Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Tree Theme Crafts and Activities

Theme: Christmas tree
Bible: 25 Days of Christmas
Math: shapes and colors
Sensory: Christmas tree sensory tub
Crafts: pinecone ornaments 

For the month of December we have been doing the 25 Days Of Christ In Christmas! E opens an envelope a day; inside the envelope is a small ornamnet and puts it on his little Christmas tree. I share with him the meaning of that Christmas symbol. To learn more about this advent activity click here: 


A fun and interactive way to learn colors and shapes.


I love how these pinecone ornaments turned out! I squeezed the glue on the pinecone and E placed the extra small pom poms on. When the Christmas tree
Pinecones where all dry I hot glued string to the top. We made a few of these to give to friends and family. I personalized it by adding the letter of their last name.

Sensory Aticity:

Made a little sensory tub activity to go along with the Christmas tree theme. I hot glued wire onto green pom poms and wrapped wire on button shapes for ornaments. For the snow I just used salt and fake fluffy snow you can buy at any craft store.

Note: the wire I used turned out to be too thin! I would recommend using a thicker gauge wire. A wire as thick as a paper clip might be better. E was getting a little frustrated that the wire would bend as he pushed it into the foam pinecone. 

Here are a just a few more crafts we've been making this month for gifts:

E painted wood frames (.99 cents from Michaels!) to give to the grandparents. I will place one of the pictures we took during our 2013 family photo session.

I wanted these frames to be 100% one of a kind from E. So, I let him pick which colors he wanted and let him paint the frames the way he wanted. When he said he was done I put that frame aside to dry. I layed out buttons, pom poms and felt flowers and he chose the ones he wanted to put on the frame. I love how unique they came out! 

We are using these bags to hand out little gifts for his buddies and cousins. 

For the month of December I took a break from organized lesson planning and we just made crafts and enjoyed spur of the moment activities. After New Years we will start up again with letter of the week. The theme for January will be winter and space!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope these ideas inspire you! :)


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts {stocking Stuffers} for Children

 I've been busy! Made these great "Little" gifts for an Artisan Fair that took place this last weekend. 

These  learning activities make great gifts and stocking stuffers! Most of the materials, to make these gifts, I bought at the Dollar store, Walmart, and the bargain bins at Target! These are lots of fun to make and easy to put together!

Child, using their pincer grasp, will place colored pipe cleaners in the holes of the strainer. Parents discuss colors as child places them in the strainer. 

BUY IT! My Little Strainer learning activity is now available for sale on my etsy store!

Buy it! My Little Shapes and Colors is now for sale on my etsy shop:

This activity is LOTS of FUN and is a big hit with my 2 year old!! 

Match the clothes pins to the corresponding color shirt! 

BUY IT! This activity is now for sale in my Etsy shop!

I was inspired by a Pin on Pinterest from Come Together Kids, where she made "magical" playdough as party favors! I love this idea! When I made the playdough, with my son, it was too Sticky. The blogger from Come Together Kids also mentioned that one of her batches came out too sticky too. I think the ingredients should  have only called for 1 Tbs of oil instead of 1.5 Tbs? If you bought this at the Artisan fair I hope you read this before you make it! If it is too sticky you will just need to add more flour until it becomes the consistency of playdough.

Here is the link to the recipe:

The Christmas Miracle playdough cupcake kit includes:

-1 silicone cupcake liner
- paper cupcake liners
- xsmall cupcake liners
- 2 cookie cutters
- 7 candles
- 2 small glitter tubes
- 1 bag of confetti 
- 1 bag of the dry playdough mix

Here are the links to the science experiments and recipes you can make with the items in the Science Kit.

