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Monday, March 26, 2018

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Birds & Nest Letter Matching {FREE} Printable

This week's Virtual Book Club theme is all about Birds, so I am excited to share this {FREE} letter matching bird printable with you!

There are loads of ways you can use these little birds and nests:

* You can use this as a file folder game--tape the nest pages onto a file folder, cut out the birds, and match them up!
* Cut out the individual birds and nests and use the lettered birds to spell your kiddos' names or other words you're working on!
* Print the pages, but only use 4-6 birds at a time to review the letters you're working on!
* Put the nests in a pocket chart and match the birds to the nests!
* Put the nests on the floor and let the kids hop onto them as you call out different letters!

I also included 22 "blank" birds that you can use to let your kiddos write their own letters on! Let them build their names or other favorite words!

Just CLICK HERE to get your own free set of bird and nest letter matching pages!

I made this upper case/lower case alphabet letters to go with this week's Virtual Book Club theme: BIRDS! We absolutely love birds, and spend a lot of time learning the names of common birds in our area! I also have this {FREE} Backyard Bird Cards set to help learn common backyardbirds!

You can join in the live birding fun at the Virtual Book Club Facebook page! Check out this week's featured book (Are You My Mother...image below is an Amazon affiliate link), and then visit the other co-hosts for more bird themed activities:

Birds Nest Math Game - Rainy Day Mum
Bird LIfe Cycles- Teach Beside Me
Bird Watching Activity + Printable - To Be A Kid Again
Bird Flight Pre-writing Activity - Mama Smiles
Are You My Mother Screen-Free Coding Activity for Preschoolers
Are You My Mother? Shape Craft by JDaniel4's Mom
Bird & Nest Letter Matching - Preschool Powol Packets (You are here!)

Do you have a favorite bird-themed activity? I'd love to hear about it!! Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

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Book-Based Arts & Crafts - Read & Create!

Are you looking for book-based arts and crafts for your preschoolers?  If so, you will love this collection!

My two favorite ways to organize preschool are by themes and by books! Book-based themes are a double win! Here I am sharing art projects and crafts that go along with books. The first set is for process art (which works great for all ages, including toddlers!) and the second set is for projects and crafts that work better for slightly older (usually 4 years old or more) preschoolers! I also have a HUGE set of science and STEM activities based on books here!

Book-Based Process Art:


Book-Based Crafts & Art Projects:


And, just in case you'd rather look for projects by the books they go with, here's a list:

List By Book:

5 Little Pumpkins - Pumpkin Egg Shakers

Cat in the Hat - Thing 1 & 2 Finger Puppets

Iggy Peck, Architect - Ice Castles

How Big is a Million - Snowflake Ornaments

My Color is Rainbow - Rainbow Printmaking

Old Tracks, New Tricks - Space Tracks

Penguin in Love - Crayon Resist Heart Painting

Polar Express -  Silver Bell Ornament

Rain, Rain, Go Away - Rainstorm Art

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf - Foil Leaves, Sparkly Leaf Garland

The Noisy Paintbox - Melted Crayon Art

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover - Sparkly Button Rainbow Art

Tree for All Seasons - 4 Seasons Painting

Do you have a favorite preschool book? What about a favorite preschool craft or art project? I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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Toddler Rainbow Art

My toddler LOVES to join her older siblings to "make things," so this week we joined the rainbow theme with a project specifically designed for her skills: toddler rainbow art!

This was perfect for her because it was something she could do independently! She loved touching the different supplies, exploring the textures, experimenting with scissors, and creating her very rainbow colored art!

{{Visit this page for our collection of Preschool Rainbow Activities!}}

Simple Supplies:

* peel and stick foam sheets (we received these to try from Craft Project Ideas, and they are perfect!)
* any rainbow colored craft materials (we used craft sticks, pompoms, feathers, stickers, fuzzy sticks, and wiggly eyes)

Easy How-to:

1- If you want to cut the foam sheet into a shape or smaller size, do that first! Then peel off the sticky back and place it (sticky side up) in front of your toddler. If they are a little wild and crazy with their craft supplies, you might want to tape the corners to the table so it doesn't slide away. My 2-year old was fine with it as it was, but I have definitely worked with kids who would have accidentally flipped it over!

2- Give your kiddo the supplies and let them arrange them on their foam sheet! My toddler spent about 45 minutes on this! We talked about colors, she got lots of fine motor exercise, and she was so pleased with her final projects!

I especially loved how she could design and create it however she wanted--there was no obligation to make it look a certain way or use certain colors. This was ALL HER!!

Of course, my preschooler and older kids wanted to get involved too:

It was fascinating to see how each kid used the rainbow colored supplies in their own way!

