Oct 152017
 
 October 15, 2017  31 Days of ABCs, crafts, natural parenting Comments Off on N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity

Fall is such a beautiful time of year for getting outdoors with your kids, so why not have some fun that is (shh!) also educational by doing these fun nature crafts? This a no-prep outdoor learning activity for preschoolers is a hands on way to reinforce their knowledge of the ABCs plus explore natural materials. Not only does it nurture their budding literacy skills but encourages STEM thinking as well: Which material is easier to work with, bark or grass? How can I make curved letters? Why do my leaves keep blowing away, and how can I stop it??

N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity | Alldonemonkey.com

We had so much fun playing and crafting outside, as we tried different ways to make letters using found materials. I’ve also included more fall nature crafts at the end, so now you have no excuse not to get out and get creative with your kids this fall!

N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity

To do these nature crafts, all you need is an outdoor space and your imagination! Simply look for materials like leaves, stones, or bark, and use them to make letters.

N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity | Alldonemonkey.com

Take a break from those worksheets and get outside – See where your creativity can take you!

N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity | Alldonemonkey.com

If you have a very active child like I do, this is a great way to engage their hands and minds.

N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity | Alldonemonkey.com

Not shown here is what my preschooler decided the next step should be – creative ways of destroying the letter shapes!

N Is for Nature Crafts: Outdoor Learning Activity | Alldonemonkey.com

More Fall Nature Crafts for Kids

Here are more fall nature crafts you can do with your kids this season!

Fall Nature Crafts for Kids and Teens from Rhythms of Play

Nature Crafts for Autumn from Red Ted Art

25+ Beautiful Fall Nature Crafts for Kids from Fireflies and Mudpies

Fall Nature Craft from Multicultural Kid Blogs

16 Fall Nature Crafts for Preschoolers from Kids Activities Blog

13 Natural Fall Crafts for Kids Using Natural Materials from Schooling a Monkey

31 Days of ABC 2017 | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC! All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Early Literacy – Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual Baby Books

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Cool Fingerprint Castle Keyrings Tutorial

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaurs DIY Sensory Bin

E – October 6

E Is for Environmental Print to Develop Literacy

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Printable Farm Paper Bag Puppets

G – October 8

All Done Monkey: G Is for Go

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream Craft and Sorting Activity

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: J is for Jirafa (Giraffe) – Spanish Coloring Page

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion Craft

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

N – October 15

All Done Monkey

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owls

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya

Q – October 18

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Robot

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for Truck

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

CrArty: V Is for Van Gogh

W – October 24

My Story Time Corner: W Is for Wheels on the Bus

X – October 25

The Mommies Reviews: X

Y – October 26

Teach Me Mommy: Y Is for Yarn Letters

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Printables – October 31

Royal Baloo and Logi-Bear Too

Oct 112017
 
 October 11, 2017  31 Days of ABCs, Book Reviews, Spanish Comments Off on Spanish Coloring Page: J es de Jirafa

Teaching your children or students the Spanish alphabet? Here is a fun Spanish coloring page for the letter “J,” which stands for jirafa, or giraffe.

Spanish Coloring Page: J es de Jirafa | Alldonemonkey.com

I have always loved the giraffe – probably because I’m tall! – so I naturally thought of this gentle creature when it was time to learn the letter “J”! (I had actually thought of this originally in relation to the English alphabet, but trying to draw a letter picture for the giraffe with “G” would involve too much twisting of that beautiful neck!)

The elegant length and curve of the letter “J” is a natural fit for the shape of the giraffe, so I created this cute Spanish coloring page for kids! You can right click on the picture below to save your copy, or click on the title:

Spanish Coloring Page: J es de Jirafa | Alldonemonkey.com

Spanish Coloring Page: J es de Jirafa

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

A fun book to read along with this Spanish coloring page is The Giraffe That Ate the Moon: La Jirafa Que Se Comió La Luna. This is a sweet story about a young giraffe who actually is not tall – at least, not tall enough to suit him. He dreams of growing tall enough to eat the moon, but when he finally does, he realizes that he was already happy just the way he was. Sweet story about contentment and appreciating what you have: read my full review.

