Category Archives: early learning

Enriching Your Summer with STEAM Learning

summer steamLooking for some ways to keep your kids learning while having a fun time this summer? Check out these ideas to STEAM up your summer!

  1. Periodic Table Battleship. So this is number one on my list for a reason. I think this is SUCH a great idea to get kids learning about their elements! I used a different table in our battleship game that included pictures. So perfect!!
  2. Science Headband Game. This one from Oriental Trading is cheap, but you could easily make your own.
  3. Make Ice Cream (by hand!) This looks like fun for the kids. Surprisingly I am not a fan of ice cream, so this doesn’t appeal to me. But I know my daughter would love it!
  4. Glow in the Dark Party. While this site has a gazillion things you could for a glow in the dark party, I am perfectly content grabbing a container of glow sticks at the dollar store and having my daughter put on a show with them in our dark basement. Fun and super simple! Just make sure to squeeze some science into the activity. If you are feeling especially ambitious teach your kiddo about chemiluminescence.
  5. Make Bird Feeders. There are tons of different ways you could make one (including having your child design and build their own invention). Birds are fascinating- tie in some extra ornithology activities by watching live bird cameras or dissect an owl pellet (GROSS).
  6. Make S’mores using a homemade Solar Oven. Delicious and a good tie-in to emergency preparedness. Not only because of the importance of having a way to cook food during a power outage….but because, let’s face it, in an emergency we will want to eat chocolate.
  7. Make a Straw Rocket (free printable HERE)
  8. Design and Build a Pom Pom drop This looks super easy- you just need paper towel rolls, tape, and pom poms!
  9. Build a homopolar motor dancer. Can I just say this looks AWESOME! I wonder if I could change the dancer into a spinning dragon or dinosaur…
  10. Learn the science behind yeast with a little balloon experiment. And then make bread knowing in your science heart why it rises. 🙂
  11. Apply your knowledge of conductors and insulators with some circuit testing. (I would also check out Snap Circuit boards for kids– they are fun for our entire family!)
  12. Use programming apps such as Hopscotch or Lightbot (our current favorite) to expand your child’s technology learning. And so they can be super cool and learn how to code.
  13. Make a sundial. I think I will enrich this activity with some discussion on the earth’s orbit and how it affects the sun’s position in the sky. And maybe watch some Neil Degrasse Tyson Cosmos movies.
  14. Fizzy Explosion bags. We have done this in the past and had a lot of fun! Just be prepared for your child to want to do this over and over and over….
  15. Make an Inventor’s Box. I think it would be fascinating to open up an old piece of electronics and see what’s inside.
  16. Teach your child binary and have them code their name with beads. Geeky enough?
  17. Make a compass. Then learn about WHY we have North and South poles and the Earth’s magnetic field. And then make a clay model of the Earth’s layers using a metal bead inside the center to show the magnetic core.
  18. Demonstrate the chemical reaction of citric acid and baking soda by making a lemon volcano.
  19. Teach nutrition using sites such as ChooseMyPlate.gov.
  20. Grow a lima bean seed. I especially like the use of a clear CD case to label the different parts of a plant.
  21. Something dinosaurish– not sure yet… but I need to keep my little paleontologist busy!
  22. Download my STEAM summer ideas in my TpT store.

Some of you may be wondering if I am going to be doing all of these activities. The answer of course is NO! I hope to get to many of them (except the owl pellet dissecting). But we just got approved to be foster parents so I know our life is going to drastically change. I can’t wait. 🙂

Happy STEAMing!

Acrostic Bedroom Cleaning Plan for Kids

Cleaning a bedroom can be a challenge for some kids. Their vision of a clean room usually consists of a bed that’s made and nothing on the floor. Which in our house looked great from far away- once you entered the room you could see piles and piles of toys and books squished under the bed. There would be towers of books and papers on Boo’s desk and nightstand that were placed in such a way that if you so much as sneezed would come tumbling down . And let’s not even talk about the closet.

Clearly we both had a different idea of what a clean room looked like. Boo would get frustrated having me tell her to go back and fix things, and I got frustrated that I would have to make a detailed list of what needed to be done every day. This system just wasn’t working out for us.

