Quality Time with Kacey, image of a koala wearing a Maryland EXCELS T-shirt, sitting in front of a clock

Quality Time with Kacey

Activities with Kacey for Families and Providers

Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS will be sharing fun and educational activities for families and child care programs.

Be sure to visit this page or social media regularly! Share your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that activities described on this page and in website links are not suitable for all ages. Ultimately, all activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Create a Masterpiece

A tree made from pieces of colored torn construction paper

Dance with the Sesame Street characters as you listen to the Sesame Street: Make Your Own Art Song sung aloud.

As a follow-up art activity, give your children pieces of paper, glue, and torn pieces of colored construction paper. Model how you can use the small pieces of colored paper to make a new creation.

You can tear the colored paper ahead of time or the children can practice their fine-motor skills by tearing the paper themselves. Then have the children make their own creations. 

 

 

Fall Fun!

Cover of the book The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall displaying two birds on an apple tree branch

Read The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall or listen to the book read aloud.

As a follow-up to the story, make this simple apple pie playdough* and bring the smell of freshly baked pie to your early education program! The children can then work on their fine motor skills making creations with the playdough. 

*Though this dough is not for eating, be sure the children in your care are not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Apple Pie Playdough

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice

Directions: 

  1. Add water and vegetable oil to a small pot and stir.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the pot and stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Stirring constantly over medium heat, cook the mixture until the dough starts to form.
  5. Let the dough cool thoroughly. 
  6. Transfer the cooled dough to a pastry mat or cutting board and knead the dough.
  7. Add more flour a little at a time if the dough is too sticky.

Make a Frozen Treat

What Can You Do with a Paleta? By Carmen Tafolla. Illustrated by Magaly Morales.

Listen to the read-aloud story What Can You Do with a Paleta? Then make your own healthy Mexican paleta! It is an easy and delicious treat!

Items needed:

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit
  • 2 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or any other plain yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place fruit into a blender.
  2. Add honey, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  3. Blend until pureed.
  4. Add puree to yogurt and stir.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds, ice cube trays, or paper cups. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
  6. Enjoy this new treat!

Building with Ice

Note: An adult should always be present at all times around any water activities.

For this project, you’ll need to prepare ice cubes ahead of time. Fill small, plastic containers and ice cube trays with water, add food coloring and/or glitter, then put the containers into the freezer.

Once the water has frozen, put the ice cubes and larger ice pieces into a larger plastic container. Let your child’s creativity shine as they build a castle or other ice structures with the ice cubes!

Beautify your neighborhood!

Book cover of "Maybe Something Beautiful" by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell

Listen and read along to the story Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

You can also borrow this book from your local library’s digital services:  

As a follow-up activity to the story, have your child paint rocks or draw pictures for your neighbors. Your child will brighten their day!

 

Friendship and Art

An abstract art drawing done in pastelsRead and listen to the story When Pigasso Met Mootisse about friendship and art. As a follow-up to the story, decorate a letter of the alphabet for a friend. Use any art materials or recycled items you find around your home. Mail it or take a picture of the letter and text or email it to a friend.

 

 

Artful Snacks

A bowl of strawberries next to a plate with snacks shaped to look like birds and a stoplight

Make edible artwork for snack time! Your child can make colorful art project snacks using their favorite fruits, vegetables,  crackers, pancakes, or waffles. They can make flowers, ice cream cones, cars, or animals. Share your child’s edible artwork with us on social media. 

 

 

 

See activities from past weeks: