Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Giggle Poetry

Giggle Poetry introduces children to poetry in such a fun way, it will inspire the poet in your child.  The site is full of silly poems that are fun to read out loud.  Although the site is designed with classroom teachers in mind,most of the content can be tweaked for homeschool use as well. We print out many of the poems to practice fluency.

Electrolux / Kelly Ripa Summer Campaign - Opportunity to Win! CLOSED

Kelly Ripa is celebrating a split with a banana split!  No, not a split between her and her fabulous hubby, Mark Consuelos, but a split from Electrolux - the company is splitting their refrigerator and freezer duo into two with the introduction of their new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer.  And not only are they celebrating their new products, Kelly and Electrolux are also getting together for a good cause. 

Starting today, at http://www.kelly-confidential.com/, you can build your ultimate banana split using virtual ingredients from classic whipped cream to caramel sauce to rainbow sprinkles. For each "split", Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as part of its $750,000 commitment to help fight ovarian cancer.
As usual, Electrolux and Kelly find new and fun ways to say thank you to those who support this great cause. Everyone who logs on to the site and builds a split will be automatically entered for a chance to win the daily prize - $50 towards sweet summer treats - and the grand prize: the new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer from Electrolux.

MomSelect is also getting into the fun by offering one of my reader's a chance to win a $25 American Express Card to buy your own banana split toppings (or anything else your heart desires!)


Visit Kelly's site to build your virtual banana split,  Each day you do, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund1. Plus, you'll be entered for a chance to win the daily prize, $50 toward sweet summer treats, AND the grand prize - the ultimate kitchen "split" - the new stand-alone refrigerator and freezer from Electrolux.2. Leave a comment below to tell me you have entered - you may do this once each day.

EXTRA ENTRIES: (Leave a separate comment for each entry)

1. Publically follow my blog.

2. Follow me on Twitter.

3. Follow Kelly Confidential on Twitter.

4. Tweet about this giveaway (5 extra entries!)  Copy and Paste the message below

I built a virtual banana split & helped Ovarian Cancer Research for a chance to win $25 http://bit.ly/awP4rT

5. Subscribe to my blog. (upper right corner) (2 entries)
Contest ends 7/29/2010
Disclosure: I was given a $25 American Express card for myself, and one to give out as a prize for posting this.  I was not compensated in any other way.

11 Boredom Busters

Here are 11 ideas parents can use to keep young minds active during the summer months:

1. Boredom Buster Jar: At the beginning of the summer, sit down with your family and brainstorm a list of activities that can be done alone or that you can enjoy doing together. Encourage your children to share their own ideas and help you decorate and label a simple jar as the family "Boredom Buster Jar." They'll feel more involved in the project and more likely to think this is a "neat" idea, if they participate in the creation and idea generation. Next, write everyone's ideas down on slips of paper and as a group decide which ones should go in the jar. Anyone in the family can pull any idea out of the jar to fight the summertime boredom blues.

2. Stories Alive: It sounds too simple, but reading is one of the most important waysto keep young minds engaged during the summer.Make reading even more fun by finding ways to bring the stories to life. For example, in the book Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran, children create a make-believe town in the desert out of rocks, boxes, and their imaginations. Read the book with your children and then challenge them to create their own town with materials they find in the backyard.

3. Art Start Box: You'll need to gather basic art supplies-child safe scissors, glue, markers, tape and construction paper. Put them in a special box along with empty oatmeal boxes and paper towel rolls, colorful magazines and bits of aluminum foil. Occasionally add a special surprise like chalk, stickers, or stamp pads so there's always something new for the children to find. Even if you normally have these supplies around the house, it's fun for children to know that the Art Start Box is just for them. They'll probably have some good ideas of other household items that can be recycled to fuel their creative energies.

4. Family Performances: Break out old clothes or costumes and encourage children to make up characters and create a play to act out. They are the directors, actors, and producers. They can also make musical instruments out of pots/pans, wooden spoons, empty canisters and have a parade; or everyone can play along to your family's favorite songs. Record or video the performances, and enjoy the replay. You'll also be capturing a bit of family history everyone will enjoy for years to come.

5. Family Dance Party: Crank up the music and encourage your entire family to boogie down. Dancing gives children a great outlet for self-expression through their own motion and helps build self-esteem. It also enhances motor and coordination development by incorporating skills like jumping, landing and leaping. Dancing is a great activity that can involve the whole family and doesn't take very much preparation.

