Nerf Gun Learning

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Does your child love playing with Nerf Guns? This post might be for you! You can use my one simple set up below for many different educational topics!

Shoot the________ (Fill in the Blank)

Using Nerf Guns is a great way to get children motivated to learn! How can you use Nerf Guns educationally you might ask? Here is a simple activity you can set up in your house on a wall for MULTIPLE subject areas and topics.

The activity we set up was ‘Shoot the Sight Word’.

You will need:

  • Construction paper
  • Paper clips
  • Computer paper
  • Tape
  • Nerf Gun & Accessories
  • Marker or pen (you might want to write your words down instead of printing them)

Set Up:

  1. Decide how many words you would like to have on the wall. Tape a piece of construction paper for each word directly to the wall.
  2. Attach a paper clip to the top of each piece of construction paper.
  3. Type and print your words out on computer paper, or simply write your words on pieces of computer paper.
  4. Slide each word paper under a paper clip to keep it on the wall. You can easily slide the paper in and out of the paper clip. You can take the words down after they are shot. You do not have to set it up this way, but it is easier to change and modify by using paper clips instead of only tape.

How To Play:

  1. Call out the sight words and your child will find them on the wall and shoot them.
  2. Take the word down after they shoot the word. Continue until all words are gone.

** Don’t stand too close to the wall! You do not want the Nerf dart to bounce back into anyone’s face! **

Other Ways to Play:

  • Shoot the Sight Word
  • Shoot the Letter
  • Shoot the Number
  • Shoot the Shape
  • Shoot the Color
  • Shoot the Answer (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division)

Does your child love Nerf Guns? Try out some learning with Nerf Guns! Have fun and be safe!

Fun Ways to Practice Sight Words at Home

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What are sight words and why does my child need to know them? Sight words are words that need to be memorized because they do not follow the typical rules of spelling and they are not easily decoded. The goal is for students to be able to recognize these sight words immediately (within 3 seconds) and read them without having to use any types of decoding skills.

Teachers encourage students to memorize these words by sight through games and activities. I have put together a list of some fun ways to encourage your learners to memorize their sight words!

Magnetic Sight Words

You will need magnetic letters and a cookie sheet for this activity. I love these jumbo magnetic letters from Learning Resources, but you can use any type of magnetic letters for this activity. You can use my Fry’s Sight Word Flashcards for this activity, or just write down the words your child needs to work on. You can find my Fry’s Sight Word Flashcards HERE.

Students will pick a flashcard and then find the letters to make that sight word on the cookie sheet. This is simple but the kids really love it.

Sight Word Go Fish

Use my EDITABLE Sight Word Go Fish game to practice sight words! You can edit this to use with sight words your child needs to learn and or practice. After you edit this PDF on the most recent version of Adobe, you can print the cards. I suggest printing the cards on cardstock for better durability. Cut the cards out and you’re ready to play!

You can find the Editable Sight Word Go Fish game HERE.

Sight Word BINGO

BINGO is always a hit with my students. We used heart counters because it was around Valentine’s Day, but I usually always use the Learning Resources Transparent Counting Chips. You can play BINGO at home using coins, pouch tops, cheerios, goldfish, m&ms, or any other small item you have to use as BINGO chips. This BINGO board is also editable so you can type in whichever words your child needs. You can find the Editable BINGO board here.

Be sure to change the boards up by moving some of the words around so everyone doesn’t get BINGO at the same time 🙂 I always keep a list of the words on hand and put a check mark next to my words to keep track of the ones I have already read.

I also have free BINGO board templates that you can print out and write the words onto here.

Sight Word Game Boards

I have a TON of editable Sight Word Game Boards in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop! I have them for almost every season & holiday and am working on creating few more themes. You again can edit these words on the editable PDF on Adobe. When your child lands on a word, they need to read the word aloud.

You can find my Editable Sight Word Game boards here.

Shoot the Sight Word

This is by far the most popular way to practice sight words with the students I work with! If you have a nerf gun, paper, and tape, you can try this out!

You can simply type your child’s sight words and print out and tape them to the wall, you don’t need the set up I have pictured.

You can find out more details about how to set this up as pictured on my blog post here.

Building Sight Words

You can build Fry’s First 25 Sight Words using snap cubes with this freebie from my store. We used snap cubes from Learning Resources, but you can also have your child try to build the sight words using playdoh, posicle sticks, or legos! You can get creative!

