Alphabet Slime – Match Upper & Lowercase Letters

alphabet slime with glue and starch I am part of Elmer’s Crafty Teachers Crew and they asked me to create a fun learning activity with some of their products and share them with you. I knew exactly what I wanted to do…. make some alphabet slime!  Sensory materials like slime are fun all by themselves but adding a few items can turn a completely sensory experience into a sensorial literacy one. My daughter has known her letters for quite some time but still confuses lowercase b and d from time to time. This activity is a great way to work on upper and lowercase letter identification as well as fine motor development as your child or students dig through the slime for the small beads. My preferred way to use this activity is to set it all up and let the child explore, let them match up the letters or just PLAY. They will benefit from both options.

alphabet slime with elmer's glue

Gather your materials. You will need some Elmer’s clear school glue, Elmer’s glitter glue, glitter, liquid starch, alphabet beads, two ice cube trays, a marker, some bowls, and a spatula.

upper and lowercase matching activity from no time for flash cards

Before you mix up the slime write the lowercase letters in the ice cube tray with a permanent marker.

glue slime with elmer's glue

Here is the recipe I used – our slime was not very sticky and pretty thick. I kneaded it a lot! I like it strong and thick so little bits don’t go flying.

1 bottle of Elmer’s Clear School Glue
1/2 bottle of Elmer’s Glitter Glue
1 squeeze ( about a tablespoon) of Elmer’s School Glue
Glitter – We used the glitter from Elmer’s Craft Bond Glitter & Glue. One full tube for each color.
1/4 cup of liquid starch

sensory alphabet activity

I mixed the first four ingredients then added the starch and kneaded by hand. It got messy at times but,  it was quick to make.

alphabet slime

I made four colors, but my little assistant wanted to mix them together. The photos would have been SO much prettier if we didn’t but let’s all keep a good perspective on these activities. They aren’t for us or even Pinterest they are for our little ones SO MIX THE COLORS even if they end up brown or in our case a gun metal gray.

alphabet slime

Add the alphabet beads and mix.

alphabet slime

Set out the trays and the slime for your little letter finder.letter matching game with slime

Dig in!

alphabet slime

She spent about half the time digging for letters and putting them in the correct sections and the other half just playing and exploring the slime. alphabet slime letter activity

We sat together both digging in and picking out letters. sensory alphabet activity As well as giggling at the not so proper noises that the slime made as she pushed into it.

After a while we went looking for letters that we hadn’t found yet, she noticed which letters had the most beads in their sections and which were empty.

alphabet activity

Then she played some more!

alphabet activity

Using some novelty to reinforce or even introduce basic concepts makes them mush more fun. Using sensory materials like slime can offer children that need to squish and grab and squeeze an outlet to do that while still reaching more specific goals.

sensory play alphabet activity

Tomorrow I will share another simple idea we created with this slime after we got all the alphabet beads out – I will be taking it to my preschool class to explore with my students. Don’t miss it!

Alphabet Slime sensory activity for kids

As stated above this post is part of a sponsored program with Elmer’s Glue.

Beginning Letter Sounds Game Homework

beginning letter sounds game learning to readDo you have a child as eager to do homework as I do? I am not talking about the child who actually gets homework, I am talking about the younger sibling chomping at the bit to be a big kid too. I am lucky because my son’s homework is very short, and since he must do it before he can even ask for screen time he gets it done without argument. I ask my daughter to play quietly or to go upstairs when my son is doing homework so she was overjoyed when I moved my laptop and set up some homework for her right next to where her brother does his every day.

I chose a beginning letter sounds game for her “homework” because his homework was word work as well. The other reason I chose it was because she needs little to no help with this skill and I was hoping my son would offer to check her work if she asked. You could easily do this game without the homework spin just for the benefit of early literacy skill development.

 

Gather your materials. You will need 1-2 cookie sheets, letter magnets, some magnets with easily identifiable items like animals, plain paper, and markers.

literacy game for kindergarten Start by choosing the right magnets. For this activity you want to make sure your child knows exactly what the pictures are. If you are doing this as a free choice activity in a class what I like to do is use the items first in a circle time or just with the child using them so I am certain they know what each item is.

Write out the words without the first letter.This may act as a scaffold for children more advanced in their literacy development but I wrote it out so that after my daughter matched the beginning sound I could go over the full word with her. She is presently obsessed with spelling and writing and I knew for HER  this would grab her attention and make the activity more meaningful. beginning sound letter match game

Set the trays up with the items next to their word and place the letter magnets some place off the trays.

letter sounds

She saw the set up as we were leaving to pick her brother up from the bus stop – look how excited she was!

homework activity for kids

Homework time.letter sound activity

He got busy with this word work and she started saying each animal name and grabbing the corresponding letter for the beginning sound.

letter sounds game for kids

I kinda love this picture of the two of them hard at work. beginning letter sound match homework station

She kinda loved feeling like a big kid and I managed to sneak in learning too.

