Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Water Table Idea

I absolutely love my water table and so do my children. If you don't have one you can use a shallow rubbermaid container or a dishpan works well too.

This without question is my children's favorite activity for the water table. I bought a bunch of silk leaves, I throw in some brown pom poms(nuts), add these cute little squirrels(I found them at Oriental Trading), a *tree made out of a recycled coffee can, some tongs, and programmed leaves with numbers on them.

We use it in lots of different ways:


They pick a card and then hunt like squirrels to find that number of nuts in the leaves picking them up with the tongs and take them back to the tree. As they have gotten older they pick two cards and add them together and find that many nuts.


They group the squirrels by the different items they hold or the leaves by shape or color.


They just love to play with the squirrels in the leaves.


By using the tongs in #1 this is a great small motor skill activity.

*I made the tree by taking brown construction paper and made it to look like a tree. Then cut the paper to size and glue it to the can(the great thing about the can is I saved the plastic lid and so I can store all the other items in the can until I need it again).

2 Halloween Games in 1

Need to Make Cans:
recycled cans(I have the can opener that doesn't leave sharp edges-I highly recommend getting one)
Different patterns of orange scrapbook paper
Halloween stickers

How to Make Cans:
Cut paper to fit can
Glue paper to can using glue stick
Add Stickers

Game One:
Stack cans as shown above and throw bean bags at them to knock them down or you can roll a pumpkin at them.

Game Two:
Cluster cans together and try to throw black and orange pom poms in them or black and white beans.

Halloween Game and Craft

To Make:
First cut a 12x12 piece of scrap book paper in four making 6x6 pieces of paper and add a pumpkin die cut to the center with a glue dot(see picture below). Then you program a six sided die with the words or pictures of nose, right eye, left eye, mouth, sticker, and sticker.

Needed to Play:
game card you made from above
die you made
black markers or crayons
Halloween stickers

The Rules:
You pass the die around and roll and you add the item rolled with a black marker or add stickers if you roll the word sticker. First one done converting their pumpkin into a jack o lantern wins.

What I love about this game is it is a craft too!

Friday, June 4, 2010


In the first section I added a story wheel for retelling the story and a number matching game to a trifold folder.

In the middle section sequencing cards and below that a picture of a mouse(laminated) and you have the child color the certain parts of the mouse the appropriate colors.

The other pocket is for the book or other coloring sheets I might add later.

I found the images through THIS blog. In the first section I put shapes and colors. I laminated them so they can be colored over and over again with dry erase markers. Below that is a puzzle.

In the middle section is ABC cards, a number matching game, and a memory game that you match shadows to the actual picture.

For the first section I made up some information cards and then found the picture cards online HERE (I also found other images from this site for the books)

The middle section I typed up some questions about the animals and then they can match the animals to the question. I left them uncolored so I could leave it as an activity they could do using the cards from the matching game to color the animals the correct colors. They can then also use them for sequencing of what order they were let out of their cages.

I used the pocket in the folder for the book.

On the backside I made these cages and matching colored keys(attached with vlecro dots) so they could "open" the cages up and find different animals hiding in the cages. I then ask is this an animal from the book. Then they can turn their head while you hide new animals and do it all over again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ready for Summer and Great for Preschool too!!!!

I have done learning books in the past but this year I thought I would do something a little different to keep the kids engaged in school all summer. I had some file folder centers(by carson delarossa and dj inkers) and some other centers(by the mailbox). All I did was buy another grade level packet of centers(which the school company I order books from was having a huge sale so normal $30 centers I got for $6.25) to 3rd grade and this is what I created for our summer learning fun:

(I found the red holder at a garage sale for $1)

I have used these when all 3 of my younger children were all home and they needed an activity they could self check while I worked one on one with another child! They are fabulous!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Moon Rocks"

I love LOVE these videos for rainy days(or days when we need some quiet) and the great thing is my children love them too!

In this video they collect and then sort "moon rocks" into shapes, colors, and sizes...which inspired me to gather up my gems which we use to craft with and let my little jewels do the same!!!

Water Table Fun-chicks and bugs

I found these cute little chick eggs after Easter a couple years ago, coupled with some Easter grass, and some counting cups and bugs I already had I came up with this fun activity.

Inside each chick are directions for how many bugs, what type of bugs, or what color of bugs for that chick to eat. An example is below:

I also provide tongs and different colored cups.

My children also have fun just digging through the grass and sorting them into the cups and pretending the chicks are searching for and eating up the bugs!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mr. Umbrella

blue consruction paper
any other color of consruction paper
blue ribbon
2 wiggly eyes
1 pipe cleaner

Adult Helper:
-On the blue paper program 6 rain drops per umbrella
-On other color paper program an umbrella shape

-Cut out shapes
-Cut ribbon into 6 sections
-tape raindrops to blue ribbon and then to umbrella shape
-tape pipecleaner to umbrella shape and make into J shape
-turn over and glue on eyes(or they can draw the eyes on)
-make mouth and nose

Nothing like a rainy day to do a craft with the children.

Bee Puppet

Items needed:
toliet paper roll
yellow and black marker
wax paper
wiggly eyes

Adult Helper:
-Program the roll with lines for them to color the black and yellow stripes(if older preschooler you don't need to do this)
-Cut Squares of wax paper

-color black and yellow stripes
-cut out wings from wax paper glue on top of tp roll
-glue on eyes
-when project is done cut the roll on the opposite side as wings lengthwise, this allows it to be worn on wrist(you can do this if you child is too young)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Writing Practice

You place a worksheet into a plastic storage bag and have the children use a dry erase marker to practice writing their letters. The great thing about putting into a bag is they can do it over and over again. I found this particular worksheet at They have the whole alphabet in this format.