You can find all of Fry’s First 100 words here.

Rainbow Roll & Write Sight Words

Instead of just writing sight words in pencil, you can make it REALLY COOL by writing in RAINBOW colors. If you have a die, you can try out Rainbow Roll & Write.

Example:

Have your child write the word “the” 5 times. They will roll the die 5 times. They will write the word “the” in the colors that they rolled. Have your child continue for the rest of their words. You can choose how many times you want them to right each word. We use Mr. Sketch Scented Markers because we love the different smells, it makes using markers even more fun!

You can find this Rainbow Roll & Write FREEBIE here.

Lacing Sight Words

This activity is a little harder for younger students because they really have to use those fine motor skills! It might frustrate some children who are not used to threading and lacing so keep that in mind before you try it out.

I do love these lacing letters, which are also from Learning Resources, for this activity. You can again use my Fry’s Sight Word flashcards or write down your child’s words and then have them find the letters and thread them onto the strings to make the words.

Play Doh Sight Words

I found this Play Doh Shape & Learn Letters set on sale around Christmas time for less than $10.00 so I had to grab it! This is a fun way for kids to spell their words.

Have your child roll the Play Doh into little balls one for each letter of the sight word. They will then press the letter stamp into each one to make a letter circle as pictured above.

Sight Word Guess Who

Do you have the game Guess Who? Turn it into a learning game by using my digital download! Find more information on my blog post here.

Jump and Spell

Grab your chalk, write the alphabet, have your child spell sight words or spelling words by jumping to each letter!

This is a simple and fun outdoor learning activity involving movement.

These are just a few examples of ways to practice sight words! There are SO many other fun ways. How do you practice sight words? Share some ideas below in the comments!

Free Educational Websites for Learning at Home

I have compiled some of the many FREE educational websites that are available for at home learning. Some of these are only free now during COVID-19.

Math

Science

Social Studies

Reading & Read Alouds

Movement

More

Daily Learning Schedule Ideas for All Ages

Many parents and caregivers may now be home with their children due to COVID-19. If you are like me, you like a schedule! I have provided some example daily schedules for various aged children. Remember, these are just examples and frameworks. Your day may not always go as planned and you will need to be flexible, but it is always good to have something to refer to. I have included an editable schedule as well in my FREE schedule PDF at the bottom of this post.

Toddler/ PreK

Children this age can be pretty unpredictable and your days may sometimes be crazy, but this is a general framework to follow. I do want to also add … please do not expect your toddler or even kindergartener to sit/learn/be actively engaged for longer than 10-15 minutes MAX! During “learning time” provide books, puzzles, songs, games, and so forth.

Children learn through play. Use toys you already have and make them “educational”. Have your toddler find all the toys in the playroom that are red. Sort all of the blocks by color. Have your child make a tower that is 10 blocks high. Count the toys as you put them into a bin. Have your child tell you what shapes are on the wooden puzzle.

Lower Elementary K-2

As stated above… please not expect your child to sit for a full hour during learning time. Break the learning time up into chunks. Instead of only having your child do school work or worksheets provided by their teacher, play learning games! Give small “brain breaks”. Have your child do some of their learning using technology. Use household objects for learning. Have your child read recipes, labels on items, subtitles on tv, or instructions for games. Use food items, legos, or other toys to help with math. I will be posting more information about fun and easy learning games soon!

Upper Elementary

Your child will be able to do schoolwork for longer periods of time in upper elementary, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will want to. Provide upper elementary children with incentives for completing their work. Maybe they can have more screen time if they complete all of their assignments for the day. There are a lot of educational resources, games, and videos online that can be incorporated into learning time for your child. I will be compiling and sharing a list of online resources that are FREE during this time to help parents.

Middle School & Up

Your middle schooler/high schooler will probably have a pretty heavy workload sent home from their teachers. Try to break it up throughout the day so they are not overwhelmed. Help them when you can, and if you can’t, reach out to teachers online! There are so many FREE resources available during this hard time, and so many educators who want to help!

I have included an EDITABLE daily schedule in my FREE PDF below. You can simply click and type to edit the entire schedule including the headers.

I hope that these schedules are helpful for you during this crazy time! Remember, these are just a framework… your day may not look like this everyday, or any day for that matter! Just do YOUR best.

