Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Collage

For Christmas, consider making a Christmas collage/poster such as the one shown here. This is my friend's little girl. Their class assignment was to tell if they decorate and how, the foods they eat, activities they do, and people they spend their Christmas with. There is also writing under the pictures and along the bottom to explain. Cute idea!
Thanks to my friend Karen for sharing.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Printable Snowman Activity

Printables 4 Kids has a snowman that you can color, cut, and build. Enjoy!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Links from Little Fun

I'm sorry I haven't been around much. My family has been through a lot of changes this year. Even though I haven't been around much, there is still a lot of great stuff in the archives here at Little Fun; Little Learning. Here are a few of my favorites.

Santa Claus Handprint Craft

Christmas Ornament Ideas

Easy Ornament Idea

Reindeer Handprint Craft

Snowman Ornament

Christmas Tree Craft



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sorry for My Absence

My life is changing once again. As you can imagine, working 16 hours a day in a group home was exhausting! My hubby was contacted about another job and he's accepted. We're moving next week. Sorry I haven't been around. Hopefully, life will settle down soon and I can get back to sharing great ideas with you.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Free Bible Resources

I came across a site today and wanted to share it with you. Check out EBibleTeacher. Here's some of the great things I found:



Saturday, November 1, 2008

Free Rocks and Minerals Curriculum

Get a free curriculum ebook on rocks and minerals from CurrClick. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Prize #3 - d-CON Bait Paste Pouches

d-CON brand, the trusted authority in rodent control products, recently launched Bait Paste Pouches. They are the first bait that can be placed safely out of the reach of children and pets. The moldable bait is sealed in a plastic pouch, making it safe to touch. It also can fit into small spaces, including crevices and cracks, where mice can get to it but children and pets cannot. It comes in a resealable container to add another level of safety and is small enough to be stored out of reach. And at a retail price of only $5.99, it’s a small investment towards preventing what could turn into a much more expensive problem if not handled immediately. With weather conditions primed for rodent season, which peaks on November 15th, it’s a good product for people to have on hand!
Why are d-CON® Bait Paste Pouches™ a good solution for your household?
  • Their flexible material lets you put them out of reach of children and pets
    in the smallest crevices and cracks.
  • Mice take the bait and then leave.
  • d-CON® Bait Paste Pouches™ are palatable to mice.
  • They are moisture-resistant, so they’re perfect for use in damp
    environments and humid climates.

    • The winner will receive 3 d-CON Bait Paste Pouches which has a value of $17.97. To win this giveaway, simply leave a comment below. You can tell me where you’d use these in your home, what you like about the product, if you have an issue with rodents, or if you’d give these to a needy friend.

      This giveaway is for those with a U.S. address only. To see the complete list of giveaways, visit the bloggy giveaways site.

      Good luck everyone!


      Bloggy Giveaways Prize #2 - Baskin Robbins Gift Certificates

      We have another giveaway to offer you all. The winner of this giveaway will get gift certificates from Baskin Robbins. Yummy!!!! These gift certificates would be great for a nice treat for yourself and your family, to use as a Christmas gift for someone, or for those quick trips at the drive-thru while Christmas shopping.

      You can also purchase Baskin-Robbins gift certificates at their site. Don’t forget, Baskin-Robbins is having a fall ice cream sale. You can save money and make your gift certificates go even further.

      To win this giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling what you would use the gift certificates for or which menu item you’re wanting to taste. I don’t know about you, but that cappuccino blast is calling my name. ;)

      This giveaway is for those with a U.S. address only. To see the complete list of giveaways, visit the bloggy giveaways site.

      Good luck everyone!


      Monday, October 27, 2008

      Homework Every Night?

      My daughter is in kindergarten. I'm pleased with the progress that she has made, but I have one issue that is really bothering me. She has homework EVERY night!!!! The teacher sends it home on Monday and it must be returned to school on Friday.

      When I was a teacher, I made a point of not assigning homework just to be assigning it. I tried not to give any on Wednesday nights because I know that many churches have services on Wednesdays.

      What do you think? Do you think homework every night is too much or just right? I'd love to know your opinion.


      Bloggy Giveaways Prize - Basket of Indulgence

      Up for grabs is a Chex Mix Bars Basket of Indulgence which comes with a box of tasty Turtle Chex Mix Bars, chocolate candles, caramel lotion, and spa essentials like a loofah, hand massager, nail brush, and spa towel.

      New Chex Mix Bars combine crunchy Chex pieces, pretzels and peanuts with chewy and indulgent ingredients like caramel and chocolate. And if that’s not enough, they have less than 150 calories per bar and provide at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving (48 grams recommended daily)!

      If you’d like to win, just leave a comment below telling us what you would do with this wonderful basket of indulgence. Would you keep it for yourself or choose the thrifty route of saving it for a Christmas gift?

      Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is limited to U.S. addresses.

      To see the complete list of giveaways, visit the bloggy giveaways site.

      Good luck everyone!


      Tuesday, September 30, 2008

      Match it! Rhyming Game

      My daughter is in kindergarten and although she is very intelligent, she seems to struggle with rhyming words. While I at Marshall's this weekend, I found a matching game for rhyming words by The Learning Journey. At Marshall's the game was a great price at just $4.99! I got it for her and tonight we played the game together. Hopefully this will help her with the concept of rhyming words.

      This game can also be purchased at The Learning Journey website. Unfortunately though, you'll pay a lot more for it at $10.99. Still, it's a great game.

      image from The Learning Journey website


      Monday, September 29, 2008

      Letter A Activities

      First School - color posters, coloring pages, activity worksheets, handwriting practice tracers in D'Nealian modern manuscript and standard block manuscript, lesson plans, and much, much, more!

      DLTK - apple paper craft, coloring pages, mini book, songs, rhymes, games, puzzles, tracer sheets, templates

      Enchanted Learning - alphabet theme pages, printable worksheets, activities

      Primary Games - Look at the book A to Z by Susan Beasley.

      Preschool by Stormie - recipes, activities, themes

      Do you have any "A" activities to share?


