Friday, March 14, 2014

Leprechaun Trap and Pot of Golden Words!

Leprechaun trap for KG class project? Hmm....

The one that Batman came up with sounded complicated, with pulleys and levers and springs. He decided to ultimately abandon it. He was worried that the wily little fellow might get hurt.

So we decided to get some inspiration from Family Fun Magazine, and he liked the Hat Trap!
We put some cotton balls at the bottom of the trap so the leprechaun wouldn't get hurt, lol!

All we needed were one oatmeal type container, felt sheets (green, black, and yellow), and some pipe cleaners.
I had some green and gold coins from an older sensory bin.
And the sparkly green and yellow gems as well.
On a previous visit to Michaels, we collected some clover cutout and stickers, which were our embellishments. 
Now all I needed was to remember where I put my glue gun.


So why a hat? Those who make it a point to stay on top of Irish legends (like our intrepid JoEllen from Family Fun) know that these guys might be little, but have big egos! A giant version of their hat will reel them in them for sure. And why the "DO NOT CLIMB" sign in my son's best handwriting? Well, they like to break rules, so another bait for them if you will.

Batman got to work. I cut out the rungs of the ladder, and he twisted the pipe cleaners while I held the sides for him. Some more pipe cleaners in the right colors, some twists, a few drops of hot glue, and voila, a pretty rainbow to tempt the leprechaun into climbing up. 

The hot glue gun, being "hot", was handled by me. But Batman was the scissor master, snipping away at the felts to cover everything up. We decided to glue some feathers to hide some rough edges pretty up the hat!
Now for the bait, some shiny gold and green coins right next to the rainbow. Once the leprechaun climbs up and reaches for the gold, he will fall through (see the hole in the center) the green felt covering and land on the cotton balls we placed in the container.

 We decided to add the sparkly gems as a path to the ladder, and for some bling! Can't have too much of it if you want to tempt a leprechaun!

Some lucky clovers, some more gold coins placed strategically, a few stickers, a pretty stand for the DO NOT CLIMB sign, and we are ready for action.

But while we wait for the trap to bear fruit, so to speak, how about a game of "Pot of Golden Words".
Get your free copy here.
Teachers, please see my TpT Store. This is for personal use only. The set is on sale till Monday, March 17th :)

It is part of a 8 game board package. Two boards are provided here for free.

The first one is to practice your blends, and the second one for digraphs. 

The Level2 included in the package is more challenging. The kiddos will never realize they are learning to spell.

The rules for all games are the same. Collect the gold coins for that board, grab a partner, and roll the die. Make a word with the letters on the shamrock where you land, and find the coin with the matching picture. If you make a mistake, you lose a turn, and don’t get any gold coins. If you cannot make a word, your partner gets a chance to try, and gets to keep the corresponding gold coin if he/she succeeds. The one with the most gold coins wins.
You can use a timer – players have to come up with a word before time is up. 

Do you have any plans for trapping some wee little leprechauns? Do let us know!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day - Mustache Soaps and Game Boards...

The day is almost over, but better late than never!

Please enjoy the free Valentine themed Game Boards for Short and Long Vowel Sounds at my TpT Store. You can find it here. It has two game boards with 20 cards each, so hopefully, the kiddos will get plenty of practice.

Here's an image of one of the boards,
and the cards to go along with it...

While on TpT, everything in the store is on sale till 17th. So hurry over!

I saw these wonderfully fun VDay 'Stache tags from +Jenae Jacobson (I Can Teach My Child), which appealed to the boys (& their mom!)

I decided to add these fun mustache themed personalized pencils from Oriental Trading, and conversation hearts eraser.

I was cross eyed from making 30 Valentines, and that was just for the younger child!

To go with the theme, for the teachers and other adults the kiddos wanted to give Valentines to, I decided to make some mustache soaps - a wonderful combination of goatmilk soap base, honey soap base, and ground oatmeal, basically, a soft creamy gently exfoliating soap fit for breakfast! The flecks in the soap are the oatmeal!

Then I raided World Market for some fun stuff to go with the theme - clips, pins, magnets, wine markers, beer bottle markers.............

.......... and made some fun labels, and gave them all homes!

