Animals, Fall

Paper Plate Hedgehog Craft

Make a Paper Plate HedgehogΒ with your preschooler! This craft is simple, but pretty cute and kids love getting to use scissors. Since we color a lot, I decided to mix things up and get out the watercolors for my kiddo to decorate his hedgehog. The plate is thick, so watercolors worked great on it without causing any warping. I absolutely love hedgehogs and have quite a few decorating our house, so I was really excited to make a hedgehog craft with my little guy.

paper plate hedgehog craft
Paper Plate Hedgehog

Supplies Needed :

-1 white paper plate



-watercolor paints



Making the Hedgehog:

First I cut a paper plate in half and discarded one of the pieces.

Then I drew a basic hedgehog face shape with a sloping forehead and a long, pointy nose, and cut off the excess plate.

My son used his watercolor paints to turn his plate into a blue hedgehog.

The watercolor paints dry pretty quickly, so he didn’t have to wait long to makes cuts along the top of his plate and make hedgehog quills.

After he made all of the cuts, we gently pulled the quills apart to give them a spiky look.

He finished his craft off with some googly eyes.

My kiddo was so proud of this craft! I took pictures of him holding his project and texted them to his grandparents. He loved getting to use scissors and paints πŸ™‚

Looking to make more fall crafts? Check out my FALL CRAFTS page for more ideas. We made all sorts of great crafts: paper plate foxes, turkeys, paper bag puppet scarecrows, handprint pumpkins, and lots more!

Fall, Halloween

Preschool Ghost Craft

Preschool ghost craft made with cotton swabs and paint.
Preschool Ghost craft

How cute are these dot-painted ghosts?!? And they are so easy to make too! My son and I loved making this preschool ghost craft together. He really liked making the paint dots, and it was also a great fine motor skills activity for him.

Supplies Needed:

I love crafts that don’t require me to run out to the store! We made this craft with stuff we had home:

-cotton swabs (1 per paint color)

-washable paint



-paint pallet or paper plate

How To:

This preschool ghost craft doesn’t take very long to make depending on how many ghosts you draw. We decided to make 2 ghosts for our first attempt at this craft.

To begin, my son picked out the paint colors he wanted to use. He chose purple, yellow, and orange. We poured a little bit of each color onto a paper plate.

I drew 2 ghost shapes with a black maker for my son to paint.

He dipped a cotton swab into one of the paint colors and made paint dots along the ghost outlines. He chose to alternate between 2 paint colors for each ghost, using a different cotton swab for each color. I’m impressed with his pattern making skills at age three!

When he was done with his dots, we let his project dry before making faces. My son wanted the ghosts to look like they were saying, “Boo,” so we made open mouths on our ghosts.

We loved how our dot-painted ghosts turned out! This preschool ghost craft was a simple activity, but using cotton swabs instead of a paintbrush, made this extra fun.

Check out my GHOST STORIES post for book recommendations to read after the craft! My son picked six of his favorite ghost books to share πŸ™‚

Preschool Ghost Stories Recommendations
Ghost Stories
Fall, Halloween

Handprint Pumpkin Craft

Handprint Pumpkin Craft

I love handprint crafts! They preserve your little one’s prints and you get to look back at them years later and ooh and ahh over how tiny they were πŸ™‚ This is my son’s 3 year-old pumpkin handprint craft. We made a bunch of these to give out to family. It is a great way to personalize the holiday. Plus my son loved stamping his handprint on the paper!

Supplies Needed

This craft doesn’t need many supplies, which makes it a winner in my book. I hate having to run out to get supplies when I just want to get crafting! You will need:

  • orange and green construction paper
  • white paper (I used printer paper, but any white paper should work)
  • non-toxic, washable orange and green paint
  • paintbrush
  • scissors
  • glue
  • baby wipes / paper towels (to get paint off of hand quickly)

Handprint Pumpkin Craft

First I painted my son’s hand orange and then he stamped it onto the white paper. I had the baby wipes right next to us so that I could wipe off his hand right away.

Next, I painted his index finger green and he stamped it on the white paper.

While his prints were drying, I cut out the pumpkin shape from the orange paper and a green rectangle.

Once his prints were dry, I cut a circle around his handprint and a rectangle around his finger print.

My son glued the handprint onto the pumpkin and he also glued the finger print onto the stem. Then he glued the stem onto the pumpkin.

And ta-da, we were done! Not only do I love this pumpkin handprint craft because it is his little prints, but it was a craft that we could do together and both enjoy.

