Are You Ready for the 4th of July? Here are some Tips and Activities to Celebrate Independence Day with your Kids!

4th of July

Can you believe it’s almost July? Independence Day is coming up quick, and if you haven’t made plans, we’re here to help. Check out these safety tips and activities to make the 4th of July fun for your entire family. In Saint Louis, we do the 4th of July right!

Safety First, especially when 4th of July Fireworks are Involved!

Some kids can’t get enough of fireworks. But as adults, we know it’s not all fun and games. There is a measure of risk when little exploding rockets are involved in your child’s play. Don’t forget to use common sense and follow these suggestions … 

Also keep in mind that not all young kids enjoy the loud noises and bright lights that come along with the 4th of July holiday. Your kiddos might become overwhelmed, especially if it’s been a long, hot day full of activity. Let children know what to expect ahead of time and teach your little ones to keep a safe distance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, you want to pass on the importance of safety to your kids.

Need Inspiration? Here are Some Fun Activities for the 4th of July.

For many families, the 4th of July means a barbecue out back and a kiddie pool for all the cousins. If you’re feeling ambitious, or if the kids need a little more to keep them busy on this long summer weekend, here are a few ideas!

Don’t Forget to Teach Your Kids the Meaning of Independence Day.

We at Mary Margaret love teachable moments. As you’re celebrating with your kids, don’t forget to talk to them about what the 4th of July is all about. After all, despite the back and forth of politics, we’re all in this together! So, review your history, and share it with your children. As they begin to realize just how lucky we are to live in this free country, the holiday will become even more meaningful.

Is Bedtime a Nightly Battle? Here’s What You Need to Know about Bedtime for Kids

bedtime for kids

It’s the moment every parent dreads: Your child pouts, flails her arms, throws herself to the floor, and begins to howl. It’s another meltdown. While every parent faces this misery from time to time, there are some parenting routines that can make a difference. Perhaps the most important one of all? Your child’s bedtime routine.

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Did you know that lack of sleep is one of the factors that makes it harder for kids to manage their emotions? For a two-year-old, controlling feelings are hard enough! It’s even harder for your little one if she isn’t getting enough sleep at night. So, although it’s not easy to establish a bedtime routine, doing so is important not just for your child’s health, but for your state of mind, too.

Young Children Need Enough Sleep to Thrive

When young children don’t get enough sleep, they may be more irritable, hyper, or distracted. And often, parents suffer right along with them! What’s most troublesome is that these problems can multiply. Over time, sleep deprivation can cause more serious behavior problems, learning difficulties … even obesity.

In scientific terms, your child needs to optimize her natural circadian rhythms. Maintaining a consistent sleep routine is critical for positive “sleep hygiene.” A bedtime that is later than recommended may lead to your child waking up at night, waking up too early, or having trouble getting to sleep at all.

Sleep Requirements by Age

We regularly get questions about the best bedtime for children of different ages. While every child – and every home environment – is different, we can provide a few basic recommendations …  

1. Bedtimes Vary in Infancy

Newborns tend to set their own sleep schedule, and this is by design! Their little tummies can’t hold much, so they need to be fed every two to three hours. Circadian rhythms don’t emerge until a child is about four months old. New babies haven’t developed them yet, and so they may sleep in two- to three-hour spurts, as exhausted parents know all too well. By four months, however, children can begin taking brief naps during the day and going to bed earlier – between 5:30 and 7:30 at night.

In fact, a bedtime before 7:30 pm is recommended for kids up to age 3, as naps go down to one per day or eventually disappear altogether. Remember: your child needs sleep. You’re not a bad parent for setting an early bedtime and enforcing it.

2. Young Children will Test You; Stay Firm!

Toddlers naturally seek more independence. Plus, their active minds can interfere with the sleep you know they need. Even when the sun stays out longer in the summertime, your child needs a regular bedtime.

From age three to six, your child might not be taking afternoon naps any longer, but she still needs that early lights-out time to get enough sleep.  We recommend a bedtime between 6:00 and 8:00 pm. We also recommend no TV or electronics for children this young. Yes, it’s hard. But kids who depend on their screens at bedtime just don’t get enough sleep compared to kids who don’t.

3. School Age Children and Teenagers Need Limits, Too.

Children from age seven to twelve are more and more active. Their brains are learning a lot at school, and their bodies get worn out from play. At this age, kids will beg you for ten more minutes or ask to stay up later on weekends or over the summer. An occasional sleepover is fine! However, they should be getting to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 pm on most nights.  