Let me introduce you to the Acrostic approach. It is AMAZING. Why? Because my daughter has clear expectations that she can REMEMBER. And I don’t need to print a checklist or make a fancy sign or anything. I just tell her it’s time for a B.E.D.R.O.O.M. clean. And she knows exactly what to do. She does each job while spelling the word bedroom. Might I also add this is a good spelling activity, too! By the time she is finished spelling the word, her room is clean. It’s so nice!

This is our Acrostic BEDROOM cleaning plan. You can totally modify it to meet the needs of your child and the bedroom cleaning battle you might be facing. 🙂

Acrostic Bedroom Cleaning Plan

B- Make Bed (easy enough, right?)

E- Everything off the Floor (everything that SHOULDN’T be on the floor- including under the bed- needs to be picked up and put away- like blankets, books, clothes, toys, lip gloss, pokemon cards, legos… you get the picture)

D- Drawers closed (there seems to always be drawers left opened, so we added this as part of the room cleaning plan)

R- Really Clean closet (shoes lined up or in organizer, clothes hung up, etc)

O- Organized Desk (things just get piled up on Boo’s desk! I added this to make sure she gets things put away and that they look nice and tidy.)

O- Organized Toy Bin (while I am not a fan of toys in bedrooms, that’s where they always end up! We got a little toy bin for her room which also happens to collect books and shoes and it needs the occasional organization help)

M- Move the Vacuum!

And voila! Instead of having a room that’s semi-clean with extra stuff thrown under the bed and in the closet, we actually have a clean room. And that brings me joy!

10 Ways to Ponderize the Scriptures with your Family

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I knew as soon as the conference talk was given that the word “ponderize”, which means to ponder and memorize scriptures, would become a huge movement for church members. I have already been invited to join a Facebook Ponderizing group and I have seen and heard family and friends eagerly open up their scriptures to ponder and memorize. This simple little made-up word has sparked a fire in scripture study!

I have been thinking of different ways that I can share this excitement  with my family. I have a daughter who will be baptized this month and it is important for me to teach her how to learn to apply and understand scriptures. I came up with a list of 10 different ways that we could use this principle of ponderizing with our children and family… because learning scriptures can be for EVERYONE! You can pick one of these ideas or combine different ideas to come up with a unique way to study the scriptures with your family.

The Ponderizing Pail

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This would be a fun way to include all your family members in the Ponderizing process. During your next family home evening, have each member of your family write 3 (or more) of their favorite scripture verses on slips of paper. I do want to make a quick note here that quotes from modern day prophets and apostles would make great ponderizing material, too! Fold up each slip of paper and place them in your ponderizing pail. Explain to your family that each week somebody will get to pick a paper from the pail. The scripture on that paper will be the one your family will ponderize for that week. At this time you will need to explain to your kiddos what the word ponderizing means. It might be kinda fun to have them predict the definition.

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Have the youngest child choose a paper from the pail. Read the verse together as a family. Have the person who wrote that scripture explain why they picked it. Then place the scripture somewhere that everyone will see it. Throughout the week, make references to that scripture. Use specific sentence prompts such as “This scripture helped me today by...”, “I applied this scripture today by…”, or “As I was thinking about the scripture, I felt that I needed to…” It may seem silly or awkward to use prompts, but I promise you that it will teach your kids how to verbally express their feelings about the scriptures. You will be their scripture comprehension role model! At the end of the week, during your next family home evening, have a little testimony meeting allowing kids and parents to share their experiences with the scripture of the week. Then repeat the process!

The Ponderizing Picture Frame

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Choose a scripture to ponderize with your family. You may want to use the Ponderizing Pail method. It might be more beneficial for your family to take a few minutes at the beginning of your family home evenings to pray and search the scriptures together to find the verse(s) that speak to your hearts. You could even designate one person each week to choose the scripture you will be ponderizing. After choosing your scripture, write or print the verse. Place the verse in a special picture frame located somewhere your whole family can see it on a regular basis. There are SO many cute picture frames you could buy for this activity. You may decide that instead of doing just one verse as a family, you each want to choose your own. If that is the case, how fun would it be to get picture frames from the dollar store for each family member and paint and/or decorate them. This would be a great way to get kids excited about their scriptures!

