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Countdown to Kindergarten Activities

{Read.Explore.Learn} Countdown to Kindergarten Activities

Countdown to Kindergarten shares the tale of little girl that is made to worry about kindergarten by some rules shared with her by a first grader. The first grade tells her that she can’t bring her stuffed bear to school. She isn’t allowed to bring her cat either. Finally she is told she has to know how to tie her shoes.

She has already mastered so many things. She can count backwards from 10!

The little girl tries to hide her shoes so her mom will have to buy shoes with velcro. She takes out her shoelaces. She sits with her dad and really tries to learn to tie her shoes. She tries all kinds of things with her shoes.  She is so worried she will get in trouble!

When she gets to school she finds out the first grader was all wrong. There is a day that she can bring in her stuffed animals. There is a time to work on tying shoes with the teachers help. The little girl is so relieved that she won’t get in trouble. Her teacher makes her day.

What did we do to explore Countdown to Kindergarten?

Shoe Lacing Number Facts

{Read.Explore.Learn} Countdown to Kindergarten Activities

Cardboard shoes made from an old pizza box were created to work on addition facts. Math facts were placed on the left side of each shoe and the answers to the facts were placed right. Shoelace holes were placed below each number fact. Two additional holes were punched at the bottom of each column to act as a starting place for lacing through the facts.

The laces go right to left and back again. Sometimes the lace will  go from the number sentence to the sum and sometimes it goes sum to number sentence.

Uppercase to Lowercase Letter Lacing

{Read.Explore.Learn} Countdown to Kindergarten Activities

Some uppercase letters look just like their lowercase letters. Some letters look different. I used some cardboard from the same pizza box to make a lacing activity that allowed JDaniel to work on matching some tricky letters.

Shoelace Painting

{Read.Explore.Learn} Countdown to Kindergarten Activities

A shoelace was  dipped into the paint with coffee stirrers created a fun painting tool. Once the shoelace was coated with paint, it was placed on one side of a piece of black construction.  When the shoelace was arranged the way we decided we liked it, We closed the other side of the construction paper over the shoelaces.

{Read.Explore.Learn} Countdown to Kindergarten Activities

The outside of the paper was rubbed all over to press the top piece of the paper to create a symmetrical print of the shoelace. When we opened up the paper and lifted off of  the lace, we were left with a really pretty print.

It looks a little ghostly! We think it looks really cool.

I have decided to ask you to link  your posts to the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page instead of running a link up. I hope you will stop by and share your children’s book related activities there.

Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links.
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Dig Into Treasure Hunting- Back to School Learning Bins

Dig Into Treasure Hunting- Back to School Learning Bins
This is the final Dig Into… post this summer. Previously I have shared  {Dig Into Gardening} M.O.M. Container Garden, and Dig Into Construction Sites with you. This final post in the series called is {Digging Into Treasure Hunting} Back to School Learning Bins.

Why I Made Back to School Learning Bins

Bethany of Kidding Around Greenville invited me to join her at a Back to School event at our local mall. I helped her share information on the wonderful blog she and her friend Susan run. I was also able to bring some hands-on activities to share with parents and children that stopped by our table. Knowing that I wanted to create a treasure hunting post with you this week I decided to make I Spy Back to School Learning Bins.
I created two bins to share along with I Spy sheets for each bin. The children and parents had a blast digging through the bins to find the objects JDaniel and I had hidden. They had fun finding the objects and they also enjoyed re-hiding them.

Some parents were already working with sensory bins at home. Many were excited about trying them at home. Once I explained how I introduce learning skills through questions as we explore bins, they were really excited.

General Questions to Ask After Exploring Bins
Here is some I ask JDaniel:

  • Can you tell me about the object’s shape?
  • What color is the object?
  • What is sound does the object start with?
  • What is another word that starts with that letter?
  • Can you find an object that is smaller than this one?
  • We found three paper clips. What object is there more of in the bin?
  • What vowel sounds do you hear in the object’s name?


