This is Nathan. He loves big vehicles that work to get big jobs done.
Tractors and construction vehicles…they’re his thing.
He loves playing with them. He loves sorting them.
He loves wearing them. He loves talking about them.
He loves books about them. Here are some of his favorite construction books…
Demolition by Sally Sutton
Our Review: A uniquely illustrated book with rich language that creates an action-packed reading experience for a little builder. The use of onomatopoeia takes the reader into the story, onto the worksite, where he/she can participate in the demolition. A fun read that we have yet to tire of. Perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and early school aged children.
Construction Kitties by Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges
Our Review: This is a fun read for those who love cats and construction stuff. The story takes the reader through the Construction Kitties’ work day as they build a… I don’t want to give away the story! Read it to find out what the kitties construct. You won’t be disappointed! Appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers.
Tough Trucks by Scholastic
Our Review: A simple book featuring complicated machines. This book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are fascinated with vehicles that work to get big jobs done–maintenance vehicles, farm vehicles, rescue and construction vehicles. Individual vehicle names, their category and their function is given. We love just sitting and talking about the different vehicles presented on each page.
B is for Bulldozer Board Book: A Construction ABC by June Sobel
Our Review: This book is amazing! Such a creative use of construction vehicles and construction related tools found on a worksite. B is for Bulldozer tells a construction story by using the alphabet. We love the rhyming text and how the construction terminology (some new to us) is presented. A must-have for toddlers and preschoolers!
Nate and I decided we would make Valentine’s Day cards for the cousins this year. I wanted to keep them simple, mainly because my access to crafting supplies here in Germany is very limited. Nathan is also, at three years young, limited in his crafting abilities.
We began by listing out how many cards we would need and thought about what type of animal we wanted to make for each person. Nate decided on a frog, turtle and some lady bugs. This meant we needed green and red material for the bodies. Nate’s job was then to paint some art paper green and red.
Once the artwork was dry, I then sketched and cut out the parts we needed for the bodies. I end up using a light brown foam material for the turtle shells, which I think made them look all the better. The added texture was just what the little guy needed to come to life.
A bit of glue, a few wiggly eyes, several glittery heart stickers and our Valentine’s Day cards were complete. These cute little cards were really fun to make and to give. If you would like to give them a try, here are some templates I made with all the info you need to implement. Enjoy!
Hoppy Valentine’s Day Card
Turtle-y Awesome Valentine’s Day Card
Love Bugs Valentine;s Day Card
Now that Nathan is three years old, he loves the idea of getting mail. So, in preparation of Valentine’s Day, we had to create a Valentine’s Day mailbox.
When I started to gather supplies for this mailbox, I was surprised that I didn’t have any boxes on hand. I can’t stand clutter, but I do hoard items (such as boxes and other reusable cardboard items) for use in crafting with my boy. I did end up finding the perfect container for our mailbox–a Quaker Oats cylinder.
Here is what you need to create this easy-to-make, DIY Valentine’s Day Mailbox for Kids:
1 empty container Quaker Oats
1 large sheet of drawing paper or construction paper (large enough to cover outside)
glue or transparent tape
decorating supplies–we used foam letter stickers, glitter pens and stamps
1 piece red construction paper
1 brad (optional)
Cover outside of container with drawing/construction paper. Glue or tape in place. Cut off excess. Be sure to cover lid as well. Decorate outside of container. Fold lid in half and cut an opening large enough for an envelope to fit through (about 5-6 inches). To add a flag, cut a piece of red construction paper in the shape of an “L”. Tape, glue or use a brad to hold it in place on the side of the mailbox.
I bought a batch of foam pumpkin shapes last fall and boy have they served us well! We first used them to make this festive Thankful Banner.
Next, they were used to make this simple matching game…
This would be the perfect fall matching game for toddlers or preschoolers. For toddlers, obviously monitor them because these pumpkins are not edible.
I made this set using only four different designs. I also had specific skills I wanted to target–notice each features a different nose shape, shape color and overall emotion.
The second matching game I came up with incorporates my son’s name–NATHAN. This matching game would be perfect for a preschooler, pre-kindergartener or kindergartener. To write the letters (as well as the faces for the ones above), I actually used fabric paint. Fabric paint works well for a lot of projects that require writing or detail work. The Scribbles brand I use comes with a built-in fine point applicator to make each job turn out nice. Of course, one also needs a steady hand! If only those came with the bottle of paint…
I also added dots to each letter for a multisensory approach. After we play the game, Nathan will trace each letter with his pointer finger and we put the letters together to spell his name.
Last year, I was in need of a banner to hang as part of our Thanksgiving Day celebration. Because crafting materials are difficult to find here in Germany, this banner had to meet certain criteria. It had to be:
- made of things already on hand
- a craft my toddler could help me with
- say “thankful”
- incorporate pumpkins
- look adorable!
Well, I think I accomplished all of that with this festive Thanksgiving Banner! It was inexpensive to make and a great Thanksgiving craft for me and my toddler.
Last year’s Thanksgiving Day banner…
This year, we went vertical…
Here is how we made it:
- 8 foam pumpkin shapes
- various dry materials (we used sunflower seeds, oats, black beans, brown rice, white rice, peppercorns, lentils and sesame seeds)
- Tacky Glue (I highly recommend this type of glue because it is strong, drys fast and is not visible once dry)
- jute (enough for hanging the pumpkins beside each other)
- 8 clothes pins (optional)
Place each dry ingredient in a small pile. On the first pumpkin, write a letter from the word “Thankful” with Tacky Glue. Sprinkle one dry ingredient over glue to completely cover it. Continue the process with each foam pumpkin. Once dry, lay out pumpkins to spell the word “Thankful”. Turn pumpkins over, keeping their order. Measure a piece of jute to span the length of the pumpkins leaving a few additional inches at each end for hanging. Pumpkins can then be clipped to the jute with clothes pins or taped to the jute. To do the latter, lay jute down across the middle of the pumpkins. Tape jute in place on each pumpkin. Form loops at each end of the banner to hang.