Archives for August 2011

Calendar Connections ~ September ~ Rain Forest Theme

My wonderful friend Shannon is still working with me to create the Calendar Connections cards. She is a fellow inner city missionary with me and also a homeschooler {and former school teacher}. She has 4 kiddos ages 1, 6, 12, and 14. She wrote the facts for this set and I created the final file, it was a total team effort! In order to help support their missionary family, all rain forest books linked in the file and in the Amazon widgets are linked to her account. If you make a purchase through those links you will be supporting their family!!!

We chose an Rain Forest theme for September. The facts are written at a 3-6th grade level but you will be able to water them down for younger kids. It’s a great way to involve your entire family in exploring a particular theme.

Rain Forest Calendar Connections web

The cards fit my particular pocket chart calendar.

You could use a poster foam board and velcro to easily create your own set up. You could also use a standard pocket chart. They seem like they would fit in this calendar on Amazon but I am not certain.

Rain Forest Calendar Connections

I am creating smaller sets to go along with the small pocket charts found currently in the Target $1 section, so hang tight-I will have those soon hopefully. In the meantime be sure to visit this post for a tutorial of how to sew your $1 pocket chart into a calendar! I plan to go back and make the small set for ocean also, so if you haven’t started using these, you can use them for any month, they are not created for a specific month, even though we are releasing them this way. You can use any set, anytime!

I printed my numbers on cardstock and laminated them before cutting them apart.

You can download these for FREE here!

Something Special ~ Campfire Craft

Campfire Craft

It has been a LONG time since we have done Something Special and I certainly flopped big time on the original plan.  But, I have moderate aspirations of doing Something Special around here a bit more often than, never.

We had camping week recently, and I thought it would be fun to make pretend campfires.  I was inspired by a few I saw online, ultimately adjusting our campfire craft just for us.


What you need:

  • Tubes {toilet paper or paper towel cut in half}
  • coffee filters
  • orange, red, yellow paint
  • paper plates
  • glue, scissors

Paint paper towel or toilet paper tubes brown, place on a paper plate to dry and to use as the base for the fire.  If you’re craftier than we are you can paint the paper plate brown and make it look like the ground-add some twigs, rocks and such!


Drop bits of paint onto one coffee filter…


Lay another one on top…


Smoosh them all around together and be sure to get your hands really messy.


Be careful that the fire doesn’t burn you.


If your kid doesn’t like getting his hands dirty, just do it for him.



Lay them out to dry.

A word of advice… if you don’t want to paint 2 sets, be sure to check the forecast before you have the brilliant idea of laying them out in the sun to dry.  We laid ours outside and came back an hour later to find them soaked and scattered around the yard after a quick afternoon shower.

So, we made another set and dried those inside.



Fold up the flames and position all of your products just so and use a bit of glue to be sure they don’t all fall apart instantly.  You can trim up the coffee filters to look a bit more like flames.



We chose to only create 1 craft fire and left the other logs and flames to be used for pretend play.  The kids have had fun creating fires with the pieces and playing.


Pac Man even made pretend marshmallows with wadded up paper hooked to the ends of pencils to roast over the pretend fires, lit up in the dark by electric flickering candles!


See more…

Clip and Learn

Clip and Learn Printables

A long time ago I shared what I called Learning Wheels.  I loved them and they have remained one of my most “popular” downloads over the years.  Not quite sure what it is about a circle and clothespins but we all seem to like them!


It was time for some updated circles and a new name…Clip & Learn!  I hope to add to the collection with various themes and skills.  Focus skills so far are counting and number ID 1-10, beginning sounds, and shapes.  I hope to include a Clip & Learn wheel in each new Preschool Pack also!  You can see sets I already have available on the website, just clicking on the title of each to download the PDF file for free!  Here are a few there already…

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I have a set of wooden clothespins…all drawn on with Sharpies.  I have an ABC set, a shape set, a colors set, and a numbers 1-10 set.  Once you have those done, you can just print and cut!  I print on cardstock, and laminate my circles before cutting them out.  I am hoping these can be used over and over again!

If your child isn’t into clothespins, you could always lay these on a cookie sheet and use magnets.  There are many way you can be creative in using these, but the clothespins are so good for those little hand muscles.  If you expect independence too early however, you just may end up frustrating your tot and yourself!  Ladybug  {28 mos} can’t quite do them independently yet but likes to show me where to put the clothespin and help me squeeze it.  Clothespin squeezing is definitely a skill your child grows into with practice!