If anything, educationally, please make sure your child is reading everyday or you are reading to your child everyday!

Stay positive, you’ve got this!

Five Senses Fun

A lot of people are now homeschooling their children and they may not be sure where to start. They may be overwhelmed with schoolwork sent home to complete, creating a schedule, etc. I will try to post more frequently during this time to provide more FREE and fun activities for parents and caregivers.

I came across this FREE Five Senses Packet on Teachers Pay Teachers and LOVE IT! This is targeted towards K-2, but even older children can have fun with some of these activities. You can download this freebie HERE.

This packet includes activities for sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste.

Sight Activity

Children will go on a My Five Senses Nature walk for their sight activity. Print out the nature walk page and find pencil along with a clipboard, magazine, book or other portable hard surface for students to place their paper on to write their observations.

While outside, students will draw and/or write the things they see, hear, touch, smell, and the things they should NOT taste.

Sound Activity

For this activity, a YouTube video was linked to the PDF to play various sounds. Children will make a hypothesis, or guess, after they hear each sound. After the guess is written down, the sound is played again on the video but the curtain rolls up and reveals an image telling what the sound is. Children will write down the correct sound if their hypothesis was wrong.

This video contains more than 10 sounds, so it tells you the time stamps for each sound. You could go ahead and do all of the sounds if you wanted to! The kids thought this was really fun. It was also really funny to hear some of their guesses. We ended up listening to all of the sounds and one sound was a tiger. My students guessed the tiger sound was someone sleeping!!

Smell Activity

What’s that Smell? Choose six items from the chart above, or come up with some of your own! Children will need to be blindfolded or will need to keep their eyes shut so they can make a guess based on smell alone.

Set Up:

Put the items into containers, cups, whatever you have on hand. Write on the container or put a post it note or piece of paper on or near each container. Children will smell each container and make a guess and record it on their sheet. They will record if they liked the smell or not and then at the end of the activity, they will record what the smell actually was!

Taste Activity

The Tasty Test is a very fun activity. Children will test salty, sweet, sour, and bitter food items. WARNING: Tell your children to take a SMALL bite of the bitter chocolate, one of my students took a very big bite and started gagging! Yikes.

Children will color in a happy face or a mad face based on what they thought about each tasty test item.

Touch Activity

There is not a specific touch activity in this packet. You could do a craft such as the one I will post below using different textured items.

Examples of textures and materials:

  • Fuzzy: pipe cleaners
  • Bumpy: puffy paint, non slip foam liner
  • Rough: sandpaper, burlap
  • Hard: googly eyes, noodles
  • Fluffy: pom pom, cotton balls
  • Smooth: tin foil, stickers
  • Soft: felt, feathers
  • Crinkly: tissue paper, paper bag
  • Squishy: foam

Textured Easter Egg Craft

With Easter around the corner, I decided to make “texture eggs”. To make textured eggs, simply cut an egg shape out of a large piece of cardstock or paper (I used 12×12 paper) and then cut different materials into strips. Glue them onto the egg. When finished, cut the portions of the strips that extend over the egg so you are left with the egg shape.

I chose six textures to put on our egg: fluffy (blue and green pom poms), smooth (purple metallic cardstock), soft (orange felt), crinkly (white tissue paper), squishy (pink foam), and fuzzy (yellow pipe cleaners). We talked about what each material felt like before we glued them onto the egg.

These are just a few activities you can do when exploring the five senses! Enjoy!

How to Make Oobleck

Stuck inside? Try this fun science activity! WARNING: Making Oobleck is messy but fun!

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid. What does that mean? It becomes solid under pressure and flows like a liquid without pressure! This makes it very fascinating to play with!

How to Make Oobleck:

Materials:

  • Measuring Cup
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food Coloring (Optional)

Directions:

  • In a bowl, mix 2 cups of cornstarch with 1 cup of water. Mix the water and cornstarch until your oobleck is formed.
  • Optional: If you would like your oobleck to have a color, add your food coloring to your water before you mix it with the cornstarch.
  • If you find that your oobleck mixture is too watery, add a little more cornstarch. If you find your oobleck mixture is not liquid-y enough, add a little more water. You may need to experiment a bit to find the right consistency.

NOTE: This is not like slime. You will need to keep the oobleck over a bowl, plate, or container since it goes back and forth between solid and liquid form.

