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Showing posts with label preschool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preschool. Show all posts

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!) 

Animal costume patterns for craft projects, dress up, learning centers


Dress up is a crucial part of learning play in preschool classrooms and Montessori learning centers. If you homeschool, dress up should be part of your practical life, dramatic play and even science learning centers. The more hands-on and interactive the lesson plans, the better children learn. 

My most recent post gave ideas for a children's literature book party. One book party activity is for children to dress up as characters from books. Here are ideas to make simple, no-sew DIY animal costumes, using your recycle bin and some basic household scraps. These are perfect for preschool science learning centers, kids plays, story party activities and children's theater. Get more Montessori bang by having children create costumes themselves. Click here for free printable animal costume patterns. 

For basic animal costumes, you will need. 

* blanket sleeper (zippered pajamas with covered feet). Use an old one or pick one up second hand. Choose sleeper color based on the type of animals it will be used for:

--green: frog, dinosaur, gecko, snake, lizard, dragon, caterpillar, parrot

--yellow or tan: baby chick, tiger, leopard, lion

--red: ladybug, bird, fox

--pink: pig, shrimp, flamingo

--black, brown, white or gray: cat, dog, donkey, horse, cow, squirrel, raccoon, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, penguin, spider, groundhog, woodchuck, chipmunk

--orange, blue or purple: bird, fish, butterfly

* knit hat in matching color

* five old socks in matching colors

* recycled cardboard from cereal boxes or packaging

* glue dots or self-stick Vel-cro

* sharp scissors

* assorted fabric scraps, pom-poms, feathers, faux gems, ribbon, sequins (optional)

Now

* Draw design details with permanent marker on sleeper: lines, circles, stripes, spots wings etc.

* Use glue dots or Vel-cro to add embellishments to sleeper: sequins or faux gems are great for fish scales or birds. Glue faux feathers on for bird wings. Glue ribbon on for stripes. Pom-poms can be fish scales or hair on curly-haired puppies.

* On two socks (or old old knit gloves) draw black lines on toe ends simulate paws or claws. Draw circles on the palm to look like paw pads (socks make great improvised mittens).

* Stuff one sock with recycled rags for a tail. Sew it to the back of the sleep or hot glue it on. You can also glue a large pom pom on the back for a fuzzy tail.

* Make ears using the remaining two socks and the knit hat. Stuff the socks halfway full of scrap fabric. Cut two small holes in the hat for ears. Push open ends of socks through holes and tie knots in ends so socks won't slip through hole.

Montessori says lesson plans should allow children maximum creativity in open-ended, hands-on, interactive activities. Encourage them to make up their own designs for animal costumes. You could make these in collage or art learning centers also. Once children have made costumes they might write their own scripts for plays about their characters. They might also act out preschool children's literature selections based on animals. 

Here are free printable animal masks to complete costumes. Engage the youngest learners making masks, to keep them productively involved and make them feel part of the activity. 

Story party ideas for children's literature based lesson plans: snacks, games, crafts


Psst, homeschool parents, want wow-worthy lesson plans for all ages? How about book-based story parties! A story or book party is suuuper easy to organize and costs next to nothing, compliments of your recycle bin, library bookshelf, snack cupboard, free printables and child ingenuity! Kids can do almost all the planning themselves, thereby getting some extra learning cred! Or you can throw an impromptu book party anytime the spirit moves! Here's how to do a story party (with children's literature crafts, snacks, games and cross-curricular connections)--for ages pre-K to middle school, any occasion--and why you should! 

For the impromptu kind, simply announce a book party. Is the weather wet or too cold or hot? Got a sick kid or three? Or maybe everyone's just a leetle crabby. Perfect story party time! Take an hour or two off and read to kids. Turn off the phone, computer, music and television. 

For the planned kind, like for a children's birthday party, choose a literature-based theme--adventure, mystery, vehicles, nature, animals-- and let each child choose several of their favorite books, if pre-K to first grade, or one for older kids. Or keep it open-ended. Or follow the unit theme for the week. You'll be amazed at how students can draw literature based connections between books. Themes might be nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fantasy (even older kids will love this).

Decorate the house. Put energetic kids to work making storybook based decorations of scenes from kids stories. You can get really crazy and decorate the entire house on your book theme.  My now-grown son did this with his college roommates for a Dr. Seuss themed going-away party. They decorated rooms in different biomes: mountains, desert, rainforest. Click this link for for free printable kids book crafts from DL-TK. 

