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.

Spanish Sight Words

So, I’ve been meaning to include Spanish sight words on our wall but wasn’t yet decided on how to make them stand out in their own way.  (Our English sight words are part of a fun set of flash cards we purchased and love to work with as shown below.)

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Then, I came across a display of high frequency Spanish words on an educational website.  It was also the perfect solution for making great use of all our extra construction paper scraps!  Conveniently, my trusted masking tape roll also doubled as the stencil for the right-sized circles, too.

19875316_815328531968647_536176068206993481_nI’ve already envisioned another slide show for the future but until then, I simply made a list on Google Sheets you can find here that contains the visible words on the image shared on Facebook by Rockalingua.

It’s a wonderful page to follow by the way, for your Spanish learning!

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Source:  https://www.facebook.com/Rockalingua/photos/a.268690703268324.1073741832.246130445524350/937361609734560/?type=3&theater

 

 

My Favorite Things – ABC Flash Cards

Over the years, I’ve put together several early learning presentations.  I’d play them on our old computer or connect a cable to the television to view on a larger screen.  Nowadays you don’t need a wire and with Screen Mirroring, all you need is Internet access and your smart phone will do.

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(Kids get a kick out of being able to play the presentations while I use my pointer for emphasis.)

Here’s just another set of ABC flash card slides thanks to MS PowerPoint (which you can then import into Google Slides for sharing as I have done.)

These slides are supposed to be a focus on our favorite things but with preschoolers, it’s more like the first things that came to mind.  Then there was an issue with K.  For no apparent reason, my suggestions for Kiss, Karate, Kite, Kangaroo or Knight were a fail while Ketchup was unanimous.  Then there’s the case of the bitter X.  Not many new or easy choices for this letter with little ones, am I right?  But hey, we do enjoy our Xylophone and X-Rays always remind us of Dem Bones.  And, no need to wait for Halloween to begin doing The Skeleton Dance!

Play around with the software if you’re interested and come up with your own flash card favorites.  Our next project is photos of actual family members (Aunt, Brother, Cousin, Dad, Grandma, Dad, etc.) and if you have any pets, you should include them too!

Hope you enjoy our ABC Favorite Things Slide Show you can view here!

Note:

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that yes, the very mention of My Favorite Things always brings me me back to The Sound of Music.

Puzzle Piece Flash Card Fun

19366258_1695850104049980_3213347774118269053_nWe have quite a few puzzles by Melissa and Doug around and the younger ones are still trying to put the right pieces in the right place.  Once a child has mastered the task however, they move on and get creative by incorporating the pieces into other forms of play, which is great!

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With this in mind, I thought of another option by printing the names of each piece as cards that we can remove from the deck, one at time.

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Mommy Scribble

If the child is able to read the word they see, they can go ahead and put the correlating piece in the appropriate place on the puzzle.  If not, we set them aside to go over them again later.

Some of the words are more familiar (as they’ve seen them before in our standard flash cards) such as “cow” but “excavator” not so much.  It’s all good.  They’ll get there, eventually!

This is a great way for us to continue working with the same puzzles we already have, but on another level as a new experience.  Maybe you have some of these in your toy chest too.  Our puzzles cover some of the animals found on the farm and jungle, sea creatures, as well as, vehicles for transportation and construction sites.

If you’d like to print the sheets we used for this puzzle piece sight word game, you can find them here.

Hope you like this activity idea and enjoy!

 

 

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.

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?

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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.

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.