Craft Stick School Bus

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Ok, Travis might not actually take a bus to his nursery school, but kids understand quickly the link between school buses and school. That makes this craft an adorable one to hold the Picture Day photos for kids of any age!

To start, paint 5 regular craft sticks and 3 jumbo craft sticks with yellow paint. I love watching Travis’s dexterity with painting projects increase; he now knows to hold the craft stick with the tip of a finger, in order to paint it as much as possible without getting his fingers yellow!

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We set the craft sticks aside to dry while he was – appropriately! – at school on Picture Day.

To complete the craft, glue one regular-sized stick horizontally across the tops of the other 4 regular-sized sticks; these will be the window frames of the bus. Glue the 3 jumbo sticks horizontally at the bottom, to be the body of the bus.

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Cut two circles from black craft foam for the wheels. We glued on buttons as the center of the wheels.

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From here, embellish your bus any way you’d like! A few sequins served as the headlight and pretty adornment, and a T sticker for his initial was the final touch.

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As has often been the case lately, Travis used the craft materials to play with in his own way once we were finished. He glued together additional craft sticks and sprinkled them with more sequin pieces, and was very proud of his creations.

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When Picture Day photos are ready, simply tape behind the windows of the bus!

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Y Week!

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Week 2 of my modified Letter of the Week play with Travis was a huge success – I’m so glad I embarked on this project, as it gives me ideas for introducing new concepts and games each week, while promoting letter and sound recognition. Below is just some of the fun Travis and I had during Y week. If you missed it, don’t forget to checkout what we did in Z week!

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Yarn: A fantastic material for play, including making yarn sculptures and yarn squiggles on sandpaper. Another neat idea is to loop a long piece of yarn (in yellow of course!) over and around furniture while your toddler naps, and then surprise them with a little snack or toy tied to the end when they wake.  Be sure to supervise all yarn play closely, as the strings can be a choking hazard.

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Yo-Yo: You’re never too young to enjoy this oldie but goodie! Travis loved watching my husband perform yo-yo tricks, and gave it a try himself a few times over the course of the week.

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Yeast: One of my favorites from the week; I introduced the magic of “hungry” yeast, and it’s amazing ability to make things rise. I won’t go step-by-step through the baking project we did, as another blogger has already done so, but this easy bread recipe is a fantastic intro to yeast for toddlers, including “feeding” the yeast, letting it “sleep,” etc… and ending with yummy Y-shaped breadsticks! Travis was entranced.

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Another great yeast experiment is to inflate a balloon with nothing more than water, yeast, and sugar. You’ll notice though that Travis was equally interested in sweeping up some spilled yeast off the floor!

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I confess watching the balloon inflate was exciting, even as an adult!

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Yacht: We took advantage of late summer weather to stroll the docks in a nearby town! Okay, maybe none of the boats we saw technically classified as a “yacht,” but Travis didn’t know the difference and was very excited we were seeing big boats.

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You: This can be a tricky word for kids; I call you “you” but you are supposed to call yourself “me” – confusing, right? So it was nice to focus on the word here during Y week. One great “you” game is to take a large piece of butcher paper and trace your toddler – then say, “It’s you!”

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Label body parts, invite your child to color the outline in, then hang “you” on the wall. Travis was delighted with this game, and not only wanted me to trace him again the next day, but wanted a turn “tracing” me.

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Yoga: A huge hit! I had hoped to find a Mommy & Me yoga class in the area, but failing that, I turned to a YouTube video. Travis loved it, mimicked all the poses (with varying degrees of success), and couldn’t get enough of child’s pose at the end. “Yoga” was a new word for him, and he quickly identified that it started with “Y” while looking at our week’s poster.

Beyond those games, here were a few more highlights from our week:

Fine art: Yellow is the name of the game, of course! First, we had fun with Travis’ crayons, exploring all the various shades of yellow from light to dark. Then, I suggested he add a little yellow paint. He had so much fun that the yellow crayon was soon covered.

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We finished with gluing practice, putting down pieces of yellow yarn.

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Food: Yogurt is an obvious choice of course, and we kicked off the whole week with a vanilla soy yogurt at dessert, while I showed him our Y poster. Later in the week, Yogurt-Cup Cake gave us a great baking project. He loved being in charge of his measuring cup, and needed to sample a piece as soon as the cake was out of the oven. For dinner one evening, I made sure our veggie of the night was yams.

Books: I checked several Y-titled books out of the library, but these three were the favorites, read on repeat all week: Yaks Yak by Linda Sue Park; Yawn by Sally Symes, and Yoohoo, Ladybug by Mem Fox.

Song: Yellow Submarine was the sleeper hit of the week! I played a clip once and Travis paraded around singing it the entire rest of the week.

Math: Two calindrical concepts begin with Y:  Year and Yesterday. Magnet calendars are a great way to introduce both! I certainly didn’t expect Travis to perfect the concept of either at this age, but each morning we would set up the calendar, and emphasize what day was yesterday, and then talk about what we did yesterday. I was impressed with the way he latched on to the concept!

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Signing off until X week!