Friday, October 28, 2016

Toddler Playschool: I is for In My Family lesson plan {free printable}

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This week's Toddler Playschool focuses on family. It's always a fun theme to do with toddlers and preschoolers because it brings their little worlds into the learning environment.  We always learn better when it's a subject we like, right? Below you can find a free lesson plan for toddlers to focus on types of families and each child's family.
 
 
This curriculum is ideal for 2-3 year olds. We'll be reinforcing colors and shapes and introducing letters and numbers. There will also be exploration of different themes each week as we proceed through the alphabet. It provides a flexible framework of activity ideas that can used in the home or classroom. Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Please see here for more info.

Books
The Family Book by Todd Parr
My Daddy is a Giant by Carl Norac
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
I Love My Mom by Anna Walker
What Brothers/Sisters Do Best by Laura Numeroff

Songs and Fingerplays
The Family Finger Song
Daddy finger, Daddy finger, where are you?
Here I am, here I am, how do you do?
(repeat with Mommy, Brother, Sister, Baby, and any other family members desired)

My Family
(Laurie Berkner Band)
Find it here
Download the song here

Mother in You
(Imagination Movers)
Download the song here

I Love You (
The Barney Song)
I love you, you love me
We're best friends as friends should be
With a great big hug
And a kiss from me to you
Won't you say you love me, too?

Literacy
I Page for Alphabet Book
Create a page for the alphabet book. Each page is blank except for the week's letter. Children can be provided with an open-ended activity to decorate the page of their book.  Or you can use the suggested activities to set up an activity to create the page. Once done, pages can be laminated and bound with spiral binding or rings. You can find a template for this book here.
  
 
Click the link below to download 


 If you missed any of the other lesson plans in this series, you can find them here:
 
I'd love for you to join us on our adventure! If you share on social media, use the hashtag #toddlerplayschool so I can see all of your wonderful activities!
 



Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ghostbusters Birthday Party

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When I set out to plan a Ghostbusters birthday party, I was highly ambitious.  But as the date grew closer, I got behind and started panicking because I hadn't gotten anything made yet.  We hit our local party stores, and surprisingly, they didn't have a single Ghostbusters party item.  No paper invitations, no decorations, nada.    I had no choice... When you can't buy it, you gotta make it! Here's what I ended up with.  You'll also find the Ghostbusters birthday party printable pack to use at your home or for a Halloween party!
 
We had a mix of girls and boys, 6 total. I set it up as a Ghostbusters Training Academy.  After they went through the various "training activities", they would gain their Ghostbusters certification.  Here are the invites:
 
I decorated the front door with a Ghostbusters Training Academy sign, some caution tape from Dollar Tree, and "slime" cut from a lime green tablecloth.
 
 
The backdrop for the table was done with more plastic tablecloths.  I had the paper Happy Birthday banner printed up as 4x6 pictures at our local Walgreens. That way all I had to do was crop, add holes, and string it up. I added two red paper flower fans and a Slimer cutout to hide where I taped up the birthday banner.
 
Here's the activity set-up that greeted our guests. 
 
The first Ghostbuster party activity we did was to make a marshmallow man.  I provided wooden skewers, toothpicks, mini/regular/huge marshmallows, and markers.  When they weren't eating the marshmallows, the kids got quite creative with their building.  Below was my favorite!
 
Next, the kids made their own ectoplasm. We used this recipe here.  I provided toss away Rubbermaid containers for them to mix and store their "ectoplasm" slime in.  Each child got to mix up their own little batch (with me measuring ingredients).  We added neon green food coloring to the mix so that it looked just like the slime from the movies.  The kids thought it was cool and gross all at the same time!
 
 We ordered pizza since it's one of Slimer's favorite foods.  Then they enjoyed some "Ecto-Juice" and green cupcakes.
 
 

I had planned on them doing a little scavenger hunt on our street since several of the kids are our neighbors, but we didn't have time.  So I saved the sheets for them to do some weekend when they're bored.

Our last activity was a mess.  Remnants of it are still stuck on our cement 3 weeks later.  But they had a blast!  I got enough green silly string from Dollar Tree to make "Proton Spray" for them to have a silly string fight with.  It was definitely everyone's favorite part. 
 
We didn't do goody bags.  Instead, I put their marshmallow men, their "ectoplasm" slime, and a Ghostbusters certificate in a red paper bag for them to take home.

Several of the kids said it was the best party they'd been to.  I had a lot of fun watching my son and his friends have a good time getting messy and having fun.  Those are the best parts of childhood!  If you're planning a Ghostbusters birthday party, you can find the free printables I created below. 
 
