google.com, pub-8985115814551729, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Free Printable Lesson Plans: free printable
Showing posts with label free printable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free printable. Show all posts

Free Printable Heart lesson plans for Valentine's Day


Hello fellow educators, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, you're probably up to your elbows in holiday crafts. But how about some non-traditional Valentine's Day activities? Here are free printable heart (as in the organ) lesson plans. Use these for science, anatomy and health lesson plans for fun holiday connections with an educational twist. 

Coloring Home has a large assortment of free printable heart coloring pages featuring diagrams to color and label, plus anatomy coloring pages to show how the heart works within other parts of the body. The health lesson plans help students explore the heart and the larger circulatory system and why it is such a vital organ (the word vital comes from Latin, "vita" or "life.") 

The American Heart Association has loads of free printable heart health lesson plans. There are other resources on heart health and healthy habits. Here a free printables on the circulatory system and heart themed activities to help students keep heart fit. I particularly like the free downloads with printables on 25 ways to keep moving, at home and at school. 

Kids Health has free printable fitness and health lesson plans to help students understand the importance of nutrition, exercise, fitness and healthy choices (not smoking or vaping). Click around to find fitness trackers, heart rate monitors and other tools for wellness. 

Along with the frilly Valentine's Day crafts and valentine exchanges, my students studied the parts of the body in science lesson plans around this holiday. Preschool students made vests cut from grocery bags with organs of the human body drawn on. Older kids made human body T-shirts with body organs drawn on in permanent marker. There are several coloring pages from the Coloring Home link that could be used as parts of the body templates. Older students might stencil on the T-shirt, label and color the human body model. 

Younger students can get scissors skills practice, using the body parts coloring pages as color, cut and paste activities. Here are more free printable human body coloring pages for such cut and paste activities, from Exploring Nature. 

Include lots of active learning in your heart lesson plans and heart healthy snacks! Stay tuned for heart party activities for Valentine's Day! 

Healthy School Lunch Recipes: handhelds, pizza, tacos, burritos and breadless sandwiches


Juvenile obesity is a growing problem in the US and other nations. More kids experience excessive weight gain, not tween-age weight that will drop off after puberty, but life-long and are at risk of obesity-related health problems. There are some very simple strategies parents can use to help children with or at risk of obesity, without ever  mentioning weight loss. The two most important being diet and exercise. I'm not talking about diet as in specific calorie restricting. I mean monitoring what kids eat to ensure that they get maximum nutrition without extra junk calories. Here are healthy school lunch recipes for handhelds, "burritos" and breadless sandwiches to prevent childhood obesity. 

Handhelds such as sandwiches, burgers, burritos and hot dogs are the perfect school lunch food because they are less messy. And that's an important key right there. You can practice junk calorie restricting and  mess by just minimizing the condiments and using judicious condiment food swaps. Butter, mayo, jam and jelly, ketchup, mustard, dips and spreads are really not necessary in the amounts we use. Condiments alone contribute an inordinate amount to the calorie count while providing no real benefit. Some super nutritious condiment food swaps include:

cashew or almond butter (I'm a peanut butter girl, but sadly some schools have kyboshed peanut butter due to allergies. They shouldn't because it's just making allergies worse, but I digress)

hummus (look for lower fat, higher protein varieties or make your own)

salsa or pico de gallo (choose low sugar and low sodium and high veggie varieties. Eating salsa is a great potassium boost to prevent dehydration)

Some essential food swaps for sandwiches and burritos include low carb and keto breads and tortillas. So you probably know that white foods: bleached flour and sugar are the biggest problems with tortillas. Dr. Now of the anti-obesity reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" targets these on his "no white food" diet. But you can make a simple switch to low carb tortillas that provide a fiber and protein punch while still calorie restricting. Or go completely off book with breadless sandwiches wrapped in lettuce or kale leaves. 

Burritos, tacos and other handheld favorites can be reinvented in an endless number of ways for calorie restricting but also to boost nutrition. Spread almond butter on a low carb or keto tortilla and wrap around apple slices or a banana. Or spread with hummus, a little salsa and loads of fresh veggies. Or a cheese stick. Wrap tightly and slice, for pinwheels or "sushi." Speaking of sushi, why not make sushi rolls for super healthy school lunches?

Make pizza handhelds using thin crust pizza or low carb keto tortilla like Joseph's pita pockets or flax wraps or Light and Fit wraps. Spread with a little spaghetti sauce, sprinkle with low moisture mozzarella and turkey pepperoni. Make your own "make-your-own" Lunchables that kids can assemble at school. 

There are so many ways to keep kids fit and healthy without ever mentioning weight loss or diet. And add value by getting kids involved packing their own school lunches. Here are some free printable lesson plans on nutrition to help.  




Stone Soup lesson plans, activities and printables, plus Friendship Soup recipes


 Looking for interactive, hands-on activities to revive a winter weary preschool or elementary age curriculum? How about a unit on "Stone Soup?" Here are free printable Stone Soup lesson plans, activities, coloring pages, crafts and recipes for Friendship Soup from the beloved children's literature classic. 

There are several versions of Stone Soup, my favorite being the Marcia Brown Caldecott one (shown above). In this story, stingy villagers learn the value of collaboration and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts when three hungry soldiers con them into to sharing their hoarded food to make a group soup. 

Begin by reading Stone Soup aloud. Children should predict what will happen using HOTS (higher order thinking skills). Kids will love the ah-ha moment when they realize, (before the greedy villagers do) that the hoarders have just been tricked into parting with food they lied about not having. 

Next, assign kids character parts and retell Stone Soup as a  play. Let children design costumes and create props and scenery from the recycle bin. Recycled cardboard fridge boxes make awesome backdrops which children can paint. Present this as a play to other students. 

After the play, serve Stone Soup (which has now become Friendship Soup) that you have made as a class. Allow students to prep vegetables or simply bring canned vegetables to reheat. Children might also prep vegetables and home. Teacher should probably bring the cooked meat if you're going to include it. Also, provide washed stones to use in soup (large ones so no one accidentally swallows). Simmer ingredients in a crockpot while doing other activities. 