      Sunday, September 21, 2008

      $60 Giveaway for RS Designs

      Thrifty Mommy is giving away a $60 credit for RS Designs. Here are some fo the things RS Designs offers:

      • mommy cards
      • custom business and blog cards
      • premade headers and templates
      • custom made headers, signature, divider, banner
      • 3 custom blog design packages
      • 2 discounted work at home packages, including etsy button and banner package
        discounted add-ons with the purchase of any premade blog designs
      • set up and design of wordpress powered boutique (ex: Sparkle and Charm and SweetCheeks Scrapbooks)
      • standard html website (ex: Danajill Designs)

      To win, stop by Thrifty Mommy and leave a comment telling which item you’d like from RS Designs and/or blog about the giveaway. Good luck!


        Saturday, September 13, 2008

        Physical Boundaries with Toddlers

        Toddlers and Sexual Discovery - Here are some tips on how parents can encourage appropriate physical boundaries.


        Friday, August 15, 2008

        Where Have I Been?

        In case you're a regular reader at this site, you may be wondering where I've been. Things have been crazy for me lately. In the past two months, my family's lives have drastically changed.

        We are moving to another part of North Carolina, about 4 hours from where we're currently living. We have made several trips to our new destination and have begun some job training. On top of all that, we are doing some serious downsizing. We have already sold some vehicles and about half of our possessions. We had too much anyway. ;)

        Life is not the same and my time has been very limited. I hope that I can get back to regular posting soon. It make take a few weeks though. At least you'll know what I'm up to.

        How are things your way?


        Teddy Ruxpin DVD Winner

        Congratulations to Erin of Mommy Octopus. She is the winner of the Teddy Ruxpin DVD giveaway.


        Thursday, July 31, 2008

        Helen Keller Video

        Nest Learning puts short video clips on YouTube that you can view for free. Here's their latest video on Helen Keller. They also have 30 other videos on YouTube. Click here to view their collection.


        Wednesday, July 30, 2008

        Teddy Ruxpin DVD Giveaway

        Woohoo! It's time for the Bloggy Giveaways. This giveaway is for 2 Teddy Ruxpin dvds. These are volumes 1 and 2, which include episodes 1-10. The value of this giveaway is approximately $24.

        To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below. If you’d like two entries for this prize, you can write an article about this giveaway and/or Little Fun; Little Learning on your blog. If you decide to use this route, please leave a separate comment below with the link to your article.

        Unfortunately, blogger does not provide me with email addresses of commenters. Please leave a way for me to get in touch with you or check back next week when I will announce the winner.

        Please check out my other giveaway at Thrifty Mommy. You can click here to see a complete list of Bloggy Giveaway participants and prizes. There are already hundreds to choose from.


        Friday, July 25, 2008

        A Homeschool Family

        We've seen comedian Tim Hawkins in concert a few times. Tonight I searched for him on YouTube because I wanted a laugh. I found this video and thought it was appropriate for you all. Enjoy! :)

        Click here if you'd like to see the better quality video from his site.


        Tuesday, July 22, 2008

        Poor Kitty Game

        Students sit down in a circle. One student is chosen to be the kitty. The student goes around the circle and chooses someone. That person has to look at the kitty and say "Poor Kitty" three times while patting the kitty on the head. If the person laughs then that person becomes the kitty.

        Of couse, you can change the phrases if you'd like. You may want to try, "What a cute kitty" or "Don't cry kitty".

        This game can be played indoors or outdoors and it does not require any expensive equipment. Hooray!


        Friday, July 18, 2008

        Preschool Supply List - Sample

        This is a copy of the supply list I had when teaching full-day preschool.

        folding nap mat
        small pillow and blanket
        change of clothes
        baby wipes or antibacterial wipes
        2-3 rolls of paper towels
        gallon or pint size easy zip storage bags
        durable folder for taking home papers
        Crayola markers - classic and assorted
        Crayola colored pencils
        Scotch or Elmer's glue sticks
        hand sanitizer (8 oz or larger)

        For glue sticks, colored pencils, and markers I ask that you buy the name brands specified. Through experience we have learned that the other brands do not work as well and that the children become very frustrated that their supplies do not work properly. Please do not buy Dollar Tree brand school supplies.

        ****This list was done five years ago. Back in those days (grin), the RoseArt and Dollar Tree brands did not work well and did not hold up like the Crayola. This may have changed since then.


        Thursday, July 17, 2008

        Social and Emotional Development

        More stuff from my basement. :)

        The Three Year Old - A Year of Beginnings

        • more extended child to child interaction and cooperative play
        • friendships, but friends are often whoever the child is playing with right now
        • "You're not my friend anymore" is a common phrase.
        • taking turns and sharing, but still pretty "me, me, me" oriented
        • humor - They love the ridiculous, slap stick, silly language, and wild silly games.
        • feels sympathetic to other children
        • "imaginary companions" may appear
        • feelings of independence and pride emerge
        • common fears are loud noises, the dark, animals
        • loves to help
        • the 3 1/2 year old may exhibit a rebellious, testing attitude

        The Four Year Old - An Exuberant Year

        • mostly cooperative play, little solitary play
        • joins most group activities willingly
        • outgoing and boastful; will tattle, but is generally polite and cooperative
        • sharing is easier, learning to negotiate and to compromise
        • exuberance, bordering on wildness requires adults to set limits
        • can be aggressive, lots of superhero worship and interest in violence
        • extreme with emotions, either loves or hates things
        • impatient and jealous, likes to be center of attention
        • silly and playful, experimenting with swear and bathroom words
        • anxious to tell family tales and new adventures outside home
        • takes pride in accomplishments

        The Five Year Old - The Composed, "Together" Year

        • calm, serene, wants to be "good", to do what is expected by adults
        • develops strong friendships, and will defend friends is they are in trouble
        • like familiar things and repeating same activity
        • has good judgement about what can and can't do, eager to accept responsibility
        • "lying" is common, will take things that belong to others
        • accepts punishment, but soon forgets
        • likes humor a lot, and will share it with adults' makes up nonsense language
        • has active curiosity about babies; increasingly aware of sexual differences
        • able to follow through on projects that take more than a day
        • the 5 1/2 year old may become brash, disobedient, overdemanding


        Wednesday, July 16, 2008

        Somebody's Scavenger Hunt

        This scavenger could probably be played with older kindergarteners as well as first and second grade students. More treasures from my basement. :)

        Find someone who

        1. is the tallest _________________________________

        2. wears glasses __________________________________

        3. has the most freckles __________________________

        4. has the shortest hair __________________________

        5. has been to Disneyland _________________________

        6. likes broccoli _________________________________

        7. can whistle you a tune _________________________

        8. has a pet but not a dog or a cat _______________

        9. rides a bus to school __________________________

        10. has shoelaces _________________________________


        Tuesday, July 15, 2008

        Teacher & Staff Survival Kit

        Some of you may have seen the teacher and staff "survival kits". It's a cute little gift. You can assemble the following into a baggie with this poem.

