It’s officially time to start getting festive. Our Christmas tree is up and indoor decorations are done. With all these bucket list items getting crossed off, we had to do another… write a letter to Santa.
I mean.. there’s less than a month until Christmas, we HAD to make sure he knew what Mila wanted this year.
The letter to Santa is very important in the eyes of kids who believe in him. When Mila realized that Santa was going to see her letter, she had that look Ralphie did in A Christmas Story.
It was all very official business.
After brainstorming her thoughts for the letter out loud, she decided it was time to write. Since Mila only knows how to spell her name at the moment, I got to help her out a little in the writing and spelling part of this.
Her letter to Santa states:
How do you do? Thank you for giving me Christmas presents. I would like a big doctor thing.
She’s a lady that knows what she want! Hopefully she’ll actually become a doctor one day since that’s the only thing she wants at the moment. Besides becoming a mommy like me… her words.
Anyways, I wanted to share this big moment because there’s a lot of learning going on in this simple letter.
Not only did she practice her writing skills and can prove she can remember and write her name, she drafted and wrote a letter! That’s pretty big for a three year old. Just because she didn’t physically write it, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any thought or work put into it.
It also showed her emotional intelligence with the thank you’s and asking Santa how he was doing.
These are all social skills that are all important to learn… simply by just writing a fun letter to Santa! Learning really is everywhere you look.
Fingers crossed Santa gets her letter in time. She used special stamps to help it travel quickly.
I’ll keep you all updated on if he does.
You can find the ‘Letter to Santa’ template at The Letter Vee. Some of the other stamps come from Three Little Crumbsnatchers, she also has the cutest Christmas activities you can print out for free. I’ll be posting them this December, so keep your eyes peeled.
Does your child or did they write letters to Santa? I’m thinking of recording Mila too. I think it would be cute to look back on. Let me know in the comments if you think that’s a fun idea or not.
Quirky Turkeys don’t always have feathers, sometimes they have spots. At least that’s what Mila says. This easy craft is perfect if you run out of feathers or just want to give your child a simple turkey craft.
Plus, It turns out really abstract, which makes this one of my favorite turkeys of the year!
As I’ve said over and over again, I try to find crafts and activities that are easy for Mila to do by herself. This gives me time to clean or cook a dish for Thanksgiving. It also promotes her being independent and in turn it helps her with her confidence. Little ones need all the confidence to get by in the world.
For this activity, we only used a few things. That means it was SUPER simple to set up for her… and me!
To start off, I made a turkey head and face. I used cardboard from a box, googly eyes, and random scrapbook/construction paper that I had leftover. Your child could have also made a turkey face too.
Then, I unscrewed the tops of the bingo markers and told her to make the turkey’s feathers with them.
I actually love using bingo markers in crafts and activities. They aren’t very messy, unless your child goes wld with them. They also are pretty cheap. I found these at the dollar store and we’ve had them for quite a while. Plus, there’s a lot of different colors you can find!
The only other thing I instructed Mila to do was to fill up the background. You could also have your kids sort the colors or do different numbers of dots for more learning.
When I look at her last quirky turkey of the year, I keep seeing a rainbow in the background. I don’t think she meant to do it like this, it just feels really symbolic. All her turkeys this year have been so great. As always, I’m just so proud of her.
This is another activity you can easily do before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day. I hope if you do, your child loves it as much as Mila did!
What are your favorite turkey or Thanksgiving inspired crafts? If you have any links, please feel free to post them in the comments. I’d love to share and maybe do them next year too!
If you’re looking for more crafts that Mila and I have done for Thanksgiving, here they are:
In this house, playing with your food is encouraged; especially when it helps with learning!
This Pumpkin Pie Counting Paper Plate Activity is perfect to help kids get excited about Thanksgiving, number recognition, and counting. All in one activity.
Last week I got Mila’s first preschool assessment. Overall, she did amazing! Sometimes I forgot that she’s only three and a half because she’s so smart and social. It makes me so proud to be her mom.
These assessments also gave me an idea of what we need to be working on at home.
One thing I’m not good at are numbers. Math definitely wasn’t my favorite subject in school, so sometimes I forget to add it into our play.
In her assessment, she counted to fifteen and only recognized a few numbers. I know she can count to 20, but I honestly didn’t know about her letter recognition skills. So, that’s what we’re going to try snd do more of.
Since the holidays are right around the corner and we’re excited for pies, I thought this activity would be perfect.
All you need for it is:
Orange, white, and tan paint
To make the pumpkin pie paper plate, you first need to paint it. I used tan paint for the crust and orange for the filling.
The orange took me two coats of paint and three for the tan.
