Ideas for Easter Baskets for Babies

Ideas for Easter Baskets for Babies and Toddlers from The Educators' Spin On It

Looking for ideas for creating an Easter Baskets for your baby? Here are some baby friendly ideas that are hands on, healthy and will inspire your baby's imagination.  A few ideas are even handmade that you could put together easily with fabric scraps from home. 

Easter Activities, Crafts and Books for Babies and Toddlers

Easter is just around the corner.  Here are some fun Hands On Activities, Crafts, Books and Sign Language for your Baby or Toddler to enjoy for Easter!  Don't wait bring out the eggs and bunnies now for hours of fun! 

Easter Activities for Babies and Toddlers from The Educators' Spin On It

Easter Activities for Babies

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

Easter Egg Wreath for Easter using Acts of Kindness

We just finished reading The Easter Egg by Jan Brett and talked about selfless acts for others, just like Hoppy in the story did.  My daughter and I came up with an idea to help us remember ways to do this.  Let's Make a Wreath of Eggs with Selfless Acts inside them just like Hoppi does in the story.  Although he really wanted to decorate eggs too, like all the other characters, so let's have some fun decorating eggs too!  Here's the book we're reading...

Bunny Bread Recipe Roundup

Bunny Bread Recipe Roundup for Easter featured at The Educators' Spin On It

We are learning about Bunnies by making Bunny Bread with Little Hands that Cook with Books.  We started off with a few adorable bunny books.  If you haven't discovered Hopper, a sweet little bunny created by Marcus Pfister, you need to go check him out.  We enjoyed reading Hopper, Hopper's Easter Surprise, Hopper Hunts for Spring, Hang On Hopper and Hopper's Treetop Adventure. 

Living History Museum

This week at The Educators' Spin On It, we have been reading at home about famous people in history. At my daughter's school, they had a Parent Involvement Evening called a "Living History Museum." Visitors (parents) were guided through the museum (the school) to learn about the various famous individuals as they were brought to life. Each student chose an individual and dressed up as that famous person in history. The children researched and wrote clues about their famous individual and read their clues to the parents as they went through the rooms.

Tips for supporting a Living History Museum at your Child's School

After much deliberation at our household, my daughter ended up choosing Betsy Ross because she enjoys sewing (and we had a bonnet in the dress up box and a red dress, a white shawl is easy to sew!)

Ideas for Living History Museum 

  • Florence Nightingale made an appearance dress in a nurses uniform.
  • Eleonore Roosevelt had a cute sweater dress, glasses, a cane and high heels.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci brought his most famous paintings to exhibit.
  • Pocahontas carried a baby on her back.
  • President Lincoln made several guest appearances.
  • Margaret Thacher arrived in a fancy home-sewn costume!
  • Mari Curie came in her lab coat with awards.
  • And many other scientists, explorers, political activists and more showed up too.

Tips for supporting a Living History Museum at your Child's School

I was a little worried that the activity of repeated public speaking would be too much for the young 5 year olds, but I shouldn't have been. They all did an amazing job with their clues and were SO excited when the adults guessed who they were.

My husband was a little unsure of this activity in the beginning too. "They don't know a lot of people in history!" But once he saw how excited my 5 year old was about learning more about historical figures, he was won over! "Now, I get it," he said. They don't know about these figures now, but once they represent that person and teach others about it, then they will know that one individual. Then, the will be interested in learning about the people their friends chose, and they will learn a few more. If we are lucky, it may spark an interest in learning even more and reading more books!

My daughter came home from the event just bursting with excitement, "I just need to start researching more about all these people in history from all around the world. I've got so much reading to do so I need to start now!" We had to snuggle up and read a short biography before heading to bed, but it didn't satisfy her new quest for learning about historical figures.

If you are a teacher, I strongly recommend considering adding this to your list of parent performances or involvements for the year.

If you are a parent, this would make a great PTA night activity with a very low cost, low preparation, and high learning activity.

Growing Peas with Kids in the Garden

Our household loves gardening. I am often asked what is our favorite vegetable to grow.  Without a doubt, I would say, snow peas.  

