Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Preschool Noodle Sensory and Shapes

 
Preschoolers learn through sensory play and sometimes it's just fun to be messy! So when I taught Cupcake the letter "n" earlier this year, we had some fun with cooked noodles.

Cupcake has become a pro at sorting shapes, so to challenge her, I had her make shapes with noodles using these awesome free shape play-doh mats from Royal Baloo.

I had to help her make the shapes, but she picked up on the concept.

If you don't have time to cook some noodles, then this activity would work well with wiki stix too.

And then, just for fun, I let her throw the noodles against her bedroom door and watch them stick!


As you can imagine, she thought this was hilarious. And no, I haven;t had any problems with her throwing spaghetti at meals!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Christmas in July & Projects of Christmas Past

Usually I shutter at the thought of Christmas in July. When I walk into Hobby Lobby in June and see the shelves covered in evergreen and sparkly ornament balls, it makes me want to scream, "Give Fall a Chance!!" Shoot. "Give Summer a chance!"

But, this year I'm having my second baby in September. I have no idea what my life is going to look like come the Fall and come Christmas. So, this year I've forced myself to prepare for Christmas early. I also realized I have quite a few Christmas projects I've never shared on the blog because I never got around to posting them during Christmas. 

Because of all that, I give you


I will be posting one Christmas project a week in the month of July. So, to start us off (even though it is June), here are some of my Projects of Christmas Past. Turn down your AC and pretend it's December for a few minutes. :-)






And some creative wrapping ideas:

More Creative Giftwrap Ideas

Stay tuned in July for more Christmasy fun!
Linking To 

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Do You Have It All Under Control?

This is the 3rd and final post of a three-part series. You may read the first two parts here:
Prove Your Worth By Doing Something 
Your Worth Is Not Defined By Others

"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
'Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him."
Matthew 4:8-11


Here, we see Jesus facing His third temptation-to prove His worth by being in control. The Father already had a plan to save humanity and glorify His Son. He already had a plan to give Jesus authority over His children and rule over the Kingdom of Heaven. But, it would take indescribably and immense sacrifice and pain by Jesus, the Son. Jesus would have to trust the Father.

Enter Satan. "Let's take a shortcut," he tempts Jesus. "Worship me and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world and the glory! You won't have to endure pain. You won't have to die. You will be in complete control. Then You will prove Your worth to me."

I am both amused and disgusted by Satan's audacity here. He tries to trick the God of the universe to worship him, as if He'd fall for it. He will try anything, won't he? He also promises Jesus something that is not his to give. He doesn't control the kingdoms of the world and their glory-God does! (Romans 13:1). Satan makes false promises-ones he cannot and does not intend to keep.

He does the same with us ALL THE TIME. How many times have we thought, "If I just have control over this and if it's going well under my control, then I am worthy." We believe Satan's lies that we have control and we begin to slowly build our own kingdoms, instead of building God's. We build our own little kingdoms and attempt to control them to make ourselves feel valuable. This can play out in ministry (I need to make this ministry successful so I look good!) and in life in general (I need to have everything in line-material wealth, health, relationships etc so I look good!).

For me personally, this still applies to my idol of seeking others' approval. I build a kingdom on the foundation of being loved and accepted by others and I attempt to control it by doing: serving, entertaining, bending over backwards, letting people suck the life out of me. And when I can't win someone over or someone gets upset, my kingdom comes crashing down and I am despaired. I feel worthless.

Let's look at Jesus answer: "You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve."
When we build our own kingdoms, we are practicing self-worship. We are not worshiping God. The reason we feel worthless when our kingdoms crash down is because we were seeking our own glorification. We are despaired because we realize we are not glorious. But the GOOD news is that God is glorious and He wants us to experience His glory, which WILL bring us ultimate joy, hope and worthiness.

We get angry when our kingdoms come crashing down because we believed a lie. The enemy promised us that if we worked hard, we would see results, but the results were not his to give.

