Cotton Ball Ice Cream Painting

Get creative with your paintbrushes and try cotton balls with a clothespin for painting a picture of an ice cream cone. Pinch a cotton ball in the clothespin and then dip it in paint to make a fun paintbrush! Cotton ball ice cream painting was a lot of fun! My son enjoyed using the cotton balls as a paintbrush and it remined him of his dot pens.

Cotton Ball Ice Cream Painting
Cotton Ball Ice Cream Painting

Supplies needed:

  • cotton balls
  • clothespin
  • washable paint (I like to use Crayola Washable Paints )
  • paper plate
  • paper (preferably card stock or construction paper)

How To:

Painting the Cone

First, pinch a cotton ball in your clothespin. I knew we were going to use 3 different paint colors, so I had my son use 3 cotton ball clothespin brushes. If you only have 1 clothespin, it is easy to change out the cotton balls.

Pick a paint color for your ice cream cone. Pour a little paint on a paper plate. Pinch a cotton ball in a clothespin to use as a paintbrush. Gently dip the cotton ball into the paint and then stamp it onto the paper in a triangle-shape to make the cone. If your child is having trouble with this step, lightly draw a triangle shape for them to fill in with paint.

Next pick a color for your first scoop of ice cream. My son chose blue, which is also the color of the ice cream he usually picks! I poured a little blue paint onto the paper plate and he stamped his cotton ball into the paint and then onto the paper. He made his first scoop pretty big and we didn’t have much room for the second scoop.

For his second scoop, my kiddo chose purple paint. He had to squeeze his second scoop onto the top of the first scoop and quickly ran out of room on the paper. His cotton ball ice cream painting still turned out cute, even if his second scoop wasn’t very tall.

Cotton ball ice cream painting preschool craft

OPTIONAL: I think it would be fun to add fingerprint “sprinkles” onto your ice cream cone.

For more ice cream fun, check out my ICE CREAM post! It contains cute book recommendations and ice cream recipe so that you and your preschooler can make ice cream together at home.


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 🙂

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!


Yummy Fruit-Themed Crafts and Books

Fruit-themed crafts and books

I love summer fruits! Strawberries, watermelon, and raspberries are favorites in my house. We have a raspberry bush in our backyard and the berries taste amazing! All of our snacking reminded me of some fruit-themed crafts and books. My preschooler made a construction paper strawberry and a paper plate watermelon. They were both fun to make and he really liked adding his fingerprints to the crafts.


handprint 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.

This craft was pretty quick and easy to make. Supplies needed are red and green construction paper, brown marker, scissors, and glue.

1) First, I drew a strawberry shape and my son cut it out. He added the seeds with a brown marker.

2) Next, I traced his hands on green paper and then I cut out the hand prints.

3) My son glued the handprints on top of his strawberry, and ta-da, now we have a cute strawberry craft to hang in his room!


paper plate watermelon craft

Isn’t this watermelon craft cute? It looks good enough to eat! My son made this at preschool and was so excited to share it with me when he got home 🙂

To make your own watermelon craft, you need a paper plate, green and dark pink construction paper, glue, and black finger paint.

1) First tear up pieces of green and pink paper. This is fun for kids because how often are they allowed to tear things apart!

2) Cut a triangle shape out of a paper plate to be your watermelon slice.

3) Glue the green paper along the rounded edge of the plate. Then glue the pink paper on the remainder of the plate. Let your project dry.

4) Using washable, black finger-paint, have your child add the seeds with their finger.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We’ve been eating so much fruit lately, it reminded me of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as the caterpillar eats his way through the story. This book is dear to my heart — I remember it from when my brother and I were kids and I am excited that I get to share it with my son.

This is a must read if you haven’t read it yet. Borrow it from your local library, watch this read-aloud from Brightly Storytime, or buy it on Amazon so you can read over and over again.

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s affiliate program. So if you buy a product through one of my links, then I get a small percent from the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support! Happy reading 🙂

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

We also enjoy reading 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.]


My son and enjoy making crafts together! He is so creative 🙂 Check out my CRAFTS Page for more fun ideas and how-tos to spark your kiddo’s imagination. I love pairing books with crafts! As part of my weekly preschool schedule, we read books together and make a craft that goes with it. It is a fun way to help extend the learning 🙂


Summer Time

Summer is just around the corner! For my family, living in southern California, summer = beach. My son can’t wait to splash in the ocean and dig in the sand. With work schedules and school in still in session until the end of the June, we have to be content with reading about the beach and ocean animals.

Some of our favorite beach and ocean books are:

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!

I’m a huge advocate of libraries and want everyone to visit theirs, so head down to your local library and check out a copy of The Sandcastle that Lola Built. Or, you can always buy your own copy on Amazon here.

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

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery — my 4 year old 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 picture book, and we were fascinated by Inky’s journey. There are other books written about Inky, but 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 because we truly love this story and read it over-and-over again.

Your library should have a copy of Inky’s Amazing Escape (it’s pretty famous in the book world), but you can always buy your own copy through Amazon here.

Shark Kiss, Octopus Hug by Lynn Rowe Reed — a super cute picture book about a shark and an octopus looking for some love. You will giggle your way through the story reading the silly ideas these two come up with to get the beachgoers to give them hugs and kisses.

Click here to get in on Amazon.

The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen — this is fun rhyming story with great pictures. It’s written sing-songy and in our house, we really get into this story, with the whole family singing the refrain and acting out the “blubs.”

The Pout Pout Fish has many sequels. The original is our favorite 🙂

Check your local library for the Pout Pout Fish, or buy it on Amazon here.

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s affiliate program, which pays advertising fees to sites that advertise and link to Amazon’s products. So if you buy the book through my site, I get a small percent from the sale.



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

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). And then we let it dry.

-After it dried, my son made cuts in the bottom of the toilet paper roll to make 8 legs. Then 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!


Supplies needed are paper plate, scissors, stapler, glue stick, tissue paper squares (about 1 inch x 1 inch), and large googly eyes (optional glitter glue).

-To make your fish, have your child cut out a triangle from the paper plate. This makes it look like the fish’s mouth is open. My son loves being able to use scissors, so he liked this craft.

-Staple the triangle to the back of fish to make a tail.

-Now it’s time to decorate the fish! Using the glue stick, glue tissue squares all over the plate to make the fish’s scales.

-Finish your fish by adding googly eyes.

My son thought it needed some sparkle, so he added blue glitter-glue polka dots to his fish.