Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preparatory Curriculum- Alphabet Intro Week Day 2

My two doodlebugs had a very productive and fun
home school day yesterday. It was our first day to our
introduction to the alphabet. This week we are not
doing to much structure since this is "getting into the routine" of it. Yesterday they had so much fun on their letter scavenger hunt =D so today we will be adding more games. Here is our agenda:

Post Alpha Bits Whole Grain Cereal

Morning Calendar time/Pledge of Allegiance
America the Beautiful song
ABC Song by Dora

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
ABC Sing With Me! by Carol Cummings, PhD.(includes a cd to sing the song that's in the book)

Letter Factory Game
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Palm tree craft (I will post the details on here later today)
Chunky Alphabet Wood Puzzle

Morning Snack
Earth's Best Organic Sesame Street Letter of the Day cookies

ABC's with Elmo

Super Why ABC board Game

Alphabet Spaghettios 
Crackers with ABC cut out cheese

Here are my boys eating their Alphabet pasta for lunch. My friend Linda suggested a really cool tip for teaching my boys how to be clean when they eat =D put a little mirror in front of them and tell them to watch themselves eat and try not to get it all over their face. They had FUN with this idea and you WORKED ;D

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Preparatory Curriculum- Alphabet Intro Week

My boys are really getting anxious for school to begin. I have decided while I am still planning the first month's curriculum details and the year at a glance, I will begin with them tomorrow starting homeschooling with an introduction to the Alphabet. This will be the beginning for my little doodlebug Ian who is starting preschool. For my doodlebug Jayden, this will be his week of review.
Here is our Plan for our 1st Day Monday:

Calendar time and Alphabet song

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and watch the animated story on You Tube
  • Dr. Seuss's ABC
  • The Alphabet Book by P.D. Eastman
  • Curious George Learns the Alphabet by H.A.Rey
  • Alphabet Scavenger Indoor Hunt: I have these magnetic plastic letters that I plan to hide around the house. I will have a master list and each time a letter is found, I will check it off the master list. I will be hiding letter "C" by the couch, a letter "A" by an apple on the table and "D" by the door etc.

  • Alphabet Snacks

Breakfast: Alphabits Cereal
Morning Snack: Jell-O Jiggers shaped like Alphabet
Lunch: Crackers/cheese, Alphabet Soup
Afternoon snack: Animal Crackers
Blue's Clues ABC"s and 123's
Make an alphabet Turkey craft (I will post instruction on this tomorrow)
Make a mini-lap Chicka Chicka Boom Boom lap book

Numbers Area Rug at Costco

I found this numbers area rug at Costco today for $19.99 =D they also had one in an alphabet and the map of the US. It also will work as a really cool activity to practice our number of the week. You have your child hop to the number on the rug =D This is also the area where I moved the "reading nook" with their bears to cuddle up with.

Target Supplies 1.00 for Tot Trays

I was so excited to find more Tot trays to use at Target's dollar section up front. THEN I found these cool finds...1.00 for bag of pom poms, a pocket chart scheduler, a package of  like 10 dice (I have been looking everywhere for these!) and I got several packages of little counting foam shapes =D

Tot Tray Activity Ideas

How is everyone's weekend? I started re-arranging a few things around the homeschool/playroom again lol! I moved the reading nook to another area of the room (I will post picture in next post) The reading nook which was under this window, now has a sitting bench that I transformed into an area for the "tot tray" activities. I thought I would try them out today on the boys as a "trail run" and they worked out great! The boys were really into them and even had fun picking up the items and putting them back in the trays =D
So for the activities I put in them today was these little counting foam shapes that I found at Target in the 1.00 section again (I will post on this too)...the next one was a wooden shape puzzle to one was working with beads...lastly there was a domino train activity. Hope this give you some ideas for your "tot trays" =D

Tot Tray Activity Ideas

How is everyone's weekend? I started re-arranging a few things around the homeschool/playroom again lol! I moved the reading nook to another area of the room (I will post picture in next post) The reading nook which was under this window, now has a sitting bench that I transformed into an area for the "tot tray" activities. I thought I would try them out today on the boys as a "trail run" and they worked out great! The boys were really into them and even had fun picking up the items and putting them back in the trays =D
So for the activities I put in them today was these little counting foam shapes that I found at Target in the 1.00 section again (I will post on this too)...the next one was a wooden shape puzzle to one was working with beads...lastly there was a domino train activity. Hope this give you some ideas for your "tot trays" =D

Friday, August 12, 2011

Workbooks for workbox system and more....Target 1.00 each!!

