Fun things to do at Home: Kite Flying !

It's Spring

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and April begins National Kite month so here’s some kite information you can use to have fun with your kids.

Kites can be great fun on several levels.

  •  You can craft them at home with bags or even duct tape.
  • And kites are one of the fun things you can do to hang out outside that are not routine.

 delta kite

Different kites work for different wind speeds.

  • Diamond shape, Delta shapes and Dragon shapes are best for light to medium winds.
  • While Box kites and Parafoils do well in medium to high winds.

All types of kites need60 to 100 ft. of string and more if the wind allows.

The best winds are from around 5 to 25 mph.  The leaves and bushes will be noticeably blowing, but will not be leaning—they will still be fluttering.

Medium winds are the most fun because you can make your kite “dance” by letting string out and reeling it in.

The best places to fly kites are in parks or fields.  Trees “eat” kites and it’s dangerous to be near electrical or phone wires.  Never fly a kite in a storm!

toddler kite

Here is a list of websites with great instructions for making your own kite:

http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/how-to-make-a-paper-bag-kite/

http://www.nationalkitemonth.org/plans/boca.php

http://doecdoe.blogspot.com/2011/07/go-fly-kite.html

http://www.joann.com/totally-cosmic-duct-tape-kite/prod703769/

http://www.makeandtakes.com/colorful-stained-glass-kites

 

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Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831

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Crafting Month Continues: Fun Things to do with Cherios

We are continuing with ideas made with things easily found around most homes.  The crafting item today is CHERIOS and/or FRUIT LOOPS. 

                             fruit loops

  • It’s easy to make a rainbow with Fruit Loops.  Just draw draw six concentric arcs.  The kids can glue the cereal pieces on the arcs.  (Use glue or frosting if you think the cereal will be eaten no matter what) The smallest arc will be for purple loops, the next blue.  The next arcs above will be for green then yellow loops. The last loops should be orange and red.  This color scheme is the closest to a real rainbow, so you can also use it as a mini science class.  (As sunlight passes into a drop of rain, water acts as prism & the ray is bent as it enters the drop and is separated into colors.   We see the colors when the light is bent – the rays are different lengths that create different colors. The visible colors from shortest to longest wavelength are: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.)                                                                                                                                                                                                    rainbow bowls 
  •  Of course, if your child is very young, or you don’t want to deal with  science on a Saturday, you are still honing small motor skills if your child just picks up and glues the cereal to the paper.  It builda coordination to pick up pieces of cereal one at a time.
  • If your child is just learning colors, set out some bowls and let her sort the cereal by colors                                ramekin
  • If She is learning  her alphabet or to spell her name,  let her use the cereal loops to create letters, or to spell.  Again, you can pencil a large letter shape and your child can follow the lines to create
  • letters or words
  • Letters on chalkboard

 

CTA

Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831

Parenting Tips: It’s National Crafts Month! Easy Bird Feeders

birds feeding

We’re going to focus on fun, affordable, kid friendly crafts to do with your kids all month to celebrate National Crafts Month.  Our first entry is for 2 simple bird feeders (squirrels like ’em too)

pinecones

I. You will need a pine cone, peanut butter, and bird seeds or sunflower seeds and yarn or twine

Just cover the pine cone with peanut butter- use a plastic knife and spread it, or roll it in peanut butter- whatever works for you is fine.

Now roll the peanut butter cone in birdseed that you’ve put in a shallow pan until the cone is covered with seeds,

Finally, use the twine or yarn to hand the pinecone from a tree or eave.  You can watch the animals feed on it.  It’s the end of Winter and they’re hungry!

II  Don’t feel like picking up birdseed?  No worries.  You can use stale bread or bread crusts and yarn to make a great feeder too.  Just put a pencil sized hole in the bread and let it dry out.  Thread a string through the dry bread and hang it where ever the birds can find it.  Yum (for the birds anyway)

bread crumbs

You can also help the small animals by putting out a bowl of water.  And it’s fun to just put pieces of yarn in the yard.  It will disappear into bird nests.

CTA

Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831

Parenting Tips: Making Puffy Paint at Home

Call it Clotted, Doughy, or Puffy; this paint is thick!

Paint doesn’t have to be flat, it can be thick and pop off the paper.  You can paint with it, squeeze it out from a bottle or baggie to the paper, even use a butter knife to create a painting that looks like VanGogh.

