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7 Different Ways to Save Money Using Jars

Pick any of the ways to save money using jars to reach your savings goals. A simple glass jar can help you save a significant amount of money over the course of a year. The Savings Jar serves as a motivator to stick to a budget. It's a simple way to save money for a vacation or home improvement project.

ways to save money using jars

Make a Savings Jar To Prepare for the Ways To Save Money Using Jars

Any clear glass jar will suffice. Rinse out a jam jar, spaghetti sauce jar or any other food condiment jar and set it up as your Savings jar for your savings goal.

It's critical to keep the jar transparent since seeing the money grow motivates you to keep going.

ways to save money using jars

Setting Cash into a jar addresses two issues.

A. A Savings Jar is a motivational cue. It's encouraging to be able to see what you are saving.

B. Cash can be inconvenient, so it's less likely to be spent. Many of us prefer using a card over cash.

1. Save Money by Saving Five Dollar Bills

This strategy entails placing a $5 bill in the jar each time you receive one as change. Barclays Bank recommends this method in order to save money quickly.

ways to save money using jars dollars in jars

$5 bills on their own are spent quickly on small purchases that we usually don't need. However, each $5 bill you save easily adds up to a substantial amount. In today's economy, putting $5 or $10 aside is barely missed.

Instead of spending the $5 bill, save it by placing it into the $5 bill Savings Jar. If you don't receive $5 or $10 bills on a regular basis, get cash back when using a card to pay with. Ask the cashier to give you your change in $5 or $10 bills.

ways to save money using jars printable jar

Use a $5 dollar bill or a $10 dollar Bill Tracker with the Savings Jar. Hang the Savings Tracker up on the refrigerator or somewhere visible. Fill in a circle each time you add a $5 or $10 dollar bill into the Savings Jar.

  • When thirty-one $5 dollar bills are added into the Saving Jar, you will have a total of $155 saved.

2. Save Money by Saving Ten Dollar Bills

The $5 bill Savings Plan can be modified to be a $10 bill Savings Jar Plan. The principle operates the same as the $5 bill plan, except $10 bills are used instead. Equifax.com emphasizes the fact that saving as little as ten dollars at a time “decreases the stress of living paycheck to paycheck.”.”

  • When thirty-one $10 Dollar Bills are added to the Savings Jar, you will have $310 saved.
ways to save money using jars printable ten dollar savings jar

The $5 dollar and $10 dollar bill trackers serve as a motivator to keep adding to the Savings Jar.

3. Save Money by Saving Change in a Jar

Saving your change in the Savings Jar is a tried and true strategy that yields results. Saving change is one of the best ways to save money using jars.

ways to save money using jars  change in a jar

This is a great way to save as a family. Each family member contributes to the Savings Jar to reach the family savings goal.

Family members will receive enjoyment out of a goal that they have contributed to. Kids will have a sense of accomplishment as they enjoy their fruits of a goal they helped to turn into a reality.

The Traditional Change Savings Jar Plan is also a tool that children can use to learn about money.

ways to save money using jars change in a jar on desk

Change is physical. Because it's physical, it's an easier way for children to understand the concept of money as a whole. One of the ways to save money using jars is to physically save change to teach a good savings habit.

Use the Traditional Change Savings Jar Plan to teach children math skills as they practice counting coin change.

Each child chooses a jar, and decides what he/she is savings for. As the child earns money through chores, they can put the money in the jar.

Dump the Savings Jar out every week and count the money with the child to help him/her see where they are at towards achieving their savings goal.

4.Divide Your Paychecks To Meet Your Savings Goal

Are you trying to save for a trip or a new TV Screen or Trip?

The Paycheck Savings Jar Plan is one of the ways to save money using jars that works best if you have a specific financial goal determined.

How to use the Paycheck Plan:

  • Determine the amount you need to purchase your item.
  • Decide the date you want to purchase your item by.
  • Count the number of checks you have between now and that date.
  • Divide the amount you need by the number of checks.

This will tell you how much you need to save out of each check to purchase your item by the date you need it.

The Paycheck Savings Jar Plan also works for couples. Cash a specific amount of money from each paycheck and add it to your Savings Jar.

ways to save money using jars woman holding jar of change

5. Use a Printable Jar Tracker To Save $500 a Month

Use a Printable Jar Tracker to help with determining how much to save from each check. If you need to save $100 from a paycheck, fill in that total on the Printable Jar Tracker along with the cash placed into the Savings Jar. Printable Jar Trackers are just as effective as physical jars for one of the ways to save money using jars.

If you need to save $1000, simply use two copies of the Savings Trackers. Color in the matching circle for the cash you have put into the Savings Jar.

  • When every circle is filled in, you will have saved $500 dollars.

ways to save money using jars printable five hundred dollars savings tracker for paycheck savings plan

Use these Savings Jar Trackers to implement the Paycheck Savings Plan

6. Reach Your Savings Goal by Placing a Picture With Your Saved Cash in a Jar

The Inspiration Savings Jar Plan works by putting a picture of the object or goal, you want to achieve. This Savings Jar Plan can also be used as a Family Savings Plan. Couples and family members can contribute money to the Savings Jar to reach a family goal.

ways to save money using jars woman with money


The inspiration photo depends on your goals. Pictures of Goals can vary with a photo of a vacation spot or a new phone.

Attach a small photo to the lid of the Savings Jar, or place the photo near the Savings Jar. Make sure to display the photo so that you see it every day.

The photo serves as a constant reminder of why you are saving money. Each person puts money into the Savings Jar each time they are inspired to do so. While there are different ways to save money using jars to achieve your dream, putting a visual in will help you stay motivated to save.

ways to save money using jars save 1500 in 30 days printable

This Printable Savings Tracker can help you stay motivated to continue to put cash into the Inspiration Plan Savings Jar. Printable jar trackers are one of the convenient ways to save money by using jars without the clumsiness of using a real jar.

Use the Printable Jar Trackers to track the amount of cash put into the Inspiration Plan Savings Jar. If you need to save $3000, simply use two Budget Trackers.

  • As you put money into the Savings Jar, color the circle of the appropriate amount.
  • When every circle is filled in, you will have saved $1500 dollars.
ways to save money using jars dollar bill house

7. Use a Printable Jar Tracker To Save $100 in Thirty Days

The Weekly $25 Dollar Savings Plan is a popular Savings Jar Plan method. For many people, it's easier to put a small specific amount of money into the savings jar each week. This way of saving money using jars is best for medium-sized budgets.

Saving $25 a week is easy to develop as a habit because consistent practice equals consistent results.

Consistent results mean consistent Money Jar Savings cash.

ways to save money using jars save 100 in 30 days printable
Track your $25 a Week Jar Savings Plan Amount

This Printable Savings Tracker can help you stay motivated as you continue to put cash into the $25 a Week Savings Jar.

When you add money into the savings jar, color in the circle with the appropriate amount. When every circle is filled in, you will have saved $100 dollars. This way of saving money by using jar printables is a great way to build a consistent savings habit.

  • In a year's time, you will have saved $1,300 using the Weekly $25 Savings Jar Plan.

CONCLUSION

Once you have saved for a specific goal using a single savings jar, expand upon this idea. Try other ways to save money using jars by adding another savings jar to save money for a different budget goal. Money should not be a source of stress but a tool. I have used both the physical and printable Savings Jar methods to save money.

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Living Through Learning, One Dollar at A Time

Check out these tips for saving and budgeting

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5 Best Money Habits For Financial Freedom

You should know what financial freedom is before you start practicing the best money habits.

It's important to define what Financial Freedom means to you. The picture I have for my own financial freedom is not going to be the same as yours. Whatever your picture of Financial Freedom looks like, that dream is reached by the practice of Financial Fitness Habits.

Finances 101

Download the Free Financial Freedom Workbook at the bottom of this post.

It is impossible to meet the goal of financial freedom if we don't practice the best money habits.

Signs of an unhealthy state of financial fitness can be:

  • We don't know what we spend our money on
  • We have too much debt
  • We spend money on the wrong things

While there is no magical solution for financial freedom, there are steps everyone can take to get finances under control. Once we have our finances under control, we can implement steps for financial freedom.

Learning finances through budgeting

1. First Step to Financial Fitness: Create a Household Budget

The first of the most effective money habits to reach financial freedom is to track your income and expenses. We may automatically remember our “big” bills such as rent/mortgage and utilities. However, other household budget expenses are not as easy to memorize. Some regular expenses fluctuate with cost, and smaller expenses are less noticeable. I discuss how to make a budget here.
You can use any of these apps to keep track of your budget:

Budget Formula: 50/20/30 rule

learning finances through budgeting

The recommended formula is 50/30/20. 50% of our income goes to pay for the things we need to live, 30% of our income goes towards those things we want for our lifestyle. 20% of our income goes into savings.

Use the Financial Freedom workbook to help you assess where you are now and decide upon both short-term and long-term financial goals. The Financial Freedom workbook is the first step to establishing the best money habits.

2. Second Step for Financial Fitness: Saving Money

Ideally, you want to use 20% of your take-home pay to invest in savings goals. These savings can be used to set up an emergency fund. An emergency fund amount covers a period of six to nine months of your fixed expenses. Fixed expenses are your living expenses such as mortgage/car payment and medical insurance. More about an Emergency Fund Here.

Better Money Habits, Financial Freedom

Another important type of savings is a retirement plan. Once you have your emergency fund set up, you can set up a retirement savings account. Once you establish a savings account and a retirement account, you can research other types of investment accounts. Automatically saving 20% a week is one of the best money habits you can have towards reaching your financial goals.

Use the Financial Freedom Investing Money Worksheet to help you assess your Savings.

3. Third Step for Financial Fitness: Investing Money

The remaining 30% of your total income is for wants. This is the amount assigned to a budget for travel, eating out, or home improvements. The budget for your wants is “disposable income”.

5 Best Money Habits For Financial Freedom

Mindfully plan in your budget the amount of money you will spend on the things you want. Set short-term goals for your expenses and savings. Set long-term goals for big-ticket items. Establish specific goals for money to be spent within specific time frames. Specific goals and goals you can measure are a vital part of the best money habits you are practicing.

An example of goals are:

  • Vacation to see family: $3000 In June
  • Buy a new mattress next month: $1000
  • Save $1,000 a month for the next 5 years=$60,000

4. Fourth Step For Financial Fitness: Getting Out of Debt

Debt is an obstacle to Financial Freedom. The first step to getting out of debt is to take an inventory and itemize debts and amounts owed for each debt. What funds from your current budget are going to be used to pay off debt items? You may need to take a portion of your disposable income budget to make larger payments to get the debt paid off.

Debt Repayment, good money habits

Start by paying off the smallest debt first. It is much easier to pay off a credit card than a student loan payment. Consolidate debt where possible. Are there any monthly expenses you can reduce? Whatever amount you have saved from reducing monthly expenses can be paid toward your debt accounts. Debt is a bad money habit that most of us have, and the best money habits, like setting aside 20%, can be used to break the debt habit.

Use the “Getting out of Debt” worksheet in your Financial Freedom guide to building your debt reduction plan.

5. Fifth Step for Financial Fitness: Protect Your Assets.

If you want to have the financial freedom you need to understand both your liabilities and assets. Any debt or money owed is a liability. We've already covered different types of liabilities when we addressed household expenses and debt. The next step is to understand your assets in terms of understanding your wealth. Anything that you own, is a part of your wealth.

Protect Your Assets, Better Money Habits

The Assets page of the Financial Freedom workbook shows that an asset can be the money you have in your checking account. An asset can be the computer you own, jewelry, or a vehicle. Once you have an inventory of assets, decide what you need to have to protect those assets. Homeowner's insurance is one example of asset protection. Home insurance can cover destruction to your dwelling or the cash value of possessions that are stolen. Once you know what your assets are, take the steps to keep those assets protected. Make sure to give yourself time to reach the asset protection stage as you grow in your practice of your best money habits.

Stay Balanced

Financial freedom doesn't happen overnight. We have to replace our current financial habits with financial fitness habits. We do this in incremental steps to make an impactful change for the long term. Practicing these five habits all at the same time is a balancing act. Start with one habit, then build the next one. Remain patient with yourself, and congratulate yourself every time you practice each of the best money habits.

Enjoy your Financial Freedom workbook to help you practice the best money habits. It is for personal use only.

Financial Fitness, Financial Freedom, Better Money Habits, Finances 101
Living Through Learning, One Good Financial Habit at a Time
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How To Budget Money on a Tight Income When You’re Broke

Budget Money on a Tight Income by Creating a Budget Plan

We work hard to earn our income, and it's important that we use that income wisely to get the biggest bang for our buck. A household budget is a vital foundation for learning how to budget money on a tight income.

Budget money on a tight income

A household budget is a framework we use to:

  • Exactly how much money is coming in
  • Exactly where the money is being spent
  • Exactly how much money is left for savings

Consequences of not having a budget

  • We spend more than we make.
  • We spend more on things we don't need.
  • We don't realize how much we spend
  • We lose control over our spending
  • We develop a habit of spending

When I didn't keep track of my budget, I would lose track of online memberships I signed up for, forgot I had, didn't use, and paid for anyway. Recently, I realized I spent fifty dollars a month buying nail products to support a friend's business. I wasn't keeping track of my household budget, and here I am, three months later, with more nail products that I will use in a year's time.

Finally, make sure you set a realistic budget. We can't possibly budget money on a tight income if we set impossible goals.

Budgeting on a low income

1. Track All of Your Income as Part of Your Budget Plan

While it's easy to mentally keep track of the larger payments like rent and a car payment, it's much more challenging to keep track of smaller expenses like apps and games that cost less than five dollars a month.

Can you tell me if your water or heating costs have increased or decreased over the last three months? While we might remember what we paid for last month's water bill, I'm not going to remember what I paid two months ago.

A budget allows you to track your money, and identify patterns.

Simple Step Budgeting:

  • Record the source of the money you receive. (such as income)
  • Write out your priority regular, necessary bills. (mortgage/rent, car payments, utilities)
  • Write out secondary, necessary bills (gas, prescriptions, Netflix)

Record other, less fixed costs: Grocery bill estimates, pet food, and supplies, personal care supplies, and other things that you spend money on, regularly.

After subtracting the amount you spend, from the amount you receive, is called “Discretionary Income”.

Discretionary income is what you have to spend on purchases such as dining out or new clothes. Or if you are like me, new dog clothes. I spend more money on dog outfits than I do on clothes for myself!

2. Record All of Your Spending as Part of Your Budget Plan

We all have spending habits.

There's just no way in our fast-paced world that we can keep track of every spending purchase, in our head. We buy things online impulsively (Facebook ads), when we are tired (If I browse Amazon after 9 p.m. I always buy) and subscribe to online memberships and courses with the best intentions.

This doesn't take into account in-person purchases.

Even mindful grocery shopping is a challenge when stores are out of the item you planned to buy.

WRITE IT DOWN.

Let me say it again. Write It Down.

Writing things down, makes us remember.

Writing it down makes spending tangible. (Dang, I really DID spend $55.07 on Starbucks this month?)