I tell you Target has had the coolest stuff to buy for homeschooling this year! I had a blast there yesterday...not only finding those tot trays to use but I found these really cool workbooks. I found a lot of free printables on-line which is a HUGE plus...however paper and ink are being used up like crazy on my printer. Sooo these workbooks had all kinds of the same worksheets I found on-line and each book was only 1.00!! Can't beat that! I plan to do a curriculum of a "letter, shape, color, verse and theme around them" each week. Target had these workbooks in themes such as "All about space" or "Dinosaur worksheets" and also some workbooks on "Fire safety" and "stranger safety" so these are going to work out great!!

Another set of "I had to have these" in their 1.00 section...on the far upper left of this picture is a wooden calendar set with apple numbers and crayons with months on them...thought this would be a really cool sequencing puzzle thing they could do. Then there are the Upper and Lowercase puzzle match ups as well as a number match up puzzle. A foam clock that I posted to our wall next to our calendar, a mini alphabet stamp set and flash cards on Country's flags. I purchased this because I plan to have a theme each month of a country and we will learn everything about that particular country and then at the end of the month I will decorate our kitchen table in that Country's theme and will cook a dinner in that theme as well =D 

Lastly I wanted to show you the other cool 1.00 items they had. Far upper left is a fold out wall display of your daily can use your dry erase pens and wipe it off =D  Next...a Teacher's pointer stick that has a cute wooden pencil gadget at the cute is that? Then a puzzle in an ocean theme and one in colors/caterpillar theme that I will have them do during "Letter C week". Then there are 3 wipe off placemats that you use your dry erase pens for...I got these for my 1st grader. There is one for time, one for addition and one for subtraction. =D  

Tot Trays Found a GREAT deal on them =D

I have done a lot of research on Home school's that use Tot trays as part of their teaching and I think they are a great idea! What are they used for? and why?
Each tray can be used for an activity to be done. An activity that requires concentration and following directions. Then when the activity is done, having a tray helps the child learn how to clean up the activity and put the tray back where it belongs. The activities should be routinely changed to new fresh ones and they should be engaging and fun! Tot trays should be worked with just during school time so they are not associated with "the rest of the toys." 
A wonderful blog on Tot trays and activities for them can be viewed at 1+1+1=1 Tot Tray blog HERE
On this blog she has posted ideas where to buy trays you can use as "tot trays" and mentions that Oriental trading company sells these:

but they are $21.00 that come with 6 trays. On-line at Discount School supplies also carries trays like these but are about the same price as Oriental Trading Company.
I went to Target yesterday and found these trays in their dollar section up in the front of the store. They were only 2.50 each =D WHOOHOO! Problem is...everyone wants them so I got the only 2 left. I will have to make it to another Target this weekend to pick up a few more =D Go go go..get yours lol!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make your Own Letter Tiles

These are great to help them with letter recognition and to learn to spell...laminate...then cut can download this pdf HERE at the crafty classroom =D

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On the Go..Tracing Upper and Lowercase Letters Printable

Print out the Printable...laminate...cut them up and put a hole punch in the corner. Add a key ring to hold them =D Take this along with you in your purse or on the go with a dry erase marker and your little one can practice their writing while waiting at the doctor's office. 

thanks to for this cool printable =D

What is Visual Perception and its Importance in the Daily Curriculum

Visual Perception
The vision skills we need to understand, analyze, and interpret what we see are called visual perception.

