The Easiest Valentine’s Collage Craft for Kids

We first put this activity together a couple of years ago using stickers. We had so much fun with it that we decided to recreate it again this year using paper collage. It’s a fun activity that inspires creativity and develops hand eye co-ordination, color recognition and size order. And, if you do not have the collage materials on hand at home, scroll down and download the FREE printable worksheet version.

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This is what you will need:

White sheet of printer paper

Colored construction paper

Scissors

Heart shape hole punch (optional)

Ruler

Black marker pen

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Prepare your worksheet. For this, I simply drew colored hearts down the left hand side of the white piece of printer paper. Then I ruled lines across the page with the black marker pen. Alternatively, you could print out the FREE template file below.

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2. Then using your heart shaped hole punch, make a whole bunch of colored hearts. You can make as many as you like, but try and make at least 5-6 of each color. Any excess hearts that you make can easily be used in another craft project!

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3. Next, simply color match your paper hearts to their correct line. You could paste the hearts down with some glue, or you can simply match the hearts in place along the line, and then once you are finished, move them away so that you can play over and over again.

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Thank you so much for reading. Please find the free printable worksheets below. Enjoy ! Jacinta Xx.

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Easy Weather Crafts for Kids

We have been fascinated with watching, recording and predicting the weather lately. Here in Melbourne, Australia, the weather can be a little erratic. It’s summer at the moment which for us means that it might be a hot 40 degree (Celsius) day, or 14 degrees with wind and rain. And even though the weather is so unpredictable, I do love where we live. How is the weather where you live? Is it more predictable than Melbourne?

Scroll down to see some of our favorite weather activities and to download a free weather chart and some other FREE fun worksheets.

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The first activity I want to share is this fun fine motor lacing board. It is made from a piece of recycled cardboard, so its super inexpensive to make. And once you have made the board, you will be able to use it over and over again.

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What you will need:

A piece of recycled cardboard

Blue paint

Paint brush

White paper

Scissors

Glue stick

Bamboo skewer

White yarn

Plastic needle

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What you will need to do:

1. Cut your piece of cardboard to size. You can cut your piece of card any size that you like. The board that I made is approximately 30 x 30 cm. Next, I painted the board blue using acrylic paint and allowed the paint to dry completely. Once the paint was dry I pasted down a cloud shape onto the cardboard using a glue stick. I then used a bamboo skewer to make holes in the cardboard.

WARNING! bamboo skewers are sharp. It is a good idea for adults to make the holes in the card using the skewer.

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2. Thread some yarn onto a plastic needle and stich some rain falling. You might like to stitch straight lines, or increase the hand eye coordination required and sew some zig zag lines. It is totally up to you how you play.

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The second activity that I want to share with you is this super easy to make weather chart. To make one like ours, I simply painted a piece of recycled cardboard with acrylic paint and then pasted weather icons onto the cardboard. We then used a peg to mark the day that we recorded the weather.

This is what you will need:

A piece of recycled cardboard

Washi tape

Scissors

A printed copy of my free weather printables

Glue stick

Pegs

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Cut a piece of recycled cardboard to size. There is no set size that your card should be. For reference, our piece of cardboard is approximately 30cm long and 20cm wide.

2. I then painted the cardboard with blue acrylic paint and allowed the paint to dry completely.

3. When the paint was dry, I divided the cardboard into six sections using washi tape.

4. Then I simply printed out weather icons and pasted them onto the cardboard. You will find the FREE printables below.

5. Finally, I labelled some small pegs with the words today, yesterday and tomorrow. I printed these labels, but you could very easily write the words on the pegs.

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You will find your FREE weather chart printable here:

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Easy Winter Math for Kids

I love this colorful mitten number match game I posted on my Instagram this morning! The mittens are super simple to cut from colored construction paper and then you can play with them anyway that you like. You could match pom poms, stickers – any loose parts that you might have. Don’t feel restricted to only adding the pegs.

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What you will need:

Construction paper

Pencil

Scissors

Glue

Pegs or clothespins

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What you will need to do:

1. Draw and cut mitten shapes from colored construction paper. I used my Cricut maker to cut mine. Once you have cut your mitten shapes, label them with a number.

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2. Match pegs or loose parts to each mitten. You can match numbers, colors, shapes – anything that you like.

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Here are some fun and FREE mitten match printables for you!

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Thanks so much for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments you might have below and I will get back to you! Jacinta Xx

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Free Christmas Countdown Printable for Kids

I really love the lead up to Christmas and the holidays. It is honestly my most favorite time of the year! I love how excited our kids get, and how they count down the days until the 25th of December.

