Continent, Country & Flag Identification

Color Coded Continents Countries and Flags Puzzle Identification - Hands on Learning - projectsinparenting.com
Since my boys were 3 years old, this US Foam Puzzle has been a favorite go-to of theirs. At 1st it was just fun for them to put together, but as they got older it became a great learning tool. They are now familiar with most US states, their shape, general location, as well as some facts we’ve learned along the way.

Jacob has been asking about the difference between city, state, country and continent lately, so I wanted to come up with a hands-on way for him to understand the bigger picture. Since they enjoyed the other foam puzzle so much, I decided to purchase this World Map Puzzle with Flags & Capitals. Understandably due to size constraints, it doesn’t include EVERY flag in the world. If it did, I think that would be too overwhelming anyway. The puzzle has a total of 65 flags (based mainly on country size) which seems to be the perfect start.

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The foam puzzle, flags and map provided are great. Unfortunately there is no ‘key’ to know where each flag goes. I was able to figure it out using the original sticker sheet, but both Jacob and Evan were at a complete loss putting the puzzle together without my help. To give them the independence of easily figuring it out on their own, I created a color-coded diagram showing all of the 65 flags and the corresponding country by continent. I also made a color-coordinating continent map for easy reference.

Click on image below for FREE Printable:

Hands-on Learning, Color Coded Continents, Countries and Flags - projectsinparenting.com
Hands-on Learning - Color Coded Continents, Countries and Flags - projectsinparenting.com

Once I gave them my diagrams (other than some adorably incorrect pronunciations) – easy peasy. Both Jacob and Evan were able to correctly identify 65 flags, place them in their corresponding country, and understand which continent they belonged to as well!

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I have no doubt this puzzle will be another one of their favorites – learning more as they grow and discovering new things each time they complete it.   🙂

Related: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book
Related: Constellation Sticker Craft

“Without geography, you are nowhere.”

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Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine

DIY Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine with Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

Jacob has been into origamis lately, so for Valentine’s Day this year I purchased these fun Papercraft Robot Cards. The thick, plastic-like cards are pre-cut and creased, which makes them durable and easy for little hands to work with. No cutting or sticking is required – just pop-out and fold!

To go along with them, I created this simple Robot Valentine. We stuffed both of them into fun blue envelopes I had leftover from the boys’ birthday (similar ones available on Amazon), but they could easily be attached by simply using a paperclip. Now Jacob is just “a bot” ready for his Valentine’s Day party at school!

To create your own Robot Valentine, download the FREE printable here.

Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine with Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

If you would like smaller Valentines, click here for a PDF with 4 per page.

Other favor ideas for this DIY Robot Valentine:
Make Your Own Robot Stickers
Robot Erasers
Robot Fidget Toy

Related: Mermaid Valentine Printable
Related: Unicorn Valentine Printable
Related: DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards
Related: Super Hero Valentine’s Day Cards

“Are you a robot – or do you think for yourself?”

Christmas Tree Yarn Craft

Christmas Tree Yarn Craft FREE Printable - projectsinparenting.com

My kids recently made a God’s Eye craft and enjoyed it so much, they asked to do “more things with yarn.”

‘Tis the season – so I came up with this quick and easy Christmas Tree Yarn Craft.

Things you will need:
FREE Printable
Screw Hole Punch (or a 1-hole paper punch)
Yarn (ideally green)
Scissors
Tape
Star Stickers (I used chip board glitter stickers I found at my local craft store – Here is a similar Amazon alternative or this one)
Cutting Mat (if using Screw Hole Punch)

STEP ONE:
Print template – FREE Printable here.

STEP TWO:
Punch holes where gray dots are on the template. If you are using a 1-hole paper punch you will need to cut around the tree silhouette leaving just enough space to reach with your hole puncher.

STEP THREE:
Prep yarn string sections (approximately 2-3 feet each, for easy kid-handling) by tying a knot at one end and wrapping the other end with a piece of tape (this helps to feed the yarn through the holes).

