Friday, March 31, 2017

The Royal and Most Pleasant Game of Goose

The Royal and Most Pleasant 
Game of Goose

      In 5th grade we learned about life in Colonial Williamsburg.  In our journey, my students went to the Raleigh Tavern on the Duke of Glouchester Street.  Along with discussing politics, eating, drinking, and socializing were popular at these local gathering spots.  One way to socialize was to play board games.
     The Royal and Most Pleasant Game of Goose was introduced to my students.  No Ipads or computer games. They came to realize that they could have an great time playing a simple board game with their classmates.

Sorry that this picture of the game board is a little fuzzy.

        The game is played with one die and a marker for each player.

You can see that  have my students dress up in costumes to enhance my lessons.
   There are a few interesting spaces on the game board to make the game fun. A space that no one wants to land on is the Death SpaceThis is where the player has to go back to the beginning of the game board to space number 1.  A few spaces featuring a goose will send a player ahead. You might also land on the Jail space where you will lose a turn.
At times the game can be very intense.

       This young man is portraying a fine Colonial gentleman who frequented the Raleigh Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. 

     The students even wanted to take the game boards home! This game was in my TCI Social Studies Alive! America's Past teacher's manual. 

          I have taken this game to our school's book fair at Barnes and Noble.  Children always want to play and want their parents to watch.

Please leave a comment if you have a minute.  Let me know if you could use my ideas in your class.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Think Spring


Think Spring!

       Isn't this bunny shape so basic but yet so cute?  I found these in the paint section of our local hardware store. Wouldn't they make an adorable matching game for our younger children? They would also make a great art project. If you are working with young children who are earning their colors, you could say,     " Please find the pink bunny."  Numbers or rhyming words could be written on each colored section. There are so many possibilities.
One of my students carefully cutting the bunny shape.

We were in the process of making Easter baskets to donate to a local food pantry.  This will make a cute tag for each basket.
 I linked this page to Teaching Blog Addict

For  a Freebie Friday   Teaching Blog Addict Freebie Downloads

Please visit this blog for lots of great teaching ideas.

Leave a comment if you have the time. I love to hear from you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ice Cream Cones

  Ice Cream!

   What child doesn't like ice cream? Of course I wanted to make an ice cream play set for my granddaughters imaginary play. While shopping at JoAnn Fabrics, I ran across this piece of flannel material with sparkling ice cream cones. Perfect!  Of course I bought a yard!

       I hope you can see the little sparkles on the delicious ice cream. The smallest cones are about 2 1/4 inches tall , while the tall four dip cones are about 3 1/2 inches.  The perfect size for little hands to feed to a favorite doll or friendly stuffed animal. There are 18 different varieties, some with sugar cones and some with cake cones. Some cones are soft serve and some are scooped. Of course don't forget the sprinkles or the cherry on top!  

     First, I cut four of each cone. I made two sets, one for each granddaughter.
The material was matched wrong sides together and zig zagged  stitched and trimmed. As  each cone came to life,  I smiled and knew they would be enjoyed and played with. Each was cuter than the next.  No sharp edges for my little ones to get hurt. Just soft ice cream fun.

     Using Altoid tins, a piece of felt was glued to the lids with tacky glue.  Then some left over felt ice cream was glued to the felt.   Now we have a little storage case for all of our ice cream. 

     Even though all the cones are different, you can still have your child find similarities. 
  * Find all the cones with a cherry on top.
  * Find all the cones that have one scoop if ice cream.
  * Find all the cones with blue ice cream. 

      These little ice cream cones and their tin carrying cases were so much fun to make. You don't have to be a great seamstress to make something like this.  Just the energy to cut, match , and sew.  I'm your little one would be happy to help in the matching process before you do the sewing.

     I do hope that I have inspired you to make a simple toy for a child in your life to play with.  Nothing fancy, just hours of imaginative play. 

   Please leave a comment.  I'd love to read your thoughts.

