*back to school ABC order*

Back to School ABC order  The month of August fills teachers with a bundle of emotions. We are excited to purchase school supplies, we dread summer ending, and we are nervous about our new class. Let me help get your teacher planning started with this FREE Back to School Differentiated ABC order cut and glue activity! (Whew that was a mouth full!) The first is a basic ABC order with six words to sort. The most challenging contains twelve words to sort by the third letter. Use in whole class instruction, as a literacy center, for Working on Words, or as an assessment. The possibilities are endless! It would be an awesome practice activity for parents to use at home too!

Click HERE or on the image to download.

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

*revamped lacing cards*

revamped lacing cards

Most mommas or teachers have used lacing cards at some point.  They are fantastic for improving fine motor skills by developing finger strength and the pincer grasp needed for writing.  My son doesn’t love to hold a pencil and write, but he does love to sew.  I’ve noticed how well his handwriting has improved simply from doing lacing cards.  You can find them at the dollar store, the dollar spot at Target, or any teaching store.  I personally like the wooden ones because they are more durable and can be used over an over.  However, the card stock versions are cheeper and can be printed yourself.  Here’s a link to amazon with many wooden versions. Or click here for many free printable ones on Pinterest.

As much as I love our lacing cards, I wanted them to be more educational.  I think most teachers understand the desire to make as many learning opportunities from one activity as possible. But instead of buying new lacing cards,  I have revamped the ones I already have!

Here’s what you need…a sharpie marker.  Yep! That’s it! Now turn your lacing cards over so you see a blank canvas.  To make these more educational, think of things in a sequence or an order.  The alphabet, counting in order to 100, spelling, and skip counting by 5s or 10s is a great start.

how to revamp your lacing cards

Draw a star next to one hole to indicate where you want your child to start.  Now think of a sequence for your child to practice. My son needs practice with numbers in the teens.  I started with 10 and wrote numbers to 19 at various holes on the lacing card.  I did not want the next number in the sequence to be next to each other on the card.  I wanted him to have to think what number comes next and have to find it on the card.  You could do this activity with spelling words too! I chose to use color words. Since my son is just learning color words,  I wanted the letters to go in order around the card.  You could also do high frequency words, number words, or even names in your child’s family.

I hope you are inspired to grab those lacing cards and revamp them!

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

 

 

*sticker hunt*

sticker hunt book

Ready for the EASIEST game ever?!? Go find your stash of stickers.  I know you have basket or drawer full of them somewhere in the house!   Kids seem to accumulate them from the doctor, dentist, grocery store, school, birthday parties, etc.  And of course you can’t throw them away!  Well do I have a solution for you… a sticker hunt! I originally created this game to help my son with his fine motor skills. Picking up stickers and placing them on paper works on their pincer grasp (using your thumb and pointer finger). But this is NOT a sit in your seat kind of game.

Materials: You will need your stash of stickers and a notebook.  That’s it!  My son recently added the stop watch and it’s been a fun twist.

sticker hunt materials

Here’s how you play:

1) Hide around 10-15  stickers in a single room.  Place them high up so your child has to climb on furniture, under tables and chairs so they can crawl, and on the ground so they have to squat down.

2) Tell your child how many stickers they are looking for.  This step is important!  It will help remind you how many you hid and reinforce their counting and adding skills.

3) As your child finds a sticker, they go back and place it in their sticker book.  Ask questions like…

– How many do you have now? How many do you still need to find?  If you have 5 now, how many more do you need to get to 10?

4) Adding the stop watch:  Have your child use the stop watch to see how much time it takes for them to find all the stickers. They can practice reading the numbers on the stop watch to you.  Challenge them to beat their previous time.

sticker hunt

I hope your family enjoys their sticker hunt!

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥-Amanda

*how to make a Spring to Summer wreath*

Does your front door need jazzed up?  Don’t buy a boring wreath at a store!  Make one yourself!

How to make a Spring to Summer Wreath

I love this colorful yarn wreath!  It will transition from Spring to Summer perfectly! Here are the ALL the steps you will need, from designing the wreath to making the flowers. Please don’t get overwhelmed with all the steps!  I’m showing you how to make 5 different types of flowers.  You can simply master one type and fill your wreath with those!

Step One: Gather all of your supplies. (Wreath, yarn, fabric, felt, ribbon, scissors, and glue gun.)

Supplies for Spring to Summer Wreath

I wanted to make a yarn wreath, so I chose a Styrofoam wreath and thick gray yarn. Twine would be adorable too!  If you want an easier project, you could buy a twig wreath instead.  I chose coordinating fabric and felt to make my flowers.  I have three different fabrics and five different pieces of felt.  I could not pass up using this yellow chevron ribbon.  And last, but certainly never least, you will need your trusty glue gun!

Step Two: Make your yarn wreath.  (Or skip this part by using a twig wreath.)

This step is the easiest, but the longest.  I suggest sitting in front of a good movie to help pass the time.  Hot glue the end of the yarn to the wreath.  Start wrapping the yarn around and around… and around and around the wreath until it is all covered.  This is why you buy thick yarn; it covers more surface area. Although this is tedious, it is darling once it’s finished.  I’m so glad I made it!

