Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Early Reading Matching Game

Here is a project that is actually two activities in one!  The Early Reading Matching Game is fun to make and then play when you're all finished.  Create one game with a whole bunch of words or several themed games like colors, animals, etc.  This is also a great way to learn those sight words!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Old magazines, junk mail, catalogues, old children's books
  • Index cards or scrap paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors (help younger kids with this part!)
  • Glue
  • Zip top storage bag

To begin, cut out various pictures of simple words like we did below.  It was fun searching for the perfect pictures that we wanted to use.

If you're using index cards, you can skip this part...we used scrap card stock on hand.  Just be sure the cards are all about the same size.

Next glue one image per card.  Write the word on another card to create a set.

Do this for the remaining images...

Make as many as you want, now you're ready to play!  Scroll down to learn how (several different variations)

Several ways to play (one or more players)
  1. Version 1: Lay all cards face up and mix them up.  Have child select a picture and then have them search for the matching word.  Each time they get a correct match, they can keep the set.  Player with most sets wins.
  2. Version 2: Same as version 1, but they must also read the word out loud in order to keep the set (this eliminates "lucky guesses" for the most part)
  3. Version 3: Mix cards up and flip them over so that no one can see them.  Take turns flipping them over to make a match.  Player with most matching sets a memory game but with reading involved.
Have fun playing and reading!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pocket Valentines

I just love the idea of tucking a little Valentine into a pocket, lunch, or backpack.  The idea that someone special is going about their day and discovers a cute little heart make me smile.  Make a few of these hearts for Valentine's week and see how many they can find!  Be sure to make a few extra to keep on hand throughout the year too for fun surprises all year long!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Perler beads
  • Small pegboards (no special shape required)
  • Iron
  • Ironing Paper

We made multi-color geometric looking hearts (see below for bead counts).  When you've made as many as you need, iron your beads following these easy instructions:

Click here to learn how to iron Perler beads step by step

Let cool completely and you're ready to tuck them where a special someone can find them!

Monday, February 9, 2015

How To Iron Perler Beads

Have you ever wondered how to iron Perler beads?  Here's an easy tutorial to show you how to finish your projects step by step!

You'll need:
  • Your finished project still on its peg board
  • Ironing paper (found in the craft store where Perler beads are)
  • An iron
  • Paper plate (totally optional)

Start by laying your project on a flat surface, be sure there aren't any "islands" and everything is joined together in at least one spot.  I like to lay ours on a paper plate to protect the surface, but this is totally optional.  The plate also helps in case you bump your project by keeps the beads from escaping too. 

Lay the ironing paper over the is very important that you do this, NEVER iron directly onto beads, you will ruin your iron.

Iron your project on medium setting and no steam.  Carefully work your way around the design, taking care to to spend too much time on one area.  You can lift the paper up a little and peek at your progress if you need to.

When you are finished, it will look like this:

Carefully lift the project off the peg board remove the ironing paper.  You may need to peel it back a bit.  If there are beads that are not connected you can put it pack on the peg board with the paper and touch up if needed.

Place it back onto the surface by itself with the un-ironed side facing up (no peg board),

Lay the paper back over your project and iron that side too.

All finished!  Please allow to cool completely before handling.