Liquid or solid? (Oobleck):

Color Explotion:

Balloon Blow it up:

Gelatin Sensory Fun:
(you can add any objects of your choice)

Instant Snow: (from the Dollar Tree)

Homemade Paint:

Homemade Fingerpaint: 

Sidewalk Paints:

****Update**** want to buy this kit? It is now available in my Etsy shop! 

Hope these gifts inspire you to make something personal and special for the children in your lives! :)

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

25 days of Christ in Christmas

I was in the hunt for an advent activity for my two year old son. I was looking for an idea that was Christ centered. There were two activities I was thinking about using: The Jesse Tree and The truth in the Tinsel. Both are great ideas and I will do them with E at some point. But for this year I wanted something simple and I wanted an idea that incorporates what he will be seeing during the month of December. So, I decided to do some research and come up with my own activity which I'm calling: 25 Days of Christ in Christmas. I made a list of 25 symbols we see during the "Holiday" season and I researched to find the meaning of the symbol which will link to our Savior Jesus Christ.  

Here is the list of the 25 "Holiday" symbols:

1. Evergreen Tree
2. Heart
3. Poinsettia
4. Wreath
5. Christmas Tree
6. Christmas lights
7. Holly Leaf
8. Drum
9. Fruit
10. Christmas globe ornament 
11. Gingerbread cookie
12. Santa clause 
13. Stocking
14. Rudolph 
15. Tinsel
16. Snowflake
17. Snowman 
18. Angel
19. Baby Jesus
20. Bow
21. Bell
22. Candy cane
23. Star
24. Crown
25. Gift


I wanted my son to see Jesus during Christmas since that's why we celebrate Christmas to remember and celebrate our Savior's birth. I went on a hunt to find a small ornament for each Christmas symbol. There were a few I couldn't find in the size I wanted so I just made them (wreath, baby Jesus, and the crown). The rest I found at the Dollar store, Michaels and CVS.

For each symbol there will be a meaning that links to our Savior Jesus Christ and a scripture verse. The last 8 ornaments will tell the story of the manger.

Since I just finalized what advent activity I was going to do a week ago, this activity is in progress. Follow My Little Sonbeam on Facebook to receive the meaning behind each symbol and scripture verse. 

If you haven't started an advent activity with your little ones, join us! Purchase an ornament for each symbol above and follow us on Facebook! I will (try) to post by 9am, Pacific Time, every morning on Facebook.

Here is Day one

Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Week 3&4

Alphabet: Jj
Theme: Thanksgiving
Bible: Give thanks to The Lord...


What you need:
-Unflavored gelatin
-Food coloring

Follow the directions on the gelatin packet (I used water instead of juice), pour the mixture into three jars, add food color, of your choice, to each jar and place jars in freezer to cool down a bit. Once jars are cooled down (5-10 min) add jewels and let Jell-o set in the fridge.

Once the Jell-o was set I placed the jars in a tray and we observed and talked about the jar, jell-o and jewels. I then used a butter knife to loosen the jell-o out of the jars and E had a go at the Jell-o! 

As he played we talked about letter Jj and the items that start with Jj.

Theme: Thanksgiving

I made these every year with my students. These are great gifts (keepsakes) to give to parents, grandparents and love ones! I made a few with E and we will be giving them to grandparents and we will be keeping one Of course! :)

I usually use the chubby paint brushes to apply the fabric paint on the child's fingers. That is the easiest and fastest way to apply the paint, but my supplies are in storage. So we used what we had, cotton balls, and it worked out fine.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Week 2

Alphabet: Ii
Math: 1-5 and shapes
Theme: food groups
Bible: seventh day of creation


Letter Ii box: iron, ice cube tray, insects and flash card.

We didn't have many items around the house that start with Ii! This was all I could come up with. E had fun going through the box and playing with the insects!

Craft: insects on I
We traced The letter I with our finger a few times and then I added the dots of glue for him to glue the insects.

It took me a while to figure out what to do for letter Ii. I did not have a lot to work with and then I received a great idea from the Lord! I have been seeing post on Pinterest about ice melt activities and I couldn't wait to do one with E. 

What you need:
-Ice cube tray and/or plastic containers to use as molds
-Plastic insects

I simply placed insects in a plastic container and in an ice cube tray and filled them up with water. I then Placed them in the freezer. I didn't keep time, but it will take probably 4-5 hours for the plastic container to freeze all the way. We were inpatient and took it out early before the block was frozen all the way! ;)

I placed the ice in a baking dish, put salt in a recycled sprinkle container and in a small bowl. The salt helps the ice melt faster so he can get to the insects!

