Blog Archive

Halloween Unit for Preschoolers with Free Printables

Halloween is coming soon!  In honor of the big event, as part of our month long Fall Harvest study, we're having a Halloween Unit!  The kiddos are super excited.  

I always am in awe at how little pictures of things they love make or break an activity. I could present the same activities without the Halloween themed pictures and chances are they wouldn't touch it.

Halloween Unit

Halloween Unit for Preschoolers with Free Printables

Here's what we're doing!

Halloween First Letter Sounds Clip Cards

Halloween First Letter Sounds Clip Cards

Inside the cauldron are green glass beads.  The kiddos place the beads on the correct first letter that corresponds with the pictures on each card.  We haven't done these in a while, so it's been a great review.

Source:  This activity was part of a free printable pack found at

Halloween Movable Alphabet Picture Cards Activity

Halloween Movable Alphabet Picture Cards Activity

The kiddos are super excited this week to use our homemade moveable alphabet to spell Halloween themed words.  

I chose very simple words because Dinomite has been struggling lately.  If he deems anything too difficult, he won't touch it.

Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Halloween Movable Alphabet Words is free. For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Halloween Bingo or Matching Game

Halloween Bingo

This is an activity I created last year for the kiddos.  I was super excited to pull it out again.  

As I presented the activity we played Bingo. 

When the children do their self directed work, they'll match up the pictures to the words.  That is unless they decide to partner up with someone.

Source:  I create the printable for this activity. The Halloween Packet is a free printable. For your copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.  

Note: The packet was not designed to be shared with others.  I was trying to use as much space as possible on each page, and the least amount of paper possible. 

You are more than welcome to use this packet for free, I just wanted to warn you before you saw it.  Lol.

Halloween Nomenclature Cards

Halloween nomenclature cards

This is one of the activities that the kiddos wouldn't touch, if it wasn't Halloween related.  Both Dinomite and Bulldozer enjoyed completing it today.  (Princess is sick with the stomach bug.)

Halloween nomenclature cards

I created this printable as part of the Halloween Packet. For your free copy, be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Guess Who Halloween Match Up

Halloween Guess Who match up cards

The kiddos will read the clue cards and match them up with the pictures provided. If they can't read the words themselves, the cards will be read to them. 

We already did this once today and Dinomite was able to read all of the words but a couple on his own.

Source:  This activity is part of a printable pack at

Halloween Pattern Cards

Halloween pattern cards

Who doesn't like completing patterns?  The kiddos loved this activity.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of last year's Halloween Packet, which is free. For your copy click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Halloween Themed Counting By 5s Cards

Halloween themed skip counting cards

The kiddos have been working on counting by 5s this month.  This activity was designed to help them practice using orange bead bars in celebration for Halloween.

Source: I created this printable as part of my Halloween Packet, which is free. For your copy, be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Odd & Even Halloween Number Sort

Odd and Even Halloween Number Sort

This is yet another activity where the theme is everything.  Identifying odd and even numbers is another goal of the month for all three kiddos.  

The kiddos will sort the numbers into their categories of odd or even.  Halloween ring counters have been added as a control, in case the kiddos need help.

Source: I created the printable for this activity as part of the Halloween Packet, which is free. For your copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Witch Skip Counting By 2s

Witch Skip Counting by 2s

The kiddos will write in the missing numbers as they count by 2s to 30.  The black pipe cleaner with beads is designed to be used as a control while counting.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity. The Witch Skip Counting by 2s Printable is free. For your copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Body Systems Card & Organ Match Up

Body Systems

Halloween is always a great time to study the body.  We've spent a significant amount of time studying the Circulatory System, Immune System & Hygiene, and the Reproductive System in the past. However the kiddos are unfamiliar with other systems in the body.  I figured this would be a great intro activity for them.

I'm only introducing seven of the eleven systems shown in the printable, but still, for them I think that's a lot.  The kiddos will match up the cards with manipulatives that represent each system.

Body Systems Cards Printable

Source:  I created this printable. The Body Systems Nomenclature Cards. For your free copy, be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this post. 