Why would we want to be in control anyway? As flawed humans, we can destroy ourselves in a second. The God who is perfect and good is completely in control. We build our own kingdoms because we don't trust God is good and perfect. When we build our own kingdoms, we're saying to God, "I can do this better than you can." How arrogant! The only reason we can even maintain our ridiculous kingdoms for a little while is because God is gracious and tears them down slowly. Peace comes when we realize we are not in control and we leave the results to the One Who Is.

Will you relinquish your illusion of control today and trust in the One who is good, perfect, and sovereign?

Battling the Lies With You,

Linking To:

 Mom 2 Mom with  
My Joy Filled Life, The Purposeful Mom, Proverbial Homemaker, Diamonds in the Rough
Titus 2 Tuesday with Cornerstone Confessions 
SDG Connections with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood 
Women with Intention Wednesdays with Women With Intention
Thought Provoking Thursday with 3D Lessons For Life
Faith Filled Friday with Missional Women
Blessing Counters with Counting My Blessings

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Preschool letter "g" Activities and Free Printable

 
We did the letter g a while ago, but I never posted about it, so here are some lowercase "g" activities we did. Plus, I have a free gumball shape sorting printable for you, so if you just came for that-scroll to the bottom of this post!

Phonics
We started out phonics tracing and practicing the hard "g" sound with a Montessori sandpaper letter. Then, we played with the little objects in the "g" alphabet box drawer. Cupcake loves the little objects!


We also did a letter g collage sheet with stickers. Cupcake wasn't into coloring it. This printable comes from Confessions of a Homeschooler.


Counting and Numbers
We counted pom poms, pretending they were gumballs and we also played this fun roll Roll a Gumball game from Confessions of a Homeschooler for number recognition.


Fine Motor
To practice fine motor skills, we practiced dressing her "girls." She loves these magnetic dress up dolls from Melissa & Doug.

 Sorting
For color sorting, we sorted "gumballs" (pom poms) in muffin tins.

  
For sizing, we used these free printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

  For shape sorting, I made some gumball shape sorting sheets and used shape buttons I got at Hobby Lobby. I originally made them in black and white because my printer was out of color ink, but I put them in color for you! Scroll to the bottom of this post to get the free printable!

  
Books and Snack
We ate goldfish for snack because it was easy! Here are letter g books that we read for storytime. 

 And now for the free printable! Click on the image to download!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0h_so9UrDrvdDdsdVF2dFlCNzA/view?usp=sharing
 
Linking To

Sunday, June 21, 2015

DIY Magnetic Paper Dolls and Links to TONS of Free Paperdoll Printables

 
This is a super easy DIY gift project for any little one who loves dress up dolls/paper dolls! My three year old loves her Melissa and Doug magnetic dress up dolls, but they are too bulky and heavy to travel. So, I made her some lighter ones for road trips and taking places. 

All you need is:
A cookie Sheet ($1 at the Dollar Tree)
Magnet Paper (found at craft stores, office stores, and Walmart)
Free Paper Doll Printable (See list below!)

For this project, I used these cute free princess doll printables from Itsy Bitsy Fun. All you do is download the printable, print it onto the magnet paper, and cut them out. So easy. Because these are magnetic, you can cut the tabs off.

They are perfect for road trips!

The best part is that, with the beauty of the internet, there is a myriad of FREE paper doll choices, so your little one will never get bored. 

Here is a list of amazing free paper doll printables I found.

