Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Showers Preschool Collage - Categorizing Activity

This was a fun little project we did today. I drew umbrella parts on a piece of paper and had the kids cut them out. We glued the umbrella on a piece of longer white paper. On the bottom of the paper, I wrote, "things that can get wet" on one side and "things that cannot get wet" on the other (I separated the sides with a column). We then searched through old magazines to find things that would fit into each category. This was a great activity to get the kids thinking about the difference in the two categories and then categorizing their magazine pictures.

This is what we started with.

The kids cut out the umbrella pieces.

We glued the umbrella on top of the white paper and then I added the words and columns. We started searching through magazines for things that could and things that could not get wet!

This is what we came up with (sorry about the blurry picture???). It was funny because when we found the hamster picture, the kids were kind of "on the fence" about whether or not it could get wet. So, we put it on the line between the two so we were covered!!! I just love the little "extras" you get when creating with kids. You never know what kind of discussions will come up!
At the end, we had to add raindrops to the umbrella. The kids used a Bingo Marker to make the raindrops! We had a lot of fun with this collage and learned a lot too!

The Alphabet Tag Game - Simple Letter Recognition Activity

This activity is so easy to set up and the kids will love it! It is great for working on letter recognition skills. I called it The Alphabet Tag Game so the kids were really intrigued to get started!

I wrote a few letters on a piece of paper (for more advanced kids, you can write more letters on the paper, but for less advanced kids, too many letters can be overwhelming). Then, I gave each child a Bingo Marker. I told them that they need to find and "tag" (put a mark on it) the letter I say. So, I would say, "Find and tag the letter "A". The kids would find the letter on the paper and put a mark on it. They LOVED this activity because it was more of a game! They wanted to find and tag each letter! You could adapt this game for any level. You could do these versions of the game: sight words, numbers, math problems (have them tag the answers), opposites, uppercase/lowercase letters, animal sounds.... the possibilities are endless.

We tagged them all!! Yay!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DIY - Rustic Burlap Pennant Garland

I have seen burlap garland in stores and LOVED it! Of course, after looking them over in the store, I knew I could make one at home! I am not a person who can sew AT ALL, but I thought I needed to "stitch" the "pennants" on so they would last longer?? Some of the stores just had them hot glued on the string (which would be fine), I just wanted mine to last a little longer.

This is what I did:

I made a "pennant" template out of lightweight cardboard. I then took some burlap I had and traced the template on it with a pencil. Then, I cut out the shape.

I cut out 10 of these "pennants".

I took a BIG needle and some neutral yarn an started stitching away! I took some craft rope-like string and folded the top part of the pennant over the string and then just stitched it like the picture shows (I am sure there is a name to this stitch, but I sure don't know what it is).

This is what it looks like all done.

I tried to show the final product in a sunny place. I will be using this for parties and our yard sale this year. I plan on pinning some stenciled letters on the front for whatever occasion it is for! Wouldn't this be cute on a lemonade stand???

Another April Showers Craft for the Kiddos

This is another easy craft when talking about April showers with the kiddos!

First, I cut out these raindrop shapes out of black construction paper. Then, I put contact paper on the back of them so that the inside of the raindrop was "sticky".

Then, I had the kids put square pieces of blue tissue paper on the "sticky" part of the raindrop.

When they were done, I put another piece of contact paper on top (stickyside down) of the tissue paper. I cut off all the excess contact paper around the edge of the raindrop.

Now, we moved on to our umbrella. I had two pieces of the umbrella that the kids had to glue together (the handle and the top of the umbrella).

Then, I had raindrop shapes cut out of construction paper for the kids to glue on their umbrella.

Afterwards, we glued on foam letters for our names and I punched holes in the umbrella and black raindrops. I tied fishing string to the raindrop and the umbrella so they look like they are "falling".

Sorry about the poor picture, (I could not stray away from the sun glare) but when you put these in the window, the raindrops look like stained glass windows!

**You can adjust this project based on your child's skills. For older children, have your child cut out the shapes (umbrella top and handle) needed for this project. They can also cut the pieces of tissue paper needed. Most projects can be adjusted for your child's skill level. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Educents - Free $10 Gift Card!

Educents is a new website set to launch tomorrow! They are going to offer educational items at a discounted price! I love that! I love educational products for the kiddos, but a lot of times, they are so expensive. If you click here, you will be able to sign up and then they will send you an email confirmation with a free $10 gift card code! You can't beat that!!!! I am excited to see what they have to offer!!!!

May Flower Alphabet Preschool Activity

Here is another great "May Flower" and/or "April Showers Bring May Flowers" project. I wanted to come up with a flower craft that would incorporate some letter recognition.