Writing it down gives you recorded data to identify, and manipulate.

This allows you to use money as a tool to build with, versus money as a fluid substance that flows through our hands like water.

3. Adjust Any Unhealthy Spending Habits in Your Budget

  • Go through your recorded list of expenses and highlight the monthly expenses.
  • Go through your recorded list of expenses and highlight (in a different color) one time purchases.
  • Do this for three months, and after three months- a pattern will emerge.
  • Target the pattern, and start deciding what items you may want to reconsider.

Do this for both you and your partner, because each person's pattern will most likely be different. I tend to spend money on coffee, pet clothes, and used books. My husband spends less than I do, but he still overspends on groceries.

Both of us do practice getting good value for our money.

But getting good value for your money and spending money, are TWO DIFFERENT HABITS.

Target your spending habits, address these issues objectively, without negating or justifying.

How a Budget Allows You to Save

Before I started a budget and wrote down my expenses to track them, I wasn't even able to save one dollar.

“Why isn't there any money left, I didn't buy anything!” I would ask myself in complete exasperation.

Simple, if I don't know record what I have, I don't know what I have. Even our monthly income isn't fixed, because the number of days in a month, varies. There are paid holidays, and sometimes overtime.

And of course, I may have paid for something that I don't buy on a regular basis, or eaten out three times instead of twice during the month.

I have used both physical jars to save change, and dollars. I recommend these printable jar savings trackers from Etsy.com as a convenient way to save money for gifts and big purchases.

A Budget Helps You Save Because You Work Your Savings In As A Required Priority And Expense.

  • Mindset: Savings is a priority expense, not an option.
  • Set aside money for savings as if it is a bill. Twenty Bucks is Twenty bucks, and lets face it, twenty bucks is nothing in todays economy.
  • Set your budget amount aside in a way that is separate from your normal spending account. We do this and if the account falls below $100, we are charged so that's an extra incentive not to spend.
  • Set it aside in a cash jar. I do this for myself personally, because I use a card to pay for everything. I hate carrying cash because it can be lost. So I rarely touch the “Money jar”. Because this is physical and I can see the cash, it translates into “I'm proud of myself” emotion.
  • Hide it from yourself. I've also stashed a $20 dollar bill in unusal places. Then I forget about it.

You do you. It's not the amount. Starting off with saving five dollars a month, is still saving. It's not the how. Whether you use “mind tricks” like I do, or a savings account or whatever, use the method that works for you.

Track expenses, set aside a savings amount like it's a bill, then set the savings money aside.

Finally, recording and reviewing your budget allows you to stay on track for spending. It is a tool that allows you to account for any increasing mandatory expenses and track spending. A budget helps you to adapt to inflation, and adjust spending as needed.

4.Effective Audit Budgeting: Review Your Budget

When I started my budget, I had to review it on the same day every week. I chose Sunday. I planned the time to audit my budget, for two hours every Sunday so I could make sure I was mentally prepared and objective.

You may find that once your write out your budget, hidden expenses or forgotten expenses show up. I found one online account that only charged every three months, which is why I lost track of it.

After a three-month period, I audit monthly and I continue to audit monthly. I still set a day aside to audit. Between the first and the third is when I audit after we pay our monthly priority bills. Choose the best time that works for you, it may be before the kids wake up after they go to school, or during your lunch hour. Whatever the time, it needs to be a time where you are not brain-fatigued or distracted. Once you get used to auditing it will probably only take fifteen minutes because your budget is routine, stable and you've been tracking.

After you audit your budget as a habit, start assessing it. Can you add five more dollars to pay into your savings? If you received birthday cash, can you add this to your savings for the month? When we have overtime or extra pay because there are 31 days in the month instead of 30 days, we stick that day's pay into savings.

Small increments that we don't spend but save, are barely noticeable, but add up for savings.

One final tip: Our current bank savings account doesn't have a good interest rate. Talk to your bank or even online banks or a credit union. Again, do what you're comfortable with. Talk to people who you notice are good with money. My husband is not comfortable with any institution besides our bank, but I have received good money advice from a friend who owns a successful small business.

Expect the Unexpected: Emergency Savings Plan

Unexpected expenses are going to happen. You can cross your fingers and hope that you have the money when your tire goes flat, or you can prepare for it. Even though we budget our money on a tight income, we have been successful in growing our emergency savings.

We went through a period where we had to spend our savings at the same time I lost three clients. We had to buy brand new tires for a vehicle, and our neighbor complained about our dog running her fence, so we had to put up a new fence of our own. (Prepare for the Karen's)

Then I lost three clients and this all happened within three weeks!

Even though it was a bummer to have to rebuild the savings we had, the point is, we had the savings for emergencies. That is the point of savings.

Okay, yes, we want savings for retirement, etc., but when one is first starting out, on a moderate income, this is where we are at.

Being prepared for unforeseeable expenses equips you to deal with and respond to that situation with less stress. It's good for your stability and its good for your mental health.

While anticipating upcoming expenses can seem like a good idea, it's not. It can lead to anxiety and worry. Most things don't break down overnight, so you can keep a casual eye on replacing things like tires, and other big expenses like computers and appliances.

A better strategy is to have an Emergency Savings Fund. Only use this fund for unexpected emergency expenses. This is how you prepare for the unknown. Prepare with action and put money into your Emergency Savings Fund every time you receive income.

After you have an Emergency Savings Fund, you are going to need to use the money you worked hard to save. It can take a year or five years, but at some point your Emergency Savings Fund will be depleted.

How To Recover When Your Emergency Savings Are Depleted

  • Do a Budget Audit with the mindset of cutting back.
  • What expenses can you cut back on?
  • What expenses can you cancel?
  • What activities can you substitute with free activities?
  • Can you work overtime?
  • Can you pick up a side gig?
  • Can you switch to lower cost necessity items?

Set a goal for the minimum amount you want to save. The goal needs to be realistic because unrealistic goals are impossible and discouraging and we quit.

Our goal is $1000 as a baseline goal. We reviewed expenses to cut, and go without in the short term. (NO, I don't “have to have” Audible haha)

After auditing your budget, look at the expenses you can transform into savings.

Things I monitor as I work on budgeting money on our tight income:

  • TV Subscriptions: If you have cable, change to Netflix. If you have Netflix, most libraries have free online movies and shows to watch. We have other TV subscription services, so we cut out Hulu.
  • Online memberships, for business or personal. I cancelled my Canva membership, and cut back to one dog chew prescription a month. Yes I use Canva for my business, but I can get by with free.
  • Gym Membership: We hadn't gone to the gym in 3 months. I decided once I am committed to walking my dog daily, which is FREE, going to the gym on a regular basis is wishful thinking.
  • Dining out/food to go: We live in a small town there's not much to do so we dine out weekly. We now dine out once a month, and buy food to go once a month. This still allows us luxury but saves money for our emergency fund.
  • Shopping: Do any of us need 90% of the things we buy from Amazon? Do I need $4.25 worth of sticky notes? Or a journal? Or a holiday themed shirt for the kids? Most things we buy, whether in person or online, we really don't need. Buying less and REDUCING-REUSING, then recycling saves us money and the planet.
Budgeting on a low income

The twenty dollars you spend for lunch at work? Take a bag lunch and put that twenty dollars into your Emergency Savings Fund.

Tax Refund? Take half of that and put it into your Emergency Expense Fund. We even turn our recyclable cans and bottles in and put that five or six bucks into our Emergency Fund.

Once you reach your savings goal amount for your Emergency Fund, don't stop building it. Even if you return to some old spending habits, keep a plan in place to increase your Emergency Fund consistently.

Continue to increase the goal amount for your Emergency Savings Fund.

Decide the amount for the Emergency Savings Fund “bill” to keep growing this fund.

Create and Follow a Grocery Budget

Sticking to a budget for groceries when you're trying to budget money on a tight income isn't as easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of time and energy to compare store sales through email and store apps. It requires meal planning, and it requires understanding any supply issues or shortages and seasonal fresh food and vegetables.

Groceries are probably the biggest expense after house/car payments and are definitely a necessary living expense. Here are some tips to help streamline budgeting groceries for busy moms.

  • Inventory what food you have
  • Plan Frugal Meals by incorporating the food you already have.
  • Make your grocery list: priority items (like meat) and sub-priorities
  • Make a Grocery Budget (do not include non-food items like soap)
  • Check out at least two grocery store flyers/apps/sites for sales
  • Evaluate your trip(s): if there are several items at each store, then plan your errands accordingly
  • Don't forget to check out discount stores and Farmer's Markets and Coops
  • Make your list in the way you will walk through the store if possible, this way you aren't going into an aisle that you don't plan to buy from.
  • Ignore displays: “End-Caps” are set up for high profit items and frequently aren't practical items.
Budgeting on a low income

5. Celebrate Each Budget Success, Even Small Ones

I know from experience that it is not easy to budget money on a tight income.The great benefit of implementing these budget and savings plan practices is that you will actually be able to see and note your growth and successes. It's the small things that make up the big things. It takes hundreds of bricks to make a building, but we only notice the building, not the bricks.

The easy way to budget money on a tight income
Budget money on a tight income by saving money in jars
Learn how I save money by using jars!
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How To Gain Confidence as a Mom and Feel Better

I was always fighting the professionals, well-meaning adults, and church friends' advice on what was best for my son. A counselor told me if I had not been the kind of mom I was, my son would probably be dead. I had to do the internal work to gain confidence as a mom.

how to get more self confidence as a mom
My son and I, after I gained mom-confidence
  • The first thing to understand about having a lack of self-confidence is to understand the root of the issue.
  • The Lack of Self Esteem is the root of the lack of self-confidence.
  • A tree does not flourish if its roots are unhealthy.
how to grow more confidence as a mom
Healthy Self Esteem Roots for Healthy Self Confidence

5 Signs of Low Self Esteem in Women

  1. Changing yourself to please others
  2. Second guessing yourself
  3. Self- Limiting beliefs
  4. Feeling Inferior
  5. Overthinking other people's comments

Find out if you are feeling incompetent as a mom; start by checking your self-esteem levels by reading what experts say.

Low confidence and mental health in women

Low Confidence and Mental Health

While there are situational experiences that cause low self-esteem, it is common for low confidence and mental health issues to co-exist. It is important to address the mental health issue first, then focus on improving confidence. I have found it is impossible to increase my confidence if I am not managing my mental health issues properly. I recommend doing a mental health check before practicing confidence building.

What is Self-Confidence?

According to Merriam-Webster, Self Confidence is simply “ confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities.” Self-confidence is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. What does this look like in real-time, though?

how to gain more confidence as a mom

Five Things Self-Confident Moms Do:

  1. We set realistic expectations for our accomplishments.
  2. We are self aware and accept both our strengths and flaws equally
  3. We measure ourselves against ourselves, not others
  4. We set healthy boundaries
  5. We choose positivity over feelings

Growing in self-confidence as a mom means growing in self-confidence as a woman first.

You are a person, a woman before you are a mom.

As taking care of ourselves must come first in order to take care of children, building our self-confidence first, allows us to then build our confidence as a mom.

how to be confident for moms

Things Low Confident Moms Need to Know

So by using the lists above we:

We know What Not to Do: change “me” for others, second-guess myself, allow myself to feel inferior to others, and don't overthink what someone says, don't compare to others.

We know What to Do to gain self confidence as a mom:

Think positive, accept “me” (warts and all), have realistic (anti-wonder mom) expectations, and keep our boundaries (just say no). What does the journey look like as moms gain confidence? Because you are juggling 10 things, words are words, intentions are intentions, but you need something practical to apply? That doesn't involve an entire journaling practice for the time I don't have? Please and thank you.

tips for self confidence as a mom

5 Practices to Gain Confidence as a Mom

1. Positive Thought Framing:

An example is: “This is a challenge”, versus, ” This is a problem “. Another example is: “This is a path we can walk together”, versus, “This is a big hill we have to climb. “

2. Acknowledge all the small things you did right:

We frequently do small things and forget that we do them and don't give ourself credit for the small things. YES: I fed the children/family/pets + I did a load of laundry + I gave the pets attention + I called/emailed + I didn't eat 5 cookies, I ate 2. These are accomplishments and they count!

3. Set reasonable expectations: With children at home, plan to get interrupted for every task you start. Then when the task doesn't get done that day, you can still give yourself credit for getting 25% of the task done. Don't expect the To-Do list to be completed to-day.

4. Listen to Positive Peers or No Peers: I found that my mind-set changed when I began listening to online peers instead of my in-person peers. My online peers are much more educated and experienced, thus more supportive. Confident women value themselves enough to seek out positive, supportive peers.

5. Give yourself positive feedback daily:

Accept yourself as you accept others. There is not going to be positive feedback or positive results 100% of the time. You have to be the one to give yourself that feedback on a consistent basis. I find it helpful to be a “teacher self” talking to my “student self” with offerings of encouragement and positive feedback.

how to become more self confident as a mom

Mom’s Self-Confidence Effects Their Children’s Self Confidence

The number one motivator for increasing your own self-confidence?

Experts discovered that a mom's level of self-confidence gets passed on to her children. Children will always inherit from us the same level of self-worth. It is vital for us as mothers to recognize our own self-esteem issues and use confidence-building habits so our children can simply catch mom's self-confidence vibe.

moms self esteem gets passed on to children
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7 Easy Tips To Get a Baby and Toddler on a Nap Routine

Working at home or needing to get stuff done is a challenge with a one-year-old, a baby, and a toddler on different nap schedules. While routines are vital for young children, having the baby and toddler on a nap routine is key for mom's to thrive.

Experts stipulate that most babies settle down for two daytime naps, mid-morning and afternoon.

how to get my kids to nap at the same time

Tips to Get Your Baby and Toddler on a Nap Routine Together

There is no secret formula, but here is a list of things to put into place to build a consistent, unified nap time. However, here are six time-tested tips to get your baby or toddler into a nap routine:

  1. Active Play: Burn off energy
  2. Keep a flexible Schedule
  3. Find the Nap Window
  4. Establish a Routine
  5. Repeat the Routine
  6. Incorporate Quiet Time

1.Engage in Learning Activities That Help Kids Expend Their Energy

Young toddlers learn best when a physical activity acts as a connection to the brain, for their brain development. Physical learning helps the brain to grow.

The best choice for kids to expend their energy is outdoors. Toddlers can walk, help push the stroller or run to the next driveway. For longer walks, bring a wagon or stroller for both kids, but make sure you're toddler walks before getting a ride. A walk to the end of the block and back stimulates both the baby and toddler and burns off energy. Walking can also be a learning activity, talk about the colors of houses or cars, or the birds singing, or anything else that can be observed.

For inclement weather, physical activity has to happen in the house. Play hide and seek, or have your toddler race down a hallway and back while you are counting or singing the ABCs. Another enrichment activity is to practice positional activities by following directions: run to the door, run to the front of the table, run to the side of the chair. Children are learning where things are located at this age, and incorporating positional locations with live interaction is the easiest way for them to learn this concept.

While the baby may not be walking or literally understand the learning games you are playing with your toddler, the baby will be stimulated and learning. Both children will be expending energy through these activities.