Have fun!

St. Patrick’s Day Activities

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This post was supposed to be published last week, but with everything going on in the world right now, life got a little crazy! Here are a few last minute St. Patrick’s Day Activities.

Elementary Activities

Lucky Charms St. Patrick’s Day Math

Have some fun doing math with Lucky Charms! I honestly forgot how tasty Lucky Charms were. Give each child at least 20 marshmallows. Children will sort their Lucky Charms and count how many they have of each. They will then do Lucky Charms Graphing using their marshmallow data. They can use their data to do addition and subtraction facts. I have also included some word problems in this FREEBIE as well. Food makes math a lot more fun. Lucky Charms are pretty tasty as well. You can download this freebie below.

How to Catch a Leprechaun Writing & Drawing

One of my favorite books to read for St. Patrick’s day is How to Catch a Leprechaun! If you do not have this book, you can order it here or you can play it as a read aloud on YouTube.

After listening to the story, students decide how THEY would catch a leprechaun. Depending on the age of your students, you can have them just do a picture or you can also have them write a “How To” writing to go along with their picture. You can download this FREEBIE below.

How to Catch a Leprechaun Drawings Left to Right: Using a giant blue net, using a pink cage, luring the leprechaun in with a chocolate bar and gold then throwing a net on top of him.

Toddler Activities

Pom Pom Rainbow

Pom pom rainbows are an easy, colorful, and fun activity for little learners. We made our craft after reading the book What Makes a Rainbow. The read aloud is optional, but my daughter really likes this book as it has string inside and after each page is turned, a new string is added to the rainbow to represent the bands of the rainbow.

When we finished the read aloud, we headed over to the table to work on our craft. You will need the following materials:

  • Pom poms or pieces of colored paper (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
  • White paper with a rainbow printed or drawn (I drew our rainbow)
  • Glue

You can work on colors with your child by having them sort the pom poms into piles of each color. I placed glue on each rainbow arch so my daughter could easily place the pom poms onto the glue. I guided her and helped her to put the pom poms in the right rainbow archs. She had a lot of fun with this and it is actually a very good fine motor activity. We were running a little low on some colors, but I still think it turned out so pretty! You could also use pieces of colored paper in each color of the rainbow if you did not have pom poms.

Shapes Shamrock

Making a shape shamrock is a great way to practice shape recognization and also helps little fingers use fine motor skills. You will need the following materials:

  • 12 x 12 piece of white cardstock to make shamrock
  • Green construction paper or cardstock to make shapes
  • Glue

I cut a shamrock out of cardstock using my cricut machine, but you could easily draw the shamrock and cut it out yourself! I then cut shapes out of green construction paper (I did not use my cricut machine for this as you can see some of my shapes are a little lopsided).

I put glue on the shamrock and used a paintbrush to make sure it was covering the whole shamrock surface. I asked my daughter to find certain shapes and put them on her shamrock. After she did this a few time I went ahead and let her do it on her own and put as many of each shape as she wanted onto the paper.

Lucky Charms Sensory Bin

I poured an entire bag of Lucky Charms into our sensory bin and added in some gold chocolate coins. I gave my daughter a variety of cups and tools to scoop, pour, and pick up the cereal and coins. She had a BLAST with this. You could have your child find certain colored marshmallows, you could have your child find and count the coins, you can have your child just explore and have fun!

You also can EAT the Lucky Charms cereal. I forgot how tasty Lucky Charms are! I haven’t had Lucky Charms in years and it was a yummy St. Patrick’s Day treat for not only my daughter, but me too!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Stay healthy and safe!

What does a Working Mom Pack in a Pump Bag?

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

“What do I pack in my pump bag” was something I began searching as my first maternity leave was coming to an end. I had finally SORT of figured out breastfeeding and was preparing to try to figure out pumping at work. It seemed very scary and I couldn’t find much information about what to pack in my bag! 

I asked a few friends who had already been down the road before me what they packed and I also searched the internet high and low. I put together my own list using information I found. When I returned to work and began pumping, I added a few more items to my list that I realized were a necessity for me. 

As I am writing this post, I am nearing the end of my nursing/pumping journey with my second child. I feel as if I have a good handle on what needs to be in a pump bag! Here are the items that I think are the essentials along with some extras. I also have included a free handy checklist for you as you are preparing to get your bag ready. Find the link at the end of my post! 

