Fine Motor Color Learning Ideas

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Color learning is a favorite activity for my toddlers and even preschoolers who need to brush up on their color names.

I have a lovely collection of color learning ideas you can do with your child today and in the week to come. These ideas are the style that you will find in our 100 Fine Motor Ideas book, easy, do-able and working on fine motor skills while having fun!

work on your color learning with these awesome fine motor ideas!

10 Fine Motor Color Learning Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Dot Matching Game for Toddlers – This game was made up by my 3 year old! Be sure to watch the video too.

matching colors

Quick & Easy Color Feather Sort – sorting colors is a favorite activity for my younger kids. This activity is super easy to set up.

sort your colors

Felt Color Sorting Busy Bag – another simple busy bag to encourage color sorting. This busy bag has the added fine motor benefits of manipulating the felt to get the button in!

great fine motor control

Egg Carton Crafts a Color Sort Activity – This activity is done in 2 parts! The kids get to enjoy some art making the craft. Recycling things if definitely a favorite in my house.

Egg Carton Crafts a Color Sort Activity

P is for Paperclip – This Busy Bag is apart of the Everyday Fine Motor Materials series.

busy bag table

Shapes, Counting and Colors Busy Bag (with Printable) – Activities that have multiple levels of learning offer many ways to be played with!

fine motor activity

Muffin Tin Fine Motor Practice (includes free printable color disks) – Using kitchen items you already have! See what else we do with these.

sorting beads by color

Fishing for Numbers & Colors – More multiple level learning! This one includes some sensory aspects.

fishing for numbers and colors in color rice

Sensory Stick Color Match – another easy to make activity! These were made with a special glitter glue to give a raised texture.

Sensory Stick Color Match with

Color Square Matching No Sew Quiet Book Page – Last but not least a page from our no sew quiet book dedicated to color matching!

Color Square Matching and Braid the Ribbon No Sew Quiet Book Page from

I hope you have fun with your little one learning all about color and working on those fine motor skills!

Pin these color learning ideas for later!

work on your color learning with these awesome fine motor ideas!

new fine motor ideas book

I have a few more fine motor skill collections for you from the fine motor ideas team:

  1. Fine Motor Alphabet Ideas from Stir the Wonder
  2. Storybook Inspired Fine Motor Activities from School Time Snippets
  3. Ultimate Collection of 45+ Scissor Skills Activities from Craftulate
  4. Fine Motor Painting Activities from House of Burke
  5. Fine Motor Math Activities from And Next Comes L
  6. Color Sorting Fine Motor Ideas from Still Playing School
  7. Fine Motor Art Ideas from Our Whimsical Days
  8. Pincer Grasp Activities on Lalymom
  9. Favorite Fine Motor Tools for Science Activities from Little Bins for Little Hands
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Top 10 Fine Motor Skill Ideas Featuring Rainbows

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We love rainbows and using things that the kids love and have interest in is the best way to teach!

Here are 10 fine motor skill helping ideas you can do that feature rainbows.

rainbow ideas for fine motor skills toddlers preschoolers

10 Fine Motor Rainbow Ideas

Rainbow Pasta and Playdough – Threading is a great idea

Pony Bead Rainbow Pattern – this one users lots of pincer type actions

Rainbow Straw Scissor Skills – scissors and cutting is always fun!

Rainbow Puzzle Felt Page – matching up by size to create a rainbow

Rainbow Egg Color Matching – using tongs or kids play tweezers to match up colors

Rainbow Writing – a clever way to start writing

Rainbow Salt Tray – sensory and you get to make various drawings

Rainbow Weaving – weaving and threading go hand in hand

Yarn Wrapped Rainbow – this is a great idea!

Rainbow Playdough – the classic playdough activities are always great for fine motor! So many things you can do with playdough, this idea even has taste safe glitter! (featured in the image)

Pin these ideas to save

10 fine motor rainbow ideas for kids

BONUS! Tons more Ideas with RAINBOWS!!

100 ways to play and learn with rainbows

  1. Top 10 Rainbow Art Activities from Sugar, Spice & Glitter
  2. Top 10 Rainbow Play Recipes from Craftulate
  3. Top 10 Rainbow Cupcakes from Our Good Life
  4. Top 10 Edible Rainbow Activities from Adventures of Adam
  5. Top 10 Rainbow Drinks  from Witty Hoots
  6. Top 10 Rainbow Play Dough Ideas  from Creative World of Varya
  7. Top 10 Rainbow Books for Kids from Sunny Day Family
  8. Top 10 Making Rainbows STEM Activities for Kids from Little Bins for Little Hands
  9. Top 10 Colorful Rainbow Games from Our Whimsical Days
  10. Top 10 DIY Rainbow Accessories from Nemcsok Farms
  11. Top 10 Ways to Paint a Rainbow from Still Playing School
  12. Top 10 Color Matching Activities for Toddlers by Playground Parkbench
  13. Top 10 Rainbow Crafts for Kids from The Resourceful Mama
  14. Top 10 Rainbow Suncatchers from Rhythms of Play
  15. Top 10 Pot O’ Gold Activities from Crafty Kids at Home
  16. DIY Rainbow Puzzles from Teach Me Mommy
  17. Top Ten Rainbow Loom Bracelet Tutorials from Words ‘n’ Needles
  18. Top 10 Rainbow Fish Activities by Play & Learn Every Day
  19. Top 10 Rainbow Preschool Songs from Preschool Powol Packets
  20. Top 10 Rainbow Learning Activities from Living Life and Learning
  21. Top 10 Healthy Rainbow Food Ideas from Eats Amazing
  22. Top 10 Rainbow Busy Bags from Happy Brown House
  23. Top 10 Color Theory Experiments for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures
Kids Activity Ideas On Fb
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Rainbow Mirror Art with Leftover Homemade Paints

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This is a super fun way to use our taste safe rainbow paint leftovers! After we had had fun with our no mess rainbow in bag I had a bit of paint left over. I decided we would do some painting with it!

This activity is very easy and fun to see the results and creations that come out of it.

how to make mirror art

Set your paints out and fold a sheet of paper in half. My paper in the pictures is a A3 size. Show the kids  what will happen when you paint and fold the paper onto itself. The image mirrors!

It is totally up to you to show this step, I decided to show my kids what would happen as this is the first time we are doing an activity like this.left over rainbow paint

It took a few tries to get our art on the center folds. I also always have a damp rag / cloth handy for paint mess, my one child doesn’t like it when it gets on his exploration with rainbow paint

Although the kids were on a rainbow painting mission this does not have to be about rainbows! let the kids paint whatever they want!homemade rainbow paint

Here is an example of how your page would look to get a nice rainbow shape.half a page to make mirror art

Once the page has been pressed onto itself and then reopened it looks like this!make a rainbow mirror art

Any picture is art!mirror your art by folding paper

Leave your art to dry!collection of mirror art drying

See the recipe for homemade paint.

Pin this to save for later!

rainbow mirror art

More Fine Motor Ideas from the team!

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Teamwork with Stacking Cups

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Teamwork is a great skill to have. In this activity we took advantage of the kids love for stacking things and added in a friend (or sibling) to build with!

stacking cups activity

For this activity I used a pack of plastic shot glasses, which I have for various activities and things.

This activity is very easy. Each child takes a turn to place a cup on the tower. This helps us with fine motor skills as well as learning to build structures like this and balancing the cups so that they don’t work encouragement

Once the tower is complete, restack the cup into each other and try again!build a stacking cup tower for team work

We also did some advanced stacking by having one cup the right way then balancing a second upside down on top then another and another. See how high you can go!balancing act with stacking cups

Looking for more fine motor ideas?

My co-hosts have some ideas for you!

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Read Along Fine Motor Activity with Stars

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I was first introduced to two-time Caldecott Honor winner Marla Frazee, through her book All the World. Upon finding Stars by Mary Lyn Ray, I was delighted to see more of the same beautiful illustrations paired with a sweet, short story about the mysterious stars shining above our heads.

Art and Craft Collage with Star Stickers

Making art with a young child is a fun time to help them explore their imagination and develop fine motor skills. My daughter likes to play the game called “follow and cut”. This means she makes up directions for me to follow as we cut along together. Once done, we open the paper and explore the possibilities of our new found shape. Our project began with paper coffee filters and after a series of dictations, this one turned into a peacock!

preschool art

We built a new world around this fine feathery bird. After reading Stars we of course wanted to create a night time scene with star stickers and a drawn in moon. We discussed what else this pair of peacocks might encounter in their night adventure and placed a bridge, river and assortment of blooming flowers.

toddler art

My favorite way of making art with little ones is allowing them to be fluid in their materials and concepts. Even if something doesn’t fit the reality I know, I accept its place in this made up world knowing that the child’s imagination is fueled and active.

Fine Motor Craft with a Star Wand

Our second craft was inspired by part of the story Mary Lyn Ray tells about these twinkling gems.

We first cut out a paper star, took a quick walk outside to find a stick, attached the two and tied ribbon on to provide a touch of colorful decoration.

fine motor activity cutting

There was much cutting, taping and measuring! My little girl festively wore a star printed sweater.

beading fine motor preschool

We found the bead bowl! Here we matched and compared patterns. I placed them in various piles and we counted out each different kind.

preschool fine motor art and craft

I love the look of intensity, such concentration!

fine motor star wand

Success! We read the book many times in the course of these art and crafts. I hope you all enjoy them too.

