Showing posts with label Learning crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Learning crafts. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Paint In A Bag- A Mess Free Activity For Your Child

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links and Ads which means that if you purchase from one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

My kids are messy when it comes to arts and crafts. When they were younger and even more clumsy, I used to rip a head and arm holes into garbage bags and throw them over my children's heads so they could wear them and the bags would act as aprons to keep their craft off of them. Then I would lay table clothes on the floor under them so that clean up was easy and efficient.

I always want them to be creative, but I don't like the headache of cleaning up after them.

Imagine my delight when I first heard of suggestion of painting in a bag. "What's that?" you ask?

Oh, it's so simple! You literally put paint into a gallon bag and then let your kids move it around.

What You Need

  • Clear Gallon Bags- I find that those that zip work better because they seal better. 
  • Paint- Any type of liquid craft paint should work. I recommend something that's nontoxic and washable for the kids. (It should be obvious, but no spray paint or paint for a house with toxic fumes)

  • White Sheet of Paper- I used computer paper, but any sheet of paper will work. 
  • Tape- (optional)  Masking or something wider than clear tape works best. 
  • Glitter- (optional)

What to Do

Step 1: Pour in any colors that your child likes. Try to keep them separate from each other so your kids can work them together. Add colors that blend into different colors. Ex: Pour red next to yellow for orange. Add glitter, if you'd like, but you'll need a lot of it to show.

My daughter wanted pink and white so she could make a lighter pink.

Step 2: Seal the bag and tape over the white piece of paper. The tape is to hold the bag in place. I skipped this step because I misplaced the tape. The paper is there to help as background of sorts. Once your child has finished blending, they can run push the paint around and make "pictures" with the white background. 

Step 3: Enjoy!


This is an activity that my kids like to do. 

Unfortunately, now that they are older, it doesn't hold as much appeal for them as it used to. My daughter who is seven likes to play with this for a few minutes before wanting to paint "for real". Perhaps if I had more of the other colors that she likes, she would have played longer. 

My youngest who is four, still enjoys doing this more and spent more time playing with this. 

I think that if we were in the car, traveling, this would be a huge time passer as long as the paint stayed in the bag. 

Questions for you

What do you think of this project?
Are there any tips that you'd recommend?
Have you tried this before?
Are their similar projects that you've done before?

As always, if you like what you've seen here, please share with a friend and sign up for emails!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How to Make Paper Chains

I love to make paper chains! Ever since the first time that I made one in Kindergarten for our 100th day, I've liked to make them.

As an adult, I never really had a reason to make any, but as a mom, I use any excuse to do so.

In my house, we make paper chains as a way to count down to something. At Christmas time, we make a red and green chain to count down the days until Christmas. In the summer we make one to count the days until the kids go back to school. It's just an easy and fun craft to do with the kids.

Making paper chains is also an excellent way to teach your kids counting, colors, and even helps their motor development. If you let them help, they get the chance to use child safe scissors, they learn patterns because you have to alternate the way the paper is laid out, and they get to practice their gluing. Teachers will also thank you for this.

What You Need

  • Paper- My favorite kind to use is construction paper.
  • Scissors- You'll need to cut the paper into strips. 
  • Glue or Stapler- I prefer to use the stapler when I do the chains on my own, but glue, glue sticks, or glue dots work well with children. 

How to Put Together Your Chain

I decided to make a chain for counting the days until spring. For this blog post, their are 43 days until the first day of spring. I decided to use what I felt like were spring colors.

Step One- Choose paper and colors.

Step 2- Cut into strips

I like to layer my paper and then cut them together. This cuts down time and strips are more even. Don't layer too thickly or paper will be difficult to cut.

Step 3- Make Chain. 

Fold the first strip so the ends overlap each other. Either glue the ends together or staple. Link the next strip through the hole in the first link and then glue. Keep doing this until you have a chain. 

Step 4- Hang

Once you've reached the length that makes you happy, hang the chain somewhere for you to see!

Step 5- Break off a link

If you choose to use your chain as a countdown, rip off a link from the end each day until you get to the last one. If you choose to use it just for decoration,  leave it alone. 🙂🙂🙂

Did you ever make paper chains in school? Which was your favorite?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

An Easy Way to Help Your Child Learn to Read

   If you recall, I've mentioned a few times that my oldest child has ADHD. He's completely brilliant and his teachers are always asking me how he knows so many things and have often joked that my son could have taught one of the lessons they had discussed that day. When you have ADHD, even though it may be difficult to focus on some tasks- especially those you don't like, you can focus a great deal on something that you do like and it's something that the child or adult is going to retain pretty much forever.

(Funny example of remembering something forever: When my son was three, his cousin who had just turned three a month later, had a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. After the big giant mouse came out to sing and dance to "Happy Birthday" with us, we all stopped to take pictures. My son had accidentally got knocked over by the mouse and then when the mouse tried to help him back up, he got bumped in the eye by Chuck-e's nose. From this day, my son still remembers it and will tell us whenever we drive by, "You can never trust a mouse". So maybe he remembers that because it was a little traumatic, but hey, he still remembers it and he had just turned three.)

     Unfortunately for us, learning to read was not one of his favorite things to do. I had tried to sit down with him with books that he liked and he wouldn't even try. Usually the whole 20-30 minutes of reading was him screaming and saying no. 

      So what did I do? I went to Pinterest and I tried to find some fun games and learning activities to try. I had even made up my own board game with Velcro pieces, but it was too complicated and time consuming for his age to sit down and learn and no one else wanted to play.

      So I had to find something that worked and when I did, it was amazing! Have you ever heard of a Word Wall? I hadn't, but it looked like something easy to do so I tried it.

      This one has been well used and needs an update. Today I thought I would show you how to make this, how to use this, and tell you why it works.

Why Does This Board Work?

      According to what my son's teacher said at curriculum night, studies have shown that repetition is one of the best ways to learn. Practice makes perfect. Have you ever taken the same route to work and back home every day? What happens? There have been times when I get somewhere and I barely remember the trip there because I've driven it so much that my mind and body drives for me. It's called going on auto-pilot. That's why, when you change up that habit, you sometimes miss a turn you were supposed to turn on because you're used to going somewhere else.

When this is applied to learning, your child will see the word, they'll say the word, and then forget the word.... unless you show them again and again and again. One day, or maybe just a few minutes later, that word is remembered. Then you mix up the order and see if they still remember it. For more details and better explanations, you can see what Reading Bright Star has to say about this.

How to Use This Board?

     Here is a video on how to use it. You'll have to excuse my breathing, allergens are high in this area and I didn't realize how stuffy I sounded when I was making this video.

For those who can't watch the video:
1. Put all of the cards in slot one.
2. Have your child read it. If they can, put that card in slot two. If they can't put it into slot 1. Do it again tomorrow.
3. Start with slot 2. If your child can read that word, move it to slot 3. If they can't, you can do one of two things. You can keep it in slot two to try tomorrow, or you can move it back a slot. Do it again tomorrow.
4. Now we have some cards in slot three. Start with that slot. If they can read it, put the card into slot 4. If they can't, you can decide to do one of three things. You can put that card back into slot three and they can try tomorrow, you can move it back a slot, or you can have your child start that card all over again.
5. The goal is to have your child read that word from slot 1 to slot 7. I recommend putting a missed word either in the slot before or start right back at slot 1 so they have to read it correctly 7 days in order to have it completely memorized. If they don't know it on day 3, but know it on day 4, they still had a day they missed it. It's up to you.

How to Put It Together:

What you need: 

1. Poster Board- I used a black one because I like how it looks with the neon colors. My poster board is also thick and kind of foam like so it is more sturdy.

This was, unfortunately the best looking board at Walmart. I was sad that it had
some dents and scrapes on it, but most of it can be covered up. 
2. Markers
3. Glue
4 . 4 3/4''x 6 1/2'' envelopes. They don't have to be that exact size, but make sure they are more square then the regular letter size envelopes because it will be hard to fit the index cards in, otherwise.
5. Index cards


Step 1. Title

     The first thing you're going to want to do is decide what you want the title of your board to be and then write it.

I went with "Learning is fun" I chose the colors because it was fun. I used chalk markers because they show up very well with the black background. Since my son will learn cursive this year, I wrote it out in cursive. (I almost forgot how!)

Step 2: Numbers

     Write numbers on your envelopes. These will represent the day of the week. I have five envelopes here, but I ended up doing seven days. 

Write the numbers on the side where the slit is. See how I can put my hand inside the envelope? I would have used a black marker or sharpie, but my sharpies are missing.... I should be afraid, very afraid. 

Step 3: Glue

Glue your numbered envelopes to the board. It doesn't matter how they are glued as long as they are in order. I went with straight lines, but you can make them into waves or a circle or however you want to glue them. JUST KEEP THEM IN ORDER. 

Step 4: Index Cards

     This is the most important thing for this word wall. To have a word wall, you need words. For my last word wall, I bought some neon colored index cards and color coded them for my kids. My daughter was just learning her alphabet so she had orange and pink cards with the letters written out on them and my son got the green and yellow with his sight words listed on them. You can do whatever you'd like. If your school doesn't send home sight words for your child, there are different pin boards that will list some. Another thing that I didn't know about before I made the board was that I could buy sight word cards. 

      It does take time to write out the sight words, but I like the extra color and it also makes it more versatile for me. Once my kids learn all their words, I can always write down bigger words for them to learn. Start with age appropriate words and then work your way up. 

      Since my son is learning cursive, this year, I'm going to make him some letters and word in cursive to help him practice. 

You're done! 

      Don't forget to watch the video, above to learn how to use the word wall. It's really easy to do and this has been the BEST tool that I've used for my son. I hope that this will work for you as well!

What learning tools have you used for your children? Is this something that you think you'd enjoy using? Stay tuned for some learning material in learning to help your child multiply and divide in an upcoming post!

Paint In A Bag- A Mess Free Activity For Your Child

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links and Ads which means that if you purchase from one of them, I may receive a small commission at n...