Tag Archives: preschoolers

5 Preschool Activities to Celebrate Fall

5 Nov


With fallen leaves and pumpkins galore, fall activities for preschoolers are sure to abound! We have a few fun suggestions to get outdoors with your little ones to celebrate the season. Here are five fall activities to do with young children:


1. Autumn Creatures

Make a creative creature with a few leaves, googly eyes, and select nature finds! Go on a nature walk with your preschooler and see what you can find. Be sure to pick up a few twigs for arms, leaves for heads, and rocks for buttons. Pieces of bark work great, too! Once you’ve brought items back for an indoor sensory table, glue the items onto a recycled toilet paper roll and add some googly eyes for an adorable autumn creature!

Get your different colored googly eyes here: https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/32117P/super-googly-eyes?c=2%7CKTAR11


2. Pumpkin Seed Art

Do you have a leftover pumpkin from Halloween decorations? Take out the pumpkin seeds and bake them for an art project with your little one! Read a book on pumpkins like Pumpkin Soup, The Pumpkin Patch, or Andy Shane & the Pumpkin Trick while the seeds bake, and then pull out the paint for color sorting or pumpkin seed art!


3. Homemade Applesauce

Get creative in the kitchen! Peel, core, and slice five pounds of apples into quarters to make about two quarts of applesauce. Use the EZ Grip Vegetable Peeler so that young children can easily get involved in the peeling process. Boil in a pot with water with the lid partially on until the apples are soft. Let children use a potato masher to mash the apples into applesauce! Add sugar and cinnamon based on preference.

Find even more autumn-themed activities here: http://buff.ly/1XN133g


4. Fall Tree Quiet Bin

Looking for a quieter activity for your preschooler? Quiet time is a great way to foster independence and is important for parents as well! Fall Tree Bins are a cute way to represent autumn as children place buttons on a pipe cleaner tree. Just enough structure to keep little ones busy: http://handsonaswegrow.com/fall-button-tree-quiet-bin/


5. Salt Dough Leaf Prints

Combine salt dough and silk leaves for an autumn masterpiece! This activity is the perfect way to spend some time in the kitchen as you measure out the ingredients and get creative with leaf placement! Find instructions for leaf prints here and don’t forget to check out our Exploring Leaves Kit.

5 Ways to Calm First Day Jitters

18 Aug


Just as worried about your child’s first day of school as they are? Calm the jitters by implementing five simple strategies for keeping the whole family calm as children transition back to school. Here are five of our favorite stress busters for first-day jitters:

1. Practice Saying Goodbye

One of the most heart-breaking moments not only for your child but for you as well, is when you wave goodbye. Even if you know it’s not final, it can definitely feel like it to young children! That’s why it is important to practice goodbyes before children go back to school. Whether it’s dropping them off for a play date or taking off for a business trip, be sure to emphasize that goodbyes don’t mean forever and keep consistent by picking them up at a designated time. This fosters trust and a reassurance in your toddler that you are in fact coming back.

2. Hold on to Home

Help your child adjust to change by encouraging them to take something familiar with them to school. This could be something as simple as wearing one of your necklaces, taking a favorite teddy in their backpack, or even keeping a picture of the family in their notebook. Having something familiar to pull out during the school day can go a long way in calming children’s anxiety on the first day of school.

3. Scope Out School Beforehand

Having a first look before the first day of school is a great way to calm kids’ nerves. Giving children a visual of the classroom they will be stepping into allows them to better process the learning environment. Also, going out of your way to meet the teacher beforehand can smooth transitions as young children adapt to a new face and personality.

4. Talk It Out

Many times, children’s fears are a lot bigger in their minds than in reality. You can help them realize this by talking out their fears together. Ask them what they are most worried about and talk about ways they can overcome those fears and steps they can take to prepare for facing new challenges. Children will feel much more at ease when they have a plan for approaching their personal fears.

5. Pack the Perfect Lunch

A lot of children find comfort during lunchtime. Not only is it usually packed in a personal lunch box, but it’s also filled with familiar food they picked out with you. Be sure to include your child’s favorites for the first day of school as well as a note of encouragement that will remind them that you are not far. Sometimes, a little midday reassurance is exactly what a child needs to get through the rest of the day!

Hang in there as you and your children prepare for back-to-school! With a little preparation and establishing the school sleep schedule early, your child’s transition back into the classroom should be a breeze!

Finally, we have a few back-to-resources you don’t want to miss as kids prepare for their return to the classroom:


Don’t miss our Back-to-School Sale: 20% off one item on orders $75+ through August 31st. Enter code BTSREADY at checkout.