Other read along fine motor ideas:

This week’s extra fine motor ideas from the group:

Fine Motor Science Activities from Little Bins for Little Hands

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Read Along Fine Motor Activity: Swirl by Swirl

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The illustrations in Joyce Sidman’s Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature are stunning. The celebrated poet collaborated with award winning illustrator, Beth Krommes and together produced a book telling the story of a spiral.

Read Along Fine Motor Activity Swirl by Swirl

Swirl by Swirl reads like a simple story yet delivers poignant information and early learning opportunities. I love reading nature books to my Little Miss, it is like taking a field trip without leaving home. This book is a beautiful work of art and should be a welcome addition to any home!fine motor activity

Inspired by the bright, bold pictures, I went ahead and whipped up some of Nicci’s Quick No Cook Play Dough and we set to work rolling, cutting and making spirals. Play dough is one of the most versatile learning/play tools I have learned to make at home.

play dough fine motor activity

After reading the book, we went through each of the pages and examined the different spirals. We talked about where else we might find spirals around our environment.

toddler fine motor activity

We did our own versions and collected them on a tray. My Little Lady practiced her fine motor skills – it was the perfect opportunity for rolling, cutting, measuring, chopping, comparing colors and sizes.

play dough preschool activity

Lots of pretty spirals!

read along play dough activity

More read and fine motor ideas!

More fine motor ideas from our friends!

  • Lavender Water Fine Motor Sensory Bin from And Next Comes L
  • Painting Recycled Cardboard Bugs from Stir the Wonder
  • LEGO Mini Hearts from Little Bins for Little Hands
    99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Fine Motor Heart Garland

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Fine motor skills is such an important part of our young ones development that I tend to encourage it in most things we do. Sure, it can seem silly but if the child can thread the items (for example) I let him instead of doing it myself just because I can do it faster or better.

This week we made some  lovely heart garlands for our wall. The children got to punch the holes, cut the thread and then thread and hang the heart garlands.

heart garland threaded

What you will need:

  • Yarn in a light pink color or any kind of thread / yarn / string you have laying around
  • A punch to make holes
  • Blu Tack to stick to the walls
  • Cardstock in valentine / love colors. I have used red, dark pink and light pink.
  • The printable for the hearts. Download it here as a pdf and print on the color cardstock and cut.

Also for the first time ever! I have a file for your silhouette cameo! So if you have one I would love to hear if you were able to use it. I really hope I have shared the file correctly. Download the silhouette cameo file and then unzip it to use on your machine.
punch the hearts

Once you have your hearts punch 2 holes as displayed below for threading.

Cut an arm length of yarn for threading.use string or yarn for threading

Let the threading begin!fine motor skills

Once the heart garland is complete press some blu tack to the ends and let the children decor a wall / window / door with their heart garlands.heart fine motor garland

We had some lovely heart garlands on our wall under all the other lovely drawings the kids make for me 🙂hang up for display

Are you looking for more valentine’s day ideas for learning? Take a look at what my co-hosts did this week!

Fine Motor Heart Garland

love of learning
Visit these blogs to see more For the Love of Learning activities:

Matching Stickers Lacing Cards by Teach me Mommy
Valentine’s Day Cupcake Graphing by Life over C’s
Heart Number Bonds by Adventures of Adam
Melting Heart Experiment by Crafty kids at Home
Fine Motor Heart Garland by Powerful Mothering
My Heart Beats for You Printable by Kelly’s Classroom
Sticker Words by Rebecca Reid Homeschool
Melting Love Hearts by The Gingerbread House
Valentine Alphabet Match by The Kindergarten Connection
Valentine Playdough Mats by Kidz Activities
Lines of Symmetry Loving Hearts by Peakle Pie

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Heart Flower Cards

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Welcome to another lovely fine motor friday!

This week we have been making things with hearts and I  thought it would be great to make a card.

It turns out that hearts make gorgeous flowers too!

fine motor valentine

To make you will need:

  • Black, green, red, dark pink and light pink cardstock
  • School glue
  • The printable for the hearts. Download it here as a pdf and print on the color cardstock and cut.

Also for the first time ever! I have a file for your silhouette cameo! So if you have one I would love to hear if you were able to use it. I really hope I have shared the file correctly. Download the silhouette cameo file and then unzip it to use on your machine.

Fold your black cardstock in half to make the card.

heart card

Cut out the leaves and stem to stick on the front of the card and let the children stick the heart petals on the card as a flower.pasting hearts on a card

My 3 year old sure does love to stick stuff.
fine motor skills for preschoolers

Layer the flower with different size hearts to make some more petal like effects.pretty heart cards

Stick a heart inside the card and write your message. These are great for valentines day or mothers day!be my valentine

Have fun sticking!heart cards for love

Need some more fine motor ideas? Check out what my co-hosts have been up to this week.

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Our BEST Fine Motor Activities

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Ahh don’t you just love looking back on a year and thinking wow that wasn’t THAT bad. I especially love that fact that I write up most of the things we do on this blog and it is easy for me to reflect on the past year with the kids and what they enjoyed.

Our BEST Fine Motor Activities

Here are a few things I thought were great Fine Motor success stories from last year!

Combining Science and Fine motor by fizzing hearts!

Gorgeous fizzed heart

One can never get enough Cutting & Threading Practice, we had tons of fun with Straws.

triangles from straws

We also loved the classic Muffin Tin Fine Motor Practice (includes free printable color disks)

fine motor transfering

I was then inspired to share a few ways we (and others!) use the fine motor tool kit!

Uses for the Fine Motor Tools Set on

We did go a bit crazy with our circle punch that one time and ended up making a rather cool rainbow which turned into a Sort and Count Rainbow Puzzle Busy Bag.

rainbow shapes and counting busy bag

We certainly love to stick stuff! We combined the love of threading with some glue and got some Name Recognition with Beads.

spelling our name in beads

Finger painting is also a hit!

completed animal spots art

EVERYONE should have some loose parts to sort and pattern with. It’s just so relaxing!

chalkboard table activity

Ahh that time my toddler made up an awesome game to use her dot markers! (be sure to watch the video!)

matching colors

Colorful Ice and Salt Experiment we did has to be the most talked about of the entire year!

bubbles in the ice

I also managed to put together Velcro Dot Craft Stick Building Cards for the kids as they love these things so much!

build with velcro dots

We also loved this collection of ready made busy bags which also feature a HUGE list of fine motor benefits!

10 Ready to Use Items for Busy Bags

I am also grateful to everyone who bought the 99 Fine Motor ideas book this past year in support of better fine motor skills for our kids! Thank you!

More ideas!

Fantastic Fine Motor Activities from Stir the Wonder
Winter Themed Fine Motor Activities from Still Playing School

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Stained Glass Window Decorations

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This month’s process art is all about tissue paper. Now I love sticking stuff just as much as my kids do so we went with that idea!

gorgeous window decor shapes

Firstly I prepared the materials.

  • a few colored squares of tissue paper / crepe paper
  • Water down the white school glue to make it paintable
  • grab some cardstock and a paint brush

tissue paper

Now there are 2 ways to get the tissue paper onto the cardstock. 1) you either paint the paper then stick the squares or 2) you put the squares on the paper then paint on top of them. Option 2 turned out the best for us.watered down glue sticking

Once you have some good coverage move your artwork to some place to dry. Now here is where some patience comes in! We left ours overnight.dry canvas for cutting

Once you have a dried art work flip it over and draw items to cut out on the back. We went for a circle, star and tree. At this stage the children who are able can out these shapes themselves.shapes traced on the paper

Once cut out display them! We have some on the window, walls and on the fridge!

Tip: Use blue tac to keep them down!these do well as window decor

I am rather pleased with the lovely colors of this artwork!also look great on the fridge

Need some more things to do with tissue paper? Check these out!

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Velcro Dot Craft Stick Building Cards

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My kids love their velcro dot sticks and are always coming up with all sorts of designs. Today I thought I would share a few of those designs and give you as a reader a copy of these in a printable set!

velcro dot stick cards

To make velcro dot sticks you will need:

Tip: You will need 2 packs of the above velcro dots to match the pack of 75 craft sticks perfectly as they are already in pairs)

See video below on how to make velcro dot sticks! Original How to make Velcro Dot Craft Sticks.

build with velcro dots

Some of the designs are simple such as shapes and squiggles and some are more complex for an older audience. Both my 3 year old and 6 year old enjoy these velcro dot craft sticks!popscicle stick ideas

Download the printable building cards here.


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Counting Straws Fine Motor Game

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It’s FRIDAY!!! That means I have a fine motor idea for you. 😀 Take a look at my fine motor archives for more ideas.

I have been waiting to try this activity with the kids for 2 weeks and for the last 2 weeks I have had miserable kids! I had all four kids sick PLUS myself. It wasn’t pretty. I even had the diffuser running 24/7 to help us out with some essential oils.

This activity is SUPER EASY! The aim is to get some fine motor in, some counting AND color sequencing!

sticker stars

You will need

Let your little one have some fun peeling and sticking!

fine motor skills with stickers

My 3 year old loves to hold these up kind of like a wand then sort them out in their order again (counting 1 -5). I do think that she enjoyed the peeling and sticking process the most for this activity though.Counting Straws Fine Motor Game

More Fine Motor Ideas for your week!

