Families & Pets

Family is so important! They are those people who we can count on for help, who are there when we are happy or sad, who we can relate to. Many times our pets are part of the family, so we can't leave them out!


Our family are the people we are related to. This means our Mom, Dad, sisters, brothers, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. These are the members of our family. There are many different types of families and many different sizes. Some families are really small. There could be a Mom, a brother and a sister. Some families are really big, with a Mom and Dad, 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 Grandmothers, a Grandfather, and several Aunts, Uncles and cousins! Our pets are usually a part of our family too. People's pets include dogs and cats, birds, hampsters, fish, lizards and turtles! The most important thing is that our family is the people who love us and who we love also!


Who Would Use This? - Game

Materials Needed:
Electric Shaver
Pacifier or bottle
Small Broom
Hair bow
Toy car
Hand weights
Baby doll
Knitting needles
Dog bowl
ANYthing else you can think of!

Explain to the kids that you are going to show them objects from around the house and they should say who in their family would use it. There is no right or wrong answers here! The point of the game is to think about the different members of families and to allow them to notice how different everyone is.



Family Trees

This is a generic way to do a family tree. It is just an example of how a family "grows". You can go further and see if their parents can send pictures of their actual families to add and personalize them, if you wish.

Print the family tree template HERE.  

Make some stick figures for the family members. They can be very simple, just try to make them look male or female and give them different hair. Write their designations across them (Mom, Dad, Uncle, etc). Print a selection for children to choose from. The children should place the family members where you show them as you discuss.

Start at the top with Grandmother & Grandfather. Talk about who their grandparents are. They are their Mommy's Mom and Dad and Daddy's Mom and Dad! On the next branch down place Mom on the right side and Dad on the left. Place the child and their siblings on the branch above the Mom and Dad in the middle. Place Mom's sisters and brothers on the branch above Mom and Dad's siblings on the branch above Dad. Place the cousins in the top branches.

Again, this is very generic and not really how a family tree works, but it helps small children understand how families work with a great visual.


Family Graph

For this activity we will graph family members as a class. Print out the graph chart HEREYou will need some stickers for this. I suggest hearts, since we love our families!

Ask the kids how many of them have a grandmother? Place a sitcker on the chart for each grandmother, 2 sitickers if they have 2 living grandmothers! Continue down the list until you have completed the chart. Tally the columns and discuss how many of each family member there are for your class!

Playdough Counting Mats - Dogs and Cats

We can't forget our pets! Download the FREE printable math mats from Prekinders.com HERE.  The children should place the listed number of dog or cat treats into their bowls. This is great for fine motor skills and also counting!
Play Dough Mat Dog


A great book about many different kinds of pets!

Great for describing the many different types of families and how important our families are!


Dog Training

This is just a fun game! Have all the kids get on their hands and knees like a dog. Now you will "train them" and they should follow your directions. (You can make the dog ears they can wear in the below craft for use with this game!)

"Bark like a dog!"
"Follow me to the dog bowl"
"Scratch your ear"
etc. etc!


Color a Pet Picture

Print the picture of the people shopping for a pet and color it!


Art - Draw a picture of your family

This is an easy one. Provide the kids with some paper and colors and ask them to draw you a picture of their family! Include any pets they may have. When they are finished you should ask them to describe the picture so you can label the family members on the picture. This is a fun one to give to their parents!

Craft - Dog Ears Headband

Materials Needed:
Black (or whatever) construction paper

Cut out a strip of the cardstock long-ways for the part that will attach to their heads. Then cut out dog ear shaped pieces, 2 for each headband. Cut the construction paper into dog spots.

Wrap the long piece of cardstock around the kid's head and mark where to tape it.

Give the kids each a headband piece, 2 ears, and a bunch of the spots. Show them how to glue the ears to the headband. Then allow them to glue the spots on wherever they want. Once they are dry, tape to their heads.


How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
You can see the lyrics and hear the song HERE thanks to Bussongs.com!

My Family
I love mommy. . .she loves me
We love daddy. . .yes sir e
He loves us and so you see
We are a happy family

I love grandma. . . she loves me
We love grandpa. . .yes sir e
He loves us and so you see
We are a happy family

I love sister, she loves me
We love brother. . Yes sir e
He loves us and so you see
We are a happy family


Family Fruit Salad
The salad is usually eaten at family reunions! It is a great recipe for kids because they can help measure, mix and portion it.


