Showing posts with label preschool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preschool. Show all posts

Play Doh Food Themed Puzzles

Do you need an easy way to keep the kids entertained? This play doh puzzle idea is perfect for challenging them with items you already have on hand!

It is no secret that we LOVE play doh! Homemade versions, ideas to play with it, and just the joy of squishing it in your hands! No matter how you do it, it is fun with play doh.

The kids have been out of school for a long time now; 6 weeks and counting. Keeping them learning, playing and happy has been a challenge. I have had to get creative in my efforts, but some of the best ideas are born out of idle time and basic supplies.

This play doh puzzle can be as challenging or easy you want it to be. We used play food because we have a lot of that.

Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a purchase, I will earn a small advertising fee at no cost to you.


Roll a can of play doh out until it covers about a 6 to 8" area
Press assorted play food into the play doh, leaving a little room in between the food to create impressions that you can match up.

After you have filled the play doh with imprints of play food, lay all play food around the play doh and invite your child to match up the play food to the imprint that the food left.

Repeat with more play food, or even other objects from around the house.
Make more imprints for more challenging puzzles, or fewer for an easier play experience.
We loved that we could make this fun for both kids without having to buy anything!

You can find all of my play doh ideas here

Reader favorites include:

Play Doh Flower Counting Activity

Make counting and learning early math tons of fun for little ones with this hands on activity that combines early math with hands on tactile play. 

Play doh is the ultimate tool for play or learning at my house. We love to squish, mold and create with it, plus there are so many ways to learn with it. Adding it into our math lessons was a natural choice.

I was looking for a way to get Harper excited about early math, but it is hard to focus in the spring. There are so many colors, sights and smells to take in after months of indoor confinement.
As I took in the sights of spring, my inspiration was blooming all around me. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will earn an advertisers fee at no additional cost to you.

Play Doh; green and any 2 other colors
Number Stamps

With green play doh, form 2 flower stems
With any other color of play doh form the flower body
Tear off 10 pinches of play doh and shape it to look like petals.
Select two numbers.
Stamp them on the flowers.
Offer your child buttons and the petals of play doh you formed.
Encourage your child to say the number stamped on the doh.
Now, add the coordinating number of buttons to one flower.
Add the coordinating number of petals to the other flower.
Repeat with other numbers.

Find more play doh ideas here Reader favorites include:
Sunscreen Play Dough

Play Dough Multiplication Activity

This play doh multiplication activity is perfect for an introduction to multiplying for eager little mathematicians.

Rolf has been working really hard on his multiplication in the 3rd grade. During the 1st quarter of the year, he was struggling with the concepts. We tried flash cards, which are not at all fun. We tried making tables, which was also a snore. Then it dawned on me, why not true School House Rock?

That did the trick and made it a little more fun for him. Harp was learning too, so we decided to make the process a hands on fun way to learn to multiply. We do use affiliate links in this post. If you have a purchase I will earn an advertising fee.

We started with ones and twos to keep it simple; while Harp was only 5 at the time of this activity (yes! I sat on these photos for almost a year!) I knew that forming these math facts in her mind was a great way to start her off on the right foot.

Play Doh in Brown and Green
Pony Beads 
Wooden Numbers

Roll the brown play doh to resemble a tree trunk
Flatten out a can of green play doh for the leaves
Select two wooden numbers and press them into the top.
Use the edge of a number to make the x symbol
Offer your child a selection of pony beads.
Have them press the correct number of pony beads into the dough.
To explain the concept to my girl I told her to count out the first number of the problem in beads, then to do it again and press them in.

Reader favorites include:

Play Doh Stamping Activity

Put your old scrap booking stamps to good use with this preschool play doh stamping activity.

It is no secret that we love play doh. From  using it as an early math tool, to making one of a kind Christmas ornaments. Play Doh is one of my favorite tools for preschoolers to learn with!

This activity was inspired by cleaning out my office, where I had a stash of scrap booking stamps collecting dust. I thought about tossing them in the Yard Sale box we keep going year round, but I had a better idea, they make a perfect play doh tool.

Play Doh
Scrap-booking stamps

Invite your child to smash or roll a can of play doh out.
Offer an assortment of stamps and encourage them to stamp a scene.

This activity has kept Harper happily creating for weeks. She keeps a few stamps with her play doh collection and loves to pull them out and make unique scenes.

You can find all of my play doh ideas here.
Reader favorites include:

Lemonade Sensory Bin

This hands on activity is perfect for engaging the senses while serving up an awesome opportunity dramatic play for preschoolers.

Harper and I both love lemons. We like the way they smell and taste. The last time I sliced up a few lemons for my eating pleasures (yes, I eat lemons like oranges!) Harp was intrigued by the seeds. She sweetly demanded  asked to pick out all of the seeds. 

There are worse things a girl of her age could be interested in doing, and an idea was born. I knew we could throw together a really easy lemonade bin that would keep her happy all afternoon. 

A Knife
Clear Plastic Bin
Serving Spoons

Pour several cups of ice and water into the plastic bin.
Slice a lemon or two and float the slices in the water.
Add spoons, tongs, cups and bowls for instant fun.