31 Days of ABC 2017 | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC! All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Early Literacy – Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual Baby Books

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Cool Fingerprint Castle Keyrings Tutorial

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaurs DIY Sensory Bin

E – October 6

E Is for Environmental Print to Develop Literacy

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Printable Farm Paper Bag Puppets

G – October 8

All Done Monkey: G Is for Go

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream Craft and Sorting Activity

J – October 11

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

N – October 15

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owls

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya

Q – October 18

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Robot

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for Truck

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

CrArty: V Is for Van Gogh

W – October 24

My Story Time Corner: W Is for Wheels on the Bus

X – October 25

The Mommies Reviews: X

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Printables – October 31

Oct 092017
 
 October 9, 2017  31 Days of ABCs, Spanish Comments Off on Spanish Greetings Game and Craft: H Is For Hola

Here is a fun bilingual Spanish game plus a craft that you can use to help language learners practice basic greetings. One thing I noticed during our last trip to Costa Rica was that our bilingual kids had trouble carrying on simple conversations with relatives and acquaintances. Since they were used to speaking Spanish at home, they had never had a need to learn these basic phrases. After all, Mom and Dad already knew their names and how old they were, so it never came up in conversation!

Spanish Greetings Game and Craft: H Is For Hola | Alldonemonkey.com

So to help them practice I created this fun Spanish greetings game as well as a letter craft that works for English and Spanish!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Spanish Greetings Game and Craft: H Is for Hola

How to Play

This Spanish greetings game is totally no prep and easy for kids to get the hang of! All you need is a ball, and you are ready to get started! Have the kids sit in a circle, then one by one pass the ball to each other. To start, the person first holding the ball asks a question or gives a greeting (“¿Cómo estás?”), and the person who catches the ball next has to respond appropriately (“Bien, gracias”). Then that person gives a different greeting or question before passing the ball to the next person, and so on.

For very beginning learners, you could just use greetings like “Hola” or “Buenos días” or simple questions like “¿Cómo estás?” For more advanced beginners, you could use more difficult questions like “¿Cómo te llamas?” and ¿Cuántos años tienes?”

This is so much more fun than just practicing conversations, plus adding a little movement can be helpful for wiggly kids.

Bilingual Letter H Craft

We also did a simple letter H craft that works well in English or Spanish – H is for both “hola” and “hello”! It is so easy to set up: this is why I always have a big pack of construction paper with our school supplies! It comes in so handy.

Spanish Greetings Game: H Is for Hola | Alldonemonkey.com

Just cut out an “H” shape, or have your child practice his scissors skills to cut it out. (Be sure to have kid-friendly safety scissors for them to use). Then just add a friendly face! We drew a big smile and cut out some eyes to glue on.

Spanish Greetings Game: H Is for Hola | Alldonemonkey.com

Finally, have fun decorating! You can see what we always use washable markers!

Spanish Greetings Game: H Is for Hola | Alldonemonkey.com

31 Days of ABC 2017 | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC! All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Early Literacy – Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual Baby Books

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Cool Fingerprint Castle Keyrings Tutorial

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaurs DIY Sensory Bin

E – October 6

E Is for Environmental Print to Develop Literacy

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Printable Farm Paper Bag Puppets

G – October 8

All Done Monkey: G Is for Go

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream

J – October 11

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

N – October 15

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owls

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya

Q – October 18

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Robot

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for Truck

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

CrArty: V Is for Van Gogh

W – October 24

My Story Time Corner: W Is for Wheels on the Bus

X – October 25

The Mommies Reviews: X

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Printables – October 31

Oct 082017
 
 October 8, 2017  31 Days of ABCs, activities, Book Reviews, crafts Comments Off on Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go

My toddler is just starting to learn about the ABCs, so I thought it would be fun to do a very simple toddler letter craft to teach her that G is for go! I made it more complicated for my preschooler, so he could work on his fine motor skills (and not get bored!) We also had fun with a car-themed activity afterwards, and I’ve included some great books with a transportation theme for a full tot-themed unit.