6. Fort Building: Children love to build all kinds of structures--from small towns to large towers. Constructing forts or tents is an activity that can keep children focused and problem solving for hours. All the items you need can be found around the house- some chairs, cushions, blankets, and of course adult supervision.

7. Cookbook Fun: Have you ever shared your favorite cookbook with your children? Take it out and ask your children to choose a recipe to try. Measuring can be a fun and easy way to keep math skills fresh.

8. Summer Scrapbook: All you need for this project is a spiral notebook. Encourage everyone in the family to draw pictures of favorite activities and collect mementos from special events throughout the summer. Children love to go back through scrapbooks and albums and tell about what happened at each occasion. They will also be building their storytelling skills at the same time.

9. Listening Game: Lie down in the backyard, in the den or at the park and listen. What do you hear? Do you hear what I hear? Can you imitate the sound? This is similar to watching the clouds and naming the shapes, and it encourages everyone to slow down and focus on listening.

10. Camping Out: Pretend to campout in the backyard. Plan a meal, pack a backpack and set up a campsite. You might even decide to spend the night!

11. Scavenger Hunt: Make a list or picture cards of common household items and have your children find the items on the list. Invite friends or neighbors to join in the fun to make it a competition.

Top Learning Toys

Monday, June 28, 2010

Great Kids Fashion - Win Clothes For Your Kids! CLOSED

Whether your kids are headed back to school, or just palling around with friends like my boys, they want to do it in style.  One way to make sure they are dressed to impress is with Parigi Fashion. Parigi Fashion has been a major part of the children's fashion industry for nearly thirty years. You may not be familiar with the name Parigi fashions, but I know you know some of their wonderful brands including:  DKNY, Puma, Baby Phat, Apple Bottoms, Akademiks, and Phat Farm! Parigi Brands are distributed to specialty boutiques and major department stores everywhere! 

But the best thing about Parigi Brands (well second to their fabulous clothes) is the fact that they sent me a free Akademiks outfit for my son to try out AND a FREE outfit to give to one of my readers!!!  They sent me this outfit complete with a cool t-shirt and great fitting jeans for my 13 year old, Palmer to try out.

Let me just start out by saying that Palmer is extremely a little picky when it comes to his clothes.  He only wears certain brands of jeans, and he wants his shirts to be "his style" as he calls it.  So, needless to say I was worried that I might have to bribe  convince him to try out the clothes for me.  But, I didn't have to worry at all, when we opened the box his reaction was, "Cool!  Are these for me, please tell me they are for me."  When he tried on the pants he was extremely pleased with the fit, and we have now been able to add Akademiks to the list of pants that he will actually wear!  A good thing because they are more affordable then other brands that he will wear.  And I must say, he looks handsome in the outfit, don't you think?  If you don't agree, please don't share your opinion! LOL! 

And the clothes had the amazing ability to make him be nice to his little brother! (OK, maybe that is an exaggeration and he was simply in a good mood, but I think his stylish new duds did have a hand in his chipper mood!)

Now for the contest, Parigi shipped me this outfit in a size medium (the jeans are a size 12), and they have provided the same outfit in an extra large to give to the winner of this contest.  To enter, simply follow the steps below.  The winner will be selected on July 15th.


Visit parigigroup.com and tell me your favorite collection of clothes. (1 Entry)

EXTRA ENTRIES:  (Leave a seperate comment for each entry)

1. Follow my blog publicly

2. Follow Parigi Fashions on Twitter

3. Like Parigi Fashions on Facebook

4. Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway: (Can be done once daily)

(Copy and Paste the following) @ParigiFashion: The coolest and most fashionable children's clothing around. Enter to win an outfit here! http://bit.ly/cvQL5I #giveaway

5. 5. Subscribe to my blog. (upper right corner) (2 entries)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

TenMarks Summer Programs

Research shows that students lose 2 months of math learning over the summer!  But there is something you can do about it!  Tyler my 9 year old has been working on keeping up his math skills with TenMarks interactive math program. The program is customized to each student. Each week he is assigned 3 worksheets based on his current math level and ability.  Along with the worksheets are hints and video lessons for each topic. 

Tyler has been able to work independently for the most part, but sometimes the questions are worded in a way that he has needed assistance understanding what they are asking.  For example one of the questions asked:

Count minimum number of coins and bills for the change without using quarters

Cost : $3.07

You Give : $5.00

When he pressed the button to ask for a hint it said:

Hint: Exhaust the highest denominations - $1.00 is the highest denomination

Once I helped explain how to solve the problem, he was able to move right along and answer the other questions that were similar.