 Snow peas are one of my favorite plants to grow in both our home and school garden.  Mostly because they are so easy to grow.  Peas prefer cooler weather and can be planted after the danger of frost is over.  I till my soil by hand with a shovel and make finger indents about an inch deep and two inches apart from each other.  Then, I let the kids put one pea in each hole.  We cover with soil, water, and wait.  Soon, these little "flags" appear.
 After several weeks, the plants get bigger and blossoms form.  Within days each blossom becomes a pea.

 And as the peas get bigger, we pick and eat them.  If you have a class of 18 children, this is one vegetable that everyone can have a chance to harvest and eat on the same day.  It won't be a whole serving of vegetables, but will at least let the children sample the fruits of their labor. If you have a home garden, we planted a 4 foot row of peas and both children have been eating a small handful every day for snacks.

 We have even gone out to pick them early in the morning to pack them in my 5 year old's lunch boxes.  My 2 year old runs to the garden and says, "morning peas!" and then proceeds to rip the peas off the plants and stuff them in his mouth as fast as possible before his big sister gets to them.  I can't say I mind, although we are working on taking them off a little bit more gentle for the safety of the plants!

Helpful tips for growing peas
I used to have trouble growing peas until I called my mom (who has an amazing garden in MN). She asked, "How often are you watering them?"  I had just been watering them the 2-3 times a week like my other vegetables, but I learned that peas like water!  I now water my peas once, even twice a day and since I started this practice last year, my peas have been fantastic!  The other piece of advice was to plant them early in the season as they do not like extreme heat!

Yeah - my kids really go crazy for peas out of the garden!!! 

Want to extend your learning even further? 
  • Count your harvest and compare the amount to the day before
  • Record what you have harvested in your gardening journal.  Here is one I have created for my kids and is available for purchase at my Teachers' Notebook store. It is 20 pages at only $3.00, available for instant download!
  • Measure your pea pods - see who can find the longest!
  • Sing a song or fingerplay about peas
  • Write a story about growing peas
  • Read a story about peas!

Five Fat Peas
Author Unknown Shared at Preschool Rainbow

Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed
(children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest.
(put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew
 (raise hand in the air very slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day
The pod went POP!
(children clap hands together)

Additional Information

How to grow peas by Heirloom Organics.
Another how to from USA Gardener.
Best varieties for different places.

Crafting Links

Adorable peas in the pod craft using a paper plate!
Make your own felt peas
Another felt pea tutorial!
Make your own baby pea pod costume (sorry, I can't find a better tutorial - this isn't the greatest!)

Happy Gardening!

Easter Crafts and Activities for Toddlers

Easter can be so much fun with Toddlers.  Here are some hands on egg and chick crafts to celebrate Easter. 
Easter Crafts and Activities for Toddlers from The Educators' Spin On It

Tot School - 28 months Easter Crafts and Activities

This week, I brought out our collage tray that I made in January, cut an egg shape out, handed my 2 year old a glue bottle and let him go!  This is what he made!  I enjoy open ended crafts that allow for kids to make choices, but yet are still cute to hang up!  

Baby Time: I have a Zoo in my Backyard!

Babies and Toddlers are naturally interested in animals.  Many times your family pet ends up being one of your babies first words.  Then they begin to discover animal toys, our toy animals currently get lined up one by one when she's playing with them and carried all around the room.  Her next thing she loves is the animal books.  My little one loves talking to the kittens and touching the fur in it. Although these are all important to her development, it's just not the real thing.  It is my hope that your baby starts to discover the animals that live all around us first and gets excited to go outside.  We're working on the sign "Outside" at our house, here's how you sign for "Outside" from Signing Time using sign language.

Take your children outside on adventures.  We spend our mornings in the yard and discovered we live at the zoo!  Well, not really , but to my daughter it feels like it.  We were searching and discovering animals on a daily basis.  I love how she carefully watches and observes everything that surround her in this environment.  She is starting to get very excited with her little dancing feet when she sees something new moving.  Did you know at this age you can teach your baby and toddlers about SCIENCE? 

What animals can you discover with your baby in your yard?

