Summer Fun - Indoors and Out

How Children Learn: The following links have excellent articles about the philosophy of developmentally appropriate, play-based preschool programs - like Little Explorers! Check it out:

Books Related to Our Class Themes

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? Eric Carle
  • Wet Pebbles Under my Feet
  • the San Mateo peninsula library system. Great programs and book recommendations.

1. At Home Art:

  • Bird Feeders: Spread peanut butter on a small bagel or pinecone; roll in bird seed, hand in your garden with string or yarn. (if peanut allergies are a concern; use sunflower butter)
  • Summer 'water' painting - This may seem silly, but it is tons of fun for the toddler set. Put out several pails of water, you can add food coloring for added fun, several sizes and shapes of paint brushes, and set your child to painting a fence, garage door, outdoor wooden furniture; you get the idea. The color change from dry to wet fascinates toddlers.

2. Sensory Play: One of the pleasures of a Blustery Day is to be outdoors.

  • Go to a Feed store (Menlo Feed on Oak Grove) and by feed corn or chicken scratch (pulverized corn). Fill a shallow covered tub, i.e. rubbermaid box, with the feed corn. You can trade off with oatmeal, cornmeal, etc. Add scoops, cups, funnels; bury toy animals or silk flowers or dinosaurs. Remember Two's and Three's love to pour.
  • Water Play! An irresistable element. Add sponges, cups, buckets, squirt guns, magically growing sponge-capsules ($1 at Michaels craft store) to your wading pool
  • Gather up leaves of many colors, sort by size, color, type. Sandwich between wax paper, add crayola shavings, and (adult) iron together, display in your windows.

3. Best Homemade playdough:

  • 2 cup flour 1cup salt 21/2 Tbls cream of tartar 1Tbls oil 2cups warm water 8 - 10 drops food coloring
  • Mix together in Heavy skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture clumps. Take off heat; knead dough. Store in an airtight container for 2 -3 weeks.

4. Summer Field Trips: These places are a little further afield, but are fun for the family

  • Natural Bridges State beach: Located just north of Santa Cruz, this is a wonderful place to play at the beach.
  • Ardenwood Farms in Fremont is a wonderful historic farm with special toddler programs on Tuesdays.