Friday, July 6, 2018

Free Early Reader Practice Sheets

If you have an early reader or just want to keep your young reader sharp this summer, download and print these great practice sheets from Children Learning Reading.

Download Phoneme Substitution Printout

Download Phoneme Segmentation Printout

Download Phoneme Isolation Printout

Download Phoneme Identity Printout

Download Phoneme Deletion Printout

Download Phoneme Blending Printout

Download Phoneme Addition Printout 

The Children Learning Reading program is designed to teach children learn to read in as little as 12 weeks!  If you would like to teach your child to read at home, or if your early learner is having to a difficult to learning how to read, I would highly recommend this program.  My oldest had a difficult time learning how to read in the beginning, now he loves to read at every opportunity!

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Adventure Time Halloween!

Last Halloween I made Julian a lion hat, a bear hat for myself, and painted my husband's face as a tiger.  (Lions and Tigers an Bears--oh my!)

This year I wanted us to go as Adventure Time characters, so I crocheted a Finn hat and bag for Juju, and a Jake hat for my husband.  I decided at the last minute to go as Cake, so I'm currently still working on mine, but here's a sneak peek at this year's costumes.

I got to model the Jake hat first since Terrance was at work!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maple Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Or Pancake Sugar Cookies :)

Juju helped me make these yesterday (we ate them all last night before I took any pictures, sorry!).  I was in the mood to make cookies, but as I don’t bake often I only had ingredients for sugar cookies.  I think sugar cookies are super boring (sorry) so I wanted to add something to them.  Again…not many ingredients to choose from, so I decided on maple syrup and cinnamon.   

It’s a pretty basic recipe so there’s a lot of room to experiment :D

Ingredients (Makes a little more than a dozen cookies depending on your cookie cutter shapes)

1 egg
½ cup melted butter
1 1/8 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup (approximately)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (approximately)
powdered sugar

Blend the egg, butter, sugar, and salt.  Gradually stir in flour, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  For regular sugar cookies omit the maple syrup and cinnamon and add a bit more sugar (otherwise it’ll taste too floury).  You can also substitute the maple syrup and cinnamon with other yummy things like brown sugar, ginger, lemon juice, craisins, or I don’t know, use your imagination. 

Mix until it’s a nice consistent dough, then wrap up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. (At least 1 hour but no more than a day)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Sprinkle cookie sheets and working surfaces with powdered sugar.  Roll out dough—do not make cookies thick or they will not cook well!  Less than half an inch should do.  Cut out your shapes with whatever cookie cutters you have.

Place on cookie sheet.  For added flavor/décor sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, raw sugar, or colourful sugar (I just didn’t have any T_T).   Cook for about 10 minutes.  Cookies should be pale in color, soft, but set in their shape.

Let cool and enjoy!  Juju, Terrance, and I sure did.

Some other ideas:

Since sugar cookies are so plain looking they could be a lot of fun for kids to decorate with candies and coloured sugar before baking and pipe frosting after baking.  You can also experiment with food colouring to make colourful cookies.

Fun shaped cookie cutters make sugar cookies way more interesting.  For half of our cookies we used a star shaped cookie cutter.  It's my favorite one. :)

If you don't have cookie cutters you can use the top of a cup to cut out perfect circles.  Juju and I actually used a shot glass to cut out perfect Juju-sized cookies lol.

Melt chocolate chips in a bowl and dip half your baked cookies in it.  SO YUMMY!!!  You can use regular chocolate or white chocolate.  If you use white chocolate you can mix in some food colouring for more rainbow fun :)

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils -

I love Parenting magazine.  Here are some stencils to help you make the perfect Pumpkin Jack!

Friday, October 5, 2012

"How to Tell Your Parents You Got a Bad Report Card"

All parents hope their kids excel in everything they do, but the truth is--that isn't always the case.  I recently wrote an article, targeted towards youth, on how to confront parents about low marks.  In the article I emphasize the importance of being honest.  I also state that parents will appreciate a mature and responsible approach from their children. 

