This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week: Seed Packs

I forgot to take a picture of this, so I am using a picture off the web.

Another gift for Teacher Appreciation Week I did to go along with the theme of "Nurturing Gardens" was a couple of seed packs. I did one vegetable or herb pack (most people around here garden) and one perennial flower pack. In picking vegetables, I was sure to only do packs of things that could still be planted in this growing season.

 I then tied the two packs together using Rafia (as seen above--Rafia can be found in the floral section of any craft store). I also included the quote: "Without hard work, nothing grows but seeds" by Gordon B. Hinckley.I put all of the packets in a basket and dropped the basket off in the office. The teachers and staff could then go at their leisure (ha! leisure for teachers) and peruse the seeds and choose what interested them.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Round-Up 2012

Here are the summer activities we have on the blog to date.

First, sometimes summer is a time we want to relax and not worry about learning activities. We can really get learning in through simple ways. Last summer, we ran a series on Simple Summer activities that are simple, fun, and enriching.

We also have some fun ideas for celebrating summer:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week: Subway Art

Subway art is very popular right now. For one of the teacher's gifts during teacher appreciation week, I decided to make a subway art piece for each teacher.

Several weeks before the big week, I went to the school during lunch. I had written each teacher's name at the top of a piece of paper. I then walked around from table to table and asked the kids to list of adjectives they liked about their teacher. 

I then took these lists of words and made the subway art in Photoshop Elements using the words from the children. I have pictured here three examples.

There are several teachers and specialists that it is hard to get personalized words for--the resource teacher, the literacy specialist, etc. For them, I did this:

For the PE teacher, I did words like "jump" and "persevere." For the music teacher, I did musical words like "allegro" and "forte."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week: Gift of Flowers

Way back last August when I started planning teacher appreciation week, I asked Raegan for ideas. One she gave me that fit perfectly with the theme of "Nurturing Gardens" was to have the children each bring a flower to the teachers. I sent this note home:

Hi Parents and Students!
Next week (May 7-11) is Teacher Appreciation Week at OUR Elementary. This is a great chance to show our teachers and staff how much we appreciate all they do for our children.
Our theme this year is “Nurturing Gardens.” For one of the gifts, we will be providing a vase for each teacher. We ask that each student bring a flower to give to his/her teacher(s). It can be a flower from your yard, a flower from the store,  paper flower, a synthetic flower…whatever your child would like to do. The idea is when the teacher has the flowers, she will have a beautiful bouquet that is unique—just like her group of students.
We will give the vase Monday. You are welcome to bring the flower any day that week. Thanks so much!
-Valerie Plowman
PTO rep over Teacher Appreciation

As promised, Monday I gave each teacher a vase. With it, I gave this poem I wrote (not the best poem ever written--please don't analyze it):

You love, teach, and nurture each day.
As the year passes, we bloom in our way.
We’ve grown to be so beautiful and grand,
In this growth, you’ve had an important hand.
We give you this vase to fill with a bouquet
of flowers that represent each of us, and say,
“We thank you, we love you. And please keep in mind
your effort has helped us to be one of a kind.”

I was concerned about students remembering to bring flowers in. Tuesday, I gave each teacher a beautiful yellow rose as pictured above. I attached a note that said "Thank you for helping our children to bloom." I knew this way there would be at least one flower in the vase that could remind students about bringing a flower. 

The teachers loved getting all of their flowers. My son gave his flowers out and was a bit surprised at the reaction he got from the various teachers. They all gushed and thanked. It made him feel happy they were happy, but he was confused why it made them so happy. I laughed and explained that if he ever wanted to make a woman happy, he just needed to give her a flower :). It was fun to see the variety and creativity of the flowers. There were all kinds. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week: Door Decorations

The first week in May is traditionally Teacher appreciation week. I was the PTO rep over this week. I choose a theme of "Nurturing Gardens." 

For Monday, all of the room moms plus some extra volunteers decorated doors for the teachers, principal, secretary, librarian, various specialists, and aides in the school. Here is what everyone came up with! They are so cute!

I will be sharing everything else we did this week in later posts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Caterpillar to Butterfly

  • Coffee Filter
  • Markers, paints, or something to color coffee filter
  • Clothespin
  • Pom-pom balls
  • Pipe cleaner 
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue

  1. Color the coffee filter. Set aside to dry.
  2. Glue some pom-pom balls to a clothes pin. Three works well--that way you can open and close the clothes pin easily.
  3. Glue on wiggly eyes.
  4. Glue on pipe cleaner for antennae.
  5. You can then take the caterpillar and scrunch up the filter in the clothes pin to make a butterfly! This is a great supplement to a caterpillar theme unit!

 Kaitlyn made this at preschool last month and it has been one of her favorite projects by far.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Simple For Mom: Magnet Set

I bought this set from Amazon a few months ago (Learning Resources Classroom Magnet Lab Kit). This set comes with all the magnetic items you see as well as activity ideas for teaching about magnets.

This has been a great activity for the children to explore and play with when I needed something simple and easy to just pull out and do. Magnets are fascinating to children, and just playing with them allows a lot of exploration. We have been very happy with this purchase. When I bought it, it was about 30 dollars and as I write the post, it is about 37 dollars. So you might try to find it cheaper if you like, or wait for the price to lower on Amazon. You never know what the prices will do :) At least I don't.


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