No Time For Flash Cards http://www.notimeforflashcards.com early education activities, crafts, and books. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:17:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 21 Handwriting Activities For Kids Who Hate Writing http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/21-handwriting-activities-for-kids-who-hate-writing.html http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/21-handwriting-activities-for-kids-who-hate-writing.html#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:08:51 +0000 http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/?p=30772 My son has always been a strong reader. Reading came very easily but handwriting, not so much. When he was younger ( he’s 8 now) he so badly wanted the letters he made to look like the ones in his head, and when they weren’t he’d shut down. This isn’t uncommon. It’s hard for kids […]

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handwriting activities for kids My son has always been a strong reader. Reading came very easily but handwriting, not so much. When he was younger ( he’s 8 now) he so badly wanted the letters he made to look like the ones in his head, and when they weren’t he’d shut down. This isn’t uncommon. It’s hard for kids to see themselves fail at something they have decided they should be able to do. When they shut down they miss opportunities to improve. Our role as parents is to find ways to get them practicing the things they are struggling with. I am not suggesting you sit them down and force them to write lines. Making a tough job tougher will only make them hate it more. We are trying to make them like it, some of these activities have a lot of writing, some just a little, but every little bit helps! Don’t forget the role fine motor skills, hand strength, and even shoulder strength plays in handwriting. Make sure your child has the opportunities to work on those if they are struggling as well.

Make Your Own Travel Sized Chalkboard for kids
Mini Chalkboards

color coded alphabet coloring sheet  for preschool
Alphabet Coloring Page FREE Printable

dollar store learning letters with a salt tray
Dollar Store Salt Tray Letters

Kid Designed Valentines
Kid Designed Valentine’s

letter tracing preschool
Write and Trace Place Mats

craft for kids

Name Bugs

FREE printable activity sheets

FREE Printable Activity Sheets

Glue Tracing
Glue Letter Tracing

Counting Activity For A Rainy Day
Counting Around The House

fill in the blanks spelling
Fill In The Blank Stories

bug math worksheet for kindergarten
Bug Math – Learn & Write FREE Printable.

kid made book with action figures
DIY Action Figure Stories

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Letter Rainbowing

dry erase maze fine motor skills
Dry Erase Mazesprintable for the movie home
Hack The Password – BOOV Free Printable

count & write firetrucks
Count & Write Fire Trucks

real world writing for kids
Art Cards

word ladders literacy activity
Word Ladders

literacy activities for kids
Journal Writing For Pre-Writers

easy valentine's day chalkboards
Heart Chalk Boards

drawing activity for kindergarten
Catalog Drawing Prompts

For more writing ideas do not miss our Reading & Writing Readiness board on Pinterest. Along with other bloggers, I share my favorite reading and writing ideas from all around the web.

Have a pre-writer? Check out our list of pre-writing activities without any worksheets!

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Super Simple Nature Prints http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/super-simple-nature-prints.html http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/super-simple-nature-prints.html#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:07:05 +0000 http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/?p=30740 The summer is such a busy time for us with camps, swim lessons, and  half-hearted attempt by me to get the gym to run.  I feel like a taxi driver half the time and a maid the other half. All I really want to do is hang out, read, and do simple activities with my […]

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playdough prints The summer is such a busy time for us with camps, swim lessons, and  half-hearted attempt by me to get the gym to run.  I feel like a taxi driver half the time and a maid the other half. All I really want to do is hang out, read, and do simple activities with my kids. This nature prints activity is rad because you can throw it together in seconds, but there is no clear end point you can keep going and going if you want. I love anything that gets my kids inspecting nature around our house and this does.

Before you start gather some bits and bobs from the yard. We had some twigs, flowers and leaves.nature activities for kids

Gather your materials. You will need some Play-Doh compound in various colors, and bits of nature from your yard, that you collected on a hike or a park. This whole activity could easily be transported to a park, just take a plastic or paper plate along for a base.outdoor art

Squish the Play-Doh compound into balls nature prints with playdohand invite your child to press nature bits into them.playdough nature activity for kids

Carefully remove it. playdough nature printsIf you squish the print just try again! <— that’s the best part. You can just start over.play dough nature prints for kids

Aren’t these prints awesome? You can use toys too. Our favorite toy to use on playdough can be found here.nature prints with playdough for preschool

 

Books About Flowers

All our book lists include affiliate links.

