Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: 101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever!



{Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book at no cost for the purpose of reviewing. The opinions contained in this post are entirely my own. Also included in the post are Amazon affiliate links.}

I was so excited to receive a copy of  "101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever!" by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller earlier this summer. I follow the Kids Activities blog and facebook page and love all the great activities they share and post, so I just knew I would love the book!

"101 Kids Activities That Are The Bestest, Funnest Ever!"  is chock full of easy to implement activities for kids that are sure-fire boredom busters! The book is broken down into four sections, "Boredom Busters", "Crafts", "Games" and "Simple Science". Each activity is only one page long, with a materials list and tips to help with activity implementation. Almost all of the activities are accompanied by a beautiful photograph of the activity. Plus, there are modifications included for younger kids and for older kids! 

I've not been in a classroom this summer (with the exception of helping out on various summer camp field trips), so I've not had the opportunity to implement any of the ideas yet, but I am SO excited that I've already bookmarked many to do with students during the first few weeks of school! (I will admit to trying a few activities on my own, though. I just couldn't wait! ;) There are a few activities that I've tried in the past, such as the "No Sew No-GlueTutu", the supersoft dough featured in "Archaeology Dig With Supersoft Dough" and  "Cork Boats & a Tinfoil River", that were BIG hits with my Pre-K classes, so I'm thrilled to have tons of new ideas ready to try. 

One of the first activities I want to try is this "Sticky Note Pom Pom Maze" from page 37. It looks like SO much fun! I'm pretty positive that this will quickly become a student favorite immediately!


From 101 Kids Activities by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller, printed with permission of Page Street Publishing June 2014
For full instructions, click here to download.


My class always does a unit on transportation and we usually make paper airplanes to fly, but I think I've just found the ultimate homemade glider! On page 121, Rachel and Holly feature a game called "Egg Carton Glider Throw". The game idea comes with instructions on how to make your own foam glider that is more sturdy than the store bought versions, AND, it is from recycled materials you probably already have lying around! Doesn't it look fun?


From 101 Kids Activities by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller, printed with permission of Page Street Publishing June 2014
For full instructions, click here to download.

I've shown this book to a few teacher friends, and they have all said that they have to have a copy! There are just so many great activities to try. Our new school year starts in less than 2 weeks, and I think after the dust settles and the kids are comfortable in their surroundings, I'll share the book with them and let them pick some activities to try, as well!


My Amazon affiliate link to get your own copy of this fab book:



All photos used with permission from 101 Kids Activities by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller, printed with permission of Page Street Publishing June 2014.


I'd love for you to share your thoughts! Leave a comment below!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Golf Is For Kids, Too!



It's Master's week here in Augusta, Georgia!!! Every year, our town hosts one of the biggest golf tournaments worldwide. People come from all over the globe. Local folks rent their homes and take on extra jobs that support the tournament (parking cars, catering house cleaning, driving, etc.). All the schools here close, as we use this week area wide for our Spring Break week. Golf is a BIG business. I have to say that as a kid, I did not fully appreciate what all went into Tournament week.  




Golf is a great game of skill. Children can get into the swing of things by playing miniature golf.  I found these cute carrot golf clubs that we have been playing with. It's been a great way to practice eye hand coordination and gross motor skills! Plus, you can't go wrong with golf clubs that only cost $1!!!

             Picture borrowed from: Christie Dedman The Birmingham News
http://blog.al.com/bargain-mom/2012/03/carrot_golf_or_baseball_kits_a.html


I have some WONDERFUL families in our program! One of my moms told me about a great children's book, "Badges, Egg Salad and Green Jackets: Masters A to Z"  written by a local author, Julie Alfriend Ferris, about the Masters. When another mom discovered I didn't have a copy, she gave me a signed copy! It is a great way to acquaint children with golf and the Masters Tournament and is beautifully illustrated with watercolor paintings!


These photos don't do the book justice, but here's a little peek at a couple of my favorite pages:




Here's a video of our local news station interviewing the author about the book. If you or your kids are golf fans, I'm sure you'll want your own copy of "Badges, Egg Salad and Green Jackets: Masters A to Z". You may visit   Junebug Print  or like the "Masters A to Z by Julie Alfriend Ferris" page on facebook to learn more! 