Write Stone Soup recipes for process writing lesson plans. Ingredients include: cooked meat, milk, carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, onions, salt, pepper and stones. Encourage kids into writing creatively to produce funny or silly recipes. Create cartoon strips or story boards. Make a Stone Soup word wall, using words from the story. Cooking with children and writing and following recipes make excellent math lesson plans. 

For science lesson plans, explore food groups or edible plant parts (carrots and potatoes--roots, onions--bulb, celery--stem and leaves, cabbage--leaves, pepper--seeds). Explore raw vegetable colors, textures, and structure. Draw plant diagrams. 






Free printable Year of the Rabbit CNY activities with a Chinese New Year kids book list

 


Chinese New Year begins January 22, 2023 and this year,  it's the Year of the Rabbit. Here are Chinese New Year books for kids about China, Chinese culture and bunnies! Included are free printable bunny crafts for Year of the Rabbit.

The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (Ling and Eric Lee)

Buddha Stories (Demi): Buddhist and oriental fables are generally allegorical. Demi's stories are translations of Buddhist wisdom. Children can learn important truths from the follies of the animals in these stories. Buddhism is the largest religion in China. 

Zen Shorts and Zen Ties (Jon Muth): Gentleness is the key construct in Buddhism. Stillwater the Panda and his Haiku speaking nephew Koo, teach three children of the wisdom of the orient is these endearing tales.

Three Samurai Cats (Eric A. Kimmel and Mordicai Gerstein) Three brave warrior cats learn the art of humility and patience from an aged Samurai cat.

The Story about Ping (Margorie Flack, Kurt Weise, 1933) Ping is an adorable, nosy little yellow duck who lives with his family of ducks and people aboard a Chinese junque on the Yangtze River. Children will delight in Ping's mischief and subsequent close call with the soup pot. Kurt Weise's delicate pictures evoke the exotic and the quaint in life on the Yellow River.

Tikki Tikki Tembo (Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent) The curious naming of children in Chinese culture almost causes grief in the village when little Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sa Rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo falls into the well. Almost as much fun to read as it is to hear, this is a must read for young children.

The Five Chinese Brothers (Claire Huchet Bishop, Kurt Wiese) There is a famous legend retold in many cultures about five brothers who all look alike, but each have a unique power. The fidelity of the brothers is called upon to rescue one brother from death by the combined efforts of their special talents. This is the Chinese version of the tale.

The Funny Little Woman (Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent) This is a kind of Chinese Little Gingerbread Man story with much silliness, chasing and three wicked Oni to outwit. It won the Caldecott Medal for children's literature illustrations. This story will enchant young children.

Here are free printable activities from kids books about rabbits and bunnies featuring favorites like the Easter bunny, Disney's HOP, Peter Rabbit, the Velveteen Rabbit and Peter Cottontail. There are lots of free printable vintage rabbits images too. 

Easter is probably the most quintessentially preschool holiday of all. Baskets, candy, egg decorating, bunnies, baby animals, spring--for young and young at heart, here are free printable Easter bunny crafts. I've included printable activities based on my two favorite bunnies Peter Rabbit and the Velveteen Rabbit, too. Parents and teachers, you'll want these for preschool classroom fun. 

Printable animal masks from Classroom Jr. Everything is more fun when you're in costume. So let's start by making a printable Easter bunny mask. Here are more animal printables from First Palette. Print on plain paper and transfer to recycled cereal box cardboard to make mask more durable. 

Vintage Easter Bunny crafts Now that you are properly attired, let's make some Easter baskets and greeting cards. The Toymaker has free printable egg baskets, bunny cards and an egg roll game (like they play on the White House). Why not make cards and baskets and fill with Easter eggs or candy and deliver to a lonely senior neighbor (wearing your mask, of course). The Easter bunny loves his older friends, too! 

3D Paper Bunny Crafts The calendar may say spring, but Easter is often cold and damp. Settle down to an afternoon of serious rainy day crafting with free printable 3D bunny-themed paper toys from Craft Jr. I'm partial to the old-fashioned diorama. 

Paper Bunny Toy Mania DL-TK, those wonderfully crafty folk, have an Easter blowout of bunny coloring pages, masks, paper ears, stand-up toys, pop up crafts and much more. I love how easy these are to make. Perfect for young and special needs children who need no-fail activities. 

Peter Rabbit fun Peter Rabbit has his own page, along with other Beatrix Potter friends. The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams) has a page on Making Friends. It's part of a complete page of free printable bunny-based coloring pages, games, puzzles, dot-to-dot, count by number and other activities. I like the felt board games and printable felt board patterns. First School has an educational Peter Rabbit unit with learning games, literature activities, writing prompts and stories. 

Happity, Hippity, Hoppity Easter! 

Chinese New Year Party planner with crafts, books, activities and learning centers


 The Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese New Year lunar calendar begins on January 22, 2023. Ring in the Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year and Spring Festival, with a party planner for your classroom, home-school group, scout troop or 4-H club. This Spring Festival party planner is perfect for any children's venue that celebrates cultural diversity. In the long dark days of January, a cultural celebration can spark much-needed light and joy. 

The Lunar New Year party planner includes the elements of a good lesson plan as well as a good party. Use learning centers for party planner activities. Divide students into groups and rotate among learning centers, giving equal time for each group at each center. Do the math for how many students per group and how long to give each group based upon the logistics of your situation. If you do the Spring Festival party planner as a whole group, do these activities in order. It is important with any children's group activity to vary the routine. Intersperse quiet and active, listening and doing activities. 

Chinese New Year touch table. Set out hands-on materials children can explore independently. This is a good activity for young, easily-bored or special needs students or to use as a filler between activities. Leave touch table up throughout the event. Lunar New Year touch table items include artifacts from China, Chinese Zodiac placemats, jade figures, pieces of ivory, porcelain, bamboo, tea sets, chopsticks, photos, garments, silk, fans, toy animals from China, stuffed animals from the zodiac (monkey, rat, pig, goat, tiger, dragon, dog, horse, rooster, snake, ox and rabbit). 