More Pumpkin Fun

I love fall and pumpkin spice, so my son and I have read a ton of fall and Halloween books and made lots of crafts together. Check out my Fall-Theme post for more fall ideas and my Pumpkin Fizz post for a STEM pumpkin-themed activity to enjoy.


BEACH-THEME books and activities

Whether you live near the ocean or not, you can enjoy beach-theme books and activities with your little one at home. Check your library for beach-theme books!

Beach-theme books and activities for preschool and kindergarten
Beach-theme books and activities

We made it to the beach! And of course, we had to bring some of our favorite beach-themed books with us πŸ™‚ Books, waves, sandcastles, and lots of splashing made for a great time!

Enjoy some of our favorite beach-theme books and activities with us!

Beach-Theme Books

Duck and Goose Go to the Beach

Duck and Goose are some of our favorite picture book characters! My son has loved them for years (and I’ve loved them even longer!). We’ve been reading Duck and Goose stories since he was a baby. Their books come in a board book format that was perfect for when my kiddo was in the grabby stage, and now that he’s older, we read the picture books. We have actually brought Duck and Goose go the Beach and the stuffed animals to the beach with us a few times now πŸ™‚ In this book, the two friends set off on an adventure and find themselves at the beach! But do they actually the sand, sun, and waves? Read it and find out πŸ™‚

How to Catch a Mermaid

My son LOVES Adam Wallace’s How to Catch a Mermaid! It’s a fun book about 2 kids and dog who hatch all sorts of plans to catch a mermaid because who wouldn’t want to have a mermaid friend, right!?! Spoiler, the kids get themselves trapped instead and the mermaid saves the day! This book has rhyming text and bold, bright pictures that compliment the fun story. This has been one of my son’s favorites for a over a year now and we hope you like it as much as we do!

The Sandcastle that Lola Built

The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor– based on the “House that Jack Built” story, this is a cute book about a little girl’s beach day. In this great example of teamwork, Lola and her new friends work together to make a sandcastle for mermaids. Fantastic pictures and rhyming text make this book a winner!

After reading this, we had to make our own sandcastle πŸ™‚ And just like in the book, the tide washed away our castle too!

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
Inky’s Amazing Escape

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery — my kiddo loves this book! It is a true story about an octopus named Inky, who escapes from an aquarium in Australia and makes its way back to the ocean. We learned a lot about octopuses from this non-fiction picture book, and we were fascinated by Inky’s journey. My son was so excited when he learned that Inky liked playing Legos just like he does! Out of all of the books written about Inky, this one is our favorite. Sy Montgomery is a gifted storyteller and we were absolutely fascinated by this amazing octopus. I check out lots of library books for my son and I to read together, but this is one book that we felt that we needed to own. We truly love this story and read it over-and-over again.

Over in the Ocean

My son got Over in the Ocean: in a Coral Reef for his birthday recently and it is AWESOME! It has fantastic pictures that were formed from clay by artist Jeanette Canyon that perfectly compliment Marianne Berkes’ sing-songy text. You and your little one will want to study these pictures over-and-over again to get all of the details incorporated onto each page. This book introduces a variety of cool sea creatures. It also lends itself well to movement activities that preschoolers will love to do. At the end, there is a seek-and-find activity to search for all of the sea creatures from the book, as well as a sneak-peek into the clay creations. We had so much fun reading this at the beach!

 "Beach Day" by Candace Ransom. This is great for preschool and kindergarten beach-theme books and activities.
Beach Day!

Candace Ransom writes great beginning-reader books. The text is simple, but not boring and the pictures capture the joy of the kids’ adventures. In Beach Day! the family heads out to enjoy the beach together. The book captures the fun, excitement, and joy of family outing at the seashore. The kids gather seashells, build a sand castle, and see some neat sea creatures. As you read this one with your little one, you just can’t help but get caught up in the fun! Be prepared to read this multiple times πŸ™‚

The Snail and the Whale

Another one of our favorite authors is Julia Donaldson; her books are perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners! For our beach-theme stories, my son and I read A Snail and a Whale. A snail yearns to explore in this rhyming book. However, snail finds that its explorations are hindered by its size. When whale offers to help snail take a journey, it is a dream come true. Snail enjoys adventuring with the large whale. Uh-oh, whale gets stuck and it is up to the small snail to help its new friend. This story goes to show that no matter how small you are, you can still help others.

Beach-Theme Activities —

To go along with our beach stories, my son had fun doing a beach and an ocean-themed I Spy challenges and an ocean-themed Find The Differences worksheet.

