Posts Tagged ‘free printable’

Today I’m bringing over a free printable from my other blog, Why Amy Smiles, to share with you. I’ve updated it from last year and think you’ll enjoy using this fun interview with your kiddo(s)! Below is the original post, with updates for 2014:

Kids grow and change so fast, and those of us who are parents or grandparents often wish we could somehow capture a slice of life from each stage to hold onto forever. So today I am offering you an opportunity to do just that!

The changing of the calendar year is a great time to reflect on the rapid changes in our kids’ likes, dislikes, and personalities. I created this interview sheet to use with my own kids, and decided to share it with you here. There’s a download link below, but first, here’s how the interview looks:

2014 New Year Interview

2014 New Year Interview

It’s two pages long, so you’ll want to print on front and back. Keep in mind that in our family, we have four kiddos ranging in age from newly five to eighteen, so I included questions to fit preschoolers through teenagers. I purposely started out with the easy questions like favorite colors and foods, then progressed to the more thought-provoking ones.

If you are using this with toddlers, you have several options for adjusting it to their level:

1. Print the first page only, and use the empty space on the back to stamp a handprint or let the child “draw” pictures. (Read: scribble)

2. Selectively answer whatever questions from both pages you feel apply to your child.

3. Make changes to the questions that don’t fit your child’s age. For example, with my youngest I’ll cross out “youth group activity” and replace it with “things to do with my friends.”

Even if your child or grandchild isn’t talking yet, you will want to fill in favorite songs, toys, foods, etc. to have a record of this stage in your baby’s life.  While your older kids are filling out their own, you can let your little ones dictate their answers to you. You might even want to fill one in for yourself while you’re at it!

Of course, you also have the option to use my idea as a starting point and create your own interview to fit your family’s needs. But for those of you who want to skip the hassle and use what I’m sharing (Did I mention it’s FREE?), here’s the link:

2014 New Year’s Interview

Won’t it be fun to look back in a few years to see how the answers have changed?

Enjoy learning together!

This week at Cheerful Learning Preschool we’ve been knee deep into learning about our great country in honor of our very special, very important Independence Day holiday. Don’t let anyone tell you that preschoolers can’t understand and remember all kinds of information about the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Liberty Bell, the White House, and many other famous landmarks and patriotic concepts.

Having said that, we never want to get so wrapped up in the facts that we forget to have some big fun doing those “just because” crafts and activities. Here are just a few of the things we did this week to celebrate and learn about the USA:

Mostly, we focused on recreating the American flag, starting with this adorable handprint version I found here.

handprint flag

We pressed her painted hand onto black construction paper (so the white would show up) and she used her finger, dipped in white paint, to create the “stars.”

handprint flag

We did some fun patterning activities for math with these fireworks pattern strips and cards. I downloaded them from here and printed on cardstock. We gave names to each type of firework so she could say the patterns out loud as she worked.

preschool patterns--fireworks

If your preschooler loves to use a paper punch as much as mine does, he’ll love making his own stars for a USA flag craft like the one below:

preschool USA flag

preschool USA flag

preschool USA flagDon’t you just love the finished product? Adorable! (This activity was very loosely based on this idea.)

We did tons of activities downloaded from this website, including shadow matching, find the difference, what comes next, matching, tracing and other pre-writing activities, and lots and lots of these fun puzzles:

USA puzzles for preschoolers

For movement, I printed off a whole set of fun little action cards like the ones below from here. (I printed several cute, patriotic songs while I was there, too,!)

4th of July action cards

In the end, though, it was right back to our Grand Old Flag. We still love do-a-dot marker activities, so had to add in this project. (I found it here.)

do-a-dot flag

do-a-dot flagWhatever you and your preschooler do to celebrate and learn about this important holiday, I hope that you….

Enjoy learning together!

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted what we’ve been doing around here, and if you’re curios about why, you can check out this post. If you just want to jump into a fun, book-related activity, you are in the right place!

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.)

A while back Remi and I enjoyed a silly, hands-on unit centered around another of Dr. Seuss’ genius works, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Here’s what we did, and how you can do it all, too:

Of course, the first thing we did was read the book together.

And though we’ve read this one a thousand times before, Remi never seems to grow tired of hearing it…or any other Seuss books, for that matter.

Then we got started on our projects.

First up was some math fun. We did some Goldfish Graphing using a free printable from here and some colored Goldfish crackers.

Remi had fun lining up the fish, and then counting to see how many there were of each color.

We also used our Goldfish crackers to do some number matching. She had to look at the number on each fishbowl and figure out how many fish to place inside the bowl.

Each time she found a broken one, she pointed out that she really couldn’t count with it, and asked if she should eat it instead.

You can get the free printable below right here.

For our first snack, we made some blue Jell-O to represent the water, and when it started to gel we added some Swedish Fish candy. I found the idea here, and trust me when I say it was a BIG hit.

Then, after looking through the book at all the zany creatures Dr. Seuss came up with, I asked Remi to create some crazy creatures of her own. I gave her some different colors of Play-Doh, a container of plastic beads, and a big bag of colored feathers, and let her go to town doing whatever she wanted with them. (You could use any craft materials you like for this activity.)

These are the creatures Remi came up with: (Hey, she was only three…)

I got the idea for making the creatures from this post, and there is a lot you can do with this activity. Just shaping the Play-Doh and pushing in the 3-D elements is a great fine-motor activity, plus you can add in some language enrichment by having her tell you about each creature. What is the creature’s name? What does it do? What does it eat? 

