Activities for Kids: Caterpillar Pencil Topper

I was on the phone the other day with my friend Kelli and her kids start back to school the first week of August.

What? Where has the summer gone? And when did school start back the first week of August?

We homeschool, so we do school work year round, but school supplies are out at the store in abundance and this is the time of year I buy them. The prices are just too good not to stock up! Pencils, folders, paper, markers, crayons…. all of these things are so affordable right now!

This year why not make some fun {and super easy} pencil toppers? My boys will love this!

DIY caterpillar pencil toppers

You Will Need:

Grab all of your supplies.

how to make a pencil topper for back to school

Wrap the pipe cleaner (I used a white one) around the top portion of the pencil right under the eraser.

use pipe cleaners to make pencil toppers

Next. use the hot glue gun to attach the multicolored tiny pom poms.

Are these cute or what? I love tiny stuff!

Glue them on really close to each other- no gaps.

Four or five tiny pom poms will fit.

DIY pencil toppersGlue the tiny eyes on.

Be careful not to burn yourself.

Make sure you help your little one if they are doing the craft. Those tiny eyes can be hard to get a small dot of glue on.

caterpillar pencil topper

And there you have it.

How fun and cute is this?

Just sharpen your new pencil and you’re good to go!

caterpillar pencil topper craft

My go to spot each year for buying school supplies is Target. It has been for years.

I love their up & up brand- best deals every year!

And you know what? Target gets it. They know we are paying attention to those details in the quality of the supplies we’re buying as well as the price because so many of us are on a budget. For me, I hate three ring binders that break just after a few weeks of using them! I hate pencil bags that break just a few months into the school year. It’s a scavenger hunt for the exact items we need- we are on a budget, folks!

Have you heard the news about the Buy One, Give One promotion? For each select school supply you buy for back-to-school, Target will give another to the Kids In Need Foundation. Together, we can help Target reach their goal of donating $25 million in supplies.

Do you set a budget each year for school supplies? Does your heart sing when you see all of the totally budget-friendly supply deals this time of year?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Target Back To School. The opinions and text are all mine.

32 Letter F Crafts and Activities for Preschoolers

Are you on the hunt for more letter F crafts for your preschooler?

Here is a collection of 32 more activities you can do with your little one.

One of the best elements of learning is making it fun. It is about more than just saying your alphabet and hoping the letters and sounds stick in their head.

This list of ideas fits the needs of many different learning styles and are perfect for boys and girls!

There are crafts to make, things to cook, books to read, art work ideas and more!

Let’s dive into this list.

32 Letter F Crafts and Activities for Preschoolers

Letter F Crafts and Activities for Preschoolers

  1. Letter of the Week Craft: F is for Frog by Crystal & Co. 
  2. Letter F Paper Plate Craft by East Coast Mommy 
  3. F is for Farmer Sensory Bins by Life with Moore Babies 
  4. Fairy House Toiletl Paper Roll Craft by Red Ted Art 
  5. Thread Wrapped Letters by Craftulate 
  6. Fishing Game by No Time for Flash Cards 
  7. Letter F Do a Dot Worksheet  by Crystal & Co. 
  8. Frog Sandwiches by The Chaos and the Clutter
  9. Letter of the Week:  F Theme by No Time for Flash Cards 
  10. Letter F Preschool Printables by Teaching Mama 
  11. 20 Letter F Books Children Must Read by Crystal & Co.
  12. Letter F: Frog Printable Freebies by Life Over C’s
  13. Frog Playdough by Life Over C’s 
  14. Tissue Paper Flower Lollipops by Red Ted Art 
  15. Letter F Frankenstein Math for Kids by No Time for Flash Cards 
  16. 15 Feather Crafts for Children by Craftulate
  17. Fingerprint Fish by 3 Dinosaurs 
  18. Football Crafts by No Time for Flash Cards 
  19. Farm Small World Play Ideas  by Craftulate
  20. Flower Bead Card by Red Ted Art 
  21. 20 Letter F Books Children Must Read  by Crystal & Co.
  22. Jump Frog Jump Gross Motor with Printable by 3 Dinosaurs 
  23. Fancy Nancy Activities  by The Chaos and the Clutter 
  24. Preschool Art Activities: Rainbow Fish by Planet Smarty Pants 
  25. Handprint Fish by Craftulate
  26. Handprint Alphabet: F is for Flamingo by Red Ted Art 
  27. Fire and Fire Trucks for Toddlers  by Craftulate
  28. Letter F Sensory Bin by Life with Moore Babies 
  29. How to Finger Knit for Kids  by Red Ted Art 
  30. Fairywand Cookies by Red Ted Art 
  31. Gone Fishing Cupcake Snacks  by Crystal & Co. 
  32. Fireworks Crafts by No Time for Flash Cards 

