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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Winter Sensory Writing Practice Trays for Kids

It doesn’t snow where we live here in Melbourne. In fact, I have probably seen actual, real snow only two or three times in my entire life. I do love the idea of snow though, and how pretty it looks – I am not sure I love that it’s so cold!

In this activity, you will make a fun sensory writing tray that uses coconut as it’s sensory base. The coconut sort of resembles snow, and as well as feeling great – it smells divine! Making this activity is a true sensory learning experience, and a fun way to keep writing practice interesting.

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This is what you will need:

  • A shallow dish or container. We used this tray from Melissa and Doug. Here is an amazon affiliate link to the product:
Melissa & Doug 3781 Lace and Trace Activity Set: 5 Wooden Panels and 5 Matching Laces – Farm
  • Coconut
  • Paintbrush
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This is what you will need to do:

1. Pour a small amount of coconut into your tray or dish so that it is covered with a thin layer of coconut. I rarely use food as a crafting material – it is such a waste. But I found this in my pantry and it was close to its use by date, so we decided to use a small amount in this activity.

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2. Place your tray of coconut on a flat surface. You may like to spread out an old sheet or some paper towel under your tray to catch any coconut spills and make clean up easy. Then start writing in the tray. This time, we used a paintbrush to keep things interesting. But you can use any tool that you like – or even just your finger!

We started with letters. I typed up some words and then we used our paint brush to write each letter in the coconut snow! Once you have formed your letter, simply smooth over the coconut letter and start again!

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Don’t feel restricted to only writing letters. Try writing numbers and add some counters to practice counting, subitising and 1:1 correspondence skills. [Have you heard of the term subitising before? Subitising is the ability to recognize the number of objects in a small group without actually counting each item out].

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And you can also practice shape formation too! To do this, I simply printed out some shapes and then placed them next to the tray for my little guys to copy.

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These are the shapes that I printed. You can download your own shape file here:

Once you have finished with your writing tray, you might like to store the coconut in an air tight container to use again another day. You might even like to dye your coconut with some food coloring. It is up to you how you choose to play and learn!

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Thank you so much for reading! Any thoughts or questions, please pop them in the comments section below. Jacinta Xx

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Please enjoy these fun FREE winter counting printables!

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The Best Nature Crafts for Kids

Getting out and exploring our neighborhood and enjoying nature has been so important to us this year. It has allowed for fresh air, calm and a change of scenery! While we have been out and about exploring, we have collected all sorts of beautiful natural specimens that we have turned into these wonderful crafts!

!WARNING! remember to watch for car and bike traffic while out walking, and always walk safely with an adult.

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Nature Vases

These vases are made from a piece of recycled cardboard, this particular one was cut from the side of a delivery box, and are a great way to go on a nature hunt around your local neighborhood.

This is what you will need:

Recycled cardboard

Marker pens

Bamboo skewer

!WARNING! please be careful when using the bamboo skewers to make holes in the card. Bamboo skewers are sharp. It is strongly recommended that an adult makes the holes in the card using the bamboo skewer.

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Draw a vase onto the piece of cardboard with black marker pen. Add some pattern and detail to your vase. Feel free to be as creative as you like! Then, color your vase with marker pens.

2. Take your bamboo skewer and make holes in the cardboard above the vase. Remember that bamboo skewers are sharp! So it is best to ask an adult to do this step.

3. Take your cardboard outdoors and search your neighborhood for colorful flowers and leaves. Push the stems of the leaves and flowers through the holes in the card.

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Flower Crowns

This gorgeous flower crown craft is super easy to put together! You will only need a couple of easy to source materials to make this beautiful piece of art.

This is what you will need:

Recycled cardboard

Pencil

Scissors

Acrylic paint

Paintbrush

Black marker pen

Bamboo skewer

!WARNING! please be careful when using the bamboo skewers to make holes in the card. Bamboo skewers are sharp. It is strongly recommended that an adult makes the holes in the card using the bamboo skewer.

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Using your pencil, draw the face shape onto your piece of cardboard. Cut around your drawing with pencil. Then paint the hair and use the marker pen to draw the face.

2. Carefully take the bamboo skewer and make holes across the hairline. Remember that bamboo skewers are sharp! It is best to ask an adult to do this step!

3. Now head outside on a nature hunt and search for all sorts of flowers that will make a beautiful flower crown!

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Nature Color Hunt

This nature hunt is fun to make and is a great way to learn colors! Again, all you will need is a piece of recycled cardboard and some paint to make your very own.

This is what you will need:

Recycled cardboard

Paint

Paintbrush

Bamboo skewer

!WARNING! please be careful when using the bamboo skewers to make holes in the card. Bamboo skewers are sharp. It is strongly recommended that an adult makes the holes in the card using the bamboo skewer.

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Paint strips of color onto the piece of recycled cardboard.

2. Carefully use the bamboo skewer to make holes along each strip of color. Remember that the bamboo skewers are sharp. It is best to ask an adult to do this step.

You may even like to add some little labels to bring some literacy and early reading skills into the activity.

3. Head outside and collect all sorts of flower and leaf specimens and push them into their correct colored holes.

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There are so many fun ways to use nature specimens in kids crafts! What is your favorite activity? Thank you for reading! Jacinta Xx

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Here are some fun free printables for you!

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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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DIY Rocket Launch for Kids

Here is a super easy science craft for kids. These rocket launches are actually amazing! And, all you will need to make one is two paper cups, two elastic bands and a pair of scissors. Then if you like, you can add some extra construction paper decorations to turn one of the cups into a rocket, but this is not essential. The launch will work with plain, undecorated cups too.

