Sunday, April 26, 2015

Primary Peach Launch Party Freebie: Quick and Easy End of the Year Gift Ideas For Support Staff

Today is the day ---I can finally let the cat out of the bag!!!! I am thrilled to be a part of a BRAND NEW collaborative teaching blog, written exclusively by GEORGIA teacher bloggers!!! This new blog will be packed with tips, tricks, ideas and treats from some of the very best Georgia teachers! Now, without further adieu, I present:

And the news gets even MORE exciting! Our very first post is a BLOG HOP filled with End of the School Year themed FREEBIES!!!! It's hard to believe the school year is almost over. We've got some great goodies to help make your year-end craziness go just little bit smoother----each contributor has created a special Freebie to sweeten our Launch Party!  

I'm Ayn Colsh, a contributing author on the Primary Peach, as the resident Ga. Pre-K teacher. I've been teaching 20+ years, mostly in Pre-K, and and a BIG proponent of play-based, hands-on learning, I've been involved with the Georgia Pre-K program for 9 years now, and I LOVE what I do! Where else can you go to work and dress up, play, have snack, get dirty and have fun every day? Teaching is the BEST profession!  I blog about my adventures as a Georgia Pre-K teacher here on my personal blog, little illuminations, and am also a monthly contributor on the collaborative blog, PreK+K SharingI am married with two beautiful daughters, Lyndsay, 24 and Bailey, 17. We share our home with two dogs, Max and Ella.

Be sure to check out the "ABOUT" page on Primary Peach to meet all of our contributors!

Now, for the sweet treat I promised you. There are always the folks that helped my own children in school, and have been essential to my life as a teacher that are often forgotten when the "Thank You" gifts are handed out at the end of the year. The custodians, office staff, bus drivers, Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapists---all those folks who really have a hand in making our days go smoother are often overlooked. Most often, it is just not easy to purchase gifts for everyone we'd like to thank. A few years ago, my daughter started taking in doughnuts for the custodians near the end of the year because she said especially in high school, no one ever thinks to say "thank you" for all they do. I made these cute little gift tags that can be attached to a box of donuts for them this year. You don't have to spend a lot to let someone know that they are appreciated. A kind gesture goes a LONG way! 

You can get my FREEBIE "I 'DONUT' know what I'd do without you!" gift tags here!

Now, for EVEN MORE to sweeten the deal, how would you like to win a TPT gift certificate? We are having a Rafflecopter Giveaway too!!!! One lucky person will win a $50 TPT certificate and 3 more lucky folks will each win a $25 TPT gift certificate!!! You've got to be in it to win it! 

Ready to meet the next Primary Peach contributor? Click the link below and meet Jennifer from The Extra Energetic Educator. Be sure to keep clicking through to meet all of our fabulous bloggers and get the freebies on each blog!

Meet Jennifer from The Extra Energetic Educator!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Wide Mouthed Frog

Spring is here!!! We are learning about a variety of life cycles in our Pre-K class and reading lots of great books about animals that come out in the Spring. One of the favorite units is our unit on Pond Life, which includes all the animals found around a pond, especially frogs!
This week, we are reading two versions of the same story about the Wide Mouthed Frog. Although the stories vary a little, essentially the story is about a frog that goes around telling smaller creatures that he has a big wide mouth and will eat them. Eventually, he comes across something bigger than himself and discovers he is the desired meal time snack! 

   ***This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Little Illuminations is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.***

The Big Wide Mouthed Frog by Ana Martin Larranaga is a favorite in our class! The kids love to help tell the story by chiming in with the repetitive portions of the text!

Wide Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner is one of my favorites, because it is set in the Okefenokee Swamp, which is located in Georgia and Florida, so it includes creatures my students are familiar with. The kids love it because it is a pop-up book, and what kid doesn't just love a pop-up book?

We made our own wide mouthed frogs, using construction paper and paper plates. 

If you have a favorite Wide Mouthed Frog story that you love, please share it in the comments!!

