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.


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.

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


Less time, more blog content? I can help.

ALASKA LEARN AND TRAVEL GUIDE 55 pages/$55. 1 left.

Semi/exclusive (I only make 4 of each copy)


***CALIFORNIA, MARYLAND, HAWAII Educational packs for kids are also available. $25 for a 20-25 page pack.

I do NOT create special orders, but if you email me at, you can join my Facebook States Pre-Order group. (spots are limited )

Living through Learning, one state at a time.

The Best Educational Video Games for Kids in Quarantine

Image via Unsplash

The Best Educational Video Games for Kids in Quarantine

Video games get a bad reputation. From violence to video game addiction, parents have good cause to be concerned about their kids’ gaming habits. But the truth is, video games aren’t all bad. There are tons of great games out there that aren’t just wholesome, but are actually educational for kids!

So how do you find (and safely use) the games you can actually feel good about your kids playing? Check out these tips, brought to you by ReadCountCraft.

How to Set Your Kids Up for Gaming Success

Many games are hosted online these days, which means kids need to understand basic internet safety and how to be a good digital citizen. It also means parents need to equip family computers with antivirus software and parental controls to prevent kids from venturing places they shouldn’t.

Of course, you need the equipment, so if yours is outdated, lagging or you’re investing for the first time, do some research into what your kids will enjoy and won’t break the bank. The Chicago Tribune recommends reading through different reviews to determine what is best for your family, and if you want to talk to a human, you can even connect with Best Buy for a free consultation. And if you find exactly what you want from them, you can avoid overspending with a Best Buy coupon from savings sites like Rakuten.

Finally, as Today’s Parent points out, it’s still important to set limits, even for educational games. Keep gaming systems in common areas where you can monitor usage and use timers to indicate when screen time is up. As long as you have activities to distract from tech, you can transition away from games without a fight.

Do ratings really matter?

How much can video game ratings really tell you about its content? Video games are rated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. ESRB ratings are:

  • EC: Early childhood
  • E: Everyone
  • E10: Everyone 10 and up
  • T: Teen
  • M: Mature
  • AO: Adults Only

Games rated E and E10 are generally safe, but take a closer look at games rated T and up. While some games rated T are fairly mild, others have content you’d rather avoid.

Parents should also watch for the phrase “Online interactions not rated by the ESRB.” This indicates a game that has chat functions where your child can hear unfiltered content from other players. The ESRB has resources to help parents restrict in-game communication.

6 Great Games for Kids

Now onto the good stuff! These are some of my favorite learning games for kids.

Reading games

Endless Alphabet

Preschoolers learn their ABCs with the help of cute animated monsters in this game available on PC, iOS, and Android. After graduating from Endless Alphabet, kids can move onto its follow-up, Endless Reader.


This imaginative game tests kids’ spelling skills as they solve puzzles and interact with a fantasy world. Originally designed for Nintendo DS, today Scribblenauts is available on nearly every platform.

Math and science games


If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard of Minecraft. This PC, Playstation, and Xbox game isn’t just wildly popular, it’s also great for teaching mathematical principles.

Kerbal Space Program

A must-have for any NASA-obsessed kid, Kerbal Space Program lets players design their own space program, launching rockets and landing on far-away planets as they playfully explore physics concepts.

Puzzle games

Little Big Planet

A puzzle platform designed for kids 7 and up, Little Big Planet tests problem-solving and spatial orientation skills in a rich story world. Kids can play Little Big Planet on Playstation and even create their own levels for friends to solve.


Teens will love Portal and Portal 2, a physics-based puzzle game available on PC, Xbox, and Playstation. In Portal, players place interconnected portals to solve puzzles and progress through the story.

So which games should parents avoid? Violent games are an obvious ‘no’ but also stay away from games that are purely educational too. If a game isn’t fun, engaging, and visually appealing, kids won’t stay interested long enough to learn anyway. The best educational games for kids are the ones that are so fun, they barely notice they’re learning!

ReadCountCraft knows that learning often comes in unconventional forms. Rather than feeling mom-guilt over how much time your kids spend on screens right now, find educational screen time that you can feel good about! Visit the site often for more fun and educational resources.

Living Through Learning, One Video Game at a Time

How to Model Good Choices and Encourage Your Child to Do the Same

One of the most important things we can do as parents is to encourage our children to make healthy choices — both now and in the future. It’s a top priority that they develop good habits today so that they can grow up to be healthy adults tomorrow. Since children watch how their parents go about life, it’s up to us to be consistent role models because showing them is more powerful than telling them.

ReadCountCraft knows being a “perfect parent” isn’t possible, but the journey also isn’t entirely intuitive. To help you along, here are some essential tips for parents who want to model good behavior and choices for their children.

Have Healthy Foods on Hand

Just like adults, kids will often eat what is tasty and convenient. That means that when you have healthy options in the home, they will be more likely to eat healthfully. Strategize your grocery list with your child in mind, and allow them to choose from a few different healthy meals and snacks. While the home is the first order of business, it’s also important to take this philosophy outside the home as well. For instance, instead of relying on drive-thru and gas station snacks, consider packing fruits, nuts, pretzels, and other nutritious foods for the times you’re on the go.

Exercise Together

Exercise is critical for people of all ages. If your child sees you exercising, they will be more likely to adopt that habit and carry it into their adult years. Along with setting an example with your own fitness routine, Parents suggests finding fun ways for the whole family to get in some physical activity together. It could be biking, swimming, hiking, or anything else that provides a good workout.

Don the Safety Gear

Children watch what their parents do, even when it comes to simple but significant things like safety precautions. If you go biking, for instance, be sure to wear a helmet. If you go out on a boat or jet ski, wear a life vest. Every time you drive somewhere, wear your seat belt. Do anything you can to model what it’s like to practice safety as a grown up.

Have Quality Conversations

Though leading by example is the most effective way to teach your child how to make healthy choices, it also helps to keep a steady flow of quality conversations going. LiveScience says to talk honestly about the awkward topics such as sex, drugs, and alcohol, and clarify your views and expectations on each matter. Also, talk with them regularly about friends, school, interests, and anything else that helps you to stay connected and strengthens your relationship.

Show Them How to Handle Stress

Last but not least: remember that your child is watching you when you are going through a hard time. How you deal with stress can profoundly affect how they deal with it when they are adults. If you turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate your worries, your child is more likely to do the same some day. If you tend to lose your cool and lash out randomly, they will learn that as well. Instead, opt for healthier options like exercise, hobbies and/or deep breathing.

Ready to Get Back to It?

Parenting can be like coming up on a traffic jam — we hit the brakes on life! But some of the most powerful lessons our children learn will be from seeing our example. Every parent wants their kids to get off to a good start in life and that means giving them permission to pursue their dreams, but also pursuing our dreams ourselves.

Have a fitness goal? Want to eat healthier? Ready to finally get that business degree? Pick up a long neglected hobby. Let’s get back to it!

One of the most essential parts of being a parent is setting a good example for your child. Model good dieting and always keep healthy foods accessible, and show them how exercise can benefit their well-being. Wear safety gear whenever necessary, and keep an open line of communication going. Finally, lead them by demonstrating healthy ways to deal with stress.

ReadCountCraft is all about supporting families. For learning opportunities, ideas and inspirations that empower you and your kids towards a healthier and happier life, be sure to connect!

Photo Credit: Pexels

Living through Learning, one good choice at a time.

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.


5 Snowflakes in a truck – preschool math practice page

No Prep. Print out, students can cut out numbered squares.

Easy Number recognition. Make sure students say the numbers out loud as they are gluing onto truck.

Both colored and black and white versions in pack.

Living through learning, one truck at a time.


Made for walking feet- Toddler moccasins created by nature

35$ a pair, if interested email me and I will list for purchase in my Etsy store.

Traditionally made using traditional material from my area in SE Oregon. We are rural and traditional home to the Klamath/Modoc/Snake River tribe. I was taught how to make these by my Native friends. I’ve been making these for 10+ years, mainly as gifts. This year I had requests so I made a few extra.

Deer hide is softer then commercial leather. These shoes are so great for foot development because they form to the feet. They are also the best to learn and practice those walking steps because kids can feel the ground as if they are barefoot.

Moccasins are sewn with sinew, which is animal fat. It lasts much longer then cotton thread. So these shoes don’t wear out before they are outgrown and can be used by another child.

Not mad for getting wet. Shoes are not sprayed with anything and leather and rain don’t like each other. A little dampness won’t ruin them but getting WET will.