Ponderizing Journal Blank Template

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You may decide that you want your kids to keep a journal of their weekly scripture. I love journals! For younger kids, it may help them to have a template to organize their scripture study. If you choose to go this route, click on the link to download the ponderizing scripture template.

At the top of the page either write or paste a copy of the scripture. Throughout the week kids can draw pictures of what the verse means to them. Older kids can write their thoughts and feelings on the verse. Maybe your child had a great experience where the scripture helped them to make a good choice. That would be a great thing to record. Place the journal pages in either a family or individual binders or journals.

The Ponderizing Family Notebook

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If your kiddos are older, you may decide that you don’t need templates. A fun way to get family members engaged in a scripture is to make a ponderizing family notebook. The scripture is written or pasted at the top of a blank notebook page. Throughout the week, family members can record their thoughts, feelings, even questions underneath the scripture.

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The benefit of this is that there is only one notebook, so everyone can see and learn from each other. You can answer each others questions or place a smiley face next to thoughts that you enjoyed reading. This is another great way to model for younger kids how to start thinking about the scriptures. And it will be a great way for those family members who may by shy to communicate their feelings.

A New Twist on a Popular Memorizing Method

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A few months ago I came across a great way to memorize scriptures at Simple Charlotte Mason. I love it! I love that you only work on one new scripture to memorize at a time, and I love the review of past scriptures. It is amazing!!!

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I was thinking about how I could take this great memorizing system and apply it to ponderizing. Since it just focuses on memorizing, take it to a deeper and more meaningful level by writing thoughts, feelings, and experiences on the back of the index card. That way you are not only focused on memorizing the scripture, but you also have a place to record  your ponderings. As you review past scriptures, take the time to read and reread the back of the card. We can so quickly forget what we have learned!

Ponderizing Podcasts, Videos, & Puppetshows

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Maybe you have a child who doesn’t like writing  (haha I know NOTHING about what that is like!) For those audio/visual learners try recording a podcast or video of your family scripture of the week! During your next family home evening, choose a scripture (either with the ponderizing pail or through searching and choosing together as a family). Record your family reading the verse. To help your children memorize the verse, you may decide to have them make up “scripture cheers” or take familiar tunes and “sing the scripture”. Once the verse is memorized, record them either saying it or performing it! At the end of the week, record each family member sharing their thoughts, promptings, experiences, etc. with the verse. If kiddos are shy or want to try a different method of sharing, have them use puppets to express their learning. Puppets would also be a great way to verbally model how we “think” while reading the scriptures.

Have a technologically minded family member take the different recordings and put them together into one video. It may take longer to use this method, but what a priceless way to remember your family during this stage… this is a wonderful future family history gem! And those visual learners will love watching and rewatching (and therefore helping them to remember) these scripture videos.

If all of this video editing sounds too complicated, just record the family reciting the verse and maybe one thought or insight they learned. You can quickly send that video clip to other family and friends who are ponderizing, too. 🙂

Color the Verse

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This is a simple way to get young kiddos involved in the ponderizing process. Type the verse using a block font such as KG Red Hand or KG Let Her Go. Print the verse and let your child color it! If you have multiple little ones, I would make sure to print enough so everybody has their own. 🙂 Place the beautifully colored verse somewhere the whole family can view and admire. Your young children will feel involved and included!

Ponderizing Pillowcase

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So this idea may seem over the top. But some of us like to do crazy things. I was thinking about how many times I do my best pondering on my pillow right before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. I thought it would be fun to take an old pillowcase and, using a fabric marker, write the scripture reference for the weekly scripture. Older children may enjoy writing the reference themselves. Right before you lay your head down on your pillow, read the reference. See if you have the scripture memorized. Think about what the scripture means to you. Set goals for the following day based on the verse. Fall asleep each night pondering the scripture. Every week add a new scripture reference and before long you will have a pillowcase full of verses and a wonderful new habit.

Ponderizing on the Whiteboard (or Chalkboard)

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During family home evening, have family members choose a scripture to ponderize together using the Ponderizing Pail or through scripture searching together. Write the reference and complete verse on a whiteboard or chalkboard in the kitchen or another area of the home where everyone will see it regularly. Every day, erase one or more words. See if your children can still say the scripture. By the end of the week it should be memorized. To help encourage pondering of the scripture, if room permits leave space at the bottom of the board for people to write thoughts, feelings, experiences, questions, and insights about the scripture. If there is no room on the board, use colorful post it notes to place around it. That way there is plenty of space for everyone’s responses!

