Saturday, March 29, 2014

Outdoor Baby Painting

Here's a must try activity for this summer!
Outdoor Baby Painting is really fun because it's painting with something totally unexpected. You can use any baby doll to do this, but a Water Baby like we have will probably work the best since it's made of a unique material that wipes off really easily.

You'll need:
- A baby doll
- A piece of cardboard or poster board or whatever you'd like to use
- A few different colors of washable tempera paint

To set it up just model off of what I did in the picture above, squirting some of each color of paint in a row on one side of the board. Then let your kiddo take their baby and create their masterpiece! Great process art!

Popcorn Kernel Sensory Bin

This is one of my daughters favorite sensory bins and she plays with it almost daily. Popcorn kernels are a fun material to use for scooping, pouring, and transferring. They also make for a great tool for pretend play.

To make this bin
The base material is obviously popcorn kernels. You can find a decent sized bag of them at your grocery store, but they are a few dollars. Still totally frugal though for how much use you'll get out of it. It's not like they go bad. 

I also added two plastic popcorn containers from the Dollar Tree, and a measuring spoon for the scooping and pouring.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Patriotic American Flag Themed Bath

This Patriotic American Flag Themed Bath is perfect for all patriotic holidays. Flag Day, President's Day, 4th of July, etc. It promotes knowledge for our country and love for it as well. It's also a way for kids to get involved in all of the holiday celebrating.

What you'll need for the bath itself is
- Crepe paper in red, white, and blue (sold at Dollar Tree)
- Bubble Bath (We like Mr. Bubble Extra Gentle)
- Red and neon blue food coloring
- Tape

First, before filling the tub, make and tape up your strands of crepe paper. I did 3 red, 3 white, and 3 blue. Tape them up high enough so that they won't be dangling in the water. Wet crepe paper can get pretty messy, but it makes a delightful decoration for this bath.

Next, fill up the tub and add some bubble bath until you get a good amount of bubbles. Once the tub is full and the bubbles are ready you'll want to add a little bit of food coloring to them. Start with adding some red food coloring to the left 1/3 of bath tubs bubbles. Swish is around the bubbles with your hand to color them all, being careful not to be swishing your hand throughout all the water. It's okay for the water to be colored some, and lots of the food coloring will end up going into the water throughout bath time but right now your goal is just to color the bubbles. Once that's finished, repeat what you just did except with the neon blue food coloring now on the right last third of the bath tubs bubbles.

Now you're ready to make the Patriotic American Flag Bath Paint
For this you'll need:
- Shaving cream (Dollar Tree)
- Red and neon blue food coloring
- A bowl
- A makeup brush or a paint brush

When you make this you'll wanna work kinda quickly so the bath water isn't getting cold and your colored bubbles don't lose again of their color (they won't for a while). Just squirt the desired amount of shaving cream into your bowl and then add a few drops of red food coloring to one side, and a few drops of neon blue food coloring to the other side. Take your brush and marble the colors together, leaving some white. Just like the American flag! The only thing that could make this paint better is if you added some star confetti to it.

It keeps looking gorgeous as it's used!

Toddler Outdoor Picnic

We had this extremely simple Toddler Outdoor Picnic last summer as a half birthday party picnic for my daughter and her little friend who were now/turning 18 months old. It was really easy to put together. A simple homemade fruit salad, a little avocado and some tofu. It was presented on a divided plate like this
To make a really yummy and healthy homemade fresh fruit salad for toddlers:

- About 5 strawberries, washed and chopped
- 2 kiwis, washed, peeled, and diced
- a handful of green grapes, washed and halved
- wheat germ

Add all the cut up fruit to the serving dish and sprinkle with the wheat germ.

The other picnic foods we had were avocado and tofu. I washed, peeled, and diced the avocado. I drained the water from the tofu, dried it off a bit, and diced it up. Then I added both to the serving dish as well and served the food. 

The food was served to the toddlers on my daughters table and bench. For a picnic appropriate table cloth I used a piece of fabric that looked like a picnic blanket with big ants crawling across it. My daughter really got a kick out of that!

Note: These are considered finger foods, but I did provide both kids with forks.

Unconventional Ball Pit

Sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge to come up with a good outdoor activity for younger children. Well, I'm going to share one with you today that is a favorite for us! I like to call it the Unconventional Ball Pit. It's exactly what it sounds like it is.
To make an unconventional ball pit like ours just fill up a kiddie ball outside with all different types of balls that you have on hand. O balls, beanie balls, interactive balls, bumpy balls, beach balls, etc. The more variety the better!

My daughters was really eager to get in and explore all the balls. She thought it was hilarious.
She played in there for a bit, exploring all the balls. This is a great time to add to vocabulary if you're describing the balls to your little one.

After playing in the pool for a while we turned it into a more active gross motor game. I was sitting on her bench about 10 feet away from the pool for this. She would get one ball and run it to me. Then run and get another, and so forth. This was a very simple way to work in some great exercise for the day.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Little Pony Strawberry Cake Dough Bin

Have you tried playing with cake dough yet? If not, you should! It couldn't be more simple and although the boxes of cake mix can be pretty expensive (a couple dollars or more) this dough lasts well over a year, so it is still frugal!

For a sweet My Little Pony messy play bin just get a box of strawberry cake mix and dump it into your bin. Then add the ponies and present it to your little one. They will be delighted!

Shimmering Night Sky Bath Paint

What more fun could you add to a bedtime bath than Shimmering Night Sky Bath Paint? 
- Shaving cream
- Neon blue food coloring
- Multi-colored glitter
- make up brush or paint brush
- bowl

Just mix the shaving cream and food coloring in a bowl with your brush of choice. Then shake in some glitter and mix that in a little bit. It should be beautifully shimmering and ready for bath time painting.

To not get any glitter down your drain you can purchase a mesh bath tub strainer for the drain.

Farm Sensory Painting

On a nice warm day it's so much fun to go outside and create big works of process art! To make Farm Sensory Painting you need:
- A sheet of finger paint paper
- A piece of corn on the cob
- A plastic cow toy or other farm animal
- Paint in light and dark green (I find acrylic paint works better than washable tempera for this type of painting with prints and rolling, but it does stain if you're concerned about that).

Charlie had a lot of fun with this painting. She got to experience some new things and feelings with the corn on the cob, including shucking it. She thought that was very strange.

She also started doing some walking on the page after we did plenty of cow footprints too. That's perfectly okay, it's all about the process and sensory aspect. Walking feet through a paint is a great new experience for those feet!

 To get the print from the corn like we have you just have to roll it back and forth several times.

I hope you enjoy this Farm Sensory Painting as much as we did.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Beach Small World

Small world play is great for toddlers and preschoolers to act out little scenarios that they are in complete control over. Most small worlds, including this one, also have sensory elements to them and can often be done in sensory bin form.

Our beach was set on just the sand. For the sand/base material I used yellow cornmeal. Poured that in there until it covered the bottom of the bin nicely, and then some. I added in seashells, a striped baby wash cloth as their towel, some Little People who looked like they belonged at the beach, and a fish shaped sand mold.

Alphabet Soup Water Play

This was a HUGE favorite on my previous blog, and it's a big hit here in our house as well! Kids love water play, and parents love it to when it's a way to help them beat the heat outside in the Summer sun. Another super bonus is there's learning involved! You'll need two big bowls, water, a ladle (or two if you're my daughter lol) and a pack of magnetic alphabet letters. Fill one of the big bowls up with cold water and all the letters. Take it outside in the yard or wherever, then bring out the other bowl and the ladles.
Charlie dug right into it! I bet your child will too! As they enjoy the water and the scooping and pouring, work the learning in. Tell them what letter they have in their ladle or hands. You could also talk about the colors of the letters and how many their are in which bowl. The opportunities are pretty plentiful. 

You can even get some greater pretend play out of it than just the "soup" aspect. You could bring out some little plastic bowls and have them serve you up soup! You could order up certain letters in your soup!

Baby's First Popsicle

Here's a post to share when my daughter had her first popsicle! Of course it was homemade. It was made for her with only ONE ingredient. Loved knowing exactly what was in it, no colors and no added sugars. Just strawberries. All you have to do to make your little one a tasty and cooling summer treat is wash some organic strawberries, cut the tops off, and blend them up into a puree. Transfer the puree into popsicle molds and let freeze!

Hope yours likes it as much as mine did!

Green Sensory Bin

I've said it before and I'll say it again, sensory bins are a great tool for teaching colors to children. For this green sensory bin I grabbed our big bin so I could really fill it up with quite a few decent sized green objects. This doubled as an objects exploration activity to, like so many of my sensory bins do. 