**This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  little illuminations is a participant in the Amazon Srvices LLC Associates Program, an affliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to **

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Polar Bear Ice Cream Cups


I saw the teachers making these fun little ice cream cups for the kids in the toddler room and I had to share them here with you! They took a plain vanilla ice cream cup, added banana slices for ears, chocolate chips (upside down) for eyes and I'm not sure about the nose but I think it is an upside down Hershey's Kiss. Too cute!!! We will definitely be making these with some of our Polar activities next year! Look for some other fun wintery snacks we've had lately to be posted here soon!

Thanks for stopping by! I love to read your comments! Share them in the comment section below this post! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Man In The Moon: Children's Book Review

**I received a copy of this book to preview as a gift. After reading and enjoying, I agreed to write a review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated financially in any way..** 

I have recently had the opportunity to read a gorgeous new children's book by author Kelly Young-Silverman, titled "Man In The Moon". "Man in the Moon" is about a little girl who sees the moon and wonders what it must be like up there. She talks to the moon, and although he doesn't reply, he smiles down sweetly at her. Told in rhyming form, it is a very sweet story about friendship! 

There is a special treat hidden on each page----a sweet little ladybug. The pictures are beautiful watercolor illustrations by the extremely talented Erin the Great. 

This is sure to become a favorite and is perfect for a bedtime story. I read it to my Pre-K class and they absolutely loved it and have asked to hear it again!

You can purchase a copy of "Man in the Moon" on the author's website : Evie and Knox StoriesBonus: 5% of the book's proceeds go to help St. Jude's Children's Hospitals. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Doctor and Me ABC: Children's Book Review

** I received a digital copy of this book to preview as a gift. After reading and enjoying, I agreed to write a review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not compensated financially in any way. Also included in this post are my Amazon Affiliate links to the book.**

If you are a regular follower of little illuminations, you know that one of my passions is children's literature. I love collecting it, reading it and especially sharing it! I try to provide my students with a wide variety of reading material on our bookshelf relating to the topic we are currently discussing. Just before beginning our study on community helpers, the stars aligned and I received a message asking if I would like to preview an e-copy of a new book for children about going to the doctor called "My Doctor and Me ABC" written by Dr. Stephanie Cox, M.D. and illustrated by Emily Burger. Score!!!

Photos from "My Doctor a.nd Me ABC" used with permission from author

"My Doctor and Me ABC" is an adorably fun book that presents a healthy habit, body part, instrument or  medical exam component using a medical vocabulary word that goes with each letter of the alphabet, along with a little rhyme. It is like taking a mini field trip to the doctor's office!

Photos from "My Doctor a.nd Me ABC" used with permission from author

The illustrations are adorable and illustrate each concept well.

Photos from "My Doctor a.nd Me ABC" used with permission from author

Photos from "My Doctor a.nd Me ABC" used with permission from author

Dr. Stephanie Cox is a Family Physician in Iowa and enjoys caring for the children in her practice. She wrote the book in an effort to ease fears for children experiencing a doctor's visit. 

"My Doctor and Me ABC" has already received some notable attention. It has just won an Honorable Mention from the 2014 Readers' Choice 2014 International Book Awards. I'm sure it will be on some of the other book award lists soon!

I love the rhyming text and the use of common medical jargon. I think it is never too early to start helping children learn correct terminology--and this book does this beautifully without going over their heads!

Photos from "My Doctor a.nd Me ABC" used with permission from author

I read the book to my class and they LOVED it! I would definitely recommend getting this book for children before visiting the doctor's office or for teachers to use when learning about health and wellness or doctors/community helpers.

If you would like to purchase the book, you may click on my Amazon Affiliate link below:

Dr. Cox also has a facebook page for the book: "My Doctor and Me ABC" on which she shares about the book and posts and articles about kids' health. Stop by and give her page a "like" and be sure to let her know little illuminations sent you!