  • 3 34 ozs instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 12 cups milk
  • 8 ozs cool whip (thawed)
  • 11 ozs mandarin oranges (drained)
  • 20 ozs pineapple (chunk, drained)
  • 16 ozs fruit (cocktail, drained)
Beat with mixer the pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. Add the cool whip, then all the fruit. Mix to incorporate. Serve!

**You can also add marshmallows, grapes or bananas to this!

Independence Day & America!

This is one of my favorite holidays because I love my country! America's founders were free thinkers and knew that the key to a great country was to provide as much freedom as possible to their citizens. The result of their commitment to freedom and liberty has been the greatest country this world has ever known. It is important to begin to teach our kids to have pride and love for our country.


We celebrate Independence Day on July 4th because that is the day that America's "fathers" said that we would be an independent nation. In other words, no other countries could rule us. It is kind of like America's birthday! Our country is different from all other countries because we were promised freedom by the people who started this country. We are also different because our laws are based on Christian principles. We follow God's word as a country.

**There is a LOT you can talk about here! Please follow this LINK to several short stories and learning materials that you can use to fit the lessons to the kids in your care.

**Christian based lesson - Freedom Isn't Free - http://www.sermons4kids.com/freedom-isnt-free.html


Provide small flags for the kids. Play this "School House Rock" video about the Fourth of July.

Encourage the kids to wave their flags around proudly! (This is most likely a little over their heads, but kids love music and cartoons, so maybe they will learn something without even realizing it!)


The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Wave (Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Wave, wave, wave the flag,
Hold it very high.
Watch the colors gently wave,
Way up in the sky.

March, march, march around,
Hold the flag up high.
Wave, wave, wave the flag,
Way up in the sky.


On Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Story-Americas-Birthday-Patricia-Pingry/dp/0824941705/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_5

Very well written for toddlers and preschoolers! Really helps them understand what we are celebrating.

On Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/America-Devin-Scillian/dp/1585360155/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371577473&sr=1-1&keywords=a+is+for+america

A wonderful book which doubles as Alphabet practice and learning about our amazing country!


July 4th Page

usa patriotic coloring pages


Star Counting

Star Counting Worksheet

Print the worksheet. Provide the kiddos with those cheap little foil star stickers. They should place the number of star stickers to the paper that is listed in each box. This helps with counting skills and number recognition.

Duplo Number Cards


Go to this site and print out their FREE cards! Use them how you wish. This week we will be using them for counting and patterning! Have the kids match each card. Count out the correct number of Duplos and also match the patterns.
Pinned Image


Making a "safe" explosion!

The Fourth of July means many things, and everyone's favorite (especially kids!) is the fireworks! It is important to know why we shoot fireworks on Independance Day. They represent the cannon fire and shooting that Francis Scott Key was witnessing as he was held in a British ship during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. A very large flag was sewn to fly over the fort so that all the British could see it. During the night, Mr. Key could see the bombing taking place. He knew that if the giant flag still flew over the fort in the morning, that the Americans had won the battle! Sure enough, when daylight broke, the flag was tattered and torn but still flying proudly! This event caused Mr. Key to write the poem that became our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner (song lyrics above in the music section).

Fireworks can be dangerous, so we are going to make a much safer explosion!
Materials Needed:
Mentos mint candies
Diet Coca Cola, 2 liter bottle (diet is important!)

(**This is a very messy experiment and is best done outside!)

When these 2 substances mix together they cause a BUNCH of bubbles to form really quickly! If the bubbles are squished together inside a container, such as the Coke bottle, they will find the quickest way out. Since the opening in the bottle is small, it causes the bubbles to shoot out of the opening like a rocket!

Ask the kids, what do you think will happen when I put the candies into the bottle?

Drop 2 or 3 of the Mentos into the opening of the Coke bottle and RUN! The reaction happens really quickly. It is not dangerous, only messy.


Art - Blow Paint Fireworks!

