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Mermaid Letter Tracing Cards

Hey there!  Today, I wanted to take just a second to share this adorable activity that I made for my three year-old!  She is fascinated by mermaids and we stumbled upon this fun tape at Target that reminded us of mermaids.  I decided to turn it into a hands-on alphabet activity for her. 

I bought a couple containers of blue and silver glitter and some clear hair gel.  Once we got home, I made a quick hair gel sensory bag by putting the hair gel and glitter together in a gallon-sized zipper baggie.  The blue and silver glitter mixed together makes it look like an ocean!

Then I sealed the bag and sealed it with a few layers of the tape.  I taped the opposite end as well. 

Since my daughter is only three, I picked a handful of letters for her to practice writing on the bag with her finger.  She knows how to write the four letters in her name, so I included those plus 6 other letters she knows really well.  It was a hit!

If you're looking for the same tape, I found it at Target but it's also available on Amazon here (affiliate link). 

Click on the image below to get these cards in my store!

6 Activities for Celebrating Kansas Day {PLUS a Freebie!}

With Kansas Day coming up on January 29th, I wanted to share a variety of ideas to help you celebrate with your kindergarteners!  Whether you want to do one activity that day or spend a whole day celebrating Kansas, I've got ideas for you!

This post contains affiliate links.

1. Books

The book S is for Sunflower by Devin and Corey Scillian is an alphabet book all about Kansas. I like it because each page features a rhyme that's great for reading aloud.  There's extra information on every page as well.

This is the Sunflower is a really cute book about the sunflower life cycle.  It can be used with all sorts of great writing or science activities and it ties in well with the sunflower sensory bin in my Kansas Day center pack.

The Kansas rookie reader book is another good one with lots of simple words and sentences.

Not pictured is One Kansas Farmer, also written by Devin Scillian, which is a number book that's very similar to S is for Sunflower.

2. Snack

I put together these simple sunflower cookies and they're fun because they're a simple snack that your students can assemble on their own.  I bought these shortbread cookies (there are about 20 in a package), lemon frosting, and malted milk balls.

Each student will need one cookie, a spoonful of frosting, and one malted milk ball.

Then, they'll spread the frosting on the cookie and put the malted milk ball in the center.  Again...it's pretty simple but it's a quick and hands-on snack idea!

3. Centers/Exploration Stations/Morning Tubs:

Last week I shared about my Kansas Day Exploration Stations or Centers (here's the link to the blog post).  There are 12 activities in the pack and they can be used in any way you need them!  There's a mix of literacy, math, science, and fine motor activities and if you're familiar with my morning work tubs, you'll find that they're a similar format.  Check out the blog post for all the details or see them in my TpT store here.

4. Mini Books:

I LOVE using mini books in the classroom and I love this set of three mini books just for Kansas Day.  One of them is a tracing book about Kansas symbols.  The Kansas book is also about Kansas symbols but it uses simple, repetitive sentences.  The I Live in Kansas book has simple sentences like, "I go to school in Kansas."  You can grab the mini books in my store here!

5. Flip-Up Book:

If you've never used a flip-up book with your students, have no fear!  This is a fairly simple one.  It's all about Kansas symbols and it includes color and black-and-white versions.  You can choose the numbered pages or non-numbered pages.  You can check out this activity in my store here.

6. Sunflower Counting by Tens Craftivity:

This activity can be used outside of Kansas Day and makes a great spring bulletin board, too!  It's a simple and fun craftivity with a math component.  There are versions that go to 100 and 120.  You can get this craftivity in my store here.

Crown Freebie:

Since it wouldn't be a special day in the world of kindergarten without a crown, here's a crown template!  You'll need to attach construction paper strips or sentence strips to each sides and staple to form a complete crown for each student.  There is a version with Kansas pictures to cut out and color and there's also a blank "Happy Kansas Day" version.  For both versions, there's an option to cut out around the sunflower petals and a simpler version that's just round at the top.  Click on either of the pictures below to get your freebie!

