The teacher in me loves creating great activities for kids, and holidays are an amazing opportunity to share them with you! With Father's Day approaching, I have put together a number of printables, all available FOR FREE. Last week I published an exclusive Q&A About Dad activity, for my newsletter subscribers, and now I'm bring more exclusives to the Mindfully Scientific Caregivers Group!
These four coloring pages are great for little kids who aren't able to make their own cards yet. Create beautiful homemade Father's Day Cards by having your child color the pages (make sure to edit your print settings to scale down the size!). Then paste onto coloring sheet onto folded construction paper to create a card. Help them sign the inside, and you are done!
You can also have your children color the sheets and put them inside of a store bought card. Or, use these in your classroom if you are a teacher! However your kids play, these coloring pages are perfect for them!
BE SURE TO HEAD OVER TO THE GROUP AND JOIN NOW TO GRAB YOURS!
Looking for even more Father's Day content? Head over to my Father's Day blog post, with gift and celebration ideas perfect for every family!
Fresh spring coloring pages have hit the website and are available for immediate download!
As I do every season, I am making select coloring pages available for immediate download. This new PDF has 6 different pages that are perfect to brighten the entire season. There is something for every skill level, and the printable pack is perfect for rainy days indoors. Be sure to head over to my main Spring resource page to check them out!
Plus, you'll find access to tons of other great content.
And more! Content is being added regularly, so stop back to check out what's new!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more here.
I'm a huge fan of simple yet flexible crafts and activities for young children! Cotton balls, glue, and paper are three things that I find endless use for in my home, especially in combination with one another. This cotton ball craft is super easy to modify and use for a variety of ages. Here are some ways to do the activity in your home!
Cotton Ball Sheep Crafts for Kids of All Ages
Where to Start
You'll want to either trace a sheep shape, or download one of my templates (they are free and available for immediate download... no strings attached!). You can use these as coloring pages as well as for the cotton ball sheep crafts described below.
Other materials you'll need:
Toddlers are just developing fine motor abilities, and this activity is a great way to help build them! Allow your child to paint glue onto the stencil, pick up cotton balls and place them within the lines of the sheep.
Have your child color the sheep's face, then use glue to apply the cotton balls. Once done, help you child cut out the sheep.
For Elementary Age Kids
Start by decorating the sheep's face; color, paint, or use another medium to give it some color.
Then, laminate the entire paper.
Once the paper has set, heat up a hot glue gun. If your child is super cautious, you may choose to have them help with the glue, but you will probably want to be the one using the glue to help avoid burns. Apply small dots of glue onto the sheep's body, then add cotton balls (they can be pulled a bit to make a more woolen texture, or applied as is).
Have your child cut out the sheep once dry/cool.
Using the hot glue again, apply two popsicle sticks in a cross shape to the back of the sheep. Then, glue two more popsicle sticks together, one on top of the other. Apply those to the bottom back of the sheep, sticking out towards the bottom. Now you have a sheep puppet or planter decoration!
Want to dress up the sheep more? You can use food coloring or water colors to dye to cotton balls for a rainbow sheep, apply glitter using regular craft clue, add googley eyes, and more! Your imagination is the only limit!
Expand on the Activity Even More!
Want to build on this craft with other educational activities? Here are a few ideas!
Sheep Themed Kids Books
Farm Songs and Activities
Old McDonald (Had a Farm): Perfect for toddlers, Old McDonald is a great way to work on animal sounds and vocabulary! We love pairing it with farm puppets or my child's farm yard play set!
Take a trip to the local community farm/farm museum: In our area, we have tons of community farms and farm museums, and growing up, we had plenty near us as well. A quick Google search can help you identify the resources available near you. If you are in the Metro New York area, here are a few options you'll love:
And in the Boston Metro area, be sure to check out Drumlin Farm!
Educational Spring Printables
Use this activity along with these great printables to create a spring thematic unit!!
More Spring Crafts & Activities
Check out these other great crafts, which pair perfectly with the cotton ball sheep craft, books, and printables for a spring thematic unit!
Be sure to save this on Pinterest for easy access to these great ideas later!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. If you would like to learn more about this program, please click here.