Beach I Spy

Download them for your kiddo to enjoy too:

Beach-Themed I Spy— count how many of each beach item you can find!

Ocean-Themed I Spy — count how many of each ocean creature you can find!

Ocean-Themed FIND THE DIFFERENCES: can you spot 5 differences between the 2 scenes?

BEACH alphabet letter tracing worksheet: practice tracing the letters and then color the picture!

Beach alphabet letter tracing


SPOUTING WHALE: this turned out super cute and my kiddo really enjoyed making this.

Spouting whale construction paper and tissue paper craft for preschool and kindergarten beach-theme books and activities.
Spouting Whale

Supplies needed are white and blue construction paper, pencil, scissors, blue tissue paper ( 1″ x 1″ squares), glue stick, white school glue, and googly eyes.

1. I drew a whale shape on the blue paper and cut it out.

2. My son used a glue stick to glue the whale onto the white paper. Next he rubbed the glue stick all over the bottom of the paper and glued on the blue tissue paper squares to make the ocean water.

3. Together, we wadded up the blue tissue paper squares to make the water spout.

4. Using the white school glue, I added glue dots in the pattern of the whale’s water spout and then my son added the wadded the tissue.

5. To complete his craft he added the googly eyes.


My son loves Inky’s story so much that we decided to make an octopus craft.

Inky the Octopus toilet paper roll craft for beach-theme books and activities
Inky the Octopus

Supplies needed are an empty toilet paper roll, washable paint, paintbrush, kid safety scissors, googly eyes, and a marker.

-First we painted the toilet paper roll red. (use whatever color you want). Then we let it dry.

-After it dried, my son made cuts in the bottom of the toilet paper roll to make 8 legs. He gently pulled each leg up so that they legs splayed out and his octopus could stand.

-Then he attached the googly eyes and drew a mouth, and our cute little octopus was ready to explore our house!

Hope you enjoyed our beach-theme books and activities!

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate Program. I get a small percentage of the sale if you buy a book through one of my links. Thanks for your support! Happy reading πŸ™‚

Animals, STEM

Learning Letter D

Letter D is awesome — Dinosaurs, Dogs, Donuts, and Ducks! This was a fun week for my preschooler. We read books about his favorite animals, ate donuts, danced along to We are the Dinosaurs, and made a neat Froot Loops Tower.

Monday — D is for Dinosaur

  • Writing Practice: write uppercase D. For this letter, we used a worksheet from
  • Book: Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap. This is a fun, interactive book that really engages with the reader. Young children will have a blast getting to know Crunch by saying hello, singing Happy Birthday, and introducing themselves. It also encourages the reader to take into consideration that other people (and dinosaurs) might be shy when you first meet them and to let them have some quiet space to adjust to new people.

Check your library for Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur, or buy it on Amazon.

  • Craft / Activity: Dinosaur Coloring Page — use your creativity and color or paint an awesome dino picture! Then, Find 5 Differences between these 2 dinosaur scenes:
  • Song: This was great excuse to sing along to our of my favorite preschool songs, We Are the Dinosaurs by the Laurie Berkner Band. Watch the music video on YouTube and march along!

Tuesday —

  • STEM: Build a Froot Loops Tower. This project is great for working on fine-motor skills!
Froot Loops Tower

Supplies needed are Play-Doh, a dry spaghetti noodle, and Froot Loops cereal.

First, make a mound out of Play-Doh to use as your tower’s base.

Second, stick a spaghetti noodle into the center of the base and make sure to really smush the Play-Doh around the bottom of the noodle so that it stands up.

Now it is time to make the tower and work on fine motor skills! Take your Froot Loops and carefully drop each down the noodle, making a tower as they stack. Have fun making color patterns. Bonus, you get to eat the cereal after your are done making towers πŸ˜‰

  • Air Writing: Ask your child to hold up a hand and trace letter shapes with their finger in the air. I was skeptical of this at first, but my son really got into it and I found him air writing his letters all on his own.
  • “Dog I Spy” Worksheet: practice counting with this cute dog-themed I Spy picture.

Wednesday — D is for Dog and Donut

  • Writing practice: write lowercase letter d.

I found this worksheet online from

  • Books — We read dog stories! My son loves Karma Wilson’s book, A Dog Named Doug. Doug the dog is a digging machine. He digs a holes to everywhere and gets into a bit of trouble along the way. The book ends happily with Doug digging a hole into his family’s bedroom for a bedtime cuddle. My son loves this book and he laughs every single time we read it. We have checked this out from our library numerous times, and we hope you will check it from yours too! It is also available on Amazon if you want to buy it.

