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.

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.

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?

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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.

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