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Northern Lights Recycled CD Art Project

Learning about Alaska and/or Arctic region?  Make this fun art project creating the Northern Lights using a recycled CD.

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Northern Lights Art Project for Kids

Over the past school year, my 1st grader and I have traveled around to each of the 50 States.  Along with finding each state on the map and coloring the state's symbols, I tried doing a craft or activity for more hands-on fun.  When we learnned about Arizona, my 1st grader made a cactus art project.  When we learned about Nebraska, we made a tornado in a jar.  And when we happened upon Alaska, we learned about the Northern Lights and made a cool art project using a recycled CD.

The Northern Lights are also called, " Aurora Borealis " and it is quite a fascinating phenomenon that can be seen in Arctic region. 

Northern Lights Art

Using a recycled CD, we created our own version of the Northern Lights!


For this art project make sure you are using a blank CD that is new and has nothing on it, or a CD that is scratched and can no longer be used!

how to make Northern Lights using a CD

 You know how you tilt a CD upside down you can see all the pretty rays of color?!  Well, THOSE rays are going to become your Northern Lights!

With a blue marker to represent water, draw a line in the middle of the CD.  Color half of the CD blue.  To make the blue less streak-y, color over the blue water with another shade of blue.

Once your water has been colored in, we will draw a silhouette of a mountain range.

Northern Lights Arctic Art Project

Using a black or silver sharpie, draw in your mountains on the other half of the CD.  Make sure to leave room for the Northern Lights to show!

With a green sharpie, draw in trees.  If interested, draw a cabin with a brown sharpie.

Arctic Art Project - The Northern Lights

With your mountain scene drawn in, you can move the CD back and forth and create your own Northern Lights light show! 

Northern Lights Arctic Art Project for Kids using a CD

My 1st grader just thought this was the coolest art project!  It was a fun way to explore the amazing phenomenon called The Northern Lights!

This activity was inspired by an idea in: Hands-On Crafts for Kids: Crafting in the U.S.A

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DIY Sticker Matching Game for Toddlers

Matching is a great skill to introduce to toddlers/ Preschoolers.  Learning how to visually discriminate and find a matching pair will come in handy when learning letters, how to read words and numbers, etc!

Your toddler will LOVE this DIY Sticker Matching Game!  

sticker matching game for toddlers

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Toddler Sticker Activity

This activity will just take a minute to put together and you probably have everything you need already!

It's simple, do-able, and fun!

Just grab a sheet of stickers with matching pairs, a piece of paper, and a marker/ pencil/ crayon.

sticker match for toddlers

To set up the sticker match activity, place a set of stickers on one side of the page.

Then place the matching sticker on the opposite side of the page.

Once it is set up, invite your toddler/ preschooler over to show-off his/her matching skills!

sticker activity for toddlers

We have done a similar activity only once before and Little Sis did very well drawing lines to the matching object, however this time, she got a bit crazy!

We'll work on it some more!

However, if you toddler is too young to draw his/her own lines, you could also draw in dotted lines between the matching stickers and have your child trace over the line.

toddler sticker matching activity

As I've mentioned, it is a super simple activity to put together and there are various ways to tweak the activity to suit your child's abilities!

You can also laminate this activity, put it in a page protector, or use with a Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center to make it a re-useable activity!

While you are at it, make several matching pages to have accessible when traveling or need a quick activity to keep your little one busy while making dinner!  You could make your own matching activities using a blank notebook or art book!

Have fun making this sticker matching activity for your toddler!

More Fun Toddler Activities:

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

Clothespin Counting Activity for Preschoolers

My 2 1/2 year old daughter loves fine motor activities!

She loves to manipulate objects big and small with her hands and so I created this simple activity for her, which focuses on counting and fine motor skills.

It's a win-win!!  Try this clothespin counting activity with your toddler or preschooler today!

preschool counting activity with clothespins from School Time Snippets

And actually, you could make this activity even more detailed by adding in colors and/or shapes, but this was an on the whim activity, and perhaps in the future I'll add on to it.

I set this up for my toddler, however if your child is beyond counting to 5 switch up the larger clothespins for smaller ones and make smaller dots on the popsicle sticks!

Supplies needed:

Preschool Counting Activity

fine motor counting activity from School Time Snippets

I gathered 5 Popsicle sticks and added dots corresponding to the number I wrote on the stick; i.e. the stick numbered with a 3, had three dots.

Once I numbered all the sticks, I grabbed 15 clothespins and called Little Sis to come over and she began clipping away!

Clothespin Counting Math Activity from School Time Snippets

I added the dot marker for an element of self checking and also because she is just learning her numbers.

Another way to set up this activity is to write the number and corresponding dots on one side and write the number on the other side of the stick.

