Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth Day...or week

April 22nd was Earth Day.

Are you looking for activities to extend into the week you can find lots of goodies here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Giveaway

Audrey from Sleeping Bear Press was so good to send me a children story book to review for my “Try it on Tuesday” post. The book is “The Handkerchief Quilt” by Carol Crane and Gary Palmer. I love children’s books and this particular one, is a good one. I especially love books that inspire good morals and this book does exactly that.

The story takes place in a factory town in what I am guessing to be the 1950′s. Miss Anderson, one of the school teachers, comes to school after Christmas break to find a broken water pipe along with flooded classrooms and library. The townspeople were able to repair the damage but they were not able to pay to replace supplies and books.

Miss Anderson has the idea to make a quilt from handkerchiefs that had been gifted to her. With the help of the children and the townspeople the quilt is made and sold so books and supplies can be purchased.

The illustrations are great and the story is good too.

I thought that one of you might want to give this as a gift, add it to your book collection, your quilt guild’s collection or donate it to your local library. It’s really a nice book with a great moral that working together for a great good can really be a good thing.

The only thing that I didn’t like the best about the book was that the group makes a Cathedral Window quilt with the handkerchiefs. With my knowledge of quilts, it would really be hard to make that style of a quilt using handkerchiefs. Most people would never realize that so it really is just a minor detail.

If you want a chance to win, leave a comment over on my Jo's Country Junction Blog.

On a personal note: Thanks for all the thought and prayers you have been sending our way. We spent the afternoon with her and the family. If I disappear for a day or two, that’s where I am.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter! Here's a quick and easy project your kids can do to celebrate the day.

It's really easy. You can find it here at Making Learning Fun.

Print the page. Cut it in half. Color the letters and cut them out. Glue the eggs with letters on the corresponding eggs with the dotted lines to spell the words "Happy Easter".

I hope you enjoy your day!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easy Easter Favors the Kids Can Make

Are the kids starting to get on your nerves? I remember when our kids were growing up, the day before any holiday was a nightmare. I was trying to get things done and they were full of anticipation for the next day. It didn't make for a good combination.

How about your get them busy with a simple craft?

This mini Easter basket is made with a milk jug lid and a pipe cleaner. Put your favorite candies in and you have table favors. To see the whole directions, check out this link to Making Learning Fun. There are other goodies there too...like Easter Baskets made from milk jugs. Providing them with a craft to do will keep them out of your way for a little while.

Friday, April 6, 2012

We and They

My family is observing Good Friday today. It's an important part of our family's faith.

This craft can be found here at Making Learning Fun.

I realize and know that each family practices their own faith and their own religion. Here are a few things I have observed.

My husband and I have raised our children in a community that is
predominantly of the Catholic religion. Our family however, is Lutheran. While attending our local public school, our children have experienced mocking and criticism in regards to their faith. It wasn't horrible, yet, it was there and it shouldn't have happened.

As educators, we have a responsibility to teach our children acceptance of others. When talking about religious issues, I encourage educators to use the words "some people" observe Passover..."some people" observe Easter. To often people use the words "we" and "they". "We eat fish on Fridays"..."they don't eat fish on Fridays". The words "we" and "they" give children the impression that there are two sides, one right, one wrong. "We" are the good side of the issue and "they" are the bad side of issue. Although the difference is slight, and people who are saying the words probably don't mean to be inclusive or exclusive, children can still pick up on the message.

When working with children it is important to use our words carefully.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Attention Seeking Tulip Puppet

One of my favorite spring crafts at Making Learning Fun is the Tulip Puppet on a paint stick. It can be used as a craft and extended into an educational learning activity and a behavior modifier.

Have your kiddos make the craft (you can find the pattern and directions here) letting each child pick their favorite color for the flower portion.

Now sit together in a circle time fashion and say the following rhyme:

I’m a little tulip
tall and thin.
I wait all winter for the spring.
When the snow melts
I pop right out.
Welcome Spring is what I shout!

Have the children listen carefully making sure they "pop" up when you get to that line of the rhyme. Encourage them them to join in on the last line saying "Welcome Spring is what I shout".

To add even more fun change the opening line saying, "I'm a
red tulip". Now only the children with a RED tulip can pop right out. Continue repeating the rhyme until all the children's tulip colors have been called out.

Adding this option to the rhyme really helps children develop listening skills. The children have to listen for their color word to be called. It helps develop patience too as children have to wait for their color to be called.

Another reason this is my favorite craft is because the tulip prop is movable. If you have an antsy child, send a slight wave of your tulip their way. That way the tulip with grab the child's attention and draw them back to the activity at hand.

Tulip puppets really can Make Learning Fun!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gardening and Learning

Make practical math story problems for your kiddos throughout the day. If you are out gardening make up simple math problems saying.....

"Look, there are four yellow tulips and two red tulips. How many tulips are there all together?" "Oh, 2 + 4 = 6".

Try it again with a new batch of tulips. "There are two that are open and five that are not. How many are there all together?" "Oh, 2 + 5 = 7"

Incorporating simple math into day to day activities help children see that their learning is relevant. It makes them see practical application. How many of us haven't wondered why we had to learn that stuff? If you are looking for some fun activities for learning about tulips, check out the Tulip section at Making Learning Fun!

Feel free to leave comments on ways that you add practical math to everyday activities.

Eating Grapes: A Learning Activity

Today's tip revolves around snack prep. If you are feeding your kiddos grapes and they are past the age of chocking, take a scissors and cut the grapes stems into segments.

The children will have to hold the stem with one hand and pull the grapes off the stem with the other. That gives them the opportunity to work both hands together and works on fine motor skills in a very practical way. It also helps them build self help skills. Who would think that something like eating grapes can be a learning activity??


I started my website Making Learning Fun in 2006. It is full of fun learning ideas for teachers, parents, grandparents, childcare providers, librarians and anyone else who cares for children to use as a free resource.

As much as I have loved working with site, I have always felt that something was missing. I couldn't explain activities or interact with all of you. I am hoping this blog will give me and all of you a place to interact and share ideas.

I find when I go to class, the presenter shows ideas that I have been doing. I love that because that reinforces to me that I am doing things right. Some ideas you find here on the blog will be like that...Some things you learn will be a "duh, why didn't I think of that"! Some ideas will be an explanation of activities on the Making Learning Fun site.

I want to encourage all of you to ask question and share. That's when we learn the most....because after all, learning should be fun for all of us too!