Princess Slime with dig and find gems.

princess birthday party ideasPlaying with slime is such a soothing activity for children and in my experience adding small items to it makes it even more calming. For my children focusing on digging items out of the slime takes their focus away from their frustration and upset and gives them something better to work on.  Slime is not just for kids that need to chill out, it’s for all kids, and in my experience most children LOVE it. I make mine pretty stiff because when it’s wetter kids tend to try to shake it off and then you find little bits all over. This princess slime puts a princess spin on a not so princess like activity – but even princess fans LOVE slime.

Gather your materials. You will need clear glue, regular glue, glitter glue, food color, glitter, laundry starch, gems, beads, and a bowl and spoon for mixing.

princess slime

I am not an exact recipe type person and I was using up half empty bottles of glue for this. But below is what I did!

Recipe:

1/2 bottle of clear glue
1/2 bottle of glitter glue ( I had 1/4 of 2 different colored bottles)
2 drops of red food color
2 big dollops of plain glue
1 vial of glitter
about 1/4 cup of starch + a little more.

princess slime recipe

Start by mixing the glue and food color. I was pumped when my son wanted to help make this for his sister.

Add the glitter and mix.princess slime for kids

Add the liquid laundry starch slowly. princess slime play recipeI had my son add about 1/8th of a cup, then I stirred and then he added more. In all it was about 1/4 cup. I know it’s enough only after I knead it for a long time. If it’s still sticky then, I add more. I knead it a lot to make sure it’s stiff.

slime activity

Add in the gems.gems in princess slime

Add in the kiddo to play ( Minnie ears are completely optional) – I never tell her to dig out the gems, she just does.fine motor sensory play princess slime

Strech! stetchy princess slime

She loved seeing how far she could go without it breaking!
princess slime is fun!

Hands On As We Grow in our Sunday Spotlight

hands on as we growSunday Showcase posts contain affiliate links

Sunday used to be about Link & Learn but with the growth of Pinterest linky parties are just not worth the effort anymore. I’d be sad except that now I have time to get back to my roots and return to Sunday Showcase!

jamie hands on as we grow

If you are a long long time reader you know that every Sunday I would showcase one amazing blog and tell you why I think they are rad. Back then, we were all little blogs but now not only do many of us blog but we write for other places and create wonderful print resources too. Sunday Spotlight will be about sharing the blog but also the resources and products that they offer. Not it’s NOT sponsored. Yes,  many of these bloggers are my friends but can I tell you something? I have amazing, creative, rad friends.

Today I want to tell you about Jamie and Hands On As We Grow.

She is the queen of active, easy, realistic activities for parents to do with their kids. Jamie often reminds readers she isn’t a teacher…she’s just a mom. I don’t care if she is a teacher or not, she has  created some of my favorite activities that readers can ACTUALLY DO! She is down to earth and LOVELY. Her three boys keep her busy and are the inspiration for all the fun she shares on her site.

Check out her site here —> Hands On As We Grow

After being encouraged to write some ebooks Jamie has just written a whole SERIES! These age-specific weekly plans give you 20 weeks of printable plans for play! They are beautiful and like everything Jamie does USEFUL for the everyday parent.

 

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Click here to learn more about Jamie’s ebooks.

 

I hope you are as excited about our switch back to Sunday Spotlight, there is so much talent out there to share!

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!

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18 Caterpillar & Butterfly Activities For Preschool { and Books too! }

butterfly and caterpillar ideas for preschool We are in the MIDDLE of learning all about bugs in my class and by FAR the favorites have been caterpillars and butterflies. They’re my daughter’s favorites too. I think that the fact that you can learn all about the lifecycle at such a young age has something to do with this. I like that as a teacher of really young children I can connect science, literacy, art, music, and movement into one theme so easily.

Here are my favorite caterpillar and butterfly activities for preschool.

paper plate butterfly with jewels

Easy Paper Plate Butterflies
egg carton caterpillars for kids

Clear Egg Carton Caterpillars

easy toddler crafts

Toddler Butterfly Craft 

caterpillar craft for kidsSize Order Caterpillar 
alphabet activities for kids

Alphabet Butterfly Garden Activity

monarch butterfly craft

Wooden Peg Monarch Butterfly 

butterflydyedpastasensorybin

Butterfly Sensory Table

easy caterpillar craft for kids

Paint Stick Caterpillar 

spring crafts for kids

Coffee Filter & Colored Glue Butterfly 

butterfly life cycle

Fill in the Blank Life Cycles 

butterfly-craft

Handprint Butterfly 

color and match color matching activity for kids

Color Matching Butterflies 

Butterfly Cereal Necklaces

Cereal Butterfly Necklaces

caterpillar c

Caterpillar C Letter Craft 

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Fall Leaf Butterfly 

butterfly pasta

Pasta Butterfly Collage 

Bandaid Butterfly Craft

Band Aid Butterflies 

egg carton caterpillar classic craft

 

Classic Egg Carton Caterpillars

 

Books About Caterpillars and Butterflies For Kids

All book lists include affiliate links.
very hungry caterpillar

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 butterfly it also is useful for a lesson about the days of the week and healthy eating. Children love relating to the caterpillar who eats too many treats and ends up with a belly ache before eating one more healthy leaf and spinning a chrysalis.

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Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earthworm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

the crunching munching caterpillar

The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain is another story about a caterpillar who is not happy with his lot in life. There is a fair bit of language that some parents would object to. This caterpillar is often reminded that he is too fat to fly- so that poses a few challenges to parents like myself who are trying to instill healthy body images as well as using respectful words with others in our children. I have dealt with this book in two ways, first by saying that the caterpillar is getting fat but it’s a good thing because he will be sleeping for a long time in his chrysalis and needs that fat to live. Also, I have simply replaced fat with big, a word that is much less ugly to many people’s ears.
From Caterpillar to Butterfly

From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heligiman is part of my favorite non-fiction for kids series ” Let’s Read and Find Out Science”.  I always grab these books at garage sales and thrift stores. In this edition, you follow a classroom of students observing a caterpillar as it metamorphosis into a butterfly. A classic spring activity for preschool age children to discover and learn about life cycles. Also a perfect match for your own Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden which I highly recommend and will be doing this year with my son. Reading non-fiction with your preschoolers is important as it teaches them seamlessly that writing and reading are not just for stories but for information too.

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!

Paper Doll Sticky Wall

sticky wall paper doll activity Paper dolls are a ton of fun but if you think back to when you were a kid you might remember that they were also tricky to keep clothed. Their outfits are kept on by folding the paper and inserting a teeny tiny tab into the doll. I remember having a lot of naked paper dolls. My mom picked up this super cute paper doll set for my daughter when she went on an Alaskan cruise but after playing with it once the frustration was more memorable than the fun. Then I devised a way to play frustration free!

paper doll activity

Gather your materials you will need some paper dolls, painter’s tape, and contact paper.

sticky wall activity

Start by mounting your contact paper on the wall with painter’s tape. Don’t forget to have the sticky side on the outside.

paper doll activity

Next trim your dolls a little. I hated doing this because I liked that the girls were such normal proportions but if we want the clothing to attach to the contact paper we’ll need to trim.

paper doll wall ready to play

Add the dolls, their clothing and accessories to the wall. I put the clothing for each doll on a separate side and had the dolls in the middle.

paper doll wall playing

Invite your child to come play.

paper doll playing

Play.

paper doll wall playing with the dolls

I love paper dolls as a play item because they encourage storytelling so naturally. My daughter started making up stories about these two little girls immediately. I loved hearing the story she created for them, but best of all, I loved that she could play frustration free.