UFO Math Tray Activity {FREE PRINTABLES}

math tray actiities preschool  space themeFor a while now my daughter has been writing out numbers on anything she can. My mother’s day card included the numbers from 1-10 after her name. I had a feeling her next question would be how to read and spell the number words. I  was right. For days, she asked me how to spell the words and I would reply with what do you think? That worked a few times, but it eventually frustrated her. I wrote out the words for her and she used it as reference. Soon she was recognizing the words in stories so when I saw these little aliens I knew I wanted to use them for counters and I decided to make two sets of number mats for this tray activity one with digits and one with the number words. The reason I am telling you this long drawn out story is to illustrate that this activity followed her lead. There is no rush to teach specific concepts like this but don’t ignore your child interests either. Print both out and use them as they fit with your child. If you can’t find these little alien guys you can laminate the cards and draw them on with dry erase markers!

Gather your materials. You will need the UFO Math mat cards, some alien counters, scissors, and contact paper or a laminator ( you lucky dog!).math mat UFO

Print out the UFO Math Mats here – click on the image, save, and print.

Digits  1-4

ufo number cards digits 1

 

 

 

 

5-8

ufo digits 2

 

9-12

ufo digits 3

Number Words

one – four

ufo number cards

 

two – eight

ufo number cards sheet 2

 

nine – twelve  ufo number cards sheet 3

Print them out. If you think your child needs more support with counting add dots to the mats with a marker before you laminate or use contact paper to protect them. Cut out.free printable math tray activity

Pop them on the tray with the little aliens ( did I mention these glow in the dark? ).math tray activity

Read and count. UFO math I didn’t give her all the mats just a mix to play with.UFO math printables

After she counted them out she tried to balance them and  make towers with them too.

alien math for kids

Sticky Wing Dragonfly Craft

dragonfly craft for preschoolMy daughter and I made this dragonfly craft together ages ago but sometimes crafts get skipped and we never post them. I have been waiting all winter to post this one and now that it is almost summer it’s time to share! I love contact paper crafts because even very young children can do much of the craft independently. Sticky crafts like this one that uses teeny tiny gems are great for fine tuning fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are important for writing, but they are also important for many daily self-help skills like using utensils, buttoning shirts, and fastening jewelry clasps. Giving your child ample opportunities to work on these skills will help in lots of areas, not just an academic one.

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, cardstock, permanent markers, scissors, a wooden peg, sequins and gems of all sorts, and glue. dragonfly craft for kids no time for flash cards

Start by cutting out the outline of a dragonfly. I folded my cardstock in half then cut out a really elongated B with the top bubble big and wide and the bottom very small. Then I cut out the center of the top bubble, leaving only an outline. Open up and lay on the contact paper so that the sticky side is facing up through the wings. Trim. dragonfly craft

While I was doing that my little helper decorated the body of the dragonfly with markers. You don’t HAVE to use permanent markers, but they are a “treat” at our house and she asked nicely. I should say last year when we did this they were, now not so much. Goodness kids grow too fast!dragonfly craft for children

Time to add the bling! dragonfly craft

She started adding them one by one.dragonfly craft

Soon she switched to dumping a little handful on, then removed the loose ones.dragonfly craft

After she added all the little bits I added glue to the peg and slid the wings through. Let dry for 24 hours. If you are doing this in a classroom this would be a good Friday so it has all weekend to dry.dragonfly craft for kids

Books about Bugs

19 books about bugs

 

Check out our list of great bug books for kids ( complete with reviews). Click on this link to read Books About Bugs. 

BOOV Passwords – FREE Secret Code Printable

FREE printable secret code activity inspired by the movie HOME! Perfect for a birthday party of family movie night!Have your seen the movie HOME ? My kids LOVED it when we watched it over spring break. Like all resourceful parents, I decided to use that love to get my son to do something he’s not totally in love with – handwriting. Every little bit of practice helps and it’s even better when it doesn’t feel like practice at all! In the movie saving the world depends on the BOOV ( the aliens) hacking into one of their citizen’s email accounts. I decided to go with the hacking theme because it fit so well with the movie and it appeals to an 8 year old who does not want to be doing “Baby activities for the blog, only cool stuff OK mom?” <— not a direct quote but you get the idea.

