Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Favorites for January 30, 2011

Here are my weekly favorites. There were a lot of neat food crafts and snacks this week.

Weather Week
Great ideas for art, science and snack for a weather theme.

C is for Cupcake (letter craft, books and homemade cupcakes)
A fun way to learn about the letter C with a letter craft, cupcake books and of course eating cupcakes!

Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks
Some creative edible ways to learn about rocks.

Foil Play Food Cupcakes Valentine Craft
A cute cupcake craft for Valentines day.

A Polar Bear Snack
A cute and simple polar bear snack and some polar bear books. Perfect for freezing winter weather.

G is for Grapes
A fun fingerpainting activity to go with the letter G.

Bubble Wrap Printed Hearts
A simple Valentines craft perfect for toddlers.

Bubble Wrap Pillow
Another recycled project using bubble wrap and colorful paper scraps. A cute addition to any classroom or reading area.

Add the Picture After you Frame it up in Preschool
A drawing activity using window markers and picture frames. Simple and inexpensive.

Shaving Cream with Props
Using shaving cream, but with blocks this time.

Tutorial Shaving Cream Valentines
How to make an interactive Valentines card using shaving cream and food coloring.

February Sensory Tub, Play-dough - Valentines Day
A Valentines sensory tub and chocolate scented play-dough made by Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts.

Arctic Animals
Arctic animal crafts. The snowy owl is very cute!

How to Make Kids Muffin Crayons
How to make muffin shaped crayons.

Hamster Care Cut and Paste Activity

For this cut and paste activity, print out a large picture of this Cage
or something similar.
Then have your child choose which accessories they would like to add to the cage. If your child is too young, you can cut out the pictures for them and let them glue the pictures themselves.

Your choice of hamster:

Hamster Eating

Black hamster

Teddy bear hamster



Water Bottle

Exercise wheel.

I couldn't find a good picture of an empty wheel so this one has a hamster on it.

Choose from these Sleeping Quarters


Orange House


Choose from these chewable items.


Nut Nibbler

Toilet paper Tube

Choose from the following treats.




You could also do this with other types of pets and by finding or taking your own sets of pictures.


All other pictures were found using Google Images.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

hamster Care Sensory Tub

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting the critter care sensory tubs that I made. Keep in mind that these are for preschool age children or older. I think younger kids would put this stuff in their mouth and even though the stuff is fresh out of the packages, I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving some of these materials to them.
I’ll start off with a hamster care tub.

What’s in the tub:

Aspen shavings as the base,
Hamster food,
Water bottle,
ABC blocks,
Chew sticks,
Two hamsters,
Exercise wheel,
And a measuring cup for scooping and pouring.

The tub is actually a critter pet carrier. The shavings are aspen with no other kinds of wood mixed in as I mentioned above. We use these for all our critters here at home. We don’t have hamsters at the moment, but we have in the passed and these shavings worked well for them. The shavings are mostly soft wood but you’ll occasionally find some harder wood chips. It’s a little dusty though, but it’s a material that you can scoop, pour and burry things in.

The biggest thing in the tub is the exercise wheel. It’s in the tub for the first picture for demonstration, but I took it out for the rest of the pictures. If I were putting this in a larger sensory table, I’d add my extra wheel which is the same size.

The bowl is actually for a hamster and the food is hamster or gerbil food. We have two gerbils so this is the kind of food I used. The bottle is the perfect size for hamsters or gerbils as well. I didn’t fill it because wet shavings can make a huge mess, but it has a little plastic fish inside which would normally tell you how much water you have left in the bottle.

The TV and strawberry are of course for hamsters to sleep. Since hamsters spend three fourths of the day sleeping, they need hideouts. I thought the TV and strawberry were cute. Unfortunately, these hamsters were too big, but I wanted to show normal sized sleeping quarters for hamsters. Other ideas for hideouts are the bottom part of a milk gallon container with a door cut out of it, tissue boxes or paper bags.

I included a bunch of ABC blocks because hamsters need plenty of wood to chew on. Since their teeth keep growing, chewing on the wood helps file their teeth down. I also included some chew sticks to show what hamster treats look like. Hamsters can be given some fresh fruits and veggies. We used to give ours a grape or piece of carrot for a treat. They also sell a variety of treats for hamsters at the pet stores.

The two plush hamsters are made by Aurora. I’d prefer plastic animals that way the shavings don’t get stuck to them, but you can just pick the shavings off the fur. Also, I wanted to note that in real life, there should never be more than one hamster to a cage unless they are dwarf hamsters. For our playing purposes, we can have as many hamsters as we’d like. Hamsters make better pets for older children, but some of you have children of different ages in your family. This is a way for little ones to experience hamsters without the worries of dropping the hamster, getting bit or overfeeding it.

We were going to do something similar to this at the preschool last summer, but like a lot of plans there, they get scrapped. However, I thought it was still worth including on the blog because kids love pets and I thought it would be useful for them to get introduced to the materials necessary to care for them. It’s important to teach children about responsible pet ownership.

ASPCA Hamster Care
Hamster Coloring Pages

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Favorites for January 23, 2011

There were a lot of neat posts this week and I had trouble narrowing it down. So this time, the list will be a little bit longer.

Quiet Book
A quiet book made by Amy from Serving Pink Lemonade. It's obvious she worked very hard on this.

Homemade Rubber Ball
How to make a rubber ball using milk and vinegar and the science behind it.

Winter Learning Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Winter themed activities using snow, snowmen, ice, mittens and more. It's a great list!

Coffee Creamer Snowmen
Cute snowmen made from coffee creamers.

Heart Ball Art
Using balls and paint to make Valentines.

Valentine Scratch Cards
A creative idea for making this years Valentines.

Egg Carton Roses
Another Valentines craft better for older children.

Winter Wonderland Activities 2
More great winter activities from Two Little Seeds.

Easy Lacy Snowflakes
A simple and inexpensive snowflake craft.

Marshmallow Igloo
Another cute craft with an arctic theme.

Lava Bottles
A cool science experiment.

Tile Art
Pretty pieces of art using tiles and sea glass.

Ten Recipes for Homemade Art Supplies
A list of recipes for art supplies you can make at home. Very useful!

Valentine Mailbox Panda Bear
A cute and simple Valentines mailbox.

Underwater Color Changing Volcano
Another cool science experiment with changing colors.

Puffy Paint
How to make puffy paint in the microwave.

Colored Ice Sailboats
Sailboats made of ice.

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