We also read Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Dog a Donut. Turns out if you give a dog a donut, a great story ensues! This cute story is a fun read-aloud and good introduction to sequencing. Find a copy at your library, or buy on Amazon.

  • CraftPaper Plate Donut. Supplies needed are paper plate, light brown watercolor paint and paintbrush, construction paper (we used pink), scissors, white glue, and sprinkles.

1. First my son painted the entire plate light brown.

2. While it was drying, we picked our construction paper for the donut icing. We went with the classic pink for our donut, but also strongly considered brown for a chocolate icing. I cut out a wavy shape in the pink paper.

3. After the donut plate was dry, I cut out the center to give it the donut shape.

4. My son used white, school glue to attach the icing to the plate.

5. Last, he glued on sprinkles to complete his paper plate donut πŸ™‚

  • Songs — For letter D, we sang the “Donut Song.” If you don’t know this song, you can check it out on YouTube. My son loves this song and he sings it all of the time!

Thursday —

  • Salt Tray Writing: cover the bottom of a shallow tray or pie tin with a layer of table salt. Your child can take one finger to trace letter shapes in the salt. Make bother uppercase D and lowercase d.
  • Worksheet: Draw a line from the lowercase d to all of the uppercase D letters.

Friday — D is for Duck

  • Book: Little Quack’s New Friend by Lauren Thompson. The whole Little Quack series is adorable, but I am partial to this one because I love the new froggy friend. This Little Quack story embodies preschooler’s shyness about meeting new people, but children’s innate playfulness and curiosity wins over and everyone has fun playing together. Plus, this story is full of fun sound words to say!

There are many cute stories in the Little Quack series. Hopefully your library has this one and others. It is available for purchase on Amazon.

  • Craft: Color and Feathers Duck Craft — supplies needed are duck coloring sheet, crayons, white school feathers, and glue.

Here’s the coloring page we used. I found on Feel free to draw your own duck or cut out a duck shape from construction paper if you don’t like this one.

We used crayons to color our duck. My son worked hard to color within the lines!

Then we picked out feathers for our duck and attached them with white, school glue.

  • Song: Raffi’s Five Little Ducks. I really enjoy doing hand movements to this song. We hold up fingers on one hand for the five little ducks, folding down fingers as the ducks go over the hill. The other is our mama duck and we keep our fingers together and move them up and down to touch the thumb to make a mouth movement for the quacking parts. If you don’t know this song, it’s available on YouTube.


Independence Day Shakers

Independence Day Shakers
Independence Day Shakers

These Independence Day Shakers are fun to make and even more fun to shake about! Best part, supplies are minimal. All you need are 2 empty toilet paper tubes, washable paint (we went with the red, white, and blue theme), paintbrush, and dried pinto beans.

My son painted one toilet paper tube blue and the other one red. Then we let them dry.

Next he used white paint to add dots to the blue tube (these were his stars), and he painted white stripes on the red tube. He’s been learning about our national and state symbols, so this was a great way to reinforce the American flag colors and patterns.

After the white paint dried, I pinched one end of the toilet paper tube closed and stapled it shut. Then my son added the beans. Once he was satisfied with the sound the beans made, I stapled the end of the toilet paper tube shut. IMPORTANT — you cannot close both ends the same way. One end has to be pinched together vertically and the other end has to pinched together horizontally. This makes your tube look like its slightly twisting. Closing the ends this way is what makes the sound πŸ™‚

Now that you’ve made your Independence Day Shakers, it’s time to shake them all about!

Looking for more craft ideas? Check out my SUMMER CRAFTS page!


4th of July!

The Fourth of July is almost here! We watched an awesome fireworks display last night and we are looking forward to more festivities to come in the following week πŸ™‚

We put up some red, white, and blue star decorations yesterday, and my son and I decided to make a star craft to go with our decorations.

July 4th Q-Tip Stars

This craft is great for helping preschoolers with their fine-motor skills, pattern sequencing, and color recognition.

Supplies needed are Q-Tips, white paper, black washable marker, washable paint in red, white, and blue, and a star shape to trace (I used a cookie cutter). I also used a paper plate for our paint pallet and baby wipes for getting paint off of fingers quickly.

