Category Archives: Little Ones

Giving is better than receiving!

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How do you teach about giving?  During this time of year, there are numerous opportunities to teach this lesson, but what about the rest of the year?  It should not be a lesson that is just implemented during the holidays.  In our family we have tried to make this lesson one that we incorporate in our daily life.  We are in a unique situation where we are on a type of “sabbatical” right now and traveling across the the east coast.  As we travel, we try to give little tokens of appreciation and thanks along the way.  In Elizabeth City, NC we visited a local police department to give them some sweet treats and in Norfolk, Virginia we visited the Fire Department with some special tokens of our appreciation.

Most recently, thanks to Oriental Trading, we were able to make little school packs for kids who are in need.   My girls are 3 and 4 years old and get very excited when we start a “giving project.”  It is so fun to see their enthusiasm and involvement in the process.

We decided to create a rainbow-themed packs and made rainbow tags to go on the top of the pencil cases.  Each tag has a special message.  In each pencil case, we included a notepad, pencil sharpener, colorful pencil, an eraser, and stress ball.  The girls divided up each pencil case and the items that went inside of them.

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We attached a different color ribbon to the zipper with our handmade tag and we were done!

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We also decided to make a kit of crayons and coloring/activity pads to drop of for kids sitting in a waiting room in the emergency room at a hospital.  Depending on the time of day and circumstances, we hope this makes the waiting process easier for little kids.  This was a simple project by just attaching a set of crayons to the activity pad.

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With the holiday season now upon us, there are MANY different opportunities to give back and get creative with your ideas!  This is one of the next projects on our list…..Operation Christmas Child.

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This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provideds the sample free of charge by the company toprovide my honest review. No other type of compensation was received. All ideas and opinions are my own

On the go art kits

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With a 3 and a 4 year old it is smart to always be prepared during outings that may be boring or long car trips to have some type of activity for them to complete.  It saves your sanity when they are busy (and creative) and it keeps everyone happy.  With the help of supplies from Oriental Trading, I decided to make “On the Go Art Kits”.

I included lots of items in the kits so different fun and creative ideas can be made from them.  Since we have moved and are permanently living on our boat, I also made the kits ocean themed.  My hope is that any time we are with other children, we can use the kits for all the kids to be entertained.  All the items are kept conveniently in a pencil pouch so they do not take up alot of room.

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What included?

Stickers-Lots of stickers!  I included all different types of sea life stickers with different textures.

Stamps-The kids have really enjoyed the stamps, but you have to watch out because they can sometimes get a little “stamp happy”.  I found my three year old with stamps all over her arm!

Paper-I loved this paper because it has all different sizes and colors.  It also included premade folded cards, which we plan to use for a different project.

Scissors-I included beginner scissors, so I did not have to worry as much about the kids cutting themselves or other items.

Glue-This has allowed them to get super creative with glue different pieces of paper together.  My favorite picture that they have made has been a collage which took lots of glue!

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Of course there are many more items that could be added, such as crayons, markers, pencils……the list could go on and on. The results of the the artwork completed has been pretty interesting and entertaining.  I made about 12 kits, so I always have one ready to go!

This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provideds the sample free of charge by the company toprovide my honest review. No other type of compensation was received. All ideas and opinions are my own

Pencil Grips Review

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When The Pencil Grip company originally approached me to write a review on their Pencil Grips, I was going to try them with some students at school.  However, my 4 year old daughter has recently surprised me with her fine motor development, so I decided to try them out with her instead!!  She recently turned 4 and her writing skills have started to take off.   It seems like within a week she went from writing “A” to attempting a sentence.

We tried out all three pencil grips (The Crossover Grip, The Pinch Grip, and Pencil Grip) to help her with grip and formation of the letters.  Based on our use of the grips, I was impressed with the DURABILITY, TEXTURE, and INCREASED LEGIBILITY.

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At first she was a little awkward with the grip and she needed help with finger placement.  Please ignore the messy hands….we just finished with a painting project!!

