Preschool Seasonal Toddler

Thanksgiving Banner

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…

Thanksgiving Banner

This year, we went vertical…

Thanksgiving Banner

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)
  • tape
  • 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.

Thanksgiving Banner

Thanksgiving Banner

Thanksgiving Banner





@ Featured Blog Kids

Farm Books for Kids

Every week, my son and I head to the library and/or thrift store to stock up on books related to the theme we are learning about. Last week, we found some really adorable, colorful, creative, enriching and engaging books (you know, all of those things us moms look for in a book for our child) to supplement our learning on farms. Here is what we found, including some of what we already had…

Farm Books for Toddlers



A fun story that may have you drawing parallels with your own family’s mornings!


A great board book for learning about life on the farm. It offers colorful pictures with various textures, shiny objects and sound words to represent the objects featured.


A colorful farm book that also features shapes. This book is a visual wonderland for little eyes.


Rhyming and warm watercolors make this a great board book for a developing child. It also takes the reader on a tour of the farm and animals are counted along the way!


Beautifully illustrated, this rhyming book also features sound words and factual information about many of the animals.


Super illustrations with a folkart feel, this book is amazingly cute and short enough to hold the attention of the very young. You will love the rhyming, the farm animals and their sounds…but most of all, the lesson about friendship and helping those in need.


This great peek-a-boo book isn’t just for babies…the colorful illustrations and oversized flaps make guessing each peek-a-sound a fun learning experience for all readers.


An essential for language development, this book offers full-color pictures and simple text. Use it to teach word identification in any language (we use it for English and Deutsch).


Although small, this chunky book is very entertaining. Colorful illustrations paired with prompted questions about the animals provide an educational interaction for parent and child.


A Golden Book classic, this book is charming for many reasons. It provides a realistic view of the farm and illustrates how children have a place there too. Not the typical “farm book” with animals and their sounds, but its vintage feel will have you reading it again and again.






@ Featured @ Showcase Blog Kids Toddler

Sensory Play With Farm Animals

Today we set out on a new learning adventure. The activity…sensory play. The theme…Toddler Activities

On the Farm

I am SO excited about this theme and even more excited to share all of the toddler activities ( 2 week’s worth!) that go along with it! For now though, let’s focus on this sensory play with farm animals…

My son and I headed outside early this morning to soak up as much vitamin D as possible. We have been lacking because of the ridiculous amount of rain we get each week here in Germany. Although, I guess we did have the rain to thank for the abundance of mud we had to play with. So, with a pile of mud and an inexpensive pack of plastic farm animals (with corral fencing included), we created a little farm to play in. Toddler ActivitiesActually being outdoors for this activity was ideal. We had natural light, fresh air, mud, grass and plenty of room. Nathan seemed to really enjoy squishing the mud through his fingers and walking the pig through it all. I was actually surprised that by the end of our playtime, that he wasn’t completely covered in mud. We both had such a great time, I think I could adapt it (for our next rainy day) to be contained in a sensory table. If you’re like me and don’t have a sensory table purchased from a teaching supply store, no problem. A long, shallow Rubbermaid container works perfectly. Set it on a sturdy surface (e.g. a kiddy table or another container that is filled with winter jackets) and be sure that it is at a comfortable height for little ones.

Blog Kids

Body and Movement Activities for Toddlers

Activities for Toddlers
This past week was so rainy and cold here in Germany. That, combined with an active toddler, meant that I needed some fun activities that would get us moving, but would be appropriate for indoors. Well, I didn’t have to think too hard to come up with the theme, “Body and Movement”. At 19 months young, my toddler has started learning parts of the body and what better way to teach about those parts than to actually get them moving? So, here are a week’s worth of activities for toddlers that teach about the parts of the body and how they move…

Body and Movement:

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

From Head to Toe

Make a Mini-Me

Play “Mommy Says”

All About Faces:

Mr. Potato Head

Fruit Faces and Pancake People

@ Featured @ Showcase Blog Kids Toddler

Fruit Faces and Pancake People

The easiest way to incorporate learning is to do it with what [almost] every kid loves…food! For this week’s theme, “Body and Movement”, Nathan and I first enjoyed an afternoon snack of fruit faces. Although my 19 month old was more interested in eating the pieces than identifying them, I think this is still a great activity for teaching the features of the face–eyes, ears, nose and mouth.¬†Toddler Activities

We then enjoyed our “Friday Fun Breakfast” with pancake people (I try to make Friday’s a little more fun/special since it marks the end of the workweek). Again, a simple and fun way to create faces that can also encourage healthy eating. Toddler ActivitiesThis activity can be used over and over and not get boring just by adding new ingredients. Try some of these…


dried fruit


chocolate chips

whipped cream