Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Visiting Teaching Handout

My amazing and super-talented mother created this visiting teaching handout for April.  She does one every month.  I'm going to start posting them here to share them with you. 

She is a Life Coach, Massage Therapist (and a good one!) and piano and voice coach & instructor, so whether you're in the area (for massage or music instruction), or not (for Life Coaching), feel free to contact her.

Here is her website:

and here is her blog:

Thanks Mom!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Conference Preschool Age Journal

Twice a year, our church has a General Conference of the church, where we get to hear the modern prophet speak to us as well as other church leaders.  I LOVE this time, and look forward to it.  I want my children to grow up loving it too, and grow up looking forward to conference time.  And I also want them to learn from it.  So I prepare a couple weeks in advance to make this a fun, meaningful and special time for them.

There are a lot of materials out there for conference.  But there was a lack of journals/notebooks for my kids' ages.  (They're 4 and 2.)  Everything was too hard for them.  So I created one that was for their level.  Hopefully you can make use of it too.

Click the preview below to download the file:

Feel free to share the journal, just please link people here to get it.  And if you plan on using it, I'd love to hear about it!  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Last year, we had a great day doing all kinds of fun learning and playing activities.  Arts and crafts, treats, a walk, complete with very green outfits.  I just copied and pasted this from my family blog, so if things are worded funny, that's why.  Unfortunately, most of the printable ideas, I got from The Mailbox magazine, which is copyrighted, so I can't share them with you.  But hopefully you can get some good ideas from the pictures, and have a super-fun St. Patrick's Day with your school or kids!

Our Super-Fun St. Patrick's Day

We had a great day, and I thought I'd tell you all about it, in addition to recording it for the kids for the future. Haylee is so sweet... she just loves life and loves it when we do fun things. She had such a great time. Makes me want to do stuff like this with her much more often.

The Green Family
We went to Brandon's work later in the day and they loved how we were all dressed up in so much green. Brandon says they called us "The Green Family" for the rest of the day and the next one.

We were going to read and eat Green Eggs and Ham, but Daddy got to come home early so we went to his work with him and out to lunch instead. We got a donut with green sprinkles. Haylee of course loved it.
McKay got to play with a 'pot of gold' at Daddy's work:

Haylee played a game where she covered the letter L's with "Lucky Leprechaun" while I sang a song. She loved it and she got them all right!

McKay got green yogurt! Mmmm...

And played with his green dinosaur... Love the smile on his face.

Haylee did this activity where she helped the Leprechaun get to his pot of gold by tracing his rainbow with colors. She's going to be a tough one to get homework done with. Eesh!

Once Haylee helped the Leprechaun get to his pot of gold, he shared some of his gold with her. She of course loved that. (Click to enlarge.)
After that she decorated a bag for our 'green walk.'

She had a great time on our walk.... gathering green stuff she saw to make a collage out of later.

McKay was on our walk too. What a cute boy!

Haylee used green glue to glue the stuff onto her paper.

She loves doing stuff like this, including her "scapbooking." She's going to be so much fun doing arts and crafts with... Mamma's little girl.

We played a game where she built a rainbow while I sang a song about the color names and ordinal numbers that she was putting up... "The red part goes up first..."
McKay got to eat yummy green veggies for dinner... mmm!

We followed directions to make a special "Pot of Gold" dessert... Haylee is all about anything sugary, so she had a blast.

Smashed up mint oreo's for the pot, mint chocolate chip ice cream, banana slices for the gold coins, green cool whip and green sprinkles... Delicious!

Isn't she gorgeous???
What a face! We had a great day didn't we baby girl? Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Preschool Christmas Mini-Unit

For my December week of preschool, we focused on the ‘Santa’ etc. aspects of Christmas.  Here are some ideas for you.

We started the lesson with a book of course.  (I ALWAYS start with a book.  It connects reading to everything else.  Children who love reading = good readers = smart children.)  I don’t remember exactly which book, but it was one of the classic Christmas stories like Up On The Housetop or Jolly Old St. Nicholas or something.  This is to introduce them to Christmas traditions and our Christmas culture.

The girls used Christmas shaped cookie cutters to dip in red, green and ‘gold’ (yellow) paint.  This is a printing technique which is a process art activity.  (I’ll have to get on my soap box about that one some day.)  They had a blast.

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They put ‘sprinkles’ (glitter) on them while they were still wet, just for a little ‘bling.’  Little girls love bling – especially glitter.  Gave it an extra punch of fun for them.


After their art activity, they had snack: a simple ambrosia salad, complete with marshmallows (a Christmas treat since we don’t often use sweets in preschool.)  (This is a super-easy snack – mix canned fruit with mini marshmallows and acini di pepe - those tiny little pasta balls, and that’s it!  No other sugar or whipped cream is needed.)

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After that we did our letter activity.  The letter was R, so we did a ‘Reindeer’ activity.  Each girl received two letter ‘R’s and a die cut of a reindeer (cut on my cricut machine.)  We talked about the letter R and how Reindeer started with it and I modeled the instructions to glue one R in the box and one in front of the word ‘eindeer’ to complete it and we talked about how the letter R completed the incomplete word.  Then of course, they got to decorate their reindeer.  Click on the image of the handout to download it.

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Click to Download: image

Our final activity was to make snow.  This was a huge hit with the kids when I was teaching kindergarten and of couse, the girls loved it too.  This is just simple snow powder from Home Depot – it comes in a little tin.

Put a teaspoon of the powder in a bowl for each child.


Add the correct amount of water.                                                     Stir it up.


And play!  (Remember, play is a child’s work.)  This is such an awesome sensory activity. 

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Here are a few bonus ideas:

On our other preschool day, the shape was a star and we were still doing Santa, so we made these adorable Santa stars, adapted from an idea I saw somewhere on the WWW.  Feathers, yarn, a pompom, wiggly eyes, batting some triangles and a rectangle make for a very cute Santa star ornament.


I came up with a really fun idea for our snack.  Had I prepared it better ahead of time, I would have used cute Christmas bowls, but alas, I didn’t.  It was still fun though.  I put little bowls of snack foods (again, with a little Christmas treat) on a lazy susan and let the girls make their own snack mix.  They got to add the Christmas M&Ms and that made it really cute and festive.

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And this last idea is from the Preschool Christmas Party at one of the other mom’s houses (Thanks Jana!)

The girls made snowmen out of mini chocolate chips, frosting, hershey’s kisses, fruit by the foot (scarf) & pretzels.  A toothpick is holding the snowman together.  How adorable right?!

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Hope you enjoyed these activity ideas and can use them.  I’m sure they can be adapted to other things as well.  Please let me know if you find this useful.

Merry Christmas in March!!



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Groundhog's Day

I love holidays. (If you haven't been able to tell before now.) I just love the opportunity they give to do some extra fun things, and do a little learning around a theme. I thought I'd share what we did today for Groundhog's day. I had fun with this day when I was teaching... reading books about groundhogs, making books, learning about shadows, doing shadow activities with manipulatives on the overhead, writing about fears (because the groundhog is 'afraid of his shadow', which is why he goes back in his hole if he sees his shadow.)

Today, is February 2... Groundhog's Day. In case finding out whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not, wasn't on your top ten list of things to do today, I'll tell you. He DID see his shadow, which means 6 more weeks winter is on the way.

Here are some pictures of the fun things we did to celebrate the day:

Every good 'unit' starts with BOOKS! I love books! I use them to introduce every topic I teach. Today, we read these two that I made (actually, my aide's helped) when I was teaching. The first one is a class book we made where each student made a page and we bound them all together in a book.
We made groundhogs that popped out of their holes.  A combination of these two activities:

There's a little groundhog's day poem on the Activity 1 page that I printed onto green paper to use for the grass.

 And we worked on coloring pages from here:

We talked about the letters she was coloring as she did it. We didn't do it today, but we should have gone outside to look at our shadows and talk about them.  Wish I'd thought of that earlier!
 Definitely a fun day.  Hope you can use these activities, if not this year, maybe next year.  Although, don't be afraid to do the activities after the actual holiday.  The kids don't know or care.  :)

Here are a few more activities for you...  This one is a set of writing practice sheets I made for Kindergarten.
(When you click on the link, don't just save the image that comes up.  Click 'download' at the top right corner to download a full quality PDF of the activity.)


This is a poem I did in my class.  (It was quite a few years ago and I looked it up and couldn't find the author, so if it's yours or you know where it came from, please let me know so I can give you/them credit!)  There's a poster, a sheet of the poems small for a poem journal, and a sheet of sentance strips for the poem.  Keep in mind the sentence strips are meant to be printed on 8.5 x 14 paper.



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