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Fine Motor Oh Say Can You Seed? Garden Activity

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I love gardening with my little girl. There is so much to learn, experience, and observe. A family garden provides more than just food, abundant early learning opportunities, practical life skills and motor development are just a few important life skills children learn by watching and interacting with a garden space.

Watch a short vlog as we walk through our garden!

Oh Say Can You Seed? by Bonnie Worth is a fun tale told by Dr Seuss’ character, the one and only, Cat in the Hat. He leads two children through the wonderful world of a flowering plant. They discuss the life cycle, basic plant biology and provide many relatable examples that children will see in their daily life.

Fine Motor Oh Say Can You Seed Garden Activity

This book is part of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library which evidently are not all actual Dr. Seuss books but do carry on with his style of rhymes and use many of the same characters. Thing One and Thing Two make a special guest appearance!

fine motor garden

We really enjoyed learning about the biology of our garden plants! Our big bean sprouts (just like the ones in the book) go into a recycled tin can. The smaller ones are transferred to egg cartons.

Still more!

sprouts planting

We planted until sunset.

until sunset

Oh Say Can You Seed? is a great garden companion to colorfully illustrate useful knowledge about gardens and flowering plants. Read it in the garden or bring a bit of the outside in by reading it in a cozy indoor book nook.

More fine motor fun from our co-hosts!

Alphabet Tilt Maze Fine Motor Toys from Lalymom

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Fox in Sox (by Dr Seuss) Fine Motor Activity

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Fox in sox and knox in box Sound familiar? The infamous lines the Dr Seuss’ Fox in Sox ring in my head long after reading it out loud.

Inspired by the page with the gooey goo goose we whipped up some homemade oobleck, corralled some animals together and had some fine motor sensory play paired with early learning reading and rhymes!

fox in sox fine motor activity

How to make Oobleck

In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 part water with 1.5 parts corn starch. If you don’t have corn starch, use tapioca or arrowroot as a replacement. Mix it the ingredients together into a gooey thick paste.
homemade oobleck
I added a touch of glitter. If you have blue food dye, add in few drops to make it blue just like the gooey goose’s goo!
oobleck sensory
We casually went around the house naming and rhyming things. We talked about what letters certain words being and end with.
Finally settling up a group of very loved animals, we sat down and picked through our pile looking for rhymes.
We discovered the following:
– monkey, donkey, turkey
– giraffe, calf, giraffe calf
– cow, things that say “bow-wow-ow”
– duck, things that “cluck”
– sheep, chicks that “peep”
– cat, duck in a hat
Let the fun begin!
sensory fine motor idea
Oobleck is a wonderful medium that provides lots of fun for kids and parents alike. I enjoyed playing with the ripples that spread slowing over the animals. My daughter explored the stickiness between animals and the oobleck, the dried crusts on her fingers, and making designs by dripping the dough off a spoon.

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Picture Matching with Board Books

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I have been doing a few extra things with my 5 year old (who is delayed with his learning) and my 3 year old (in the pictures) has been joining in on the fun.

Today I wanted to share a little idea I got from Teach Me to Talk, she is pediatric speech-language pathologist and we have been using her one set of manuals to help our 5 year old.

I had bought this book of animals, because my kids love looking at animals and decided to implement the idea for this book. The children gain fine motor skills taking off the laminated images and placing them back and they also get to practice their matching skills. These also make a great busy bag or quiet time activity.

fine motor skills


– Book pictured Animals. Suggested others: First Words /  Colors
Velcro dots
Best laminator

Firstly I color copied all the pages of this book on my home scanner/printer then I cut out each image and laminated it. Then more cutting.

Next I used my velcro dots and added the CLEAR dot to the book page then I took the white dot and stuck it facedown on the clear dot that was already on the page with its sticky side up. Doing this allowed me to position the laminated image perfectly on the books page.

Then press the image down firmly to secure the glue dot.

board book into an activity

By using the clear dot on the pages the dot is almost invisible!finemotor skills and recognition

The white dot is on a side you won’t even see unless you look at it.velcro dot on laminate

Of course this makes the book rather thick once everything is in it! I like to store mine with the animals already in but you can also store them in a ziplock or a basket.animal book for picture matching

Here is a little video of play.

Pin this idea for later!

Picture Matching

Do also check out Teach Me to Talks original post with Ideas for Toddlers Who Hate Books.

More Fine Motor Ideas from my FINE MOTOR FRIDAY co-hosts!

Train Themed Cutting Practice from Craftulate

Feather and Button Threading from School Time Snippets
99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Matching and Sorting Idea with Egg Cartons

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I love spontaneous play! I took the fall collection of little plastic decorations out to do another activity and the kids decided to dive right in and make their own.

At first they collected each something of the same shape or color.

picking items to play with

Next there was lining up of items according to the size, color or type.pumpkin table scatters

At this point I gave them an egg carton that was hanging around from the eggs I had just unpacked to see what would happen.

I had to fetch more egg cartons from the crafting shelf they were having such fun!using an egg carton to sort items

Each item was then “planted” into an egg slot. This is great fine motor practice! line items up by color size or shape

All in all this impromptu activity kept the 2 kids busy for well over 20 minutes and that’s a success in my books!Matching and Sorting Idea with Egg Cartons

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1-10 Counting and Tracing Numbers (Now with 11-20 Extension!)

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My one Son LOVES his numbers and one day while I was making a new quiet book he took the number pages I had been using and lined them up. I thought this was a brilliant idea and that afternoon made this printable set for him.

1-10 counting and tracing numbers

I added the bugs to give the numbers an image to count so 3 bugs on the three is three.

He loves to line them up in the correct order.correctly count numbers printable

The bugs are also arranged in a tracing compatible way. My daughter can practice her number writing by connecting the bugs to write the numbers.trace numbers

Download the Number set here, Print out, cut and laminate for long term usage. Use dry erase markers to write on the laminated numbers.

Many thanks to reader Emily for the suggestion to extend this activity by adding an extra 1!! Download the 11-20 extension number set here.

Take a look at this quick in action video!

Pin IT!

1-10 Counting and Tracing Numbers printable

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Counting Pumpkins Dice Game

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It is fall and there are some pumpkins lying about! Take advantage of the season and the enthusiasm of the pumpkin rush to let your preschooler get some counting and writing practice in too.

There are 2 ways to play this game.

pumpkin couting printable

You will need:

  • The printable at the bottom of this post
  • dice
  • pumpkin figures
  • pencil

For younger children who are not yet writing their numbers simply throw the dice and then count the numbers while moving the pumpkin along to get to the centre.

123 pumpkins and counting

Older children who are starting to write can write the numbers of their dice in the circles.

If they roll a 3 they write the number 1 and 2 and 3, in 3 circles. Roll the dice again then write the next set of numbers 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Continue until you reach the finish!writing practice

Download the printable pumpkin game here

Pin it to save for later.

Counting Pumpkins Dice Game

Need more awesome fine motor ideas?

Take a look at what my fine motor co-hosts have been up to this week!

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Colorful Circles Toy for Baby

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Babies love colorful and bold items to inspect! I made 2 versions of this color circle for my 7 month old as she gets a bit older she will start using these more and inspecting the more complex designs.

colorful cirlces for baby

Right now she goes for the bold patterns.colorful ring set

But as she gets older these intricate one will start to come in.detailed ring set

Print the template provided at the bottom of these images (back to back to make them reversible!) and laminate the circles. Notice how I cut the areas to thread on the rings. Yes, I learnt the hard way. My previous set got drool in them because I cut the holes in the actual circles. Having a non interrupted laminate all around makes this a rather drool proof toy.easy to play with for baby

Move the desired items a bit further away to encourage toy fine motor

Just look at those little fine motor skills go!fine motor skills

I was rather surprised that she could already page these.early fine motor skills

Also turn them over to inspect. atractive colors for baby

See I told you they got drooled!water resistant

Yiptoddler shape learning

A very successful DIY toy and a win for mom!free printable toys for baby

Download the baby color circles here.

I used these rings.

More fine motor ideas from my co-hosts!

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Leaf Collages

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Don’t you just love a bit of random play! Last week we went on a little walk around the house and our street picking a few leaves for inspecting, learning about and crafting with. The same day I was randomly browsing pinterest and came across this just gorgeous leaf rubbing idea from fellow kid blogger Mama Papa Bubba.

It was just perfect!

So we tried it.

leaf idea with crayons

Luckily we had picked a few nice looking leaves for this project. Put this under a sheet of paper with their “veiniest” side facing up. large leaf leaves

The original asks for unwrapped crayons but seeing as the crayons we have are not skinny (ha!) the worked just as well by using the flat end.rubbing leaf idea

Perfect! Now repeat with as many colors as you please. I just love the original ideas pictures!red leaf collage

I wonder what else we could possibly trace in this manner? 😀leaf collage fun for preschool

Looking for more collages? Try these!

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Apple Collage

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My kids LOVE to stick stuff! For today’s activity we make some apple collages. These are basically the same as our heart collages we made for valentines day about 2 years ago! (see how much my little girl has grown!)

make an apple collage

Grab your supplies to make an apple collage!