Which idea do you think your young learner will love the most? Pick a couple and create them together!

Pasta Crafts for Kids: How to Dye Pasta

Have you ever used colored pasta when teaching your kids?

Dying pasta is very easy and it uses supplies you likely have on hand.

You can use this to create pasta crafts for kids, but also for learning. Pasta is a great manipulates for sorting, counting, developing patterns and more!

Kids also love to create art and other projects using colored pasta.

Let me show you how easy it is to make this. (While you’re here check out all of our activities for kids!)

Pasta Crafts for Kids How to Dye Pasta

Supplies:

Gather up your supplies.

You will need to repeat the first four ingredients for every pasta shape and color you want.

 

supplies needed to dye pasta with rubbing alcohol

Add 2 c of pasta to a ziplock bag.

In a bowl mix the alcohol and food coloring with a whisk.

Dump the mixture into the bag and seal it.

Swish it around until the pasta is evenly coated.

use alcohol and food coloring to dye pasta

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Dump the pasta out and let it dry on the cookie sheet.

let the dyed pasta dry before playing with it

Look at all of the colors you can make.

This is a great opportunity for your kids to help with measuring, following directions and mixing colors to make new colors.

dying pasta for kids to play with

So many projects and activities for kids await!

Pasta Crafts for Kids

 

Over the next few weeks I will share with you tutorials and ways to use this pasta in learning.

MORE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Here are more activities for kids that encourage play and learning.

Homemade Bubble Recipe for Kids

Summer is in full swing and I am on the hunt for fun activities for kids that involve a little outside play time.

I have been wanting to make a homemade bubble recipe for a while. My boys LOVE to play with bubbles! What about your kiddos?

This morning we made these bubbles really quickly and easily. I bet you’ve got the items on hand to make them.

This version makes a little over 4 cups of bubble solution.

By noon it was too hot to play outside much, but this will be a perfect morning or late evening family activity.

Ready for the simple recipe?

homemade bubble recipe from crystalandcomp.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 c hot water (just use tap)
  • 2 T glycerin 
  • 1 c hand soap or dish soap
  • 3 drops of essential oils Joy (totally optional, but this adds a happy scent!)

You will also want a large jar and spoon for mixing as well as bubble wands.

Add the hot water to a large jar that you can mix the bubbles up in.

Add the glycerin and the soap.

Easy Homemade Bubble Recipe

Add a couple of drops of Joy essential oil, this is totally optional, but it certainly makes for a happy smell! Here is where I buy essential oils online.

Use a spoon to gently stir. Minimize making lots of foam at the top.

homemade bubble recipe adding Joy essential oils

Grab your bubble wands and you’re ready to go.

I found a packet of 12 online for a pretty reasonable price and free shipping.

homemade bubbles using glycerinThe kids had lots of fun until they got too hot.

There are so many fun things you can do while making bubbles. See who can make the biggest bubble!

activities for kids homemade bubbles

My husband and I had even more fun than the kids.

He was home for lunch and we made bubbles in the front yard.

Any idea how hard it is to get good pictures of bubbles? They are translucent do they are hard for the camera to focus on. Not to mention the wind blows them away fast.

Homemade Bubble Recipe using Essential Oil

The glycerin in the recipe will help make the bubbles thicker.

This will prevent them from popping so quickly.

Homemade Bubble Recipe how to

See all of the things you can create using different shaped wands.

Homemade Bubble Recipe for Kids

Who can create the most bubbles at one time?

this man of mine

This bubble was MASSIVE!

homemade bubbles

Such a fun activity to do as a family.

how to make bubbles at home

When was the last time you played with bubbles?