Step Three: Make rolled cloth flowers.

Making rolled cloth flowers  Making rolled cloth flowers  Making rolled cloth flowers

1. Cut a long strip of fabric about an inch and half thick. The longer the strip, the bigger the flower.

2. Fold each side into the center,  so the sides touch in the middle.

3. Fold that part in half as well. You can tie a knot on one end or iron the fabric so it stays in place.

4. Start wrapping the folded fabric around itself in a circle.

3. Add a dab of hot glue as you go, so the flower will stay in place.

Cloth flowers

Here is another great tutorial for making these flowers.

Step 4: Make braided cloth flowers.  These are one of my favorites! Lots of color and dimension.

Making braided cloth flowersBraided Flowers

1.Take three coordinating fabrics and cut them into long half inch strips.

2. Tie the ends together in a knot.

3. Braid the pieces together.

4. Starting at the knot, wrap the braid around and around the knot.

5. Add a dab of hot glue as you go, so the flower will stay in place.

Step 5: Make Felt Roses. These are extremely easy!

How to make felt rosesFelt roses

1. Cut a circle out of felt.  You could trace a bowl, but I just eyeballed it. The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower.

2. Starting from the outside, cut a swirl until you reach the center of the circle.

4. Pick an end and start winding the felt around and around.

5.  Add a dab of hot glue as you go, so the flower will stay in place.

Step 6: Make two toned felt roses.  These are sooo super cute!

How to make two toned felt rosesFelt roses

1. Follow the EXACT same instructions as above. Easy huh?

2. To make a rose with two colors throughout, roll two felt swirls together at the same time.

3. To make a rose with a different colored center, make a tiny felt rose first.  Then, take a larger felt swirl and wrap around the small rose.

Step 7: Make felt chrysanthemums.

Cutting felt chrysanthemums   Making felt chrysanthemums   Making felt chrysanthemums

1. Cut a long piece of felt about and inch and a half thick.

2. Fold the ends in half.

3. Pick a side to cut. To make little looped chrysanthemums, cut little slits in the folded part of the felt. To make square petaled chrysanthemums, cut little slits along the outside edges. (See pictures above.) For tight petals, cut the slits close together.  For big petals, cut the slits far apart.

4.  Start rolling the the folded felt around itself.

5. Add a dab of hot glue as you go, so the flower will stay in place.

DSC_2470

Here’s another great tutorial on making these flowers.

Step 8: Make felt leaves.

I used cream and green felt to make little leaves.  You can draw it on the felt first, or just cut with scissors.

Step 9: Time to Assemble! 

Arranging flowers on wreath

1. Arrange the flowers and leaves on your yarn wreath. I like to group similar flowers together. Once you have the arrangement you like, hot glue those bad boys on.

2. Wrap your ribbon around one side for visual interest.  You could also cut a little strip to glue on the back to make a hanger for your wreath.

You did it!  Doesn’t it look amazing?  So much better than anything you could buy at a store!  Now go proudly display your wreath on your front door or fireplace.

Spring to Summer Wreath

Rescue your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

*PAW Patrol PAWty*

Paw Patrol Party    Put the badge on Marshall   Pupcakes

Oh how I love a good party!  I enjoy the planning, shopping, decorating, cooking…all of it!  I tend to go a tad nutso with birthday parties though.  This year my son turned four and wanted a PAW Patrol party.  It was a blast and the party possibilities were endless.  Here are some ideas you could use for a PAW Patrol or dog themed party.

Menu: You must name the food to match the theme! Makes the party extra special.

We ate Dog on Good Sandwiches, Pawsta Salad, Ruffage (veggies and dip), Pupliscious Fruit, Pupcorn, and Pawtato chips.  We sipped on Puptacular Lemonade, Puppy Punch, and Top Dog Drinks (for the adults).

The desserts were my favorite to make!  We munched on Pupcakes, Puppychow, and Kibbles & Bits. My son loved making the Puppy Chow and we were able to do it a few days in advance.  The Pupcakes are simple cupcakes I jazzed up by adding marshmallow paw prints to the top. (You will need to cut a big marshmallow in half  for the bottom of the puppy paw and use three little marshmallows for the toes.) The Kibbles and Bits are just chocolate malt balls.  Did you notice the adorable dollar store dog bowls the desserts are in?  Too cute right?!

Puppy Chow     PUPcakes     Kibbles and Bits

Gift Bags: Or in the case…Doggie Bags!

I collected items from a dollar store, Oriental Trading, and a party supply store.  Inside the doggie bags were little frisbees, Paw Patrol tatoos, pawprint stamps, a Paw Patrol neclace, a bouncing ball, Paw Patrol masks, and a dog collar bracelet.  I placed their doggie bags on their placemat, so they could open them whenever they wanted.  They were a hit!

