Friday, May 30, 2014

Feelin' good... and FREEBIE Friday is back!

   "Leo is ruled by the Sun"  Seeing that I am a Leo, this couldn't be more true these past few days!
   I have been a little overwhelmed this month but the warm weather and sunshine has been slowly pulling me out of my funk. And I am just feeling good! Things are running smoothly again and I think I am ready to get back on track with everything!
   So, FREEBIE Friday is back! YAY!!
   Click on the picture below to pick up a Spring Counting Coloring Book:
Have a FUN weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let the Creative Writing Begin!

   So, I thought this month was going to be easier than it has been. I have been micromanaging the household more than ever... and I am ready for a little break! But with the little munchkin's PreK Graduation around the corner and summer right behind it, there will be no break anytime soon for this momma...
   As I have been busy and have been trying to keep my sanity lately, I have had little to no time to create or search & print fun learning things for the munchkin to do. I have reverted to changing out her work trays and putting out simple activities, such as games and practice sheets to review skills that she already knows. Review is always good! BUT...Since it is review, she whizzes through it and asks for more.
   The other day, she brought home a picture of something she drew at school and spent almost 10 minutes telling me all about it. That was my moment right there: I knew it was time to really get started with some kind of journaling.
    I found a marker/watercolor pad in one of my zillion boxes of teacher stuff and found some fun stickers in my scrapbooking stuff.
I used mod podge to paste the journal cover onto the drawing pad.
 She decorated her journal cover:
    Her drawing skills are a work in progress and to help encourage her to create stories for her journal, I gathered random stickers from her sticker books and let her create away! 
    After she created each picture, she went on and on to tell me all about it. I tried my best to keep up with all of it and wrote down her words. (It is important when journaling with children to not try and correct their sentences too much. It is their own story, after all.)
Here are a few of the stickers stories that she has made:
These are her first genuine little stories and I will cherish these forever!!
I have now created a Creative Journal Kit for her:
   I found an empty scrapbooking storage box and I have added in some smelly markers (kids love them!) and some more random stickers that I picked up at the Dollar Tree. Now when she wants to do any creative writing (or drawing), all she has to do it grab her box!  I also plan to switch up writing utencils and creative tools (stickers, random photos, etc) to encourage her creative writing in many different ways!
Do you do any kind of journaling with your munchkins? 
Grab your FREE Writing Journal cover HERE!
SHARE your ideas!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Relaxing Sensory Play!

   There are some days that the little munchkin comes home from preschool and I can tell she had a long day. The look is right there in her eyes and the crankiness kicks in...right around dinner time.
    Then there are the days where all is well, she starts to wind down after dinner time, and then a second burst of energy kicks in...right before bedtime. Sometimes I feel that I just can't win!
   Some days she is good about taking some time to play quietly, with quiet boxes that I have out and available for her to use and explore as she pleases. But there are some days where she just walks around aimlessly and can't be entertained by anything. She slowly gets crankier by the minute, and it is usually between dinner and bedtime.
  She loves to play with any kind of little figurine toys, so I came across the idea of a Calming Sensory Bin at Nurture Store, for her to explore on those days where she is on the verge of a meltdown and it isn't quite bedtime yet.
   I have dyed uncooked rice once or twice before and relearned it here, using a little bit of a different technique, as I searched for and found purple food coloring and lavender oil. (I was excited to make this and grabbed the first thing I saw that said lavender oil!)
   I dyed the uncooked rice by puting some uncooked rice in a ziploc bag, a few drops of purple food coloring (or just mix red & blue food coloring) and then dropped in some lavender oil. I sealed the bag and mixed it all up until all the rice looked colored in purple.
I left it to air out for two days. 
    After ensuring that it was completely dry, I dumped it all into a large serving tray (it was deep enough so that I didn't have to worry too much about rice spilling out easily), added some little bunny and dog toys and some dollhouse furniture with some small squares of felt.
   Playing with uncooked rice alone, is a great sensory experience.... and with an added pop of color and a calming lavender scent and some toys, this was awesome! I am not going to guarantee an easy bedtime routine afterwards (because who wants to stop playing in rice and go to sleep?)... BUT it does offer a calm, relaxing and somewhat quiet playtime!
   She dumped rice in and out of the little tub and buried some of the dogs in the rice and just enjoyed some quiet play.
    And if rice spilled over the side of the tray, it was no biggie. I added a kid-sized broom/brush and dust pan for her to use to clean up after herself!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Busy Weekend... and the Facebook Fan Giveaway winner has been chosen!