Materials Needed:
Large pieces of construction paper. Dark colors work best
Many different colors of tempera paint
Glitter in a sprinkle container
Shallow bowls

This is super fun but can also be pretty messy! If the kids in your care are likely to suck paint up the straw, poke a pin hole in the straw near the top to prevent paint from being able to be sucked up very far.

Show them how to dip their straw into a bowl of paint and then blow the paint onto their paper. It makes really cool splatters that look like fireworks! Once they have the paint on the paper, allow them to sprinkle some glitter onto the paper to complete the look.

Craft - Sponge Paint Flags

Print the coloring sheet from ColoringCastle.com. This flag has big sections to color in. http://www.coloringcastle.com/pdfs/flags/flag-usa-simplified.pdf

Materials Needed:
Flag coloring sheet
Shallow bowls
Red and Blue tempera paints
Sponges, cut into 1" x 1" squares

The children should dip their sponges into the paint to paint the flag. Painting using a new "brush" makes the activity so much more interesting!

Gross Motor

A Twist on "Simon Says"

Cut out large circles in red, white and blue. Set them out on the lawn or in the house where you have a large space. Line the kids up and say "Hop to a Red circle!" All the kids should hop to a red circle. Next, say "Crawl to a Blue circle!" And so on. This game is excellent for color recognition, following directions and getting some of their endless energy out! In order to make it more challenging, remove some of the circles after each turn.


Graham Cracker Flags

Graham Cracker rectangles
White frosting
Red Frosting
Blue Frosting

Provide plastic butter knives and allow the kids to create flags from the frosting! Really fun and yumm-my!

PS-I put some frosting in little plastic baggies and cut the corner off so I could easily squirt the frosting in the lovely straight lines in the picture! You could also put the frosting in these squirt bottles that you can get for pretty cheap at a dollar store or Wal-Mart. Whichever way would be easiest for your kiddos!

Here is what my 3-year-old did before he decided to just eat the frosting!

Let's Go On A Picnic!

Picnics are a lot of fun! With Independence Day just around the corner, it's a good time to talk about picnics and even to go on one! What could be better than playing outside with our friends and family and then sitting on a blanket on the ground and eating your lunch? Not much, I say!


Ask the kids if anyone knows what a picnic is? Has anyone ever been on a picnic? What was your favorite part? Discuss the different reasons you may picnic such as a day at the beach, at a lake, at a park. Ask if they can think of more reasons. You don't even need a reason! Sometimes it's just fun to take your lunch in your own backyard and eat it there! Just being able to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family make a fun activity.

Reading and Letters

For the rest of the summer,  we are going to put the letter review and reading lessons on hold. You are welcome to continue using Readingbear.org and Starfall.com for reading lessons for your kids if you wish. Continue to review the reading tools we have made up to now. We will begin these lessons again around the end of August, or when "school starts" again!

Also, be sure to read to the kids daily! I will still have book recommendations here for you. Studies have shown that reading to young children daily really increases their ability to learn to read and their reading comprehension.


Special Picnic Drink Experiment

3 oz. fruit punch
3 oz. blue Gatorade (not sugar free)
3 oz. diet Sprite (must be diet)

Fill the glass (use clear glasses for best results) 1/3 full with ice cubes. Pour fruit punch almost to top of cubes. Fill another 1/3 with ice cubes and slowly pour Gatorade almost to top of cubes. Fill the last 1/3 with ice cubes and slowly pour diet Sprite almost to top of the cubes. 

How do the colors stay separated? The sugar in the fruit punch is heavy, so it will stay on the bottom. The Gatorade is lighter, so it will "float" above the punch. The Sprite, which doesn't have any sugar, is the lightest so it will "float" above the rest of the drinks.

**Its a great idea to print this recipe and instructions out for the kids to take to their parents! They may enjoy doing this experiment at home, and also drinking it on the 4th!

Printable recipe for parents!


Loading up the Picnic Basket

Print out the picnic foods HERE. Be sure to print out more than you would need for each child to have one of each item. Also provide a basket that will be your picnic basket. Have the kids count how many people there are in the class, including teachers and aids. Write that number on the chalkboard or white board where they can see it.

Ask the children to place enough of each food item into the basket so that everyone would have 1 of each item. They should work as a team.

(this is great for counting and problem solving!)