So as you as you can see, for our base material I used dry split peas. I used such a big bin that it didn't cover the entire area though, so I also added some green aquarium gems. These are one of my daughters favorite base materials. Some things I added to the bin were a plastic ring, plastic egg, pom poms, bead necklaces, paint swatch sample, my little pony, magnetic letters, PINK dog, turtle bath squirter, little people tractor, and measuring spoon. All green of course. Your items may vary, but as long as they're green that's what matters.

My daughter loved this bin and dug in!

Monster Eyes Discovery Bottle

This Monster Eyes Discovery Bottle is cute for anytime, but I labeled it with Halloween too because spooky/monster stuff is great for the month of October as well of course!

Discovery bottles give younger ones a way in on the sensory fun where they can't ingest anything harmful, they also let older kiddos explore things in new ways. Shaking and twisting and turning these bottles is always fun.

Here's how to make a Monster Eyes Discovery Bottle:

Take a recycled water bottle and fill it up 3/4 of the way with water and a drop or two of green food coloring in. Put the lid on and shake it up so food coloring colors all the water. Then open the lid back up and put in a few big googly eyes, and a few small ones too.

My daughter just loves this discovery bottle!

Field Trip to See Flowers

A few important part of homeschooling for preschool is going to fun places that kids will get some knowledge from and enjoy. Plus, it's fun to get out of the house with your kids anyways. This is a great activity for the Spring and Summer months. It's a field trip to see flowers! Seeing the flowers can open up opportunities to many great educational discussions. Colors of flowers, names of flowers, what flowers need to grow, parts of flowers, etc. are all great conversations that could stem from this free field trip. Yes, you heard right, it's also FREE! (unless you end up buying something while you're there) lol.

Look at those beautiful flowers my girl is enjoying! Wondering where to go? We went to the outdoor gardening/floral section of Menard's. You probably have a Menard's or a Home Depot around you, or just a nursery.

Whatever you have near you for viewing flowers, it's definitely worth checking out with your little one.

Spring Time Squish Bags

Squish bags are a really fun way for babies to get involved in sensory play without as big of a risk of them ingesting some of the materials. They're also great for toddlers honing their fine motor skills to push and "squish" the objects inside the bags around. You can make one for almost any theme. The one here is Spring themed.
The first step in making a squish bag is always adding the thing that's going to make it "squish" How much you'll need depends on the size of your Ziploc bag. I used a gallon bag for this one, with almost an entire container of dollar store hair gel squirted into it. The hair gel I purchased was light blue. You can find one like this, or get a clear one and use food coloring to color it whatever color you would like. To do that add the hair gel to the bag, then a few drops of food coloring, zip the bag and mix around with your fingers from the outside until it's all colored.

After adding all the hair gel I shook in some multi-colored glitter, tossed in some beads, and then for the "Spring" theme added some craft foam insects. Butterflies, dragonflies, those sort of things.

My daughter and her little cousin both really enjoyed this squish bag.

Note: It's a good idea to use duct tape to seal the opening of the bag.

Invitation to Paint Recycled Objects

This definitely is a very frugal craft. Just save some toilet paper and paper towel roll tubes and as long as you've got some paint already on hand you're ready to go! I set it out this way for my daughter. Paper down on top of the tray to catch drips or even use the recycled tubes as stampers, rollers, etc. whatever her creative mind wanted.
-Paper down on top of the tray to catch drips or even to use the recycled tubes on as stampers or rollers or whatever her creative mind wanted. 
-A paper plate with a few different colors of paint on it. We used acrylic paint for this activity
- A paint brush
- The tubes

Wet Cotton Ball Play: Flowers

Wet Cotton Ball Play is my own fun twist on water play. It's like adding an extra element or material that totally transforms the play into something way more fun. What I'm sharing today is how to make these fabulous Wet Cotton Ball Play: Flowers. Setting them out is a great invitation to play for kids! Can also be a good Spring activity to lead into a discussion about flowers.

So what you'll need is:
- A bag of cotton balls (can be found at Dollar Tree)
- Food coloring in pink, purple, yellow, and green
- A small baking sheet
- Four little cups of water

First you add a few drops of food coloring into the cups of water. One different color per cup. Then you take your cotton balls and you soak them in the colored waters one at a time just for a few seconds. I liked to start with the yellow ones for the center of the flowers, then building around them. Then you do a few in the pink to make that flower, and a few in the purple to make that flower. Then several in the green to make the stems and leaves of the flowers.

