Easy Valentine’s Day Craft

easy valentine's day craftThis easy Valentine’s Day craft was inspired by these hole punch snowflakes we posted years ago. What I love about these hearts aren’t just that they are pretty , they are so simple and are a craft that you can put down and start dinner, run to the bust stop to pick up a sibling, or put away until the next day. Using a hold punch is a wonderful tool for building hand strength but make sure you have the right size punch that your child can maneuver to avoid any frustration.

Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( great way to use up scrap paper! ), hole punches, scissors, and some ribbon. You will also need some painter’s tape to hang them up without leaving too much gunk on your walls or windows. easy valentine's day craft

Start but folding some paper in half and cutting hearts. easy valentine's day craft for kids

Time to punch, hole punch heartI am telling you this one was tricky. hole punch heart craft for valentine's dayEveryone helped punch the holes. hole punch heart valentine's day craft

Make sure there is a hole in the middle of the top to thread the ribbon through. hole punch hearts

Thread it through and tie a double knot. This was too tricky for my daughter. The hearts are fragile and rip easily on this step. We decided we were a heart factory and the kids punched most of the holes and Mama tied on the ribbon. hole punch hearts in window

Hang them up in the window using painter’s tape. easy valentine's day decor

 

Books About Love & Friendship

books about love

Check out these 14 wonderful books about love and friendship after you make these fantastic hole punch hearts Valentine’s Day craft!

Winter Math Game Inspired by Frozen

frozen party game I had no clue what to name this game. After watching Frozen for the 15th time and yes if you must know I still cry when Anna steps between Hans and Elsa, my daughter and I brainstormed some ideas. We thought about making a Sven craft, then some snowflakes but we already have so many snowflake crafts … then this popped into my head. What if we used my daughter’s favorite movie EVER as inspiration for a gross motor math game? I wasn’t sure it would work but I knew we had to try. Well it did work and she loved it! Using your child’s interests is so important when doing educational activities at home. At school they won’t always get a chance to have such targeted ideas presented to them and at home it’s a great way to entice them to do something educational , how can they resist when it’s all about their favorite movie/book/character… etc… Also worth noting is that this would be a FUN Frozen party game for birthday parties. I’d write names on the snowflakes and have the party goers retrieve their own and the birthday boy or girl grab the frozen heart in the middle.

This could easily be adapted to any theme – you just need a basic shape, some things for the numbers, and stuff to walk over. You’ll see.

frozen party game

The Rules Of The Game:
*Roll the die and retrieve the number snowflake you rolled without falling off the snowflake ( you can decide what constitutes falling off the tape).
*Walk back to the start and drop the snowflake.
*After they have retrieved a designated amount of the snowflakes ( we did 3) they can go retrieve the frozen heart at the middle.
*If they step off the snowflake or step on any of the pom poms they must start all over again.

frozen inspired snowflake game

How To Set It Up

Gather your materials. You will need some painter’s tape, some pom poms, snowflakes, a marker, and a die or two.  You may also want a heart gem to make the center heart. The one we are using was a tree ornament my daughter created herself but seemed perfect for this activity.frozen party game

Start by making the number snowflakes we were just doing 1-6 to match the number she rolled but if  you are playing with 2 dice and working on addition or subtraction you’ll want all the possible sums/differences.frozen inspired math game

Pop the tape on your floor. snowflake gross motorI am too nervous to use this on my newly re-stained wood floors so I stick to our living room carpet. My daughter even helped.frozen birthday party games

Now place the pom poms randomly. These are ice bombs and if you step on one you must return all the snowflakes you have earned and start again. don't slip off the snowflake

Place the numbered snowflakes on the tape. snowflake game for preschool

Make a little snowflake to act as the starting point.

frozen party game

Play! frozen inspired math game

Roll. snowflake game for kids

Walk.

Pick up the snowflake. slip snowflake

Avoid those ice bombs!Slip off the snowflake

Roll again and again until it’s time to gather the frozen heart in the middle. There are so many ways to play with this idea. I hope we’ve inspired you to create something for your kids!

This was the perfect game after a few sick days to just get up an move a little. By using something she is great at ( numbers are her thing) mixed with something she is not… balance not so much her thing… I created a challenging but fun activity.