Ant Counting

Print the worksheet HERE from free-teacher-worksheets.com. 
Count the number of ants on the page. Then follow the mazes from the picnic blanket to the foods.


Tracing Practice

While on your picnic you see some butterflies! Trace the zig-zag lines on the page to help the butterflies get where they need to go!

zig zag lines worksheet


Art - Ketchup & Mustard Bottle Painting

Materials Needed:
Squirt Bottles (you can find these cheap at stores such as Wal-Mart)
Red Paint
Yellow Paint
Construction Paper

Pretend the paint is ketchup and mustard! Allow the kids to squeeze the paint onto their paper. This can be pretty messy, but the end result is generally pretty cool!

Craft - Circle Bear Craft (goes with the Teddy Bear Picnic song below!)

Print the template from DLTK HERE!

Cut out the circles, or allow the kids to cut them out if they can. Sort each size and kind of circle into piles before beginning. 
  • Glue the medium circle (the muzzle) onto the big circle (the head).
  • Glue the smallest circle (the nose) onto the muzzle.
  • Glue the small circles (ears) onto the head and the smaller circles (ear middles) onto the ears.
  • Glue the eyes, nose, and freckles where they belong
  • Glue the whole bear head onto a craft stick or pencil to use when singing the song!


Teddy Bear Picnic!

This is the perfect song for this week's lesson! See the lyrics and hear the tune HERE!


On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Were-Going-Picnic-Pat-Hutchins/dp/0688167993/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370972380&sr=1-10&keywords=let%27s+go+on+a+picnic

Great story about some animals who decide to go on a picnic, but run into some trouble along the way.

  On Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Freda-Plans-Picnic-Stuart-Murphys/dp/1580894577/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370972527&sr=1-2&keywords=packing+for+a+picnic

This is a great story to help learn to plan, organize and execute packing for a picnic.


Pack Up For A Picnic

Plan one day to have an actual picnic. Try for outside, but if it's too rainy or hot, you can always have a carpet picnic!  Allow the kids to help pack up the picnic items. If you are having sandwiches, they should help spread the peanut butter. Let them help bag up enough chips for each person. Make sure each person gets their cookie! Don't forget to pack plates and napkins too. You could even draw out a checklist for them to follow! It is a great activity to help them learn to make a plan and carry it out.



Enjoy your picnic. If you can go to a park and have your picnic, all the better!


Simon Says

This is a great picnic game! Tell the children to line up facing you. They will need to make the movement you tell them to, but ONLY if you say "Simon Says" first! If you make a move when you haven't said "Simon Says" then you are out!

Say "Simon Says Jump Up And Down"
"Simon Says Wave Your Hands In The Air"
"Shake Your Leg"  Uh oh...who moved? You didn't say Simon Says!

Whoever makes it to the end of the game should get a small prize.

The Circus!

The circus is such a fun place to visit. There are new and interesting animals to see like elephants, monkeys, camels and bears. There are special performers like clowns, trapeze artists, tight rope walkers and lion tamers. You can eat fun treats like cotton candy and sausage on a stick. You can even play fun games and ride on special rides at many circuses. What a fun place to spend the day!


Begin by asking if any of the children have been to a circus. Have those that have talk about their favorite parts. Talk about may of the things that you can see at the circus. Find out from the kids who haven't been to a circus what they would want to see most of all.

ACTIVITY: Pin the nose on the clown!

Print the clown face from supercoloring.com. The best way to do this is to place some sticky-backed Velcro to the space where where the nose is. Put a bunch of craft poms in a bowl. Have each child close their eyes (or use a blindfold if they are not scared) and try to place the pom in the right place on the Clown's face.
Clown Face

LETTER:  S s for Super!

The Circus is full of Super things! Print the worksheet HERE from homeschoolhelperonline.com. The worksheet has S words like Sun, Submarine, Seal, and Star! Trace the letter S with your finger, then with a crayon. Talk about the words that begin with S and the sound S makes. Then color the worksheet!


Long E practice!

On Starfall: review the lesson #7 http://www.starfall.com/n/level-a/learn-to-read/load.htm?f
Also, on the right hand side there is a column called "Skills". Play the Alphabet movie and the Left To Right movie.

