5 Ways to Fill Your Little One’s Love Tank!

ThinkstockPhotos-481934968A year ago I spoke at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati (and I’m speaking there again this coming weekend!). While there, I decided to sit in on one workshop that caught my eye. The speaker was Kathy Lee and it was on maximizing the preschool years. All three of my grandkids are preschoolers, and I’m always looking for new ideas, so I decided to attend this workshop with a friend.

Ten minutes into the workshop I turned to my friend Rhonda who was with me and said, “This is great…we HAVE to have her at Hearts at Home!”  I brought her info back to our Speaker Team and we’re so excited Kathy Lee is a part of our 2016 conferences!  If you have preschoolers in your life, you need to be at one of our 2016 conferences to hear Kathy speak!

I asked Kathy to offer some encouragement to all of you so today’s post is from her. Don’t have a preschooler? I betcha know someone who does and you’ll definitely want to share this with them because TODAY KATHY IS GIVING AWAY HER PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM MEGA BUNDLE valued at $285 to one of my readers! I think that’s one of the biggest giveaways I’ve ever had! To enter, leave a comment sharing a favorite activity you love to do with your preschooler. 

By the way, you can find Kathy online at www.kathyhlee.com and www.thehomegrownpreschooler.com.


Kathy-Lee-thumbKids just wanna have fun and parents just need some fresh ideas to teach their preschoolers!  Here are five ways to fill your little one’s love tank:

Sing a song – Little ones love singing and dancing and being silly. Take a moment today and teach them one of my favorite songs, Blow the Balloon. As you can see by this video, you DO NOT have to be a singer to enjoy singing with your children.

**This song was taught to me by one of my favorite early childhood musicians. You can purchase his music at hughhanley.com.

Facilitate a child directed activity – One of the best ways you can keep your sanity is by making sure that your children are engaged in some quality sensory experiences. These three are my favorite:

GlarchGlarch – Mix equal parts of liquid starch and school glue. I suggest starting with a small amount of each. Knead the ingredients until a putty substance is formed. If the putty is too runny, add more glue; too sticky, add more starch.  You can add some watercolor or food coloring to your putty. Try adding some shaving cream to change the consistency. After your child is finished enjoying their glarch, put in a baggie and store it in the refrigerator.

Fly Guts– Fly Guts is a favorite among little ones. You will need a large container, 2 rolls of toilet paper, 2 bars of ivory soap and water. Invite your children to unroll the toilet paper (this is a fun activity all by itself) and place in the large container. Offer a plastic grater for your children to grate the soap or you grate the soap yourself, if it is a metal grater. Grate both bars of soap into the container with the toilet paper. Lastly, add enough water to form a gooey consistency, it doesn’t have to be exact.  A thicker mixture can be used for molding and sculpting.  A thinner mixture can be used to bury items and squish around.

clouddoughCloud Dough – Mix 4 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil to create this moon sand, type dough. Add is come silicone cupcake holders, measuring cups and large candles to create a great birthday party/cupcake experience. Adding rainbow rice for sprinkles is an exciting addition.

Invite your child to tell a story – Grab a blank journal or a few sheets of construction paper to write down your child’s story, word for word. Invite your child to illustrate their story any way they desire. When the story is finished, read it back to your little one and watch their delight. This is a great memory maker and language arts activity, all in one. If you have a minute, you can watch Madeline Ann tell me her story of The Dream Pony.

makingabookTell them a childhood story – Our children often forget that we were once babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Pull out some photos and share some childhood memories with your little one. This will be a moment that will definitely turn into a memory. I often tell my kids the story of me sneaking across the street to the local elementary school to climb this GIANT slide. My mom always quietly watched me “sneak” to the slide and even snapped a photo during one of my escapes.

Get outside – Ahhhh… nature! One of the greatest things you can do for your little one is to help them fall in love with the outdoors. Start exploring this beautiful earth at a young age. Take them on hikes, stop and smell the roses, jump in the mud puddle, or have a picnic in the back yard. The time together in nature does wonder for the soul of a child (and a mom).


Memories are made in the everyday moments. Love tanks are filled one YES at a time. Say yes and make some memories with your little ones today!


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35 thoughts on “5 Ways to Fill Your Little One’s Love Tank!

  1. I like to make a “peach lady” with an upside down canned peach half. The preschooler gets to make the face with raisin eyes, cherry mouth, shredded cheese hair, ruffled lettuce collar, etc. and she gets to eat her!

  2. Love these activities! One of favorite things to do with my preschooler is to paint with objects from nature. Just grab some washable paint and let your little one help find the “items” and have fun painting on paper or even big cardboard boxes. Items to use include…pinecones, flowers (daisy work well), leaves, feathers, rocks, pine needles, hay, moss…just what you can find. Its fun and you can use the art work to give away for family and friends.