I love to read your thoughts and comments! Please share them in the "Comments" section below this post!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Going To The Doctor: Our Community Helpers

****Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.****

Going to the doctor can be scary for kids. When we talk about community helpers, I always include discussions and books about people in the medical profession. We talk about why it is important to have regular check-ups, going for sick visits and even immunizations. No one likes getting a shot, and preschoolers are often even more apprehensive since they are precisely at an age where many of the booster immunizations are administered. I think helping children know what to anticipate during a visit can be reassuring and helps to alleviate some of the fear. Whenever possible, I try to have parents (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) come in and share what they do. 

One of our parents (a doctor) came to visit and shared a sweet book called "What's In A Doctor's Bag?" by Neil Shulman and Sibley Fleming. She then pulled out items from her doctor's bag and demonstrated each item. Later, she let the kids explore and experiment with the items. The children listened to their heartbeats and had their reflexes tested. 

In our small groups later in the week, children made a little doctor kit, placing some of the first aid supplies inside while discussing what each item was used for.


We had a pharmacist (another parent) come to speak to our class. She talked about medicines, first aid and spreading germs. We did a great little experiment on spreading germs. She added some fine glitter to a bottle of hand sanitizer to simulate germs and gave two children a little squirt to rub on their hands. Each child shook hands with another student and that student continued to pass on the handshake. After everyone had finished, we looked at our hands. Even though only two people had the hand sanitizer germs, almost everyone had a little glitter on their hands! This really helped illustrate the concept of spreading germs in a concrete way. 

After talking about simple wound care (such as bug bites, cuts and scrapes), she gave use a little first aid kit for our class. We already have a pretty extensive first aid kit both in our classroom and in our school office, but this one is perfect to use on the fly for field trips. 

One of our neighboring classes did a cute craft about x rays. The students traced around their arms with chalk on black paper and glued cotton swabs to represent bones on the x ray. Too cute!!!!

I am so fortunate to have such great parents that are willing to come in to share their occupations with the class! I think many of the children's fears were eased by getting to know our community helpers and asking questions. Thank you, Dr. Syed, and Mrs. Williams for sharing your time and expertise with us!

If you'd like more information about the book Dr. Syed read to our class, click the link below.  
My Amazon Affiliate link:

And a few links for "medical" supplies for doctor/medical play:


I'd love to read your thoughts or comments! Please share them below the post!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

14 "Must-See" Sunday School Bulletin Boards, Doors and More!

While the norm here on little illuminations is posting about our adventures in Pre-K, I have recently started teaching Sunday School. We've had a small team of angels (especially Kristy and Lori) that worked tirelessly to make our Sunday School rooms bright, energetic and inviting. The decor is just SO fabulous, that I had to share them here with you! 

Our Sunday School program is centered around stations that the children (ages K-5) rotate through on various weeks. Stations include art, drama/storytelling, science, games and cooking. We also have  nursery, preschool and middle school rooms.

I just love this rainbow and cloud! It makes the room such a cozy place for children to curl up with a book!

This cross is just beautiful! Made by placing tape in the shape of a cross and painting stripes of color over it. When dry, remove the tape. I want to make one of these to hang in my home!

I love this Noah's Ark wall mural! Even the youngest members of our church are blessed with gorgeous surroundings!

The theme in our art/cooking/science is "
God is the Master Artist…Master Chef…Master Scientist…Master of All Creations".

Don't you just love this giant paint brush and palette in our art area?

These decorations in our cooking area are just too sweet!!!

In our drama room, this is a great way to "spotlight" our learning focus each week.

I love the Imagination Station! It just pops with color and creativity! The theme is "Gears...Setting our minds on God."

The pièce de résistance is this FABULOUS 3-D Albert Einstein bulletin board! 

We are SO blessed to have such creative folks leading the way for our Christian Education program! They have done such a wonderful job to make this an exciting and inviting space for our younger members of the church family. 

I love to hear your thoughts---share them in the comment section below! 

Thanks for stopping by!

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