Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Letter R crafts and activities

Yes, I'm finally getting back to the alphabet theme. I took a little break from the alphabet because I don't want to bore anyone by doing the same thing all the time so I try to vary what I post.

Froot Loops Rainbow

Suitable for 2+ years

  • Froot Loops cereal
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Something with which to write
  1. Separate the Froot Loops according to color. This would be good color practice for a child who is still working on color recognition.
  2. Draw a rainbow on the paper.
  3. Help or supervise your child as they glue a different color of cereal on each band of the rainbow.

If you are an adventurous parent, you can use the same idea but, instead of cereal, substitute finger or poster paint.

clip art of letter R courtesy of
raccoon craft illustration courtesy of First


Monday, January 29, 2007

Valentine's Day fun

It's a little late for some of these suggestions, but you can always file them away for next year if you like.

  • Create a Valentine's Tree. A friend of mine purchased a white Christmas tree during the after-holiday clearance time. She decorated it with white lights, heart ornaments, and heart tinsel. (see photo above) The kids could hang any Valentines cards they received.
  • Create a "Countdown to Valentines" calendar with a special Valentine themed activity for each day.
  • Make a giant (non) Hershey's kiss. Melt a bag of chocolate chips. Use the kind of chocolate you like to eat: milk, semi-sweet, or dark. Set a greased funnel (small end down) on a sheet of parchment paper or a cookie sheet - somewhere from which it can easily be removed after the candy has cooled. Pour the melted chocolate into the funnel and let cool. Create your own variations by adding a spoonful of peanut butter as you are filling the funnel (makes a peanut butter kiss), adding nuts, or melting Andes mints along with the chocolate for a mint kiss. Let your imagination soar.
  • Help your child create one-of-a-kind handmade old-fashioned Valentines (directions later in post if needed), or let them create a lovely yet simple 3D heart Paper craft.
  • Make a special gift for someone in need of some TLC. (Think nursing home, shut-ins, singles, sick people, those who have recently lost a loved one; you get the idea.) These Valentine Tear and Paste Activities for Kids would be easy to make for this use.

Handmade Valentines Cards

  • Construction paper - pink, red, white (any or all)
  • Glue
  • Stickers (scrap booking stickers are great, but any will work)
  • Real lace or a heart-shaped paper doily
  • Scissors
  • Pen or markers
  • Glitter pen or regular glitter (optional)
  1. Cut a large heart out of construction paper. (A nice idea is to cut out another smaller version in a different color to glue on top of the big heart.)
  2. Cut your paper doily so that you can glue it around the edge of your heart. You can also use real lace to glue around the edge.
  3. If you cut out a smaller heart, glue it on top of the large heart.
  4. Write a Valentine's message in the center.
  5. Add stickers, glitter, and other decorations as desired.
I'll post later with ideas for classroom and homeschool use.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Fun with counting and number recognition

Thank you, Angel, for e-mailing me and asking for these resources. I hope this is a help to you.

As always, Preschool Rainbow is a great resource. Their Counting Theme page features 16 games/activities to help with counting.

Printable counting and number recognition worksheets are available at Kid Zone and TLS Books, a site which offers more than 100 free printable preschool/kindergarten worksheets for all kinds of learning, including counting.

A to Z Teacher Stuff is an incredible site that offers free teacher resources, lesson plans, themes, Tips, printables, and more. Their resources include ideas for all grades: pre-K through 12th. Visit their Preschool Lesson Plans page to choose from several different categories including Math. The Kindergarten Lesson Plans page includes a Math link as well. Some of my favorite preschool numbers and counting related ideas are the number book, Cheerios necklace, bean sorting/counting game, Cheeto Walk, and the Number Song - a counting variation of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

DLTK's Growing Together is another site to which I often refer. Their Number Buddies page includes printable worksheets, fun games, and cute crafts, all designed to help your child recognize numbers and learn to count in a variety of ways (1's, 2's, 5's, etc.). At the bottom of the page, they even offer links to other numbers/math sites.