Easy Plastic Easter Egg Crafts
Plastic Easter eggs are great for more than just Easter egg hunts! These fun Easter egg crafts use materials you probably already have in home, and are perfect for family members of all ages.
Activities you'll find in this post:
Easter Egg Process Art
This is a great sensory and art activity for children ages toddler and up!
What you will need:
What to do
This activity is simple. Just dip the Easter eggs into paint, coat, and then place on a paper lined cookie sheet (you may want to use tape to make sure the paper stays in place). Lift the cookie sheet and move so the eggs roll from side to side.
You an also use the eggs as stamps, or roll them yourself.
Plastic Easter Egg Stamps
This activity is great for kids of all ages. Older children can help you create the stamps before using them, while younger children will love using the stamps once they are done!
What you will need:
What to do:
You can also skup steps 2-4, and just use the Easter egg halves as circle stamps to create art like the piece below!
Decorated Plastic Easter Eggs
Take it a step further! Using twine or ribbon and a hot glue gun, you can create garland out of the eggs by apply a dot of hot glue to the back, and affixing the eggs to the string. Or, if you have a cute basket, glass vase, or centerpiece bowl, place the eggs into that container as a decorative element you can use year after year!
Or, use the eggs for your Easter Egg Hunt!
Be sure to share this with someone who loves crafting, or pin it for other crafters to find!
You might also be interested in:
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more about this program, and all my site's terms and conditions, here.
Celebrating holidays with food allergies can be a challenge. Everyday foods and activities may not be safe, and hosting family can mean less control over what you child comes into contact with. Whether you are the parent of a child with food allergies, have food allergies yourself, or are looking to accommodate someone with food allergies; whether you celebrate Easter as a holy day, a secular spring event, or somewhere in between; this guide will help you celebrate Easter safely.
Basic Tips for Managing Food Allergies
Whether it is Easter, another holiday, or a regular day, there are several things that can be done to help stay safe when managing food allergies:
Decorate Easter Eggs (without real eggs!)
Eggs are a top 8 allergen, and that means many families feel dying easter eggs isn't an option. Luckily, I found these great Merry Art Dyeable Decorating Easter Eggs! I haven't used them, but the reviews look incredibly promising.
Dyeing Easter eggs not your thing? Try decorating fake ones with paint, glitter, or anything else your heart desires! You can find eggs made out of a number of materials, like thesewooden ones.
Or, create paper easter eggs using construction paper (and cardboard or cardstock if you choose), scissors, glue, glitter, and pom poms! Be sure to download my egg stencil and print it off to create the perfect Easter egg shape!
Fill Your Easter Eggs with Safer Options, and Use Plastic Eggs instead of Real Ones
Candy Free Trinkets for Easter Eggs
Candy free options are excellent not only for children with allergies, but those who are too young to eat candy (though be cautious, many small trinkets are choking hazards, so I recommend sticking to things like stickers). They are also excellent options for families who want to avoid too much sugar, have metabolic conditions, or food sensitivities.
Here are some highly rated options your family will love!
Allergy Friendlier Candy Options
Our family loves Yum Earth goodies, including their seasonal varieties! Here are some made especially for spring!
Allergy Friendly Easter Basket Ideas
Forget the chocolate bunnies! Keep kids with food allergies in you family safe with these food free Easter basket ideas! Here is a list to get you inspired about what to put in your baskets this year, plus a few highly rated products that your kids will love!
1. Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals are always an adorable hit in Easter baskets. We usually put at least on in our child's and our niece's!
Puzzles make great activities for kids of all ages, and fit nicely into baskets. We love wooden puzzles, and Melissa and Doug brand puzzles in our home! There are tons of great and educational options to choose from out there. Here are a few!
What kid doesn't love bubbles? They are a great spring activity; a reason to get outside, enjoy the nice weather, and focus on the light spring breeze! With a toddler, we love mess free Fubbles! The design of the container prevents large spills... and if you have a child, you know exactly what I am talking about!
4. Art Supplies and/or Stickers
Art supplies and stickers are another option that we love for Easter baskets. Whatever your child's age, there are plenty of amazing options out there!