E had a blast and this kept his attention for quite some time. While he played we talked about all the Ii words: insects, in, ice, and ice cubes. 


Using real food I made an assortment on a small tray. I placed one or two items from each food group: vegetable group (celery and carrot), fruit group (banana and orange), protein group (ham), diary group (string cheese) and grain group (a slice of bread).

I kept it simple! We first talked about what the names of each food item and then I shared with him which food group it belongs to. Ex: "celery and carrot are vegetables they are in the vegetable group."

And then of course E wanted to try some of the food! :) that's the advantage of using real food!


Craft: Shapely vegetables

After we discussed the food groups we made this Shapley craft. It's hard to tell in the picture above but I traced an outline of the oval, circle and triangle on the brown paper. Together we made this craft. He added glue to the shape (and then I added a bit more glue) and he placed the shape in the correct spot. I helped guide him when placing the diamonds, star and rectangles since I did not make an outline for those shapes.

As he glued each shape we talked about the name and the color of that shape.

When we were all done we reviewed the names of the vegetables we created with the shapes.


This activity is great for counting and for developing fine motor skills. We have done this activity a few times and E really enjoys it! We counted and identified numbers. E decided to match the beads to the color instead of adding the correct number of beads to the corresponding number. He decided this all on his! What a cutie! 


We finished our study on the days of creation. We reviewed days 1-6 and talked about all that God made. I then shared him that God was pleased with all that he created and so he rested on the seventh day. As we chatted about this he helped me glue the bed, pillow, sun and z's on the paper.


For the third week in November we will learn about nutrition and Thanksgiving.

Thanks for your support and stopping by! Hope these ideas inspire you!  


Love to hear from you!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November Week 1

Theme: community Helpers Transportation

This last week and a half we learned about community helpers and their transportation vehicle. 

I had four cute small wooden autos: a police car, ambulance, school bus and fire engine. Since we were talking about land, air and water transportation last month, in October, I thought how fun it would be to learn about the community helpers that are associated with these wooden automobiles.

Using card stock paper I assembled a police station, fire station, hospital and school house. Using double sided tape, I taped them on boxes I had around the house (one shoe box and two diaper boxes). I used an utility knife to cut an entrance into each building. I then made a little town road with masking tape. 

We talked about each car and where they belong. We also talked about who works at each station: police officers, firefighters, doctors and teachers. E had a blast driving the cars and driving them into the building.


E already owned a retro doctor's kit which I then added some colored band aides, gauze and a working thermometer. I took an old white t-shirt and cut it down the middle for him to use as a doctors coat. {He loved that thing! He wore it out to lunch! The Dr. was in the building! Haha}

 I googled images on the i pad of doctors and discussed them with E. other things we shared:
- an ambulance takes you to a hospital to see a doctor.
- Doctors help us when we are sick and use these tools to check our body.
-we discussed each item in his doctors kit and how to use them (some he already knew from his well-checkups).

We used one of his teddy bears as a patient and Dr. E got to work! It was really cute to see him role play. As he placed band aides on the bear we reviewed colors!


I googled images of fighter fighters and we discussed what they do:
-when there is a fire, firefighters come to the rescue to put the fire out!
-they use big, strong and long fire hoses to put the fire out.

For the activity I made paper flames out of card stock paper. I filled plastic clear cups up to 1/3 of the way with baking soda and added vinegar to his play fire extinguisher. 

E got his firefighter gear on: hat, belt, badge, ax, and used the fire extinguisher to put the fires out! He had a blast! First he sprayed the flames with the extinguisher but then we got to business and filled a cup with vinegar and we really got to see some smoke! He loved pouring over and over vinegar in the cups to see an eruption of "smoke."

**don't have a play fire extinguisher? Use a spray bottle! :) Need some ideas for DIY firefighter gear? My Preschool Fall
activities Pinterest board has some great ideas. check this one out:

Police Officer and Teacher:

I created activity trays for both Police officer and Teacher. 

For both community helpers I first started by going over images of them and discussing what they do.