Have you ever considered making them homemade? It really is super easy!

homemade bubble recipe for kidsEnjoy!

MORE HOMEMADE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Here are more ways to use essential oils in your home.

 

 

 

 

 

Activities for Kids: 42 Frog Craft Projects

Are you looking for activities for kids as you teach your preschooler about frogs?

I have pulled together a nice collection of frog crafts and projects that you can do with your little ones.

These will go perfectly with our letter of the week activities that are here in my this site.

 

Activities for Kids 42 Frog Craft Projects

 42 Frog Craft Projects

  1. Letter of the Week Craft: F is for Frog 
  2. Frog and Turtle Unit
  3. Frog Life Cycle with Printables
  4. F is for Frog Do a Dot Letter Printable 
  5. Printable Frog Activity Book for Kids
  6. Make Frogs Using Wine Cork
  7. Circle Frog – Shapes Craft
  8. Paper Roll Frog Craft
  9. Oreo Frogs
  10. Green Crafts
  11. Catching Frogs and Toads
  12. How to Make an Origami Frog that Jumps
  13. Frog Paper Bag Puppet
  14. Paper Heart Frog Craft for Kids
  15. Footprint Frog Craft
  16. Free Frog Pond Play Dough Printable
  17. Animal Movement: Red Light Green Light
  18. Exploring with Frogs – Sensory Play
  19. Pond Sensory Bin
  20. Cheap Handprint Frog Craft for Kids
  21. Free Printable Froggy Fold Up Book
  22. Hungry Hungry Frogs
  23. Mr Croak – Unexpectd Substitute Teacher for an Afternoon
  24. Frog Pond Skip Counting by 5s (with free printable)
  25. Pet Frog Sensory Bin
  26. Interactive App Following Frog Life Cycle
  27. Jump Frog Jump Gross Motor with Printable
  28. Free Printable Frog Skip Counting Puzzle
  29. Frog Hand Puppet
  30. The Study of Animals: Vertebrates
  31. Egg Carton Frog Craft
  32. Party Blower Frog Catching Game
  33.  Free Pond Pack
  34. Learn Phonics with Froggy Froggy
  35. Frog Pond Sensory Sink
  36. Handprint Frog Craft
  37. Free Resources to Learn About Frogs
  38. Free Frog Mask
  39. Frog Unit Study
  40. Free Pond Dot Marker Pages
  41. Life Cycle of a Frog Activity
  42. Printable Tree Frog Craft

More Learning Activities for Kids

Over 150 Outside Activities for Kids

Summer is officially here according to the calender. It is getting warmer and warmer every afternoon here in Texas.

How about where you live?

Now is the time to find some outside activities for kids. Ways to incorporate nature into their play, ways to create and ways to learn. The key is to also encourage fun!

You will love this collection of ideas. There is something included for toddlers all the way through elementary age. I think even our thirteen year old would enjoy some of these.

Something as simple as playing outside is a great way to discourage boredom and build memories. Keep in mind, children do not always have to be entertained. Often times being bored is what stems creativity in children. That is what I love about these lists of ideas. Nothing I’ve shared below is over stimulating. In fact, these ideas are very simple and use the things in our environment to encourage play!

Ready?

Over 150 Outside Activities for Kids

 

Outside Activities for Kids

15 Water Play Activities for Kids from Crystal & Co. 

15 Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids from No Time for Flashcards 

10 Gross Motor Outdoor Activities for Kids from Hands on as We Grow

3 Fun and Easy Outdoor Activities for Kids from 3 Boys and a Dog 

10 Backyard Balancing Activities for Kids from Happy Hooligans 

20 Outdoor Art Activities for Kids from Childhood 101

35 Outside Chalk Activities for Kids from the Pleasantest Thing

9 Ways to Learn Outside from The Measured Mom

10 Outdoor Math Activities for Kids from Reading Confetti 

5 Outdoor Flashlight Games for Kids from Kids Activities Blog 

10 Summer Outdoor Activities for Kids from Toddler Approved 

12 Outdoor Letter and Word Activities for Kids from Reaching Confetti 

25 Ways to Play Outside with Your Kids from Peace But not Quiet 

10 Lemonade Stand Ideas for Kids from Crystal & Co. 

 

I would love to know how you encourage play outside with your kiddos!