Children who have difficulties in this area may have:
  • a poor sense of direction
  • difficulties with organisational skills
  • reverse words in both reading and spelling (eg. saw for was)
  • difficulty understanding abstract maths concepts, paticularly in the areas of shape, space and measure
  • problems with comparative language (eg. taller than, shorter than, longer than)
  • difficulty completing jigsaw puzzles
  • problems with copying from the board
  • problems with interpreting and organising diagrams, charts, graphs, maps and other visual methods of recording
  • difficulties judging speed and distance
  • difficulty with letter and number orientation
  • difficulty with structuring and organising written work
  • strengths in logic, verbal and non-verbal reasoning
  • enjoyment in using multisensory strategies when learning
  • a preference for a phonic approach to learning to read
  • a preference to use audio methods of recording information.
Activities to develop visual perception skills:
  1. Post-a-shape – matching shapes to the correct opening.
  2. Feely bag – ask the pupils to describe a shape or object by feeling it without looking, then describe it again when they can see it.
  3. Copying 1 – a shape pattern or picture, using a magnetic board and pieces.
  4. What's missing? 1 – complete a 2D shape.
  5. What's missing? 2 – complete a picture.
  6. Guess what? – ask the pupils to guess the object when only part is visible. A picture of an object could be cut into four pieces and only one part given at a time until the children have guessed what it is.
  7. Object/picture matching – using everyday objects.
  8. Jigsaw puzzles – of varying degrees of difficulty to suit individual pupils.
  9. Matching shape to silhouette – using the correct orientation.
  10. Matching picture to silhouette – using the correct orientation.
  11. Draw a person – ask the pupils to copy the features of a real person, then compare.
  12. Copying 2 – 2D shape patterns and pictures of varying degrees of difficulty.
  13. Colouring 1 – symmetrical patterns of varying degrees of difficulty to suit individual pupils.
  14. Colouring 2 – symmetrical pictures of varying derees of difficulty to suit individual pupils.
  15. Tessellation 1 – arranging magnetic 2D shapes on a board.
  16. Tessellation 2 – drawing around 2D shapes.
  17. Sensory maze activities – using a variety of materials.
  18. PE activities – involving directional and positional language. Use symbols as a reminder.
  19. Multi-link pattern cards – and similar activities.
  20. Instructions – follow auditory instructions while using a diagram or picture, to show how to build a model.
  21. Noughts and crosses – using plastic or wooden pieces.
  22. Computer-aided picture and design activities.
  23. Brain gym – some activities help to develop perceptual skills.
From A-Z of Special Needs for Every Teacher by Jacquie Buttriss and Ann Callander

I wanted to share an article written by a Pediatric OT that explains Visual Perception really well and has excellent ideas on how to help your child...I really recommend this read on her blog RIGHT HERE
To improve convergence and the ability to do close work:

1.  Give the child a drinking straw in one hand and a strand of uncooked spaghetti in the other.  Tell the child to look straight ahead as he brings his hands up in front of his face and slowly slides the spaghetti into the straw.  Repeat ten times.  Do this once or twice a day.

2.  Provide the child with whistles and bubble toys that have moving parts when blown.  They encourage the child to pull the eyes in together to watch.  {If you can even find breath powered bubble toys anymore.  Except for old fashioned bubble wands, these seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth and have been replaced by battery operated versions.}

3.  Give the child a lollypop to suck on while doing close work.  The vacuum created while sucking will pull the eyes in together.  Give the child all of his drinks through a straw, and provide opportunities for resistive sucking, such as smoothies, juice boxes or drinkable yogurt.

4.  Provide craft projects that challenge and motivate the child.  Find lots of fun ideas here and here.

5. Play marbles, jacks, and other eye hand skill games.

To improve pursuit fixation, or the ability of the eyes to track and maintain attention on stable and moving objects:

1. Have the child race a car on a lazy eight {sideways} speedway track on a chalk board or on the floor.

2. Play balloon tennis, either with rackets or hands.

3. Have the child jump on a bosu or mini trampoline while catching small beanbags and tossing them at targets around the room.

4.  Play "I spy" or other visual games, like finding as many out of state license plates as you can, etc, while traveling in the car.

5. Blow some bubbles.  Have the child chase  and pop them.  I  give them a little claw toy or a pair of zoosticks to pop them with so that they are also working on fine motor skills.

6.  Dim the lights and have the child chase the beam from a laser or a flashlight.   This might be a fun activity on a summer evening at twilight with other children from the neighborhood.  Or give the child his own flashlight and play tag with the beams.

To improve visual memory:

1.  Play concentration, where the child has to turn over cards and find matches.  You can either do this with regular playing cards or buy a set.  This teaches the child to develop good strategies for visual memory.  If you type "memory games" into your search engine, you'll find quite a few sites that have games suitable for children.

2.  Play "What's different?".  Put three things on the table, have the child close his eyes, and then change one.  Have the child tell you which one is different.  Use more objects as he gets more skilled.

3.  Place a covered tray with a dozen or so objects on a table, let the child look at it for 30 seconds, cover the tray, and have the child write down or tell you everything that he remembers.  This is a fun group activity.