        Teacher & Staff Survival Kit

        Puzzle Piece: To remind you that our school isn't complete without you!

        Smarties: To help you have all the answers when you need them.

        Crayon: To remind you that your work leaves a mark.

        Charleston Chew: To remind you why you "chews" to work in education.

        Equal Packet: To remind you to treat everyone fairly.

        Peppermint Pattie: To help keep your cool.

        Thyme Seed Packet: To give you a little extra "thyme" to get things done.


        Character Qualities

        Every now and then you teach kids that seem to get on your last nerve. It helped me to have this list of character qualities to remind me of the good qualities in each child. These are also character traits to model and teach your child.



        Kindergarten Report

        A few days ago I gave you a progress report for 3 and 4 year olds. Today I found a kindergarten report. My basement is full of all kinds of treasures. :)

        Check plus = Commendable - The student has exceeded the expectations for him or her individually or for the group.
        Check = Performing Successfully - The student has attained the performance level for his or her group or for the child individually.
        Check minus = Experiencing Difficulty - The student has not reached the performance level for his or her group or for the child individually.

        _____ Has positive attitude toward self
        _____ Considers the feelings of others
        _____ Interacts well with peers
        _____ Monitors and controls own behavior
        _____ Exhibits appropriate listening skills
        _____ Attempts to solve own problems
        _____ Accepts responsibility for personal possessions

        _____ Speaks so that he/she is understood
        _____ Uses age appropriate vocabulary
        _____ Listens and responds appropriately to language
        _____ Verbalizes own thoughts and ideas in a group

        _____ Controls pencil well
        _____ Manages scissors and pasting comfortably

        _____ Enjoys books, stories, records, listening tapes
        _____ Knows letters covered to date
        _____ Name
        _____ Formation
        _____ Sound
        _____ Can retell a story
        _____ Understands story content
        _____ Can predict outcomes
        _____ Blends sounds comfortably
        _____ Attacks new words independently

        _____ Associates a number symbol with number name
        _____ Recognizes and continues patterns
        _____ Applies knowledge of numbers to daily activities
        _____ Forms numerals correctly
        _____ Responds to oral math activities
        _____ Understands basic coin values
        _____ Can join sets
        _____ Can separate sets
        _____ Compares objects as to length, size, shape, quantity
        _____ Understands counting order
        _____ Understands basic shapes

        _____ Exhibits interest in learning
        _____ Values own work
        _____ Exhibits age appropriate attention span
        _____ Listens to and follows individual directions
        _____ Listens to and follows group directions
        _____ Works independently
        _____ Thinks independently
        _____ Uses time wisely
        _____ Seeks help when needed

        _____ French _____ Music _____ Physical Education


        Saturday, July 12, 2008

        Preschool Progress Report: 4 and 5 Year Olds

        As I am packing to move, I continue to come across things that I think you all would like to see. This week I found a preschool progress report for four and five year olds. Please remember that this is a guide and that your child does not need to master all of these goals. These are things to look for and strive towards.

        Evaluation Key: This progress report is designed for four and five year old preschool children.

        G = Good Progress
        W = Working on Skill
        NA = Not Applicable

        Self-Reliance Skills
        I go to the bathroom alone.
        I am learning to dress myself.
        I can brush my teeth.

        Practical Skills
        I can say my first and last names.
        I know how old I am.
        I know some colors.
        I can recognize/point to body parts.

        Social/Emotional Skills
        I accept and respond to my teacher's authority.
        I respect and show concern for people and things around me.
        I play and share cooperatively with other children.
        I have a good self-image.
        I have appropriate control over my feelings.

        I follow routines independently.
        I can follow direction.
        I can work well in small groups.
        I am learning not to disturb classmates while they work.
        I seek only my share of teacher's attention.

        Listening Skills
        I listen quietly; my attention span is lengthening.
        I respond to a story by answering questions.

        Speaking Skills
        I speak clearly.
        I communicate in sentences.
        I can answer some questions.
        I am expanding my vocabulary.
        I wait my turn when speaking in a group.

        Fine Motor Skills
        I use my small muscles in:
        Holding, using my crayons
        Holding, using my pencils
        Holding, using my scissors
        Easel/watercolor painting
        Simple puzzle assembly
        Stringing beads
        Manipulating small pieces
        Manipulating zippers
        Manipulating buttons
        Manipulating snaps
        Tying my shoes

        Gross Motor Skills
        Walk up/down stairs (alternating my feet)
        Walk (forward, backward)
        Jump in place (two feet together)
        Balance (left foot, right foot)
        Hop (one foot, two feet)
        Throw a large ball forward
        Kick a large ball forward
        Catch a large ball
        Bounce a large ball
        Do a forward somersault
        Take part in games

        Reading Readiness
        I can say the alphabet (rote memory).
        Lower case alphabet: Identify some letter names
        Produce some letter sounds
        Upper case alphabet: Identify some letter names
        Produce some letter sounds
        I can print my first name.
        I can recognize eight colors.
        I can identify human feelings (sad, happy).
        I can identify likenesses/differences.
        I know some opposite words (hot/cold).
        I know some position orientation words (top/bottom).

        Math Readiness
        I can rote count to ________.
        Recognize some numbers
        Name some numbers
        Recognize some shapes
        I can find shapes in my environment.
        I can identiy size difference (big, little).
        I can sequence different sizes (small, smaller, smallest).
        I can categorize objects (shape, color, size, texture).

        Music-Art-Science-Social Studies Readiness Skills
        I participate in music activities.
        I participate in art activities.
        I participate in science activities.
        I participate in social studies activities.