Have fun clipping!

Ballerina Preschool Pack


I have had this pack on the agenda for quite awhile now and finally did it!  Honestly I was waiting to see if I could find a boy ballet dancer to include, but none of the artists I use for clipart had one or any plans of designing one.  So, for girls it is.  The precious clipart featured in the pack is from my favorite…Stockberry Studio.

Here’s a glimpse of what is included {all free} in this Ballerina Preschool Pack


Ballet Preschool Pack


Focus Skills

  • Letter Bb
  • Find the Difference
  • Graphing
  • Patterning
  • Sorting
  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Counting 1-20
  • Basic Addition
  • Bible Verse
  • Tracing
  • ABCs

You can download the entire

Ballerina Preschool Pack here on my website for FREE!

I hope your little ballerinas enjoy this pack!

If you are having any printing or downloading trouble, please see the tips in the FAQ post here!!!

See more Preschool Packs and Tot Books/Packs here…Printable-Theme-Packs.jpg


Tot School ~ Letter Pp

~Ladybug is currently 28 months old~

Still off of official school around here, we officially start back on Sept 12, after our kick off the school year trip to the beach with my parents the week before!


Tot School Printables P is for Pencil

Letter: Pp

Object: Pencil

Vocabulary Development Theme: School Tools

You can find the printables for this unit here on the Tot School Printables webpage.

Ladybug has not been as into her Tot School Printables as she used to be, so we don’t spend the hours at the table these days.  Totally fine with me, I love her learning any way she chooses at this stage!  I still offer her the printables and she lets me know what she wants to do.  We aren’t doing everything and that’s fine!

Here we used play doh to make her Pps and used a pencil to poke into the dough.



She wanted me to color her Pp objects, as she told me which ones to color.  She proudly displayed “her” work when I was done.IMG_1228


She wanted to cut her tracing page this week.  Hey…whatever floats your boat girlfriend.  She was whining at me for taking her picture {he he}.IMG_1230


I also colored her pencils and we matched up the markers and happily knocked them all down!IMG_1232


We put painters tape on a white paper and had fun dot painting it like crazy!IMG_1075

The boys wanted to help too!  After it was done we let it dry and then peeled off the tape for the letter P, she liked this!IMG_1079


Gluing her numbers…IMG_1221

 Letter Pp printables here!

Fun Books & Toys for this unit here!


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She played with Magneatos every day this week…

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We made all sorts of things with our pop beadsIMG_1254


She loves our new Magnetic Matching Rings toy, it is more for Krash, but she is LOVING it!  This is a really neat toy, if you have a 2-5 year old I definitely recommend adding this to your wish list!IMG_1259


Matching frogs and dragonfliesIMG_1049

Putting dot stickers on a turtleIMG_1219


ThemeWe had our schoolroom decked out for our camping theme this week, complete with our mini tent, ladybug sleeping bag, lanterns, flashlights and camping chair!  Most of the camping school work that was done was from the Camping Preschool Pack and the Camping Pack…for Krash.  But Ladybug enjoyed the many props we had out!IMG_1051

We spent TONS of time roll playing and enjoyed an official camp-out morning.  We made fire wood out of tubes and put our electric flickering candles underneath for the fire.  We also roasted wadded up paper marshmallows.IMG_1066

We even had a fake crackling fire running on the iPad!IMG_1069

We are going to a camp for our summer staff retreat next week, so the timing was perfect!  I have lots more to share about our camping fun, coming soon!  You can see my collection of camping ideas I found here on Pinterest!


tub of funI bought the kids a Mighty World Camping set to play with and they loved it more than I thought they would!  It is really tiny so perfect for a sensory bin.  Add it to some beans = hours of fun!IMG_1202

Ladybug was quite possessive and would take the tent and campers and go play by herself sometimes!IMG_1203


Life School

I caught her reading in our bean bag chair, which she often does.  I love reading photos and will grab my camera if it’s close by.IMG_1244

This is her “no-pichers momma” look.IMG_1248


Pink Tevas and purple toes…IMG_1133perfect for splashing in puddles!

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