Summer Fun, Learning, & Kindergarten Readiness: Crafts

jelly-fishAny time of the year can be fun for crafts, and during the summer, crafts can be a great choice for long summer days. Kids can find materials outside with nature items like shells and rocks or inside with bits and pieces from the recycling and junk drawer. Some other materials could be buttons, bead, pipe cleaners, paper rolls, yarn, sparkles, fabric, pine cones, bits of paper, pasta, string, plastic containers, egg cartons, cotton balls, ribbons, jar or plastic container lids, and popsicle sticks, for starters.

Even though doing crafts with little ones is not always easy and they sometimes need extra help and supervision, it’s valuable for learning and  supports many different skills. A craft project encourages creativity and is a form of self-expression. Kids practice planning, organizing and following directions. During the process, they also use thinking skills such as problem solving, making decision, choosing and comparing.

jellyfish-craft summer activities for kids
jellyfish craft for kids

As kids look at what they have done, they evaluate their efforts. Not all children will  feel a sense of accomplishment. Even young children can be perfectionists and feel dissatisfied and it’s important for parents and caregivers to guide children to enjoy their creations.

Kids also get some experience using tools and developing fine motor control, that is coordination and control of small muscles in the hands and wrists. All of this will support the growth of kindergarten readiness. Plus, crafts can be life-long. As an adult, do you do crafts? For many of us, the roots of craft-making go back to when we were young. Perhaps, over the summer older family members can share the fun and learning with younger ones. Is there a craft drawer or box at your house or center? Or craft event in your community?

Fun and Learning That Sticks

Who wants to think about learning during the summer, especially on holidays? We don’t, but kids do and they want to have as much fun and learn as much as possible in every minute of the day. It’s just that they call this PLAY and this play encourages brain connections, promotes kindergarten readiness and builds life skills. Here is wonderful play activity that kids can do anywhere and anytime just by changing the colors and shapes and is perfect for families celebrating July 4th. This idea comes from mom Dawn Call and it was inspired by another mom in a group called Play, Create, Explore. This fun and learning will stick.

photo courtesy of Dawn Call

Parents and caregivers can either cut out pieces of tissue paper or let kids do some cutting or ripping. Using rectangles of clear sticky contact paper, kids pat the small colored paper onto the sticky part. When done, grownup hands can carefully smooth another piece of sticky paper on top so the colored papers are sandwiched in between. This keeps the tissue paper from blowing away or falling out. Hanging these in a window creates dancing colors when the sun shines on them. Again, thank you to Dawn Call for the idea and the photos.

As children play with the bits of paper, they are also learning. It’s easy to see that kids are learning about organizing and spacing things out. Very often younger kidlets will put a few things all in one place. Their bits of paper will practically be stacked on top of each other. Their eyes will be drawn to the first bit and they will continue in the same spot. As children develop, they learn to move their focus and attention. This requires some new wiring in their brains and lots of experiences. Matching and naming colors is another thinking skill they are practicing. During the activity they will be using language purposefully and interacting with others.

Do you remember learning the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? This is an example of that synergy. Each bit of paper is not very much, but look at what it creates when it is all together. Communities are like that too, bigger together than as individuals. Countries are greater than the sum of communities, and so is our world. Do you agree that’s something to celebrate? Happy July 4th!

Coloring Easter Eggs

Today, kindergarten readiness fun and learning is taking a bath, a color bath that is. This play-of-the-day is one of my personal favorites. I love decorating eggs. It’s a fun activity for all ages. Younger toddlers like to watch the color changes. Older kids can be much more creative, combining colors and adding decorations. Adults can create elaborate designs. Activities that are done year after year build traditions and memories and connect families. Here’s some ways this helps with skills that last much longer than kindergarten:coloring Easter eggs with kids

  • Colors are difficult to learn because there are so many different ones for each color name. Kids need to have lots of experiences in order to be able to match a color to it’s name. This is a way for kids to practice the names of colors and to experiment with how colors can mix and change. Some children like to have only 1 color for each egg, others will dip 1 egg in every color available, which usually makes a sort of purple-grey.
  • There are so many variations such as wrapping around elastic bands, covering parts with wax crayon or tape, wrapping eggs with old tissue paper, adding a bit of olive oil for a marble effect, decorating with stickers or glitter glue, and more. This is wonderful for imaginations.
  • Waiting for eggs to color and dye stretches patience and concentration. When working with others, it’s important to share and take turns. There’s a sense of anticipation and excitement as kids watch and discover, as well as a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Maybe we can’t tell eggs a joke in case they crack up, but do you agree we can sure have a lot of fun and learning coloring them?


ABC`s – M is for Making Crafts

While making crafts is a favorite activity for children and supports kindergarten readiness, and early learning and fun, it’s not just for kids. Just a quick glance at Pinterest will prove that there is phenomenal interest in crafts among adults! For many people, the enjoyment of crafts first starts when they are young children. The … Continue reading ABC`s – M is for Making Crafts

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Crafts

When little hands do crafts they are also doing lots of learning, as well as having fun and playing. These are some of the strategies and skills: organizing, deciding, trying different options fitting, matching, placing, planning cutting, gluing, coloring learning to use art/writing tools talking, explaining, using related words and vocabulary problem-solving, comparing, evaluating, counting … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Crafts

Readiness for Kindergarten – Backpack Monster Craft

Remember reading and talking about the monster in the backpack last week? That was so much fun, here’s a kindergarten readiness craft activity to create a backpack monster. Materials needed are any wonderful odd bits and treasures from the recycling. Monsters can be made from practically anything and put together in lots of different ways. … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Backpack Monster Craft