Friday Showcase- Beach Theme

I am on a beach theme kick lately.  First we made flip flops and now sand castles.  I blame it on the fact that it is already in the 90’s here in Florida and we’ve been to the beach several times already.

This craft was so easy and turned out really cute.  I got 2 toilet paper rolls and cut one about 1/4 of the way down.  Then I cut out a window in the tallest roll and cut rectangles out of the top of each one to make them look like castles.  We collected sand and crushed up shells from a park across the street.  We covered the rolls in glue and Ashlyn rolled them in the sand.  Then she cut a triangle out of paper to make a flag and she glued it to a toothpick.




For room time my 2 year old did an activity with magnetic letters.  I colored and cut out some beach pictures with the words at the bottom(crab, sand, towel, etc) and put a magnet on the back.  Then I gave her a cookie sheet and some magnetic letters and had her spell out the words.  She was so proud of herself.


Check out more Friday Showcase crafts here.

I’m Back!

After 3 weeks away at a Young Life camp in North Georgia (I hope to post more on this later) and almost a week of being sick, I am finally back to posting on the blog.  I know my 4 readers missed me.

We spent the day taking the girls to the zoo, painting a bird feeder, and hanging out at home.  After dinner the girls wanted to play outside with their new polka dotted chalk.  It only took a couple of minutes before Emily was bored with the chalk so I made up a game to keep her interest.  I wrote a letter with the chalk and asked her what letter it was.  I continued this with several letters and we talked about what sounds each made.  Then I asked her to jump on a certain letter.  She loved it!  I would change it up and say, “Can you jump over the A?”  “Can you step on the R?”  We did this for about 15 minutes until Ashlyn wanted to play.

I thought letters weren’t challenging enough for her so I made a hopscotch board.  Instead of using numbers I wrote some of her sight words in the boxes.  She had to throw a stick and read the word it landed on, then hop to it.  I kept thinking of other things you could use.  Shapes, color words, numbers that aren’t in order, and sight words were some examples I thought of.  It was a fun way to spend the evening without them even realizing they were learning.




Magnetic Letters

Magnetic letters are great for kids to play with.  Kids of all ages can benefit from using them.  Younger kids can learn their letters by finding matching letters together while older kids can start forming words.  Many kids learn best by touching and doing.  It’s a great hands on activity.  Ashlyn plays with them in room time.  I have her spell out her sight words or names of people in the family.  I use a cookie sheet for her to spell the words on because they are magnetic. 

While these are a great learning activity, they are a pain to store.  When I was teaching I found that a tackle box was perfect for this.  They have 24 little square compartments so I combine the letters w and x together and y and z.  it’s much better than stuffing them all in a ziploc bag.

magnetic letters

Bean Soup

I was looking in the cabinets last week for something to make for dinner and came across two bags of 15 bean soup.  I’m pretty sure it had been in there for a couple of years.  My mom used to make it for us when I was in highschool. Every time  I would go to cook it, I would remember that I didn’t soak the beans over night like you are supposed to.  I realized that I probably never would so I decided to open the bag and sort the beans.  If I wasn’t going to eat it I was going to use it for some sort of craft.

Normally I would have let Ashlyn help me sort the beans but it was during her rest time so I did it myself.  I made individual bags for all the different types of beans.  When the girls woke up, Emily wanted to make something.  We have been working on her letters so I asked her what letter she wanted to make.  She chose an A and I had her use the beans.  I wrote an A with glue and then had her place the beans on the glue.

Emily making an A

That’s all I’ve used the beans for so far because we have been so busy.  But, they can be used for many other things as well.

  • counters for adding or subtracting
  • mix some together again and have them sort them
  • making letters, numbers, or shapes
  • making your child’s name
  • decorating pictures
  • counting
  • graphing

Everyday Games

Here are a couple of simple games to help your child learn letters and letter sounds.  These can be played anywhere but are especially great for car rides, waiting in lines or at the doctor’s office or even while grocery shopping. 

You know the old game “I Spy”, well instead of using colors that you spy, try using objects that begin with certain letters. ex. “I spy something that starts with the letter B.”  If your child is older and needs more of a challenge, try ” I spy something that ends with a B.”

Another game is what I call “Mystery Letter”.  Start by saying, “I’m thinking of a letter that …”  Give your child clues about the letter.  ex. what sound it makes, what words it’s in, if it’s in their name, etc.  Once they guess your letter let them think of one to give you clues to.

Both of these games are simple, fun, and are great for practicing letter sounds.