STEP FOUR:
Starting with the knotted end in back, feed yarn through the holes to create yarn tree. NOTE: I used several sections of yarn to complete the entire Christmas tree. After each section runs out and you can’t feed any more of the section through, tie the loose/taped-end in back, so that the tree does not unravel.

STEP FIVE:
Top with star sticker…. And if you’re inspired to get creative – feel free to color it and add your own personal touch like Avery did.

STEP SIX:
Have a Merry Christmas!!   🎄

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” -Burton Hillis

Related Post: Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas Color-Coded Piano
Related Post: Stained Glass Sun Catcher Ornament

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book Banner.jpg

We recently invested in a full-size digital piano and expanded our song list from my original post: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Sheets. I also switched the orientation of the pages (from horizontal to vertical). Doing so allowed me to create a beginner piano music book that sits nicely in the sheet stand. All I had to do was print them out, slide them into page protectors and insert the sheets into a 3-ring binder. To label our keys, we used these Color Coding Dot Labels. The colors coordinate exactly and they are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards.

Simple enough for my 4 year old to catch on quickly – this color coded piano music book has been such a confidence booster in my children’s ability to start reading sheet music.  Watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless. The best part – they are having so much fun learning!  🙂

To create your own Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book, including ALL NINE SONGS, click here.
Color Coded Piano Song Pack Banner

If you are simply looking to add to your collection from my previous post – below are the new songs…

Row Row Row Your Boat – FREE Download:
Row Row Row Your Boat

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday Banner

You Are My Sunshine and Baa Baa Black Sheep
sunshine and black sheep banner

Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques)
Are You Sleeping Banner

And just in time for the holidays, we added Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Music Music Banner

Hope you enjoy these music sheets as much as we have!

“Music is what feelings sound like.”

Related: The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Unicorn Valentine Printable

Unicorn Valentine Banner

Right now Avery is OBSESSED with everything unicorn. Anytime she spots something at a store with a unicorn on it, she ogles at it like it’s a lost baby kitten and is convinced it was made for her. So to no surprise, this year we decided to create Valentine’s Day cards with this mystical creature – and just the right amount of sparkle!

Since Valentines these days usually come with a fun favor attached to them, I purchased cute unicorn fans to include with Avery’s. Some other ideas if you are interested in adding a favor (which you can either tie on, attach with double sided tape, or use a fun glitter or unicorn Washi tape)…

Based on whichever size you would like, click on the above image to download and start creating your own magical Valentines!

Related: DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards

“Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.”

Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page

Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page 2 - projectsinparenting.com

Celebrate all the wonderful teachers in your life during Teacher Appreciation Week! Whether it’s a school teacher, sports coach, or even a caretaker – these real life superheroes cannot be thanked enough for taking the time to help us learn and grow!

This year I created a “Thank you” coloring page that’s easy for even the littlest of ages to provide a gift to their teachers with their own personal touch.

Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page 2 Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

Click HERE or on above image to download FREE printable.

For the boys, I included a questionnaire on the back of their coloring page.

Teacher Appreciation Coloring - Full Page Questionnaire FREE Printable - projectsinparenting.com

Click HERE or on above image to download FREE printable questionnaire.

Thank you to all the hard-working teachers!

“It takes a big heart to shape little minds”

Related: Teacher Appreciation Coloring Page with Questionnaire

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The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music

Color Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music Banner - projectsinparenting.jpg

The boys have mastered the Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music I created for them, so I thought I’d put together another song. They are super into Star Wars right now, so The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme) seemed like the perfect option. Simple, yet dramatically fun – and perfect to get in the mood for our upcoming trip to Disney World!

All I had to do was add a few more color-coded note stickers to our keyboard. POST UPDATE: I originally cut down circle dot labels I had on-hand (as seen in my photo), but recently upgraded to these Color Coding Dot Labels, which I highly recommend. The colors coordinate exactly and they are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards.

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Click on below image to download FREE printable color-coded sheet music…

Star Wars - The Imperial March Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music - projectsinparenting.com

…And may the force be with you.