        Start of year
        End of year
        Start of year
        End of year


        Wednesday, July 9, 2008

        Handprint Flower Craft

        As some of you know, I will be moving in just a few weeks. My time here at Little Fun is limited, but as I come across some of my old teaching things I'm trying to share those ideas with you.

        This is a hand and footprint flower that is easy to do and inexpensive to make. (Well, other than getting the kids to sit still! lol)

        To make:

        1) With a paint brush, paint the child's foot with green paint. Press foot down onto cardstock paper.

        Tips: I have found that if the children look at their foot while pressing it down, they will try to press it down themselves and it makes a smudged mess. I ask the child to look at something while I press their foot down. This helps a lot! I had a pan of water sitting by to clean the children's feet. It looked like I was having a foot washing service. ;)

        2) On separate cardstock, make the petals of the flower using the child's handprints. As you can see from the picture, you can face the handprints whichever direction you choose. After the petals dry, cut around them to make a flower shape.

        3) Use the child's forearm for the stem. I wait until the feet have dried before I do this. Cut around the feet (leaves) and forearm (stem). Attach the handprints (petals) to the feet and forearm by stapling them together. If you choose, you can use a poster board instead of having to attach the pieces together.

        Although this craft is easy, it is very time consuming when you have 13 children in your class. I suggest spreading it out over several days.

        If I remember correctly, this idea came from an older Mailbox magazine.

        Have fun!


        Thursday, July 3, 2008

        Fun Filled Friday: On the Farm (eggs)

        I'll be busy tomorrow, so I wanted to leave you with some fun activities today. Enjoy!

        You could use these activities to go along with spring or when learning about farms.

        Two Little Eggs (Poem)
        Two little eggs
        In a nest soft and deep.
        Two eggs crack;
        Then two birds peep!
        Two birds eat,
        And two birds sleep.
        Then two fly away
        With a "Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!"

        Chicken Noises
        Make a noise like a rooster. (crow)
        Make a noise like a hen. (cluck)
        Make a noise like a chick. (peep)
        Make a noise like an egg. (silence)

        Ten Chicken Eggs
        Five eggs (hold up five fingers)
        And five eggs (hold up five more fingers)
        That makes . . . ten!
        (pause and let children answer ten)
        Sitting on top is Mother Hen.
        (Place hands together knuckles up.)

        Crackle! Crackle! Crackle (clap three times)
        What do I see? (look amazed)
        Ten fluffy chickes. (hold up 10 fingers and wiggle them)
        As yellow as can be. (Close fists)

        Peep!, peep!, peep!, peep!
        (hold up a finger for each peep)
        Peep!, peep!, peep!, peep!
        Peep! Peep!

        The Chick in the Egg
        Tune: "The Wheels on the Bus"

        The hen on the farm lays a smooth white egg,
        Smooth white egg, smooth white egg.
        The hen on the farm lays a smooth white egg,
        Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck!

        Inside the eggs grows a little chick,
        Little chick, little chick.
        Inside the egg grows a little chick,
        In twenty-one days.

        The chick has a beak to crack the egg,
        Crack the egg, crack the egg.
        The chick has a beak to crack the egg,
        Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap!

        He hatches from the egg and flaps his wings,
        Flaps his wings, flaps his wings.
        He hatches from the egg and flaps his wings,
        Flap, flap, flap, flap, flap!

        The hen keeps her chick warm in the nest,
        In the nest, in the nest.
        The hen keeps her chick warm in the nest,
        Peep, peep, peep, peep, peep!

        Try these books:
        Good Morning Chick by Ginsburg
        The Golden Egg Book by Brown
        Egg-napped! by Montes
        Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Heller


        Wednesday, June 25, 2008

        Reading with Your Child

        My family will be moving in a few weeks. I've been so busy looking through things in the basement. Deciding what to keep and get rid of is pretty hard and time consuming. I've been going through all of my teaching things too and downsizing. Talk about painful! It has taken years to accumulate all of the teaching things that I have.

        While I was cleaning this week, I found some information on reading with your child. I thought I'd share these tips with you all. Please keep in mind that some of these tips are meant for older children, but there are still plenty of suggestions that will help you with your preschooler.


        • Talk with your child about the book.
        • Together, look at the book's cover and predict what will happen in the story.
        • Look at the pictures.
        • Set up a successful reading experience for your child.
        • Provide a motivating interest in the book.

        • Give your child enough time to problem solve.
        • Provide clues such as "Look at the picture."
        • If your child makes an error, give him time to realize his error. Then say, "Something wasn't quite right. Try that again." or "Does that make sense?"
        • Not all errors need to be corrected, especially errors that do not change the meaning of the text.
        • Remember to offer praise and encouragement such as "You helped yourself by looking at the picture. Good job!"

        • Discuss the story, plot, and characters with your child.
        • Ask your child to tell you about his/her favorite part.
        • Go back to specific things your child did well.
        • Keep this part of reading with your child fun!


        Free Planet Heroes DVD

        Fisher Price is giving away a free Planet Heroes dvd. This freebie is real. I got my dvd today. Enjoy!


        Saturday, June 21, 2008

        Sorry for My Absence

        Sorry for my absence these past two weeks. Last week, we were out of town checking into a job possibility. This week, I am in Virginia visiting Kelly. She co-authors with me at Thrifty Mommy. We are working on a surprise writing project together.

        The next few weeks, my articles may be sparse as well. My family will be moving across the state. I have a lot of packing, purging, and organizing to do. My days will be full.

        If any of you would like to do a guest post with children's activities, please send me an email at Please label your email "guest post for little fun".

        Thanks. I hope to be back in the swing of things soon.


        Wednesday, June 11, 2008

        Wordless Wednesday: Helping Dad


        Friday, June 6, 2008

        Fun-Filled Friday: Fun with Weather

        I've been looking through my boxes of teaching things. This week, I came across a weather doll that I've had for a while. I found the pattern in a book, made a copy of the pattern, colored the pieces with colored pencil, laminated the page, and cut out the pieces.

        Here are some paper doll patterns I found for you all:

        • Danielle's Place has a cute weather bear and a snowman doll.

        • The Berenstain Bears have printable dress-up dolls. Just click on the character you'd like to see and then click "next". This will take you to several pages of wardrobe choices that you can print.