  • Cut out an apple shape on cardboard
  • glue
  • scissors (we love these scissors!)
  • crepe paper in red and brown
  • green pipecleaner

Now, you can use green crepe paper in a shape of a leaf too! I didnt have any green crepe paper on hand.
apple collage suplies

Cut your crepe paper in strips then again in little manageable rectangles.

Add glue to your apple shape. Have your child crumple the crepe paper before sticking it onto the activity for kids

Fill up your apple!

Glue the pipecleaner and brown stem down too.
crinkle apple collage

My 3 year old half crumpled her apples and half just stuck the crepe paper on.contained apple sticking

another picture 😉completed apple collage

I hope your kids enjoy this activity too! I plan to put these apples on my kitchen wall when they are dry.

love it? pin it!

how to make a apple collage

Find More

On the hunt for even more apple themed activities for kids? Check out these fun ideas from some of my favorite kid bloggers.

16 awesome apple activities for kids. Craft projects, math games, free printables... tons of stuff!


Apple Counting Activity // The Pleasantest Thing

Felt Apple Pie Making Kit // Still Playing School

Free Apple Playdough Mats // Playdough to Plato

Free Apple Orchard I Spy and Scavenger Hunt // Life Over Cs

Apple Tree Quiet Book // Teach Me Mommy

Apple Number Match Up Activity // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Apple Color Sorting // Modern Preschool

Apple Puzzle Making // Play and Learn Everyday

Apple Collage // Powerful Mothering

Apple Print Animal Art Activity // Liz’s Early Learning Spot

Toy Apple Busy Bag // Study at Home Mama

Farmer Brown Has Five Red Apples Song with Counting Printable // Stay at Home Educator

Apple Time Write and Wipe // Fairy Poppins

Apples // Think Magnet

Apples Up on Top Name Activity // Fun-A-Day

Apple Patterns // The Kindergarten Connection

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Top 10 Books on Apples for Learning

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My kids LOVE apples! So for this months feature of top 10 I have chosen apple books. Take a look at this awesome collection and then browse on below for more apples and fall ideas from the top 10 group!

Top 10 Books on Apples for Learning fb

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

Apple Picking Time by Michele Slawson

An Apple Pie for Dinner by Susan Vanhecke

Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple Picking Time by Jody Fickles Shapiro

Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum

Autumn is for Apples by Michelle Knudson

The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson

Apples Grow on a Tree by Mary Schuh

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd

Top 10 Books on Apples for Learning

Top 10 Books on Apples for Learning

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Cute Clay Bugs & Critters

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Our new challenge to do process art is in its 2nd month already! last month we dabbled with paint and dots which was great fun!

This months theme is clay and I have gone more for an invitation for play activity after my original idea flopped on me twice! But hey stuff happens, kids had fun getting messy even if we didn’t get a completed project at the end of the day.

clay invite play

Grab some modeling clay for this activity and whatever random things from your stash!!

You will also notice that the kids didn’t even use the googly eyes which I thought was totally weird.invite stash

Instead they opted for buttons and beads.

Here I am told is a snake.snake

This one is a bird. I totally see it. It is even sitting on the end of the tray like in a tree! clay bird

Inspired a butterfly was made. It is totally gorgeous!! butterfly

A lovely lady bug.lady bug

This one is a frog! on a button!!frog

We also made a worm, a cat and a dog.

It was great fun for the kids and we got to play with feathers and a brand new pack of pretty buttons.. I love buttons 🙂cute clay bugs and things

See some more clay ideas here:

Squashed Clay Art for Kids from Craftulate

Exploring Texture with Clay & Shells from Stir the Wonder

Air Dry Clay and Colored String from Lalymom

Fine Motor Process Art with Clay and Beads from Still Playing School

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Counting Apples on the Tree

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Today’s fine motor idea is all about counting apples!

Oh how my 3 year old loves apples. For good measure I have included 2 colors of apples so we could do a bit of color sorting practice.

counting apples on the tree

There are 10 spots on the tree. 5 red and 5 green.

All that needs to be done is to move the apples from the bottom of the tree or pick the apples off the tree!counting to ten

You can also see numbers through the apples so this made another little game of what number do you spy!apple counting

My 3 year old even turned the picture the other way around to get another perspective.

red and green apples

I also made another printable of just a normal tree and we did some free time playdough play. )Which is in my post on Pre-KPages today.)

Download the counting apple tree here.

Download the normal playdough tree here.

Both the apples and leaves are from the dollar tree store.2 apple activities

More fine motor ideas? Check out these!

DIY Sound Sensory Blocks from P is for Preschooler

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How to Play with Friends a Preschoolers Visual Guide and Game

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Having friends is such fun at any age! We get to share things and experiences and make memories.

Sometimes we have new friends and we get a bit shy. This little circle game is perfect to talk to your preschooler about how we play with new friends. It can also be used in other ways as a game when there are no friends able to play.

how to play with friends

Making new friends seems to be easy for young children. They have common interests or their moms already hang out together so they get to know each other faster.

The main places we meet new friends is at the park and in play groups. As I have 4 children they have come to appreciate the common courtesy expected of being in the company of another child. Our friends have feelings too.

Things we like to talk about:

Sharing but being firm about a favorite toy. If you have a friend over and your child is sensitive about another touching certain toys, do pack those toys away. I involve the child in this putting away activity else he will be searching for the toy the entire playdate.

Taking turns. This speaks for itself. Although I find my children are not very assertive over other children some children can be.

Below is a lovely game to play and a reference guide to open the way to talk to your child about making friends and treating them well.

Let the dress up begin!
free printable making friends

Download the friendship game circles here.

Ways to play:

  • Simply talk about the pictures and how fun the ideas will be
  • Play memory match
  • Each card has a color circle. match up the colors
  • Print 2 copies and match up the cut out circles to the circles on the full sheet of paper

If you have a few children you can even use these circles as a kind of bored jar!

friends game

More articles on How to Make Friends from the Teach ECE Education Blogger Team:

We are teachers, mom, and homeschoolers of young children sharing FREE resources to parents, teacher, and educators every Wednesday.  Stop by any of our blogs for new lesson plans each week.
Here is our 2015-2016 Schedule

2015 - 2016 Earky Childhood Education Team Thematic Units

Find on social media using the hashtag #TeachECE

Role Playing How to Be a Good Friend by Mom Inspired Life
Songs About Friendship for Kinder and Pre-K by Capri +3
Teaching Kids About Friendship and Being a Good Friend by Raising Lifelong Learners
Making Friends: Teaching Kids to Learn and Respect Different Names by Munchkins and Moms
How to Play with Friends a Preschoolers Visual Guide and Game by Powerful Mothering
Helping Your Homeschooler Socialize by Still Playing School
Making Friends Even When You Are Homeschooled by Learning 2 Walk
Making Friends: Qualities We Look For in Friends by Tiny Tots Adventures
Book Friends by Growing Book by Book
Tips for Helping Preschoolers BE a Good Friend! #TeachECE by The Preschool Toolbox BlogFree Friends Play Dough Printable by Life Over C’s
Working Together to Create a Classroom Community by Fun-A-Day!
Teaching Kids How to Make Friends by The Educators’ Spin On It

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Paperclip Counting 1-20 (Free Printable)

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Welcome to a new season of Fine Motor Skills!!

Today I combined a few aspects to make a multi purpose activity and busy bag for the kids. Oh how I love busy bags.

The aim of this activity is to encourage fine motor by clipping the paperclips onto the card, increase logic because without those number tabs to say which way the paperclips go the children are challenged to get them on. Oh then there is the counting and matching of numbers!

Paperclip Counting 1-20

paperclip activity

I made the 1-10 card easier so that my younger preschooler could also have a try. She is just just starting to understand these paperclips and it took her a few to actually get one to clip onto the card.

My older preschooler did the 1-10 card in no time at all clipping the paperclips in the correct order by matching up the numbers. The 11-20 card was where his skills were challenged. The paperclips no longer had numbers on them which encouraged him to take a better look at the paperclip itself so that it would actually go on the card.1-20 coutning card

Download the Free Counting 1-20 printable, cut and laminate.fine motor skills

A little extra idea because these cards are laminated! Use a dry erase pen for number writing. My younger preschooler checked off her numbers as she said them and it generally drew on the card.writing numbers

My older preschooler wrote some numbers. counting to 20

All in all I think this ones a keeper and will be great to revisit to see how we have progressed during the year.

Related: Color paperclip learning printable

Pin it cause its AWESOME!

counting with paperclips 1-20

More awesome Fine Motor Ideas from my co-hosts

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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Process Art with DOTS

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It has been a while since we have taken the paints out. I’m not even talking about the water colors, I am talking about those large bottles of 8+ colors that I keep right at the back of the cupboard in the fear that my 4 year old will get hold of them and paint himself, the floor and the walls in the 3 seconds my eyes are not on him. My 4 year old is a sensory seeker.

Today’s post is about just letting it go and seeing what happens. Ahem, after I have mess protected the place.

Be sure to check the bottom of this post for more process art ideas from fellow bloggers on this challenge!

paint tray

First grab your materials! I got some paint (woohoo neon!) something to put paint in, a few sheets of paper and instead of using the table as we usually do I put down a cheap shower curtain I bought just for messy play and we all sat on top of it with our paint and papers.