To improve saccadic vision {the ability of the eyes to jump and fix, the skill required for reading}

1. Lacing, beading, coloring, and cutting activities.

2.  Mazes, dot to dot, and tracing activities.

3.  Have the child draw and paint while standing at an easel.

4. Weaving and sewing activities.

To improve visual discrimination:

1. Play the "what's different in the picture?  game.

2.  Put together jigsaw puzzles,  play Search a Word, and "Where's Waldo?"

3.  Have the child sort things for you, like socks and silverware.

4. Nesting and stacking toys promote pattern recognition, which is critical for learning shapes of letters.

5.  Play Connect Four, tic tac toe, and make a square.

For figure ground:

1.  Hide objects in an indoor sandbox:  fill a large container full of beans, rice, packing pellets, etc.  Hide little toys for the child to find.  Or move this out to the garden and hide things in the grass or among the plants.

2.  When reading a picture book together, play "I Spy" with the drawings.  Describe something to the child and have him try to find it in the picture based on  your description.  Then have him find something and describe it to you for you to find.

Have the child sit on a therapy ball while reading, watching television, or doing homework.  The slight postural adjustments he makes while he's sitting will help stabilize and strengthen his back and his eyes.  Or have the child lie on the floor on his belly propped up on his elbows while working for brief periods. This will strengthen the neck, which will help stabilize his eyes.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What my 6 Year Should Know Right Now

• runs lightly on toes
• walks on balance beam
• can cover 2 meters hopping
• skips on alternate feet
• jumps rope
• beginning to skate and swim
• kicks a rolling ball

Drawing & Cutting
• cuts out simple shapes
• copies triangle
• traces diamond
• copies first name
• colors within lines
• has adult grasp of pencil
• had handedness well established
• pastes and glues appropriately

Personal Care
• tying their own shoes and buttoning their own buttons before the age of 6

• Sentence length of 5-6 words
• vocabulary of about 2000 words
• can tell you what objects are made of
• uses all types of sentences

Sensory and Thinking Skills
• approaches problems from a single point of view
• knows right and left hand

What my 4 Year Old Should Know right Now

Colors and Shapes
* Recognizes and names primary colors.
* Recognizes circles.
* Recognizes rectangles.
* Matches shapes or objects based on shape.
* Copies shapes
* Understands big and little
* Understands long and short
* Matches shapes or objects based on size
* Counts orally through 10.
* Counts objects in one-to-one correspondence.
* Understands empty and full.
* Understands more and less.
Reading Readiness
* Remembers objects from a given picture.
* Knows what a letter is.
* Has been read to frequently.
* Has been read to daily.
* Looks at books and magazines.
* Recognizes some nursery rhymes.
* Identifies parts of the body.
* Identifies objects that have a functional use.
* Knows common farm and zoo animals.
* Pronounces own first name.
* Pronounces own last name.
* Expresses self verbally.
* Identifies other children by name
* Tells the meaning of simple words.
* Repeats a sentence of 6-8 words.
* Completes incomplete sentence with proper word.
* Has own books.
* Understands that print carries a message.
* Pretends to read.
* Uses left-to-right progression.
* Answers questions about a short story.
* Tells the meaning of words heard in story.
* Looks at pictures and tells a story.
* Identifies own first name in manuscript.
* Prints own first name.
Position and Direction
* Understands up and down.
* Understands in and out.
* Understands front and back.
* Understands over (on) and under.
* Understands top, bottom, middle.
* Understands beside and next to.
* Understands hot and cold.
* Understands fast and slow.
* Understands day and night.
* Knows age and birthday.
Listening and Sequencing
* Follows simple directions.
* Listens to a short story.
* Listens carefully.
* Recognizes common sounds.
* Repeats a sequence of sounds.
* Repeats a sequence of orally given numbers.
* Retells simple stories in sequence.
Motor Skills
* Is able to run.
* Is able to walk a straight line.
* Is able to jump.
* Is able to hop.
* Is able to alternate feet walking down stairs.
* Is able to march.
* Is able to stand on one foot for 5-10 seconds.
* Is able to walk backwards for five feet.
* Is able to throw a ball.
* Pastes objects.
* Claps hands.
* Matches simple objects.
* Touches fingers.
* Able to button a garment.
* Builds with blocks.
* Completes simple puzzles
(5 pieces or less).
* Draws and colors beyond
* a simple scribble.
* Able to zip a zipper.
* Controls pencil and crayon well.
* Cuts simple shapes.
* Handles scissors well.
* Able to copy simple shapes.
Social-Emotional Development
* Can be away from parents or primary care givers for 2-3 hours
without being upset.
* Takes care of toilet needs independently.
* Feels good about self.
* Is not afraid to go to school.
* Cares for own belongings.
* Knows full name.
* Dresses self.
* Knows how to use handkerchief
or tissue.
* Knows own sex.
* Brushes teeth.
* Crosses residential street safely.
* Asks to go to school.
* Knows parents' names.
* Knows home address.
* Knows home phone number.
* Enters into casual conversation.
* Carries a plate of food.
* Maintains self-control.
* Gets along well with other children.
* Plays with other children.
* Recognizes authority.
* Shares with others.
* Talks easily.
* Likes teachers.
* Meets visitors without shyness.
* Puts away toys.
* Able to stay on task.
* Able to work independently.
* Helps family with chores.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What my 4 Year Old Should Know for Kindergarten

