Monthly Archives

July 2020

  • Under the Sea FREE Printable Handwriting Activity

    Happy summer, friends. We wanted to offer a quick and easy summer freebie for our readers. I created these printables for my preschooler who loves to spell new words. The activity is now available to download for your own little spellers!

    My son tends to appreciate handwriting practice when the subject is interesting so I used a few sea creatures to capture his attention. He got creative with the images, then wrote the animal’s name underneath. 

    Handwriting practice is an excellent complex motor activity and is important for brain development. Handwriting activates the brain and advances cognitive skills.

    It also contributes to reading fluency because it activates visual perception of letters. Studies show that writing improves memory,  and that students retain learning better when working with new ideas through handwriting instead of typing.

    For more on the importance of handwriting in a world that seems to be moving very quickly to the keyboard, click here.

    sea animals printable

    The Sea Creatures Printable bundle includes each sheet below!

    sea animals pintable

     


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    For more free printables, check out our Happy Earth conservation learning activity!

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  • First Day of School Book Favorites (+ activities too)

    We all know that the first day of school can be an emotional time for parents and kids alike. This year brings its own challenges, with virtual learning, social distancing requirements, and block scheduling planned for students across the country.

    This is new territory for everyone, and children are not immune to the uneasiness surrounding reopening schools. However, by staying positive and proactive, it’s possible to carve out an optimistic outlook for the upcoming school year.

    One of the best ways to ease a child’s anxiety is through literature. By introducing characters with feelings and situations resembling their own, they are able to ascertain insight and expand their perspective.

    And by forming character connections through literature with your child, you will be able to affirm their feelings and create open dialogue on topics of concern or excitement.

    Below we have listed some of our favorite first day of school books you can read to prepare your child for the new year. With comprehensive subjects such as first-day jitters, meeting new friends, learning the new school rules; we’ve listed a book for it all.

    You will also find some post-reading activities to stimulate follow-up conversations and engage your child even more with some of the characters and topics.

    See Our List of Favorite First Day of School Books and Activities Below!

    1. Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? 

    Through sweet, simple prose and vivid illustrations, this book encourages positive behavior as children see how very easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis.

    Activity:

    How Full Is Your Bucket childrens activity picture Have you child create a bucket of their own by thinking and writing down the things that make them happy and placing them in their bucket.

    Clickable link to download How Full is Your Bucket book activity

    2. First Day Jitters

    Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. First Day Jitters is sure to be treasured by anyone who has ever anticipated a first day of school.

    Activity: 

    Picture of boy holding First Day Jitters book activityHave your child make a “Jitter Juice”. Cut out all the emojis that your child feels about starting school and put them in the jitter juice. You can also make a “Jitter Juice” of your own with Hawaiian Punch and Sprite!

    Clickable image to First Day Jitters book activity

    3. Llama Llama Misses Mama

    It’s Llama Llama’s first day of school, and he’s not too happy about it. Still, he trudges along and makes his bed, brushes his teeth, and eats his breakfast.

    But once he arrives at his classroom — with so many new faces, new names, and new games — little Llama doesn’t know what to do. And when Mama Llama leaves, the little guy feels even more shy and alone. What will this lonely llama do? Will Mama ever return?

    Activity:

    Boy holding up Llama Llama paper plate craft

    With two paper plates, make an outline of Llama Llama’s head, ears and scruffy hair. Cut out the eyes, color and glue together to create a Llama Llama mask!

    4. Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books

    It’s the first day of first grade! Gilbert is looking forward to learning how to read and making new friends, but . . .

    Will the teacher be nice? Will first grade be too hard? Will he like his classmates? Will they like him? Gilbert is excited and nervous at the same time and maybe your littles will relate.

    Activity:

    What's in My Backpack book activity exampleDownload the below activity to help your little one prepare their backpack. They’ll need more than just books and pencils!

    Clickable image to Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books book activity

    5. David Goes to School

    In this sequel, young David heads off to school for the first time and David’s teacher certainly has her hands full! From running, yelling, and pushing with abandon to chewing gum in class, David’s high-energy antics fill each day with trouble. David’s unruly romp through school is sure to bring a smile to the face of even the best-behaved reader. Read along as David learns the school rules.

    Activity:

    Picture of David Goes to School book activitySchool rules are very important. See if your child knows the difference between good school behavior and what is not allowed with this “Yes, David – No, David” activity.

    Clickable link to David Goes to School book activity download

    Our List of Back to School book FAVORITES!

    Interested in more back-to-school posts? Check out this post to download a free first day of school printable!

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  • The ABC Guide to Allyship – Printable for Kids!

    As a parent with progressive values, raising kids with big hearts, open minds, and critical thinking skills is extremely important to me. I didn’t learn the true meaning of allyship (and I will always be learning) until I finished college, and for my kids, this simply will not do.

    As they go through life in its many phases, I want them to understand what it means to be an ally, so they can best support their friends and others who are not treated fairly in society, simply based on who they are.

    I believe most parents/teachers/caregivers grapple with when to start having difficult conversations about societal inequity with their kids.

    Yet research indicates that starting from a very young age, children are taught who has power and who is valued in society, through media, interactions with family members and friends, etc. Knowing this, it is never too early.

    Teaching kids about allyship

     

    Want to learn more?

    Let’s first define an ally as a partner who works in solidarity alongside members of marginalized communities to correct the systems that obstruct them from advancing in society. Allies work for everyone to be treated fairly regardless of race, ability, sexuality, socioeconomic status, etc.

    Anyone can be an ally if they put in the work. Some of us are born with benefits specific to the groups we belong to. For example: A white woman can be an ally to indigenous groups, a straight person can be an ally to LGBTQIA members, a man can be an ally to women.

    Most importantly, being an ally means working hard to move everyone forward. 

    Why is this work important? Let’s dive deeper. Download our Printable!

    I created this printable guide to help kids do just that. Dive deep! The goal is for them to feel adequate in their understanding of the terms and concepts that accompany allyship work, and to learn to celebrate diversity, which provides them a more worldly perspective.

    In doing so, my hope is that overtime, they will acquire the skillset necessary to recognize injustice when they encounter it, and the confidence to challenge intolerance when it presents itself.

    Help Kids understand the importance of social allyship with this inclusive parent/teacher/caregiver resource on how to become an ally in solidarity with marginalized communities. Together we can make the world a brighter place.

     

     

     

    teaching antiracism teaching antiracism teaching antiracism

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