Teenagers need more sleep than you might think. In fact, they need more sleep than adults. So, don’t be afraid to enforce a bedtime for your older child. Too many teens stay up all night playing video games or chatting on social media, which can hurt their performance at school. Be the “bad guy” and take those screens away from them overnight! It helps them get the extra sleep they desperately need, and it sets them up with healthy sleep habits in the future.

These Tips can Make Bedtime Easier

Like so many other aspects of parenting, making bedtime easier for you and your kids requires developing a routine and sticking with it. Allow for flexibility … your bedtime routine may last between thirty minutes to an hour, but it should start at the same time every night. Does this take energy on your part? Of course. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

   1. Make Sleep a Priority – and Bedtime a Predictable Routine

Children thrive on routines, and a bedtime routine is vital. Developing a nightly ritual in which your child knows to change clothes, brush teeth, and calm his or her body down for sleep can go a long way toward making bedtime stress-free. Add a special touch – like getting your child’s favorite toy or reading a story with her – to associate positive feelings with bedtime.

   2.  Set up a Cozy Environment for your Child

The sleep environment matters, too. Does your child have a quiet, dark room to sleep in each night? Even if your child shares a room, try to make the environment as calm, cool, and quiet as possible so that your child has an easier time going to sleep. Letting them sleep with an object familiar to them, like a blankie or a favorite teddy bear, can help provide them with security, as well.

   3. Final Dos and Don’ts

A snack is okay, but avoid sweets and anything caffeinated. Little reminders or advance notice – even if it’s as simple as “bedtime is in 10 minutes!” – can help your child prepare.

Finally, avoid the “one last” trap. Your child will inevitably ask for one last drink of juice or one last cartoon episode. Try to absorb some of these “one last” activities into the overall routine, and then hold firm, parents! Your child will be just fine without one last episode of My Little Pony.

Avoid the Summer Slump with Mary Margaret’s Summer Learning Programs for Kids

summer learning programs for kids

The last day of school is coming up, and like many parents, you may be wondering how to keep your kids occupied and entertained all summer. How will you keep them off their screens, off the couch, and actively engaged in constructive play?  

At Mary Margaret’s, we offer summer learning programs for kids because we believe that your child should develop all year long, not just during the school year. We provide kids with fun-filled learning activities to avoid the “summer slump” that can result in lost academic skills. Kids deserve an active summer, and parents deserve the peace of mind that comes with knowing their kids are receiving compassionate care.

Why Summer Learning Programs for Kids are Important

Research shows that kids can lose skills in reading and math over the summer if their minds are not engaged in regular learning activities. This summer learning loss can cause gaps in your child’s achievement levels come September. To avoid setting your kids back a month or more, we recommend providing them with books to read and games that will keep their minds and bodies active.

Our summer learning programs demonstrate our education-focused philosophy. We believe that children learn best through active participation with their environment; to foster that, we provide materials and activities that promote growth in each child’s cognitive, social, and fine motor development.

For parents who don’t have the time or resources to take their kids on educational field trips or send them off to summer camp, our unique childcare system is perfect for your needs!

We are Professional and Caring — for Your Peace of Mind

Mary Margaret is a learning-based daycare solution, offering a variety of summer programs, as well as picnics and field trips. We can help keep your kid’s mind in shape for the next school year. Plus, our well-trained professionals offer compassionate care.

There’s a saying that goes around in educational circles: Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. We’re not just here to influence kids’ minds; we’re also intent on caring for kids’ hearts. We’ve learned that students who have great relationships with their teachers and caregivers are more successful socially and academically. We want our students to feel valued, no matter who they are or where they’re from. That’s why we provide a nurturing environment for kids of all ages.

Visit any of our Convenient Locations and Ask about our Summer Programs!  

With several locations serving the St. Louis metropolitan area, Mary Margaret is a convenient solution to your summer childcare needs. We are dedicated to promoting education and building self-esteem in a secure and comfortable environment. Whether you are interested in full- or part-time care, your kids will love our highly experienced and loving caretakers.

If you have questions about the programs we offer over the summer, please contact us.

Good Habits at the Dinner Table and Beyond: How Teaching Table Manners will Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

If you live with kids, you’ve probably seen it all: The relentlessly wandering toddler, the preschooler who talks with her mouth full of food, the kid who picks at dinner with her fingers instead of using a fork. As a parent it can be exasperating to teach your kids to behave at the dinner table, but it’s a necessary skill that can help them in the future.