What I Put in the Bins

As I mentioned I made two Back to School learning bins to dig into just as you might dig for treasure. I selected plastic bins that were big enough for two or three children to dig into. Into each bin, I placed shredded brown paper bags. My original thought was I would use brown paper bags since I took my lunch in brown paper bags to school. After some thought, I realized that children might not do that anymore. JDaniel and I had already shredded every brown paper bag by then so, we went ahead and used them. Then we added the objects to be found in each bin.

Dig Into Treasure Hunting- Back to School Learning Bins

I Spy Letter and Number Sensory Bin

Into the Letter and Number Back to School Bin  I put the letter and number cookie cutters, we have used in in the kitchen. (We happened to have letter and number cookie cutter, but you could easily use letters and numbers from a puzzle, a magnet set, cut out from magazines, noodles or a foam bath play set.)
Then I made a worksheet titled Alphabet Sensory Bin Hunt. The worksheet contained all of the alphabet letters and the numbers 1-9. (I guess the worksheet should have been titled Letter and Number Sensory Bin Hunt. Ooops! I will redo it if I get to share the bins again.)

The goal was for the children to find each of the letters and numbers and cross them off as they worked.


download (2)

I Spy School Supply Sensory Bin 

Into the I Spy School Supply Sensory Bin we placed a bunch of school supplies from the Office Depot Back to School Giveaway I offered recently and some school supplies we had around the house. There were probably fourteen objects in the bin.

I made an I Spy School Supply sheet that featured a collage of school supplies that I made on PicMonkey. It was super easy to place pictures the school supplies into the collage and insert it into a Word document.

When JDaniel did a trial run of the activity, he placed the objects on top of their picture on the I Spy sheet. It was interesting to watch the children at the mall. Some of the children just put a check mark on the picture and threw it back in the bin. Some laid it on the picture as JDaniel had and some lined the found objects up on the outside of the bin. One family of four girls worked together to find all the found objects and they had to discuss how they would display the treasures they had dug out of the shredded paper.

What school supplies went into the bin? 

  • a marker (taped shut)
  • an empty glue stick
  • a penguin pencil sharpener
  • three index cards
  • five pencil top erasers
  • crayons
  • three paper clips
  • a ruler
  • two pencils
  • a pencil pouch
  • brass fasteners
  • a paint brush

I wasn’t sure what to put in the school supply learning bins. I really struggled with what would be safe and kids friendly. Members of the Kid Blogger Network Facebook Group shared their wonderful ideas with me . Kristin of Sense of Wonder shared a link to her Back to School Bin during that discussion. Her bin featured the Eye Spy Chart that my I Spy sheet was based. While both my bin and I Spy sheet look different from her’s I think it important to share that the post on Sense of Wonder inspired this post.


I want to thank Erin of Royal Baloo and Jodi of Growing Book by Book for co-hosting with me in this link up.
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Math Kids- Hallway Numbers


 Math for Kids - Hallway Numbers

We don’t have a lot of room in our house to spread out and work. The hallway that leads from the front to the back of our house is one of the few spots. I would like JDaniel to be one of those math kids that loves numbers and exploring them.
One morning while he was finishing his breakfast I grabbed a roll of masking tape and headed into the hallway. I had know idea how I was going to form the numbers with tape. The plan was just to make the numbers from 0 to 9 with tape.

I got to the number 4 when he looked in to see that I was doing. We were both excited about how they were turning out. I was thrilled that we both recognized what each number was supposed to be.
After he finished breakfast, I explained some of the ways I thought we could use these numbers. There were ten ideas I came with that I will share with you in a minute. I would like for you to put on your thinking caps and see if you can help me come up with more.  We are likely to have them on the floor for awhile and I would love the use them a lot.

