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.”
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.
Click HERE or on above image to download FREE printable.
For the boys, I included a questionnaire on the back of their coloring page.
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
‘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.
Click HERE to download free printable.
Now my adorable little heart breaker is ready for her 1st Valentine’s Day celebration at school. 🙂
Related: DIY Super Hero Valentine’s Day Cards
*****CLICK HERE to see UPDATED POST WITH A DIY 9 SONG COLOR-CODED BEGINNER PIANO MUSIC BOOK*****
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…. I cut little squares from Color Coding Dot Labels, and labeled them with the appropriate letters for keys C-A. I also labeled one key with a black outlined orange, for one of the notes needed in ‘You Are My Sunshine’. If you don’t have Dot Labels, simply coloring a white part of sticker paper with a marker works just as well (which is what I did for yellow).
I then created color-coded sheet music for a few of their favorite songs…
CLICK on above sheet music to download pdf printable. Related: Star Wars The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music
As simple as that, and they now 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!
Related: Star Wars The Imperial March Beginner Piano Sheet Music
Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book
Shortly after the boys turned 2 years old, they started finding Cory or I in the mornings and asking, “Is Dad home all day?”. If the answer was “no”, I often times had two crying kids on my hands. Understandably (in their minds), they were upset that Cory had to run off to some unknown “work” place, instead of staying home to play with them. Unfortunately for me, I had to break this news to them every Monday through Friday and they would be super angry with me – like it was MY choice which days Cory went to work.
While it was neat watching them realize the concept of days, I wanted to avoid the unnecessary tantrums and help them understand their schedules better. As a visual person myself, I decided to put together a weekly calendar *showing* them which days Dad was “home all day” (by putting a picture of Cory’s face on Saturday and Sunday). I printed out the calendar, put it in a sheet protector, and hung it on their bedroom door with a clothespin to mark the current day. Each morning, they would wake up and move the clothespin to the new day.
Both Jacob and Evan responded to the calendar extremely well, so I started adding images for almost everything – doctor’s appointments, swim class, holidays, etc. The boys quickly started understanding weekends vs. weekdays and were excited when something new would pop up on their calendar. Although our weekly events pretty much stayed the same, when I knew a holiday or special event was coming up, I would print the future week in advance and simply slide the sheet behind the current week (in the sheet protector) so that it was ready to go.
Avery is 2 years old now, and starting “toddler school” this week, so I started using the weekly calendar for her. She is loving the new responsibility of updating her marker for each day, and super excited for her 1st day of school. No more tantrums and full cooperation for the day’s activities (well, most of the time anyway). Either way, a definite WIN!
- Click HERE for Weekly Calendar Printable.
- Click HERE for Weekly Calendar Clipart Printable – Simply cut & paste appropriate holiday, event or activity onto your Weekly Calendar.
- For sports classes such as swimming, gymnastics, tennis, etc., I recommend using images from Classroom Clipart (endless options and free!). This website also has perfect graphics to use for other activities (piano lessons, etc.) and additional holidays.
“December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss
All things outer space has been a huge interest of the boys lately. They enjoy star gazing, identifying planets in the sky, and were thrilled to see the Super Blood Moon this past summer.
Although it would be amazing if the moon were really that huge, it’s enlarged for effect 🙂
Jacob’s favorite thing to wear are his constellation pajama pants (as seen above) and he’s always asking us to point out the Big Dipper, especially after reading Touch the Brightest Star – one of his favorite interactive books, where you trace the Big and Little Dipper with your finger as part of the story. (Great book for any toddler’s bed time collection!)
I wanted a fun way to teach them the basic constellations, and ones that are easy to spot in the sky, so I came up with the following craft worksheets…
Click on individual worksheet above for FREE printable, or HERE for pdf with ALL Worksheets.
First I had the boys place star stickers on the grey dots, then using the picture as reference, draw lines to create each constellation.
After learning the constellations, the boys got creative with their worksheets – connecting the dots without stickers, outlining the constellation in all star stickers, putting other stars in the sky, tracing the letters to spell the constellations, etc. I enjoy watching them explore whatever materials I give them. It’s fun when they think outside the box and come up with new ways to do things… A great hands-on way to learn while using imagination and creativity!
“Don’t wait for the stars to align. Reach up, rearrange them the way you want them to be. Create your own constellation.” – Pharrell Williams