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As you can see from the picture above, her finger wanted to cross over.  After she understood the finger positioning, she took off writing.

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I have noticed that there is more control with her grasp, thus an increase in legibility.  We now writing daily and she typically will choose the Crossover Grip.  This is the grip shown above which has wings on the grip which prevent the fingers from crossing over.  I have also used these grips when writing and like the texture of the grip.

On a side note, my younger daughter got a hold of the grips and started to chew on them.  I was rather impressed with there durability…..not one tooth mark!!

If you would like a set of Pencil Grips for FREE, just enter the raffle below!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company to provide my honest review. No other type of compensation was received. All ideas and opinions are my own.

Getting Ready for our next book exchange

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We have been doing book exchanges for the past few months and we are all really enjoying it.   The girls constantly ask to do “book projects”.  This month we chose the book, Rain Drop Plop by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.  I really love this book and all the different things you can do with it, especially with numbers and talking about weather.

My favorite activity we did with the book, was creating question cards that went along with each page of the book.  These questions helped the girls with positional words, as well as answering basic “who, what, when, where” questions.

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We also matched lowercase and uppercase letters using umbrella tops and bottoms and matched numbers with the correct number of raindrops.  I created a an umbrella pattern sheet, so the girls could start working on simple patterns and we made a cute raindrop that we named and played with.  When we made the rain drop, I asked the girls to follow certain directions, such as put the blue gems on the shoes.  Finally, we got some paint chips and put letters on them and then matched letters with clothes pins.

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The timing of this book exchange was perfect since it was actually rather rainy throughout the week.  For a snack, I added some white chocolate pretzels, since pretzels is what the little girl eats for a snack.

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It has been fun to see the changes in each of my daughter’s drawings over the past couple months, especially my oldest.  This time she drew her family under an umbrella.  Each month, I see more and more detail in her drawings and now she is writing too!

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We will be starting up a new exchange in March if you would like to join, just comment below and I will send you all the details!!

Show and Tell Tuesday

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I’m excited to be linking up again with Stephanie at Forever in 5th grade for another Tuesday of “Show and Tell”.  I have been working on a lot of different projects since last month!

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Special Education Parent Resource Night

We will be hosting our first ever Special Education Parent Resource Night in a couple of weeks and I have been busily planning the night’s activities.  Parents can choose from 12 different mini-sessions that will be provided by special education teachers, OT, Speech Pathologist, Counselor, or myself to attend.  Each session will have “Make and Take” materials, so parents can begin working with students at home immediately with different tips and material.  I’m really looking forward to this night and will write an article about it after it takes place detailing all the different components and ideas!!

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Valentines Day

We had a lot of fun with making Valentines this year…..we actually made almost 100 Valentines between a staff of teachers, 2 preschool classrooms and teachers, and coworkers.  Here is a little sample of all of the different Valentines we made…..”Superhero lollipops”, “Shooting for Brownie Points”, “Thanks for putting your heart into teaching”.  I have to admit, I am pretty obsessed with Pinterest and all the amazing ideas you can find, so I can’t take credit for any of these as original ideas!

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Book Buddies

This month we have picked the book Raindrop Plop for our book buddy.  We are still working on all the different activities, but the picture below is a sampling of what we have done so far.  The girls LOVE creating book projects each month. We would love to expand this “project/idea”, so if you have a child between the ages of 2-4 and would like to join in the fun, let me know and I can send you all the details!

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Giving Parent Positive Feedback

I just finished a product, that gives parent very specific, positive feedback regarding behavior.  So often, parents of challenging students only hear the negative comments and feedback, the purpose of this product is to send home a quick, simple note that gives very specific behavior feedback.  These notes partner with Behavior Badges and can be used in conjunction with them!

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Head over to Forever in Fifth Grade to check out all the other fabulous posts!

Valentines Fun

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We have been busily having fun making Valentines this week.  Between the girl’s friends and teachers and my coworkers, I think we made close to 100 valentines.