One last bit of advice: since children learn most when they enjoy what they are learning, make learning into a game.

clip art of number courtesy of


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Homeschooling resources

My husband and I made the decision to homeschool before we ever had children. I know that soon I am going to have to choose a curriculum and purchase supplies so I am beginning my research now. In the near future, I intend to write individual posts about the various curriculum options available. Today, I would like to offer help for those who cannot afford to or do not want to purchase new materials.

As for any other product, Ebay is a great place to begin your search; however, they no longer allow the sale of Teacher Editions. They are still a good resource for Student Editions.

For a very thorough listing of relevant sites, visit the Homeschooling Used Curriculum Sites page. They offer links to dozens of sites and offer useful information pertaining to each link.

This Little Piggy Stays is an on-line auction house for curriculum. The site was created in response to Ebay's refusal to allow Teacher Edition sales. The site proclaims,

"Teacher editions welcome!! Buy and sell homeschool curriculum at our exciting new auction site! Find used homeschool books at an affordable price from A Beka, Bob Jones, Christian Liberty, Alpha Omega, Saxon, Shurley, Sonlight, Usborne, and much more!"
When I visited their home page in preparation for this post, there was a notice stating that until October 15 there is no setup fee for listing your items for sale, and there is no limit on how many items you can sell.

One of my favorites of all the sites I have found is The Book Samaritan. This is a wonderful ministry that provides free books and curriculum to homeschoolers. Here is what they have to say.

"Our ministry began with an admiration for those who homeschool and a recognition that far too many homeschooling families struggle to buy the curriculum and books they need.

The Book Samaritan is a not-for-profit Christian organization that provides free books and curriculum to homeschoolers with financial constraints. We offer a wide variety of well-known homeschooling materials and ship all items free-of-charge.

In return, we ask only that when the recipient is finished, they pass along the material to another homeschooling family for free
or return the items to The Book Samaritan for redistribution."

Homeschool Free Stuff offers a free weekly newsletter with free curriculum, resources, and more. According to the information posted, there is absolutely no charge associated with this site.

There are many sources for free or low-cost materials, but I know that they aren't always easy to find. I hope this has been a help to someone. God bless you as you endeavor to do your best in raising your child.

Ebay logo courtesy of
This Little Piggy logo courtesy of This Little Piggy Stays Home


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Letter Q crafts and activities

Before you start following all the links to resources and ideas I have found, take a moment to read this article explaining why learning the alphabet is so important for our children.

clip art of the letter Q courtesy of


Monday, January 22, 2007

Reading with your child

A book opens worlds of delight that you can find nowhere else. Watching a movie of a book is not the same as reading the book. A movie lets you sit passively while it does all the work for you, but a book engages the imagination as you actively create pictures in your mind of what is going on. Most young children of my acquaintance love to "read." Reading with a child is a great way for a parent to foster a life-long love of learning in his child. However, as Frank of The New Parent pointed out, not all books are created equal. We need to exercise discernment when choosing books for our children to read. Frank has a short list of his recommendations in his sidebar.

Here are some authors and books I recommend:

Dr. Suess - what child doesn't enjoy his zany stories? They often teach important lessons, too. Visit Seussville on the Internet for information and fun.
Laura Ingalls Wilder - when we were quite young, my siblings and I enjoyed listening as my mother read Little House on the Prairie and other books in the series. I was reading them on my own at age 5. Reading the books is quite different from watching the TV series!
Arleta Richardson - her book In Grandma's Attic, one book in The Grandma's Attic Series, relates the often funny true stories about her grandmother's life as a young child. The series takes you from her childhood to her life as a married woman. "Here are marvelous tales--faithfully recalled for the delight of young and old alike, a touchstone to another day when life was simpler, perhaps, richer; when the treasures of family life and love were passed from generation to generation." I recently found her Letters from Grandma's Attic, a child's book with the stories told in letters that the child can remove from the envelopes pasted inside the book. All of my kids enjoy this one. The whole series is worth buying.
V. Gilbert Beers is a Christian author whose many children's books include both fiction and nonfiction genres. His works of fiction teach valuable lessons through a fun story. His nonfiction works include song books, devotionals, and Bibles for young children. A lot of my favorites are available through

Al Perkins' story The Digging-Est Dog tells about a dog who learned how to dig and dug too much. I like that he fixes the messes he created and learns how to use his talent responsibly.

