Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Vegetable Garden Addition and Subtraction

Archer is really good at math conceptually, but needs to practice with memorizing his basic addition and subtraction facts before I let him move on to more advanced concepts. Since just flashcards are boring, I made him the vegetable garden activity.
I made little garden signs with numbers and then a bunch of vegetables with math problems that equal those numbers. To make it more interesting, and to add in a bit of fine motor work, I laminated the vegetables and used a hole punch so we could connect them with learning links.
Hands on math
Because there are fewer equations that equal the lower numbers and because they are easier, I started with 6 and went to 12. 
We started off with him doing it all independently. Eventually, he got worn out and asked if I would link them together for him. Once he could just answer each equation, he plowed through them pretty fast!

Check out some other Spring and Garden resources:


Monday, May 16, 2022

How to Teach Your Kids About Life's Hard Times

 How to Teach Your Kids About Life's Hard Times


It's hard to teach kids about hard times when you don't know how to cope with them yourself. But, it is necessary. The reality is that they will experience hardships in their lives and they need to be prepared for it. They need support in order to navigate life's hard times together. We’re going to take a look at this in this post today.

How Do I Teach My Child About Difficult Issues?

We have all been there before. We are trying to teach our children about things that are difficult and they don't understand. It is natural for us as parents to want to shield our children from the world's harsh realities, but it is important that we teach them how to deal with those realities when they come their way. When they’re asking what the funeral urns from glass or why bad things happen, it’s hard to know what to do. Here are three strategies to help you.

1. Modeling For Your Kids

Parents should model for their kids how to handle themselves during tough times. This will help them become more resilient and better equipped to handle difficult situations in the future. There are a few ways that parents can model for their kids during hard times. One way is by being present and available for your children. Another way is by talking about what's going on in your life, so that your children know you're not perfect either. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It is not just about providing for your kids and sending them to school, but it is also about teaching them the right values and morals.

2. Show Your Concern and Compassion

The first step in showing concern is to listen. You have to be able to hear what the person is saying and understand that they are feeling a certain way because of their experience. The second step is asking questions about what happened, what they are feeling and why they feel that way. The third step is giving feedback which can be done by summarizing the conversation, acknowledging emotions and making sure that you are not judging them for their feelings.

3. Embrace Optimism And Encourage Optimistic Thinking From an Early Age

Optimistic children are more likely to be successful in the future. The positive outlook that they have will help them overcome obstacles and challenges. Children who are optimistic about their futures are more likely to grow up with a healthy self-esteem, higher academic achievement, and better social skills. We should encourage optimism in young children from an early age because it has been proven that it can have a lasting impact on their life.

4. Make Sure They Know That You're Always On Their Side

Grieving children and parents are often in a state of shock, and they may not be able to articulate their feelings. It is important to be understanding with them, and make them feel like they are not alone. The best way to help grieving children and parents is by being understanding with them. They may not be able to articulate their feelings because they are in a state of shock. It is important to make them feel like they are not alone in this difficult time.

This is a contributed post.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Spring Theme: Bugs, Bees and Butterflies

Lately, we have been doing several Spring Themed activities. Since there are so many fun spring ideas, I decided to divide it out a bit. Here are the activities we have done related to buys, bees and butterflies. These are only a few quick things on the topic. Sometime in the next couple of years I'd like to do a bigger unit where we can go a bit more in depth.

Butterfly math spinner game (from my spring math printables)
Math boxes with butterfly, dragonfly, bee and lady bug erasers.
Insect 3 Part Cards with Toob Insects. We've done this in the past, but it has been so long that it felt new to him.
Buggy Playdough. For this kit I used our Garden Bugs rollers, some bee and hexagon cookie cutters, some textured wooden beads, some flower and bee decorative buttons and some flower buttons.
prek math
Butterfly bead pattern making (from my spring math printables).
Fine motor activities
Digging butterfly beads out of therapy putty to make a graph and answer question. Graphing sheet can be printed here.
To go with the "bee" theme I put a black piece of paper at the bottom of a tray and added some yellow sand. He then used a straw to write his spelling words (his finger would have worked better, but he chose to use the straw).
Caterpillar hole punching activity from Early Learning Ideas
Honeycomb memory game (from my Bee Tot Pack).
Bee 3 part cards (from my Bee Tot Pack).
Sorting bug lifecycles (from The Pinay Homeschooler). I ended up adding a book on ladybugs.
Same activity with butterflies instead.
We have lots of books about bugs, spiders and butterflies, so I only put some on the shelf. From this shelf the favorites were What Makes a Bug a Bug? and Peep Inside Bug Homes.
This shelf had some of our bee books, including Look Inside The World of Bees and Why Do We Need Bees? (I ended up becoming a UBAM consultant because Archer likes these Lift-the-Flap books so much).
Bee and ladybug crafts he did at preschool.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Spring Literacy Printable Activities

 If you've been following the blog recently, you'll notice that  I've been making both math and literacy activities around different themes. Both Archer and I find it more fun that "regular" school activities. Since he is not quite 4, school is still something we only do semiregularly and in a light hearted manner. Here are some of the Spring Literacy Activities I made for him this month.