Back-to-School Resources:

Preparing Preschoolers for Back-to-School

11 Aug

Role of Talk

Looking at the calendar and wondering how August snuck up on you? Back-to-school is here and there are a few things you can do to give your preschooler a proper send-off!

Summer Math Review: That’s a Wrap


Brush up your little one’s math skills before they head back to the classroom. Opportunities for math learning can be found in every day activities like counting down how many days are left until the first day of school to helping you measure ingredients for special recipes! One of the easiest ways to do a quick review and practice with your preschooler is by using the Addition and Subtraction Wrap Ups. These string problems are great for self-correction and repetition!

Alphabet Case Study! Learn Letters with Hot Dots Jr.


Letter recognition, both uppercase and lowercase, is a big part of preschool! Prepare your child for the classroom with Hot Dots Jr. Alphabet Cards! The double-sided cards are great for visual learners as they learn to match letters and practice sequencing. The Hot Dots Jr. Pen is also an interactive tool for giving guidance as the canine pal cheers for correct answers and redirects children when they answer incorrectly. Letter learning has never been so fun!

Encourage Pre-Writing Skills with Personalized Pencils


You would be amazed by how much of a difference it makes in how enthused a child is about writing if they have their favorite character on their pencils! Allowing children to pick out their writing utensils is a great way to get them excited for the new school year and all of the writing and coloring that is surely on the way! We have a few colorful suggestions if you’re looking for something creative:

Stress Social Skills by Practicing Kindness and Cooperation! 


Interestingly enough, a 20-year study recently revealed that young children who are taught social skills like kindness and cooperation early were more likely to obtain higher education and hold full-time jobs. That’s why it’s so important to practice those life skills at home. We have a few tools for doing just that, whether it’s following Shubert through the Shubert Series Value Pack, playing Social Skills or Blunders with the family, or learning about classroom etiquette with I’m Ready for School!

Best of luck as you drop off your little one for the first day of school! For even more back-to-school resources, check out the posts below:

Putting the Final Touches on Your Home Library

8 Apr


Have you already started building your home library to celebrate Library Week? If not, we have some great tips for getting started in this previous blog post. Once you have decided what books will go where and what topics your children are most interested in, the next consideration should be environment. We have a couple of suggestions that are sure to leave your kids excited for reading time. Here are a few things to consider as a parent building your child’s home library:

Solid Seating

Children have to have somewhere comfortable to sit if you’re going to convince them to sit for extended periods of time. No matter how interesting the book is, if a child’s environment is not engaging enough, he or she will most likely end up carrying the book to an environment in which they are more accustomed, such as a bedroom. We have a few seating options we think will put your children at ease while surrounded by their favorite books:

-Soft Seating (https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/93770P/soft-seating)

-Toddler Comfy Seating Group (https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/71354P/toddler-comfy-seating-group)

-Back Jack Anywhere Chair (https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/85305/back-jack-anywhere-chair)

-Vinyl Bean Bag (https://www.kaplantoys.com/product/71119P/vinyl-bean-bag)

Organization Station

If your library is going to feel like home, then there has to be a system of organization in place! Be sure to explain on the first day you introduce your children to the library how the books are organized—are they sorted by color, size, author, or genre? Use whatever system makes most sense for your family and be sure to hold each “borrower” accountable for replacing books where they found them. Finally, if your children are taking books outside of the home for road trips or across the street to a friends’ house, make sure you keep track of which books are “checked-out.” We have some handy Library Cards, Colored Library Pockets, and Home Reading Logs that will allow you to do just that:

Vamp up Variety

Books aren’t the only things libraries have to offer to eager learners. Give your children options when they choose how they want to learn. Reading books can many times be supplemented by sensory experiences for little hands, puppets for dramatic play, and even art expression for drawing pictures of the characters children fall in love with. Here are a few options for including a little variety in your library:

Sensory Play

Puppet Play

Art Expression

Practice Communication

Finally, communication is an important life skill to foster in little ones and there’s no better place to begin than in the library! Make sure you keep a daily message board where children can check for home news. Do you want help with the evening’s dinner? Have your children find their favorites recipes in the library! Want to do a scavenger hunt? Leave a message asking children to find a specific book to add a little fun to their reading time while also making sure they understand how the books are organized. The possibilities are endless! Here are some effective ways to communicate in your library:

Share your pictures of your home library with us on our Facebook page!

Love and Your Little One: Children’s Books About Love

14 Feb

Teaching children about love and what it means to be loved is very important! Celebrate the magical spirit of St. Valentine’s Day by cuddling up with your young one(s) and reading together. But first, join us as we count down our favorite children’s books about L-O-V-E!