Spring Festival smell and taste table. Set out taste test samples of Chinese New Year foods. bok choy, tea, almond cookies, coconut macaroons, fried dumplings (potstickers), monkey bread (for Year of the Monkey), bunny food (carrots, lettuce and salad), egg foo yung, sushi, cellophane noodles, ramen noodles, cherries, fish, egg rolls, rice crackers, fortune cookies and candy gold coins (good fortune is the theme!) Check the international section of your local grocery store. Provide herbs in their raw state for kids to smell: ginger root, lemongrass, wasabi, saffron, turmeric, garlic. 

Chinese New Year sound table. Play recordings of oriental music in the background. Show Youtube videos of different dance, theater, art and music performances. Make simple Chinese style musical . Make drums from oatmeal containers and shakers from pill bottles and dried popcorn. Show children how to make a guitar from a Kleenex box with rubber bands stretched over the opening. Provide materials to decorate. 

Lunar New Year stories. This is the time for a quiet activity--children of all ages, even teenagers, enjoy story-telling. Dress in costume, add a few props and use different voices for different characters, you will have a spell-bound audience. If you are not comfortable reading aloud, use a story CD. Share the Chinese Zodiac story, to explain why the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and boar are so important. Provide animal masks, puppets or costumes so kid can act out story as a skit. Distribute musical instruments for children to play when each animal is mentioned. Or use a series of masks or puppets as you read the story. 

See this blog post for kids books, printables, crafts and activities on Chinese New Year. 

Chinese New year arts and crafts. The Spring Festival includes a Lantern Festival. Make a simple lantern by folding an 8 x 11 sheet of brightly colored construction paper in half lengthwise. Cut nine slits through the fold beginning one inch from each edge. The slits should be about 2-3 inches long. Open the paper. Bring the edges together widthwise and staple. The fold will open outward and the slits will form openings in the lantern. Decorate by stapling colored curled ribbon to the bottom. Here are free printable Chinese New Year crafts for children. 

Lunar New Year games: Form a dragon by making a line of children. Place hands on shoulders and follow the leader. Do whatever she does. Take turns being the leader. For older children, blindfold them. It will be anew experience to follow just felling what the person ahead is doing. Play hop monkey like leap frog. Or play Good Monkey, Naughty Monkey (like red light, green light). Sing Little Bunny Foo Foo and do the bunny hop. 

End the spring festival party with Chinese fireworks!

Health lesson plans to prevent juvenile obesity without mentioning weight loss


Increasing juvenile obesity is the elephant in the living room that everyone sees and no one want to address. More and more children are overweight and headed toward obesity. But discussing it or even being concerned about overweight kids is often regarded as fat-shaming or bullying. Here are lesson plans to prevent and treat childhood obesity without ever mentioning weight loss. 

Childhood obesity is tricky to deal with for two reasons. First, in puberty, many tweens get heavier and may even be called overweight by a doctor. But after puberty they slim down. This was my experience. Weight loss diets and calorie restricting may actually be dangerous. Calorie restricting such as the 1000 calorie diet I was put on at age 8, deprived me of nutrients needed for a growing body. It also caused eating disorder issues. Also, the extra weight is necessary for health after we lose weight in puberty. 

What is chronic obesity and what is overweight that will right itself after puberty? There are several factors. Is the entire family overweight? Is the child active or sedentary? How old is the child? A three-year old with obesity is more at risk than, say, a normal weight child who becomes overweight as a tween, as I did. This overweight period is usually temporary. And some kids are just bigger than others. 

Another issue is that overemphasis on weight loss can be a form of fat-shaming and bullying. It can also lead to eating disorders, low self esteem, anxiety and depression.  But yet, children with chronic obesity that will not disappear in puberty, are at risk of many other health problems including diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension and other issues. Movement and exercise are more difficult. 

So how to prevent or treat juvenile obesity without discussing weight loss? 

1) Food lesson plans aimed at healthy eating. Teach the food pyramid and food groups, using these free printable lesson plans.  Nutriton.gov has many free nutrition printables including recipes, My Plate activities, coloring pages, food diaries and lesson planners. Here are free printable food journals and nutrition trackers. 

2) Engage students in physical activities and active learning as much as possible. Use these free printable DEAM (Drop Everything and Move) activities. DEAM is like DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), which intersperses the school day with unplanned exercise or reading activities. I especially like DEAM because they are random surprise fun activities that get kids out of desks and moving. These might include dancing, calisthenics or active games.

3) Go off screen and hands-on. Most children spend more time watching than doing: TV, online on phones, computers and video game systems. I'm a Shipt shopper and its a sad commentary that when I drive thru neighborhoods in the summer, I see very few children out playing but TVs on or kids playing on phones. Utilize these free printable lesson plans on screen time dangers. Kids Health offers printables and resources to help kids understand why too much inactivity is harmful and how to monitor their screen time. 

4) Provide active activities in lieu of sedentary seat work and workbooks. Montessori type learning centers get kids off the seat and actively learning. Check out this blog for a gajillion learning center activities for science, math, reading, writing, social studies and more. Here are fitness activities to keep kids actively engaged. 

Will these activities end childhood obesity? Not alone. But with support, guidance, education and care, kids can learn to be their  healthiest selves. 


Nature science detective kit for cool back to school activities with free printables


Looking for cool back to school activities? Here are nature science lesson plans to make nature detective kits to explore wildlife science concepts. Free printables included. Kids will love playing nature CSI investigators! Homeschooling parents will love these inexpensive, hands-on science lesson plans. 

To make nature science detective kits, you will need one of each of these items per student:

--large gallon size zipper bag or cheap carry-all bag to store supplies 

--plastic magnifying glass (available in bulk at Great Party, Dollar Tree or Oriental Trading)

--cheap one-subject notebook 

--pocket folder 

--nitrol disposable gloves (latex free) 

--tweezers or cotton swabs (both would be useful, but use cotton swabs to save money) 

--3 or 4 specimen bags (snack size Ziploc) 

--sheet of label stickers --pen and pencil 

-- roll of invisible Scotch tape 

--several pieces of yarn or string 

--box of crayons or colored pencils 

--measuring tape (here's a free printable measuring tape

How to Use Nature Detective Kits: Make kit assembly part of  the lesson. Set out supplies in stations and give students gallon zipper bag and supplies list. This provides experience in counting, sorting and organizing. 

