Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music

color-coded-beginner-piano-sheet-music-free-printables-projectsinparenting

The other day, Jacob was jamming away on his toy piano singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ – eyes closed, head bopping, slamming random keys on the key board…  I loved the enthusiasm and figured the boys are probably old enough to start reading beginner sheet music, so I decided to put together a few songs for them.

I am by no means a musician, but I did play piano back in the day and remembered some of the basics. I wanted to keep it simple with what I feel is a reasonable goal for toddlers and preschoolers: Find Middle C and play a simple song with one finger (not at all insisting on proper finger placement). I’m not trying to raise Mozart – I just want them to have fun and become comfortable with the basics of sheet music while doing so.

POST UPDATE: I originally cut down circle dot labels I had on-hand (as seen in my photo below), then upgraded to these Color Coding Dot Labels which coordinated perfectly. Once we upgraded from their Fisher-Price Keyboard to an electronic piano, I created these Removable Color Coded Piano Key Labels – Now the colors coordinate exactly and I love that they have a less harsh, easily removable adhesive.

Using the color-coded labels, I created coordinating sheet music for a couple of their favorite songs. Click on below sheet music image to download a FREE printable.

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mary-had-a-little-lamb

For more song selections and coordinating color-coded sticker labels, please visit my Etsy Shop.
9 song pack

As simple as that – now my boys understand the concept of reading and playing music on the piano. With or without an accurate rhythm on the keyboard, watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless!

color-coded-beginner-piano-sheet-music-projectsinparenting

Related: Star Wars The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Related: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book

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Toddler Water Activities

Toddler Water Activities

With summer comes water – especially here in Chicago, where the heat and humidity can make a bed of ice cubes sound comfortable. Even with the scorching weather, I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors with the kids – which means LOTS of water activities to keep them cool. We have a ton of fun with sprinklers, water balloons, and the kiddie pool, but sometimes they need a little extra creativity to catch their interest and get them excited to play outside in the heat.

With 3 little ones, I try to stick with activities that have minimal set-up time. I’ve seen a ton of great ideas on Pinterest, and as fun as some of them may be, I simply don’t have the time for things like building an extravagant “car wash” system out of PVC, hoses and hanging sponges…. For me, simple = good. And holding the kids attention for 30+ minutes = WIN!

That said, below is a list of our top 10 water activities…

1. Target Practice

Target Practice
Using water sprayers from our local dollar store, I set up rubber ducks and frogs on top of activity cones and the kids practice their aim by spraying them off.

 

2. Fishing for Ducks

IMG_7980Fishing for Ducks 2Fishing for Ducks
Holding the test of time, this has been a favorite activity since the boys were just short of 2 years old. Using an aquarium net, the kids “fish” for anything from rubber ducks to ping pong balls… After they are done fishing, sometimes the kids like to get out kitchen utensils and make “duck soup”.

 

3. Animal Baths

Animal Baths
This particular day we were taking a break from the heat, but have done this activity indoors and out… Using an old toothbrush and some soap, the kids enjoy pampering their favorite toy animals with a little spa-day.

 

4. Sink, Float & Explore

Sink and Float
With simple items from around the house, the kids explore what sinks or floats. The activity itself only lasts about 10 minutes, but then they enjoy simply playing with the items in water… (example items: plastic cups, paper, marbles, straws, plastic beads, coins, pom poms, plastic bugs/animals, buttons, wooden sticks, spoons, paper clips and rubber bands)

 

5. Splash Slo-Mo

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Playing around with the ‘slo-mo’ feature on my iPhone, I decided to take some clips of the kids splashing around in the pool – SO FUN! Now the boys are constantly requesting I take videos so they can watch their playbacks in slo-mo… Summer splashing at it’s best!

 

6. Chalk Paint

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Wet Chalk Jacob
Water + chalk = messy fun!!… Great for using left over small pieces of chalk – Just throw chalk sticks into a baggie, pound with a hammer (or the flat end of a meat tenderizer), pour chalk powder into a bucket, and add a small amount of water to make a thin paste… For less prep: Simply pour water on the ground, color heavily in the puddle with chalk, and mix with hands.

 

7. Car Wash

Car Wash
Whether it’s washing their toy trucks or Mom and Dad’s cars, the kids always enjoy a good car wash.

8. Wet Paper


As simple as construction paper in water – Squish it, squeeze it, and tear it. A great sensory experience.

 

9. Water Transfer

Water Transfer.JPG
Another go-to activity of mine, indoors or out… Using kitchen utensils, sponges, and a Fine Motor Tools Set, transferring water becomes endless hours of fun.

 

10. Putting out Fires

Putting out Fires
Off in imagination land, the kids love to pretend their toy house in our backyard is on fire and they help put it out with the hose, buckets of water, and/or their Paw Patrol Water Backpack.

Thanks for visiting my blog! For more fun ideas, follow me on Pinterest and Facebook… and now I’ll leave you with this adorably happy face…

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Bunny Silhouette Painting

Bunny Silhouette Painting

With Easter right around the corner, I decided to create bunny silhouette paintings with the kids. A great way to kick-off spring, and capture the beautiful upcoming season.

I started by printing out a bunny silhouette from Clip Art Queen on card stock, then cut along the edge with an x-acto blade (not including the tail), and taped the stencil to a blank sheet of paper. I mixed pastel pink, blue and yellow onto a tray for the kids, then they painted over the stencil using a sponge and/or their hands.  After removing the stencil, their paintings looked pretty adorable as-is. But for a little extra fun and individuality – we added a tail, eyes, a nose, and mouth… I’m not sure what it is with kids and googly eyes, but they can’t get enough!

