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.
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:
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!
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.”
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.
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:
You Are My Sunshine and Baa Baa Black Sheep
Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques)
And just in time for the holidays, we added Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
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
With 8 to 14 inches of snow expected today, schools in the area were cancelled for a rare occurrence — SNOW DAY!! Needless to say, the kids were very excited and we spent most of the morning outside. This afternoon, we decided to stay warm and stick indoors for a Valentine’s Day themed craft.
Using these cute doilies from the dollar store, (click here for a similar product on Amazon) I simply cut out a heart shape from the middle of the doily and attached a square of contact paper (larger than the doily) to one side. Then, with Valentine’s Day inspired colors, I cut small squares of tissue paper and put them in bowls.
Sticky side up, the kids selected their preferred tissue squares and attached them to the contact paper heart in the center of the doily.
When their Valentine heart decorating was complete, I trimmed any excess tissue paper that was hanging over the lace part of the doily, then sealed their heart with another sheet of contact paper. After trimming around the outside of the doily (to cut off excess contact paper), we hung their masterpieces in our window to enjoy the beautiful stained glass colors!
These Valentines also make perfect gifts to send to family and friends! 🙂
“Close your eyes and picture of the sun. That’s what it felt like to love her, warmth.”
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Last year I hosted a Christmas party with 12 kids. How did I keep that many little ones occupied with a craft that didn’t end up with a huge mess?? — STICKERS!
Using only these cute foam snowflakes and rhinestone gems from Amazon, each kid was able to create their own shimmering piece of art! (Individual gem packs are usually available at your local craft store)
This year, I still had left over snowflakes and rhinestone stickers, so we combined them with some glitter glue for a little extra sparkle!
With a little bit of water, these snowflakes also stick great on glass / windows. The kids love wetting them down the back and playing with them on our sliding glass patio door. 🙂
“We are like a snowflake all different in our own beautiful way”
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.
Click on below image to download FREE printable color-coded sheet music…
…And may the force be with you.