Using stickers, kids label notebook: Investigator (name)____________ or Detective (name)____________. Label bags: Exhibit A, B, C or Evidence. As evidence is collected, data and date should be added. For example: "beetle exoskeleton 9-3-2022" 

Go on nature investigation hunts around your neighborhood, school playground or camp. Assign students different items to investigate, native to your area. Students should not keep living specimens, but they might bring a bug box to temporarily house and examine a living critter. Look for evidence of living creatures: bug carcasses, exoskeletons, fallen leaves, feathers, owl pellets, seed pods, rocks, fallen nest, bits of animal fur, bark samples, plants, flowers and rocks. 

Here are free printable animal tracking guides and footprints. Use these as coloring pages also. 

Here's another free printable animal tracking guide

Here are free printable animal coloring pages and here's another set of animal printables and coloring pages

Have students draw living creatures, homes and habitats: spider's web, bird's nest, wasp's nest, rabbit hole, ant hill, scat (animal droppings). Students should record when and where they observed it. Students shouldn't touch but may observe scat(animal droppings) or dead animal remains. In class, have children discuss and hypothesize on findings at their level of reasoning. Students might create a natural history museum displaying what they have found. Students can act as young docent guides, explaining discoveries to visitors. This makes a superb activity for parent-teacher conferences, which come early in the year before teachers have had time to collect much student work. It's ideal for summer camp, too


Best bibliotherapy books for kids on bullying prevention


Kids going back to school need more than just a notebook and a #2 sharpened pencil. They need to learn safety skills and essential to the toolkit are ways to deal with bullying. First, it's important to understand bullying. The bully stereotype is the Charles Atlas ad, where the big guy kicks sand in the little guy's face while the dismayed girl looks on. Bullying prevention was stereotypical too. "Frail, puny" boys were exhorted to build up their muscles, take on the bully and impress the girl. 

Dubious motive aside, it wrongly implies that "might makes right." Coping with bullies is about inner fortitude not brute strength. Even the term bullying prevention can be misleading. It suggests that the bullied are responsible for making bullies stop bullying. But bullying happens to people in all sizes, colors, abilities and orientations.  Kids don't do anything to make themselves targets. Bullies bully because they can. True bullying prevention tells bullies they can't and punishes them when they do. Having said that, it doesn't hurt to be prepared. 

 Here's a list of children's literature books on bullying to teach kids what bullying is, what it feels like and what to do if they are bullied. Bullying prevention happens in clever, avant-garde ways. Through gentle bibliotherapy for kids, children see bullying for the cowardice it is. These children's literature books on bullying help kids laugh at bullies and diffuse the pain and get past victimization to the find the chutzpah they need to deal with their bullies.

"Hooway for Wodney Wat" by Helen Lester. Poor timid Wodney Wat (Rodney Rat) can barely "squeak clearly" to his friends, let alone to big mean Camilla Capybara. But when the mouse-sized hero is forced to take on Camilla, rodent to rodent, everyone at P.S.182 School for Rodents hears the bully buster loud and clear. This is one of the most endearing children's literature books on bullying ever.

 "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" by Eugene Trivizas. This fractured fairy tale gets my vote for funniest of the children's literature books on bullying. And therein lies the bibliotherapy for kids. There's a lesson to be learned when three gentle, peace-loving little wolves teach one pyromaniac pig bully to dance. 

"A Bargain for Francis" by Russel and Lillian Hoban. The redoubtable Francis badger brings off a scathingly brilliant coup over her devious, double-dealing frenemy Thelma. Bully buster Francis gets the prize for best plot twist in children's literature books on bullying. Here are realistic free printable coloring pages of badgers for kids to enjoy. 

"Ira Sleeps Over" by Bernard Waber. Ira loves his teddy Ta-Ta. When he's invited stay the night at his friend Reggie's house, his bullying big sister convinces him that "Reggie will laugh" at boys with bears. But Ira and Ta-Ta have the last laugh on sister. 

"The Bully of Barkham Street" by Mary Stolz is a tender, heart-jerking look at how a bully is grown. It's bullying prevention from the roots up. In this bibliotherapy for kids, children may find themselves sympathizing with the bully. 

"Mouse Soup" by Arnold Lobel. Fox wants to make soup out of Mouse, but Mouse pulls a Scheherazade and makes mincemeat of Fox. Children will howl as the bully gets his comeuppance.

 "The House on East 88th Street" by Bernard Waber teaches people not to judge a bully or a bully buster by his cover. You couldn't ask for a kinder crocodile than Lyle, but the neighbor cat Loretta is terrified that he's a bully. Read how Lyle befriends the fractious feline. For more bibliotherapy for kids, read Lyle's other adventures in diplomacy too. Here are some free printable crocodile coloring pages just for fun. 

"Thomas the Tank Engine" by Rev. W. Awdry. A little engine is alternately bullied then the bully. Will rascally Thomas ever learn that bigger isn't always better? Kids learn many important lessons watching cheeky Thomas epically fail and then rethink his choices. Here are some free printable Thomas the Tank Engine activities. 

"Emil and the Detectives" by Erich Kastner. Young Emil is stalked by some very fierce men with nasty intention, but this sensible, prescient but boy takes them on and saves the day. 

"Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberley. In what might be the most interactive bibliotherapy for kids (and a beloved favorite of our daughter Emma and her nephew Lucian), children take down a monster of a bully one piece at at time! Read these books for kids to explore creative bully buster ideas. 

Best wishes for a wonderful 22-23 school year! 

A-Z Healthy Snacks for Kids with free printable Food themed lesson plans


Looking for food themed lesson plans for children? Here is a list of A-Z healthy snacks for kids that children as young as toddlers can help make. Turn these into Book BAGS (Book based activities, games and snacks) my term for story party planners. 

Books to read include:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) Here's a link to my post on Very Hungry Caterpillar printables.

Eating the Alphabet (Lois Ehlert) click here for free printable book and activities

Complete Children's Cookbook (Jill Bloomfield) Click this link for a free printable book PDF.  

Activities:

Prepare A-Z snacks with children.

Have students create pictograph recipes of their snacks and then alphabetize the recipe cards. 

