Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 10 Crayon Freckles Posts of 2016

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This year has brought some amazing blessings to our family and to this little blog.  Readers are back up. There are more than 2.4k following us on Facebook. We are almost 11k strong on Pinterest. It's been a good year in regards to on Pinterest. It's been a good year in regards to the number of people my messages have been able to reach. But I want more. Specifically more engagement.  While performers thrive on the applause of the audience, I want to interact with people. I'm curious about what types of activities you'd like to see more of or what parenting topics you'd like explored.
 
All that being said, here are the ten posts that people responded to most during 2016...











So there you have it. Looking for common threads among these posts, it seems that printable posts and honest parenting posts are what are best received. So what topics would YOU like to see in these in 2017? Drop me a line here and let me know.
 



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Friday, December 30, 2016

Toddler Playschool: P is for Pets {free printable}

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We are back at Toddler Playschool with this free printable lesson plan for the letter P. Sunny currently loves Doc McStuffins, who has lots of pet vet stuff out. So we are exploring all things pet related. Pets are something very simple and fun that can lend a lot to the classroom or home learning environment. I'm so exited to share all of these early learning pet activities with you! 
 
 
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
One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck
Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward
Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett
 
Songs and Fingerplays
B-I-N-G-O
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
(clap) -I-N-G-O
(clap)
-I-N-G-O
(clap) -I-N-G-O
And Bingo was his name-o.
(repeat, substituting claps for letters until no more letters)
 
5 Little Kittens
Five little kittens standing in a row. (Extend left fingers up, palm out)
They nod their heads to the children so. (Bend fingers forward.)
They run to the left, they run to the right. (Wiggle fingers to left and then to right.)
They stand up and stretch in the bright sunlight. (Stretch fingers slowly.)
Along comes a dog, who's in for some fun. (Move right fist slowly toward stretching fingers.)
Meow! Hiss! Meow! See those kittens run! (Run left fingers behind back.)
 
Way Up in the Sky
Way up in the sky, the little birds fly.
Way down in the nest, the little birds rest
With a wing on the left and a wing on the right
The little birds sleep tonight.
Shhhh.... the little birdies are sleeping.
Then up comes the sun, the moon goes away
"Good morning! Good morning!" the little birds say.
 
I'm a Little Fishy (I'm a Little Teapot tune)
I'm a little fishy, I can swim.
Here is my tail and here are my fins.
I swim around my bowl and splash all day.
But tap on the glass and I'll swim away.
 
 
 
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!
 



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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Year in Review for Kids {free printable}

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We're closing in on the end of 2016. I love looking back on the year with my kiddos. We haven't done a Year in Review in a couple of years, but I'm hoping to revive the tradition. So I created this cute, little free printable that can be used to document our kiddos' year as they saw it. These are super cute to collect year after year and compile into a book for when they're older!
 
 
 
Click the link below to download 

 



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Monday, December 26, 2016

Toddler Playschool: Winter Fun for Kids {free printable}

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We're taking a little break from exploring the alphabet in our Toddler Playschool. This week, we are focusing on winter-themed activities for toddlers.  All of the activities that we're doing are suitable for toddlers through early elementary students.  I planned them because I've got both kiddos home and want to keep them busy.  There are so many fun books about winter that can be used for inspiration for this time of year!
 
  
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
Snow! Snow! Snow! by Lee Harper
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
Holly's Red Boots by Francesca Chessa
 
Songs and Fingerplays
5 Little Snowflakes
One little snowflake with nothing to do,
Along came another and
Then there were two.
 
Two little snowflakes laughing with me,
Along came another and 
Then there were three.
 
Three little snowflakes looking for some more,
Along came another and 
Then there were four.
1-2-3-4.
 
Four little snowflakes dancing a jive,
Along came another and 
Then there were five.
1-2-3-4-5.
Five little snowflakes having so much fun.
Out came the sun and
Then there were none.
 
The Snowy Day movie
 
10 Little Snowmen (10 Little Indians)
1 little, 2 little, 3 little snowmen
4 little, 5 little, 6 little snowmen
7 little, 8 little, 9 little snowmen
10 little snowmen in a drift
 
 
 
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!
 



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Sunday, December 18, 2016

How to Help Children Handle Grief During the Holidays

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I'm sitting here... in a quiet house. Staring at the Christmas tree glowing in the dark living room.  December always seems like the hardest month to get through.  It's a tough time of year when loved ones who aren't with us, either spiritually or physically, are missed.  Our family has dealt with both... The absence of a loved one who had passed and making it through the holidays with the kids' dad being deployed. These empty seats at our Christmas tables are hard enough for us as adults. But how do they affect our children? Here are some different ways you can help children deal with the absence of a loved one during Christmas time.