Click on the images below to view some fun options for kids of all ages, or here to find all sorts of amazing Crayola products!
Books are always a great gift, if you ask my family. We are all avid readers, and even my toddler gets excited when he gets a new book. Here are a few spring options, but if your child is older, feel free to opt for the latest chapter book in their favorite series, or another hot read for the year!
6. Other Fun, Smaller Toys
Easter baskets are an opportunity to give your child a new, fun toy to freshen up their collection. We don't always do a toy in our child's basket, but do sometimes give gifts to other children in the family (while aunts/uncles/grandparents do the same for our child). It is a way to add something special to the Easter basket they've already received!
And don't forget the basket!!!!
We prefer getting something that can be reused year after year. it is more eco friendly, and makes for a special tradition when my child gets to pull out their basket again from the prior year.
No matter what your Easter plans; whether you give Easter baskets, do an Easter egg hunt, go to church, or just have a nice brunch; when managing food allergies the most important thing is to be INCLUSIVE. Years from now child won't remember what was in their Easter basket, but they will remember whether they felt left out or apart of the fun and festivities.
Managing food allergies is difficult, but with a bit of creativity, you can celebrate holidays safely.
Be sure to share to help others make this Easter food allergy friendly!
You can find more resources for managing food allergies here.
Or, check out other great season activities for your family!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. Commissions earned help support this blog, and my participation in the program comes at no added cost to you. Want to learn more? Click here.
If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love DIY decor projects! So this Christmas, I had lots of fun putting together several projects that are perfect for the entire winter season. If there were any year where cheery decor were necessary all year, it would be this one, right? Check out these gorgeous farmhouse designs, plus tips for recreating the looks!
Dining Room Table Centerpiece
Using the same off white recycled jars from this project (see the Thanksgiving jars), I was able to create a beautiful centerpiece! I traded out the autumn foliage for faux pine branches, pinecones, and berries, and used a gold metal tray as a base. I then wrapped twinkle lights (with leaves attached) around the vases, and placed the battery pack in the center vase (beneath the greenery). The finishing touch was the addition of a few pinecones on the tray. I paired the centerpiece with a table runner, plus white and gold candles.
Farmhouse Style Wreaths
These wreaths are super basic and easy to make; just purchase a faux pine wreath and use a hot glue gun to add a few pinecones and a burlap ribbon (the ribbons I used had gold thread intertwined). Because there is no red, no ornaments, and no other holiday related additions, I'll be able to keep these wreaths up all winter!
Birdcage 'Potpourri' Light
I loved the birdcage decor I used for the fall so much that I repurposed the item for winter! I wrapped evergreen garland (which had bells attached) and twinkle lights around the cage, and then filled it with some scented pinecones. This farmhouse style DIY piece is a huge upgrade from your grandmother's potpourri dish, and made for a festive addition to my foyer.
Products You'll Love
Want to try one of these great projects? Here are some products you may love!
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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
For our homeschooling letter W theme, I picked the seasonally appropriate word 'witch'. And what better book to celebrate Halloween and discuss the concept of witches than 'Room on the Broom'. This adorable picture book discusses the themes of kindness and friendship, as a witch is helped by a series of new pals, who she (in return) allows to join her and her cat on their adventures. But that is just the start of how these new friends help one another on a particularly stormy autumn evening! I'll not give spoiler, but I will provide you access to some of the awesome activities I developed (or in some cases, collected) just for this book!
Room on the Broom Velcro Activity
As you read the book, you can use this velcro activity to help children track what is happening in the story. Have your child pick out the appropriate pieces, removing them or adding them to the velcro board. The activity is a great, hands on, visual aid for comprehension.
You can find this activity in my free subscriber's resource library.
Room on the Broom Videos
My little one has been enjoying watching this cute Room on the Broom cartoon on YouTube. It pairs imagery with the classic book text, read out loud.
A second fun version reads the book outloud as a song, with video graphics!
Witch Themed Coloring Pages; Letter W Coloring Page
I'm making a few of these pages available for immediate download. The rest are available in my subscriber's only resource library.
For immediate download:
And for those who have subscribed to the library, check out the newest addition to coloring pages! The letter W page is already uploaded there.