For the girl’s friends at preschool, we made superhero lollipops.  We made them out of dum-dums and red felt.  I found the cute superhero printables from Less Ordinary Designs and glued them to the felt capes and then tied a ribbon around the stick and added the mask.

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For the girl’s teachers at preschool we gave them brownies with a cute little phrase I found over at The Gaines Gang blog.  This was so simple and quick to make!

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For my coworkers which consists of around 40 teachers,  I bought some treat bags at the Dollar Tree and added some chocolate candies.  I found this gift tag at Eighteen25 and added a heart sticker to the center to give it a little more color!

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And finally, I made some no sew shirts out of different size hearts to make a fish.  The girls were excited to wear their matching shirts to their Valentines Day Party!

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And give out their superhero Valentines to their friends!

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My Favorite Posts of 2015

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I’m excited to be linky up with Sarah from Years that Ask Questions to share my favorite blog posts of 2015.

I started TPT and my blog this summer and have really enjoyed meeting other bloggers this year and designing products.  I have learned ALOT and I’m looking forward to what 2016 brings!  Here are my top three favorites from this year.

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I enjoyed writing about a unique idea to prevent behavior meltdowns in June.

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Classroom Management: Finding the Right Fit

Minds in Bloom Guest Post

In November I had the opportunity to be a guest author on Minds in Bloom and shared a number a behavioral strategies.

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Our Book Nook

I love reading with my children and our new book buddies we have found, which inspired this post.

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Head on over to Years That Ask Questions to link up or find other great posts from 2015.

 

Our Book Nook

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As my girls have gotten bigger, I wanted to create a spot in their room dedicated to reading, hence our newest addition, the “Book Nook”.  I’ve had a little time since we have gotten out of school for winter break to finally put everything together.

We added a nice rug and benches that their Papa made them out of old milk crates.  I love when we are able to repurpose items!

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I added some letters “READ” to an old shutter that I had purchased years ago and picked up a rope hanging basket that all their stuffed animals can fit into.  Since I wanted to area to feel slightly enclosed like a tent, I added a sheet, some lights and little pom-poms overhead.  And finally, a reading rack to keep the most loved or seasonal books.  Right now it is stocked with Christmas and winter books.

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This has been such a great addition to the room and the girls love going to their “book nook” and reading and doing “book projects”.  We have continued to exchange book projects with some friends and family.  The girls currently have a couple book buddies and ask all the time when we can do another book project.  I have to admit this has really been a lot of fun because I love to create different activities to go with the books.  Here are a few of the “projects” we have received or sent over the past couple months.

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If you have a 2-4 year old and want to join in the fun for the new year, just let me know!

Preschool Turkey Gift

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Today is the last day the girls go to school before Thanksgiving Break, so we decided to make a fun and easy sweet treat for their teachers!!  We are so lucky to have such wonderful preschool teachers.  I envision a lot of other learning activities that could be done with this craft in a classroom if teachers wanted to do it with their students (counting, graphing with colors, sequencing, ect.).  We just stuck to the basics of filling the containers and sneaking a piece of candy every now and then!!!

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All you need  is a baby jar container, orange felt to make the nose, and googly eyes.   I used hot glue to glue the nose and eyes on the container.  I traced both of the girls hands and let them color the hands and then cut them out. The hand actually stuck nicely to the glue that was left over from the label on the back of the baby food container.

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They were very excited to give them to their teachers this morning!!!  Now to start thinking about Christmas!

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Night Time Story Basket

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We have recently started a new night time routine at our house which my oldest (age 3) loves!!  Typically we read her two books each night, but I decided to change up the routine with a story basket.

I added different/random items to the basket.  It actually helped me clean up all those small little toys that seems to scatter around the house.  I put them all in the basket and then let her pick 5 different items.

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After she picks the five items, we tell her a story  using the items.  It is a creative way to promote language!!  And as she grows older, I hope she will tell us a story.  The stories are often funny and it is so fun to hear her giggling with excitement.

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This is such an easy and fun change up to the normal book reading at night.  It promotes creative, imagination, language, and of course bonding!

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I would love to hear how your child likes listening or telling you a story!