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Activities for Kids

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

    As the summer comes to an end, so comes change for your child as the new school year begins. We all know that the starting the first day of school can be an anticipating and emotional time, as expected.

    One of the best ways my husband and I have found to ease our son’s impending emotions is through literature. By introducing characters with feelings and situations resembling his everydayness, he gains better insight and expands his 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 school rules – we’ve listed a book for them 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!

    Graphic on best books to read for the first day of school with example books

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

     

    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

    More First Day of School 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 States I’ve Visited – A Printable Travel Log & Learning Activity for Kids

    It is a personal bucket list item of mine to visit all 50 states and if possible, the National Parks within their limits. With summer road trips and family vacations on the horizon, I wanted to find a way to pass this passion for travel along to my oldest who appears to share the same adventure spirit.

    Additionally, I wanted to create a fun way to learn about the 50 states and the protected lands we call our National Parks.

    The parks offer an exceptional gateway to the unique features each state has to offer. By highlighting each park visited my hope is that he will be encouraged to continue to visit these sites throughout his life.

    Above all, it’s important that my son understands the seriousness of protecting these sacred properties that our memories are made on.

    The printable domestic travel log and learning activity for kids (available for download below!) is a great way to foster an excitement for travel and exploration, and serves as a good introduction to the states that embody this vast, beautiful country. It can be printed and placed in a binder or framed on the wall for display.

    We hope your littles enjoy adding marks to the checklist year after year, and learn more about the 50 states as they color in the shapes on the map.

    Here are a few photos of my son filling out his own domestic travel log and how we’ve decided to display this fun learning activity for kids!

    We decided to make the map colorful but it would be fun to color code each state by year visited or otherwise! It is displayed here in a frame but a binder with page protectors is also a good idea to preserve the log.

    For the 50 states checklist, we added the dates that we traveled to each one (for the ones we could remember) as a memory keeper. We circled the parks that we’ve visited but a highlighter would work too!



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  • Create a Summer Activity Planner – Free Printable Included!

    My son thrives on routines; the consistency not only gives him a sense of security, but it helps him to feel confident in time management as well. Creating an established routine also assists in developing important habits and life skills. Now with summer ending, I knew I needed to create some type of schedule once school ended that will carry on the steadiness in his daily activities.

    If you know me, you know I’m a planner by nature; so in one month’s time…this mama will need an agenda. This year, I decided to add a supplemental summer planner printable to go along with our Printable Family Binder Bundle and I’m so excited to share it with you!

    See what our Summer Activity Planner has inside!

    The Summer Activity Planner has 5 pages included:

    • Weekly Summer Schedule: A guideline of fun summer activities you can do with your child throughout the week.
    • Daily Summer Schedule: A timeline of suggested daily activities. Feel free to have your child choose summer bucket list ideas for their daily activity.
    • Summer Bucket List: A list of obligatory summer ideas for kids.
    • Summer Reading List: Create and track your summer reading list and then have your child rate their books!
    • Summer Chore Chart: Age appropriate chore chart for the summer.

    Image of Summer Planner BinderI printed out ours and put it into our Family Emergency Binder so we have a single place to reference all family items.

    How do you plan your daily summer activities? I’d love to hear your best tips in the comments below!



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  • 3 Easy Ways to Teach Kids Phone Numbers

    A few months ago, I shared a project to help teach children their address. It ended up being a fun and creative way to get my 5 year old to memorize the specifics about where we live. Because the hands-on activity was enjoyable for him, he caught on quick and I thought it would be a great strategy to implement similarly when teaching him other life skills, like learning important phone numbers!

    These days we’re likely to just tap on a name in our phone without needing to remember any numbers, but theres no denying that learning and memorizing important phone numbers is a great life skill to have. By teaching your child important phone numbers, you are helping them to be self-sufficient and confident – and it could possibly be life-saving.

    Here are 3 easy ways you can teach kids important phone numbers

    1. Make a bracelet!

    Picture of phone number bracelet activity

    This simple project was a hit with my son! Wearing a bracelet with an important phone number is a great reminder for you child and they’ll easily be able to recognize and recite it after repeatedly seeing it. Additionally, wearing a bracelet with an important phone number can be a smart safety plan for family outings, such as an amusement park and (god forbid) you were to get separated.

    Creating the bracelet is simple: Just use an assortment of bead colors, number beads and some elastic string. If you want your child to learn multiple phone numbers, you can even use alphabet beads to include the persons name in the bracelet. Besides being a helpful learning activity, creating the phone number bracelet strengthens fine motor skills as well.