 

 

DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards

heart-breaker-valentine-banner

‘Tis the season for roses, hearts, Cupid and the age old tradition of spreading love with thoughtful Valentine’s Day cards!

Avery is currently obsessed with decorating herself in adhesive bandages, like they are a fashion accessory – so I picked up some holiday themed bandages to use for her classroom Valentines (one of many amazing finds at the Target Dollar Spot!). I created and printed the below Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards and attached the bandages with double-sided tape.

heart-breaker-valentine
Click HERE to download free printable.

Now my adorable little heart breaker is ready for her 1st Valentine’s Day celebration at school.  🙂

Related: Mermaid Valentine Printable
Related: Unicorn Valentine Printable

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music

color-coded-beginner-piano-sheet-music-free-printables-projectsinparenting

The other day, Jacob was jamming away on his toy piano singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ – eyes closed, head bopping, slamming random keys on the key board…  I loved the enthusiasm and figured the boys are probably old enough to start reading beginner sheet music, so I decided to put together a few songs for them.

I am by no means a musician, but I did play piano back in the day and remembered some of the basics. I wanted to keep it simple with what I feel is a reasonable goal for toddlers and preschoolers: Find Middle C and play a simple song with one finger (not at all insisting on proper finger placement). I’m not trying to raise Mozart – I just want them to have fun and become comfortable with the basics of sheet music while doing so.

We have a Fischer-Price electronic keyboard that has color coding to the keys, so I decided to coordinate with that…. POST UPDATE: I originally cut down circle dot labels I had on-hand (as seen in my photo), but recently upgraded to these Color Coding Dot Labels, which I highly recommend. The colors coordinate exactly and they are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards.

I then created color-coded sheet music for a couple of their favorite songs. Click on below sheet music image to download a FREE printable.

twinkle-little-star

mary-had-a-little-lamb

For more song selections, please visit my Etsy Shop.
9 song pack

As simple as that – now my boys understand the concept of reading and playing music on the piano. With or without an accurate rhythm on the keyboard, watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless!

color-coded-beginner-piano-sheet-music-projectsinparenting

Related: Star Wars The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Related: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book

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Stained Glass Sun Catcher Leaf Craft

stained-glass-sun-catcher-fall-leaf-craft-for-kids-projectsinparenting

A couple of years ago, we had to remove most of the trees around our property due to Ash Borer. Now we hardly have leaves in our yard during Fall. Seriously, this is the leaf “pile” the kids were playing in yesterday…

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The kids had a blast – but without a ton of leaves, it hasn’t felt much like fall (to me anyway). So I decided to create a fall-themed craft to set the mood for the autumn season. My boys loved the Stained Glass Sun Catcher Ornaments we made last winter, so I created a similar craft using a leaf shape… Super-easy, no-mess, and perfect for all ages!

To get the project ready, print any of the following leaf shapes:
leaf 2.jpg
CLICK THE FOLLOWING corresponding leaf for free PDF printable:
Maple
Magnolia
Oak
Oak 2
Redbud

Cut out the CENTER of the leaf shape with an X-Acto knife or scissors.
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Prepare colored tissue paper by cutting them into squares.

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Note: I separated the tissue paper squares into coordinating cup colors for easy selection. I’m not pointing this out to show how overly organized I can be, I’m sharing this to show one of the MANY ways I’ve re-purposed the cups provided in our Easter egg dying kit – Great cups to save and reuse!

Adhere a piece of contact paper to the FRONT of your pre-cut leaf print-out, covering the entire outline. (Don’t have contact paper? Packaging tape works as a wonderful substitute!) Then lay the paper down, sticky side up.
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Now it’s time for your little artist(s) to decorate their leaf… Have them select their tissue paper pieces, and press them down onto the contact paper.
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When complete, seal the back with another piece of clear contact paper. Trim around the outside of the leaf shape with scissors and tape or hang your masterpiece in a window to enjoy the beautiful stained glass colors!
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Related: Fall Leaf Lantern