The Best Nest by P. D. Eastman (a writer and illustrator) teaches a valuable lesson about contentment. Mr. and Mrs. Bird search for a place to build a new nest only to discover their old one is better.

Other Eastman titles include:
  • Are You My Mother? - A baby bird sets out to find his mother. But he doesn't know what his mother looks like--or even that she's a bird! Mother and child are ultimately reunited, but not before some pretty confusing situations.
  • Go, Dog, Go - This lively story about dogs doing all sorts of things introduces readers to such concepts as colors, above and below, up and down, and size. Color illustrations accompany the text.
  • Red, Stop! Green, Go! - With the beloved dogs from Eastman's classic "Go, Dog, Go!," toddlers can explore the world of color in this interactive adaptation of the original book. Includes flaps, wheels, and slides. Full color.
  • What Time Is It? - It's 8:00 a.m. and Ted is waking up. Not Fred! He's going to snooze a little bit longer. Kids will love moving the hands on this sturdy clock book as they follow P.D. Eastman's dynamic dog duo throughout their day.
  • The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary - A silly book with a serious purpose— to help children recognize, remember, and really enjoy using a basic vocabulary of 1350 words. Written and illustrated by P. D. Eastman— with help from the Cat (Dr. Seuss)— this decades-old dictionary pairs words with pictures that carry their meaning, making it simple enough even for non readers to understand. A wacky cast of characters reappears throughout the book, making this perhaps the only dictionary in the world that is actually "fun" to read!
In Grandma's Attic photo courtesy of
Cat in the Hat Dictionary and Go, Dog, Go photos courtesy of


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Letter P crafts and activities

Here are links to activities, crafts, and work sheets to aid you as you teach the letter P.

Letter P clipart courtesy of


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Letter O crafts and activities

Thanks to my friend, Karen (of Thrifty Mommy fame), I will be posting links to crafts and activities for each letter of the alphabet. (I'm starting with O because that is the letter she will be doing next.) Use these ideas to help as you teach or reinforce the alphabet.

Letter O clipart courtesy of


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Board games engage the whole family

Tonight, my husband suggested we play Candyland with our girls. We bought Candyland and Original Memory for the girls' Christmas. Both cost about $5 at Wal-Mart. I later found out that Target was selling them for $4.59. (Always shop around, even if it seems like you are getting a good deal.) Here are a few other games that are great for playing with the "littles."

What are your suggestions?

Candyland photo courtesy of


Cookbooks for kids

In an earlier post, I encouraged you to educate your child in practical ways. Maricar at Keeping the Castle must have read my mind because she posted her thoughts about children cooking and provided links to her recommendations for children's cookbooks.

photo courtesy of Keeping the Castle


Helping Kelli

This is not going to be a normal post. I want to alert you to someone in need that you can help.

is one of my favorite blogs to visit, and she has shown that not only is she funny but is caring as well. She recently clued us readers in to a need.

A fellow blogger named Kelli who is married with 2 children is living with severe kidney failure and is on daily dialysis. (Click the link to read Kelli's post about her situation.) She has passed all the tests necessary to even be considered for being put on the transplant list. In order to be placed on the list, she will have to show evidence of her ability to pay whatever part of the bill her insurance won't cover, which could be as much as $100,000. In addition, she is going to have to start paying for COBRA coverage in about 2 weeks.

BooMama had the wonderful idea to designate today For Kelli. She has set up a PayPal account for donations to help Kelli financially and has put the donate button at the bottom of her Kelli update post. You can donate using your PayPal account, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card. The transaction is guaranteed secure, and the minimum donation is $1.50. That is not a lot of money. Would you consider giving at least the minimum? You never know when you could be the one needing a transplant and the financial help to get it. Oh, and if you do donate or write your own post about Kelli, BooMama is asking that you leave a comment at her update post (click link above) so that Kelli can see how many people care and are helping her.


