Elmo Birthday Party details Activities and Decorations

We celebrated a special little lady’s 2nd birthday this month when Baby Girl turned 2.  Baby Girl LOVES Elmo and so her birthday had to have an Elmo theme!

I guess technically she’s not exactly a Baby Girl any more (especially because we have another little one who will be joining us in the spring!)  A new blog name will have to come about for Baby Girl at some point, but she’s still my baby girl for now 🙂
This party was low key and simple in the set-up because Mama just was not feeling it with the all day morning sickness and being Exhausted!  The Elmo fun still stood out and Baby Girl was so excited when her party day arrived!

Elmo Birthday Party Activities:

WE copied some sheets from a Sesame Street coloring book and had a little coloring station set up for the kids.  Simple, easy, fun!  I made the Elmo face and used that for the invitation and throughout the party décor.
Elmo Play Dough!
This Elmo dough was so fun.  Baby Girl played with this for days after the party.  I had a huge bag of red play dough and a bunch of little pieces for the kids to make Elmos. Or anything.  There were some pretty fun creations made!  Googly eyes, orange beads, and black pipe cleaners curved for smiles made little cute little Elmos! We let the faces dry and had some fun with the little guys days later after they sat out and air dried.
( (The last little guy on the right is how I felt by the end of the party 😉 )

Elmo Party Decorations:

The birthday banner was a last minute decoration put together SO easily.  Write Happy Birthday out with chalk on black construction paper and tape to ribbon.  Done.

We put up a few streamers around for extra birthday fun.

Elmo Birthday Party Favors:

I found these cups at a grocery store for 10 cents for a two pack as an end of summer clearance sale.  Can’t beat that!  Throw some peanut butter crackers, fruit snacks and other little things in there and it’s done too 🙂  The Elmo face was label paper that I cut into circles for eyes and noses and the smile I drew on with a permanent marker.
This little party was such a fun day for such a sweet and fun-loving little girl. 
Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Corn Husk Stamping Fall Art

Use some Indian corn here and used a few pieces of the husks to create fun stamping art project. 

Fall Art: Corn Husk Stamps

 This little fall art craft was fun to let the kids just go and create art as they liked!
Corn Husk Stamping: Fall Art for kids

Corn Husk Stamping: Fall Art for kids
I set out a few dried corn husks and paint on paper plates.  They could stamp the husk into the paint, paint it on with a brush, and stamp away.
Corn Husk Stamping: Fall Art for kids

The paintings turned out so pretty in fall colors.  We loved the texture that showed up in the stamps.  It was neat to see what the kids came up with in this process centered art.

Corn Husk Stamping: Fall Art for kids
The painted husks turned out pretty cool too 🙂

Color Shape Sorting, Patterns, Counting

Moldable Color, Shape, Sorting, Counting, and Patterns!

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Color Shape Sorting, Counting, Patterns with Wikki Stix

We love playing with Wikki Stix.  We’ve used them in so many fun ways.  One day, Little Guy and I made some shapes and did a little sorting.

Color Shape Sorting, Counting, Patterns with Wikki Stix
Little Guy was sure to tell me if the shape didn’t quite look right.  “Mom, that square doesn’t look square-y”.  We counted how many of each shape we had.
Color Shape Sorting, Counting, Patterns with Wikki Stix
Little Guy made up a subtraction game as he put them into the box.  He counted each time he took a shape away and said “…minus one iiiiiiiiissss….”  He had so much fun doing this little game!
Color Shape Sorting, Counting, Patterns with Wikki Stix

After we finished with the shapes, he said we should do a pattern.  We pulled all of the wikki stix into strait lines and he came up with the pattern.  This was a fun quiet time activity for both of us!

Creative Sight Word Practice with String

Big Sister has been practicing her sight words a lot!  we keep practicing and practicing and she is really confident in her ability.  Knowing my little girl, she needs to feel confident in order to try new things.  If she thinks something is hard (even something she’s never tried before) it is just rough from the start.  All this practice is really working for her.  We don’t go crazy, just one practice each day with an added little twist to make it fun.
We practiced four words one afternoon with an added item…string!

