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Showing posts from August, 2014

Knit Farm Play Mat

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We have yet another birthday this month.  Skimmer turns 2.  Continuing my current trend of giving handmade gifts, I've decided to knit him a play mat to go with our Schleich farm animals.

I'm more of a process knitter than a pattern knitter, so this play mat pattern is more of a "suggestion" than a recipe.  You can, of course, knit these sections in any order that you'd like or follow my layout, which I've included below.  Also, if you really like color work, you can knit the entire thing as one piece.  I've chosen to knit the big pieces in strips first and then to add the "road" strips to connect it all together.

Colors
My play mat is made of cheap yarn and stuff I had around the house.  Because of the choice to use what was easy, my play mat looks a bit like a coloring book page.  Most of the playscapes that I linked below chose much milder, earthy colors.  It's up to you.  I used:
- I Love This Wool Cocoa
- Simply Soft Kelly Green
- Red H…

Curves and Sticks Letter Building

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My oldest preschooler is only three years old, so I'm not planning on focusing too much on handfwriting.  However, I do want to begin introducing to her the concept of how letters are formed.  Amazingly all the letters of the alphabet can be made with a combination of curves and sticks.  To make the process more interesting, I've made a series of curves and sticks in fun patterns.  I'm planning on printing and laminating them, but you could make them magnetic or with felt backing depending on your preference.

Here are the sets I've working on (click to download):

Radical Purple (pictured)

Plain Black

Harvest Orange

Dinosaur

Jungle Green

Ocean Blue

Night Sky



Cattle Drive Game

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To go with our D is for (the American) Desert, I made this roll and count game.  The children are instructed to take turns rolling the die and counting out spaces to see who can be the first to get their "cattle" from the deserts of Texas to the Markets in Illinois.  Watch out for dangers along the trail- if a player lands on one, s/he loses a turn.  This game would also be a great introduction to a Western Expansion unit.

To download the game, click on the link below:

American West Cattle Drive Game


Yarn Worksheet (same)

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These are pretty easy to figure out.  Worksheets to go with our "Y is for yarn" unit.

To download, click on the link below:

Yarn Worksheets

Seed Matching

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I've been working on this project since I first started planning for Mommy School, way back in April.  The activity has two parts and the prep for it is a bit complicated.  First print, cut, and laminate the jar labels (circles).  Next, begin gathering your seeds.  I chose to store my seeds in these cosmetic pots, but you can store them in anything you wish.  You can either slip the two "game boards" into page protectors or cut the rectangular cards out and laminate them.

The children can then match the seeds to the plants or explore the seeds on their own.  They can also sort the seeds by size or type.

To download the file, click on the link below:

Seed Matching

Resurrection Opposites

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This busy bag is probably not strictly for younger kids.  The kids can match the cards with their opposite or sort the cards between "good and bad" or "before and after."  You could also print two copies of them and make 3-part cards where the child had to match the Bible verse to the card.

To download the cards, click on the link below:

Resurrection Opposites

Color Gradient Folder Game

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This is a simple folder game of matching colors along a gradient.  It features four main colors and four shades of each color.  There are also four pages of playing boards, two with the colors and two with blank spots.

To download, click on the link below:

Color Gradient Folder Game

Rain Writing Practice

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To go with our "r is for rain" week, I made some rainbow and storm writing practice sheets.  There are 3 pages of words to trace.

To print the worksheets, click on the link below:

Rain Writing Practice

Monster Word Sorting

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This folder game is a bit tricky.  The kids are supposed to match the baby monsters with their mommy just by the "sound" they make.  Some monsters make "eak" sounds and others make "eek" sounds.  This is meant to help children in recognizing the different ways words can be spelled and to force them to focus on letter details as they read.

To download the folder game, click on the link below:

Monster Word Sorting

Monster Size Sorting

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This is a pretty simple, straight-forward folder game.  There are two pages to paste in a folder or to slide into page protectors and two pages of monsters to cut out and laminate.  The child can then sort the monsters by small, medium, and large.

To download this free game, click on the link below.

Monster Size Sorting

Rainbow Colors Spelling

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All the colors of the rainbow are named in this game.  The kids are asked to practice spelling them by matching the colored letters with their spot on the game board.  Later, you can challenge the kids to spell the words without the game board.

To download the color game, click on the link below:

Rainbow Colors Spelling

Counting Treasure Busy Bag

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To download the file, click on the link below:

Counting Treasure Busy Bag

Yarn Worksheets

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To download the file, click on the link below:

Yarn Worksheets

Knit Swaddle Blanket

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Dragonfly turned 3 recently, so I've been knitting wildly to make gift for her.  She got a newborn-size baby doll from a relative, so I thought I'd knit her a swaddle blanket.  I don't write a lot of knitting patterns and I tend to be a "process" knitter so hopefully you can follow along with these directions.


Using 1 skein of yarn, cast on 13 stitches on an appropriately sized set of needles (I chose Caron's Simply Soft and size 8 needles).  Begin an increasing pattern as follows:

Row 1: K across
Row 2: PK into the first stitch (increase 1) K5, P1, K6
Row 3: PK into the first stitch, K remaining stitches across
Row 4: PK into the first stitch, K5, P3, K5
Row 5: PK into the first stitch, K remaining stitches across

Continue pattern until piece measures the width of the dolls body plus about one inch.  For me, that was 40 stitches.

Knit the border and main body pattern for about 8 to 10 inches without increasing.  This makes the bottom flap for the wrap.

After…

What's the Plan (letter order)

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My preschool plan is to use the same themes for a few years, roughly ages 3-6.  Therefore, not everything on my blog or in this list is strictly for "preschoolers."  In creating these themes, I wanted to have a lot of choice and diversity for different levels of learning.  You can also check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas.

Preschool Themes:

a- apples
counting busy bag

m- milk (farm, cow, milk products)

t- trees (life cycle, fall, leaves)

s- seeds
planting coloring page
seed matching

i- ice cream
patterning folder game

f- fire (fire safety, firemen)
fire truck roll and cover

d- duck (pond)
number line busy bag
spelling folder game

e- eggs (metamorphosis, frog and butterfly life cycles)*
folder games

r- rain (water cycle, rainbow, colors)
color spelling
writing practice

Oo- ocean
Nemo folder game

g- groceries (food, shopping, recipes, measuring)
food count and count 
comparing worksheets
group sizes worksheets


Uu- universe (space, planets)**

h- harvest (autumn, Thanksgiving)

C…