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Go Is for Go! Toddler Letter Craft and Activity

Simple Letter Craft

The great thing about this toddler letter craft is it is super easy to prep, easy for little hands to do, and fun for them to play with afterwards! All you have to do is cut out the form of the letter G and some “wheels” for your little one to attach to it – because G is for go!

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

For my preschooler, I gave him a bit more of a challenge by having him cut out the letter and wheels himself. I thought he would protest because it can be a lot of cutting, but he was proud of himself for doing it on his own! If they are interested, you could even see if they would like to draw the letter to cut out.

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

My toddler is just discovering the glue stick, so she had a ball with this! They can also color it and decorate with stickers if they want. (Check out these adorable transportation stickers!) Pro tip – always use washable markers like these Crayola Washable Markers, especially if your child likes to draw on themselves (and the table, etc) like mine does!

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

G Is for Go Activity

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

Afterwards I drew a couple of large G’s on cardboard and made them into roads!

Toddler Letter Craft and Activity: G Is for Go | Alldonemonkey.com

Even my 7 year old set down his book to come over and play with it. Zoom zoom!

Transportation Books

Extend the learning by reading these fun books about things that go! What are your favorite transportation themed books?

Charlie Rides: Planes, Trains, Bikes, and More! is a really sweet book that celebrates all kinds of vehicles – but also a child’s relationship with his father. Read my full review.

Of course we can’t forget Richard Scarry! My kids love poring over the pages of his books. There is so much to look at! Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is a fun one to include for a transportation theme.

Little Blue Truck board book is now a staple of most children’s bookshelves. Everything comes together – the rhyming text, the fun illustrations, and the moral about the value of taking the time to help others. And now, just in time for Halloween, there is also Little Blue Truck’s Halloween!

Since most toddlers love cars and dinosaurs, what better than a book that brings them together? Dinosaur Zoom! has realistic drawings of dinosaurs (or at least as realistic as a drawing of an allosaurus driving a car can be!) and cars, with very simple text and storyline. My preschooler still loves this one!

Blue Boat is another great easy to read story that teaches an important lesson. The little blue boat is a hero, facing touch conditions to rescue a family at sea! A favorite in our house. Read my full review.

Oct 012017
 
 October 1, 2017  31 Days of ABCs, Literacy Comments Off on Early Literacy: Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

I am so excited to be kicking off this year’s 31 Days of ABC series! This is one of my favorite series because it focuses on one of the a major early literacy milestone: learning the ABCs! So today I want to spend time looking at how to get started teaching the alphabet to very young children, from sensory bins and board books to hands on activities. What are your favorite ways to teach the ABCs?

Early Literacy: Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Early Literacy: Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

Create a Text Rich Environment

What is a text rich environment? Basically, let your little one see written language all around your home. Post the alphabet in an attractive way somewhere the child can easily see it. For example, we have put these cute Animal Alphabet Sticker Decals on the walls in our toddler’s room. She loves looking at the animals, and I read the letters to her frequently. I particularly like this set because it pairs the upper and lower case letters together. We also have beautiful alphabet posters in Spanish and French. It’s never too soon to get started on a second language!

Connect Letters with Language

Technically called “print awareness,” this is helping little ones make the connection between the written word and language. So, for example, you can point to the words in a book as you read together, point to signs as you read them, and so on. This will make a big difference for them when they start learning to read!