He loves when he gets the answers correct, and when he completes the assignments on-line he doesn't even realize that he is learning!

TenMarks has19 different programs, personalized for all levels of learning and achievement. Students practice one topic at a time with interactive worksheets, with hints to guide them, and video lessons to help when needed. Priced at only $39.99 for the entire summer, the types of programs available are:

•Step Up - review skills from past year, preview year ahead.

•Foundation - refresh core concepts (Algebra, Geometry, Fractions,...).

•Custom - personalized, based on a quick assessment.

My overall ranking is a 9 out of 10, and I would definitely reccomend the program!

To view a flyer for more information about Ten Marks click here.
To try it yourself, click here.
Disclosure: I received a trial of the program to give my opinion.  I have given my honest opinions about the program, and I was not swayed in any way by the free trial.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Handwriting Practice Worksheet

If your child is learning to write their name, you may want to head over here to print out your own custom handwriting worksheets.  You can print their name in D'Nealian style like above, or Zaner Bloser (below).  You can also use the site for making copywork or other handwriting worksheets.

Book It Program

Every year Pizza Hut runs the BOOK IT! program. BOOK IT! motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza. You set a reading goal for each of your children . A tracking chart and reproducibles are included to make it that much easier. As soon as a child meets the monthly reading goal, you give him or her a Reading Award Certificate.

Enrollment ends June 30th, so head over here to enroll soon!

The Big Read

The Big Read was developed by The National Endowment for the Arts to "create a nation of readers." The idea is to inspire people to read good literature defined as follows:

"A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us."

The website provides free reader and teacher guides with language arts lessons and activities, radio programs, video profiles, and information about book authors. When you get to the site you'll see a brief introduction and some highlighted books and activities. Click on "Our Books" in the horizontal menu at the top of the page. A new page opens with a list of titles including:

•The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

•A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

•The Poetry of Emily Dickinson

•The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

•Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

•To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

•The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

•~ and many more!

Click on any title and a new page opens where you can access:

*Reader's Guide - Read a synopsis of the book, read the author's bio, discover the main characters, learn the historical context of the story, access discussion questions and more.

*Teacher's Guide - Get free lesson plans with printable handouts, review classroom project ideas that could be tweaked for a book club, get suggestions for essay topics, and find links to additional resources.

*Radio Show - The Big Read releases a new radio show about a selected book and author every 2 weeks. It's informative and entertaining. You can listen to the show online or subscribe to the podcast for free.


Summer Reading Tips

Not every family homeschools during the summer, which means that reading may not be on their list of priorities. However, it’s very important to keep their minds working during these summer months to make sure when school starts back in the fall they are on track and ready to learn. Here are some tips for motivating kids to read this summer:

  • Combine activities with books. We have a chocolate factory nearby that the boys have been dying to visit! I made them a deal that if we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Chocolate Fever I would take them to it. If you are taking a vacation - see if you can find a book that fits with it!
  • Monkey See Monkey Do. Show kids that you love to read by reading each day. Share an interesting fact you read in the paper or a funny quote from a book you are reading.
  • Relax the rules. Summer is a time when children can read what, when, and how they please. Don't worry about  goals or pages read, and don’t force kids to read something they’re not interested in.
  • Visit the library. It’s got thousands of books and audiobooks to borrow, computers to use, and magazines to leaf through. Make the library your “go-to” destination for the summer.
  • Think outside the book. Recognize that reading can happen in many formats, from eBooks to magazines to online read-along stories.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get an "I Can Read!" book. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

I Can Read! Books Become an I Can Read! Member

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review of KC Distance Learning Website

My kids are part of what is being called the iGeneration - what that means is that they have not lived during a time when there wasn't an internet, computers, cell phones, etc.  Many schools and parents are looking for ways to reach these eLearners and to match how they naturally learn, in order to provide them with the best education possible.  But, how to do that?

One way is through online classes. On-line classes are one way to give middle and high school studentsnew options to learn using preferred tools in a familiar environment, and even experience enhanced, one-on-one relationships with educators. Whether they're in need of more assistance, looking for wider range of classes or simply prefer to learn in a medium that they have grown up with, online learning can be a great way to fit your child's needs.