  • My baby discovered that many squirrels live in our yard.
  • They like to run  and climb up trees and dig in the ground
  • They also eat those brown acorns on the ground that she loves to pick up at try to eat herself. 
  • She also discovered that the cat has a tail just like a squirrel.
  • My baby discovered that the birds fly back and forth from the trees and talk to each other. 
  • She discovered that they even come to the bird feeder to eat. 
  • She  discovered that they can be different colors and different sizes. 
  • They also come to the birdbath for water (still waiting for her to see how they take baths) 
  • Here are some Bird Activities for your baby & toddler
  • My baby discovered that a frog likes to live on our chair on the back porch. 
  • She discovered that it likes to jump when you try to touch it.  (can't wait for tadpoles to arrive) 
  • Here is Rainy Day Mums family's experience with Frog Hunting & Frog Books
  • My baby discovered that fish swim very fast when you approach. 
  • She also discovered they come back when you throw food into the water. 
  • We are very lucky that we have our own little pond in our yard, but you could always have a goldfish bowl in your house.
  • My baby discovered that a lizard climbs up on pot on the front porch. 
(Thank goodness we did not discover a snake yet, although pretend ones keep us busy)

  • My baby discovered a grasshopper sitting on our peas can jump as she tried to touch it! 
  • She also discovered a ladybug that flew away when she tried to touch it. 
  • She found out that the bright yellow butterflies fly away very quickly. 
What is my baby learning outdoors?

My baby is learning all about the world around here.  She learned that there are all types of animals.  She learned that animals can move in different ways.  She also learned that they can make different noises.  All skills of observation and knowledge in science.   Learning starts from the very beginning!   

The skills she is learning outside with me are far better than any skills she'll learn watching a TV.   Although I know it most certainly takes more effort, it's our jobs as a child's first teacher to give them these opportunities every day throughout the day to engage in nature and to explore their surroundings inside and outside.   

How do I connect with animals at playtime?

Outdoor time is so important!  It's also important to let your child find ways to explore those concepts in play.  Connecting the outdoors is very easy.  Just find a few toys that represent what you're finding outdoors.  Connecting through books & toys is just what they need to begin to develop their imagination.  We have found fish, squirrels, birds, frogs, ladybugs, and so those are the toys we are exploring and playing with right now.  Don't feel like you have to own all of these things... sometime playgroups are a great way to exchange a concept.  I'm waiting for Amanda's zoo animals to arrive at my house any day!   Can't wait!  

Ready for more Animals? Take a Baby & Toddler Field Trip

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings 
Top Ten Places to Take Go to See Animals with your Baby
  1. Your Yard
  2. Park
  3. Farm
  4. Duck Pond
  5. Zoo
  6. Pet Store
  7. Neighbors' Pet
  8. Ocean
  9. River
  10. Check your local area... you might be surprised what type of rescued animals need your support and are available for a fun time. 
I hope you enjoy finding a Zoo in your backyard, front yard, neighborhood and community.  Giving children the opportunity to experience little moments like this with real life creatures is so important to their development! 

Where do you discover animals?
 Need more Outdoor ideas? We've Linked up to

Snapshots of Parenting with Purpose

Our children get report cards.  Employees get reviews.  As parents you may not get feedback from others on your parenting.  We would like to take some time here at The Educators' Spin On It to celebrate the moments you share with your children that deserve recognition. We would like to give you positive feedback on your parenting experiences and share your story with others for inspiration!

From our family and friends to our neighbors and the people we see in our community there are so many fantastic role models and good examples of what parenting can be.  Often the media reflects upon the worst moments of parents. We would like to take a moment of our time to celebrate the little things that make the difference in their lives of our children.  We want to hear about, promote, and celebrate all of you parents out there who are parenting with purpose!

Look around you at the world.  Who is inspiring you to be a better parent?  Is it your own dad who made a special trip to help you fix a leaky bathroom faucet?  Is it your neighbor who is parenting two young children, one who just had a shunt put in his brain?  Is it the stranger walking into a grocery store who stops for a moment and kisses his child, snuggled in a carrier close to his chest? 

If you could take a snapshot of a great parenting with purpose moment, what would it look like for you? You don't have to actually catch this moment on camera, but we sure would love to hear about it!  Please send us your story of the grandparent, neighbor, friend, family, spouse, or community member that you saw parenting with purpose at the  If you have a picture that represents that moment and don't mind sharing it with us, send us that too! (but not necessary at all!) 

