Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowman Votive Craft

Parents and grandparents always enjoy cute handmade gifts from children, especially when they're made from handprints or fingerprints.

This snowman is simply made from a child's finger. Paint white paint on their finger and press lightly onto the votive holder. After the paint dries you can add the arms, buttons, etc with a fine tip brush or permanent marker. You might even want to paint the child's name and date on the side or bottom.

Teacher tip: When making handprint gifts, be sure to have the child look away as you press their hand. When the child is looking, they tend to press their hands themselves or jerk away from you which leaves a blurry mess.

This idea is very similar to the snowman ornament that I shared with you a few years ago.

Do you have any kid-friendly handmade gift ideas to share?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Easy Gingerbread Man Ornament

Kids really enjoy making ornaments at Christmas time. Here's another easy ornament to try. These gingerbread men cut outs are made from craft foam. They were purchased very inexpensively at the Dollar Tree. Of course, you could use a gingerbread pattern to cut these out yourself.

Be sure to provide your little one with glue, glitter, buttons, sequins, etc to decorate their gingerbread person. Be sure to check out these other Christmas and ornament ideas.
Have fun!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coming Soon: A New Name!

Little Fun; Little Learning has been around for a few years. While it has been helpful in providing resources for parents and teachers, Revka and I feel that this site could be better with a more user-friendly set-up. LFLL was set up during our early blogging years and it is time for a makeover! I have purchased the new domain for the site. Hopefully after the first of the year, Revka and I can brainstorm on a new design to unveil a more resourceful website. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Learning to Read


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving People Craft

While walking down the halls at school I spotted these Thanksgiving people that the kindergarten children had made. Aren't they cute?

The body of the people is a Zoopal plate. They painted the plates with skin and hair and attached an acorn for the nose. Next came the smiles, hats or head dressing, fingers, and wiggle eyes.

Other ideas you might like:
Thanksgiving place mat
Thanksgiving turkey craft
Thankful tree

Do you have any cute Thanksgiving crafts to share?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Studying Word Families

Learning word families is a great way for kids to learn how to read. Each week at school, we study a new word family. Here are some of the activities we use to help learn the words.

1. Magnet Board - Each week we practice making words using the magnet board. First we put our current family ending at the top and then we put different consonants and consonant blends in front of the word family. Sometimes we make nonsense words too. As you can see, this week our word family is -it.

2. Printable Booklets - Hubbards Cupboard has free printable booklets that you can print out to read with each word family. This week we are reading Fishing because it focuses on the -it word family.

3. Online Activities-

Word Family Games allows you to click and drag the words to the correct word family. This activity is a bit more difficult than the other activities because the student is sorting word families into different categories. This game would work well for small group or whole class lessons. Small groups could sit around the computer and work together while taking turns. For large groups, you could post this on the Active Board.

Starfall has making word activities. For example: The student is given a picture, such as a can, and he has to click and drag the beginning consonant "c" to the word family -an. After entering the Starfall website, click on Learn to Read. Starfall also has lots of other reading activities.

4. Word Wheels - Scholastic has a book of printable word wheels. I copy and color them and then laminate them for durability. (Upon searching tonight, I found a free printable for a word wheel, but it appears that it is just a sample.)

Free printable word wheels: Wordway also has many word wheels/strips but these do not have pictures with the words. There are over 100 pages so you will need to scroll through and print out only the ones you need. Other sources include Super Teacher Worksheets and Enchanted Learning.

5. Other books - The top two books shown in the picture are part of a literacy kit that we have at the school, but there are other places to find books. The pink books shown in the picture came from a yard sale. I got a small stack of them for 25 cents. Check your local library or do some web surfing for books. You can also work with your child to make your own books. Start with a list of words from your word family to help you brainstorm.

6. Worksheets - Inbetween all of the other activities we reinforce the skills with these worksheets from Wordway. We do not do all of the worksheets on the website. I pick 4-5 of them for each week. Some of these include putting the correct word into the sentence, choosing the correct word for the picture, etc.

(I have found Wordway difficult to navigate so here is how I find the sheets: Go to the Wordway website, scroll past the other website links and offer to purchase, click on the letter for the word family you're looking for. For the word family -it, you would click on "I". Then scroll through the list of word families and click on the one you like.)