Two of my older boys have taken on-line classes for high school, and have loved them!  My oldest was able to work at his own pace, graduating two years early, and is now attending the University of Nevada, Reno.  My younger son will be starting his Freshman year, and all of his classes will be on-line.  My boys are not the only ones taking advantage of on-line classes, in fact, today there are 1 million children learning online, either part time, full time or between school terms. Additionally, more than 20 percent of schools and educational institutions around the country offer online classes today, and that number should grow by another 30 percent within a couple of years, according to industry research.

From the home-schooled family, the student brushing up on skills to compete at the next level or the child facing challenges in traditional schools such as bullying, KCDL provides academic solutions to fit your child's needs. Visit their website at http://www.onlineschoolsolutions.com/, and then click on your state to find the online school serving your area.

Monday, June 21, 2010

On-line Geo-board

My kiddos absolutely love playing with geo-boards, so I was ecstatic when I found this on-line interactive geo-board for them to play with.  It is a great way to practice geometric skills!

9 reasons to visit your public library

Taken directly from the Reading Rockets website. Here are 9 reasons to visit your public library.

1.Free programs and activities: From author visits to puppet shows to family films, libraries offer programs with kid appeal after school, on the weekends, and during the summer. Ask your librarian for the schedule of upcoming events.

2.Story times: There’s nothing like hearing a good story read by someone who loves to read aloud. Libraries are terrific settings for story times which often include finger plays, games, songs, and crafts that can be learned and enjoyed again at home.

3.Workshops: Many libraries offer workshops that can help enrich your life as an adult and support you as a parent. At many libraries, it is possible to learn to knit, prepare your taxes, update your résumé, gain computer skills, or improve your parenting skills.

4.Books: Librarians are happy to make recommendations and most public libraries have a special section just for children’s books.

5.Audiobooks: Listened to a good book lately? Most libraries have a collection of popular adult and children’s titles available for checkout on tape or CD.

6.Movies: Your public library is a great source for free access to the latest blockbusters, family movie classics, documentaries, or favorite TV shows.

7.Music: Want to introduce your children to Beethoven or the Beatles or new children’s songs? Check to see if your library has a collection of music on CD.

8.Magazines and newspapers: Introduce your child to some of the magazines designed just for children. With bold photographs, poems and a joke or two, magazines are another reading choice for beginning readers. Or catch up on the news in your community and share a smile over the comics.

9.Computers: Most public libraries offer free Internet access, computers with educational games for kids, and valuable online resources for teenagers.

Fridge Magnet Writing

Here’s an online interactive fridge magnet website. Move the words around and have a play, then use the words to inspire your own writing.

Vincent Malloy - A Poem Writing Prompt

Watch this Tim Burton movie about a boy named Vincent Malloy told in rhyme.  Then see if you can write your own poem!

Sea Life Number Puzzle

Practice counting, number recognition, and number order with this fun worksheet.

Kindergarten Writing Rubric

The rubric above was designed by Julie Lay and a team of kindergarten teachers from the Redmond

School District in Oregon.  Take a look at your child's writing.  What level are they currently at?  What things do they need to work on to get to the next level?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Roald Dahl

Based on the wonderful world of Roald Dahl, this website features fun teacher downloads and a lot of lesson plan ideas.  To learn more about Roald Dahl, watch this video.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Win a $25 Gift Certificate from Growing Tree Toys -CLOSED

I am constantly looking for great places to buy educational toys for my boys, so I was really excited when I found Growing Tree Toys.  They have toys for all ages starting from birth on up to 11 years and older - a plus when you have a large family with mine ranging in age from preschooler to teen.  They feature some of my favorite brands including: Melissa and Doug, Bananagrams, and Learning Resources Toys.  Their prices are competitive (with an awesome clearance selection) and they offer FREE shipping on orders of $75 or more! 

But, perhaps the best thing about Growing Tree Toys is that they are offering a $25 gift certificate to one of the readers of my blog! 

Contest ends July 4th!


Visit Growing Tree Toys and leave a comment below telling me what educational toy or toys you would buy if you won!


1. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment below letting me know that you followed.

2. Follow Growing Tree Toys on Twitter and leave a comment below letting me know that you followed.

3. Like Growing Tree Toys on Facebook and leave a comment below letting me know that you did.

4. Tweet about this contest on Twitter, and leave Twitter name in the comments letting me know that you did. Counts for 1 extra entry per day!