25 Amazing Van Gogh Paintings 2

To make Clotted Paint you will need:

¼ C flour

¼ C salt

¼ C water

2 TBS tempera power

a squeeze bottle or zip lock baggie ( put a glob of thick paint in the corner of the                   bag.  Zip it closed.  Make a tine snip in the corner of the bag where the glob is. Use           your fist to squeeze out the paint.  You may have to experiment a little to get  the feel               of how the paint comes out)

Mix all the ingredients together until evenly blended.

Pour into the bottle or bag.  Paint your masterpiece.

(This makes a fun name plated or decorates the top of a treasure box.)

CTA

Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831

Learning At Home: Developing Fine Motor Skills

Eye-Hand coordination activites to do at home

  • You will need:
  • tweezers and/or tongs  pom poms or marbles or                                                                     small pebbles
  • Rounded safety scissors, construction paper, glue and                                                             or tape
  •  A skewer with a rubber band around it to make it  easy to hold                                                Or an oversized push-pin
  • A big plastic sewing needle and yarn and cardboard shapes                                                     with holes  punched
  •  A container and small objects to put in it

For the tweezers, put the pom poms, pebbles or marbles in containers and have your child move them to another container.

describe the image

Draw shapes  or lines on paper, give your child scissors and ask him to cut out the shape or along the line.  This is a learning activity- so don’t expect perfection!  Then let him loose with glue or paper to make a card or poster.

Make shapes with dots all over a piece of construction paper.  Give your child a something to poke with- a skewer or push pin and let her push the holes to create the shape.

Take a jar with a wide mouth and lid.  Depending on the age of your child you can leave the lid off and simply provide objects  like clothes pins, or pennies or beans to be dropped in the jar.  With an older child you can punch holes in the lid (or use an empty spice jar that has two openings- one to shake with and one for the measuring spoon).  Give your child toothpicks that have to be fitted through the holes to get them in the jar.

Cut shapes out of cardboard.  Use a hole punch and put holes around the edge.  Give your child a large plastic needle threaded with yarn and let her “sew’’ the edges.

All of these activities build eye hand coordination skills that will help when learning to read and write.  HAVE FUN!

CTA

Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831

Kid Recipes: Make Your Own Watercolors

This is a way to make dried cakes of watercolor paints like the ones that come in 8 or 12 packages in the store.  The fun thing is that it starts out as all fizzy, but dries into a cake.

You will need:

1 Tbs clear vinegar

1 Tbs baking soda       ( these 2 ingredients make the fizz)

1 Tbs cornstarch1/2 tsp corn syrup

food coloring

small plastic bottle lids

small paintbrushes

What to dowatercolors

Mix vinegar and baking soda- be ready for the fizz, use a big bowl

When the mixture stops fizzing, add cornstarc and corn syrup.

Blend together- the mixture will be have a cake-like consistency

Divide the mixture into the number of lids/colors you plan to have.  For each color, blend in a few drops of food coloring with a paintbrush.  The more food coloring you use, the brighter the colors will be.  For younger kids, just go with Red, Blue and Yellow- primary colors.  Your older kids can practice mixing colors with the primary colors or you can purchase as many different food coloring colors as you want.  Mix colors before you add them in a bowl that wont stain!

You can use the paint immediately or after the colors have dried into

CTA

Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831

Brown Sugar Play Dough- MMM,MMM, YUM

This edible recipe enables your child to play and eat with some of their favorite ingredients, how sweet! Invite your child to feel, smell, taste and create with this special kind of dough. The dough can be molded and played with like playdough. Make sure the table surface and playing utensils are clean, because of bibbling. This edible recipe stimulates all the senses especially smelling and tasting!

Recipe:

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup Rice Krispies or granola
  • Sprinkle of powdered sugar

Process:

  1. Mix brown sugar and peanut butter in a bowl with your hands.
  2. Add Rice Krispies or granola to the mixture
  3. Divide into portions for molding and play.

Janice’s ‘Finger-Tips’: If the batter appears sticky, sprinkle powdered sugar on your child’s hands as they are playing. Their hands get moist from their finger-licking!

This recipe is from Janice Holsinger’s book, “Sticky Fingers – Hands-on Art for Children.”making play dough

CTA

Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831