 

 

20 Homemade Play Dough Recipe Ideas

My kids love playing with play dough! There is nothing better than making it yourself.

It is a perfect summer activity for kids and you guys will build memories while you do it.

Did you have know there were so many homemade play dough recipe ideas out there? You can make it with candy, spices, sugar drink mix and more!

Some of these recipes are edible and some are just for play. All of them include items you likely have in your pantry. These recipes are from some of my favorite kid bloggers!

Let’s think outside the box and make some super creative homemade play dough!

20 homemade play dough recipe ideas

 

20 Homemade Play Dough Recipe Ideas

  1. Calming  Play Dough from Crystal & Co.
  2. Edible Peanut Butter Play Dough from The Imagination Tree
  3. Jello Play Dough from Teaching Mama
  4. Candy Play Dough from Kids Activities Blog
  5. Pumpkin Pie Play Dough from Crystal & Co.
  6. Soft Vanilla Mint Play Dough from Mama.Papa.Bubba
  7. Glowing Play Dough Recipe from Tinkerlad
  8. Glitter Rainbow Play Dough Recipe from Housing a Forest
  9. Kool Aid Play Dough from Crystal & Co.
  10. Edible Gluten Free No Cook Play Dough from Fun at Home with Kids
  11. Herb and Spice Play Dough from Craftulate
  12. Super Soft Play Dough from Learning 4 Kids
  13. Chocolate Play Dough from Crystal & Co.
  14. Orange and Spice Play Dough from Nurture Store
  15. Marshmallow Play Dough from Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
  16. Chilled Play Dough from Blog Me Mom
  17. Sand Play Dough from 2 Big 2 Little
  18. Skin Therapy Play Dough from No Twiddle Twaddle
  19. Nutella Play Dough from The Pleasantest Thing
  20. Cookie Butter Play Dough (edible peanut butter alternative) from Crystal & Co.

Use this list the next time you’re looking for something to do indoors and you will have hours of fun play!

More Activities for Kids

Here are hundreds of other ways to make memories this summer.


 

Giveaway

Guess what? I’ve partnered with a group of awesome bloggers who are giving away three awesome prizes.

Want to win a $500? Imagine all the fun things you could do with your kiddos with $500! What a fun summer you could create. Or save it to help with back to school!

There will be THREE winners! Ready?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kid Color Pages: Under the Sea

Are you ready for some fun kid color pages that are all about the ocean and everything that is under the sea?

These are perfect as we jump into summer. Perfect to do at the kitchen table or in the car on a road trip!

You know what I love about these?

They are not just color pages, they also have handwriting practice for kids.

Color, be creative and practice your handwriting all in one sitting!

Let me show you what this 12 page packet includes.

kid coloring pages under the sea

You will need:

Print them all out and let the fun learning begin!

under the sea ocean color pages

We colored each one and talked about the things we could count or describe on them.

Two big eyes on the jellyfish.

Four long tentacles on the jellyfish.

Two of the letter “l” are in the word jellyfish.

Have them trace the letters of the word with their pencil. This is excellent handwriting practice and can serve as vocabulary words for an ocean theme!

Let’s go through the pages one by one!

kid color pages for ocean

I love the first page with the girl swimming underwater.

That cute little turtle- how many spots does he have?

How many bubbles is the girl making?

kid color pages under the sea swimming girl

The next page is a boy swimming under water.

How many stripes does that eel have?

Did you know that a coral reef is an ecosystem that houses fish and other underwater life?

kid color pages ocean theme

Look at this octopus!

How do you spell it? Trace the letters.

How many o’s are in the word octopus?

kid color pages octopus

Next is a dolphin.

Did you know dolphins have excellent eyesight and hearing?

kid color pages dolphin

Did you know that jellyfish come in many sizes?

Some are larger than a person and some are smaller than a pin head.

kid color pages jellyfish

Look at this shark.

How many teeth do you see?

kid color pages shark

Here is a cute blowfish also known as a pucker fish.

How many prickly perks does he have?

Did you know these guys are meat eaters?

kid color pages blowfish

Have you ever had a pet hermit crab?

Count his legs.

What color will his shell be?

kid color pages hermit crab

Here is the clam. See those two eyeballs in there?