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for curious little minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and read about each flower at length or flip through simply noting the colors.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, losing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can. Thankfully my son has yet to experience this all too common, but still such a heartbreaking experience. I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.

Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three-year-old, but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.

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12 ways to Paint Outside With Kids http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/painting-outside-with-kids.html http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/painting-outside-with-kids.html#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:03:46 +0000 http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/?p=30728 Painting outside with kids is magical. There is something about  being in the sun, among the trees, with a chorus of birds that just calms everyone. My kids are not naturally calm, either am I. We are always on the go and taking time out to create outside not only allows us to connect it […]

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fun ways to paint outside Painting outside with kids is magical. There is something about  being in the sun, among the trees, with a chorus of birds that just calms everyone. My kids are not naturally calm, either am I. We are always on the go and taking time out to create outside not only allows us to connect it allows us to reset. I urge you to try one of these 12 simple ways to paint outside with kids ith your own. This list are our favorites!

truck painting and color mixing for kids

Truck Tracks

Painting Outside With Preschoolers

 

Painting Like Monet

painting rocks

Painting Rocks 

painting the play house art outside for kids

Playhouse Painting 

painting with water 5

Painting with Water

fly swatter painting

Fly Swatter Painting

painting the snow winter activities for kids

Painting Snow

squeezing

Squeezie Sidewalk Painting

paint like jackson pollock

Painting Like Jackson Pollock

paiting with snap dragons

Painting With Nature

painting sea glass outside summer activity

Painting Sea Glass 

sensory tub prints

Water Table Paint & Print

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Picture Books Organized By Season http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/picture-books-organized-by-season.html http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/picture-books-organized-by-season.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:52:56 +0000 http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/?p=30717 I have started planning out my school year and even though my school follows a monthly calendar I like to break my planning up by season first. I want to make sure I am exploring each season fully with my class. As I dig through my notes I wrote on last school year’s lesson plans […]

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picture books organized by season I have started planning out my school year and even though my school follows a monthly calendar I like to break my planning up by season first. I want to make sure I am exploring each season fully with my class. As I dig through my notes I wrote on last school year’s lesson plans what stands out the most are the book titles. I thought you might like to have a list of books organized by season too. You can use this list for rotating books or even as a library list ready made for your whole year. Many of these books are must read picture books that can be read anytime but are even better when kids can connect what they are reading to what they are experiencing presently.

All our book lists include affiliate links.

Must Read Picture Books For Summer

Blurberries for Sal

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey is a true classic, written in 1948 it’s a simple tale about a little girl and her mom collecting blueberries to can. While mama pics them, Sal eats them and wanders off but they aren’t the only mama and baby out gathering blueberries. This book is chill and sweet and the black and white illustrations make the readers feel like they are on the top of the mountain gathering blueberries too.

otto

Otto Goes to the Beach by Todd Parr. I really enjoy this book and so have my kids. Otto is a dog who goes to the beach, but no one wants to do the same things as he does, even the fish swim the other way. In the end after feeling very sad Otto finds a new friend and all his misery is forgotten. I love Todd Parr books, I love the insanely bright colors, the cute simplistic illustrations and I love the messages they send. This book followed his other books perfectly and provided a great final message about not giving up finding a friend who will like all the same things you do!

lgbt6

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman is the first picture book I have ever read that is all about an LGBT Pride parade. I loved the book and both my children loved the illustrations. If you have never been to a pride parade read this book to see what you are missing, I took my son to the pride parade in San Francisco when we lived there in 2007 and it was amazing. Children can learn a lot from experiencing the joy and community of a pride parade, learning that just marching in a parade like this was once impossible. There are families and children at the parade and that gives parents and opportunity to teach their own children who might be unfamiliar with pride why they are there.

