Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rainbow Letters and Numbers

This is one of my favorite ways to practice writing letters or numbers. We call them rainbow letters because the look so colorful and pretty when you're done.
Provide an outlined letter or number. Have the child write inside the outline of the letter 7-10 times using a different color each time. Make sure they write the letter using the proper form and in the proper order. Ex. For letter E down, out, out, out. For the younger kids I put a black dot where they need to start writing their letter each time.
Choosing a good font can be a challenge with this activity because you want the letters to reflect the elementary block font that they will be learning in kindergarten. I like to use Print Clearly from It offers a normal, bold, and dotted form. It is free to download. The dotted form is especially helpful when you want the kids to practice writing specific words, like their name. 
You can print it dotted for them to trace. I love it and use it daily for name practice!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Paper Plate Easter Bunny

Here's an old picture I had of a project we did last year. It's simple and cute, and your kids will love it! For the ears, I used a little less than half the plate. Half looked a little too fat for my taste, so I just cut a thin section off the straight side of each ear. 

What You Need:

  • 2 paper plates
  • pink and black crayons or markers
  • googly eyes
  • white cotton balls
  • small pink pompom
  • bow tie - you can use paper or get fancy and use fabric
What You Do:
  1. Color the inside of the ears pink.
  2. Glue on the ears to the back of the full plate
  3. Glue on the eyes and nose
  4. Draw on the face
  5. Glue on the bow tie
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

P is for Platypus

So a platypus is one of those crazy, weird, yet interesting animals. It kind of makes me think that God was in a silly mood the day He made them. Even the name is kind of silly. Okay, pop quiz! Which of these facts are true about the platypus?

a. It consists of a beaver tail, duck bill, & otter feet.
b. When naturalists first discovered it, some thought it was a hoax.
c. It is venomous.
d. It is one of 5 egg laying mammals.
e. There is no universally used plural form of the word platypus. Both platypuses and platypi are acceptable.
f. All of the above.

F is correct! Isn't that crazy?

Of course this unique animal has gotten an extra measure of fame lately due to this amazing show, I'm sure you've heard of it.

We decided to study more about the platypus and make an Agent P Easter egg for letter P week. I mean his name is P and what is more perfect than that for letter P week?

We started at  the National Geographic Kids website and checked out their platypus creature feature page. It includes pictures, facts, a video, and a map of where they live. 

Then we made the Perry the platypus Easter egg from Family fun. The link to the craft is here.

Here's What You Need:

  • Template printed from family fun
  • bottle cap
  • greenish blue egg (plastic or hard boiled)
  • Glue dots
Here's What You Do:
  1. Color and cut out the template. Make sure to draw the crisscrosses on his tail and a band on his hat.
  2. Glue the feet and tail to the inside of the bottle cap. Bend the feet over the edge of the rim so they are pointing down. 
  3. Glue the face and arms onto the egg. Wrap the hat around the top of the egg and glue the two back pieces together with a glue dot. Bend it so it sticks up.
  4. Put your egg in the bottle cap to keep it upright.

We hope you have fun with your own weird, yet cool platypus egg. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Handprint Bird in Nest

 Spring is such a fickle time. Yesterday was 70 degrees here and today it snowed. Oh, sun we want you to come and stay. Sigh. At least we get to see the sun more often and it's fun to see the buds on the trees. We were so excited to find out that the previous owners of our house planted daffodils around our front window. It is also fun to hear birds chirping in the morning. (Except maybe this morning because we were having a crazy storm - snow & hail & wind) 
Speaking of birds, here is a great bird project to do with your little ones. I must subconsciously like birds because looking back, this is the 3rd bird project we've done. 

This one is pretty simple. Make the bird's body with a painted handprint. Add an eye and beak. Give the bird a place to roost using ripped paper art. Glue on ripped brown paper pieces to add interesting depth to your picture. 

Easy Peasy!
If you are interested in a more intensive spring project, try our bobble head chicks. This link also has a great tutorial for easy 3-D bird nests.

Or, for a more whimsical bird, try our balloon birds. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Straw Letters and Shapes

My kindergartner got an assignment to bring a 3-D shape for show and tell. We thought we would take it up a step from just finding a 3-D shape to making one. This project is so simple and it is a crowd pleaser! What started with myself and my kids, quickly became a neighborhood affair. We live in a great cul-de-sac and there is always someone knocking on our door asking if someone can play. As the kids in the neighborhood came to the door and saw what we were doing, they decided to join us. It was a lot of fun! 

This activity is pretty simple. You start with straight straws (if you have bendy straws, just cut the bendy part off) and cut up pipe cleaners. As I was opening a new bag of pipe cleaners I noticed that they were labeled as chenille sticks on the package. I kind of like that. It makes them sound extra fancy. I think Fancy Nancy would certainly call pipe cleaners chenille sticks. :)

Anyway, the straws are the sides of the shapes or letters and the pipe cleaners are the points or vertices. 

This is a great activity that can span from preschool to upper grades. You can practice making flat shapes to work on shape recognition

or you can work on 3-D shapes and talk about edges, vertices, faces, etc. (Notice the cube and tetrahedron on the shelf in the background.)

You can also use it to practice letter building. Not all letters can be made, but you sure can try! A is for Anya!