 Here are the ten math kids activities that I came up with:

  1. Blow a cupcake liner down the number line with a straw and count as it lands on each number.
  2. Blow a cupcake liner as hard as you can down the number line and shout out the number it lands on.
  3. Drop a cupcake liner from the stairs above and tell the number it falls on.
  4. Toss a beanbag down the number line and whisper the number it lands on.
  5. Toss a bean bag over your shoulder and see what number it lands on.
  6. Hop down the number line and say each number as you land on it.
  7. Trace the inside of the numbers with highlighter to work on number formation.
  8. Roll a toy car in each number and count up to that number. ( This won’t work for zero.)
  9. Work on the concept of length. Lay objects over the numbers starting at one and see how long it is.
  10. Pick a number and fill it with objects. Count how many objects will fill that number up.
  11. Practice skip counting by jumping for a number.

What ideas do you have for the hallway numbers? 
Here are some other learning activities that use masking tape:

Fire Ladder Activities

Let’s Create a Graph on the Floor and Gather Data

19 Ways to Use a Tape Learning Maze




8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning


 8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning

JDaniel will start kindergarten in a few weeks. I decided to create 8 file folder ice cream games to review skills I thought he would be learning or reviewing at the beginning of school. On Friday I shared two of the ice cream file folder games in a post called Preschool Activities- Ice Cream Games. If you visited that post of Friday, I hope you won’t mind my sharing them again in this post.

Here are all eight of the ice cream games for learning that I made:


Math Activities

Number Matching

Matching the number on the scoop to the correct cone required counting the dots on some of the cones. I love that my son self checked his answers to confirm that he was selecting the correct cone.
Button Count
8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning
Counting out the correct number of button to place on each scoop to match the number on the cone required number sense and eye had coordination. My son counted each set of buttons before placing them on the cone.
Addition Cones
8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning
We worked together to select the correct numbers for each addition sentence.  My son put one scoop on a cone at a time. Then we added the correct number of buttons. Finally we worked out what number to add on top of the scoop by putting the bottom number in our heads and counting on with buttons.


Language Arts/ Reading 

Letter Recognition
8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning
Matching the correct lowercase letter to the correct uppercase letter could have been tricky. I chose to focus on the beginning of the alphabet. Many of the letters at the beginning of the alphabet are confusing for kids. Letters like b, d, and g look similar to some children.
Building Sight Words
Preschool Activities- Ice Cream Games
For this activity we had to read the word on the cone and search for the letters that we needed to build a word. Then we reread the sight words.
Sight Word Concentration
8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning
I selected four sight words and put them on two ice cream scoops. Then we turned them upside above the cones. My son had to search for the matches. Finding the matches wasn’t hard. There were only four words to look for. The hard part was reading the words. If a word couldn’t be read, it had to be put back and attempted again when it was selected.

Other Learning Activities

Color Words
8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning
For this game my son had to match the color word with its matching color scoop. I read the color words for my son and had him repeat them. I picked basic colors. It would be fun try some more unique colors.
Pattern Match
8 Ice Cream File Folder Games for Learning
This final ice cream game for learning had my son matching the pattern on the cone with the same pattern on a scoop of ice cream. This was a wonderful activity for introducing vocabulary words like zig-zag, horizontal, vertical,  and diagonal.
We had a wonderful time reviewing learning concepts with all 8 ice cream games for learning. My son really enjoyed them. I think I will be working on more with other themes.

Here are some more wonderful games for learning:

Cootie Catcher Learning Games

Cup Holder Math Games

Ninja Turtle Learning Games

What are some other skills I could cover with file folder games?
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Preschool Activities- Ice Cream Games

Preschool Activities- Pretend Ice CreamShould I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) is so cute. Elephant really wants to share his ice cream cone. He truly does, but while he is deciding what to do something happens to his ice cream. I bet you can guess what happens. No, he doesn’t play ice cream games. No, he doesn’t set it down to do preschool activities. Yes, it does melt. You really feel for him.

Preschool Activities- Ice Cream Games rolling

Elephant is lucky! Piggie ( his best friend) arrives on the scene and share his ice cream with him. Don’t you love that he does.