 

mighty casey

Mighty Casey by James Preller is a cute and funny story about an awful little league team who rallies and finally wins one game. Every parent who has ever watched a little league game will recognize a few familiar behaviors in this book. The kid who decided to pee during the game, on the field, will get a ton of laughs from your little readers. The heart of this book is that even if the odds are stacked against you, don’t give up until the game is done!

apple_pie

How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A  by Marjorie Priceman didn’t disappoint one bit. I was worried after falling in love with How To Bake An Apple Pie and See The World  that this couldn’t live up to my expectations. It did! This time she wasn’t looking for ingredients for the pie, but rather materials for her tools. She gathered wood in Washington for her rolling pin, cotton in Louisiana for pot holders granite in New Hampshire for her pastry slab and more. What I wasn’t expecting of this book and loved was how she gathered natural resources and then processed them to make what she needed. I think this is a wonderful lesson about manufacturing and could be used for a launchpad for learning about so much more. Another gem I will be adding to my must buy list.

Cowboy Camp

Cowboy Camp by Tammi Sauer is funny and touching all at the same time. Avery is off to Cowboy Camp to learn how to be a real cowboy, only one problem, every lesson turns into a disaster. He can’t stomach cowboy food, he is allergic to his horse and ends up on a cow instead, and he gets rope burn when he is learning to lasso. After the other campers head to bed Avery encounters the nefarious Bad Bart a bad cowboy who wants to stop cowboy camp, Avery outwits him and saves the day. I loved that there was no teasing from the other campers and each time Avery came to an obstacle he was offered an alternative ( cheese and crackers to eat, a cow to ride and yarn to lasso with) instead of simply sitting out. Great book to read before summer camp!

squirrel

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach  by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.

apple_book

Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong is an awesome book. I am always awed by authors who can tackle complicated “adult” issues in the pages of a children’s book successfully. In this case the issue is 1st generation identity and immigration, at least that’s my take. The little girl in this book is sulking around her parent’s store on the 4th of July. They are busy making Chinese food for customers she is sure won’t come, who would want Chinese food on such an American holiday is her rational. Of course, there are layers about her connection to her ancestral culture and her own national pride. As a proud owner of a green card and a Canadian passport I relate to this story, sure the differences are as deep or as obvious to an outsider but unlike the previous book when this book ended with fireworks I got tingles of pride for my adopted country. Fantastic book and my son liked it too.

Beach Party

Beach Party! by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback reminds me of “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle , and that comparison is a compliment. This large board book is a fun and cute way to introduce toddlers to movement as well as animals you find or want to avoid at the beach. The reader is asked how they want to walk today then they see how each animal moves. This would be a fun read for a circle time where kids could get up and move like the animals in the book.

 

Must Read Picture Books For Fall

a-plump-and-perky-turkey1

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman is such a cute and funny book about a town that needs a turkey and the hilarious lengths they go to to find one. The town is sadly outwitted by the turkey and end up eating shredded wheat for thanksgiving. The illustrations kept my little man interested when he was a toddler but he only started understanding the dark humor at around 4. I love this book because of the humor makes me giggle. My son was a little off put by the idea of the towns folk eating the turkey and was relieved when he escaped before they shoved him in the oven. I like that he is starting to understand that the meat he eats is actually a cooked animal, we take that for granted but for many young kids this is a huge realization!

inside a house that is haunted

Inside a House That Is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli was the hands down favorite Halloween book for my 3 year old class in 2005. I must have read this 200 times and even after Christmas had come and gone it was still requested all the time. The story is a rebus read along, so it is repetitive and it builds upon itself. This is great for children who are eager to “read along” before they are able to read words. The repetitiveness allows them to anticipate what is next and feel included. Very cute even after reading it so many times.