A few items you can consider using to make dots with:

  • q-tips
  • pencils backends where the eraser is
  • use a dot-a dot marker (I really considered this one! next time)
  • round sponges
  • basically anything that will make a dot 😀

We went with the q-tips since we hadn’t used any for sometime.dotted Process Art with DOTS

Pop, pop, POP! goes my 3 year old as she makes dots in neon orange.

making a dot trail

My 4 year old made circles of dots in various colors. See! I told you he loved paint.making circle dots

Exhibit A: below. I thought it kind of looked cool with it being all neon green and all. Also I happened to do this activity right before bath time. I felt very clever for thinking of that one. (score one for Mom!)

neon hands

And yes, that is a dirty neon green hand. The kid is dust bunny and my new hashtag on instagram is #theyareALWAYSdirty, so true.large dots

The 6 year old got bored of this dotting stuff and decided that BIGGER dots were better. They are urm, bigger.

Anyways, much fun was had and not just dotting! The kids drew pictures with their q-tips and dotted apples on a tree. The paint was also mix in the dish into a multi-color paint with went on the paper too.

Challenges like this always remind me that it’s all about play!

Process Art with DOTS

See what my blog friends did with their PAINT!

process art logo

Bubble Snake Painting from Stir the Wonder

Painting with Funnels from Still Playing School

Process Art with Rollers from Craftulate

Painting with Nature from School Time Snippets

Bath Tub Sensory Painting from P is for Preschooler

Hardware Store Process Art from Lalymom

Oh and Mama also had fun with some dotting. Here is a sneak peak while my art dries overnight! 😉tape resist art preview

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10 Ready to Use Items for Busy Bags

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I love busy bags! I mainly make my own busy bags but sometimes there are a few things that are just more awesome to just buy. Stock your quiet shelf with these 10 items to keep the kids busy while you cook or want to have 5 minutes of peace. shhhh

These busy bags incorporate a ton of skill sets from fine motor to logic and hand eye co-ordination.

10 Ready to Use Items for Busy Bags

10 Ready to Use Items for Busy Bags

1. Mini Muffin Match Up

Learning Resources Mini Muffin Match Up

  • Develop a multitude of math skills with mini-muffin counters!
  • Different sorting-circle inserts boost color recognition, matching, sorting, counting, and early math skills
  • Included dice feature colors and numbers (0-6) allowing for group activities and game play
  • Squeezy Tweezers add to the fun and reinforce fine-motor skills!
  • Ages 3+ for small parts

Customers gave this a 5 star rating! Click here to read more.

2. Baby Bear Sorting Set 

This set combines 102 Baby Bear Counters in 6 colors with matching sorting bowls.

Simple yet very versatile. The reviews on amazon average 4 and half stars as well and are in general very helpful! Click here to read more.

3. Super Sorting Pie

  • Teaches early number skills and attributes by providing visual cues that support student success
  • Top crust becomes a bowl to conveniently hold counters
  • Includes 60 counters (7 fruits in 5 different colors), durable plastic pie, removable divider, 3 double-sided sorting cards, 2 jumbo tweezers and activity guide

With an average rating of 5 stars this one is a keeper! Although bigger than one would normally keep in smaller sized busy bags I recommend getting a few gallon bags as well. Click here to read more.

4. Beads and Pattern Card Set

  • Colorful wooden spheres, cubes and cylinders
  • Set includes 20 activity cards, 108 beads in 6 colors, two 36″ black laces with 1″ plastic tip and Activity Guide

Great practice for threading and lacing as well as color sequencing. I really love the addition of the activity cards.

Customers rated this one with an average of 5 stars. Click here to read more.

5. Farm Animal Puzzle

  • This set includes ten playfully designed wooden cards
  • Children can assemble a duck, horse, sheep, elephant and lion
  • Several textures are featured for tactile exploration
  • Develops problem solving, spatial and sensory skills

Not that many reviews but those that have left a review are generally impressed. This would make one of the great busy bags for younger toddlers. Click here to read more.

6. Lacing & Tracing Dinosaurs

  • lacing tracing dinosaursGreat for Travel Such as the Backseat of the Car, Doctor’s Office, Church or Restaurant
  • Introduces Problem solving and Develops Concentration
  • Encourages Quiet Play

Customers rated this one with an average of 5 stars. Click here to read more.

7. Shape & Color Sorter

  • Shape Color Sorter busy bagUsing the wood pegs and crepe rubber shapes, children can practice color and shape recognition, matching and sorting!
  • It’s an educational toy that will entertain preschoolers and offer years of safe, quiet play!

Customers rated this one with an average of 5 stars. Click here to read more.

8. Shape Sequence Sorti

  • Shape Sequence SortiGreat for recognizing color, shape and size
  • Sorting objects into groups are the “building blocks” of beginning math skills
  • Extension activities are included to explore form, fun and function

Customers rated this one with an average of 5 stars. Click here to read more.

9. Tall-Stacker Pegs & Pegboard Set

Tall-Stacker Pegs Pegboard SetPlay & Learn: color sorting and matching, adding and subtracting, counting, fine motor skills.

Customers rated this one with an average of 5 stars. Click here to read more.

10. Edushape Tricky Fingers

Tricky FingersThis one is in my next order! One for each kid.

  • Encourages the development of fine motor skills
  • Encourages the development of color matching
  • Encourages Tactile Sensory Development

Only a handful of reviews but they seem all good. Click here to read more.

Loved these ideas? Check out my book 99 fine motor ideas!

Fine Motor Friday ideas:

LEGO Emotions Station from Lalymom

Play Dough Sensory Mud from Stir the Wonder



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Sorting Pom Poms

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Every once in a while an activity does not go as planned. Oh who am I kidding this happens at least once a week! Usually one of the kids will have a “I have better things to do” attitude and leave midway in whichever activity we are doing! (Luckily I have 4 kids so someone is always interested!)

Today the activity itself was a semi flop but you know what, we learn with flops too!

My aim was to try out some sticky paper and pom poms on the window. I got my new bag of pom poms out added them to a bowl and my just almost 3 year old dived right in to fell them while I set up the sticky paper.

pom pom bowl

To get the paper to stick to the window I made a sideways pocket type thing. Basically I folded the bottom and top in on itself so it stayed stuck to the window. Then I slid a sheet of large paper in behind it with circles with colors written on it. (color learning)

We then tried to do our activity and found that only the TINY pom poms would actually stay on the sticky paper! So the activity is not a complete flop so if you really wanted to try this use smallest pom poms.pom pom window color sort

BUT we had so many different sizes!sticking pom pom

I pulled another paper out and make 2 more circles. Big pom poms and small pom poms. (Size learning)sorting big and small

Then a new game developed. Which pom pom would fall off first!?falling off

And there goes the blue one!

Another idea to add is to have your child with an empty bowl ready to catch the pom poms as they fall. (hand eye co-ordination)watching pom poms

Lesson: Learning is fun! Even when things you set up turn out totally different to what you intended. Go with the flow!

Needs some more Fine motor ideas?

Grab our book 99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1-5
99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

Check what my co-hosts have been up to this week!

40 Vertical Surface Activities for Kids from Lalymom

Taste-Safe Kinetic Sand Alternative from House of Burke

21 Fine Motor Activities using Dot Stickers from School Time Snippets

Last week on FINE MOTOR FRIDAY: Printable Shape Matching and Size Sorting Activity

shape sorting printbale

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Printable Shape Matching and Size Sorting Activity

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For today’s fine motor idea I have gone back to the basics of shapes, colors and size sorting with this simple printable.

shape sorting printbale

Kids sort the shapes, sort the colors and the sizes. All the items are laminated for durability. fine motor color sorting

These are also great for fine motor skills.shapes size sorting

I cut my velcro dots in half and added the clear side of the velcro to the surface and the white side to the base so that the colors can still be seen.

Get your velcro dots here

Download the printable here

Pin this to SAVE for later!

Printable Shape Matching and Size Sorting Activity

See what my co-hosts are up to this week!:

Fine Motor Cereal Fish Craft from Craftulate

Rainbow Letter Snip Name Recognition Craft from School Time Snippets

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Patchwork No Sew Fleece Blanket Tutorial

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I have been rather lazy lately with the sewing machine, it is sitting in a box in the corner. I certainly do get my spurts of when I go on a sewing craze and I have a few projects piling up for that but at the moment I’m on a “I don’t need to sew that” bringe.

I decided to make my daughter a cute little patchwork no sew fleece blanket.

no sew ideas - no sew fleece blanket

First up I choose some fleece colors. I selected blue, purple, pink and white. I then cut out 12 squares of each color in about 10″x10″ size. Please see the video for cutting a template and No Sew Fleece Blanket Directions.

cut squares to size

I then used a tab template to cut some tabs which I will tie together to make this a no sew fleece blanket. (once again please see the no sew fleece blanket video for how I did this)no sew tabs

Once all the blocks of fleece were cut up I was ready!no sew blanket tabbing

I double knotted the squares together in stips to make assembly easier. Then i knotted the strips together to complete the no sew fleece blanket.align in rows

Because most of the colors were not the same the knots provide a very nice contrast on the blanket.
no sew patchwork blanket

Here is the completed patchwork no sew fleece blanket!no sew blanket for kids

Little miss was very pleased! YAY!multi color no sew blanket

Patchwork NO Sew Fleece Blanket VIDEO

Notes: If you cut too many tabs on one side vs the other side just cut one of the tabs in half to match the amount needed. It is not about how thick the tabs are but that they are the same length. You can also pull the knottings a bit to un clump the blanket.