Make costumes and let kids dress up (it is a party after all!). Just use your dress up bin. No need for anything fancy. The point is for kids to use their imagination and create their own. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on easy, DIY, no sew costumes. Here are links for free printable masks (perfect for the youngest learners!)

Make a pillow pile (crucial step). Pile the couch and floor with pillows and blankets. Invite stuffed animal friends. Kids enjoy getting snuggly, especially if they're not feeling well. My children and now grandchildren LOOOVVEE Omi's pillow pile story parties! They've developed a somewhat gestalt cult following LOL! 

Make book-based crafts. Don't buy anything. Don't even plan ahead. This is where your children's fabulously inventive minds get to cut loose. Task kids with planning craft projects based on the books you read. For printable crafts and craft project ideas, have them Google the name of the book plus crafts (for example "Harry Potter crafts"). Set out the recycle bin, crafts supplies and decorative collage items. 

Act out the story. Have kids write a script based on the book and then create costumes, props and scenery. This could take several days to a week. Provide dress-up clothes, bedding, towels, boxes, camping furniture and craft supplies. Just use what you have. The old blanket over chairs works great! Your recycle bin is a good resource for scenery. 

Make up interactive games to play at the book party. The best book-based game formats are scavenger or treasure hunts (with child-drawn treasure maps), LARP (live-action role play) and choose-your-own adventure. You can also make life-size board games based on books you read. Trouble, Monopoly, Clue or Chutes and Ladders work well as formats. For example, if reading The Hardy Boys, make up a Clue game on the book. 

Make snacks. Ask kids to think up snack and story pairings to. Make foods listed in kids stories, such as Little House in the Big Woods (cornbread) or The Boxcar Children (vegetable soup). Some, like American Girls, have accompanying cookbooks or recipes listed in the back. We once had a vintage Winnie-the-Pooh party with haycorn (pecan) pie, succotash (squash) and honey cake. But again, don't buy anything special. Half the fun is seeing the creative literature connections they come up with. Let them experiment. Oh and you must serve "coffee" (chocolate milk) or "tea" (juice) in fancy teacups like grownups do at their book clubs. Kids love pretending to be adults. 

Keep kids engaged.  Preschoolers and special needs children might illustrate kids stories they hear. Let kids draw and color while they listen. This keeps fidgety ones busy. Also mix up reading with activity. If they're getting bored, do something else. Fit the party to the child, not the child to the party. Don't make is too schoolish. Keep the focus on fun. Children who like writing might write a journal entry about the storybook.

Here are my children's and grandchildren's book recommendations. Harry Potter (thank you, Molly), "The Chronicles of Narnia" (a personal favorite), Arthur from PBS (Emma's fave), "Aesop's Fables" and "Grimm's Fairy Tales" (Jake's suggestion), "Mike Mulligan" (husband's suggestion) "The Hobbit" (Albert's contribution), Beatrix Potter, Dr. Seuss, Bible stories, superhero stories (grandsons Moses and Silas, this one's for you!) Disney princess stories (granddaughter Lola, lookin' at you here), Eric Carle books (Lucian, this one's yours!), Thomas the Tank Engine (for you, Milo) and baby Ezra's Pooh Bear But that's only the beginning! 


Free printable penguin coloring pages and Antarctica lesson plans

Happy belated World Penguin Day on April 25! Here are free printable penguin coloring pages, crafts and lesson plans about penguins and Antarctica! Learn about penguin habitats, global warming, the polar science and more! These penguin printables are a perfect way to round out Earth Month in April! 

This Pinterest board has links for dozens of free printable penguin themed lesson plans. Edupics has free printable coloring pages of penguins. Coloring.ws has penguin printables including coloring pages, puzzles, connect the dot and more. 

First Palette has penguin lesson plans to print free, with cute printable Antarctica habitat diorama activities for earth science crafts
. There are also other polar printables. Super Coloring has cartoon penguin printables that look like the Webkinz penguins, perfect for preschool. 

Enchanted Learning offers a unit of free printable penguin lesson plans. There are polar biome and habitat diorama activities for science lessons, Antarctica map activities for social studies lesson plans. Use these in your Earth Month lessons. 

There puzzles, games, penguin crafts, word search and connect the dot to teach math and reading. I love the printable mini books at the site too, perfect for emergent readers and preschool kids. Use these activities in homeschool too! There's something for even the youngest learners! May your Earth Month be bright! 