7. Spelling words - Each week we have a list of spelling words to go along with our word family and there is homework to reinforce these words. Since our word family this week is -it some of our words are bit, fit, sit, mit, hit, kit, etc. In our spelling list, I also include two sight words that we are studying.

8.  File folder games - Recently I was excited to find the website File Folder Fun.  On the website, there phonics word family games called Shamrock Phonics and Space Rhymes. You can print the games in color or black and white.  If you need different word families than the ones shown, you can simply white out the words and make your own.  

I know this is only a few of the ways to teach word families. What are some effective ways that you have found?

Other sources:
Scholastic rhyming words worksheet 1
Rhyming words sheet 2
Rhyming words sheet 3


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Apple Activities

I was doing some cleaning today and found these cute apple activities from kindergarten class. Enjoy!

Apple basket - This is a cute introduction to number sentences and color words.

Apple people - This is simply an apple with black crinkled arms and legs.

Apple trees - Every kid loves to paint. :)

Torn Paper Apples - Tearing paper is good exercise for little fingers. Have students cover an apple you've drawn or copied. Encourage them to make a layered look.

What kinds of fall activities have you enjoyed?


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baby Moses Color by Number

Printables for Kids has a new printable available. It is a color by number picture of Moses floating down the river. This would be great to use for Sunday School, VBS, or a filler item for when you have nursery and church lets out a bit later than normal (it happens!).



Friday, July 9, 2010

10 Commandments Activities

My friend was needing some craft ideas to use when teaching The 10 Commandments. Since I am doing an online search, I thought I'd share my findings with you.

Parchment Commandments Craft

Moses and the 10 Commandments Paper Craft - template provided

Printable Packet from Calvary's Chapel - This packet has a coloring page, crossword, word find, lesson, and other activities.

Fill-in-the-blank worksheet

Commandments Are A Loving Gift Song

10 Commandments Song

Memory Pegs - Print a color or black and white picture for each commandment.

Bible Story

Verse/Copy Work - I think this was meant to be used for a handwriting homeschooling lesson, but I think you could print out these pages, reduce them on the copier, and make miniature books for a children's Sunday School class or Christian school.

Help Moses Maze

Printable Coloring Page

10 Commandments Games

Crossword Puzzle

Word Search

Word Scramble



Do you have any 10 Commandments activities to add to this list?


Monday, June 21, 2010

Patriotic Crafts from FamilyFun

If there's one thing that parents really enjoy, it is handprint crafts from kids. I know many of you will enjoy this eagle handprint design. FamilyFun has it the design on a t-shirt but I'm sure you could use this idea in many ways.

More patriotic ideas from FamilyFun:

Confetti Launcher: Fireworks happen only after dark, but this craft creates a pop of color any time of day. Kids pull back on the string to release a shower of tissue paper confetti, then gather it up and refill the launcher again.and again.and again.

Wig and Tutu in One: Powdered wigs are so 1776. Celebrate the Fourth in 2010 sporting a crazy red, white, and blue pompadour. Or, if you prefer, wear the tulle creation as a tutu. *You can have this craft done in 30 minutes or less.*

Spirited Bike Spinner: Old Glory won't be the only thing blowing in the breeze this Fourth. Made from a strategically snipped and bent plastic bottle wrapped in tape, this colorful bike accessory twirls in the air as your kids pedal.

A Patri-botic Centerpiece: Do U need a GR8 helper 4 yours picnic on the 4th? Well, this is one can-do robot. His recycled-can head holds a hair-raising array of utensils, and a clear container belly keeps cookies safe from eager little hands until it's time for dessert.

A Star-spangled Welcome: This bunting-inspired paper wreath will look as snappy as a salute on your front door.

Do you have any favorite patriotic crafts?

image: Disney FamilyFun


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Crazy Cucumber Snake Recipe

Today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day!

I know that I have been trying to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into our meals. One way that I have done this is by having fresh cut up fruits and veggies on hand. I keep them stored in the refrigerator inside storage containers. When it is meal or snack time, I just pull out the sliced cucumbers, oranges, carrots, etc and the kids munch on them. This method has been very effective.

Disney FamilyFun Magazine has a cute idea to help your kids get excited about eating their vegetables. Check out their Crazy Cucumber Snake.

How do you promote healthy eating in your home?

Permission to print from FamilyFun.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Parenting Dilemma: What Would You Do If Your Child's Grade Were Slipping?

