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Showing posts from January, 2019

Mickey Learning Ideas

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The world's most famous mouse can also mean lots of learning fun for kids!  Math, reading, and spelling are much more enjoyable when you do them with Mickey!  Click the pictures below to visit the posts.





An InLinkz Link-up



Wood Skills Board  ♣  Mickey and Minnie Blocks  ♣  Wood Clock Puzzle
Flashcards Shapes and Numbers  ♣  Preschool Calendar
Steamboat Willie  ♣  Mickey Workbook  ♣  Plush Toy
Ride-on Airplane  ♣  Vehicle Sound Puzzle  ♣  Microphone
Mickey Backpack  ♣  Wood Train  ♣  Car Carrier

Dinosaur Toys that Teach

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We've been on a dinosaur kick lately.  I know we're a bit late for the Jurassic World movies, but the kids are too young for those videos.  Instead, the kids' interest has been inspired by our summer trip to the dinosaurs at Museum of the Rockies, the dinosaurs they've received for Christmas, and the Jurassic World Evolution video game that they watch me play.  Plus, who doesn't love dinosaurs?  They're the stuff of our dreams and substance of our primal fears.  There are a lot of awesome dino toys on the market, but for this post, I wanted to focus specifically on toys that help us learn.

Click on any of the colored text to see the product on Amazon!




Uncle Milton's T-Rex Operation Game- Test your dinosaur knowledge and your nerves with this operation-style dinosaur dig game.  Answer questions and extract pieces without making the dinosaur roar!


National Geographic Real Fossil Dig- Some fossil dig sets have you digging for plastic pieces, but this toy contai…

Learn Physics with Dominoes

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For Christmas, my kids received a Domino Junior play set.  The Jr dominoes are slightly wider on the bottom than the top so they're a bit easier to set up.  Since they are particularly destructive, setting up dominoes runs is both fulfilling and challenging for them.  It's a great activity for them to all do together as well, encouraging communication, cooperation, and sometimes separation.


We've been enjoying some domino sequence videos on Youtube, too, which has greatly inspired their play time.  I wouldn't be surprised if they don't try other types of chain reactions soon.  Here's one of our favorite videos:



What the kids don't know is how much physics they're learning as they watch these chain reactions!  Each domino is potential kinetic energy stored inside of it and waiting for a force to act on it.  When the child touches it with his finger, he sets off a sequence where one domino affects the other and the next one and the next one until the las…

A Parade of Penguins

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Did you know that January 20th is World Penguin Awareness Day?  I'm not sure how anyone could forget these adorable, flightless marine birds, but I'm glad we have a day to celebrate them just the same.  They even have a second day, April 25th, which is World Penguin Day.  Anything with two international celebrations deserves a giant round-up of fun crafts, educational printables, creative activities, and more.


What do you call a group of penguins?
- if they're in the water, they're a RAFT
- if they're on land, they're a WADDLE
- if they're nesting, they're a ROOKERY
- if they're babies, they're a CRECHE
- if they're mating, they're a COLONY
- if they're nesting an egg, they're called a HUDDLE




Magnetic Ice Skating Penguins Letter Writing // Hello Wonderful
Penguin Footprints // The Best Ideas for Kids
Penguin Coloring Page // Kids Activity Blog
Paper Plate Penguin Craft // A Dab of Glue will Do
Penguin Cupcakes // Military Family of 8
C…

Rubber Duck Grid Game

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Have you heard the story of the 28,000 Rubber Ducks that fell off a shipping container in 1992 and got free in the ocean?  Their story is recorded whimsically in Eric Carle's book "10 Little Rubber Ducks."  The story also inspired my latest printable- a duck grid game!




Help your opponent capture the lost duckies by calling out the coordinates of where the ducks might be hiding.  To play the game, set up the board like battleship by printing off 4 copies of the grid and gluing them to some file folders.  I prefer to laminate the boards so we can use a white board marker to mark out the hits and misses on the top grid.  If you don't laminate them, the players can write lightly with pencil and then erase them when the game is done.


Cut out the rubber duckies and laminate them.  Use as they are or glue them onto 1" wood disks for added durability and playability.  Miniature rubber ducks could also be used, especially if you can find Safari Ltd Good Luck mini ducks

Recycling Altoid Tins for Organization

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I'm obsessed with Altoid Tins!  They're such a useful, tiny container, and completely free after you eat all the candies inside.  We usually have piles of them around the house because my husband loves to eat them, so they're always available for my next crafting or organization project.  I don't blog about every instance that I use them, but here are several options.


I usually laminate my tin labels and then hot glue them to the tops of the tins.  You can also cover it in adhesive backed felt (I like to do the inside sometimes too) or modge podge the paper onto the tin.  Do you have a better method?  Comment below!

Also, these posts are from my two blogs, so there's a bit of repetition in the lists.






These travel games came from my road trip blog- Party Through the USA


An InLinkz Link-up




These posts come from my homeschooling blog- Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids


An InLinkz Link-up




Your turn!  Add your Altoid Tin Craft, Hack, or Organization Idea!


An InLinkz Link-up




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Penguin Grid Game- Coordinates for Kindergartners

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I was playing around with Pinterest today, organizing things differently and moving things from one board to another.  I ran into an idea that had inspired me almost a year ago, but I had never managed to actually get done.  Planning Playtime has an awesome Hide and Seek dinosaur grid game with the specific focus for working on letters and numbers.


I really liked her idea, but I didn't want to be confined by the A-G letters in order, and instead wanted to work on letter recognition in a more natural way.  I originally did the entire printable with the word "penguin" since I'm working on a few penguin printables right now.  The problem with penguin didn't present itself until the kids and I were playing the game.  Oops!  Penguin has 2 Ns!


I went back to the drawing board to come up with my next word- seabirds.  Although it's a bit of a stretch for most kids, I like that seabird encourages more discussion about penguins as marine birds.  They can't fly, bu…

Hands-On STEM Ideas to Learn About Snow

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We live in a normally snowy part of the country, but it's been a very warm winter with very little snow.  My kids are anxious to play in it, which prompted me to put together this Kid Blogger Network list of ways you can learn about snow.  Most of them can be accomplished even if you don't have access to snow, and focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM).  These ideas and printables are great for hands-on and nontraditional learning for a variety of ages.

Cookie Baking Math Games

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It's officially the end of holiday season (well, if you don't count the 12 days until Epiphany), and I feel like I'm allowed to post a non-Christmas printable.  The crazy thing is that I fought really hard for this not to be a "Christmas Cookie" game, because I feel like there are SO MANY Christmas printables on the web and not enough activities for after Christmas.  It was very hard to not use fun gingerbread graphics, so I'm sure I'll do a Christmas one next year.  I'll probably do several varieties over the next year.

This printable was inspired by Dragonfly, who has been working through a Horizons 1st Grade Math book.  In the curriculum, she has run up against addition with three numbers and it's messing her up.  Her confidence had taken a hit, and she's frequently getting the wrong answer, which is unusual.  I needed to make a math manipulative to help her see that addition was the same concept no matter how many numbers you were adding …

5 Reasons I'm Changing My Blog Name

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1- IN OUR POND WAS MORE CUTE THAN PRACTICAL
When I started blogging almost six years ago, I also had three kids under three!  I was majorly sleep deprived and chose my new blog name based on what sounded cute.  I thought about a preschool or day care center and had the idea that my kids would sit on handmade lily pad rugs for read aloud stories and schoolwork.  It seems absolutely ridiculous to me now.

Because we were "in our pond," my family all has pond-themed nicknames.  The husband is "Bullfrog," I'm "Hummingbird," and the kids are "Dragonfly, Skimmer, and Tadpole."  For continuity, I'll be keeping their names.  They still match those personalities even though we're not in a pond anymore.


2- MY KIDS ARE ENERGETIC
The reason why quiet learning on lily pads is so funny to me now is that my kids are very energetic!  Right now, as I write, they're running around our kitchen island and alternating that with wresting.  Sitting still…