Breast Pump: If you have not started pumping and are going to need to pump when you return to work, I would suggest buying/trying out your breast pump at least a month in advance. Most times, you can get a free pump from health insurance if you have not done so already. I had NO idea how to use my pump. One of my best friends was over and helped me figure it out! We read the manual and went on YouTube to try to figure it out. I remember how excited we both got when we saw milk starting to drip into the bottles! It is such a funny memory to look back on. If you are not sure how to use your pump, read the manual, google, YouTube, or call on an experienced mommy friend for help!

Pump Parts: Make sure you have all pump parts necessary! I made the mistake of forgetting a part before, and it was HORRIBLE! Make sure you have all the parts that you need for your specific pump. I would suggest buying extra parts. I have 4 sets that I rotate and it makes life a lot easier.

Pump Bag: Some breast pumps come with a bag, but when I bought mine, I only received the actual pump and pump parts. I happened to have an extra diaper bag at the time, so I turned that into my pump bag. Make sure whatever bag you use, you have enough room for your pump and all of the other wonderful things I have included on this post. This is a similar bag to the one I have and it has worked just fine for me! It has enough compartments to keep all of my items organized.

Battery Pack: Depending on where you will be pumping, you may need a battery pack! Some breast pumps are chargeable and do not need to be plugged in, but if you have the Medela Pump in Style like me, you will need a battery. I don’t necessarily love the battery pack because it takes SO many batteries and I don’t think the battery life lasts very long, but you may need to use one depending on your situation. Luckily for me, the storage closet that I had to pump in at school had an outlet that I could plug into. Yes…I had to pump in a storage closet, but I’ll take that over a bathroom or other unpleasant place (I have heard many horror stories).

Car Adaptor: Even if you do not have to pump in a vehicle, I highly suggest having a car charger for your pump! If you plan to travel while pumping and you aren’t driving, this is a much better option than the battery pack in my opinion. I personally could not handle pumping while driving. It was way to dangerous for me and I think if you can pump while driving you are a rockstar!

Gallon Ziploc Bags: I put all of my pump parts in gallon ziploc bags. A lactation consultant told me that I could store my pump parts in the ziploc bag and place them into the fridge in between pump sessions. I had minimal time for pumping being a teacher and this saved me time as I pumped multiple times throughout the day and did not need to clean my parts in between each pump session. Please consult with a doctor or lactation consultant for more information about storing your parts in the fridge as not everyone agrees with this practice.

Sterilizer Bag: I always keep a microwave sterilizing bag in my pump bag. This Medela quick clean bag can be used up to 20 times before you need to discard it. You never know when you might need one! I have dropped a pump part on the ground at school which is a like a cest pool of germs! Luckily, I was able to wash my part and then sterilize it with my steam bag! All you need is water and a microwave. Make sure you read the directions on the steam bag for how long to microwave as it depends on the watts of the microwave. 

Hands Free Pump Bra: A hands free pump bra is 100% a MUST for me! I do not know how people pump without a pump bra! I forgot my pump bra once and my arms were SO tired from holding the bottles! I also was SO bored because I couldn’t browse my phone to pass the time. I have linked the one I use, but I know some people who have made their own hands free pump bra by cutting holes in an old sports bra. Hands free is the way to be!

Nursing Pads: This is another MUST have for me! Leaking through your bra and/or shirt is quite embarrassing. I always keep extra nursing pads in my bag to prevent this from happening. I use disposable nursing pads, but some people may like to use reusable ones. I have heard that the Bamboobies nursing pads are good reusable ones!

Small Cooler Bag: Some breast pumps come with a bag to store your pump as well as a cooler bag. Mine did not come with a cooler bag, so I use a small lunchbox/cooler bag to store my pump parts and my breastmilk. I was able to keep my cooler bag in a fridge at my school. If you do not have access to a fridge, I would invest in some ice packs.

Ice Packs: If you need ice packs, I like these ice packs because they are slim and you can put a few in your cooler bag.

Sharpie: I always have a sharpie handy so I can write the date and ounces of breastmilk on my milk storage bags. I also use the sharpie to mark off the uses for my sterilizer steam bags. 

Breastmilk Storage Bags: These Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags are hands down my favorite bags! They are the best ones I have found and I have tired A LOT. I keep a pack of storage bags in my pump bag since I reuse my bottles multiple times throughout the day. These bags are also easy to to lay flat and freeze.