Spring elementary literacy
I started off with this syllable counting worksheet. He likes to do them with bingo chips and a wand.
Weather elementary literacy
Word family umbrellas and raindrops. Initially, he sorted the raindrops under each umbrella, but then decided they should go on top.
Elementary literacy
Flower pot sight word scramble. For this activity I made a sheet that had various sight words and then put all the letters for each word into a mini flower pot. I used flower letter beads, but you could easily use other types of letters. The idea is he goes through each pot and unscrambles the words.

Friday, May 6, 2022

3 Year Old Pre-K Monthly Summary: April

  I've posted about some of the themes we have done this spring, but I thought I'd also do a monthly summary post of some of our other school activities (mostly for me to look back on).  Since he goes to preschool two days a week for social interaction and because he is only 3 (and because I am 8 months pregnant), school is always short, doesn't happen daily, and isn't forced.  


I'm loosely using Kindergarten Math with Confidence, but mostly only for ideas of what concepts we need to practice. Most of that work was themed this month (either wrapping up his Easter Math Activities or Spring Math activities).

Playing with base ten blocks.


We're working our way through All About Spelling (Level 1). We definitely keep the lessons short, subdividing them into multiple days. He likes it as long as we don't try to do too much at a time.


We're still working our way through Kick Start Kindergarten. He likes it as long as we do it in small bursts. He's through most of the workbook, we're just doing a lot of practice on forming the letters correctly. Lately,  he's been wanting to write his spelling instead of using the tiles.

Other Activities

Asking Wrigley which countries he'd like to visit. According to Archer, Wrigley would like to go to Madagascar, Canada and Mali. Also, he will have to dress up and wear little boots because Canada is cold.
US Map puzzle

Coloring flags.
Using stencils and drawing flags.
Drawing flags with sidewalk chalk 
Painting flags (can you tell that he's REALLY into flags??)
Morning logic puzzles.
We found some great flag themed puzzles on the iPad.
Hooray for finally having some nice weather!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Why Play Word Games? The Importance of Vocabulary in Everyday Life

 It has long been said that words are powerful things. They can be used to build relationships, to make friends, and to create connections with other people. But words are not just for communication; they can also be used for recreation. Playing word games is a great way to have fun and improve your vocabulary at the same time! In this blog, we will discuss the importance of vocabulary in everyday life and why playing word games is a great way to improve your skills.

Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

Why is Vocabulary Important?

Vocabulary is essential for a number of reasons. First, it is a key element in communication. The words we use to communicate can either build relationships or destroy them. Second, vocabulary is essential for reading and writing. Good readers and writers have a large vocabulary; they are able to understand and create text using a variety of words. Finally, having a strong vocabulary can help you succeed in school and in your career. A good vocabulary allows you to understand complex concepts and express yourself clearly in both written and oral communications.

How can Playing Word Games Help You Improve Your Vocabulary?

Playing word games is a great way to learn new words and increase your vocabulary. When you play word games, you are exposed to new words and learn how to use them in context. This helps you to better understand the meaning of the words and how to use them correctly. Playing word games can also be a fun and enjoyable way to spend time with family and friends. In addition to improving your vocabulary, playing word games can also improve your memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills. Games that require you to remember a lot of information or solve complex problems can help to sharpen your mind. These skills can be beneficial in both your personal and professional life. You can start playing word games from the age of three, and it will still have a positive impact on your life.

How Can You Get Started Playing Word Games?

There are a variety of ways to get started playing word games. You can buy board games such as Scrabble or Bananagrams, download apps like Wordscapes or Words With Friends, or even play online games on websites like Dictionary.com or jumble solver. You can also make up your own games using a deck of cards or some other simple materials. The important thing is to find a game that you enjoy and that challenges you. No matter how you choose to play, you're sure to have fun and improve your vocabulary at the same time!

Photo by Freysteinn G. Jonsson on Unsplash

Having a large vocabulary doesn't only make you a better communicator but also a better reader and writer. If you want to improve your vocabulary, try playing word games! Not only are they fun, but they also have many other benefits. Playing word games can help improve your memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills—all valuable abilities in both personal and professional life.

*This is a contributed post.

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