Paw Patrol Doggie Bag

Games:

We played “Place the badge on Marshall”, which I bought at the party store.  Nickelodeon has a similar game you can download though.  The kids also played “Fetch” with wiffle balls and a dog I drew on a cardboard box. We were going to play “Obedience School”, but we ran out of time.  You play it like Simon Says, but with dog commands. (roll over, chase your tail, bark at a cat, sniff your neighbor, etc.)

Play Fetch Game     Put the badge on Marshall     Paw Patrol Game

General PAWty ideas:

Your first stop should be to Nickelodeon’s website.  They have LOTS of freebies! I found the Doggie Bag toppers and coloring placemats here.

My centerpieces were one of my favorites.  I filled glass vases with dog treats. Then I printed out Paw Patrol pictures, paw prints, and bones on card stock.  I hot glued some ribbon around the vases and the pictures on wooden skewers.  Last I added some crinkle confetti for some color.  LOVE!

Paw Patrol Center Piece

 

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

*Springtime Differentiated ABC order cut and paste*

Spring Differentiated ABC order

I’m beyond excited to release my first project on Teachers Pay Teachers!!!  I have used this forum extensively over the last few years. I love using items other teachers created instead of textbook companies. This activity will be the first of oh so many! It’s truly a creative outlet for me.

This FREE Springtime Differentiated ABC order cut and paste offers three versions of the same ABC order activity. The first is a basic ABC order with six words to sort. The most challenging contains twelve words to sort by the third letter. Use in whole class instruction, as a literacy center, for Working on Words, or as an assessment. The possibilities are endless! It would be an awesome practice activity for parents to use at home too! Click here or on the image to download.

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

*unconventional storage*

Organization is my passion and I am giddy when I can find unconventional storage ideas.  Here are just a FEW I have around the house.

I use picnic baskets in my dining room to store big serving ware pieces. I love collecting dishes and need an overflow space.  For example,  I have a three tier platter I can’t fit in my kitchen cabinets or my dining room hutch.  These picnic baskets, from an antique store, are perfect.  They are deep, can easily be moved, and add character to my dining room.

Picnic baskets

Another option for storage is a bedroom dresser.  This one was actually in my nursery!  It has been painted several times over the years, but this is my favorite version.  I use it to store electronics I want easy access to and some of my kiddo’s toys.

dresser

When we renovated our kitchen, I decided to get rid of our old canister set.  But, I couldn’t really get rid of it.  It’s perfectly good storage after all!  They are now in my craft/office closet.  They house anything you can imagine. Stick a cute label on it and you’re set!

Kitchen Canister set

So the dollar spot at Target is my greatest weakness.  I will buy things, even if I don’t know what to do with them.  I couldn’t pass up these accordion file folders with awesome patterns.  I now have them hanging on a blank wall of my craft/office closet.  I never knew what to do with this empty space and this is the perfect solution.  I used heavy duty velcro to attach them to the wall. Be sure to put the scratchy part on the wall and the soft part on the file.  I can easily remove the accordion file folder when I need to take it someplace else.  It’s great storage for scrapbook pieces, bills, and different printer paper.

File folders with velcro

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

*get that goblin*

What do you do when you want to stay in your pjs, but you know your toddler needs to burn off some energy?  You GET. THAT. GOBLIN!

Get that Goblin       Get that Goblin

When you search for gross motor activities on Pinterest, you are inundated with suggestions.  Many sites offer over 563 ideas you have to painfully search through.  After clicking on 274 links, you realize you don’t have most of the supplies or you know the activity will only maintain your toddler’s attention for two seconds.  I promise Get That Goblin is worth it and you have everything you need!

You need a trash bag, permanent marker, some old wrapping paper, duck tape, and some string/ribbon/yarn. That’s it! Use the marker to draw a scary face on the front and back of the trash bag.  Think jack-o-lantern face, zig-zag mouth, angled eyebrows, and oval eyes. Have have your toddler crumble up some old wrapping paper and fill the trash bag.  Next,  you will tie yarn around the handles of the trash bag.  I tripled even quadrupled the thickness for extra strength.  Attach the string to the ceiling or door way with some duck tape.  I used about 8 strips that were 3 inches long. I put the tape on my clothes first, so it would lose a little bit of adhesion.  I didn’t want the duck tape to ruin my walls.

My son spent an hour punching, kicking, and running into the goblin.  He even got some cloth balls to throw at it and a plastic bat to hit it like a pinata. So much fun and burned off so much energy!

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda

*free websites…yes please!*

11-Free-Reading-Websites-for-Kids-300x300

I jumped for joy when I came across this link.  When teachers hear the word “free” they feel the need to get it… what ever is.  Because it’s free, we will find something to do with it.  Toilet paper rolls?  Oh yeah! Empty coffee cans?  You bet ya!  Left over yarn? Give it!  But 11 free websites?  Really?  Yes, it’s true!  I’ve used several of them in my classroom, but many were new to me.  In addition to using these websites at school, they would be great resources for parents.  Instead of playing games on your iphone at the restaurant, why not use these education websites?  Click on the picture to explore more!

Rescue Your Dreams!

-♥- Amanda