Read the article here.

Additionally, I'd like to say to the parents, try and be patient with your children.  It's really easy to get angry with them over things like low grades, but if you yell or do not give them a chance to explain themselves, you cut off communication.  The consequences of burning the bridge of communication far exceeds the consequences of bad grades.  If your child does not feel safe or comfortable confiding in you they may start to feel isolated, without help or hope, and may turn to other individuals for guidance--people you may not want advising your kids. 

Try and have discussions with your children.  Allowing them to open up to you may help them gain the confidence and skills needed to avoid having to talk to you about poor report cards and lead to more conversations about their personal successes.

Best of luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fisher Price Fun

Goodness me!  Haven't been posting much because I've been so anxious over Julian's birthday party this weekend. It was a modest success and Julian had a great time so I'm super happy.  Anyway, now that that's done with I can focus on other things.

I thought I'd write today about the Fisher-Price website and all the cool (and more importantly, FREE) features they have for parents.  I don't know about you, but I was definitely a Fisher-Price kid growing up--so naturally it's a brand I trust for Julian.

I started going on the website a few months ago to play some of the online games they have for babies when Juju first started mashing my laptop keys.  On a recent visit though, I found they have A LOT of really cool stuff for parents!

You can check out the site yourself to see all they have to offer, but I'm going to list my favorite sections here:

Online Games
Here you'll find a bunch of cool games for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  I really like these because I do a lot of work on my computer and when I'm home alone with Julian he often wants to get on the computer and do things with me.  I haven't tried out the toddler or preschooler games yet, but the infant ones are perfect for babies who want to be just like Mommy and Daddy!  Watch out though, because if they hit certain commands on your keyboard they can shut out of the game and start messing with other things.  Try and make sure the babes are just playing with the main keys.

Julian's favorite games are the Hide and Seek games and any of the animal games--the noisier the better!

This is actually the page that got me excited about writing a post on this website because it's SO what this blog is about!  Here's a list of cool art projects and activities you can do with your kids at little or no cost (they even have a fishing activity like the one I wrote about!).  I'm so excited to try some of these out (and put my own spin on them too haha).  Any of these activities would be great for a boring weekend or rainy day. 

I tried to pick out a couple favorites to list here, but honestly I love them all!

Birthday Party Ideas
I'm a little peeved I checked this out the day after I have Julian's birthday party (especially since they have a dinosaur theme and that's what I really wanted to do grrrr), but I will know better in the future. :P 

Anyway, they have lots of great tips and tricks for parents on holding a successful and fun birthday party.  They also have several party theme ideas that include food suggestions and decorating and activity ideas.  All the party ideas function on a reasonable budget and seem to be real low-stress which, given the anxiety I went trough over Juju's birthday party, is definitely an awesome thing!

Playtime Guide
This section focuses on the importance of play and how different activities help baby develop cognitive, social & emotional, and physical skills.  They even have sections devoted to baby's specific age, from 1 month to 5+ years.  In addition to great tips on different ways to play with your baby they have a section for parents that focuses on everything from pregnancy worries to potty training.  This is great for nervous first time parents!  There's a section dedicated solely to grandparents as well.  This is a really valuable resource if you're getting tired of playing peek-a-boo and want to try something fresh and new. 

There are also coloring pages, online videos, and of course plenty of info on fisher-price's toys and stuff.  So if you're bored and trying to think of something new to do with the little ones take a look!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Julian!

My son turned 1 yesterday, I really can't believe it!  He's growing up so fast!  He's on his feet now, moving around like a fast little drunk--haha!  I never knew babies could have such personalities, but he sure does.  He gets annoyed or sad when he is scolded, he laughs when he does daredevil acts like rolling off the bed or couch, he loves animals, he loves sharing his food, he especially loves sharing his food with animals.  Overall, he's a cool kid and I freaking adore him. <3

No one makes me happier than my Juju.  Happy Birthday, my sweet little baby!