We always have a couple of Advent calendar countdowns on the go in our house each December. This year, the girls and I decided to make some of our own! And they are so cute, I thought that I would share them with you. They are similar to popular ones circulating Facebook and Pinterest, but we have put our own little spin on each! I really hope that you enjoy them!

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To make the Santa Christmas Countdown you will need:

A copy of the free printable (scroll down to the end of this article)

White school glue (or any other glue that you already have at home)

Cotton balls

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To make the Santa Christmas Countdown you will need to:

1. Print a copy of the free Santa Countdown File.

2. Start your countdown on the 1st of December. Locate the number 24 (Hint: 24 is located on Santa’s hat!). Place some glue on the number 24 and press a cotton ball into the glue to secure.

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3. Continue to glue a single cotton ball down each day to make Santa’s beard.

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To make the Christmas Tree Countdown you will need:

A copy of the free Christmas Tree Countdown printable. (Scroll down to find it).

Pom poms

White school glue

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To make the Christmas Tree Countdown you will need to:

1. Print a copy of the free Christmas Tree Countdown printable worksheet.

2. Start your countdown on the 1st of December. Locate the number 24 and place a drop of on the number. Press a pom pom into the glue to secure. You might like to match the pom pom color to the color of the circle for each day.

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3. Continue to glue a single pom pom down each day to decorate the tree.

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To make the Color In Christmas Tree Countdown you will need:

A copy of the free Color In Christmas Tree printable (scroll down to the end of this article)

Colored crayons, pencils or marker pens

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To make the Color In Christmas Tree Countdown you will need to:

1. Print a copy of the free Color In Christmas Tree Countdown printable worksheet.

2. Start your countdown on the 1st of December. Locate the number 24 and color the circle with a brightly colored crayon, pencil or marker pen.

3. Continue to color a single circle each day to decorate the tree.

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Here are the printables that you need:

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Easy Christmas Activities for Kids

This fun activity is perfect to make in the lead up to these holidays. It’s great for developing color recognition, counting and fine motor skills. And the fact that it is made from recycled and easily accessible materials also means that it is inexpensive to set up!

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This is what you will need:

A piece of recycled cardboard

Pencil

Ruler

Green paint

Glue – I used white school (PVA) glue

Recycled bottle tops – I used milk bottle tops

Circle stickers

Pom poms

Tweezer or tongs

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Cut a piece of recycled cardboard to size. You can use any size piece of cardboard that you like. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a triangle shape and then paint it green. You might also like to paint a star on the top of your tree. I wish that I had! If you do not have green paint, you can always use crayons, marker pens or even pencils.

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2. Once your green paint is dry, glue down the bottle tops onto the tree. I lined our bottle tops up in rows, but feel free to spread them across your tree in any pattern that you like.

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3. Label the bottle tops with some colored circle stickers. If you do not have circle stickers, you could always cut some small circles from colored paper and glue them down instead.

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4. Match the pom poms to the bottle tops. Repeat and play over and over again. We used tweezers to transfer the pom poms to the bottle tops – this is great for developing fine motor skills – but feel free to use fingers, a peg or any other tongs that you might have at home!

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I hope that you enjoy this activity! Let me know how you find it! Jacinta Xx

If you are unable to make one of these Christmas trees yourself or if you would like a quick alternative, try this fun, FREE printable version of the game.

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And here are a couple more FREE holiday printable worksheets for you! There is a match the upper and lower case letter game, a count and color game and, a find and color the shapes game!

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I would love you to share these fun worksheets to Instagram! If you do, please tag me so that I can see how you used them.

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Easy Shape Activities for Kids

Learning how to recognize shapes and their properties is an essential early numeracy skill. My kids love learning all about shapes, and I love putting activities together that teach about shapes. As you can see in this post, shape activities can be so easy to set up, require few materials and can be played with over and over again.

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This is what you will needyou will only need three things!

A piece of recycled cardboard

Shape stickers – if you do not have stickers, simply use some marker pens to draw them!

Small pegs

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Trim your piece of cardboard to size. For reference, our piece of cardboard is about 30 cm long and 20 cm high. This is just a rough guide though, you can use any size piece of card that you like. Once you are happy with your cardboard, simply paste stickers around the edge of the card. Make sure you leave enough space to place a peg between the sticker and the actual edge of the card.

If you do not have shape stickers, simply draw some shapes with marker pens or colored pencils directly onto the card. You can draw any shape and use any colors that you like!

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2. Next, prepare your matching pegs. I used small shape stickers to label our pegs. As our game is a shape and color matching game, I made sure that the pegs were labelled with the same colored shape as the shapes on the cardboard.

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3. Now play! Simply match the pegs to the board. Attaching the pegs is great for fine motor skill development and for encouraging pincer grip – the finger grip required to hold a pencil.