Before our next snack, we looked back at the pages that talk about the Yink who likes to wink and drink pink ink. I put some pink ink in a little glass for Remi…well, OK, it was really just strawberry milk, but hey—we’re using our imaginations here! I got the pink ink idea here and then I added a straw and pompom to make it extra fun.

Of course, as she was drinking her pink ink, Remi practiced winking, too.

We did these activities months ago, but she still asks me if we can drink pink ink again…and that, to me, is the measure of success! Such simple things can make big impressions on preschoolers, so use your imagination and try some silly things that they’ll remember forever! (And don’t forget to take some pictures to jog those memories, for both of you.)

For our final project, we made a handprint craft to represent the book’s title. I painted Remi’s hands—one red, one blue, of course. This was just as much fun as the craft itself!

Then I had her stamp them on a piece of sturdy white paper and I labeled them for her. (I got the handprint idea from here.)

I cut the paper into the shape of a fishbowl and Remi used a black marker to add faces to the fish once the paint was dry. Then, I poured some light corn syrup into a small container for her and let her squeeze in a few drops of blue food coloring. We mixed it up and she used a paintbrush to spread it all over the fishbowl to make it look like it was full of water. (No worries if your child licks this “paint” off her fingers, either!)

The end result not only looked great; it felt great, too! It wasn’t sticky, exactly, but nice and squishy when pressed on with my…um, I mean, her…fingers (after we let it dry overnight, of course).

I hope you enjoy these One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish activities with your preschooler. I’d love your feedback.

Enjoy learning together!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Cheerful Learning!

In honor of tomorrow’s holiday, why not try out some fun, heart-themed activities with your little ones?

For example, how fun are those paper plate hats? I got the idea from here, and we just happened to have some pink paper plates left over from Remi’s recent princess birthday party, so we were ready to go! (Only have white plates? No problem! Just hand your preschooler some crayons, markers, or paints, and let her go to town decorating the hat herself!)

I drew the pattern on the plate and let Remi cut it out herself. This was her first time using scissors on something other than plain paper, and it was challenging for her little hands, but she did the best she could and I took over to help out right at the end.

Anything to work those hand muscles is good preparation for all the writing she has ahead of her in future school grades. One of my favorite things to do with Remi is taking her to the bathroom mirror to look at her creations. I always enjoy the response!

We also did several fun, heart-themed math activities. (I got all the free printables from here, and you can, too!)

We started out with a Count-and-Sort activity. I gave her a box of candy conversation hearts…you know, the ones that taste like chalk? 😉 She arranged them by color on the sorting mat, then counted how many of each color she had. We talked about more, less, most, least, and fewest as she answered questions about each.

Next up was a Heart Graphing activity.

Remi looked at the color words at the bottom of the graph, and added the hearts where appropriate. Then we looked at the graph together and I had her compare the stacks. (Which has more—green, or purple? Do any of them the same amount?)

If your preschooler is like mine, she loves any activity involving do-a-dot markers, so why not try a game of Heart Bingo?

I wrote numerals on each heart and then gave her a die, and each time she rolled it she had to count the pips (dots on the die) and stamp that numeral. She did this over and over and over!

The mistake I made? There were eight hearts, so without thinking I numbered them one through eight. Well, as you know, there are only six sides of a die, and she quickly noticed that she was never going to get a seven or eight. She asked if she could go ahead and stamp them anyway, and I let her—after identifying each and counting aloud for me.

By the way, this is a great time to teach your child that two are DICE and one is a DIE.

While the die was out, we used it to play a Valentine’s Grid Game.

I gave her some red Unifix cubes and told her they were bear candy. The grid contained bears with hearts, and those bears were VERY hungry for some Valentine’s candy. But, the only was they could get some was for her to roll the die, count the pips, and give that number of bears one piece of “candy” each. She was very concerned about the poor, hungry bears, and worked quickly to make sure each one had a treat!

In the meantime, she was getting some good practice identifying those dot patterns…but don’t tell her that, OK?

The great thing about all these activities is that, once you get your preschooler started, she can work fairly independently if you need to teach older children, nurse a baby, etc. Just stay close enough to enjoy watching the fun she’s having!

We brought the conversation hearts back out for some Heart Patterning work.

The worksheets I used were from a set of eight pages (see link above) and contained AB, ABC, AABB, and AAB patterns. Unfortunately, our box of candy didn’t contain all the colors we needed, so we just did the ones we could and a few times I substituted for her by, for example, covering yellow hearts with green candy ones to change the pattern to something we could do with the hearts we had. And, finally, she got to eat some hearts as a reward for all her hard “work” (play) doing math! 🙂

Finally, we did a fun Valentine’s Maze. I explained to my daughter that this little man loved this little woman, and really wanted to give her some flowers for Valentine’s Day, but he was having a hard time finding her. Remi was all too happy to help him out!

I found the maze at this site, which also contains other preschool printables like dot-to-dots, as well as lots of fun activities for your older kids, too. I printed out several Valentine’s Day activities from there for my ten year old, including word searches, word scrambles, and crypto-families.

Make the most of this special day with your little one. By next Valentine’s Day, she’ll be so much more grown up!

From our family to yours, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy learning together!

 

Today on my personal blog, Why Amy Smiles, I share a fun interview you can do with your child to forever capture his unique preferences at this moment in time, along with ways to adapt the interview for very young children and even babies.

Follow this link to the blog post, where you can download the interview sheets for free:

http://whyamysmiles.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/free-printable-capture-your-childs-life-now-with-this-new-years-interview/

I hope you enjoy interviewing your child. Dictating his answers for you will be great language workout for your little one. More importantly, in my opinion, how fun it will be to look back later and see how very much his answers have changed!

Enjoy learning together.