Crafts For Kids – Linky!

rp_link-learn-2014-455x17811111.jpgIt’s late and I have been busy  putting my new sun room office together , so busy I almost forgot about Link & Learn! I love seeing what other blogs are up to and hope my readers do too. Please feel free to link up a post or two about crafts for kids or any other fun educational activity. Of course play and book reviews too.

If you are new here don’t be shy. Just join in and leave me a comment letting me know it’s your first time linking up, I’d love to give you a special shout out on our Facebook or Pinterest!



Teachers Feed Much More Than Minds #QuakerUp

1983 Allie School Pic2Do you have a favorite teacher?

I do. Her name was Madame Obadia. That’s us in 1983.

She is the reason I studied education and became a teacher.The gift she gave me is what I try to pass on to every student I have. She made me feel safe at school, she made me feel loved at school, and she made me want to come back the next day.

That wasn’t always the case.

One day Madame Obadia was gone and I blacked out in class. The teacher who was there did not believe me. That set me off. The next day I flat out refused to go to school. I didn’t feel safe and I told my mom I wouldn’t go. I am not sure how many days I stayed home but I remember meeting with Madame Obadia after school where she told me she did believe me and she had a plan to make me feel safe at school. She rewarded me for my bravery and I still have the little crocheted bookmark I earned. She didn’t have to do this, getting me to school was my parents job but she saw my needs and met them. What I really left her classroom with was a sense that school was a good place, school was a place I would be heard, and my needs would be met.

30 years later teachers all over the nation are doing exactly the same thing Madame Obadia did for me, meeting their students needs whether it’s part of their job description or not. Those needs are often in the form of food, in fact according to No Kid Hungry “three in five K-8 public school teachers say their students regularly come to school hungry, and as a result these teachers typically spend $37 per month from their own paychecks on food for their students.” Teachers should not have to feed their students but they know that a hungry child is not a child ready to learn.

quakerup

Quaker understands the importance of helping to fuel health and wellness in schools – so they are teaming up with AdoptAClassroom.org to help teachers give their students the tools that can help them succeed. I am helping them spread the word.

As a Quaker Classroom Ambassador, I’m inviting you to join Quaker in supporting teachers nationwide. From July 7 to Sept. 30, purchase specially -marked Quaker products and enter the unique package codes online at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com. For every code entered online, Quaker will donate $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org up to $250,000 (minimum donation of $150,000) to help fuel classrooms across the country. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off Quaker products. Learn more at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com.

 

Specially-marked Quaker products include:

  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Maple Brown Sugar – 10 ct.
  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon – 10 ct.
  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Regular – 10 ct.
  • Life Regular – 13 oz.
  • Chewy Chocolate Chip – 8 ct.
  • Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – 8 ct.
  • Quaker Oat Squares Brown Sugar – 14.5 oz.
  • Life Cinnamon – 13 oz.

 

How much easier could they make it for us to support teachers? You don’t have to be crafty or spend a bunch of money. You just have to take a few minutes to enter the codes and know that it will make a difference!

Over the next few weeks as a Quaker Classroom Ambassador I will be sharing more about this campaign and host a fun giveaway as well. To see more great back-to-school content from myself and the other Quaker Classroom Ambassadors and join the conversation with your own teacher appreciation stories, simply follow and share with your social networks via the #QuakerUp hashtag.

I am participating in the QuakerUp campaign as a paid ambassador.

 

Picture Books About Worrying

books about worrying for kids anxiety books Young children have a hard time putting their fear into words ( umm tantrum anyone?) sometimes finding a book that adds words to their feelings is just what you need. Here are 16 books about worrying  and separation anxiety.

All our book lists include affiliate links.

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Parts by Tedd Arnold is so funny. Readers follow along as a 5 year old boy begins noticing things about his body he’d never noticed before like belly button lint, snot, peeling skin, and more. His anxious assumptions about his body falling apart will have you in stitches. My 2 year old laughed and got most of the humor but slightly older children will be laughing hysterically at how silly the little boy’s worries are.

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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.

don't worry bear

Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley is a short little book about a bear who is so so worried about his little caterpillar friend. Most children will figure out what is really going on and that the bear really doesn’t have anything to worry about but that’s not the beauty of this book. The beauty of this book are the awesome illustrations. They are simple but packed with emotions.