Next, I cut the plate into eight slices and wrote the corresponding numbers on them with white paint.
After it was all dry, I added some decoration to make it more sparkly for Mila and gave her cotton balls to count with.
She had a lot of fun counting the cotton balls, but I saw her work out the different numbers in her head too.
It was amazing to see that even if she didn’t know the number at first, she would count around to figure it out. Hopefully the more she sees them, the more she’ll know!
Either way, we had fun pretending it was a pie and eating it too. I love how fun learning is with her.
What are some ways to help kids with number recognition?
Are feathers the googly eyes of November? I think so! This Fine Motor Turkey Activity is the BASTE way to play while prepping for Thanksgiving.
Another huge positive for this activity is you only need two things: feathers and a colander.
You can make a turkey face too if you’d like.
You can find feathers at any dollar store for only a dollar and you get a ton of them. You can use them for so many other crafts and activities throughout the year too. They also make for a great sensory object.
For this Fine Motor Turkey Activity, all I instructed Mila to do was make a turkey out of those materials.
Mila had fun sorting the colors and making the turkey look ‘silly.’ It gave me time to make dinner and it would be a fun race for the kids on Thanksgiving Day.
I truly believe the simplest activities make the biggest impact.
As usual, Mila did an amazing job and I know other kids would like this activity too.
I love how this activity could be used for little kids too. It’s a great sensory activity that works on motor skills!
For older kids, you could do a timed activity where they either need to put all the feathers in OR take them out the quickest. It’s simple for kids of all ages.
What sort of activities do you do during Thanksgiving? Or does your family play any fun games?
Like with all sensory activities, I let Mila explore the different materials. She was familiar with everything, but the beads threw her off. We usually only use beads for threading activities… or making bracelets.
It was fun to watch her interact with these materials with the thought of making a turkey too.
Obviously, she pointed out the feathers and eyes for the turkey, but everything else she made up on her own. I had a canvas with a brown circle glued down on it. This became the base of the turkey.
Then, I let her glue down everything else and put the items where ever she wanted.
This is how it turned out:
She says the beads were the turkey’s necklace, the candy corn it’s ears, and everything else is normal.
I just love her quirky turkey.
To extend this activity, you can have your child describe the texture and feeling of the items. You could also do a fun counting game with them too.
No matter what, it’s a great way to make memories with your child.
I have a few Thanksgiving and turkey activities lined up. As always, I’d love to hear about your traditions or activities you do too!
The best way to learn is through books! To introduce Mila to Halloween concepts, we’ve been reading a ton of different ones. Lately, Mila’s favorite has been Room on the Broom. We extended her learning by pairing the book with an activity to make handprint art.
Again, it’s another decoration that Mila and I will be able to look at in the future and remember our times when she was little!
I want to start off by saying, I most definitely helped Mila with this craft. Older kids could probably do this alone. But, I used hot glue, cut out the hat, and made the broom. Everything else she had a hand in making… literally.
First, I painted her hand with green paint. Then let her press it on the canvas to make the witch.
While it was drying, I assembled the broom and hat. For the broom I used this cute gold pipe cleaner for the base. Then I cut up ribbon to make the straw part of the broom. I combined them by making a loop with the pipe cleaner and twisting it off.
The hat was easy to make. All I did was cut out a witches hat on black paper and hot glued leftover pipe cleaner for the base of the hat.
When the green paint was dried, I hot glued down the broom and the eyes.
Next, we made the hair. I took a few pieces of orange yarn and braided it to look like the witch in the book. Mila loved helping cut out the pieces and was very impressed with how much it looked like the original witch. She’s finally impressed by my skills!
After that, we glued down the hat and added facial details and the night sky with a permanent marker.
Mila absolutely insisted on drawing the witch’s nose and the moon.
I absolutely love how this turned out… with all of Mila and I’s crafts. It’s festive and we put a lot of hard work into it. Doing a book pairing activity with her also underlines the importance of reading and teaching her that reading is fun and valuable.
Hopefully she’ll want to continue reading and extending upon those lessons in the future.
What’s your favorite Halloween book that we need to get next year?
Halloween crafts and activities do not have to be complex. My preschooler’s favorite Halloween Craft are these Googly Eyed Monsters! Not only did she have a spook-tacular time making them, she loves making sure everyone sees them when they come in our home.
The best part about these monsters, you only really need to go buy googly eyes. Everything else are pretty common household items.
To set up this craft for Mila, I cut some squares from old cardboard boxes. We love to upcycle and reuse items. If we can make memories by doing that, I’m all for it!
Then, I put out the colors of paint she wanted to use. I tried to persuade her to use more Halloween colors. She insisted on blue though, but I think it turned out super cute even though it’s not a traditional color.