Creative Sight Word Practice with String

I cut lengths of three different colors (only because I didn’t have four colors).  We used the string a few different ways. 
I made two columns of the sight words, one with the upper case version and the other column with the lower case version.  Big Sister used the string to match up each pair.
This was a hands on version of a lot of worksheets that you see in Kindergarten workbooks.  This activity allows the child to visually scan left to right (important for a beginner reader!) and to encourage visual memory.  For a child that is having trouble identifying a new sight word, this is a great way to promote visual memory of the spelling of the words and the way the word looks.  
For a younger child, this would be fun for letter/number identification or shape identification and matching.  There are so many variations that could be done with this simple activity!

Next, I scattered the words around on the table and showed Big Sister how to use the string to circle the words.

Big Sister had follow directions to circle “am” with the yellow string, “the” with the blue string, and “my” with the red string.  We did several steps for multi-level direction following, but this could be done step-by-step.  You could even just hand the child any random color and ask them to circle a specific word.   This is a good activity for visual scanning as they search for the word on the table.
We used the string in one other way.  I taped the string to the backs of the words like the top picture of this post shows.  We used the string to pull the word across the table and read what the card said.  It was a fun way to “fish for sight words”!
How many ways can you think of to use string as a learning tool?

Sight Word Bottle Cap Stampers

Bottle Cap Sight Word Stamps
This was a quick activity using Big Sister’s sight words.  She’s been learning so much in Kindergarten!  Being our oldest we are SO amazed at the words she can pick out now and KNOWS just weeks into school!  It seems like our little girl was just a pink little baby fresh from the hospital and now…she is beginning to READ! Woah, how did this happen?!?
Big Sister has been bringing four words home every two weeks for extra practice.  We have flash cards, but does that get boring or what? 

Sight Word Bottle Cap Stampers

This activity was very easy to set up and Boom.  Instant sight word practice, with a fun twist!
I wrote out some of her sight words on a sheet of paper and put a splat of paint on a paper plate.  We used a cap from our Recycled materials craft bin to circle stamp the word “he”.  She had so much fun with this.  We did a few more sheets, stamping out different sight words.
Bottle Cap Sight Word Stamps
We’ll definitely be doing this one again as we get more sight words sent home.  This could be built on in so many ways.  Different colors for specific words, placing the paper on an easel, copying an example with different colors…How many ways can you think of to expand this activity?

Looking for more ways to practice sight words?  You also might like:

Beginner Sight Word Letter Match

Sight Word Manipulatives

Sight Word Scavenger Hunt

No-Mess Sensory Spelling

“I Spy” Sensory bottle

Motor Planning Spider Web Maze: Fine Motor Eye-Hand Coordination

This is an updated post from years back.  Create a life-size indoor (or outdoor!) spider maze that kids can climb in, on, around, and through.  Add a fine motor portion to the activity and work on vision activities like visual motor planning and hand-eye coordination as kids play this Fall and Halloween.  Happy climbing! 

Visual motor planning and hand-eye coordination with a Halloween or spider theme using this room-sized maze that kids can build and get into and climb around.  This is a fun indoor play activity for kids who have a lot of energy. A great fine motor activity for kids too!

Hand-Eye Coordination and Visual Motor Planning Spider Maze

Motor Planning Spider Web Maze with Fine Motor and Eye-hand coordination
(This post contains affiliate links.) Little Guy asked one afternoon, if we could make a Living Room Spider Web.  We made one of these last year, and he remembered.  He remembers every time he sees the skein of red yarn
He says he has to work on his “skills” when he’s crawling over, under, and between strings.  All the better to get the bad guys!
We pulled out some chairs and started spinning our web!
Motor Planning Spider Web Maze with Fine Motor and Eye-hand coordination
This time, we added a twist to our Spider Web.  We strung a few Halloween spider rings
along the web.  Little Guy had so much fun pulling the rings along the length of the yarn
, around chair legs, down the slopes, and up and over other pieces of yarn.