The list below is what a preschooler should know at the end of the school year for kindergarten. Each child is different and learns at different paces. This is a guideline...a goal of where we want to be. Knowing this goal with help us with the baby steps in our curriculum to get them there. Also I can take a look at this list and tell what areas I need to focus on for my own two boys. I know that with the both of them I am faced with issues in attention span, following directions, manners and being clean when they eat and my youngest with social skills. I read an article that reading to your children actually helps in all these areas. This is what I found out: "That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books. "Reading to your child develops listening skills and attention span. Projects like putting together puzzles, stringing beads, and cutting construction paper all develop fine motor skills and attention span.  But actually children don’t need academic knowledge before they start school - they really need listening skills, a good attention span, and fine motor skills."  So there we read read =D
Here is the list:
at the end of preschool a child will... 
Memory verses and songs that they can recall when prompted
Know the name of each letter in the alphabet-lowercase and uppercase
know the phonetic sound of all the letters
be able to correctly write lower and uppercase letters of the alphabet
Know by name and be able to correctly write the numbers 1-25
Identify shapes (including hexagon and octagon) and colors and to spell yellow, red, blue, white, black,brown,  pink and purple
Be able to demonstrate spatial concepts, sorting, sequencing and patterns
Hold a pencil correctly, cut on a line and to balance hopping on one foot for about 10 hops (this part cracks me up)
be able to write both their first and last name using Capital letter for the first letter of the name
Be able to say their full name, address and phone number 
know how to properly use question marks and explanation points
know about basic safety with strangers, about their body, fire safety and how to call 911
Be introduced to many books
Be able to be clean when eating meals 
Can follow multi-step directions and understand explanations given for things they see
Understand taller, smaller and shorter and arrange things from smallest to biggest
Draw a person with a head, body, legs and arms
 Social skills include taking turns, sharing, praising and thanking others, treating others with respect and kindness, listening to others, conversing with others, showing interest in others, following directions, exercising patience and tolerance, resolving conflicts, and resisting negative peer pressure.

Daily Schedule

I will be doing a "letter, color, shape, verse and character trait to learn each week." I will be scheduling our daily curriculum around these subjects for the week. Our school week will be from Monday-Thursday. Fridays will be for field trips, outings with mommy and me groups or special projects.

5:00am wake up...dressed...clean bathroom
5:15am make bed...pick up Master room
5:30am coffee...prepare for day...clean kitchen floors
6:30am wake boys..bath..teeth..get dressed...clean boys bathroom...start load of wash
7:30am breakfast time...feed dog...vacuum living room floors...clean kitchen table/counters

8:30am School Begins....Pledge of Allegiance...sign in with their name sheet (practicing writing their name)
Sing: America the Beautiful, verse CD, days of week/mos of year, alphabet song by The Hallow Trees (or Larry Groce and Disney ABC Song or ABC Song by Ralph Covert)
Calendar: go over "Today is": Month, Day, yesterday/tomorrow
Weather: Put up daily weather card
Read Verse of the day

Circle Time
Introduce Letter of the week, sing song of what the letter sound makes
Introduce Shape and Color of the week and sing the Color song
read chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Read some more

Activity Work boxes
lacing cards, sequencing games, magnetic letters, working with blocks, letter crafts, mini books, lapbooks

Snack Time

Worksheet Work boxes
Tracing sheets, cutting practice, math sheets, anatomy and health sheets, Spanish worksheets, coloring pages, dot-to-dots, etc.

