Button snack for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

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We are so excited to join a few other fabulous bloggers in a series based on preschool books.  Today’s book is one of our absolute favorites and one that we know by heart…and recite a ton!  Little Guy is a huge fan of Pete the Cat books so when I showed him what we would be doing with these button snacks, he was VERY excited! 
We don’t actually own any Pete the Cat books, but check them out from the library ALL the time.  We checked out Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
and made a fun snack to eat while we read the book (and did a little math, too!)
Kids will love these button snacks for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons snack

Cooking with Kids. Button Snacks

I started with a piece of whole wheat bread, a spice lid for cutting, and a straw.  The spice lid was the perfect size to stamp out buttons from the piece of bread, but you could use any size circle lid or cookie cutter.  Little Guy was totally into this cooking with kids activity.  He smashed the lid down on the bread and loved popping it out.

Once the circles were cut from the bread, I used the straw to poke homes into the circles.  Voila!  Buttons were made.  To make the holes, just press the straw strait down onto the circle and twist a little.  The hole will form easily.  This is another completely fun part for the kids to do…poking that straw into the bread is very fun…Little Guy had a blast!

I was able to get four buttons from each slice of bread.  They were looking pretty cute as is, but I wanted to make little sandwiches.

A little peanut butter and the button snacks were done.

These peanut butter button sandwiches are cute and easy to make snack for kids.

Now that is what I call four groovy buttons!

We read the book together and ate the button snacks.  As each button popped off in the story, Little Guy ate one of the snacks. 

Literally, popping the button sandwiches into his mouth.

We did the math along with the story.  He was so excited to figure out the subtraction with the button snack counters.

Kids will love to eat these button sandwiches.

How cute are these little sandwiches?

This was such a fun way to read and learn…and snack!

Button Snack based on the book Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Be sure to check out the other blogs to see how they are playing along with Pete the Cat!

Mama. Papa. Bubba. Pete the Cat sewing activity
Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Pete the Cat Counting Activity

We recently started a new board on Pinterest all about BOOKS for KIDS and the activities that can go along with the book.  Stop by and follow along for fun books you can add to your library queue!  We’re having a blast pinning over there!

 Note: This post contains affiliate links. 

Easy Sensory Bins

 With this Aunt nearing the end of my pregnancy, I’m all about EASY things these days.  The features from this week’s Share It Saturday link up are easy sensory bins for the kids to use to learn, explore, and play.  So if you are looking to throw together a sensory bin or two, these are the ones for you…easy and fun!


 

Easy Sensory Bin ideas for kids

This In The Sky Sensory Bin from Sweet Silly Sara uses just a few materials and inspires imagination while encouraging exploration of textures.

Looking for a learning sensory bin idea? This Letter themed sensory bin from Life With Moore Babies uses items from around the house.  No need to purchase anything, just go on a letter hunt and fill a bin!

For an Ocean Sensory Bin, Stir The Wonder used a water table as a sensory bin, making play easy and fun. 

It is easy to encourage a little learning with this Math and Science Sensory Bins from One Time Through.  Simple objects can allow for big learning of math, science, and more.

Nature inspired sensory bins are maybe the easiest way to explore textures and the great outdoors.  This Sticks Sensory Bin from Danya Banya hits the mark with fine motor play, imagination, and fun.

More easy sensory bin ideas:

Grow a Garden Pretend Play Dough

We are loving all things Spring these days.  One rainy morning, Baby Girl and I played with this play dough fine motor activity while Little Guy was away at preschool.  She loves play dough and was very excited to Grow a Garden with a few extras thrown in there to make a fun flower garden.
Play dough is such a great way to work on fine motor skills and this garden activity hits the mark when it comes to strengthening those little muscles in the hands.  Not only that, it’s totally fun and happy!


 

{This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts} 

I started by making a bunch of flowers.  I used my circle paper punches and glued circles together to make flowers.

Baby Girl and I stuck them onto green paper clips.  It was a great way to get started on the fine motor work in this activity.  She was really focused on putting the paperclips onto the flowers.

Next, I pulled out the green play dough and we started planting flowers!
Rocks were needed for our flower garden, of course! 

Fine Motor Activity for Kids

We tried clay and play dough for this activity.  The clay was more resistive to press the paper clips into, and a better strengthening tool…but it seemed to stick more to the paper clips.  Play dough worked better for us, and was just as good a fine motor strengthening work out. 