        • At PBS, you can make your own Calliou and Rosie paper dolls.

        • Bry Backmanor has snowpeople paper dolls.

        • Utah Education has a lesson plan and doll patterns (they're not very cute though).
        Other weather links:

        Do you have any weather related ideas to share?


        Tuesday, June 3, 2008

        Wordless Wednesday: Fun in the Sun


        Friday, May 30, 2008

        Fun-Filled Friday: Caterpillars and Butterflies

        In the spring, it's a good time to introduce the life cycle of a butterfly to children. The good news is, there are many activities to choose from. Here are some activities that I have used or recently discovered.

        I don't think a lesson about caterpillars and butterflies would be appropriate without reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar. What a fun book to read and the children enjoy watching the caterpillar eat his way through the book.

        I found these sequencing cards at DLTK. These go along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. DLTK allows you to print these out in black and white or color. I chose to print these in black and white so that the children could color them. This is a great counting activity too.

        This butterfly is a simple craft for young children. You just take paper scraps or foam cut outs and put them inside a plastic sandwich baggie. Bunch up the baggie in the middle and wrap a pipe cleaner around it and form the antennae with the pipe cleaner. Slide a pony bead over the antennae to keep it all held together. This idea is from Mailbox Magazine.

        This is a cute keepsake. It's a bit messy though when you try to do this with 13 kids! lol To make this butterfly, you simply apply paint to the child's feet and then stamp them onto cardstock or heavy paper. Then use brown construction paper to cut out the butterfly's abdomen and glue it to the wings.

        Warning: It's best not to have the kid's watch as your press their foot down on paper. If they're looking at the paper, they'll almost always wiggle their foot around. I found it easier if I had them look at an object while I pushed down on their foot.

        I was fortunate enough to find this kit at Dollar Tree many years ago. These figurines show the different phases of the life cycle. I'm sure you could pick up one of these kits at your local teacher store or online.

        More ideas:

        Foam caterpillar: Sorry, I don't have a picture of this one. I remember making this several years ago though. I just took different colors of craft foam and cut out circles that were about the size of a quarter. We glued these together to make a caterpillar and then added wiggle eyes.

        Collage: Use paper scraps, yarn, fabric, tissue paper, clips from magazines, etc to create a butterfly collage.

        Life cycle booklet: Cut a piece of paper into 4 equal pieces. On the first page draw a leaf and then glue a small white circle onto the leaf. Use a hole puncher to punch out the circle - you can use white paper or craft foam for the circles. This is for the egg. On the next page, draw a leaf and then glue on a spiral shaped noodle for the caterpillar. On the third page, draw a tree limb and then glue on a shell shaped noodle for the chrysalis. On the last page, glue on a butterfly shaped noodle and also draw the body of the butterfly. Of course, you can add flowers, trees, and other embellishments to your book.

        Do you have any caterpillar or butterfly ideas to share? Have fun!


        Tuesday, May 27, 2008

        Subway Discriminates Against Homeschoolers

        Subway is offering students a chance to participate in their contest, unless they're homeschooled.

        Contest is open only to legal US residents, over the age of 18 with children in
        either elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted.
        Way to go, Subway. Let's see what kind of bad publicity you can get for this one. Read it for yourself here.

        Update 5.28.08
        Subway issued an apology today to homeschoolers. They said in the future that they would make sure the promotions were open to everyone.


        Our Trip to the Science Center

        A few weeks ago, we took the kids to the science center. My favorite part was when they fed the sharks. I got some great video of it. You can also see some pictures that I posted at Thrifty Mommy.

        Don't forget to check out the ocean crafts that I posted last week.


        Friday, May 23, 2008

        Fun-Filled Friday: Fun Ocean Crafts

        My daughter's preschool class has been learning about the ocean this week. Here are some things they made that I thought you would like to see.

        This is a turtle. It is made from a small styrofoam bowl. Just tear up some pieces of green tissue paper and glue it to the bowl. There is a hole punched on each side of the bowl with a string tied to each side. This allows the turtle to attach to the child's arm so that they can pretend their hand is a turtle.

        I made something similar a few years ago with my preschool class. I used a larger bowl and cut out a turtle head, arms, legs, and tail for each child. We glued these to the bottom of the bowl. Just another option for you.

        This is sort of an ocean in a bag. This uses blue ziploc bags (I think the freezer ones are blue), glitter, foam fish, and I think the jelly material inside is liquid petroleum jelly. Otherwise, I would suggest using clear or blue hair gel.

        For this, you need to cut a circle from cardboard/tagboard or cardstock. Cut out a small triangle for the fish's mouth and glue the triangle onto the fish for a tail. Then glue on some glitter and add a large sequin eye.

        All of these activities are easy enough that you could do these with ages 2 and up. Is anyone having an ocean theme for Vacation Bible School this year? If so, these would be easy and inexpensive crafts.

        Don't forget to check out this awesome National Geographic video to go along with your lesssons.

        Have fun!


        Tuesday, May 20, 2008

        Family Devotional Time

        Each night, our family reads the Children's Bible together. We also pray and sing songs. Tonight, my 4-year-old wanted to make up her own song.

        tune of "Are You Sleeping?"

        Here is Jesus. Here is Jesus.
        He loves us. He loves us.
        He is God's Son. He is God's Son.
        Yes, He is. Yes, He is.

        Pretty good for off the cuff. That's not the best part though. My daughter's understanding of God and our relationship with Him is so remarkable. This is an example of her prayers.

        "God, we love You, but You love us more than we could ever love You. We believe in You, even though we haven't seen You. Sometimes we mess up, but we want to be more like You. Help us to do better. We thank You for everything You've given us."

        How awesome is that? It makes me so proud. I just wanted to take a moment to share this with you all.


        Friday, May 16, 2008

        Fun-Filled Friday: Nurture Your Little Artist

        Children develop numerous skills while completing art projects. It does make quite a big mess, but it's worth it. Wait . . . did I just say that? lol

        Here are some ways to help your child develop their fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and to stimulate their senses.

        1) On a warm day, take your child outside and give him a bucket of water and a paintbrush. See what kinds of pictures and creatures your child can paint.