I’m not going to be making more of these, the deer hide is very hard to get locally now. I don’t like buying my hide online bc I like to feel it and examine it. I am moving from hand crafting items, moving towards teaching how to make them.

If interested in these or seeing a few other pairs I have made, hit the email link at the top of this page or comment below. I will list on Etsy, you can purchase through there. Can’t offer free shipping but they fit in a 10$ USPS box, I don’t know how much international is.

toddler moccasins all natural materials -traditional NW craft
Living through Learning, one step at a time.


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.


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.

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.


Easy Unicorn ornament for your kids!

I created this for a 2 year old little girl who loves unicorns! Secretly, okay NOT-so-secret, I love unicorns and I had to make something with these christmas unicorns. Christmas-corns?

The download at the end of the post has the 3 different designs. These will appeal to children from 2yo to 7 yo.

I suggest handing out the supplies, even for students who are old enough to make this without help. Otherwise students may cut the ribbon too short or 2 feet long etc.

This Unicorn Ornament Craft builds fine motor skills and even older kids still need practice with fine motor skills for printing/cutting and just hand coordination development in general.

The Ornament craft also helps with methodology, sequencing, because of the step by step directions. Mentally organizing/critical thinking skills, real life application skills.

Supplies: Unicorn ornament page ribbon

(or rubber bands)


Hole Punch

Optional: Plain paper for the back piece and glue


Print the ornaments- Use *1* page for 3 students, or *1* page for 1 student making all three.

Cut the Ornaments out for kids who are too young to use scissors

Cut ribbon pieces, I cut about a foot because it’s better for tying, and the extra can be cut off.

If you are short on ribbon, just loop a rubber band through the top.

Instructions shown below:

First step if applying the back piece
That’s it! Super practical and easy, and best of all FUN.
Living through Learning, one Unicorn at a time


5 Leaves in a Truck- Preschool Math Practice page

I created these preschool Math Pages for a 2yr old that I’m working with one on one. We are practicing numbers, counting, subitizing. Unofficially though, this looks so dang cute on a fridge, ha ha!

Cut and Paste Leaves onto a truck for counting practice and number recognition. Children can color the Truck photo and leaves, or use the colored leaves.

5 Leaves in a Truck Practice Pages Skill Building Areas:

  • Cutting practice for square leaf cutouts
  • Coloring uses fine motor skills
  • Squeezing liquid glue uses hand strength
  • Applying Stick glue uses fine motor skills
  • Color, Cut, Paste builds sequencing

5 Leaves in a Truck Preschool Practice Pages in Color and Black and White


Pumpkin Cat Process Artrific-easy Halloween

Pumpkin Cat Process Artrific

This was a grand time in my preschool class for making original halloween art, the preschoolers from age 2 1/2 to 6 years old enjoyed it. It took 2 sessions because the paint had to dry, perfect activity times with a break in between.

Google eyes makes it purrffecct but if you are out of wiggle eyes substitute poms, rolled up masking tape pieces, beads, anything for a fun 3d halloween effect! There’s a download for directions at the end of the post.

Pumpkin Cat Process Artrific

Directions :

Pumpkin Cat Process Artrific


Living Through Learning, one pumpkin at a time.

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.


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


An apple activity a day keeps brain rot away,with free printables

Pack an incredible amount of science with into each day with one activity.

Pair the activity with a worksheet from the free printable, as desired.

Decorate some blocks with apple pictures, apply with Modge-Podge
STACK : Apples . STACK Blocks. Try to Stack Ten.

Ten Apples Up on Top Book Video

Do apples Float?

Identify seeds, peel, core.

Montessori- Real life skills, cutting apples

Roll and Color an Apple Game in the printable pack

Pack with instructions, activities, worksheets.
Living through Learning, one apple at a time

I need 2 October Activities right now- no prep

I’ve used apple, pumpkin, and shapes skittles experiments for 18mos – 8 years old. I keep Skittles on hand for a last minute go-to.

Variate on the pumpkin theme by making Squash monsters.

Living through Learning, One activity at time.

Distance Learning Homework- Idioms

Print, cut, and paste.

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

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 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

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.


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


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


DIY Upcycled Decor


I inherited this old wood 3 tier planter, and it took me 3 years to figure out what to do with it. I took some pieces off, and my original painting idea didn’t work.

