Busy with business cards

While going through a file box I came across a stack of something that needed another purpose.

20170712_113248

And so, my old business cards have been colored, counted and cut.  We’ve used them to play memory games and arranged them to form different shapes.  They’ve been converted into small flash cards, a mini pennant garland and tools for setting the table.

Future activity ideas will include writing practice (one card per each letter that can be shuffled later for the child to spell their own name) as well as to count how many.  I also thought to save all the colorful dots left over from all the hole-punching for easy table confetti to decorate our next birthday party.

As they’re made out of sturdy card stock, the possibilities are endless.

Advertisements

Flag Day!

It’s hard to keep up with all the honorary days for things that appear on the calendar.  I wouldn’t even try, if not for the fact that young children enjoy theme related activities and I, the teachable moments that are sure to follow.

My intent was to prepare something for the fourth of July, when I realized that there’s such a thing as National Flag Day taking place this month.  Well, I was already putting together a short presentation about the flag for the next holiday, so all I had to do was speed things up a bit.  (By the way, I love PowerPoint!)

I’ll keep it simple for crafts by cutting strips of red and white construction paper (our rectangles) to tape against a blue background (our squares) and then draw the stars in because I don’t have stickers (which would have been nice.)  Anyway, this will cover colors, numbers and shapes.  Then, I’ll glue our paper flag to a stick and that’s it!

Later, we’ll view the slide show I created to notice patterns, do some math and then recite an original poem about what it represents.  I let the kids take turns hitting ENTER on the keyboard, while a toddler happily clicks on a computer mouse that’s been turned off.  All in the spirit of team work and a bit of practice with technology.

Finally, we’ll listen to a YouTube Playlist of videos about the flag during lunch!

Hope you like this activity idea and inspiration for your own lesson planning.

Follow us on Facebook to view a handy photo album of the slide presentation mentioned above that will be published there on June 14th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Heart Cards for Mother’s Day

Easy Peasy and Fun shared a helpful video you’ll see below for a DIY Heart Notebook.  I hope to get there eventually.  In the interest of time, their beautiful tutorial evolved into something I could present as a craft in a similar way but, faster.

Working with only two cutouts (using the heart template provided on their website) I decorated the outside of one (kids may just scribble or finger paint) and then wrote a personalized message on the inside of the other.  When the template is open, you have enough space for a simple stanza (one line per section.)  For example:

Roses are red / Violets are blue / On Mother’s Day… / It’s all about you!

You get the drift.

As shown above, they also resemble flowers, so another idea was to fold the edges so they look more like petals.  Then, I punctured the base to fit a straw through for the stem and tied green ribbon for the look of leaves.  On my own, I had separately drawn tiny little flower shapes that I cut out of pink paper and threw inside of the flower.  If you shake it, they’ll fall out like confetti and it’s something I added just for fun as a counting game.

I used regular copy paper for the inside heart and construction paper for the outside. Like I said, I only used two hearts but I’m sure you could make more to nest inside of each other.  I taped a piece of ribbon so it has a handle.

Lastly, while experimenting with the heart cutout in yet another way, it resulted in something interesting that should be suitable as a garland (and I’ll share that image once I get it together.)

Hope you like this craft suggestion and the original source for my inspiration as credited above.

Kids keep me busy with things like this but so does the kitchen and the food happens here.

Mega Bloks & Dice

I made a trip to the dollar store in search of a dust pan for the sole purpose of scooping these up, which in of itself became a game too.

We have a ton of Mega Blocks that that all ages seems to enjoy.  When we’re not building fortresses, we’re knocking them down with the help of a bat, stick or ball.  Inevitably, they also get scattered across the room, although not nearly as overwhelming as those tiny Lego pieces that torment most parents.

However, it’s beneficial to have them around for their fine motor development and Preschool Inspirations lists 10 reasons you may be interested in.  I didn’t realize that Lego has something called Duplo and if you’re as confused as I was, check out Mummy’s Reviews on the subject.   By the way, the Lego Group recently celebrated its 80th birthday and they released this short animated film about how it all began.  I always wondered about their story!

18121626_775387029296131_446824032315902541_o (1)I made a trip to the dollar store in search of a dust pan for the sole purpose of scooping these up, which in of itself became a game too.

18119264_774851866016314_1491292095600120682_nSince we also have a table for the set, I thought about incorporating a set of fuzzy dice that we’ve used in a variety of ways already for early learning fun.  I simply taped small notes to represent each color of blocks we have on each side, along with a wild card (“?”) and skipping a turn.  The question mark symbol replaced my initial note for “Pick” (the color of your choice) because it was being confused with pink and we don’t have those (need I say) yet.

Obviously, there are no fixed rules for this.  We pretty much played it by ear.  Whenever we threw our set of dice (one had the color coded notes, the other just their original number dots) it determined how many blocks we’d use in that color.

18198275_774851922682975_2671903230977208028_nThe winner of our little game would have been the first person to complete a section or level but we honestly never got that far.  What mattered most is that as we kept playing and taking turns, everyone was busy counting and that’s always a win.

Hope you like this activity idea!

Kids keep me busy with things like this but so does the kitchen and food happens here.

ABC States

… they exist in an alternate universe and we get to name them!

We love puzzles and while putting together some large pieces on the floor to form a map of the United States (Melissa & Doug has one we like very much) I thought of some other things we could do.

First, I looked up an alphabetical list of the 50 states I printed to keep visible.  Then, I created a table format in MS Word to have cut out cards for each state.  They can be categorized by each letter in the alphabet they represent.  For the letters that don’t have any states associated with them, we’ll play a game of make believe.  Naturally, they exist in an alternate universe and we get to name them!  What did your kids come up with?

17966042_771710329663801_6749624984831891995_o

We’ll learn new things about the state we live in, as well as, those where any of our friends and family reside.  (You can find fun facts for each state on the wonderful website aptly titled A to Z Kids Stuff.)  We’ll also talk about places we’d like to visit (Hollywood, California to be exact) or mom & dad’s retirement plans for the Florida Keys.

The younger ones can lay out or hand us the alphabet cards (we happen to have a sturdy jumbo set) while the older ones associate them with each state.  Team work!  Hope you like this activity idea.

Follow on Facebook to view our ABC states photo album and more.

Kids keep me busy with things like this but so does the kitchen and food happens here.