Disney 
Anna and Elsa,, Kristoff and Hans 
Aurora and Phillip 
The Disney Blog offers free printable Disney paper dolls. So far, they have Ariel, Anna, and Charlotte.
Frozen Inspired Paper Dolls (Anna, Elsa, and Olaf)

*Most of the Disney ones were created by this talented artist, Cory Jensen 

Holidays
Babalisme has a series of adorable holiday paper dolls:

Paper Dolls Kids Can Color
Design Your Own Paper Dolls and Design Your Own Pet from Kids Activity Blog 
 Large Collection of Color In Paper Dolls-includes around the world dolls
Snugglebug University has an adorable collection of color-in paper dolls:

Random Ones I LOVE
Les Miserables Paper Dolls- Cosette1, 2 and 3 , Enjolras, Eponine, Fantine, Grantaire, Javert, Jean Valjean 1 and 2, Marius, Mme Thenardier 1 and 2, Thenardier
 
Vintage


Linking To

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Show and Tell with Flamingo Toes, Sugar Bee Crafts, A Pumpkin and a Princess, and Snap!  
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios

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That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

Delights of the Month: Favorites in Blogland

Every month, I pin my current favorite projects to my Delights board on Pinterest. Here are some of my favorite posts from Blogland and my fellow creative bloggers!

*Note: To encourage you to pin from the original sources, I've made all photos in the post unpinnable. Please visit the source sites or visit my Delights board and repin. Thanks!

Patriotic Delights

1- Free Patriotic Printable from Blooming Homestead 
2- American Music Banner from Summer Scraps
3-Grapevine Wreath from Crafts Unleashed
4-DIY Confetti Poppers from Happiness Is Homemade (On Design Dazzle)

Delightful FREE Printables


1-Fillable Summer Bucket List from I Heart Naptime
I'm currently using this-love it.
2-Reading Log Kids Can Color from This Reading Mama
Genius! Perfect for little ones who can't write yet.
3-Floral Greeting Cards from Lia Griffith
Everything she designs is beautiful!
4-Father's Day Book from A Whole Lot of Tiny
So great-I will be using this when the little ones are a bit older and actually draw stuff.

Other Delights I Love!
1-Summer Squash Microwave Chips from My Life Cookbook
She had me at microwave. This is low carb and paleo friendly!
2-No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bites from Typically Simple 
Yum! All my favorite things AND no-bake!
3-How To Get Words on Washi Tape from A Girl and a Glue Gun 
Genius. 

Check out more of my favorite projects on my Delights Board!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Super Easy DIY Felt Board



Have you ever wanted to try a felt board for your child-and then looked at the price and gasped? That's exactly what I did. Why would I pay over $100 for something I'm not even sure my pre-schooler will enjoy?!

So, I scoured Pinterest for tutorials on how to make my own. There are a lot of great tutorials out there, but none that seemed to fit me. Most were made from bulletin boards or MDF board that was too large to fit my small storage needs. 

Plus, I just wanted to make this project super easy, so I figured a way to do it. No cutting or stapling required (for the board at least).  All you need is a piece of foam board (I bought one at The Dollar Tree), a 12"x18" piece of stiff felt, found at most craft stores, and permanent double-stick tape. This was the perfect size for me, but if you want a bigger board, you can do the same thing by buying felt by the yard and cutting it to size.

Stiff felt is the key-it allowed me to know have to staple anything because it holds up on the foam board with simple adhesive. We all know glue and felt don't mix well, so I adhered it with lots of permanent double-stick tape.


And yes, it has held up well! So simple and cost me about $2.

Now for the story pieces- did you know that there is a myriad of free printables and patterns to make felt board pieces? Just type "free felt board printables" into the Pinterest search box and enjoy! 

I specifically wanted the felt board for Bible Stories. The first two lessons in our preschool curriculum are on creation and I found adorable felt board printables from Keeping Life Creative.
For the story pieces, all you do is print the printables onto iron-on transfers, then iron them onto white or beige felt and cute them out. That's all!

Make sure that if you are making something with numbers or letters that you print a mirror image. It should look backwards on the transfer, so that when you iron it on, it faces forwards. Different printers handle this differently, so you may need to google how to do it on yours if you don't know how.

They work perfectly and doing it myself saved a TON of money. Plus, it let me try out the felt board to see if Cupcake was even interested in it. So far, she likes it.

Linking To

MONDAYS
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 Preschool & Kindergarten Community with Homeschool Creations
That DIY Party with DIY Show Off  
The Sunday Showcase with Stephanie Lynn
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