Blog Archive

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Melted Crayons

Tired of finding only tiny pieces of crayons left?

Are your children to young for regular crayons? 

Here is a very simple solution!!

Take those tiny pieces of crayons and save them. Once you have a decent amount saved take off the paper and place the pieces into a silicone mold (I have found that these work best) and bake. 

Bake the pieces at 230°F for around 30 minutes (smaller pieces will melt faster). 

When they are done baking you can set them out to cool or if you are in a hurry you can place them in the fridge to cool faster. 

There are so many options for shapes and colors! You can make special crayons as a class during a holiday party or just as something special and new for the kids! 

The colors can be mixed together for a funky crayon or they can be separated by color. 

This is also a great way to work on colors and shapes with your toddlers!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Grizzly, Grumpy, Grouchy Grog

The Grizzly, Grumpy, Grouchy Grog is one of the Itty Bitty Phonics Readers by Creative Teaching Press. The story itself is only eight pages long. 

What  I really like about these books is just how they are set up. Each book has a purpose vowels (short and long) , consonants, and blends. Inside the book the pictures are blank so that each child who has the book can personalize and make the book special for them. 

The book says it is for grades K-1 but this would be a nice beginning book for parents/teachers/guardians to read with their younger children. This will get them more familiar with the story and they would be able to learn the words quicker and be able to put the pictures with the words. 

The book also has a page to have the children use their imagination and create their own book. It also comes with a list of vocabulary words that are in the story! 

I believe that reading is key! Any chance you get, read and talk to children!! No matter what age they are. Children need all the vocabulary you can give them!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! I know I did. I went up to camp. 

This camp really got me thinking this weekend because of the large amount of children that were there. These children were outside playing from the time they got up until it got too dark to see outside. They were running up and down the streets, riding their bikes, going to all of the different parks, swimming (even though it was only in the upper 60's), walking their pets, and playing baseball or basketball. They were all ACTIVE!! Earlier this month I talked about childhood obesity and how children need to exercise more. Even though every trailer up at this camp has television access these children were outside playing with other children having a wonderful time. 

I think this is a great experience for the children who were there and who will be going there all summer long. It allows them to see just how much fun they can have without electronics. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DIY Felt Board

I decided against buying my own felt board at this time. With felt boards costing anywhere from $20 - $100+ I felt that I could create my own board cheaper and I did! I went to my local Michael's craft store where I bought a large piece of felt which was around $4 or $5. I also purchased Elmer's foam boards (pack of 3). These were on sale for around $3. 

I cut the felt a little bit bigger than the board and folded it over to the back and stapled it into place. 

Now I have a felt board which I can easily move around and place on the ground, a stand or even by the chalkboard. Since it is so light the children are also able to use it with ease



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hugs for Teachers

 I recently read the book Hugs for Teachers which I highly recommend for any teachers or those who want to become teachers. This book of stories, sayings and scriptures to encourage and inspire allows the reader to see exactly how a teacher can reach their students.

This book is broken down into seven different chapters. Some of these chapters really spoke to me I have listed them below.

Chapter one is titled Redeemed by Love. In this chapter they have a quote written by a little boy named Daniel who is 8. I really love the fact that the quote is spelled exactly as this little boy wrote it! Children use inventive spelling all the time and we as professionals need to make sure that we can read and understand what the child is trying to say to us. If we do not they can get very frustrated and lose interest in reading, writing and spelling.

The main story in chapter one really shows how big of a difference a teacher can make in a child's life. There is a little boy Alex who is transformed from a trouble maker with reading, academic and social problems to a fluent reader with support and encouragement from the entire class. I really think this story is inspirational and is something that I know I will see when I have my own classroom.

Chapter Three is titled Remembered by a Child. In this story a teacher is shopping for groceries when a little boy comes and stands near her and runs away. Later on she sees the boy and his mother again, this time the little boy says that is the lady who saved my life. The teacher does not remember this little boy at first but then remembers that the day before he was walking in the hall with his teacher and he was choking on hard candy. Without hesitation this teacher picked him up loosening the candy from his throat so that he could breath. In the little boys eyes she really did save his life but in her eyes she was just doing her job by protecting and helping a child. This story was very meaningful to me yet again because it shows how something small can make the difference to that child.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Outside Art

As the weather is getting nicer (well hopefully), children get restless staying inside. During this time of year it is always nice to try and get outside as much as possible. 

One thing that is perfect to do outside is art. The children can make as much mess as they want because the teacher can just wash it away. Children love to get messy and this is a perfect way to get messy without having to take a lot of time to clean up. 

At daycare centers or preschools if water play is offered or even if you are at home with your own children. You can have the children wear bathing suits while painting and then run through the sprinklers which will clean off the paint and it is fun for the children. 

Outside the children have more room to run around and help get that exercise that is needed every day.  

Another advantage to doing things outside is that the art projects will dry quicker for the children to take home for their families. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nightmare Nibbler

I recently came across a new product on twitter called Nightmare Nibbler.

This is a plush toy that was created to ease a child at night who was afraid of the monsters under the bed. These same monsters also appear in their dreams. This Nightmare Nibbler (called Norbert) will nibble the monsters away from the child and their dreams. Allowing them to ease into sleep at night. The Nightmare Nibbler also comes with a Nightmare Nibbler poem. 

This company also has a wonderful program called the Nightmare Nibbler Project which for each Norbert sold another one is put aside to be given to a child who has experienced trauma. Also, for each child in crisis they offer 50% off the Nightmare Nibbler. 

I think this is a wonderful idea to help ease children to sleep at night. This will not only allow the child to get a good night's sleep but the parents as well. I also love that they are helping children in more than one way. I know that I will be purchasing one for my little cousin to help this amazing company. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Video Games

I love playing video games and I know how bad they can be for children. There is a lot of violence in video games and many people feel that children should not be allowed to play them. However, I disagree; I feel that video games can be useful for children.

Yes children in elementary school should not play Mature rated video games but it does not mean that all video games are bad for them.

With the increase of obesity I do feel that video games should be timed and children should play them for less than half an hour a day. However some video games can be played for longer periods of time.

For example I have a Wii, which is amazing! I play the game Just Dance (all of them!) For games like these, your body is the controller and you have to be up and moving around in order to play and receive points.

I highly recommend the Just Dance Games for either children or adults. While your child is dancing they are exercising without even noticing.

According to an online calorie calculator a child who dances (aerobic) for 10 minutes who weighs around 50 lbs will burn 22 calories in that time.  That is just three songs!

If you do not have a Wii or Xbox with kinect, you can use YouTube to find some of the songs and play them through your phone or computer.

Other traditional video games can be played but should be kept at a minimum; so that children can attempt with other things in life and live active lifestyles.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Childhood Obesity

For an educational class I have to write an advocacy letter. I am going to write it about childhood obesity. 

Obesity is more than 20 percent above ideal weight or a particular height and age. 

In the United States around 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese. This is a very alarming number. 

Children are not getting the correct amount of physical activity at home so we as professionals need to provide extra amounts of physical activity during the day. I think the best way to get children moving is to get them involved in the lessons. 

For example when teaching math have the children get up and use props for the math. You can go outside and use chalk to make a large number line and have the children jump to each number to do simple addition/subtraction problems.

Even just by adding a little time of exercise each day will allow the children to become healthier and more physically fit. 

Also as educators if we have snack we should provide healthy options to help keep them healthy.  

Parents, you can look for different options in your community for inexpensive ways to get your children moving. 

This site offers some tip sheets for parents to help their children with weight.