To make your mealtimes fun for you, as well as your kids, it’s important to teach your young children good eating habits early and consistently reinforce them. Teaching kids table manners will improve their social skills overall.

What table manners does your child need to know?

There are a few basic manners you can teach your children as soon as they can sit at a table. These include knowing to wash their hands before they come to the table and to sit up nicely — no wriggling around, putting feet on the chair, or wandering during the meal. Your children should learn to say “please” and “thank you” and to use utensils instead of their fingers. Here are five more table manners to slowly introduce to your children as they mature:

  1. Wait until everyone is seated and served before eating.
  2. Use a napkin correctly —that means knowing how to put it in your lap and use it to tidily wipe your mouth.  
  3. Take little bites and eat politely — not slurping, smacking, or chewing with their mouths open.
  4. Use a knife and fork to cut food.
  5. Take turns listening and talking with “inside voices.”

Remember that kids aren’t born knowing how to make requests politely or offer to clear the table. These are things they have to be consistently taught.

Model and Reinforce to Help Your Child Master Table Manners

The most important thing to remember about child-rearing is that your children will model what you do. You have more influence than you think. If you model positive behavior and then reinforce it by repeating easy-to-follow rules and recognizing when your children follow these rules, you’ll make progress. Keep in mind, though, that it is a process; be ready to repeat yourself and demonstrate these skills over and over again.  

Also keep in mind that there are consequences if you don’t reinforce these skills. According to Donna Jones, who wrote Taming Your Family Zoo: Six Weeks to Raising a Well-Mannered Child, “if you don’t, you’re going to have to unteach bad behavior later on.”

So begin early and reinforce often. Your kids should view mealtime as a pleasant time, but a time when good manners are important. If your kids throw fits or behave rudely, have consistent consequences ready, such as a time-out away from the rest of the family. Getting ready for a holiday dinner or a trip to a restaurant? Go over the expectations with your children on the way.

Your kids want to succeed, and this reinforcement can go a long way toward making them responsible, polite young people. After all, good table manners are really just about having respect for others.

Teaching Table Manners: Worth it for Your Child’s Future

Good manners are worth the initial time and effort — and not just so your mealtimes can be blissfully free of food fights and screaming meltdowns. These social skills set your children up for the future.

Think about it: A kid who can sit still and wait patiently at the table is a little more ready to sit still and learn in a classroom. When a kid has clear rules and expectations, that kid can begin to gain confidence and thrive. Ultimately, teaching manners is all about curbing children’s impulsive nature and teaching them to practice self-control; they will learn how to be polite in social situations, not impatient or offensive. This will help them become better versions of themselves as they grow up and face more challenging social situations.

 

Five Family Friendly Activities in St. Louis To Try This Spring

image of the St. Louis Gateway ArchWe’ve had quite a winter here in St. Louis. There hasn’t been much snow. There’s been plenty of warmer temperatures. And just when it seemed that spring would finally take the weather reins from winter for good, we got another round of snow last week.

Indeed, this season has been anything but predictable, but how often is St. Louis weather consistent? Nevertheless, there will come a time when the cold temperatures scoot out of the area for good, and when they do, you and your family will want to get outside. To help you get started, here are five family friendly activities in St. Louis to try out this spring!

Spring-Time Family Friendly Activities in St. Louis

1) Forest Park

Forest Park is home to many free and paid family friendly attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, Muny, St. Louis Science Center, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Jewel Box and more. With each of these locations providing its own immersive experience, you could literally spend every weekend throughout spring in Forest Park and never get bored.

2) The Arch

Not only is the St. Louis Arch an iconic monument in our grand city; it’s also a great place to let your kids experience the rich history of the Gateway to the West. When you go, be sure to check out the Arch’s recently renovated underpinnings filled with knowledge about what the Arch represents and how it came to be. Then snag a tram ride to the Arch’s uppermost bend so that your little ones can see how vast their city actually is.

3) The City Museum

The City Museum is the perfect place to let your child’s mind wander. Complete with outdoor and indoor exploration areas – from winding caves to scaling slides and a bus that “teeters” on top of the roof – the City Museum is the perfect place to let your child (and maybe even remind you how to) just be a kid.

4) Busch Stadium / Ball Park Village

The greatest baseball team in the nation deserves the greatest baseball-watching experience. Head down to Ball Park Village where your family can enjoy a quick bite at any of its famous restaurants. Once the game starts, hang out under the big screen inside or out on the front lawn. If you want to get an even closer look at the game, head into the iconic Busch Stadium and celebrate another redbird victory alongside the citizens of Cardinal Nation.