Many of our classrooms have incorporated golf into their activities and decor. Here are 2 of the bulletin boards that classes in our school are sporting!



Happy golfing! 




Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Just Playing?" Marble Run




Thanks for joining me here for another installment in our "Just Playing?" series! You are invited to view the photos/videos and really think about what you see going on here and be sure to share your thoughts, observations and reflections in the comments. Sure, the children are playing, but they are also learning! 

This week, I'm sharing a pictures of a marble run some of my school age kids made with blocks. They were so excited to share it with me! They kept revising it, trying to get the marble rolling faster and faster. About halfway through the run they would have to blow on the marble to keep it going. Finally, they tilted the end of the table up just a bit to create a slope which helped the marble roll without any help.






This week is NAEYC's official "Week of the Young Child". I've been so inspired by our "Just Playing?" series, that I wrote a post on PreK+K Sharing this week called "Play Is Where Learning Begins: WOYC".





We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

just playing

This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:

If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?



Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Just Playing?" Paper Cup Telephones




Thanks for joining me here for another installment in our "Just Playing?" series! You are invited to view the photos and really think about what you see going on here and be sure to share your thoughts, observations and reflections in the comments. Sure, the children are playing, but they are also learning! 

This week's photos were taken during an activity while exploring how sound travels. I made several sets of paper cup and string telephones and shared them with the children. I demonstrated quickly just once and let the kids go about exploring and experimenting. Eventually, they discovered that the more taut the string was, the better the sound traveled. 








We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

just playing

This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:

If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?




Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Just Playing?" Going Fishing Magnet Play




Thanks for joining me here for another installment in our "Just Playing?" series! You are invited to view the photos and really think about what you see going on here and be sure to share your thoughts, observations and reflections in the comments. Sure, the children are playing, but they are also learning! 

Some of the kids got out the magnets the other day and began to explore. In the box with the magnets, I have some metallic and non metallic items for the children to experiment with. 




While one little guy was playing, he kept adding items to the creation he was making. Before long, it resembled a fishing pole. 



He carried it around and pretended to fish, making motions as if to reel in a fish.



After a bit, he added a few of the paper clips and a plastic fish manipulative. The kids are pretty used to me taking photos of their play and when they have made something they are particularly proud of, they'll frequently call me over and ask me to take a picture, so it wasn't a surprise when he called to me, "Mrs. Ayn take my picture! I've caught a big one!"





We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

just playing

This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:


If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lorax Door Decor




In honor of Seuss week, we have lots of fun activities planned. This is the door to our classroom that welcomed our students last year. I plan to decorate similarly this year. The eyes sort of "float" on the window, attached to pleated paper. 



I took pool noodles and craft tissue to make a couple of truffela trees to line the hallway. 



The children will make lots of Seuss inspired art this week, I'm sure and our walls inside will be decorated with it, but I wanted to give them a little inspiration to get them started!

Happy birthday, Dr. Suess!!!!!!!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Just Playing?" : Building A Wall




Welcome to the 2nd installment in our "Just Playing?" series! You are invited to view the photos and really think about what you see going on here and be sure to share your thoughts, observations and reflections in the comments. Sure, the children are playing, but they are also learning! 

The students in these photos are building a wall with blocks.



They are lining them up. 




When someone accidentally bumps the blocks and they fall like dominoes, the children rebuild, this time placing the blocks closer together.




Last week's post, "Just Playing?": Cooking With Meatballs, featured children "cooking" on the playground with sand and gumballs from our Sweet Gum tree.




 I have a short video clip that explains a little more about what they were making:


video


The children explained that they were making a saute' with sand, meatballs, rocks and ants---and the ants were their helpers!



We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

just playing

This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:

If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Just Playing?" Blog Hop: Cooking With Meatballs

Welcome to our first "Just Playing?" weekly blog hop!







These children are "cooking" on our playground with gumballs from our Sweet Gum tree. The children call them "meatballs". Our playground is constantly filled with the sights and sounds of children cooking (too bad we can't smell it, too)! What do you think they are making here?



We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

  just playing  
This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:




If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?


I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments and please visit the other blogs in the "Just Playing" Blog Hop!

Thanks for stopping by!

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