Thanksgiving theme coloring pages with Nana Hedgehog, Red Apple Tree, and Blue Eye Guy.

With a long weekend coming up I decided to make a few Thanksgiving theme coloring pages for my daughters (ages 3 and 7) and I to color together during the holiday weekend. I added sentences for early readers to encourage my oldest to read and practice sight words. The sight words are in bold font as a quick reminder that those words are best memorized rather than sounded out each time.

My oldest daughter insisted she wanted a turkey on a cake coloring page to go along with a Thanksgiving theme. In which she drew me up her design and wrote a sentence to go along with it. Which gave her extra writing practice for the day. If you also have a stubborn learner that often turns to art and doodles during lessons encouraging them to design their own reading coloring pages can be a helpful way to get in writing practice on their most stubborn days and allow them to freely express their creativity.

My daughters original design.

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Above items are my Amazon picks.

Using early reading coloring pages to supplement our learning.

I started a letter of the week strategy with my youngest several months ago. Although we fell off the routine quickly because she wasn’t quite ready for a more strict routine. With her third birthday coming up in a few days I felt it was time to try again. This week we are starting with the letter Aa. A is for apple.

It can be a struggle to find activities appropriate for both my daughters that we can do together. I often turn to early reading coloring pages. In which I write simple words to caption an image they get to color. I know coloring doesn’t seem like learning, although it allows us an opportunity to spend time together having fun and getting a little extra learning in. Spending time together is a part of the reason why we chose to homeschool in the first place.

Today we used coloring pages to cover several skills at the same time.

-Sight words (Written on the early reading coloring pages.)
-Early reading
-Shapes (We used shape stickers on our coloring pages.)
-Colors (We talked about the colors we used to color with, and what color each shape was.)
-Fine motor skills (Coloring allows for teaching proper grip, adding in stickers gave extra fine motor practice as my youngest ripped the backings off each sticker.)
-Letter recognition (Aa is for apple coloring page.)

Today re-printed out some coloring pages I made last year for an apple theme learning unit. To represent Aa is for apple. We also got around to coloring our fun Birthday theme coloring pages. In which my daughters grabbed out fun shape stickers to add in as extra decorations. In which gave me an opportunity to add in shape recognition.

We used shape stickers to outline the letter Aa.
My oldest colored and read the sentence to my youngest.
Using shape stickers to decorate a Birthday cake. Allowing my youngest to improve her fine motor skills and work on shape recognition at the same time.
My oldest placed googly eyes all over the cake as she read the sentence to me.
During coloring time my oldest decided to draw a picture of a bear with a bee. She used googly sticker eyes in her picture.


(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any qualifying purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
Items above are my Amazon picks. The “We See Colors with Red and Blue” is a book personally written and illustrated by me available for purchase through Amazon.

Click the image above to print out the free Birthday theme coloring pages.
Click image above to print out the free apple theme coloring pages.


Birthday coloring pages for early readers.

I often make coloring pages for my daughters with simple sentences perfect for early readers. I use the coloring pages as a way to slip in more sight word and reading practice in a fun relaxed way. I tend to keep the pages simple that way my daughters can add their own drawings on the pages. I use bold font for all sight words as a quick indicator to my daughter that it is a sight word and it’s best to be memorized rather than sounded out. This time I went with fun Birthday theme coloring pages. If your young learners have a birthday coming up soon these coloring pages are perfect to add in throughout the day for extra reading.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any qualifying purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
Above items are my Amazon picks.

Incorporating learning within art.

Learning time can often be a struggle in our home. My daughters are four years apart (2 almost 3 and 6 almost 7) which can make it challenging when trying to find activities that promote brain growth in my oldest while still being appropriate for my youngest. I try to supplement as much of our learning with activities appropriate for my youngest because otherwise I’m left sitting her in front of a screen to hold her interest and keep her from distracting her sister. In which recently my youngest had decided she felt like painting and my oldest having a great desire in the arts excitedly agreed.