5. Subscribe to my blog and leave a comment below.

The Summer of Kung Zhu

We were lucky enough to be chosen to host a a Zhu-riffic Kung-Zhu Party for our boys and some of their friends.  The kids had a blast playing with all of the fun toys.  The excitement started when the box arrived at our house filled with tons of Kung Zhu toys.  My boys already loved Zhu Zhu parts, but pairing them with the Kung Fu aspect was genius!  My boys are Tae Kwan do nuts so they went wild for them - it will definitely be the summer of Kung Zhu at our house!

Dad hard at work putting everything together.

 With the assistance of a helper or two.

Choosing hamsters.  The party kit came with enough hamsters for each boy to get their own.  Several of the moms called later to make sure that it was ok that they came home with them - they were amazed by the generosity of Zhu Zhu Pets™ and MomSelect!

Then it was game on!  Here are a few pics and video of the fun!
(Video by my 14 year old - thank goodness the kiddos are techno savvy!)

transformation of fighting ninja and warriors.

Throughout the summer I will be posting more pictures, games, and snack recipes from the party along with a chance to win your own Kung Zhu pet!

For more information about the Kung Zhu family, visit zhuzhupets.com

Want To Win Kung Zhu pets?

Coffee With the Mrs. is giving away an amazing set:
The winner will receive:

(1) Rock'O Battle Hamster

(1) Drayko Battle Hamster

(1) Ninja Warrior Armor- Dark Jonin

(1) Special Forces Armor - Dune Tracker

(1) Giant Battle Arena

(1) Missle Attack Tower

(1) Dragon Hammer

Altogether that's a $90 value!!

To enter, head over here! 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reading Fluency

Reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, speed, and with appropriate expression. Accuracy is the number of words that are read correctly. If your child misreads more than 1 out of every 10 words, the text may be too difficult for them. Reading rate or speed is the rate at which a child is able to read a given text. Non-fluent readers will read more slowly and deliberately while fluent readers will read quickly and easily.

To determine your child's fluency:

1. Select material that is at your child's reading level.

2. Ask your child to read aloud for 1 minute.

3. Make a note of any words your child misreads.

4. Count the total # of correct words your child read in 1 minute.

5. The result is your child's reading rate or wpm (words read per minute).

The table below shows the grade level benchmarks for fluency.

Adam Ant Finds Perimeter

Here is a fun mini-lesson on perimeter with Adam the ant. Adam walks around the figures and gives your child a chance to solve the perimeter. A fun and easy explanation.

Adam Ant

And for more perimeter practice, try these:

Household math
Area and Perimeter Journal

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Printable Calendars

These calendar templates and printable pages can be used to build calendar skills as well as many other skills.

January -- printable or editable version

February -- printable or editable version

March -- printable or editable version

April -- printable or editable version

May -- printable or editable version

June -- printable or editable version

July -- printable or editable version

August -- printable or editable version

September -- printable or editable version

October -- printable or editable version

November -- printable or editable version

December -- printable or editable version

Summer Fun Journal

Your kids will love writing with the summer themed journal prompts here. Ms. Robin sings writing prompts on each page. Your kids will enjoy writing and illustrating their own journals.


1. Print out the Summer Fun Journal for each child.

2.Your child can help by stapling the pages together or punch with three holes and tie the journals together with yarn.

Teaching Your Child How to Read Sight Words

A Sight Word is any word that is known by a reader automatically. Sight Words (sometimes called the Dolch Word List) are some of the most frequently used words in the English language. Even though there are only 220 of them, Sight Words comprise approximately 50 to 70 percent of any given general, non-technical text. Therefore, teaching Sight Words as early as possible is considered a crucial part of elementary education.

Find out how many sight words your child knows using this

Sight Word assessment.

Using the words your child does not know, you can print out flashcards or make your own using index cards for your child to work on. Here are a few printable ones:

Emergent words 1
Emergent words 2
Emergent words 3
Sight Words Workbook

We keep our sight words in a small box similar to the system in this video, and practice 5 to 10 minutes each day.

How to Make Manicotti

Cooking with your kids is not only fun, it’s a great way for a child to experience that true sense of accomplishment that comes from creating a work of their own from start to finish. This recipe comes from KidzKitchen, a popular feature of the children’s online magazine KidzClix.net. The complete recipe is given below.


