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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Unit

This post contains affiliate links.

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, the kiddos and I have read through the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling.  Once we were finished with the book, I couldn't resist designing a unit study to go with it.  

The kiddos have absolutely loved our Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Unit.  They can't get enough of it.  This has seriously been the best Halloween themed unit ever!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Unit

Here's what we've been up to!


Magic Mirror Spelling
Magic Mirror Spelling Activity
The Mirror of Erised showed people what they desired most.  During learning time, our mirror showed kiddos how to read and spell words.

To make the cards for this activity, write a word on a card or piece of paper.  Hold it up to a mirror.  Note that it's backwards.  Using something to write with, copy the backward image on another card.  This will be the card you use for the activity. When you hold the backward word card up to the mirror, the word will appear correct.

Once the kiddos could see the word and correct spelling in the mirror, they were asked to write it on the mirror.  I chose VERY easy words so that all could read them.  After they wrote the word, they could draw a picture also.

Taking the activity a step further, I provided a tray with a rag and glass cleaner, so they could clean the mirror off, preparing the activity for the next person when they finished.


Potion Fractions
Magic potions fractions activity.
 It's one thing to try making potions, but yet another to count how many times they work.  In this activity the kiddos keep track of how many times their potions explode into magical colors.  Once they've tried every cauldron, they choose the fraction that best fits their trial and error process.

To prep this activity I poured vinegar into some cauldrons and water in others.  Then I added a few drops of food coloring, making it a little more fun.  The kiddos scooped baking soda out of a container and added a heaping teaspoon to each cauldron.  Those with vinegar exploded with color.  Those with water did not.


Phases of the Moon with Oreos
Moon phases with Oreos.
 We've done this moon cycle with Oreos activity before on a few occasions, but it never hurts to review, especially when applicable.  It's mentioned in the book that Harry had to study Astronomy at Hogwarts.

Source:  The free printable for this activity can be found at Noon Janan Homeschool.

Planet Nomenclature Cards
Planet nomenclature cards.
 Once again, we've done this activity before, but I thought it a perfect time to review.  We find learning about the planets so fascinating.

Source: The free printable for this activity can be found at The Helpful Garden.

Star Constellations with Marshmallows & Toothpicks
Building star constellations with marshmallows and toothpicks.
 Learning about astronomy wouldn't be complete without reviewing some constellations using toothpicks and mini marshmallows.  This activity has always been favorite!

Source:  The free printable for this activity can be found HERE.  I originally saw the printable at Counting Coconuts.

Mixing Potions
Mixing potions with kitchen items.
 This activity combines practical life and science.  It was by far, one of the most favorite activities on the shelves this week and boy did it STINK!  Surprisingly the kiddos did okay with this, as they remembered the book mentioning that Snape's potion lab also smelled quite horrible.

There were many purposes in designing this activity the way I did.  Besides practice with scooping and pouring, it was a review on liquid density.  It was also an introduction to solutions and mixtures.

The kiddos were asked to invent their own potions using the materials provided.  I purposely made sure that they did not know what any of the ingredients were, so that they would have to discover for themselves which ingredient did what.  Little did I know exactly what this combination of ingredients could do.  There were sparkling layers that bubbled and fizzed and exploded.  It was FABULOUS!

So what did I use?  Only what I had in my kitchen.

Liquids included:

White powder ingredients included:

The activity was definitely worth the smell!

Visual Arts

Making Magic Wands
Making magic wands.
 As we've been reading the first Harry Potter book, the kiddos have all asked for magic wands at one point or another.  I was thrilled to find a fabulous way to pull this off at minimal cost.  The kiddos all chose sticks out in the yard for their wands.  This week we painted them and sprinkled them with glitter.

Source:  I discovered this activity on the Kids Activity Blog

Practical Life & Sensorial

Practice with Keys & Locks
Opening and closing a padlock using keys.
 Finding the right key is a big deal for Harry Potter.  I thought we'd practice too.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Sensory Bin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Sensory Bin
When asking Dinomite what he wanted included in this unit, he immediately said he wanted a Harry Potter Sensory Bin.  He even went so far as creating Harry Potter, a Dumbledore, and a few other characters out of LEGO parts for me.

