Lil' Miss Smarty Pants was created to share activities (mostly crafts!!) you can do with your own kids or in a teaching setting...almost all of the activities use simple everyday items that are found in most homes with kiddos. We have spent a lot of time looking for fun activities that also have teaching/learning value, and several years trying them out with our preK class. Here are our favorites!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Party!!

Parties are our favorite...and Christmas is no exception.
We help the kids make their own Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer hand print t-shirt.  Using wash-proof acrylic paint, paint their palm light brown and their fingers dark brown.  Add dark brown or black eyes and a red nose.

For fun, we send them home with a bag of Reindeer Noses...8 Whoppers and a red gumball!

And who doesn't like a craft you can eat?
This year, we made Christmas trees.

You'll need a sugar cone for each one, green frosting, and candy for the "ornaments." 

We use craft sticks as "knives" for the kids to spread the frosting on the cone.  When the frosting is all on, cover it with little candies.  

Had to share one of my favorite parts of the day...the kiddos played with the Nativity Little People during centers.  Here's a picture of Lightening McQueen catching a ride with a camel to meet the baby Jesus.

We have a present exchange with the kids to end the they all go home with a gift from a friend. 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Wreath

This turned into one of my favorite Christmas crafts we did.
All the kids knew what a wreath was and most of their mommies have one on their front door.  So we made one for their bedroom doors!

Cut the center out of the middle of a paper plate.
Cut green construction paper into squares, and glue the first layer of green paper around the edge of the plate.

When they are finished with the first layer....

...they can start working on the inside layer.

After all the green is on, you can glue on the berries, red paper squares.  If you would rather, you can glue on cereal, sequins or anything else.

The kids even like this more than I thought they would!

We ended up with the cutest wreaths ever...wish I had one for my front door!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Penguins live at the SOUTH POLE...

It's kinda funny that we see penguins in Christmas movies with the reindeer and polar bears and Santa...because penguins don't actually live at the North Pole!  But they are still a fun animal to talk about and make cute things of with the Prek kids!

To make this funny paper plate penguin you'll need:

Glue them together like this:

Here's a fun little penguin counting song to sing while you play with your penguins:

Penguin's First Swim

Ten little penguins all in a line
One jumps in, and now there are nine.
Nine little penguins, how they hesitate-
One tumbles in, and now there are eight.
Eight little penguins pushin' and shovin'
One slides in, and now there are seven.
Seven little penguins, scarcely more than chicks-
One slips in, and now there are six.
Six little penguins can't decide to dive-
One falls in, and now there are five.
Five little penguins huddle on the shore-
One flops in, and now there are four.
Four little penguins fidget fearfully-
One hops in, and now there are three.
Three little penguins wonder what to do-
One rolls in, and now there are two....
Two little penguins missing all the fun-
They both leap in, and now there are.....
Ten little penguins, brave as they can be,
Splashing in the waves of the salty southern sea.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Candy Cane Sequencing

This is another fun activity that teaches while they play.
It doesn't look like Math, but it is!

Patterns and sequencing are very important to a little math mind.

For this activity, all you need is a print out of a candy this one, and construction paper in red and white cut in squares.  

Explain that candy canes have a, white, red, white, red, white.  Then they get to use their fine motor coordination and their math brains and build a candy cane!

We also happened to be talking about the letter "J" this same we handed out candy  canes and told them to turn it upside down to find a letter.  :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Here comes Santa Claus!

And once you have made reindeer...Santa can't be far behind!!

These paper plate Santa's were so fun and the kids loved them.

You are going to need to have paper plates (just the cheap, white ones), cotton balls, googly eyes, and construction paper: a peach colored circle for his face, a red Santa-hat shape, a pink nose, and two black circles to go behind the googly eyes.

Glue the peach circle onto the plate and then glue the Santa hat shape to the top of the plate.  Glue on the eyes and the nose, and the googly eyes.  Now use the cotton balls to make Santa's beard, mustache and hat trim.

The kids love to have their very own decorations for Christmas to put up in their house!

Monday, December 10, 2012

You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen...

One of our favorite preschool songs is definitely Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer!  All the reindeer have black noses, except of course, Rudolph.

You will need:

brown paper sacks
brown antlers
black paper eyes
googly eyes
a red nose (we used a red pipe cleaner spiraled up)
you could also use pom poms or paper for the nose

Cut off about 2-3 inches of the top of the sack, and round the edges.  You can put a wad of newspaper in the sack to make it stand up better.  Fold the top over and staple it shut.

Then let the kiddos glue on the antlers on the sides, the eyes, googly eyes and the nose.  Super easy and lots of fun to play with!

We let them hold them up during singing time and sing Christmas songs with them.  It was ESPECIALLY fun when we sang about Rudolph!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Building a Snowman

What do you do in December when you live in Texas and the kiddos can only dream of having enough snow to build a big snowman?  Build a paper one!

We combined this with a little lesson on shapes and sizes (big, bigger, biggest).

You can use any color of construction paper for the background, except white...LOL!!  

Cut 3 white circles...three sizes for the snowballs.
Cut a black square for the hat.
Cut small squares for his buttons.
And a little orange triangle for his nose.

We told them to put the BIGGEST circle on the bottom, then the middle sized circle, then the smallest circle.

Next, the BIGGEST square is the hat...and the small squares are the buttons.

Finally, they glue on the triangle nose and the circle (googly) eyes.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I like smiling, smiling is my favorite!

I love December!  Everything about preschool in December is fun.
The crafts, the worksheets, the songs, the stories, the games, the parties...the fun never ends!

Here is a quick and easy (and darling) craft to do to kick off the month long celebration of the happiest time of the year!

Most of the kids will have just "helped" mom decorate their tree at this is a chance for them to make one all of their own for their bedroom door or the fridge!

You're gonna need a plain piece of paper, a large green construction paper triangle, a small brown construction paper square, glue, and what ever you want that is pretty, sparkly, or colorful to "decorate" with.  We used sequins, but it would be fun to use buttons, cereal, candies...whatever you and your kiddos like.

Let them glue the green and brown papers on the white paper to make the tree.  Then glue the deco on the tree...however you want.

Sing Christmas songs while you decorate the tree...and be sure and smile.  Smiling's my favorite!