Click the link below to download 

 



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Saturday, October 22, 2016

25+ No Carve Pumpkin Painting Ideas

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I was going through some old pictures and found these ones of when Bear was in his Octonauts phase and I painted our Halloween pumpkins in different characters for him.  He had some sensory issues when he was younger, so I thought I'd share them along with some other fun ways to paint pumpkins for other mommas with SPD kiddos (or those who just don't like the mess that carving makes!).
 

Here are some other incredibly creative no-carve pumpkin ideas you can do with your kiddos!
 


Grab some mini pumpkins and turn them into donuts for delectable breakfast table décor.
Add a bit of creepy to your porch with this huge eyeball pumpkin.
Halloween is cold around these parts, so a Frozen pumpkin is quite fitting.
Practice the alphabet while decorating pumpkins with this fun ABC pumpkin.
This caramel apple pumpkin is one of my favorites!



Use an old pot and create a pumpkin gumball machine!
Candy corn ombre pumpkins would be easy to make with a white pumpkin, too.
Use brass thumbtacks to spell out spooky words after painting your pumpkin.
You gotta catch 'em all to make these super cute Pokémon pumpkins.
Using Mr. Potato head pieces to decorate pumpkins is sheer genius!



Create a variety of pumpkin monsters to spookify your porch.
A Harry Potter pumpkin? Yes please!
This little unicorn pumpkin is super sweet.
Love emojis? Then paint some emoji pumpkins.
These are some amazing character painted pumpkin ideas.  I had to share them all.



http://www.mamasmiles.com/sharpie-pumpkins/
http://www.craftymorning.com/no-carve-minion-pumpkins/
http://handsonaswegrow.com/halloween-craft-pumpkin-mummies/
http://jaderbomb.com/2014/10/02/glow-in-the-dark-pumpkins/
https://www.instagram.com/p/u1puQGycXl/?taken-by=nakianieves



http://www.iheartartsncrafts.com/paint-resist-pumpkins-easy-pumpkin-decorating-for-toddlers/
http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2012/10/puffy-paint-jack-o-lanterns.html
http://deliciousbydre.com/superhero-pumpkins/
http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com/a-fun-and-easy-way-to-paint-pumpkins/
http://www.smallfriendly.com/small-friendly/2011/10/chalkboard-pumpkins.html

I'd love if you shared links to any no carve pumpkin ideas you've used!






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Friday, October 21, 2016

Toddler Playschool: H is for Halloween lesson plan {free printable}

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This week's theme for our Toddler Playschool free printable is Halloween. Surprised? This is another one of those topics where there are just SO MANY books and activities to pick from.  So, I went with some of our favorites.  This toddler lesson plan for Halloween in packed full of not-so-spooky fun for toddlers.
 
 
This curriculum is ideal for 2-3 year olds. We'll be reinforcing colors and shapes and introducing letters and numbers. There will also be exploration of different themes each week as we proceed through the alphabet. It provides a flexible framework of activity ideas that can used in the home or classroom. Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Please see here for more info.
 
Books
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
My Happy Pumpkin by Crystal Bowman
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell
 

Songs and Fingerplays
This Little Light of Mine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. (repeat 3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
 
Hide it inside a pumpkin? No!
I'm gonna let it shine.
(repeat 3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
 
Hide it under a haystack? No!
I'm gonna let it shine.
(repeat 3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
 
Hide it behind a scarecrow? No!
I'm gonna let it shine.
(repeat 3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
--Traditional, Altered by Andie Jaye
 
5 Little Ghosts (5 Little Ducks tune)
Five little ghosts went out one night
Going to give everyone a fright
"Boo!" said the ghosts to all they neared
Then one of the little ghosts disappeared
(repeat, counting down, until none of the little ghosts remain) 
 
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh, my it's getting late"
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care."
The fourth one said, "Let's run, let's run!"
The fifth one said, "Isn't Halloween fun?"
 
Then "Whoosh" went the wind
And OUT went the lights.
 
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
 
Literacy
H Page for Alphabet Book
Create a page for the alphabet book. Each page is blank except for the week's letter. Children can be provided with an open-ended activity to decorate the page of their book.  Or you can use the suggested activities to set up an activity to create the page. Once done, pages can be laminated and bound with spiral binding or rings. You can find a template for this book here.
 
