Feed the Farm Animals Fine Motor Toddler Activity

mamaoflittles@gmail.com Activities, Farm Theme 5 Comments

We are kicking off our farm theme with this super simple fine motor activity for toddlers!

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Our son is about to turn two. He loves tractors and so I thought learning all about the farm would be the perfect way to celebrate his birthday all month long!

This was a really easy activity that I put together with minimal prep. Even better, it was a huge hit with my two toddlers.

Materials & Prep

• An empty container—we used empty oatmeal canisterssome other ideas of containers you could recycle for this activity: sour cream, ricotta, cottage, or cream cheese containers.
Green Pipe Cleaners
• My exclusive Farm Animal Faces PDF—simply subscribe to my newsletter below and you’ll automatically be redirected to it!
• *optional* Toddler Tweezers –we used these with our little3years but my little2years just used his hands. It up-ed the fine motor skills for the eldest. We purchased ours through this great set that includes other fine motor tools.

Prep Work

I printed and cut out the farm animals. Next, I cut a hole for the mouth on the animals. Then, I cut a hole of the same size in the container lid, so that the holes would line up. I taped the animal face on and the container was ready!

Finally, I prepped the pipe cleaners by cutting them about 2 inches long.

One final note: ensure that the hole in the container is smooth and won’t cut little fingers. Also check the ends of your pipecleaners…sometimes the wire gets sharp…I simply bent it over itself when I felt this. But honestly, the way my toddlers were picking these up, they didn’t even touch the ends anyway. Use discretion and supervise the activity.

Invitation to Play

My littles woke up from their naps to find this in the living room.

I shared that the farm animals had come to play. But they were hungry! So I gave them some “grass” to feed the animals.

They went right to work!

Once finished, we removed the lid, dumped them out, and did it again!

We practiced fine motor skills, learned about farm animals that eat grass, and had a blast 🙂


Play Activities for Healing While Sick

mamaoflittles@gmail.com Activities, Sensory Activities 2 Comments

Having small children usually means having the sniffles and other sickness a fair amount during cold and flu seasons. Today I’m sharing how we get better through play.

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My Little2Years has two modes: Running or Watching TV…there is not much in between for this guy.

This past week he came down with a cold. You could tell he just was not feeling well. He wanted to watch TV ALL day. Now I think this is a just fine way to spend a sick day BUT he still has energy that he needs to get out…and so letting him watch TV all day ends with him being over stimulated, over tired (because he doesn’t nap as well) and an overwhelmed mama who just wants her baby to get better!

So instead, I’ve implemented some GO-TO activities that will not only help to get some energy out, but will also be relaxing and help my littles to get better and heal faster.

Playdough

We make homemade playdough about every 6 months. Personally, I like making my own because…
1. I know exactly what’s in it
2. I like the consistency better
3. It’s taste-safe
4. I can add essential oils for healing

I love The Imagination Tree’s playdough recipe that you can find here.

I add a few drops (4-5) of essential oils before kneading the dough, once the dough has began to cool. Adding them to the boiling water will alter the properties of the essential oils.

Let me stop here and tell you a little bit more about Essential Oils:

–We use Plant Therapy’s Kid-Safe line. Why? Because I trust that they have researched and studied all things oils and have recommended oils that they believe are completely safe for children 2 and up.

In the past, I researched and tried to find what was safe, what wasn’t safe, and I really just felt confused because there is so much information out there and it was overwhelming trying to figure it out. When I found this kid-safe line, I no longer had to think about it, but instead trusted that they had done all the hard work for me!

So this is one way that we HEAL & PLAY at the same time!

Playdough helps to develop fine motor skills and use imaginative play.


Bath Time

Another great way to play is in the bath! It’s soothing and calming, but there’s also plenty of room for splashing and toy time to get out lots of energy.

My kiddos LOVE bath time so it’s a really special thing when we do it at an irregular time of the day.