 

29 Ways To Make Math More Fun For Kids

fun math activities I hated math for so long that I had to hold back tears on my first day of math class at Teacher’s College. I was so nervous to be back in a math class after years of avoiding it. That feeling was so terrifying that I’ve made it part of my mission as a mom and teacher to make fun math activities so that my children and students won’t find themselves so terrified by a subject that they are holding back tears just thinking about it. Math is fun. Last year I spent one day a week as a math docent for 2nd grade and created hands on ways for those kids to practice math and this year I am back to the little tiny guys with my 2 and 3 year old class. This list of fun math has toddler math activities through to elementary ideas I brought home from being a docent. If your child already has some anxiety about math like I did don’t tell them you have a fun new math activity to do, omit the math from the title and just say game or activity or craft project. Don’t put up the wall before you get them interested.

Remember that like reading math is one of those subjects that really does benefit from a lot of practice. Using fun math activities like these you don’t have to resort to drill and kill activities although I admit as kids get older math is one of the places where I might make a little room for some flash cards but not in the preschool years!

 Fun Math Activities For Preschool

math game for valentine's day gross motor

I have all of preschool together because some 3 year olds latch on to math early and some 5 year olds don’t show real interest until later on. Find games and activities that look like they would interest your kids don’t worry about how old my kids look in the photos. There is no checklist that every little developing human hits in order. Fun means not too challenging to be frustrating and not too easy to be boring. It might require some trial and error – but if you read through the posts you can probably figure out which will work for your kids.

fun math activities

Lego Math Game

math game count and pound
Count & Pound Math Game

preschool activity
Counting Around The House

candy corn counting math activity for halloween
Candy Corn Counting

button mural finishing the whole things
Button Numbers Mural

easter egg game for kids
Color By Number Easter Eggs

mail sorting numbr recognition
Sort The Mail Math Activity

fun math activities for kids
Monster Math Game * Great for all ages!

math games for kids shell memory game
Shell Memory Game with Numbers fun math activities for kids
Monster Math Tray

valentine's day math activity
Count & Match Math Game

dirty socks number match and fine motor activity
Laundry Line Math Match Game

shape house shape hunt for kids
Shape Hunt Find & Color

hot chocolate math for kids
Hot Chocolate Math * easy to adapt to any level.

 

 

Fun Math Activities for School Age Kids

number line math for kindergarten and first grade

These games and activities were all created with kids in the Kindergarten through 2nd grade age range. Does that mean your preschooler can’t do them? No. Check them out and see if you can find something rad for your little math whiz or adapt something to fit her interests.

valentine's day math for kids

Valentine’s Day Math – Jar Of Hearts

gross motor number line
Outdoor Number Line

rp_math-valentines-day-activity-455x672.jpg
Make A Valentine Math Game & Craft

fun math activities
Secret Code Math

fun math activities
Shoot & Add Nerf Gun Math

fun math activities for kids
Tally Mark Dominoes & Speed Racer Game

kindergarten math
Make Math Drills Fun- 2 Activities For Kindergarten

math learning center idea
Lock & Key Math fun math activities
Candy Apple Tree Math

fun math activities
Connect The Dots With Math fun math activities
Water Balloon Math

color by nymber working together
7 Ways To Use This Simple Color By Numbers

fun math
Place Value Robot

rp_pokemon-math-cover-368x750.png
Pokemon Math Activity

fun math activities for kids
Outdoor Math Ideas for Kids

7 ways to use this FREE Color By Number Printables

FREE color by numbers My daughter is HUGE into coloring right now. Unlike her brother ( or her mom) she loves the challenge of staying in the lines. I created this simple free color by numbers printables for her to use but the beauty of it is that it’s completely adaptable. The colors are set but you can adjust the way your child reaches that number many many ways.

free color by numbers worksheet

Gather your materials. You will need a light colored pencil for writing the info below into the circles, and markers or crayons. You may also want a clip board to keep it all together! You will also need the printable. Click on the image above and print! free color by number worksheets

