Writing Poems for Valentine’s Day

Poetry is an early elementary age favorite to write because you get to break all the rules by following new rules. Kids love a break from being forced to write in complete sentences, make up words to make things rhyme and playing with words they already know. Here are five poems perfect for writing a note of love at Valentine's Day. Acrostic Poems The only rule for Acrostic Poetry is that the writer select a theme word. It can be a name, a phrase or a word as simple as "love." Write each letter of the word vertically. Then write a word, phrase or sentence that starts with that word on each line. Whether there is rhythm or a rhyme is at the ...

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Teach the Joy of Giving Year Round

Every now and then we have the ME, ME, ME Monster creep into our house. This can happen any time of the year, but it seems more common around a big holiday. When this happens, I love to turn to a book for help.We recently used the book, "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, to help remind everyone that when we give and share with others we can all be happy. You can, of course, twist this around to adapt for any upcoming holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. The more we talked about it, the more I realized how important it was for us to remember and practice these principles year round. Sometimes we just ...

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St. Patrick’s Day Books and Fun Food for Kids

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17 and honors Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.Although we tend to celebrate with St. Patrick's Day parties, wearing green and indulging in a combination of Irish dishes and food that is green, it's important for children to learn about the history of St. Patrick's Day too.Here 15 great books to read to your children this St. Patrick's Day.It's St. Patrick's Day, by Rebecca Gomez The Story of Saint Patrick's Day, by Patricia A. Pingry The Story of the Leprechaun, by Katherine Tegen Shamrocks, Harps and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols, by Edna ...

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Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

We are working through our holiday advent right now like so many others and today we are making snowflakes.  I decided to add a little education to our activity this Christmas and we looked up facts about snow and snowflakes.  The kids had a blast with this since in sunny Arizona we don't get to see much snow.Here are our 15 favorite facts:  Snow Facts Each snowflake is six-sided and made of as many as 200 ice crystals. The ice crystals form around tiny bits of dirt that has been carried up into the atmosphere by the wind. As the snow crystals grow, they become heavier and fall toward the ground. To snow the temper ...

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Easter Egg Phonics Game

 It brings me so much joy to sit with my daughter and listen to her sound out words. I just get so excited as she builds her phonics knowledge and exercises those skills!  As Easter draws closer, I created a game that uses the plastic eggs we have so many of around the house.Lizzie loved this game! It took up the majority of our afternoon because she kept asking me to play it again and again.  Since it made her excited to read, I didn't mind it one bit!Directions: Write letter combinations and vowels on a piece of paper. Allow the child to cut out each combination/vowel. (This helps with fine motor skills) Pla ...

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March is National Nutrition Month

Trade in that Valentine’s chocolate for cantaloupe! You’re inundated with media messages about eating healthier, all the overindulgence holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day) are over… You may be feeling like me: It’s time to get the family back to healthier eating! But where do you start?THROW IT AWAYI made a deal with my kids: by a certain date any uneaten holiday candy goes in the trash. (The two pieces of “treats” a day rule still applies.) Out of sight, out of mind.MAKE IT AT HOME Everyone can still enjoy kid favorites like pizza and cookies – just make it at home to control the amount of sugar ...

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Teaching Young Children About Dr. King

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a good time for all parents to consider ways to share the legacy of Dr. King with their children and the impact that he had in shaping American history.We do something each year to celebrate and learn about Dr. King.  One of the most effective lessons has been by reading a children's book about Dr. King and then following up with doing some additional research online.  There is a wealth of educational information available on YouTube. Below I share one of our favorite lessons.Teaching Children About Dr. Martin Luther King With Children Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, ...

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Snowflake Books, Crafts and Activities for Kids

Have you experienced your first snowfall this winter?  Here in Southern California we either have to travel to see snow, or head to our local theme park.Here are a collection of books, crafts, and activities kids will love that are all about snowflakes. BooksWinter Wonderland (National Geographic Kids) by Jill Esbaum Snowflake Bently by Jacqueline Briggs Martin The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder by Mark Cassino Snowflakes - a Pop-Up Book by Jennifer Preston Chushcoff The Snowflake - a Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman A Snowflake Fell - Poems About Winter by Laura Whipple Fletcher and the Snowflake ...

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Being Thankful: A Thanksgiving Craft

Every year we have a little family tradition of each child making their own "Thankful Turkey". The kiddos love making their own "Thankful Turkeys" and as they are getting older, it has been fun to see them read and write on their own feathers. After they are finished these turkeys are a great table decoration and allow us to have some fun conversations about what each child is thankful for.What You Need:An eager creator Toilet paper roll (1 per turkey) Colored paper Glue Scissors Crayons, markers, or colored pencils Googly eyes, buttons, or anything else to make eyes (optional) Paperclips (optional) – to help ...

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Homemade Halloween Pizza

October is National Pizza Month, so what better way to celebrate than getting the kids into the kitchen to make homemade Halloween themed pizzas?These are surprisingly easy to make, and it gives you another reason to bring out those Halloween themed cookie cutters.  Plus, kids love having the opportunity to help out in the kitchen, especially when they have a chance to make food fun.What you need: • Pizza bases (pre-made, or roll your own)• Mozzarella cheese (slices, shredded, and or cheese sticks)• Pizza sauce• Pepperoni• Black olives• Capers• PestoOther toppings you may want to try: sweet ...

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