Recycled trash crafts for kids: Garden tools and sand toys from milk jugs


Hey teachers and homeschoolers, looking for some earth science lesson plans to teach environmental sustainability? How about making recycled trash crafts for kids with plastic milk jugs? Repurpose and reuse milk jugs into sand toys for the beach and garden tools. These crafts for kids work great in preschool science learning center, schools, scout troops, 4H groups, camp and day care and can be made with the youngest learners! 

To make a set of eight recycled trash beach toys or gardening tools, you'll need

-two clean plastic milk jugs per child

-permanent dry-erase marker 

-scissors (children's Fiskars scissors work great)

Draw a line around the base of milk jugs, about three inches from the bottom. Poke a hole anywhere in the line with scissors. Cut along the line to remove the top half (set aside for later). Now you have a sand pail, gardening bucket or plant starter. 

Next make sifter or strainer sand toys or garden tools by poking holes in the bottom of the milk jugs. Recycled trash beach toys are great money-savers. If they get broken, just re-recycle! 

Repurpose and reuse the top of milk jugs to make funnels and sand castle mold beach toys.  Draw a circle around the top, about two inches down from the mouth. Poke a hole and cut around the circle. Use funnels for preschool math learning center or sand and water table, too. 

With the leftover handle piece, make trowel garden tools. Draw along the indentation on the jug where the handle is. Snip the lower end of the handle to separate it form the jug. Poke a hole on the line and cut along the line. Trim the top part above the upper end of the handle to a v-shaped point. You will have a flat surface with a handle to smooth out surfaces and a corner surface for edging. 

Make a small rake and hoe cutting the trowel with a flat edge (for a hoe). Cut it with a zigzag edge to make a a garden rake. These trash crafts provide excellent scissors skills practice.

Make a shovel by drawing a circle around the part where the lower end of the handle attaches to the jug, about an inch or so from the handle. Snip the top end off from the jug. Cut along the circle you've drawn. Now you have handled shovels to use for sand toys or garden tools.

Use garden tools in earth science lesson plans and experiments. Use beach toys in preschool sand and water table learning center. Make a classroom garden or individual student bucket gardens for nature study! 

My favorite way to make crafts for kids is in an intergenerational setting. Visit nursing homes and senior centers to do activities with seniors. Teach students about volunteering, empathy and awareness, with activities that connect kids and elders! Make it part of an Earth Day party! Invite grandparents! This grandma treasures her time spent making craft projects with her beloved grandkiddies! 

Earth Day Party: Spring themed snacks, crafts, books and printables


Spring is here and what better way to celebrate than with an Earth Day story party? Here are spring and weather themed snacks and snack crafts (snacks that do double duty as crafts that kids make themselves). I've added a list of books to read for literature connections, along with free printable book PDFs where available. 

Spring flower cookies: Use refrigerated cookie dough or better yet, make better-for-you honey cookie dough (unbleached flour, honey, baking soda and light butter). Color pink or purple with grape juice. Have each child make four small balls and arrange in a square. Bake and place M&Ms in center. Read "The Tiny Seed" Eric Carle using this free printable PDF. 

Rain Goblets: Buy inexpensive rain gauges and to serve juice. Kids can practice measurement plus get a cool rain gauge to take home and use in the garden. Read "Peter Spier's Rain"

Rainbow eggs: These are made like dyed Easter eggs. Hard boil eggs (about 15 minutes). Cool and gently crackle shells but don't remove shells. Dip eggs in food coloring or (my preference) different colored juices for dye. Now remove shells to find the pretty patterns in the egg white. Reuse colored shells in a mosaic pattern to be really eco-friendly for Earth Day. Read "The Egg Tree" by Katherine Milhouse and "An Extraordinary Egg" by Leo Lionni. 

Bird's nest cupcakes: Decorate cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle dyed green coconut on top. You can use broken pretzel sticks too. Place jelly beans or Skittles in "nest" for eggs. Use these in spring science lesson plans. Read "Are You My Mother?" (P.D. Eastman). Here's a free printable PDF

Dirt cups: Teach kids about soil layers, gardening and spring planting with these super easy, super yummy snacks kids will love to make. Per kid, you'll need a half cup of pudding, two Oreos, a graham cracker, a handful of M&Ms (spring pastel colors look the prettiest) and some gummy worms. If you can find gummy insects, add those too! Have kids make up chocolate pudding and crush Oreos and graham cracker. In clear plastic cups layer graham cracker (sand), pudding (mud) and cookies (dirt). Then they "plant" their seeds (M&Ms) and arrange their gummy critters on top! Perfect for Earth Day! Read (of course) "Diary of a Worm." (Doreen Cronin). 