I love that both Elephant and Piggie think about sharing with a friend. Sharing is such an important thing to be able to do especially if the thing you are sharing is something you really love.

What did we do to explore this book?

We made pretend ice cream and played ice cream shop. We also reviewed learning concepts using ice cream games. (They would be great for preschool activities or early elementary aged activities.) Here are two of the games we played. There will be a post on Wednesday, July 31st sharing all nine of the ice cream folder games I created.

Creating Pretend Ice Cream and Playing Ice Cream Shop

Preschool Activities- Pretend Ice Cream

The following recipe was used to make pretend ice cream:

Pretend Ice Cream Recipe


1 1/4 cups of hair conditioner

1 1/2 cups of corn starch

3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in the bowl until the mixture looks creamy.

You could add food coloring and extracts to make other pretend ice cream flavors.

JDaniel had the best time using an ice cream scoop to serve the pretend ice cream in colorful plastic bowls. The pretend ice cream was creamy and easily formed rounded scoops. (It was just a tad sticky, but nothing like goop is.)There was plenty of pretend ice cream to play with. JDaniel filled two bowls and there was still some left in the large mixing bowl.

It was delicious as far a homemade pretend ice cream that you won’t ever really eat because it has hair conditioner in it can be. It was really easy to spoon out of the bowl and it looked like real ice cream. If were to make this in a classroom with a group of children, I would have to be very clear that eating even tasting was just not allowed. I wouldn’t want anyone to get sick. We just pretended to savor spoonfuls of the pretend ice cream at my house.

After pretending to serve the ice cream, we played with it. It easily rolled into balls and snakes. I was surprised at how malleable it was.

More Preschool Activities

File Folder Ice Cream GamesPreschool Activities- Ice Cream Games {Read.Explore.Learn}

Counting Ice Cream Game in a Folder


I simply glued several construction paper cones and ice cream scoops to a file folder. Onto each of the cones I wrote a number. JDaniel was asked to read me the number. Then I had him put the correct number of button sprinkles onto the ice cream scoop on top of each cone.

JDaniel counted out the correct number for each scoop in his hand before putting them on the scoop. I then counted the button on each scoop to see it were correct.

This is a very simple game, but it really helps children make abstract (the actual number) numbers more concrete (visual displayed with real objects kids can touch).

Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching in a Folder

Preschool Activities- Ice Cream Games {Read.Explore.Learn}

This time uppercase letters were written on cones glued into a folder. JDaniel was  to put its matching lowercase letter on top of the cone. “D” and “B” are tricky for young children. They can be for my guy. I was impressed that he got them without and trouble.

This was a easy, but he asked me to make cones in folders for the rest of the alphabet. I guess he liked these preschool activities.


How did you explore books this week? If you have a post you would like to share, please link it up below. Once you have added your post, please visit at least three others.

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Activities for Children – Learning with Paper Bag Bears

Activities with Children Learning with Paper Bag Bears

I  was recently sent the spring collection of Tiger Tales Book and What a Wonderful World! was in it. It is wonderful tale told by a mother bear to her cub. She shares with them that we need to be thankful for each and everything placed on Earth for us to share. This book is filled with thanks to God the simply wonderful world we live in. The illustrations show the bears at the shore, the a field of flowers, in the forest and some much more. I love the warm illustrations. They draw you in and make you want to visit those same places to take them in and offer thanks for them. This wonderful book inspired a multitude of learning activities for children.

What activities for children we did with the book?

I went to JDaniel’s school with a bunch of paper bags and used the Ellison to cut out a bunch of bears. We have a lot of brown paper bag and I thought we should use them in honor of  Earth Day. Paper bags really make a great material for learning activities.
Decorate and Weave

Activities with Children - Learning with Paper Bag Bears

I had JDaniel decorate the front of the one of the big bears. Then we punched holes around the edge of two of the bears stacked on top of each other and wove them together.