Inside activities

With the current rainy and cold weather, I thought I would share some links to indoor activities which will help keep your children occupied.

(All these ideas came from Family Education)

  • Hide and Seek - here's a different version; hide a ticking clock and have the child find it by its sound
  • Bean Bag Toss - make some bean bags for inside fun
  • Hot or Cold - play this with small toys or edible treats for an exciting change
  • Pillow throw - hit the moving target; PLAY THIS IN A PLACE WITH NO BREAKABLES

  • Let your runaway artist create his own mural - tie his crayons to his easel or create a place to tie them so that your child cannot write except where allowed
  • Paper bag faces - your child gets to tear paper into pieces, stuff them into a bag, and create his own puppet face
  • Froot Loop Sand - put that sugar-laden cereal to good use; your child will enjoy creating his own sand artwork on a sheet of paper
  • Play with boxes - encourage your child's imagination and story making abilities

Kitchen time
  • Light to dark - add food coloring to a glass of water, one drop at a time. Talk to your child about light and dark colors. (You could also mix colors and talk about how to create new colors.)
  • Apple smile - your toddler or older child will enjoy creating an edible smile complete with teeth
  • Alphabet sandwiches - using alphabet cereal, your child can write messages on a slice of bread spread with peanut butter
  • Living room picnic - create happy memories with your child
  • Kitchen helper - let your child help you put away silverware
Take advantage of this weather to spend some extra time enjoying your child.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Write a letter

This activity works well for a preschooler/kindergartner who can write at least enough letters to be coached to write words.

With the advent of e-mail, cell phones, and other technology, corresponding via handwritten letters is fast becoming a lost art. Children seem to love sending letters as well as receiving them, and this is a good way for them to practice writing, courtesy, and correspondence. Purchase or make some special stationery for your child's use. Let your child write a short letter, offering help as needed. My sister bought Curious George stationery and stickers from the $1 section at Target, and they also have a larger Curious George stationery set for $9.95 (see photo at right). For added fun, allow your child to place the stamp on the envelope and put it in the mail.

photo of stationery set courtesy of


Practical education means fun for children

I believe that children should be educated not only academically but also practically. This means that I intend to train my children how to live, not just how to learn. If you have little ones, you probably already realize that your children love to imitate you. Take advantage of that to train them early to clean the house, do laundry, and cook. They will think they are playing a game with you.

  • A 12 month old is old enough to stand on a chair and "help" you wash dishes. Mine loved to play in the suds but would also help rinse the dishes I had washed. Don't try this if you are in a hurry or are already feeling impatient.
  • Buy a child-sized broom and dustpan so they can help you sweep. My 4 year old is getting quite good at sweeping, and even my 18 month girl can push the dirt around. The same idea works for mopping and vacuuming. One of my girls' favorite toys is a cleaning cart that has a vacuum cleaner, broom, dustpan, scrub brush, mop bucket, and mop. (The grandparents bought it at Wal-Mart one Christmas.)
  • My 4 year old daughter has shown an interest in doing laundry with me. She helps me sort the clothes as I direct and then sits on the dryer to pour in the detergent and other additives. As she pours them in, I explain why I use each one. I then let her pull out the knob to start the machine.
  • An infant who plays with toys can learn to put them back. (I confess that I have been lax in this area, but it does work.) When you notice that your child is finished playing with a toy, put it in his hand and guide him as he puts it back where it belongs. As you do that, say something like, "Put your toy back," or, "Clean up your toys." Eventually, you won't have to guide your child. Just give the command.
  • All my girls love to help me mix batter for pancakes. I let my 2 and year old girls pull apart egg shells that I have cracked when I need eggs in a recipe. They also get to dump in the ingredients after I measure them. My 4 year old sometimes helps me scramble eggs. I carefully tell them that if something is hot it will burn, and I reiterate it often. So far, no one has gotten burned because of being in the kitchen.
  • Don't demand that your children do a great job. Sometimes, they won't even finish what they start. Don't ask them to do more than they are able. Keep house work fun, and they will want to keep doing it. Let them know how much you value their help and what a great contribution they are making to the family. This gives them a heady sense of worth and accomplishment. Even a little child likes to know that they have done something well.
What do you do to involve your little children in running your home?