Witch Matching Velcro Activity
Another subscriber's resource library exclusive, I added this activity to my busy book for independent play and learning. Simple laminate two copies, cut out the shapes from one copy, and add velcro to make your own. You can also have your child color the pages prior to laminating (for extra fun).
Witch's Hat Craft
What you'll need:
This activity is super simple! Just cut out a witch's had shape (use the stencil below)- use one plate/piece of paper for the triangle shape, and one to make a flattened oval. Glue them into the shape of a hat, and then decorate!
If you want to make a band, simple place the hat on your child's forehead, use the paper or twine and measure the circumference, and then tie or glue to the hat! Make sure to leave room for your child to pull the hat on and off, though.
Magical Mud Sensory Play
Making magical mud is easy. It is just ooblek! If you've not made it before, the recipe is easy, and uses ingredients you probably already have in house:
That's it! You'll need a 2:1 ratio, so 1 cup of cornstarch for 1/2 cup of water (or whatever sized batch you'd like)
Want to make it extra 'muddy'? Just add food dye; you'll want to add all the colors to make a nice, gunky, brown color.
Then, let your kids play! If you'd like, you can let them cover animals in the ooblek, too (just like the animals cover themselves in mud in the book).
The great thing about ooblek is it really does seem magical. Defying the boundary between solids and liquids, this amazing activity is bound to get your kids thinking.
Witch's Brew Sensory Play
This one isn't my activity, but head over to Tot School Resources for their Spooky Witch's Brew Science Experiment. It is a perfect complement to my Room on the Broom activities!
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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. If you want to learn more about my participation in this program, click here.
As I noted inmy post about our first week homeschooling, sometimes everything doesn't get done when we want, or how we want. And that is perfectly okay! But because I didn't want us to fall behind with what letters I was planning to review each week, I made the choice cover a few letters at a time throughout the rest of September, and into October. Since I know I'll be covering the alphabet repeatedly, this felt like a good modification to make sure I could get through content I wanted to review while also being able to do other activities in October
Here is a breakdown of each of the activities we did for the remainder of the alphabet!
You can find our letter A and B activities here.
Calendar and Story Time - Daily (Mostly!)
Our calendar and story time routine doesn't vary much! Therefore, it has looked pretty much like what we did the week before. Be sure to check that out here. You'll also find a link to our daily circle time book, Shadow Boxes. We read the page related to the letter(s) of the day!
Why does the header say "mostly", by the way? Because we didn't do the calendar daily. Between early intervention therapies, doctors appointments, general life, and refusing to enforce calendar time rigidly (my kid is a toddler, remember?), it didn't happen every day. And that is okay! While I always try to do fun homeschool activities with my child daily, I never want to give the impression that I have it all together, and things run seamlessly. That isn't fair to you, the reader. That isn't real life. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise!
Book: 10 Little Pumpkins
Activities: 10 little pumpkins velcro activity, Fall Numbers Binder Book Activity (from the subscriber's library)
You can learn more about the 10 little pumpkins activity here.
Letters D, E, and F
Nat Geo Dinosaurs 101 Video
Many kids love dinosaurs, but given they are something no human being has or can experience in person, they are also a highly conceptual topic to cover. As such, I wanted to find ways to make the content more accessible to my toddler.
The video I'm sharing with you is geared towards slightly older children and contains larger vocabulary, but my toddler loved it! It is never too early to start exposing your child to more advanced academic content, so long as it is in a developmentally appropriate way. In this case, the video was just over 3 minutes (so, short), contained exciting imagery, and was presented in a way that made my child more interested (I played the video on my phone after reading a book about dinosaurs, and he normally doesn't have access to my content via my phone). From the time I was a small child, I loved National Geographic and PBS documentaries. I hope to instill the same sense of academic curiosity in my child!
While I try not to use screen time as a way to teach, in this case, it made a lot of sense to provide video content.
Dinosaur coloring pages:
These coloring pages can be found on the Subscribers' Library!
Dinosaur Spikes and Spots Shape Activity
We added spikes and spots to the dinosaur template from my subscriber's library (or any dinosaur coloring page). While doing so, we discussed shape and color.