Keep a Log of What Happens When

When your baby turns a year old, keep a log of the morning schedule you already have. Log the eating activities as a benchmark, and their usual nap times. The schedule doesn't have to be formal, it can be logged as phone notes. The times don't have to be exact, it's the general outline that is the most important. Log this over a 3-day period as a schedule often varies by time with young children.

The informal log might look like this:

  • 7- Toddler wakes up
  • 730- Toddler breakfast
  • Baby wakes up
  • 815-Baby eats
  • 9-10: snacks for both
  • 10- baby nap
  • 11:- baby wakes
  • 11:15 baby eats
  • 12: toddler eats
  • 1230: baby nap
  • 2-toddler nap
  • 1:30 baby wakes up
  • 2:30 toddler wakes up
implement a routine to get kids to nap at the same time

Once you have a routine noted over a three-day course, you will see a pattern. Every family has a natural routine, even if the times vary.

For example, some toddlers stay up until 9 p.m. so they will probably sleep in later than a baby who goes to sleep at 8 p.m. or vice versa. Some toddlers go to sleep at 8 p.m. and some toddlers go to sleep at 10 p.m. so they will naturally wake up earlier or later. Many baby and toddler schedules vary with parents' work hours, parent activities, and mealtimes.

3. Find the “Nap Window” When Both Kids Are Asleep at the Same Time

The nap window is the time that both your baby and toddler are asleep. That nap window could be 20 minutes long, and both kids could be asleep at the same time. If there are not any minutes where both children are asleep at the same time, it is likely that a child is waking up when the other just falls asleep. This close boundary would be the nap window. What you want to do is expand that window of time.

In the Schedule example above, the Nap Window would be between 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

4. Expand the “Nap Window” To Sync Baby and Toddler Nap Times

Taking into account the natural schedule as a baseline, consider what the perfect schedule would be for you and your children. This will be your flexible goal.

Define the time between after breakfast and snack as the first benchmark block. What are you all doing during this time?

Define the time between snack and lunch as your second benchmark block. The second block is the block you are focusing on. We know that experts agree naptimes should happen between mid-morning and afternoon, but most toddler naps happen after lunchtime.

If the baby is napping his/her mid-morning nap and you can go outside, take the baby to nap in a stroller while you do an outdoor activity with the toddler. If inside, put the baby down for a nap while you play the activities with the toddler inside.

If your baby has difficulty napping with your toddler making noise, that is a separate component and you can get suggestions for that here, to help the baby and toddler nap at the same time.

Adjust the toddler's schedule in 15-minute increments, to match the baby's afternoon naptime. If the baby falls asleep earlier than the toddler in the afternoons, then extend the toddler's playtime.

The most important thing is to make small incremental changes in the morning before nap time, that will change the following activity and naptime to your desired time.

5. Stay Consistent With Your Routine

Routine allows children to feel secure because they know what to expect.

routine is important for baby and toddler to be on the same nap schedule

While babies usually need a morning nap, toddlers don't.

Toddlers can resist going to sleep when the baby is asleep in the afternoons because they like having mom to themselves. So baby's naptime is a great opportunity to spend one-on-one time with your toddler.

6. Incorporate Quiet Time for a Toddler During Baby’s Morning Naptime

An older child may not need a morning nap when a younger child still needs a morning nap. This is where you incorporate “quiet time”. The older child has a “quiet time” while the younger child naps. This way, the older child isn't waking up the younger with “loud play.”

children can read quietly while other children nap

It's easier to set up an expectation of children both napping at the same time when naptime is transitioned to quiet time. The younger child may not want to take a nap if he/she knows the older child is playing.

You can read books with your toddler as a downtime activity, and independent, quiet play can be incorporated as well.

7. Do the Same Routine Before Nap Time Every Day

Make the event the same before naptime as a cue for the baby and toddler:

  • I.E. Lunch then nap.
  • 5 minutes or so, when they are almost done eating their food, remind them of Naptime.
  • Incorporate one on one baby time reading books, or with quiet play, for baby's “Quiet Time”.
  • Either way, you are going to repeat the same activity -the same way- every day.
  • Babies understand a lot more than they can verbalize, so use the same words and speak clearly to both children, “Naptime is after lunch”, “when we finish lunch we wash our hands then lay down for naptime”.
  • Even if there is no immediate success, when we are pursuing a synched naptime – we repeat the same process.
how to get kids to nap at the same time

Don't expect naps to synchronize immediately. A realistic expectation would be that your baby and toddler nap at the same time once a week if the baby is under a year old. If the baby is a year to eighteen months, the efforts you have made to get your baby and toddler on a nap routine will be paying off.

Summary

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Valentines Day Activities for kids

how to draw a Valentine Kitten
Young learners can draw this cute and easy Kitty in a Cup for Valentine's Day

Here are some fun and full-of-learning preschool Valentine's Day Activities:

  • Draw a Cute Kitten Valentines Day Card
  • Explore emotions with My Many Colored Days
  • Practice Math with Boy+Bot
  • Read Friendship books with 6 free printable activities
  • Valentine's Day Coloring Bookmarks
  • Valentines Day Coloring Pages
How to draw a Kitty Valentine
Kitty in a Cup Valentine

Watch this video to draw this for a “Happy Meowintines Day” cartoon cat Valentine's Day Card.

I came up with this drawing that involves a reasonable level of fine motor skills. Frequently, preschoolers can draw a wiggly line easier than a straight line. This practice of wiggly line fur helps with fine motor skills. The cup may be a challenge but because the cup lines are DOWN and across, these are easier for children to draw while building fine motor manipulation.

Free Printable Preschool Valentines Day Activities, I Spy, Tracing, math
Free Preschool Valentines Printables

Practice Valentine's Day activities with I Spy, Tracing, and math with the Robot Love free printable pack

This free printable preschool pack includes a math game, tracing, cutting, I Spy and is perfect for a Valentine's Day theme.

Valentine's Day activity with Skittles, SEL, Exploring emotions, preschool valentines day activity
Use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to explore emotions!

Explore emotions with this skittles activity.

free preschool printables valentines day
6 free printable preschool activities to download for Valentines Day

6 Friendship books and free printable activities

I really packed a lot of friendship activities into the post above! I was really new at blogging and making printables constantly for my home preschool! You can download any or all of these as Valentine's Day activities for preschoolers. Or you can do what I did and spread each of these activities out for the whole month.

Activities are going to vary based on children's skill levels and attention spans. I recommend using each of the activities, in “pieces. That means, in small activity time blocks, throughout a month.

Happy Valentines Day free printables and activities for preschoolers
Living through Learning, one Valentines Day at a time
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Easy Snowman Winter Painting for Preschoolers

Potato Stamp Snowmen

Make a snowman picture using potato stamps

The secret ingredient to this snowman art painting?

Potato stamps!

Preschoolers used mixed materials to “paint' with potato stamps.

Preschoolers benefit from this method of “process art”, developing skills while creating.

The main benefits of this preschool winter art activity are:

Developing fine/gross motor skills (using the potatoes)

Practicing eye/hand coordination

This is a great preschool winter art project that allows children to explore with their senses. The potatoes and paint provide great texture.

Plenty of times I have been stuck with the opportunity to find a “fill-in activity” for kids due to inclement weather.

This winter snowman enrichment activity only requires potatoes, paint, glue, wiggle eyes, a pompom, and a coloring tool.

In the video below I show how to do this winter snowman activity, and of course, I forgot to draw on the snowman's nose!

Just use a crayon or paint stick to draw a carrot nose after the paint has dried.

If you prefer to read a post about how preschoolers can create this winter snowman art, read this

Preschool Winter Snowman Art Post step by step

Living through Learning, one practical art activity at a time
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Winter activities pack for preschoolers

Free printable January Activities Calendar

This free printable winter-themed pack for preschool/kindergarten/other early learners, can be used in a variety of ways. Combine the activities or use each activity separately from each other.

Practical activities to do with kids at home, especially helpful in inclement weather. This free printable activities calendar gives ideas for kids to do when they are bored. Enrichment activities can also be fun. Fill in time with watching a show about animal migration, hibernation or draw an artic fox.

free preschool printable craft free printable kids winter craft
free printable no Prep Paper Craft Activity

Children can cut out, glue and hang up this fun winter birds free printable activity. Discuss what birds do in the winter snow. Do the birds fly away or do they stay? Where do birds get their food when there's snow everywhere? Combine this printable craft activity with an activity on the free printable calendar, like making a bird feeder.

free preschool printable preschool kids winter scavenger hunt
free printable Preschool Scavenger Hunt

Take this printable scavenger hunt out with young learners during a neighborhood walk. If it doesn't snow where you live, you can use this with winter books as an I spy game when locating items in the book. Scavenger hunts help memory and build categorization thinking skills in the young brain.

free printable winter alphabet scavenger hunt for kids
free printable Preschool and Kindergarten ABC Scavenger Hunt

Use this free scavenger hunt inside or outside or both! This free preschool or kindergarten activity is a game while learning letter sounds and practicing literacy skills.

free printable winter word search for kids
free printable Word Search Worksheet

Build literacy skills with this word search and combine this printable word search with drawing activities. Have children pick five items on the list to draw.

kids winter activity preschool winter game free printable preschool printable
free printable winter maze

This free printable maze for preschoolers and other early learners will help practice those fine motor skills as well as problem-solving skills. Combine this activity with talking about bear hibernation, and encourage kids to build their own den using couch cushions!

preschool activity winter maze kids activity pack free printable
free printable Preschool maze activity

Preschoolers and kindergartners can work on their problem-solving and fine motor skills with this free printable maze. Combine this activity with the free printable bird house craft.

preschool math game kindergarten math game preschool roll and color
Free printable Preschool and Kindergarten Math game

A fun way to learn math. This free printable Roll and Color Math game is fun for all ages. I have played this game with preschoolers through 2nd graders. This game helps learn numeric value visually, as well as teaching subitizing. Subitizing is when you can look at something and know the amount without actually counting it.

FREE PRINTABLE PACK LINK IS BELOW THE VIDEO
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januarywinteractivitiespack
Download
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Keep Kids Happy With These Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers coloring pages, I spy, and Scavenger hunt

These “print and go” preschool activities are a hit with the parents. I have a solution.

 Whether you want your children to develop an attitude of gratitude or you

 need something to keep them occupied during a hectic period. 

With these Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers, I provide parents with a variety

 of options so that they may keep their children happy.

These Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers are also awesome because parents can print

them off and take them out to the place they are spending Thanksgiving at.

I have something for you to do with your children that will help them develop an attitude of gratitude and keep them occupied, even if you are short on time. With these Thanksgiving activities geared at preschoolers, I provide parents with a wide variety of options to meet their children's varying interests and ensure they are not bored.

Thanksgiving Kids Activity Pack 11 Pages

Play the Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers Scavenger Hunt, I-Spy Games, and Coloring Pages

Preschoolers have the opportunity to improve a number of abilities by participating in these Thanksgiving scavenger hunt games as an activity for preschoolers. The ABC Scavenger Hunt and the Picture Scavenger Hunt are two different sorts of scavenger hunts that kids can participate in to practice establishing vital abilities.

Searching for the things in the scavenger hunt challenges the young children's minds and body simultaneously. They are able to improve their critical thinking skills, which are very important for problem solving, with the help of this game. In addition to improving children's reading skills, the ABC Scavenger Hunt game also provides them with an opportunity to engage in a physically active activity while they are learning.

I Spy Games

Kids develop their counting and math skills while playing a straightforward version of the game known as “I Spy.” In addition to this, visual learning plays a role. Visual learning is essential due to the fact that the visual system is the primary means by which the brain organizes and stores knowledge. I Spy helps preschoolers strengthen both their short-term and long-term memories at the same time, which is a win-win. It is remarkable how even the most basic printable games may not only keep children entertained but also contribute to the development of their brains.

Coloring Pages

Make use of these cornucopias to assist children in developing their food recognition skills. You could also use these to start a conversation about being grateful that there is an abundance of food on Thanksgiving and how appreciative you are for that.

Get your kids these activities here

Play the Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers Roll and Color an Owl Game, Bingo, Mazes, and Thankful Tree Craft

Owl Preschool Roll and Color Game

Perfect for Thanksgiving Day! Preschoolers can also have some fun with math and coloring! Scholastic.com discusses how using dice games with preschoolers helps “strengthen number recognition, base 10 understanding, and addition and subtraction skills.”

Thanksgiving owl roll and color preschool game Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

How to play the Roll and Color an Owl game:

Find a large foam dice at the dollar tree and write the numbers 1–5 on it, using either dots or numerals. When the children roll the die in this manner, nothing will be damaged in the process. The numbers that are rolled are colored by the children. The roll and color game comes complete with its own set of instructions.

The Owl Roll and Color Preschool game not only teaches children to count but also helps them develop their hand-eye coordination and their ability to subitize. The term “subitizing” refers to the process of estimating the quantity of things without actually counting them. Having this ability and continuing to hone it will serve you well throughout your life.
Since it is a cooperative game, there isn't really someone who comes out on top. This is an innovative game that I came up with to help my preschoolers get some of their excess energy out and to establish good skills for working together cooperatively rather than competitively.

November thankfulness pack Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

Kids Practice Gratitude by Making the Thankful Tree

The month of November calendar included in this set provides a new suggestion of something for which to express gratitude on a daily basis. In addition, children can make a wonderful thanksgiving present by crafting a paper thankful tree and displaying it in their homes.

How to make the Thanksgiving Tree Paper Craft:

The Thanksgiving tree page, as well as the Thanksgiving tree leaves page, should be printed out. If you would like to print out the example, you can. Have a conversation with your kid about the things they are grateful for, and have them write one word or a sentence on each of the thanksgiving leaves. In the event that very young children do not yet know how to write, they can illustrate each leaf instead. The leaves should then be removed. When all of the leaves have been cut out, students are free to arrange them anyway they like on the Thanksgiving tree page before adhering them with glue.

There are also two different mazes and a word search in this pack. In addition to that, there is a game of bingo that the whole family can participate in together.

See more Thanksgiving activities for kids in my Etsy shop

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Teach Kids Easily with Gratitude Activities for Kindergarten

Utilize these Gratitude Activities for Kindergarten to instill a sense of gratitude in your young students. Teaching children, especially those who are still developing their educational skills, can be challenging. The holiday of Thanksgiving is observed as a day of mourning by a significant number of Native Americans. I always use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to teach my students the importance of being thankful. Yet, we ought to practice gratitude every day of the year.

However, Thanksgiving provides a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our blessings and express gratitude. Whether you are a preschool teacher, a daycare teacher, a home daycare, a homeschooler or a parent, you can use these activities to help instill a sense of thankfulness in your child. These activities can be done in a group, in a pair, with kids of different ages, and with one child.

How to Introduce and Grow Thankfulness in Kindergarteners

Discuss and talk about the little things that one can be thankful for by using the prompts that are located on the calendar that is located above. Encourage children to reflect on what they have to be grateful for on a daily basis, either verbally or in writing. This calendar is a practical way to get kids to think about thankfulness.

