Toddlers & Preschoolers

Posted on Nov 18, 2013 in Blog, Holiday Crafts, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Comments Off

Fall Crafts For Kids: How To Make Indian Corn

Fall Crafts For Kids: How To Make Indian Corn

Fall is my favorite time of year! The changing leaves serve as a vibrant inspiration for crafts to make with the kids and then use as decorations around the house. The kids and I Iove to decorate our home for fall with various seasonal décor that we create ourselves, and there are so many fun and creative fall crafts for kids, such as painting colorful fall trees, or making scarecrow families to hang in our school room. One of our all time favorites is making Indian corn. It’s an easy craft project for the little ones to make and is a natural hit since toddlers and preschoolers love... Read Post
It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of… apple juice! Ahoy there – did you know that September 19th is International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day? I don’t know about you, but I love just about any excuse to dress up and act goofy with my kids. And that is just what we did! ALEX has some awesome pirate-themed pretend play toys, like the Pirate Tent Play Set, which is perfect for pretend pirate fun! It comes packed flat and takes only a minute to set up. It is large enough for multiple kids and one [not fully grown-up] adult, and comes with a carrying case so you can pack it up easily and take it along to... Read Post

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Featured, Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

Did you have pretend play tea parties as a child? I have vague memories of playing tea party with my sister and stuffed animals and dolls, and I love watching my kids play! In Britain, you can wear fancy hats to High Tea. My kids aren’t big on hats, but my girls think it’s fun to wear their fancy hair accessories for tea time! The ALEX Tin Tea Set is the perfect size for little-girl tea parties – tiny enough to feel dainty and to double as doll dishes, but large enough to hold and pretend to drink exotic teas from. Raspberry is the preferred tea at our parties! Tea parties are excellent... Read Post
Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Paper Crafting

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Paper Crafting

My kids had a great time honing their fine motor skills with ALEX’s Tissue Paper Art craft kit! It comes with 6 self-stick patterns – two for each of my three “big” kids (aged 3, 5, and 7). I loved that it was something all of them could enjoy. Separating the tiny squares of tissue paper is one of the more demanding tasks; it is also self-correcting, since if you forget to separate the squares your little ball of scrunched-up paper is clearly too large. This activity is also great for kids to develop planning skills. My son learned after working on the wheels of his car that it would... Read Post

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 in Featured, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

3 Fun Ways to Teach Color Mixing

3 Fun Ways to Teach Color Mixing

My four-year-old is very confident in his colors, so I’ve decided it’s time to start teaching him about color mixing. You know, color combinations like “blue + yellow = green” or “red + yellow = orange”. Learning colors is one thing, but teaching color combinations isn’t always as easy. When I described the concept of mixing colors to Luke and he looked at me like I was crazy I knew a hands-on approach would do the trick. Having taught my three oldest this concept years earlier, I had a few tricks up my sleeve. Here are three hands-on ways to teach color mixing, and make it fun! 1. Create... Read Post

Posted on Jul 31, 2013 in Featured, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Fun with Vegetable Stamping

Fun with Vegetable Stamping

Recently, I was gathering some art supplies to do a project with my four year old, Luke, and had an idea. Why not try something different today? I could tell that Luke was in a “messy” mood, and thought paints were the way to go. But what could we do that would be different from the usual painting activity? Then I remembered something I had seen years ago, but sadly had never tried – vegetable stamping! I pulled open the refrigerator and grabbed a green pepper. Then I snagged a couple of potatoes from the pantry and went to town creating some fun vegetable stamps. I made a potato stamp with... Read Post
Eight Parachute Games for Kids

Eight Parachute Games for Kids

Nothing beats a parachute party! It’s our favorite part of going to Gymboree or My Gym. So why not bring home the fun? ALEX’s Super Parachute Party is great outdoor play at a backyard BBQ with friends or birthday party, and is serious fun for the kids. It comes with small plastic balls that you can toss in the air and use to play different games. Here are eight parachute games the kids will have a blast playing: 1. Ball Poppers: Place the small plastic balls on top of the parachute. Have the kids hold the edges of the parachute and shake it up and down to make the balls bounce up... Read Post
How to Make Learning to Write Fun

How to Make Learning to Write Fun

Learning to write can be a challenging and frustrating time for kids. Get away from pencils and paper and introduce new materials to make learning to write a fun experience that feels more like play than learning.  Engaging as many sensory systems as possible helps your child learn easier and faster! Here are some ideas to make learning to write more fun for you and your child: Use a variety of tactile materials:  Trace letters and copy words into various tactile media. Incorporating the tactile sense will facilitate your child’s learning and motivate him to participate in the learning... Read Post
Printable: Ready, Set, Ice Cream!