Taggies™ I Love You

By Scholastic

Book Description: Curious babies will love to touch and tug on the TAGGIES™ fleece blanket that covers this special book. The soon-to-be favorite of your baby also features eight colorful tags made for small fingers. The adorable bears illustrated in pastels make perfect daytime or bedtime companions. Machine washable. 3 pages. Cloth book. Birth & up.

Item#: 88268

Price: $12.99


One Hundred Is A Family

By Pam Muñoz Ryan

Book Description: Counting first from one to ten and then by tens to one hundred, this picture book celebrates the many meanings of family. The people connect in ever-widening circles, creating families of community, heritage, and simple love and friendship. 32 pages. 4 – 8 years.

Item#: 46702

Price: $7.99


My Monster Mama Love Me So

By Laura Leuck

Book Description: At once tender and funny, this monster bedtime story is guaranteed to generate giggles, tickles, and plenty of monster hugs.

Item #: 46442

Price: $3.50


Only One You

Book and Puppet Set

Book by Linda Kranz

Book Description: This inspirational book emphasizes how important each individual is to the world around them.

Item #: 91232

Price: $12.95


Little Sisters Are…

By Beth Norling

Book Description: Little sisters can be tiny, cuddly, smelly and sad. They can be bouncy, lumpy, sticky and brave. Every little sister is different, but we love them all the same. This book has bright pictures, easy text, and sturdy paper to help toddlers and twos turn the pages easily.

Item #: 85155

Price: $4.99


I Love You All Day Long 

By Francesca Rusackas

Book Description: Owen’s anxious question prompts this heartwarming, comforting tale of how a parent’s love stays with a child whether they are together or apart, all day long. Paperback. 32 pages.

Item #: 13433

Price: $6.99


Mama, Do You Love Me?

By Barbara M. Joosse

Book Description: In this universal story, a child tests the limits of independence and comfortingly learns that a parent’s love is unconditional and everlasting. The story is made all the more captivating by its unusual Arctic setting. The lyrical text introduces young readers to a distinctively different culture, while at the same time showing that the special love that exists between parent and child transcends all boundaries of time and place. The story is beautifully complemented by graphically stunning illustrations that are filled with such exciting animals as whales, wolves, puffins, and sled dogs, and a carefully researched glossary provides additional information on Arctic life. This tender and reassuring book is one that both parents and children will turn to again and again.

Item #: 92387

Price: $6.95


Guess How Much I Love You

Felt Story Set

By Sam McBratney

Book Description: This book is a wonderful expression of love between a parent and child. Set includes 15 felt figures, felt background scene, hardback book, and 2 bonus short stories. Ages 3 and up.

Item #: 62013

Price: $30.95

The Top 5 Toys for Preschoolers in 2011

18 Nov

Looking to add a pinch of pizzazz to your preschooler’s presents this holiday season? Our experts have assembled a list of sure-fire favorites for children 3 to 5.  And the best part is – they can all be purchased in just a few, short clicks at KaplanToys.com!

#5: Hide and Squeak Eggs

Preschoolers will enjoy the “egg-ceptional” shape sorting fun of Hide and Squeak Eggs. Shells crack open to reveal six “egg-stra” special colorful chicks. Press down gently on their heads to hear them peep. Take the eggs out of the carton to shape sort. 12 months & up.

Item #: 85523

Price: $10.95

#4: Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow

You and your child can send a super-cool rocket to new heights! Kids “stomp” on the pad and watch the foam rocket launch into the air up to 100 feet. Special “glow” edition glows in the dark! Assembles in minutes, and no tools are required. 3 years & up.

Item #: 00347

Price: $15.95

#3: My First Beauty Bag

A deluxe beauty bag perfect for the little divas in your care! The bag includes a motorized hair dryer, hand held mirror, 3 curlers, hairbrush, and curling iron. 3 years & up.

Item #: 00444

Price: $19.95

#2: Tikes Patrol Police Car

Kids can come to the rescue in this foot-powered squad car with a working door. When they push the button on the electronic microphone they’ll see flashing lights and hear seven siren sounds. A realistic light bar on the roof lets kids pretend they’re on their way to an emergency. 2 years & up.

Item #: 80860

Price: $74.95

#1: LEGO Ultimate Building Set

Stimulate your child’s creativity with over 405 LEGO pieces. The new storage box with transparent lid contains a mini LEGO figure, a building plate, and a great mix of standard bricks in various colors, house and wheels elements. 4 years & up.

Item #: 00665

Price: $29.95



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