5) Ted Drewes

No matter which adventure from above you choose, top off your day with a cup of the best frozen custard on the planet! Ted Drewes is a St. Louis staple that’s been serving cool treats to eager consumers for more than 80 years! With a track record like that, you know this dessert must be special.

And more…?

So there you have it — our top picks for family friendly activities in St. Louis to do this spring. Is there a place you and your family like to go that didn’t make our list? Let us know on our social media channels. We look forward to hearing from you!

Is technology bad for kids?

image of a little boy using a smartphoneIn the age of smartphones and tablets – where us adults are constantly connected to text messages, social media updates and the vast expanse of information strewn across the web – it can be easy to place an electronic device in the hands of your child from time to time. While these devices serve as a great distractor to take your child’s mind off of less exciting topics, like traveling in the car, grocery shopping or waiting in a doctor’s office, how often have you stopped to consider how a smartphone or tablet is affecting your child’s development?

In this article, we’re addressing a new-age question that doesn’t have an easy answer: Is technology bad for kids?

What is “technology?”

Technology means many things to many people. For some, technology is a smart TV with Netflix and Youtube built in. For others, technology is a video game console. Others believe that their computer is technology.

To be completely honest, all of the above are true; these are all items of technology. For the sake of this article, the type of gadgets that your child can hold in his/her hands – smartphones and tablets – are the technology we’re referring to.

What does technology do to children?

Technology, when used responsibly, can help a young mind wonder and grow. Unfortunately, if your child is using a smart device to watch uneducational videos or play games, it may be preventing your child from branching out into other compelling aspects of life.

Technology and the Pathway to Addiction

As many adults have found out with the advent of smartphones and tablets: technology can be addicting. We love to feel connected to social media and apps and all of these other pieces of software designed to capture our attention. It’s easy to “fall down the rabbit hole” and spend countless hours on our devices each day. Why would a child be immune to these same flashy screens?

They’re not.

In fact, children tend to be lured into technology where their love for devices almost becomes instant. Children are drawn in to bright vibrant colors, attention grabbing sounds and making things happens – three characteristics many app developers build into their applications.

A Born Natural With Technology

Too often, we hear parents say, “My child is a natural with technology. He/she can use a smartphone better than I can!”

While on the surface, this may seem like a positive attribute for your child to have – a clear representation of how quickly your child picks up new things – there are inherent dangers with praising a child for being so good with a smartphone.

Positive vs. Negative Mental Stimulation

Children’s minds are in a continuous pattern of learning; they tend to absorb whatever is placed in front of them. If a child is given a smartphone so that he/she can play games or watch videos, the child will excel at using said phone. If a child is given a book to read or a puzzle to solve, he/she will excel at broadening his/her literary understanding and solving problems.

While some time with a smartphone can be beneficial to childhood development and play, it is also critical to ensure your child’s mind is being challenged and stimulated by resources that don’t come from a screen. Let your child turn a page in a book, feel a crayon in his/her hand, and build something with blocks. Let your child explore the world beyond the confines of a touchscreen.

How much time is acceptable for a child to spend with technology?

As you may have picked up from the last paragraph, this article is not a complete condemning of technology. We are simply suggesting that, like many things in life, technology should be used in moderation, especially when raising a child.

In order to keep a heathy balance between technology and other mental stimulants, we recommend for children to spend no more than 30-60 minutes each day with a smartphone or tablet. Taking this concept a step further, all smartphone time should be restricted to certain kid-friendly apps, like any of the educational options listed here. There is plenty of content on the app store that is not appropriate or beneficial for younger age groups.

Bottom Line on Technology

Smartphones and tablets can be great tools to learn with, but they can also cause intellectual harm if not used sparingly. By limiting your child’s technology intake, you are ensuring that he/she is able to connect with the world beyond these gadgets. This includes being able to learn and play with real-world items, engage in thoughtful conversation as the child grows older, and it encourages your child to get outside and stay active, even when a device is readily available.

As a parent, you have the power to mold your child’s success. Make sure he/she is spending more time in the real world than the ones designed on your devices.

Adulthood vs Adolescence: The Debate on How to Treat Children

imagine of a young man, woman and daughter demonstrating how to treat children

There’s plenty of debate on how to treat children throughout their development toward adulthood: Should “kids just be kids?” Should our little ones be treated like the adults we hope they become? Is there a right and wrong answer?