Create a Thanksgiving Tree for your home. The Thanksgiving tree page and the leaf page should both be printed out. If you would also like to print out the example, you can do so. On each leaf, have the children either draw a picture, write a word about something they are thankful for, or write a sentence about something they are thankful for. After that, the children can cut out the leaves and adhere them to their paper thankful tree however they like. Hang it up and put it on display so that everyone can admire it.

Have very young children compile a list of their top five preferred playthings. Have a conversation with them about the toys, why they like the toys, and why they are grateful for the toys.

Physical Movement Games as Gratitude Activities for Kindergarten

One more thing that families and classes can do is go on a walk together around the neighborhood and talk about things they see and why they are thankful for those things.

For example, point your finger towards a bird or tree. Then ask if any of the children know why they might be thankful for birds. You can also ask children if they like anything they see that is a specific object. For example, maybe they like a car they see. You can also ask them what color they like that they can see.

As the children observe things like cars and colors, talk to them about what the benefits of those are, and why we are happy to have them.

Point out things of interest the children can see along their walk. Then, use that as a point to talk about why we like it and why we are thankful for it.

You can even bring up many subjects to talk about that kids might be thankful for. The school bus, teachers, recess, or anything else that the students are interested in, that they can talk about being grateful.

Incorporate Physical Activities As Gratitude Activities for Kindergarten

Instruct the child to point at something they like. Then the child gets to go over to that object, and say why they are grateful for it.

After that, they can hop in place three times before going back to their seatThis way, children can get their wiggles out while practicing how to be thankful at the same time with this kindergarten gratitude activity.

Play this video as an introduction to Thankful Activities that shows what it means to be thankful in a kid-friendly way.

In this November Thankfulness Pack, print out the activities to easily assist in helping kids interact with the idea of thankfulness and gratitude.

The University of Michigan Health department says that talking about gratitude, is a way for parents to help their children learn gratefulness. Both the November Thankfulness Calendar, and the Thankful Tree pack, are tools to teach your children to be grateful.

Check it out here

These “print and go” preschool activities are a hit with parents. Help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude and keep them occupied during a hectic time.

With these gratitude activities for kindergarten, I provide parents and other caregivers with a variety of options to help them keep their children happy.

These Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers are also awesome because parents can print them off and take them to the place they are spending Thanksgiving at.

These printables help preschoolers and kindergarteners develop an attitude of gratitude. Just print, grab and go and have a great activity prepared to keep kids keep learning without feeling bored.

With a variety of different printable Thanksgiving activities for kindergarteners, caregivers have a multitude of options to meet their children's varying interests. These activities give kids practice for vital learning skills, teach gratitude, all while keeping kids occupied on Thanksgiving day or another time.

Maintain this attitude of gratitude right up until the holiday season! Even after Thanksgiving has passed, we can keep up the practice of expressing gratitude by talking about “One Thankfulness a Day.” You could talk about the things you are grateful for from the day during the routine of getting ready for bed.

This practice not only fosters an attitude of gratitude, but it also trains the mind to be more optimistic before one goes to bed, which is a skill that benefits one as an adult as well.

Read about how my Thanksgiving Preschool Kids Activity bundle learning benefits here

Living Through Learning, One Gratitude at a time
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Preschool Process Art Butterfly

Preschool Potato Print Process Art

Very simple, little prep and supplies art craft!

Stamp a butterfly onto the free printable flower download page.

This download includes step by step instructions with photos.

You will need potatoes, paint and paintbrushes.

Cut off a small piece of the end of potato for the head. (circle shape)

Cut a half piece for the top wings. (lengthwise)

Cut a quarter piece for the lower wings. (lengthwise)

Stamp Head

Stamp upper and lower wings

Paint in flower, add eyes and antennae..

Living through Learning, one butterfly at a time.

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Teaching Cinco de Mayo to kids

The free printable book to color and trace is culturally sensitive.

  1. The general rule of thumb is: If you need to ask if it's offensive, it is.

There are many online sites that offer free printable coloring pages, of kids dressed up as “mexicans” for lack of a better term.

While this may seem harmless, some who are part of this culture can be offended by it.

Even more importantly, this objectification of a culture can lead to later horrible objectification. Things like, “the Mexican Meme” and “The Mexican Costume” for Halloween that can be practiced by adults.

2. Have someone who is part of the culture, teach about it. Not all Latino's are part of this culture, but you can contact a local organization who holds Cinco De Mayo celebrations. If there is no one to teach about this holiday, then review your instruction with that person. ONLY ask a parent if you are sure they are part of the culture, or celebrate the culture. Ethnicity does NOT equal culture.

3. Celebrate by learning! My free printable includes history/Spanish-English words/music and dancing information. We can celebrate, learn and respect and STILL have fun.

The free download book to trace and color has 5 pages.

cinco de mayo free printable
Living through Learning, one culture at a time.
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Pizza Cat Kids Card to Make

Print out Card page, shown below.

kids card to make pizza cat

Print out Speech Bubbles Saying Page Shown Below

Cut out the rectangle and fold card. shown below.

Cut out the Saying and glue to front of card. shown below.

Color and sign and done! cccuuutttteee pizza cat

handmade card for kids
Living through learning one card at a timie
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Preschool Emotions-Sometimes I feel like a mouse

Use these to help identify emotions

I created these for a small group, no prep, and sharing here.

I had some children in a small group that struggled to name emotions. Of course many preschoolers in general have challenges handling BIG emotions. Anyhow, I used the book “Sometimes I feel like a mouse” as an interactive reading time. I passed out a card randomly to each child. Then as I read the book, the child with that “feeling animal” holds up the card.

I found this helpful so kids can name a feeling in a tangible way. I also used the animals as reference points in daily activities. Not telling, but asking. “Oh do you feel excited like a squirrel today”? This can be used for homeschooling a child as well, its only limited to your imagination.

I printed these on cardstock, laminated then cut for durability.

Living Through Learning

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Preschool Process Art Project-Snowman

Easy and fun for kids, here's a blow by blow using photos. NO prep other then laying out supplies and cutting a potato.

preschool process craft
SUPPLIES: potato, paint stick, white paint, hat paint, paintbrush, glue, Qtip, poms.
preschool process art
Glitter glue and wiggly eyes OPTIONAL
. Cut a potato in half, cut one half end off for the hat. Set aside with paint for hat, and paint container.
preschool process art

dip the half potato and stamp onto paper

preschool process art project
Potato stamps, let dry for a few minutes as necessary.

Let dry as needed, the Qtip snow is next.

After snow, glue poms to hats. Draw carrot nose with paint stick and glue on eyes.

Living through Learning, one potato, two potato.

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Virtual Craft Ornament using basic supplies

What's hard about teaching crafts virtually? Supplies.

I don't know what supplies the students have at home. The other thing is, the videos are accessible to both Elementary and Jr. High students. The age range of skill level is 9 yo – 14 yo.

Versatility. The crafted object has to have a range of creative applications.

Hence, the String and Paper 3d Ornament. Ta Da!

Supplies below:

Scissors, paper, a lid, embroidery thread, pencil.

Note: Any kind of string can be used, just make sure if its thin like embroidery thread, at least 2 identical strands are used together. LID Size needs to be a medium sized lid, otherwise the Ornament template will be too small with no room for holes without ripping.

Fold paper in half. Use the lid as a template by tracing around lid. Cut out both circles, and keep the circles together.

Punch holes about an inch apart with your pencil, all the way around both circles. Keep circles together.

Identify what will be the top hole of your ornament. Cut about 4″ piece of doubled over string. Push through the SMOOTH side of the top hole. Make a loop and knot on the end of the loop. You should have a way for your ornament to hang now.

Cut a 2″ piece of string, and string through the next hole. Gently Knot at the edge of the Circles. Make sure the knot isn't too tight, if it is it will bend the circle in.

Continue to string through holes and tie knots. until you have one hole remaining.

Crumple up the extra paper that was left from cutting out the circles. Tear into biggish pieces, and crumple pieces into balls. Stuff each ball gently into the Circles. Use the pencil to help rearrange the paper balls where you want them.

The Circles should now be a little puffy, and finish by putting the string through the last hole and knotting at the top.

Variations:

Paper: Construction and Scrapbook Paper.

Design: Cut out circles and decorate before you tie together. Glitter glue, glue poms or bead, draw or color.

Markers, drawing, and I cut out a picture from a coloring page and glue it on my ornament then inked in the outside.

Living through Learning, One ornament at a time.
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5 Gingerbread in a Truck Preschool Math Practice Page

No Prep: Print out both pages, cut numbers. Kids cut and glue.

I made this for toddlers, to help with numeral recognition and counting practice. Also builds Common Core pre skills, GROUPS OF 5.

The 27 month old and I did this together, this activity also helps with following directions and specific steps for critical thinking/method. Rub stick glue on #1, place and say #1 onto spot. Rub stick glue on #2, place and say 2, and so forth. Count all five at the end.

Child can color truck before gluing or after gluing.

This pack also has 5 snowmen in a truck.

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How to Make an Easy Jack-O-Lantern Potato Printing Project for Preschoolers

The kids in my daycare that ranged in age from two-and-a-half years old to six years old enjoyed making this fun Jack-O-Lantern potato printing picture. Learn how to make this Halloween potato print in six easy steps!

Jack-O-Lantern potato printing photo

This functional play art piece gives kids great practice honing their fine motor skills. We emphasize fine motor skill development because using our fingers is an important life skill. In addition to learning how to write letters, kids need to develop this skill in order to grasp things. The more we can grasp things, the more we can do. The more kids can do for themselves, the more confident they are.

This picture of pumpkins, Jack-o-lanterns, and cats allows kids to make a not-scary Halloween picture with potato prints and a tiny bit of easy drawing. Kids have fun creating this art while practicing their fine motor skills. This Saskatchewan Online curriculum source discusses how to promote fine motor skills practice in the first grade. So whether you have a first grader, a preschooler, or a toddler, they all benefit from making this terrific Halloween potato printing art!

How to Make the Jack-O-Lantern Potato Print Art

1. Gather the Supplies for the Jack-O-Lantern Potato Printing

  • Potatoes, cut in half
  • Orange Paint
  • White Chalk
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Wiggle Eyes

Cut the potatoes in half, and put the orange paint into flat containers, like plastic bowl lids. The paint container needs to be flat so the potato can be dipped into it easily. Before you sit the children down to create their Halloween print art picture, you will need to carve jack-o-lantern faces into the cut side of each potato.

2. Make the Jack-O-Lantern Potato Printing Stamps

Take the sliced end of the potato. Take a small paring knife, and cut out two triangle-shaped eyes. Then cut out a triangle nose, and a mouth with one or two teeth. If the potato is smaller, you may want to only cut out the two eyes and the mouth to make the potato stamp design. Make enough jack-o-lantern potato stamps so that each child has one. Once you have carved out enough, pass out the potato jack-o-lanterns to each child.

3. Stamp the Jack-O-Lanterns on the Paper

Now that each kid has their paint and Jack-O-Lantern potato, it's time to make the Halloween art picture. This is where the fine motor skills get practiced! Children grasp onto the end of the potato, and press the Jack-O-Lantern face down onto the black construction paper. They will need to press hard to make sure the face gets stamped all the way down. Kids need to stamp their potatoes to make Jack-o-lanterns in rows at the bottom of the paper as much as possible. It's okay if kids don't stamp perfectly or stamp some of their jack-o-lantern prints a little bit on top of another potato print.

4. Let the Jack-O-Lantern Prints Dry on the Paper

Kids typically get a very thick paint layer on their potato prints. If there isn't a thick layer, the Jack-o-lantern faces won't show up as prints on the paper. So, you will need to make sure to let the pictures dry for several hours just to be safe. I recommend stamping the potato pumpkin Jack-O-Lanterns on one day and completing the picture the next day.

5. Draw Cats above the Halloween Potato Prints

Besides holding the potato to stamp the jack-o-lanterns for this Halloween activity, fine motor skills are also used when drawing the cats with chalk.

Children use a piece of chalk to draw their cats. The easiest way to draw these Halloween cats is:

  • Draw the upside down V for the left ear, and draw an upside down V for the right ear.
  • Draw the left line straight down from the outside of the left ear, and draw the right line straight down on the outside of the right ear.
  • Finally, draw a line across to connect the two ears.

6. Add Wiggle Eyes to Complete the Halloween Potato Print

Finally, it's time to give our Halloween cats a bit of personality! Kids take the google eyes and adhere two to each of the cats! These pictures are great to display in a classroom. They also are wonderful for kids to take home and hang up on the fridge!

Try these easy and fun preschool apple activities.

ReadCountCraft.com
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5 Pumpkins Preschool Mathize Me, no prep

Count Pumpkins in a Truck, and Color a Pumpkin, 2 Free Activities to build those math skills.
Preschool Math Activity
Preschool math activity

I own and use these 2 books with these activities. (no afflilation)

I checked out many 5 little pumpkins books and this is my favorite, the hard cover is actually soft with soft edges so it's durable. It's not board, its puffy board some type of plastic I think-VERY EASY TO CLEAN.

Pete the cat is my go-to, I'm still completing my Pete the Cat collection.


Instructions:

Print out and Cut pumpkin squares.

Hand out numbers 1-5 to students.

Paste squares on truck.

Cut and Paste:

Black and White, Color sets to mix and match.


Roll and Color a Pumpkin Game.

Print out pages, 1 per student or 1 per small group.

Students roll one die and color in matching section.

If one number is left, can allow extra rolls per turn per time constraints.

Roll and Color a Pumpkin


Both activities build counting, number recognition and subitizing skills.

preschool math activity
Living Through Learning, One Pumpkin at a Time

SSSH, inspired by these lawn deco I bought haha

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Apple Activities for Preschoolers: 3 low-mess, low-prep activities

These apple activities for preschoolers offer a lot of entertainment and learning with very little fuss. These are STEM (science-focused) activities that can be used as an addition to reading books about apples and apple trees.

I'm going to be discussing a few other activities you can add on to your main preschool apple activity fun. The three main activities can be used in any setting. They can also be used for single or groups of children. (The additional activities may not be able to be applied to all learning situations or children.)

The three main preschool apple activities are:

  • Identify the parts of an apple
  • Conducting an experiment to see if apples float or sink
  • Playing the Roll and Color Apple game (the Roll and Color the Apples game can be downloaded at the bottom of the post)

Preschool Apple Theme Exploration

Before doing these three specific activities, allow your children to explore the apples. Give each kid an apple and just talk about what it looks like. When kids talk about what things look and feel like, they build early learning skills for literacy. Their brains are making connections for skills that will be used for future reading and writing comprehension.

Hands-On Apple Activities for Preschoolers

Apple Cutting

The next apple exploration activity needs to be applied based to your preschoolers skill level, or, what's allowed in your daycare or classroom. If a child is strong enough to cut apples, and mature enough to do that, go ahead and allow him to cut some apples.

Some preschoolers don't have the level of gross motor skill development needs to cut apples. They may also not be mature enough not to stick a knife in their mouth or eyes. So for these kids, cut the apples up for them, or help them cut their apples up.

