Tag Archives: writing

7 Sticker Activities and Crafts

Stickers may seem simple (and, well, they are), but stickers can also be used for many kinds of learning activities.

Using stickers:

  • engages creativity (through using one object in different ways),
  • incorporates fine motor skills (through peeling and placing stickers),
  • provides sensory input (especially useful for sensory seekers), 
  • and offers motivation for trying new activities or introducing new concepts.

7+ Stickers Activities and Crafts via Under God's Mighty Hand

7 Sticker Activities and Crafts for Preschool and Early Elementary

Though these aren’t typical stickers, I love this idea for foam bath “stickers” from The Pleasantest Thing. You can modify this idea for all sorts of themes and occasions, too.

And, if you’re looking for a way to organize stickers to keep them in reach well, check out this idea from KinderCraze.

Modifying Sticker Activities for Special Needs

Most of the activities above can be modified for a variety of special needs either by breaking down the activity into smaller steps, helping initiate the actual peeling process, or providing tactile and verbal cues.

Sticker activities might be especially enticing and difficult for sensory seekers. My son seeks deep sensory input and loves stickers. But, many times, he won’t even place a sticker on a piece of paper! He wants the stickers all over his face and arms so he can peel them off and on for great sensory input. In his case, I try to give him a 5-minute time limit of doing the activity correctly, then getting to use the stickers however he wants. His nervous system really does need the input. Having another child do the activity at the same time sometimes motivates him, as well, as does telling him we’re making the craft to give to or show someone else. (He loves to make cards for others.)

What about your kids? What are some of your favorite educational sticker activities? If you have a sensory seeker, how do you help them stay focused on a sticker activity?

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsHearts for Home linkupTender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, the Weekly Kids Co-opShow and Share Saturday, and Free Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

I Can Teach My Child's Show and Share Saturday link-up

The Homeschool Village

5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table

We’re formulating new goals for the year for our preschooler right now, and a portion of those goals focus on pre-writing and writing skills.

I’d also like to be using our light table more than we have been.

How about combining the two?

5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand

5 Pre-Writing Activities to Use with a Light Table

  1. Letter Tracing with Stencils – So I took the long, hard way here. I freehand drew uppercase letters (don’t look too close; they’re a bit ugly) and cut out the inside of the letter. I then laminated the letters. When we placed a letter on the light table, my son could take his finger and trace the inside of the letter to begin to learn how to form each letter. A way easier method: if you have actual cardstock or plastic stencils (that are large enough), just use those and have your child trace inside the open portion of the stencil. Regardless, my son loved this activity. The light shines through the lamination and illuminates where he should trace. He went through about 16 letters in one sitting without taking a break! I hand-over-hand modeled how to write the letter once or twice, then he practiced once or twice on his own (with guidance if needed).5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand
    Variations: If your child is ready, they can use a wet erase marker and draw the letter on the lamination. Or, you can place a piece of white paper over top of the letter and draw the letter with a crayon.
  2. Letter Tracing on Transparencies – To make these simply, write the letter backwards on a small piece of transparency. When you take these letter cards to the light table, flip them over so marker doesn’t wipe off as your child tracing the letter (or place another transparency on top). As your child’s prewriting skills progress, you can allow them to trace over the letter with a wet erase marker to practice. I drew lower case letters since I used uppercase letters with the first activity.
    UPDATE: I created a free printable of lowercase letters that you use to make your own traceable letters on transparencies! Click here to download your free lowercase letters template for transparencies. Read the directions on the first page for effective use.

    5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand

  3. Forming Letters with Pipe Cleaners – You can do this activity with or without a light table, but it adds another layer of fun when you put the pipe cleaner on the light table. I asked my son to form an “o,” which he was able to do. I formed one or two other letters with a pipe cleaner and ask him to identify each. (My toddler was able to jump in and identify some letters, too.) He wasn’t as interested in this activity this time, but we’ll try again soon.
    5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand
  4. Letter and Sound Matching – In this post at Caution: Twins at Play, she shares an example of how her kids drew a line to match a letter to an item starting with that letter. Matching activities like these help with pre-writing skills, too.
  5. Letter Writing in Sand – Place a shallow layer of sand (1/2” or 1”) in a clear plastic container, then set the container on top of a light table. Draw letters in the sand and allow your child to trace over your letters or draw their own letters and shapes. This post at Learn, Play, Imagine shows how they used Epsom salts for a similar activity and more sensory play.

See our other posts on light table activities here.