I plan on printing this activity out again after the movie is released on DVD ( this summer) and we watch it for family movie night!

This FREE secret code printable was a hit, but it was challenging too! This would be perfect for a HOME themed birthday party too!

To print out click on the image below, save to your computer, and then print.

hack the passwords

Gather your materials. You will need the printable ( see above) and a pencil with a great eraser.

 

Print out and invite your future hacker to the table. HOME inspired secret code FREE printable

It wasn’t SUPER easy, but even little little ones can do it with help.

writing passwords

All done!

password HOME inspired free printable

Finding simple little ways to work literacy into play time with your school age kids is a great way to brush up on skills without adding pressure to their already busy lives. This is a great rainy day, sick day, or family movie night activity, and according to my son it passed the cool test!

 

Find more ideas for school age kids here –>   FUN FOR SCHOOL AGE KIDS on PINTEREST oh and here –>  LEARNING AFTER SCHOOL

 

Summer Reading Calendars – FREE PRINTABLES

summer reading calendar

Summer reading is vital. Children can lose many of the literacy gains they have made over the year at school when they aren’t reading daily. Just because reading is something they MUST do doesn’t have to mean it has to be boring or feel like a chore. These free printable summer reading calendars keep summer reading fresh and fun from June 1st- August 31st!

Each day has a reading prompt, some are themes to read about, some are locations to sit and read, and some are other related activities. All are fun!

summer reading calendar

Summer reading isn’t just for “big” kids. Summer reading should be for all kids including picture book readers. These summer reading calendars are geared towards children reading picture books but could easily be used for any child at any level.  For very young children choose picture books and follow the calendar day by day. For older children reading longer books that might have too many pages to read in one day pick and choose 15 – 20 days to follow each month. Print these calendars out and use stickers to mark each day complete!

Print the calendars out here. Click on the link under the image.

june calendar image

 

June

july calendar image

July

august calendar image

August

 

If you want to have even MORE fun this summer with reading check out our popular Summer Reading Bucket List  <— click on the link for a plain text list of what’s on this super rad reading bucket list!

rp_Summer-Reading-Bucket-List-600x800.png

Early Literacy Activities with Slime

literacy activities with slime After my daughter and I explored letter recognition and upper and lowercase letter matching yesterday with slime we started looking around the playroom for more items to use with the slime. Immediately we saw the cookie cutters that we usually use with playdough. We started making letter impressions and I knew right away that this would be perfect for my preschool class that aren’t quite ready for the tiny little alphabet beads that we used yesterday. They are still learning their letters and these big cookie cutters are perfect for their newly three-year-old hands.

Gather your materials. You will need some slime ( check out this post for our recipe), and some alphabet cookie cutters.sensory alphabet activity

Explore and have fun squishing the slime through the cookie cutters and making impressions.

slime and cookie cutters with gak

As we were playing we discovered that we could also use these cookie cutters to make words. What a fun way to work on spelling words! If you have lowercase cookie cutters that would be even better ( we only have uppercase ones). What a great way to use slime for older siblings and younger siblings at the same time. Here are five basic early literacy ideas you could do using just slime and alphabet cookie cutters :

Place all the cookie cutters on the table and give your child a ball of slime to flatten.

gak with cookie cutters

1.Call out a letter sound and have your child grab the letter that makes that sound and squish it into their slime.

2. Call out a word and have your child spell it.

3. Call out a word and have your child spell a rhyming word in the slime.

4. Call out a word and have your child squish the letter that makes the initial letter sound into the slime.

5. Just let them play with the letters and slime. Trust me they are learning.

sensory activity that promotes literacy

 

How do you use sensory materials for literacy learning? Leave a comment and tell me how or pop over to No Time For Flash Cards Facebook Page and tell me!