Sunday, August 16, 2020

New name! New look! Coming soon!

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Hello, friends! Sometime in the next week, the name of this site will be changing. You'll see a new name, a new setup, and new icons. But don't worry, it's the same me!! Just now known as Do.Play.Learn.

Do Play Learn kids activities

It's been over 8 years since I started this blogging journey. The blog name, Crayon Freckles, was initially chosen based on the children I had at the time. One had freckles, the other liked to draw with crayons. Over time, the content has changed a bit. I've started to really focus on my purpose for creating this page: to share creative play ideas and parenting resources.I feel like Do.Play.Learn is more indicative of my goal for the type of activities I create, resources I recommend, and information I bring to you. I hope you all stick around through this transition. It's going to be great! I've got so many super fun plans to maximize this site for you!






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Monday, December 9, 2019

Tissue Paper Dinosaur Suncatcher and Dino Hunt Book Review

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Dinosaurs are one of those preschool themes that never fail to interest and thrill young learners. After winding down Dinovember, my 5 year old was interested in reading some books about dinosaurs. As luck would have it, a new dinosaur children’s picture book has come out that can help us do just that!


Dinosaur preschool craft for Dino Hunt book LaTulippe

This post may contain Affiliate links. More here.

I’ve been friends with Janine over at True Aim Learning for quite a few years now. When I heard that her talented husband, Briton LaTulippe, was working on a children’s picture book I was so excited. I saw sneak peaks and heard snippets about it on Facebook here and there. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out they sent us and our Dinovember dinosaurs our very own free copy of the book to read!

Dinovember ideas plastic dinosaurs reading dinosaur book

What impressed me most about the book Dino Hunt is the amazing images. The details in them is amazing. My kids found the little caveman’s journeys on his hunt for a perfect dinosaur humorous.... especially at the end when the truth about his “hunt” comes to light. After I found out there are free printable dinosaur coloring sheets that go along with the book, I knew we had to do a fun dinosaur craft with them! Here’s how we did it:

Dinosaur Suncatcher Craft for Kids

Items needed:
Cardstock paper
Tissue paper in desired color
Clear contact paper
Scissors
Markers/crayons/colored pencils
Glue stick

Ahead of time, cut squares of tissue paper in the color(s) chosen by the child. Print out a dinosaur outline. We used one of the Dino Hunt coloring sheets. I cut it out around the main shape, avoiding all of the details to make it a bit easier. Trace the outline onto a piece of white cardstock. Then cut out the inside design as shown below. 
Dinosaur suncatcher template

Now you’re ready for some sensory crafting fun! Tape a piece of 8"x10" clear contact paper down to the workspace, sticky side up. (You will need a second piece of contact paper the same size later.)

Encourage the child to stick down the tissue paper squares onto the contact paper. The more colors and layers used, the more depth the final provider will have.
dinosaur suncatcher made with tissue paper

Once done, place the second sheet of contact paper, sticky side down onto the first sheet (creating a tissue square sandwich). Use a glue stick to spread glue around the back side of the cardstock cutout. Then adhere the contact paper to the back side of the cardstock.
how to assemble tissue paper suncatcher

Hold up to the light and see your masterpiece! Your little crafter may leave the cardstock blank or they may wish to decorate it like mine did. 
Dinosaur suncatcher preschool craft

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Dino Hunt to go along with this activity!

Dino Hunt Briton LaTulippe




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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Llama Llama Learns to Read

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Being able to identify the alphabet is the stepping stone to recognizing sight words and independent reading. It's always wonderful when books can tie into these important skills. So when Penguin Books sent us the latest Llama Llama book, we fell in love! Practicing the ABCs doesn't have to be boring or redundant. See how I used this book to draw my little learner into working with the ABCs.

This post may contain Affiliate links. More here.

A Note from the Publisher: Anna Dewdey passed away in September, 2016, at the age of fifty from cancer. A teacher, mother, and enthusiastic proponent of reading aloud to children, she continually honed her skills as an artist and writer and published her first Llama Llama book in 2005. Her passion for creating extended to home and garden and she lovingly restored an 18th century farmhouse in southern Vermont. She wrote, painted, gardened, and lived there with her partner, Reed, her two daughters, two wirehaired pointing griffons, and one bulldog. Anna was a warm-hearted, wonderful, wise soul who will be forever missed, but whose spirit lives on in her books.


Llama Llama Loves to Read is a darling addition to the Llama Llama series. Over the course of his day, Llama Llama gets help to practice his letters, reads stories, goes to the library. And by the end of the day, little Llama is on his way to becoming a reader. Get your copy  here. After reading the book, we did a fun alphabet activity that fits right in with the theme of the book.

Items Needed:
ABC Matching Printable
laminator (optional... this is the one we use)
ABC magnets

Preparation: 
1. Ahead of time, print out the ABC matching printable available below. You may want to print out two copies to use with each of the activity variations.
2. It is suggested that you laminate printable pages for durability if they are going to be used more than once or with several children.
3. Set out the activity in the variation you choose on a tray or inexpensive cookie sheet to create an invitation to learn. Invitations to learn are eye-catching set ups that garner a child's curiosity about the activity. I like to set them up on trays/cookie sheets because it helps to keep small pieces somewhat contained.

Activity Variation #1
After printing and laminating pages, cut out each Upper/Lowercase letter card. Place at a learning center with alphabet magnets. Encourage young learners to match the magnets to their corresponding letter card.



Activity Variation #2
After cutting out letter cards as in Variation #1, split each card in half (separating the upper and lower case versions. Children can then match the uppercase letters to their lowercase partners.


Click the link below to download





Here are some other great ways to help children learn their ABCs:
Take the alphabet outside with this fun Llama Llama related activity.
Go on a letter sounds scavenger hunt.
Hop through the alphabet with this board game for kids.
Practice letter shapes with buttons.
Play an alphabet matching game with milk caps.
Make sight words out of clothespins.
Go on an alphabet hunt.
Have a letter sounds race.
Trace letter shapes with legos.
Match pictures with letters they start with in a first letter sounds activity
Practice building sight words with this car phonics game.


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