        2) Read together and enjoy books with different illustrations. Try to create your own art using the techniques from the book.

        3) Provide a place for your child to work. Furnish it with supplies - tape, crayons, markers, glue sticks, child safe scissors, etc. You may need to use a small bookshelf or plastic totes to help keep their supplies.

        4) Finger paint with food. You can use chocolate pudding, applesauce, Gogurt, icing, whipped cream, etc. Give your child a cookie sheet to work on or cover the table with a clean vinyl tablecloth. It's ok to taste your creations!

        5) Have a box of junk to use. Put those film canisters, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, small boxes, scrap paper, and cardboard packaging into a box for your kids. Let them glue them, connect them, build with them, etc.

        6) Make edible art. Use pretzel rods, gumdrop candy, marshmallows, fruit roll-ups, plastic straws, coffee stirers, crackers, etc. Make shapes or buildings. Just have fun!

        7) Play with edible playdough. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

        8) Glue a random object to a piece of paper and let your child create something. The object used could be a leaf, shape, sticker, etc.

        9) Make creatures out of fingerprints or handprints. Give your child some washable ink and let them make fingerprints on paper (younger children will need help). Encourage them to make butterflies, bugs, dinosaurs, and other creations from the prints.

        10) Save your spray bottles and fill them with diluted paint. Let children use them to spray poster board, cardboard, etc to make their unique picture.

        11) Keep a supply of old magazines in the art station. Encourage children to cut out pictures to make a collage about families, food, animals, cars, etc.

        12) Allow children to paint with different objects. Some suggestions are cookie cutters, string, toy cars and trucks, golf balls, marbles, straws, fingers, different sized brushes.

        Other tips:

        When I was teaching, we would use old newspaper and vinyl tablecloths to protect the tables. Old shower curtains also work well to protect the floor.

        When the children were finished with their artwork, I would put it on an old shower curtain to dry. If the paper was big, I would hand it on an indoor clothes drying rack (with shower curtain underneath to catch drips).

        What fun artsy activities do you enjoy with your children?


        Sunday, May 11, 2008

        Happy Mother's Day!

        To the tune of Happy Birthday

        Happy Mother's Day to you
        Happy Mother's Day to you
        Happy Mother's Day dear _______
        Happy Mother's Day to you

        In the blank you can use Mommy, Grandma, Mawmaw, or someone's name.

        Happy Mother's Day everyone! :)


        Tuesday, May 6, 2008

        The Carnival of Homeschooling

        The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Melissa's Idea Garden. There are a lot of submissions this week. Stop by and check out all the great ideas.

        My post about making your own games is included in the carnival. :)


        Friday, May 2, 2008

        Fun-Filled Friday: Fun Recipes

        Here are some recipes that I have on file. Hope you enjoy them.

        Homemade Playdough Recipe #1

        3 cups of flour
        1 1/2 cups of salt
        3 cups of water
        2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
        1 Tbsp cream of tartar
        food coloring or 1 package of unsweetened Kool-Aid

        1) Mix all ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat until dough comes away from the edge. Remove from heat.
        2) Knead 3-4 times and store in an air tight container.

        Homemade Playdough Recipe #2

        1 cup flour
        1 cup warm water
        2 teaspoons cream of tartar
        1 teaspoon oil
        1/4 cup salt
        food coloring of choice

        1) Mix all the ingredients, adding the food coloring last.
        2) Stir over medium heat until play dough has a smooth consistency. Remove play dough from the pan and allow to cool for a few minutes (we always put ours on an empty desk in the room away from the children).
        3) Knead until smooth. After it has cooled, place it in a plastic bag or airtight container to keep it soft.

        Edible Peanut Butter Playdough

        2 cups peanut butter
        6 tablespoons honey
        nonfat dry milk or milk plus flour
        cocoa or carob for chocolate flavor (optional)
        edible treats for decoration

        1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding enough dry milk or milk plus flour to reach the consistency of bread dough.
        2) Add cocoa or carob, if desired.
        3) Shape, decorate with edible treat, and eat!

        Edible Frosting Playdough

        1 can frosting mix
        1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
        1 cup creamy peanut butter

        Mix together until it reaches your wanted consistency.


        1 1/2 cups corn starch
        1 cup water
        green food coloring (few drops)

        Mix the ingredients together and allow children to play with the mixture. When pushed together, the mixture will appear dry and solid; as children let go of the mixture, it flows like smooth liquid.

        I have another recipe for Oobleck here.


        Tuesday, April 29, 2008

        Making Your Own Games

        I was decluttering today and came across this homonyms matching game I made when I was teaching. Here's what I did:

        • took a worksheet with homonyms on them
        • blew up the pictures on the copier
        • colored and cut out the pictures
        • to make them sturdier I glued the pictures to construction paper
        • laminated them

        This was so easy. You could do this with numbers, sight words, animals, etc. It's easy to make your own games. Don't forget to store these in a clear plastic baggie and to label the baggie.

        I hope this tip helps inspired you. Have fun!


        We Have a Winner!

        We have a winner for the Bloggy Giveaways. Congratulations to Leigh of Don't Panic. She has won a copy of Cooking Light Complete Cookbook.

        I hope you all will take a look at this awesome cookbook. It has over 1,200 recipes and 600 photos. This cookbook is a great tool to get you on the road to making delicious healthier meals for your family.


        Wednesday, April 23, 2008

        Kid Craft: Dirt Cake in a Flower Pot

        Spring is finally here and I'm sure you're looking for fun spring-type activities to do with the kids. For an edible and simple project, try this dirt cake idea from ". . . And Miles to Go Before We Sleep . . ."

        This yummy recipe uses Oreo cookies, butter, cream cheese, instant pudding, milk, and Cool Whip. And hooray, it doesn't require any use of the stove!


        Monday, April 21, 2008

        Win a New Cooking Light Cookbook

        Yay! The Bloggy Giveaways Carnival is in full swing this week! I hope you're playing along because it's great fun.

        I’m excited to let you know that I’m giving away a new copy of Cooking Light Complete Cookbook: A Fresh New Way to Cook. This cookbook weighs a whopping 4 lbs and boasts 1,200+ recipes and 600+ photos. The recipes come in a hardbound binder, which easily wipes clean. The recipes are hole punched and organized neatly inside. The book even comes with an interactive DVD! For the environmentalist cook, there is information about seasonal produce and reducing your carbon footprint.

