Build A Shape Cards

As a teacher I’ve organized activities for my students to explore 2 dimensional and           3 dimensional shapes using toothpicks and marshmallows.  I decided to create this same activity for my children with Play-Doh, because they love to play with Play-Doh and toothpicks.  Since they are younger than my students I made cards to help them build 2D and 3D shapes.

How To make, Build A Shape Cards

  • Materials
    • Index cards or card stock
    • Markers
    • Black Sharpie
    • Ruler
    • Laminating machine or clear packing tape
    • Play-Doh
    • Toothpicks
  • Instructions
    1. Decide which 2D & 3D shapes you will draw.
    2. Title each card with the shape name and type.
    3. Draw a picture of the shape on the card.
    4. Draw dots and lines to represent the amount of toothpicks and Play-Doh balls needed.
    5. Laminate the cards.  If you don’t have a laminating machine use clear packing tape to cover the cards.

 

How To Make Crayon Hearts.

During holidays like Valentine’s Day I like to give an alternative to candy.  My kids come home with bags of cheap chocolate and lolly pops and I am thankful that they are not that interested.  My oldest could care less about the candy, and my daughter is satisfied after eating one or two pieces.  They never ask what happens to the bags after I take them away. ( I’m sure this will eventually change.) 
Making these heart crayons is very easy, and you can make crayons for any holiday or occasion.  I decided to make these for my kindergarten class as a gifts for my students and it was a hit.  I put them in a bag and I made a label that said “Color Your Heart Out!” Before I take all the credit for this idea, I totally got this from Pinterest.

HOW TO MAKE CRAYON HEARTS

  • Materials:
    • Crayons
    • Heart shape mold that can go in the oven.
    • An oven
    • Something to put your hearts in.
    • A label to write something clever on, like “Color Your Heart Out!
  • Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Take all of your old crayons and remove the wrappers
    3. Break the Crayons into little pieces. (*Note to parents: You may need to use a knife to cut some of the crayons)
    4. Place the crayon pieces in the mold.
    5. Put the mold into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the crayons melt.
    6. After the crayons have melted take them out of the oven and allow to cool.
    7. In around 15-20 minutes the crayons will cool and hard.  You will be able to pop them out of the mold.
      • If any of the crayons break while taking them out, just put them back in the mold and melt them again.
    8. Put your hearts in a bag or attach them to a card.  I was able to find mini Valentine’s Day zip lock bags at the Dollar Tree. You can always just look around your house and see what you have.

Pattern Beads Activity

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If you don’t have a container you can always use a ziplock bag.

Supplies Needed

  • Colorful beads
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Index cards or card stock
  • Markers
  • Hole puncher
  • Laminator or clear packing tape

 

 

Instructions

  1. Draw the colorful patterns on the cards.
  2. Cover them with clear packing tape or laminate them.
  3. Punch a whole on the side of the card.
  4. Cut a pipe cleaner to a length of your choice.
  5. Attach the pipe cleaner to the card.
  6. Make sure you have enough beads so the kids can make at least 3 patterns without putting beads back.
  7. HAVE FUN!!!

 

Getting Ready For School : Day 10

Today I decided to do a couple of things differently.  I had the kids wash up, get dressed and go into their their room to do their name writing and morning activity. I put Rafael in the crib and he was able to watch until it was time for him to go down for his nap. I was a little worried that this would cause some anxiety for Francisco since she’s such a stickler for routine, but he was fine with it. The reason I moved activities into the bedroom is because I feel that it will be a less distracting setting and it turned out that it was.  I will continue to have our morning routine in the bedroom and see how it goes.


My mother and my sister are back from Florida they’ve been on vacation for a while so the kids are very excited to see them. After morning activities they played outside for a while, we had an alfresco lunch and Sofia was having such a good time she cried when she had  to go inside to take her nap. After naps the kids continue to hang out with my mom so not much else happened in the afternoon. Maybe tomorrow will take a trip out to the Flushing Meadow Park since I’ll have additional hands.

Francisco drew a ten frame with chalk, he was very proud of himself

Math Activity:

  • Target $1 section addition write and wipe cards.
  • Ten frame cards made with sentence strips from the Dollar Tree.
    • All you need is a ruler, sharpie, and clear packing tape if you don’t have a laminator.
  • Something to use as counters, I happen to find counting bears at a flea market for a $1.  You can buy counting bears on Amazon or any education store. you can also use buttons, beans, coins, or any other small objects.

BANG! A Word Game

If you want to make a simple word game for your  kids that is fast, easy and fun you only need a few things.

Materials:

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I used an old formula can and sentence strips from the target $1 section.

  1. A container.
  2. paper of your choice to write the words on.
  3. A list of words.
  4. Sharpie Marker
  5. Scissors
  6.  Ruler
  7. Optional – laminator

How to choose your words :  Most NYC schools use the Fountas & Pinell assessment system to determine the reading level of their students.  I made my first game with the 25 high frequency words kindergartners need to learn. (Link to: Fountas & Pinell  PDF) any words can be used to make this game, you an even use math equations.

Bang gameHow to play:  The object of the game is to have the most cards at the end of the game.

  • Players pick a card out of the container and read the word.
  • If they read the word correctly they keep the word.
  • If they don’t know the word  they place the card word down next to the container.
  • If they pick the word BANG! they lose all their cards. All cards should be placed next to the container.

There are two ways to play this game.

  1. Play for a set amount of time, when the time is up the person with the most cards win.
  2. Play until there are no more cards left inside the container, the person with the most cards wins.

Playing as a math game: Instead of words, write equations on the cards.  If you answer the equation correctly you keep the card.

 

Lego/Mega Block Pattern Activity

Lego ActivityMy kids love Lego’s and Mega Blocks.  When my 1st son was old enough to start playing with them, my parents got on ebay and bought literally pounds of Lego Duplo blocks.  When I started making education toys one of the first things I made were Lego Duplo pattern cards.  I drew each one with markers on the back of index cards, and then I laminated the cards and put them in a small bin with the Lego’s needed to complete the patterns.  I knew it would be a fun activity for my kids and it would help them with their visual perception (more about visual perception) .

Now that they like the small Lego’s my parents once again had no self control and bought a crazy amount of mini Mega Blocks at a flea market.  I knew this meant that I needed to make  mini Mega Block pattern cards, but this time I was going to make the patterns on the computer. I happen to have small clear crayon boxes that i wasn’t using that were the perfect size to put the cards and Mega Blocks.  I places the Mega Blocks on a piece of Lego mat and I laminated the cards.  Now each one of my kids have their own small box with pattern cards that fit in any small bag.  This also makes a great travel activity, and I’m always interested in activities other than an iPad when I take my kids out.

 

 

Unifix Cube Pattern Activity

Materialsunifix cubes

  • Unifix cubes
  • Scissors
  • Large index cards or card stock
  • Markers
  • Laminating machine ( you don’t need to laminate the cards but they last longer.  An alternative to laminating is using clear packing tape.)
  • Ziplock bag or container.

Learning patterns is part of the common core standards for kindergarten.  My son is 4 and my daughter is 2, I would like to give them a head start since I know what they should be learning once they get to school. (I teach kindergarten)

Here is a fun and simple way to help teach patterns to your children.  (I literally created these cards while they were sitting with me at their table.) They were very excited to play with the unifix cubes for the first time, so while they excitedly played with the unifix cubes I quickly drew a couple of patterns on index cards that I cut in half horizontally.  I started off with only 2 color patterns and immediately gave them the cards.  Now they had a challenge, and right away they started making the patterns on their cards.  While they started their patterns I continued to make more difficult cards.  I was able to create around 10 different pattern cards and they played for about 20 minutes before they just decided to connect all the cubes and make a really tall unifix cube tower. Later that evening I laminated the cards, hopefully they will still be intact when my 2 month old is old enough to use them.

Mami Tip – Your time should be for you, make activities with your children.

Since I have 3 children, I rarely have a quiet moment to create activities for them, and when I do have a quiet moment I want to just sit and drink a cup of coffee. Most of the time I have to make things with them.  It actually works out well because they get really excited that your doing something new right in front of them and they get to play with it right away.