Games:

Sort foods by color and food group.

Snacks 

A--apples with almond butter, almond milk (doesn't spoil as quickly as cow's milk), dried apricots, Mott's for Tots low sugar apple juice, avocado sandwiches (sliced on whole grain bread with light cream cheese)

B--bananas, berries, bread sticks, broccoli florets and Maple Grove Farms sugarfree raspberry vinaigrette. 

C--baby carrots and cauliflower florets, cheese and crackers

D--homemade ranch dip (Parmesan cheese, sugarfree almond milk, black pepper, garlic) and sliced vegetables

E--hard-boiled eggs

F--dried fruit, cut fruit, figs 

G--granola, GORP (good old raisins and peanuts), grapes

H--hummus and homemade pita chips (pita bread toasted and cut in triangles)

I--Individual fruit or pudding cups 

J--juice boxes

K--Kashi or other dry breakfast cereal trail mix. Blend similar flavors of finger-friendly cereal--Chex, Cheerios, Life

L--licorice (low sugar), lemonade

M--soy milk (non-refrigerated kind has longer shelf life), muffins (made your regular recipe using flaxseed and applesauce in place of oil and eggs)

N--nut and seed medley. Mix hulled almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, filberts, macadamia, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

O--olives (drained), South Beach Diet, Kellogg's, Luna, Bare Naked oatmeal protein bars

P--pretzels, popcorn, cold pizza, pumpkin cookies (substitute applesauce and pumpkin for eggs and oil)

Q--quick oat no-bake cookies. Melt peanut butter, chocolate chips and add quick cook oats. Drop in spoonfuls. Roll in powdered milk (or Quick drink). Allow to harden. 

R--Roll-ups. Spread tortilla with cream cheese. Layer Hormel Natural lunchmeat, leaf lettuce, tomato. Place cheese stick in center. Roll, slice in pinwheels. 

S--Sandwich squares. Make sandwiches (easy on condiments for less mess). Cut in quarters. Make PBJ, tuna, egg salad. 

 

T--homemade tortilla chips (toast tortilla till crispy) and salsa

U--upside-down, inside-out cookies. Crush graham crackers, add raisins, blend with peanut butter and vanilla. Form into balls. Roll in powdered milk. 

V--cut veggies and dip, vegetable chips

W--water, watermelon chunks

X--extra napkins (I'll bet you wondered what I'd find for "X"!)

Y--individual Greek yogurt, yogurt covered pretzels

Z--zucchini spears and cheese dip (shredded cheese, cream cheese, celery seed, dill, yogurt blended till smooth)

Free printable flags from around the world, flag coloring pages


There is no more enduring symbol of a nation that the national flag. It is a thumbnail, an icon for a country. The flag symbolizes pride and rallies people. The flag is flown or lowered to reflect national joy or sorrow. Here are free printable world flags from around the globe. Use these free printable flag coloring pages in geography lessons and social studies cultures units. Students should not be allowed to "free color" the world flags. They should be taught to color them correctly. 

Coloring Castle (at the link above) has free printable flag coloring pages. There are black and white flags to color and colored flag templates that shows students how to properly color the flag. Countries represented include: Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, Czeck Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands (Holland), Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States. 

Activity Village includes free printable world flags from the six of the seven continents: Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia and Europe. The site has many free printable flag coloring pages from Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Cyprus, England, Ghana, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Wales. Print geography lessons and social studies printables, coloring pages of famous buildings, landmarks and children in traditional native costume. Free printable geography lessons and social studies activities include maps and charts, too. 

World Flags Coloring Pages has free printable world flag coloring pages for just about any nation or country in the world. This site includes free printable United States flags from each state and provincial flags from countries around the world. Students might make a bunting of world flags to decorate the classroom. They might also focus on their own families' countries of origin. 

Book BAGS: Moon and stars night sky lesson plans for summer story party planner


Book BAGS is a unit lesson plans "meme" I've developed which stands for stands for Book based activities, games and snacks...in short, it's my preschool story party planner with a fancshy new name. Today's Book BAGS theme is moon and stars and night sky. And I can't think of a better book series to use than Frank Asch "Moon Bear." 

Happy Birthday, Moon

Moonbear's Skyfire

Moongame

MoonDance

Mooncake

And other moon-themed stories. Here's the Moonbear list from Thriftbooks. In these stories, Moonbear has lovely adventures with the moon who he thinks of as his best friend. The moon is just doing what moons do (cast shadows, go behind clouds, etc). But Moonbear believes that they're happening just for him. And who knows? Maybe they are. I would like to have the moon as a friend, wouldn't you? 

At any rate, these are perfect summer story party materials. So here's the Book BAGS party planner for Moonbear. These were written especially for my son Jakob who first introduced us to Moonbear (before he was Moonbear in his earlier book "Milk and Cookies." Jakob used, as a tot, to "find the moon" every night with Daddy. They are also for our adult children and grandchildren who keep the ritual alive and who have found that we all see the moon, whether in Louisiana, Michigan, Texas or Cleveland! 

First, select one of the Moonbear books. You could do a different one each night for a fortnight of moon themed lesson plans. If possible, wait till near dark and read the story aloud. Then, activity one, find the moon. Older children can enjoy learning the moon phases while preschool will love pretending on new moon nights, that he's playing hide-n-seek (see Moongame). 

Other craft activities might include drawing the moon on black construction paper with neon or glow-in-the-dark crayons or markers. Provide some fluffy cotton ball clouds for moon to hide behind. Add metallic star stickers. Don't forget to draw yourself and/or Moonbear, outside playing. Older kids might make a moon phases flip book. Use free printable moon coloring pages (Best Coloring Pages for Kids) or these free printable moon activities from Coloring Home. You can get free printable moon lesson plans from NASA, too. 

Have a campout under the stars. Or leave the curtains open so moon can shine in.  Hide the moon (large yellow ball) and find it. Sing "I see the moon and the moon sees me." (Youtube has many song options. Read Moondance and make up your own dances! 

Science activities include discussing the various concepts introduced in the books: light and shadow, moon phases, hibernation, clouds and rain, precipitation. 