Related Post: Reading with Children 0-5 – Everything You Need to Know

Read Read Read

Building on print awareness is cultivating the simple joy of reading. This step alone is one of the single important tasks you can do for early literacy and indeed to lay the foundation for all future learning. If a child loves to read, the whole world will be opened up to her! Here are some of our favorite alphabet books:

Little hands will love the shaped pages and cute cutouts of Alphablock. We love this series! The illustrations are bright and engaging, and the text simple for young readers. My daughter loves sitting and looking at these books on her own.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a classic, and it’s easy to see why! The rhythmical text fairly bounces along, making it super fun to read aloud. And kids will enjoy seeing what happens when all of the baby letters climb up the coconut tree! We also love the illustrations, as the letters are variously tied up in knots, or get a stubbed toe, etc. from falling out of the tree. Here is a fun extension activity – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom play dough!

LMNO Peas is a really cute book that works for a range of ages. Very young readers will enjoy the alphabet illustrations, while older children will get the gentle humor, as the book explores all the different kinds of peas there are, from architects to zoologists! (My favorite is the page for “K,” which includes a drawing of a king – plus a drawing of the other King – that is, Elvis).

Don’t miss out on even more ABC alphabet books for kids and check out these reading strategies for beginning readers.

Sensory Play

Sensory play is great because children are interacting with the letters and letter shapes using all of their senses. Here are some fun ideas to get you started:

Alphabet sensory bottles

Alphabet recognition sensory bin

ABC sensory table

Alphabet soup letter play

Alphabet themed lunches

Letter Crafts

Early literacy crafts, such as this cute B is for Bus craft, are another fun way for children to interact with letters. You may think that your toddler is too young to do alphabet crafts, but there are many ideas for simple crafts that are still meaningful for letter recognition, such as this “fill the alphabet” toddler craft. And I love these hand print ABC crafts – one for every letter of the alphabet!

Name Recognition

An important part of early literacy is recognizing your own name. There are lots of fun ways to do this – I love this sticker activity, as most toddlers I know are obsessed with stickers! Here is a letters in my name sensory activity, plus a name construction activity that also includes great tips about teaching name recognition.

More Hands On Activities

Hands on activities are so important for early literacy. Here are some really fun activities you can do with your little one:

Unwrapping puzzle pieces

ABC architecture scavenger hunt

Splash the alphabet

Sensory alphabet lineup

Alphabet city

Alphabet emboss painting activities

Washing letters

Magnetic letter matching

Alphabet games

Letter matching activity

Racing letters: alphabet tracing activity

Learning letters with cars

ABC cookies pretend play

Alphabet hop

Letter matching memory game

Pebble discovery bottle

Seek and shoot ABC basketball

Laundry letters recognition activity

31 Days of ABC 2017 | Alldonemonkey.com

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC! All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!



31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Getting Started with Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy Recipes for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Castles

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaur

E – October 6

E Is for Egg Carton Word Building

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Farm

G – October 8

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream

J – October 11

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

N – October 15

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owls

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya

Q – October 18

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Robot

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for Truck

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

W – October 24

X – October 25

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

Oct 252016
 
 October 25, 2016  31 Days of ABCs, Education 2 Responses »

Coding for Kids: X Marks the Spot | Alldonemonkey.com

Often when we think of coding we remember the complicated computer languages that many of us had to struggle through when we were younger. But coding for kids is actually much simpler in the beginning stages and is really all about breaking down a sequence into its smallest parts and putting them into the correct order, or being able to follow a sequence when broken down into these smallest units.

For example, if I tell my son to get ready in the morning, “get ready” really involves a number of small activities: get dressed, brush teeth, wash face, etc. And each of these can be broken down into even smaller parts! When my oldest son took a coding class in kindergarten last year, his homework would often consist of taking pictures of these types of sequences and putting them in order. Doesn’t look much like C++ or PHP, but it is actually laying the foundation for these more complicated computer languages.

When I took a coding class in graduate school, one of the hardest things wasn’t so much learning all of the commands but the incredible attention to detail that was required. It wasn’t enough to know the parts of the language, you had to know how to put them together and not miss a single step. Even as I blog in the more simplified html today, I know that leaving off a single / or > in my coding will throw the whole thing off!