Have your child work only on the side with the number on it.

Clothespin Counting Fine Motor Math Activity from School Time Snippets

Extension Idea:

You can also use this activity as a simple puzzle and have child line up the sticks in numerical order and/or use buttons, pom poms, or some other manipulative to place on the dots instead!

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Shapes Sticker Collage for Preschoolers

This no-prep shape sorting activity using stickers is great for preschoolers and helps them learn basic math concepts such as sorting, sizing, shape identification, and colors all while creating a colorful collage to hang on the wall.  

shape sorting activity for kids

My kiddos love love love stickers!  For Christmas we received this HUGE bag of foam shape stickers and the kiddos have since used them on plenty of random pictures.  

I pulled them out again to create a sorting activity to keep my two youngest busy when working with Big Brother.

And when the sorting part was over, it turned into a very colorful collage for our school room wall.
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This was a great opportunity to talk about shapes, colors, and sizes with my 2 year old,  and to continue strengthening fine motor muscles with both kiddos as our foam shapes were stickers!  And my kids loved this activity because they LOVE stickers!!

Sticker Activity for Preschoolers

What you need:

To prep the activity I gathered four sheets of card stock and a couple handfuls of the shape stickers.

I put one shape on each piece of card stock to guide my kiddos in their shape sort.

shape sticker sort

Once it was all ready to go, I encouraged my kiddos to come to the table to do the activity.  

They were to grab a shape, peel off the back, and put it on the matching shape.

peeling shape stickers

There's no right or wrong way to do this! Simply peel and match!  Make a design or place the shapes without rhyme or reason!

Continue until all the shapes have been used....

Sorting Shapes for Preschoolers

 To make our collage art, we put the four pieces of card stock in an old frame!

I LOVE it; it is so colorful!

Sorting Shapes Collage for Preschoolers

Alternatively, you could do this sticker activity as a way to talk about colors.  Instead of sorting shapes... sort by color.  And if you prefer not to use up the stickers, just have your preschooler sort the stickers without peeling off the back.

More Shape learning activities:

99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5

Fine Motor Skills Dinosaur Excavation

Calling all dino-fans!  Here's a fun, yet simple activity that will keep little hands busy looking for dinosaurs!  Sneak in fine motor skills with this PlayDough Dinosaur Excavation Activity!

playdough dinosaur eggs excavation activity

If you've been browsing Target's party aisles lately, you may have seen these oh so cute pack of dinosaurs for $2.  

Seeing only one bag left, I snatched them up real quick!  At the time I didn't have an immediate use for them, but as I mentioned-- they were cute and $2! Ha!  

However, as I've had time to sit and stare at this pack of dinosaurs, I can see they would be great for counting, color sorting, and today's fine motor activity-- Excavating Playdough Dinosaur Eggs!!  

PlayDough Fine Motor Activity

Grab a pack of dinosaurs and have fun excavating them from playdough eggs!


While the kids are busy excavating, grab one of our favorite dinosaur books for storytime.

Sounds like a great morning and/or afternoon activity to me!

play dough dinosaur eggs

We've shared a fine motor playdough activity a few months ago; remember our Playdough Pumpkin? Well, our Playdough Dinosaur Eggs follow the same concept.

Simply mold playdough into an egg shape over the dinosaur.  Then, invite your child to come explore.

For a little extra suspense, I added the playdough eggs to a fake planter and asked my daughter to find what was inside-- the playdough eggs!

Encourage your child (children) to pull and squeeze, poke, and tear apart the playdough to find what is inside-- the dinosaur!

You'll find that playdough provides plenty of opportunity to strengthen all the muscles in the hand.

Play Dough Fine Motor Skills Activity

I've never really been fond of playdough-- more so because of the mess-- until I realized how much it helps getting those hand muscles all working together; those muscles are important for writing!

I also found that homemade playdough is way more manageable than store bought... not exactly sure why that is?!

I drew up little color cards for their "home," to add in some color matching fun, too.  

Play Dough Dinosaur Activity

After you've excavated all of the dinosaurs from the playdough eggs and have sorted them by color, work on rolling and flattening the dough to make dinosaur fossils by pushing them into the playdough.

It would be also be a great time to sing, "The Playdough Song" which goes like this:
"This is how we roll the dough, 
roll the dough,
roll the dough, 
this is how we roll the dough, 
when we play with playdough"
....  continue singing while changing up the action word for poke, flatten, rip, etc!
{And actually, I am not sure if the song has a name, but that's what we call it!}

making dinosaur prints in play dough

Have fun excavating, color sorting, and counting with these playdough dinosaur eggs!

play dough dinosaur fine motor skills excavation

More Fine Motor Activities:

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