B is for......


to make the birdbath you hot glue a cup and a small plate together.

I have the children practice their B sounds by saying the word and then placing the birds with pictures of items that start with the letter B into their birdbathes.

I found these pictues at but you need to have a subscription to their magazine to accesss that part of their site. I found the benefits of this magazine to be priceless!

These are the ones I had the children make using punkydoodle shapes(I love these) and some pictures I found at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Find It Bottles

1. I have a son who runs track and drinks several powerades a week. I took the powerade bottles and cleaned them out, removed the label and let them dry.

2. Once dry I reused the rice from the water table and filled the bottles almost full. Leaving an inch of space near the top.

3. I found different buttons at Micheals and added them to the bottle.

4. Print up clues to find each button in the bottle, laminate, and attach with ribbon or yarn

5.. Hot glue lid closed or don't and you can guess what could happen!

Friday, March 26, 2010


We started this off with painting 10 flowers and 2 butterflies(I found popsicle sticks with flower shapes on the top at the $ store). I then programmed the flowers from 1-10. I also wanted to use these with my 1st grader and Kindergartner so I programmed the 2 butterflies with addition and subtraction signs.

Items needed are: the flowers and butterflies, 2 plastic flower pots, craft foam(for in 1 of the pots, cut it to size), and seeds(brown pompoms)

I use one of the pots to hold all the seeds and the other to insert the flowers.

Now for the fun...the children can insert the flowers to practice number recognition and counting by placing the correct number of seed to grow the flower and for the older kids they can practice their addition skills.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Making word families is fun with this activity. You program one side of the plastic egg with letters and the other half with word endings like -at(b, c, th, r, f),
-oat, -ock, -ed. I have them take one egg at a time and practice saying the word and for older preschoolers they write them too!!! I also have a couple that are programmed opposite with th-(ere, e, at, ose, ink) and wh-(o, at, ere, y) with the endings on the bottom.

Egg Matching

Back to the Water Table we go! My children have loved this activity. You program plastic Easter eggs with the uppercase letter on one half and the lower case on the other half and have them match them up. When they match one they can put it in the basket or the egg carton. They have even enjoyed putting the rice in the eggs and making little musical shakers out of them(which is new this year because previously I had put Easter grass in the water table).


I am thinking my 10 years of playing Go Fish might have come to an end. We are a game playing family and they all have loved Go Fish(it is one of those do you want to play a game and you ask really already knowing the answer). I have played I am sure 100's of games of Go Fish and they love to play it over and over but sometimes even the best of moms need to do something different. I think I have it with game:

It is the same concept of matching(taking turns) as Go Fish but instead of asking for a color of card you "ape" what is on the card to ask for it!!! HILARIOUS!!! We giggle the whole game!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Water Table Fun!!!!

The water table(you can also use dishpans) has been my most favorite purchase since deciding to do preschool at home. It has so many uses and I use it all year. Here are a couple of the ideas so far this year:


I found this fake snow and added some polar animals and a bucket and scoop for some snow fun!

What is at the end of rainbow?

I found these 2 buckets at Michaels last year(75% off) and the 2 different colored coins as well. My preschoolers find the coins in the rainbow colored rice and sort them between the 2 buckets using tongs. They can also count the coins too! I reuse the rice throughout spring time so I will share more ideas later!

To make the rice you take 2 cups rice, 1 tsp rubbing alcohol(this makes it dry fast and not sticky), and 5 drops food coloring. Mix it together and let it dry on newspaper. Repeat for as many colors as you like. HINT: Once dry the colors don't rub off on anything

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some "toothy" business!!!

I love this book!!! It is perfect for young children when you are talking about issues of teeth.

At our local school store I picked up a pad of teeth shapes, teeth stickers, and 10 tooth erasers. I took 10 of them and put the numbers 1-10 and then another ten and put stickers on them 1 on 1, 2 on another and continue through the number ten. This is great on so many levels and this what I use these for:
1. Taking the teeth with numbers on them and practicing number recognition and then putting them in proper order.
2. Taking the teeth with numbers and the one with stickers and play a matching game
3. Use the teeth erasers as counters and the numbered teeth to practice counting.

I found these pictures of mouthes on line and I printed them off and cut them out and programmed them. One says "t at the beginning" and the other says "t at the end". I then took several pictures of different items. Now we are ready to play this game. I put the mouthes side by side with a space in the middle of them and put the pictures face down. Each child takes a turn picking up a picture and deciding which mouth it belongs to. To make it a little trickier I have some pictures that don't go on either and one that goes on both(tent).

These teeth definately need some brushing! With the same tooth shapes from above I took the left overs and laminated them. I then took a dry erase marker and drew sugar bugs all over them. Now with all the children armed with a sugar bug laden tooth and tooth brush they get busy brushing those sugar bugs away(be prepared to keep readding sugar bugs to the teeth, in my experience 15 minutes or more)

I also take the oppurtunity to teach the "t" sound and the "th" sound and tooth is the perfect word to teach the difference.

What makes out teeth happy and sad? I programmed 2 teeth shapes one with a sad face and one with a happy face. Then cut out some pictures of different foods. I place the teeth next to each other and put the pictures face down and the kids take turns deciding what makes our teeeth happpy or sad!!!