On Readingbear: Do the Long E lesson "Week to Street". http://www.readingbear.org/Presentation.aspx?PresentationID=23&Part=5

Print out the short story from Superteacherworksheets.com! Staple the book together for the kids. Read the book together, being sure to focus on those long E words. See if you can get them to read some of the words. Go slow and sound everything out. This is great practice and they can keep the books to practice later!


The Power of Air

Air and wind can be very powerful! When air blows, it can move leaves, water, and even some bigger things when it blows really hard. Sometimes we will use wind to do jobs for us. Wind farms can make electricity. The wind blows on the blades and they spin around and around really fast like a propeller on a boat. The spinning makes electricity.

Wind can also be used to grind grain. The wind blows the blades on the Windmill and that causes grinders inside to turn and grind up grain. Windmills can also be used to pump water and air. Wind is very powerful and can be used to help us in many ways.

We can see the power of air by doing this experiment. Drop some confetti on the table. Blow up a balloon but don't tie it closed. You can see the power of air when the balloon gets bigger! Now place the open end of the balloon next to the confetti on the table. Ask the kids what they think will happen if you let the air out of the balloon? See if they are right! Let the air out and find out what happens to the confetti.


Tight Rope Walking

Talk about the Tight Rope Walkers in the Circus. They are people who walk on a very thin and very high rope. It is very difficult and takes a lot of balance and practice to be able to do it. We can pretend to be Tight Rope Walkers!

Use Painter's Blue Tape for best results. It is easy to see, the right width, and comes off most surfaces easily. Place the tape in a straight line on an even floor. Show the children what to do. Walk, foot over foot, using your arms for balance. Allow the kiddos to try to make it all the way across without falling off the "rope". Anyone who makes it could get a Circus sticker!


Clown Shape Count


Print out the clown above. Have the children count how many of each shape their are on the clown. You can also have them color each shape a certain color.

Pom Pom Math

You will need a 3 compartment plate and some craft poms for this lesson. Place 2 poms in one of the small compartments on the plate and 2 in the other. Say "2 pom poms plus 2 pom poms equal?" Instruct the kids to count the poms and as they do, place them in the large compartment. Say again "2 pom poms plus 2 pom poms equal?" Their answer will be 4. By seeing the steps it takes to add 2 numbers together and then seeing the result it will help them understand the concept of addition.


Scissor Practice

Print the worksheet above. The children will cut the balloon strings to practice straight line cutting.

printable scissors practice worksheets 


Craft - Paper Bag Lion Puppet


  • paper bag lion puppetprinter
  • paper
  • paper bag
  • glue or tape
  • scissors
  • yellow paint or yellow construction paper

Follow the link for very detailed instructions. Once you have these made, you can play Lion Tamer with your lions!

Art - Clown Costumes!

Materials Needed:
Loose fitting white t-shirts
Construction paper
Craft Poms

You can make clown costumes with the t-shirts and markers. Clowns usually wear crazy, bright colors, so let them go crazy!

The construction paper, glue, and craft poms are for the hat. Cut out semi circles from the paper. Allow the kids to decorate them with markers. Once done, wrap the paper into a cone and glue together. Glue the pom to the point and Voila! One clown hat!

Put the shirts and hats on and continue to the next activity...


Act Like Clowns!

Put on some sassy circus music and dance around acting like silly clowns!


On Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Harolds-Circus-Purple-Crayon-Books/dp/0064430243/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370484586&sr=1-1&keywords=harolds+circus

As with the other Harold books, a super cute story!

On Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/If-Ran-Circus-Classic-Seuss/dp/039480080X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370484692&sr=1-2&keywords=circus+mcgurkus
A Seuss classic! Very imaginative and engaging.


Circus Show

Elephants walking, elephants walking
See the clowns, funny clowns
Ponies with their riders
Poodles doing tri-icks
See the show, circus show


Toddler Trail Mix

2 cups Multi-Grain "O's"
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup nuts (if no allergies)
1 cup sunflower seeds or pretzels
1 cup dark chocolate chips or m&m's

Place each ingredient in a separate bowl. Allow the kids to scoop a spoonful of each item into their own bowl and then mix together. Enjoy this healthy and slightly sweet full of energy snack!