The Hungry Pumpkin (felt board activity)
  
 
Click the link below to download 

 If you missed any of the other lesson plans in this series, you can find them here:
 
I'd love for you to join us on our adventure! If you share on social media, use the hashtag #toddlerplayschool so I can see all of your wonderful activities!
 



Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Toddler Playschool: G is for Grocery Store lesson plan {free printable}

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This week's theme is the grocery store.  Exciting, right? As moms, I think it's one of the places I dread the most. But it's also a place that Sunny LOVES to go to.  The shopping carts that have seats where the kids can "push" the cart and the free cookies have a lot to do with it, I'm sure.  But trips to the store can offer lots of learning experiences.  Below is what I put together to explore the letter G and toddler activities for the grocery store.
 
 
This curriculum is ideal for 2-3 year olds. We'll be reinforcing colors and shapes and introducing letters and numbers. There will also be exploration of different themes each week as we proceed through the alphabet. It provides a flexible framework of activity ideas that can used in the home or classroom. Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Please see here for more info.

Books
At the Supermarket by Anne Rockwell
Put it on the List by Kristen Darbyshire
Runaway Shopping Cart by Kathy Long
Shopping with Dad by Matt Harvey
Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney
 
Songs and Fingerplays
At the Store
(Old McDonald tune)
At the store, I like to buy apples every time
With a crunch-crunch here, and a crunch-crunch there
Here a crunch, there a crunch, everywhere a crunch-crunch
At the store, I like to buy apples every time

Repeat with the following:
Milk... gulp-gulp
Bread...chew-chew
Cookies... yum-yum
(add other foods that kids chose)
--Traditional, adapted by Andie Jaye

To Market, To Market
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog.
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun.
Home again, home again, market is done.

 
Literacy
G Page for Alphabet Book
Create a page for the alphabet book. Each page is blank except for the week's letter. Children can be provided with an open-ended activity to decorate the page of their book.  Or you can use the suggested activities to set up an activity to create the page. Once done, pages can be laminated and bound with spiral binding or rings. You can find a template for this book here
 
 
Click the link below to download 


 If you missed any of the other lesson plans in this series, you can find them here:
 
I'd love for you to join us on our adventure! If you share on social media, use the hashtag #toddlerplayschool so I can see all of your wonderful activities!
 



Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Toddler Playschool: F is for Forest Animals lesson plan {free printable}

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This week's free lesson plan printable is based on Forest Animals. There are so many activities and books for this one, it was hard to narrow it down, so I ended up going with what was most age appropriate.  Below you can find our toddler lesson plan full of activities for forest animals.

 
This curriculum is ideal for 2-3 year olds. We'll be reinforcing colors and shapes and introducing letters and numbers. There will also be exploration of different themes each week as we proceed through the alphabet. It provides a flexible framework of activity ideas that can used in the home or classroom. Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Please see here for more info.
  
Books
Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root
Bear Counts by Karma Wilson
Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan
Who's in the Forest by Phyllis Gershator
 
Songs and Fingerplays
Going on a Moose Hunt
(refrain)
We're going on a moose hunt!
We're gonna catch a big one!
I'm not scared!
Are you?
Not me!
Gotta open the gate
Now we're on a moose hunt
We're gonna catch a big one
I'm not afraid
Are you?
Not me!

We're coming to a mountain
It sure is high
It sure is wide
Can't go under it
Can't go around it
Gotta go over it
Well, there's nothing over here
Nothing over there
Gotta keep searching

Oh! I think I see something
Quick! Everybody run!
(refrain)

We're going thru the tall grass
It sure is high
It sure is wide
Can't go under it
Can't go around it
Gotta go through it
Well, there's nothing over here
Nothing over there
Gotta keep searching

Oh! I think I see something
Quick! Everybody run!
(refrain)

Oh, no!
It's a big puddle of mud
It sure is deep
It sure is wide
Can't go under it
Can't go around it
Gotta go through it
Squish, squash, blaahhh
Well, there's nothing over here
Nothing over there
Gotta keep searching

Oh! Is there something up here?
Wipe all your mud off!
(refrain)
We're coming to a river
It sure is big
No bridge going over it
No tunnel going under it
And we're gonna have to swim
All right, dive in!
Start swimming
Do the back stroke
Do the side stroke
Do the doggie paddle
Try the little cat paddle
OK Jump out, shake yourself off.
(refrain)

Shhh, it's a dark forest
Looks like the kind of forest that m-moose live in
I don't know if I want to go in there
You think we should?
There's probably a moose in there
All right I'll go in, You stay here,
And if I find a moose, I'll come out and get you
And we'll all go in and grab him together
Now, quiet, don't make a sound while I'm in there,
Cuz if you wake him up, I'll be in trouble
Moose are awful cranky when you wake them up
OK, I'm going on in
Oooo, It's dark in here
I can't see a thing
Agh, there's spiders webs
Ooo, what was that???
What's this??. . it's soft, uh oh,it's kind of fuzzy.
I feel big antlers...