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And the neat thing about this game is that there are so many ways to play. You could use a timer and see how quickly you can match the pegs or you could call out a shape or color and find the corresponding peg to match! And if you have colored pegs, you could even match colors to shapes. See the pictures below for that to make more sense 😉

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Thank you so much for reading! Jacinta Xx. I hope that you enjoy these fun shape printables!

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The Best Fall and Autumn Crafts for Kids

It feels a little strange writing this blog post about fall activities as it’s actually spring here in Melbourne. In fact, it’s a lovely sunny day! I do love Fall crafts though, especially ones I see coming out of the northern hemisphere where the falling leaves are beautiful reds and orange in color. Where we live, the leaves obviously fall, but we don’t really get the vibrant color changes. Mostly just green to brown!

We have tried a few fall crafts over the years, but this one was really fun! I do want to point out that it does require single use plastic bags – which from an environmental view – we hate using. To make the activity worthwhile, we added quite a bit of paint to each bag, so that it didn’t dry out and we could play longer, and we ensured that once we had finished with the bags, we disposed of them carefully. And you could always wash the bags out and reuse them again too if you like!

And please read through right to the end of post to find some fun FREE fall printables!

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This is what you will need:

Leaves

Zip-lock bags

Black marker pen

Paint

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Head outside to collect some leaves. Remember to always watch for car and bicycle traffic when you are walking your neighborhood, and make sure that adults accompany children at all times.

2. Trace the leaves onto the zip-lock bags with marker pen. You will have to make sure that you collect leaves that are slightly smaller than your bags. And if you can’t find any leaves that you LOVE, you could print some paper ones like we did!

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3. Then add some paint to your bags. I wanted to make our activity a color mixing activity as well as a fine motor activity, so we added two colors to each bag.

4. Once the paint is in the bag, you might like to tape the bag closed to secure. The last thing you want is little people opening the bags and spilling paint everywhere. My girls are older now and know not to open the bags, so I haven’t taped these ones!

I definitely recommend taping the bags though and supervising carefully throughout the activity to avoid any paint spills and damage to clothing and furniture.

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5. Once the paint is safely in the bag, squish it with your fingers. The idea is to both mix the colors together and keep the paint within the outlines of the leaves. This can be a little tricky for small children, especially when you are trying to mix the color evenly at the same time! See how you go!

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My girls really love this type of activity, and I love it because it’s relatively mess free! They get to use paint, which they really enjoy, and the paint stays in the bag for a quick and easy clean up!

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Have you seen this craft on my Instagram? These are leaves that we collected from our neighbors oak tree and colored with oil pastels. It looks much better over on Insta, but this is fun too if you are looking for a quick prep activity!

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And I nearly forgot to include these FREE printables! Enjoy! Jacinta Xx.

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Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids

Halloween is fast approaching and my kids are getting super excited! Even though the holiday will look a bit different this year and trick or treating probably wont be happening where we live – I am still determined to make it as fun as possible.

These three activities are super easy to set up and lots of fun to play. They each use clear sticky contact – the type that you would cover school books with. Clear contact is such a fun craft material! I always have some on hand at home.

Please note that the materials list in this post contain referral links!

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The first sticky contact activity that I want to share with you is this ghostly yarn art activity.

Here is what you will need:

A piece of recycled cardboard

Black and white construction paper

Crayola Construction Paper (120 Sheets)

Glue stick

Glue Stick Glu Stik 8g, 2 Pack, (30840251)

Clear Sticky Contact

Contact Self-Adhesive Clear Book Covering Roll (10M x 450MM)

Scissors

Blunt Tip Crayola Blunt Tip Scissors for Ages 4 Years and Up, (16187)

Washi Tape

Colored Masking Tape,Colored Painters Tape for Arts & Crafts, Labeling or Coding – Art Supplies for Kids – 6 Different Color Rolls – Masking Tape 1 Inch x 13 Yards (2.4cm X 12m)

White Yarn

RED HEART Super Saver Yarn, White
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Here is what you will need to do:

1. Place your cardboard on a flat surface. Draw a ghost on some black construction paper and glue it to the cardboard. Cut some eyes and a mouth from the white construction paper and paste down these pieces too! Cover the cardboard with clear contact – sticky side up. You may like to decorate your cardboard with a strip of colored washi tape to finish.

2. Cut a piece of white yarn and stick it down to the contact. You can start covering your ghost anywhere that you like. We started tracing around the edge of our ghost picture.

3. Keep sticking down the yarn until you have covered your entire ghost. The neat thing about this activity is that you can be as creative as you like with how you stick down the yarn. You might like to add long, straight lengths of yarn or you may like to swirl your yarn pieces.

4. And if you have younger children, you might like to use cotton balls to stick to your ghost. They work really well too and look great!

