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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Letter of the Week for K



Our Letter of the Week packet for K is filled with karate kicks, koalas, kings and kangaroos!


Our Glimmercat character introduces the letter K with an exciting karate kick!


Every kiddo loves karate.  And one of the best picture books that covers the tale of the Three Little Pigs with a twist, is this one, "The Three Ninja Pigs":



This is a favorite of our own children, and spurred a new interest in martial arts in our family.  We did our best to channel this excitement into the letter K.  

On another day, we focus on kangaroos...


We include a craft and a puzzle for this day, and this little craft was one of our favorites.


I watched a few videos of Kangaroos on You Tube before drawing this fellow.  And I'm pretty pleased with how he (or she, come to think of it!) turned out.

And if you need to prove to children that a Kangaroo baby does indeed fit into a pouch, check out this adorable Joey squeezing himself into that small space:



Since Kangaroos aren't something my kids see everyday here in the states, it really helped to give them context for what a kangaroo is.  Before she saw this, my daughter was calling the craft picture a bunny rabbit.



Now, we created our Reading Literacy page on Don and Audrey Wood's picture book "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub."


Anyone who has read this book likely remembers it because of the incredible artistry of the pictures.  My son, especially, will pour over the images inside, looking at all the details and laughing over them.


 We decided to create our Reading Literacy page as a Sequencing activity:


Learning "Sequence of Events" is an important step, and this book is such a fun to learn it on.   After cutting out the pictures, my daughter used the book to flip through to help her remember what came next in the sequence of events.

 We decided the craft for this day, should probably revolve around a King, as well.  So here's our little King:


He's a little reminiscent of the king that follows the Queen of Hearts around in Alice in Wonderland.  You don't have to add the sword if you don't wish to, but somehow it made him just a bit more than a face and a cup.  Haha!


My last craft was one of those sleeper favorites that really surprised me.


My kids loved this little kite.  It was hanging around our house for weeks afterward.


 And every once in awhile, they'd go outside to swing it around again.



And here's what the craft looks like (from the lesson plan for that day):


We used the black and white version for ours and then colored it with crayons.  I had ribbon and yarn on hand and so we added both for the fishy's tail.  Very fun!


Everything seen here is available for purchase in one Letter K packet




For more information of our other Letter of the Week packets, be sure to check out:




Letter of the Week for A

Letter of the Week for B

Letter of the Week for C

Letter of the Week for D

Letter of the Week for E  

Letter of the Week for F

Letter of the Week for G

Letter of the Week for H

Letter of the Week for I

Letter of the Week for J

Letter of the Week for L

Letter of the Week for M

Letter of the Week for N

Letter of the Week for O

Letter of the Week for P

Letter of the Week for Q

Letter of the Week for R




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Letter of the Week for J


Jumping Jehoshaphat, (as my grandfather used to say) , look at all this stuff we have for Letter J!!


Our Letter of the Week packet for the Letter J has some fun items hanging out inside for your preschool or kindergarten child, to offer them play and education.  Let's start with "J is for Jaguar": 


As we try to offer with most of our packets, this jaguar craft comes in both color or black and white, so that the kids can color their jaguar if they wish.  All you will need is a little egg carton cell to make the jaguar body, and some strong glue (I like Tacky Glue) to put it all together.

For those students who would like to see a fiercer jaguar, look at the dot to dot page in our jaguar lesson plan:



Of course, another often used creature for letter J is the Jellyfish.  The legs and eyes are all ready to be cute out on one of our craft sheets, and then stapled to a plastic baggie or a shower cap:


 Jellyfish are such odd critters and fun to watch in their ocean element, so a short YouTube video like this one, is great for an introduction:




My kids liked watching this jellyfish over and over, and once they'd seen it, prepping a craft that is mostly transparent, like this one is, makes more sense to them:



We also have a couple fun follow-up jellyfish activities.  One is this printable that involves coloring by letter recognition: 


But there are other Jellyfish activities, too.  Like a puzzle to put together which shows a pair of jellyfish when all put together:



Another fun project in our Letter of the Week packet, that I wanted to mention is a very fun activity that goes along with the book, "The Jacket I wear in the Snow" by Shirley Neitzel.