If you decide to up-cycle an old wooden outdoor item:

-Don’t use any type of metal spray paint, if you want your object to look newer. If you want your object to look really really old and worn, then use the metal colors. My first try was VERY bad, it didn’t look metallic AT ALL.

-Use this, it goes on evenly and you don’t have to use primer first.

Rust-Oleum 12oz 2X Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Gloss Spray Paint Deep Blue - image 1 of 4

So I have this special “picture window” . It’s the one I look out of all the time, where my work station is, and the main table is. Okay, it’s the dining room but I use this spot for everything. Not only the outdoor focal point, but the indoor focal point when we walk into the house.

I made a type of blind hanging from an egg carton and butterfly cutouts. I cut up and painted the egg carton cups, then strung the butterfly cut outs and cups together. It was time consuming, but I considered it mindfulness. I don’t know why mainstream sources don’t think of repetitive craft activities as triggering mindfulness. It’s definitely a “zone”.



The ceiling fan actually makes the butterflies “fly”

Honestly I always have had a cheerful whimsy style when decorating. It’s not even Boho, it’s all my own and I think would drive some folks crazy. But you know, these ideas will look lovely in subdued colors also.

REDUCE. REUSE. RECYCLE. Don’t forget recycling is the LAST step to waste reduction, NOT the first.

Living through learning, one project at a time.

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


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

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.

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.)



  • 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.

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.

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.

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:


  • 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.


To wear or not to wear? Mask questions and answers.

Why are you making your choice?

I’m not telling you what to do.

I am equipping readers with valid sources to make an educated decision regarding the mask controversy.

As an Oregonian, I am now mandated to wear a face mask.

I was a “better safe then sorry” mask-wearer, pre-mandate.

However, I’m still on the fence about mandated mask wearing.

Mask vs non-mask is a divider in our small rural community.
Non-Maskers- Get angry at the government.
Maskers- Respect other’s Non-Mask choice.

WHO mask video screen shot
5 Questions: Stanford scientists on COVID-19 mask guidelines

5 basic questions and answers highlights:

  • Masks contribute to “source control”.
  • Less Covid-19 tiny spit escapes if both wear masks= spreads 5 ft.
  • If 1 person is masked= spit spreads +30ft and stays in air up to 30 hrs.
  • Proper Mask ventilation= blow out a candle with mask on from 1 ft.
  • Charge it=”… Rubbing mask w/latex gloves for 30 sec. prior to use, can increase efficacy by 30%
Woman wearing a cloth face mask in a grocery store
Still confused about masks? Science about how face masks prevent corona-virus.

Mask science Article Highlights:

  • “Masks may be more effective as a “source control” because they can prevent larger expelled droplets from evaporating into smaller droplets that can travel farther.”
  • Read the studies where mask recommendation standards originated from.
  • 2 case reports that show mask wearing stopped virus spread due to masks.
  • CDC changed it’s mask recommendations due to: 1) shortage of surgical masks. 2) U.S. wasn’t culturally prepared. 3) Better understanding of Covid-19.
  • Chin- Hong, “Nobody’s taking a cholesterol medicine because they’re going to prevent a heart attack 100 percent of the time, but you’re reducing your risk substantially.”
Makes don't work to protect people from Covid19.
Face Masks Don’t work?

Masks don’t work highlights:

  • Lots of medical reports provided for evidence of mask non-effectiveness.
  • 1 is recent-published in 2020.
  • No Covid-19 tests.
  • Studies show masks ineffective regarding other airborne viruses.
Homemade face masks contain the coronavirus only a little.
Do face masks really reduce corona-virus? Experts have mixed answers.

Mixed Answers Highlight:

May Chu, a clinical professor in epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health on the Anschutz Medical Campus –

“The recommendations that everyone wear masks are because “any kind of impediment is better than nothing,” Chu said. But fabric masks are not expected to be as protective as surgical masks, she said. That’s why public health officials are warning people to remain at least 6 feet apart from one another, even if they are wearing masks.”

Use your critical thinking skills. Know why you are making your choice.

Feedback and comments always welcome for discussion.

Living through Learning, one health issue at a time.


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)


  • 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.

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:


Teach Hope. Stay Kind. Wishing Well.


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


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

July Play It for Preschool

Preschool Math Dice Game, Roll and Color the Heart Flag

What do you need?