Enjoy this beautiful day!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Felt Hands

Little Felt

          We love to have our kids dip their hands in paint to make those cute little hand prints.  I thought it would be nice for my daughter and son-in-law to have a little hand of their child.  Daddy could keep it in his pocket, wallet, backpack, or brief case when he was at work or away from his precious child.  Mommy could keep this little keepsake in her purse, notebook, binder, bible, or wallet wherever she went.

       I started out by a simple outline of the child's hand. 

       The hand print was cut from felt. (Two hands were cut).  I hand stitched a small pink heart to the palm of the hand. Then the two hands were stitched together. You don't have to be proficient at sewing to make one.
       This one I added the year to the heart.

      One little hand for Mommy, and one little hand for Daddy. I made the hands for Valentine's Day gifts. 
      This is something that could be added to a baby book as a keepsake. Grandma would love to have one, too.  This could be a great beginner sewing project for a grade school child or for a Girl Scout sewing badge.

     These felt hands would be a simple gift to send to a mother or father who is in the military and has been deployed. Not too big, not too small.  Just the right size.  Your child's hand.

Enjoy your children now! 
They grow up so very fast.

     Please leave a comment if you have the time.  I'd love to hear from you.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Puppies Quiet Book

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies!

               On one of my excursions,   I was wandering around JoAnn Fabrics and saw a darling piece of flannel fabric with these cute little dogs.  They were so colorful with friendly facial expressions.  I could not resist buying a yard.  I knew it would be perfect for my next quiet book.  By purchasing fabric with cute graphics, I can spend less time constructing my quiet books. 

          Five little dogs of different colors would be great for color recognition and matching. 

         I cut around the dogs and zig zagged the matching colors back to back.  I was lucky enough that the dogs were facing in opposite directions so they could become two sided dogs.

          Each puppy needed a bed of the same color to sleep in.  Little pockets felt were sewn on for the dog beds.

       I added a light purple dog dish with water and food just in case the puppies get hungry!  As you can see the little yellow pup is having a snack.

      On the back cover a red dog house was added.  All the dogs can fit into the dog house.

       There is a snap at the top of the dog house so all the pups can fit in.

       A handle made from ribbon was added along the binding so the book can be easily carried by small hands.

           Today I have linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday weekly Linky Party.  I enjoy reading Kacey's blog. She has so many great ideas for the classroom. Check it out!

  Please leave a comment if you have an extra minute. I'd love to hear from you. Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stained Glass for Easter

          Spring is here! 
So, Easter can't be very far off.

       Each year during Lent, I  have my students work on a "stained glass" of the Crucifixion.  Years ago I found a brochure of the Stations of the Cross done as stained glass windows of a church.   I made a copy and then whited all the colors out to have a black and white copy that my students could design in their choice of colors.  

      This is my black and white sheet that I give to my students.
Here is what the students work looks like.  As you notice, some are a work in progress.

          These "stained glass windows" are a favorite Lenten project of mine.

Today I linked up with Forever in Fifth Grade for       " Show and Tell Tuesday". 
    Please leave a comment on this project.  Let me know if your could use this in your class someday.

Happy Easter to all!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Ideas for a busy toddler

Busy Toddler
    Toddlers are wonderful and full of energy.  They need many new manipulatives to keep them busy, stimulated, learning, and interested.  Many every day objects can be new and stimulating to a toddler.

      Plastic or paper cups are in everyone's cupboards. They can be stacked and sorted by size, shape, and color. No one will be upset if one gets broken or lost. The cups are quiet when knocked down and bounce in a delightful way.

      These little paper cups are a new surface to be colored on. The inside, outside surfaces and the bottom are available for new colors. 

           Sidewalk chalk is another easy way to keep a toddler busy. The colors are a wonderful addition to a plain driveway or sidewalk.  The best part is that your space is almost limitless in the eyes of a child. They are not constrained by the size of the paper or chalkboard.  Their lines can go on and on and on. 
         Many gardens have smooth stones.  These make a wonderful canvas for sidewalk chalk or water color paint for that matter. Colorful stones are quite eye catching for toddlers.

