Monday, November 12, 2012


I love Trucks for a class theme. It is simple, very engaging, and it keeps my friends attention for such a long time.

Supplies: Finger Paint (mine was homemade), trucks, and thick paper.

Sorry about how dark it is, it was a phone photo.

Put a few spoonfuls of finer paint onto the paper. Give your child a truck and tell them it is okay to paint with it. Trust me, they will want permission. This art activity was purely for the sensory aspect. Depending on the paint you use, you may or may not want to keep it.

Some friends painted for a minute or two, others painted for twenty. I am not kidding either, one of my friends sat at the table for twenty minutes while the rest of us moved on.

I then had my friends take their truck to the car wash; a simple dish pan filled with water and a few drops of Ivory soap. This activity was just as much fun as painting with the trucks. Warning, you will need smocks and a lot of towels.

We finished off our theme with a Truck Goes Rattley Bumpba by Jonathon London and free play with play trucks. Class was a huge hit.

Have you painted with trucks before?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It Is Giveaway Time!

The folks over at Melissa and Doug are having their Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway over on their Facebook Page. They are graciously giving away items off their Terrific Twenty List to lucky Facebook fans. Hop on over to their page and check it out.

I really enjoy their products and how all you need is your imagination to make them go. We have several at home and in my classroom.

BONUS GIVEAWAY! Melissa and Doug graciously gave me one toy to giveaway to one of my readers. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you love this Wildlife Rescue Sort Truck? It could be yours! Don't forget to share this with all your friends.

Disclaimer: I received a Melissa & Doug toy for review. However, all opinions are mine. I would never recommend a product I did not love. No purchase nessessary. Open to USA residents. Must use Rafflecopter to enter  (leave us a comment on  your favorite Melissa and Doug toy), and winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. Winner will be notified by email. Giveaway ends 11/16/2012. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Melissa and Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway!

Can you believe it is that time of year already? It is time to start thinking about gift ideas for our little ones. One company I love, Melissa & Doug have done it again. I am happy to announce that Melissa and Doug are having a “20 Days of Terrific Twenty” Giveaway" on their Facebook page! Every day (starting November 6) they will be giving away one item from from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans! 

To enter go to the Melissa & Doug Facebook page and become a fan. It is that simple. Last year they did a similar giveaway and I personally know a few families that won a Trunki! It was super exciting to watch online and see what they were giving away. I personally like the Suspend Family Game. I know my oldest will really love it. For my little guy I like the WildLife Rescue Sort Set. 

I am really excited to announce that I will be giving one lucky winner an item off the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List! Check back soon for all the details. 

Are you as excited as me?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Open Ended Play; A Must!

In this technological day and age (Pinterest, FaceBook, blogs) it is easy to feel that you have to fill your childs day with amazing art activities and crafts. It is easy to feel like a big failure if you don't. The truth is many of these great activities only take a few minutes. I would say one out of ten activities elicits a response so grand that the kids play for 10-15 minutes. It is just how children are wired; short attention spans.

It is very important for us as parents/caregivers to allow our children to have an opportunity to free play; engage themselves in an activity that we have not planned out. Open ended play. It is a term thrown around and I have found many parents do not know what it means. To me it means setting out various items so my boys can create whatever their heart and mind desires with little to no guidance from me.

Think markers, paint and paper. Boxes. Dress up clothes. Items that can be set out and your child will pick them up and play. Below are some of my favorite open play items:

Play Dough

Blocks, cars and painters tape. Yes, my boys created all this. 

Sand Box

Water Table (with or without sand)

You do not have to have a fancy sensory tub or water table to do these. A simple dish pan works great. Look around your house and see how you can invite your child to play. By the way, The Imagination Tree came up with Invitations to Play. See the link below; I think it is brillant.

Here are some more examples of free/open-ended/invitations to play:

Anna over at The Imagination Tree creates invitations to play for her girls. It is brilliant and simple.

Glittering Muffins discusses why pretend play is important.

No Time For Flashcards says It's Their Job!

Teach Mama discusses Focus on Free Play.

Have you invited your child to play today?