Monday, March 30, 2009

April Fool's Day Ideas

Here's a fun prank to pull on your kids for April Fool's Day. It's a puzzle where you have to unscramble the letters to spell out words. What they won't know is that each line spells out the same phrase...April Fools! Click HERE if you would like a copy of the puzzle. could try out this matching/memory game, which really doesn't match at all.

Not one game piece has a match! If you would like this memory game, click HERE.
I am also thinking about possibly trying out some new recipes on the kids...if you know what I mean. If you want to try out something new at dinner, give this a look.
Family Fun has some really great ideas for this day so check it out.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Easter File Folder Games

Here are some egg patterns ready to use for file folder games, memory, matching, etc.
This one deals with matching the correct numerals to the number of dots.
Click HERE for the full 5 page print out available for this number game.

This is an alphabet activity where the child has to match the correct upper case letter to the lower case letter.

And is a file folder game where you try to match the same color of bunny to the Easter basket. I thought these 3 games might be fun to use for younger children around Easter time. I found these activities at A Child's Place under the section Free Printables on the sidebar.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Teaching Money

Occasionally on the show Good Things Utah, Lisa Bergantz of SMMART ideas (SCIENCE/ MATH/ MUSIC/ ART/ READING/ TIME-OUT for skills) comes on the show to offer ideas. Her ideas on Wednesday's show were for teaching money. Here are the activities she suggested:
MONEY ROLL - Use duct tape to create a tape belt around your child's waist, but make sure the duct tape is sticky side out. Lay down a tarp on the ground and spread coins all over it. Let your child roll around on the tarp and try to pick up coins on her tape belt. When she stands up, have your child pull off the coins and tell you the name of the coin and how much it is worth.
COIN SORTING - Gather several types of coins and let your child sort the coins into bowls, muffin tins, or an icecube tray. Older children can use different coin combinations that add up to 50cents, 75 cents or one dollar and place the combinations into the separate sections of the trays.
MONEY RUBBINGS - Tape every type of coin onto one side of a piece of paper. You can tape two of each type next to each other, so that you will see the front and back sides of each coin. Turn the paper over and let your child rub over the coins with a pencil or crayon so they can observe the details of the coins. Older children can make rubbings of certain monetary values. For example, ask your child to rub 35cents onto a piece of paper. How many ways can they rub this value?
"EYE SPY" with Dollar Bills & Coins - Let your child hold a dollar bill while you play a game of "eye spy". "I spy with my little eagle." Let your child point out the item that you spied and then your child can take a turn.
MONEY TOSS - Set a large bowl on the floor and then set a smaller bowl inside. Stand behind a marked spot or piece of masking tape on the floor. Let your child toss coins towards the bowl target. After she has thrown all of her coins, let her take each coin out of the middle bowl and identify the name and value of each coin. Older children can add up all of the values that land into the middle bowl. Then, they can add up the value from the larger bowl and subtract or add the two values.
PLAYING STORE - Playing store will strengthen your child's awareness of money values. Place a few coins into your child's purse or wallet. Put price tags onto a few of your child's toys and encourage your child to collect a few items in a shopping bag. Have your child check-out and pay for each item. Help your child count out the correct value needed to purchase each item. This activity can accommodate young learners by only using pennies, to more the more advanced by using different types of coins and bills.

For more SMMART ideas, I have included a link on my side bar to her blog under Teacher Sites.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens: Make Your Own Slime!

Need a fun afternoon activity? Take the kids to see Monsters vs Aliens (which comes out this Friday, 27th) and then make your own slime when you get home!

120ml of water (about 1/2 cup)
120ml of glue (about 1/2 cup)
5ml of Borax
Food Coloring (any color)

Mix all the above ingredients together and knead until it forms a soft, gooey slime! Have FUN but remember not to let you kids eat the slime! (This reminds me of Oobleck, although I haven't tried this recipe out yet.)

(Featured on Good Things Utah)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Easter Games

Easter Bunny Hop - Work off some of that candy induced energy with Easter Bunny Hop, a relay race for two or three teams. Each player must cover a certain distance jumping with a plastic, stuffed or styrofoam egg between his/her knees.