  3. I just love being a mom to my boys. We love to be outside whether it’s raining or sunny. Playing and exploring all over. We also play pretend, drive trucks everywhere and they help cook and clean. Watching them vacuum is priceless to this mama!!

  4. I love to bake with my son. It’s often messier and takes more time than if I’d do it myself, but I love how much he wants to help and do as much as he can.

  5. My three year old son and I love to lay in the backyard and make up stories about the shapes in the clouds. Afterwards I help him draw the best story for dadda to see.

  6. Ohhhhh I would love this!! My daughter is entering preschool in September and as a stay–at-home-mom I’m always looking for new activities to do together. We love to craft and have a craft well to display her works of art. We bake every Thursday, go to library story times and the zoo and gymnastics classes. It sounds like a lot but I also try to make sure she has plenty of free play time at home as well.

  7. I love to play with preschoolers in dry rice. Lay out a big blanket and dump a big bag of rice onto it and let the kids, scoop, dig, rake, pour. Once the kids are finished the blanket easily gathers it all back together and pour into a storage container for next time. Something very peaceful about running your fingers through rice. We even nicknamed it “Rice Sandbox”

  8. We love to just be outside playing, but especially like going to the park. If not outside then my preschooler loves to play in the flour+baby oil mixture with his trucks. We lay out sheets on the kitchen floor with the container of mixture on top and play.

  9. My grandson loves it when we sit to read. But I don’t just read the book, I ask questions about the pictures associated with what I read. He loves to point to what we’re talking about. Also love going on walks with him. He is so inquisitive, stopping to check things out.

  10. My daughter is 4 1/2 and we love to read. We tend to read the same books over and over and it amazes me when she “reads” them back to me……almost word for word. I hope her love for reading will stay with her always. We love to put out bird seed and watch the birds and go for walks and play the “I spy with my little eye” game. We color and draw and, I love holding her hand, as I know one day she’ll think she’s too big for that.

  11. After it rains we go on a hunt for the biggest and deepest puddle in the neighborhood. My three year old especially loves splashing through them so he can fairly determine which is actually deepest. 🙂

  12. I like to do anything active with her. She spends enough quiet time with preschool, naps, and meals, we get active in her playtime. We have everything from playdoh, paints, trampoline, swings, slides, bikes, skates, leg powered cars, and swimming. The latest thing is a travel crib I filled with balls and balloons. She loves to jump in, climb out, bury favorite toys and hunt for them, and throw the balloons around.

  13. My preschooler LOVES to dress up like an animal he just read about or a person in a movie. He is obsessed with hats and masks so I am forever on Pingerest trying to figure out how to make him into a hyena or a bat with wings! The other day he wanted to wear a Doctor coat…. One costume we Didnt have. So I took one of my husbands old work shirts and voila we had a doctors coat! Love his imagination!

  14. Love doing family time with the kiddos! Right now me and my 5 yr old are making our own lyrics to twinkle twinkle little star! We have the 1st verse done! My 8yr old we like to do word searches! With both kids it is all about card games and board games!

  15. We love to feed the birds. We fill up the bird feeder together every time it’s empty. We also save old bread and it’s her job to break up and put out for the birds. We go on bike rides and collect pine cones to decorate with peanut butter and birdseed to hang up. She loves watching the birds from the window, talking about there colors and making up stories about where the birds are flying!

  16. Our daughter loves to play Pac Man (wear capes, chase PacMan until they find the power pellet, and then have 10 seconds to chase the “ghosts”), Nerf gun fights (with the Walkie talkies), or having “pool parties” with her Magic Clips dolls in the bathroom sink.

  17. We love to go on adventure walks through the woods. He often dawdles behind me and when I asked him last what he was doing he said he was thinking. I asked what he was thinking about… The trees, the grass, how he was going to catch a deer, the clouds… It was pretty awesome!

  18. God blessed my husband and I with our little guy after ten years of trying. We are beyond thankful and hope to not take the little things for granted. One of our favorite things to do is to load his little tricycle up and take it down town to ride along the sidewalks, get a smoothy at our favorite juicery, visit our favorite book store and (most fav) to dance like no one is watching while we stroll along an extra windy section of graffiti decorated buildings! They are the best days ever. Open to great silliness!

  19. Simply put, my favorite (and their favorite) activities are anything that gets me off my phone/computer and onto the floor playing with them. Their imagination is so amazing and I love being immersed into their little worlds!

  20. I have no imagination but have realized that my granddaughter just wants to be with me.
    Lately I have noticed the almost durable and reusable containers I buy just in my cupboard that I just usually toss like Linton tea boxes, powder detergent containers ect. I keep them and let her paint and decorate them. That way she uses her imagination!