Such a cute little model showing off her no sew fleece blanket!fleece blanket knot

OK, one more!no sew fleece blanket

SAVE this NO sew fleece blanket for later! 😉

no sew fleece blanket

No Sew Fleece Blanket Kits

Did you know there are a few no sew fleece blanket kits you can buy?! Check out this one by Alex toys, although you will have to buy a few to make a decent size blanket!


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Colorful Ice and Salt Experiment

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Today’s idea is all about ice and making it erode with water! This is a fine motor idea for toddlers and a lesson in erosion for preschoolers. I will also add in there that we experimented with salt while we were at it!

Why you ask? Because salt stops the ice from melting too quickly! Which equals TONS of fun time.

kids science fun


This activity is going to be prepped the night before. Grab a few balloons, add some liquid food coloring then top off with water tie the ends and freeze overnight. I had mine stacked on top of each other because I want rounder shapes vs the flattening it would get sitting in a row in the freezer.

salt and ice balls

Once you remove the ice balls from their balloons (just cut it up or use a knife) Sprinkle the salt over the ice balls.

Caution: This is a supervised activity. Ice should never be held against salt covered skin for a continuous period because it can burn. So please make sure when doing this activity that the child’s arm does not rest on something like stacking game

Next we tried to build a tower of ice. We got as high as 3!huge ice balls

This ice ball even kept some bubbles while freezing!bubbles in the ice

Next you will need some water and a fine motor dropper.

salt spinkled ice

Start squirting in a certain area to see the erosion in action!water erroding

My preschooler loves these kinds of experiments and hands on learning ideas! My toddler is equally fascinated. fine motor skills tool

Ahh look! We managed to make a hole.hole in the ice ball

Now because of the salt the ice melted at an extremely slow rate which erosion does too! ice stacking

I also love this effect the salt makes! Is it not just gorgeous!ice experiement for kids

Our next stop with our rather long lasting ice was the kitchen sink for some rapid melting. I turned the tap on at the smallest steady stream of water and the kids observed what happened to the ice when a steady force was applied vs the slower dropper method. Preschooler learnt and my toddler went ooh, ahh. win win!how water erodes

The ice melts in no time at all.bye bye ice

Love this idea? Save it for later!

Colorful Ice and Salt Experiment

Looking for MORE fine motor ideas this week? Take a look at what my co-hosts did!

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

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How to Make Crepe Paper Flowers (Video Tutorial)

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I have always wanted to make myself an entire bouquet of crepe paper flowers! (and I will very soon when I find a worthy vase!) But today I want to show you how to make diy crepe paper flowers for your own home or occasion.

First! Here are a few pictures because I really loved how these turned out.

How to Make Crepe Paper Flowers

Notice the little ladybug? It is from playful preschool a few weeks ago. My kids really didn’t like the googly eyes so have ripped them off else the little lady bugs are doing great!How to Make Crepe Paper Flowers

I made a few of these easy crepe paper flowers for the decor on a popsicle stick box we made. The popsicle stick boxes make great treasure hiders or lady bug houses.multi color crepe flowers

You can use on flower or a bunch! The below box was made by my almost 3 year old. not bad!popscicle stick box

How to make crepe paper flowers video tutorial

Doesn’t this look so easy!? Follow these simple directions and if you want Big Crepe Paper Flowers just make the crepe paper squares larger!

Great paper flowers for kids too!
Pin to save and share!

Crepe Paper Flowers for Kids

I plan to use the long stem crepe paper flowers for my new vase.How to Make Crepe Paper Flowers

I hope this how to make crepe paper flowers tutorial was useful!

See the ladybug how to here and the popsicle stick box here.

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Dot Matching Game for Toddlers

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I recently got some new dot markers and after having a basic 4 color set the kids were thrilled with the extra 2 colors in the new set I purchased!

The other morning after the kids had finished their playful preschool theme for the week (we had a rather short idea this week!) they were still eager to do some art work and I took this as the perfect opportunity to try out these new dot markers.

The usual happened. My almost 3 year old  dotted random circles on the blank paper and my just turned 6 year old made rainbows with all 6 colors (lets face it, he loves rainbows!) Oh and our 8 week old kitten loves to observe.

dot marker fun

The set pictured is Do A Dot Art Marker Rainbow 6 pack.

rainbow with dot markers

Then something new happened.

My almost 3 year old made up a game! (I LOVE it when this happens!)

She lined up the lids and did a corresponding color dot.the dot a dot game

She then moved the lids on the dots. At this point I switched the camera over to video mode! Take a look. I have a feeling if you show your toddler the video they will gladly copy the activity! (I sped the video up else the 1 min would have been 5 minutes!)matching colors

Dot Matching Game for Toddlers Video:

See more fine motor ideas below!

Pin this idea for later!

dot matching game for toddlers dot a dot

Have our 99 fine motor book yet? Get a copy here.

This week my co-authors have been up to more fine motor ideas:

Cut, Punch, Paste Monster Trucks and Trains from Lalymom

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20+ Wet and Wonderful Summer Ideas for Kids to Do

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Summer is the best time to bring out the water and let the kids play! Water can cool the children down during the heat of the day, and it’s an incredibly inexpensive material to work with. There are so many wet and wonderful summer ideas for kids, the hard part is picking where to start first.

Wet and Wonderful Summer Ideas for Kids

20+ Wet and Wonderful Summer Ideas for Kids

Let the kids play with water and a whisk! Such a simple idea, but it will keep the children engaged for quite some time. Add some soap for bubbly water play.

Experiment with the changing shape of water. Let the kids be scientists as they watch water take on the shape of every container it’s placed in.

Explore physics with water and PVC pipes outside. Watch as the children problem solve and make new pathways for the water.

Do some water painting with textured brushes. Try it standing up on a chalkboard or outside on the sidewalk.

Play with colorful ice in water, a perfect summer idea for the kids. Watch as the colors melt and combine to form new colors.

Set up a water-themed lemonade stand.

Explore a favorite children’s book in this Rainbow Fish ocean sensory bin.

Have any dinosaur lovers at home? If so, they will have a blast with this dinosaur swamp sensory bin activity.

An ocean sensory ice melting activity will definitely help kids cool down over the summer.

Talk about summer fun! This ocean water play invitation looks amazing, and I love how they used the watering can.

So Many Summer Ideas For Kids With Water

Even More Watery Summer Ideas for Kids to Try

This water the alphabet flowers idea will get the children moving and work on alphabet skills at the same time.

Bring in the fine motor skills with a water transfer guess the color game. A great way to work on color recognition, too.

Explore how clouds and rain work using fine motor skills. Such a fun weather experiment for the kids to try this summer.

Grab some water and reuse your leftover bottle caps with this bottle cap game.

Of course we can’t forget the classic water play invitation. Children can pour and transfer the water, with some splashing thrown in for good measure.

Colored water play is another take on the classic water play invitation. Add various colors and even some soap so your water scientists can play and experiment.

Why not set up a DIY water wall outside?! Use recycled bottles from the kitchen to put it all together.

Put out a water play invitation for your toddler. Lots of different containers and materials will grab the kids’ interests as they play.

Squeezable and colorful water play will keep the kids entertained whether they’re inside or outside.

If your children love LEGO, this icy rescue mission is sure to grab their attention.

Add some lovely scents to the kids’ water play this summer. This adds a new sensory aspect to the summer water fun.

What are some of your family’s favorite summer ideas for kids when it comes to playing with water?

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My Busy Book for Travel

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This months busy bag theme is all about keeping the kids busy while traveling!

A few weeks ago we made a rather long trip and I had to keep the kids busy so I made this little busy book for them. My main concern when bringing things that require pens / pencils / crayons with is that these always land up on the floor and in the car seats and just anywhere they are not suppose to be!

This was my solution!

kids busy book for travel

Yip! I tied those crayons down with some string and washi / decor tape. No lost crayons.. woohooo!setup of busy book

To make this busy book you need the following

  • The printable pages bound together at your local print shop. (download the free templates here)
  • hot glue gun
  • washi or decor tape
  • string
  • half crayons
  • some felt
  • scissors
  • a bit of velcro

half crayons

First make sure the amount of crayons you are looking to use actually fits on the back of your book. Then cut some felt for a lid of the pouch (you can always trim the extra!) Measure felt on the packet of crayons and double it leaving extra space on the sides for the hot glue. Hot glue a line on the back of the book for the lid and add the pouch.felt pouch

They now fit nicely. Do not trim your flap or add velcro glue pouch

Next cut 6 bits of string in a manageable length for the crayons when the sting is folded in half. (I have 12 crayons) Loop the string through the first 2 spiral rings.cut cords for busy book

Double knot your string to the spiral bound book.tie cords to spiral busy bag

Next cut some strips of washi / decor tape and tape the string to your pencils.tape pencils

Add your pencils to their pouch.pencil pouch

At this point I am able to see how the flap will fit. push the string to the side close your flap and trim excess. Now hot glue some velcro to keep the pouch closed.busy book for toddlers

The kids loved how they had an entire rainbow of colors to draw and color with!
drawin busy book

I am sure your kids will enjoy this as much as mine did! P.s The printable is not just for traveling! Kids will enjoy the busy book at any location or outing or stay in.