How many letters are in the word clam?

kid color pages clam

And there is a stingray.

Look at that long tail! These fish grow to be up to 6.5 feet tall!

Stingrays will live up to 25 years!

kid color pages stingray

 

I love this little starfish!

Did you know that a starfish really is not a fish?

Starfish use their feet to move along.

kid color pages star fishDid you know that blue whales are the largest animal to ever live.

Even larger than the largest dinosaurs!

kid color pages blue whale

 

Which under the sea creature is your favorite and why?

 More Ocean Activities for Kids

Artwork for this project is from ScrapinDoodles.

Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

I love a good homemade play dough recipe that is chemical free, uses things I have on hand AND serves a purpose outside of creativity.

This homemade play dough recipe does not call for cream of tartar and requires no cooking or boiling water. It does however use essential oils which is great aromatherapy.

The essential oil I used is Valor, but you could also use Peace and Calming or Lavender.

What I love about Valor is that it relieves anxiety, helps with insomnia and is great for helping with bad dreams.

This play dough is the perfect quiet play that allows kids to wind down before bed.

Let me show you how to make it.

calming homemade play dough recipe for kids from crystalandcomp.comYou Will Need:

  • 4 c flour
  • 2 c water
  • 1  1/2  c salt
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • some dye of your choice (I used the gel type from Wilton that I use for icing)
  • 10 drops of Valor (you can buy essential oils online here)
  • parchment paper, for kneading (optional)
  • some extra flour, for kneading

ingredients for Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

In a large bowl add the flour and the salt.

Stir to combine.

In a small bowl or cup mix the water, the dye and the Valor essential oil.

Pour it over the flour mixture.

Add the vegetable oil now too.

how to make calming play dough

Mix with a spoon until well combine.

Then take a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with flour.

Dump the play dough onto the surface and knead and mix until no longer sticky.

homemade play dough with essential oils

Smell it. Oh, I love it.

My kids had a lot of fun with this.

Grab some toys and cookie cutters and just play.

homemade play dough recipesMy boys of course grabbed Legos.

Luke (8) took this picture. He was very proud of himself!

Calming Homemade Play Dough Recipe for Kids

This is a great calming activity.

If you run a child care facility, this would be a great activity for kids who have separation anxiety when they are dropped off. I remember it always being so hard to drop off my oldest at preschool when he was little. The twins were the same way. This would be a great aromatherapy activity to bring peace and alleviate the anxiety.

Obviously it is perfect for us parents and homescoolers too!

Store it in a ziplock bag with all the air pushed out.

More Homemade Play Dough Recipes:

 

 

 

 

Homemade Watercolors for Kids

Did you know you can make homemade watercolors? I had no idea until a few months ago and the ingredients will shock you.

This watercolor recipe uses items you already have in your kitchen and it’s easy to make.

It is a great project to let the kids help with. They get to measure, create colors and watch science happen before their eyes.

Let me show you how to make this.

homemade watercolors

 

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. light corn syrup
  • 4 TBS corn starch
  • a couple of toothpicks
  • food coloring
  • ice cube tray (I like the ones with lids)

Gather up your supplies.

Mix the baking soda and vinegar together in a bowl.

Then add the corn syrup. Continue to stir and mix well.

Then add the corn starch. Make sure everything is mixed to a nice liquid with no clumps.

watercolor recipe

Next, use a measuring spoon to put a small scoop of the mixture into each ice cube rectangle.

This recipe should give you enough to make 12 colors.

how to make homemade watercolors

Next let the kids create colors.

Use toothpicks to mix the food colors into the cornstarch/baking soda base.

use food colors to make homemade watercolors

Now let it dry. It will take 24-48 hours.

I like the ice trays with the lids on them. Mine is old and from back in my days of selling Tupperware. Now, other brands make them. Search on Amazon.

I like the lids it makes for super easy storage after playing with the watercolors.

diy watercolors

Once the paints are dry you can create!

Get a small bowl of water. Use the paint brush and a few dabs of water to get the colors going.

We loved creating with these!

how to make homemade water colors

 

When you’re done, pop the lid back on the ice tray and put it away.

Perfect art activity for your homeschool day! How many colors can you make?

 

MORE HOMEMADE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS