March 29, 2013

Easter Math Game For Kids {On/Off}

Here's another Easter math game for your kids.  This one is a bit easier than the one I posted on Tuesday (Easter In/Out).  It's called On/Off.  It's such a simple game, and it's a great way to teach your kids math concepts.

On/Off Game Board
On/Off Record Sheet
Writing Utensil
Counters (candy, Bingo chips, coins, etc...)

How To Play
1. Choose the number of counters you wish to use (smaller numbers for younger children, bigger numbers for older children). 

2.  Hold the counters in your hand and drop them directly over the On/Off board.  It helps if you quickly pull your hands apart from each other when you drop the counters.  That way you have a better chance of some landing on and some landing off.  

3.  Once the counters have landed, record how many counters landed on the board, and then how many counters landed off the board.  Continue to play until the record sheet it filled.

4.  When the record sheet is completed, you can have your child write out the number sentences to match the record sheet (2+3=5, 1+4=5, 5+0=5, etc...).  Talk about all the different ways your child made the total number.  Look for patterns, or similarities in record sheet.  This is the perfect game for practicing your child's addition facts.  And, if you use candy, they can have the reward of eating it when they're done.

You can click here for the On/Off game boards.   I was having so much fun with them, I made four different colors.

 And you can click here for your On/Off record sheets.  The record sheets have numbers at the top.  Use the number of counters as stated on the top of the sheet.  I have several numbers to choose from.  I also have a blank record sheet so you can use your own number of counters.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

P.S.  Today's my husband's birthday.  I love having a day to celebrate just him.  He's completely worth celebrating!  He doesn't like a lot of fuss made over him (I threw him a surprise party in college, and quickly learned to NEVER do that again), so I'll keep this short and simple.  Happy Birthday to my very best friend, and the one person in the world I don't mind our three little boys liking more than me (he's an incredible daddy!).  I sure do love you!  Enjoy your day!

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March 28, 2013

Strawberries With Sour Cream& Brown Sugar

Strawberry season is upon us!  My mother-in-law has always made the most amazing dip for strawberries.   It's a huge hit at family get togethers, and it's as simple as you can get.

You can mix the sour cream and brown sugar together, or I like to serve the sour cream and brown sugar separately.  Then you can just dip the strawberry in the sour cream first and the brown sugar after.  Either way is delicious.  My husband and three  boys devour this!  I usually have to sneak a few strawberries and dip before serving them, or else I don't get any.

The recipe (if you can even call it a recipe) is so easy, I didn't even bother to type one up.  If you do mix your sour cream and brown sugar, I believe you use equal parts, but I've never done it that way.  Experiment with the ratios before you serve it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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March 27, 2013

Easter Math Game For Kids {In/Out}

When I taught first grade, our math program  included a lot of fun games.  One of those games was called In/Out.  It's such a simple game, and it's a great way to teach your kids math concepts.

I made my game Eastery by using Easter candy corns, and I used a peat pot with a glittered bunny on it (a plain cup and small pebbles works perfectly fine if you're not into the holiday theme).

In/Out Record Sheet
Cup (not glass or see through)
Writing Utensil

How To Play
1.  Decide how many counters to use.
2.  Have one player close his eyes, or leave the room.
3.  The other player hides as many counters under the cup as he chooses and covers them up with the cup.  Then he leaves the other counters out of the cup.    Here's an example.  If you're using 10 counters, then the hider could put 3 counters under the cup, and leave 7 counters out of the cup.
4.  The hider then tells the other player to open his eyes.  He has to guess (or better yet, mathematically figure out) how many counters are under the cup based on the total number of counters, and the number of counters outside of the cup.

Here's the In/Out record sheet.  You can print it by clicking here.  The record sheets have different numbers at the top.  Use the number of counters printed on the top of the record sheet.  I also included a blank record sheet so you can choose the number of counters yourself.

I  like this game because you can adapt it for any ability level, and for the cuteness factor, it can be adapted for any holiday.  I made a Christmas In/Out game last year.  Click here to check it out.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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March 26, 2013

Hippity, Hoppity Easter Printable

Every year when Easter rolls around I start humming 'Here Comes Peter Cottontail'.  I think I only know one or two lines of the song.  My favorite (that I  know) is, "Hippity, hoppity Easter's on its way."  I'm always looking for cute, short quotes to make into holiday printables.  This one is perfect!  So, here's your Hippity, Hoppity Easter printable. 

I made it in three colors.  White (my personal favorite), pastels, or a bit brighter.  You can choose which one fits your style.  And apparently I have a slight chalkboard background addiction.   I love using them for just about everything these days (just take a look at my sidebar). 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.  Oh, click here for today's printable.
P.S.   A very Happy Birthday to my amazing Grandma Rae!

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March 25, 2013

Printable Chalkboard Easter Banner (at Someday Crafts)

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  We had cold weather and snow here in Utah for a good part of the weekend.  I hope it warms up soon.  Easter isn't quite the same when you're Easter egg hunting in winter attire.

Anyway, I'm over at Someday Crafts today.  Come on over and visit.  I have a printable chalkboard Easter banner to share.  I'm so excited with how it turned out!  Here's a sneak peak of what it looks like.  

Hope to see you there.  Click here to see the entire post.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Enjoy your day!

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March 22, 2013

Family Journaling

Here's my entire February post from Or So She Says.  There's a bit of Valentine content (save it for next year), but a lot of these ideas can be used any time of the year.

We're talking journals today.  I have my wonderful parents to thank for my dedication to journaling.  My dad has volumes upon volumes of his own journals, and while my mom may not have volumes of her own, she started helping me develop my own volumes at a young age, and I haven't stopped.  My journals have evolved over the years, and often times don't look like a traditional journal, but I've found that anything  I've written (big or small, silly or serious) has been time well spent.

I'm a bit of a holiday fanatic (proof here, here, and here), so I couldn't have a February post without some Valentine's Day tied in one way or another.  Actually, holidays are the perfect excuse to add a bit of extra journaling without your kids even knowing it.  Here are a few ways we do "journals" during the month of February.  

Love Notes & Mailboxes

In our family, we each have a simple box that we leave out by our beds through the month of February.  We have a big pile of love notes (click on the link to print your own love notes) in our house, and every person writes at least one love note to someone in our family every day.  I have three boys and you wouldn't think love notes would be all that exciting, but they totally get into this!  It probably has something to do with the fact that they're six and three.  We'll see how much they get into this tradition when they're twelve.

I didn't have the heart to throw away all the sweet notes written at the end of the month, so I decided to get a cheap little photo album for each person in our family and put the notes in there.  At the end of the month, we each have our own book of love notes to keep.  

 Love Clipboards

We have a paper on a clipboard (a magnet board would work well too) for each family member at our house.  You could use this activity on just Valentine's Day, or leave it up longer.  We simply write one quick thought about each person when we have a spare second.  Keep these where you get a lot of traffic in your home- the kitchen is great!  Once you're done with these, put them in a binder to keep and read through.

I Love.... Journals

These are simple little notebooks that I put out for my boys (and myself) to use during February.  Their only job is to date stamp a page and write one thing they love that day.  It can be anything.  Toys, foods, family, friends, books, animals, music, sports,...  anything!

Love Letters Jar

I love getting mail- good mail, don't you?  I don't send cards nearly as often as I should, but during February (and actually November, we do thankful cards) we actually do.  It's all thanks to our Love Letters Jar.  We fill our jar with names of extended family members (you could put any one's name in).  Every day we draw out one name and write a quick love note to that person.  I've found that meal times work well for these because my boys are actually sitting still and will listen.  There's not too much noise when their mouths are full (well... sometimes that's the case).  I do the writing, and my boys do the talking.  We keep them short and sweet, and then mail them off.  Now these don't really count as a journal for our family, but I promise grandma and grandpa are saving every note we send, and that's a journal for them!  You can click here to print the love letters label.

February is probably one of the easier months to incorporate journal writing, but get creative.  I bet you could find a reason to add some holiday journaling every month.  Next month is St. Patrick's Day- perfect for, "I'm lucky you're in my life because...." or whatever else you can come up with.

My three boys (ages 6 and 3) each have their own journal right now.  We do a page once a week.  They choose what they'd like to write about, and then draw a picture of it.  Since my boys are fairly young, I do the writing for them.  They tell me what to write, and I write (word for word) what they say.  It usually ends up being around five sentences.  I try to keep it short and sweet so it's not a terrible experience for them.  We also usually have a little treat to eat while doing their journals.  Bribery... maybe, but it works like a charm!
Their pages go in page protectors, and then in their journal binder.  I can't tell you how many times I find my boys looking back through their journals remembering good times from their entries. 

I keep several journals.  They each have a different purpose.  I have a journal for creating, special moments, day to day, and for now, my favorite journal is the one I use to write one sentence about each of my boys at the end of the day.  It only takes a few minutes, and every minute is worth it.  You think  you won't forget that funny thing your three-year-old said at the dinner table that night, but you will.  WRITE IT DOWN!  One of my twins found out I was writing about him every night, and for weeks after that he'd ask me, "what did you write about me last night?"  I could tell it made his day to know that he was important enough to me to write about.  Priceless!  I've also done this kind of journal for my husband.  I did it for one year, and then gave it to him on his birthday.

I've heard of families who do a quick family journal entry every night at the dinner table.  I LOVE this idea!  Get a notebook, binder, 3 x 5 cards, whatever you want to write on and have each person tell one thing about his/her day.  If you don't want to write about the happenings of your day, use journal prompts (sites listed below).  Choose one prompt a night to read at the dinner table, and have each family member respond.  Record each response.  This also makes for great dinner conversation!

Date Stamp

You want to date every written item, and this is an easy way to get that done.  Your kids will think it's the coolest thing ever!  They'll want to stamp everything!  I got mine at Office Depot for $5.

Journal Jars 

You probably know what these are, but if not, they're simply a jar/container filled with writing prompts (see below).  Pull out a prompt each time you write in your journal, and write about the prompt.  Click here to print the journal jar label.

Journal Prompt Sites  

Speaking of prompts, these are a few sites I found with some great ones!  Sometimes you want to write about the day to day stuff, but sometimes you want to write about something else.  Check out these fun prompts to get your inner writer going.  These prompts are perfect for putting in a journal jar.

Inviting Writing Tools & Paper  

I'm always more inclined to write when I have a cute pen and notebook, aren't you?  Find yourself something that makes you excited to pick up and use, and do the same for your kids.  Have these kind of supplies out and readily available.  

Well, I hope you found a little something worth your time.  I challenge you to find one way to add journaling into your own life, and the life of your family.  It may require a bit of discipline and effort, but I guarantee you'll reap irreplaceable benefits!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you found a little something worth your time.

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March 21, 2013

Young Artists' Work

One of my twins recently check out this book at our local library.  

It's the perfect drawing book for young children.  I would highly recommend it!  My twins are six, and could easily draw everything in it.  They got so into this book that they took an entire morning drawing everything in it. 

I was so impressed with their drawings!  I knew I needed to come up with a way to save them, and not let them end up in a pile like this one.  Look familiar?  Do you struggle to keep your kid's artwork organized?  It can be a bit daunting at times.  

I've been really into these $1 mini photo albums I (you can find them just about anywhere).  I used them for our Valentine love notes journals in February, and have recently used one to store my boys' magic trick instructions.  If you need an easy, inexpensive way to store small pictures, papers, projects, instructions, or anything else- these albums are perfect!

Once my boys were done with their pictures, I cut each one out with my paper cutter.  Lucky for me, they put one picture on each page (not so good in the conserving paper department, however) so it was really easy to cut them out.  Then I cut out a piece of card stock to mount each picture on.  To finish off, I stamped the type of vehicle on the bottom of the card stock.   Then I could easily slide each picture into one of the photo protector pages.  Aren't these much cuter than the pile?

I even made a little cover for the front of the album to make it look really official for them.  

You could easily adapt this idea for larger pieces of artwork, and use a three ring binder.  I don't do this for everything my boys do, but something that took this much time, and shows a lot of their own effort is definitely worth keeping.  
I know projects like this takes a bit of time and effort, but look how you can turn your child's artwork into more than just art.  My boys now have a little book they can look at and read.  Their pictures would also be fantastic decor framed on a wall, or hung on a string with clothespins. 

I challenge you to go through that stack of papers you've been collecting of your child's artwork, and find a way to preserve or display them, rather than hiding in a pile.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time. 

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