Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Emoji Balloon and Popsicle Stick Craft/Feelings Activity



My daughter had a friend over one afternoon and I came up with the idea of having the girls make emoji faces on balloons.  Looking through my stash of balloons, I found a bunch of yellow ones...........perfect!

(note: we did this activity late summer when it was just too hot to be outside.  With colder weather beginning to settle in around the country, this could also be a great indoor winter activity.

There was very little instruction needed.  After using the compressor to blow up the balloons and giving the girls a handful of colored permanent markers, they got right to work!

My daughter and her friend are 1st and 2 grade so we didn't talk alot about feelings as for them it was more about imagination and drawing.  However, this could be a fun learning activity for preschoolers who are learning about feelings and emotion.  After drawing different faces you could ask what feelings the balloons have by looking at the faces.  Continue the conversation by asking what makes them feel happy or sad.






The girls wanted to do more but I ran out of yellow balloons.  Fear not!  Enter, popsicle sticks and yellow construction paper.  This was a great fine motor skill too for cutting out the yellow emoji faces.  They had just as much fun with these as they did with the balloons.




A good book to pair with these activities is, The Way I Feel by Janan Cain.  

Most importantly, have fun, be creative and leave lots of time for conversation!




Friday, September 9, 2016

Sight Word Balloon Game


My daughter had her friend over and I thought about incorporating some fun with learning.  I had picked up a few packages of balloons at a yard sale and decided to turn the balloons into a sight word game.

I simply blew up a few balloons, wrote sight words on them and let the girls out in the yard to find the balloons.  But first, I wrote the sight words on a piece of paper that I used to call out to the girls. I had 2 of each word written on the balloons so that both girls could find the same word.  It was a little bit of a race too.  Once they found the balloon with the correct sight word they had to say the word and then they could pop the balloon.  Once the balloons were popped I called out the next sight word and the game went on.  This game helped the girls be able to recognize the sight word simply by me calling out the word.



My daughter was having a hard time popping the balloon by sitting on it so she got creative and used a tree branch!!

Learning truly can be fun!

For more fun sight word ideas, check out my sight words Pinterest board.





Thursday, September 1, 2016

First Day of School Picture Frames


My kids had their first day of school this past week.  I think it's always fun to have the kids hold up a sign and with all the ideas floating around Pinterest you are bound to find something!

I decided to use a free printable and frame it.  While I was buying school supplies at Staples I came across rulers for .25 cents each.  I thought the rulers would look cute around a picture frame, so I purchased 8 of them.  Since I would be hot gluing the rulers onto the frame I did not want to spend alot of money on frames.  I was going to head to the dollar store until I found 2 matching frames at a yard sale.  Both frames cost .50 cents....whoot, whoot!

It was super easy to make the frame.  Just added some hot glue to the back of the rulers and stuck them on!  The hardest part was that I had to have my husband cut a few of the rulers to fit along the frame.

Here's what I started off with:


Here's what I ended up with:



To all the kids out there.......HAPPY SCHOOL YEAR!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

U is for Unicorn Craft


Saying my 6 year old daughter loves unicorns is putting it mildly!  From stuffed animals to having dressed up as one last Halloween, she just can't get enough of them!

I thought it would be fun to try a unicorn craft and if your child is doing letter of the week, this would be a cute craft to do for the letter "U."

Pinterest has so many fun unicorn craft ideas and here are the 2 my daughter chose to do.

First, we did the Unicorn letter "U" craft:

Supplies needed are:


Construction paper
Glitter
Ribbon
Streamer (optional)
Googly eyes
Glue stick

This is our finished unicorn:


Supplies needed for our 2nd unicorn craft:

Craft foam
Yarn
Pipe cleaner
Beads

My daughter simply added yarn for her unicorn's mane and tail along with a heart bead for the eye and finally a purple pipe cleaner for the horn.  Their is so much more you could add to this but my daughter wanted to keep her unicorn simple.  You could add stickers or even color the unicorn with markers.  We plan on punching a hole, adding some string and hanging up in my daughter's room.