rp_there-was-an-old-lady-who-swallowed-a-bat-240x300.jpg

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro was a huge hit! It’s a reworking of the classic song ” There was an old lady who swallowed a fly” only this one swallows a whole bunch of Halloween creatures, like a goblin, ghost and of course a bat.  She continues to swallow bigger and bigger things much to my son’s amazement! He was giggling through the whole book and the end when the old lay belches he laughed hysterically. It was predictable but I have to admit was a really fun, silly read.

picture books for elections

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin is probably the first book most teachers will mention when you ask for a picture book about elections. It’s a great book about a duck who overthrows his farmer and ends up moving up in politics until he is elected President. With each step on the political ladder Duck realizes that he doesn’t like the job and wants something better only to discover that with each move up the workload increases too. I love that that teaches readers that being a leader isn’t about being the bossy one but rather having the most responsibility . My son got that immediately and it opened a good dialog about what he thought being President really is like.I also love the book because there is a good dose of humor that only the adults will appreciate.

rp_First-Day-Jitters-239x300.jpg

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg has a special spot in my heart.  It’s a book about not wanting to go to a new school, the first day is always the hardest and it’s easier to just stay in bed! The beauty of this book isn’t just the recognition of the anxiety about the first day but in the end the twist is that it’s the teacher who has the jitters, not a student. I love this book and the power it has to help anxious kids, I have read it more than once to a jittery child and see how it can help first hand.

Pete Rocking

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean is a special school book for our family. At my son’s kindergarten orientation, the teacher read this to her class and the prospective students and it’s been a favorite ever since. The book follows Pete who is a cool cat with rockin’ shoes. He heads to school and while he isn’t exactly sure of how things work he doesn’t worry, he just goes with the flow.  There is no way you will be able to read this book without smiling, it’s so chill and relaxed and plain fun. Both my kids love it and I love the repetitive questions about Pete and his reactions to new situations and answer each one every time we read it. Not many of these books are must buy, but I would add this to your shopping list it’s that good!

Vote 2012 books for kids

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio is fantastic. The very best part of this book is on the first page when the main character a little girl named Grace exclaims ” Where are the girls?” in response to her teacher hanging up a poster of all the presidents. If I wasn’t in a tent in the backyard while reading this with my son I would have stood up and given Grace a standing ovation. I can’t wait to read this to my daughter in a few years. I love how shocked the character is and I was really happy that my son was surprised that there have been no female presidents as well. Grace decides to run for president in the mock election for her grade at school and be the change. My love for this book doesn’t end with the wonderful example of basic feminism because next up the author tackles something oh so tricky; The Electoral College. The author does a great job explaining what can be a very confusing system used for American presidential elections and I bet more than a few parents reading this to their kids will get something out of it too. The story of Grace and her own campaign is sweet as well but the brilliance of this story are the complex lessons broken down so well for a young audience.

A Friend For All Seasons

A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery is a gem! The book explains the change of seasons in a fun and easy to understand way for young children. Readers follow along with Robbie Raccoon as he notices the changes that are happening around his home, a big oak tree.  My favorite part of this book was when Robbie and a few woodland friends notice that the tree’s leaves are falling and they assume he is crying, so they give him a hug. I loved that! Robbie’s mama raccoon explains the changes and before they go to sleep for a long time during winter’s dark days, they plant 5 acorns . This was a fun part of the book because I had my son predict what would happen. I liked that it gives parents an opportunity to extend this into a science lesson about seeds, and a oak tree’s life cycle. Sure enough when Spring comes there are tiny baby oaks waiting for Robbie when he awakens. I loved this book and would recommend it happily!

ghosts in the house

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara is on my must buy list! A little girl moves into house and soon finds out it is haunted. Luckily she is a witch and knows just what to do. The ghosts in the story seem mischievous but never scary and even when she washes them in the washing machine, they are still smiling! My son loved this book, the text was the perfect length for a 3 year old, short but still descriptive.  I loved the simple  black and orange colors and had to look at the copyright twice because I was certain this was written sometime in the 30s, nope 2008. The simplicity of the book and colors is balanced so well with the little details like the litt;e girl’s constant companion , a white cat that puts on a black costume when the little witch pops on her hat. This detail had my son in stitches, “Cats don’t wear clothes , silly cat!” .  Absolutely a perfect Halloween book for children not yet ready to be scared for fun!

