Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Transform Stickers to Create Reusable, On-the-Go Activities

My house currently looks like every sticker in the world exploded ALL over it! I'm constantly pulling wads of wet stickers out of my laundry, scraping them off of floors and furniture and finding them on my clothing as I walk into work. Needless to say, we go through A LOT of stickers in my household, and I've been dying to figure out a way to hold on to some of the cute stickers we purchase and not have to spend my entire life unsticking them! As it turned out, the solution was simple!

Using my handy dandy Purple Cow laminator (which I am completely obsessed with), I laminated the stickers and cut them out, leaving a small border of laminate around each. I then placed a small piece of rough Velcro on the backs of the stickers. In case you weren't already aware, rough Velcro sticks to felt beautifully! With that being said, I placed the laminated stickers onto various colors of felt sheets, which I jazzed up a tiny bit to match the theme of the stickers. Oh, and PS-Michael's has a HUGE and inexpensive variety of licensed character stickers, which are very popular in my household! Also, The Dollar Tree just started selling some super cute Very Hungry Caterpillar stickers, which I was super pumped to make reusable (love me some Eric Carle)!

And there you have it, folks! Simply fold up the felt and pack it and the reusable stickers in a baggie to bring with you when you need it the most!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ready for the Beach Giveaway!!!

Is anyone out there as ready for summer as I am??? Ahhh, I can't wait! Sunbathing, amusement parks, time off school, and (hopefully) toes in the sand! Does it possibly get better than that? Starting today...YES!!! I have joined some of the best bloggers in the biz to present you the opportunity to win $700 toward a beach vacation! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post and you're on your way to winning a fabulous opportunity to enjoy an incredible summer! Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 19, 2014

Shape Recognition Activities

Teaching your child shapes? Here are some non-traditional ways in which to do so and have fun in the process...
Using multi-shape links purchased at my local dollar store, I sorted them in cups and created index cards for students to imitate the pattern drawn by linking the matching shapes.
Draw various shapes on clothespins that children can clip to corresponding shape pictures placed on index cards and laminated
This file folder activity allows children to match shape manipulatives to their corresponding shapes on the folder
Using foam shapes purchased at a local, craft store, children place them into a sorting tray by shape.

Activities like these are ideal for on-the-go munchkins. I also use them for some of my students with developmental needs who tend to benefit from tactile learning. Stay tuned for more hands-on activities that address other great concepts...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Practice Children's Fine Motor Skills Using a Coffee Can

I can't remember the last time I walked across my living room floor without almost falling over the gobs of toys everywhere! Claire has more toys than I even care to admit and yet, somehow, she still seems to have days where she is simply bored with the monotony of it all. Time for mommy to get really creative...

My mom recently brought me some large, empty coffee cans, so I decided to start there.  Here's what I did...


-large, coffee can
-pom poms of various sizes
-single, hole punch
-pipe cleaners


1. Cut out an "X" shape in the middle of the coffee can lid using scissors.
2. Ensure the hole is large enough for the largest of pom poms to fit inside
3. Using a hole punch, create holes along the perimeter of the coffee can lid.
4. Cut assorted colors of pipe cleaners in half. Practice placing pipe cleaners in the holes of the can.
And there you have it...a simple and inexpensive way to practice fine motor skills with toddlers! Believe it or not, this simple activity provided Claire with hours of entertainment, and she continues to ask for it on a daily basis. If I had known she could be this occupied by such basic and inexpensive items, I could have saved a lot of people money in the cost of the latest and greatest toys alone! Ahhh, hindsight!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Union Jack Duck Tape Funsies

Have you ever taken the time in a craft store (or Wal-Mart and Target, for that matter) to just look at ALL of the Duck tape options out there! Its crazy!!! Zebra print, tiger print, mustaches, pickles, name it, Duck brand has made it! Unbelievable! On my most recent (of MANY) trip to the craft store, I came across Union Jack Duck tape!!! Be still my British heart! In the next aisle over, I discovered chipboard, stand up letters. Kismet! I knew my British grandparents (whose last name starts with "D") had to have a Union Jack letter D to adorn their American household! Here's how its done...


-Chipboard letter ("D," in my case)
-Union Jack Duck tape

1. Begin by covering the edges of the letter, folding the excess onto the front of the letter
2. Cover the inside of the letter with tape
3. Cover the remaining space on the front of the letter

In case you're not counting, that's 3 steps! That's all it takes, folks! The options are limitless and add tons of flare to mantels, walls, and wherever your little heart desires!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mother's Day Handprint and Poem

For those of you who know my hubby, you are probably already aware of the fact that he does not have a crafty bone in his body. That's why I loooooove this frame he created for me on my first Mother's Day last year! Somehow he managed to wrangle an almost-one-year-old, trace her hand, type out an adorable poem to go along with it, and place it in a frame. I especially love all of the imperfections (have you ever seen a thumb so small??? Haha!), as it reminds me of my sweet and spunky, little girl and makes me appreciate all of the work and effort my husband put into getting her to sit (somewhat) still and make this gift that I will treasure for the rest of my life!

Normally, when I take pictures of something, I like to make sure everything is cleaned and there are no smudges to speak of, but in this case, I love the smudges and fingerprints all over this frame! It just seemed fitting to keep them exactly as they are!
The poem is difficult to read, but it states...

"Sometimes you get discouraged, because I am so small
and always leave my handprints on furniture and walls
But every day I'm growing. I'll be grown some day.
and all those tiny handprints will surely fade away.
So here's a little handprint just so you can recall
exactly how my fingers looked when I was small."

I don't know that any mother's day will be as amazing as my first, but being a mommy is absolutely the best gift I could ever imagine receiving, and I intend to celebrate it every day of the year!

Wishing all the mommies, stepmommies, grandmas, greatgrandmas and beyond a very