Rhyming Rockets {FREE Printable}

rhyming rockets free printableRhyming is imperative for learning to read. When a child can rhyme it means that he can play with the different sounds and apply that knowledge to new situations. It comes very naturally for some children and others really struggle. If your child is new to rhyming I would read lots of books that rhyme like Dr. Seuss or try these. If they are really struggling I would skip this activity and check out this rhyming basket one from The Imagination Tree. I have done it many times with children who are struggling and it helps, as does rhyming match game like this from PreKinders. These rockets are for children who are ready for a challenge and can write… well that was the plan. As you will see things don’t always go as planned with my own kids either.

Gather your materials. You will need a pencil with an eraser , clip board, and our rhyming rockets printable <—- click for the printable. rhyming rockets supplies

Start by reading the words together. What is supposed to happen is your child should then be super excited to write and they will grab the rocket printable and fill it out happily rhyming as they do.

Or they will flop on the couch and in their sweetest voice ever say ” Mama can you do the writing?” rhyming rockets con artist

It’s all about teamwork. So you will or maybe you won’t but as you can see I did. rhyming rokets activity for kindergartenSeriously though my advice for keeping activities going is to pick and choose your battles. Some things in our house are non negotiable but a quick little rhyming activity is totally open for negotiation. And as it turned out we had a blast doing it together. I love the words he came up with and it gave me the chance to model rhyming out loud. rhyming rockets done

Paper Plate Planet

Creating your very own planet can be a quick art project or a much more involved one with reading and writing too. This simple  project combines so many lessons including shapes, space, as well as writing and spelling. Oh and for those of you afraid of mess , especially glitter mess – stick on glitter foam was made for you. It’s all the bling with none of the mess.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, various shapes of peel and stick glitter foam ( I pre cut a whole bunch for easy projects), markers, a piece of plain old paper, pencil, and tape.
  2. Make some shapes out of the foam.
  3. Start by creating your planet with the foam and markers. My thought when I brainstormed this activity was that  my son would make a mosaic like planet with all the pieces. Instead as he was making it he was deciding what each piece of foam would be . Rivers, lakes, a pit of lava, and an dark and scary forest were all added among other things.
  4. While they create the look of the planet write out a short questionnaire for them to fill in about their planet. I asked 3 simple questions , keeping it short to entice him to write the answers himself. The questions included naming the planet, how many moons it has and how long it takes to get to the planet from Earth.
  5. It worked  he was excited to try ,he asked me to write the words after. Do not correct your child if they are at the beginning stages of writing especially if they are at all reluctant. Correcting them can be seen as a further proof that writing is too hard and their attempts may become fewer and further between, which is not what we want! If they ask for you to help jump in slowly .
  6. Tape the information on the inside . When he showed it off to his dad at dinner, he read the inside and said ” I didn’t write Cybertron, it was too long and I didn’t have enough room, but I did the numbers!” Oops, next time I will make the writing area even bigger, to make it more welcoming for big emergent writer handwriting.

Books About Space

If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty was not what I expected, but what is that they say about judging a book by it’s cover? Yeah. I enjoyed the book but it was really long, even I was sorta wondering ” How much more?” half way through. However when I finished the book I was glad I read it all and the huge amount of information inside. The book is truly packed with information about space travel and the environment on the moon, for 3-4 year olds I would read it in parts, perhaps throughout the same day but I don’t think many would sit with full attention for this whole book. Older kids should have no problem especially if they are interested in space. Older children will also appreciate the message that we need to keep Earth healthy so our planet remains vibrant and full of life and not cold, dusty and still like the moon.

Another Day in the Milky Way by David Milgrim made me giggle. The story is about a little boy who is stranded on a weird planet where things are very strange and he doesn’t know how to get home. It’s never scary because it’s simply too weird to ever get scary. People with too many arms, donkeys and chickens dressed as horses and finally the realization that it’s all a dream.  The humor was rather dry although kids will probably take it as goofy . My favorite part was the little alien dog that transforms into a regular one in the end of the book when the little boy wakes up.

A Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z by Traci N. Todd is a typical themed alphabet book that is atypically funky. The vintage illustrations and historical photos from NASA makes this book stand out from other similar books. Each letter represents a number of space related items and the historical photos are so powerful in this because it bridges the gap from being a story to being information that children are eager to dive into further. There is something so powerful about a photograph to make that connection that this really happened, these guys really walked on the moon in ” the olden days” as my son calls any time before his birth in 2006.