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My Busy Book for Travel busy bags

MORE awesome busy bags for traveling!

Busy Bags for Little Travelers


Engineering Kits: Kids’ Travel Sized Stacking Cups // Lemon Lime Adventures

Colouring Page Airplane Scavenger Hunt // Mama.Papa.Bubba.

My Busy Book for Travel // Powerful Mothering

Tic Tac Toe Busy Bag // The Pleasantest Thing

Color Road Sign Match Up Activity // Mommy Needs a Coffee Break

Printable Road Trip Games for Kids // Lalymom

Free Airport Scavenger Hunt // Playdough to Plato

Little Red Riding Hood Finger Puppets // Easy Peasy and Fun

DIY White Board Busy Bag for Kids // Sugar Aunts

Magnetic Buttons Busy Bag // Teach Me Mommy

Yellow Car Game // Adventures of Adam

Wheel Letter Match Busy Bag // Coffee Cups and Crayons

Transportation Memory Game // Itsy Bitsy Fun

DIY Travel Busy Bag for Early Writing // The Educators’ Spin On It

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How to Feed your Kids Healthier Food on a Busy Schedule

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(This post is by Dr Orlena Kerek)

Are you busy busy busy? Rushing from here to there and there to here? Trying to combine family life with work life? Trying to connect with your kids and earn enough to make ends meet? And on top of all of that, you’d quite like your kids to eat healthily. Perhaps a few more veggies? A few less cookies? It’s just you don’t have time? And you’re not really sure how to go about it?

I know. When you don’t know how, it can be really frustrating trying to get your kids to eat healthily. Cooking and providing food for our kids is one of those really time consuming things that just has to be done. There’s no such thing as ‘no dinner’ or ‘whatever is in the cupboard’ when there are hungry mouths to feed. The pressure is on, you need to cook, provide tasty food AND it needs to be healthy. How do you do it?

Please allow me to show you a few simple and easy tricks that will make your life easier.

How to Feed your Kids Healthier Food on a Busy Schedule

Improve your diet.

Now, I don’t know what your diet looks like, but let’s say we’re aiming for more vegetables and less junk. Where do you start? How do you change your life? Or more importantly, your kids’ lives.

1. Look at your shopping basket. Is roughly half of what your buying fruit and vegetables? If so, good job. If not, start here, buy some more and don’t let them go to waste.

2. Look at your shopping basket again. Are you buying lots of junk? Have a look at the labels to see what your packets have in them. Happy with them? No worries. Worried they aren’t great? Stop buying them.

3. Plan your week. A meal plan does wonders to take away the stress of ‘what am I going to cook tonight?’. Half an hour planning saves hours of worrying.

4. Start with the vegetables. What are you going to cook? You don’t have to be a vegetarian if you don’t want to, but stop thinking of the meat first.

5. Cook extra veggies. Give your kids lots of different types of veggies. Don’t expect them to eat them all, but be happy that they eat some.

6. Learn some simple healthy meals that are based on vegetables. Get your kids involved too.

7. Cook too many vegetables and eat them cold for lunch.

8. Buy some good quality olive oil. Raw grated carrots for lunch? How about ‘Mediterranean carrot crunch’? Good olive oil can transform ingredients into a dish, especially those cold cooked veggies you have in the fridge. So easy!

Working healthy eating into your every day life is totally achievable and when you do, you won’t even notice that you’re doing it. It will just be part of your normal routine.

Help Your Kids Eat Healthily Even Though You’re Really Busy Mini Course.

I know that this is a problem for lots of parents. I’ve put together a two video ‘mini series’ for you. The first video explains what healthy eating is (think fruit and veggies) and the second video gives you some awesome tips to help you provide healthy food even though you’re really busy and don’t have time to spend hours cooking.

You can watch the videos in the comfort of your own home, at your own time. It’s designed for busy parents like you.

For readers of Powerful Mothering, I’ve created a discount of $10. The package includes a copy of my book, Crunch! Put an End to Picky Eating and Help Your Kids Love Veggies. Instead of $30, the whole package (2 videos and the book) is now only $20. Just for you! (Just follow the link to get the discount.)

(Or if you prefer, you can get a copy of just the book at the special price of $10.)


I’m Dr Orlena Kerek. I’m a paediatric doctor and mother of four young children. I used to think that healthy eating was easy, until I children. Then I realised it’s easier said than done. Over the last few years I’ve been researching and practising on my own children to ensure that they develop healthy eating habits.

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Cheap Fathers Day Gift Ideas for under $25

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Sometimes the world isnt fair, sometimes we have a limited budget to buy our beloved fathers a little some from us that says hey, I love you. But sometimes a little something special to treasure is all that is needed!

I had a look around for some cheap fathers day gift ideas that will not break the bank but still say happy fathers day!

Cheap Fathers Day Gift Ideas for under $25

Cheap Fathers Day Gift Ideas for under $25

Fathers day t shirts are also a popular cheap fathers day gift idea. See my collection of 25 rather awesome fathers day t shirts here.

Fathers day mugs are a great idea. If your dad has a desk job he can also take it to work! Check out my extensive collection of fathers day mugs here.

Does dad cook or grill? How about an apron? There are tons available on zazzle and you can even customize it with your own wording.

Zazzle also does cute custom notebooks, custom keychains and even temporary tattoos! These are great for Cheap Fathers Day Gift Ideas but still personalized.

What about a dad cap? Talking of a hat, maybe he would like to be a cowboy for the summer while keeping his head cool? Pair with some sun glasses and a new wallet.

Some on the go super dad speakers would be great to carry some tunes around and if the phones battery is a bit low pop on this handy Emergency Cell Phone Charger.

A bit of tech with this nifty USB stick will be treasured for many file copies or this rather dandy light which looks like it would come in handy in those tight places you need light but 2 hands.

This has got to be one of the neatest things I have seen yet! Gift this Magnetic Wristband to the DIY and fix it dad to help him keep track of all those nuts, bolts and screws! OR even this Drill Holster.

These Specialty Knives & Tools fit in a credit card slot! shh, I have added it to my next amazon order for my hubby. Cheap Fathers Day Gift Ideas, yay!

What Cheap Fathers Day Gift Ideas do have?

If you can’t decide maybe Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas or a gift card is in order.

Check out these made by kids fathers day gift ideas!

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BEST Fathers Day Mug Collection

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If your father is a coffee, tea or hot chocolate drinker then one of the best gifts you can get him is a fathers day mug! Below I have collected 21 fathers day mugs that I thought were unique and just awesome!

BEST Fathers Day Mug Collection

BEST Fathers Day Mug Collection

I have a hard time deciding!!
Check the bottom of this post for even more fabulous fathers day ideas.

SAVE these fathers day mug ideas for later by pinning it!

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Fathers Day Cards Ideas

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Want to make a cute fathers day card for dad? Take a look at this collection of fathers day cards ideas, I am sure you will find one of these unique ideas will be great to make with your toddler or preschooler.

Fathers Day Cards Ideas

10 Fathers Day Cards Ideas!

This fathers day fishing card idea is super cute

Try a bit of art when making a Fingerprint Monkey Card and cleverly title it “I Love Hangin’ With You”

Grab this free fathers day printable and make a “5 Things I Love About My Dad” fathers day card.

I would have never thought about this fathers day card idea with tape resist coloring!

Handmade art is always a great thought! Love this I’m Hooked On Daddy card idea.

Got a starwars fan for a Dad? Make him this super cute Handprint Yoda Father’s Day Card idea!

This one hast turned into a classic idea. Everyone needs to make it at least once. See how to make the I love you this much hand card.

My kids LOVE sticking stuff so this Colorful fish card is perfect for their creative art for fathers day needs.

The Tie and shirt card requires a bit of folding but kids are easily have fun coloring on this one.

I just love this adorable Father’s Day Cork Printable!

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So many awesome fathers day cards ideas!

Which will you make this year? I also love this collection of 20 Funny Father’s Day Cards.

Need some more craft fathers day ideas?

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25 Awesome Fathers Day T Shirts

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Forget the ties! Get Dad these funny and awesome fathers day t shirts instead.

I had a little look around the web and found these rather great fathers day t shirts. Some have witty humour others have just awesome sayings but you know your father best so choose one you think he would love!

25 awesome fathers day t shirts fb

Awesome Fathers Day T Shirts

Love this stylish big heart, little hands fathers day t shirt. There is also a matching wallet!

Get the classic #1 Dad t shirt with a mustache twist! You can also get the matching mug! LOVE!

Ahh the Superman DAD shirt. Great for hero fans.

fathers day t shirt collection

I also LOVE the all American Dad patriotic shirt, the what an awesome dad looks like, papasaurus and the daddy 2015 which is also great for dads of children born in 2015.

massage shirt or marching fathers day t shirt

This Musical Massage T-Shirt is perfect for kids to spend time with dad, have fun and dad gets a massage out of the deal too!