We would love to feature you in a future blog post and inspire the word to be better parents! E-mailing us your snapshot of parenting with purpose gives us permission to share your story with others with hopes that it may inspire =)  If you do not want us to share your awesome parenting moment with others, but want to tell us, just let us know in your e-mail and we will read it, but not share it!

Remember, please don't leave that awesome parenting moment in our comments below, e-mail them to us at ! Of course, we always love any other comments =) After all, we write for you!
Ready to Start Looking at our Snapshots?
Importance of Everyday Moments from Familia&Seoul
Importance of Male Readers from Learn with Play at Home

Happy 1st Day of Spring

The beginning of Spring is officially here!  How are you sharing the change of seasons with your child?  Did you go on a Hunt for Spring yet?  Have you spotted Spring in your yard, your neighborhood, or your community?  We'd love for you to share your photos with us on our Facebook Page or email us

Here are some of the pictures we found this past week on our Spring walks that we added to our Spring Journal. Some of the words we used with these pictures are flower, leaves, bud, nest, birds, and even a frog.  We could smell the flowers and even touched the frog so slimy was another word we added.  How many words can you add to your spring journal? 

How are your Spring Journals ? Grab a copy if you still need one. 

What was your child's favorite thing to discover about Spring? 

We can't wait to see what you share about Spring!  

Need some ideas for Spring Crafts? for our Spring Board
30 Ways to Get Ready for Spring from Red Ted Art
5 Simple Spring Crafts from Toddler Approved

Making Time for Siblings

How do you squeeze time in with all of your children to make sure they feel like they have your attention?  How do you have engaging fun together after school when they are all home?  Here are a few ideas that I want to share with you to help make your afternoons  fun for everyone in the house.  Plus making time for siblings makes homework time a lot more successful. 

Sibling Activities and Games

Our house gets a little bit busier when big sister comes home from school and even during the summer break! Over the past few weeks I've been noticing more and more attention seeking behaviors from my 5 year old, wanting more attention from Mommy than I was giving her.  Truthfully, our 1 year old is a busy little one who been keeping me on my toes quite often.  So I was brainstorming ideas for activities we could do together so they both felt like they were getting all of my attention in the afternoon.  Here are a few ways we discovered to spend time together with both older and younger siblings that I wanted to share with you. 

Ideas for Activities with Siblings

Saint Patrick's Day Smash a Shamrock activity and more

Tot School - 28 months

We've had a delightful learning week with a visit to the farm to feed the animals, a play date with friends, and lots of gardening outside. The favorite activity of the week - you'd never guess! We call it

Math: I love that it teaches sequencing, number sense, shapes, vocabulary, and allows for developing fine motor skills!  What I might say to my 2 year old is in italicized!

1.  Roll a ball
"Let's roll a small green ball."
2.  Roll another ball and count how many you have. 
"Do you have 3 balls?"  "Not yet, we need one more!"
3. Roll another ball and count how many you have. (touch each ball as you count)
"1, 2, 3, ...Do you have 3 balls? - YES!!! It's time to SMASH A SHAMROCK!"
4.  Smash the balls with the palm of your hands and make a shamrock.
"Ha, ha, ha.  That was fun, do you want to make another shamrock?  Yes? What will we need to do?"


(He wanted to make shamrock after shamrock after shamrock - I got bored way before he did!)

Teaching toddlers really doesn't require any fancy equipment.  We really had a blast this week with just the simple tools of paper, crayons, play dough, and balloons (only use with adult supervision)  We  (I put we because I play too!) played "Keep the balloon high," a game where we just hit the balloon high up.  When the balloon touches the ground, we say "too low," and throw it back up!  Then we played catch and balloon basket ball with the laundry basket as our hoop. Keeping in the spirit of the holiday this weekend, we used a green balloon!

A friend of mine brought this cute little hand print craft to our toddler play date.  Nicholas had fun painting his hands and wanted to do his version of finger painting.  3 prints were not enough.  I am going to try and do some more finger painting with him this weekend and may try the edible version! I think she purchased hers through Oriental Trading Company, but this could easily be done with construction paper too!