Fluffy Needs A Tail - Make a Rabbit on poster board without a tail.The children will rake turn "Pinning the Tail"on the bunny, using Large Cotton balls and tape.

Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, Where's Your Egg? - Cut a Large paper egg. The players form a circle with one child in the middle as "the Bunny" The Bunny covers their eyes while a player is selected to sit on the egg. Then the Children Chant..."Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, where's your egg? Somebody stole it from your home!" The Easter bunny then has three guesses to find the child who is sitting on it. That child then becomes the new bunny in the middle.

Easter Relay - Divide the children into two teams. Provide each team with one spoon and a marshmallow Peep or plastic Easter egg. Have the kids take turns carrying the object on the spoon from one side of the room to the other.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Cookie Pops

I realize that St. Patrick's Day is over, but I just came across an idea I am hoping to remember for next year. These treats would be fun to make with your children, grandchildren, as a preschool activity or at a school party. These cookies are a variation to the ever-so-common decorating sugar cookies activity.

You will need:

20 vanilla wafer cookies
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 12-ounce bag white chocolate chips
green and yellow gumdrops
green Dots
green and yellow Nerd candies
Cake decorating writer gel in green, yellow, red, orange, and black
1 tube of green cake decorator frosting with tip
green and yellow decorator sugar
green food coloring
ice cream or lollipop sticks
wax paper or paper plates

Spread peanut butter onto the flat side of the cookies. Place an ice cream stick into the peanut butter on half the cookies. Top with another cookie so the stick is sandwiched between the two cookies. (*Instead of using peanut butter, you could use vanilla or chocolate frosting for the filling.)

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, one minute, then in 20 second increments, stirring until smooth. Before melting, separate the white chips into two bowls. After melting, add a few drops of green food coloring to one of the bowls of white chips to make green chocolate. Dip cookie pops in the melted chips, covering completely. Sprinkle with green and yellow sugar and lay or stand on waxed paper or paper plates. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Fun Variations

After coating with white chocolate, dip top of pop into green sugar. Slice two yellow gumdrops to make beard. Allow to dry on wax paper. Use black and red decorator gel for eyes and mouth, and for trim on hat.

Rainbow with Pot of Gold
After coating with white chocolate, cut a green Dot in half lengthwise, adhere to chocolate. Before chocolate has a chance to dry, place 3-5 yellow candy nerds "in" pot. Create a rainbow with various colored decorator gel.

After coating with white chocolate, sprinkle with yellow decorator sugar, then draw on a shamrock using green cake decorator icing.

Four Leaf Clover
After coating with green chocolate, use green sliced gumdrops to create clover leaves. Slice a small strip out of remaining gumdrop for stem. Use a green candy Nerd for the center of the clover.

Note: These can also be made without sticks. Use one stick to be able to dip the cookies in chocolate and roll in sprinkles, then remove the stick and put on wax paper or paper plates, then chill.

(This idea was found at family corner.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

M&M's Graphing Activity

Here is a LINK for graphing M&M's candy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Shirts

Last night the 2 older kids and I made shirts for them to wear for St. Patrick's Day. Thankfully my 3 year old fell asleep before we started the project, otherwise it would have been very difficult to have done! If you would like the tutorial on how to make these cute shirts and templates for the shamrocks, click HERE. The project took us about 1 1/2 hours from start to finish, including blow drying to speed up the process. My daughter thought it would be fun to make a shirt for each holiday (eggs for Easter, pumpkins for Halloween, etc.) We will see if we get that crazy!

As an activity I did with my kids on St. Patrick's Day, I created a treasure hunt for them. I started by taping an envelope to their bedroom door that told them not to open until their room was clean. (I know...mean mom!) My daughter told me that if they could have a treasure hunt every day, their chores would be done in two minutes...tempting. LOL Anyway, here are some of the clues I used (there were a total of 10 or so)

Way to go now there’s no time to talk,
Go look in the thing you use to take the babies on a walk. (stroller) - In the bottom of the stroller was a bag of skittles for each kid (rainbow) with the next clue.

You found the rainbow, so the gold isn’t far, run outside and jump in the car.

The car is nice so you can go faster than a snail, now hurry up and go check the mail! - In the mail box was a note that said Happy St. Patrick's Day with a small bag of gold chocolate coins for each child.

