Over a dozen fun and free sight word games for kindergarten

All week I’ve been sharing with you some fun sight word games. My Kindergartener is not a fan of flashcards (I can’t think of many Kinders that have the patience to sit through flashcard practice), so instead of learning the words through boring repetition, we thought we’d make sight word learning more fun! Here are my sight word games, along with several other fun and free sight word games you can play with your kiddos to help them learn their sight words!

 


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Tips for Donating School Supplies (scissors, craft supplies, and more!)

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

My son started Kindergarten almost a month ago. It doesn’t seem possible. I’m now trying to juggle Mommy & Me events for my little one, and PTA meetings for my oldest’s new school. The school is fairly new – it has been around for 4 years – but much of the staff this year is new. Brand new. My son has a freshly-minted Kindergarten teacher. This man (yes, he’s got a male teacher), not only has to navigate a morning and afternoon class of 25 Kindergarteners each, but also 50 sets of parents!

Not only does he not come with years of experience, but he also doesn’t come with a classroom loaded with supplies collected across decades. It was important to me to let him know that I’m a parent who wants to support my child, and my child’s school. That’s why I was super excited to be selected to participate in this Fiskar’s Champions for Kids Campaign. Fiskars sent me money to buy school supplies that I could donate to my son’s new classroom!

tips for donating school supplies

From this experience, I want to share with you some tips for donating school supplies.

1. Ask – Ask the teacher what they need. For a new teacher like ours, the answer might be “everything!” Ask specific questions. Maybe the teacher has a project coming up that could use certain supplies? One of the things we picked out was a class set of Fiskars safety scissors. There are 25 kids in a class, so we picked out 28 pairs (you always need a few extras) of scissors. This will last our rookie teacher for years! We also picked some Fiskars wooden rulers that were both inexpensive and will stand up to a room full of Kindergarteners, year after year.

classroom set of scissors

2. Variety – Some things we know every teacher needs – pencils, paper, erasers. Think beyond the everyday. We chose a set of colorful dry erase markers. Our classrooms are equipped with large dry erase boards, and there is nothing as wonderful as having a nice, fresh, dry erase marker to write with!

bin of school supplies

3. Storage – Especially for a new teacher, storage is important! Though a teacher will never turn away a grocery bag filled with school supplies, it helps to think ahead. Once those 28 sets of scissors are taken out of their packages, where will they be stored? Giving the school supplies in plastic bins means the supplies will have a place to go after they are opened. Using clear bins means that it is very easy for the teacher to see what is inside, and find what he needs.

 

4. Duplicates – At the beginning of the school year, each student was sent home a list of basic supplies. Things like glue and crayons that they will need this year. If a student wasn’t able to bring these in, or if they run out, having duplicates on hand will help the teacher focus on the more important things – like the lesson he is teaching. I made sure to include extras of things like markers and crayons.

two bins of school supplies

5. Specialty Items – Do you remember being in school, and there was something special you couldn’t wait to play with? So you’d finish your work as fast as possible so that you could go play with that toy? Think of fun extras you can donate. I chose a giant set of 50 Crayola Pipsqueak markers that telescopes into a tower. The teacher can set these on a table for kids to color with after finishing their work, as a fun reward.

6. Get others involved – Do your part, but then encourage others to join in as well. Set an example for the community, and your family. I made sure my son was involved, so that he could see the impact these supplies have on his classroom.

get kids involved

7. Have fun! – Donating school supplies is giving a gift that will continue to have an impact in the lives of children, potentially for years. That makes it fun. But, I chose to have a little more fun, and I picked up a few things for myself to make a little fun something for my son to bring to school. I’ll share that with you here below.

 

When L goes to school, he misses us. It is only for 3 hours a day, but he’s still adjusting to the new building, the new kids, and the new routine. And it is hard. When I saw this little “lucky” book on the Fiskars website, I was inspired to make something similar to attach to my son’s backpack, so that he could bring a little reminder of his family to school each day.

supplies for photo tagsSupplies:

Tags
Photos
Fiskars Trimmer
Fiskars Scissors
Elmer’s Glue Stick
Elmer’s School Glue
Elmer’s Glitter Glue
Elmer’s Boarders
Metal Ring
Assorted Ribbons
Paintbrush

 

Start by trimming your photos smaller than your tags. The original album uses chipboard, but I wanted something smaller and lighter to hang on my son’s bag, so I went with the tags. Put a border on each tag, trim off the excess with scissors, and then glue the photo in place with the glue stick.

prepare tags

Put school glue on top of the photo, and brush an even coat with the paintbrush. This protects the photo, and seals everything in place.

coat in Elmer's School Glue

I did the same thing with glitter glue.

coat with glitter glue

Put everything aside to dry.

sealed with glue

Tie the ribbons onto the metal ring. To help keep the knots secure, add a couple drops of school glue to the knots.

glue knots in place

Then just hang it on your child’s bag, so they can take a little love with them to school each day!

backpack love tags

For more information, check out Champions for Kids and  Champions for Kids on Facebook.

#cfk  #Fiskars4Kids #shop

Mod Melts Butterfly Decor

This post was sponsored by Plaid.

Mod Melts Butterflies hang from ceiling

Like most boys, my son loves bugs. But thankfully, he’s not very into spiders. Instead, he loves ladybugs and butterflies. If we’re at the park, he’ll find the only ladybug poking through the grass. And he has had a fascination with Butterflies lately. The ladybugs land on him – why won’t the butterflies?