Milk Boosting Snacks: If you are like me, while breastfeeding, I am ALWAYS starving. Oatmeal is great for milk production and is filling, so I always try to keep an oat based snack in my bag. I love these Bobo bites! They are tasty and a great snack that fits in my bag. They come in a variety of flavors.

Hand Sanitizer: In case you are not able to wash your hands, you will want to make sure you have some hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean. Hand sanitizer is always good to have on hand anyways.

Hand Towel or Paper Towels: You never know when you might have a spill or a leak! I always keep a small hand towel or paper towels handy to clean up any messes.

Hair Ties: I always keep a few hair ties in my bag. I like to pull my hair back when pumping to keep it out of the way.

Chapstick: While breastfeeding, I would often feel like my lips needed some chapstick! Breastfeeding made me quite thirsty so I am sure thats why my lips felt more chapped. I am an avid chapstick user as it is, so I always keep some on hand. It wouldn’t hurt to keep some in your pump bag. I like Burt’s Bees.

Water Bottle: As stated above I AM ALWAYS THIRSTY while breastfeeding. It is important to stay hydrated to maintain your milk supply. Breastfeeding or not, you should be staying hydrated for your health. Here is a giant water bottle that made it easy for me to stay hydrated. 

Travel Disinfecting Wipes: I always wiped down the surface where I was pumping with a Clorox wipe before I put my pump parts down. I suggest always having a travel pack in your bag.

Phone & Charger: Pumping can be very boring. Make sure you have your phone and a charger so you can scroll social media, listen to a podcast or audio book, look at pictures, or watch videos of your baby to pass the time. 

Feminine Products: I always keep some feminine products along with my nursing pads in my bag! You never know when you might need them.

TIPS:

Wear clothes that are pumping friendly! Dresses are not your friend when trying to pump. I remember the first time I wore a dress when I had to pump. I was pretty much in my birthday suit while pumping in the supply closet. It was really uncomfortable as I had to lift my whole dress up to pump. I was terrified someone would walk in and not only would I be pumping, but I would pretty much not have any clothes on! I did not wear a dress again, unless if I had leggings on or if it was a nursing dress that I could pull to the side or down.

Invest in nursing bras! You will have to take your whole bra off most likely if you do not have a nursing bra. I like to stay as clothed as possible so I invested in a few nursing bras. I found some at Target that were relatively inexpensive.

Wear patterns or dark tops. Patterned or dark clothing cover up milk leaks better! Even with nursing pads, leaks can still happen. I always try to wear dark colors or busy patterns to hide any unforeseen milk leaks. You may want to even keep an extra shirt in your pump bag.  

Try not to stress too much about pumping at work. Stress can cause your milk supply to dip. Looking at pictures or videos of your baby while pumping may help with your letdown and help you to get more milk. Just try to relax! You got this!

Read Across America Week: Themed Days

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr, Seuss

Read Across America Week is one of my favorite weeks of the school year! Not only do we celebrate Dr. Seuss and all of his wonderfully amazing books, but we celebrate reading in general! Here are some of the fun themed days we have planned for Read Across America Week!

Oh the Places You’ll Go Day

Oh the Places You’ll Go is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. For Read Across America week, I have my students dress up as what they would like to be when they grow up. If you teach younger kiddos, you may want to brainstorm ideas with them. For all dress up days, be sure to give notice to parents a few weeks in advance so they can adequately prepare!

Careers from left to right: Teacher, Doctor, Veterinarian, Astronaut

Along with dressing up, we usually do a craftivity (activity that is also a craft) that goes along with the book.

Oh the Places I’ll Go Craftivity

Prep:

  • Print hot air balloons and oh the places I’ll go copies
  • Take a picture of each child to add to the hot air balloon (optional)

Directions:

  • Students will write about the places they will go (college, career, etc.)
  • Students will decorate hot air balloon
  • Students will glue hot air balloon and Oh the Places I’ll Go writing portion to a 9×12 piece of construction paper
  • Optional: Students will add a picture of themselves to their hot air balloon basket (they will need to cut the picture to make it fit and may need teacher assistance)

The Cat in the Hat: Twin Day

We love The Cat in the Hat! In honor of this book and Thing 1 & Thing 2, we usually have Twin Day! The kids LOVE twin day and sometimes we even have some triplets.