How about something matching?! Love this Big Man & Little Man (Mustache) set. If you love matching set items you should check the rest of this sellers store! I want the Papa & Baby Bear set!

fathers day t shirt with tie on it

My favorite people call me dad. aww!

Maybe if I buy this shirt from the kids their father will become dad: pancake maker?

A twist on the whole tie for fathers day! Get this worlds Best Dad Tag Tie Shirt.

father day t shirt diy handprint kit

Some dad are just the world’s Coolest Daddio and will rock this fathers day t shirt!

A simple and to the point Best Dad Ever T shirt will not steer you wrong if you have trouble deciding! Also you can just buy the kit and make your own hand print shirt.

How about some funny fathers day t shirts?

funny fathers day t shirts

Worlds Greatest Farter, I Mean Father, haha!

No fathers day wording but a great one to still gift: Duct Tape Solves Problems

For Fathers Day all I got was this lousy t-shirt

First National bank of dad cause you know.. money borrower 😉

“Dad to be” can also get a T shirt!

dad to be t shirts

The Man Behind the Bump a cute and proud new Father t shirt.

Mission accomplished! (funny)

All hail the baby maker

The I love daddy this much would make a great pre-baby gift too!

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Fine Motor Encouraging Toys for Baby

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I just love this age when my baby starts wanting to explore and is thinking really hard about that crawling stage! At this age toys become fascinating because baby can get hold of the items and feel them.

Today I would like to take a little detour on this fine motor friday when I usually post things my toddler is up to introduce you to my baby of 6 months and her first debut on my blog! As my toddler enters the preschool area this little one is going to start taking over for fine motor friday!

Here are a few ideas for your baby of 4, 5 or 6 months of age to try out.

On a side note at this age baby wants to mouth everything so please be aware of items that might cause a choking hazard!

plush toy

Plush Toys are great for baby, not only do they feel soft when touched they can have a bunch of other uses. I love this huggable lamb blanket for nap times and general soothing. I often find my baby feeling the soft silk and inspecting the lambs ears. Items like this must be carefully chosen because children tend to use them for a long time.

snowy tails book

At this age your baby is rolling onto their stomachs and strengthening those neck muscles. Supply toys the encourage touch and exploration. Much fine motor work is done on this snowy tails book as my baby inspects the tails of the various animals. (they also get tasted! lol)tag items

Babies LOVE tags. You will often find them inspecting the tags on their plush animals. Each of the above handmade items have tags and encourage this natural exploration phase.

The tag blocks are made of upcycled baby clothing that got too small and the tag bunny is made to soak up excess teething drool! The tag square has contrasting ladybugs for visual stimulation and a soft other side to touch which doubles as a drool catcher because as I suspected my baby wanted to eat those lady bugs!focus beads

Sliding and rolling things is another favorite of my 6 month old. Both the playgro horse and activity ball have been handed down among the 4 kids! You can also see my detailed review of the Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball here.teething links

Dangling things for your baby to reach out and grab is also great for hand eye co-ordination! Mine loves to make a grab for the teething rings and gets rewarded by enjoying a good gumming session on them!sophie giraffe

Of course lets not forget good ol’ sophie the giraffe. After the success I had with my first daughter and the sophie teether review I wrote I went ahead and bought my 2nd daughter one well in advance. Sophie has many legs and a nice long neck for your baby to grab on to while either exploring the teether or having a good gum massaging session on.

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Fine Motor Encouraging Toys for Baby

Some more fine motor ideas?

Check what my co-hosts have been up to and don’t forget to get a copy of our BOOK 99 Fine Motor Ideas for ages 1-5!

Building Lego Droids Star Wars Sensory Activity from Little Bins for Little Hands

DIY Street Sweeper Brush Toys from Lalymom

Counting Ants: Fine Motor Sensory Game from Stir the Wonder

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Lego Birthday Party Ideas and FREE Lego Templates

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Can you believe I have been trying to throw a lego party for 2 years already?! (I wrote about my lego ideas here and more lego party ideas here) I finally got it right this year which is year #3 of Lego ideas!

While planning the party I ran into a few problems. NOTHING I could find on pinterest matched! Now I don’t know about you but I am a bit obsessed with matching party decor! So whats a Mom to do? Well, I made it myself!

lego party ideas

I made some party hats by printing this template I made. Download lego party hat template. I glued some crepe paper then folded and hot glued them together. The elastic string is also hot glued into place and held up extremely well when the children wore them. (be sure to measure the length on your child and leave extra for the glued down bit!)lego party hat

No table is complete without the cutlery holder! Make a split box out of lego blocks to hold your utensils!lego party decor idea

Also don’t forget the serviette holder. 😉lego party idea for table

The item I really battled to find was a lego party favor bag. The boxes were all tiny and would hold hardly anything. I researched how to fold one and this is how you can too! Download the lego favor bag page here. You can also download the lego popcorn box template birthday party favor bag diy

How to fold the lego party favor bag

I made this video to show you how to fold the lego favor bag too! 😀 I hope it helps.

I also made a matching lego theme bunting for the party with my childs name and age on it. You can download the complete abc and 123 set of printable lego bunting here. Just print the pages with your childs letters on. (This file is large, please be patient while it loads.)free lego bunting for party

For the party itself it turned out to be a too windy day outside so I cleared off the shelves and set up the table inside. Like my wood burned shelving? 😀

The shelf provided the perfect place to store stuff too! Optionally you can draw faces on yellow balloons. Unfortunately I printed the lego heads on paper and not card stock so they had folded by the time I took the images. Download the lego head template birthday party setup

I debated long on how I was going to make THE lego cake. In the end I settled for a coloring free version of brown and white blocks. Now I am not so creative when it comes to making cakes and things! But this one came out ok for a mom who hardly ices her cakes. 😉

TIP: I remembered a tip from my own mother when making this cake and the tricky icing. Fill a cup with boiling water and use a metal knife that has been heated up in the cup to melt and smooth out the icing as you go. This helped tons when I was molding the icing around the lego buttons. (I used a round cookie cutter for those!)lego birthday cake

For a lego cake topper (well beside mine) We made a little platform with a lego 6 on it and little lego men holding thin candle holders

The birthday boy himself was rather pleased with his party and everything lego themed. I even made him a shirt the night before by tracing off this lego man template with fabric pens and coloring it in.

One of the activities I also set up for the party was a table with homemade playdough (in lego colors) and many playdough accessories. This was also a hit!lego party hat and shirt

Unfortunately I ran out of time and steam to MAKE my own lego pinata so I used the next best thing. A smiley!lego substitute pinata

I think the kids rather enjoyed the party and all the snacks. Most of them went straight for the watermelon but once the cake was brought out it was eagerly eaten all up!

As usual, I relit those candles a few times. What is the fun in just blowing things out once on your birthday when you are so little. The birthday boy and his brother (they are not twins just 15 months apart) both loved those long cake idea

The biggest hit though had to be the lego table my husband put together the night before. Here is a picture of the next morning when he put his party hat back on and got down to serious lego building business! I also moved the lego bunting and used blue tack to stick it to the gift diy lego table

Curious of what we bought our lego crazed 6 year old for his birthday? Here it is! (I might have gone a little overboard!)

Pin these lego party ideas for later

Lego Birthday Party Ideas and FREE Lego Templates

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Peacock Animal Craft

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I am very excited to introduce you to my fellow fine motor friday blogger and co-author of 99 Fine Motor Ideas Georgina Bomer and her NEW book: 50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids!

I got my hands on a print copy a few months ago and decided to do a few crafts with my toddler. This craft caught my toddlers eye and I decided to alter it a bit for a more permanent display.

The book has a nice variety of simple to do activities that are great for little kids. Although the older ones would most likely do them too!  Love easy and simple? Kids love animals? Do yourself a favor and grab a copy.

fine motor peacock

To make this peacock you will need:

  • Popsicle sticks in either green or blue
  • Feathers in peacock colors. blue, purple and green did it for us.
  • Googly eyes
  • Foam sheet (I found this shiny one at a local stationery store) You will need blue for the main body and a small bit of yellow for a beak.
  • White school glue
  • Your copy of 50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids! Cause you know.. you are going to want to do all the crafts in here. I promise.
  • Optional hot glue gun if you want to make a more permanent stand like we did!

craftulates new book

First up we glued our popsicle sticks together then added the feathers in a pleasing layout. (Meaning my 2 year old went sticking mad 😉 )making a peacock

The feathers were stuck in all directions, but thats ok. The original craft was done stuck to cardstock in the book.fine motor skill activity

Cut out a rough body shape and stick it as well as the beak and eye on.

glue peacocks

We left the artwork to dry overnight.

Adults Only: (this is not in the book)

Next comes my bit, with my friend the glue gun. Get another 2 popsicle sticks make a v, hot glue into place. Make sure ends are the same width as your peacocks base support. Add hot glue to the 2 top v ends and rest the peacock on it. If your foam body was longer than the sticks gently bend in under.

Next add a hot glue drop to both the middle popsicle stick on the peacock and the lower end of the v. Join them.back assemble

Do the other ones too. Ta daa! a standing craft. peacock stands

This one is looking SUPER on my display shelf.

Grab your copy of 50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids and make some too!

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peacock animal

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