This activity is easy. All you need is a dinosaur shape, a glue stick, some colored construction paper, and scissors. Cut out circles and triangles for your child using different colored paper. Then, let them have fun decorating their dinosaur however they want!
Letters D, E, and F letter tracing/coloring pages
Letters G and H - Ghosts and Halloween
Craft and Sensory Activity: Tissue Paper Ghosts
Making tissue paper ghosts is easy! Just grab some white tissue paper, crumple, and glue to a piece of black construction paper (though you really could use whatever color you want)! Then add eyes with black paint or marker. If your child is a bit older, they can paint a Halloween scene on the paper first (like I did on mine).
Literacy/Letter Activities: Reading Halloween books, as well as about the letters G and H in our Shadow Boxes book. We then colored the letters G and H, and did ghost and halloween coloring pages from the resource library.
One of our favorite Halloween books is "When the Goblins Came Knocking". It is a great social emotional story for young kids who may find costumed trick or treaters scary of overwhelming. The protagonist tells of last Halloween, when he was scared and hid, but also, of how this Halloween he is able to wear a scary costume. The last page shows the child with his scary dinosaur hood off, letting little readers know that behind those costumes are other kids. It is a sweet story that you'll love sharing with your child.
I believe the book is out of print, but there are tons of used copies available for less than a new hardcover copy!
Letter I - Ice
For the letter I we painted with ice cubes and colored the letter I (see coloring pages in the resource library). We also discussed the concepts of cold, and melting (while my little one likely didn't take in everything I told him, it is a great idea to share ideas with your toddler. They are sponges, and as long as you aren't giving lengthy explanations of high level concepts, the only thing it can do is get their little minds working!)
J - Jack O Lantern
For Jack O Lantern we made pumpkin faces out of paper plates and black construction paper shapes (you can find that activity here), and watched Sesame Street's Making Pumpkin Faces Video. Just like all Sesame Street content, this cute music video is educational, talking about shapes and family.
Letter K - Kitten
We didn't spend a lot of time on letter K, but we did do the letter K coloring page from my library, and spent a lot of time with our own cats. We also did the same animal finding activity with easter eggs (see the Letter E section), but this time searched for different kinds of "kitties" (big cats).
Letter L - Leaves (did along with letters O, R, and Y for orange, red, and yellow)
For the letter L we collected and played with leaves (sensory), watched a Nat Geo video about leaves changing, as well as doing the leaf matching activity in the resource library. We also did the L for Leaf and fall finds velcro activities from the resource library. We also did a number of velcro activities I put together sorting the colors we see in autumn, and discussed letters R, O, and Y for the brilliant colors our leaves turn this time of year. You can find those velcro activities in the Subscribers' Resource Library.
Letters M and N - Moon, Monsters, and Night
Letter Activities: M for Moon Velcro Activity, coloring/tracing pages for letters M and N.
YouTube Video: Moon 101
Craft and Literacy: Making a Monster (from subscriber's library)
This activity is simple! Just print the pages and let your child mix and match bodies, arms, legs, and other add ons for their monster. Want to expand on the activity? Have your child tell or write a story about their monster. What is their name? Where do they live? What do they eat? Do they have a family? A job? A hobby? Are they friendly or scary? Your child decides! There are two worksheet pages (not shown) to get your child started with writing in the printables kit.
Letters O and P - Orange and Pumpkins
I did an entire blog post about the great pumpkin activities we've done. You can find that here.
Letter Q - Quiet
We did letter Q along on the same day as letters O and P. How to help a young toddler learn about the concept of quiet? We practiced! We tip toed around the house, and then practiced being loud by stomping and roaring before going back to trying to be quiet.
Letter R (did along with letter L, plus reviewed O, and skipped ahead to discuss letter Y): Red, Leaves, Orange, and Yellow (Autumn Colors)
See the section for L above for more!
Letter S, skipped ahead to letter X - Spiders, Six
For the letter S we discussed spiders, and the difference between spiders and insects. One great way to tell them apart? Insects have six legs, while spiders have eight!
I'm putting up a separate post about the spider activities we did soon, so keep an eye on the blog! I'll link that here once it is live.