After taking pictures of all of our sets of twins, we read The Cat in the Hat. Depending on the age of your students, you can modify this activity below!

How would you get the Cat in the Hat to leave your house?

Students will draw and or write about how they would get the Cat in the Hat to leave their house. I love how creative students get with this activity.

Wacky Wednesday

On Wednesday during Read Across America Week, we read Wacky Wednesday. Students are invited to wear as many colors or wacky clothing combinations as possible. This day is always TONS of fun.

After reading Wacky Wednesday, we do the activity How to Make Wednesday Wacky. This FREEBIE is set up for students to write a “how to” using first, next, then, and last. If you have younger students, they can simply draw a picture of a “wacky day” etc.

Sleep Book: Pajama Day

The day we read Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book is my favorite day because we always have PAJAMA DAY! I honestly think teachers love pajama day more than students do! Along with pajamas, I invite my students to bring in a blanket and or pillow and we lounge around and read for a designated amount of time. The kids think this is just amazing and so cool to have a pillow and blanket at school.

After reading The Sleep Book, we talk about dreams and dreaming. I have my students do a writing activity about what they like to dream about. If your students are not quite ready to write, they again can just draw a picture of what they like to dream about. You can find my FREEBIE for this below.

Reading Rocks!

Read Across America week is always tons of fun and is a great way to get kids excited about books and reading! Now would be a great time to establish a reading log with your students if you haven’t done so already. If you already have established a reading log, maybe add some new fun incentives for them when they reach certain milestones for the amount of pages read, or the amount of minutes read.

Remember…

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”  â€”Frank Serafini

I would love to see pictures of your Read Across America Week festivities! Please feel free to share them with me on Instagram using the hashtag #tayloredtoteach!

Thanks for stopping by!

Celebrating the 100th Day of School

The 100th day of school is SO MUCH FUN. It is a great way to celebrate learning. I will be sharing some fun ways to celebrate being 100 days smarter. These activities are mainly for the primary grades, but you can find so many ideas on Pinterest for any age!

100 Years Old on the 100th Day

Dressing up is always a big hit. The kids love it, and let’s be honest, teachers love it too! It is hilarious to see what some of my students come up with for their 100 year old costumes. I love seeing them with gray hair, glasses, canes, walkers, sweaters, etc! If you plan to have your students dress up, make sure you give parents enough notice!

100 Days Smarter Hats

Your students will be excited to proudly walk around school displaying that they are 100 days smarter! Make these easy hats using the steps below.

You will need:

Step 1: Have your students place 100 stickers in the 100 on the 100 Days Smarter FREEBIE.

100 Days Smarter FREEBIE PDF

Step 2: Glue or Staple the 100 Days Smarter FREEBIE to construction paper (9×12)

Step 3: Cut 12 x 18 construction paper into strips to use as the headband portion of the hat. Measure it around each student’s head before gluing or stapling together to form the hat. I usually have to staple two strips together to make the headband.

TADA! 100 Day Smarter Hats Complete!

100th Day Cereal Necklace

This is an easy activity for the 100th day! A necklace you can eat is always a big hit, especially in Kindergarten. This activity is a great fine motor activity and also reinforces number sense and counting to 100. You can have students create patterns with the different colored fruit loops if you want to take it up a notch.

You will need:

You can either put a big pile of fruit loops on a plate or you can have each student count out 100 pieces of cereal before starting. Students will then string their cereal onto their string counting as they go. I suggest that you tape one side of the string down to a table with masking tape so the cereal does not fall off the string. You can also clip one end of the string to a clipboard as well for the same effect.

I always wrap a piece of scotch tape around the end of the string to make it easier for students to thread the string through each fruit loops. Make sure to cut off any excess tape.

You can help each student tie the string together to form their necklace when they are finished. Students can simply wear their necklace or they can decide to snack on it throughout the day.

Build with 100

This is a fun engineering/STEM activity! Simply get 100 pieces of any item you can build with! Use items you already have to make this easier. Use 100 pattern blocks, linking cubes, Legos, dominoes, cups, etc.

Doing this in groups of 3-4 promotes teamwork and cooperation as students build structures using 100 items.

We also built the number 100 using Legos (we used more than 100 Legos for this). This was challenging for my students, but I helped them and they had so much fun.

Happy 100th Day!

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