This craft is perfect for kids of all ages. Preschoolers will be amazed playing around with these, while older children can use them to help explain important physics principles such as force, mass and acceleration.

This is what you will need:

2 paper cups

2 elastic bands

Scissors

If you would like to make a rocket, you will also need:

Colored construction paper

Tissue paper

Tape

(You can see that I also put some aluminum foil in the picture. We didn’t use this in the end – it was really hard to wrap around the cup securely. By all means use it if you would like though!)

This is what you will need to do:

  1. Make 4 snips in the cup. Then, snip each elastic band once to form a long piece of elastic.

2. Attach the two elastic bands to the cup. The trick here is to not pull the elastics too tight. You want to retain the original shape of the cup, or as close to it as possible.

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3. Tie each end of the elastic band to secure. Trim any excess elastic.

4. You can now launch your paper cup! To do this, place your unaltered cup upside down on a flat surface. Then gently press the elastic bands on your second cup down on top. Let go and watch the cup fly.

5. If you would like to turn you cup into a rocket, tape some strips of colored tissue paper to the inside of the cup.

6. Then cut some pieces of colored construction paper to decorate the body of the rocket. I added two windows and some fins. But you can decorate your rocket any way that you like. You might like to add your name or even a nose cone! Just be careful not to make it too heavy. Heavy cups won’t launch very high!

7. Once you have decorated your rocket. Press it onto the launch cup, let it go and watch it fly!

I hope you have making your own rocket launcher. Jacinta Xx

Chromatography Science for Kids

I love this super easy chromatography experiment for kids! It kind of reminds me of the actual chromatography techniques I used in the lab as a student. Most importantly though, this experiment is fun! It is so magical watching the colors appear.

Paper chromatography is a scientific technique that is used to separate and identify individual components within mixtures. It can be used to identify proteins and even genes in a mixture of liquids. In this activity, we simply use chromatography to make the colors magically appear on our robots.

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This is what you will need:

Paper towel

Washable marker pens (the pens must be washable for this experiment to work).

Black permanent marker

Shallow plate or dish

Water

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Tear the paper towel into individual sheets and fold each piece in half. Open the paper towel and draw on the right hand side of the fold with the washable markers. You can draw anything that you like. We drew robots for this experiment. And if you prefer, you can lightly draw your pictures with pencil first and then color with markers.

2. Fold the paper towel back over and trace around your drawings with black permanent marker. Add as much detail as you like.

Here is a picture of the four robots that we drew.

3. Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of a dish or container.

4. Gently drop your paper towel directly into the water. The colors that you have drawn will magically appear.

The most important part of this experiment is that you use washable markers. The experiment doesn’t work as well, if at all, if you use permanent, non washable markers for your coloring.

Here is a super fun robot memory match game for you! Thanks so much for reading! Jacinta Xx Enjoy

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Bubblegum Art

I posted this activity over on my Instagram a couple of weeks back and wow was it popular! The girls and I had been home and were bored, so we searched through Pinterest for a fun art activity to try together. We stumbled across a similar activity and instantly knew that it would be fun!

Here is how we put our own little spin on this fun art activity.

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This is what you will need:

White A4 paper

Cardstock

Black marker pen

Coloured markers, pencils or crayons

Scissors

Balloon

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This is what you will need to do:

1. Draw a face with black marker pen onto a piece of white paper.

2. Color the picture.

3. Add a pattern to the background and lots more color. We pasted some confetti onto the cheeks!

4. At this point, paste your picture down onto some card. You don’t have to do this, but the paper on its own might be a little flimsy to hold when you are blowing your balloon.

5. Use your scissors to make a small hole where the mouth would be. Remember that scissors are sharp. Always be careful when using scissors and closely supervise children using scissors.

5. Gently press the balloon through the hole.

6. Blow the balloon up!

Thanks so much for reading! If you have any comment or questions, pop them below and I will get back to you. Jacinta Xx

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If you would like to make a girl balloon art, here’s a template:

If you would like to make a boy balloon art, here’s a template:

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Bee Scissor Skills

This scissor skill activity is one of my favorites. The bees are super easy to put together, and are a great tool for developing scissor skills in kids. And if you don’t like the idea of cutting through the adorable bees, I have included a FREE printable for you that doesn’t involve snipping through any of these cute little guys.

This is what you will need:

Colored construction paper

Pencil

Scissors

Glue stick or tape

Black marker pen

Googly eyes

!WARNING! Remember that scissors are sharp. Adults should always closely supervise children when they are using scissors.

This is what you will need to do:

1. Trace a circle shape onto the yellow paper with pencil. You might like to go on a shape hunt around your home to find the perfect size circle to trace. Think drinking glasses or cups, small containers and side plates.

2. Next, cut the circles out with scissors.

3. Cut some wings for your bees from light blue paper. I drew little heart shapes and then cut them out. While you have the scissors out, cut a small triangle shaped stinger from black paper.

4. Attach the wings and the stinger to the back of the bees with tape or glue.

5. Turn the bees over and draw line patterns on the bees with black marker pen. Try drawing dotted lines, zig-zag and curly lines. Finish your bees with a smiley face and glue down a googly eye.

6. Now you are ready to start cutting! Cut carefully along the lines with scissors.

If you don’t like the idea of cutting through the bees, here is another fun scissor skill activity for you.

If you don’t have the time to make these bees, here is a fun printable that is similar.

And if you would like read to more about developing scissor skills in your children, have a look at the post I published a couple of days ago. There are so many ideas there for you. Thanks for reading! Jacinta Xx