Here is what you will need for this cute flower craft:
  • A Half of a Plastic Easter Egg
  • Flower Petals Cut Out of Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • Green Marker

The first thing I did was cut out the flower petals and wrote the letters we are working on on each petal. Then, we took a half of a leftover plastic Easter egg and glued it in the center of light-weight cardboard. This was the middle of our flower (to see other ideas you can do with leftover plastic Easter eggs click here). Then, I put some glue lines around the flower middle so the kids knew where to put the petal when they were prompted. Next, I lined up the petals on the bottom of the paper and would say, "Find the "A" petal and put it on your flower." They would find the "A" petal and put in on a glue line. We did this through all the petals and ended up with one pretty cool flower! We added a stem with a green marker. This little craft (which is very easy to set up) was fabulous for letter recognition and listening to direction skills!  


April Showers Brings May Flowers Preschool Activitiy


It is April 1st and time to start some new themes and activities that will go along with the change in season! Here is one of the activities we did today:

Raindrop Counting Activity:

I cut out raindrop shapes from different colored blue paper. Then, I drew clouds on a piece of white paper with a number inside each cloud. The activity is for the kids to read the number and then glue that many raindrops in that cloud. This is a great activity for preschoolers and/or kids working on number recognition and counting! Happy Raindrop Counting!

Happy April Fool's Day!

I would love to hear from you to see what pranks you are planning for today! I would love to try some new ones out on the family!!!
I would also love to hear what pranks were played on you! Did someone fool ya today? I would love to hear the stories!!!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Things To Do With Left Over Plastic Easter Eggs

Everyone has tons of plastic Easter eggs left over after Easter . I came up with a small list of different things we have done in the past with the eggs after the season.  

Here are some of those ideas:

  • The eggs are great to use as scoops in a sand box or dirt pile. You can't imagine how well a plastic egg can move dirt! Just think of the egg castle you could make at the beach!
  • Guessing game anyone? Fill the eggs with different things (feathers, coins, marbles, beads, rocks, etc.) and have your kids gently shake them and guess what is inside! My kids love this!
  • They are perfect in a play kitchen because the kids can actually tap them and "break them open". My daughter loves to use these instead of the wood ones because the wood ones aren't as "interactive".
  • They make for "egg-cellent" little bug catchers in the spring and summer. They are small enough that little hands can hang on to them and a lot of them come with small holes on the ends which make great air holes for the little creatures inside.
  • Speaking of bugs ........... get crafty! These bright little eggs would make great bugs! Add some googly eyes, puffy paint and/or permanent markers and let your imagination fly!
  • My daughter is into Lego Friends and she has tiny little pieces so we use the eggs to keep all these pieces together (this would work for small Barbie accessories too). Put them inside an egg carton to keep it all together.
  • They make great molds for clay and play dough play.
  • In the summer, we have thrown them in our bags when we head to the splash pad. Just an extra toy that they can use in the water.
  • You can donate them to any place that hosts an Easter Egg Hunt each year.
  • You can bring them out in the summer and have a educational egg hunt like the one I posted about here. This is a fun way for the kids to get in a review without doing boring worksheets!
These are just a few ideas that we have used in the past that I thought you might find useful.

What do you do with your extra eggs after Easter?

Geocaching - New Age Treasure Hunting!!! Family Fun!

On Easter Sunday, my husband brought out this new little "gadget" he has been wanting to try! Introducing...... the geomatejr. Who knew this little gadget would bring so much adventure to our Easter Sunday?! You can order one of these green little "machines" here . I also found out that there are free apps for your phone that will do the same thing. Love that!!!!

I am so excited to tell you all about this little activity! If I would have known how much fun our family would have had with this, we would have done it a long time ago. The kids were enthralled with the "treasure hunt" aspect of the whole thing. I was loving all the exercise we were getting. The kids were enjoying the hunt so much that they didn't complain about all the walking! My husband liked being out in nature and exploring our local park in this way. Usually, we go to feed the ducks, play on the playground and then head home. Today, we were exploring the park in a whole new way!