At Mary Margaret, we don’t take a stance on either perspective. We recognize that your parenting style has been tailored to work best for your own needs. Nevertheless, we felt that the topic was intriguing enough to warrant a discussion…

Treating Children Like Children

The saying goes: “You’re only young once.” For most of us parents looking back on our own childhoods, this sentiment rings true; wasn’t being young easy? No bills. No responsibilities. Our only job was to soak up life and everything it had to offer.

This is the methodology behind the parenting style that treats children like children. To bolster this perspective, science somewhat agrees: Did you know that the human mind doesn’t fully development until age 25? That means children need guidance to be delivered in a simplified way that they can understand throughout these crucial years; they don’t need too many choices or responsibilities to muddle up this development process.

Why rush to grow up? There will be plenty time for “adult stuff” in the years to come.

Treating Children Like Adults

On the flip side, children – like their adult parents – are just little human beings. As a result, they deserve to be treated with the same respect as any other individual, right?

This article doesn’t only propose that treating children like children is wrong; it’s demeaning. Author, Brian Davis, states that many parents unknowingly speak to their child in a condescending manner by delivering a series of arbitrary orders and rhetorical questions that aren’t developmentally beneficial to the child. Instead, he proposes a method that engages the child in adult-like conversation, complete with thought-provoking questions and explanatory answers. This method ultimately helps the child have more autonomy over their own development while still operating within the behavioral expectations any child (or adult) would adhere to.

Which parenting style represents you?

Now that you’ve read the perspectives on both parenting styles, which method do you use with your own children? Maybe you use a blend of the two? Whatever it is, we invite you to start a conversation about this topic on our Facebook pages. We’re excited to hear what you think!

Learning About Martin Luther King Jr Day For Kids

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January every year as a way to celebrate the life and work of an amazing man in American history. Dr. King’s dream of a vibrant, multi-cultural society and his drive to shape the world around him is a powerful lesson for all American’s, young and old. On this day we want to look at books that help teach about Martin Luther King Jr Day for kids. There are countless books for kids of all ages that can highlight the message of hope, equality, and our shared humanity. Here are some of our favorites.

Books About Martin Luther King Jr Day For Kids

We start with a book for some of our youngest readers, Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr. While the book is simplified for young readers, the core message of peace and brotherhood among all people resonates in its simple words and stunning pictures. This is a great introduction of Martin Luther King Jr Day for kids.

books to teach Martin Luther King Jr Day for kids

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. is available on Amazon.

Child of the Civil Rights Movement, by Paula Young Shelton, tells the true story of the young daughter of a civil rights leader; Andrew Young. It follows the author as she was moved by her family from New York to Atlanta to protest and fight to change unfair laws. This book tackles tough subjects like Jim Crow, through the innocent eyes of a child. It also introduces it readers to many civil rights giants, like Martin Luther King Jr. The illustrations in this book are beautifully done, telling an important story in a understanding way for young readers.

Books about Martin Luther King Jr Day for Kids

Child of the Civil Rights Movement is available on Amazon.

Our final book on our list today is by Doreen Rappaport, Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This picture book biography brings to life the civil rights pioneer, through his own words. This Caldecott Honor Book portrays a man that used his words to inspire change through peaceful action, not violence. The beautiful illustrations honor this great man.

Martin’s BIG Words is available on Amazon

More Reading Resources

These are just a few of the amazing stories that help to teach children about the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. There are countless books for children and adults for those who are interested in learning more. The King Center has a selected bibliography on Dr. Martin Luther King that offers a range of reading options. PBS Kids also has a fantastic lists of books about Martin Luther King Jr Day for kids. This is where we found many of our favorites.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just another day off of work. It recognizes the life and work of a man who died fighting for equality and respect. We hope this book list helps to educate our friends on the powerful legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and inspire any future civil rights leaders in our midst.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Free Family Activities In St. Louis

The Thanksgiving break is around the corner. In addition to great food and time with family, this also means long weekends with excited kiddos! As we head into the holiday season we wanted to offer a list of free family activities in St. Louis that are perfect for young children. Our community has so much to offer when it comes to having fun with your family. Here are a few of our favorites.

Free Family Activities In St. Louis

Free family activities in st. louis, kirkwood winter fireworks festival

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Kirkwood Winter Fireworks Festival

The Alton Community Tree Lighting For those who want to kick off their holiday season this weekend there are tons of free family activities in St. Louis. Just across the river on Friday, November 18, 2016 Alton Illinois will host their annual Community Tree Lighting in Lincoln-Douglas Square, at Broadway Street and Landmarks Blvd. The event starts at 6:00 pm and runs until 8:00 pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at 6:00 pm and families can enjoy free photos with the pair as well as cookies, hot cocoa and prizes for the kids.

Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade. Let’s not forget this free family favorite. For the past 32 years balloons, marching bands and floats have made this a tradition for many St. Louis families. The parade kicks of at 8:45 am on Thursday, November 24th from 7th Street and Market Street in Downtown St. Louis. There will be over 130 parade units in this years parade, including fire trucks and animal groups. For those who can’t make it downtown, the parade will be broadcast on KMOV.

The Francis Park Christmas Tree Lighting If you have ever made it to Candy Cane Lane, then you know that the St. Louis Hills area has a very special tradition of creating holiday magic for the entire community. On November 27 the magic will begin in Francis Park for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The festivities begin at 7:00 pm in the park, at the intersection of Childress and Nottingham. You can visit the St. Louis Hills website for more information.

UMSL’s Jazz for the Holidays Anyone with music lovers in the family may enjoy this special concert hosted at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on Sunday, December 6th at 3:00 pm. The university jazz ensemble, the university orchestra and the vocal group, Vocal Point will perform jazzy renditions of holiday favorites, including music from a Charlie Brown Christmas.

Downtown Kirkwood Fireworks Festival If your holidays are jammed packed with activities it may be difficult to visit all of these fun activities. Why not end your holiday season with a bang at the Downtown Kirkwood Fireworks Festival on Sunday, January 1, 2017? The party starts at 6:30 pm with a short concert by the Key of Three. Then a free fireworks display will be launched from the parking lot of city hall.

We look forward to the upcoming holiday festivities with all of our Mary Margaret Daycare families. Be sure to like your center’s Facebook page for upcoming events at each location. We also encourage you to share your pictures of our Mary Margaret Daycare families to the Facebook page. We would love to see our friends as they enjoy many of the free family activities in St. Louis.

Fall Crafts for Preschoolers

Although it may not feel like it outside, today is the first day of fall. Before you know it, the leaves will start changing colors and there will be a little nip in the air. At Mary Margaret Daycare we love to celebrate these little “firsts” with our kids. Not only is it a fun way to teach them about the seasons, it is also great way to incorporate learning about science and exploring the world around them with a little fun! These are lessons that can be reinforced at home with some fun, fall crafts for preschoolers. Today, lets look at ways we can incorporate science, art and all of the fun that fall brings.

Fall Crafts for Preschoolers

Marbled Fall Leaves

When you think of Fall one of the first things that comes to mind are beautifully colored leaves. We found a great craft project from the Teaching With TLC blog; shaving cream leaves. All you need to do this project are sheets of heavy card stock, paint, shaving cream, a cake pan and a butter knife.

colorful leaf, fall crafts for preschoolers

Photo credit thanks to Teaching with TLC.

This is one of the fall crafts for preschoolers that is really great for any age. Some adult supervision is required, so the entire family can create something beautiful out of shaving cream! Check out Teaching with TLC for complete instructions.

Fall Harvest Corn Wreath

This project also uses a unique ingredient to make beautiful art; bubble wrap! In order to make this festive door decor you will need a little bit of cardboard, bubble wrap, scissors, paper plates, glue, white and green construction paper and twine. You will also need non-toxic paint in red, brown, orange and yellow.

corn wreath, fall crafts for preschoolers

Photo credit  One Pure Heart

The kids can use the bubble wrap as a stamp on paper to create the corn. The bubble wrap makes it look like individual kernels on the page. Kids of all ages can help stamp and assemble the wreath. For full instructions, check out this blog post from One Pure Heart.

Musical Corn Shakers

That same bubble wrap can also be used to create a fun, corn-themed musical instrument. With an old Pringles can, some pop corn and the same craft tools from before, you can make a fall music maker to help ring in Autumn. Toddlers will especially love this project as they laugh at the funny faces on their instruments and make as much noise as possible. Just be careful to seal your can with glue or your kiddos will have just as much fun making a mess. (Something every parent knows that kids of all ages are really great at and love doing!) Simply follow this link for full instructions.

Corn shakers, fall crafts for preschoolers

Photo credit: Sow Sprout Play

We hope these fall crafts for preschoolers have sparked some fun ideas for your family. As the season rolls on we will incorporate many of these same themes into projects and discussions in our classrooms. If you would like to learn more about Mary Margaret Daycare and how we incorporate playtime, art time and learning time contact us today.

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