Piggies in the mud: This was my youngest son Jake's FAVORITE! It's just chocolate pudding and animal crackers. Kids will love marching their animals through the "mud." Teach them that most animal species have babies in spring. Read "Ox-Cart Man." (Donald Hall). Here's a free printable PDF

Butterfly sandwiches: Let kids make their favorite sandwiches. Cut in triangles. Place pointy side together to make wings. Put a baby carrot or pickle spear in the center. That's the body, that was the caterpillar. Read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." (Eric Carle) Here's a free printable PDF, plus, check out my blog post for more Very Hungry Caterpillar printables. 


Homemade hats for kids: Earth Day recycled trash crafts with free printable paper hat patterns


Got kids Covid quarantined kids with stuck-at-home-itis? Got rainy-day, can't go out to play bored kids? Or, maybe you're looking for recycled trash crafts for Earth Day on April 22? If so, here's my teacher-mama first aid kit. Homeschool parents and teachers, your recycle bin is your best bud for hands-on eco-friendly, eco-nomical lesson plans. Repurpose and reuse household stuff in nifty, thrifty crafts, games and activities. Today's recycled trash crafts feature homemade hats for kids with hours of preschool dress up fun! Here's a guide plus links to free printable paper hats (this link goes to Enchanted Learning, another bestie for homeschool teacher-mamas and papas!)

The first prototype for these homemade hats was developed by our oldest daughter at 20 months old. We kept her blocks and toys sorted in recycled 5 pound peanut butter pails. One day, Little Miss emptied one, plopped it on her head, tucked handle under chin and voila—an instant helmet. Then she proceeded to saddle up and ride baby brother like her noble steed! After I removed the bucket handle for her safety and her from brother for his, I realized what really cool hats for kids can be made with a little repurpose and reuse ingenuity! 

Weed through your recycle bin for plastic ice cream buckets, butter tubs, coffee canisters you can repurpose and reuse. Size them so they fit child's head without any leftover. You don't want hats to completely envelop the child's face. You can repurpose and reuse milk jugs as awesome knight's helmets. Remove handle and use hole from the handle as a helmet visor. Cut a piece of plastic and attach with brads to make a visor flap.

Let children paint color, cover and decorate homemade hats however they wish. Wrap in aluminum foil for an armored helmet. Or have young inventors make hats, helmets and headpieces for robots, soldiers, aliens, animals, astronauts. Make homemade crowns for kings and queens and princesses (cut both ends out to make cylinder shape and decorate. Make cone-shaped medieval lady hats by rolling a square of paper in a funnel shape. Trim edge even. Staple recycled crepe paper streamers to hat. Cut decorations from recycle bin stuff. Repurpose and reuse old headgear in cute homemade hats for kids costumes. Repurpose and reuse silk flowers, fabric scraps, ribbons, yarn, buttons, appliques, and faux gems as decorations for your recycled crafts. Kids might wear their hats in an Earth Day parade! 

SS42 has lots of free printable paper hats for kids in several styles--baseball hats, hats with monster heads (zombies, vampire, spider web and pumpkin). There are free printable paper animal hats with noses and bills to go with animal costumes and a paper bucket hat to design and color yourself for Hat Day. Here are free printable paper hat patterns like the pointy party paper hats that attaches with a rubber band. 

My grampa was a newspaper printer. He always made newspaper hats for me and my kids (probably where my little hat maker got her inspiration).  In "Curious George Rides a Bike" George shows an easy way to make paper hat patterns or paper boats from newspaper. Here's his free printable paper hat pattern you can incorporate into reading lesson plans or activities for Earth Day. I think I'll make one in Grampa's memory! 


Earth Day recycled trash crafts, collage art, preschool lesson plans from the Barney Bag


Here's a blast from the past, just in time for Earth Day, April 22. Bust out the Barney Bag and whip a bunch of recycled trash crafts for kids! Wait, you don't what a Barney Bag is? PBS's Barney the dinosaur had a magic bag that the kids on his show Barney & Friends used to make crafts. These activities work great for earth science lesson plans on ecology and environment. 

I carried out the Barney Bag tradition with my children, who are now grown with children of their own. As a homeschool family, we didn't watch much TV, but they did love PBS in general and Barney & Friends in particular. (Here are free printable Barney coloring pages for a walk down memory lane!) We used the Barney Bag in preschool learning centers and arts and crafts lesson plans you can too. Upper elementary and middle schoolers will love making these recycled trash crafts for kids. Use them as hands-on ecology activities too! Here's a Q & A to get started. 

