Sanity Savers: Craft Stick Picture Frames

Sponsored by: M&T Bank

By: Amelia Schrader
Senior Manger of Learning and Education 

Materials

8 craft sticks (per frame)
Glue (I recommend hot glue with grown up help but liquid glue will also work)
Markers or paintStickers (optional)
String, pipe cleaner or magnets (optional)  

Sanity Savers: Craft Stick Picture Frames

Length:

5 minutes + 

Academic Subject(s):

Art, Geometry  

Today we are making popsicle stick picture frames! These can be created to send to any loved one you are really missing right now! You can use a real photo for these frames or draw a picture to put inside. For our samples, we did both! This lesson is also a great opportunity to address some basic geometry concepts!  

Directions:

Step 1: Line up two of the craft sticks parallel to each other and place a glue dab at the top.  

Sanity Savers: Craft Stick Picture Frames

Step 2: Next, place one stick at the top perpendicular to the two parallel stick in the glue dab. Place another stick directly underneath this one.  

Sanity Savers: Craft Stick Picture Frames

Step 3:  Repeat this process on each corner of the frame until you have a square with each side having two parallel sticks.  

Step 4: Decorate your frame with paint, markers or stickers! Whatever you have available! 

Step 5: Glue in your photo or special drawing to the back of the frame! If you want you can also attach a string to hang the frame or a magnet for the fridge. This simple art project is a great way to engage your child’s creativity and discuss some basic math concepts!

For little ones the project provides so many learning opportunities including: counting, shape recognition, vocabulary building, fine motor skills and building imagination!  

Vocabulary Words

Parallel: side by side with continual equal space apart, two lines or objects that will never intersect.
Perpendicular: At an angle of 90 degrees (right angle)   

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here!    

Sanity Savers: Can you build it this way?

By: Margaret Foley and Bingzheng Ji
Masters Students at the University at Buffalo

This special “Sanity Saver” blog entry is based on the Living Lab project originally planned to be implemented with our visitors in Spring of 2020.  

The Living Lab is a collaborative project between UB’s Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC) and Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum. The Living L is designed to bring child development research and knowledge directly to you through play-like experiments with your child! In each of the Living Lab sessions, UB graduate student researchers would engage your child in a brief and play-like experiment based on cutting-edge research. They would then explain to you the purpose of the experiment and why it is important. In addition, they would provide some fun activities and ideas for you to try at home to facilitate your child’s learning and development.  

Since all in-person activities are on hold the ECRC and E&M partnered together to still be able to reach you in your living room! The UB student researchers have created fun and engaging activities based on their research experiments.  We hope you will try them out.  

As Explore & More’s community partner, ECRC also welcomes you to check out its online resources and activities for young children (ages 2-6) and their parents and caregivers: https://www.facebook.com/EarlyChildhoodResearchCenter.

Have you ever wondered when your child is going to realize you can’t see what they are pointing to because you are in the other room? Do you just wait for the day that your toddler understands that using different pictures can build the same building? Understanding that different people see things differently, also known as visual perception-taking, is an important social emotional skill that children start to develop early in life. In this activity, children will use blocks to recreate a picture while their caregiver or sibling uses blocks to recreate another picture of the same structure from a different angle. Through this activity, caregivers will be able to compare and contrast buildings and talk about why different people sometimes see things differently. 

Materials:

Two sets of building blocks Camera or phone that can take pictures  
Printer 
Printer paper 
Four pictures of the same building or structure from different angles

Length:

Set Up/Prep: 10 minutes

Activity:

15+ minutes Development

Subject Areas:

Social and Cognitive Development

Directions:

Step 1: Use a few building blocks to build a simple building or structure.
Step 2: Take four pictures of the building from four different angles.
Step 3: Print out the pictures or display them on your phone so you child can see all four pictures. Do not tell them that all the pictures are of the same building.
Step 4: Have your child pick one of the pictures and ask them to recreate the building in the picture using blocks.
Step 5: While your child is working on their building, choose one of the remaining photos, and recreate it using the building blocks. 
Step 6: When everyone has finished building, compare the two buildings. What is the same about them? What is different? 
Step 7: Explain that the pictures were all of the same building. Ask the child why the building they made looks different from the building you made and talk about how different people see things differently when they look at them. 
Here are some suggested adaptations
1. No blocks? No problem. Use recycled containers like tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, and soup cans to create different structures.
 2. Do not worry about printing out your pictures if you don’t have a printer. Use a phone or tablet to show your child the pictures or create your own drawings of the building from different angles using markers and paper.
3. Are there multiple people living in your house? Ask them to recreate one of the pictures too!
4. Ask your child to build a structure and draw it or take a picture of it from two different angles. Once they are done, have them challenge two people in their house to build the same structure and see how similarly they turn out. 

Vocabulary words

Compare- To look at things and notice is the same about them and what is different. 
Contrast- To look at things and notice what is different about them.
Similarity- Something that two things have that are the same or are close to the same.

Check out our other Sanity Savers posts here! 