How to you celebrate Kansas Day?  Leave a comment below or share pictures on Facebook or Instagram!  Be sure to tag me!

February Morning Work Tubs

With all of the excitement with the holidays behind us, I can't help but feel like February is still a pretty busy month.  Between parent/teacher conferences, the 100th day of school, and Valentine's Day parties, February is usually its own special kind of busy!

Although it's a busy month, it's always nice to have some solid routines in place that can help maintain some sense of normalcy.  If you've been using my morning work tubs this year, I hope that your mornings are running pretty smoothly by this point in the year!

Today I'm sharing about my February morning work tub activities.  Just like every other tub activity pack, this month has 20 activities that touch on a variety of skills.  Many of this month's activities have a Valentine's Day theme!

Although most of the materials used for the activities are commonly found in many classrooms, I'll provide Amazon links to certain materials that you may not have or might be curious about!

1. Valentine's Day Word Building: I included eight vocabulary word cards that can be used for word building with magnetic letters, writing on mini white boards, or in any way you choose.
2. Counting Hearts Clip-It Cards: These feature numbers to 20.
3. Letter Building Cards: This is a fun activity to use with mini erasers!
4. Colorful Hearts Transfer Activity: Although this activity seems simple, I increased the difficulty this month by using metal tweezers instead of jumbo plastic tweezers and pony beads instead of pom-pom balls.

5. Hearts Cut and Punch Cards: My students have always loved using single hole-punchers.  I printed the hearts on a variety of colors for students to cut out and punch on the dots.  
6. Spin and Cover: This has a 1-6 version and a 7-12 version.  Here's another great way to use those mini erasers we all love!
7. Pinning or Tracing Pages: If the thought of your students using jumbo push pins keeps you up at night, it's okay!  You can have students trace the pictures instead.  But I've found that the vast majority of students will take the responsibility of using push pins very seriously, especially with guidance and practice.
8. Uppercase/Lowercase Clip-It Cards: This activity may be too simple for some of your kiddos at this point in the year and, if it is, you'll have to use something else instead.  This is one of those times when it's hard to make printable activities that are guaranteed to work in 100% of classrooms!  But for those kids who need a little extra practice, here's a great activity.

9. Missing Number Hearts: There are THREE versions of this activity: 1-10, 11-20, and 21-30.  You can pick and choose one or more versions to use based on your students' needs!  If you want to make it a little more fun, add some sticky-back hook-and-loop dots to the number mats and heart cards.
10. Bobsled Ten Frame Puzzles: With the winter games coming up, here's a simple-but-fun thematic activity!
11. Love Bug Counting Cards: I used these bug counters for this activity.  The cards go up to 30 and there are editable cards if you want to use larger numbers.
12. Onset/Rime Puzzles: There are 20 puzzles included with this activity.

13. Letter Building Mats: Most kids I know can't get enough of playdough, so I included another set of these letter building mats this month.
14. Real-Life 2-D Shapes Find-It Bag: I used multi-color dyed rice in a gallon-sized bag for this activity.  You'll put the object cards in the bag, tape up the zipped end, and give students the shape cards.  When they find an object in the bag, they'll locate it on the shape cards and cross it off or color it in.
15. Love Monster Addition or Subtraction Sort: You can choose the addition or subtraction version for this activity.  Both versions include numbers within 10, but you can pick and choose the cards you want to use.
16. Sequencing Puzzles: I had dozens of requests for more sequencing puzzles, so here are a few more!

17. Playdough Food Mats: This activity really allows your students to be creative!  Each of the six mats lets students add to the food picture using playdough.  For example, they'll add toppings to a pizza or add gumballs to a gumball machine.
18. Valentine Word Families: Students will sort the picture cards under the correct word family envelope.  You can make this even more fun by writing the word family endings onto real envelopes!
19. Line Tracing: These cards work on vertical lines.
20. Heart Pattern Cards: There are AB and ABC pattern cards included. 