Printable: Ready, Set, Ice Cream!

ALEX printables are designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers and inspired by our Little Hands line of products. The Ready, Set collection gives little ones a head start building skills they need to feel confident they can succeed in school. Ready, Set, Ice Cream! combines the developmental skills of Ready, Set, Cut! and Ready, Set, Paste! into an easy printable craft. It’s a great way for little ones  to practice their cutting and pasting skills while having fun! Ready, Set, Ice Cream Instructions What You Need: 1. Safety Scissors 2. Glue Stick 3. Two Printable Pages shown below... Read Post

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 in Featured, Printables, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Printable: Summer Vacation Photo Album

Printable: Summer Vacation Photo Album

Splashing in the pool, making sand castles, riding the waves, backyard BBQ fun with family and friends; these are the great moments of summer! Save them to cherish always with our summer vacation photo album printable! The kiddos will delight in making their very own album that’s all about them and adding their own personal touch to it. They’ll need some adult help with the photos and if desired, additional materials or souvenirs to add to the album such as stickers, glitter, a baseball or movie ticket. Have fun making your keepsake together, it can also be a project you work on... Read Post
5 Ocean Themed Crafts for Kids

5 Ocean Themed Crafts for Kids

Guess what the top family summer vacation destination is? The beach, of course! Countless families head to the beach each summer for their family vacation to enjoy the ocean, play in the sun, waves and sand. Given its popularity, I thought it would be fun to share some crafts for kids that are beach and ocean themed. They’re a great opportunity to get some crafting time in, as well as chat about your upcoming vacation or share favorite moments post-vacation! Here are five ocean themed crafts that will provide entertainment, a bit of education, and transport you to the beach! 1.... Read Post
Pretend Play with Dinosaurs

Pretend Play with Dinosaurs

Like most kids their age, my five-year-old and three-year-old adore dinosaurs! I think they enjoy the artistic license their extinction allows for! They can make their dinosaurs do absolutely anything, because – at the end of the day – there is a lot about dinosaurs that we just don’t know! They were thrilled to try out the new ALEX Toys 3D Dinoland! My five-year-old had no trouble following the instructions to build the dinosaurs: My three-year-old helped him find all the right pieces: They loved the 3D volcano, and spent some time playing just with it and the dinosaurs before building the... Read Post
Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

We recently traded our large plastic play kitchen in for this adorable wooden play kitchen. We paired it with a play cooking set and baking set for lots of pretend play.  My husband is thrilled with the smaller footprint, and my kids adore it! They actually use it a lot more than the larger one. My three-year-old sits at it for hours, baking to her heart’s content, and my seven-year-old uses it with her eighteen-inch dolls – it is the perfect size for them, too! Here are a few ways we love playing with this kitchen: Imaginary Baking. Putting pots on the stove, pans in the oven, and stirring.... Read Post
Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

My youngest child just turned four years old, and has embarked on a new journey of independence. It’s been happening for quite some time, but I noticed an increase right around his birthday. All of a sudden, he doesn’t need my help doing all sorts of things that I normally do for him, the most notable being washing him up when he takes a bath and helping him brush his teeth. He is now convinced that as a four-year-old he is very capable of taking care of his own hygiene. There comes a time in every child’s life where they begin to take over their own hygiene responsibilities. I still... Read Post
The Magic of Floor Puzzles

The Magic of Floor Puzzles

Today we played with ALEX’s 3D Cityscape jumbo puzzle.  It’s a 41 piece floor puzzle geared toward kids ages 3 and up.  Aside from the fun colors and designs depicting a cute little city, this puzzle also has a 3D component consisting of 3 vertically standing buildings. The kids loved the 3 dimensional buildings, which my niece reported “make it look like a real town.” Your 3 year old will more than likely need your help to get all the pieces together. I liked that it was a little more challenging so children can continue to enjoy it as they get older and become more independent. The puzzle... Read Post

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 in Parenting, Printables, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Get Dressed with Success!