My Human Skeleton Book

My Human Skeleton Book

The kiddos are very intrigued by skeletons. They think they are the coolest things.  I thought it might be fun for them to make a book of their own with all the different parts.  They loved the process!

Source:  These free printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Workjobs.

USA Spider Chart

Spiders of the USA match up

I could have gone through and made my own little cards or match up spider printable, but I am not a fan of spiders. Just looking for an activity about spiders in general was enough to make me gag.  

Dinomite on the other hand LOVES them and could not wait to get his hands on this activity.

I liked this match up activity, because not only were the kids learning the difference between different spiders, but they were also learning the danger risks of each kind of spider.  

Basically all I did was take two of these charts, cut up one into individual spider pieces, and have the kiddos use the other to match them up.

Source: This chart can be found at

Halloween Stamp Activity

Halloween stamping activity

I found all of these stamps last year on clearance after Halloween for $0.25 each.  I've combined them with black and orange stamp pads and paper.  I'm sure the kiddos will have fun.  

Dinomite has just started requesting colored pencils when he uses stamps so he can color them in.  They are not shown, but will be provided if he asks.

Halloween Sensory Bin

Halloween Sensory Bin

The kiddos have been asking about their Halloween Sensory Bin for at least a month now. They remembered it from last year.  Already it's a favorite on the shelf.

Halloween Play Dough, Golf Tees & Spider Balls

Halloween Play Dough Fine Motor Activity

I've had this idea in my mind for a while, but was trying to find the perfect time to use it.  Bulldozer would not let me use any of his marbles.  They're too special to him.  In September I found these adorable spider bouncy balls.  I knew they would work perfectly.

There are several steps to this activity. The kiddos will first break off pieces of pumpkin pie scented play dough, roll them into balls and place them in the molds. 

They will then place golf tees in each of the balls of play dough.  

To finish they will place the balls on top of the golf tees in a pattern of their choosing.  Bulldozer was very intrigued with this activity.

Source:  This activity was inspired by an activity at Living Montessori Now.

Spider Hole Punching

Spider Hole Punching

We've done this activity once before, using hearts for Valentine's Day. It was a definite favorite yet quite challenging at the same time.  Sadly, after three days the hole punch broke.  

This time I made sure to purchase 2 (only a $1 each).  

I am using construction paper instead of card stock. The little cauldron is for all the paper spiders that will result.

Halloween Poppers

Halloween Poppers

Who doesn't like poppers?  I figure they're a great fine motor activity that strengthens fingers and hands as the kiddos have to turn the poppers inside out etc., to get them to pop.  They've been having some serious fun with them.

Floating Eyeballs

Eyeballs in water

I had more elaborate plans for my eyeballs but frankly, I ran out of energy to put it all together.  

The kiddos will use tongs to remove the eyeballs from the water and place them on the tray.  All kiddos will receive prompts to use only one hand while using the tongs.

Tweezing Spiders

Tweezing spiders

The kiddos will use tweezers to transfer each spider to the other cauldron.

Source:  Inspiration for this activity and a few other math activities in this post came from Counting Coconuts.

Witch's Brew

Witch's brew pouring activity

This activity was a pleasant surprise for the kiddos.  

Technically it's just another pouring activity.  

However, inside the cauldrons is 1 tsp. of baking soda and a few drops of food coloring in various colors.  It's their job to pour vinegar into the cauldrons.  They were definitely surprised and then delighted!

We wish you a very Happy and Safe Halloween, for all those celebrating!

For those who would like more holiday activities and printables for kids, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

Don't forget your free printables!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the ones below!

Montessori-inspired Arachnid Activities for Preschool Students with FREE Printable Montessori-inspired Arachnid Activities for Elementary Students with FREE Printable Bat Activitites for Preschoolers Montessori-inspired Halloween Jack-o-lantern Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Halloween Animals Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Halloween Themed Language Bundle
Read More »

Emergency Preparedness & Financial Struggles For Kids

I have felt impressed several times over the past week to prepare my family for emergencies and financial struggles.
  • Our income is never as secure as we think it is, and we've felt that.
  • Our city had a tornado warning, which never happens here.
  • A dear friend stepped outside to find a forest fire headed straight for her home, with only 10 minutes to evacuate.

