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Indoor Activity Ideas for a Preschooler

Whether the weather is uninviting, someone feels out of sorts, or it’s an inside play day, mommies sometimes need a “go-to” for an activity. I’m creating a jar of activity sticks, and they’ll be simple: craft sticks with a different activity handwritten on each stick.

Here is my list, a work in progress, that is primarily geared towards preschoolers. What would you add to it?

Activity Sticks Ideas:

  • ABC Mouse (online subscription)
  • Bake together
  • Bath time / Water play
  • Bean bag toss
  • Beans box
  • Blocks
  • Build a fort
  • Candy Land
  • Color Wonder
  • Connect Four
  • Crayons
  • Dance
  • Dolls
  • Dominoes
  • Hopping
  • Hopscotch (on porch or painter’s tape on the kitchen floor)
  • I Spy – books, pictures, in the house
  • Jumping jacks
  • Letter craft
  • Memory game
  • Movie and popcorn
  • Musical instruments bag
  • Nursery rhymes
  • Ornaments
  • Painting, watercolors
  • Paper hats
  • Piano time
  • Picnic inside
  • Play store (cash register, make play money)
  • Play-doh
  • Puppets, paper bag
  • Puzzles
  • Read stories
  • Sing silly songs
  • Stickers
  • Sun catchers
  • Tape, double-stick (art collage, etc)
  • Tape, masking
  • “Tinker” box (random collection of stuff)
  • Treasure hunt
  • You Tube (songs, nursery rhymes, animals)

I have a  Pinterest board with many indoor activities. Please share what activities your little ones enjoy! 🙂

Book Review ~ The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival

Ah, the joy of autumn: crisp leaves, bright colors, fall festivals, and more. It’s something I look forward to annually, so I requested a copy of The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival by Mike Berenstain to review.

 

 

 

Full of colorful pictures depicting the beauty and fun of fall, the Bear Family attend the gathering at Farmer Ben’s where they enjoy apple picking, pumpkin picking, a hayride, and meal while giving thanks for the harvest and their blessings. Our 4-year-old son enjoyed the story and asked if we could “do that too” as the children picked apples and more.

Recommended for ages 4-8, I would say ages 4-6 as the story is nice but light. It is a good addition to seasonal readings and focusing on being grateful to God for the firstfruits and blessings of the day, but it isn’t a story I would add to our personal library to read often. The end of the book includes three questions to discuss and two activity suggestions.

In exchange for my honest review, I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Book Look Bloggers program.

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

Book Review ~ Precious Moments God Watches Over Me

Would you like a book for a young child to demonstrate God’s presence in each day? Consider Precious Moments’ God watches over me. In classic Precious Moments design, each page has a Bible verse, one poem, and an illustration to go with it. Many writings are by Jean Fischer, and the last entry is “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Although it is a board book, the content of God watches over me is more appropriate for children ages 4-8. The front cover is a padded foam board, and the back is hard board. It is about 5″ x 7″ and 32 pages long, front and back, with full color illustrations. There is no Table of Contents, so here are the entry titles:

God watches over me:  all day long, when I need help, when I’m hungry, when I play, when I travel, when I learn, when I think that I can’t, when I need to be brave, when I get hurt, every day, while I sleep, all the time

God watches over my: friends and me, family and me, pets

God watches over the world and everything in it!

I like this collection of illustrations and poetry, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for the target audience of children ages one to four. The pictures are cute, but it is wordy. My son is 3, and he enjoys about 20 seconds of this book at a time. It is one to grow on, but not easily engaging with an energetic little one.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.

Favorite Cookbooks

I love to read.

I like to cook . . . . well, most of the time.

Really, I would like to snap my fingers and have dinner present itself. Since that is not in my near future (magic housekeeper or sometimes cloning myself, anyone?), I read cookbooks for ideas and tips, search online (hello, Pinterest), ask others, go back to my stand-bys, and generally make up stuff.

I am a huge fan of my slow cooker, one pot dishes that are yummy and don’t require a cream of ___ can or Velveeta, and meals that are actually ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes without a sous chef. (Rachael Ray, I’m talking to you.) A dear friend also reminded me to cook larger amounts to freeze for later. That is so simple, and I have remembered it a few times this month. 😉

I have a binder full of recipes I have put together and a collection of cookbooks. Here are some of them and a few that have been recommended to me.

Some that I own:

Joy of Cooking is a go-to for how to prepare almost everything with classic recipes throughout the 1000+ pages.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Sixteenth Edition (Better Homes and Gardens Plaid) is one my mom used for apple pie. I consider it a staple in anyone’s kitchen with all of the information included.

Betty Crocker Cooking Basics: Recipes and Tips to Cook with Confidence is one Mom gave me when I graduated college and was on my own. It has good photographs and descriptions of preparation without being intimidating. A novice cook can succeed with the recipes in this book.

Out of the Sugar Rut
provides recipes that use honey and whole wheat flour instead of heavily refined ingredients. Real food is what you will find in this cookbook.

Fix-It and Forget-It Revised and Updated: 700 Great Slow Cooker Recipes (Fix-It and Forget-It Series) is the first book I used for slow cooker recipes, and it has a little bit of everything.

Recently recommended to me:

For cooking anything Italian, cookbooks by Lidia Bastianich

Cookbooks by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman

100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love by Lisa Leake

Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime by Danielle Walker

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon

Cookbooks by local Junior League groups

Which ones would you add to the list?

Two Great Toys

Toys. We love them, and we hate them.  (Stepping on a race car or lego is not a fun time!)

There are so many choices, and advertisers make lots of money trying to convince us (and our children) that their toys are the best.  Well, I have a couple of tried-and-true recommendations for you that are suitable for babies through preschoolers.  They are open-ended, easily cleaned, and you may want to buy more than one of each.

Drum roll, please . . .

1-  Soft blocks

B. One Two Squeeze Blocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

2- Nesting plastic cups (These aren’t the exact ones we own, since I found ours at Dollar General for about $5.00)

 

 

 

 

Yes, I’m serious.  It’s that easy.  The blocks can be stacked, rolled, put in bowls, dumped out, squished a bit, and they don’t hurt nearly as much as wooden blocks.  The plastic cups can be stacked or nested, used in the bath, outside, and for other imaginative play.

We have had both toys for a while now, and our 2.5 year old plays with them often.  They may be my go-to baby gift and recommendation from now on. 🙂