Makeshift Chalkboard

One of my co-workers used this as one of her writing activities and I just loved it!   It is simply black construction paper and colorful chalk.

It is so fun because the letters really pop on the black paper and it will spice up your little one’s color / writing time.

I model the way to do it first : making the letters, writing neatly and carefully so chalk doesn’t smear, and switching colors to make the art more vibrant.

Then, I leave the example on display while my little one has a chance to practice whatever skills he/she is learning at the time.

Here is one example of the rebus sentence one of my Kindergarteners created with the words he knew:

Kindergarten Writing Sample “I can play” 🙂

Bubble Letters

I stay up late sometimes….it is 10:30.  But it feels much later so maybe I am being a little dramatic.  Being dramatic reminds me of my jr. high days of writing bubbly at all times.

And  tonight, I got the itch to download a free bubble letter font….it happens.  I went to, searched for a bubble letter font, and I downloaded one called “Janda Manatee” because I liked it the best.

I opened the file, clicked “Install”

And then I opened a Word document, changed the page orientation to Landscape, and typed Sean Patrick’s name using the new cute font.

I then clicked “Insert Shape” and filled his name with circles (I copied the circle size I liked and pasted it a lot of times first to make this go by fast!)…

I had to blow it up a little in the “Paint” Program to make it the size I wanted, but tomorrow I plan to do one of three things (if not all three) with this simple activity:

1) Encourage SP to cover each circle with little “poms poms.”

2) Encourage Sean Patrick to stamp the circles with his dot paint markers.

3) Encourage SP to stamp his finger print (ink pad style) on each circle.

This is a great pre-writing skill that develops his fine motor skills while emphasizing letter formation of the letters that are most meaningful to him, with a concentration on lower-case letters at this time.  Do you have any other ideas??!?  Cover each circle with a sticker maybe?  Please share your thoughts!

Update: HOw the lesson went down>

I used two print outs; one to show him ideas and the second to let him explore on his own.  I talked to him about the letters.  “Look Sean Patrick…mommy made your name with circles in the letters.  Can you still read the letters?  What letter is this? ” etc.

   We explored covering the letters with pom poms but that didn’t last long.  Sean Patrick had more fun stamping the letters with his fingers and decorating his name with star stickers.

Busy Bag (Take Three)

I started adding step-by-step teaching tips for some of my recent Busy Bag activities that Sean Patrick is experimenting with but this is taking me some time for a few reasons:

1) I like to introduce one activity every few days and really spend time maximizing the teaching opportunties from that “game” as Sean Patrick calls them.

2) I am a mommy teacher so I don’t spend much time on the computer – this blog is my hobby and I try to carve out more time in my day actually spending time working with and playing with my little ones 🙂

3) I like to spend time adding teaching tips for older children as well because I believe that EVERY activity can be and should be accommodated to each individual child.

So….at that….here is another activity….and one just in time to make use of all those Easter Eggs floating around your house 🙂

Egg Counting (The Link attached has other GREAT ideas, but try not to take them at face value….make a little step by step teaching plan for each activity because a “lesson plan” can structure the pace and aid the learning process)

This activity has MULTIPLE uses… to teach counting one to one and to teach addition in the most organic way by teaching about all the ways to get to a number (1 + 1 + 1 + 1= 4 ; 2 + 2 = 4 ; 4 + 0 = 4)


I suggest that you work on counting to, or adding to, ONE number at a time.

1) Start with the smaller side of the eggs on their backs….if you are working on the number four then place four egg halves on their backs.

2) “Let’s use the Easter Eggs to see all the different ways we can count to four!” or for older kids “Let’s……ways  we can add to the sum of four”

3) Place one pom pom in each egg (I switched to the small pom poms after the first try because I wanted all of them to be able to fit in one egg half when attempted) One and one and one and one is four! (four younger kids you can use “and” in  place of “plus” and “is” in place of “equals” just for now while they are being introduced to adding.

3) Dump them out and say – let’s see if there is another way to fill the eggs to count to four …One, two and one and one is four so two and two more is four.

4) Continue this until you have exhausted every means of arriving at the sum of four.  For older children model and demonstrate how to write out each problem.

5) Pick a number close in proximity to the number you worked on (like 5) and do it again….together this time.

6) Pick a number easier than the original number (like 3) and allow your little one to try on their own as you watch and make encouraging comments.

My Quiet Book Review and Giveaway!

I couldn’t be more excited to share one of my latest discoveries and favorite products out there for kiddos.  My fingers were itching to start writing about all the things I love about my new “Quiet Book” from Pacific Kid.

Look inside and then just nod in agreement as I rave about all the things I love about it:

  1. I love how practical it is as an on-the-go, time filler for independent reading… like road trips, waiting rooms, sporting events, etc.
  2. I love that it is an interactive book with so many skills to practice and talk about.

  3. I love that it incorporates numbers, telling time, colors, and matching shapes through hands-on learning.
  4. I love that it is one of the greatest books for fine motor development (get those little hands ready for everyday skills like buttoning pants and writing).
  5. I love that it incorporates sensory development like touch and feel because it provides a great framework for building vocabulary.
  6. I love that it is so well made.  The quality is just beautiful!
  7. I love that you can zip the book closed and cart it around with a carry-along handle because it is so travel-friendly!
  8. I love that I couldn’t give one away without owning one first 🙂

I’ve already spread the word to friends, teachers, and pediatric therapists because I really believe that every little one would benefit from and ENJOY owning this incredibly interactive book.

So, here are some ways that you can enter to win this fabulous book:

Enter by Midnight on Friday, November 4th so that I can announce the winner on Saturday 🙂

Pacific Kid has a lot of fabulous products like calendars, story boards, play walls, and puzzle blocks that are 3-dimensional stuffed pieces of art sewn by hand, and for a limited time you can use a promotional code just for being a mommy teacher. From November 1st to December 15th you will receive 10% off your orders placed through by entering the promo code “Mommy10”!

Take advantage of this deal in perfect timing for holiday shopping!

Tear-ific Artwork to Write About

One of my favorite art projects to do with kids, to develop the little muscles in their hands, is to have them tear apart little pieces of colorful construction paper and glue them onto a template to make a beautiful work of art that I usually help little ones write a sentence about.  One example is a fall picture that all you need in order to make it is crayons and construction paper:

You can have little ones tear apart little pieces of their favorite color construction paper (or seasonal colors) until the shreds fill a paper plate.

Then, have your little one help you come up with a template; mine was simply made up of a tree trunk and a circle for the pumpkin.

On top of this template apply a thin layer of glue…..I use rubber cement (or spread regular glue with a small paintbrush).

Before the glue dries, let your little one assemble the paper pieces onto their picture.

Finally, ask your little one to help you write a sentence about your picture.  For example, “I like the Fall” or “The leaves are falling.”

If you and your little one make your own Tear-Art please share on The Mommy Teacher Facebook Page:

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