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Big Red Barn Book Craft

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This month for our Book Club Play Date series we're sharing a craft based on the book, Big Red Barn.  What a fun book for preschool aged children!  (And, don't tell, but my older kids really got into this book, too!)  We made pretend play Farm Animals Puppets and a barn craft puppet show stage, perfect for farm pretend play.  This fun craft goes perfectly with a fun farm animal book!


Big Red Barn Book activity with a barn craft and farm animal puppets.  Preschool (and older kids!) love this activity for pretend play and using their imagination about what the animals do on the farm.


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Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown is a quiet and calming book with it's tone and rhythmic text.  The Farm is full of life and this book is all about the animals.  We see how the animals play and explore while the children are away.  The detailed illustrations are creative and my kids loved looking for the tiny mice or butterfly on the pages of the book.  This was a new book to us, but it quickly became a hit in our house.  Margaret Wise Brown also authored Goodnight Moon (one of our favorites!  Remember our Goodnight Moon Goodnight Moon Memory Game?)  It was fun to talk about the author and recall parts of Goodnight Moon that appear in this book--the barn in the picture, the mouse, and the moon.  We wondered if the Big Red Barn from our story was the same as the barn in the picture in Goodnight Moon.  We love coming up with extension activities based on children's books (more than a little bit!) and this book and activity rose to the top of our favorites!

Big Red Barn craft

You'll need a few materials for your barn craft and puppets:
Colored Craft Sticks (We received ours from our friends at www.craftprojectideas.com) 
Glue 
Printer Paper Our Free Barn Animals Puppets Coloring Sheet (Get them HERE.) 
Scissors (This) is my favorite brand for kids!) 

Barn Craft


Big Red Barn Book activity with a barn craft and farm animal puppets.  Preschool (and older kids!) love this activity for pretend play and using their imagination about what the animals do on the farm.

First, we made the barn craft.  Arrange the red craft sticks like we did in the picture above.  Use glue to stick the top and bottom sticks on top of the vertical sticks.  I made a barn as my preschooler copied the steps beside me.  This was a good way to practice direction following with visual cues.  I was sure to craft my barn slowly so she could follow along with hers.  Count out the Popsicle sticks as you go.  We used 12 red sticks all together.  You'll want to make your barn on a piece of paper or waxed paper for easy transporting as it dries.

Big Red Barn Book activity with a barn craft and farm animal puppets.  Preschool (and older kids!) love this activity for pretend play and using their imagination about what the animals do on the farm.

Then we used a piece of Red cardstock to make the barn roof.  Simply cut the roof into an angled shape.  I had the roofs already cut out and showed my daughter how to glue it onto the back of the Popsicle stick barn.  You'll need to let the barn dry for a few hours or overnight.  Just let it rest right on the paper.  
Farm animals coloring sheet free printable

Big Red Barn Book activity with a barn craft and farm animal puppets.  Preschool (and older kids!) love this activity for pretend play and using their imagination about what the animals do on the farm.

Next, color in our Barn Animal Coloring Sheet.  You can get the free printable HERE.

Cut out the animals and tape onto craft sticks.  
Big Red Barn Book activity with a barn craft and farm animal puppets.  Preschool (and older kids!) love this activity for pretend play and using their imagination about what the animals do on the farm.


Big Red Barn Book activity with a barn craft and farm animal puppets.  Preschool (and older kids!) love this activity for pretend play and imagination.

Once the barn has dried, you'll be ready to play Barn Puppet Show with the farm animals.  Act out the story in Beg Red Barn, or create your own farm animal stories.  We had a lot of fun with our barn puppet animals.


Looking for more Big Red Barn activities?  See what the Book Club Playdates team have created to go along with this book.  With a snack, game, and sensory activity, you'll have this book covered for your Preschool Book Club:

Farm Haystack Snack from Fun-a-Day
Farm Sensory Small World from Still Playing School
Farm Animals Ring Toss Game from Craftulate

More activities based on books that you will love (Because we sure did!):

   



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Creative Cursive Handwriting Journal

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My daughter has made herself a goal for her second grade school year.  She wants to learn how to write in cursive.  We've done a few cursive handwriting activities this summer, but have a long way to go as she learns to form letters in cursive, connect cursive lines, and write upper case letters.  Then there is reading cursive handwriting which can be a difficult processing task for some kids.  Forming letters on lines with smooth pencil strokes and re-trace of lines requires practice.  I've got some fun and creative ways to learn and practice cursive handwriting to share with you.  Today's Cursive Handwriting Daily Journal is a creative way to practice letter formation and use learned letters in daily journalling.  

Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.


We made this Cursive Handwriting Journal to practice cursive letter formation on a daily basis.  Using creative handwriting ideas are a fun way to practice letter formation.  These worksheets are great for practicing cursive letter formation in a variety of ways.  (Try a new creative cursive technique each day!)  They also have an area to use what your child has learned in a daily journal entry.  You can print off the journal along with a tips and tools sheet for creative cursive handwriting.  Get yours HERE.

Creative Cursive Tips and Tools for Learning Cursive Handwriting:


Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.

Some of our favorite ways to practice cursive handwriting are: 

Try a few of our other ideas for practicing cursive letters:
Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.

To use the Cursive Handwriting Journal:


Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.

First, print your journal.  Print off the Journal Cover, the Practice Sheets, and the Journal Entry Sheets.  Print as many of these pages as you like.  We have also included a printable copy of our Creative Cursive Tips sheet.  

We used our journal worksheets to form a few new letters with pipe cleaners.  Write the letter in the large space at the top of the page.  Use a pipe cleaner to form the letter.  Encourage your child to use the written letter as a guide to correctly form the pipe cleaner letter.  You can create a permanently formed fuzzy letter by adding a dab of glue at the connecting parts of the pipe cleaner letters.  Then, trace the pipe cleaner with your finger to further practice cursive letter formation.

Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.

Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.

Next, practice writing the letter on the lines below.  Encourage your child to write a few  words using the letter and letters they've already learned.  You can write a model word for them to copy.

You can then use the journal sheets to write sentences using the words that they've practiced.


Teach kids how to write in cursive handwriting with a Cursive handwriting Journal, using creative cursive practice ideas. Tips from an Occupational Therapist.
Get your Cursive Handwriting Journal and Creative Cursive Tips printable and have fun learning cursive in a creative way!

Visit these sites for more journal activities for 2nd graders:
Apple Writing Prompts and Papers from Sallie Borrink Learning
Cursive Handwriting Journal from Sugar Aunts
Heart to Heart Journals from Still Playing School
Digital Journalling with Kids from Rainy Day Mum
Fall Themed Reading Journal from Look! We're Learning!
Connecting Science and Writing from Planet Smarty Pants

More cursive handwriting activities you will enjoy:


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Preschool Books and Activities

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We love coming up with fun crafts and activities based on favorite books.  This is a collection of crafts and activities that go along with some fun books for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and School-aged kids.  Kids remember the activity that you create for a book long after they've read a book.  So often, my kids will say (out of the blue), "Hey Mom, remember when we made bear puppets?" in reference to our We're Going on a Bear Hunt activity.  We love to create multi-sensory play and learning enrichment activities to extend themes of books.  We've covered many Preschool books in our blogging days, but also many school-aged books with creative play and learning ideas.  We'll be adding to this page, so be sure to stop back for more fun ideas!
Book activities for kids



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Our Books!

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We're published in two books currently!  
This post contains affiliate links.



Pop! Squirt! Splash!is a creative collection of activities for kids broken down into sections:  Arts, Crafts, and DIY Projects, Learning Activities and Games, and Sensory Play.  The activities all have one thing in common; They all use soap, water, or bubbles.  The activities are easy to set up (and clean-up, given that they are made up of soap!) and provide a unique way to play with inexpensive items and products typically found around the home.  Each activity contains directions and bright and vivid photographs with alternate variations and additional activities. Playing with soap, water, and bubbles was never so much fun!  
Buy the E-Book version HERE for $8.99
Buy the Kindle version HERE for $8.99
Buy the Printed version HERE for $17.50

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for year-round fun and learning for kids.  An amazing resource for parents, teachers, grandparents, child care workers.  This would be a great gift idea for birthdays!

Learn with Play is a collection of 150+ activities for year-round learning through play.  With 94 co-authors, Learn with Play offers activities, crafts, learning for all stages of childhood from babies to kindergarten aged.  This is such an amazing resource for parents, educators, therapists, child care workers, and grandparents.  A book like this would make an amazing (and easy) gift idea for birthday presents to children of all ages.  