 

 

LEGO Game – Roll, Build, and Create!

DIY LEGO game for kids LEGO is huge at our house. Even if some of their marketing to girls efforts miss the mark ( did you read this?), the toy is still amazing for boys and girls. LEGO is creative as well as great for spatial and fine motor skills. This LEGO game is super simple and my kids play it often building on to their creations or making new ones. What I love about this game that wasn’t really part of the design was that it’s a great way to kickstart LEGO creations. When kids feel like building but don’t know what to build this game acts as kindling and helps start the fire for bigger ideas. Of course players are also working on subitizing skills ( recognizing amounts without counting – on dominoes, dice, tally marks etc…)  and number recognition. If that is your goal you could use multiple dice for older children and have the add or subtract and match up the sum or difference to the numbered sections. It’s so versatile!

Gather your materials. You will need some LEGO or DUPLO , a divided tray or individual bowls, a die, and a permanent marker.

lego game for kids

Write the numbers 1-6 on the divided tray. Don’t worry you can use a dry erase marker to remove the permanent marker when you are done playing. boost creativity with lego

Fill the sections of your tray with different types of LEGO bricks. You can have your children help you sort them as well. Sorting is an important skill so any time you have to practice is worthwhile. I included a lot of mini figures because in my experience kids tend to create more stories with the figures and my daughter loves to make stories with her LEGO.

lego game for children

Once they are all sorted it’s time to play. Use the center section to roll the die and whatever number they roll is the type of brick they get to build with. lego game for preschool

She was into it immediately.lego games for kids Soon she had an audience and hearing her explain the game to her dad was awesome. lego game for families Understanding multiple steps is important and when she taught her dad she had all the steps down pat! LEGO roll and build math game

One of the great things about this activity is that there is no strict ending point. Kids can stop when they feel their creation is complete or pop it to the side and come back another day. Ours is STILL in our sunroom two weeks after getting it out. I find both my kids playing with it most days.

 

Washi Tape Crafts – Easter Egg Banner !

easter egg craft for kids with washi tape We love washi tape crafts and I actually bought these rolls for something else but this craft couldn’t wait. Our bunnies are already out on our mantle and we needed something to complete our Easter decor. Handmade holiday decor is always my favorite. I love getting these crafts out year after year and hearing my children tell me the stories about how they were made.  This Easter craft is perfect for people who are a little gun shy about crafting mess but still want to make something colorful and fun with their kids.

Gather your materials. You will need some paper, washi tape ( affiliate link for the tape I used) scissors, pencil, and string if you are turning the eggs into a banner. washi tape easter egg craft for preschoolAlso I love using trays to keep everything in one spot.washi tape crafts

Start by drawing an egg on the paper. I made some and left some blank. easter egg crafts As you will see my daughter made her own after. I had a regular white pieces of paper folded and cut in 4 and eggs drawn on some but some left blank. I wanted to give her the option of making her own but not requiring her to.

Invite your artist to come create!Tape easter eggs

She got into adding the tape right away. I had to show her how to rip the tape once but after that she had a handle on it. You can also use scissors. Tape past the lines covering as much as the egg as you can. tape easter eggs washi tape

Cut out the egg once all the tape is on. egg washi tape craft Watching her cut gave me a jolt of nostalgia. She is growing so fast I can’t believe she is so good with scissors already. Wasn’t she just playing with blocks in her high chair? <— her first activity on the blog!

Repeat. easter egg craft for kids I made a few and she made a few. I am glad I had paper ready without any outline because she did want to make her own. easter egg craft

After you have a good collection of eggs easter egg crafts for preschoolflip them over and using the washi tape attach the eggs onto the string. easter egg banner for kids

Hang it up!easter egg craft banner handmade

 

Don’t forget if you don’t want a banner you can JUST make some eggs! washit tape easter egg craft for kids

Spring Break Bucket List { FREE PRINTABLE }

spring breka bucket list My kids an I were writing out all the ideas we had for spring break and I decided to pop them all into a fun spring break bucket list to share with all of you. Our winter break bucket list was a huge hit and if you are still in the middle of snowy weather – you might want to print it out instead.  My kids are 4 and 8 which is a pretty good age range for this list as well. Everything on the list are things that BOTH my kids will have fun doing.

spring break bucket list for kids

Click on the image above ( yes the one right above here) , save to your computer, and print!

What would you or your children add to the list?