Ponderizing Popcorn & Pajama Party

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My daughter LOVES having family sleepovers. They are probably one of her favorite things. Once a week (or month, or year…), preferably on a Friday or Saturday night, have a special popcorn & pajama ponderizing party in your living room. Set out sleeping bags and blankets. Sit in a circle and share scripture verses that you have learned together while eating popcorn and treats. Then hold a special testimony meeting where each family member can share experiences they have had that have strengthened their relationship with Christ. Encourage them to share their testimony of the scriptures. End the night with family prayer and a family sleepover.

A great twist on this activity would be to hold the pajama party outside. Set up a tent in the backyard. A fire pit would be a great place to sit around to make yummy s’mores and share testimonies and feelings about the scriptures (girls camp anyone?). We always need s’more scripture sharing time! 🙂

 

I hope these ideas will help you as you ponderize the scriptures with your family. I think one of the most important things that you can do throughout the process is to share your thoughts, feelings, ideas, experiences, and insights with your family as much as possible. Don’t worry if it seems awkward or not eloquent- that’s not what is important. The spirit and example you are teaching your children is priceless. If you are afraid you might forget throughout your already busy and hectic day- set a timer on your phone, change carpool time to ponderizing time, or have your children remind you. If you are passionate about ponderizing, you will make it a priority.

I am so grateful for the scriptures and the guidance they have given me. I am excited to share this joy with my family!

Happy PONDERIZING!!!

Alphabet Book: Free Printable

A couple years ago I had a Book Themed Baby Shower for my sister in law. I have been getting a lot of people requesting the pdf of the ABC book I made (THANKS!) and thought I would share it with you all in a post.

This is a printable that you can use to make any type of alphabet book- its not just for baby showers! Imagine the possibilities- “The ABC’s of Our Family” with all family members picking a letter (or two) and writing a word that starts with that letter to describe their family. Wouldn’t that be such a fun family night activity? If you are a teacher you could use this pdf to make class books such as “Animal ABCs”, “ABCs of Reading (or Math, Science, any subject!)”, or “26 Reasons Our Class Shines- Our Classroom Alphabet Book”. Seriously the possibilities are endless!

Feel free to download our ABC pages– Enjoy and Happy Teaching!

Measurement & Data: A Common Core Math Series

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So far in our series about math standards we have discussed Counting & Cardinality, Operations & Algebraic Thinking, and Numbers & Operations in Base 10 and with Fractions. I am excited to share with you some of the resources I have found for teaching your children about Measurement & Data.

What is Measurement & Data? For the younger grades it is the ability to  measure and estimate length and width using standard units, represent and interpret data on a graph or chart, and understanding the concepts of time and money. Of course the degree of difficulty depends on the grade level of the students- with kindergarteners only being required to categorize data into groups and using terms more/less than to describe varying measurements.

When should I start teaching my child Measurement & Data? The terminology for this standard can be introduced to your child early on. They might not be able to count money or measure anything, but using terms such as “time, coins, taller, shorter, longer, bigger, and smaller” can set a good foundation.

What resources are available to help my child learn Measurement and Data? Of course there are a lot! Because this standard includes time and money this list could be very lengthy. Just know that this is a small sampling to whats available online.

Here are some great apps for the android users that include Kids Measurement Science, Kids Learn Time, Interactive Telling Time, Telling Time: Read a ClockKids Money Box (this is like a digital piggy bank), Learn to Count Money, and Count Money Master

In the iTunes store you will find measurement and data apps like Mingoville Fun Clock, Interactive Telling Time, Clockwork Puzzle, Exact Change, Coin Matching Game, Kids Money (digital piggy bank), Preschoolers Learn Money, Smart Fish: magic Matrix HD, Mathomatix Measurement, Measure Length: Tiny ChickenData and Graphs, and Teaching Graphs

Here is a list of Measurement and Data literature and teacher resources that you can read with your child. I apologize for the length- there were just so many titles that looked interesting! I will divide the books into four categories: measurement/data/time/and money. And don’t forget to click on the picture to learn more about each book!