If at all possible, allow them to be involved in the process of cutting the apples. First, it's going to get them invested in learning the activities. Second, it's a great way for them to practice their gross motor skill development.

I've done this activity with children at many stages. From toddlers to second graders, they were all interested in cutting their own apples. Make sure to remove all of the cutting utensils before moving on to the next apple theme activity. Then hand out a magnifying glass to each child to investigate their apples with.

apple activities for preschoolers

Apple Counting as part of a preschool apple theme

After children have had plenty of time to look at their apple pieces with a magnifying glass, remove the magnifying glass.

The kids can then count whole apples. They can also count the seeds in their apples and their apple pieces. Another option is to let the kids use their magnifying glass to see the seeds while counting them, to make it more fun.

Identify the Parts of An Apple for preschool science

As the first preschool apple science activity, kids will learn the names of the main three parts of an apple. The core, the seeds, and the peel. Provide the children with apples that are cut in half. Discuss what each part is called. Have the children point to the apple while they name each part of the apple.

apple activities for preschoolers identifying parts of an apple

Next, have the kids look at their own apple pieces. Ask them to find the seeds, the core, and the peel of their own apples. One way to keep this fun is to turn naming the parts of the apple into a game. With “ready, set, go!” ask them how fast they can find the core. Then race to find the seeds and peel them in the same way. Identifying parts of natural things is a great way to teach science to preschoolers.

Preschool Science Activity: Do Apples Float?

The second preschool apple activity is a science activity. Before giving the children a bowl of water to put their apple slices in, you are going to ask them to guess whether or not they think apples float. Whatever their answers, ask the children why they think an apple will float or will not float. Even if they don't know why they think an apple will or will not float, that's okay.

They are naturally curious, and it's good to introduce the idea of “why do I think that?” as part of the scientific method. We want to ask a question or predict (guess) what will happen based on the knowledge that we have. Introducing the concept of thinking about the “why” of one's guess to children introduces problem-solving ideas for the child's brain to process.

apple activities for preschoolers do apples float

After kids have made their prediction, hand out bowls filled with water. Have the kids put their apple pieces into the water. Ask the kids what they see. Are the apples floating or sinking? Talk about the reason why the apples are floating. Apples have a lot of air in them. Air is lighter then water. Since air is lighter then water, and apples are filled with air, apples float.

I have built on this activity by doing it again on a different day but adding another fruit. We reviewed and did the apple float experiment again. Then I add a different fruit, like a pear or lemon, for a compare and contrast extension activity. Then we predict and see if those float. Lemons float for an entirely different reason, but it sure is fun to do this and find out why!

Roll and Color an Apple Preschool Math Game

The third preschool apple activity is a math activity. My Roll and Color preschool math games help build several important skills. Children practice their fine motor skills and color recognition skills while playing.

Children build visual discrimination skills while playing this game. Visual discrimination is the ability to observe subtle differences.

Preschoolers also practice subitizing skills when playing this game. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without counting the items.

Kids also use their working memory because there are three steps to the game, and that builds memorization skills. Kids identify the dice number, then have to locate it on the paper.

This preschool math apple activity printable comes with instructions. Basically though, kids take turns rolling the one die and coloring their page. They can skip turns or take another turn if they have already rolled that color. There really isn't a winner, the goal is to color the apple!

That's it for the no-prep, no-mess preschool apple activity choices! I did lots of apple activities with my preschool class, and I found these to be the simplest to set up as well as the ones the kids enjoyed the most. They learned a lot while still being able to explore and discover in their own way.

DOWNLOAD Free Preschool Roll and Color the Apples Here

Get ready to teach kids gratitude with this November printable activity calendar.
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Idioms

This is an easy supplemental language activity that parents can teach at home to their child. It also can be used in a classroom, it's versatile.

I know this because I had an 8 year old student- entering 3rd grade from Feb-October 2020. I made this as a learning supplement because even with some distance learning, he missed out on a lot of skill building.

My Favorite Books about Idioms:

Check your library first, but these are available through Amazon.
  • You are what you Eat, Butterflies in my Stomach, Reach for the Stars by Serge Bloch
  • Pigsty by Mark Teague
  • Why the Banana Split by Rick Walton
  • There's a Frog in My Throat by Pat Street and Loreen Leedy

The above download is the parent instruction sheet, and the download below is the packet.

Living through learning, Day in and Day out
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Kids Money Management unit- free printable pack

So I hired the 3rd grader to mow my lawn for 20$. He asked my husband to stop at the convenience store on the way home, where he bought 17$ worth of candy! I did came up with this curriculum and I did the same with my kids, informally, back in the day. For this unit, I used an article on Forbes.com as a guideline, referenced in the printable pack. School teaches the identification and technicalities of money, it doesn't teach the mechanics of using money as a tool.

There's a vocabulary list to review with your student/kid, and here is a worksheet for her to practice.

Vocabulary: Why didn't I include bank in the vocabulary words? Because the traditional brick and mortar bank that we know, is gradually going the way of the dinosaurs. The bank with the highest Savings account return, is CitiBank, an online only bank.

Next is a spending plan questionnaire, he can write his answers:

Then, there is a worksheet to print off and subtract each category, to use whenever she receives money, before spending.

You can set up a kid account at the bank like my friend does for the 8 yo, or you can use real money jars. Or if you don't want to use that, I made these for use as virtual money jars. There's a few versions of the money jar pages in the pack.

Living through Learning, One Dollar at a Time
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Roll and Color a Duck, preschool math practice page-no prep

Direct Download at end of post.

Roll and color a duck preschool math game practice page-no prep
Roll and color a duck preschool math game practice page-no prep
  1. I invented this game to help preschoolers with common core in Kindergarten.
  2. Common core uses a ten frame and also these dice number blocks, so if they have the dots memorized at a glance, they won't have to count them all the time as K students. This gives them one step ahead of the game when they enter K.
  3. Even without common core, it's an interactive game that helps with counting and recognition of objects without counting.
  4. I like to use a big foam dice from the dollar tree, as it can't break anything no matter how hard it's thrown.
  5. If the student has the same # he can pass. I usually have them pass if the number is colored at the beginning, but towards the end for time saving, I increase the turns. Say if there's one number left and most of the group has only one section to color-I up the turns to 3x a piece.
Before and After coloring in.

I have lots of Roll and Color games, you can search for the other themes in the blog search bar.

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Tracing Lines worksheets You wish you had

Free Printables 16 Line Tracing Pages
Free Printables 16 Line Tracing Pages

Created in a hurry for a 20 month old! Examples shown below with *bad* photos, (paper color is photo editor)

themes (not shown):

  • houses
  • fruit
  • farm animals
  • food
  • colored hearts
  • shoes
  • containers(drinks)
  • elephants
  • butterflies
  • birds

Sharing with other home or school educators as a no prep but not your average worksheet fun.

Free Printables 16 Line Tracing Pages
Free Printables 16 Line Tracing Pages
Free Printables 16 Line Tracing Pages

Free Printables 16 Line Tracing Pages

Living through Learning, one line at a time

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Volcano Project for kids, free printable pack

Volcano Project for kids
Volcano Project for kids

Learning goals:

  1. Volcano's are made of layers.
  2. Difference between Magma and Lava.
  3. First building block to learning about what rocks are made of.

How to teach with printables:

  1. Beginning Learners = Color the Labeled Volcano page
  2. Early Learners= Code and Color the Volcano page
  3. Elementary= Label and Color the Volcano+Code and Color the Volcano pages

Code and Color the Volcano

Volcano project for kids free printable pack
Volcano project for kids Book

Recommended Books:

  1. Use “Into the Volcano” as primary source to introduce volcanoes. Share and read certain sections, we read through the photo descriptions.
  2. Emphasize StratoVolcano section in the book.
Volcano Project for Kids free printable pack
Volcano Project for Kids free printable pack Book
  1. A Trip to the Top of the Volcano can be used to supplement for a different page activity, or left out as free reading.

Color the Labelled Volcano

Volcano Project for Kids
Volcano Project for Kids free printable pack

Color and Label the Volcano

Volcano project for kids free printable pack
Living Through Learning, one explosion at a time

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Literacy Rocks! Teaching the alphabet to Toddlers

I've been building skill levels with an 22 mo old and she shows eagerness and interest to recognize and write her letters.

My teaching style is to wait for worksheets and specific letter tracing, writing, until 3 yo. However, this is the 2nd pair of siblings, and I believe as a result of seeing their older sibling write- the younger sibling is driven to learn this skill.

We started with letter recognition activities, and this activity helped her master the skill of recognizing A, the first letter in her name.

We will continue the next step to “find her name”. In addition to this , I have started her practicing line drawing, and Letter A tracing. Another indicator that she is ready for Letter A tracing, is: 1) she holds a pencil correctly 2) she has good hand strength 3) she can open and close small containers easily.

So this week I am introducing her to tracing circles. She is not interested in manipulating objects at this point, she's not interested as interested in crafts as she is scribbling, scribbling, scribbling. I need to lead her down the road to write her letters before she learns the wrong way.

At the end of this post is a direct download for instructions for teaching the alphabet as outlined in this post.

**Note: If you or children don't want to paint rocks, just write on the rocks with sharpie markers.

Alphabet Rock Literacy
Alphabet Rock Literacy

with print awareness-

Alphabet Rock Literacy

with letter awareness-

Alphabet Rock Literacy

with name awareness-

Alphabet Rock Literacy

with alphabet awareness-

Alphabet Rock Literacy

with sight word awareness-

Alphabet Rock Literacy
Alphabet Rock Literacy

reader-

Alphabet Rock Literacy
Alphabet Rock Literacy
Alphabet Rock Literacy
Living through Learning, one rock at a time
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Quickly painted rock ideas

There are many cities who have rock hiding Facebook groups in the U. S. There is a group here, we put our painted rocks in random places for strangers to find.

I have been hiding rocks for kids, because we are still in Phase 2, and kids have been robbed of their childhood this summer. Especially heartbreaking because our winters are harsh and there is no rock hunting in winter.

These are for folks like me who don't have a lot of patience, or use rocks as a “canvas” for fancy painting.

kids ladybug rocks
kids ladybug rock supply list

Ladybug Rock Supplies: Acrylic Paint, Small brushes, Spray Gloss or Mod Podge

or use acrylic paint pens.

Painted rock ideas
painted rock ideas
Painted rock ideas
painted rock ideas
painted rock ideas
Painted rock supply list
Learning through living, one rock at a time.
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Alphabet Juice- Keeping it Fresh- Teaching the alphabet

My playful alphabet set where kids get to match the slice to the juice glass. They can even put the slice in the juice and pretend- slurp slurp slurp.

This practices my teaching method for alphabet letter recognition.

(PRIMARY Guideline: Focus on lowercase letters primarily using books and environmental print. We see lowercase letters more frequently then uppercase letters.)

UPPER CASE LETTER PAGE

Prep:

  • Print the Direct Download from link at end of post.
  • Cut up the lower case letter slice cards.
  • Make a pile of the Juice pages and a 2nd pile of slices.
LOWERCASE LETTER SLICES

Instruction for teaching alphabet letters:

Beginner Skill Level:

  • Layout Uppercase Pages that spell child's name.
  • Give child the pile of slices that only include child's name.
MATCHED SLICE TO JUICE

Skill Level Name Match:

  • Write child's name on a blank slice.
  • Set up as shown below.
  • Give child a pile of letters that comprise their name.
  • Child spells out their name, placing slices next to the A on the page- in order.
MATCHING NAME TO INITIAL

Name Skill Mastery:

Once child knows how to spell his name, and knows the name of the letters that comprise the name:

  • Practice until child recognizes both upper and lower case of the letters of her name.
  • With this skill mastered, increase the letters added to the name letter pile.
  • This supports critical thinking skills, vs memorization.
  • This method supports self confidence.

*do not worry about letter sounds during this activity*

Mastering Alphabet Activities:

NAME SKILL MASTERED :

  • Continue adding to the lower case slice pile a few letters at a time for each practice session, until child quickly pulls out her name letters automatically.
  • Ask what child if he would like to spell Mom or Dad, next.
  • Continue with the same steps, the next name he spells.
  • This provides “buy-in”, we enjoy learning more when we get to choose what we are learning.
  • Use this same method as child practices matching letters to other words and names. Encourage ONE syllable names.

Once child understands how to play the game because she's played it several times, incorporate letter sounds. Say the sounds and the child can repeat after you, but don't focus on the sounds if it detracts from the child learning what each letter looks like.

Two Downloads: Alphabet Juice Upper and Lower Case set, the 2nd download link is the above instructions as a printout.

Living through Learning, one slice at a time.

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Stamp the Ladybugs! Kids potato print art

ladybug potato prints
Ladybug Potato Prints Mural

Display a ladybug print mural that bursts with color.

Low prep, common supplies, kids of any age get busy with creating.

You say Process art? I say Art. All art is a process.

Everyone is creative, each of us only needs to find the medium that we can express our creative language with.

A 20 month old and 7 year old created this mural.
All studies show that toddlers/preschoolers need play with mental stimulation, to help the brain develop. School Age Kids need lots of opportunity for free creative expression with different art mediums.

I introduced ladybugs to the toddler by reading toddler ladybug books a week before we did this mural, and I showed her real photos of ladybugs a few times.

(Recommended Ladybug Books direct download at end of post)
What you need:
  • Blank Paper
  • Potato Halves (at least 1 per paint color)
  • Each color paint poured onto a paper plate
  • Dabber/Dot marker

What skills does this art project build?

Toddler and Preschool:
  • Sensory Development
  • Shape Recognition
  • Self-Confidence
  • Creativity/Critical Thinking
  • Subject Exploration
  • Practice with Steps (delayed gratification)
School Age:
  • 3D Subject Learning
  • Self-Confidence
  • Freedom to create
  • Creative Style Development
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Methodology (practicing step by step)

Instructions:

  • Each child takes a potato half.
  • Dip the potato half in the paint and stamp onto paper.
  • Ask younger children what shape the potato makes.
  • Allow the children to stamp their potatoes like crazy.
  • LET DRY.
  • Once the stamps are dry, each child gets a dabber.
  • Children use the dabber to stamp the spots onto the ladybug.
  • Ask younger children what shape the dabber makes.
  • Allow the children to stamp the dots like crazy.
Extension: The 7 year old asked Google for 5 facts about ladybugs, then recorded them. I verbally quizzed him for review sporadically to help him retain the info.

ladybug kids art
Written Ladybug Facts

I'm extremely passionate about this project. It allows the teacher to provide the framework to allow long term learning skills that stick.

Ladybug books- toddler through 2nd grade
Living through Learning about Ladybugs.
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We hope! It’s multicultural books for Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten

Sharing My Multicultural Book Boards. I have researched to ensure titles do not perpetuate stereotypes.

Click on IMAGE

to see books in each category {from Pinterest},

or LINK if noted.

