Back to School Splatter Party

It’s that time of year again, can you believe it?! Back to School season is upon us! As a former elementary school teacher and a current homeschool mom, I can honestly say that I love this time of year. I get super excited to start up the new school year and I like to make it exciting for my daughter (and former students) as well. We love to ring in the new school year with a Back to School Splatter Party!

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This can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. This year our homeschool co-op group opted to take a field trip to Pinspiration for our Back to School Party. And let me tell you, this was one of my most favorite Back to School celebrations yet!

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I shared my love for Pinspiration before (check out this post HERE) and my daughter and I really wanted to share this place with our friends, so we invited them all to join us for some Splatter Room fun and healthy, Back to School snacks. 

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Pinspiration set up a darling Back to School themed table for us, complete with apple plates, plaid placemats, and chalkboard nameplates. The kids enjoyed rainbow carrot sticks with hummus, strawberries and cream, and apple & peanut butter sandwiches for their snack before we geared up and headed for the Splatter Room.

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After the healthy snack, the kids were fueled up and ready for some messy artsy fun! Pinspiration provided canvases for the kids as well as protective gear if we didn’t want to get too messy. We chose to have our kids wear white shirts just for fun! 

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The kids had a BLAST in the Splatter Room and made beautiful works of art. There were lots of giggles and looks of concentration. 

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We all had such a great time during our Back to School Party at Pinspiration. I love that the kids could be totally engaged and as messy as they wanted (without me having a panic attack). They loved that they had paint in their hair, on their faces and thought it was even funnier when one of us moms were caught in the fire (aka: paint). Definitely a celebration we will not forget!

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How do you get your kids pumped for a new school year?  Stay tuned for more Back to School Party ideas from our party expert, Mindy Alyse!

 

Thank you to Brooke of Pinspiration for the beautiful Back to School table and the awesome fun time we had in the Splatter Room! Can’t wait to go back!

Thank you to SicFit Scottsdale and Michelle Mango Cakes for the delicious and healthy Back to School snacks!

Teach Me Tuesday: 26+ Math Games for Kids

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! A (mostly) weekly series where we share all things kid-friendly that you can do with your kids or teach them how to do. It can be educational, artistic, scientific, hands-on…anything goes as long as it’s kid approved!

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

We’ve been having a lot of fun with math lately. My daughter has really taken a liking to it and I think some of it has to do with my approach in teaching her new concepts and reviewing concepts she’s previously been taught. Games are incorporated in a lot of our homeschooling, but especially with math. Pinterest is a great resource for educational ideas. I’ve rounded up 26+ Math Games for Kids in Kindergarten-third grade. Just click on the links below to get to the directions for each game or to download the freebies. 

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Be sure to pin this list and check back as I will be adding to it as I find more fun math games for kiddos! Thanks for stopping by! If you want more educational ideas, check out my Homeschooling board and my Kiddo Stuff board on Pinterest.

I hope you come back by again tomorrow. I something really pretty to show you! Hint: it goes in my craft room.

Teach Me Tuesday: 12 Inspiring Homeschool Rooms

Hello and welcome to Teach Me Tuesday, our {mostly} weekly series about all things that relates to teaching your kiddos. I’m a teacher at heart and this is a way for me to share that with others. 

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

Today I am sharing 12 Inspiring Homeschool Rooms! I love browsing Pinterest and my favorite homeschool blogs and Instagram accounts to get new ideas for our own homeschool room. Everything from decor, organization, colors, seating, layout… it’s fun to dream of these rooms and even apply some of the ideas. Check out these amazing, Inspiring Homeschool Rooms! Click the links to get a closer look…

Inspiring Homeschool Rooms

  1. Organized Chaos’ Homeschool Room
  2. Happiness Is Homemade Homeschool Room Tour
  3. Homeschool Creations New Homeschool Room
  4. Good Morning Girls Ikea Inspired Homeschool Room
  5. 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Equals 1 Homeschool Room
  6. My Joy Filled Life’s Homeschool Room Reveal
  7. Mt. Hope Chronicles’ Live and Learn Studio
  8. Jamie Coupaud’s School Play Room
  9. Everyday Snapshots’ Homeschool Room Redo
  10. Rossimore House’s Homeschool Room
  11. Natural Beach Living’s Homeschool Room
  12. Living Out His Love’s Our Hoemschool room

Aren’t they fun?! I love the use of maps and globes. I also love the storage from Ikea. What are you loving about these rooms?