So doing seemingly simple activities like the one below helps kids learn how to put together sequences made up of discrete units and trains them to pay attention to this level of detail. Beyond that, it can be really fun! Done well, these coding for kids games are challenging but rewarding as kids build on their successes and make patterns that really work.

The coding for kids activity below is based on my son’s homework from his computer class. You can find similar activities on JDaniel4’s Mom. I’ve tried to make the setup as simple as possible, so that it is easy to fit into your busy schedule. I set this up in just a few minutes, but it still provides for many variations of play.

Coding for Kids: X Marks the Spot | Alldonemonkey.com

The activities below can be adjusted for different levels. My preschooler and my 1st grader both enjoyed these games, though my younger son needed a little more help along the way. It was also a great way to reinforce the letter “X,” since this was the goal we were working towards.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Coding for Kids: X Marks the Spot

You Will Need:

Game pieces, like from chess or Connect 4 Game

Washable Marker

To Set Up:

Line up the game pieces into a grid. Since I had a mix of two colors, I made them into a regular pattern so it would be easier to the boys to visualize and remember. I used the inside of the game box to lay them out.

Using your washable marker, mark one game piece of each color with an “X.”

Coding for Kids: X Marks the Spot | Alldonemonkey.com

Variation 1:

Begin by replacing one of the pieces in the grid with an “X” game piece of the matching color. Help your child write a series of up and down arrows that serve as instructions (an algorithm) to get from the bottom corner of the grid to the “X” (for example, two up arrows then three right arrows). Have them check their algorithm by physically moving their piece through their sequence. Practice this a few times until they are comfortable with it. If they are struggling, first have them physically move their piece and write the algorithm as they go.

Variation 2:

Once they are comfortable with the first variation, have them close their eyes while you replace one of the game pieces with an “X” piece face down. Then write an algorithm for them to follow to reach the “X.” When they have completed it, have them flip over the piece they think is the correct one to see if they are right. They are so excited when they find the hidden “X”!

Coding for Kids: X Marks the Spot | Alldonemonkey.com

Variation 3:

For older children, have them become the game maker by placing the “X” game piece on the grid face down and giving you an algorithm to follow. My 1st grader really enjoyed this. My preschooler liked to just invent an algorithm that we then followed together (without an “X” piece). He needed a little help to make sure he didn’t write a sequence that would take us off the board, but it was still fun!

Have fun with these coding for kids activities and invent your own variations!

31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!



31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B – October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G – October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H – October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Mult0ilingual Twist

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya

N – October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P – October 17

Little Hiccups: P is for Places, A Travel ABC Book

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey: Bilingual Letter Craft – Q is for ¿Qué? Q is for Question

R – October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME: Patterned Paper Plate Snake

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Puerto Rican Flamboyant Tree

U – October 22

Witty Hoots: How to Make Awesome Unicorn Headbands

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya

W – October 24

Scribble Doodle and Draw: Winter Letter Craft

X – October 25

All Done Monkey

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft

Z – October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally!

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 182016
 

Bilingual Letter Craft: Q is for Que and Question | Alldonemonkey.com

We love simple learning activities, especially ones that do double duty to teach English and Spanish. This bilingual letter craft for “Q” is easy but really makes an impact – plus it’s fun!

Since we are focusing on biliteracy (that is, learning to read and write in both languages), as my preschooler is learning his letters I am making sure he has some examples of words that start with those letters in Spanish. So “C” is not just for car but also calabaza (pumpkin), and so on.

So when we came to the letter “Q,” I came up with this simple bilingual letter craft that works well in English and Spanish. The main point of the lesson is that “Q” turns you into a detective (or scientist). In English, “Q” is for Question, while in Spanish “Q” is for ¿Qué? (What?) So when you ask a question (or say “¿Qué?”) then you are a detective solving a mystery.

