Tag Archives: fun activities

This Owl Hand Puppet Is A HOOT!

Looking for a quick, easy craft that’s a hoot to make? Then look no further! Make your very own Owl Hand Puppt with just a bag, some colored paper and a couple of other materials.

 What you need

• Brown Paper Bag
• Brown Construction Paper
• White Construction Paper
• Yellow Construction Paper
• Glue Stick
• 15mm Wiggle Eyes
• Black marker

How To Make It

  • Cut a 5.5″ square out of brown construction paper and then cut in half to make triangle (Owl’s face)
  • Trace child’s hands and cut out from brown construction paper (Owl’s wings)
  • Trace a round object approximately 2″ in diameter and cut out from white construction paper (Owl’s eyes)
  • Cut a triangle out of yellow construction paper (Owl’s beak)
  • Using the glue stick, attach the Owl’s head, then eyes, then nose.
  • Next attach the wiggle eyes and then finally the Owl’s wings.
  • Draw feather marks with a black sharpie or other marker.

That’s it! Now you can put on your own puppet show! (Sorry, you’ll have to provide the popcorn and drinks.)

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Filed under Activities, Crafts

It’s Slime Time!

We know you’ve seen those Hollywood productions that have a ghost, ghoul or other alien creature dripping, drooling or slinging their green and gooey stuff all over the place. It’s disgusting, it’s messy, but for some reason, kids (and even some adults) love this kind of stuff. Well, now you can create your very own batch of green goo. The best part? It only takes four ingredients and under five minutes from start to finish!

What You Need

  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Elmer’s Glue-All Glue
  • 1/4 Cup Liquid Starch
  • Food Coloring (green, red, or whatever color you wish)

How To Make It

  • Pour 1/4 cup of glue and 1/4 of water into a ziplock bag or bowl. Knead or stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Add six drops of food coloring to mixture. Knead or stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of liquid starch. Mix thoroughly. Mixture should be fairly blobby at the start, but the more you play with it the  more stretchy it will become and easier to hold.

The Science Lesson

Voila! You’re done! But how does it work? The glue is a liquid polymer. This means that the tiny molecules in the glue are in strands like a chain. When you add the liquid starch, the strands of the polymer glue hold together, giving it its slimy feel. The starch acts as a cross-linker that links all the polymer strands together.

Make sure you keep the slime in a ziplock bag or sealed container when you’re not playing with it to preserve it for future fun time!

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Simple Activities for Young Learners

Fun Lacing Activities

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by Jennifer Petsche

There are so many skills and areas of development that children need to practice at an early age and progress with as they grow. Fine motor skills, bilateral coordination skills and visual discrimination are just a few of the essential areas parents and teachers need to ensure children exercise. There are many ways for children to develop these skills, but the key is for children to feel engaged and even to have some fun while honing these skills.

Lacing activities provide excellent hands-on play for this purpose. Children feel like they are playing with the colorful laces and cards, and they get a sense of accomplishment when they successfully lace through all of the holes!

What Lacing Teaches:

Pincer Grip. The simple act of holding a lace or plastic ball-tipped needle between the thumb and index finger helps a preschool-aged child develop her pincer grip. Developing the pincer grip is vital to future activities such as tying shoes and developing good penmanship. Learning to control their pincer grip will allow children to properly hold a pencil, crayon or paint brush when they draw and color, and eventually when they learn to write.

Eye/Hand Coordination. When a child holds a lace and fits it through a card, fabric or a peg, she is working on her hand/eye coordination. The coordinated control of eye movement and hand movement is vital for most activities children enjoy. When your child wants to play softball, build with blocks, play the flute, work on a computer and more, she will need developed hand/eye coordination to be successful.

Bilateral Coordination. Bilateral coordination skills, using both sides of the body simultaneously for different functions, is important for things such as tying shoes, typing, cutting food, doing crafts and more. When a child successfully laces, holding a lace in one hand and fabric or card in the other, they are working on their bilateral coordination, making their two hands work together toward a common goal.

Visual Discrimination. Whether her lacing activities include pegs and a pegboard or fun shapes and characters, a child will inevitably develop visual discrimination while lacing. She will begin to understand that there are differences in the shaped cards she is lacing—one looks like a heart, another is a circle or another may remind her of the family cat. She will understand that items can be similar or have aspects in common, but can be different. It’s important that she knows that, for example, while all cars are something to ride in, they can all look different. And, eventually, this will help her when she learns to read and write and distinguish differences between letters, such as “A” and “a.”

Lacing Activities to Try:

Lacing activities are abundant. Start with some simple shapes to lace, then move to dot-to-dot activities to add sequencing to your child’s skill set when they learn to start with hole #1 and then move to hole #2 and so on. Introduce your child to lacing puppets, allowing her to explore her imagination while developing important skills. Allow your child to practice her patterning skills, too, with a stringing peg set. She will enjoy creating a pattern on her pegboard using colorful pegs and laces, just like the pattern shown on the cards. It adds a whole new dimension to lacing!

Jennifer Petsche is an expert for Patch Products, which offers a wide range of lacing activities under the Lauri® brand, as well as high-quality, family-friendly toys, games and puzzles.


Filed under Academic Success, Summer Learning