From time to time, I receive questions from others about parenting dilemmas. Most of the time I answer these in an email, but then it dawned on me today that I should be sharing these with you. You might also be going through the same problem and may need some guidance. Or you may have already gone through this and can offer some parenting wisdom.

Today is report card day and my son (5th grade) will have 3 C's. I was thinking
of limiting his tv time to 30 mins per day during the week from now till I see
online his grades have come up. He likes to play games on the computer which is
in the kitchen. How should I do that? Should it be 30 mins. tv/ computer
together pretty much either or? I want him to know I mean business but not over
do it too. He already has soccer now two days a week for 1 1/2 hrs. He doesn't
get much homework at all from school. Let me know what you would do if you were
in my shoes.
First of all, I'd like to say that parenting is not a cookie cutter format. Whatever works for your child, may not work for others. Here are some things to consider:

Talk to your spouse before dishing out consequences. You both need to agree on how to handle the situation. Do not respond in anger. Long lectures don't seem to work either.

Find out the problem. Does your child need additional help, is the content difficult, or are they just being lazy? You may want to talk with the teacher. Many times teachers observe things in the classroom that you don't see at home. They may help to identify problems, the need for help, and they can probably make suggestions.

Consider having a study time in your schedule each day. Designate a time that works well for your family. At our house, my children know that when they come home from school they wash their hands, have a snack, work on homework, and then they have playtime. At first, your child may be resistant to a schedule, but keep at it.

Set logical consequences. Grounding a child until the end of the year is not a logical consequence. I would suggest cutting back on tv and computer time, time with friends, and if the situation gets very serious, then I would cut out sports completely.

Based upon this particular situation given above, I would recommend to limit the child's tv and computer time. Possibly cut it back to 30 minutes each day on soccer days and 45 minutes on other days. Continue you monitor your child's progress with online grades or through email correspondence with the teacher.

Offer an incentive. Tell him/her that you'll reevaluate the situation at midterm reports. Offer an incentive if grades are acceptable at that time. Perhaps the child can earn back some of the privileges that were taken.

Teach the value of doing your best in all things. Some scriptures that might help:

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

Offer logical reasons for getting good grades. Sometimes children have a hard time seeing the need for doing their best for getting good grades. Ask your child about some positive experiences others in their school have had from their grades (school incentives, rewards, extra field trips, etc). Give a real life example that your child will understand.

Example: If you don't do your best when playing soccer then your coach may not take you seriously. If he doesn't take you seriously, you may have to sit on the bench a bit longer while the others are playing. It's important to always do your best. Does that make sense?

Encourage your child. Notice their attempts to do better, their commitment to studying, and improvement with grades. There is no need to over endulge them. It only takes simple words such as, "I have noticed how hard you're trying this week." or "You're doing a great job. I'm glad you're working so hard." Children respond well to a little positive reinforcement. Also, you might like these 50 encouraging things to say to your kids.

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20

Do you have a parenting dilemma? Email it to



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Captivating Caterpillar Cupcakes

Today we have another cute spring baking activity, courtesy of Duncan Hines. For more recipe ideas, visit the Duncan Hines website.

For some togetherness, get the kids to help create the candy creatures that sit atop these yummy Captivating Caterpillar Cupcakes, made with Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix.


• 1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Classic White Cake Mix
• 3 large egg whites
• 1 1/3 cups water
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup star decors
• 1 tub Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting
• green food coloring
• 10 to 12 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
• 1/2 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
• 1/3 cup assorted jelly beans
• assorted nonpareil decors

Baking Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

2. Combine cake mix, egg whites, water and oil in large bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in 1/3 cup star decors. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.

3. Bake at 350 ºF. 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

4. Tint vanilla frosting with green food coloring. Frost one cupcake. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon chocolate cookie crumbs on frosting. Arrange 4 candy-coated chocolate pieces to form caterpillar body. Place jelly bean at one end to form head. Attach remaining star and nonpareil decors with dots of frosting to form eyes. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

Permission to print from FamilyFun.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hello Cupcake! Easter Egg Cupcakes

Duncan Hines® helps you create delicious family moments with decadent recipes even the tiniest pair of hands in your family can help make. Baking at home with family creates unforgettable moments and fills the holidays with that priceless feeling of togetherness.

Created by the authors of the popular cupcake decorating book Hello Cupcake!™. This is a fun Easter project to make with the kids or with your baking friends. All it takes are easy-to-find ingredients, fun food dye colors and delicious frosting. Easter Egg Cupcakes aren't hard to make -- but they’re sure to impress as gifts, or to decorate your holiday table.