Preparing children for an emergency and/or financial struggles is easier said than done though.  We had our 72 Hour Emergency Kit ready last year when we left our home because of Hurricane Sandy.  It contained everything we didn't need, and was missing several things we did need.

As I contemplated on how to kick start our emergency preparedness and financial studies for kids unit, I felt it was important to start from the beginning.  Our kiddos have significant anxieties.  Preparing for disasters and money difficulties is stressful enough, but add those anxieties and it can be lethal.
This post may contain affiliate links.

Here's how we taught our children about these sensitive subjects!

Our Family Budget
The kiddos are fabulous when it comes to not asking for toys etc.  They have wish lists that grandparents use to buy their Christmas and birthday presents. Whenever they see something they really want, they add it to the list.

However when it comes to wanting pizza or going to the play museum, the kiddos have a pretty hard time understanding why we can't go when they want to.  This is why we decided to teach them about budgeting.  We used our own family budget, presented on cards with pictures, so they could understand, and monopoly money.

Since my kiddos are little, I decided to round everything to the nearest five dollar, ten dollar, hundred, etc.  We started with necessities, and then worked our way through the budget. Then wouldn't you know it, we had a house repair that needed to happen etc.  In the end, there was very little money left for things they wanted.

To my pleasant surprise, the kiddos understood all of the concepts I presented.  They even chose to donate their money to the poor, instead of going to get pizza to eat when all was said and done.

Source: I created the printable for this activity.  The Budget Picture Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Out of My Control Cards
 Adults are all too aware of circumstances that are out of their control, especially ones that have a direct effect on their safety, well being, and finances.  No matter how well we budget, life just happens.  I created this activity in a way that I could explain all of those "Out of My Control" scenarios.

There were a couple that were over their heads, but for the most part the kiddos understood.  The cards provided great opportunity for discussion and questions.  We had such fabulous time.

The cards are divided into five themes:

  • Weather
  • Health
  • Education & Occupation
  • Economics, Emergency
  • Repairs
The object of the activity was to have each kiddo separate all of the cards by theme.  Once again, they did such a fabulous job.  The discussions were amazing.

We talked about how each event or circumstance would effect us, what we could do to prepare for it, what we could do in the moment it happened etc.

Source: I created the printable for this activity.  The Out of My Control Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

What Is My Role?
The kiddos were pretty somber after learning about all that could possibly go wrong with our budget, especially after doing such a great job counting money and paying bills.  I made this activity to help them with their emotions.  (Hooray for thinking ahead!)

In times of financial struggles and emergency hardships, it's hard for kiddos to understand what their role might be.  Parents are stressed.  There can easily be tension, and there are just so many different emotions.

These cards are divided into three categories:

  • Kids
  • Grown Ups
  • Everybody  
The object of the activity was to separate the roles and responsibilities of family members into the three categories, so the kiddos knew exactly what's expected of them during these times, and exactly what is expected of everyone else.  Princess really liked this activity!

Source: I created printable for this activity. The Grown Up vs. Children Jobs During Financial Hardship Cards is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

This experience has been absolutely incredible for our family.  I was worried that anxieties would become unmanageable, but they didn't.  The activities provided them with the hands on visual support and understanding they needed, in order to participate in creating a emergency preparedness and financial struggles family plan that meets everyone's needs.

Directions on How to Obtain Subscriber Only Freebies

1. Click on the Subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.

2. Subscribe to our free newsletter.

3. Open the thank you message you receive after subscribing. (Be sure to check your spam folder, as sometimes it ends up there.)

4. Click the confirmation link in the thank you message.

5. Once the confirmation is complete, you will receive another message with the Subscriber Only Freebies Link and Password.

6. Click on link and type in password. (The password is cap sensitive.)

7. Find the printable pack you are looking for listed in alphabetical order, click on it, and viola!

We hope you enjoy your free printable.

Note: If you are already a newsletter subscriber, open your most recent newsletter. At the bottom you will find a link to the Subscriber Only Freebies page, along with the password in case you forgot it.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the post below.
Read More »

24 Fun Family Physical Fitness Ideas

Fun family activities that promote physical fitness for all can make such a difference in health and relationships amongst family members.