Ebook version ($14.95)Click here to purchase
Kindle version ($14.95) Click here to purchase
Paperback version ($29.99) Click here to purchase
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Kids Party Theme Ideas

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Kids' parties don't need to be outrageous and extravagant.  We love to throw easy and creative birthday parties and themed play dates (occasionally-themed days are NOT an every day thing.  Or even a frequent thing around here!).  Sometimes it is nice to celebrate the child and the excitement of youth with a special day.  Sure it can be easy to get out of control with themed days or celebrations.  But, childhood is such a fleeting time and being a mother to a child is such a thing to celebrate.  It is an honor to use creative ideas in celebration of the day...whether it be a birthday or a special play date.  Then there are the creative ways to celebrate neighbors or special people in you life.  A thoughtful special day would be a fun way to spend time and build memories with a niece or nephew.  Put together a quick and easy water bead tea party or a sleepover waffle bar for special time with your special little ones!


Party Theme Ideas for Kids

Party ideas for kids' birthday parties, themed play dates, and celebrating special little ones.



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Cooking With Kids Recipes

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We've been busy cooking our way through the alphabet with our Cooking With Kids A-Z series.  You can find all of the recipes here.  We love the learning and therapeutic benefits to cooking with kids so this series is a winner for us.  Try all of these recipes for tasty dishes that you can cook together as a family.

Cooking With Kids recipes for learning in the kitchen.  So many healthy meal ideas on this site that kids can make and learn while cooking.


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Toddler Learning and Play Activities

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Baby Play Ideas

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This is a space where we share our favorite play ideas for babies.  The youngest kids can have fun while learning through play at home, too!  
Babies are such an amazing miniature human.  They are developing at a rapid pace and taking in the senses of our world with wide eyes.  Simply holding and talking to your baby is such a wonderful sensory experience.  Then there is the sensory overload of bath time.  We've got some easy play ideas for babies and young toddlers here, as they take on and take in the world around them.

activities for babies. Learning through play for baby.

Typical baby development from 0-12 months with creative play ideas.
Typical Baby Development:

Baby development begins before birth and continues to evolve into functional skills each and every day.  From birth, a baby typically demonstrates random limb movements and a rounded back with drooped head.  Asymmetrical postures dominate and no weight is bared through the legs when a baby is held up.  By one month, baby is able to rotate their head and lift their head momentarily.  Asymmetrical postures continue to dominate At three months, baby holds their head mostly in midline and is able to bob their head in supported sitting.  At three month, baby can visually follow a dangling toy from side to side. Baby may roll to either side from their back.  At 4-5 months, baby kicks and waves arms and shows excitement with movements.  They are unable to typically manipulate or purposefully grasp items.  However, baby will demonstrate a strong grasp when an item such as a rattle is placed in their hand.  They are unable to let go of an item in their hand. By six months, baby will demonstrate a greater variety of gross motor patterns.  You will see movements of elbows and knees and they follow objects with their eyes in all directions.  At 6 months, object exploration begins with crude manipulation.  At 7-8 months, baby will take objects out of a container and drop them with crude manipulations and exaggerated movements.  Baby is typically able to sit up by leaning forward for support.  At 9-10 months, baby will explore more of his environment and will show isolated movements of fingers as they poke and explore items.  They can pick up small items and begin to demonstrate purposeful play.  

Note: This is not a complete list of Baby's development.  There are stages of typical development and changes in each skill area, as well as positional developmental changes.  Watch this space for more baby developmental play and information.

Beyond this, baby is continuously developing in their gross motor, fine motor, hand dominance, language, and visual perceptual, skills.  All of these areas can be built on with stimulating and encouraging play environments.  Try some of these play ideas with your baby: 
                          Baby play ideas for developmental learning and occupational therapy in birth-2 years


Baby Play Ideas

  



  

How to Make Homemade Blender Baby Food | Baby Safe Waterbead Sensory Play | Baby Mirror Play | Learning Activities for Babies Aged 0-2


  



More Baby Play ideas from our archives:


We're adding new and older posts every day to our collection of baby and toddler play ideas.  Be sure to stop back and see what's new!  As always, keep a close eye on little ones while playing with babies and toddlers with any activity.  Children should always be supervised while completing any of these activities.  Some children may be able to participate in a particular activity, while others are not developmentally appropriate.  Please use your judgment and adjust the activity to meet the needs of your child.  Or, pull out these ideas in a few months when it is safer for your child to participate.

Looking for more Baby Play ideas?  Stop by and follow along on our Baby Play Pinterest board for creative play and learning for babies.  

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