Multicultural-Inclusion-Diversity Books:

You Matter

Chinese New Year books: January

My First Chinese New Year Book By Karen Katz

Native American Books :

Kids' Books About Native American History and Experience | Brightly

African and Jewish Books:

LINK:

https://www.pinterest.com/readcountcraft/preschool-and-kindergarten-book-resource-list/diversity-inclusion-multicultural-books/

Teach Hope. Stay Kind. Wishing Well.

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Free Butterfly Hunting for All.

Low Prep and Song Play

I have been working with the 20 month old to recognize bees, butterflies and ladybugs. For her, butterflies are the easiest to recognize. This bundle goes after the ladybug set, in sequence.

Once the child is familiar with both insects, interchange ladybug/butterfly, in the song.

Don't forget to show real photos of the insects. We have seen butterflies and one bee so far in real life on our walks. I still use real photos on my phone intermittently, especially for ladybugs and bees.

preschool five little butterflies

NO PREP

Finding differences helps with finding differences with letters and numbers.

preschool practice page

Visual discrimination and counting.

preschool practice page
preschool practice page

Fine Motor and Visual Discrimination.

Extend activity by counting butterflies found.

preschool practice page

This is a show and tell post, so find the download below and happy butterfly hunting!

Butterfly Preschool Practice
preschool math game butterfly
preschool math game butterfly
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July Preschool Math Game

July Preschool Math Game free printable

There are several skills kids learn while playing this July Preschool Math Game. Children will practice their fine mother skills and color identification skills while playing. The game's format is interactive which allows a child to apply what is learned. Kids also gain confidence because they can count the dots and color independently.

Children will learn several vital skills playing this game while having fun!

Children will build visual discrimination skills while playing this game. Visual discrimination is being able to pay attention to very small differences. This skill is important for learning alphabet letters.
Kids learn improve their subitizing skills when playing this game. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without actually having to count.
Players practice working memory while playing this game. That's because the game requires the same repeated steps:

  1. Children have to remember what the number of the dice is.
  2. Find the matching amount on the page.
  3. Color the matching amount.
roll and color preschool math game foam die

How to play the July preschool math game:

Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
1. To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
2. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
3. When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
4. If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.

(We use a big foam dice from the dollar store. The students don't have to worry about dropping the die, throwing it too hard, or losing it.)

If your kids liked this game they may enjoy my other available July 4th activities

more free July 4th worksheets

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Free LadyBug printable pack? Yes Please.

  • Toddler/Preschool Ladybug Body Parts Puppet song- my version
  • Toddler/Preschool Ladybug Ladybug counting song- my version
  • Cut out the ladybug squares and attach to craft sticks
  • 3 no prep activity pages as shown

I have been crazy for ladybugs this year!

Maybe because their population is declining and all those ladybugs I found as a kid will no longer be here?

Maybe because they help roses grow?

Maybe because they are modern art? I mean oval and circles and red and black and white? COOL.

Ladybug Free Printable Pack
craft puppet assembly shown on far left

That's all the clever writing I have for today, folks!

IF YOU LIKE THIS PRINTABLE PLEASE : Subscribe or PIN or Comment as a thank you!

LADYBUG LOVE ALL AROUND!

free Ladybug Printable Pack
free Ladybug printable pack

Ladybug Free Printable Pack
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PreK Math Game

There are several skills kids learn while playing this PreK Math game. Children will practice their fine mother skills and color identification skills while playing.

The game's format is interactive which allows a child to apply what is learned. Kids also gain confidence because they can count the dots and color independently.

Roll and Color PreK Math Game

How to play this PreK Math Game:

  1. Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
  2. To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
  3. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
  4. When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
  5. If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
  6. There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.
roll and color preschool math game foam die

Learning Benefits of the Roll and Color Math Game:

Children will learn important skills while having fun! This game will help kids learn how to pay attention to what they see. The ability to pay attention to what we see is called visual discrimination and is a skill used when identifying alphabet letters.
When kids play this game, they learn how to better subitize. Subitizing is when you know how many things there are in a group without having to count them.

Children play this Spiral Flower PreK Math Game to help build counting, subitizing and visual discrimination skills.

Finally, this game is easily played by one child, or by kids in a small group. Children cooperate while helping each other find their matching number. Differentiated learning is built into this game as children practice everything from fine-motor skills to memory skills! Kids always have a blast playing this interactive game!

Kids who like playing this PreK math game will also enjoy playing my Roll and Color A Rainbow PreK Math Game

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Preschool Lady Bug Roll and Coloriffic!

Download both Ladybug versions & instructions at end of post.

The below photo is the ladybug printed out. Kids can trace ! (it's blue because out of black printer ink)

LADYBUG

Why my version of Roll and Color?

  • Created and tested with my students 3yo-7yo, at different learning levels.
  • No Prep
  • Great fill in activity
  • Kindergarten skill builder for Common Core

My roll and color games are a multiple skill building activity while PLAYING.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Roll and Color a Ladybug
NO NUMBERS Instructions for Roll and Color a Ladybug
rollandcolortheladybug
WITH NUMBERS. Roll and Color a Ladybug Instructions.
Click here to download this for more ladybug fun!
Roll and Color a Ladybug

Roll and Color a Ladybug

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Spring Theme Preschool Math Games

Spring Theme Preschool Math Games offer children a way to practice skills while having fun!

There are several skills preschoolers will practice while playing either of the Spring Theme Preschool Math Games:

spring preschool math game
  • The Roll and Color games are effective because they teaches 1:1 correspondence.
  • Kids love to play these games because they are interactive.
  • Playing the Spring Roll and Color games promote problem solving because each game requires 3 steps to find answers.
  • The printable game promotes social skills because it requires waiting and turn taking.
  • These games are versatile because mixed age groups and skill levels can play at the same time. (Differentiation)

How to play Roll and Color Spring Theme Games:

How to play either of the Math games:
-Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
-To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
-Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
-When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
-If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.

(We use a big foam dice from the dollar store. The students don't have to worry about dropping the die, throwing it too hard, or losing the die)

Children play either of these two spring theme preschool math games to help build counting, subitizing and visual discrimination skills.

Other benefits of this Spring Preschool math games:
Children can help each other find the number on the page and they enjoy playing together. Children also can learn their colors while playing this game.

I created this game because I noticed one of my first graders losing the subitizing skills he learned in Kindergarten. I came up with this game to use in my preschool, as well as to give support to the first and second grader that came after school.

spring roll and color math games


Tried, Tested, Observed- Skill Building-YEP
Kids love it. It's active, It's fun, It's action packed.- YEP
NO Prep- YEP

Your kids might also like playing the Roll and Color a Rainbow Game!

Aside

St. Patrick’s Day free Preschool Worksheet

A printable game in the eye-spy format helps preschoolers develop visual discrimination skills. Visual Discrimination is a vital skill to develop in early childhood.

What is Visual Discrimination?

Visual discrimination involves being able to see subtle differences in objects, including letters and numbers, to distinguish them from others. “

Simply stated, visual discrimination is the ability to see the differences in shapes, textures, sizes. Visual discrimination is a key to reading. As children begin to learn alphabet letters, they need to be able to notice minute differences.

The most obvious example is that when children first begin to learn alphabet letters, preschoolers will often mix up the lower case letters b and d.

free printable preschool worksheet

How does this St. Patrick's day printable help with visual discrimination?

  • Visually sorting between black and white and color images
  • Visually sorting between single color and multi color images
  • Visually sorting between shapes of images

What are the other benefits of this St. Patrick's day worksheet?

There are many reasons why I-Spy worksheets are so popular among preschoolers. Most importantly, this worksheet format is Fun! Kids in Preschool and Kindergarten usually love this type of worksheet because I-Spy is a game.

free preschool printable worksheet

Skills that are used for this activity:

  • Reasoning: Grouping Objects that are alike
  • Fine Motor: Writing Numbers or Tally-Marks
  • Eye Movement/Coordination: Visual Tracking
  • Math: Counting and Writing Numbers or Tally-Marks

This worksheet is great for beginners who are just starting to learn with worksheets. Worksheets are a concept that children in early education have to learn.

An early learner may be able to count physical objects such as blocks, but it is different when counting an object on paper.

free printable preschool worksheet

How to use this free printable worksheet:

For children who don't know how to write numerals yet:

If children do not know their numbers yet, they can draw tally marks in the square for each I-Spy picture.

For children using an I-Spy worksheet for the first time:

For some children it will be easier to use a circles to help the visual discrimination process.

The child can draw circles around the matching set of objects as a first step. Then, the child can count the circled objects and tally the amount in the matching square.

For children with short attention spans:

After the child has found, counted and recorded the group of objects, give the child a two minute break.

During the break the child can do a physical activity. For example, if the child found five physical objects, he/she can do five jumping jacks while counting to five. Or, hop up and down while counting to five. This will help the child to focus for the next set of objects. It also links in a physical activity to a worksheet activity. Linking in a physical activity with a worksheet activity adds an extra level of learning. It also helps the brain grow by establishing links.

free printable preschool worksheet

Preschool Worksheet Activities:

  • Use the physical exercise activity mentioned above.
  • Encourage the student to color the unicorns.
  • Ask the child to identify the colors of the pictures on the worksheet.
  • Ask the child to identify the shamrock shape.
  • Ask the child if they can find any hearts in the room (if there are any).
  • Ask the child to find the colors of the rainbow pot-of-gold coins picture, and shamrock in the room.
    • green, red, yellow, orange, blue purple

Combine this worksheet with the two other St. Patrick's printable worksheets that I offer:

St. Patrick's Day Preschool Math Game:

St Patrick's Day preschool math game

St. Patrick's Day Positional Worksheet:

St Patrick's Day free printable worksheet for preschoolers

Download link:

ReadCountCraft.com
Living Through Learning
Aside

Saint Patrick’s Day Brain Breaks Cards

The celebration of St. Patrick's Day is not too far away. Having a quick, effective, and practical activity on hand is a must from time to time. This short-duration St. Patrick's Day brain breaks activity can help with that. St. Patrick's Day-themed brain breaks make these breaks ideal for the full month of March!

child and balloons for saint patrick's day brain break cards

St. Patrick's Day Brain Break Cards are a great way to include exercise into a St. Patrick's Day-themed lesson plan. As a parent, you'll enjoy these activities as much as your children will!

Games to play with the Saint Patrick's Day Brain Break Cards

These cards can be used to provide opportunities for movement and to build skills kids need in school. Movement helps kids learn better!

Saint Patrick's Day Brain Breaks Cards

Say Baa Like a Sheep/Movement: Children can march around in a circle while making sheep noises.
Wear and Invisible Hat/Movement: Children may stand and put on their invisible hats. Have children slowly bend over until their hats fall off of their head. Have children put their hats back on and slowly move back up to the standing position.
Count your invisible coins/Math: Children can sit down for this activity. Pass out invisible coins to each child. Lead the children in counting the predetermined amount of coins together as a group. Another idea is to allow each children to decide how many invisible coins they received and count their coins independently.
Pretend to bite an Apple/Literacy: Children can either sit down or stand up for this activity. Ask children description questions when they bite their apples. What color is their apple? Is their apple soft or hard to bite? Does the apple taste sweet or sour?
Wave Hello and Wave Goodbye/Movement: Divide children into two small groups. Have one group wave and say hello. Have the other group wave and say goodbye. Children can be directed to combine waving with another gross motor skill movement such as hopping or marching in place.

Example of Saint Patrick's Day Brain Breaks cards

These activities come in especially handy during inclement weather. Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day Brain Break Cards with the free download below:

If you like these cards you might also like this St Patrick's Day Activity Placemat for kids

St Patrick's Day Activity Placemat

Preschool Math Game Roll and color a valentine
Living through learning, one brain break at a time
Aside

This Preschool practice page is your friend-includes book recommendations

This Preschool practice page is your friend-includes  book recommendations
This Preschool practice page is your friend-includes book recommendations

I do not get paid by any affiliates. I review and choose recommended books based upon graphics, appropriate and current use of storytelling, and length which generally summarizes overall appeal.

I build my curriculum for any age around a group of books, with attention to one or two student led favorites.

Visual discrimination practice builds pre-write and pre-literacy skills by:

  • Noticing differences in common objects helps notice differences in letter shapes
  • Line drawing helps fine motor-like with letter lines
  • Reinforces a book story as an extension activity.

Gallery

Roll and color a butterfly-preschool math

I developed the roll and color preschool math format, after noticing my students were losing the ability to subitize after Kindergarten. I developed preschool/pre-K curriculum for the daycare I ran at home. I am formally trained as an early childhood educator and paraprofessional. I noticed that most preschool curriculum focused on reading, but not much on math. While I was focused on hands on math activities, I needed a worksheet that would be fun but introduce written math.

preschool math game
Roll and color a butterfly preschool math game player page

How to play this game:

Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.

Note: We use a big foam dice from the dollar store. The students don't have to worry about dropping the die, throwing it too hard, or losing it.

Benefits of this math game format:

Children will learn several vital skills while having fun!

Kids will build visual discrimination while playing this game.
Kids learn improve their subitizing skills when playing this game. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without actually having to count.
Kids practice working memory while playing this game. That's because the game requires the same repeated steps:

Children have to remember what the number of the dice is,
Find the matching amount on the page,
Color that amount.

Other benefits of this math game:
Children can help each other find the number on the page and they enjoy playing together. Children also can learn their colors while playing this game

Children will build counting and subitizing skills, fine motor and memory skills when playing this free roll and color preschool math game.
Roll and color a butterfly preschool math game: add your own colors player page

We read The Very Impatient Caterpillar book and watched the video to add a literacy component with this game.

The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach

If you like this you might also enjoy the free roll and color a duck preschool math game

Preschool Math Game: Roll and Color the Egg

Preschool Math Game: Roll and Color the Egg

How to play this Preschool Math Game:
1. Pass out a Roll and Color the Egg free printable Math Game worksheet to each student.
2. Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
3. To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
4. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
5. When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
6. If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
* There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.
roll and color preschool math game foam die

Benefits of Roll and Color Math Game
1.This game focuses on subitizing. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without actually having to count.
2.This game builds skills of visual discrimination.
3.This game builds working memory because playing the game involves three steps. Children have to remember what the number of the dice is, then find the matching amount on the page, then color that amount.
4.This game builds cooperation. Children can help each other find the number on the page and they enjoy playing together.
5.This game can be played in small groups.
6.This game is perfect for differentiated learning.
7.This game helps preschoolers learn their colors.
8.Last but not least, children build fine motor skills while playing this game!

One of the main benefits of this game for educators is this game allows for differentiation.

Why is differentiation important? It allows everyone to learn regardless of skill level.

“Differentiated instruction addresses the needs of students of differing abilities and learning styles in the same class”.
Anyone who has been around a group of children of the same age, probably notices kids naturally learn differently.

Some children may be visual, so they have a natural bent to learning colors and shapes. Some children are hands on learners so they may fix something easily then another child would.


I had a group of children ranging from 4 to 8 years old, many days during school vacations and summers. While we spent a lot of time outdoors, we needed something active to do together inside as well.


The 1st and 2nd graders enjoyed helping the younger children. The preschoolers enjoyed helping each other. There would be discussion about colors, and one child would say the name of the color in discussion-which helped the younger preschooler learn her colors.