Sanity Savers: Pretend Play Scenarios To Help Your Child Develop Causal Reasoning

Written by:
Amanda Ye & Sumaiya Hoque 

 This special “Sanity Saver” blog entry is based on the Living Lab project originally planned to be implemented with our visitors in Spring of 2020.

 The Living Lab is a collaborative project between UB’s Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC) and Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum. The Living Lab is designed to bring child development research and knowledge directly to you through play-like experiments with your child! In each of the Living Lab sessions, UB graduate student researchers would engage your child in a brief and play-like experiment based on cutting-edge research. They would then explain to you the purpose of the experiment and why it is important. In addition, they would provide some fun activities and ideas for you to try at home to facilitate your child’s learning and development. 
 
Since all in-person activities are on hold the ECRC and E&M partnered together to still be able to reach you in your living room! The UB student researchers have created fun and engaging activities based on their research experiments.  We hope you will try them out.  

As Explore & More’s community partner, ECRC also welcomes you to check out its online resources and activities for young children (ages 2-6) and their parents and caregivers: https://www.facebook.com/EarlyChildhoodResearchCenter.  

What is causal reasoning? How is it related to cause and effect?
●    Causal reasoning is the ability to identify causality; establishing the idea that a cause always comes before an effect. You can try to test your child’s ability to identify cause and effect relationships within a sequence of events! 

Sanity Savers: Pretend Play Scenarios To Help Your Child Develop Causal Reasoning

Materials:

●    Props/toys for pretend play available at home
●    Props for scenario 1 are the following but not limited to:
○    Toy cars, dolls, action figures, grocery items, toy house, library card and etc…      
●    Props for the scenario 2 are the following but not limited to:
○    Jump rope, picnic basket, grocery items, toy house, family dolls, toy car and etc…  

Length:

Approximately 5 minutes for each scenario 

Procedure: (Pretend play/dramatic play)

1)    Tell your child that they will be going on two different pretend adventures at home. The caregiver can choose to utilize and set up any materials/props they have for the following scenarios they act out with the child.

2)    The following are example scenarios that you can use with your child. Feel free to come up with your own!

3)    Scenario 1: “One day Emma and her dad drove to the supermarket to get some groceries. After, they went to the library and read a few books. Emma used her library card to borrow a book. Then they went back to the car and drove back home. When Emma and her dad got home, Emma realized her library card was missing. Where do you think the library card is? Home, supermarket, library, or the car? And why?”

4)    Scenario 2: “Jake and his family are at home getting ready to go to the park to have a picnic. Jake makes sure to bring his favorite jump rope to play at the park. Then Jake’s mom says she has to make a quick stop at the store. After that they drive to grandma’s house to pick her up. While Jake’s grandma gets ready to go on the picnic with them,  Jake plays jump rope at grandma’s house for a little while. Then they all drive up to the park. Once at the park Jake realizes that her jump rope is missing. Where do you think Jake left his jump rope? At the car, home, grandma’s house or the grocery store? And why?”

5)    Focus on your child’s explanation and reasoning behind their answer. How did they figure out the answer? Did they use causal reasoning? (some children might get the correct answer from guessing)

6)    If your child did not get the right answer, you can remind them about the important event in the story. (ex. Do you remember where Emma used her library card?) Or try to explain the process of solving the problem with logical reasoning. (ex. Emma must have lost her library card after so had used it, therefore, it must have been at the library or in the car.) 

Other ways to help your child improve causal reasoning:

●     Establish and explain cause and effect relationships with daily activities.
○     Example: Ask the child to recount experiences, such as trips to the supermarket or what happened in school.
●    Read some of these books and talk about the cause and effect relationship of the sequence of events that occured in the stories.
–      If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff
–      The Lorax by Dr.Seuss
–      A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To School by Davide Cali, Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud 

Storytime: The Story of the Four Friends read by Seham Issa: قصه الاصدقاء الاربعه من قرأة سهام عيسى


This reading comes from the book Kalila and Dimna: Fables Across TIme, which includes three fables that originated in India more than two thousand years ago and have since circulated in the Near East. This particular reading is of the story titled: The Story of the Four Friends; when Tortoise gets stuck in a hunter’s net, his friends Crow, Gazelle, and Mouse develop a creative plan to set him free. It is a timeless story of friendship, ingenuity, and helpfulness in the face of adversity.

تأتي هذه القراءة من كتاب حكايات عبر الزمن  كليلة ودمنة.  والذي يتضمن ثلاثة حكايات  نشأت في الهند منذ أكثر من ألفي عام وانتشرت منذ ذلك الحين في الشرق الأدنى.  هذه القراءة خاصة من قصة بعنوان: قصة الأصدقاء الأربعة.  عندما  علقة السلحفاة  في شبكة صياد ، وكيف وضع أصدقاؤه الفأر والغزال والطائر   خطة إبداعية لإطلاق سراحها.  إنها قصة خالدة عن  الصداقة والبراعة والمساعدة في مواجهة الشدائد.

Special thanks to our friends at Jewish Family Services for their help!

For more Storytime stories click here!