       Pom poms  are another simple yet delightful manipulative.  They come in assorted sizes and colors, some even have sparkles.  Pom poms can be sorted by using muffin tins, small boxes, egg cartons, ice cube trays, or anything you may have around the house.  A plastic toothbrush holder from the dollar store has good size holes, big enough for a pom pom to fit through. This is great for working on eye hand coordination and fine motor skills. Best of all, they are quiet and will keep your toddler busy for quite a while.

        Bubbles whipped into a foam is an enjoyable tactile experience. Your little one can wash their plastic toys. Cars, boats, animals, people, etc. Always get dirty during outdoor play. So why not let your child was their own toys? Car wash is an experience that is always fun!

       Getting dressed again and again is a favorite activity for children.  You have all you need in your closet or chest of drawers. It doesn't matter what size or color. Kids love to wear or try on clothes.  You don't have to go out and purchase expensive dress up clothing or princess dresses. The young child will experiment with boots, shoes, socks,  leggings, pants, shirts, hats, gloves, not to mention purses, a scarf,  and jewelry.

        Tooth brushing is a wonderful and healthy activity for the young child.  This will not only be a good activity but will help with good dental hygiene habits.

            Felt pieces of different sizes, colors, and shapes are a interesting manipulative for the young child.  They can be arranged in different patterns to make abstract pictures.  A youngster could make a stack starting with the largest, smallest,  or random order. These pieces could be used as blankets for toy people or animals.

         Keep your toddlers busy with manipulatives and off of screen time. A busy toddler is a learning toddler.  It will pay off in the long run.

      Please leave a  comment if you have a minute to spare.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Clothespin Crucifix for Easter

                            Clothespin Crucifix

My 5th graders worked on their clothespin Crucifix on Monday of Holy Week.
You begin with 8 wooden clip clothespins.

    The you need to separate the metal spring from the wooden pieces.  If you twist the two pieces the spring comes away easier and hopefully does not fly across the room. Now there are 16 pieces.  I tell the kids to place 6 of  the pieces aside.

Now take ten of the wooden pieces and group them in twos.  Glue these pairs together side by side. Make sure you have a large piece of wax paper to work on so the cross will not stick to your work surface.

These will become the cross.  Glue three pairs together to form the base of the cross. Elmer's glue works fine.  After the glue is slightly dried I have the students write their name and the date on the flat side of one of the pairs. This pair will be placed flat side down so their name will appear on the back of the crucifix.

Next place two crayons next to the cross.  These will support the arms of the cross.

Now glue the remaining two pairs to the cross.

You should have six separate wooden pieces left.  Now you will construct the body, arms, and legs of Christ on the Cross.

       This is a very wonderful activity for Holy Week.  My students come back when they are older and say that they still have their Crucifix that they made in 5th grade.
         I hope this post will help others to celebrate Easter in the best way possible.
May your Lenten season be meaningful to you.

Please leave me a comment on this activity.  I would love to hear from you.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Student Journal for Lent

    As a 5th grade Religion teacher, I have my students make a Lenten Journal.  Each day at the beginning of class, my children take out their journal and write a short reflection for the day. I use a group of reflections that I collected over the years, given by to me our Religious Education director and principal.  The whole class can think about the same topic each day. The topics are very simple and can be completed in a minute or two.  Sometimes they share their thoughts and ideas.  Other days, ideas are kept private.  I give my students the option whether they want to share or not.

        Twelve small pieces of paper were stapled into a piece of card stock folded in half. I had the children cut the days part and then glued two to each page to save paper. We used the front and back of each page as you can see in the pictures.

       Our students will be at home on Good Friday.  Hopefully they will write in their journal until Easter Sunday.

The students can decorate their pages if they like. 

Have a blessed Lenten Season. 

Please leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.