Busy with business cards

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

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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.

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Dad Day!

*** Update ***

After my first stab at this, I kept tooling around with it, literally, and came up with something more presentable you see above.  With the help of a black piece of foam I found that’s the precise shape, I used brass metal fasteners to keep the paper in place.  An unexpected bonus was that the saw handle hooks to the fastener on the left and thus stays put inside.  Then, it dawned on me to use a yellow post-it note for the lock as it will naturally work on its own if I use the sticky side for the cut-out.  I found some other tool images to adorn the cover instead of the blue corners and kept the handle from before.  I simply poked a hole at the top and stuck the hook part in there upside down and glued the bottom of the handle that touches the top of the foam.

Naturally, I turned to Pinterest (their images above) for guidance in honor of Father’s Day when it comes to things like arts and crafts.

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Not every man wears ties, so that was out and I already did a palm print for Mother’s Day. If the dads you know are just as handy, then the saw tool idea was the one.  But, I also noticed the tool box which will tie in (no pun intended) so I combined both of these suggestions.

I started by folding red construction paper into the middle to get a tool box shape.  I used this coloring page image (that I had to size appropriately to fit) inside the space as shown in the finished product while an old cereal box provides its sturdiness.

 

 

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I dug through my craft stash in search of a plastic handle instead of using a paper cut-out for this too.   I found something that did the trick that once held my opaque tights.  Other random packaging used is a rectangle-shaped piece of cardboard to hold the tool box.  Then, I punctured a hole in the back at the bottom of it to tighten the handle closer to the edge with string.  Glue and double-sided tape kept everything else together as needed.

The message (Best Dad I Ever Saw) goes on the front and I added the child’s name and date on the back .

 

 

For those little ones who can’t do much more than finger paint designs, this is a craft they can at least carry by the handle to surprise Dad with on Sunday.  I’m still keeping busy making some more of these with whatever recycled materials I have left in the bin and it’s still not to late for you!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adults read aloud to children (usually before bedtime as parents) in the hopes of expanding their vocabulary and helping them learn how to read all on their own one day.  Yes, literacy is important.

WERESAILINGNILE_USHB_ENDNOTES-1But, more often than not, when we are nestled under the covers, our main objective has been to simply cuddle.

It’s quality time together and we’re bonding.  Sometimes we spin into random conversations totally unrelated to the story.  Next thing I know, I’ve put the book down and we’re just talking about life.  The questions keep coming and we’re getting to know one another better (while rolling around and being silly.)  With lots of laughter, too.

But, while I still had the pages in front of me, I managed to read some interesting facts for myself from the Barefoot Books title We’re Sailing Down the Nile.  In typical fashion, it was super informative and educational, even for those of us who already know how to read.  Their books are usually packed with a variety of options for lesson planning (geography, culture, ancient history, etc.)  Not to mention their bold and colorful inspiration for arts & crafts.

Everything they needed in the next world was buried with them, including furniture, clothing, food, jewelery and pottery.”

Oh pharaohs.  Guess it was never said back then that you can’t take it with you.

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.

Shape Bugs!

An educator once mentioned a game where the kids swat a pretend bug to match up rhyming words. We’re not there yet, so I gave this idea a try on a more basic level with shapes.  Those who have a bit of letter recognition under their belts would use the word for the shape only instead of an obvious cut-out.  They can spell it one letter at time until it matches with the particular shape on your sign or poster (before we had guides on the wall, I used the pieces of a shape puzzle as stencils to draw them on paper.)

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Sidebar: I just noticed my ballet flats in the shot.  Found them at Walmart for $5.87!

Select a random shape from the deck (little pieces of paper for the cut-outs or the actual words) from a box.  The youngest in the bunch was assigned this most important task as you can see.  If you have access to a printer and are familiar with MS PowerPoint, then you know you can use their Insert button to add Clip Art (that’s where we found our “Fly”) along with Shapes feature for each one used.  If not, you can simply draw a bug inside shapes (which is probably more fun to do and a bonus arts & crafts project.)

Below  are the materials we used:

  • An empty tissue box to randomly select the shape cut outs and/or word cards. (In general by the way, it’s fun to keep these around to hide safe items for the little ones to find and/or place things in if it’s empty.)
  • Fly swatter (we had two and took turns in pairs.)
  • Paper (I use scraps handy in our recycle bin for the deck.)
  • Optional: Construction Paper as a background for shape bug print-outs.

18268521_777795139055320_4190442151599525165_nThese need to be filled in at some point so maybe we’ll play a Color Bug swat game next or list a variety of insects for a nature lesson.  The possibilities are endless, right?

Hope you like this activity idea.

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