        Check out my review of this cookbook which includes a few recipes and photos.

        The Cooking Light Cookbook is valued at $34.95.

        To enter this contest, all you need to do is leave a comment at this post between now and Friday, April 25th. The winner will be contacted via email, so please be sure you leave a way for me to contact you or you can check back next week to see who the winner is. Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses only.

        Please check out my other giveaways at Thrifty Mommy and A Healthy Balance.

        Good luck!


        Saturday, April 12, 2008

        April Showers Art Activity

        This umbrella was simply made by cutting an umbrella from construction paper and then allowing the children to golf ball paint the umbrella.

        This was made a few years ago, but I'm sure we picked purple for the umbrella because purple was our color of the month.

        I think this umbrella looks a bit funny because it's handle is so short. One of the other teachers cut them out so that they would fit onto one piece of construction paper. You could make a smaller umbrella with a longer handle.

        Other options:

        Paint white raindrops with blue paint or blue rain drops with white paint.

        This golf ball painting idea can be used for many seasons. You can paint pumpkins for fall, ornaments for Christmas, heart for Valentine's Day, etc.

        Let children sort of stamp the paper using paint and cookie cutters, rather than golf ball painting.

        Use marbles instead of golf balls.



        Tuesday, April 8, 2008

        Wordless Wednesday: Having Fun


        Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center

        I had two 40% off coupons for Michael's this week, so I decided to go out there and find something for the kids. I was pleased to find this Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center. It was $14.99, but I got it for about $9 with my coupon.

        Unlike most dry erase activities, this one actually erases! I was so excited that I did not have to use water and a paper towel to clean the slippery little sheets. The sheets fit inside a plastic board type box. The kids put the sheets inside the box and then write on the clear plastic part. The eraser wipes the marker right off with little effort.

        This activity board will provide hours of entertainment and learning for my kids. It will make a great addition to the things we carry into church for their quiet entertainment.

        The Crayola website also has some free printables that you can use inside the dry erase board.

        Have fun!


        Friday, April 4, 2008

        Fun-Filled Friday: Nick Jr Printables

        Wow! Check this out! Nick Jr. has hundreds of printables on their site. Today we printed off some Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! sheets for the kids. Here are the links that I found today. Have a great weekend!

        Oswald (2)


        Tuesday, April 1, 2008

        Bingo Dauber Coloring Printables

        Kids enjoy playing with stampers. Here are some links I found today using bingo daubers. If you want to try something different, then try using pom poms or stickers. Have fun!






        Saturday, March 29, 2008

        Have Fun at CBeebies

        I found another free site for children today. Looks like there's a lot of fun stuff to do at CBeebies. You'll find fun and games, music and songs, make and do, watch a story, Nina's lab, and more. Have fun!


        Friday, March 28, 2008

        Out of Town This Week

        Sorry I haven't been around this week. My daughter is out of school for the week, so I decided to take the kids to see my parents. We've had a fun and busy week. We'll be leaving today.

        Check back later for some fun spring activities.


        Sunday, March 23, 2008

        I've Been Tagged

        Laura over at Laura Williams' Musings tagged me for this Meme, 7 Facts about me. I'm supposed to include some random and weird things about myself.

        The rules are:

        1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
        2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
        3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
        4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

        Things about me:

        1. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate cigarette smoke!!!! It is one of my biggest pet peeves. It makes my eyes water, makes me sneeze, and it smells horrible! I have a hard time understanding why we have to be subjected to cancer causing agents while enjoying a meal, especially when less than 25% of the population smokes. I think all states should follow California in making no smoking rules. Ok, was that a fact or a rant? I guess a bit of each. lol

        2. I have a few other blogs - Thrifty Mommy, A Healthy Balance, and another one that's anonymous.

        3. I was a full-time teacher before having my children. Since then, I have taught a little part-time, but right now I'm staying home.

        4. If I don't go back to teaching, then I would like to find more freelance writing work. I really enjoy writing.

        5. I sing and play the piano at church. I am a one man band.

        Ok, for some weird things about me.

        6. I have a really long tongue. It is hereditary. I can touch my chin and my nose.

        7. I am double jointed. My knees lock into my legs and it looks a bit weird. I can bend my fingers back a bit far, which totally freaks out my husband. I can also make a popping/clicking noise with my toes.

        The people I am tagging:
        1. Revka at The Porch Light
        2. Angie at Baby Cheapskate
        3. Jennifer at iMommies
        4. Kelly at Thrifty Mommy
        5. Char at Raising a Healthy Family and Weary Parent


        Friday, March 21, 2008

        Jelly Bean Poem

        Several years ago, someone gave me some jelly beans with a Jelly Bean Poem.

        Wednesday night I took some plastic eggs, jelly beans, and poems to church for the children to stuff their eggs. It was an easy and memorable activity.

        Please note: Not all jelly bean packages have all of these colors. You should compare the color list before purchasing your jelly beans.

        Red is for the blood He gave.
        Green is for the grass He made.
        Yellow is for the sun so bright.
        Orange is for the edge of night.
        Black is for the sins we made.
        White is for the grace He gave.
        Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
        Pink is for our new tomorrow.
        An egg full of jelly beans colorful and sweet
        Is a prayer, a promise, a loved one's treat!
        ~Charlene Dickensen


        Wednesday, March 19, 2008

        Wordless Wednesday: Just Having Fun


        Tuesday, March 18, 2008

        50 Encouraging Things To Say To Your Kids

        Words can really change attitudes, self-esteem, relationships, and lives. Here are 50 things that you can say to your kids. Try at least one of them today. Also, it's good to be specific when using praise. Instead of "beautiful picture" try saying, "I really like the colors you used." Instead of "nice job" try, "You did a great job cleaning your room. It looks so nice."