Mint Chocolate Cookies

What do you get when you mix this

with these?

Mint Chocolate Cookies: (You thought I was going to say cake huh?)

I was experimenting yesterday and made some St. Patrick's Day cookies. They were super easy and really good (if you like the combo of chocolate & mint). Here is the recipe:

Cake Mix Cookies

1 box cake mix (I used German Chocolate)
1 egg
1/3 c. oil
3-4 Tbsp. Water

Mix cake mix, water, egg, and oil together by hand (mix will be stiff). Stir. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake at 360 for 9 minutes. Really hard so far right!?! Did I lose anyone in those complex instructions? Moving on...melt a bag of (Guittard) green mint chips either over the stove or in the microwave. Drizzle on the cookies and let let them set up. The mint frosting will harden on the cookies. Once the frosting has hardened enjoy! (or enjoy before if you can't wait that long). I thought they were de-lish!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Edible Crayons

I just came across this recipe for edible crayons at Gourmet Mom on the Go. She has even included several wrappers to choose from to create your own crayons. If you don't like what there is to chose from you can customize your own wrapper! How cool is that?!? What a fun idea and they don't look too hard either! I was thinking you could make these at the first of the school year, when teaching colors, or even St. Patrick's Day (because of the rainbow assortment). Now how am I going to teach my toddlers that these crayons are okay to eat?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Treat Ideas:

• "At the end of the rainbow, you are my pot of gold!" (tied to anything with gold in it!)
• "If I had a Pot of Gold, I'd want to share it with you. I couldn't find one anywhere, so I hope that this will do!" (tied to a Twix, Rolo, Caramello, or gold chocolate coins)
• "A Friend is like a 4 leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have!"

• "Tis better far at the rainbows end, to find not gold, but the heart of a friend!" (tie to package of rainbow skittles, gold coins, a "friend" token)
*At the end of the rainbow, what did I find? A teacher that is one of a kind! (skittles)
• Leprechaun Droppings - (a bag full of chocolate gold coins or green Appleheads)
• Shamrock Attack Kit: "You're lucky, lucky, I've been told - you've just been hit with shamrocks and gold!"
• Lucky Leprechaun Lunch: a green gable box with a tag on the outside that says "Lucky Leprechaun Lunch". Perfect for sending a green lunch with the husband or kids on St. Patrick's Day.
• "Lucky Me" tags: "Lucky Me..." and end with something different. "Lucky Me... to have such a great friend!" or "Lucky Me... to have such a great hubby!"
• Money Tree: "Happy St. Patricks Day to a Million Dollar Guy/Gal/Kid!" or "Who says Money doesn't grow on trees...Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

(Featured on Studio 5.)

Shamrock Rolls

Check out these fabulously fun and yummy looking Shamrock Rolls as featured on Studio 5:
12 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls or Texas™ Rolls, thawed but still cold

Flatten each roll slightly and cut into 3 equal pieces that are shaped like a triangle. Cut a small V out of the curved side of each triangle. Dust each piece with flour and place on a sprayed baking sheet to form a shamrock. Roll the cut out pieces together to make a stem. Place stem beneath shamrock. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and allow to double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 12-15 minutes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Dr. Seuss Ideas

Click HERE for Free, printable Horton Hears A Who coloring pages. HERE is another site filled with more Dr. Seuss ideas, including an outline to create a Dr. Seuss bar graph of your favorite books. And...more Dr. Seuss ideas HERE.

Easter Fun

With Easter about a month away, I have been looking online for some fun gift ideas to give away to neighbors, friends or teachers. I found some really cute ideas on skiptomylou.

The bag is a clear, disposable cake decorating bag. Fill the bag with Cheetos and tie it closed with green ribbon. I am sure if you wanted to change it up you could add jelly beans, gum balls, or something else as long as it was orange.

Check out these colorful eggs (sidewalk chalk):

Click HERE for the tutorial. I know my kids would have a blast both making them and using them! What a perfect idea for Spring!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dr. Seuss Dress Up Day

To celebrate the last day of Dr. Seuss week, the kids were asked to dress up as a character from one of Dr. Seuss's many books. I tried to convince my 9 year old daughter to be Cindy Lou (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), since she already had a red dress.