For the snack part of the Book BAGS story party, cut circles of white or yellow cheese. Make them into various moon phases waxing/waning crescent or waxing/waning gibbous. Serve with moon crackers (Ritz). Make moon popcorn balls (popcorn and melted marshmallows, like Rice Krispie treats). Lemonade is moon juice. Make Mooncake (snow cones). 

Stay tuned for more Book BAGS! (Picture is me playing Hide and Seek with you!) 







Hands-on, cross-curricular (and fun) lesson plans on Covid 19 pandemic and masks

Many schools require students to wear PPE (personal protection equipment) masks and as a survivor of Covid 19 (coronavirus), I heartily applaud this initiative! Unfortunately, some parents object to mandatory mask-wearing and that can make for problems in classrooms. So how do you, as the teacher, diffuse tensions while still complying with Covid 19 mask mandates? From 30 years of parent-teacher interaction, I advise you to avoid confrontation and make it fun with creative, positive activities to encourage students to wear masks. Here are crafts, games, printables and activities to give mask wearing a "facelift" (LOL)! 

Teach preschool and special needs students to overcome fear of masks by putting masks on stuffed animals and puppets. Talk to children through puppets or animal friends. Explain why they are wearing a mask and how easy it is! Take the mask off and show that the friend is no different with or without it. Let children ask questions. You can also use puppets to teach hand washing, social distancing and other disease prevention activities. 

Use free printable Covid 19 lesson plans to explore coronavirus and why we wear masks to protect against it. PBS offers great resources on PPE masks. Make these printables into health science lesson plans. There's a lot of data-based content which is useful in math lesson plans. Students might graph and chart which PPE masks are most effective. Cincinnati Children's has several educational videos to help younger children understand coronavirus. Kids Health has a plethora of free printable Covid 19 activities for health science lesson plans. PBS also has lesson plans on the 1918 influenza outbreak (often referred to wrongly as the Spanish flu)

Read children's literature books on pandemics, epidemics and other outbreak diseases. Here's a list written just for the coronavirus pandemic. The blog Semicolon lists books about plagues, epidemics and outbreaks of diseases like Bubonic plague, "Black Death", 1918 influenza pandemic, cholera, smallpox, polio, measles, typhoid and others. Compare and contrast the 1918 influenza and Covid 19. But focus on the positives, such as all the resources, like PPE, better access to clean water, knowledge of hand-washing, vaccines and clearer understanding of germs that we have now compared to then. 

Dress in a masked superhero costume like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ninja, Power Rangers (include a PPE mask). Ask kids if they find your face mask scary. (They'll most likely say NO!) In fact they probably think your mask is cool. Now explain that wearing a mask to avoid getting sick or making others sick with Covid 19 or other diseases is even cooler. Explain why it's important to stay safe and how to do that.

Have a poster making bee to encourage mask-wearing. Print coloring pages of superheroes, Disney characters, animals, favorite book or cartoon characters wearing masks.  Or have children create their own with catchy, fun slogans. Display in class or along the halls. Leave them up for conferences. 

Use "Glitter germs" science experiments show how germs and diseases are spread and why hand-washing as well as mask wearing is so important. The Indianapolis Children's Museum gives easy science experiments and games with glitter to demonstrate. Here are more science experiments from Mark Rober's Youtube channel to explore germ transmission in classrooms. 

Decorate your own DIY masks: Get a bunch of kid-sized plain white cotton masks or paper hospital style masks. Bust out the bling, sequins, pom-poms, yarn, ribbon, rick-rack, sewing notions, beads and charms. Using large needles and yarn, glue dots or staples, help students decorate their masks. Older students can practice sewing with regular needle and thread. Provide non-washable Crayola type markers (not permanent as they are more toxic) to draw pictures or write messages. Use these free printable coloring pages to print your favorite superhero, animal, Disney or cartoon character and use the printables in mask-making. These make great arts and crafts lesson plans. 

Explore mask-making and wearing among other cultures in social studies lesson plans. Research mask wearing for religious, social and cultural expression. Here are free printable social studies lesson plans on mask-making. Here are more free printable social studies lessons on masks. 

The lesson plans on plagues can be kind of depressing, so don't dwell too long on them. And be sure to end with fun, positive lesson plans. 



DIY nature science detective kit for hands-on science exploration


Looking for back to school activities for kids? Here are nature science lesson plans. Make nature detective kits to explore wildlife science concepts. Use this activity to welcome kids back to school. Kids will love playing nature CSI investigators! Homeschooling parents will love this inexpensive, hands-on science lesson because all ages can participate, from toddler to high school! 

You will need one of each of these items per student:

--large gallon size zipper bag or cheap carry-all bag to store supplies

--plastic magnifying glass (available in bulk at Great Party, Party America or Oriental Trading)

--cheap one-subject notebook

--pocket folder ($.05 -$.15 each from Walmart, Staples, Target)

--plastic disposable gloves (choose latex free; give each student one pair)

--tweezers or cotton swabs (both would be useful, but use cotton swabs to save money)

--3 or 4 specimen bags (snack size Zip-Loc)

--3-4 larger specimen bags (sandwich size Zip-loc)

--sheet of label stickers

--pen and pencil

-- roll of invisible Scotch tape

--several pieces of yarn or string

--box of crayons ($.25 at back-to-school sales)

--measuring tape (Printable-Ruler has a free printable measuring tape )

--free printable animal tracks cards (from Exploration America) Extend these nature science activities for kids into craft projects by having students cut and paste their own flash cards. 

--free printable Animal Signs Guide from US Fisheries and Wildlife www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Animal%20Signs%20Guide.pdf You can download directly from here as a PDF. Check here for more animal tracking printables

How to Use Nature Detective Kits:

Make kit assembly part of the lesson. Set out supplies in stations and give students gallon zipper bag and supplies list. This provides experience in counting, sorting and organizing. Using stickers, kids label notebook: Investigator (name)____________ or Detective (name)____________. Label bags: Exhibit A, B, C or Evidence. As evidence is collected, data and date should be added. For example: 'beetle exoskeleton 9-3-2021.

