up evenly. They also figured out how much profit they made after subtracting the cost for the lemonade.
The boys each ended up with $3.75 after an hour and half of selling 25 cent cups of juice. They were very excited!
Not bad huh! The kids were busy, I got tons of stuff done, and they actually learned something!
by Jamie Hinckley on Jun 08, 2012
Father’s Day is so fun! I make it a point to do something fun and creative for father’s Day. This year I asked each of the kids a few questions about their Dad and wrote them down for them. Some of the answers were pretty cute!
A fun picture idea to attach to your questionnaire
Love these little guys!
If you are interested in my template for the questionnaire, email Jamie@encahntedmommy.com and I can forward it to you.
by Dana Patterson on Jun 07, 2012
Tomorrow my baby turns 3, even though she claims she is already 3 since she had her party last weekend.
She's 3 tomorrow!
I wanted to do something fun with her today since tomorrow we are traveling out of town for a graduation. I knew she would have fun at Frying Pan Park (located in Herndon, VA) and it would be a great spot for pictures. It is also a great free spot (unless you pay for a wagon ride or carousel ride which is still very reasonably priced).
We were able to see lots of fun animals!
We saw goats!
We saw baby pigs eating.
We also saw roosters!
I also didn’t miss any photo opportunities on this beautiful farm!
A cool old truck!
Even the baby ran around!
It is such a great place for photos!
If you are ever in or around the NoVa area, I highly recommend it here! It is such a great family place and you actually feel like you’re in the country in the middle of a city!
by Jamie Hinckley on Jun 05, 2012
I have been working on this baby shower ever since a certain favorite mommy found out she was finally having a girl! Like me, she has three boys and her and I have always joked and dreamed of having that little girl in pink and ruffles one day! For her, the dream is coming true and I was all about having a fun frilly shower to celebrate!
I am moving in 2 weeks and didn’t have a lot of stuff left unpacked, but needed some easy and elegant decorations to make the house look great for the shower. I hung tulle up around the entry way stair case and put cute little flowers in it. It turned out really nice. I also have a fabulous friend who does flower arranging who put together a few gorgeous pieces to place around the room.
These cream puffs stole the show! They were awesome!
Personalized M&M's for party favors
by Jamie Hinckley on Jun 01, 2012
Awesome science activity… all you need is a bar of Ivory soap. Yep, that’s it! Turn some Ivory soap into a fun fluffy soap cloud! The kids will love this… trust me! I did this today with 4 little boys and they were mesmerized!
Step 1: Get your Ivory soap
Step 2: Put it in the microwave on a paper towel or wax paper and microwave for a couple minutes. Let the kids watch as it slowly fluffs in to a large poofy cloud!
Some very mesmerized boys watched as the soap transformed in the microwave!
Step 3: Let the kids play! This is a great sensory activity! Have the children describe what it feels like and smells like! Warning: I wouldn’t let them crumble it up until you have it in a bowl. It might look soft and squishy, but it is actually very crumbly and flaky when you brake it apart.
Don’t worry this is not wasteful, you can still use the soap when you are done! You can throw the whole fluffy cloud in the bath tub with them or mold your own smaller soaps from the foam and use those! I personally like letting my kids use the cloud to soap up the slip’n slide in the backyard! It makes for some seriously slippery fun!
Tyson declared, “This smells like a bath!!!!”
Crumble it into soap snow flakes and have the kids describe the texture
Add some food coloring and a tiny bit of water to your flakes to mold into your own soap shapes!
A little clean up advice: Vacuum or wipe up flakes with a dry paper towel or cloth. Do not try to wipe with anything wet or you will have a much bigger, soapier mess to clean up.
Looking for more sensory activities? Check out these links for more ideas.
Painting with Ice
Cotten ball Bunny
by Dana Patterson on Apr 30, 2012
I’ve been working on the alphabet with my two year old! Today, we focused on the letter F. I am going to share all of our fun activities we did with the letter F.
First, we colored the uppercase and lowercase F which I got the template here.
Coloring her "F"
Next, we colored a fish bowl and colored the fish, template found here.
Coloring her fish bowl.
She's proud of her fish bowl!
We (mommy, daddy and Ella) also used our hands to make Flowers!
She also made flowers out of hands.
She even helped mommy water her Flowers.
Ella helped water flowers.
We used finger paint to incorporate the letter F.
She also painted with her fingers.
Lastly, we used our magna-tiles to create the letter F.
We made an F with the magna-tiles.
Each letter has so many ways to learn it! Check out some of the other letters on this site!
Letter B | Letter C | Letter H | Letter I | Letter K | Letter L | Letter Q | Letter R | Letter W | Letter X
by Jamie Hinckley on Apr 24, 2012
Sensory activities are soooooooooo good for kids! They help promote social, emotional, and intellectual development! There is even a positive correlation between sensory development and a reduction in biting in toddlers. Very interesting!
During my turn to teach preschool we did an awesome sensory activity using spaghetti noodles. They were so silly about it! They told me how their parents never let them play with their spaghetti! I think that made the activity all the more fun for them!
First the kids squished the noodles between their fingers.
Next they tried to make letters with their spaghetti
After that they wanted to paint the noodles!
and painted some more!
In the end, all that was left was a big pile of painted noodles! The kids really liked seeing what colors they could make the noodles when they mixed the colors! This is a great way to incorporate science into your sensory project!