Tell Me Your Favorite Part
Activities with Children - Learning with Paper Bag Bears

JDaniel was given a couple of big brown paper bears and I had him decorate them based on things that were  asked on a couple of index cards. I wanted him to draw his favorite part of the book, his favorite place, and something he is thankful for.

Alphabetical Order

Activities with Children - Learning with Paper Bag Bears 

The bears were lined up on the floor in alphabetical order.


Before and After

Activities with Children - Learning with Paper Bag Bears

I asked JDaniel to find the letters that came before and after a letter a placed on the table. It really made me think about letters.


Match the Letter to an Object 

I had JDaniel pick a letter and then find an object in the kitchen that matched that letter. We ended up with a lot of cooking tools. I think we should try this in his room and see what treasures he find there.


Write the Letter in SaltActivities with Children - Learning with Paper Bag Bears

JDaniel wrote each letter he selected in a salt tray. We focused on uppercase letters this time. I think we will move on to lowercase letters next time.  JDaniel decided he needed to trace the bear and then write the letter.He did a great job on these.
Counting Buttons


Activities with Children - Learning with Paper Bag Bears

JDaniel practiced one to one correspondence by placing the correct number of button on each bear on a card.

Write the Number

Then JDaniel practice writing those numbers in the salt I had placed in a tray.


Shape the Number

JDanel loves buttons. I had him form the number using some buttons I had placed in a cup.


Here are some other activities for children I know you will love:

Making Learning Fun with Rainbows

Kids Sensory Learning Activities

Outdoor Activities and Learning Games


What other activities for children could we do with these bears?


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I was sent the book What Wonderful World by Tiger Tales Books to review. All thought about it are my own.

P. Bear’s New Years Eve Party Learning Activities

P. Bear's New Year's Eve Party Learning Activities
Links in this post are affiliate links.

JDaniel and I read P. Bear’s New Year’s party! by Paul Owen Lewis. It declares on the cover that it is a counting book, but I think it is so much more. 
P.Bear decides to invite his friends to his house for a party.  Among his invites is one whale, two horse, and three dairy cows. His guests continue to arrive in numeral order. The last group of guests to arrive is twelve penguins.  Each type of animal arrives at the hour that matches the number in their group. Each animal’s page spread in the book includes a clock with the hour hand in red.

The only real colors in the book are red, white, and black. It took only a few arrivals in the book for JDaniel to notice that they were all black and white with red bow ties. It was fun to guess what other black and white animals would appear in the book.

What did we do to explore P. Bear’s New Years Eve Party?

 Sequence QuiltP. Bear's New Year's Eve Party Learning Activities- Movement Activities

I search the internet to find the animals featured in P. Bear’s New Years Eve Party.  I printed out the correct number of each animal from the internet and drew at grid on paper to represent a quilt. JDaniel started with the first patch (square) and glued the correct number of the first animal to appear in the story. He continued across the top row and when he had finished it. JDaniel moved down the the next.
I had him count to make sure I had the correct number of each animal. This was a fun counting craft.

Moving Like An Animal GameP. Bear's New Year's Eve Party Learning Activities- Sequence Quilt


The outline of a black house like the one in  P. Bear’s New Years Eve Party was cut out and glued to white paper. Then we glued one of each type of animal that visited in a window or doorway.
I placed a bowl of sparkly pom poms on the table and JDaniel was asked to toss one onto the house. Then he and I made the animal noise or moved around the kitchen like the animal on whose picture the pom pom landed on. If pom pom didn’t land on an animal, we just tried again.

Great posts that linked up last week:



I really loved the Gingerbread Man Gift Wrap that the Educator’s Spin On It shared.

School Time Snippets did a variety of things with the book Stopping By The Woods On a Snowy Evening. I love the canvas they decorated.
I need to apologize. I wasn’t able to visit and promote all the posts that linked up last week. It is on the top of my to do list for this week.
How have you explored books this week? Please link up your post. Inlinkz isn’t displaying pictures or links this week. I will be pinning, Facebooking and Google + ing them to make up for this error.