Pressing the paper clips into the play dough is a great way to encourage a tripod grasp while strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the hands.  The small muscles within the hand are so important for arch support and control in many fine motor tasks (coloring, zippering, buttoning…)

We’ve done another paper clips and play dough color match activity recently that hit on the fine motor work in this activity.  Check it out…your little play dough fan will love it!

This was a fun way to pretend and play as we grew our little garden!

More play dough ideas you may like:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Craft

 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a big part of Little Guy’s pretend play and fun on a daily basis.  He’s got the action figures and sets up battles with them, pretending all kinds of ninja action.  If you’ve got a ninja turtle fan in your house, these egg carton figures are the thing to make!
 
We’ve been playing with these pretend play figures every day for a couple of weeks now…even taking them outside for some ninja turtle fun.  They have battled superman, been victims of his lasso skills, and met a few worms.  These guys are making their rounds in our house lately!
TMNT egg carton play figures

 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Craft

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We started with some egg cartons that Baby Girl and I painted green.  

We used wiggly eyes that we received free from our friends at craftprojectideas.com.  A little glue on these guys and they were ready for painting.

For the masks and mouths, I used acrylic paints
for a nice and bright color. 
They are looking pretty cute for a bunch of mutant turtles with mad ninja skills!

These guys were immediately a hit with Little Guy.  They were easy to make and basically free, using paints that we already had.  These would be a fun addition to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed birthday party too.  We had a TMNT that we had a teenage mutant ninja turtle party for his fourth birthday…and he talks about it allllll the time.

We took them outside and have been playing with our TMNT guys in the dirt, with sticks and stones.
Little Guy made a pizza shop using sticks and a sidewalk with rocks.  LOVE the pretend play happening here!

Little Guy loves his “ninja turtle egg heads” and we’ve been having so much fun!

Let us know if you make these!

Color Sorting Scissor Activity

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much we love to do fine motor activities.  Scissor activities for kids is one of our favorite fine motor topics and we’ve got a bunch of creative ways to practice them!  This fun fine motor color sorting activity was part of prep for another activity we were doing (watch this space to see these foam squares again!), but we had so much fun with it, that we had to share! 

 

Scissor Skills Activity for Kids

{This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts} 

We started with the wooden crates from our Melissa & Doug Food Groups.  Besides being a totoally fun pretend play toy, the packaging is completely re-usable and perfect for sorting activities.  We shared the picture of our four crates on Instagram and had some great comments about how awesome these crates are for all kinds of play.

I lined the bottom of the four crates with different colors of foam sheets, and drew thick lines on matching colors of foam sheets.

This was a great way for Little Guy to practice his cutting with scissors.  The thickness of the foam sheets is great for new scissor users because it provides greater resistance and therefore slows the scissors more than regular paper.  The thickness of the lines is another way to grade down the cutting task for new scissor users. 

Slower cutting speed is good when the little one needs verbal and physical prompts to hold the scissors correctly, and how to position their assisting hand on the foam. 

Little Guy is working on his scissor skills and needs prompts to hold the foam/paper close to his body and to move the scissors when he’s cutting, and not hos whole upper body.  Strait lines are a good start for him for practice.  Older kids or those who are doing a little better with their scissor skills would benefit from thinner lines, curved lines, or even using construction paper instead of the foam sheets.

Once we had all of the foam squares cut out, we were ready for our sorting.  This interested Little Guy for a little while, but Baby Girl was the one who was really into this part of the activity.

She was able to sort the colors into the correct bin.  We worked on naming the colors along the way.

Sorting the squares was a fun way to play and learn!

We had a great time with this cutting and sorting activity.  Let us know if you do this at home, we would love to hear about it!

Looking for more scissor activities?  You may like some of these:

Scissor Skills with Play Dough | Cutting foam beads activity | Using stickers to help with scissor use

Stop by our Scissor Skills Pinterest board for more ideas. 

Follow Sugar Aunts’s board Scissor skills on Pinterest.