• 12 unfrosted Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake Mix cupcakes baked in white paper liners
• 12 honey graham crackers
• 2 cans (16 ounces) Creamy Homestyle Classic Vanilla Frosting
• Green, yellow, orange, blue, purple, and pink food coloring
• 2 tablespoons each mini and regular white, pink, green, and blue decorations

Baking Instructions:

1. Tint 2 cups of the frosting light green. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the light green frosting into a zippered plastic bag. Tint 1/2 cup each of vanilla frosting pink, light blue, light purple, orange, and yellow. Spoon 2 tablespoons each into zippered plastic bags. Press out the excess air in each of the bags, seal, and set aside.

2. Using a serrated knife, trim the graham crackers into an egg shape 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Snip a small corner (1/4 inch) from the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of green frosting and pipe a small dollop on top of each cupcake and place a graham cracker on top, pressing down to secure. The cracker will hang over the edge of the cupcake. Freeze the cupcakes for 10 to 15 minutes to set.

3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of each tinted frosting into a separate microwavable bowl. Working with one color at a time, microwave the frosting, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of lightly whipped cream, 20 to 30 seconds. Holding a chilled cupcake by the paper liner dip the graham cracker into the melted frosting to coat, turn right side up and let stand. Continue with all of the cupcakes and graham crackers making two eggs of each color.

4. Snip very small corners (1/8 inch) from the bags with the 2 tablespoons of frosting. Pipe decorative dots, lines, and dashes on top of the frosting-coated crackers. Using the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of light green frosting, pipe dots of frosting around base of each egg always pulling the peak away from the egg (be sure to cover any exposed cupcake).

5. While the frosting is still wet add candy decors to create decorative patterns.

For more recipes, visit Duncan Hines.

image and recipe courtesy of Duncan Hines


Monday, March 22, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail Review and Giveaway

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way . . .

Remember that song?

Now you can own the original tv classic Here Comes Peter Cottontail on dvd.

Peter Cottontail wants to be the #1 Chief Easter Bunny and everyone in April
Valley agrees . . . except for his archrival, evil Irontail. Hop along with
Peter and his friends as they race through time celebrating all of your favorite
holidays to deliver the most eggs . . . and save Easter for children everywhere!

It's exciting to see these old classic movies on dvd so that our children can enjoy them like we did as children. Since this movie came in the mail last week, my kids have been asking repeatedly to watch it.

The suggested retail price of this dvd is $9.93 and it can also be purchased on iTunes for $7.99.

I have some super cute coloring pages that you can print out. Just click on the image to enlarge it for printing.

And now for the giveaway . . .

I have TWO copies of Here Comes Peter Cottontail for two of our readers.

To enter, you can leave a comment. You can also earn additional entries by tweeting this giveaway, following me on twitter, blogging about this contest, etc. You can use this shortened url when tweeting the article, Just please leave a comment for each additional thing that you do. It just makes it easier to count entries.

This contest will end on Monday, March 29, 2010. The winners will be chosen using the random number generator and will be contacted by email. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

image: Classic Media
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this dvd for review purposes.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

VeggieTales CDs Included in Chick-Fil-A Kids Meals

Chick-Fil-A is partnering with VeggieTales for it's upcoming Kids Meal. From March 13 to April 17, Chick-Fil-A Kids Meals will feature a VeggieTales CD.

VeggieTales CDs focus on a different aspect of building healthy self-confidence. CD topics include:

  1. "You are a Friend!"
  2. "You are Special!"
  3. "You are Unique!"
  4. "You are Important!"
  5. "You are Loved!"

In addition, each CD includes:

  1. Music that can be played in the car or on a home computer
  2. Fun activities and print-outs
  3. Videos with lessons from VeggieTales characters
  4. Information for parents
  5. Special promotions
A new CD will be available each week. Children who receive the same CD twice can exchange the duplicate for another CD during the five-week promotion. After the promotion, parents can order CDs online as long as supplies last.



Friday, March 12, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Ideas from FamilyFun Magazine

St. Patrick's Day isn't far away and as always, Disney's FamilyFun Magazine has loads of cute ideas to make your holiday a success.