Saturday, August 6, 2016

Book Theme Cupcakes


For the past two summers my daughter and I have challenged ourselves to see if  together we can read 100 books.  My little reader just turned six so this was something we worked on together. I first learned of the 100 book challenge from Angela at Teaching Mama.  She created a fun chart to go along with the challenge and we have really had alot of fun with it!

This was our second summer seeing if we could get to the goal of reading 100 books and we did!  Last year my daughter's prize/reward was going to Chuck E Cheese.  This year she asked if she could have a play date with some of her friends.  So, we invited a bunch of her friends and spent the afternoon at the park.

Since this was a celebration I knew we needed something yummy to enjoy. So I decided on cupcakes but wanted to somehow turn a regular cupcake into something book related.  After searching the internet I came across this adorable idea from A Turtle's Life For Me.   I knew this would be perfect!

A Turtle's Life For Me shares a tutorial on how to make these cupcakes, which is very simple.  However, I switched it up a bit and didn't use PicMonkey.  Instead, I googled my daughter's favorite books, saved the image, copied into a word document and printed.  It worked perfectly!


Once I printed the book covers, I cut them out so that they look like a book, rubbed a glue stick on the inside of the 'book', inserted a toothpick, pressed together and voila, book cupcakes!

These book cupcakes were super easy and it was a fun way to celebrate this special accomplishment for my little aspiring reader!




Friday, July 8, 2016

Strawberry Slushie



We love, love, love strawberries at our house.  With it being summer, strawberries are at their best right now and so I'm taking full advantage of enjoying this delicious fruit.

A few weeks ago we went strawberry picking with the family.  It was a fun experience and we got to enjoy the freshest of the fresh strawberries.  You can learn more about some of the other yummy ways we enjoyed our favorite berry in our Strawberry Fun post.

I have made smoothies many times before but wanted more of a slushy, icy cold drink.  So here it is.....simple but really refreshingly delicious, especially on these 90+ degree days we've been having!

What you'll need:
1 cup of strawberries (I like to add a bit more than a cup)
1/4-1/2 cup of water
1 cup of ice
Honey - to act as a sweetener (optional)

Blend all of these ingredients together until you get the consistency you like.  You might have to do this a few times before getting that perfect consistency but through trial and error you'll quickly figure it out.

If strawberries aren't your favorite fruit then try watermelon, raspberries or lemon!  And if you want to make it a tad more fun for the kids add in a packet of kool-aid!!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Recycled Crafts


If you're like me you keep containers, toilet paper rolls, boxes, etc for crafts to do with the kids.  Here are a few recycled materials that we crafted with.

Turtle Craft:
We used a plastic container for the turtle's shell.  You could also cut off the bottom part of a soda bottle and use that too!


Fireworks Painting:
Their are so many ways to craft with toilet paper rolls.  When I saw this post from Happiness is Homemade I knew we could use a bunch of our toilet paper rolls in one pop.  I found the post right in time to do  for the 4th of July.  I also realized that painting with the rolls not only turn out looking like fireworks but like flowers, too!  Just add a stem and maybe a center and voila...a flower!

  
pressing lighter with the toilet paper roll gives more of the 'fireworks' look.....

Patriotic Cup:
This is another craft that was perfect for 4th of July but you could also turn this cup into a snowman or maybe paint it orange and turn it into a pumpkin, depending on what the season is.


Paper Plate Frog:
Another favorite of ours is using paper plates to get creative with.  After reading some National Geographic kids books on animals we tried making this paper plate frog.


Shoe Boxes:
Saving the best for last.  We LOVE making diorama's.  Their is no limit to what you can create when it comes to shoebox diorama's.  Check out our winter diorama post and our post on diorama fun for more fun ideas.



And finally, here are a few other ways we've used recycled materials to craft with:





Think before you throw on how you can recycle/re-purpose those recycled materials!