There are times when this can be difficult, especially when kids are young and you live in an area with  a lot of rain, snow, ice, etc.

We currently live in upstate NY where snow fall amounts are taller than my children, which means we spend a lot of time indoors.

To ensure that all remain healthy and fit we've come up with 24 Fun Family Physical Fitness Ideas!

Everyone in the family, no matter their age or abilities have enjoyed these fun family activities.

24 Fun Family Physical Fitness Ideas

24 Fun Family Physical Fitness Ideas

1. Play Hide N Seek

Use the whole house or just one floor, it depends on the ages of the kiddos.  

I gave up on the no running in the house rule a long time ago.  

Perhaps it's because my first two children were boys, one very sensory seeking.

2.  Have a Dance Party

It doesn't matter what kind of music,  create a free Pandora Station and dance the time away.  

Believe me, you'll sweat!

Breathing Exercises for Kids with Free Printable

Breathing Exercises for Kids with Free Printables

3.  Animal Movement Races

If you don't have a large area, plan a route for the race through a few rooms in your home.  

The crab walk is always a great one to start with, add slithering like a snake, frog jumping, a bunny hop, etc.  

Let the kids call out which animal to be next.

4.  Create an Obstacle Course

Use couch cushions, tables, blankets, etc., whatever you can find.  

One of the activities could even be doing the army crawl underneath the bed to the other side.

5.  Circus Games

There are so many to choose from.  You could juggle, do a ring toss, target practice, etc.

Four Prompts to Encourage Mindfulness in Children

6.  Balloon Games

Try to keep the balloon up in the air with your head, your feet, your shoulder, while doing the crab walk, etc.  

Play volleyball using a balloon, or any number of games. 

The balloon is soft and gentle enough it won't break a window.

7.  Follow the Leader

Give every kiddo a turn.  

Go through the whole house.  

Have the parent start first so they understand all the physical movements they have as options.

8.  Hula Hoop Activities

What a blast! We did this Monday.  

How many things can you think of doing with a hula hoop? 

We practiced jumping, holding it with our toes, climbing through it, the typical games, etc.  

My husband can't wait to do this again. Lol.

One Sure Way to Help Your Child Work Through Emotions

9.  Rope Activities

Grab a jump rope or two.  

How many ways can you use it. 

What skills can you practice?  

You'll definitely be working hard.

10.  Ball Activities

Once again, how many different ways can you use a ball, besides throwing it, which is not allowed in our house.  (Bulldozer's aim is too perfect.  Dinomite's aim is the opposite.)

11.  Gymnastics

If the floor is too hard, grab a mattress off one of the kid's beds.  

Practice forward rolls, backward rolls, stretches, head stands, and even cart wheels if you have enough room in your house.

5 Ways to Help Kids Manage Strong Emotions Every Day

12.  Yoga

Our library has fabulous yoga books for kids and adults.  

Check one out, learn the poses and take your kiddos through all of them.  

My kiddos really enjoy this.

13.  Relay Races

Clear a space, practice the wheel barrow race, the three legged race, etc.  

Wheel barrow walking provides such great muscle strengthening and sensory input.  

Again if you don't have enough space in one room, mark out the track you want them to follow using several rooms.

14.  Bowling

You don't have to have a bowling set.  

Make one.  

It can be as simple as soda bottles or cans.  

Grab a ball and go!  

Have a family game or two. 

 Keep score.  

My Responsibility List with Free Printable

15.  Pillow Fight

Boxing is a little rough, but having a pillow fight, with a few rules, is the ultimate fun for any kiddo (and adult)!

16.  Go for a Walk

This is the only activity on the list that requires you to go outdoors.  

I figure unless there is thunder and lightning, high winds, or a blizzard, it should be possible.  

We have the kiddos go a on a themed scavenger hunt at the same time so they're focused on that, rather than the walk.

17.  Sports Charades

Write down as many types of sports as you can. Create teams.  

Have the kiddos act each one out.  

Make it more difficult by using a famous player, team, etc. for older kids.

Sports Activities and Free Printables

18.  Table Top Games

Try Ping Pong, Shuffle Caps, Three Penny Hockey, etc.  

Your dining room table will work perfect. 