Crafts and Games

Wee Leprechaun: Make-your-own leprechaun!
Make a Festive Bowl-er: Create leprechaun hats by painting and embellishing paper bowls. (p. 34)
St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt: Follow fun all the way to a faux pot of gold.
To Catch A Leprechaun: Three clever traps for taking a stand against St. Patrick's Day mischief: Leprechaun Hat Pit Trap, Rainbow Cage Drop, Tricky Trapdoor
Green Stamp: Spread the luck o' the Irish this St. Patrick's Day with a homemade shamrock stamp. Use it to decorate paper place mats, coasters, tablecloths, or anything else your little leprechauns wish to dress in green.


St. Patty’s Day Platter: Use a colorful variety of fruits for a rainbow platter. Marshmallows can act as the cloud at the end of the rainbow, and bananas for the pot of gold! (p. 29)
Clover Cookies: For St. Patrick's Day (March 17), or any day you feel like you need a little extra luck, bake up a batch of these cheerful green shamrock cookies. Give some to your friends and classmates, so they will be lucky, too.
Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes: Here's what little leprechauns look forward to on St. Patrick's Day: a magical snack that can add color to the grayest March afternoon. Pot of gold not included.
Luck of the Irish Cupcakes: It's not far to the gold at the end of this rainbow-topped Emerald Isle cupcake, just the thing for your lads and lasses on St. Patrick's Day.
Shamrock Cupcakes: It doesn't take the luck of the Irish to make these St. Patty's Day treats look so sweet -- just a clever baking technique.
St. Patrick’s Pot of Gold: Surprise your favorite little people on March 17th with these wee emerald pots filled with sweet, edible gold.

Enjoy the ideas!

Permission to print from FamilyFun.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slime Recipe

My friend is a teacher. She made this slime with her kids and it was a hit so she passed the recipe along to me. I hope you enjoy it!

1 cup glue
1 cup water
16 drops of green food coloring

Stir these three ingredients together. Set aside.

Mix 1 heaping teaspoon of borax into 1/2 cup of water. Stir and mix well.

Combine glue mixture with borax mixture until lumps stop forming.

Remove slime from liquid. Lift out. Knead to dry and mix.

Solids break. Liquids pour. It does both.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

VeggieTales Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't

VeggieTales have been a positive influence in our home for years. So I jumped at the chance to review the new VeggieTales Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't. This movie promptly arrived on Friday and we used it for our family night. As expected, I was not disappointed.

With this title, Big Idea Entertainment continues to follow its unique tradition
of retelling timeless adventures. Pistachio is a creative parody of the beloved
story of Pinocchio, and teaches a timely lesson on listening to parents and the
importance of family. Pistachio stars Larry the Cucumber as a toymaker named
Gelato, the assistant Cricket, Junior Asparagus as Pistachio and many other
Veggie favorites. The video is filled with fun music, including a new silly song
called “Where Have All The Staplers Gone?” Pistachio is available in early
March, just in time for the spring season and Easter.

For years, I've had some of the VeggieTales silly songs running through my mind and sometimes you'll hear me singing them out loud. Some of my favorites are the hairbrush, bellybutton, and boogie man songs. "Where Have All the Staplers Gone?" is now one that you can hear around my house. I guess I need to learn the words though so I don't sing the same few lines over and over again. ;)

My kids seem to have some issues lately with listening and following instructions, so I know I'll encourage them to watch this VeggieTales video. This would also make a nice Easter gift for your child.

Big Idea is offering a special on a combo pack that includes the Pistachio video. For only $25 you get Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't DVD, Silly Thing Called Love DVD, God Made You Special CD, and Christian Hit Music CD which includes free shipping. This is a savings of over 50%. For more information, visit the Big Idea website.

Big Ideas has online games, activities, downloads, ecards, and more. I will need lots of activities to keep my three kids busy this summer so I will bookmark this site for unexpected crazy days.

Have you watched the new VeggieTales Pistachio movie?

Disclaimer: I did receive a copy of this dvd to review, but did not receive any monetary compensation. I strive to provide honest reviews on products we use.


Friday, February 26, 2010

2nd Grade Word List, O-Z

This is part 2 of the 2nd grade word list. You can find part 1 here.



2nd Grade Word List, A-N

A few months ago, I gave you all a list of 1st grade high frequency words. I have managed to acquire a list of 2nd grade words as well, so I'm passing the list on to you. These lists are long, so I will divide this up into two separate posts.


Stay tuned for Part 2.