Thanksgiving Books For Kids

This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed is a stunning gem of a book. I can’t believe I haven’t read it before, normally great books like this go through teaching circles like wildfire. The book has so many layers it will keep toddlers and preschoolers alike busy and engaged. The text explains the first Thanksgiving while counting 1-10 in rhyming poetry and the illustrations by Mark Buehner have hidden treasures, see if you can find them! After I return this to the library, I will be buying it for sure!

Leaves

Leaves by David Ezra Stein is such a sweet book about a young bear who doesn’t understand what is happening when he sees leaves falling from the trees. He even tries to put them back on but it doesn’t work.  Eventually he lays down for a nap and hibernates until Spring when he happily notices that there are new tiny leaves budding on the trees. Both my kids loved this book. I got it out of the library for my toddler who loved it and while reading it to her I had to start over so her almost 6 year old brother could listen from the start. We each took our own things from it, my daughter has been noticing the changes of Fall for the first time just like the bear in the story. My son took the chance to tell me all about hibernation and everything he knows about it . I thought it was bittersweet, and related to how quickly the years seem to pass and how quickly my little bears are changing too. A really lovely book!

apple farmer annie board book

Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington is another instant favorite in our house. My son loves this author and I like how simple but informative this book is. Your little reader will learn about the basics of what happens at an apple orchard , but you can take it further if you want. On many of the pages there are chances to learn more, like the page about sorting and classifying, where there are apples ready to count 1-10, and sorted by colors. I love the last page that says that Annie is so happy to have her own apple farm. I loved that message and think it’s a lot more powerful than some may think, women on farms in most books are “farmer’s wives” and I love that there is no one but Annie doing her own thing.

Must Read Picture Books For Winter

The_Mitten

The Mitten   by Jan Brett is visually impeccable, each page is so full of details that you will find yourself staring at them long after you have read the words. The story is about a little boy who looses a mitten and what happens next. It’s a sweet retelling of a Ukrainian folk tale but the detailed and layered illustrations really steal the show! My kids love this book but when I told them this same story they told me they hate folk tales. The illustrations by Brett bring this story to life much better than I could obviously!

my brother martin

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Christine King Farris. Teaching preschoolers about history is tricky, but you can do it, you just have to break it down and give them bits they can relate to. This book does a fantastic job, while reading it I always have to hold in tears, it is just such a unique look at the childhood of a man who’s dreams changed the world. What I love about this book is that the majority of it is about his childhood and children can relate so much more easily to him as a child growing up then simply as this great man on the podium. Kids always love learning that he played pranks on people just like they like to do. The author explains prejudice and segregation in a straightforward and simple way so that children can understand and reflect on how it feels to be treated like that. The book doesn’t ignore the great accomplishments and wonderful man the little boy became but does a wonderful job making Dr. King into a hero your child can feel something in common with , and in return become more interested about.

the snowy day

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic. Some classics are the type of books that lose their relevance and leave readers wondering what the hype is about. This book is timeless. A little boy goes exploring in the snow and discovers his world in a new way. The illustrations are magical and the way that  they convey the emotions this little boy experiences throughout the day are nothing short of perfect.

Latkes

Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland is a Hanukkah story about kindness repaid and how things can go awry. Sadie is a kind young woman and after she offers her firewood to an older woman who is cold the older woman repays her with a magic frying pan. This pan magically makes latkes , as many as you want if you say the magic words . Her hungry brothers are overjoyed, their bellies are full but as often happens, they get greedy.  See the frying pan will keep cooking and cooking unless you know the magic words to make it stop, and her brothers didn’t hear those words. Mayhem ensues but the family and village find a way to make the mountains of latkes into a celebration. Beware you will be craving latkes after reading this, luckily there is a recipe.