Literacy Activity idea to combine with the Roll and Color the spotted egg Preschool Math Game

otterloveseasterbookOtter Loves Easter is about Otter making and sharing dyed egg after he scarfs all of the candy the Easter Bunny brought him. Woven within the story is counting differently sized items, finding eggs in the egg hunt.

The reason I make so many themes is it's my #1 effective tool for these skills, and the different themes keep it a game. It is easy to extend our literacy activity with adapting to a book we are reading.

If you like this activity, you might also like the Roll and Color the Striped Egg free Preschool Printable Game

 

Preschool Roll and Color the Egg Math Game

Preschool Roll and Color the Egg Math Game

My students love this game and playing it, has been highly effective for their number recognition.

Roll and Color the Egg Preschool math game

I developed this game after noticing my students were losing the ability to subitize after Kindergarten. I developed preschool/pre-K curriculum for the daycare I ran at home. I am formally trained as an early childhood educator and paraprofessional. I noticed that most preschool curriculum focused on reading, but not much on math. While I was focused on hands on math activities, I needed a worksheet that would be fun but introduce written math.

roll and color preschool math game foam die

How to play this Preschool Math Game:
1. Pass out a Roll and Color the Egg free printable Math Game worksheet to each student.
2. Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
3. To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
4. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
5. When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
6. If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
*There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.

Note: We use a big foam dice from the dollar store. The students don't have to worry about dropping the die, throwing it too hard, or losing it.

Benefits of Roll and Color Math Game

  1. This game focuses on subitizing. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without actually having to count.
  2. This game builds skills of visual discrimination.
  3. This game builds working memory because playing the game involves three steps. Children have to remember what the number of the dice is, then find the matching amount on the page, then color that amount.
  4. This game builds cooperation. Children can help each other find the number on the page and they enjoy playing together.
  5. This game can be played in small groups.
  6. This game is perfect for differentiated learning.
  7. This game helps preschoolers learn their colors.
  8. Last but not least, children build fine motor skills while playing this game!
  9. This game provides differentiated instruction.

Why is Differentiated Instruction important?

“Differentiated instruction addresses the needs of students of differing abilities and learning styles in the same class”.


Anyone who has been around a group of children of the same age, probably notices kids naturally learn differently. Some children may be visual, so they have a natural bent to learning colors and shapes. Some children are hands on learners so they may fix something easily then another child would.

free printable roll and color preschool math game


I had a group of children ranging from 4 to 8 years old, many days during school vacations and summers. While we spent a lot of time outdoors, we needed something active to do together inside as well.


The 1st and 2nd graders enjoyed helping the younger children. The preschoolers enjoyed helping each other. There would be discussion about colors, and one child would say the name of the color in discussion-which helped the younger preschooler learn her colors.

Preschool Printable Educator Benefits
Tried, Tested, Observed- Skill Building-YEP
Kids love it. It's active, It's fun, It's action packed.- YEP
NO Prep- YEP

 

You might also like my free printable roll and color preschool Unicorn game

 

free printable roll and color preschool math game

 

 

Free Printable Preschool Roll and Color the Egg Game
Three Little Pigs Preschool Activities: 3 Ninja Pigs

Three Little Pigs Preschool Activities: 3 Ninja Pigs

Take a turn from the traditional three little pigs story with a twist by integrating the Three Ninja Pigs story into your three little pigs preschool theme.

 three little pigs preschool theme

The Three Little Ninja Pigs book by Corey Rosen Schwartz (illustrated by Dan Santat) is not only a fun story, it is a very modern tale that subtly promotes great values. In this book, the contemporary twist is that the third little pig rescues the day because she trained without quitting.

Besides just being a fun book that children love with phrases like “stay out of my hut or I'll kick your big butt”, it brings a giggle. I also love the non-traditional roles and the melodic rhyme pattern the story is written with.

Three Little Pigs Preschool Theme: Literacy Activities

The first part of this curriculum unit is to read both the traditional Three Little Pigs Story and the Three Ninja Pigs story. Read the books a few times so the children will become familiar with the stories. Once they become familiar with the stories, use these books as a basis for a compare and contrast exercise. Talk with the children about:

  • What is different?
  • What is the same?
  • What was the wolf like in the 3 Little Pigs?
  • What was the wolf like in the 3 Ninja pigs?
  • Which one was your favorite and why?
  • Which character did they like the best?

Teaching in this way builds all those critical thinking skills connectors in kids' brains. It also helps kids practice the skills needed that will eventually become reading comprehension. Make sure to use fun words like “character” to introduce new vocabulary. Integrate words from the books into your discussion, like “dojo” from The Three Little Ninja Pigs.

This type of reading activity for preschoolers is called “Dialogic Reading”. According to Dr. Enid Acosta-Tello from National University, research shows that this method serves as a greater benefit for children's language and reading development.

 three little pigs preschool theme printables

The second part of this curriculum unit is to letter identification. There are letter recognition dot sheets, and sound recognition printables in the pack at the bottom of this post. Talk about the letter P for pig. Then children can work on the letter P sheets. Talk about the letter W for wolf. Then children can work on the letter W worksheets.

Take the opportunity during circle time to point out letters W and P in the Three Little Pigs book and the Three Ninja Pigs book. In a smaller group of children, you can ask children to find the W and P in the text as well. Just make sure to have them find one letter at a time. Don't have them search for both letters until they can recognize each letter individually.

3 Little Pigs Preschool Theme: Science and Math Activity

For the preschool STEM or Science and Math activity, the children are going to build their own “three little pig” house. Then they will test the house to see if it “blows down”.

 three little pigs preschool theme activities

To build their own house, each student will need:

  • sliced up pool noodles
  • Jenga blocks or wooden blocks
  • A type of paper fan

After children build their houses, they are going to test their houses with the paper fan. This allows for a role play and use of the imagination. Encourage your preschoolers to be the “Big Bad Wolf” and try to blow the house down by waving the fan. Kids have a blast doing this!

Kids get an opportunity to build those much needed fine motor skills by using different material to build their home. If you don't use Jenga blocks and pool noodle slices, make sure to incorporate smaller items that requires them to use their “pincer grasp”. Larger blocks are fine for gross motor skills, but they need smaller blocks to practice that important fine motor skill.

 three little pigs preschool theme science

Using different types of things to build their house is also important because it helps kids use their problem-solving skills. As shown in the above photo, you can see Alex experimenting with trying to fit the block into the hole. The pool noodle slices are great because of their shape, the holes, and the texture. As discussed by Michigan State University, all of these factors allow students to discover lots of different enrichments on their own when constructing their houses.

Finally, have the children count how many blocks or items they needed to build their houses. They can count the amount of each material. For example: 5 circles and 10 blocks. They can count by color, if the items are different color. Ask them how many brown items they used to build their house, how many green, how many red, and so forth. This way, all the children get counting practice at their skill level. One child may only be able to count to three, and another to ten. This small group three little pig activity allows all the children to participate.

These 3 Little Pigs Preschool Theme activities teach the following skills:

  • Sequencing
  • Counting
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Fine Motor
  • Letter Regcognition
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking

Get the puppets and the 3 Ninja Pigs Roll and Color Math Game here.

3 Little Pigs Preschool Theme: Math Game and Puppets

3 Little Pigs Preschool Theme: Math Game and Puppets

Use the Three Ninja Pigs theme instead to take a twist off the boring path of the traditional 3 Little Pigs preschool theme. Most libraries have this book by Corey Rosen Schwartz (Author) and Dan Santat (Illustrator).

3 little pigs preschool theme, with free printables

This Roll and Color the Ninja Pig goes perfect with any 3 Little Pigs preschool theme. I created the Preschool Roll and Color Games to help build important skills that my preschoolers needed for Kindergarten. My preschool roll and color math game and the puppet printables can be found at the bottom of this post.

The 3 Little Pigs Preschool Theme: Literacy Activity

This is an easy no-prep activity that still packs in a lot of educational value. For this activity you will need to read two books to your children, a traditional story of the Three Little Pigs, and the book The Three Little Ninja Pigs. The stories should be read one after another in circle time though. This makes it easier for children to associate the stories with each other.

Once the children become familiar with both stories, you can lead them into a discussion about the stories. The goal is to get the children thinking about how the stories are different from each other, and how they are similar. This is a very basic way kids are going to learn to compare and contrast.

Ask questions like:

  • What did the big bad wolf do in the Three Little pigs story?
  • What did the wolf do in the Three Little Ninjas story?
  • How many pigs were in the first story?
  • How many pigs were in the second story?
  • Were there the same amount of pigs in both stories?
  • Which story did you like better?
  • Why did you like that story better?
  • Who was your favorite character, or which pig was your favorite?

As you talk with the children you can emphasize what is the “same” and what is “different”. For example, the stories have the same amount of pigs. Both stories have the same amount of pigs, and a big bad wolf, but the little pigs houses are different.

This is going to help kids practice their critical thinking skills and it also builds reading comprehension skills. It's always fun to talk about a book, and it helps children remember the story for the puppet activity.

Print out one page for each of your students and do this activity in small group. Pass out one page for each of your students, and make sure they have crayons, scissors and other coloring tools.

The children should color around the characters before they cut their wolf and pig out. After they are done coloring, have them cut their three little pig puppet characters out. Then they can glue a craft stick on the bottom of the character to make a puppet. I would also add tape to the craft stick where it is glued onto the paper, because the craft sticks don't stay very well if only glue is used.

After the children have their puppets ready, read the Three Little Ninja Pigs book with them. Encourage your students to role play with their puppets. When any of the pig characters talk, the kids hold up their pig puppet and repeat the phrase after you read the phrase. The kids can do the same with their wolf puppets.

The Three Little Ninja Pigs book is easy to repeat, because it is written in a rhythmic way with rhyming verses.

The 3 Little Pigs Preschool Theme: Math Game

I created the Roll and Color Math games to help my preschoolers learn specific skills. All you need for this game is big foam dice, a whiteboard marker and a roll and color page for each of your students.

Skills that preschoolers practice while playing the Three Little Pigs Preschool Roll and Color Game:

  • Subitizing: Learning what an amount is without having to count that amount
  • 1:1 correspondence: Learning how to count each object separately
  • Number recognition
  • Color recognition
  • Matching
  • Following directions

How to play the Roll and Color the Ninja Pig

Pass a page out to each of your students. Have kids take turns rolling the dice in a counter clockwise direction. When a child takes a turn, they color whatever part of the pig, with the color shade that is assigned to the number square.

The roll and color the Ninja Pig Math game printables includes a game with no colors. This is so kids can use the crayon colors that are available. You can also fill in the squares with the colors you want them to learn the names of, and then make a copies.

Do the 3 Ninja Pigs STEM activity and get literacy printables here

Unicorn Roll and Color Preschool Math Game

Unicorn Roll and Color Preschool Math Game

I developed these roll and color math games after noticing my students were losing the ability to subitize in First Grade.. I developed preschool/pre-K curriculum for the daycare I ran at home. I am formally trained as an early childhood educator and paraprofessional. I noticed that most preschool curriculum focused on reading, but not much on math. While I was focused on hands on math activities, I needed a worksheet that would be fun but introduce written math. This game builds memory for math skills.

roll and color a rainbow unicorn
Preschool Math Game Roll and Color a unicorn

The fun thing about this game is we use the color rolled for whatever place on the unicorn we want to. So, even the unicorn body can be three or four colors!

Instructions:

How to play this Preschool Math Game:
1. Pass out a free printable Unicorn Math Game worksheet to each student.
2. Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
3. To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.
4. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
5. When a player rolls the die, they color whatever section of the number matching the number that was rolled on the die.
6. If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
*There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.

Roll and color a rainbow unicorn to build counting, color, number, 1:1 correspondence,, fine motor skills
Counting

Note: We use a big foam dice from the dollar store. The students don't have to worry about dropping the die, throwing it too hard, or losing it. The other benefit of using a foam die is that different numbers can be written on. For example, either the numeral 2, or two dots can be written on the die.

Preschool Printable Educator Benefits
Tried, Tested, Observed- Skill Building-YEP
Kids love it. It's active, It's fun, It's action packed.- YEP
NO Prep- YEP
The Unicorn can be applied towards a spring or fairytale theme.

Preschool skill building, counting-number recognition-1:1 correspondence, fine motor practice, literacy, social skills with this fun printable!
Finished colorful unicorns!

Benefits of the Unicorn Roll and Color Math Game
This game focuses on subitizing. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without actually having to count.


This game builds skills of visual discrimination.


This game builds working memory because playing the game involves three steps. Children have to remember what the number of the dice is, then find the matching amount on the page, then color that amount.

preschool roll and color math game
M


This game builds cooperation. Children can help each other find the number on the page and they enjoy playing together.
This game can be played in small groups.
This game is perfect for differentiated learning.
This game helps preschoolers learn their colors.
Last but not least, children build fine motor skills while playing this game!

Why is differentiated learning important?
Differentiated instruction addresses the needs of students of differing abilities and learning styles in the same class”.


Anyone who has been around a group of children of the same age, probably notices kids naturally learn differently. Some children may be visual, so they have a natural bent to learning colors and shapes. Some children are hands on learners so they may fix something easily then another child would.

Unicorn Preschool Roll and Color


I had a group of children ranging from 4 to 8 years old, many days during school vacations and summers. While we spent a lot of time outdoors, we needed something active to do together inside as well.


The 1st and 2nd graders enjoyed helping the younger children. The preschoolers enjoyed helping each other. There would be discussion about colors, and one child would say the name of the color in discussion-which helped the younger preschooler learn her colors.

Save this March Math Game Activity for a time when you need a quick activity to plug in between curriculum due to inclement weather, or unforeseen schedule changes during the day.

DIRECT DOWNLOAD BELOW:

A meaningful Earth Day STEM activity for kids

A meaningful Earth Day STEM activity for kids

Teach kids why we recycle with this Earth Day STEM activity for kids. Looking for ideas for Earth Day? Kids will learn what happens to trash in this fun hands-on activity.

Before we teach students how to recycle, they need to know why recycling is important. Three R's = Reduce, Reuse, THEN Recycle.

Kids can see that items don't just “magically disappear” with this experiment.

Earth Day STEM activity for kids

This Earth Day STEM activity for kids experiment teaches what happens to trash that ends up in the ocean and water pollution.

Before starting this experiment it is important to provide the kids with background knowledge. The books we read: books Compost Stew, Thank you Earth and I Love the Earth.

After we read the books we talked about where trash goes. We wanted to learn what happened to trash that ended up in lakes or oceans. We wanted to know if things dissolved once they were in water.

Earth Day STEM activity for kids

How to set up the Earth Day STEM activity for kids

Biodegradable and Non Biodegradable Materials: any type of paper, plastic, metal, cardboard

Jars with lids, water to fill the jars

Sticky notes and a pen for labeling jars

We chose: bottle plastic, grocery bag plastic, an old cardboard book cover and bond paper to put into our jars of water.

We filled four jars up with water. Then out a few pieces of each item into a jar. One with paper pieces, one with bottle plastic pieces, one with grocery bag plastic pieces and one with cardboard pieces.