Go on nature investigation hunts around your neighborhood, school playground or camp. Assign students different items to investigate, native to your area. Students should not keep living specimens, but they might bring a bug box to temporarily house and examine a living critter. Look for evidence of living creatures: bug carcasses, exoskeletons, fallen leaves, feathers, owl pellets, seed pods, rocks, fallen nest, bits of animal fur, bark samples, plants, flowers and rocks. Use nitryl gloves to collect specimens. Warn kids not to pick up insect nests or other potentially dangerous items. Rather have them sketch items in situ. 

Have students draw living creatures, homes and habitats: spider's web, bird's nest, wasp's nest, rabbit hole, ant hill, scat (animal droppings). Students should record when and where they observed it. Students shouldn't touch but may observe scat(animal droppings) or dead animal remains.

In class, have children discuss and hypothesize on findings at their level of reasoning. Students might create a natural history museum displaying what they have found. Students can act as young docent guides, explaining discoveries to visitors. This makes a superb activity for parent-teacher conferences, which come early in the year before teachers have had time to collect much student work. It's ideal for summer camp, too. 

#printables #naturescience #animaltracking




Free math facts homework kit with Montessori-based, student-made activities and printables


<---Teacher Omi (grandma) has been having fun re-creating lesson plans for the grandkiddos, from materials made over my nearly 40-yr career in education. Today I'm sharing how to make a math homework practice kit I created 35 years ago and used with my Montessori students, tutoring students and in homeschool. I even trotted this out when I taught adult education. I've given you some of the activities here and for the full set of lesson plans, visit me at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

For the math homework kit, begin with a sturdy shoebox and fill it with:

Dice  Repurpose die from game sets with missing pieces. Or pick up a cheap set from Dollar Tree.

Set of dominoes (base 12 preferred) Students can also make domino flash cards on index cards. Write domino dot configuration in number color from chart. To play, student selects a domino and adds, subtracts or multiplies the two numbers.  Students should write answers on back for self-checking. Here are free printable dominoes from First-School. https://first-school.ws/theme/printables/dominoes-math.htm

Deck of playing cards  Student chooses two cards and adds, subtracts, or multiplies them. Face cards are valued as such: ace-1, jack-10, queen, 12 and king-0.  You can print playing cards from Printable Board Games https://www.printableboardgames.net/preview/Playing_Card_Deck  or have students design their own! 

Math flashcards for each fact family Purchase at Dollar Tree or discount store or better yet, use free printable math flashcards from First School https://first-school.ws/theme/printables/flash-cards/numbers-shapes.htm.


Tablet of small stickers, shape punches or mini-stamper marker—Students create flashcards by writing math facts (problems) in color code on one side. On the back, they illustrate with  punched-out shapes, stickers or stamps (5 stars plus 5 stars, for example). They write the answer on the back.

Pencil, eraser and scrap paper squares—students write out fact families (say the nine times tables). Then they draw story problems to illustrate and quiz each other. For example, the student draws three groups of seven apples for 3x7. Þ Toddlers draw marks and practice counting.

100 chart and bingo marker or dry erase marker Laminate and attach to the inside lids of the math kit. Student uses bingo marker to practice skip counting by different numbers. From there, she memorizes multiplication tables (which are just the series of number in skip counting). The 100 chart helps the student find number patterns, too. Þ Toddlers bingo “stamp” each number as they count.

Yarn strung with 100 plastic beads. This homemade abacus is a great visual for math operations. Give student a problem, like 7x8.  She counts out and adds seven groups of eight. Þ Give toddlers large beads to string, for fine motor skill practice. 

Food snacks with little pieces. Students use fish crackers, fruit snacks, breakfast cereal, raisins, candies, pretzels, marshmallows, to demonstrate math facts and equations. Let children make their own trail mix and write the recipe as math problems. (6 raisins + 10 pretzels + 5 Cheerios +3 Cheez-Its).  When done, they get to eat the treats!


Medieval history lessons plans: Cardboard castle crafts, princess crafts with printables


I am a self-avowed history fanatic, particularly the medieval period. I also love things princess. And being a teacher, homeschool mom, education blogger and now Omi (gramma), I'm always looking to create hands-on lesson plans.  To that end, here's a guide to making recycled cardboard castle crafts with free printables. Use these are recycled cardboard crafts for kids in many cross-curricular lessons: preschool learning center activities, theater and dress up fun, arts and crafts, STEM and history lesson plans. These medieval crafts include a homemade cardboard castle, costumes and props. Homeschool parents, I promise ways to engage all ages, from baby to teen! 

(Materials are noted in BOLD CAPS within the how-to guide)

1) Make cardboard castle walls. Cut open two large RECYCLED CARDBOARD REFRIGERATOR BOXES along one long side. TAPE (duct tape works best as it resembles grey stone) two boxes together to make an octagon castle "keep." Measure, draw out and cut cardboard castle battlements (great STEM activities). History note: Castle walls had a series of crenellations and merlons (squared edge thingies) along the top. Tim's Printables has free printable recycled cardboard castle patterns for medieval crafts and castle design ideas. Cut cardboard castle keep windows: Draw a four-pane window and cut openings for the princess to look out of. 

2) Decorate recycled cardboard castle. Draw in bricks and family crest to make these medieval crafts for kids look really authentic! For more STEM fun, make moat and drawbridge. Cut drawbridge opening in the side of cardboard castle. Attach YARN or ROPE to both sides of to lower and raise drawbridge. Cut holes in the top to tie drawbridge closed when the royal inhabitants aren't receiving company. Place BLUE BLANKETS around the outside for the castle moat. Fill with STUFFED ANIMALS dragons, fish, alligators and other aquatic creatures. Add some PLANTS to make it more realistic and discuss wetland habitat science. Toddlers and preschoolers can take on the job of gathering and arranging flora and fauna.  

3) Make flags for cardboard castle. Aristocrats and nobles in medieval times had a coat-of-arms or family crest that symbolized their lineage. The design and display of a coat-of-arms is known as heraldry. A coat-of-arms was placed on banners flown when the family was in residence. Banners were carried on standards into battles. Have kids design their royal family crest. Here are free printable heraldry patterns and stencils for medieval crafts for kids. Make banners on  SCRAP FABRIC SQUARES CUT FROM OLD BED SHEETS OR TOWELS. Attach to YARD STICK OR HOT DOG STICK. Draw or paint family crest using MARKERS OR FABRIC PAINT. Older kids can make these as history lesson plans. 

