Scissor Practice Printable

I wanted to share these great printables my husband made when the girls were starting to practice cutting.  If your kiddos are like mine, once they started cutting they didn’t want to stop! (including their hair in one unfortunate incident)Scissor practice

These pages gave them a chance to practice holding the scissors correctly, cutting on a straight line, and getting all the way across the paper.  The girls also loved having actual shapes cut out that they could then glue together.P1050899

Click here for Scissor Practice Printable

I trimmed down construction paper and ran that through the printer.  That way they were using paper that was a little sturdier and didn’t tear or bend while they were working with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Over in the Garden

Since we’ve been spending so much time outside lately, it made me think of P1030166one of our favorite books…  Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward.  This book has everything!  The girls actually picked it out when we were exploring our local Goodwill store and at first it looked like just a cute counting book.  But it is so much more and quickly became one of our favorites.counting book

 

 

The writing is so fun and lyrical and the illustrations are vibrant and beautiful .  Taking place in the garden, the story describes the mom and baby insects living there while counting through numbers 1 to 10.  My girls loved seeing the babies with their moms.

P1030169Not only is there counting in each verse, the number is also hidden somewhere on the page.  And while the insects are described in the story, there is also a Fun Facts section at the back of the book with more in depth information.  The book even introduces the reading strategy of prediction since each illustration also has off in the corner the bug for the next page (I’m embarrassed to admit that it was my daughters who pointed this out to me).  And remember how I said the writing was lyrical?  Well, it really is since the sheet music is included at the back of the book so that you can sing the entire thing if you want.

P1030170Basically it is a beautiful book that has math, science, music, and reading all rolled into one.  And it’s fun.  Making it the best $1 I ever spent!

Letter R

When doing our rock theme we also focused P1020146on the letter R.  We did lots of R crafts and games.  For some reason my girls were every anti-R.  Getting them to make the sound was like pulling teeth.  A few times they even told me they really didn’t like R.  Of course since my name starts with R I did take it a bit personally.  But hopefully I won them over.

R is for Raisins

For each letter we do we try to do a tactile picture, so for R we filled in the Rr template with raisins.  It doesn’t look the prettiest but the girls found it entertaining.  And of course we had to eat a few too!

Letter R template

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We also made oatmeal raisin cookies that day!

R Book

The girls love making letter books–they like making a real book and that they can read it.  Ed, my awesome graphic designer, aka my husband, made the clipart for these coloring books.  He designed the pictures of r words, I cut them out in smaller squares and the girls colored the pictures.  Then they glued them on the cardstock pages which we bound together with ribbon.

R Coloring Book PrintableP1030159

 

R Hopscotch

Alright, the letter R really has nothing to do with P1020100hopscotch but for some reason this came to mind and was a lot of fun.  We used the super cool hopscotch set my sister made for the girls (I have a feeling that will be appearing in a blog post soon).  I printed out the r word pictures and taped them to the hopscotch board.  However,  you could just tape them to the ground in the shape of a hopscotch board.  Each time the girls hopped on a square they would shout out the word or letter.  This was great for them, because it made the letter R fun since as I mentioned, the girls were not that found of R.

R Hopscotch Printable

Going on an R Hunt

I used the same images from the hopscotch game to create an R hunt around the house.  I taped the pictures around the house and the girls then went searching for the R animals and letter r.

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R is for Red

On another day we focused on the color red.  I used the same template from the raisin day but this time we cut out the letters.  The girls then covered them with red tissue paper squares.

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Puppet and Story Cards

We also enjoyed making the puppets from Alphabet Stories: Puppets and Picture Stories That Teach Letter Recognition and Sounds by Jill M. Couldron.  The book is no longer in print but here is a sample to share with you.

R Puppet and Story

R puppet and story

 

Flag Retirement

Recently it became time for us to get a new flag.  The USA flag we’ve been flying proudly in Flag Retirement Ceremonyfront of our house had become too worn.  Once replaced, we needed to dispose of the old one properly.  So, what to do?  Why have our own flag retirement ceremony of course.  This was a great chance to role model respect and patriotism!

You can make your flag retirement as simple or fancy as you would like.  The most important thing is to show respect.  The US code title 36, section 176 states: “The Flag, when it is in such condition that is is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”  Many people cut the stripes and stars prior to burning.  Then the ashes are buried in a respectful place.  If your flag is made from synthetic material you probably want to bury the flag (like we did) since the burning can produce toxic fumes.

When burying ours we explained to the girls why we were doing it.  We then said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”  After that the girls helped to bury the flag.  It was simple but respectful and the girls were very proud of participate.

Working together to bury our flag

Working together to bury our flag

Our pretty new flag

Our pretty new flag

If you are looking for something more complicated a quick search of “flag retirement ceremony” will give you all kinds of options.  One of the most patriotic events I have ever witnessed was a flag ceremony by the Girl Scout troop I led.  The girls did a flag ceremony with the flag, posting the colors one last time, then that night at the fire they recited patriotic quotes while each laid a piece of the flag upon the fire and then sang patriotic songs.  The pride and consideration the girls showed was very moving and left every adult impressed.
Don’t want to do it yourself?  You can contact your local scout groups, American Legion, or VFW post to dispose of your flag for you.  I know that at one point our local Boy Scout organization was overrun with flags while the Girl Scouts rarely received any.  Just something to consider.

Good Deeds for Jesus

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season and start to miss the real focus.  So, to get ready for the coming of Jesus we have been adding straw to his manger.  Each time the girls do a good deed this Advent season, they add a piece of staw (yellow yarn) to the empty manger.  We want Jesus to have a nice, cozy place to sleep so we want to add lots of straw.

In our family Nativity the Jesus is attached to the manger so I made a manger out of cardstock.  I just colored it to look like wood and then folded/taped it together.  I’ve included the pattern I used to make it, which you can easily adjust to fit the size you need.

Click Here for Manger Template

On Christmas Day when we add Jesus to the Nativity scene, I will just put the yellow yarn on the stable floor under the ceramic Jesus.

The girls are loving adding straw to the manger.  And we really like the focus being on good deeds for Jesus as opposed to avoiding bad behavior for Santa.  After all, Jesus is the reason for the season!

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