Often in our home we use art as a way to calm ourselves and freely create whatever we want. As my daughters draw and create whatever they’re feeling at the time I often create art centered around the skills they’re working on. For example I draw several shapes and ask my youngest what they are, and frequently check in to see what colors she is using. Anything that she is unsure of I simply tell her for example “that is a square and it is easy to mistake it for a rectangle.” or “that color is red, and it’s easy to mistake that color for orange.”

My youngest helped me with my shape drawing by smearing the paint all over the paper.
Then she decided it was time to get up and stomp her feet. The thing about learning at home is you have to remind yourself not to take it to seriously and messes happen. It’s all about spending more time together and being productive at the same time.

My oldest is currently working on the concept of doubles (example 2+2=4, 3+3=6) and using doubles to solve other problems. I decided to paint pumpkins as a way to go over the concept with her.

Using pumpkin art for math review.


As my oldest painted I grabbed out our sight word index cards and had her read off our sight words of the week once I knew she was at a point in which she’d be willing to take a break from painting and read without frustration.
A is for alligator.
B is for ball.
C is for camel.
D is for dog.

My oldest decided to write a few letters and draw pictures to help her sister recognize the letters A, B, C , D. Which gave my oldest letter writing practice, a chance to practice letter sounds and to work on her drawing skills all at the same time.

I hope our painting time helped inspire a few ways to incorporate learning in a fun way throughout your day with your young learners. Remember it’s not the process that matters, if it’s sloppy that’s alright. If your young learner takes a break, struggles throughout the day, and your left pondering if your making the right choice. I say hang in there nothing is perfect just remember time is valuable and each moment spent teaching your young learners is not wasted even when they’re struggling, or you feel overwhelmed it’s ok. That time spent together is special and it’s ok if not every moment is perfect because at the end all that matters is the time spent together and the knowledge your young learners retain.

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Learning through play: Making Magic Potions.

For a fun educational Halloween inspired activity my daughters (age 2 and 6) and I made magic potions. To incorporate as much learning within the activity as possible I made colorful apples, shape pumpkins, and plain pumpkins to write sight words on. That my daughters could mix into their potions. The purpose of the activity was to supplement my oldest daughters daily goals which are reading, sight words, writing, and math in a fun way. A way that also covers going over basic skills with my youngest consisting of shapes and colors. Originally I had planned on adding in alphabet pieces either alphabet magnets, alphabet puzzle pieces, or alphabet lacing beads. However this time my youngest quickly lost interest in the activity although we were able to cover shapes and colors before she moved on.

Learning I incorporated within activity…
-colorful apples for color recognition
-shape pumpkins for shape recognition
-writing practice as my oldest wrote down her own potions
-sight words written on pumpkins
-reading 2 pages of simple directions for the activity
-basic math as we added up the ingredients to make the potions

Stirring a magic potion.
Googly eye feathers my daughter made for the potions.
Zombie potion.
Zombie potion recipe.
Zombie face mask made out of a paper plate.
Basic math. Fitting in more double practice. 4+4=8 add one more and you get 9.
Pumpkin shapes cards laminated for durability.
I kept the cards blank that way I could laminate them and write new sight words each time we play with the cards.
Colorful apple cards laminated for durability.
Adding reading into the activity.
Adding reading into the activity.


I hope our Magic Potions inspired some fun learning through play ideas. If you prefer print free activities instead of using the pumpkins, and apple cards you could cut out fun potion ingredients out of construction paper.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
Above items are my Amazon picks.

Click the image above for more Halloween inspired learning fun.

Using counting bears, markers, and paint to supplement learning.

In our home my husband and I try to take a play based approach to learning because both our daughters have short attention spans (age 2 and 6). My oldest is currently in First Grade and although she has a homeschool curriculum we follow online I’m often filling our day with supplemental learning in order to help her fully grasp the content.

Since my oldest is in First Grade most our day is tied up by going over her online lessons with her and filling our days with activities appropriate for her learning level. In which keeps us busy and limits our time teaching our toddler. Therefore most of our supplemental learning not only has to be appropriate for my oldest daughter it also has to be stimulating and safe for a toddler.