Invite your little ones to make lemonade.
They will want to touch, maybe taste and definitely smell things in here!

This is the perfect way to spend a hot day. Let the kids splash, squeeze and dish up cool spring refreshment!

If you liked this sensory play idea, keep scrolling babe, cause I have so many fun ideas for sensory play!

Reader favorites include:
Easy button sensory bags
Birthday Cake Sensory Bin

15 St. Patrick's Day Books for Kids

St. Patrick's Day is a great time to dive into a magical story with your kids! I have gathered 15 of my families favorites to share with you. Each of these books are perfect for sharing a little luck of the Irish with your family!

These are affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will earn an advertising fee at no cost to you.

How to Catch a Leprechaun

The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun

Happy St. Patrick's Day Curious George

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover

Ten Lucky Leprechauns

That's What Leprechauns Do

The Little Leprechaun Who Loved Yellow

Lucky Tucker

The Story of St. Patrick's Day

Pete the Cat and the Luckiest Leprechaun Chase

O'Sullivan Stew

The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever

The Story of Saint Patrick

How to Trap a Leprechaun

The Story of the Leprechaun

While you are here why not grab a few free printable pages for the kids?
St. Patrick's Day Coloring Pages

Or craft up a little St. Patrick's Day fun?
Easy Shamrock Puppets
3D Shamrocks

Fine Motor Counting Activity

This easy activity is perfect for practicing early math while developing fine motor skills.

Before I was a mom, I was a developmental psychology major. In my studies, I was intrigued by sensory and fine motor development then. Now that I am a mom, I love setting up activities for my own kids that give them hands on fun and learning opportunities without spending a ton of money to do it.

This fine motor counting activity is perfect for preschoolers.They can work on their fine motor skills while practicing counting. You might have all the materials at home to do this, making it fuss free and frugal. If not, I have included some affiliate links you can use to get your supplies.

Rainbow Bands
Large Craft Sticks

Write numbers on large craft sticks with sharpies.
Use the largest craft sticks you can find to make the activity challenging.
Offer your child small rubber bands, like the rainbow loom style of bands and encourage your child to count the number of bands that need to go on each craft stick and slide that number of bands on to each craft stick.

If you are looking for more fine motor activities for kids, check out these posts:
Unicorn Fine Motor Bin
Play Doh Pre Writing

Play Doh Pre-Writing Activity

This play doh pre-writing activity is a fun way for preschoolers to work on letter recognition and writing while using their developing fine motor skills.

As we prepared for kindergarten, I wanted to make the process of learning the letters fun for Harper. We turned to our local discount store to find supplies. I came up with a really cute and easy way for her to practice her letters and see them printed too.

I am a participant in the amazon affiliate program. If you make a purchase I will earn a small advertising fee.



Invite your child to flatten a can of play doh .
Ask your child to pick on letter bead from the bag of beads.
Encourage your child to write the letter in play doh using a pencil or play doh tool.
Instruct your child to find more beads in the same letter and place them around the letter they wrote in the play doh.
Repeat with more letters.

This was a fun hands on way to practice letter recognition, letter formation and fine motor skills. It was the perfect way to mix play time with learning.

You can find all of my play doh recipes and ideas here.
Favorites include:

20+ Christmas Books for Preschoolers

Christmas is near, so why not check out some fun holiday themed books with your preschooler? My kids helped me pick these titles from our collection to inspire your bedtime stories. I am sure you will find a bunch of titles you want to check out.

This list includes affiliate links. If you buy a book from the list, I will earn a small advertising fee at no cost to you.

My kids have a collection of favorite books for every season. It is one of the perks of having a librarian for a father. We love to rotate our titles to keep the experience of reading exciting. These are some of our favorite titles from over the years. I know your kids will love them all. Find them on amazon, or stop by your local library and borrow a few.

Elmo's 12 Days of Christmas
It's Christmas, David!
That's Not My Snowman
Dream Snow
Llama Llama Jingle Bells

Related: Magical Reindeer Food

Who Is Coming To Our House?
Thomas Counts on Christmas
Construction Site on Christmas
The Christmas Elf Countdown
Paw Patrol Holiday Helpers

Related: Mickey Mouse Jingle Bell Ornaments 

Bear Stays Up For Christmas
Biscuit Gives a Gift
The Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish
Pinkalicious Merry Pinkmas
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Related: Green Button Tree Ornaments

Christmas Cookie Day
Mickey's Clubhouse Christmas
Berenstain Bears' Night Before Christmas
Santa's Toy Shop
The Grinch's Great Big Flap Book

If you have a favorite Christmas book for preschoolers I would love to hear about it.

You can find all of my Christmas posts here.

Best Gifts for Preschoolers

If you need a great gift for a preschooler in your life, you are going to appreciate this list! It is filled with fun ways to engage preschoolers while encouraging them to learn via play. From games to building kits, these are some of my favorite gift ideas for the 2019 gifting season.

Samples were provided for original photography. Affiliate links may  be used.

Challenge preschoolers with this engaging brain train. Kids will be sorting shapes and practicing their sequencing skills with this train learning tool by Smart Games. Find it from Fat Brain Toys and retailers like Walmart for about $30.