This is a fun little story in the tradition of "The House That Jack Built", where one thing builds on another.  After reading aloud this story to your preschoolers, it would be very fun for them to color this reading literacy page and then cut out the clothing elements and glue them to the child pictured.



And the last craft I want to show you is our "J is for Jet" craft.  This one's in our packet, with easy cut-outs and all that is needed to finish it off is a water bottle, or a slender white foam tube, which is what we used here.


Needless to say, THIS was my son's favorite.  He won't be forgetting "J is for Jet" for quite awhile.

For a lot more J activities, both printables, reading literacy activities, flash cards and a Letter J Matching Game, head over to our teacher store here.


For the other letter of the week packets, we offer the following blog links with crafts included.


Letter of the Week for A

Letter of the Week for B

Letter of the Week for C

Letter of the Week for D

Letter of the Week for E  

Letter of the Week for F

Letter of the Week for G

Letter of the Week for H

Letter of the Week for I


Letter of the Week for K

Letter of the Week for L

Letter of the Week for M

Letter of the Week for N

Letter of the Week for O

Letter of the Week for P







Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Letter of the Week for I


Imagine the letter I!    We focused on crafts zeroed in on the Short i sound, so if you're wondering where "Ice cream" or "Icicle" are hiding out, they are in abundance on Pinterest and you won't have any trouble finding them.  When it comes to Letter of the Week, I feel it is important to begin with the short sounds of vowels for toddlers.  Long sounds usually get introduced later.

The two main creatures we use to discuss the letter I in our letter I packet are inchworms and iguanas.   Let's begin with inchworms...


To begin with, our character Glimmercat walks up on an Inchworm and is startled into gasping out the short letter I sound!  We follow this up with an Inchworm Craft (see below).


This was one of those easy and extremely satisfying crafts to complete, and all it required was a pair of scissors and a pipe cleaner.  You don't have to add on the pompom and googly eyes like we did here, but if so, that makes it all the more fun.


This little guy really does "inch along" on his pipe cleaner way, just like a real inchworm might. And if you can pick up a little bag of YumEarth Organics' Gummy Worms, they are just the right size for tiny inchworms. 



Okay, first, iguanas are such a fun creature to introduce to preschoolers.  They are such fascinating reptiles and really are modern day dinosaurs, so what's not to love, right?

Here is a nice little Video of an iguana walking along a beach, that provides a beautiful introduction of the iguana for those children who have never seen one before. 


Our lesson plan for our Iguana Day looks like this:


Our Iguana craft uses shape matching for students to discern where to place the legs and tail and other body parts.  These shapes are small, but my daughter was able to complete her Iguana Craft almost entirely by herself.



Let's move on to I is for Igloo: 


If you remember, my husband and kids built a real igloo this past winter over here.
But, if you are in a traditional classroom setting, that might not help a whole lot, so images of
real igloos or pictures for context will be helpful.  Like this:


Regardless, building a crafty igloo is definitely something that preschool kids can do with just a little help.  In our I "Letter of the Week" packet, we begin with a basic shape for the children to begin piling on their popcorn peanuts or sugar cubes:


This is the basic outline of an igloo.   For our own practice on this igloo craft, we tried out the packing peanuts and foam chunks.





 We used Tacky glue and we built the igloos in stages so that at times the glue could dry.  This made it easier for the kids to grow their igloos.



The other thing we did is demonstrated in the above photo.  We added a small balloon for structure, and built up the last of our ice chunks on top of the balloon, trying to keep the glue just on our chunks, and not on the balloon.


Finished products look great!  The kids loved building their igloos.


Letter I makes for a wonderful letter of the week packet!