jack frost snow

Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara is another fantastic book that will have you aching for snow. A little boy is lonely after his friends have all gone into hibernation for the winter when Jack Frost shows up. They frolic and play exploring all the fun that winter has to offer friends but when the first signs of spring arrive Jack is gone. The illustrations are perfectly simple and will suck you into a wintery world that you won’t want to leave. My kids love this book and after one reading at the library we bought our own copy.

snowbots

Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds is funky, fun , and full of really awesome rhymes. The robot reality is a sweet one and my kids totally dug this book. We were picking favorite robots in the first few pages and loving the book more and more as we read it. The story is a familiar one but with the substitution of robots instead of humans basic snow day things get more interesting. My son loved the snowball fight and my daughter was all over the pink robot. I loved how they had cereal with gasoline and an oil bath. A huge hit with all of us.

Valentine's Day by Anne Rockwell

Valentine’s Day by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell is a lovely book with a cute twist. The story follows a class making special valentines for each other, some are very touching others goofy. The story doesn’t reveal who the Valentine’s are for. There are pictures of the same girl with the various students though so after a while you are clued into that they are for her we still don’t know why. I was so worried she was sick in the hospital, as it turns out the class goes to the post office to send it away to a classmate that is far far away! I like the idea of a class all writing to a friend far away, focusing on friendship and not candy! I also love any book that causes my son to say ” Let’s go see a map of where she lives mama!”

next new year janet wong

This Next New Year by Janet Wong is a great new book about Chinese New Year. I read it with my kids after dinner and they booth really enjoyed it. My daughter liked the illustrations and the text itself was short enough to keep my 2-year-old interested too. What this book did a great job of doing was explaining a few of the differences between Chinese New Year and New Year of January 1st and lots of the traditions. My son related well to the main character, a little boy about his age, and had a ton of questions after the book that the author actually addressed in an authors note at the end. Great book for PreK and up.

Bear-Stays-Up

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep. They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!

 

Must Read Picture Books For Spring 

hungrycaterpillar2

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating! It was a childhood favorite of mine and if the fact that he fell asleep holding his ” Pillar” is any indication it is already one of my son’s favorites too!

llama

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite this book by heart. Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he finds the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.

 

 

butterfly colors

Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horaeck is such a wonderful book! I love the simple text and engaging story about a little girl who is trying to find the butterfly that she saw the day before. In her attempts, she finds many other colorful bugs in her garden. At the end of the book is a beautiful pop-up butterfly that will delight your little readers. I read this to a class of 2 and 3-year-olds who were glued to every page and both my kids who are 3 and 7 loved it as well.  Great book!

plasticbottle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2-year-olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5-year-olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also, the book was printed on 100% post-consumer waste paper.

because I am your daddy

Because I Am Your Daddy by Sherry North is a cute rhyming book about all the things a dad would do for his daughter if he had various jobs. The rhyming text works well but the illustrations by Marcellus Hall steal the show. They are fun and detailed enough for kids to loose themselves in them. I like the idea of a parent imagining with their child, it’s such an important skill and is often pushed aside as not worth doing. Lovely book.

the earth book

The EARTH Book by Todd Parr is a great Earth Day book for preschoolers and young elementary aged kids. It focuses on small everyday steps kids can take to help the environment as well as how these little everyday measures help. The way the text is written it begs for discussion whether you are reading it to a class of 25 or in bed with your only child. Add om Parr’s wonderfully whimsical, bright, bold illustrations and you have a super Earth Day book.

First The Egg

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is the perfect book to introduce life cycles to young kids. It doesn’t go into great detail, but it doesn’t have to it is perfectly effective just the way it is. Each page shows one stage like a seed and the following the result of a flower. My son loved this book and I think older children would too, it’s simple but isn’t infantile. If your child is in the “Why?” stage be prepared for a long but fun and informative story time!