2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
½ teaspoon salt
32 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs

1 pound manicotti (large tubular pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
½ cup freshly grated parmesan

1. Place filling ingredients in medium bowl. Mix together until combined.
2. In large pot of boiling salted water, add olive oil. Cook manicotti until somewhat firm to the bite and about ¾ cooked (about 7 minutes, depending on brand). Carefully drain manicotti.
3. Spread 2 cups sauce over bottom of 13X9X2 inch baking pan. Fill each manicotti evenly with filling. Arrange stuffed pasta in single layer in prepared dish; sprinkle with chopped basil. Spoon remaining sauce over; sprinkle ½ cup parmesan evenly over the top.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake manicotti covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Carefully remove foil and bake uncovered about 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.

Explore Anne Frank's hiding place

Today marks the anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth. During World War II, her family hid from German occupying forces. They were eventually discovered, and Anne later died in a Jewish concentration camp.

Anne Frank left behind a diary chronicling the time of hiding. It has since become a defining story of World War II. And now you can explore it in even more depth.

This site is an amazing companion to the Diary of Anne Frank. It contains detailed biographies of the people involved. And you’ll see a timeline of the diary's events.

But most impressively, it accurately recreates Anne Frank's hiding place. You can interactively move through the rooms. You’ll see them as they were at the time.

Portions of the diary are narrated for each room. The portions are linked to the rooms where they were likely written. It brings the events to life in dramatic way.

Anne Frank's Hiding Place

Mendeleyev's Periodic Table

Dmitri Mendeleyev was first to put the elements into an organized table that clearly explained the relationship each element had to the others.

A college student made the video below as a report for his chemistry class.
Watch and learn about the history of the periodic table- it's entertaining and very informative!

For a printable periodic table, click here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Chain Game

Transform words by changing them one sound at a time. Explore phonics and word-building and develop stronger spelling skills.

The Chain Game

Make the Band

Create a musical composition for a band of kids and dogs using the control panel to choose the tempo, vocalists and instruments for the melody and rhythm. Build vocabulary by learning words that describe music.

Make the Band

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Look What Came In The Mail

My kiddos were super excited when they saw a giant box filled with all of thse wonderful Kung Zhu toys inside. We will be hosting a Kung Zhu toy party for 12 wild boys next week! Wish me luck and look for updates and contests on this blog!

Toddler and Preschool Activity Calendars

Looking for ways to keep your little ones busy! These printable activity calendars will give you a start! You can print out June's calendar here.
Additional calendars are posted monthly here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Shark Place Value Game

If your kiddos are learning about place value, you might want to have them play this fun shark game. They simply match the place value blocks with the number in the bubbles.
To Learn more about Place Value

Play Simon On-Line

Do you remember that old game Simon from when you were a kid? Well, now you can play on-line at this site. Great for building memory skills and working on patterns and relationships. Tons of fun, and your kiddos will have no idea they are learning!

Free Life Along a Prairie River poster

If you and your kiddos are learning about ecosystems (or animals), you might want to order this free poster. Simply fill out the form on this page to get one.
There are also free teacher's guides and student activities on this page.

AMERICA The Story of US

The History Channel has a brand new series called AMERICA The Story of US. They are offering this entire DVD set to every school in the United States for FREE. This does include homeschools. DVD requests must be made prior to July 1, 2010. DVDs will be mailed around August 2010, and free shipping is included in this offer.

Click here to receive your copy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Portable Word Wall

Sir Ken Robinson - Nourishing Kids' Creativity


Smories is a website that features kids reading the stories they have written out loud. You simply click on each child's picture to view their story telling video. The stories can even be watched from your iPhone or iPod Touch if you have one

There are plans are to to publish 50 more Smories every month. Authors of any age and skill can write and submit a story, just as long as it's original.

Maybe watchng a few will inspire your children to have a go at writing one themselves? I know I will be incorporating this idea into some of my own writing lessons with my kiddos!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's My Angle?

If your kids are learning about angles, you will want to check out this fun flash based website. The site features tutorials as well as games all about angles. Fun and educational, who could ask for anything more?

Scissor Skills

Cutting accurately with scissors is a skill we sometimes take for granted, but scissor skills are just as important as other fine motor skills. Cutting requires the coordintion of many skills including fine motor coordination, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination. Here are some ways to practice this important skill.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Barnes and Noble On-Line Storytime

Barnes and Noble has a new program of on-line stories with well loved children stories read by authors and celebrities! This month features Fancy Nancy read by author, Jane O'Connor.