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!

 

 

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Thunder, Lightning.

It’s not just the little ones that want to run under the covers during a thunderstorm. It’s pretty scary for everybody, even when you’re indoors.

Trying your best to calm a child through one isn’t always easy and even more difficult once you lost power (it happens.)

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Photo Image Source: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/16700/why-is-the-cumulonimbus-cloud-formation-so-dangerous

We’re always talking about the weather, but it was time to go beyond the temperature and what to carry with us when its raining. Mainly because I wasn’t able to explain this intimidating force of nature to myself, much less a child. I think we all know at the very least, that it’s dangerous to be outside at the time.

I knew thunder was loud and frightening, but does it always follow that flash of lightning? Thankfully, the Weather Wiz Kids had us covered, like an umbrella. You’ll find the answer to the question under Thunderstorms along with the causes, patterns and helpful safety tips. We also learned a new math game we can play during the next storm to find out how far away it is from us.

Also, try saying cumulonimbus clouds really fast? Soft Schools has more facts about them. Ever heard of Upward Lightning? Find it in this list of 10 Natural Phenomena You Have To See To Believe.

When the lights finally came back on, we sang about electricity leaping toward the ground / lightening is the flash of light / thunder is the sound:

 

 

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!

Ice Age Play

Even when your head is flooded with nonstop ideas of your own, you can still draw a blank.  This is why I’m ever so grateful for all the sharing that takes place on social media.  As you can see, one share leads to another and so on.

A post that popped up on our Facebook feed led us to Crumb Bums and an outdoor activity idea for those very hot soon-to-be summer days.  I’m always thrilled when something brilliant comes along that’s also practical and doable with whatever I happen to have available.

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So, in the interest of time and rising temperatures, I skipped the food coloring and just froze two animal toys in a suitably sized plastic storage container.  I also froze water alone in a large plastic cup and silicone heart-shaped mold.  We had toy hammers and the kids took turns trying to free the giraffe and an extinct Dino that I pointed out was stubbornly trapped in the ice age (and reminds me of a platypus, by the way.)

But, if you didn’t have a single toy to freeze, simply chipping away at a block of plain old ice was entertaining enough for them.

Well, this wonderful suggestion is now spinning me in a ton of different directions that I’ll be sure to update once I’ve tried them out next!

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It wasn’t Mother’s Day, my birthday or even Christmas and yet, someone sent me a beautiful surprise.  Good friends don’t need a reason or an excuse to do something nice for you, do they?

Some weeks ago I had casually shared how much I always wanted an old-fashioned pen (after being reminded during a period piece on television.)

Then, on a random afternoon,  a feather pen, heart-shaped stand and ink made its way here.  It was totally unexpected and really made my day.  To my utter delight, a package of special paper was also part of their thoughtful gift.

19025003_800637813437719_7515497085339831705_oIt puts a smile on my face every time I see it displayed on my writing desk.  I also cannot wait to begin practicing the fading art of penmanship.

I plan on sending letters, greeting cards and invitations just like our ancestors once did (my parents, actually.)  I might even use it to pen short cover letters for business correspondence.  Well, why not?

A major bonus is that the young ones around me (who are just learning how to write period) will witness an adult trying hard to get better at something similar.  In this case, calligraphy.  The inadvertent lesson that it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby.

For some, receiving a hand written note in the mail might in turn make their day as well, so it just may be the type of gift that will keep on giving.  I know that I appreciate a personal touch. Speaking of, if you happen to know someone who’s equally enthusiastic about writing instruments and/or stationary, this is a superb gift idea for sure.  I’m beyond thrilled to have received it myself, can you tell?

Now on a more personal note:  I know that other Spanish translations for the word pen include “bolígrafo” as well as “lapicero.”  But, that’s not part of the lyrics my mother used to sing to me:

Pollito, chicken,
Gallina, hen,
Lápiz, pencil
And pluma, pen

 

Tea. A drink with jam and bread.

Of the many good childhood memories that one may have, watching The Sound of Music with my family when I was young, happens to be among them.  It was a special time (typically summers with my cousins) and an Aunt who was just as interested in music and art.  She teaches kindergarten.

For those of us not destined for the stage, singing is still a vital and enjoyable part of our lives.  So, thank goodness for outlets such as karaoke to switch things up from all those solos in the shower.

Another joy about singing and in particular songs like Do-Re-Mi is introducing them for the first time to children.  I can’t say with absolute certainty if they care or even notice when I’m off-key or that I tend to hold a note longer than necessary, but nonetheless it’s entertaining for us all (I hope!)

So, when NBC aired their live version back in 2013, I was over the moon and this collaboration of Do-Re-Mi in particular has kept our momentum going.

Especially when you know the notes to sing…

 

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.