Letters T and U - Ten, Up, Teal
We came back to 10 little pumpkins for the number ten, danced and practiced being up and down (through dance and song; we sang the Wheels on the Bus and did If You're Happy and You Know It (jump up, put your arms up), and painted Teal Pumpkins for the Teal Pumpkin Project.
You can find the 10 Little Pumpkins Activity and the Teal Pumpkin activity here.
Letter V - Volcanos
We didn't spend much time on letter V, but we did do a bit of learning about volcanos. I look forward to returning to the letter V and doing a volcano unit in a few months, when my child is a little older!
Nat Geo Volcanos 101:
Letter V coloring pages (see resource library)
Letter W - Witch
I did an entire post about our letter W activities. You can find that here.
Letter X - See Letter S
Letter Y - See Letter R
Letter Z - Zoo
We were initially planning to take our little one to the Bronx Zoo for this unit, but weather and responsibilities got in our way. Instead, we focused on doing a lot of learning about animals that might be in a zoo!
I added wild animals you might find in a zoo to my child's sensory bin, and he had a blast playing with and labeling the different animals he found. I also gave him some salt dough I'd made, since he seemed to have been craving the smooshy texture.
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Disclosure: The post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in the Amazon Associate program comes at no additional cost to you, and commissions earned help support this blog. You can learn more here.
Making the choice to pull my child from preschool this fall was difficult. I feel fortunate to have the resources to be able to stay home with my little one during this challenging time; I know it isn't an option for many families. I also feel quite lucky to have a background in teaching (including teaching preschool!). For critical social skills we are doing playdates with a small circle of cautious friends, at least until it is no longer a safe option in our area, or until the pandemic passes and we can go back to school. But what about all that time when we aren't occupied by playdates?
That is where my background in teaching has really been an asset! But I know not every parent has a degree in education and formal teaching experience.
That is why I've decided to share our homeschooling journey with you!! Here is what we did during our first week learning from home:
Starting the Day: Calendar and Weather, Themed Story (Daily)
Circle time is a vital part of the preschool day. It helps children center and prepare for a day of learning, connect with their classmates and teacher(s), and, of course, learn. Sure, we are learning from home with no siblings, which means there are no other students to connect with. But that is no reason not to start the day by focusing on the learning ahead!
Each morning we start with our calendar; we discuss what month and year it is, count up to the current day, sing our days of the week song (see lyrics below) and review any special events or holidays happening that day. We then sing our weather song (see lyrics below) and then look outside to figure out what the weather is that day.
Once we have finished the calendar and weather, we read a story (or stories) related to our theme.
Our theme for the month of September is 'The Alphabet'
Each day we cover a new theme related to a letter of the alphabet. Sometimes we cover the same letter a couple of days in a row, other times we only spend one day on a letter (the only reason for repetition is if I have a lot of content related to one particular theme and can't fit everything into one day). I cover each of this week's themes in detail below.
Week 1 - Themes and Books
Why no curriculum for Thursday and Friday? Part of our homeschool journey is accepting sometimes things come up that make it difficult to follow through. My goal is always to do the best I can, as a parent, and in all my affairs. While older children doing virtual learning may not have the luxury of taking time away from formal learning, preschool is different. We can be more flexible. If there is one parenting lesson I hope to impart on readers it is that parenting requires flexibility and being mindful that sometimes things don't go as planned.... And that is OKAY. I love routine, but trying to rigidly stick with plans stresses me out. After years of running on a hamster wheel with trying to be perfect, I've decided instead to work hard to go with the flow. Thursday I wasn't feeling well and Friday we had a playdate in the morning and got sidetracked in the afternoon. And that is absolutely okay! I originally planned to cover the letter C, but instead moved those activities to the following week.
Looking for a great lesson planning template for little ones? Here is the one that I've been using (please feel free to download it for your own use (conditions apply*!)
Circle Time Book (literacy): The Book of Shadow Boxes
This alphabet book takes the form of a poem, and is quite creative. It moves away from alphabet book stereotypes, and focuses heavily on promotion of phonemic awareness (focusing on the individual sounds each letter makes), as well as some phonics strategies. You can find it here (it is out of print, but you can find used editions), or check out some of our other favorite alphabet books!