both photos courtesy of


Friday, January 12, 2007

The joy of painting

I think most little children love to paint, and because they are uninhibited by fear of failure, they often create beautiful artwork even when they just splash paint onto paper. We can easily channel this fun activity into an educational opportunity.

For instance, while a toddler is painting (I recommend letting them use the little Crayola watercolor boxes) say the names of the colors he is using and have him repeat them.

For an older child who already knows the color names, show how mixing 2 colors together produces a third color.

Explain what makes primary colors primary: they are colors that you cannot make by combining other colors but can combine to make any color other than white, black, or grey.

Help your child make a sunset scene, like the photo at the top of this post, by gradually mixing red and yellow (click the link for the instructions for creating the scene).

For the more advanced, I think you could use red and blue and white to create a sunrise scene similar to the sunset scene.

Let go of your inhibitions and have fun painting with your child. You just might learn something, too.

artwork courtesy of Ideas for Children's Art Lessons


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Teaching the value of money

"A penny saved is a penny earned."

That quotation has more to do with the intrinsic value of a penny rather than its face value. You don't actually receive another penny because you didn't spend the one penny you had in the beginning. The value lies in the fact that you still have the penny.

In this age of credit-card-toting college students (and some children younger than that) who run up debt to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, I am concerned that my children not only learn the physical denomination of money but also understand its value. As always, training early and training right saves difficulty in the long run. But how do you communicate the concept of value to a small child? It's hard enough for them to learn the face value of each unit of money let alone understand the abstract concept of intrinsic value.

Nature Moms' post about The Money Mammals tipped me off to this DVD about money management. The DVD targets children ages 2-6, which is an unusual age range for this type of program. Although I gleaned quite a bit of information from the Nature Moms blog, I visited The Money Mammals website myself to see what was there.

Here is an excerpt from one of the testimonials posted on the Testimonial page.
"The Money Mammals DVD is a great way to start young children on the path to a successful financial future. Through the use of puppets, fun and catchy music, and an engaging story, simple and easy to learn savings lessons come alive for children. ..."
Erin Scheithe, Program Manager
American Bankers Association
Education Foundation

The Money Mammals DVD costs $19.99 plus S&H, or you can purchase The Money Mammals Gift Box (includes the DVD and materials to create a custom Money Mammals bank) for $23.99 plus S&H. While that seems like a rather costly tool, if the program accomplishes its goal, it could be a great investment in the long run.

Crown Financial Ministries (associated with the deceased Larry Burkett) is another source for materials to help you teach your child The ABC's of Handling Money God's Way - a curriculum which offers both a Teacher Guide and a Student Workbook designed for children ages 5-7. Here is an excerpt from the description from the website.

This Bible-based curriculum uses an interesting story and fun activities to teach kids the basics about money. Designed for ages 5 to 7, the ABC’s of Handling Money God’s Way features the adventures of Elizabeth, Paul, Sarah, and Juan as they try to save enough money to buy a puppy. As they find out how to earn, save, give, and spend money, they also learn some important things about God.

Additional resources from Crown Financial Ministries include The ABC Learning Bank ["a fun, 3-compartment bank" (giving, saving and spending) made of transparent plastic] and The Learning ATM (the "realistic-looking ATM allows kids to deposit real money or to withdraw money with Pass Cards, just like what Mom and Dad use!"). I personally have heard good reviews from people whose children use the learning bank.