For more light table activity ideas, check out my Light Table board on Pinterest and the “Light Tables, Light Boxes, Light Panels, and Light Play” group board on Pinterest.

What prewriting activities could you modify for use on a light table? Please share your ideas in the comments!

This post was a featured post at Lessons Learnt Journal!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsHearts for Home linkupTender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, the Weekly Kids Co-op, and Show and Share Saturday.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

I Can Teach My Child's Show and Share Saturday link-up

The Homeschool Village

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

Creating a Preschool Writing Center

We’ve been doing some homeschool organizing lately! (So have oodles of other homeschoolers right now, right?)

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

One big (and fun) addition to our homeschool materials is a preschool writing center.

I wanted to make basic writing tools available throughout the day for my preschoolers. Just as placing books in every room helps promote anytime reading (and same goes for fitness!), having writing materials ready for use encourages practice in those skills.

Organizing for a Preschool Writing Center

Our writing center setup is basic.

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand  My sweet husband cut a piece of whiteboard, and we affixed the whiteboard on top of our shelving unit with Command strips. The whiteboard ideas is GREAT since it allows the kids to accidentally (and sometimes on purpose) write on the tabletop, but without actually damaging the wood of the shelf.

We have a small pencil holder with 8 (yes, just 8) crayons in it. I want materials available, but I (and the kids) also clean them up several times a day. That means the kids are using them (good!), but I also want to keep it all manageable. As the kids grow older, I’ll increase the number and type of writing materials set out. (We get other writing materials out as we need them for crafts and activities, and when I’m supervising more closely.)

The pencil holder also holds small pieces of paper ready for our mailbox!

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

I found this idea online (thank you, Pinterest), and we love it. After making the mailbox similarly to how this tutorial shared, I laminated one sheet of construction paper, put a Velcro strip on it and its companion portion on the back of the mailbox.

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

This allows us to take the mailbox down if we need/want to. My son can easily open and close the mailbox as wanted and loves sticking paper in it (even if he hasn’t actually written anything, hah).

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

We practice writing notes for Daddy to find in the morning before work (and Daddy writes back!), and we’ve written notes for other family members, visiting therapists, and more. When we first put up the mailbox, my son ran to any person who came over and signed “mailbox!” then tugged them over to see it. Adorable.

Creating a Preschool Writing Center via Under God's Mighty Hand

I also store scrap paper the kids can use at any point in one of the bins on the shelf below.

Setting up a preschool writing center keeps supplies easily accessible, which makes us much more likely to use the materials! (Read this post at The Homeschool Village for a little more about why I need to organize materials within reach to actually use them more.)

My Child Doesn’t Write Yet – Why Would I Have a Writing Center?

My son doesn’t write and he has various special needs that affect even his fine motor skills. Why would I make a writing center available to him?

  • Practice. If he doesn’t practice, the skills won’t improve, right?
  • Promote pretend play. I’m always looking for options to encourage pretend play since that’s a challenge for my son.
  • Encourage thinking about others. Writing a letter requires the writer to think about the recipient. We can write letters to just tell something about ourselves, but letter writing often includes questions to the person receiving the letter or specific thoughts that might bless that person.
  • Boost communication skills. Even if his writings are just scribbles right now, when he plays at the writing center, I usually ask him questions about who he’s writing to, what he’s saying, etc.
  • Allow opportunities for open-ended play and creation. I’m really not that creative myself, so I sometimes need to remind myself to let my kids have multiple opportunities to create without my guidance. This writing center helps!

Want some ideas to use in a preschool writing center? Check out many ideas from around the web I’m collecting on my Home Preschool – Reading and Writing Pinterest board!

How do you promote early writing skills with your preschoolers? I love hearing new ideas, so please share in the comments!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsHearts for Home linkup, Tender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, and the Weekly Kids Co-op.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

Dear Me…

Dear teenage Me –

I’ve started this letter a couple of times on paper and a few dozen times in my head, and I’m still not really sure how it should go.

I want to tell you about the future, but is that really helpful? And is it necessary? Teenage Me (that is, you) would probably say “yes.” However this ends up, I’m going to tell you what’s on my heart.

A teacher in your junior year of high school gave you one of the best compliments you still have ever received. He called you “Miss Sunshine” because you smiled more than not. He told you that you would’ve been one of the people who could endure horrific events and trials because you optimistically tackled trouble.

In five years, you’ll wonder where that constant smile went.

In eight years, for a time, you’ll cry more than you smile.