Okay, let me tell you about our time geocaching and give you some pointers that I wish we had on our first trip out. The first thing you need to do is head to and look up your local area parks. This website will tell you if there are "treasures" hidden in your local park. Next, pack a little "geocaching pouch" to take along with you. You should have a pencil (or something to write with), your geomate.jr (or your phone with the app), little trinkets to leave in the "treasures" you find (you will see below why I say this) and also pack a garbage sack to pick up all the trash you will find along your geocaching route. What a great way to teach the kids about cleaning up the earth! Make sure you are dressed in comfortable shoes and clothes because you will be walking a lot. Now, head to your local park and start searching! Once you get to the park, the geomatejr will tell you which direction to go in and how many feet you have to reach the "treasure". When we got to our first location, we didn't know what we were looking for, but once we found our first "treasure" it was easier to locate them. YOU HAVE TO LOOK CAREFULLY because they are all different - I missed a lot of them. They blend very well with the surroundings. You will see in the pictures below what I mean and how you could easily miss them. Some of the treasures had little notebooks and pencils inside them and others had little trinkets in them (this is where it would be nice to bring your own trinket to replace the one you took for the next person traveling on that geocaching route).

I thought this would be a great activity to do if you were camping! What a great way to change up the camping scene and explore where you are! Below you will see some pictures from our little adventure today. I would highly suggest doing this with your family. It is something different and has many good benefits: bonding with your family, exercise, cleaning up your park, adventure, enjoying outside and nature and so much more! Just plain family fun!

This is the gadget that guided us on our "treasure hunting adventure"!

Our geocaching future was so bright, we had to wear shades!
I was FREEZING, but enjoying the fun!

The geocachingjr was great for the kids to use. Very easy to read and navigate!

This is how it looks in action. We are heading to our first "treasure".

Our first treasure was hidden inside a tree. It really blends in so you have to look hard!

This one had a piece of paper and pencil in it to write your name on.

Gabrielle is writing her name on our first find.
The next one was hidden up in a tree. It was kind of high so the kids had a hard time spotting it. This one looked different than the last one so you have to keep your eyes peeled!
Landen was able to get it down.

See how different it looks from the last one we found.

There were little trinkets in this treasure.

One of the last ones we found was under some bleachers. This was the hardest one to locate! It looks like it is part of the bleachers! This one also had a little notebook with pencil in it to write your name and date.

All in all, this was a great day and a new and different activity for our family. We are excited to go geocaching through the other parks in our area!
On a side note, we did find out that you can set up your own "treasure" spot to maintain and hide for "geocachers" to find! You can find out more information at
I would love to hear if your family has tried geocaching!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lisa Leonard Designs - "Meaningful" Pieces!

I won a gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs and I just received my necklace in the mail! The packaging is so cute! I love the little bag with the "enjoy" tag on it. I am also really happy with my necklace and can't wait to wear it! If you are in the market for a special "meaningful" piece of jewelry, I would highly recommend making a stop at Lisa Leonard Designs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Earth Day Fun For Kids and Families

Earth Day is fast approaching and I think it is a perfect time to challenge yourself and you family to be more "earth friendly". On the way to school today, I opened up a discussion with my kids about Earth Day to hear what they had to say. My daughter said "It is the day we celebrate Earth's birthday!" (too cute). We talked a little about conserving energy and other ways we can help protect our earth. My son said, "I think we should keep all lights off and no TV for the entire day on Earth Day!" I said, "Wow, do you think you can do it?" His reply was, "I am up for the challenge".

My blog is full of ways that I repurpose, recycle and upcycle things that would have otherwise went to the landfill. I love a good trash to treasure story and I can't pass up on ANYTHING that I think I can do something with! ;0)

Below, is a small list of some of those projects. All of these things were either found on the curb or it was something we weren't using anymore as it's main purpose (we needed a new garage door so we turned our old one into a lemonade stand!!!) so we repurposed it for something else.
I love incorporating a holiday/event to teach the kids something new and fun and to also base our activities around it. Below is a list of some great activities you can do with your kiddos on Earth Day:
Another way to incorporate Earth Day is to talk to your kids about recycling and repurposing. And, always have recycled "stuff" on hand. I keep a basket full of toilet paper rolls, wipe tubs, egg cartons, tops to squeezable applesauce, Kleenex boxes, etc. right by the art table. The kids are able to use it for crafts and projects. Here are some of their recycled creations:
A great way to get the whole family involved in an Earth Day activity is a scavenger hunt! I planned one for my family and everyone loved it (even my hubby!). It is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature and all that it has to offer! Check out our scavenger hunt here.

Preschool "B" is For Bunny Easter Activity

For this activity, I cut out the letter "B" from some light weight cardboard. Then, I cut out a pair of bunny ears from the same cardboard. I gave the kids glue and cotton balls and told them to glue cotton balls all around their "B". We then added the ears to the top of the letter. In the end, we added a light blue bunny tail (so it stood out from the white cotton balls) and a pink nose (the nose and tail were pom poms) and a googly eye. For the inside of the ears, we added some pink polka dot duct tape!!! You could add some whiskers to your bunny too! The kids loved making a bunny out of the letter "B".