And last, but not least, I was so inspired by Kim's eat the rainbow post that I cut up a bunch of fruit and put it in a small bowl.  I gave pretty little plates to my kids and had them make their own personal rainbows. We topped it off with a cloud of whipped cream. The kids were on cloud nine!  They thought this was a great snack!

Happy learning!
Tot School

Baby Time: Tips for Reading Books to an Active Baby or Toddler

We've all been there...a book in hand but no one is interested.  We've read all the benefits of the importance of reading to our baby and toddler, but how can we when they are on the go?  At times not even wanting or willing to sit still for a moment or better yet they might even take the book from your hands and leave the room.  We're thinking, really are they getting anything from this?

My advice...

Little Hands That Cook with Books: Let's eat a RAINBOW!

March is National Nutrition Month! Here's a great way to teach your child about Nutrition


With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner and rainbows everywhere, here's your teachable moment to talk about Nutrition with your child and how they can eat a rainbow everyday! We've been pinning all sorts of Rainbow Themed Snacks on our Cooking with Kids and Spring Projects to Make & Do Pinterest Boards. Come check them out and Follow Us! 

Rainbow Recipes

One recipe that caught our eye was shared on our AfterSchool Party by Quirky Momma
 Spinach Artichoke Hummus Rainbow and Pot of Gold from Peppers created by JDanial4's Mom

Here is a Fruit Rainbow by Live, Learn, Love Eat
They are having a Eat The Rainbow competition
just for fun to see who can eat the most fruits or veggies in a day.

Live, Learn Love, Eat even made a rainbow from VEGETABLES!

Rainbow Fruit Skewers by Blogs Babble
We have a Fruit Princess Wand lesson too with Little Hands that Cook

Bent on Better Lunches is a part of a Blog Hop about St. Patrick's Day
with many other Bento Box Bloggers
Check out the amount of colors available in fruits and veggies!

Check out the rest of the St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop Starting with Obento Mamma

Reading and Singing about Nutrition

Heres a great program for your kids called Today I Ate A Rainbow. They even have a special song.   

Source Today I Ate a Rainbow
There are Song Videos too on the site! Check it out

Here is my one of my favorite Rainbow Songs from teaching Kindergarten.  It's has nothing to do about physical rainbow colors but everything to do celebrating diversity.  I love that it helps to connect with our Around the World Cooking Lessons

The World is a Rainbow by Greg and Steve (Click on Greg to see him sing)

The world is a rainbow
That's filled with many colors:
Yellow, black, and white, and brown,
You see them all around.

The world is a rainbow
With many kinds of people;
It takes all kinds of people
To make the world go round.

Now you be you
And I'll be me.
That's the way we were meant to be.
But the world is a mixing cup.
Just look what happens when you stir it up!

The world is a rainbow
With many kinds of people;
And when we work together
It's such a sight to see.
The world is beautiful when we live in harmony!

Now you be you
And I'll be me.
That's the way we were meant to be.
But the world is a mixing cup.
Just look what happens when you stir it up!
Books on Rainbows


Rainbow Activities and Resources
Fruit and Veggie Color List  for color of foods
Rainbow Activities from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Rainbow Resources from Squiddo
Let's Talk Nutrition-Activities and Resources
Weather Hop-Resources from MANY bloggers
Ideas for St. Patrick's Day Food from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
Rainbow Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1
Make a Rainbow Necklace
Using Cereal or Pasta create a necklace-Build Fine Motor Skills

Make a Fruit and Veggie Color Book 
Using flyers from groceries stores and magazines cut out pictures of fruits and vegetables and place them onto the page that matches the color.  Use the text below cut and glue to each page of the book. 
Make your Own Rainbow List of Fruits and Vegetables
Brainstorm all the different fruits and veggies there are and write them under the color words. 
See how many you can find. 
See you many you can eat in one week.
At the grocery store shop for the rainbow with your child

How Many Ways Can you Make a Rainbow?

Have fun cooking and eating with Rainbows!

Want more ideas from Little Hands that Cook with Books? Click Here!

Healthy Eating Made Fun For Kids!
For More Information
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