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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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{FREE} Fall Fun Coloring Page! (And Fun Ways to Use Coloring Pages!)

I was looking at coloring pages I've put together in the past, and thinking about fall activities, and I decided it was time to make a Fall Fun Coloring Page!




I love coloring pages because they provide fine motor exercise, color exploration, and usually have room for your kiddos to add in more details or extra ideas.  And they're incredibly easy to just print and use!  I also often encourage my children to color on a blank sheet of paper because I don't want them to feel confined by someone else's lines or ideas.  Their own artwork always amazes me!

Sometimes, I like to use coloring pages for fine motor activities too!  Here are 5 super easy, and super fun, ways to use a coloring page.  Some will make the page heavy, so you may want to "mount" it on cardstock or a file folder before starting!

1- Paint the picture with fingerpaints, q-tips, straws, or even regular paintbrushes!

2- "Color" the paper by gluing cut yarn pieces to the paper.  Or, color most of the picture and add yarn for things like the leaves.

3- "Color" the picture by gluing colored salt, rice, or sand into it.  Or, color most of the picture with crayons and add the sand for things like leaves or hair.

4- Use dot markers or stamps to color the picture.

5- Use a different art form related to the picture.  For example, dip leaves in paint and make leaf "prints" on top of the picture!  Or, place real leaves under the picture and color in the coloring page as you make leaf rubbings!  Or, crinkle or cut leaves into tiny pieces and glue them onto the leaves in the coloring page!

Download a {FREE} copy of the Fall Fun Coloring Page HERE!!  Please feel free to share the page by linking to this blog post.  Please do not link to the actual file.  Please encourage other teachers and parents to download their own copy.  This makes it much easier for me to continue to make free printables, so THANK YOU for sharing appropriately!!



Amazon Affiliate Links:







I may share at any of these parties!



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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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Introducing the Virtual Book Club for Kids!!

I am super excited to be joining the Virtual Book Club for Kids hosts this year!!



Every month we will feature a different children's book and over a dozen different hands-on activities that go with it!  You can share your own activities or wait and collect ideas from the hosts! 

Activities and book features will usually go up on the first of every month, September through August.  Here is the schedule:



And I thought I would share a quick introduction to each of the books with you today!  These are Amazon Affiliate Links, so if you want more information about the book, click on the picture and go to its Amazon page to learn more and, if you choose, order it!


September: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak:

I still have glowing memories of discovering this book when I was about six at a school book fair!  I am thrilled it is the first book in the club this year!!




October: Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney:

A sweet (and maybe a little silly!) bedtime story!




November: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans:

Life is a great adventure for Madeline, a girl who is never frightened!



December:  Break!


January:  The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper:

One little train can become such an inspiration!  This is another household favorite for us...if you don't have, get it soon!!




February:  The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss:

Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote the Cat in the hat with only 220 words after a large publisher challenged him to write an engaging children's book that used less than 250 well-known words!  Decades later, it's still a favorite!


March:  The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter:

Kids just love this mischievous little rabbit!  I love the classic language that Beatrix Potter uses!




April:  Corduroy by Don Freeman:

Toys that are really alive have been themes in books and movies for ages!




May:  Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems:

Mo Willems is one of my favorite authors for beginning readers and preschoolers.  His version of Goldilocks is fantastic!!



June:  The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister:

The artwork in this book is my absolute favorite part!  We also love stories set in the ocean!




July:  Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann:

This story is downright hilarious...even my boys laugh at its silliness!




August:  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.:

I love everything about this book!  From the artwork to the rhymes and rhythm, Bill Martin Jr created a masterpiece!  It's especially wonderful for younger preschoolers!



Do you have any favorite books on this list?  Would you like to join us for the Virtual Book Club for Kids?  You can join the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook Page here!  Everything's free and the ideas are absolutely fantastic!!

The fun all starts in exactly one week with Where the Wild Things Are!!

AND...do you want to meet the other hosts?  They are all fantastic kid-bloggers with loads of brilliant ideas!  You'll love visiting each of their pages!  Just use the links below this image:



Carla at Preschool Powol Packets (that's me!)  :D

Kristina at Toddler Approved

Kim & Amanda at The Educators' Spin On It

Cerys at Rainy Day Mum

Cassie at 3 Dinosaurs






Danielle at Mom Inspired Life

Jennifer at Study at Home Mama




I may share at any of these parties!



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Monday, August 24, 2015

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BIG News & Gender Reveal Volcano!!

I suppose with a title like "Gender Reveal Volcano," you can guess what the BIG news is...but I'm going to tell you anyways!



I don't usually share a lot of personal information here at Preschool Powol Packets, but this is the kind of big, exciting news that affects our blog!  You see, everything that happens here (on the blog, Facebook page, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and newsletters) is put together by me and my family.  And our family is growing!!

Drumroll!!

We're having a baby in October!!

Everyone is super excited!!  To build on that excitement, I wanted to have a special gender-reveal party for the kids.  We're a little obsessed with fizzing experiments, so a volcano seemed like a natural way to get everyone involved!  I remembered seeing a similar idea last year, and it only took a minute to find Teaching Mama's post with their volcano!  (By the way, you should totally check out her sensory activities...she has loads of fun ideas!)