Toddlers will love adding a realistic element to dramatic play with this recycling truck by Green Toys. This is so much fun for kids and it introduces the idea of recycling as a part of daily life. The truck is super durable for curious hands. Get one online or at select retailers for about $30.

This Sizzling Smart BBQ from Leapfrog gives kids a chance to cook out anytime they want! Including 8 play foods to keep the fun sizzling, this interactive toy keeps toddlers learning colors, shapes and more. Add one to the Christmas list and cook up a smile with your favorite toddler. Retailing at $40, get it from select nationwide retailers or online.

Send your favorite preschoolers on high seas learning adventure with some engaging Vtech friends. The Treasure Seekers Pirate Ship gives toddlers a chance to develop and improve fine and gross motor skills while having an adventure fit for any thrill seeking pirate! Find it from select retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon for under $35.

If you want to find the perfect gift for a preschooler that loves unicorns, Myla the Magical Unicorn by Vtech is the perfect option. She lights up, changes colors and sings to the delight of preschool girls. Find Myla at select retailers like Walmart, Kohl's and Buy Buy Baby for under $60.

Give your preschooler a chance to enjoy their tablet time and favorite music at a kid safe volume with Buddy Phones. These are comfortable, wireless, and ideal for the long car trips that often occur during the holidays. Starting at $50, these are a gift the entire family will appreciate and that can be used in daily life, including at school.

The PBS Kids VR Viewer makes for a fun way to make more out of time with mom or dads phone. This VR viewer holds the average smartphone to give preschoolers a virtual reality viewing experience. This retails for about $10 and can be found at Walmart.

Give kids a really friendly introduction to a classic game with Story Time Chess. With large friendly pieces, this revolutionary approach to chess makes it simple to teach kids as young as three the art of the game. Find this must get game online for $50 for fun that keeps going well past the holidays.

Send your preschooler on a learning voyage without ever leaving the house with this World Village Ireland Play Set Kids will love exploring a new culture in a hands on method with this play set. Retailing at under $60 this is a perfect option for curious kids this holiday season. Order from the Whole Wide World website.

Give curious kids a chance to explore the whole wide world with this Happy World interactive map. It gives kids a chance to dive into geography with a map they can write on or stick some reusable stickers on. Buy it online at the Whole Wide World website for under $20 this holiday season for a learning experience that they will keep coming back to.

Give kids who love to build a chance to imagine and design their own creations with Brackitz.
This is a building kit for kids that combines math, science and hands on fun to create a recipe for fun that kids 3 and up won't be able to get enough of. This is my favorite STEM option for preschoolers this year. Order it online from the Brackitz site for about  $60. Come back to visit again once our holiday giveaways kick off for your chance to win one.

Find all of my gift guides here.

Button Sensory Bag

Sensory Play doesn't have to be complicated or messy! This easy button sensory bag is perfect for keeping little hands busy and eager minds learning. Best of all, it comes together in just a few moments!

Hair Gel Button Sensory Bag
Add caption

Sensory play is awesome for kids. It is fun, and can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. I love to give my kids the tools they need to play, learn, and relax. This button sensory bag is easy to make and can serve several purposes.

The button sensory bag is perfect for quiet reflection time. I made this for Harper on one of those rough days when she needed a chance to unwind. As she got herself together we used this bag for sorting colors and shapes. Manipulating the buttons is awesome for fine motor practice.

                                                          This post contains affiliate links.

Supplies Needed:
A zipper seal sandwich bag
Hair gel

Place aout 1/4 cup of hair gel in a zipper seal bag.

Add glitter to the hair gel. I thought blue was a nice touch, but you can use whatever color you like.

Add assorted buttons.

Seal. If your child is young or has "rough hands" You might want to reinforce the edges and opening with duct tape.

Invite your child to explore the bag. Squish it, sort colors, or sort by sizes.

You can find more sensory activities ideas here:
Birthday Cake Sensory Play is always a hit!
Flower Garden Sensory Bins are perfect for rainy days!

Seashell Towers STEM Activity

Beach fun meets play doh for a hands on early engineering activity. My 5 year old loved playing with this Seashell Towers STEM Activity.

This is such a simple activity, but it is also challenging and ideal for little learners. It combines fine motor skills and problem solving to create a recipe for hands on fun.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I do earn a small advertisers fee at no added expense to you.

The smallest things can bring hours of entertainment to kids. This seashell tower stem activity is a perfect example. This gives little hands a chance to build and begin discovering the magical world of engineering. Best of all, you might have the supplies you need on hand. I LOVE activities that I don't have to buy anything to do with my kids.


Invite your child to roll a can of play doh into small balls.
Encourage your child to use the doh and the shells to make a tower.
Talk about how to make the tower taller, larger, wider without it falling over.

This activity is so much fun and was so easy to set up for Harper. She was engaged with building what she called mermaid towers.

After about an hour of building we put the play doh back in the can and added the seashells to our busy bag collection. We will be revisiting this play doh activity many times! I have a feeling my 9 year old would enjoy this one too!

Check out my favorite play doh projects here