Once it's finished your child can begin to play! They can squeeze the colored water out of the cotton balls, making them white and dry again. They will absolutely delight in the simple magic of this activity. 

Abstract Ladybug Art

Since making art with little ones is all about the process, abstract art is perfect for them! We recently made this Abstract Ladybug Art as a card for Charlie's grandma. That's why our version in the picture says "GA GA" in tape resist letters (my daughter calls her grandma that). However, your version could be with no tape resist letters on it at all, or if you wanted a different word or words, perhaps your child's name.

Here's our version, and how to do it:
So, to make it without doing any tape resist, you would just give your child a piece of paper and some red paint and let them paint the paper. Then after that dried you would give them the paper back, with some black paint and a qtip. You'd show them how to make the little dots.

If you did want to do some tape resist letters or something, you would just use masking tape to cut pieces of tape how you wanted them and attach them to the page before any painting was done. You'd peel them off carefully after all the painting was completed and dried.

Blue Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are a great way to teach colors to your little one. This one has a blue theme. The base material however is not blue, it is white. The blue colors pop more that way though.

I used a bag of white, lavender scented epsom salt from Dollar Tree as the base material.
Then I added in all the blue things we had laying around for sensory play/bin use. Your objects may obviously be quite different than ours, but the point is that they're blue. You can use whatever you have around the house that's appropriate, small toys, etc.

Fall Gross Motor: Collecting Leaves

If you're anything like me then you're always looking for fun things to do with your kids outdoors. Outdoor play is very important. Allowing children to explore within a structured activity that they find to be exciting and fun really helps with their development. A fun Fall outdoor game that we like to play outside is Collecting Leaves. Charlie gets to use her whole body in this game.

All you need is a yard full of leaves, and something to put them in. We use our kiddie pool so that way once it's full of leaves Charlie can dive into them if she wants. A large bucket, bin, or something of that nature would also work for the collecting though.

All the running around the yard, covering lots of area is great exercise for kids. The grabbing and dropping of leaves is also a good gross motor movement to do.

Designing Your Own Pyramid

During our Multicultural week we learned a bit about Egypt and the pyramids. I decided it would be a good idea to let Charlie make her own pyramid. I save a lot of packaging and recyclable stuff around here in case we ever need it for a craft or other project. The "pyramid" my daughter is working on here is actually a cardboard corner cover that comes on big picture frames.

All you need for this creative expression multicultural activity is one of the above mentioned things from picture frame packaging, and some washlable tempera paints! Let your child pick the colors that they want to use and make it all about the process. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Ultimate Pouring Bath

Even though this activity is in the tub I added it to our list of "Water Play" things because it's great for those kids who love to play with water and do all the pouring and scooping.

So to make this fantastically fun bath that is sure to delight any toddler fill up the tub with water, and add a few drops of food coloring in their favorite color about halfway through. That will add another exciting element for them! Then add things (in the water, sitting on the side of the tub) that they can use to put water in, transfer water with, do neat water effects, etc.

We used the following:
- A recycled puffs container
- two small tupperware containers
- a recyled water bottle
- a toy teacup
- a big plastic measuring cup
- toy watering can
- plastic pitcher
- funnel
- handheld colander

You'll probably have most of this stuff at home, or similar items. If not, most can be found at Dollar Tree as well. We got that handheld colander from there and it was the funnest thing in the tub!

Winter Wonderland Sensory Bin

This sensory bin is kind of similar to our Christmas Sensory Bin, it does have more sensory elements to it though. The "bin" is again a cool bowl from Dollar Tree, but this time it's red instead of green. All the things in the bowl can also be found at Dollar Tree.

The base material was a thing of white garland/tinsel that had candy canes on it. Then I added ornament balls, ornaments of houses with snow covering them, a red bow, and some silver jingle bells.

That's how ours looked when I presented it to my little one. I said that it has more sensory elements to it because not only is there the interesting garland to feel, and the ornaments to explore, there's a felt bow to rub and discuss what it feels like. The jingle bells also provide some sound to the sensory experience. The more senses you can use at once the better the activity!