Let me know if you have a 'stache theme going on as well!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

100th Day Shirt

Happy 100th day!

Batman needed a t-shirt for school to celebrate this milestone. I suggested something like googly eyes(I have a stash with stick back, just peel and press on the fabric) - we could make monsters out of them, or add 1 in front and make a 100.

But of course, my Kindergartener thought that was too baby-ish!
He wanted tally marks. So I googled it, and saw this lovely post on tally marks t-shirt!

But I don't own a Silhoutte. And don't trust myself with "non-erasable" fabric markers. 

So what to do....

Iron-on transfer paper to the rescue!!
A quick trip to Michaels, and I had the t-shirt and the transfer paper!
I made the tally marks in Word, printed it out on the trusty inkjet (just select glossy paper and print quality as high in the settings), and just ironed it on. Easy.

 Here is the t-shirt still on the ironing board after I peeled the paper backing off...

 The beauty of the tally marks is that you don't have to do a mirror image!
You can see the outline of the paper in the picture. If you don't want that, trim off the excess paper.

Here is the proud owner of the t-shirt on his way to school!

My only mistake? Not doing the whole thing after the kiddos were in bed!
Now  I have requests for Ninja shirts, Star Wars shirts, Angry Bird Shirts..........

Did you decorate a shirt for this milestone as well? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Soap Making - gifts that kids can make

I love making gifts that kids can help with, especially when it is for their teachers! I am not very crafty, so my usual method is to combine a homemade gift (preferably made with the help of kids) along with a gift card. Win win on both sides!!
This one is a special Bath and Body edition of gift making, lol!

I apologize for the pictures. Batman wanted to be in charge of them. It is not quite as easy as I thought it would be to have two energetic boys participating, and taking pictures!

I love melt and pour soaps. They are soo easy to customize!! You cannot really spoil them. And they are easy enough so my 6 year old and 4 year old boys can participate.

How about some Honey Oatmeal Soap, but with a holiday twist?

I used Honey Melt and Pour Base. I added oatmeal I had given a spin in coffee grinder (the smaller they are, the easier to suspend in soap). I added in some bigger pieces in the mold for some extra exfoliation. 
I did not add any color, because the kids loved the natural color from the honey base. It has wonderful smell of Oatmeal Milk and Honey Fragrance Oil to go with the theme, although fragrance is totally optional.
We poured the melted soap in fun molds, spritzed them with alcohol (to finish the soap and break any bubbles on top of the soap), and popped them out in 3-4 hours! The kids put them in white fine muslin bags.

Now on to candy canes. Indulge in them the calorie free and guilt free way....

Warn people beforehand that these are NOT candy. Seriously.

Find the tutorial from uber-talented Soap Queen here: Soap Candy Canes

This was my first and only attempt. I found that I did not have time to fashion the head of the candy cane, they were getting too hard. So I just left the twisted strands straight.

I did not add any glitter. The house smelled UH-MAZING for a few days afterwards.I gave all the teachers in the preschool a small gift, more of token, with these candy canes. That's why mine are small in size...

Moving on to holiday pinwheel soap

Find the instructions, and glorious pictures here.

I made them with whatever colors I had on hand....

Of course, Batman and Spiderman saved some for themselves...

And last but not least, here's a picture of some foot scrubs I made for party favors for the adults at Spiderman's b'day party (hence the name Spidey Scrub).
They are wonderful for your feet, especially in the dry winter time!!

  • 2 oz Dead Sea Salt (fine grained) and 2 oz Epsom salt (for Exfoliating and Removing Dry Skin)
  • 2 ml fragrance oil (I used a Rosemary Peppermint blend of Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil)
  •  2 Tbsp Purple Jojoba beads (for added exfoliation and the nice color)
  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel and 1 Tbsp Glycerin (to moisturize your feet)
Just mix all the ingredients, and package in a cute container (I used a glass jar with a tight lid). Pretty it up.

Some of my favorite places to shop are 

Follow along at my Pinterest Boards for more ideas, including the ones here.
I share at these wonderful places!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Cutting Strips


Just like the Fall Cutting Strips, the winter ones are also themed for the three months of December (Christmas), January(New Years) and February (Valentine's Day). There are 6 pages for each of the months.