Have-You-Seen-My-Duckling

Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri is a wonderful book with minimal text but a call to action for the readers. On every page the mama duck asks other animals in the pond if they have seen her missing duckling and with close inspection of each illustration readers can find that little one just beyond her mama’s gaze. Kids love to feel like they know something that others don’t and this simple book taps into that while giving adults a chance to talk about all sorts of animals and even opening a dialog about wandering off and getting lost.

zinna's garden

 

Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.

earthdaybigearth

Big Earth, Little Me by Thom Wiley is a cute introduction into an environmental theme for toddlers. The book is a lift the flap format and the pages are extra sturdy for fumbly toddler fingers. I love the illustrations by Kate Endle they bring the super simple text to life and get across the point that even little kids can help the earth. My students loved this book and during quiet reading time many would hunt down the book to read while classmates finished up their snack. It was a favorite for certain!

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Playhouse Painting – Art Outside http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/playhouse-painting-art-outside.html http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2015/07/playhouse-painting-art-outside.html#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 06:15:44 +0000 http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/?p=30664 Do you like our new design? Me too but I am still working on filling up the category pages with the most helpful links for my readers. That takes time. Quite a bit of time actually and while my son was at day camp last week I really needed something to keep my daughter occupied […]

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outside art activities for kids Do you like our new design? Me too but I am still working on filling up the category pages with the most helpful links for my readers. That takes time. Quite a bit of time actually and while my son was at day camp last week I really needed something to keep my daughter occupied while I scrolled through posts and adding things here and there. She loves to read but she already read and she had already beaded a bunch, I wasn’t ready for her to have screen time yet ( that was being saved for a conference call later that day) so I decided I’d give her some paint and let her experience some art outside while painting her play house!

What a huge hit! Not only was she into it that day but a few days ago when our neighbor came over they repainted it where the sprinkler had washed the paint off!

Gather your materials. You will need some washable paint, unbreakable dishes, and brushes. You may also want a damp towel on hand for a good pre-clean before entering your house. Test the paint on the bottom of the house before you do it to make sure it will wash off. I did not do this but was happy when it all came off easily two days later with the sprinkler.outdoor art activities for kids

Lay out the paint and GO for it.painting playhouse

I think it looks WAY cooler with the paint.painting the play house art outside for kids

Soon the paint got on more than just the house but that wasn’t exactly surprising. Glad I had the damp towel.painting with hands on playhouse

She had a blast playhouse painting, not sure why we’d never done it before!

I get asked about this playhouse a lot so here is an affiliate link to Amazon for it —> Sweetheart Playhousefacebook painting house

Books about Painting

All our book lists include affiliate links.

 

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!by Karen Beaumont is guaranteed to entertain your child, even my toddler was laughing and anticipating the rhyming text which tickled me to no end! Now I have had some parents in the past not be happy about the use of “ain’t ” and the little boy in the story painting everywhere, I would counter that by saying people do use “ain’t” and kids do paint on things they aren’t supposed to you can use this as an example of what you aren’t supposed to do, and ask your child what they think should happen if they painted all over the house? As far as using “Ain’t” I would play the traditional “It ain’t gonna rain no more” and explain that the author used that song as inspiration for the book.

Hugo and Miles In I’ve Painted Everything by Scott Magoon is going on my must buy list. I have renewed this book for months from my local library. I finally have to return this book and I just don’t want to! The book is all about Hugo a painter who has painter’s block. He goes to Paris with his best friend Miles for inspiration, and among the sites, the masterpieces and thanks to the Eiffel tower he finds it! I love this book and my son just eats it up. He wants to go to Paris to the “Moosay Dor-see” to see Van Gogh and climb the Eiffel tower thanks to Hugo!

Willow by Denise Brennan Nelson is another wonderful book about artistic spirit. Willow doesn’t follow the rules in art class, instead she paints what she sees when she closes her eyes. Her teacher’s rules are unfair, restrictive and she is just plain mean! It’s hard as a teacher to read stories with mean, repressive teachers in them, and this one takes the cake. Willow doesn’t stop painting blue apples and is confident in her individuality and isn’t as bothered by her mean teacher as I am. This story is really worth a look!!

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