Monday, July 14, 2014

Early Literacy 21: Fold-Up Forts

I love making box forts with my kids and they love them too. What usually ends up happening is that we have this really awesome box fort in our living room for a couple months and I finally get tired of it and recycle it. No problem. The kids got their use and we all had fun.

When I started making box forts for my library program, the Early Literacy Fair, I didn't have the luxury of storing forts in the middle of the room because I didn't have any place to put them at the library and I couldn't store large forts at my house either. So, I needed to devise a way to make a fort that folds up for easy storage behind my cubicle at work, behind the couch at home or under a bed.

This is what I came up with. The forts fold up like accordions and I can stash them in tight spaces at work and at home. I love box forts for imaginative play, creativity and to help set the scene for social interactions. Here is a link to the PDF instructions.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Early Literacy 20: Block Food

I got this idea from born imaginative. She made homemade block groceries for a play kitchen. Make sure you check out her blog, because she has some wonderful ideas for homemade toys.

I am doing a play bakery shop for the Early Literacy Fair and so I decided to do play bakery items. I found images on Google for baking supplies, printed them, cut them out and used Mod Podge to put them on my blocks from home. These are double sided blocks, so there is an ingredient on each side. I think they are going to be a big hit at the library and at home with my kids. These blocks will add some environmental print to the play kitchen. When we talk about the ingredients we will put in our play cookies, we will be building vocabulary, sequencing skills and storytelling skills.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Early Literacy 19: Counting Cookies

I made this Counting Cookies activity for the Early Literacy Fair. My kids also love playing with the cookies, especially when I play with them, which is the whole point of the game. I made the cookies out of two circle felt pieces and I sewed them together on my machine. I put on chocolate chips with some brown puff paint. A co-worker gave me an empty pretzel jar from Costco and voila, my cookie activity was done. As a finishing touch, I added a Cookie Monster stuffed animal my kids hardly played with, until now. They love stuffing the cookies in his mouth while I talk in a Cookie Monster voice and count how many they can cram in there.

The goal of the game is to count the chocolate chips on the cookies and count the cookies as you put them into the jar or Cookie Monster's mouth. You can also chant "Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?" and blame it on Cookie Monster at the end. This was super fun and easy to put together. I only have 10 cookies right now, but I might add more when my younger one gets a little older. We can focus on vocabulary, counting and phonological awareness all at the same time. It is also really great for helping my kids practice taking turns and waiting for the other person to put the cookie into Cookie Monster's mouth before they get a chance to do it too.