Tips to Make Reading Fun

Do you have a reluctant reader in your house?  The features from this week’s Share It Saturday have got some GREAT tips on how to make reading fun for kids of different ages.  A love of reading begins from a very young age and promoting that love throughout childhood is so important…and fun!  We’re loving these reading ideas from the features this week.  Stop by and check them out for lots of great reading ideas:

How to make reading fun for kids:

 

  • Encourage a love of reading from a young age by making story time special with these tips from A Lavender Life.
 

  • Promote pre-reading skills with your young child with games and activities from Growing Book By Book. 


  • One sure way to grow a love for reading is acting out favorite stories.  Why not try puppets for your storytelling, like Lets Play Music?

  • Go with a beloved theme.  Does the child in your house LOVE all things nature?  Try these books from Peace But Not Quiet.  The transportation lover in your house will love these cars, planes, and trains books from School Time Snippets.  Or maybe a topic sure to inspire giggles, like chickens would guarantee some extra reading time.  Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes has a great list of chicken books.
  • If you’re encouraging your new reader to try more words, these sound it out slider cards from The Measured Mom looks like a great way to practice. 

  • We’ve got lots more ideas on ways to make reading fun for your reluctant or new reader.  Check out the full list of  Creative Sight Word Activities here.

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Check out who the other hosts are featuring today:
 Life & Lessons From a Country Road 

The Share It Saturday Pinterest board has loads of fun ideas for play and learning.
 
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Word Building Activity with Letter Blends Rock Letters

Beginner readers are so much fun!  It is very exciting to see Big Sister learn and grow in her reading skill as this year goes by.  She is doing really well with her reading, and more importantly, developing a love for reading.  This word building activity was a fun way to practice some of her new decodable reading skills using letter blends. 
What are letter blends??  You know those letter combinations that (mostly) begin and end words… tr, ch, sh, qu…those are letter blends!  We made these word building rocks and have been having a blast building words, sounding them out, and building more words!


rock letter manipulatives for new readers to build words

 

Word Building for Beginner Readers

 {This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts} 

I picked up a bag of these black river rocks
and used a
paint marker
to write the letters.
These rocks are awesome for play and learning.  I’m thinking we may do a math set of rocks and an upper case/lower case letters set too.  There are so many learning possibilities with these sets!

Letter Blends Activity

Once the paint dried, we had nice bright letters on the black rocks, and got started with our word building.  Big Sister used the rocks to sound out the letter blends and built tons of words.

This is such a great activity for beginner readers.  Hands on learning is more fun…and seems to make the concepts “stick”. 

We even used the letters with Little Guy, who is working on identifying lower case letters.  He liked playing with these rocks, too and had fun naming the letters.  We’ll be pulling our letter rocks out again soon, and maybe adding them to the sandbox with a few construction vehicles, into a bin of corn for sensory play, or…the possibilities are endless!!

looking for ideas for your beginner reader?  Try some of these.  They are fun learning activities…kid tested!



Stamped art flower craft

 This flower craft has been decorating our dining room for a few weeks now and we are loving the splash of color.  You may have seen our DIY Shape Stamps post a while back.  We re-used that artwork to create this pretty flower craft.  Recycled materials crafts are nothing new around here. 
We love re-using artwork to make new crafts.  This flower art is just the thing to bring us into summer and would be a great gift for Mother’s Day…or just the thing to bring a smile to your face every time you see it hanging on the wall!


 

Flower Craft for Kids

The recycled artwork was cut into heart shapes and taped together.  I cut these out, but offered Little Guy the chance to trace heart shaped cookie cutters on the back of the artwork.  He did a few of the tracings, but decided to move onto something a little more rough and active.  Jumping off of the couch onto targets is much more fun for him than arts and crafts these days 🙂
Tracing cookie cutters to get the heart shapes is a great way to incorporate bilateral hand coordination and pencil control.  Older kids can then cut out the heart shapes for a little scissor work.

To make the stem, we rolled a piece of green construction paper into a tube and taped it securely.  Now this was fun for Little Guy.  Helllllo, telescope!

Tape a few paper leaves onto the stem and the flower is getting somewhere.

Another piece of tape secures the tube to the flower.  We used another piece of recycled artwork to make a blue circle for the center of the flower.  We glued it into place and this covered up the tape holding the stem in place. 

This flower craft is easy, and a fun craft for the kids!

Looking for more flower crafts?  You might enjoy reading about these:

Feather Flower Craft
Spring Nature Hunt Flower Craft
Recycled Artwork Spring Flower