Link up your posts about kids crafts and early learning!

preschool blogI hope your Halloween was fun and you haven’t been dealing with too many sugar crashes! If you didn’t see our post yesterday we shared 7 fun ways to use Halloween candy for educational activities. Check it out and maybe some of the candy can go to great use.

Now that I have shared what we have been doing, tell me what you have! I can’t wait to see your posts about kids crafts and early learning activities.

If you are a reader without a blog to link up ( most of you are) I hope Link & Learn is a super helpful one stop shop for finding new ideas. You can stop here before hitting up Pinterest.



How To Use Halloween Candy For Learning

halloween candy activities for learning These 7 posts all focus on different things, counting, color matching, threading, writing, painting, and even science! I LOVE Halloween candy and I am not talking about eating it. I am talking about how effective a little novelty can be to spark your child’s interest in learning. I like doing candy related ideas after Easter and Halloween when we already have the candy and I want to USE it up. I get asked a lot when I post marshmallow crafts how I keep my kids from eating too much while playing. Well usually ( this didn’t work one time with my daughter) I set aside a small bowl with a reasonable amount of candies and tell them if they don’t eat the candy we are playing with they can have the small bowl when we are done. It usually works. An alternative could be that for every candy they sneak you remove one from their after activity stash. It’s never been a huge issue though, they are too busy having fun.

Here are 7 fun ideas for Halloween candy learning !

candy experiments from teachmama.com

Candy Experiments from Teachmama.com

Thanksgiving Math with Candy Corn

Candy Corn Counting

beading with twizzlers

Twizzlers Necklace

treat tally for halloween

Treat Tally Printable from PBS Parents <—- print this out NOW and keep count of your candy from last night!

skittle paint from teachpreschool.org

How To Make Skittle Paint from Teach Preschool

use skittles and m&ms for math

Candy Apple Trees ( great for M&Ms and Skittles!)

estimation ars filled with candy

Estimation Jars with Candy

 

How do YOU use candy for learning? Tell us and link your ideas in comments!

8 Easy Phonics Activities

phonics for kidsPhonics is the fancy name for relationship between the written letter and the sound or sounds it represents. Pretty important for learning to read. English is not a common sense language but giving children a good base knowledge of letter sounds we can help them build strong foundations for decoding words while reading. Most of these activities are focused on the first consonant sound in the words ( called the onset) because that is the stage my children were/are at when I did the activities with them. Some like the Spin & Rhyme and Building Words with Magnets focus on other parts of the words as well. For more rhyming activities check out this list of 8 fun rhyming activities.

phonics activity for kids

Flip Top Phonics

letter sounds
Unlock The Letter Sound

phonics game for kids
Letter Sound Pound!

rhyming spin
Spin & Rhyme

letter sounds hands on activity
Letter Sound Matching

letter sounds
Outside Letter Sounds

letter sound matching game with princesses
Princess Phonics Game

word building with letter magnets
Building Words with Magnets

Hexbug Races

hexbug activities for kidsSimple activities using toys we already have in our playroom are my favorite. Finding new ways to use the toys inspires creativity and play. This Hexbug race activity was a spur of the moment idea that I made my son pause as I ran downstairs to grab my camera. We played from after dinner all the way until bedtime and again after school the next day. We didn’t places bets but the way my son was hooting and hollering you’d think he had money on his little Hexbugs. Here is how we set it up simply enough that anyone can do this with very little planning. I apologize for the terrible light in the photos, I could have re-taken the photos in the daylight the next day but I try my best to always share it like it is, and this was done after the sun went down with bad photography light. The good news is that didn’t change how much fun it was.

Gather your materials. You will need some Hexbug Nanos , habitats, and bridges.  I have links to the exact toys we have at the end of the post. If you want to take a more hands on approach you could try making your own bristle bots and make your own mazes with Lego! With a little extra planning there is no reason you have to use these exact toys.hexbug races supplies

Set up the course. We don’t have a ton of tracks so our courses were short but we made two identical ones with what we had. You could do this with one track and a stopwatch too, just send the bugs in one and a time and time them.hexbug nano races

After you set the courses turn the bugs on and the first one to do the whole course and find the exit wins. hexbugs racesIf they exit before going through the whole course they have to start again.hex bugs races

That’s it.

That kept my son completely engaged and cheering for ages.hex bug collage

We turned the races into a championship having the winners of each race go head to head until we had a grand champion. My son decided to make the winner a medal with a pipe cleaner and bead.hex bug champion

Some activities have a clear academic goal,some are about creating something together,  some are for physical development, and some are just about having fun with your kids. They are all important.

 

Quick Links Supply List
This is a list of the supplies ( or very similar) items used in the post. This list contains affiliate links.

Hexbug Nano Hex Cells
Hexbug Nano Curved Bridges
HEXBUG Nano, 5-Pack
Hexbug Nano Habitat Set

Alphabet Coloring Sheet – Free Printable

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alphabet coloring sheet A few weeks ago my son was home from school because of parent teacher conferences and I made him a Word Ladder Printable. While we were printing it out my daughter begged me to make her something special just for her. Time was short and I needed to start dinner but she was really sad that she didn’t have something. So I through this alphabet coloring sheet together. Matching upper and lowercase letters is still a fun activity for her and adding an element of secret code into it made it special. I didn’t plan this activity but she loved it! I wouldn’t call this a handwriting activity because the font used is anything but standard but coloring in the dots still takes good hand control and concentration.

Color coded alphabet

Gather your materials. You will need this printable ( click on the image above and print), crayons in the matching colors, and a clip board to hold everything still.secret code alphabet activity printable

Explain the sheet to your child by showing them the colorful lowercase alphabet on the bottom and telling them that they need to use the crayons to color in the uppercase alphabet in the same colors as the lowercase letters.color coded alphabet printable for preschool

That’s really it. So simple but not only are they working on the mechanics of writing they are working on letter recognition too! She dove right in and colored so carefully. color coded alphabet coloring sheet  for preschool

Lowercase p and q are still a little tricky but she figured it out. alphabet printable coloring sheet

When she was all done she recited the alphabet from A to Z. Then asked me for another sheet. I think 6 have been completed since in about 10 days which is usually just enough quiet time for me to answer a few emails that can’t be put off until after bedtime. color code letter recognition

Alphabet Books With Upper & Lowercase Letters

all our book lists contain affiliate links.

eating the alphabet

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire and perfect for a letter F since it’s all about food!  Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page. This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry.

chica chica boom boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. Its text is musical , its premise is brilliant in its simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!

Alphabet Books For Kids

The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra is a great alphabet book. I couldn’t help myself, I read it to my son to the tune of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . It is clearly its own book though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed and just like your little ones, these lowercase letters are pulling out all their tricks and antics to avoid bedtime. Well almost all of them, z is more than happy to go to bed!  It’s a sweet book that your kids can relate to and I like that it focuses on lowercase letters.