Motor Planning Maze:

Moving over, under, and around requires gross motor skills and motor planning to plan out, organize, and carry out an action.  With the added twist of moving the ring along the length of the string, we added a could of extra developmental skills…

Eye-Hand Coordination Maze:

This was a life-sized puzzle for him as he crawled over and under the string to manipulate the plastic ring along the length of the yarn.  What a great visual motor activity for him!  He had to visually scan where the ring would go next, and manage his hands to work the ring along the yarn.

Fine Motor and Bilateral Hand Coordination Maze:

Working both of his hands together in a coordinated manner was essential for this activity, and to move that little spider ring along.  He had to hold the yarn with one hand and string the ring along with the other hand.  All while moving over and under strings below him and above him.
Little Guy LOVED the spider web in our living room.  And asked to make another the next day.  Try this one…you’re little guy or girl will have so much fun!
Visual motor planning and hand-eye coordination with a Halloween or spider theme using this room-sized maze that kids can build and get into and climb around.  This is a fun indoor play activity for kids who have a lot of energy. A great fine motor activity for kids too!
More Visual Perceptual Activities you will love:

Autumn Art Projects for Kids

 Share It Saturday Time!
The link ups this week were so fun to look through!  We love seeing all of the fun Fall creativity, posts on learning, art, and play!  You guys are seriously talented.  And for our readers, what a great resource this listing is each week.  Even if you’re not interested in the round-up theme we’ve featured for the week, there is always such inspiration to be had.  If nothing else, fun new blogs to check out! 

Autumn Art Projects

This week’s features are all about Fall Art.  These links share fun with paint to create leaves, trees, decorated pumpkins and more.  Wouldn’t these projects be perfect for a fall play date or a gift for family?  I’m thinking we’ll do some of these projects for Baby Girl’s birthday thank you notes!  Have you done any fall activities (or any other kids-related learning, play, or projects) this week? Link them up. We would love to check them out!  And, if you’re not a blogger, get ready to peruse the links below for creative fun!

Autumn Art Projects for Kids

Autumn Art Projects for Kids
Spin Painted Apples by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Apple Printing by Simple Fun For Kids

Salt Dough Apples

We made these salt dough apples one day after we pulled out our Fall decorations.  We had made salt dough pumpkins two years ago and they are still in great condition.  So, we decided to make some more decorations with salt dough! 

Salt Dough Apples
Salt Dough Pumpkins

Salt Dough Apples

We used a variation of this recipe from The Imagination Tree for our salt dough: 
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
Mix together until combined.  We added a little more flour because the dough was a little sticky to work with.  Once nice and mixed, we added red food coloring.  And then a bit more flour because of the moisture from the food coloring made it sticky again!  I’m thinking gel food coloring would work a little better for the consistency.
Roll the dough out and cut with a cookie cutter.  We used a pumpkin cookie cutter for our apples and it worked just as well.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Place the dough cut-outs on a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.  Bake the cut outs for 2 hours. 
When we made our pumpkins, we didn’t add color.  Rather, we painted them after they were cooked and cooled.  With our apples, they didn’t need any painting, they were just right as is!

Be sure to poke holes in the bottom of the dough before baking.  This allows the dough to bake flat and not rise.  Maybe it rises more with self-rising flour? I forgot to add the fork holes on our apples and they puffed up.  You can see how flat the pumpkins are compared to our apples in the bottom picture.
Slat Dough Pumpkins
We’ve been using our Salt Dough Apples for decorations, pretend play in our play kitchen, patterns with Little Guy and Big Sister, and counting.  We’ll keep these little cuties with our pumpkins and pull them out year after year!
Salt Dough Apples