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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

50+ Free Printable Play Dough Mats for Learning and Play


Play dough.  So many things you can do with it to make it interesting.  Have them cut it with scissors.  Roll into snakes.  Roll with rolling pin.  Cut out with cookie cutters.  Bury beads in it and have them pinch them out.  Give them things to build with.  Add small toys and teach them to make tracks.  Add trucks and drive through the dough.  Add noodles, netting, or other things with textures and make imprints.  Poke it with a fork.  Roll it into balls.  Squish them with one finger.  Stamp them with rubber stamps (letters!).....  So much you can do!

Play dough is so great for building fine motor skills!  Kids from about age 2/3 and above need to have their fingers in the dough as much as possible.  I made the graphic below as a reference for play dough ideas when you're feeling bored with the plain lump of dough.  Share it around and spread the fun!



This blog post has been a few years in the making.  The concept has been hanging out in my draft folder for a long time, just waiting for the right moment.  A few months ago, I joined the Kid Blogger Network, and I knew it was time to bring out my play dough ideas with the amazing ideas from the other mom bloggers.

One of the ways that kids can play with play dough is with printed play mats.  These mats encourage kids to make shapes, do simple math concepts, or form snake letters.  Below are over 50 free printables for every kind of theme!





















































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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

How to Plan a Shark Themed Road Trip

I love Travel Time Tuesday so much that I've decided to give it it's own blog!  It'll take me awhile to transfer everything, but all my future travel posts will now be on the new site- Party Through the USA.  This blog will now be only for homeschooling and parenting stuff, and all the road trip ideas, free travel printables, and DIY toys will be on the new blog.  I've spent the last week trying to get the new site ready, and I'm very excited to introduce it to you today.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

All American Road Trip Ideas for Kids

I love Travel Time Tuesday so much that I've decided to give it it's own blog!  It'll take me awhile to transfer everything, but all my future travel posts will now be on the new site- Party Through the USA.  This blog will now be only for homeschooling and parenting stuff, and all the road trip ideas, free travel printables, and DIY toys will be on the new blog.  I've spent the two weeks trying to get the new site ready, and I'm very excited to introduce it to you today.



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Monday, June 11, 2018

Learn to Write the Letter A with Apple Tracing

I feel like I've been very negligent of this blog lately.  Sorry.  Three weeks ago, I started a new blog (Party Through the USA) and have been giving a lot of attention to setting it up.  It's amazing to me how much work it is to start over, even after having blogged on this one for five years.  I'm really enjoying the new blog, though, and it's already getting great traffic since people are thinking about, planning for, and going on family road trips now.  I'll try to keep getting new homeschooling content onto this blog, but if it's sporadic, you'll know why.



Today's printable was made from a need in our own family.  I started a handwriting curriculum book with Skimmer (age 5) recently.  He does very well with tracing on a dotted line, but was struggling greatly when it came time to draw his own letter.  I would put my fingers on the dot and instruct him to put his pencil there too.  Then, I would tell him to draw a circle starting at the dot (we've been doing a lot of circles lately in preparation).  Every single time, he would circle the dot.  I would erase his work, and we'd try again.  I would show him what I wanted to see, writing with either my finger or the pencil, but when it came time for his turn, he couldn't stop circling the dot.

After several minutes, I told him we should take a break, so I think about how to help him be successful.  I knew he needed something he could draw around that would help him to get the correct shape.  Grabbing a red colored pencil, I returned to him and to the handwriting workbook.

"Ok," I said, drawing a blob of red with the pencil, "this is our big, juicy, red apple.  Put your pencil on the dot and circle the red apple."  He did it without a problem!  Eventually, we decided that the dot was a worm hole.  Circling the apple also gave us a chance to practice the phonics sound for short A and transformed the mood by his success.

Click on the Picture to Access the Printable


After we finished the workbook that day, I immediately made this printable worksheet so others can teach their own kids the same way.  On the worksheet, I made the red apple fade out more and more as you move across the page.  The hope is that the child will get so used to seeing the apple and tracing around it that they will see it even when it's not there.  It helped my kid, and I hope it helps yours too.




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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Travel Mickey Mouse Matching Game in an Altoid Tin

I love Travel Time Tuesday so much that I've decided to give it it's own blog!  It'll take me awhile to transfer everything, but all my future travel posts will now be on the new site- Party Through the USA.  This blog will now be only for homeschooling and parenting stuff, and all the road trip ideas, free travel printables, and DIY toys will be on the new blog.  I've spent the last two weeks trying to get the new site ready, and I'm very excited to introduce it to you today.


Travel Mickey Mouse Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // Party Through the USA
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