Get Dressed with Success!

Lately my 4 year old, Lori, has insisted on picking out and putting on her outfits all by herself. Sometimes she actually puts together an outfit that matches and looks half-decent, and sometimes… not so much! As she has gotten older she has become more and more independent. She takes great pride in being able to do things, like getting dressed, completely on her own. But she is still learning and sometimes she gets very frustrated trying to zip up her hoodie or button her pants! It is not always easy for her to ask for help because she is SO determined to get it on her own, but I think I... Read Post

Posted on Apr 13, 2013 in Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

5 Tips for Dining Out with Kids

5 Tips for Dining Out with Kids

Sometimes parents just want to dine out for a change of pace and a break from cooking, but with young kids it can be a daunting thought. Fear of the dreaded melt down, thrown food, and top of the lungs “talking” are all reasons why some parents avoid taking the plunge. If this sounds familiar, then don’t despair, here are five tips for dining out with kids that will help you prepare and avert disaster! 1. Time it Perfectly:  Eat early to avoid the 8PM “restaurant rush hour”. Less people and noise in the restaurant at earlier seatings cut down on kid distractions. Also, earlier in the night... Read Post

Posted on Apr 12, 2013 in Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Fun Ideas for Bad Weather and Sick Kids

Fun Ideas for Bad Weather and Sick Kids

There are two times when I find parenting particularly challenging: dark, gloomy days that my kids and I are tempted to reflect in our moods and that period of illness where a child is too sick to go to school but not quite sick enough to simply rest. Here are my favorite ways to conquer the gloom whether it is due to sickness or weather! Sensory Play Sensory play is my go-to strategy for really young kids who don’t feel well. You can set up an invitation to play, like the tray with colored rice, cars, and marbles. Always make sure that your invitation to play is developmentally appropriate,... Read Post
6 Ways to Pretend Play Birthday All Year Round

6 Ways to Pretend Play Birthday All Year Round

If your kids are like mine, their birthday is their favorite day of the year. In fact, my kids make elaborate plans for crafts, parties, and gifts months and months before the actual birthday date. All of which are subject to change at any moment. Birthdays are the best. So, I just go with it. We pretend play birthday all the time. We sing Happy Birthday in the car to them, to me, to all our relatives, to our pets, to our toys. We play birthday party, too. And do you know what? It’s great to play birthday because while you’re playing, you’re sneaking in lots of learning opportunities. Here... Read Post

Posted on Apr 6, 2013 in Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Using Tots Art Start to Foster Toddler Creativity

Using Tots Art Start to Foster Toddler Creativity

It’s sometimes hard to get all the way through an art project with a toddler.  My 2 ½ year old daughter is constantly bubbling over with excitement about wanting to do “a project”, but it’s not always easy to come up with something appropriate to her level of fine motor skills as well as something that can be done from start to finish in 15-20 minutes, or before she loses interest. Enter Tots Art Start kit from ALEX. In this box are the makings of 6 art activities – some shaped pieces of paper for decorating, a little baggie with some shredded paper for collaging, assorted tissue papers and... Read Post

Posted on Apr 2, 2013 in Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

Five Games to Teach Telling Time

Five Games to Teach Telling Time

When I went to my first grader’s orientation at school, I was surprised to hear that their new district-wide math curriculum did not include life skills like telling time.  So I knew I had to bump time telling up on my list of things to teach my kids. I was really excited to have a little help in that area when I received the Ready, Set, Tell Time! activity set in the mail. I was surprised to find that what I expected to be just a simple learning clock, was actually a bunch of time telling games in one set. I loved how versatile the set’s pieces were in making up time telling games and... Read Post

Posted on Mar 30, 2013 in Toddlers & Preschoolers | 0 comments

ALEX and Scholastic Partner for Reading and Crafting Fun

ALEX and Scholastic Partner for Reading and Crafting Fun

Did you know that ALEX  has partnered with Scholastic in the launch of two books, Jungle Party and Moody Monsters? Written by children’s author, Jenne Simon with illustrations by ALEX, inspired by the Little Hands line, the books bring together the very best of the reading and crafting worlds for preschoolers aged 3+. Each book teaches children important kindergarten-ready skills through vibrant stories and fun, interactive toddler crafts that keep the learning and imagination going long after the book is finished! Jungle Party In this story, animals from far-off places come together in the... Read Post