  • Use it for reading – Write the word for the digit in the circles. Have your child read the word and color accordingly using the legendcolor by number number match
  • Use it for writing – Write the number and have the child trace the pencil with marker. <— my daughter thought this one up and as you can see loved doing it!
  • Use it for subitizing – Use tally marks in the circles and have your child translate them to digits and color accordingly.
  • Use it for addition – Write simple addition equations with the sum being the number your child must use to identify the correct color.subtraction color by numbers
  • Use it for subtraction – Write simple equations with the difference being the number your child must use for coloring.color by number for elementary
  • Use it for counting – add dots to the circles and have your child count to find out what color they should be using to color in.
  • Use it for number identification/ matching. Simply write in the number and use the legend to find the matching number and what color you need to use.

color by numbers for preschool

So many fun ways to use it! So I think you should print out a BUNCH. I loved watching my kids doing the same activity with their own adaptations together at our sun room desk!

color by nymber working together

Merry Christmas !

Button Christmas Tree Crafts

 

christmas tree crafts It is the season of way too many boxes at our house.  I do most my shopping online and the boxes add up quickly this time of year. I don’t mind recycling most of them but I prefer to use some for crafts. This craft was spur of the moment. We’d received something from Amazon and decided to turn the box into trees! My daughter’s favorite craft EVER are these button letters and I suggested we make trees with the cardboard ( it’s easy to cut trees from cardboard), and she suggested the buttons. Here is how we made our button Christmas tree crafts.

Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, buttons ( we love our star ones from craftprojectideas.com ) , some green paint, white glue, and scissors. christmas tree craft

Start by cutting out a tree and a small strip of cardboard to make the stand. Cut a small notch in the bottom of your tree long enough for the strip to fit in. cardboard Christmas Tree craft

Paint the tree with green paint. Or pink… whatever your child wants. I like using paint markers for this because they dry faster so we can make the whole craft in one sitting. Make sure to paint the strip as well as the tree. Christmas craft with buttons

Glue time! christmas craft button tree preschool

Find your favorite buttons. button christmas tree preschool craft

 

Pop the buttons onbutton tree craft for preschool and don’t worry if there is lots of glue, it will dry eventually. cardboard and button tree craft for christmas 2

When dry slide the strip and in and stand it up! button christmas tree

 

Books About Christmas

Why do I put books with the activities? I think books are the base for all learning and you can choose to read first them create something or create then read more about it but books offer you a chance to really cement the learning and exploration of the activity. All our book lists include affiliate links.

the_year_of_the_perfect_christmas_tree

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston made me cry. The story is about the hardships and love of one family torn apart by the First World War as they prepare for Christmas with no resources. I love how strong the mother is. She does the best he can with what she has, treks through snow to cut that big old Christmas tree down , and the part that made me cry uses her own wedding dress to make her daughter an angel costume for the Christmas pageant. Oh but that is not all she sacrificed, she  used the silk stockings her husband sent her from the war to make a doll for Santa to give to her daughter. The father coming home right as they were leaving the church service – once again starting my water works.  It’s an awesome story but probably too long for a group of kids , or toddlers , but perfect for a bedtime story for preschoolers on up. Also this book and the one previous were illustrated by Barbara Cooney , who captures such meaningful stories with her amazing work.

ho ho ho tucker

Ho, Ho, Ho, Tucker! by Leslie McGuirk is a cute story about an adorable little dog Tucker who is crazy about Christmas. While getting into the holiday spirit he burns his nose on a cookie pan . When Santa sees his bright red nose he asks him to come a long for the fun on Christmas Eve. There is a lot of good natured humor that any young child will giggle at , Tucker peeing on a Christmas tree got some good giggles at our house.  I doubt this will be a Christmas classic to read on Christmas Eve but it a cute book your kids will enjoy.

Mooseltoe

Mooseltoe by Margie Palantini is a funny holiday story with the characters from Moosestash , this time Moose is set on making Christmas perfectly perfect, only oops he forgot the tree!  I reviewed this a few years ago when my son was too little to really get the book or to sit long enough for me to finish but we re read it last night. He thought it was hilarious and by the time he was 5 he had fun repeating some of the great melodic text as we read it. The story is one kids and parents can relate to about trying so hard to make the holidays perfect that you forget something important like the tree!  It’s a silly story with a big heart.