What is a Barney Bag? On Barney & Friends, it was a rainbow-colored satchel about the size of a small suitcase that contained all kinds of "gizmos and gadgets, odds and ends; even some old strings"--aka lots of cast-off stuff! Perfect for recycled trash crafts for kids or collage art learning centers. 

How do you make a Barney Bag? Keep a large recycled trash shopping bag near the recycle bin. Toss in unique packages, fabric scraps, odd-shaped containers, bits of yarn and fiber, foil and wrapping paper scraps, used ribbon and bows, decorative trim, mismatched buttons, gumball machine toys, assorted game pieces, old magazines, stickers, envelopes with stamps, playing cards, metal washers and springs, small broken utensils, packing peanuts and just about any discarded item imaginable. Repurposing these items teaches valuable real-life Earth Day lesson plans. 

When should I use it? You can weave the Barney Bag into collage art learning centers and lesson plans. But it works best to haul out Barney Bag spontaneously. If children are tired or grouchy, or it's too yucky to play outside, collage art perks them up.  Throwing a spontaneous craft party was a real sanity-saver for me when everyone came down with chicken pox at once!  

How do children use the Barney Bag? Assemble a tray of glue sticks (or plastic lids with glue and Q-tips), scissors (plain and decorative edged), glitter, crayons or markers, paints, shaped paper punches and stamps. Use up dried beans or pasta in collage art learning centers. Spread an old tablecloth or shower curtain on the floor to protect against spills. Make paint coveralls from dad's old T-shirts. Or recycled trash plastic grocery bags (handles are shoulder straps. Cut bottom off to slip over head. Cover the table with newspaper. Announce Barney Bag time by singing Barney's little ditty. 

"So we'll ask ourselves the question: what shall we make today? With imagination and a piece of string, we'll see what we can make today, yeah, we'll see what we can make today!" Make memories and the environment happy with these Earth Day trash crafts! 

Free printable spring science crafts, Earth Day recycled trash crafts, weather unit activities

Spring is here, "Weather" or not the temperature agrees (LOL, get it?) How about free printable spring science crafts and weather unit activities to spring into the new season? As always, this Montessori teacher mama--now teacher Omi (grandma)-- shares hands-on, cross-curricular learning activities.  To welcome Earth Day, we'll use recycled trash for weather crafts. The age level for this unit is preschool to first grade. 

First, visit DL-TK for a rainbow of printable weather science craft projects. Make windsocks, windchimes, suncatchers, picture frame crafts and more from recycled trash. Use recycled paper to make free printables. 

To welcome spring, Earth Day, Easter, a new baby, how about making a giant greeting card on front walk? Bust out the sidewalk chalk and get busy decorating! No sidewalks? Use the patio or unfurl a roll of paper outside! Here's an easy, super cheap recipe for sidewalk chalk

Next, make pet baby tornados! Here's a Montessori activity for practical life learning centers. Have children wash glass jars and lids, to teach life skills of dishwashing. Next, children will fill glass jars almost to top with water and add a drop of dish soap. To create the baby tornado, shake jar with swirling motion. A funnel shape or vortex will appear. Use these science activities to demonstrate a vortex, tornado, funnel and even the sink drain works. You could discuss clouds, precipitation, wind.

To extend these hands-on science activities to language arts and creative writing, have kids think up names and make up stories for their pet tornado. Next, extend into math lesson plans making books from cereal box cardboard. Teach geometry, measurement, scissor skills cutting recycled paper to cover books. Next alternate writing and blank paper. Have children write on the lined paper and illustrate on the blank pages. 

Sing weather songs in circle time. Enjoy spring themed snacks (stay tuned for recipes to follow). For quiet time, read weather and spring science books like "The Year at Maple Tree Farm" "The Little House", "Ox-Cart Man", "The Carrot Seed" "The Lorax" "The Tiny Seed" and "Frog and Toad are Friends."          






Free printable make your own reading booklets with coloring pages


Educator Jonathon Holt says children learn best when they are actively involved. So here are free printable mini books, miniature coloring books and preschool activity booklets for children to color. Subjects in mini books include letters, words, seasons, animals, science, Bible, holidays and lots more. These coloring books make excellent preschool lesson plans for classroom and homeschool lessons for ages 4-7 years old. These free printable activity booklets are especially good for special needs children.