        1. I love you.
        2. You mean so much to me.
        3. I'm proud of you!
        4. Great job.
        5. Nice try.
        6. I'll pray for you.
        7. You make me happy.
        8. Have a good day.
        9. You're beautiful.
        10. You can do it.
        11. You're the best!
        12. You're good at this.
        13. I like the way you did that.
        14. You're so smart.
        15. That was thoughtful of you.
        16. I appreciate your help.
        17. Very clever.
        18. You have a lot of talent.
        19. Fantastic!
        20. Way to go.
        21. Your efforts are paying off.
        22. I can tell how hard you've been working.
        23. Outstanding!
        24. You're a hard worker.
        25. You're an excellent helper.
        26. Well done.
        27. I knew you could do it.
        28. Marvelous!
        29. You figured it out.
        30. What an imagination.
        31. I am blessed to have you in my life.
        32. You made my day.
        33. You're a good friend.
        34. You made a good decision.
        35. You're incredible.
        36. Good for you.
        37. Now you have the hang of it.
        38. You're really improving.
        39. That's the best ever.
        40. Much better.
        41. I can tell you've been practicing.
        42. You should be proud of yourself.
        43. What an accomplishment!
        44. You've really learned a lot.
        45. Congratulations!
        46. You figured that out fast.
        47. You made it look easy.
        48. It makes me happy when you do your best.
        49. That's quite an improvement.
        50. Good thinking!

        What can you add to this list?


        Saturday, March 15, 2008

        Horton Hears a Who!

        Horton Hears a Who! demonstrates messages of faithfulness, compassion, self-sacrifice, and looking out for others. Here's a summary from Movie Guide.

        HORTON HEARS A WHO is an uneven adaptation of the famous story by Dr. Seuss
        about the elephant who hears a tiny voice crying in the wilderness and declares,
        “A person’s a person, no matter how small!” HORTON HEARS A WHO is sometimes
        entertaining and humorous movie and sometimes dull and annoying when it dilutes
        its message of faithfulness, compassion, self-sacrifice, and looking out for
        others with some Romantic, politically correct messages.
        Has your family seen this movie? If so, let us know what you thought of it.


        Tuesday, March 11, 2008

        St. Patrick's Day Fun

        Kids Domain has clip art, recipes, activities, crafts, and games.

        St. Patrick's Day Parade - click on gallery to see pictures from previous parades

        ABC Teach has a nice selection of songs, printables for various ages, and other useful resources.

        Enchanted Learning has a few cute craft ideas.

        The History Channel gives some history behind the holiday.


        St. Patrick's Day Has Been Moved

        Eliza at Babylune just let me know that St. Patrick's Day has been moved. Sources say the Roman Catholic Church changed it to Saturday, March 15th to avoid conflict with Holy Monday that falls on March 17th.

        This is new news to me. Did you already know about the change?
        (Free clip art from Kaboose.)


        Saturday, March 8, 2008

        Welcome to the Party!

        Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party! I'm so excited to be participating with 5 Minutes for Mom and to have a chance to meet other mommy bloggers.

        My name is Karen and I am the writer for Little Fun; Little Learning. I am a work-at-home mom and previous teacher. I have taught grades pre-k through 8th. I know, quite a span. In the most recent years, I have taught part-time preschool.

        On this site, you will find lesson plans, art and crafts projects, and any other various ideas for little children. Some of these may be things my children have done at home, things I have done in the past with my classes, or simply links to other ideas.

        I hope you'll stay a while and surf the archives. If you like what you see, please feel free to subscribe to our newsletter. You'll find a place to do this in the sidebar on the right.

        Please sign our guest book via leaving a comment. I would like to visit some of your blogs and meet new people. As a party favor, I will be giving away a new copy of a worship cd from Cross Reference Music. Please leave a way for me to contact you or drop by next week to see who the winner is.

        Happy browsing! :)

        P.S. Please check out my other parties at Thrifty Mommy and A Healthy Balance.


        Tuesday, March 4, 2008

        Height and Weight Art Activity

        Here's another momento I found from my days of teaching pre-k. This is simply a girl that was traced from a stencil and it has been golf ball painted. After these were dry, we wrote the child's name, height, and weight on their person. Of course, for the boys we used a boy stencil.

        Some other thoughts:

        • You could paint these with the color you're studying that month.
        • These would go along well with these themes: our body, God made me, measurement, and/or I am special.
        • You could do one at the beginning and end of the year as a cute way to record how much the children have grown.
        • Put these on the bulletin board with a cute saying.


        This Really Irked Me

        I was in the doctor's office the other day and came across an article in Ladies' Home Journal by Nancy Bilyeau. The article was referring to The Feminine Mistake, a book by Leslie Bennetts. Here's a quote:

        In her new book, The Feminine Mistake, Leslie Bennetts issues a wake-up
        call to women who have chosen to leave the workforce to stay home and raise
        their kids full-time. "Opting out," she argues, puts women at financial risk for
        the rest of their lives. Bennetts, a longtime wife and working mother of two,
        spoke to us about the dangerous trade-off she believes such moms are making.

        A wake up call? Seriously?

        I can think of no greater profession than to raise healthy children who have good self-esteem, know that they're loved, are well taught, and are shown a passion for the Lord. Yes, it is a sacrifice and unfortunately, not all moms can afford to stay at home. But seriously, a "dangerous trade-off"? Errrrr!

        If you think you won't get too angry, you can listen to the entire podcast here.


        Friday, February 29, 2008

        Lion and the Lamb Craft

        I made these cute lion and lamb handprints with my preschool class last year. These are perfect for discussing how March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. These would also be great for Easter.

        For the lion, I made a mixture of yellow and brown (just a little) paint to make that sort of mustard color. I painted the children’s palms with the paint and made a handprint on thick paper. For the lion’s mane, I cut up small strips of brown construction paper and rolled them around a pen to get them to curl. Actually, I had one of my student’s help me with this task because she loves to help. We glued the strips for the mane, made a tail of yarn, and then I added the face. Definitely cute and simple.

        For the lamb, I traced the children’s hand onto a black piece of construction paper. If they had good cutting skills, I let them cut out their own handprint. Then we added torn pieces of cotton for a fluffy look, wiggle eyes, and a drawn on mouth. I’m not too thrilled with the face on this lamb, but you live and learn. I’m sure there’s something cuter that could be done. Maybe next time.

        I hope you enjoy making these fun and inexpensive crafts.


        Wednesday, February 27, 2008

        Wordless Wednesday: Naughty Kitty

        Fish are yummy!