To make your own 4th of July Q-Tip Star Craft:

  1. trace star shapes on your white paper.
  2. pour a little of each paint color onto your pallet. Set out a Q-Tip for each color of paint.
  3. talk to your child about patterns and following a sequence (great early math skills), and then pick a pattern for your stars. We did 1-1-1, 2-2-2, and 3-3.
  4. start making your Q-Tip dot patterns on your stars.
  5. after your have decorated your stars, let your project dry before showing if off!


Letter S

Letter S week was tons of fun! My son practiced his writing and “s” sounds and we read books together about things that started with letter S, made crafts, and sang songs. Here is what we did:

  • Writing Practice: write uppercase letter S

Monday — S is for Snail

  • Book: We read Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor. This book is hilarious!!! And it is so darn cute. We love the snail’s determination and positive attitude. The message of helping others and working toward your goals makes this book a winner. We just keep rereading this one and we laugh every single time –seriously, it is a family favorite! My son even insisted that we buy copies for 2 of his cousins πŸ™‚

You can buy a copy through Amazon here.

  • Craft: Paper Plate Snail— This snail craft is pretty easy, but a lot of fun because my son enjoyed using his paints. Best part was, I could pull the supplies together in a couple minutes so we could dive right into craft time!

Supplies needed are paper plate, construction paper, watercolor paints, paintbrush and water cup, scissors, glue and a marker.

To begin, draw a spiral shape on the paper plate (this will be the snail’s shell). Your child can start painting the plate while you are drawing the snail’s head. Cut out the head. Once the plate is dry, your child can glue the head onto shell.

  • Song: Preschoolers love to sing. So for letter S, we sang You are my Sunshine. If you don’t know this song, check out this YouTube video.

Tuesday —

  • STEM Activity: Sink or Float. We picked 5 items from our house to see if they would sink or float in a bowl full of water. (Pick a variety of weights so that some sink and some float.) Fill a bowl with water. Before putting an item in the water, ask you child to guess if it will sink or swim. Why do they think that? After trying each item in the water, count how many sank and how many floated.
  • Air Writing: Ask your child to hold up a hand and trace letter shapes with their finger in the air.
  • Math: look around and count how many things you can find that start with the letter s.

Wednesday — S is for Star

  • Writing Practice: write lowercase s
  • Book: We read Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Cabrera. I love her take on nursery rhymes and my son and I are big fans of her artwork. Plus, I just like owls πŸ™‚ If your local library doesn’t have this one, you can get it on Amazon here.

We also read James Dean’s Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star featuring Pete the Cat. Pete is one of my son’s favorite book characters, so we read a lot of Pete the Cat stories. This book is a replica of the song, including the second verse (which I can never remember when we sing the song), so it is really the cute pictures of Pete that make this book so enjoyable. Dean’s artistic interpretation of the lyrics and Pete’s iconic coolness make this book a fun read. You can get this board book on Amazon here.

  • Craft: Star Craft — This craft is great for fine motor skills. Kids get to paint and wrap yarn!

Supplies needed are a paper plate, watercolor paints, paint brush and water, scissors, yarn, and tape.

Start by drawing a star shape in the center of the plate and cutting it out. Kids can paint the plate with a variety of watercolors; be creative!

Let your plate dry.

Pick out yarn or string to wrap around your plate.

Tape one end of the yarn to the back of the plate and then let your child start wrapping. When you are finished wrapping yarn, cut the year an and tape the end to the back of the plate.

You can repeat this craft with other shapes and make a whole bunch πŸ™‚

  • Song: I was sick of Twinkle Twinkle after reading 2 books about the song, so we sang Raffi’s Shake My Sillies Out. This song is so much fun to sing and has lots of great movements to do with it. If you don’t know this song, check out Raffi on YouTube.

Thursday —

  • Salt Tray Writing: cover the bottom of a shallow tray or pie tin with table salt. Your child can take one finger to trace letter shapes in the salt.

  • Worksheet:

Friday — S is for Strawberry

  • Book: We read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. This is an older story, but still cute. Kids will be on the edge of their seats as they listen to the story about the mouse who has to protect its strawberry from a hungry bear. Reading this one together is great fun! Check your local library for this book, or you can get it on Amazon here.
  • Craft: Strawberry Craft–I love handprint crafts. They are like a time capsule for your little one. You can look back at them and see how small their hands were.

Supplies needed are red and green construction paper, brown markers, scissors, and glue.

I drew a strawberry shape and my son cut it out. He loves using scissors, so I try to find crafts and activities for him to work on his cutting skills.

Next, he added the seeds with a brown marker.

I traced his hands on green paper and then I cut out the hand prints.

He glued them on top of his strawberry, and ta-da, a cute strawberry craft to hang in his room!