My daughter, on the other hand, thought it wasn't original enough and wanted to be someone else. (By the way, to get Cindy Lou's hair, click HERE).  Since there wasn't much time to come up with an idea and I had 2 kids to prepare for, we decided on Thing 1 and Thing 2 (The Cat in the Hat).

Easy enough. My kids each put on red pants (sweats and PJ's) and a long sleeve red shirt. My daughter even had some red crocs to wear. Since I didn't have any blue hair paint on hand, they settled for a blue beanie and headband. I traced 2 circles on white cardstock and wrote THING 1 & THING 2 and safety pinned them to the front of their shirts.

Their costumes were nothing crazy, but they were each happy to have a costume to wear. Next year I can hopefully plan for it better.

Some other quick and easy ideas I was also thinking to use as Dr. Seuss costumes are Horton:

and Daisy-Head Mayzie:

If your child has ever been an elephant for Halloween, reuse their costume for Horton. For Mayzie, stick a flower in the top of your child's hair and there you go!

Most people own a hat like the cat wears in The Cat in the Hat. (If you don't, you can find the directions to make one here.) Draw some whiskers on your child's face and have them go as the cat.
You could also easily become Mr. Brown from Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?  All you need to do is dress in all brown and stick a name tag on that says Mr. Brown.
The last quick and easy costume idea I thought of would be to go as Bartholomew Cubbins and safety pin a bunch of hats all over your clothes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Numbered Shamrock Game

I found an activity that would be good for Kindergarten/preschool age dealing with recognizing numbers. Print a numbered shamrock for each child. Partner up the children (or could be individual) and have them roll a die. Have them identify the number on the die and then color the portion of the shamrock with that number on it. The first one to have their entire shamrock colored is the winner.

The Sneetches and Other Ideas for Dr. Seuss

I have a link on the side of my blog to Parties and Holidays. This mom seems A-MAZ-ING! Check out what fun Dr. Seuss ideas she did with her kids. I love the idea of the Sneetches cupcakes. I think I might have to give those a try. YUM!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dr. Seuss Book Activities

Here you can find a variety of great ideas and activities for Dr. Seuss week using 15 of his most popular books. Enjoy!

Horton Hatches the Egg

Read this story to your students/kids and have them create some new animals by "crossing" two--What would you get if you crossed and alligator with a giraffe? Make your own combinations and draw them. You could also hand out an Easter egg filled with goodies at the end of the book as a treat.

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?

Today for Dr. Seuss Day at school, the classes traded teachers for about 30 minutes for reading. The teachers were to read a Dr. Seuss story and do an activity. Here is the activity my daughter did with the book Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?.

Fill baby food jars half full of whipping cream and screw the lids on tightly. Let kids take turns shaking each jar. After about 5 minutes the cream will be whipped, and after another min or so, lumps of yellow butter will form. Rinse off the liquid whey and add a little salt, if desired. Then spread on crackers to taste!

While reading the book, pass around a jar (or several) and have the kids take turns shaking it. The ingredients should already be in the jar. When the story is over, you should have homemade butter. Try spreading the butter on crackers or bread and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Bartholomew and the Oobleck is a 1949 book by Dr. Seuss. It follows the adventures of a young boy named Bartholomew, who must rescue his kingdom from a sticky substance called oobleck. The book is a sequel of sorts to The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.
In the book, the King of Didd announces that he is bored with sunshine, rain, fog, and snow, and tells his magicians to add some variety to the weather. As a result, large piles of sticky oobleck fall throughout the kingdom, covering everything. The king soon regrets his wish, but since his magicians' cave has been buried in oobleck, he can do nothing to remove the substance. Eventually, his page, Bartholomew, advises him to say "I'm sorry." The king complies, and the oobleck melts away.
Read the story, and then prepare a batch of this magic oobleck:

Mix 2 cups cornstarch, 1 cup water, and green food coloring. Put the "oobleck" on a sheet of wax paper so that you can manipulate it. (I put some on a cookie sheet and my 3 1/2 year old was entertained for a very long time!) Discuss this strange form of matter. Is it liquid? Or solid? How would it feel if this fell from the sky?