To print coloring books, visit DLTK-Teach. This page lists all the themes for free printable mini books and activity booklets. There are 26 alphabet mini books, one for each letter. They are titled "What begins with the Letter (A, B, C, etc.)?" Words are shown in one color and the letter being explored shows as a different color. If you print in black and white, the letter will appear in a different shade of gray. Ask the child to color the letter a different color than the other words to emphasize it. There are also suggested reading activities to teach each letter using the free printable mini books.

Other subjects for free printable coloring books include Bible: Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Creation, Life of Jesus and Men of the Bible. There is a series of free printable activity booklets for preschool lesson plans called "All About Me," in which the child personalizes to book to himself. There are booklets about "My family," too. These mini books work well for preschool lesson plans on social studies and health

There are several science-themed free printable activity booklets, too. Subjects include: birds, farm life, nutrition and vehicles. Use the free printable seasons booklets for science, too. "Fall" explores leaves and trees; "Winter" covers water and ice: "Spring" looks at new life and seeds and "Summer" covers plant growth.

Seasonal topics for free printable coloring books for preschool lesson plans include: Halloween (gentle, non-scary images of pumpkins), Veteran's Day, (patriotic), Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, St. Patrick's Day and Earth Day. These work well as preschool lesson plans too. Each of the activity booklets weaves in reading skills and some basic counting activities. Activity booklets are 10 pages long. Pages print half-sheet (two pages on each printed page). Each page can be printed in color or black and white. If you print the booklet in black and white, the child can color each page. This extra exposure will help to reinforce the concept begin taught. As she colors, you may ask her to repeat the words printed on the page.

Some of the mini books are available for Spanish speaking children also. You'll like that these preschool lesson plans multitask. As children cut and paste, they learn eye-hand coordination. Coloring helps build fine motor skills. As they make their books, they learn to read and follow directions. Assembling the booklets is good for sequencing and organization. There's lots of learning going on when children make these free printable books.For more free printable reading activities visit Free Printable Lesson Plans.

Free Printable Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Activities, Lesson Plans, Coloring Pages


 "A told B and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree." And so begins the beloved children's book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. Kids love the zaniness that ensues when the other letters of the alphabet follow! This best-loved ABC book tops preschool reading lists. 

Here are free printable Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activities, lesson plans and coloring pages for kindergarten and early childhood classrooms. 1+1+1+1 has a booklet of free printables with alphabet, reading and counting math lessons. Kids can extend lesson plans using the activities as coloring pages. 

Making Learning Fun is always a must-stop for free printable preschool activities. Check out the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom story felt board pattern printables. There are free printable crafts, games, puzzles and other educational preschool activities. 

Here's a pdf with free printable ABC patterns and templates from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom from KIDZClub. Super Coloring has several free printable coloring pages from this children's literature favorite also. 

Use these activities to create a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom unit or host an ABC party. Assign each child a letter of the alphabet and have them create costumes. Act out the story. Play Race to the coconut tree. Use alphabet shaped cookie cutters to make ABC sandwiches or cookies to celebrate! 

Free printable preschool felt board patterns

The felt board is one of the most versatile and useful teaching tool for preschool lesson plans. Here are free printable felt board patterns for a host of preschool themes and subjects. Print patterns for math, children's literature, alphabet, pre-reading and reading, science and other content areas. 

Making Learning Fun has free printable felt board patterns in such preschool favorites as Dr. Seuss, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, birthday, Valentine's Day, other holidays, nursery rhymes and many more. You can make these into calendar activities, skip counting, math facts, rebus stories and more. Use for word walls and language lessons also. 

DL-TK is a superior resource for educational activities. Print free felt board templates for preschool lesson plans from alphabet to zoo! There are also great DIY tips for making and using felt boards. I just read a nifty trick for saving money on the velcro used in felt boards. But I'm not going to give it away! Check this site out! 

Enchanted Learning is just about the best resource in preschool lesson plans. But it doesn't stop at early childhood! There free printable activities, cut and paste lessons for K-8 on social studies, science, history, geography, literature, math, reading and more. You can print free with banners or pay a low user fee of $20 a year for homeschool families or $125 for a whole-
school subscription. I heartily recommend that option. 