If you have any questions about this month's activities, please let me know!  To check out the pack on TpT, click on the covers below.

Exploration Stations or Centers for Kansas Day

If you're a Kansas kindergarten teacher, you likely know that Kansas Day is coming up on January 29th.  I grew up in Iowa and although we learned about Iowa symbols and history, I don't recall taking a specific day to celebrate Iowa.  But when I moved to Kansas and started teaching kindergarten, I realized that Kansas Day is definitely celebrated here!  It's a fun day full of sunflowers and fun, and I am excited to share a brand-new resource with you today!

I have several Kansas Day activities in my store already, including a sunflower counting by tens craftivity (one of my all-time favorites!), a flip-up book, and a set of mini books.  In the last couple years, I've had several teachers ask me for more ideas on ways to celebrate Kansas Day.  I love finding ways to incorporate themes with everyday learning activities, so I decided to create a set of activities that could be used as exploration stations, centers, morning tubs, or in any way to celebrate Kansas Day.  I ended up creating 12 different activities that focus on different literacy, math, science, and fine motor skills!

If you need evidence of learning or would like practice pages, I've got you covered!  The math, literacy, and science activities all include a corresponding activity page.  I also provided black-and-white versions for most of the activities!

Letter or Sight Word Sand Tray Writing:

These prairie animal-themed cards can be used in a variety of ways.  I love sand and salt trays, so I added some gold glitter to white sand for this activity.  There are uppercase and lowercase letter cards and editable sight word cards.

Kansas Vocabulary Cards:

If you're familiar with my morning work tubs, then you'll recognize these for sure!  I included ten cards for a variety of Kansas vocabulary, including Kansas, sunflower, wheat, and cottonwood.

Honeybee Hive Word Sort:

The honeybee is the state insect, so I created this word sorting activity with a fun bee theme.

Scrambled-Up Sentences:

Here's another morning work tub favorite with a Kansas twist!  Each of the sentences is color-coded with mixed-up words.  The picture supports the text and will help your students put each sentence together.

Sunflower Seed Counting:

This is one of the more simple activities, but sunflower seeds are a fun counting object!  I recommend buying the unsalted sunflower seeds.  :)

Sunflower Ten Frames:

There are ten frame cards for numbers to 20.  I used plastic linking cubes, but you can use whatever objects you want: cubes, mini erasers, sunflower seeds, etc.

Sunflower Counting or Addition:

There is a counting version of this activity and then there are 0-5 and 0-10 addition versions.  I love using pony beads because they're great for fine motor work!  Students will either show the number or the addition sentence using the beads.

Kansas Graphing:

For this activity, I provided a cube that you can print and assemble or you can print the cards and place them into a pocket cube.  

Planting Sunflowers Sensory Tub and Sequencing Cards:

You will have to create the sensory tub; I used dry black beans for "dirt", artificial sunflowers, and plastic gardening tools from this set.  I'm including sunflower sequencing cards for students to put in order as well.

Sunflower and Honeybee Cut and Punch Activity:

Students will cut out around each shape (the honeybee is more complex, FYI) and then use a hole punch to punch on the dots.  

Rainbow Sunflower Transfer Activity:

This is a simple activity that I use tongs or tweezers for to add a fine motor component.  The spinner is optional but most kinders can't get enough of using spinners!  I laminated the spinner mat and hot-glued one of these spinners on top.  You can add more difficulty by adding a six-sided die and incorporating that into the activity.

Line Tracing Cards:

These cards feature a Western meadowlark (the state bird) with lines toward a nest.  The cards practice left-to-right directionality with a variety of tracing line styles.  Laminate them and provide dry-erase markers so they can be reused.

Check out this activity (and more Kansas Day resources) in my store by clicking on the image below!

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