Thanks for stopping by today friends!

Teach Me Tuesday: Nature Journals

Hiya friends and welcome to Teach Me Tuesday, where I share all things kid-friendly!

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

 

Today I am sharing Nature Journals with y’all. We absolutely LOVE adventuring outside…whether it’s a bike ride to the park or hiking a scenic trail. Our homeschool group (made up of creative and inspiring mommas and their cute kiddos) decided that Nature Journals are a necessity for our kiddos and the exploring that they will be doing this year. We brainstormed, look for inspiration, and helped our kids create really rad journals. We are so excited to fill them with adventures, discoveries, and treasures. Let’s take a peak at the Nature Journal my daughter and I made…

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We recycled a cracker box for the covers, cut construction paper to fit inside, added paper bags, hole punched everything, and attached binder rings. Then she went to down decorating.

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Here’s a look at the whole shebang. Pretty simple right? We are so excited to fill it up!! 

Here’s my girlfriend Nicole’s girls’ Nature Journal (say that 10 times fast). I love that she added a zipper pouch to it…genius!

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And this is in no way limited to homeschool kids! Use it on the weekends or on holiday breaks! Or to all my teacher friends out there, this would be a great addition to your science curriculum. 

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Want to see some FUN Nature Journal inspiration? Get your pinning finger ready…

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Spell Out Loud

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Daffodil Lane

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Martha Stewart 

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Smallable

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Great Stems

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The Taylor House

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Etsy

Thanks for stopping by today!

Teach Me Tuesday: Sight Word Target Practice

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday, friends!

TeachME Tuesdays Button - Kara

I find it’s important to have FUN while learning and practicing concepts and skills. When we are having fun, we are more than likely actively engaged and we are enjoying what we are doing. When we enjoy what we are doing, we tend to remember it. Today’s learning activity can be adjusted to fit the needs of your child and can be manipulated to practice different concepts. I will share examples later in the post. But first, let’s check out Sight Word Target Practice!

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This one is so fun and can be played inside or outside, depending upon the time of year and weather in your location. 

For inside play, you will need:

Nerf gun, sight word cards, washi tape

For outside play, you will need:

Water gun, outdoor chalk to write sight words

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How to Play:

We played the game inside this time, so I used some washi to tape up the sight word cards that my daughter is practicing. She then aims the Nerf gun at the word she wants to shoot and shouts out the word. Then *BAM!* She fires off the Nerf gun and moves on to the next word. 

It’s easy and fun and both girls and boys like this one. You can tape the words to one wall like we did, or you can put them all over the house so the kids have to “hunt” for them. When playing outside, you can use chalk to write the words on the back wall or patio and then use a water gun instead of a Nerf gun. You can also use math flashcards, vocabulary words, spelling words, state/capitals, etc. 

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What are some ways you try to make learning fun with your kids? 

 

Tot School Tuesday: Life Skills Jar

Hello there!

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We are starting off the week with a Tot School Tuesday post…

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Today I will be showing you our Life Skills Jar! This learning activity can be manipulated for a child at almost any age; mine caters to my 5 year old.   This is a great activity for kids because it has them practice simple skills that they will need throughout life.

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Here are a few examples of life skills:

  • Practice brushing your teeth.
  • Wipe down the kitchen table after a meal.
  • Make your own lunch.
  • Bake something for a friend (with help from a parent depending on age).
  • Sweep the playroom floor.
  • Pull weeds in the garden.

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Are you ready to make a Life Skills Jar for your kiddos too? It’s so easy!