The kids enjoyed this craft enough that I’ll definitely try it again with other silhouettes. A fun craft for all ages!

Constellation Sticker Craft

Constellation Sticker Craft - projectsinparenting

All things outer space has been a huge interest of the boys lately. They enjoy star gazing, identifying planets in the sky, and were thrilled to see the Super Blood Moon this past summer.

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Although it would be amazing if the moon were really that huge, it’s enlarged for effect  🙂

Jacob’s favorite thing to wear are his constellation pajama pants (as seen above) and he’s always asking us to point out the Big Dipper, especially after reading Touch the Brightest Star – one of his favorite interactive books, where you trace the Big and Little Dipper with your finger as part of the story. (Great book for any toddler’s bed time collection!)

I wanted a fun way to teach them the basic constellations, and ones that are easy to spot in the sky, so I came up with the following craft worksheets…

Big Dipper WorksheetLittle Dipper WorksheetCassiopeia WorksheetCygnus Worksheet

LeoPegasusOrion WorksheetCepheusGemini

Click on individual worksheet above for FREE printable, or HERE for pdf with ALL Worksheets.

First I had the boys place star stickers on the grey dots, then using the picture as reference, draw lines to create each constellation.

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After learning the constellations, the boys got creative with their worksheets – connecting the dots without stickers, outlining the constellation in all star stickers, putting other stars in the sky, tracing the letters to spell the constellations, etc. I enjoy watching them explore whatever materials I give them. It’s fun when they think outside the box and come up with new ways to do things… A great hands-on way to learn while using imagination and creativity!

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“Don’t wait for the stars to align. Reach up, rearrange them the way you want them to be. Create your own constellation.” – Pharrell Williams

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Fall Leaf Lantern

While it can be difficult saying goodbye to long sunny days of summer, there are several things that help me embrace fall with open arms: sweater weather, boots, apple picking, Halloween, pumpkin spice, and of course the beautiful foliage. Thank you autumn, for one of nature’s best free kid toys – leaves! To bring some of these enchanting colors indoors, I decided to create fall leaf lanterns with the kids.

DIY Fall Leaf Lantern Kids Craft - projectsinparenting.com

SUPPLIES:
– Cardboard Goldfish Carton (or 1/2 Gallon Milk Carton)
– Box Cutter and/or Scissors
– Flameless Candle
– Contact Paper
– Hole Puncher
– String
– White Duct Tape (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Collect leaves.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 2: Using a box cutter, cut 4 rectangular sections out of each side of the carton.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 3: (Optional) Use white Duct Tape to cover print on the carton.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 4: Using scissors, cut contact paper into 8 rectangles that are just larger than the sections cut out of the cartons (my rectangles were 10×15 squares).Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 5: Adhere contact paper rectangle, sticky side out, onto the inside of each side of the carton and reinforce sections by taping each inside edge and corner.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 7: Gently press leaves on each side of the carton’s contact paper sections.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 8: Use remaining 4 sections of contact paper to cover each side of the carton, holding leaves onto the lantern.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 9: Hole punch top of carton and tie string as a handle for the lantern. Create Duct Tape tab to hold lantern top closed.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

Step 10: Insert flameless candle.Fall Leaf Lantern - projectsinparenting.com

DIY Fall Leaf Lantern Kids Craft - projectsinparenting.com

Follow me on Pinterest, for more fun ideas!

Room on the Broom Inspired Scavenger Hunt

Room on the Broom Inspired Scavenger Hunt

A family friend bought us a copy of Room on the Broom last year and the boys could not get enough. They wanted to read it over and over again – for MONTHS!! And they still love to read it. The book is extremely clever with captivating illustrations and super catchy rhymes. Since they loved the book so much, I also purchased the DVD (which is AMAZING as well – and great for bringing imagination to life). If you don’t own this book, I highly recommend adding it to your personal library.

room-on-the-broom

As we read the story or watch the DVD, the boys love pretending to throw items into the cauldron (lily, cone, stick, bone). Sometimes they come up with their own ingredients (acorns, leaves, etc.). I was looking at our Halloween candy bowl (which happens to be a witches cauldron) and came up with the idea for an activity to engage them in the story even more…

I created scavenger hunt cards with cauldron ingredients, printed them on card stock, and cut them out.

Download FREE Printable HERE.

Note: I chose the strength of card stock and reinforcement of laminating them with contact paper because Avery crumpled up the 1st set I printed on regular paper (which the boys were not very happy about) . I’m sure older children would handle regular paper or card stock just fine.

I then placed the scavenger hunt cards face down, onto a table, next to the witches cauldron. The boys took turns selecting a card, then running off to gather their ingredients (which were scattered on the ground or hidden in a separate room)… Great for burning off the incessant toddler energy!

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They tossed their ingredients into the cauldron and stirred them well…

Room on the Broom inspired scavenger hunt - Stir Cauldron

Room on the Broom inspired scavenger hunt - Stir Cauldron

For a fun twist on the game, I gave them each a glow stick wand (found at the dollar store)…

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…and had them find their items in the dark using the wand.

Room on the Broom inspired scavenger hunt - in the dark

Room on the Broom inspired scavenger hunt - in the dark

IGGITY, ZIGGITY, ZAGGITY, ZOOM!!!… Out rose 3 happy toddlers, entertained for hours!

Room on the Broom inspired scavenger hunt - Iggity Ziggity Zaggity Zoom

Follow me on Pinterest, for more fun ideas!