Do you have any ideas that have worked as you teach/taught your child how to manage his money?

photo of Money Mammals DVD packaging courtesy of Money Mammals
photo of The ABC's of Handling Money God's Way courtesy of Crown Financial Ministries


Home school organization

Lindsey of Enjoy the Journey is a homeschooling mom. She recently published a post with photos and descriptions of the methods she uses to store and organize her home school materials. Her photos were an inspiration to me, and I think they offer creative solutions for the 'lack of storage' issues many home schoolers face. I will post more organizational ideas as I find them, and I would love to have you share how you keep your home (or other) school items from cluttering your house.

photo courtesy of CSN


Automobile activities

Riding in the car with children need not be a trial of endurance; instead, it can be a fun and an educational time by taking the opportunity to play some family travel games for the road. Here are a few ideas to keep your children occupied.

  • If your child recognizes letters, have him watch for those letters while looking out the window. Play a variation of "I Spy."
  • The same idea works well with colors and numbers. You can even play along yourself to help your child recognize colors, numbers, and letters.
  • Sing a silly song: "Old MacDonald" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" are two of my children's favorites along with "Bicycle Built for Two" and "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." (Aren't those last two a blast from the long-forgotten past? My children learned them from the Veggie Tales Sing-Alongs: On the Road with Bob and Larry CD, and when I researched to find the links to the lyrics I discovered that the Veggie Tales CD features abbreviated versions of both songs.) NOTE: Please do not take these comments as an unqualified endorsement of the Veggie Tales products.
  • Bring books for reading and quiet entertainment.
  • Purchase some of their favorite stories on CD. This is another activity that keeps the children quiet. My children love the Alice in Wonderland audio book I purchased at Dollar Tree. I want to get the Peter Pan audio book as well. My oldest girl was given a CD/book set of one of the Curious George books.
How do you keep your children entertained while running errands or taking a trip?

photo of Veggie Tales CD cover courtesy of

clipart courtesy of


Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Dollar Tree Stores deals

"Dollar stores" abound in our town as I am sure they do in yours. While there are plenty of low-quality goods to avoid purchasing at all costs, you can also find great bargains. Our Dollar Tree offers workbooks and flash cards for preschool through 3rd grade. My oldest daughter fell in love with the Winnie-the-Pooh, Disney Princess, and Barbie Doll workbooks. There are also Bob the Builder books and flash cards for the boys, and although I can't remember the exact character, I know there are other popular-with-boys character workbooks. My daughter is currently working in the Winnie-the-Pooh Colors and Shapes, ABC's, and 1-2-3's books. If I were to purchase these workbooks elsewhere, I would certainly pay at least $4 per book, four times what I pay at Dollar Tree.

Where do you like to go to find bargains on educational materials?

photo courtesy of National Guardian Security Services


10 Favorite Bible songs for children

Singing is a great activity that all kids seem to enjoy. My children love to sing little Sunday School choruses. Here are their top 10 favorites.

  1. I'm in the Lord's Army
  2. The B-I-B-L-E
  3. Deep and Wide
  4. Wide, Wide As the Ocean
  5. I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy
  6. Jesus Loves Me
  7. Jesus Loves the Little Children
  8. Behold, Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock, Knock, Knock
  9. Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes
  10. Only a Boy Named David (the lyrics provided are slightly different from the version we sing)
Many of the links above are from which provides free printable lyrics to several of the popular Bible songs. Another site to which I linked is Sunday School Sources. They not only have lyrics but also have some sound files as well as lessons and other ideas for your class or children.


Hand print sheep

Here is a craft that children enjoy which can also be used for educational purposes. For example, our PeeWee Patch Club used this craft when the children learned about the shepherds coming to visit Baby Jesus. It would also work nicely with a science lesson on sheep or with a Bible Lesson about David or about Jesus being the Good Shepherd and our being His sheep. Perhaps your child could trace his own hand and work on his motor skills. You may purchase your own supplies or may buy a ready-made Baa Baa Hand Sheep kit from Guildcraft Arts and Crafts.