First we practiced asking questions and trying to answer them (try to include some silly ones!) and I also had them point to various objects around the room and ask “¿Qué es eso?” (“What is this?”) Again, be sure to encourage some silliness! (They, of course, pointed at each other or the baby: “Qué es eso??” in mock frightened voices).

After a bit of this, we did our bilingual letter craft, where the “Q” is designed to look like a magnifying glass.

Bilingual Letter Craft: Q is for ¿Qué? and Question

Materials:

Cardstock or thin cardboard

Scissors

Tape or glue

Markers (optional)

Instructions:

For each student, cut out a circle and a stick to form the letter “Q.” (You can also have the students practice their cutting skills but cutting out these shapes themselves). You can vary the size of the letters, but you want them at least as large as a magnifying glass. (We made ours quite a bit bigger).

Have the students tape or glue the stick into the correct position to make the letter “Q.” The stick should be mostly on the outside of the circle, so that it looks like a handle for the magnifying glass.

Bilingual Letter Craft: Q is for Que and Question | Alldonemonkey.com

Pretending to investigate an “injury”

Bilingual Letter Craft: Q is for Que and Question | Alldonemonkey.com

That’s it! Be sure to let them have fun being detectives and scientists with their “Q” magnifying glasses.

31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!



31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Apple Scented Glitter Glue and Apple Craft

B – October 3

Witty Hoots: How to Make Fabulous Button Bookmarks

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets: Construction Truck Preschool Action Rhyme

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom: Printable Dinosaur Alphabet Sequencing Puzzle

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets: Elephant Art Project and Thailand Lesson

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey: Spanish-English ABC Flashcards

G – October 8

Royal Baloo: Simple Ghost Painting Project

H – October 9

Peakle Pie: Hide and Seek

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!: Insect Activities for Kids

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: Olmec Jaguar Craft

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets: I Am a Kite Action Rhyme for Preschool

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child: Letter Learning with a Multilingual Twist

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya

N – October 15

Peakle Pie: Narwhal Fingerprint Pictures

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish: O es de Oso

P – October 17

Little Hiccups: P is for Places, A Travel ABC Book

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey

R – October 19

Sugar, Spice & Glitter

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

U – October 22

Witty Hoots

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya

W – October 24

Creative World of Varya

X – October 25

All Done Monkey

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft

Z – October 27

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally!

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 012016
 
 October 1, 2016  31 Days of ABCs, Literacy 2 Responses »

Creating a Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum | Alldonemonkey.com

When I participated in a preschool co-op several years ago, we decided that the easiest way to organize it would be to follow the letters of the alphabet. Learning the alphabet is a building block of reading, and it roughly matched the number of weeks we would be meeting during the school year. Creating a letter of the week preschool curriculum is easy and fun! Here are some ideas based on our experiences.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the Kidloland app for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Creating a Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum

We found that it was easiest to have set sections for our preschool curriculum, so that the children knew what to expect and it was easy for us to plan ahead. We always started with circle time (which included a welcome song and review of the calendar) before starting with our Letter of the Week activities. Below are some Letter activities to consider for your preschool curriculum. These balance interactive activities with those where the children practice being quiet and listening. Those activities that you do not have time to include in your class you could suggest that parents do at home.

Bulletin Board: Create a Letter of the Week bulletin board, decorated with that week’s letter at the top. Children can then take turns pinning either flashcards or photos from magazines of objects that start with that letter. This is a great way to start off the lesson, so that children get a sense right away of how the letter sounds and where it can be found.

Alligator: To reinforce the vocabulary, we borrowed this super cute alphabet alligator, but rather than having children pull out letter cards, we had them pull out objects that started with that letter (sometimes including letter cards or foam letters). So for “C” you might have a toy car and a cup, for example. To make it even more interactive, we asked that each child bring several objects from home to contribute to the alligator that week.

Story: This was always my favorite! Choose a story that showcases a word starting with the letter of the week. Choose your story carefully so it is clear which word and letter are being featured.