Wemberly Worried

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes This book is about a little mouse who is about as anxious as possible. She worries about everything, and it makes her family worried too. This is a fantastic book to read before starting anything new! I read it for the children’s time at my church right before school started last fall. It was a great opener for a talk about anxiety. We all have worries and even though we may not worry as often or as fiercely as Wemberly this book makes it seem okay and normal to feel those feelings. The way the author illustrates both through words and pictures the intensity of her feelings really creates compassion in the reader for this little mouse. And that ability to understand what another is feeling is something that I desperately want to instill in my children.

kishand2

The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite . Chester is a raccoon who like most of us doesn’t like change. In his case it’s starting school. He wants to stay home with his mama and play with the friends he already has instead of going to school away from her and his friends. So his mama explains to him the magic of the kissing hand . The real magic is the message that we have to do things that scare us sometimes but that the love of our family is always with us to help us through. Go get this book.

teacher from the black lagoon

The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler is the original book in the very popular Black Lagoon series. The imaginative story is all about a boy’s worries that his teacher is going to be a terrible child eating monster. My son giggled through the whole book and loved the gore and dark humor. I do not suggest reading this to very sensitive kids or ones that really are very nervous about school. It’s humor may not be reassuring, but kids comfortable with school will find it hilarious.

just in case

Just in Case by Judith Viorst is a funny and spot on look at the anxious child who must prepare for everything ” just in case”. As a worrier myself who must start at the worst possible scenario and then slowly come back to reality I get this book. It’s funny for kids who aren’t worriers and makes the anxious preparer feel like they aren’t alone.  The book also shows kids that they aren’t powerless to their worries.

Owl Babies

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell is perfectly written for toddlers who are eager to “do it myself” but still need a loving parent safely within view.  Three baby owls wake to find their mom away and as time passes the three all get more anxious in their own ways. My daughter loves this book and completely related to poor little Bill who repeats ” I want my mommy!” over and over.  At night she is very much like little Bill, but during the day she is braver like the other two owls Sarah and Percy. No matter what level of separation anxiety your child may have at times they will relate to one or all of the little owls. Of course the story ends with mama coming back and reassuring her little owl babies that she always will.

Scaredy Squirrel at night

Scaredy Squirrel at Night  by Melanie Watt. I love Scaredy Squirrel. His crazy anxiety, tendency to play dead and hilarious facial expressions never fail to make me laugh out loud while reading.  I love this installment because it talks about something very topical in many preschooler’s life – nighttime anxiety. I was expecting a funny book but it was also really touching and useful in regards to conquering fears. I must say for any new parent the bits about sleep deprivation will hit home, trust me.

scaredy squirrel makes a friend

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend  by Melanie Watt is hilarious! I laughed  from start to finish, my son who was 18 months old didn’t get the humor at all but laughed at me laughing! Older preschoolers will get most of the humor though and like my son, will love the pictures ! Here is my favorite line : in very small print on the inside cover it reads ” * Caution: this story not suitable for walruses. ” Oh how I laughed ! The dry humor aside, the book follows an anxious squirrel looking for a friend , but one that is safe and won’t bite! Of course the message is about taking risks and kids will get it! I love this book!

my somebody special

My Somebody Special by Sarah Weeks is a sweet and simple book about that feeling when everyone else has been picked up from school or daycare except you. The illustrations accurately depict a preschool and I relate very well to and know many children will as well. Of course the last parent comes running in and all is well and a good reminder to children that sometimes parents are late but they will be there as soon as they can.

felix and the worrier

Felix and the Worrier by Rosemary Wells Let me start by saying I really love Rosemary Wells but I really really do not love this book. Often when I find books I don’t like I just omit them from round ups but when I saw this book on the shelf I thought ” I bet this one is great!” because of the author and grabbed it without thinking. The story is about Felix who worries a lot at night but the worries are personified as a freaky little yellow guy that taps on Felix’s window and comes in to scare him out of his happy dreams. All of the worries are over the top and while I understand what the author was trying to do the Worrier ( the little yellow guy) is just plain disturbing. The other thing I don’t like is how dismissive Felix’s mom was about his worries and how in the end it’s a puppy that fixes everything. If you have read this book and like it please offer an alternative review, I want to think that it might help some child but really it just made mine laugh nervously at the smiling but terrifying Worrier.

Love Waves

Love Waves by Rosemary Wells is about as far from the disturbing previous book as you could get. The book is all about those invisible but very real waves of love that connect child to parent no matter how far apart they are. In this one a little bunny is separated first from mom then from dad while they work outside the home, readers get to see the parents work , and miss the little bunny, then the happy reunion.  I loved this book but not as much as my daughter did. Very sweet and exactly what I’d expect from Rosemary Wells.

piglet and mama

Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild is a book I would suggest for the under 3 crowd. My son loved it when he was 2. Piglet is searching for his mom and even though all the other animal mommies offer for him to join them and their babies he wants his mom! The illustrations by Stephen Michael King capture the warmth between a mama and her baby beautifully . My son had the “Mama” scream perfected and quite enjoyed seeing the little piglet do the same thing for her mama when we read this book. Even if separation anxiety isn’t something you are dealing with at your house this is a sweet book.

mama always comes home

Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through. { I originally reviewed this in 2009 and have since read it many times to my daughter who also needed those gentle reminders that I would always return. }

jake starts school

Jake Starts Schoolby Micheal Wright is such a great book that has just the right amount of sarcasm for the adults reading it and a great message and humor for the kids too. Jake is a little scared about his first day at school so he decides to hold on to his parents and not let go. The day wears on and his parents patience is wearing thin as they do everything stuck together including recess… but a great teacher finally gets Jake to connect with a book and become her helper and finally he lets go of him poor aching parents. I really enjoy this author/illustrator because I relate so well to his characters, Jake who is anxious and his parents that love him and will support him but aren’t necessarily thrilled to be sitting at his desk in his kindergarten class. I thought it was touching  and my son thought it was funny so it was a win win for us.