   It has been a busy weekend so far! My husband  graduated with an MBA yesterday and we have started some small backyard projects that I am excited about!
   Yesterday I revealed the winner of my Facebook Fan Giveaway: 
Sandra Martinez Sanchez 
was the one lucky winner of the Kinetic Sand and Alphabet Cutters!! 
    HUGE THANKS to everyone who participated!!
    And with all the giveaway fun, I managed to increase my Facebook Fan number to 107! So, you know what that means right?? Another giveaway is in the works!  YAY!!
   That is, sadly, all that I have for now... I have some cleaning to do around the house and then I will probably fall right to sleep when my head hits the pillow tonight!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rainy Day Learning Fun!

   Well, things are looking great for my 1st Facebook Fan Giveaway and I ecstatic at how much it has reached my target audience! My fan page has almost reached 100 fans.... it is very exciting! I might have to start planning to have a "100 Fans" Giveaway very soon!
    Click HERE (if you haven't already) and join in on the giveaway!
    Anyhow, I know the past 2 weeks have been wild and my blogging routine was out of sorts, but I am working hard to get back on track. There are so many things to share with you, so let me get moving along.
   Is it raining where you are? It has rained almost every day this week and it seems the week will be ending with lot of rain. BLAH.... I guess it's good because then one day we will wake up and there will be lush green leaves on all the trees and  gorgeous flowers blooming everywhere.
    All this rain has inspired me to create some fun learning activities for the little munchkin. 
    The little munchkin is getting ready to end her preschool year and she is still working hard to learn as many sight words as she can. If I didn't know any better, I would think she really wants to be reading alot of words (and maybe even reading on her own) during the summer!
So, I made a few Sight Word Games with a fun, rainy theme:
Sight Word Match
Sight Word Spelling
(Both of these printable activities will be available in my TPT store by the end of the week)
Raindrop Counting
This activity was a simple, DIY idea that I came across at My Nearest and Dearest
Raindrop Rhymes:
    I made this game to give the munchkin some practice with rhymes. (Afterwards, she found that playing with the paper umbrella was much more fun!)
    We are in for some more rain for the rest of the week and I am looking for more Rainy Day fun for her to come home to! Please share any ideas that you may have!  

Monday, May 12, 2014

My FIRST Facebook Fan Giveaway! =)

   Alright, I have had enough time to get back to the normalcy of life and what better way to start this week than with a GIVEAWAY!
     I know that I rarely have any giveaways here on my blog (and I plan to work on that), but for about a month now, I have been trying to get my readership and audience numbers up for my new Facebook Fan page... and I know everyone likes FREE stuff, right?
    Have you heard about the new Must Have Toy? Since I am an avid customer at Michaels and I receive daily emails, I heard about and had to try this newest sand product:
    My little munchkin and I love it! It has the consistency of sand and silly putty put together. It feels like soft sand, molds perfectly, falls like sand AND the best part-- Easy clean up!! (And it is a great de-stresser too!)
Check out the video below to see just how cool this new sand is!

   And what fun would this sand be without a few toys to go with it!
   One lucky winner will receive one 2 lb. box of Kinetic Sand 
and a set of Alphabet Cutters!
 So, go now to my Teaching Munchkins Facebook Fan page, become a fan by clicking "LIKE", leave a comment and I will pick a winner at the end of the week!
Good Luck!
(*These opinions are my own and I was not paid or asked to promote this product)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just checking in!

    Sorry I have been M.I.A. the past week. My husband and I have had a very stressful week, with learning that he has some long term health/heart issues. It has been alot to take in, but things are looking up and slowly we are going to adjust and get back into the daily routine.
   If you have not been by to visit my new Facebook Fan Page, stop on by and click "Like" today! I am planning my 1st giveaway and I would love for you to be a part of it!
Click on my blog icon below to get to my Facebook Page!