Activities: Letter coloring/Tracing (Fine motor, writing), singing the alphabet with a visual aid (see below).
Stay tuned to my subscriber's library for access to these great (and free) printables!
Circle Time Book (literacy): The Book of Shadow Boxes - Letter A poem only; How Do Apples Grow
Activities: Apple stamp painting (fine motor, sensory, STEM); Letter 'A' & apple matching (literacy).
Stay tuned to my subscriber's library for access to these great (and free) printables!
Apple stamp painting is a great activity for toddlers and preschoolers. I paired it with "How Do Apples Grow", and we used the opportunity to cut open the apple, look at the different parts of the apple as shown in the book's diagram (including the seeds). We then removed the seeds for planting (we placed the seeds in a wet paper towel for safe keeping until they could be safely planted; I was out of potting soil!). By extending the painting activity to include talking about the apple as a plant, we in turn covered apples a science topic as well as art, literacy, and fine motor skills!
Letter activities (printables coming to resource library soon!)
Favorite products for making the most of these printables:
Circle Time Book (literacy): The Book of Shadow Boxes - Letter B poem only; my child's book of choice (we read All Are Welcome repeatedly!).
Activities: Letter 'B' coloring/tracing; Body tracing activity. (click for full description of activity)
We had so much fun with these homeschool activities during our first week of homeschooling preschool. We were also super grateful to be able to build on social skills as well (since social skill development is one of the most critical elements of early education). I can't wait to share our activities from week 2!
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*Access to this template (and all Mindfully Scientific Mama content) is for personal use only. Mindfully Scientific Mama content may not be shared for commercial use, or on another website, without explicit written permission of the content creator.
Disclosure: This post contains links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost for you. You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
Autumn is my favorite season, and I relish all things fall decor. I'm also a huge fan of crafting, so when crafting and autumn go together, it makes for one very happy mama.
Last year I got quite into creating custom jar crafts using recycled jars. Most were made out of Barilla pasta jars, but I've also used almond butter jars (while my little one is allergic to some nuts, almonds are thankfully not one of them).
For all of these crafts you will want to start with label removing. I started by peeling the labels off the best I could, followed by scrubbing under warm water with a sponge and Dawn blue dish soap. You can also place the jars in boiling water with a bit of dish soap to remove some of the remaining glue, or use goo gone.
Once I removed the labels, I used spray paint and acrylic paint and/or paint pens to create custom painted creations. Then I sealed the paint with a layer of spray sealer (Krylon makes several good ones). Below are several creations I've come up with. In the future I'll be offering step by step instructions and link to them here. Until then, I've written brief descriptions about how these were created, as well as some product recommendations to get you started..
Vases made with Barilla pasta jars, matte black spray paint, and acrylic paint. For the lettering I used orange acrylic paint and a brush to make dots, followed by using an acrylic paint pen, and then lightly going over the piece with acrylic paint on a brush. The spiders and spider webs were done with acrylic paint pen.
For these jars I used silicone self stick plumbing tape to create letters, and then spray painted the jars with a silver/white sea glass spray paint. I then used a bit of matte black at the bottom. The spiders and webs were done using acrylic paint pen. I affixed ribbons on the tops of the jars using a hot glue gun, and inserted tea light candles (the kinds that come in a metal container). I also spray painted the lids and affixed ribbon to the edges.
Once Halloween was over, I removed the faux flowers and leaves from the BOO jars and put them into Barilla pasta jars that I'd painted with off white spray paint. I then wrapped the jars with burlap and gold ribbon. These jars are perfect for all year use; just change the floral arrangement you use!!! Here you can see them set up on our Thanksgiving Table from last year.
Products to help recreate these looks:
This ribbon set is an Amazon Choice and offers similar patterns to the ribbon I used.
A hot glue gun is a must have crafting item, and if you don't have one yet, check out this Amazon recommended mini hot glue gun with excellent reviews. While this item comes with glue sticks, you'll want to be sure to purchase extra, too!
If you love these jars but aren't crafty, feel free tocontact me! I am happy to make custom pieces for any season.
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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