We're doing rainbow themed activities this week with the Virtual Book Club for Kids! You can join in on the Weekly Facebook Page here and then make sure you check out our featured book (Amazon affiliate link below) and try out these other rainbow themed learning activities from the co-hosts:

Drip Painting Rainbow Name Activity - The Educators' Spin On It
Roll A Rainbow Numbers Game - School Time Snippets
Rainbow Lacing Number Bonds - Rainy Day Mum
Rainbow Texture Explorations for Toddlers - Inspiration Laboratories
Toddler Rainbow Art - Preschool Powol Packets (you are here!!)
An Easy Rainbow Colored Fluid Dynamics Experiment for kids - Mama Smiles
Rainbow Play Dough Color Mixing- Teach Beside Me
Rainbow Streamer Craft - Views From a Step Stool
Rainbow Ribbon Wand Movement Activity - To Be A Kid Again

And here are a few more of our favorite rainbow activities:
Sparkly Button Rainbow
Rainbow Volcano
Rainbow Grid Game

I would LOVE to see what you are doing for rainbow week! Feel free to leave a comment, send an email or even tag me on Facebook!!

Disclosure: Craft Project Ideas supplied our craft supplies. I was under no obligation to use them, but we loved them so much I wanted to share them with you! You can buy them online or at Wal-Mart!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

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Optical Illusion & Science Book

Hands-on optical illusions! We are loving them because my favorite new publishing company released a children's book this year introducing the woman who developed a laser to treat eye cataracts! More on that in a moment!

Patricia Bath is an amazing role model in so many ways! She is an African-American woman who overcame all kinds of challenges to become an opthalmologist who patented record-breaking technology to treat cataracts and eye cancer! The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes introduces her story to children with friendly pictures and catchy rhymes. (Amazon affiliate link below:)

To celebrate our new obsession with everything related to eyes, I'm excited to welcome Eva from KidMinds.org to share a fun, hands-on optical illusion you can do with your kids or students! And, as a bonus, it includes math too!

Here's Eva:

You know it when you see it.

A science activity for your little kids that is just right. It’s simple but engaging. It requires minimum preparation. It involves no mess. It teaches something valuable. It offers quality time together. In other words, it’s perfect.

I have one of those for you today. Using only a ruler, pipe cleaners, and scissors, your kids will create their own optical illusion that they can use to trick their siblings and grandparents.

Start by using a marker to draw two equal lines on a piece of paper, one under the other. Add outward-pointing arrows to one line and inward-facing arrows to the next one, like this:

Ask, are the lines the same length?

Chances are that your child will state that the inward pointing line is longer, even though he/she probably watched you draw two equal lines!

Next, draw two vertical lines to demonstrate your point.

Let your kids know that optical illusions are deceptive for a reason. Let’s talk about that reason! (You also can save the explanation for after you have made your optical illusion with pipe cleaners.)

Why your eyes play tricks on you

Our eyes see millions of things each day. To process so much incoming information, our brains create shortcuts. It makes gathering information easier and quicker. But sometimes we get things wrong. What we see can be at odds with the actual reality. Scientists have discovered that it has less to do with our eyes and more to do with how the brain works.

Illusions help scientists better understand how visual processing works and how to make our lives safer. Here is an example we like: Chicago, where we live, is located along Lake Michigan. A long highway, Lake Shore Drive, runs along the lake from one side of town to the other. Visual illusions are used on Lake Shore Drive so there will be fewer accidents. It’s done by painting road stripes closer together on the sharpest part of a dangerous curve. This trick creates an illusion of speeding up so that drivers slow down and, hopefully, pass the curve without flying into the lake.

Food for thought

Do you think it might be cool to be a scientist whose job it is to study optical illusions and how they can help people live better lives?

Follow along to create your own optical illusion!

Make an optical illusion!

What you need
     2 pipe cleaners (different colors would be better)


1.    Cut a pipe cleaner in half and measure the two pieces to make sure they are of equal length.

2.    Cut the other pipe cleaner in four equal pieces.  You can measure these shorter pieces for fun, but it’s not necessary since the longer pieces we made in the above step are the focus of this experiment. 

3.    Take one of the shorter pieces. Bend it in half and wrap the end of a longer piece around the middle of it. Do the same thing with the other side and bend the short pipe-cleaner ends down so that they look like an arrow.

4.    Repeat step 3, but bend the short pipe-cleaner ends up so they look like a letter V pointing inward.

5.    Place the finished pieces one under the other. What do you think about the red lines now? Are they the same or a different length? You can use a ruler to measure the red lines. Or simply put one line on top of another to see that they are actually equal in length.

6.    Now it’s time to test your illusion on family members!

Words to use

Optical illusion, visual processing, vertical lines, inches (or centimeters), measurement

In conclusion

At times, what our eyes see and the actual properties of objects do not match. When that happens, we call it a visual or optical illusion. Today we made our own visual illusion. Even though the red lines are the same length, they appear different due to the effects of the arrows. Do you know any other optical illusions?   

Thank you so much, Eva! I especially love how the kids can pick up their optical illusion, carry it around, and show it to people! Eva also wrote an activity about dilating pupils here and you can see more of her science lessons here!

I also have TONS of science activities and another DIY optical illusion here! And you will love my STEM Project of the Week Curriculum!

Eva is a homeschooling mom of four living in Chicago.  She blogs about mindful parenting and creative learning at Kid Minds (www.KidMinds.org)

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

Never miss another post again!  Sign up for our weekly updates newsletter and get links to all our posts once a week in your inbox!  Sign up here!!

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