Coloring tools-

and Preschoolers!

(free download at end of post)

preschool math dice game roll and color a heart flag
preschool math game roll and color a heart flag game

This game is a no prep for teachers, parents, and distance learners.

This game practices critical thinking because children count, match, and identify.

This game is effective because it teaches 1:1 correspondence.

This game is fun because it’s interactive.

This game practices taking turns, counting, fine motor and color identification.

This game is versatile because mixed age groups and levels can play at the same time. Or as a single player game.

Roll and Color a Heart
Preschool Math Game

more free July 4th printables


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!


free Ladybug Printable Pack
free Ladybug printable pack

Ladybug Free Printable Pack

Roll and color a Spiral

roll and color a spiral
Roll and Color a Spiral

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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)


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.


Roll and Color a Ladybug
NO NUMBERS Instructions for Roll and Color a Ladybug
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

Easiest Ladybug song!Easiest Ladybug Craft for your kids!

Easiest Ladybug song!Easiest Ladybug Craft for your kids!

Do you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?

Tired of needing special supplies or using lots of printer ink?

Yeh, me too! I made this craft for the no-prep-please, ME and sharing with you.

Easiest Ladybug craft for your kids

I tailored this for a 17 month old but because its great for any age, by increasing the amount of dots.It’s great for preschoolers with a short attention span.


  • Paper plate
  • Paper to print off antennae, spots, and large circle templates.
    • I had red paper for the large circle, but no black paper. She colored the white paper black, and children can color the red circle red too!

Smash down Spots, Head, Antennae


Antennae, Ladybug Ladybug Song, and Instructions download at end of post.

CLICK AND DOWNLOAD CIRCLE TEMPLATES- (from the same site, scroll down on page):


Large 5 Inch Size Printable Circles


Medium 4 Inch Circle Stencils


Small 2 Inch Circle Shapes to Print

Antennae, Instructions, and Song download below

Easiest Ladybug Craft

Kids STEM at home

Supplies: Beans, Bin, Blocks and Pitcher of Water.

This activity is appropriate with multiple age siblings, or a single child.

Build a building that can withstand water erosion.

kids stem at home
kids stem at home

kids stem at home

I provided different sized bins and different blocks. He dumped both the blocks and bin from his first attempt.

Substitute what you have. Oatmeal or any kind of filler for the bin, even dirt dug up from outside! If the blocks are scarce and scattered, find some sticks or anything that can be used for building.


Ready? Don’t Do this!

My mistake was allowing too much CHILD LED, in which he did the water himself so fast I did not even know what he was doing until he did it!


Why is it a failed experiment? Because water rarely if ever dumps from the sky in one big stream! Even when it does, that’s PRESSURE DAMAGE – NOT EROSION.

Fix: Re-explain what erosion is after the building is complete. Talk about how the water actually moves, not only the exciting “there’s a lot of it like flooding and there’s damage”. Talk about how to replicate with your own water. TO THE SIDE, and NOT A flood.

Then, take the pitcher and help the child pour the water slowly to erode the “sediment”.

We will conduct another erosion experiment, with different sediment-perhaps sand or gravel rocks. I hope we will be able to understand erosion more fully by demonstrating it properly.

It’s no big deal. I have done the same experiment repeatedly because it is common that children are so interested in the EFFECT its hard to slow down and learn along the way.

Take Away = We learned about pressure and flooding.

You Can Do It Cat GIF by Chibird
wishing you wellness, kindness, and silliness


Roll and color a rainbow number identification

roll and color a rainbow numberidreadcountcraft
roll and color a rainbow number identification

This game is a no prep for teachers, parents, and distance learners.

This game practices critical thinking because children count, match, and identify.

This game is effective because it teaches 1:1 correspondence.

This game is fun because it’s interactive.

This game practices taking turns, counting, fine motor and color identification.

This game is versatile because mixed age groups and levels can play at the same time. Or a one player game.

This game is original, I created it and tested it for students 3 years to 7 years to build specific skills listed above.

Wishing you wellness, kindness and silliness.


Short to Long Vowels for Stars

Short to Long Vowel games
Short to Long Vowel games

This game is Stariffic because:

This game is effective because it provides vocabulary and review.

This game is fun because it’s interactive.