Anyways, we covered the table with butcher paper and put a giant question mark on it!  



The kids helped me mix up a quick batch of salt dough and covered a vase with our white "mystery" volcano!  My son added the little man to the volcano!


I sent the kids out of the room while I filled the vase about 1/3 full of colored vinegar and a squirt of dish soap.  I added a final tissue over the top to cover that colored vinegar!


I made baking soda packets by wrapping about a tablespoon of baking soda in 1-ply (1-ply is very important!) toilet paper.  We didn't actually have 1-ply, so I just separated 2-ply tissue to make it 1-ply.  :)  

The kids all came back.  They could hardly wait to find out the news!

A red explosion would be a baby girl and a blue explosion would be a baby boy.

They all put their packets in at the same time:


And...


Kaboom!!  It's a girl!!

Have you ever had a gender-reveal activity?  I'd love to hear about it!!





I may share at any of these parties!



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Friday, August 21, 2015

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DIY Nature Club or Nature Camp

This summer my kids wanted to host a Nature Club play group for all their friends.  We had such a great time that I thought I would share our plans here with all of you!  You could use the ideas to host your own Nature Club, Nature Camp, or even just a Nature Theme or unit!  It's a great way to get some outside learning while you're still playing and exploring the outdoors!



The basic plan for each week's "club meeting" included a short themed "lesson," 1-2 activities, a snack, and a little play time.  Here are the details on each week's activities:

Week 1:  Worms! 

Worm Anatomy (exterior anatomy...we didn't dissect any worms!)
Build a Wormery!

Week 2: Seeds!

Dissect a Bean Seed Lab! (and learn the parts inside a seed!)
Plant Seeds in DIY Biodegradable Planters!

Week 3: Bugs!

{FREE} Printable Bug Scavenger Hunt!
Rock Bugs Craft!

Week 4:  Leaves & Trees!

Awesome Leaf Prints!

Week 5: Snakes & Turtles!

This was a "field trip" week to a local nature preserve that was hosting a Snake Open House.  They let us hold and pet snakes and turtles.  Then we walked to one of their ponds and fed more turtles!

Week 6: Butterflies!

This was also a "field trip" week.  The Houston Museum of Natural Science has a Butterfly House with lots of insect exhibits, so we spent a couple hours in their "rainforest" and eating lunch afterwards!

And, here are a few more resources that you might find helpful:

Backyard Bugs
Leaf Print Paintings
Botany Lessons




I may share at any of these parties!



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Thursday, August 20, 2015

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Superhero Cityscape Art Project with Van Gogh

I knew my kids loved superheros, but I definitely underestimated how much they would love making these Superhero City-scapes inspired by Vincent Van Gogh!



Besides being a fun art project, these superhero city-scapes were an introduction to a new famous artist, a fantastic fine motor skill exercise, and a wonderful creative outlet.  Each child had their own "narration" to tell about their art work as they created it and when they finished!


We began by sharing a picture of "a famous painting," Van Gogh's Starry Night.  The kids loved talking about the techniques they could tell he used to create a fun visual effect.  I told them that we would be using pastels to create a sunrise special effect similar to Van Gogh's.  I was totally inspired to make a swirly background after I saw this kindergarten art project, and I knew my kids would love tying it in to superheroes!  





After they made the background, I invited them to use black, red, yellow, and orange construction paper to create city buildings, windows, or whatever else they wanted to include.  This was where their creativity really began to shine!

My son explained that his swirls were actually portals that bad guys were using to sneak into his city!  He used buildings on the right side of the page to represent the mayor's office and home, and a black strip near the middle to represent a volcano!  Eventually he added a black "cloud" at the top of the page too.



Check out the fine motor work here!



My daughter, who is a little older, explained that she was so inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night that she wanted to create more blended swirls, landscapes, and a barn (instead of sky scrapers).  So much of art is personal expression and creativity, that I encouraged her to make it however she wanted!



Eventually everyone finished, and we "mounted" their masterpieces on black construction paper and hung them on our wall!  If you do a similar project, be sure to include a circle time or group moment when everyone can share their creation.  Truly, hearing their narratives was one of my favorite parts of this project!






Do your kids love superheroes?  What kinds of superhero activities have you done?


This year I'm joining a fantastic team of bloggers to share activities that are appropriate for 2nd graders!  Once a week, this team will bring you fun, interactive, hands-on activities and printables that are perfect for this age group!  Mine will also all be easy to adapt for kiddos from PreK - 3rd grade, since those are the ages I work with!  This week the team is bringing you loads of "Superhero" ideas!  Check them out:


Super Hero States of Matter from Look! We're Learning!
Super Math Skip Counting from Sugar Aunts 
Superhero Pattern Stones from Rainy Day Mum 
Super Hero Reading Logs from 123 Homeschool 4 Me 
I am a Super Hero! Writing Prompt from Creative Family Fun 
Superhero Contractions Memory Game from School Time Snippets 
Superhero Cityscape Art Project with Van Gogh from Preschool Powol Packets 
Super Hero Self Portrait from Still Playing School




I may share at any of these parties!



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