If you liked this activity you may also like these sensory activities:
Painting with Ice
Hand and Foot Print Reindeer
Pine Cone Turkeys
Hand Print Turkey Feathers
Hand and Foot Print Creatures
Sensory Table Activities
by Dana Patterson on Apr 24, 2012
It is also a great picture idea!
I often thought that my two (almost 3) year old would enjoy playing in the rain. Boy did she ever! She had so much fun that she cried when she had to come in. You know… that thing called my little sibling just woke up from a nap screaming. She was soaked head to toe by the time we came in, but I repeat, she had so much fun.
One of the most fun things she's ever done.
I encourage everyone to let their kids play in the rain. It will definitely be a memory. It also makes that dreary day seem fun. My daughter couldn’t wait for her dad to come home and tell him how much fun she had!
Just a little puddle jumping!
Then, they have to come inside and take a bath. Make that a fun experience too!
by Jamie Hinckley on Apr 17, 2012
We are getting down to the end of our alphabet here and seems like the last few letters are the trickiest to find activities for. This week was my turn to teach and we were on Ww. It took a little extra thought, but we ended up coming up with plenty of fun activities!
We had a very silly circle time for Ww. We first reviewed past letters and sounds, then introduced the letter Ww. There are a ton of gross motor activities associated with W so we took some time to do them during circle time using role playing. Here are a few of the things we did:
- Wiggle like a Worm
- Pretend to be blowing in the Wind
- Swim and splash in the Water
- Pretend to eat a big piece of Watermellon
- Use a magic Wand to turn each other into a Whale, Walrus, and Worm.
- Lay down to make the shape of a W with our bodies
We made cute watermelons out of paper plates, construction paper, and paint. These are really easy and do not take a lot of supplies. The kids really liked making them, especially after we had just pretended to eat watermelon during circle time. This is a great cross curricular activity as well since you can incorporate both science and math into your art by teaching about fruits and having the kids count the watermelon seeds on their project.
First let the kids paint a paper plate green.
Then have them glue a red circle in the middle and have them glue black "seeds" made from construction paper onto the red circle. This is great for fine motor development also since the seeds are so small!
Don't forget to have a little mini lesson on what a fruit is and have them count the watermelon seeds so that it can be a cross curricular activity for science and math as well!
We also let the kids paint W’s with Watercolors. This is a simple, but fun project. It also looks great as a finished project to add to their alphabet books they have been making!
Painting with Watercolors!
Perfect letter page for our alphabet books!
To finish our obsessed Ww preschool day we ate yummy snickerdoodle cookies topped with Whipped cream! Make sure to emphasize how whipped cream starts with W!!
To see more preschool letter activities we have done, check out the links below!
Letter B, Letter C, Letter H, Letter I, Letter K, Letter L, Letter Q, Letter R.
by Susan on Apr 11, 2012
(Note from Dana: My sister in-law sent me a text stating she had some great uses for leftover Easter eggs and wanted to guest post. I was like for sure!!!! Read the post and check out her own blog here!)
Well the Easter bunny has done it again. I’m not quite sure how it happens. Especially since I am very close with the Easter bunny and monitor her spending habits very closely. It seems at some point in the preparation of Easter baskets, the Easter bunny placed a “bunny” blessing on our plastic eggs because they seem to be multiplying faster than bunnies do.
Just when I think I’ve tracked down every last plastic egg, I find another one in a couch cushion or my shoe. This wouldn’t be so annoying except for the fact that it’s usually not an entire egg: just half.
As a mother of three preschoolers, we accumulate a lot of plastic eggs. In addition to the Easter bunny, we have church egg hunts, family egg hunts and preschool egg hunts. This amounts to roughly 5,000 plastic eggs (maybe I’m exaggerating, but only by a little).
My kids' leftover eggs!
In the past, I’ve saved the plastic eggs for the following year. In five years, I’ve accumulated quite a stash of eggs. There is no need to keep new ones this year. Instead of throwing them away, I’ve found several uses for the plastic eggs.
- Use them as bath toys. Most eggs have a little hole in the bottom of the egg. My kids love to fill them up with water and watch the water drain out.
- Make an Easter egg wreath. There are a million ways to make these and they are all over Pinterest. This is a perfect time to make an Easter wreath because any additional accessories you might need (i.e. ribbons, additional flare, etc.) will be on sale.
- Make a set of “play” eggs. The next time you buy real eggs, save the container and fill it with plastic eggs. Your kids will love this new addition to the play kitchen.
- Use them to teach your child to read. Check out this recent post that uses eggs to help new readers learn new words.
- Use them as prize incentives. One thing I love about plastic eggs is their size; they perfectly hold a temporary tattoo or sticker. My kids love rewards and they love surprises. Keeping some eggs year-round to fill with little treats is a great way to motivate your kids.
- Donate them to your local Humane Society. Apparently, cats love to chase around plastic eggs filled with food. This helps with their mental stimulation and development. Not all Human societies collect plastic eggs so make sure you call before you show up with your bag full of eggs.
- Give them back. If you attended any community egg hunts, you might be able to donate your eggs back after Easter. Not all organizations want to store the eggs for a whole year but some might. It takes a lot of eggs to host a community egg hunt, so if they are accepting eggs this is an easy way to get rid of your entire stash.
Having trouble deciding which one to choose? And this list is just a start. There are a ton of craft ideas that use plastic eggs. The good news is you probably have enough eggs to do them all. Twice.