Measurement:

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Data (charts and graphs):

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Money:

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Time:

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Here are some of our previous posts of Measurement & Data activities.

When Boo was just itty bitty we would play a coin learning game. I liked this because not only did she become familiar with money words, but it was a great fine motor activity. And it was as simple as taking down her piggy bank and sitting on the floor!

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I made some free printables that you can download in our New Years Countdown Bags post and  Our Disneyland Adventure post. These activities are both similar in that your child gets to open up a bag at a certain time. Can I just say we had a great time with our Disney Clock bags! I highly recommend making them for the long car trips.

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We learned more about coin recognition during the holidays with our Christmas Money Advent Calendar.

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Played with some of my old money manipulatives for the overhead projector (did I just age myself as a teacher) . You can read more about in our DIY Light Box post.

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During our Lego Day we made rulers out of legos and ran around the house and measured things. Of course I didn’t take a picture of that activity. But adding with legos was fun too and it is math related 🙂

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During our studies of mammals we made animal footprints and then categorized them by the number of feet they walk on. Keep in mind this was a preschool activity- you could always extend this by having students make different graphs and charts to represent their data.

2Here are some other great posts on Measurement & Data from other bloggers.

The Preschool Toolbox shares a fun winter post “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” Winter Activities for Kids which includes a snowman estimation and graphing activity. She has included free printables, too!

Interaction Imagination posted a really fun and magical activity Creating Fairy Doors. Get your rulers out for this one- not only will your child make a cute door but they will learn a lot about measuring! She also posted some Forest Math activities which include measuring the size of trees and checking the depth and size of holes using sticks. So fun!

Kids Creative Chaos shares a St Patricks Day Game that will teach your kiddo to count money. She has included free printables for her game as well! I love to see math learning integrated with fun holiday stuff 🙂

I love Naturally Educationals post March Weather Bar Graph. This is a great example of math you can do at home with your little ones. She also has some ideas on how to incorporate this activity into a lesson for grade level kids. She also has a cute Candy Heart Graph. I especially love that she has her four year old label her graph… great way to incorporate writing! Plus I just love the look of child-made work.

I have tried to keep this post informative and yet not too long- which was hard to do with all the resources available to teach Measurement & Data! I am especially impressed with all the good math literature that is now available in helping our kiddos understand concepts that can sometimes be a little tricky or abstract.

Enjoy! Happy Teaching!

Counting & Cardinality: A Common Core Math Series

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This week I will be centering all my posts on MATH- more specifically: counting & cardinality, operations & algebraic thinking, numbers and operations in base 10, measurement and data, and geometry. For those familiar with the Common Core Standards these should look very familiar! With my daughter in kindergarten this year, and with the possibility of me teaching school this fall, I thought it would be good for me to immerse myself in the current math curriculum. In this post I will share with you what I have learned about these different math standards and some activities that you can do at HOME with your kiddos! So let’s get started on our math adventure!

What is Counting & Cardinality? It is the ability to know, write, understand, group, count, and correctly use numbers. This is an important academic foundation for our little ones to completely master.

When should I start teaching my child counting & cardinality? As early as possible! Take every opportunity to use numbers- whether its counting how long it takes for your kiddo to put on their shoes or pointing out numbers in books, signs, and toys… math is everywhere!

What resources are available to help my child learn counting & cardinality? The resources are endless. Here are just a few!

There are some amazing number sense apps available. Native Numbers, Approach to Montessori- Numbers HD, Montessori Numbers, and Intro to Math by Montessorium are just a few of the many that are accessible through android and iTunes.

Literature is always a great tool in helping kids understand math concepts. Click on the pic to get more information about each of these books.

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These are some of our FAVORITE workbooks from Kumon as well as other teacher resources:

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There are also number sense books available for older kids.

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Here are some of the activities that we have done in the past centered around counting & cardinality:

Teach your child numbers with our Number Day Plans and Free Printables. We had a great time learning numbers using a variety of methods- stamping, tracing, writing, and using stickers to show numbers. On my wiki I have a number book cover and number pages 0-30 that you are free to download and use.

