I have been working with Little Pim over the last few months and love their whole approach to language learning. My daughter loves their Spanish Language CDs and books and when they approached me to host a Twitter Chat I jumped at the chance.
Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern we will be chatting about holiday gift giving on Twitter. We will be sharing ideas and asking to hear yours about how to give #SmartHoliday gifts that promote learning all year long.
Follow the hosts @NoFlashCards , @LittlePim , and the panelists @teachmama , @pragmaticmom , @TaraZiegmont as well as the hashtag #SmartHoliday to join in. And don’t be shy we are there to talk and share everyone’s ideas not just our own!
Do not forget to RSVP because it’s the only way to be eligible for the prizes.RSVP HERE.
We haven’t started our Thanksgiving crafts for this year yet but I wanted to share some of our favorite turkey crafts for kids we’ve made over the past 5 years. I love making turkey crafts but must admit I can’t stand eating the real thing and fill up on sides instead. I hope that you can find something fun to make from our turkey craft ideas to get your kids excited and interested in learning more about Thanksgiving.
Do you have some fun turkey craft ideas for kids? Share them in comments!
Veteran’s Day or Remembrance Day as it’s called in Canada is only a few days away. Over the weekend my kids created this craft together. I thought it was fitting to work on a project together since those we remember were anything but selfish. What I love about this day is that it offers us a chance to talk to our kids about the sacrifices and people instead of the politics of war. The poppy is a symbol used for Remembrance Day in Canada and other Commonwealth countries but is being seen more and more here in the United States so we decided to use it for this Veterans Day craft. If you are looking for more patriotic American crafts I have lots of those here. I like to teach my children about holidays with both the Canadian and American traditions and this craft goes perfectly with reading In Flander’s Fields a poem most every Canadian will know and I encourage all to read and share with your children who are of the age to understand it.
Gather your materials. You will need an egg carton, scissors, red and black paint ( we used acrylic so it would dry faster – but they are not washable so chose wisely! ), a paper plate, a sentence strip or other card stock, a stapler, a marker, some paint brushes, ribbon for hanging and lots of white glue.
Start but cutting your egg carton into flowers. This is harder than it looks and took a few steps. First I cut the cups off the carton, then made four cuts and then trimmed the edges to make it more poppy like.
While my daughter did some painting my son wrote out remember on a sentence strip. Have extras on hand if you are using a permanent marker like he did. I didn’t correct his spelling but after he wrote it he knew it wasn’t right and we sounded it out together and he wanted to try again.
I like to create alphabet crafts with kids because it gives children a chance to make the letters and become familiar with their shapes before they are able to master writing them. One of my main goals with very young children is to let them get comfortable with letters so letters are accessible and not something mystical that only big kids and adults use to read and write. Letters are for everyone and aren’t just part of the alphabet in perfect order.
Most children will become familiar with the letters in their names or other significant letters first and even though it’s most useful for kids to learn lowercase many recognize uppercase first because most toys and book targeted at toddlers include them. My advice is to use what your child knows and introduce the rest ( upper and lowercase) at the same time through play. Above all else have fun creating and getting creative while learning the alphabet. Here are some of our favorite creative alphabet crafts to add a little letter learning into your craft time.
Alphabet Cookie Cutter Painting
Letter Pizza Craft
Flower Letter Garden
Alphabet Photo Magnets
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree
Funny Font Letter Collages
Monogrammed Napkin Rings
In addition to these 15 alphabet art projects you can also dive into my more than 50 letter of the week crafts. We have uppercase crafts for every letter ( many more than one) and many lowercase letters too. Check out our Letter of The Week page for links to every letter.
One of my favorite ways to teach kids about shapes is to create familiar things with them. As my daughter and I were unpacking our Halloween decorations last week we pulled out a bat craft her older brother made years ago and she asked me why she’d never made a bat. We went upstairs and made this shape bat craft so she could have a bat too. Crafts like this are great learning tools but don’t confuse them with art. They are artistic ways to learn but kids still need ample time to create freely.
Start by talking about bats. We read Stellaluna the night before so all the basics like that they sleep during the day and what they look like were fresh in her memory. Give your child a sheet of paper and crayons of their choice to draw the bats home. She drew a moon and tree.
Next talk about bat body parts and what shapes could make them. While we were talking about bat wings she pretended to fly! We went over what each shape was called and looked at how they were similar and how they were different. I did not tell her what the shapes were for I let her decide which would make the body parts.We may want our kids to get it” right” but the importance of this activity isn’t to make the bat that looks the most like a bat it’s to explore how shapes together can create another.
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Stellaluna by Janell Canon has long been a favorite when teaching about bats. I will warn you it’s a little long for fidgety toddlers but they will still enjoy it even if you skip a few pages. The story follows a little bat who loses her mother and is adopted into a family of birds. She never really feels like she belongs even though she likes her bird family. That’s not the end though, there is a surprise reunion and Stellaluna saves the day before the end of this book.