Old Keyboard — English

keyboard

We hit upon this idea totally by accident.  My daughter brought an old computer keyboard to me yesterday and asked how to spell my name.  I told her and then pointed out each letter in turn for her to push.  Why did I never think of teaching her letters using an old computer keyboard?!

She went on to ask how to spell her own name and those of other family members.  After typing in several names, there were a few letters which she recognized without my prompting.

The keyboard could also be used to teach a child their numbers (assuming it has a number pad), or even the different punctuation marks and symbols.  And if your child practices spelling, this would be a fun method for them to key in their spelling words!

If you have an old keyboard lying around, why don’t you pull it out and have some fun with it?

Roy G. Biv with Licorice

roy-g-biv

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I had some Twizzler Rainbow Twists left over from a church snack, so the kids and I used them to learn that Roy G. Biv can help us remember the colors of the rainbow.  I cut the pieces in half and gave each kid their own set.  Then they took turns identifying the colors in the Roy G. Biv’s name and putting their pieces in order.

It’s a fun and simple way to help your kids learn their colors!

R – red

O- orange

Y – yellow

G – green

B – blue

I – indigo (no indigo licorice, but explain to your kids that it’s between blue and violet)

V – violet

Marshmallow Painting — Art

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This is a very easy art method to use with your children.  We simply squirted out blobs of different colored tempera paint onto foam plates and dot-painted with marshmallows.

You can use mini, regular-sized or jumbo ones.  You can even find novelty-shaped marshmallows during the holidays.

Just be prepared to let your kids eat a few marshmallows on the side!

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My youngest daughter enjoyed making an abstract picture.

Hail

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A few weeks ago, we experienced some adverse weather in our area.  What I thought would be a regular thunder storm actually produced some rather large hail.  It was easily as big as the end of my thumb!

The kids and I took it as a learning opportunity.  We stood on our front porch, which is full of windows, and watched the hail bounce on the ground as it fell.  Once the hail was done falling, I ran outside and collected some in a bowl for the kids to explore.  We put a few in a smaller bowl and popped them in the freezer so that Daddy could see them when he got home.

I can’t remember the last time I saw hail this large!  And the kids really enjoyed this unexpected chance to explore a weather phenomenon!

Why not use real-life weather patterns to fuel a science discussion with your kids?

Recognizing Punctuation & Symbols

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This activity is very easy and cheap!  My son took this handout from church and circled all of the punctuation and symbols he could find on it.

When he was finished we looked at all of the different types of punctuation and symbols, and discussed when each would be used.  That’s it!

How could it get any easier to get your child to explore the uses of punctuation?

Birthday Invitations – Art

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Making birthday invitations is a great way to get your child doing some art!  It is very similar to cardmaking, but this is just another application for the using same techniques.

The invitation above is one that my eldest son made a couple of years ago for his Link-themed birthday party.  I already had all of the supplies he needed, except for the Hyrulian Crest stamp from etsy.

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He used an invitation stamp with fancy lettering inside, and went back to fill in the details later by hand.  My son really enjoyed this hands-on projects.  They didn’t turn out perfect, but he got the satisfaction of doing the job himself.

It can be difficult to hand over party details like this to your kids, but it is well worth it.  I’ve started trusting my kids to do more, instead of taking over because of my perfectionistic nature.

Valentine’s Day Box – Art

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Here is our Valentine’s Day box from last year!  This is a fun and usable group art project.  You could let your kids plan out a design ahead of time or just wing it.  It’s totally up to you!

I used my X-ACTO knife to cut a slot in the top of our box.  For decorating, we had some silver and pink duct tape left over from other projects, so we decided to use those colors on our box.

The kids decorated the entire box with Valentine’s stickers that I had gotten at the dollar store.  I’m glad I got several packs because they went through almost all of them!

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To finish off the ends of the box we put on some washi tape I had sitting around–silver glitter, heart garland, plain pink, and pink polka dots.  The tape may not stay on the best, so a bit of clear tape on the ends might help.

I hope our box has provided you with some inspiration for decorating your own Valentine’s Day box.  We just used an old gift box and items I already had around the house.  See what you can make with your odds and ends!