50 Easy Art Projects For Toddlers

easy art projects for toddlers My daughter isn’t a toddler anymore and my son is almost as tall as me, but I am preparing to jump right back into the world of toddler art projects as a teacher. I was going over some of my favorite easy toddler art projects and decided to turn the list I am using into one for you to use too. These toddler art projects are all focused on play. Some have an end product but even those few have wide boundaries and stress the experience and not that there is only one way to create the art.

If you need great toddler books as well check out our Favorite Board Books and 50 Books For 2 Year Olds.

sponge painting for babies

Simple Sponge Painting
Torn Paper Acorn
Pot Scrubber Painting
Paint with Recycling

easy toddler crafts
Ribbon Butterfly
Newspaper Hat
Paint With Toy Trains
Paint and Peel Math

toddler activity
Painting with Water
Bubble Wand Painting
Texture Collage
Paper Plate Tambourine

toddler art projects
Walnut Painting
Rubber Duckie Printing
Bubble Wrap Painting For Toddlers
Potato Masher Prints

painting with sound 5 senses activity for kids
Painting with Sound
Paint The Snow
Paper Bag Jelly Fish
Toddler Beads
No Mess Color Squishers

art projects for toddlers

Alphabet Cookie Cutter Prints
Heart Rainbow
Water Table Paint & Print
Block Painting

toddler art ideas
Puffy Paint Clouds
Flower Sticky Window Mural
Jackson Pollack Painting
Spray Painting Outside

cork painting rainbows st. patrick's day craft

Cork Painted Rainbow
Painting with Toy Bugs
Toddler Binoculars
Worm Painting
Fly Swatter Painting

toddler art ideas

Glass Sponge Painting
Garden Vegetable Prints
Painting with Baby Dolls
Trash Rainbow ( great for groups)

Animal Tracks- painting with toy animals

Animal Tracks
Fresh Picked Flower Place Mats
Painting with Nature
Pumpkin Prints

puffy paint moon sensory fun

Puffy Paint Moon
Mix & Make Colors
Turkey Baster Painting
Painting with Toy Trucks

infant and toddler painting ideas

Bath Poof Painting
Cork Painted Snowflake
Puffy Paint Ghost
Cookie Cutter Prints

Storytelling Box With Photos

storytelling box Every year we go down to the Oregon Coast and rent a beach house and relax. This year I got to bring along something extra! A brand new Nikon D3300 ! Nikon wanted me to check the camera out and I jumped at the chance, I started playing with it as soon as it arrived.  I knew that when Nikon asked me to share the photos I took with the D3300 with my readers I wasn’t just going to throw them in a post, I wanted to show you how I used the vacation photos for a simple but very effective literacy activity. Storytelling.

Before you can make your box you need to shoot some great photos. I am not a photographer but I have always enjoyed taking photos and know that taking many is a great strategy for getting just the right shot! Here are some of my favorites that went into our storytelling box – trust me these are just a few that I took.

 

nikon

The view from the window seat – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Taken with my Nikon D3300

Making sand angels – Taken with my Nikon D3300

It's a big big world - Taken with my Nikon D3300

It’s a big big world – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Taken with my Nikon D3300

Taken with my Nikon D3300

oregon coast vacation storytelling

Oregon Coast Taken with my Nikon D3300

Jumping tide pools - Taken with my Nikon D3300

Jumping tide pools – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

shells - Taken with my Nikon D3300

shells – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Jump - Taken with my Nikon D3300

Jump – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

vacation photo box

Catch at the beach – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Running out of the waves - Taken with my Nikon D3300

Running out of the waves – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

vacation photo storytelling box for kids

Checking out one of the instruments the beach house had – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Shells from the beach - Taken with my Nikon D3300

Shells from the beach – Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

When it comes down to it, they adore each other. Taken with my Nikon D3300

When it comes down to it, they adore each other. Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Once you have all your favorites chosen print them out or have them printed at a photo lab. I am a last minute sort of gal so I did it myself.  Very late at night… don’t know about you but that is my time to check off all the items on my to do list.

Gather your materials. You will need the photos you took, a box, some card stock, glue, and scissors.

making a storytelling box

Taken with my Nikon D3300

 

Cut the photos out and glue them onto the card stock then trim. Pop them in the box and set them out for your little storyteller.

Do you use your family photos for activities? Tell is about it on our Facebook page!

As stated above I was provided with a Nikon D3300 in return for sharing this post.