You’ll need: a jar, popsicle sticks, a marker, twine, a chalkboard label and chalk (both optional but fun), and a list of age-appropriate life skill tasks.

How to make the Life Skills Jar: Stick the chalkboard label on the front of the jar and write “Life Skills Jar” on it with chalk. Write life skill tasks on each popsicle stick. Put the sticks in the jar (task side down in the jar). Tie a piece of twine around the top of the jar to make it pretty. DONE!

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We use our Life Skills Jar as a part of our homeschool routine and it is separate from chores. There are lots of chores than can be considered life skills, but for the purpose of the negative tone the word “chores” has, we keep the two separate. In other words, the tasks my daughter has as chores (feed the pets, set the table, unload the dishwasher) are not repeated in the Life Skills Jar. And typically we use the Life Skills Jar 2-3 times a week, while chores are completed daily. Just have your kiddo pick out a popsicle stick, read the task, and complete it! Easy-peasy!

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There’s a great age-appropriate list of life skills HERE.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Tot School Tuesday! Please be sure to link up your kid-friendly ideas, crafts, and activities below so we can check them out! And then head on over to See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas!

See you tomorrow for a fun sewing post!



Tot School Tuesday: My 10 Favorite Homeschool Blogs

Hi there and welcome to Tot School Tuesday!

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I look when I run out of ideas of things to do with my daughter or lessons and activities to do for homeschool. I thought I would share my 10 favorite homeschool blogs with you. These blogs are great resources and I highly suggest visiting each one of them.

10 Favorite Homeschool Blogs

Confessions of a Homeschooler

No Time for Flashcards

1 + 1 + 1 = 1

The Homeschool Classroom

Hip Homeschool Moms

123 Homeschool 4 Me

Art Club Blog

Adventures in Homeschooling

The Unlikely Homeschool

The Homeschool Scientist

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you found this post helpful. And if you are not a homeschooler, don’t let this post detour you! There are educational learning experiences that you can provide your kiddos in the comfort of your own home…or even your backyard! The next time you hear “I’ bored…there’s nothin’ to do.” you have an immediate go-to list of fun and educational blogs.

Link up your kid-friendly crafts, activities, and ideas below and then visit See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas!



Tot School Tuesday: Spring + Senses Print

Hi there!

Welcome to another Tot School Tuesday with See Vanessa Craft and Mine for the Making!

We dedicate every Tuesday to sharing kid-friendly activities, crafts, education, etc.

Join us!

Today I am sharing a fun (and FREE) print with you and your kiddo(s). Last week I shared a fun round up of outdoor learning activities and a couple weeks before that I shared a fun “I Spy Spring” outdoor game. If you haven’t noticed, we like to be outside during the spring time!

So keeping with my love for nature and being outside, I made a fun print that combines spring and 4 of our senses!

{Download HERE}

Just download it and print it out for your tot, preschooler, or early elementary kiddos.

This would be a fun activity to do in your backyard, on a walk (bring a clipboard!), at the park, on a hike, or even at the zoo! Be sure to go over the directions with your littles…and if they are writing, I encourage you to have your kiddo label their pictures as well. When your child is finished drawing/writing, ask them to tell you about their work…this promotes processing, comprehension, and communication skills.

*Ask questions to promote higher level thinking.

Remember, this print is FREE for personal use only.

If you LOVE this print and decide to use it, leave me a comment letting me know! 

That’s the best form of payment a blogger can ask for.

Oh. And we love when you “Pin it!”

*winks*

Head on over to See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School Tuesday ideas and link up your ideas below!

Tot School Tuesday: 12 Outdoor Learning Activities

Hello friends!

Welcome to another Tot School Tuesday with See Vanessa Craft and Mine for the Making!

I think it’s so important for us to change up our learning environment and with the nice weather outside, why not take our learning outside?

Today I am sharing 12 FUN outdoor learning activities that I rounded up around blogland. Be sure to click over to the original source to get all of the details.