I decided to make him his own butterflies that could hang from his ceiling. That way he could enjoy them, even if he can’t catch them! The Mod Melts made this very easy to do.

Plaid sent me some paint, a spouncer, the Mod Melts, and Mod Melts molds. To this I added some orange paint so that I could make the butterflies Monarchs, and some string to hang them with.

Mod Melts are easy to use – just insert them into a high-temp glue gun, and squeeze into the mold from the center out.

put melts into mold

I filled the mold about halfway, then added a string with a knot in it (so that it won’t pull out easily), and then filled up the mold the rest of the way.

insert string

After 10 minutes, I could pop out the butterfly, and he was ready to paint.

I tried painting him black, then adding the orange accents, but it worked better the other way around. First, I painted the butterflies orange, and let the paint dry.

paint base coat on butterflies

Then I added a thin layer of black paint to the spouncer and lightly tapped the black paint on. This painted the raised area, but kept the back area orange. Much easier than trying to get that detail with a paintbrush.

paint butterflies

I tied a thumbtack to the other end of the string, and hung the butterflies. My son loves it!

mod melts butterflies

I also made some simple paperclips! How will you use Mod Melts?

You can learn more about this fun new product if you catch up with Plaid on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on the Paint Me Plaid Blog.

Check out these other fun ways you can use Plaid’s Mod Melts!


Ever-changing Wood, Nail, and Rubber Band Maze

My son is a maze savant. Yes, I’m his mom and I’ll brag about him even if nobody is listening, but at not quite 5 years old, he totally rocks mazes. And he loves doing them. We’ve gotten him maze books, which he loves, but I wanted to do one better. I wanted a maze that could be fully customized, changed, and never get boring. So I came up with the idea to make a maze board out of wood and nails. Now he has a maze that can be changed in a nearly infinite number of ways! And, it was super simple and easy to make. It took us less than an hour. Totally my kind of craft!

First, we started with our supplies:
18″x18″ square of 3/4 inch plywood
Box of nails
Quilting ruler
Pen
Cordless Drill
Hammer
Rubber Bands

I picked up the plywood at The Home Depot, and had them cut it to size. Having them cut it on their giant saw is so much easier than trying to cut it at home.

Using my quilting ruler, I marked a grid on the board, spacing the lines 1.5″ apart. Once I had my grid marked, it was time to drill pilot holes into my wood. I made sure that the drill bit I was using was a couple sizes smaller than my nails.

The idea is to drill a guide hole, but you still want the nail to be super snug when it gets hammered in. I made sure not to drill all the way through the wood.

Then it was time to hammer in my nails. As I hammered them in, I tried to keep them about the same height. This isn’t essential, it just looks nicer.

I hammered…

And hammered…

It took a while.

Once all the nails were in, I double-checked that they were all pretty much the same height.

Then it was time to add the rubber bands! We stretched the rubber bands along the nails to make the “walls” of the maze. We were so excited about this part, we didn’t bother washing all the black from the nails off of our fingers… we just went for it!

Then my son got to find his way through the maze. Once he figured it out, I adjusted a few of the pathways by moving around rubber bands, and he got to do it again. I kept switching them to give him new routes through the maze. He LOVED it.

I know we’ll be using this toy a lot this summer – such a fun boredom buster!

I might still give it a coat of paint… I haven’t decided yet. But for now, it is getting plenty of use!

Parachute and Landing Pad Toy Craft


My husband just had his birthday. I was badgering him for weeks to find out what he wanted for his birthday. He didn’t have an answer. Until the day before. The day before his birthday he told me, “I’d really like to go skydiving for my birthday.”

I wasn’t completely shocked. Skydiving has come up before… but not in an uber-serious way. I’m not completely thrilled with the thought of the love of my life jumping out of an airplane… but he really wanted to go, and without resorting to extreme hypotheticals – why not?

As a fun way to actually GIVE this gift to him, I made him some parachute super heroes and a drop zone. The drop zone was on the bottom of a box that opened up flat, so that it was easy to fold back up and wrap with the parachute men inside. And it was a fun thing for him to pay with the boys as well.

If you want to make your own drop zone parachute toy, here is what you need:
Box that opens flat
Pencil or Pen
Several sizes of plates
White paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Red paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Paintbrush
Plastic grocery bags
Small toy men
String
Black paint pen or marker (I used a DecoArt Glass paint pen, which is great on glass, but worked well here as well… I love getting multiple uses out of products!)

Start by tracing your plates on the flattened box.

Paint the entire circle white. Let it dry. Paint every other ring red. You should be able to see your pencil lines through the white paint. Allow to dry. (You can see I like to pour paint into disposable cupcake liners – they work great!)

While the bullseye is drying, lay out your bags. I used these plastic bags from target. Lay them out flat, and cut squares as large as possible from the plastic. I used squares from both the front and back – one side has the bullseyes, one side is plain white.

Cut two lengths of string each 3 feet long. Tie one end of a string to one corner, and the other end to another corner. Repeat with the second string.
Line up the corners of the parachute, and pull the strings so they are parallel, then tie around your toy. Trim any excess string.

To store, I folded the plastic parachute into thirds, and then wrapped in the string so that they wouldn’t get tangled.

By the time I finished making the parachutes, the paint on my drop zone was dry. I used a black paint pen to trace the circles, and then added the words “drop zone”.

The parachutes were a hit with the boys! This is the least blurry of all my photos of them playing – they had a ball!

And skydiving was a hit with my hubby!