This game practices using a process to find the answer.

short to long vowels game
short to long vowels game

This game is versatile because mixed age groups and levels can play together.

There are 7 different pages in the pack, below are 3 of them.

Please subscribe or like to help keep my blog ad free!

Short to Long Vowels for Stars
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is moveandlearnvowelsgame.gif


Any time, any place, preschool roll and color

roll and color a flower
Photo of Roll and Color a Flower game

Preschool roll and color provides:

Independent play because children can match and count.

1:1 correspondence skills memorized through play.

Fun because it’s interactive.

Fine motor, color identification, counting practice and taking turns.

Versatility: mixed age groups and skill levels can play together.

Subscribe now to receive subscriber only free printables designed by me and tested by my students!


Preschool Built- Roll and Color a Rainbow math game

Photo of Printed Roll and Color a Rainbow Subitizing

Count and Match. Count and Match. Count and Match=

I don’t need to COUNT anymore.

  • This game can be played without adult interference because children can count and match.
  • This game is effective because it teaches through play.
  • This game is fun because it’s interactive.
  • This game practices taking turns, counting, fine motor and primary color identification.
  • This game is versatile because mixed age groups and levels can play at the same time.

Subscribe to receive my original free printables for subscribers only.


Roll into Spring with Preschool Math Games

  • This game is effective because it teaches 1:1 correspondence.
  • This game is fun because it’s interactive.
  • This game promotes problem solving because it requires 2 steps to find the answer.
  • This game promotes social skills because it requires waiting and turn taking.
  • This game is versatile because mixed age groups and skill levels can play at the same time.
  • I developed for Kindergarten Common Core Math pre-skills.
  • I have used with children ages 3 – 7 years old.
  • Use one die, color the rolled # match. If number has been rolled, either skip or roll again (teacher’s choice).
  • Does not need to be played until finished, can be taken home.


I like to move it move it and learn my vowels

We played this as a break between School-now Home -School Lessons.

I have a very energetic student so he loved this game! Anything moving+learning= permanent skill. We played this during inclement weather which was a great help for getting our wiggles out!

If your students knows the alphabet + sounds, she can memorize vowels. Explain the general idea- that vowels are why we say paper instead of ppr. (ha ha yes its funny to try to say words without vowels) Believe me, he will get the concept.

steve carell news GIF

PREP: Print the cards out with the Gray-scale setting

Color the vowel letters the same color. Do not color the other letters with that color. Cut cards apart.

Here’s how we played:

  • Place cards face down.
  • 1st player draws card.
  • If card is a consonant, player does the exercise on card.
  • If card is a vowel card, player calls , “VOWEL!” and passes the card to another player who must execute the exercise.
  • If it is a Vowel, but player doesn’t recognize it, player must do exercise and, choose another card and do THAT exercise.
  • The game ends when all the cards have been used.

Believe me if you play this way it’s SUPER fun, and for this 53 yo, the hardest one was trying to do the inch worm with, well-boobs.

corona virus covid 19 podcasts and tips
learn vowels
short to long vowels game
short to long vowels game


Kids Art Emotions Collage

Kids read a book about emotions and make their own Emotion Jar Collage.

Direct Download Link at end of Post

Make a Jar Collage of Emotions with this free pack:

  • 32 emotion symbols
  • 2 jar styles
  • Instructions
Kids emotions activities collage
Kids emotions activities collage
kids emotions art activity
kids emotions art activity

Other activities to explore emotions:

Exploring emotions through color (same cards)

Skittles Emoji

Alphabet Monster Emotions

emotion activities for kids
emotion activities for kids


Emotions and Color- Exploring Emotions part 2

This Art Therapy activity allows children to learn about their emotions by identifying what is inside, and expressing it.

I use this activity to allow children to express emotions in a concrete way.

Using color and symbols as a tool for encouraging the management and expression of emotion through creative process.

Pack includes: 32 symbols cards, 2 different jar style cards, instructions, suggested books list.

kids emotions art activity
kids emotions art activity

Instructions for Emotional Art Activity Part 2-

kids emotions art activity

Note: During the process of associating color with emotion, don’t suggest a specific color.

I suggested purple for disappointment, ONLY because we learned through previous activities.

During the 1st week, we read books and discussed.

During the 2nd week, we read again and did the intro activity.

During the 3rd week, we read another book, and did Part 1.