Christmas Sensory Bin

This Christmas Sensory Bin couldn't be easier to throw together and is very frugal! It's great for babies, young toddlers, and older toddlers alike. Younger children and older children will both love to feel and play with the foil shred, as well as explore the ornaments in the bin. Different ornaments will provoke lots of discussion about colors, shapes, designs, etc.

All the materials, including the green bowl we used as the bin were purchased from Dollar Tree. We had red foil shred as the base material, and gold and green ball ornaments as the objects.

Christmas Tree Bath Paints

We often use themed baths as a way to get excited for upcoming holidays and events. In December a favorite we have is using Christmas Tree Bath Paints. These allow my daughter to create and decorate her very own Christmas tree again and again. It's a great process art since you're obviously unable to save the finished product anyway.

Here are the paints

To make these bath paints all you need is 
- shaving cream
- make up brush or paint brush
- food colorings, green for the Christmas tree, and whatever colors you want for the ornaments. We used red, yellow, and blue.
- containers to hold the paints, we like muffin tins and dip bowls
- essential oils for scents optional. You could use eucalyptus if your child has a cold, or peppermint if you want a Christmasy feel. You just need a few drops in the green bath paint.

You just put the shaving cream into each container, then add the drops of food coloring to each and mix them together with your paint brush or make up brush, rinsing off after each color so they don't mix. 

Set the paints out during bath time and tell your child to make you a Christmas tree! They will delight in this opportunity, especially if the big Christmas tree is off limits to them. 

Here's the gorgeous tree my little love bug created!

Frozen Themed Sensory Bath

My daughter just adores the movie Frozen and loves sensory baths, so what could possibly be a better combo?

To create a Frozen sensory bath complete with a Bath Tub Sensory Snowman, and Icy Bath Paint, you will need:
- neon blue food coloring
- a pair of gloves for the child
- a container for your snowman
- baking soda
- water
- craft foam in black, orange and another color
- bowl for the bath paint
- ice cubes either blended or hammered until they're in chips
- shaving cream
- make up brush or paint brush
- a Frozen book, optional
- A blue plastic snowflake ornament

Here's what our bath ended up looking like when it was all put together!
I added neon blue food coloring to the water to make it the color I wanted, used some of the bath paint to write "Frozen" on the wall of the tub and add some icy snow looking things coming down, and taped up the little snowflake, then set everything else out.

Now, to make the Bath Tub Sensory Snowman:
Mix the baking soda and water VERY slowly, adding VERY little water between each mixing time. You want a consistency you can start to mold in your hands but still crumbles. Too much water and it will just turn into liquid.
Then you put it in the container that you want to use, I used a 3 part tray from Dollar Tree. Finally, use your craft foam to cut a face for the snowman and buttons and add those on.

My little one loved makes snowballs with her snowman and eventually having him melt in the water.

To make the icy bath paint you just need to mix shaving cream and neon blue food coloring in a bowl until you get the desired color, and then stir in the ice chips. They'll melt fast so you want to do this part last so you're children can experience some of the iciness.

I also read aloud our copy of the Frozen book while she played in the bath, that's what brings the gloves into play if they want to act out the story a tiny bit.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dr. Seuss's Pink Ink Drink

I'm sure at some point you've heard the story yourself, or read it to your kids. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a very popular Dr. Seuss book. Every year on Dr. Seuss day I like to go all out on making mealtimes themed and fun. As a fun addition to breakfast on March 2nd, I always add our very own Pink Ink Drink like the Yink drinks in the book. My daughter thinks it's hilarious.

Recipe for this version:

- Desired amount of whatever milk you prefer to serve to your children
- Enough strawberries to flavor and color the milk

For example, about 1/2 cup of milk and 3 strawberries.

All you need to do to make it is blend the two ingredients together.

Here's what our's turned out to look like:

Easter Sensory Bin

This bin is great for babies and young toddlers with supervision of course. It's a fun way for the kids to get in the spirit of Easter. You'll only need a few simple, inexpensive things that you probably already have at home. If not, you can easily find these things at the Dollar Tree, or stores such as Target and Walmart.

For the base material of the bin you'll want to use Easter grass. This comes in a multitude of colors, we used yellow and pink because it's what we had on hand. I like the way it turned out cheery and happy looking, just like Easter is!