I let her free paint and do whatever she wanted. They didn’t start off as monsters, just as big blobs.
If you have older kids, they’ll be able to do this next part on their own. I went in and drew outlines of monsters with her blobs. She might be able to do it now, but I just follow her interest and patience level with these types of activities. There’s no right or wrong ways to outline them. Just let their artwork speak to you!
When the monsters were finished and dried, Mila put the eyes where she wanted them to be. Let your child pick out how many eyes and the eye color they think they need. It’s so cute to see how they end up seeing their monsters.
Then, you can hot glue a pipe cleaner on the back of the cardboard pieces to hand them. This is an optional step, but I love it.
I love this little progression picture. This activity came out so adorable and I’ll definitely be hanging these up throughout future Halloweens. At first, Mila was afraid of some of her pictures. Now she thinks they’re cute. She’s really getting in the spooky mood!
Another day, another fall activity! Today’s play is a Pumpkin Washing Sensory Bin.
We love sensory play for so many reasons. To summarize all of its benefits, it helps children’s brains in a ton of ways! It also gives me a minute to do a chore or task that needs done around the house too.
Now that it’s spooky season, I’m finally letting Mila pick pumpkins from our pumpkin patch on the side of our house. It led straight to this activity.
Before we paint or decorate these pumpkins, I thought they needed to be cleaned off. Instead of me just doing it, I thought it would be so much fun for Mila… and I was right. All I had to do was set up this station.
The only thing I told Mila was that the pumpkins needed cleaning and she could use more water and soap if she needed.
Let’s just say… she went to work right away!
This activity is so simple and Mila had came up with a big story of why they needed washed. She pretended they came from a different farm and not just outside our home. I always love listening to how her mind works.
That’s what makes sensory play so fun for everyone.
I actually left this activity out for the next day and she kept on playing. Lets hope painting or carving pumpkins goes this smoothly too.
Do you paint or carve pumpkins?
I’ve done both, but I’m thinking Mila may like painting more than carving this year. I’ll keep you all updated when it happens!
Another week, another activity box! This week’s activity box theme: FARM!
The last two weeks, Mila and her class have been learning about farms. To extend her learning about it, I thought some farm themed activities while she’s at home and when she’s off on Fridays would be fun!
This theme is also a ton of fun because we live in a rural area where a lot of people have farms and farm animals. We can go to different ones and actually see them. It was also a great time because we were just at our county fair where we saw all of the students’ farm animals and 4H projects that they worked so hard on. It was a way to be active while learning too!
Since we can’t go back to the fair or a barn every day, this activity box was perfect for her learning.
There’s a ton more activities you can do too, this just was easy for her to take to her grandma’s house on her day off.
I hope you love everything that’s inside. Let me know if you have other suggestions.
I’ll never stop saying this: WE LOVE BOOKS!
Books help kids discover and learn about the world around them when they can’t get out and see it. Plus, it helps teach them lessons too.
These books are all ones that we’ve read so many times. I think Mila’s favorite is the farm sound. She’s had it since she’s been really little and it helped her learn different farm animal sounds. She also loves the Peek-a-Who and can even read it to me… more like look at the pictures and remember what it said.
We also love the Usborne “That’s Not My…” series and have almost all the farm animals. Sandra Boynton books are a big hit with Mila and this one always makes her laugh.
Lately, Mila has been obsessed with sheep, so The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg has been a new book that we’ve gotten. It’s a really cute book about sheep’s hair and caring about others. I’m unsure how super farm related it is, but Mila’s obsessed!
Painting and play dough are our two go to activities in our house. Mila loves them both and plays with them for a long time.
The farm animal ‘paint with water’ activity book from Melissa and Doug is a huge hit. There’s 20 different animal scenes that are perfect for learning about the farm! I also love that there’s paint on the top of every single page. It came with a brush too! All you need to do is a have a little cup of water and they’re good to go! Mila loves to paint, so I limit how many pages she does at one time!
I always include play dough in Mila’s activity boxes. They help her use her imagination in play and allows her to make shapes with her hands. I thought she might use the different colors to make animals, grass, and maybe just a farm scene. Who knows what she’ll create!
Matching Game and Threading
These two activities are Mila’s favorites!
The first are the threading boards. We got these from Mila’s preschool sale and they’re a blast to work with. It’s helped Mila’s coordination and motor skills. Plus, the scenes are so cute. There are a ton of threading activities that you can find on Amazon as well. This set (not pictured) is so cute and from Melissa and Doug!
Mila’s other FAVORITE game is the ‘grab it’ game. Essentially, you fill the red thing with the scare crow up with chips that have animals in it. When it’s your turn, you grab a chip and see if it matches to your board (the green barn). The first to fill their board up wins.