In ten years, you’ll see more and more why it’s worth smiling even when the world says you should cry or whine or scream.

You know those friends who profess their faith and shine it truly that you wonder what it’s all about? Those people who give and serve and help like you did most of time—but seem to have an otherworldly purpose behind it? Those folks who, only now (years later), you’ll look back and realize they acted through faith?

You’ll keep thinking about them. And their actions, words, and hearts have an impact.

You know that fear that’s starting to seep in deeper right now? It gets worse. Maybe I’m sorry to reveal that truth, but it is true. I still struggle with fear. Chuck it. Fight that fear. Yell “grrrrr” at it. Fear is not worth it. And fighting it back is like fending off ever-growing kudzu–it’s ongoing. I wish I could tell you now to trust. Yes, not every person is trustworthy, but God is. He keeps teaching me still.

You know how you despise having to learn something again and again, how you wish you could just learn and not need to be reminded sometimes? You need reminders more than you realize. And God keeps giving them. It’s part of this gift of the process of life.

Everything you imagine about how the future will turn out? Toss it. It’s better, more challenging, more surprising, and simply more than you can imagine. Just focus on the now. Most of what comprises those five-year plans of yours keeps changing anyway. Staying present ends up being a gift that the most precious boy teaches you.

Eventually you will see that it’s not just a smile and a happy attitude that helps a soul endure—it’s so much more. It’s faith. It’s joy. It’s grace. Oh, that grace. Grace—in its true from—amazes, astounds, fulfills, loves.

Also? Be thankful you never listened to the kids who teased you in school for being “the smart one.” That desire to learn leads you to taking classes one summer “just for fun.” And, oh, the man you meet there. And that learning will lead to studying God, teaching your children, and growing in ways you can not guess right now. More steps of the story in which God shows you He knows what He’s doing.

And one more thing: You love to read, and you love to write, but somewhere along the way, you told yourself being a writer was out of your capacity. Your parents did not tell you this. Your friends did not tell you this. You told you this. Ignore self-deprecating you every once in a while, would you?

(Note to self now: Write and share those words already. You’re still scared to hit “publish.”)

This post is linked with Emily (Chatting at the Sky)’s “Dear Me…” letters in response and to celebrate her newest release, Graceful.

Question for you: What would you tell your teenage self?

Book Review – You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins

So, there’s this new ebook that begins:

“Hi. My name’s Jeff. And I’m a writer.”

Hi, Jeff. I’m Caroline. And I want to call myself a writer.

Sometimes I almost feel I can call myself one, but most of the time I feel unworthy of such a title. What does Jeff say about this in his new ebook, You Are a Writer?

 

A simple but hard way of facing your fears and living the dream: Become who you are. And who are you? A writer, if you’ll believe it. I hope you do, because we need your voice. We need your message.”

Jeff asks the questions I’ve asked, as well: “Who was I, pretending to be a writer? How could I possibly call myself one when I hadn’t even written a real book, hadn’t been published or paid for my work?”

He reminds us all that we are not here to market, publish, or sell, but to write.

That’s what this book is about. It’s about falling back in love with your craft and building a platform, so you don’t have to pitch or sell yourself. Instead, you can focus on what you were made to do: write.”

Then, he gives us ideas and tips on how to accomplish this purpose (including some example of his own efforts).

I read Jeff’s blog, and his style of writing carries over to this ebook – inspiring stories filled with profound truth and passion. Jeff writes about writing and about creating, but, really, he writes about life.

This ebook discusses creating, dreaming, fear, and failing. It explains platform, brand, and communication channels, but all with the purpose of writing.

Jeff’s main point remains to encourage and inspire us to not just sit, but to act. And as writers (yes, I am lumping myself with this group), our action takes the form of writing. He warns us it will be hard, but so worth the work and the perseverance. (Sound familiar in our walks in faith?)

Jeff reminds us to believe and act. Believe we are writers, and then act like we are the writers we really are and write. Immediately, I think of faith. Believe in our loving, present God, and then act like we are His children by living through His love. And that, like Jeff’s reminder, makes sense.

I want to encourage and serve. I want to praise Him through my words. I want to write.

I am a writer.

Are you?

Let’s write.

Every word you write and action you take is a chance to get better.”

Are you a writer and interested in reading this new ebook from Jeff Goins? Check out the website for this ebook, available in several electronic formats and packages. The book should be available within the next week.


Question for you: How do you persevere in writing (or another avenue of creating and living)?


Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this ebook from the author free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.