Starting at the top left corner and working my way around…

Water a Sight Word Garden at Mom to 2 Posh Little Divas

Play Doh Garden Center at The Imagination Tree

ABC Letter Splash at Make and Takes

Painting Outside at Lighthouse Learning Center

Mud Pie Kitchen at Smile and Wave

Spelling Doesn’t Have to be Boring at Best Practices 4 Teaching

Classifying and Sorting at Playful Learning

Hammering & Tinkering Table at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning

Sidewalk Chalk Subtraction at Education.com

Learning Outside with Chalk & Water at Learn with Play at Home

Color Hop at Train Up a Child

Outdoor Work Station at Discovery Days and Montessori Moments

Don’t these ideas make you want to go play outside right now?? ME TOO!

Take learning outside with your tot or preschooler and enjoy the weather and nature while you can!

Now it’s time to head on over to See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas!
Also, we’d love to see what you’ve been doing with your tot/preschooler…link up your kid-friendly ideas below!

Tot School Tuesday: Playing with Shapes

Hello and welcome to another Tot School Tuesday where See Vanessa Craft and Mine for the Making team up to bring you activities, teaching tips, crafts, games that are all geared towards your tots and preschoolers.

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter weekend! I know we sure did.

Today I have invited one of my Instagram friends over to share some of her AWESOME teaching ideas with us! Please welcome my sweet friends, Suzie…

Hi, my name is Suzie and I am a Home Educating Mum of three young children. I have just started blogging at Suzie’s Home Education Ideas where I share the play-based learning activities that we do at home. I am most honored to be guest posting here today and thank you Kara for inviting me to share my ideas on Tot School Tuesday.

I thought I would share with you all one of our favourite home-made resources that we called Shape Mats, and three activities we use with these shape mats to learn about and play with shapes. We made our shape mats from recycling an old anti-static mat. These anti-static mats have a lot of grip and are great to jump on so I cut out different shapes making them varied in size.

The first learning game we play is called “Jump on the shape Mummy says”. We start by spreading our shapes all over the floor and Mummy (that’s me!) calls out the name of a shape and you have find that shape and jump on it as fast as you can. We practice taking-turns at who calls out the shape names and who does the jumping. The great thing about this game is that all my children are involved and they are all learning about shape recognition, how to take turns as well as building gross motor skills as they play.

During this activity, we also work on our vocabulary development by using different action words (verbs, for my older child) to move onto the next shape. Sometimes we like to hop onto the shape, or slide, wiggle, dance, crawl, tip-toe, sneak or squirm. These action words can really get the giggles happening!

The second activity we like to do with our shape mats is to sort them. My children will take one of each shape (usually the biggest one), lay them in a line and sort the rest of the shapes by placing them in the right pile. In this activity, they are learning about early mathematical concept of matching as they visually discriminate which shapes match and which ones don’t then place them in the right pile. This activity builds on shape recognition as well as fine motor development as they move the shapes around. They are also learning about cooperation as they work together.

Our third learning activity focuses on the early mathematical concept of comparing and ordering according to size. By having different size shapes, we are able used the language ‘big, bigger and biggest’ (or small, medium, large) to compare the shapes and place them in order. This activity also helps my younger children understand perceptual constancy as they see that the shape is still a circle whether it is big or small.  

One thing I love about children is that they have an amazing imagination that can be seen through dramatic play. My daughter loves to take our shape mats and pretend that she is making pizza. Even though there is no focused learning concept here, my daughter is still learning about shapes while she plays. Never underestimate the value of play!

 

There are many more different play-based activities you can do with shape mats like these that promote learning through play. Other ideas could be making patterns with these shape mats or going on a shape hunt after all the mats have been hidden around the place. What other ideas could you use to promote play and learning with these shape mats?

I hope this post has inspired you to make your own shape mats and to encourage your children to learn through play.

Thank you Suzie! Isn’t she awesome?? Be sure to visit her blog and follow her on Instagram for more fun-based educational ideas.

Now it’s time to head over to See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School Ideas…

Then be sure to link up your Tot School ideas below! Any kid-friendly activity, craft, game, or teaching tip applies…