If you don't have a net, just draw a line with a white board marker or use tape that can be easily removed.

19.  Sock Wars

Make a line in the middle of the room.  

Place several rolled up socks on the line. 

Separate into two teams, one on each side of the line. 

Then, throw socks to your heart's content until the timer goes off. 

See who has less socks on their side.  

Play a few rounds.  

Tons of fun!

20.  Twister

If you don't have the board game, use colored clothes, paper plates, or just plain colored paper for that matter.  

If you don't have a spinner, make little folded up pieces of paper that can be drawn to be given for directions.  

Make it as simple or as difficult as the ages permit.

Dance Activities and Free Printables

21.  Balancing Activities

Practice walking across the room with a book on your head.  

Put an egg (plastic) on a spoon.  

Try the penguin walk. Then of course there's the balance beam and more. 

Just use tape on carpet, or a white board marker on the kitchen floor.

22.  ABC Exercise Cards

There are many option to choose from.  I personally love the ones from Chasing Cheerios.  

Grab a couple of dice and roll them to determine how many seconds you'll hold the pose or how many times you'll repeat the exercise.

23.  Parachute Activities

Grab a flat sheet from the closet and go to town.  

Add items, take away items.  

Practice going under, etc.  

It's amazing what one can do with a sheet.

24.  Sports Jeopardy

This isn't an activity that will get your heart rate up, but it's part of physical fitness.  

I figure once in a while, it should be a lot of fun, as we learn about different sports, especially during the Olympic season.

If you have any other family physical fitness ideas, please share in comments.  I always love adding variety!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the resources below.

My Body Activities My Body: Digestive System and Nutrition My Body Unit Montessori-inspired Self-Care: Nutrition Printable Pack Outdoor Visuals and Supports Meal and Snack Time Visual Schedules and Supports for Kids

24 Fun Family Physical Fitness Ideas

Read More »

Apple Tot School

Sunshine is so anxious to learn just like her older brothers and sister.  For that reason we're attempting tot school.   Apples are the theme of our activities right now.

If you're looking to have your own apple themed tot school, we hope these activities inspire.

Much of the focus of these tasks is to develop fine motor skills and help with sensory regulation.

Apple activities for tots

Apple Tot School

Here's what Sunshine is doing!

A is for Apple Q-Tip Painting Activity

A is for apple Q-tip activity

I thought this was the cutest idea when I saw it. Sunshine will use the Q-tips and red paint provided to fill in the dots on the A is for apple page.  She can also use her fingers and finger paint as well.

Source:  I found this free printable at 1+1+1=1.

Apple Tracing Practice

Apple prewriting practice

Sunshine loves using markers.  She begs for them when her siblings have them.  I thought this was a cute introductory activity for her.  I'm not so sure she understood what to do, but she still enjoyed herself.

Apple themed prewriting practice in action.

Source: I found this free printable at The Intentional Mama. Unfortunately it is no longer available.

Apple Prints

Making apple prints with paint.

An apple unit wouldn't be the same without apple printing.  Sunshine wasn't the biggest fan of it, but she did ask to do it twice.  I'm hoping I can help her be okay with  paint on her hands sooner than later.

Apple Sensory Bin

Apple sensory bin

Sunshine doesn't quite know what to think about sensory bins yet.  She really struggled with the rice today.  

I did teach her how to stir the rice with the cinnamon stick and she liked that.  It's so funny how each kiddo is so different.  The boys LOVE sensory bins, especially rice.  She's the opposite.

This sensory bin includes

"Apple" Deposit

Pom pom fine motor activity

Putting things in and out of containers is Sunshine's FAVORITE thing to do, next to opening and closing containers.  She did a fabulous job with this activity.  All I used was a wipes container and large pom poms.

Though Sunshine wasn't quite sure what to do with some of her apple activities, she enjoyed herself.  She felt like her big brothers and sister.  We hope to continue with tot school as long as time permits!

For those who are interested in more activities for toddlers, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these ones as well!
10 Amazing Children's Books About Apples Apple Unit 2 Fall Harvest Week 1: Apples Autumn Activities & Free Printables Fall Harvest Bundle Montessori-inspired Intro to Biology Printable Pack Bundle
Read More »