4) Make secret entrances for your recycled cardboard castle (my grandkids favorite part!)  Line chairs up to make a crawl-through tunnel entrance into castle. Drape sheets, blankets and bed linens over tunnel. Establish cardboard castle dungeon. Make a parapet (walkway) by placing several chairs or a bench along the inside edge of the castle. Soldiers keep lookout here and send prisoners to sit under the chairs in the dungeon sit under bench. Fashion a turret. Put a collapsible net laundry hamper upside down on a chair inside the castle. Children crawl into hamper and onto chair to look out of the turret. These are perfect jobs for youngers. They will love exploring, arranging and guarding the cardboard castle as part of their dramatic play learning center activities. 

5) Outfit your royals. Haul out the DRESS UP BIN and collect OLD TOWELS, BED SHEETS AND BLANKETS. Donate JUNK JEWELRY and OLD FANCY DRESS. Make recycled cardboard crown crafts for the princess with these free printable crowns from First-Palette. Use this guide to make a suit of armor cardboard crafts for a knight. More STEM lesson plans! 

6) Equip the keep. The keep is the living area of a castle. Let kids fill their cardboard castle keep with snacks, blankets, pillows, coloring supplies, books and pets. When the novelty of guarding the castle wears off, kids can use it as a cozy play fort. Set your homemade castle up in a place where it can be left up for other rainy day fun or make it convertible to go outdoors on nice days!

Stay tuned for more medieval crafts! Picture is courtesy of Free Coat of Arms (couldn't find my last name, alas!) 

Disney "Frozen" snacks: Elsa, Anna, Olaf the Snowman themed party treats

Disney "Frozen" has taken the world by storm (snowstorm, that is!) so what better theme than Disney Frozen for a children's winter party? But it's the middle of summer, you protest! Well all the better! Cool off with these Disney Frozen treats and party snacks, inspired by Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff and Sven and Olaf the Snowman. Use free printable Frozen coloring pages to create party decor. Here are more free printable Frozen activities for party planner use. Make these into lesson plans as craft snacks for hands-on Frozen fun. 

Chili Elsa: Here’s a beverage to warm the coldest of ice queens. It's a less-gruesome, non-alcoholic Bloody Mary to honor Queen Elsa. Serve warm or cold. Season V-8 vegetable juice with cumin, oregano, basil and celery seed. Garnish with celery or carrot sticks, green, yellow or orange pepper spears or lime wedge. Create cucumber-grape tomato bowties. Make radial cuts in cucumber slices. Place one end on toothpick, then a grape tomato. Twist cuke and stick to other side. Add Tabasco sauce to taste. Children will love making this craft snack themselves. 

Princess Anna Kindergluwein: This Scandinavian/German beverage has been enjoyed by children in frozen climes for generations. And Princess Anna celebrates the eternal joy of childhood! Simmer apple cider or apple juice and add fruit juice (any flavor, cranberry, orange, lemonade, grape). Add raisins or currants, cloves, lemon and lime slices and cinnamon sticks. Make orange strawberry bowties as you did the cucumber one for the Chili Elsa. 

Silly Sangria for Olaf the Snowman: Olaf the Snowman is too young for real sangria and too easily meltable for hot drinks, so make his kindergluwein slushed or "frozen" (pun intended). Mix grape juice, lemonade or orange juice, clear soda and sliced oranges, lemons and limes. Serve with star-shaped ice cubes. 

Princess Anna Snowballs: Even Queen Elsa will love these snow treats! So let kids help make snowballs for a great craft snack. Melt marshmallows and add popped popcorn. Have kids rub light margarine on hands and form popcorn (snow) balls. Roll in sprinkles if desired. 

Olaf the Snowman party recipes. Do you want to build a snowman? Maybe Queen Elsa can't help, but kids can build one with Princess Anna. Make popcorn snowballs using recipes above. Form them in different sizes: small for his head, medium for middle, large for Olaf the Snowman base. Use raisins for buttons and chocolate chips for eyes. Use matchstick or baby carrots for nose. Cut Twizzlers, Fruit Leather or Fruit Roll-Up for scarf and smile. Use Chiklets gum for teeth and pretzel sticks for arms. 

For a traditional snowman like Frosty, add candy corn cob pipe. Place round chocolate candy like Brach’s Star on head for a hat.. For “stovepipe hat" affix gumdrop, Hershey’s Kiss, or Reese’s Peanut Butter cup with dab of frosting. 

Princess Anna snowshoe cookies: Frost Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies with vanilla frosting. Sprinkle with clear, white, silver or blue sugar crystals. Rest cookies on sprinkles to look like snowshoes in snow. 

Princess Anna ski pole cookies: Poke pretzel sticks in mini marshmallows (or pretzel rods in large marshmallows) Warm vanilla frosting in microwave. Dip marshmallows in frosting, then dip in colored sprinkles. 

Kristoff’s Kool Kocoa party recipes: Heat milk on stove and add chocolate syrup. Add colored marshmallows (snowballs). Use ski pole pretzel cookies for swizzle sticks. For healthier swizzle sticks, dip pretzels in peanut butter and roll in powdered milk. Stir Kristoff's Kool Kocoa with candy cane if you have any left from Christmas. 

Sweet Princess Anna stirring spoons. Melt chocolate, butterscotch, mint and peanut butter chips in separate dishes. Dip plastic spoon in melted chips then roll in colored sprinkles, crushed cookies or candies. Allow to harden. Kristoff's Kool Kocoa will warm Queen Elsa and the Princess Anna stirring spoons will sweeten her frosty disposition. 

Princess Anna Arctic Adventure Cake. Frost vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Add blue or white sprinkles. Place snowshoe cookies on top to look like a snowshoe trail. Add a few ski pole cookies. Have kids make standup Disney Frozen character dolls from Disney Frozen free printables. Scroll down for Disney Frozen games, puzzles and crafts for party games. Click here for free Frozenprintables for party decorations and crafts. Here are more free printable Disney Frozen coloring pages as party activities, decorations, games, crafts or placemats.