Free printable apple themed preschool lesson plans for fall harvest activities

Fall means autumn harvest with lots of pumpkins and apples Apples are a common theme for preschool and elementary school students. Teachers and homeschoolers, are you teaching a fall apple unit? Here's a sweet treat for you: 166 pages of free printable apple themed worksheets and lesson plans.
Northville Cider Mill in Northville, Michigan offers a free printable apple-themed activities booklet, There are printable coloring pages, worksheets, puzzles, games, word searches and crossword puzzles on apples. There are apple-themed cross-curricular science experiments, social studies connections, economics lessons, Michigan history activities, apple math problems and more.
Each lesson has a printable student copy and teacher answer key. Use this book for all ages from preschool to grade 8. It can easily be used with special education students, too.
Now scoot over to A to Z Teacher Stuff for more links to dozens of free printable apple lesson plans, crafts, mini booklets, games and worksheets. Most are geared to ages pre-K to grades 4.

Kinderplans has cute free printable apple themed reading and phonics lessons for preschool and kindergarten. There are other printables based on apples, too. Print apple math lessons on counting, addition and subtraction. Print reading activities and games for emergent and reluctant readers. Special education will love the bright, cheery apple activities geared no-fail fun.

Free printable WordWorld lesson plans, preschool reading activities

PBS Kids offers superb, educational television show that kids love! For early childhood learners, WordWorld is an emergent reading cartoon for preschool children ages toddler to six. Every animal, character and object in WordWorld is made of that word. Children learn simple preschool words like dog, barn, bridge, house, fence, sun, tree and flower on WordWorld.
Parents of preschool children, if you haven't explored the cartoon WordWorld or if you are already familiar with the reading activities on this show, here are some free printable WordWorld lesson plans to follow up with WordWorld episodes. There are free printable preschool WordWorld coloring pages featuring the characters from WordWorld: duck, pig, frog, dog, bear and sheep. Visit PBS Kids for the free printable WordWorld activities for early childhood on the homepage. You will find an interactive map of WordWorld with lots of reading activities and word picture fun. There are free online WordWorld games as well as build a word adventures. Fill your word box with WordWorld words that you find on the website.
WordWorld is an excellent website for preschool and early childhood lesson plans. Use these reading activities in early childhood special education, elementary school, day care, homeschool and reading activities for tutoring. Since WordWorld comes from PBS, you know it's a school-approved website that's as safe, fun and educational. For more free safe early childhood online gaming, visit Free Safe Kids Games.

Free printable felt board patterns, book stencils, story templates for preschool reading

 March in National Reading Month. To teach emergent readers, preschool educators use felt boards to illustrate books and tell stories. Here are free printable felt board patternsstencils and felt board reading lesson templatesfrom First Palette. First Palette has free printable stencils and templates of shapes, animals, nature, leaves and trees, flowers, numbers, letters, people, clothing, cars, transportation, food--any pattern you need for any preschool unit!
DLTK Coloring has over 50 free printable felt board stencils. Templates include geometric shapes, animal outlines, solar system, seasons, weather, holiday, snowflake patterns, food and other preschool theme shapes.
Childcare Land has over 150 free felt board themes. Each theme has free printable felt board patterns, stencils, templates and activities. A helpful teaching video demonstrates how to use each lesson. Each kit has free printable stories. Pattern themes include months, animals, holiday patterns, seasonal, weather, children's literature, clothing, body parts, food, transportation, toys and games. Use free printable felt board patterns for science, social studies, reading, writing and math lessons.
Making Learning Fun has a gigantic assortment of free printable felt board patterns. This site features complete children's book themed felt board patterns: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?, Cat in the Hat, Clifford, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fables and more.
Sunday School teachers used a similar tool called Flannel-Graph. To make felt board pieces, print stencils and cut out patterns. Trace pattern outlines on felt. Or trace templates on flannel. Cut out felt board shapes. As you tell a story, add felt pieces to story board to illustrate. Use as patterns to cut fabric shapes for Halloween costumes, craft appliques, paint stencils, cookie cutter templates for baking or playdoh.

Free Printable Learning Activities and Games for Toddlers, Preschool

Need to occupy a toddler or preschooler? Here are 15 safe, school approved websites for young children. These sites are child-friendly, family-oriented and have lots of educational games and free printable activities for young learners.
Poptropica is cute, engaging, educational and school approved. Children create a character and play
free.
FunBrain touts itself as the #1 educational games website on the
Internet. Teachers and homeschool parents, check out FunBrain for school approved fun while
learning online.

Nick Jr. Check this site for free printable activities, cut and paste and crafts. Your toddlers and
preschool children can color, cut, paste and assemble all sorts of learning craft activities.

JumpStart Kids will recognize these characters from preschool and school activities. This site
requires registration, but once a parent completes and signs, children may play in this virtual world
free.
Disney Family has an nice clean layout that children will love. Starfall and Creative Kids at Home are two other educational sites for preschool. 