I asked the students what their prediction was. They decided that all of the items would dissolve in water.

Earth Day STEM activity for kids

We checked our covered specimens every day, a week later the cardboard and paper showed signs of dissolving. The book cover turned the water a bit green. After a week the plastic had not changed at all. We were ALL surprised that the bond paper was only soft, not dissolved yet.

What we learned: Plastic doesn't dissolve in the water. That's why we recycle.

However, there is no way to recycle some material like plastic grocery bags. That's why we “reduce” by using cloth bags. That's we we reuse things. The more we reuse things the less we have to throw away.

Finally, we watched the video The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This 3-minute video shows what happens to trash in the ocean.

The video provided transition to our compost experiment that we did next.

Watch and see what happens: the boys still check the jars daily to see how the paper is changing.

This experiment is one of the earth day activities you can do at home or in class.

If you liked this fun earth day activity about water pollution you might like this activity about what happens to things in landfills.

composting Earth Day STEM activity for kids
ReadCountCraft.com
Living through learning, one science experiment at a time
Roll and Color a Pig

Roll and Color a Pig

 There are several skills kids learn while playing the Roll and Color a Pig game. Children will practice their fine mother skills and color identification skills while playing.

Children play the Roll and Color a Pig Math Game to help build counting, subitizing and visual discrimination skills.

The game's format is interactive which allows a child to apply what is learned. Kids also gain confidence because they can count the dots and color independently.

Why I created Roll and Color a Pig Math game:

I noticed that most preschool worksheets put a lot of emphasis on reading, but there were less worksheets available to practice math skills.
While we were focusing on practicing counting, I needed a worksheet that allowed students to have fun while practicing other math skills.

roll and color preschool math game foam die

How to play Roll and Color a Pig:

  1. Make sure each student has: The math game page, and coloring tools.
  2. To see who takes the first turn, each student rolls the die.
  3. The player with the highest number goes first.
  4. Turns are taken in a clockwise direction.
  5. When a player rolls the die, they color the section of the picture that matches the number that was rolled.
  6. If the number has been rolled already, the student passes their turn.
  7. There is no winner really. The goal is to complete the coloring of the picture.

(We use a big foam dice from the dollar store. The students don't have to worry about dropping the die, throwing it too hard, or losing it.)

roll and color a pig preschool math game

Children will practice several vital skills while having fun!

Kids will build visual discrimination skills while playing this game. Visual Discrimination is paying attention to very small details to see differences in an object or picture. Children use their visual discrimination skills to tell the difference between letters of the alphabet.

Other skills that children use while playing this roll and color math game are subitizing skills and working memory skills.
Kids practice and improve their subitizing skills when playing this game. Subitizing means that one knows the number of a group of objects without actually having to count.

Working memory skills are strengthened while playing this game. Working memory is used because the game requires the same 3 steps over and over:

  • Children have to remember the amount of dots on the die.
  • The next step is finding the matching amount on the paper.
  • Coloring the amount of dots on the picture.

If you like the Roll and Color a Pig game you probably will like the roll and color a spotted egg game!

Easy Winter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Easy Winter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are four easy winter activities that are fun for toddlers and preschoolers.

Children two years old to five years old will stay busy with these fun activities and a craft.
Each winter activity uses common supplies that are usually available in every kids craft room.

Here are the Four Easy Winter Theme Activities:

Exploring Snowballs
Fishing for Snowballs
Fishing for Snowballs and Counting
Snowman Winter Craft

Here are the four ideas for your happy toddler and happy preschooler learning with play time!

winter activity for toddlers

Exploring Snowballs Sensory Activity

Fill the large sensory bin container with cotton balls. Once children are seated at their table, place the bins in front of them. Allow children to remove a few cotton balls to play with. It is also a wonderful toddler playtime activity.
This makes a great winter theme sensory play experience using all of the five senses. Sensory Play is beneficial for all young children.

fine motor skill winter activity

For the next activity idea, kids use a wooden spoon to scoop out cotton ball and dump them into a smaller container.

Fishing for Snowballs Activity

Toddlers as young as two years old can do this activity. Preschoolers will also love this activity.
This activity helps with fine motor skills and gross motor skills.

Set up a table in the kids craft or play room.
You will need:
A larger container like a small bin or large bowl
A smaller container like a small bowl or box
A wooden spoon
Cotton balls
Bells (optional)

Place the small container within hands reach next to each child. Hand the child the spoon.
Have the child “fish” for the “snowballs” by “catching” a cotton ball in a spoon, then dumping the cotton ball out into the small container.

The next activity is done the same as the Snowball Fishing activity, except number cards are added.

Preschool winter math activity

Download the free printable number cards at the bottom of this post. The cards can either be cut out or left as a whole page. Laminate the cards if desired.

Fishing for Snowballs Preschool Counting Activity

Give the big container of cotton balls and the wooden spoon. Place a number card, or the number page next to the container.
Have kids scoop out the amount of Cotton Balls to match each number on the card.

paper plate snowman craft

For this activity you will need:
Cotton balls
Glue
Coloring tools
Paper plate

Paper Plate Snowman Craft

Kids first draw a happy face onto the paper plate.
Then the kids glue as many cotton balls as they want on the paper plate to complete the snowman face.
Let dry.

Now you have four ideas you can bring out on the spot when the kids are stuck inside because of inclement weather! Any of these ideas help young children build the skills they need. Learning through play is the best!

Here is free resource I have to go with these activities:

ReadCountCraft.com
Living Through Learning 1 Snowball at a Time
Easy preschool winter science activity

Easy preschool winter science activity

These winter science experiments  will allow children to experiment with their small hands and learn new things. 

preschool winter activities

This No-Prep STEM Winter activity provides a fun learning experience for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. This is a great small group winter activity for preschoolers.

STEM should be introduced in early childhood. I created these activities for my preschool winter curriculum. Kids bring the outdoors inside to learn about winter science.

These two winter science experiments provide a fun and interactive way to learn about science during the winter months. 

The flashlight is a favorite learning  tool for kids to explore with. 

While participating in this simple winter science activity, children will enjoy shining their flashlights on the ice to see it melt.

The ice or snow used in each winter science activity allows youngsters to conduct their own science experiments.

preschoolers winter STEM activities

These are  simple and fun winter science projects that everyone can do.

If there isn't enough snow for these winter STEM experiments, they can use ice instead.Fake snow is a simple substitute for real snow that children can use in their winter science activities as well.

For this fun winter activity, kids will need little bins or bowls, a spoon, salt and a flashlight.

preschool winter activities

Provide children with a little bin or bowl. The kids then go outside and place snow in their bowl as part of a winter learning activity.

Kids can use their little hands to collect snow as well.

After the kids come in and sit down,  hand out flashlights to each child. 

Kids love exploring their bowl of snow with flashlights.

Take care not to let the ice or snow melt too much.

Kids will need a lot of frozen snow for their next winter experiment to work.

winter science for preschoolers

The next step for this winter science activity is to remove the flashlights and give each child a small amount of salt.

Instruct the kids  to sprinkle the salt into their bowl of snow.

Encourage discussion and questions while the children conduct their STEM experiment. 

The salt should dissolve the snow. Use this article to explain to your students how salt melts snow.

Activities for Preschoolers in Winter
Exploring Snow

Give them the flashlight as they lose interest exploring their bowl of snow.

Allow plenty of time for children to explore with this flashlight for this fun winter experiment. 

Winter Science activities such as these are an excellent way for children who don't live in snowy climates to learn about the winter season.

In addition to learning to melt ice, children are also learning to think critically. 

Reading abilities are developed as children pay attention to and discuss what they see and hear.

ReadCountCraft.com
Living Through Learning, one experiment at a time
Image

Valentines Activity: Printable Preschool Pack Robot Love

free printable preschool pack for valentines day
Robot Love Pack Free Valentines Activity
Free Printable Alphabet Letter Matching Cards

Just Print and Play! I use standard clear contact paper from the $Store and cover if i am going to store and use it again. I also insert page into a clear protector sheet, and the student uses dry erase markers. Robot Love is Easy Peasy!

  • Roll A Robot Dice Game (also includes robot drawing template, separate dice key)
  • PreWrite Page Tracing Lines
  • Puzzles with and without numbers
  • Fine Motor Cutting Page
  • Boy and Girl Robot Puppet Craft to make
  • Trace Letter H (uppercase)
  • Trace Letter r (lowercase)
  • Count dots and robots/write #
  • Patterns what comes next
  • Find the Differences
  • I Spy and count
  • Alphabet recognition matching cards (upper and lowercase)
Free Printable Preschool Scavenger Hunt Robot Love

DIRECT DOWNLOAD BELOW

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Saint Patrick’s Day Writing

Reading about this history of Saint Patrick's day will help you complete your Saint Patrick's Day writing journal. The way Saint Patrick's day become a mainstream holiday in America is quite interesting. (The free Saint Patrick's Day Journal can be downloaded at the end of the post. The journal has writing prompts to inspire your creative writing in March)

How did Saint Patrick's Day become a holiday in America?

Irish Roman-Catholics began honoring Saint Patrick's Roman-Catholic Feast day in the 10th century. This was 5 centuries after Saint Patrick died. It is believed that Saint Patrick died on March 17th. This day happened to be in the middle of the season of Lent.

Lent restrictions were eased for Saint Patrick's Day, allowing these Irish to celebrate by eating, drinking, and dancing. Lamb and ham were traditional meats to dine on for the Feast of St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day writing prompts

Saint Patrick's Day in America

In the 1700s, the first Saint Patrick's Day parade was held in Boston, Massachusetts. Next,Irish Catholics came to America to escape the Potato Famine, St. Patrick's Day increased in prominence.

Many in American society mocked and oppressed Irish Roman-Catholic immigrants at the time. Celebrating a saint from their Roman Catholic religion was one way the Irish Roman-Catholics were able to establish solidarity and resist oppression. Irish-Americans stopped eating ham or lamb on Saint Patrick's Day. The Irish in America started buying brisket from the Jewish shops in their neighborhoods. This brisket eventually became the meal of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Corned Beef, cabbage and potatoes is the meal that is now popular to eat on Saint Patrick's Day.

Saint Patrick's Day Today

Now, many people celebrate Saint Patrick's Day all over the world. Saint Patrick's Day is the most popular in American, Canada and Australia. People celebrate Saint Patrick's Day elsewhere around the world, including places in Asia and Russia.

saint patricks day journal with writing prompts

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock

First, the Shamrock is a 3-leaf clover, not the 4-leaf clovers that many believe are lucky. An Irish legend says that Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to discuss the Holy Trinity during his missionary work. Each of Shamrock's 3 leaves represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in Christian belief. Today however, both the Shamrock and Four-Leaf Clover are associated with Saint Patrick's day.

Another thing that helped the Shamrock's elevation as a symbol of Ireland is that it grows everywhere in Ireland. Thus, the Shamrock has always been available to everyone, regardless of social status. Irish people who didn't have a lot of money could pick Shamrocks to enjoy because Shamrocks grew everywhere.

The people of Ireland wore Shamrocks on their clothing and displayed Shamrocks in their homes. This is similar to today's practice where we may put a rose in a lapel or gift a bouquet of roses. So Shamrocks became part of Irish culture, along with leprechauns.

St. Patrick's Day Writing Prompts

Saint Patrick's Day Symbols

The Leprechaun has been in Irish folklore for centuries. Leprechauns were originally grouchy old men who were ornery, tiny, and red. Leprechauns were believed to shoemakers who hoarded their gold and hid it at the end of rainbows.

It's unknown why the red leprechauns turned into the green leprechauns that we know today. One theory is that leprechauns turned themselves from red to green for camouflage. Or that everything that became associated with Ireland was green.

People still believe that spotting a leprechaun is good luck. Even in modern times people believe if they can catch a leprechaun, they will be rewarded with a pot of his gold.

Saint Patrick's Inspiration

St. Patrick's Day shows how the celebration of oppressed immigrants is now part of mainstream culture. In today's world, everyone is Irish for a day! This serves as an inspirational piece of history for each of us.

Saint Patrick's day writing prompt

Learning about St. Patrick's Day

It's beneficial for everyone to learn something about St. Patrick's Day. Adults can learn about Irish folklore. Kids can enjoy the fun of leprechauns and rainbows with their families. We can become familiar with its history. Learning about culture and practice always stimulates brain growth and personal growth.

I taught my daycare kids about St. Patrick's Day. They really enjoyed the story of how St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland became part of our map curriculum as well.

My husband and I mainly celebrate with food. We enjoy colcannon, corned beef and cabbage every March. One of my grandmothers always made corned beef and cabbage when I was growing up. She and my grandfather would invite us over for dinner. This is really the only traditional dinner we had besides Thanksgiving. However, where I live it's not common for people to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the traditional Irish-American meal.

This year I decided to celebrate Saint Patrick's day in another way. I'm using Saint Patrick's Day as an opportunity to write creatively. Creative writing helps my non-fiction writing. I'm sharing it with others who want to use their imagination and write about leprechauns and luck! This journal is free for personal use and I have included it as a download. (You can download it at the end of this post)

Saint Patrick's Day Writing Prompts

This is the list of pages for the free Saint Patrick's Day journal. There are 9 pages with writing prompts. The video shows what the journal looks like. Another option is to write down a few of the prompts from this post. Use these prompts to write in your own personal journal.

(The journal can be directly-downloaded at the bottom of this post.)

https://youtu.be/RANl_brcqms
  • What does it mean to get a “lucky break”? Write about a time when you got one. (Consider something that didn't seem lucky at the time but with hindsight, turned out to be lucky.
  • Do you believe in leprechauns? Why or why not? (Consider how your culture contributes to your belief/disbelief. For example, I don't believe in leprechauns but I somewhat believe in Bigfoot. My Bigfoot belief is directly related to living in the PNW for 20 years.)
  • What would you do if you saw a leprechaun?
  • How would life be different if everyone had light green skin and green hair? (Consider if this would effect equality in your society)
  • Plan a St. Patrick's Day Party. What will you do? What will you eat?
  • Make a list of everything you know about Ireland. (Complete this page after reading here about Ireland.)
  • Draw a four leaf clover. In the center write, I am lucky because. Then write a different way you are lucky on each of the four leaves.
  • You have caught a leprechaun, and he has given you a pot of gold in exchange for his freedom. What do you do with it? ( How much gold? Will you trade it in? How would you explain it? Give details of exactly what you would do with it and why)

Use the Free St. Patrick's Journal for personal use or in a classroom.

Teachers are welcome to use the Saint Patrick's Journal in their classrooms. Classroom student's can use the journal prompts to write their own stories. Use the pages to support lesson plans about Ireland or leprechauns. Adapt the journal and prompts for homeschooling, adapted to the student's grade or skill level.

If you like this journal you may like my other Saint Patrick's Day Items:

Commercial Use Saint Patrick's Day Journal

Saint Patrick's Blessing Wall Art

St. Patrick's Day Brain Breaks for Kids

This St. Patrick's Day Journal for March can only be used for Personal Use or for One Classroom

I would love to hear about how you celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Leave a comment below.