This game is so educational for us. Not only does it help with matching and animal recognition, it’s taught Mila to take turns and we practice animal sounds too. I found this game at Aldi, but you could make one too. Personally, I would use matching cards with farm animals and then have each player grab them from the deck. Essentially it would be the same thing.
Some of the other items that are in her box was her sheep that her great grandmother made, resin letters (of course), and a quick piggy clean up activity.
You could add any stuffed farm animal and multiple ones. At this stage, they really get into pretend play and it’s so cute to see.
As always, I’ll suggest to get a set of resin letters from Beags and Bubs. They’re the best!
The quick piggy clean up activity is a hit and doesn’t take too long to make at all. All you have to do is print out or draw a piggy. Then, put it in a ziplock baggy. When it’s in there, you just use black or brown markers to make the pig ‘dirty.’ Then, instruct your kiddo to clean the pig with a paper towel or sponge. They can also make the piggy dirty by drawing on it too.
I wanted to share two things Mila has done in preschool that I think would be a fun addition to this box as well. They’ve done a TON of other activities, but I thought these were just the cutest!
First is a story that Mila told her teachers and they wrote down. I actually love capturing her stories and recording them. It allows kids to be creative and see the importance of their words. Also, it’ll be so cute and funny to read when she gets older too!
I think she did a pretty good job!
This next activity was something that Mila talked nonstop about.
It’s a cut out of a big with brown paint. So, they got the pig dirty. I’m unsure what type of paint they used, but if I were to do this, I would probably put a drop of dish soap in the paint and mix it. This way it helps with clean up! Plus, what toddler doesn’t like getting dirty!
I hope you loved all these activities and items.
Let me know in the comments how you felt about this activity box! It was a lot of fun putting it together and watching her interact with it.
Tim Burton is one of my favorite creative minds. So, we have some activities around this particular book and I want to introduce Mila to some of his movies this season too. Room on the Broom is fun for Mila at this age because she tries to follow along and does a great job! I have an activity for this too!
Our newest Halloween book is All Hallows’ Eve in Salem by Kristian James. I found it on Instagram and knew I needed to get it for Mila. The characters are adorable and I already want to plan a trip to Salem for Mila and I!
I promise, you’ll want to get this book for your kids too!
For this activity box, I didn’t use worksheets from Mila’s normal preschool workbooks. There’s none quite that spooky. I did find some cute worksheets that are perfect for the preschool and toddler level, coloring pages, and stickers!
I found the foam stickers and sticker book at Joann’s Fabrics, but this pack is cute from Amazon.
Stickers can be used for telling stories, counting, or making collages. Your child will lead you.
The little coloring page was also from Joann’s!
I found two printables that will have multiple uses. They’re both so cute and Mila really liked how they both looked.
The monster letters are from The Letter Vee. They’re so adorable and I’ll have Mila color them in first, then practice letter recognition with her resin letters.
I also had to print out this Halloween Countdown from Celebration Stylist! They have SO many cute Halloween printables. The Boo Banner hanging over the activity box is from them too! Plus a few other things that you’ll see in October posts.
Anyways, this countdown can be used as a countdown or to practice counting in general. I’m sure Mila will be using her stickers to do the countdown!
Potion Kit and Ghost Friends
You’ve definitely seen this fizzy ball before! They’re seriously such a hit with Mila. This month, we’ll be using them to make a witch’s potion. She loves using her ladle with our new bowl, so I’m excited for her.
I’m doing a post about a different witch’s potion next month too.
Mila and I also made these little stuffed ghosts out of an old sweatshirt. We had a lot of fun with them and Mila liked drawing their faces (not pictured). It was so easy to do! I’ll post a video or blog about how to do this too!
These are just some fun ways for Mila to play and pretend. It’s always nice to have a little brain break.
As always, we love using resin letters in all of our activity boxes. I cannot wait to show you my new set from Beags and Bubs. It’s in the mail right now, but they’re ADORABLE!
Not pictured in this post were face masks. I decided to add them in there because masks are associated with Halloween snd the characters on the packaging are our Halloween costumes. Plus, anytime I can make time for Mila to practice self care, I do!
There were also crayons, markers, and some other tools to play with the play doh too.
This is probably my favorite activity box so far. I love letting her discover different holidays. This can easily be converted and customized to more boy themed too. All of the elements are perfect for both boys and girls though!
I can’t wait to start doing more spooky crafts and activities and share them all with you.
What are some of your favorite Halloween activities to do? Or what are your favorite Halloween books you enjoy reading this time of year? Let me know both in the comments.