Today my youngest woke before my oldest and I was able to devote my attention to her. In which we played with counting bears and worked on several fundamental skills; colors, sorting, patterns, fine motor, shapes, simple addition, and tracing. Counting bears is a great tool we use in our home to fill the age gap between our daughters and cover a variety of skills at the same time. In which I usually use with both my daughters at the same time.

Making a circle.
My youngest and I traced the counting bears.
This is what our paper looked like when finished.
Simple addition. You could also incorporate subtraction in the activity as well.

If you don’t have counting bears and no interest in picking up a set the activities shown above could easily be used with different materials such as beads, pom poms, skittles, fruit loops, etc. Our counting bear set came with two tongs and colorful cups. In which my daughter uses the tongs which allows her fine motor practice and when she’s willing she sorts them by colors into the cups although she often just throws any bear she feels like into any cup.

My oldest daughter had no interest in school today which often happens and often leaves me looking for alternatives to get the lesson done quickly while trying to make sure she retains the information she is suppose to. Since I also have my toddler running around it can make it difficult to stay calm myself when my oldest goes into shutdown mode. In which I have to debate if taking a break is the right choice. Often times if we take a short break she’s even less willing to get back into it. Therefore today I brought out paint during a break session in which they could make a mess and create whatever they wanted. When it came to getting back in it I got so desperate to keep her focus I allowed my children to paint on my legs to keep my youngest busy as my oldest used marker to write her spelling words all over my other leg.

Footprint art by my youngest daughter.
Lines by my oldest daughter.
Paper plate art by my oldest daughter.
Using my legs as paper for a practice spelling test.

Homeschooling isn’t the most glamorous route to take and it isn’t often easy. If I’m honest somedays I feel overwhelmed by it all, and we just keep going getting through it in which I remind myself it’s not the process that matters. At the end of the day it’s all about making sure my daughter is learning whatever it takes even if it means being covered in marker. Or cleaning paint off our dirty carpet because my youngest decided she wanted to make foot art and she used the carpet as a way to get the paint off her feet. I hope our daily struggles can help inspire and remind you that no matter how crazy it gets your not alone. Although you may see others that look as if they are succeeding and it comes easy for them, I can promise you I’m not one of those mothers I just take it day by day and do the best I can.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any qualifying purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)

Sight word pocket wall.

Teaching my daughter sight words has been difficult. Trying to stay on track, and determining how many to teach at a time has been a challenging process for me. I’ve tried buying sight word cards in the past and I haven’t liked them. Most of the ones I’ve found have been double sided with different sight words on each side. I’ve tried creating a wall in which kept track of sight words she learned in which I quickly fell behind on. Recently I’ve decided to change my approach. I wrote sight words down on index cards list by list. In which I wrote which list the card was from on the back and the sight word on the front. Rubber banding each list together. I grabbed 6 dry erase pockets I already had on hand and placed them upon a wall in my daughters bedroom. I used 3 categories.

Categories for sight word wall…
1. Words that I know.
2. Words of the week.
3. Words that I do not know.

Sight word wall organized by dry erase pockets.
Sample of front side of sight word card.
Sample of back side of index card.

The way I went about it is I wrote down list by list rubber banding each list together. The first week I had my daughter read each card if she knew any already I placed it within the “Words that I know” category. Any cards she didn’t know I carried over into the following week. Week one I started with list one, she knew all those words therefore I placed them all in the “Words I already know” category and grabbed list two. The idea is that words placed within the “Words that I know” category I can quickly access grab out and use for review. It keeps my scattered brain in control of the situation and makes the process of teaching sight words less stressful for me.

If you yourself are finding it difficult to teach your child sight words and stay on track I hope my struggles can help inspire a process that works great for you and your young learners. Personally I know how stressful it can be. When it comes to how many sight words to introduce to your child a week that’ll depend on your kids attention span. You can start with five and if they seem willing to practice more at a time add more, if not try three a week. Work with your child where they are at and remember if the process feels overwhelming your not alone and keep at it.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any qualifying purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
The velcro command strips and dry erase pockets are examples of what can be used to set up the sight word learning wall.
The sight word placemat is a helpful resource when it comes to teaching sight words.

Click image above for alphabet learning fun.
Click image above for sight words learning fun.
Click image above for reading play scene printable activities.