    2. Play a match gamePicture of craft stick phone number activity to memorize phone number

    With two common household items, you can create this craft stick phone number activity. Using a popsicle stick, write your important phone number down and write numbers 0-9 on clothespins. Play a matching game and see if you child can match up the numbers. If you have multiple numbers you would like them to practice learning, label the popsicle sticks on the opposite side (i.e. “Mimi’s Phone,” “Police,” etc). You can even test your child, like flash cards, to see if they can match the contact to the phone number.

    3. Practice dialing important numbers (free worksheets below)

    Picture of practice phone number dialing
    Practice makes perfect – and we created a free worksheet bundle that you can use with your child to encourage phone number memorization. The worksheets are a great visual for your child to see what exact numbers in sequence they need to plug in and includes a pretend phone sheet to practice dialing those numbers.

    Download the FREE printable for this activity below!

    Picture of printable phone bundle to teach kids their phone number

    If you liked this project, you might enjoy this post where we share teaching your kids their addresses!



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  • Happy Earth Children’s PRINTABLE Earth Day Activity

    As a self-proclaimed tree hugger it’s important to me that my kids understand the importance of Earth Day and why it’s vital to the future of our planet to set aside time to care for it. This activity is a simple and effective way to have that teachable moment on what keeps Earth healthy and thus, happy. On the opposite side, it highlights the actions that impact our environment in a negative way.

    Watch as they sort & learn the small ways we can reduce and reuse to protect our precious planet. We’ve included the FREE Happy Earth Children’s Earth Day Activity printable. It’s available for download at the bottom of this post. Happy Earth Day!

    Picture of Happy Earth Printable activity for Earth Day learning and creating.

    You will need:

    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Blue or green construction paper
    • The Rock It Mama Earth Day printable (Two-page download at the bottom of post)

    Directions

    Glue the sorting chart page on either the green or blue construction paper for aesthetic purposes. Next, cut the two earths first and have your child distinguish between the happy earth vs. the sad earth. Glue both earths on the top of each side of the T chart.

    As each graphic is cut out, have a conversation about the picture and what is taking place. Explain why each picture either makes the Earth happy or sad based on what is occurring. Lastly, have them glue the graphic on the correct side of the T chart.

    Cutting Happy Earth printable for Earth Day learning activity.

    Just look at that focus! (Insert heart eyes)

    He’s well on his way to becoming a passionate environmentalist. Need more fun ideas for appreciating nature and the world around us? Add these 7 Nature and Exploration Ideas for Kids to your list!



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  • 7 Nature Activities and Exploration Ideas for Kids

    Picture of natures activities

    With the cold weather letting up, now is the perfect time to get outdoors! We’ve put together some fun, yet simple activities that incorporate nature to encourage creativity, learning and exploration!

    Flower Petal Suncatcher

    This adorable idea by Messy Little Monster gets the kids out to hunt for different kinds of flowers to create their own suncatcher. This is a great way to encourage pattern building and putting a picture together, while making a beautiful piece of art to show off at home!

    Backyard Dollar Tree Fairy Garden

    Decorate your backyard with a fairy garden. Your children can use their imagination to come up with what they think a garden fairy would love at a home. In this project, Glitter on a Dime was able to find cheap accessories at Dollar Tree and then used existing branches and plants to create their landscape design.

    Nature Scavenger Hunt + Free Printable

    This is such an adventurous activity and one you can knock out while taking a nature walk. Encourage your children to find all the items on the list, which prompts them to use their senses (sight, touch, smell, sounds) and identity color and shapes. My son loved this scavenger hunt and we plan to do many more in the future!

    Spring Outdoor Challenge + Free Printable

    Picture of Spring Outdoor Challenges for Kids

    Activity by We’re Parents

    This challenge looks incredibly fun! We’re Parents put together this Spring Outdoor Challenge which gives you and your little one 10 places to go, 10 things to find and 10 things to take pictures of. This is not only a spring challenge to get your kids outdoors and active, but is a great bucket list for spring!

    Cardboard Tube Bird Feeder

    What’s a nature activity without making a DIY bird feeder? This simple activity can be made with common households items and brings more of the nature to you! We love making this easy tube bird feeders and seeing all the different bird species that stop by, you’d be surprised how many there are!

    Stick Craft Nature Paintbrushes

    Nature can create some amazing art. Encourage your child to go on a nature walk and collect different materials with interesting prints. Then make your paint brush and experiment with paint and see what crazy types of patterns your nature paint brushes make!

    Park Bingo + Free Printable

    Picture of Park Bingo

    Activity by Coffee & Carpool

    Make the most of your park visits by turning it into a Bingo game! Use this game by Coffee & Carpool to discover new parks!

    Do you have any nature activities that you love to do? If so, feel free to share, we are always looking for new ideas.

    If you enjoyed this post, you might like these indoor crafts for preschoolers.

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