Targeted age:

  • For the child to complete on his own: 6+
  • With help: any

Materials List:
  • white card stock
  • black construction paper
  • glue
  • stuffing or cotton balls
  • wiggle eyes (optional)
  • self-adhesive magnetic tape (optional)

  1. Trace your child's hand print (keep fingers spread apart) onto a piece of white card stock.
  2. Cut out the card stock hand print.
  3. Using the card stock hand print as a template, trace your child's hand print minus the thumb onto the construction paper.
  4. Cut out the thumb-less hand print.
  5. Glue the construction paper on top of the white card stock. The legs (fingers) should be black while the head (thumb) should be white.
  6. Glue the stuffing or cotton balls onto the palm of the hand print as pictured above.
  7. (Optional) Add 2 wiggle eyes and a nose - glue on an oval of black construction paper.
  8. (Optional) Cut a strip of magnetic tape and stick it on the back of the sheep.
Now you have your child's hand print immortalized as a little sheep. Thank you to Guildcraft Arts and Crafts for the idea.

photo courtesy of Guildcraft Arts and Crafts


Monday, January 8, 2007

Mosaic creations

I cannot remember where I got this idea, but I did this both with just my children and at one of their birthday parties. At the birthday party we made mosaic Winnie-the-Poohs.

Mosaic Butterflies
(or whatever object you wish)
Targeted ages:

Supplies List:
  • clear contact paper
  • black marker
  • scissors
  • gift tissue in several colors


  1. Create butterfly (or whatever you want) on a piece of paper and cut out. This is so you can make multiple mosaics of the same object; if you just want to make one, you can draw directly on the conatact paper.
  2. With a black marker, trace 1 copy of your object onto clear contact paper. Use enough contact paper to have made 2 objects if you folded it in half. (Do not peel off the paper backing yet.)
  3. Allow your child to tear gift tissue into small to medium sized pieces. I recommend using several different color of tissue, the brighter the better.
  4. Remove the paper backing from the tracing of your chosen object.
  5. Have your child cover the adhesive side of the object with the torn pieces of tissue.
  6. Remove the paper backing from the remaining contact paper and fold over, enclosing the tissue between the two layers.
  7. Cut out the object.
My kids begged to do this for several weeks. It's a fun and easy craft that doesn't require a whole lot of supervision or adult involvement.


Alternatives to TV

Let's face it, the TV is a convenient babysitter. You just plop your children down in front of it and turn on a program or a movie; presto, golden silence reigns! However, the easy road is not always the best road. Short of installing the Time's Up! device, a parent simply must exercise self-discipline in this area. On my personal blog, I wrote a post detailing 10 ideas for TV time substitutes. Here are a couple of my ideas, but you'll have to follow the link to read all of them with the full details.

  • Read a book
  • Play a game
  • Take a walk
  • Sing together
photo courtesy of Time's Up!


Cursive writing tip

My sister home schools her children and posted a tip about how her preschool-age daughter accidentally found a way to have better control when writing in cursive.

As a side note, here is an informative and educational article explaining why little children should learn to write in cursive before they learn to write in print. I have seen this concept applied in school, and it really does work. No child needs to suffer because of a lack of handwriting skills. Even boys can have beautiful handwriting!

photo courtesy of


Introduction to this blog

Thank you for coming by. You may be wondering why I started this blog. Let me introduce you to my reasoning.

When I first published my personal blog on Blogger, I imported several posts from my Yahoo! 360 blog. Among those posts was one giving links to sites that offer free worksheets for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. That page has continued to be one of the top pages found through a search.

There are many parents out there searching for fun acivities and educational ideas for their children. I intend to help those parents find that for which they are searching. My target audience is the parent with children between the ages of 0-5. I hope to engage my audience by linking to ideas on your sites and encouraging you to submit your tips and ideas. Eventually, I would also like to see people submit entire articles to be published here and maybe even start a monthly carnival.

I'm ambitious, I know, but why not dream big? I believe this blog can successfully fill a void, but that will only happen with your help. Join me in this journey of sharing and learning, won't you?

photo courtesy of