I added some plastic eggs that had fun prints that I got from the Dollar Tree, some carrot-looking plastic eggs that we already had on hand, a wind up hopping bunny from Dollar Tree, and a plastic bunny head that plays music that we had on hand. Whatever things you have that are Easter themed that you want to add in, feel free.

Here's what ours looked like when presented to the kiddos:


Friday, March 21, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Sensory Bin

This is really easy to throw together if you've got green colored rice on hand, if not I'm adding how to make it, and it's still pretty easy all in all. Basically just put the green colored rice into a sensory bin, we used a green bowl from Dollar Tree to keep with the green theme, then add in whatever little trinkets you have. We weren't able to go to Dollar Tree and gather up any new materials for thia one, so we made due with what we had. Ours turned out like this:

To make the green rice just put some uncooked white rice into a Ziploc bag and add a few drops of vinegar. Coat the rice with the vinegar by moving them around with your fingers from outside of the bag. Then add a few drops of neon green food coloring into the bag and do the same thing to coat the rice with color. Add more food coloring until you get the desired color. You can just let it dry in the bag, or lay the colored rice out on a piece of foil to dry.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Vegan Ghost Toast

If you're anything like me then you're always looking for ways to make your little ones foods cuter! I love fun food presentation, and my girl does too. It's a special treat that kids really enjoy. Presenting food in a fun way makes healthy food into a "treat" as opposed to serving a traditional unhealthy "treat" This post is all about how to make a vegan Halloween snack/breakfast/lunch. For the Ghost Toast You'll Need:
- 1 piece of bread, lightly toasted
 - Vegan cream cheese alternative, such as this one

- Some dried prunes, cut small to look like eyes and a mouth
 - A ghost shaped cookie/sandwich cutter

 Take your lightly toasted bread and use the ghost shaped cutter to get the desired look. Then spread on the vegan cream cheese alternative. Finally, add the dried prunes on to complete the ghosts face. It should look something like this

If you're looking to add even more pizzaz to the snack/meal and don't mind spending a few extra dollars (or maybe you already have some laying around) put the ghost toast on a Halloween themed plate such as this one from Target

 I also added a drink with a ghost straw to keep with the theme even more.

You can see she really liked it all put together

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Leaf Rubbing Craft

This craft can be done in almost all seasons. It might be especially interesting in Spring when all the leaves are growing on the trees, or in Fall when they're changing colors and falling down. Both times provide great opportunities for some science discussions. In Spring you could talk with your child about how things grow and bloom, and what plants need to thrive, how trees provide oxygen, etc. In the Fall months you could talk about how deciduous trees have leaves that change colors and fall, the roll chlorphyl plays in the coloring of the leaves, etc. No matter what time of year you do this craft you can discuss the veins of the leaves, as they'll appear on the rubbing.

So to set up, all you'll need is:
 - one or more leaves, I like to add a few for variety
- one or more crayons, again just depends on how you want it to look
 - a sheet of white paper

Before we got started I had my daughter come outside with me to pick out the leaves. It was fun for her and got her ready for the craftt he really enjoyed doing her leaf rubbings. To make the rubbings put the leaves under the paper and rub the crayon over the paper. They turned out beautifully!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Safari Animal Prints Play Dough Play

Does your little one love play dough as much as mine does? If so, you're likely looking for new ideas of what to add to play dough play to keep it varying and interesting. This one is a big hit with my daughter and her friend!

It does require a little bit of money and set up, but you likely already have some of what you need, and the rest is optional. Do what you can!

 - Tape
- Animal print crepe paper (I used zebra and cheetah
 - Play dough (I used homemade green)
- Safari Animal Figures (we have the Animal Planet Mother & Baby Play Set but you could easily use other animal figures, from the dollar store or the zoo perhaps).
- For added pretend play fun to make my daughter feel more like she was on a safari she wore a zebra hat and used some binoculars.

As you can see, she was thrilled to see this set up!

How I set it up is as follows:
 1. Use tape to add the animal print crepe paper as a border on my daughter's table.
2. Flatten out our batch of homemade green play dough in the middle of the table.
 3. Place the animal figures around on the table.
4. I set my daughter up with her hat and binoculars and let her get started.

 You can see how she took the animals and made their footprints. I explained to her and showed her an example beforehand. This is a great activity for a little bit of science about animals. We looked at each foot print and talked about it and why that animal has a foot like that for the enviornment they live in.