They enjoyed this activity so much I have no photo of the cards they painted, as I was too busy to take photos.

emotion activities for kids
emotion activities for kids


Teaching Toddlers Power Tool: Sensory Bins; toddler activities at home

When your toddler is showing interest in closing and opening containers. Building Developmental Skills.

Added shiny eggs for interest. Make sure eggs are easy to open and close, and the colors are appealing.
If your child is getting frustrated with the inability to close the eggs, use this bin for INTERACTIVE play with you .
Be careful because if a child isn’t developmentally ready for this skill, and is attempting like Aspen above, she will become frustrated. You want to give them activities they are SUCCESSFUL at. And lots of praise YAY!, to build the confidence to KEEP trying.
Putting Pasta in the egg and closing it= Problem solving. Builds hand strength and coordination, confidence.

Exploring Bin & introducing Shapes

Practicing Fine motor skills (writing) while taking out bean . Learning Background knowledge for amounts (math).

I introduce teaching shapes with the heart- because hearts are so common they are easily recognizable.

The sensory bin is red and pink only. This is because I wanted her to focus on the physical shape of the heart, and the feeling of the beans. I actually take her finger and trace it around the heart.

Using a monochromatic color scheme is a great way to introduce teaching colors. This way the child notices one color, even if we are not naming the color.

We played with this bin all of February, but it doesn’t need to line up with Valentine’s Day month. It is for play, when the child is ready to be introduced to shapes.

paper hearts, jingle bell, foam heart, pipe cleaner, Kidney beans

The sensory bin that followed this was to teach YELLOW.

I wanted to use cornmeal but I was out so I used oatmeal with yellow objects that I found. A yellow block, a yellow plastic bear, yellow poms, yellow paper pieces.

For the YELLOW learning bin, oatmeal with poured into a loaf pan with 3 YELLOW objects. The next day I added a different object. Once there were 5 objects with the oatmeal, i found 5 different objects and interchanged 1:1.

I decreased the number of cups and introduced utensils. Different types of spoons for example, and interchanged these also.

I began teaching Aspen as a nanny this past January when she was 16 months old. I have observed her respond and learn and look forward to her sensory bins. Her mom keeps them and uses them as well. Don’t underestimate the power of a sensory bin for learning and practical use as an easy activity to keep a toddler occupied for a few minutes.


Kawaii Paper Roll Bunny Craft – all ages

SUPPLIES: (TP) paper roll, coloring tools, glue, paper template

Inspired by: Foam kit @ Joann’s

1. Print the template from the direct download at the end of this post.

2. Color if desired, THEN cut the pieces out.

Glue in order: Square (shirt), Head, Tail, Arms, Bow.

Embellish with glitter, glue, sequins, poms, pieces of material = Imagination.

emotion activities for kids
Kawaii Bunny Craft

The Very Impatient Caterpillar and Butterfly Number Sense Game Free Printable

The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach

WE love this book, its hysterical! Biology + the difficulty of waiting + humor = Bawesomeness! (butterfly + awesomeness)

Free printable, includes a colored key (pictured above) and the same page with a blank key for student to choose her colors.

Direct Download Link Under the Butterfly:

Download Link Below

roll and color preschool math games spring
roll and color a flower
Have a break, winter scavenger hunt for kids.

Have a break, winter scavenger hunt for kids.

This can activity is adaptable for any group size of kids, and unlimited ages, even a mix of ages.


Scavenger Hunt Sticky Collage Activity

There was so much snow that the children were excited to find anything! This was not planned, I grabbed a couple of recycled containers to put their goodies in.

Returning inside, I cut two pieces of clear contact paper and hung them up with magnets on our “magnet boards”.  (Oil Pans)

USER_SCOPED_TEMP_DATA_MSGR_PHOTO_FOR_UPLOAD_1549910962723.jpg_1549910971761 (1)
Have a break, have a nature scavenger hunt for kids

Then, they stuck their collages to the color paper they wanted, and filled in the “frame” with oil pastels.

Creating masterpieces

Finally, they decided to blend oil pastels on the back, which can be seen here.

The backs made the scavenged items easier to see. However the contact paper makes collection easy to hang up directly on windows, although make sure to tape the corners up.

Have a break, winter scavenger hunt for kids
Have a break, winter scavenger hunt for kids