Read some books about death and grieving written just for kids.

Write letters as a family for that special someone.

Create a new tradition in honor of your loved one.

Do a random act of kindness or make a donation to a cause your loved one supported.

Purchase an item your loved one would have appreciated and donate it to a local charity.

Donate altar flowers to your church in your loved one's name.

Dealing with a deployment? Use these tips to make it through the holidays.

Light a candle or display a photo of your loved one during holiday get-togethers. 

Have a moment of silence before eating in your loved one's honor.

Talk with your children about how they're feeling.  Let them know that it's okay to be sad. Share each other's happy memories of your loved one.

Turn your loved one's belongings into gifts for family. They can be teddy bears made from old clothing, shadowboxes, or even jewelry made with their signature.

Make a memorial ornament in honor of your loved one to hang on the tree each year. It doesn't have to be serious, either.  Did Grandma have a penchant for feeding the neighborhood squirrels? Hang a silly squirrel ornament in her memory every year.

Leave an empty chair at the dinner table in their honor.



My thoughts and prayers are with all of your families during this holiday season. It's not easy, but you will make it through. You have the strength for this... 
 



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Friday, December 16, 2016

Toddler Playschool: Christmas Fun for Kids {free printable}

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We're taking a little break from exploring the alphabet in our Toddler Playschool. I thought I'd do a couple bonus lesson plans, first for toddler Christmas activities, then winter themed toddler activities. We'll pick back up with the letter P after the first of the year.  The Christmas activity calendar is a little different than ones in the past. The literacy category has been removed so that I could add two different types of books.  I know that all families are different and some classrooms have restrictions on religious based plans, so I tried to find resources that to focus on the Reason for the Season, as well as the more secular holiday traditions.
 
 
 
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
Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate
This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree by Crystal Bowman

Songs and Fingerplays
5 Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen standing in a line
One, Two, Three, Four, Five
So fine
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh
We'll see you next year
Bye Bye!
(repeat with one less snowman until they're all gone)


Away in a Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my bedside 'til morning is night

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me for ever and love me, I pray
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there


Jingle Bells
Find it here

The First Noel
Find it here

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Find it 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!
 



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Friday, December 9, 2016

Toddler Playschool: O is for Ocean Animals {free printable}

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There are so very few topics that come to mind when trying to create lesson plans for toddlers for the letter O.  Fish and ocean creatures are so very fascinating to most little ones, so I thought it would be entertaining to use them as our theme for this week's Toddler Playschool free printable lesson plan. 
 
 
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
Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone
 
Songs and Fingerplays
All the Fish are Swimming
All the fish are swimming in the water
Swimming in the water
Swimming in the water
All the fish are swimming in the water
Splish, splash, splish, splash, splish!             
(repeat with a great big fish in a low voice and tiny fish in a high, fast voice)
 
5 Little Seashells
Five little seashells lying on the shore
Swoosh, went the waves and then there were four.
Four little seashells pretty as can be
Swoosh, went the waves and then there were three.
Three little seashells all pearly and new
Swoosh, went the waves and then there were two.
Two little seashells lying in the sun
Swoosh, went the waves and then there was one.
One little seashell lying all alone
I picked it up and took it home.
 
Once I Caught a Fish Alive
One, two, three, four, five.
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine ,ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right.
 
Three Seahorses (3 Blind Mice)
Three seahorse, three seahorses
See how they swim, see how they swim
Their tails go left, their tails go right
They swim so fast in the ocean light
Did you ever see such a wonderful sight
As three seahorses?
 
 
 
 
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!
 



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Friday, December 2, 2016

Toddler Playschool: N is for Nighttime {free printable}

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What lesson plan topic for the letter N is a favorite with toddlers and preschoolers... Bedtime.  Haha... right? I know so many of us struggle with this time of the day as parents.  But maybe some of these activities in this free nighttime lesson plan can help make bedtime more appealing to your little one.  
 
  
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
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
The Squeaky, Creaky Bed by Pat Thompson
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
 
Songs and Fingerplays
The Wheels on the Train (The Wheels on the Bus tune)
The wheels on the train go round and round
Round and round, round and round
The wheels on the train go round and round
All through the town
(repeat for the following)
Conductor on train says "tickets please"
Engine on the train goes "chugga chugga choo"
People on the train go bumpy bumpy bump
 
5 Little Llamas Jumping on the Bed (5 Little Monkeys tune)
Five little llamas jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
"No more llamas jumping on the bed!"
(repeat for 4-1 llamas)
 
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?
   
 
 
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.
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