Lunch Time

Outdoor or Indoor physical activities

Sensory Table, Cooking or Craft Time (working on fine motor skills)

Snack Time

Bible: sing the B-I-B-L-E stories and discussion

Reading: read books on subjects to do with the letter of the week

After school: Tae Kwon  Do, swim lessons, piano

End of week: read chicka Chicka Boom Boom: put Letter on Alphabet tree

Where Can I Find My Local Homeschooling Group

I have researched on Co-Op Homeschooling and I think I will be skipping that. My understanding is that you can have other homeschool teachers teach your children in other areas like music or someone who specializes in art etc. I plan to be the "do-it-all" homeschool mommy for my boys =D I did join a Meet up group...a couple of them who also homeschool in my area and get together for outings, playdates and to get advice. You can find one in your area to at
I also found a Homeschool Organization in my State of Washington that I could join. If you would like to find a local homeschooling group in your area and you go to this link:

Types of Homeschooling and Our Way

There are several ways to find homeschool support on the web. But first for newbies & the curious, what exactly is homeschooling?
Homeschooling means to educate your children at home rather then in public or private school. It exists in a myriad of ways:
Unschooling or child-led education is when you follow your children's natural interests & curiosities to educate them.
School at home is when you purchase the textbooks for all subjects & follow much the same ideology put in practice in traditional school.
Another approach that is gaining in popularity called the Classical Approach or Trivium. This approach goes back to the old ways of teaching, concentrating on the basics, classic languages such as Latin & Greek, & higher order thinking skills.
The Montessori Method is named after its founder, Maria Montessori. This method is very natural & uses a lot of manipulatives.
Unit studies are a way of integrating most, if not all subjects under a single topic of study. For example, if you were studying Ancient Greece, you would cover the history of ancient Greece, the science of the time period, practice writing skills through reports, short stories, etc. based on what you have learned, & you may practice reading by reading the mythology of the times.
Many people also use a mixture of the above or sign up with a satellite school which can perform different tasks or help you with different tasks for your homeschool, such as designing a curriculum, having the security of a teacher you can communicate with, writing transcripts, etc.

 Read more about homeschooling methods from an article written by April Morris.

My kids thrive on routines and structure so we will be doing school at home approach with text books/worksheets and also incorporating some Montessori Methods. I will also be teaching in a Christian atmosphere. We will be having Bible time but I won't be making them memorize scriptures. I will be incorporating the "un-schooling method" when it comes to teaching them the Bible. I plan not only to teach them Christian ways and Bible stories but I also plan to teach them "life philosophy" such as in Buddhist teachings. My goal is also to raise them with manners, good social skills and street smarts. What I mean about street smarts is how to protect themselves from bullies and how to be safe in the world around them. I will be doing a "letter, color, shape, verse and character trait to learn each week." I will be scheduling our daily curriculum around these subjects for the week. Our school week will be from Monday-Thursday. Fridays will be for field trips, outings with mommy and me groups or special projects.

Summer Water Table Sensory Activity

This is what my boys are up to right now =D they are having a blast outside. I have been researching "discovery or sensory tubs/tables" and came across a water sensory table. I knew my boys LOVE playing with water so I set this up...took their sand tables and filled them with water and dish soap. Gave them sponges, cleaning bottle brushes, funnels, boats, plastic fish, their play kitchen dishes and other little plastic toys and told them to give them a wash.

Subject Dividers Printable

I printed these cutie divider tabs for my file cabinet file folders. When I find a printable or activity sheet on-line I print it out and file it to add to my curriculum. 

You can get your free printable HERE

Recipe for Dying Pasta for Crafts

Today I am preparing pasta shapes and dying them to store in containers for projects we will be is how:

Dried pasta soaks up food coloring remarkably well. The finished "beads" are easy for little hands to string into necklaces.
  • dried pasta
  • 2 teaspoons of vinegar
  • 10 to 12 drops of food coloring
  • ziplock bag
  • yarn and twist tie
  • paper towels
  1. Pretty Pasta Step 1 For each color, mix about 2 teaspoons of vinegar with 10 to 12 drops of food coloring (we used both regular and neon colors) in a ziplock bag.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of dried pasta (we used ziti and rigatoni) to each bag and shake it to cover the pasta with dye. Leave the pasta in the dye for about 5 minutes, shaking it occasionally.
  3. Next, spoon the pasta out of the bag, placing it on paper towels. After about 15 minutes, turn the pasta pieces over. Let them dry completely.
  4. Tie one pasta piece to the end of a length of yarn to act as a stopper. For a simple needle, fold a twist tie around the other end of the yarn and twist its ends to secure.