Song: Oh wait, this was my favorite! I loved doing the songs with them about something starting with the letter of the week. Include movement, if possible, especially if you are doing the song right after story time. So for example, we pretended to be elephants balancing on a string for this fun elephant song (in English and Spanish!)

Activity/Game: As the mother of two active boys, I feel strongly about including at least one game or activity in the preschool curriculum, such as a letter scavenger hunt (where you hide foam letters) or this letter D game. We did this just before our break, as it often ended in the kids running around the room! We would then let them run off some of their energy while we prepared snack, and the food was usually enough of a draw to bring them to the table to settle back down.

Sensory: Another great way to help kids re-focus is to do a sensory activity, like a sensory bin with objects or letter shapes hidden inside or writing the letter in sand or shaving cream. Kids love it, and it’s great for pre-writing skills and letter recognition.

Craft: Of course, you have to include a craft! There are so many cute alphabet crafts and coloring pages to explore. I especially love ones that incorporate the letter itself, such as making a letter “Z” that is striped like a zebra. Be aware that you may have to adjust the craft for different levels of interest. We had several girls in our group that adored crafts. We made sure to have plenty of supplies so they could be as elaborate as they wanted (and often to do extra crafts), while keeping the main idea simple enough that the wiggly ones in our group could finish before they absolutely could not sit at the table any longer.

Any of the above could also be continued at home, as well as activities like doing a letter hunt around the house or neighborhood. Another easy way to reinforce the lessons is with this great educational app from Kidloland. It is a real powerhouse, with more than 575  interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories and educational activities.

Creating a Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum | Alldonemonkey.com

It is aimed at children 5 and under (though my 6 year old enjoyed it as well), which means that it is intuitive enough that even young children can play on their own. When I sat down with my four year old to try it out, I expected to have to help him at first, as I have to do with many apps, but he jumped in right away and started playing without any help from me!

I love that Kidloland includes a wide range of learning songs and games, and often each game itself contains a mix, so that kids are never bored! The graphics are super cute and engaging, and everything is easy for even young children to do. They can learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more with Kidloland. This app contains so many activities that it is hard to imagine running out of things to do! It’s a great way to let your child play and learn at the same time.

Best of all for me as a parent – no ads! I cannot tell you how much this bothers me, especially in apps for young children. I also love that we can download all of the materials directly to our device so that my son can play offline. This is especially for times when we are traveling and don’t have wi-fi.

Find out more about the Kidloland app, available for iOS, on Google Play or at the Amazon App Store. While they have made many games available for free, you get even more amazing content with a paid subscription!

31 Days of ABC - October 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC!  You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!

So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!



31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Creating a Preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum

A – October 2

Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

B – October 3

Witty Hoots

C – October 4

Preschool Powol Packets

D – October 5

ArtsyCraftsyMom

E – October 6

Preschool Powol Packets

F – October 7

Spanglish Monkey

G – October 8

Royal Baloo

H – October 9

Peakle Pie

I – October 10

Look! We’re Learning!

J – October 11

All Done Monkey

K – October 12

Preschool Powol Packets

L – October 13

Raising a Trilingual Child

M – October 14

Creative World of Varya

N – October 15

O – October 16

For the Love of Spanish

P – October 17

Little Hiccups

Q – October 18

All Done Monkey

R – October 19

S – October 20

Crafty Mama in ME

T – October 21

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

U – October 22

V – October 23

Creative World of Varya

W – October 24

X – October 25

All Done Monkey

Y – October 26

Our Daily Craft

Z – October 27

123’s – October 28

Hispanic Mama

Prewriting – October 29

Sugar Aunts

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

The Jenny Evolution

Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31

The Kindergarten Connection

Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally!

Kidloland

3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!

Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle: 31 Days of ABC Giveaway

The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jan 022015
 
 January 2, 2015  31 Days of ABCs, admin Comments Off on Best Kids Activities 2014: 31 Days of ABC

Best Kids Activities 2014: 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

Looking back on 2014, it was a wonderful year of growth and learning.  I published my first e-book with my dear friend Varya from Creative World of Varya, traveled to Costa Rica, and participated in the World Cup for Kids project.

31 Days of ABC - October 2014

But a real highlight for me was organizing the 31 days of ABC project in October for the second year in a row.  There were so many fun crafts and activities shared, all aimed to teach children the alphabet.  For example, my contribution for the letter “C” was all about carnivorous plants!

For even more ABC learning posts, be sure to visit last year’s series and browse through our group Pinterest board.

Here’s to another great year ahead!

Best Kids Activities of 2014 | Kid Blogger Network

We are so excited to be taking part in a series about the BEST parenting blog posts of 2014, brought to you by the bloggers of Kid Blogger Network, and organized by MaryAnne of Mama Smiles.

Follow along on the Pinterest board:

Follow MamaSmiles’s board The Best Kid Blogger Posts of 2014 on Pinterest.

Or have fun browsing the wonderful posts listed below!

CRAFT POSTS:

EDUCATION POSTS:

PARENTING POSTS:

Oct 042014
 

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the month-long series 31 Days of ABC.  See below for details!

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  Thank you for your support!

Since Monkey loves carnivorous plants, it is only fitting that in our house “C” is for carnivorous plants!

He draws them alongside robots, he builds them out of play dough, and he frequently asks us to play a “fly trap” game with him.  This involves making your hands into a Venus fly trap, while his hand becomes a fly you have to capture!  Even Little Monkey can say “fly trap” as he squishes his hands together with appropriately gruesome sound effects.

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

So we jumped at the chance to take Monkey to the carnivorous plants exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco recently.

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

Monkey was enthralled, getting to see up close the plants he had previously seen only in books and videos.

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

For this ABC series, I wanted to tie carnivorous plants more directly to the alphabet, so I came up with a fun little letter craft, based on one of the ways that many carnivorous plants trap their victims.

Many carnivorous plants, like the sundew, catch insects when the unsuspecting bugs land on the plants’ sticky surface.  So, in their honor, we put together our own sticky “C’s” to catch some insects.

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

First I cut “C” shapes out of colored paper then laid each on top of contact paper, so that the sticky side of the contact paper showed through the “C.”

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

I cut up a few bug shapes to get them started then let them add more, to practice their scissor skills.  The boys had fun seeing the “insects” stick to the letter, usually with Monkey adding in some dramatic cries from the insects.

C is for Carnivorous Plants - 31 Days of ABC | Alldonemonkey.com

Since Monkey also knows Spanish, we talked about how the carn- in carnivorous is like carne (“meat”), since carnivorous plants eat meat.

For More on Carnivorous Plants

 

Carnivorous Plants Food Art | Alldonemonkey.com

In case you missed it, be sure to check out our fun carnivorous plant food creations.

The Monkeys really enjoy this video from BBC One.  It is very well done, and so much better than watching home videos on YouTube of guys feeding spiders to their Venus fly traps.  (Yes, we’ve watched those as well, though I wouldn’t recommend them!)

Although this says it is for older readers, Hungry Plants by Mary Batten really keeps Monkey’s attention.  It explains the plants in text that is very readable without being watered down.

Carnivorous Plants by Cynthia Overbeck is much more dense, but Monkey still loves it.  It covers a wide range of plants not found in some other books.

This last one I only just discovered as I was putting together this post, so we haven’t read it yet but definitely will soon!  Elizabite: Adventures of a Carnivorous Plant by H.A. Rey looks just delightful, and a fun book to read alongside the more scientific ones.

 

31 Days of ABC - October 2014

This year I am proud to once again be hosting the collaborative series 31 Days of ABC.  Each day throughout the month a different blogger will share alphabet learning activities and resources.  Be sure to check out the full schedule, and link up your own alphabet posts below!

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