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Number Recognition Activities with our Education Cubes. One of the activities in our post include rolling one die and running around the table that many times (this activity is inspired and created for my little runner… remember to center your learning activities around your child’s interests!)

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8 Learning Lessons You Can Use with a Number Scale. I love, love, love our number scale! My Boo (who was a toddler at the time) and I had a great time learning number sense with this fun, hands-on educational tool. One activity mentioned in our post was a “Count With Me” game.  To play you give both you and your tot ten weights. Out loud, count from one to ten together while each of you place a weight on the appropriate side of the scale. This will help your tot to see the numbers while saying them… it’s a pretty simple activity!IMG_2787

Here are some other GREAT educational games from around the web.

Katie from Preschool Inspirations created an interactive calendar with her preschoolers which allow them to become more familiar with number recognition.

Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy shared a wonderful way to have calendar time with her 2 year old! See it is never too early to get our kiddos involved in math!

Buggy and Buddy also has a WONDERFUL post about Finding Number Patterns Using a Hundreds Chart. She has included a free printable that I am going to print as soon as I am done typing this post!

Nadia from Teach Me Mommy posted about Using Playdough to Teach Math. She has some great number recognition activities that are not only educational but fun as well.

Creative Connections for Kids has a great kinesthetic game where you use your body to count. I especially like that this is something you can do anywhere! For those teachers- great educational activity to do with your kids when you are waiting outside during a fire drill. 🙂

Lalymom shares several different ways to work on counting with your kids. I love that her ideas are simple and things you can integrate into your daily activities.

Lemon Lime Adventures has a great post for those who are struggling on how to start teaching math with your kiddos. I especially like her list of math centered questions you can ask your child. Thanks for this resource Dayna!

Debs from Learn With Play at Home had a great idea using paper tubes to teach number recognition and ordering. This activity is geared for kids 2 and up… such a fun education craft! She also posted an idea to teach your kids teen numbers with manipulatives, a super cute bowling game to teach number recognition (great for those active little kids!), making 10 with an egg carton, and 30 Counting Activities to do with Kids. This site is a wonderful resource for counting & cardinality!

Math Story has some number sense songs (as well as other math standards) with videos and lyrics. Great resource for our music/visual learners.

Check out What Do We Do All Day for a Kindergarten Number Matching Game. Great hands on learning activity!

I hope this list is will be a great resource as your are teaching your kids about counting & cardinality. Remember: Math can be fun! And it doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time to teach these fundamental skills.

Happy Teaching!

8 Family Friendly Black Friday Activities

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade with my family and I thought I would quickly post some of our non-shopping ideas for Black Friday tomorrow. I know most people love the bargains and the mad rush of running from store to store… but our little family plans on staying in our nice quiet home and will try to avoid the stores for the next few days :).  So for the past few days I have been brainstorming some different activities we could do that would not only officially kick off the Christmas season but also have fun with the “black” theme.

This is what I have come up with so far:

  1. Black Jack Friday: Instead of rolling the dice with what good deals you might be lucky enough to grab, have a game day with the family instead. Pull out all the card games/ board games, pop some popcorn, and just enjoy being together!  
  2. Black Board Friday: Take advantage of this day off from school to play school together. Have little lessons on the value of a dollar, advertising, etc for older kids- or for the little kids have a day celebrating the color black. And of course you don’t have to focus on Black Friday for your learning day- you can also use this time to reinforce/review/enhance skills your child is learning at school.
  3. Black Bag Donations: Grab a black sack (or cardboard boxes) and clean out your house with toys and clothes in good condition your children have outgrown that could be donated to those in need. I love the idea of totally switching gears and turning the shopping madness into a day of giving to others. 
  4. Black Bites: Create a menu of black foods to nibble on throughout Friday. Black licorice, black velvet cake, black berries, olives, and black rice just to name a few!
  5. Play Store: Have your kiddos set up some merchandise (aka run through the house and grab toys, books, etc), find or make some play money, grab a toy shopping cart or basket and a cash register and you are ready to go! For an extra twist have your kids make their own ads- this would be a great writing and art activity. 
  6. North Pole Breakfast: This idea has been floating around the internet for awhile. Have a special breakfast with the family to kick off the holiday season. This is the time we bring back our Elf on the Shelf (although ours is a reindeer).
  7. Decorate for Christmas! For those that decorate for Thanksgiving, Black Friday is the perfect day to set up the tree and enjoy Christmas decorations after the famous day of gratitude.
  8. Black Friday Math: Toddler Approved came up with this WONDERFUL math activity you can do with your kids using your stack of Black Friday ads. Check out her site for more information!
If you do decide to go shopping on Black Friday- be safe! And if you plan on staying home I hope this list helps you to plan a fun family day.
Happy Teaching!