You can find it here in our store, or check out some of the other letter packets we offer:


Letter of the Week for A

Letter of the Week for B

Letter of the Week for C

Letter of the Week for D

Letter of the Week for E  

Letter of the Week for F

Letter of the Week for G

Letter of the Week for H

Letter of the Week for I

Letter of the Week for J

Letter of the Week for K

Letter of the Week for L

Letter of the Week for M

Letter of the Week for N

Letter of the Week for O

Letter of the Week for P

Letter of the Week for Q

Letter of the Week for R

Letter of the Week for S


Letter of the Week for T

Letter of the Week for U

Letter of the Week for V

Letter of the Week for W

Letter of the Week for X













Sunday, August 9, 2015

Enchanting the Pokey Bush


 We interrupt all this fun Letter of the Week stuff, for this important DIY!

As soon as we moved into our townhome, my children took over this over-sized juniper bush in the backyard for their own.  Christening it "The Poky Bush", it became their archaeological dig where they went in search of dinosaur bones, their hideaway from bad guys, their castle that they protect with swords, bows and arrows, and cuteness.



It is a large bush, and gives great cover from the sun which is important in the Mile High City.  I swept out the many dried juniper needles that can really do damage to bare feet, and it was just a dry and dusty place, that was charming only because of the many imaginary adventures that took place there.

Daniel and I conspired.  What could we do to make their special hide-out even more inviting?  And a timely free ad popped up on craigslist, offering a bunch of flagstone to any would come to get it.


We told Caedyn, "We're getting you a castle floor", and put in the flagstone, which was quite exciting, and the kids had fun hopping from stone to stone.



Daniel and I conspired some more, and soon a lush carpet of Scotch-Irish moss was growing here and there, between the flagstones.  In its shady covering, the moss is thriving, and my hope is that with the extra watering, the poky bush itself will not be quite so dry and likely to drop its needles.



But I realized a problem with our outside area over the summer: there is no seating for my three little munchkins.  We have one outside kid's chair and they have taken turns with it.  But aside from the fact that it is an unattractive little contraption, one is just not enough.

So, Daniel and I conspired again.  And with the help of this beautiful photo of a very neat (but expensive!) product...



...we were inspired.



Here's how easy this was.

Find a set of stainless steel nesting bowls (they don't have to be similar, but consistency looks more intentional in my book).  These are sturdy, and will not break or bend.



I began by painting them red and brown, streaking the brown upwards with my fingers.  This was inexpensive acrylic paint.  After painting them, I gave them their first coat of mod-podge.



Next, I took some orange slick puffy paint and sponged it on the top of the seats.  The texture adds a fun look.



Then came the white detail work:  the cracks in the mushroom lids and the white spots.



Here's when Daniel stepped in:  Using a large branch, he sawed it evenly into three pieces, sized for the mushroom chairs.  We decided that in order to make these really sturdy, we will have to dig straight down and bury the bases quite deep.  That should make them sturdy enough for our munchkins.



First, he drilled holes in the stainless steel bowls.  And screwed them into the log bases.



Then, I came along and repainted over the surfaces and added the second coat of Mod-podge.  (I double-coated the kids' bathroom step-stool and it is still in spotless condition with no scuffed paint, so I have a lot of faith in Mod-podge's durability.)

And in the meantime, the Morning Glories are growing prettily, so we have an enchanted doorway to the Pokey Bush that has happened on its own.



We dug down (I recommend moistening the soil the day before with a hose left on a drizzle), and set the mushrooms in their holes.



I think we're there:   once our green mossy carpet grows in all the way, we'll really have a cozy get-away back here!



  The mushrooms are nice and sturdy since we left so much tree branch for the base under the soil.



We have begun the enchantment...the rest will just take a bit of time.  But if our Morning Glories begin to bloom and our Scotch-Irish moss fills in the rest of the way, I think the enchantment might just be complete.  :)  I'll post a picture then, too.