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The next activity I want to share with you is this fun erasable tracing board. This activity is great for developing fine motor skills and once you’ve made it, can be used over and over again! It’s a great way to save paper!

Here is what you will need:

Recycled Cardboard

Spider Web Printable (See step 1)

Clear Contact

Erasable Marker pens

Paper Towel

Here is what you will need to do:

1. Start by printing the PDF attached below and paste it to a piece of cardboard. Once the glue is dry, cover the printed sheet with clear contact. For this activity, you will stick the contact down as you would normally cover a book. You may like to finish the board with a washi tape boarder.

Here is the link for the spider web PDF:

2. Now trace away! Grab a dry erase or white board marker and start tracing!

3. Once you have finished tracing, simply grab some paper towel and wipe the marker away. Then you can start tracing again!

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The final activity that I want to share with you is this fun sticky mummy activity! This is such fun, and best of all, you only need a few simple materials to make one.

This is what you will need:

A piece of recycled cardboard

Black construction paper

Glue stick

Clear Contact

Scissors

White washi tape

This is what you will need to do:

1. Trace a circle shape onto black construction paper and paste the circle onto the piece of cardboard. Add some big eyes to the center of your circle. Cover the entire board with clear contact, smoothing any bubbles out with your fingers as you go. You may like to decorate the boarder of your cardboard with a strip of washi tape.

If you like, you can use this Mummy picture instead of drawing your own:

2. Next, grab your roll of washi tape and start adding strips to your mummy. Each of these strips that you add will represent the mummies bandages. You can either tear lengths of tape straight from the roll and attach to the board, or use your scissors to neatly snip. It’s up to you. Both ways will look great!

3. Once you have finished your Mummy, you can remove the tape from the clear contact. You probably won’t be able to use the tape again, but you will be able to reuse the board.

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I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and find it useful this Halloween holiday! Jacinta Xx

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Early Math Activities for Kids

I really love activities that develop math skills! Especially activities that encourage number recognition, counting skills, subitising and 1:1 correspondence. The activities that I describe here are perfect for developing all of these early numeracy skills. And best of all, you probably have everything you need to play at home already!

These activities are actually an extension of a recent blog article I posted entitled “Build A City.” You may have read it already? As well as working on the early math skills I listed above, these activities also introduce some simple addition and subtraction principles.

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This is what you will need:

Printed copy of the downloadable files

Lego, duplo bricks or building blocks

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Build a Tower

For this first activity, simply print out the “Build a Tower” file – you will find a link at the end of this paragraph. Then build a tower, stacking the number of bricks or blocks in each square. You will notice that the squares on the page are at different angles. This encourages your child to manipulate the angle of their tower on the page. This manipulation of angle is great for developing fine motor skills.

Here are the files that you will need. There is a black and white one, where you can match any color bricks to the squares, and a colored file. For this one, you can match colored bricks to each square.

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Add a Tower

You will get to practice some easy addition in this activity. Begin by printing out the downloadable file – again, you will find this file at the end of the paragraph. Then simply add the blocks together to build the towers.

Here is the file that you will need:

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Subtract a Tower

You guessed it! This next activity is subtract a tower. Start by printing the downloadable file and then substract the blocks. Place the resulting stack onto the corresponding square.

Here is the file that you will need:

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I really hope that you enjoy building these towers! Enjoy! Jacinta Xx

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Halloween Number Match for Kids

I first posted this super easy activity a couple of months back as a fun way for kids to practice their early number skills. The idea is to simply match the corresponding number of sticker or googly eyes to each number. This activity is perfect for practicing number recognition, number order, 1:1 correspondence and subitising skills.

Once you match the stickers to the numbers, it kind of makes the numbers look like monsters! So come October, this activity will be a super fun Halloween game too.

I have used stickers in the above pictures to label each number, but you can also use googly eyes! You can even use the googly eyes like counters, rather than gluing them down, so that you can play over and over again.

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This is what you will need:

Copy of the FREE printable file

Stickers or googly eyes

White school glue (optional)

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Print the free downloadable file.

2. You can now play any way that you like! You can use googly eyes to decorate your numbers, either gluing them down, or if you would like to use your print out over and over, simply use the googly eyes like counters. That way you can move them into place, and then clear them away.

!WARNING: Remember that googly eyes are a choking hazard. Always closely supervise your children and never give googly eyes to mouthing babies to play with!

3. I used some fun sticker eyes that we had at home to label the pictures that I posted over on Instagram. If you don’t have these stickers, you could try drawing some eyes with chalk or a white gel pen.

And that’s it! A really fun and super easy activity to play with your children or students this Halloween.

Before I forget, here is the FREE printable:

Thank you for reading. Jacinta Xx

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