Rainbow Unicorn Halloween Birthday Party

My daughter is obsessed with rainbows. And unicorns. And her birthday is on Halloween. I wanted to incorporate all of that into one party theme…. and this is what I came up with.

A Rainbow Unicorn Halloween Party!
First- the decorations:
Rainbow streamers, paint card samples, and pom poms everywhere.

 

Even the pumpkins on the front porch were decked out in colored ribbon to fit the theme.

Treats:
Rainbow slush. So good!


 We made rainbow cookies by adding food coloring to different sections of the dough, sectioning them into little beach balls, rolling those balls into a snake, and then spiraling the snake into a circle. 

A picture of our treat table

One useful idea: Use Ikea plates/cups/utensils instead of purchasing paper products. They are better for the environment, pretty stinking cheap, and you can use them again and again! Plus they are in the rainbow colors- perfect for our theme!

Rainbow M&M treat jar/ balloon weight

Cupcake stand decorated with rainbow ribbon. Even the cupcake wrappers are rainbow colors!

 Of course the birthday girl got a special cupcake complete with a mini unicorn.

 Activities:
We started out decorating trick or treat bags with rainbow stickers and markers. Once they finished that,  they could work on making a rainbow fruit loop necklace.

While the kids worked, the adults mingled. I am still shocked at all the people we fit into our house!

Once the kids were done with their bags, Aaron read them the story “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Its a tradition to incorporate storytime into Boo’s birthday parties. I pick out the book- and Daddy reads it!

We all came dressed in rainbow colors- except Boo who was wearing a rainbow shirt.

In the basement, we had unicorn races. I made my own stick horses using socks and a broomstick and added a foam cone to make it a unicorn.

We also played with a colorful parachute and rainbow balls. The kids had a riot with this activity!

Our culmintating activity was rainbow trick or treating. We have 6 doors upstairs that I decorated with tissue paper. Luckily I had some awesome volunteers who stood behind each door and passed out candy that was the same color as the door.

The actual day of Boo’s birthday (Halloween) I used rainbow streamers to create a path around our entire house leading to a special treasure: a giant diamond paperweight. Fake, of course 🙂 A special treasure for my most valuable treasure!

Happy Teaching! And Happy Party Planning! 🙂

Mommy & Me Book: Handprint ABCs

I am in LOVE with handprint art. It captures those sweet little hands in a way that simply melts my heart! Since I have become a Pinterest addict, I have pinned a ton of really cute handprint activities and about 9 months ago I thought I should start doing some of them. Yes people- the book that you are about to see took me 9 months to finish. Why? Well let’s just say it got lost in the never ending pile of things to do. 🙂

This is a simple run down: Boo chose the letter she wanted to work on and the object that she wanted to make that started with that letter. Sometimes we looked through my handprint art pinterest board, or websites like Red Ted Art (love her creative ideas!!!!). Other times my daughter came up with original ideas- like y is for yellow jackets. I bought a whole bunch of blank books from Bare Books awhile ago. They are very well made and sturdy, just like a real book. While having a prebound book had its problems (like having to leave the book open while the paint was drying) I am very happy with the final product.

Enjoy! Happy Teaching!!

Mommy & Me Book: "I Can Do Many Things"

I have been HORRIBLE about blogging. Just busy being a mom :). I thought I would share a quick and easy Mommy & Me homemade book that we did a while ago. It showcases some simple things that my daughter can do to keep up her sweet little confident self. It would be fun to take pics of your kiddo doing different activities, like “I can play soccer”, or “I can swim”, etc… I just thought it would be fun to make it more an activity/learning scrapbook this time- next we will try it with photos! I want my Boo to know how amazing I think she is!

Happy Teaching!

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