Alien Dress Up

Aliens are super cool and combining a craft with pretend play is even cooler. We love dress up at our house ( and preschool) and this alien headband craft was created to use as a pretend play prop. I suggested my son glue eyes on the band but he was very adamant that they needed to be up high on antennae. Even though I have directions you can follow this is the sort of craft that is best used as inspiration for your own unique creation.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, paint, glue, sparkly pipe cleaners, sticky back sparkly foam, googly eyes, tape and glitter!
  2. Start by having your child paint the paper. This will be cut in two strips to make the headband. Tell your child you will be cutting it, this can really upset young kids if they aren’t warned. I like using either a foam paint brush or paint markers like these when we want the paint to dry fast.
  3. While they paint, trace a circle 6 times on the backing of the sparkly foam.
  4. Cut out.
  5. Glue the googly eyes on.  Let dry.
  6. Next cut the paper in half.
  7. Add glue and glitter. You want to do it after your cut  not before so that you aren’t cutting into glue and glitter. Trust me glitter is messy enough, but cleaning it out of scissors is no fun. Let dry.
  8. Cut your pipe cleaners into different heights.
  9. When eyes are dry ( or at least dry enough not to slide, peel off the backing of the 3 foam circles that do not have googly eyes on them. Press the pipe cleaners into them.
  10. Peel the back off the circles with eyes , press into the circles with the pipe cleaners so they are sandwiched.
  11. When the glitter is dry tape the pipe cleaners with eyes on the front of  one strip. You will want it near the end because you are going to tape the other strip on top to sandwich them.
  12. Size it to your child’s noggin’ and secure the two ends with tape. I like using tape for 2 reasons. It’s forgiving and it’s fast, so kids can play right away.

Books


The Way Back Home
by Oliver Jeffers is a moving story about a boy , a martian and the moon they were both stuck on. Together they figure out a way to get back home even though they are so sad to say goodbye to each other. I love this author, I love his illustrations as well, they are so unique and the emotion he manages to convey is amazing. There is an illustration of the boy and martian standing awkwardly before they have to say goodbye and it embodies the emotion. Grab anything written by this author and you will be happy!

Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk is a quirky updated version of the classic lullaby. So many bedtime books are super sugary but this one is funky and bright! I love the space theme and the illustrations are great! The rhymes are funny and kept my son interested in the lullaby much longer than the traditional one which he deems a “baby song”.

Moon Man by Tomi Ungerer is an odd, heartwarming, entertaining story. My son loves this story about the man on the moon who wants to be a part of the action on earth and decides to visit himself. Of course as is the custom on earth we are afraid of outsiders and he is thrown in jail. Luckily as he goes through the phases he manages to slip out through the bars.He finds someone to help him return home where he belongs, even though he is sad to go. I couldn’t help but think of ET… but that’s just me.

DIY Light Box

by Katy

Whenever I’m thinking up posts to write for No Time for Flash Cards, I try to think of things that are good for special needs kids, but can be fun for any kid. When I saw Allie was doing an earth craft with her son the other day, I knew I should share this light box activity.

Kids with low vision are often given a chance to “practice” using their eyes in a nice calm environment. Light boxes are a great way to do this, but hoo-wee are they expensive. Like always, I developed this method to make one on the cheap.

You will need a print out of planet earth. I Googled “earth” and found one easily. You will also need tape, an empty soda box (or similar), a flashlight, a pen, a pair of scissors, and a knife.

First you need to cut off one of the long sides of the soda box.

On the opposite side of the box, in the center, you will want to cut out a hole that is slightly smaller than your earth picture. To cut the hole, I used my knife to get it started and then finished with a pair of scissors.

Then tape your earth picture to the outside of the box, with the earth picture facing in.

Next, take your pen and poke holes in the box all around the earth cut out.

Take you box into a dark room and place the flashlight behind the earth. If you’ve got a strong flashlight like I did, it might help to dim it a little with a paper towel.

And there you go–the most-magical Diet Coke box I’ve ever seen. This could easily be adapted for other planets or even the entire solar system if you were feeling up to it.

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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Puffy Paint Earth Day Craft

easy earth day craft for kids

My plan was to make Saturn and start teaching my son about space but he asked if he could make planet Earth so I grabbed the shaving cream and this easy Earth Day craft is what we ended up making. What a hit! It’s so simple even young toddlers ( provided they are past the eating everything stage) could do this with minimal adult help. Saturn will get made sometime soon , he had so much fun making our planet and we still got to talk and learn about space.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some shaving cream, white glue, green paint,scissors, a marker, blue paper, a spoon, and container or bowl.
  2. Start by mixing your paint. You will need 3 parts shaving cream to 1 part white glue, and green paint . Use as much green paint as you need to get the color you want.
  3. While they mix it up, draw a circle on your blue paper.
  4. Paint. It might get messy but it will definitely be fun! 
  5. My son preferred to scoop the paint on to his hand and slap it down. 
  6. While the paint was drying my son used the extra paint to make another painting !
  7. Let dry and cut out. The paint will dry puffy !

Books About Space !