The one for December is free, please get it from here...
Please Note: This is for personal use only. If you are going to use them in a classroom, please get it from my TpT store.

Sneak in some fine motor control, Include them in discussion about seasons or writing prompts, pair them with a winter themed sensory bin, or place them in a cutting tray! 

 With Batman, I used these to talk about what causes change in seasons, and summer time fun in Southern Hemisphere when it is Winter in the Northern Hemisphere.


 Let me now how you used them! Your comments make my day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nature ABC Walk and Case Files for Nature Detectives

ABC Walk

After reading the book we are going on a Bear Hunt, Spiderman decided - it's a beautiful day outside, and we are going on an ABC Hunt! 
Why not? We love going on walks. Short ones, long ones, on feet, bikes, or scooters. Alphabet hunt sounds even better! Batman was given the task of recording observations. We decided to start with our backyard.
Don't forget your camera or phone, and nature bags to bring home the samples.
  • A - apples, ants, acorns (asphalt - discounted by Batman as it is man made)
A for Apples!

Honeysuckle with Bees
  • B- bug, bee, bark, buds, birds, butterfly
  • C - caterpillar, crow, cloud, cat, car, creek
  • D - dandelion, dog
  • E - earth, eggs (from a bird's nest), eagle
  • F - flower, fern, fly, feather
  • G - grass, green leaves, gravel,
  • H - hummingbird, honeysuckle
  • I -  inchworm, iguana (if we had spotted one)
  • J - jasmine
  • K - kite, katydid (I don't think we spotted one, Batman did say that they are active at night, as he seemed to know something about it, I let it slide!)

L for Lizard

  • L - leaves, lemon, lady bug, lizard
  • O for Orange Leaves
  • M - mud, maple, mulch, moss

  • N - nest
  • O - orange leaves, owl (if we had gone out at night)
  • P - pumpkins (decorations for fall), purple flower, (poop - from dogs, lol!), pine cones, palm trees, parachute seed, plants
    R for Rose
  • R - rose, rabbit
    S for Snail
  • S - stones, stump, seeds, squirrel, sun, snails, spiders, sand
  • T - tree, twigs, trails made by above mentioned snails
  • V - vine
  • W for web
  • W - wind, water, weeds, worms, web
  • Y - yellow flowers

The kids hypothesized that if we had gone for a nature walk near the lake, we would have seen dragonflies, frogs, fishes, turtles, ducks, tadpoles etc. All true!

Spiderman's thought - we should have taken a nature walk in the zoo, mom, then it would be real easy to come up with something for all the letters!

Here is a great extension to the ABC Nature Hunt:Make an ABC Nature book

Nature walks are great opportunities to engage all your senses. Here are some extensions.


Sound Walk

Extend your nature walk to a sound walk.What kinds of sounds do you hear? You can leave it open ended, asking them to record/draw 5 sounds for example.
Or you can have a checklist - 
  1. Do you hear the wind?
  2. Rustling of leaves?
  3. Birds chirping?
  4. Cars swooshing by? 
  5. TV blaring?
  6. Dogs barking?
  7. Cats meowing?
  8. Leaves crunching?
  9. Baby crying?

Sensory Walk 

Feel the bark of the tree. How does it feel. Now feel the petals. Run through grass, wiggle your toes in the sand box, dip your feet in the creek, feel the sun on your back, and the wind in your hair...

Nature Detectives

We had so much fun, and Spiderman and Batman had so many questions to ask and observations to make, we decided to organize things a bit more for our next nature walk.
Presenting ...

Case Files for Nature Detectives
  1. Space to record your ABC Nature Hunt from A to S - write or draw!
  2. Sound Hunt
  3. Two pages for Texture Hunt
  4. Smell Hunt
  5. Color Hunt
  6. Color graph (see if their predictions match up with the graph)
  7. Leaf rubbing page
  8. Sorting - Plants or Animals
  9. Venn Diagram - Living, Non-living, and Once-Living
  10. A page to record the weather.

Download it for free, and have fun detecting and learning.
Please Note: This version is for personal use only. Teachers, please see my TpT Store.
The wonderful clip-art is from My Cute Graphics.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013