Learning checklists for Preschool: Colors, 2D shapes, and numbers 1-12.

To keep myself accountable and to be able to visually keep track of my youngest daughters (age 2) progress I’ve recently made tracking sheets to place within laminated pocket sheets. That we hang upon our learning wall. As of now our primary focus is recognizing colors, 2D shapes, and numbers 1-12. I made two versions of numbers one in which they were placed in correct order and the other all mixed up. That way once my daughter began to recognize her numbers in order I could then turn to the sheet out of order. To make sure she truly recognizes numbers 1-12.

The tracking sheets can be used by crossing off as they learn to keep track of the child’s progress. They can also be used as posters to hang upon the wall, in which could be laminated for durability. The shapes poster I used dashed lines for each shape because I wanted my daughter to be able to practice tracing each shape as a way to mark it off as she memorized the name.

Often times rather than laminating materials I place them within laminated pockets in which I’m able to reuse for other materials.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)



Making kid friendly scary art and a word pumpkin.

My oldest daughter (age 6) loves Halloween and anything involving arts and crafts. Which is often why I incorporate them within the learning process. Approaching the end of September my daughters already in the Halloween mood. Picking out her Halloween costume, and watching kid friendly scary movies. Therefore a Halloween craft activity involving writing and reading sight words felt perfect to keep my daughters attention and allow her to get lost in the creative process as she practiced sight words.

My oldest daughter struggles to stay focused during lessons. After we finish her school curriculum on the computer it’s difficult to hold her attention long enough to go over sight words. I’ve tried playing sight word games although often times she runs off agitated because she’s over school for the day. If your child is a creative type who strongly dislikes being told what to do and how to do it then trying to incorporate sight words within art may be a helpful tool for you as well. To get her to stay focused today I asked her if she wanted to make scary art to hang up through the house and the only criteria I expected of her was to write a sight word upon each monster.

I am a sight word pumpkin.

As my daughter created her scary art I made a sight word pumpkin with several sight words I wanted my daughter to read. It would also be a fun activity for a kid to make themselves and write their own sight words on the pumpkin. Although my daughter had no interest in creating her very own because she likes creating art her own way and dislikes following guidelines.

Supplies I used for the pumpkin.

Supplies for the pumpkin…
-glue stick
-scissors
-pen
-construction paper

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any qualifying purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
Above items are my Amazon picks for Halloween movies, or sight word learning, or arts and crafts.

If your young ones enjoy arts and crafts and often struggles with sight words hopefully these Halloween theme sight word activities can spark some interest and inspire more art centric ideas to incorporating learning.

Animal shape puppets.

Yesterday I shared animal shape coloring pages I made for my daughters to color over the weekend. My daughters were excited about the coloring pages and decided they didn’t want to wait for the weekend and we went ahead and colored them today. My youngest insisted on making them into masks in which I suggested making them into fun little puppets instead. Which gave my daughters scissor practice for the day. Although my youngest (age 2) is still learning how to hold scissors properly I allowed her to cut the paper and then finished cutting out the animals.

Supply List For Puppets…
-Animal Shapes coloring pages
-crayons, markers, coloring pencils, etc.
-popsicle sticks
-glue
-scissors

My oldest daughters puppets.
A puppet my youngest daughter made.
My youngest daughter claimed her puppets weren’t being nice therefore she had to rip them up.
Click the image above for the link to free animal shape coloring pages.
Outside for active learning.

After our mess was cleaned from the puppet making we headed outside for an active learning session. In which we played tag, went for a short walk, and my oldest made a fun maze with sidewalk chalk. She wrote out the words (start) and (finish) which gave her a chance to practice sounding out words in a way in which she approved. For extra learning you could add sight words throughout the maze and have your young learners read them as they walk upon each word to get to the finish line. In my household I only add in the amount I know my daughters will be willing to take on for the day. If I add to much outside of my daughters school curriculum in learning she gets upset and it’s a struggle to bring her back to a stable place in which we can get her to learn for the day.

(I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program and any qualifying purchases made through affiliate links I may earn a commission on at no additional cost to you.)
Items above are my Amazon picks.