-Police officers keep our city and streets safe. When there is an emergency and you need help dial 911. 

In the tray I places a NON-working phone for him to pretend to dial 911 and badges for him to role play. 

-Teachers teach us our letters and numbers. Teachers help us learn many things, like teaching us how to read.

In the teacher tray I placed a bowl with letters and numbers and a stack of flash cards. We matched the letters to the coresponding flash cards, made three letter words and E played with the magnetic letters on the fridge. 

These trays (and activities) are  an invitation to play to let the child lead the lesson with the parent guiding and supporting. A way to guide is by asking questions to create discussions which result in learning! :)

* * *

It was a blessed and busy week and a half of Harvest fun and learning! for the next couple if weeks, leading into Thanksgiving, we will learn about health and nutrition. 

Thank you for stopping by! Hope these activities inspire you!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October Week 4

Alphabet: letter Hh
Math: shapes (rectangle and triangle)
Theme: water transportation (boats)
Bible: creation day 6


Letter of the week box: hanger, helicopter, heart, horse, hammer, hay, hard hat, hands, and flash cards.

Give name of the object as your child takes it out of the box. Emphasize the beginning sound. Ex: "That is a hammer. /h/ /h/ /h/ hammer. Hammer starts with H" (point to the letter h on the flash card).

Letter Hh craft: H is for hearts

Have child trace finger over letter. Then add dots of glue for them to add paper hearts on the letter H.

Letter H activity: sensory tub

What's inside: hay, toy hammer, bolts, foam blocks (covered in craft paper: house), holes made in the foam blocks, and toy hand noise-makers.

I bought foam blocks and circles at the dollar store. With a knife, I cut the foam into small pieces. I wrapped the foam pieces with craft paper. Then I drew doors, windows and a roof on the blocks. 

I pre-made holes on the foam and highlighted the holes with a black sharpie.  

1. I originally bought bolts for E to use to build the homes, but the bolts were not long enough. So, I used screws we already had to build the homes. I had E find the hole, I placed the screws in the hole and E hammered them in. 

2. Then I made some foam blocks with holes for him to use the bolts with. 

3. The bolts are not sharp, and after seeing how I did it (with the screws) he knew exactly what to do. He grabbed a bolt and placed it in a hole and hammered away! He loved it!

4. I also showed him how to hold the foam block while hammering. This kept the block from moving around.

5. After all the bolts were used up and all the hammering was done, E enjoyed throwing the hay in the air! :)

*Here is an overview of the Alphabet Sensory Tubs we've done so far:


Theme craft: Shapley Sailboat

We reviewed rectangles and triangles to make the sailboat. First E used finger paint to to paint the water. Once the paint dried we glued the shapes on.

As we worked on the shapely sailboat we talked about where do sailboats sail? On road, sky or water?

Theme activity: sensory tub

I grabbed one large boat and one small boat and placed them in E's sensory tub. On one side of the tub I filled with clean water and on the other side I filled with dirty water (chia seeds and blue food coloring was added to water).

As E played we discussed all sorts of subjects. 

We talked about the boats: which boat is the small/big one? How many boats are there? Where do boats go? On the road? In the sky? Or in the water?

Then we talked about the water: what does this water (dirty) feel like? Which water is clean/dirty?

These are books we read, throughout the month, while learning about transportation.


Memory Verse of the Month: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth." Genesis 1:1

Memory Verse Song: "God is Creator" by Seeds Family Worship

We are continuing to talk about that God is Creator. This week we focused on the sixth day of creation. On day  6 of creation God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds... Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness..." (Genesis 1:24, 26 NIVUK)

As E glued the man and women on the paper, we talked about how God made people. He made boys and he made girls. He made you and he made me. 

Then we talked about that God made all the animals in the world. As E placed an animal sticker on the paper, I would ask him what animal that was. He would respond, and I would tell him that God made that animal. As he was finishing I asked him these type of questions: Who made people? Who made all the animals? Who made you? Who made me? 

What a blessed week! 
The first week in November we will learn about community helpers transportation. 

Thanks for your support and stopping by! Hope these ideas inspire you!  


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