Ah! Run! Everybody run!
I saw a moose!
Jump in the water! Swim fast!
Do the backstroke!
The sidestroke, the doggie paddle
Jump out of the water
Run through the mud!
Go through the tall grass
Quick! Go up the mountain
Down the other side
Go thru the gate
Into the house, under the bed
Under the pillow
Hide!
 
Way Up High
Way up in the sky, the little owls fly.
Way down in the nest, the little owls rest
With a wing on the left and a wing on the right
The little owls sleep tonight.
Shhhh.... the little owlets are sleeping.
Then up comes the sun, the moon goes away
"Good morning! Good morning!" the little owls say.

Ranger McDonald had a Forest
(Old McDonald tune)

Ranger McDonald had a forest, E-I-E-I-O
And in that forest, he had a bear, E-I-E-I-O
With a grr grr here, and a grr grr there
Here a grr, there a grr, everywhere a grr grr
Ranger McDonald had a forest, E-I-E-I-O
--Traditional, Adapted by Andie Jaye
 
Literacy
F Page for Alphabet Book
Create a page for the alphabet book. Each page is blank except for the week's letter. Children can be provided with an open-ended activity to decorate the page of their book.  Or you can use the suggested activities to set up an activity to create the page. Once done, pages can be laminated and bound with spiral binding or rings. You can find a template for this book here.

Dramatic Play
Where are the Bunnies? song and game.
 
 

 
 
Click the link below to download 


 If you missed any of the other lesson plans in this series, you can find them here:
 
I'd love for you to join us on our adventure! If you share on social media, use the hashtag #toddlerplayschool so I can see all of your wonderful activities!
 



Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

21 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids

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Years ago, while teaching preschool in a classroom setting, I was introduced to Laurie Berkner's music.  It was love at first song, lol. Aside from the fact that Laurie's songs make great foundations for learning activities, they also speak the language of children, which is why I love them so much.  Laurie and her band have just released another amazing album, entitled "Superhero". Laurie explains the title track by saying, "I believe we are all superheroes and that kids in particular can feel empowered by realizing how they can help others."
 
This post is sponsored by Waldmania PR.
 
So I thought, what better way to celebrate the new CD's release than to share some ways that your kids can be superheroes through random (or not so random) acts of kindness.
 
Set up a take home a soldier program at your church.

Go through your bookshelf and pull out gently loved books to give to a local shelter.

Return a shopping cart to the parking lot corral for someone.

Make a survival kit for some of your local police officers.

Make blessing bags for the homeless. You can drop these by your local shelter or keep in the car to pass out to those you come across.


Surprise a family you know with a "Dinner is on Us" basket.

Send a care package to soldier.

Help your kids make no sew dog toys from old t-shirts for a local rescue group.

Read books to get friends and family to donate canned food for local food bank.

Drop off cookies to your local Fire Department on holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.


Rake leaves or shovel snow for elderly neighbor.

Leave quarters taped to trinket machines at stores as a little surprise for a special kiddo.

Set up a lemonade stand for whatever your child's favorite cause is.

Trick or treat for UNICEF and collect spare change to help children all over the world.

Fill a shoebox as a family for Operation Christmas Child.


 
Sponsor a child with The Raining Season. You'll get to correspond with your child and have monthly Skype sessions with them.

Collect old blankets and donate them to an animal shelter.

Make fleece tie blankets and donate them to your local foster care program.

Collect socks, underwear, and stuffed buddies to make "bedtime bags" for a local foster care program. These basic necessities are often the most needed.

Ask friends and family for unused coats, gloves, and hats that can be given to a local shelter.

Collect pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House.


There are so many ways that we can help our kids to make the world a better place and to positively affect the world around them.  Laurie actually has an amazing Kickstarter program going on right now.  She wants to bring a live concert to 5 hospitals or schools for children with special needs.  She is a superhero in her own right. Which is why I want to make sure her music inspires as many families as possible. Get your copy of Laurie Berkner's new CD here!


 



Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Waldmania PR.
I received a free CD for this opportunity, however, all opinions are mine.
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