Preschool Animal Alphabet Themed Snacks from A-Z Plus ABC Printables


Teachers, here’s a month-long menu of alphabet-themed snacks. Use these for interactive reading lesson plans. Use Alpha-Bits cereal, letter pretzels, cookies for letter shape. Make character sandwiches using any spread and leave open face. Use pretzels or matchstick carrots for whiskers. For eyes, use Cheerios, spray cheese, raisins, olives, banana or kiwi slices. Make ears, nose and mouth from apple bits, pimentos, pepper pieces, triangle chips or crackers. Use pretzel sticks for legs. For cookie creations, use candy or fruit to make faces.  

Free Printable Books for Kids to Make

Here's a perfect lesson plan for preschoolers and emergent readers--homemade books. Use these links for free printable books for kids. Print pages and let children cut and assemble books. Print in black and white and let kids color their books. Teach reading, math, scissors skills, fine motor, sequencing and other vital early childhood skills. Many subjects: ABC, numbers, shapes, patterns, holidays, animals, Bible, safety, nursery rhymes and more. Great for special needs students.

To print coloring books, visit DLTK-Teach. This page lists all the themes for free printable mini books and activity booklets. There are 26 alphabet mini books, one for each letter. They are titled "What begins with the Letter (A, B, C, etc.)?" Words are shown in one color and the letter being explored shows as a different color. If you print in black and white, the letter will appear in a different shade of gray. Ask the child to color the letter a different color than the other words to emphasize it. There are also suggested reading activities to teach each letter using the free printable mini books.
Other subjects for free printable coloring books include Bible: Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Creation, Life of Jesus and Men of the Bible. There is a series of free printable activity booklets for preschool lesson plans called "All About Me," in which the child personalizes to book to himself. There are booklets about "My family," too. These mini books work well for preschool lesson plans on social studies and health

A-Z healthy school lunches recipes, monthly planner of alphabet foods

In 31 years, I've taught every age and subject, including homeschool, preschool, Montessori, special needs and adult ed. I make lesson plans hands on and fun. Food is a great teaching medium. Here are A-Z healthy lunches and snacks.

A
--apples and almond butter
--ants on a log (celery spread with cream cheese and raisins) 
B
--banana animal boat: Peel banana. Cut a slit; add animal crackers.
--bunny bites (baby carrots, broccoli)
--berry blue blaster (blueberry or blackberry yogurt) 
C
--cheese and crackers
--C3 crudités  (celery, cauliflower, carrots with cream cheese) 
--Cheery cherry cat cookies (frosted cookies with maraschino cherry eyes and nose)
D
--dill pickles
--dolphin crackers
--dog chow (square and round breakfast cereals--Life, Cheerios, Kix)
--duck duck goose (marshmallow Peeps, animal crackers)
E
--elephant eggs (deviled eggs) 
--Cadbury Eggs
To read the rest of the alphabet snacks and recipes, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers site. 

Autumn Leaf Crafts, Printables Fall Lessons

Michigan's leaves are getting a slow start turning colors this fall. I shudder to think what that bodes, winter-wise. Living on (darn near in) Lake Michigan, we have lake effect snow, marine conditions to contend with. But what better way to enjoy a fall day than with an impromptu party in the leaves. Here's a day of crafts, activities, games, printables and snacks to enjoy! Preschoolers and little ones will love it! Parents will love that its cheap and easy.

Autumn in Michigan means apples. Apples are a common theme for preschool and elementary school students. Teachers and homeschoolers, are you teaching a fall apple unit? Here's a sweet treat for you: 166 pages of free printable apple themed worksheets and lesson plans.
Northville Cider Mill in Northville, Michigan offers a free printable apple-themed activities booklet, There are printable coloring pages, worksheets, puzzles, games, word searches and crossword puzzles on apples. There are apple-themed cross-curricular science experiments, social studies connections, economics lessons, Michigan history activities, apple math problems and more.
Each lesson has a printable student copy and teacher answer key. Use this book for all ages from preschool to grade 8. It can easily be used with special education students, too.
Now scoot over to A to Z Teacher Stuff for more links to dozens of free printable apple lesson plans, crafts, mini booklets, games and worksheets. Most are geared to ages pre-K to grades 4.

Kinderplans has cute free printable apple themed reading and phonics lessons for preschool and kindergarten. There are other printables based on apples, too. Print apple math lessons on counting, addition and subtraction. Print reading activities and games for emergent and reluctant readers. Special education will love the bright, cheery apple activities geared no-fail fun.