Here’s how we heal during bath time–with some secret ingredients:

Magnesium
—Essential Oils–I use about 3 drops from one of the oils in our Wellness Set

Magnesium helps to heal sore/achy muscles, to sleep better, calm anxiety, relieve headaches, and the list goes on. It is best absorbed topically and it also helps to ensure you don’t get too much (because your body will only take in as much as it needs).

I also use this coconut oil in the winter months to heal dry skin and for its antibacterial properties.


Sensory Play

My kids love sensory play: beans, rice, flour, colored water, and the list goes on…

So to help with healing while sick, I added 1/4 tsp of cocount oil plus 1 drop of Germ Destroyer Synergy (also in the wellness set) to beans. This could easily be done with rice, water, or even a homemade moon sand recipe.

The kids played. My little2years breathed in the oils and it helped him to get better while playing. My little3years breathed them in and it helped to boost her immune system to fight the germs in our house.


Making Blanket Forts + Snuggles

Okay so I’m going back to what I stated at the beginning…rest is good for little ones to heal but it’s all in moderation.

Sometimes its hard to get kids to slow down and take a breather and that’s really what they need to help their little bodies heal.

Soo we get our energy out by building a huge fort in the living room, and then picking out our favorite movie to watch under the blankets. This past week it was Frozen 🙂

This is a win-win for everyone and such a great time to get all the snuggles from your little one.

I hope that helps you get through the days of having a little one at home sick! It’s definitely not fun but there are ways that you can help your little one get better through play time activities! These activities are specifically geared toward HEALING. However, if you are looking for more sit-down kind of activities that would keep your little preoccupied from all the aches and pains of being sick, check out this post, where I share lots of ideas to keep littles busy!


Seasons Collage Art for Toddlers

mamaoflittles@gmail.com Arts and Crafts, Weather Theme 1 Comment

Digging deeper into our weather unit, we spent a day focusing on the seasons. Painting the colors of each season was the perfect way for the littles to spend their morning creating and learning while also celebrating the first day of Fall.

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Our toddler school mornings are simple and busy. We read a book, talk about what we are learning, and do an activity that goes along with that theme.

I started doing toddler school with them because it was my way of being intentional about planning our day.

And when we started doing this, our days began to go so much better! It keeps them more busy (aka out of trouble). It also helps to use up all their energy so they SLEEP.

Not only that, but because these morning activities go beyond just playing with toys, they find more interest in their toys, as the day goes on.

So here’s how this particular morning went…

Prep Work Beforehand

I try to make this minimal because I figure it shouldn’t take me longer to prep than it will for the littles to complete the project..

Materials I gathered:
• Paint Supplies (Paint, Paint brushes and cups, a Smock)
• Paper (I used this cardstock)
• Poster board for finished project (I grabbed this for less than a dollar at target)

Prep:
I cut the paper into 4 in by 4 in squares. I cut 16 squares so that there was 4 for each season.

Then I poured paint in cups, mixing some colors such as pink.

That’s it!

Book Of The Day

First we read Sunshine Makes the Seasons.

This book is meant for a child that is 4-6 years old. However I read it to my 22 month old and 3 year old. They didn’t get it all but still enjoyed the pictures, asking questions, and learning about how the sun’s distance affects the seasons.

(We just finished our space themed unit, which helped my littles have a better understanding of earth and the sun.)

This laid the foundation for our art project.

Invitation to Create

Next, the littles and I talked about the different colors they see in each season. We mainly went with what colors we see in the trees, ground and/or sky.

Winter: white and blue in the sky
Spring: green and pink in the trees and ground
Summer: green in the trees and ground
Fall: yellow, red, and orange in the trees

Then they created their masterpieces!

Finished Seasons Art Project

It turned out soo pretty! I think I see more collage paintings in our future!

I added the Season titles with this printable.
Seasons Art pdf


Hope your littles will enjoy this seasons art project as much as mine did!