Our sensory bin included the items below, all of which we already had at home.

The bin has been a big hit!

To end our fabulous Harry Potter study we had our annual Witches & Wizards Halloween Party and watched the first Harry Potter movie, skipping over the scary parts.  Everyone enjoyed themselves.

If you enjoyed this unit study, you may also enjoy the following:

If you're looking for other literature based units, check this page out!

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Halloween Unit for Tots & Preschoolers w/ Free Printables

Sunshine is very intrigued by Halloween.  Intrigued and a little bit frightened by it.  Her reaction to the holiday led me to create this Halloween Unit for Tots & Preschoolers with Free Printables.

The activities are designed to help her understand what's real and what's pretend in regards to Halloween.  Sunshine loves cats, so you'll notice ar particular focus on black cats as well.  She has absolutely loved these activities.
Halloween Activities for Tots and Preschoolers
This post may contain affiliate links.

Here's what's on her shelves!

C is for Cat 
C is for Cat
 Sunshine places the black jewels on the "C" in the appropriate places using her fingers.  It has surprised me how challenging this task is for her.  Still she's loving it and gets so excited when she completes the task.

Source: I created the printable for this activity as part of my Halloween Unit for Tots & Preschoolers Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

Halloween Themed Living vs. Nonliving
Halloween themed living vs. nonliving activity
 Halloween can be so confusing for little ones, especially with so many characters and themes.  Here Sunshine will sort pictures cards, placing them under the correct heading card.

Source: I created the printable for this activity as part of my Halloween Unit for Tots & Preschoolers Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

Searching for Black Cats
Searcing for Black Cats
I've hidden 10 plastic black cats in the ball of play dough.  Her job is to pull apart the play dough to find them all.  This is a fabulous muscle strengthening activity for hands and fingers.  Plus, it provides great sensory input.

Once she's found all of the cats, we count them together.  She's coming along so well with her numbers.  If you're wondering where I found the cats, they were part of a Halloween table scatter set at Pier One Imports.  I have always found such great manipulatives in the table decor section of so many stores.

Halloween Color Sorting
Halloween color sort
 The craft store had these adorable Halloween felt figures.  I couldn't resist picking them up. I love the colors and large sizes.  Sunshine loves them too.  She's having so much fun sorting Halloween items by color.

I've included all sorts of different items we had on hand from years past, with all sorts of textures provide a great sensory experience for her.
Halloween color sorting activity.
I think my favorite part about watching her do this activity is how particular she is about where she puts each item.  When placing black items on the cat, she'll say, "And now we'll put this on it's tail..."  etc.  It's super cute.  She's so great at sorting.  Sunshine may not know many of her colors yet, but she can always match things up!

Pumpkin Transfer Activity
Halloween transfer activity
 Sunshine is doing so well with transferring items using tools.  She still has to really concentrate when working with them but her accuracy is definitely improving.  In this activity she picks up the Halloween balls and places them in the pumpkin slots provided.

It's more challenging than it looks as the balls are very light.  If she presses too hard, they all go flying.  Lol.  I've provided different colors in hopes it will help with color identification.

Halloween Sensory Bin
Halloween Sensory Bin
Sunshine has been asking for a new sensory bin, so I put this together for her. It includes Halloween glitter balls, foam pumpkins, spider webs, and spiders, large foam cats and friendly spiders, and Halloween erasers.  She loves going through the bin picking out and identifying all the different Halloween characters.

For those interested in the printables, click on the link below:

If you enjoyed these activities, you may also enjoy the posts below.
Harry Potter activities for kids

Halloween activities for kids

Our Halloween Countdown
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Liebster Award

I am so excited to announce that Every Star Is Different has been nominated for the Liebster Award!  What is that exactly?  It's an award that's all about love for new and upcoming blogs.  Most importantly, and most flattering, I was nominated by one of my readers!  Thank you Laura!  I am so honored to accept.

Laura's blog has some fabulous hands-on activities for preschoolers.  Her posts have so much detail.  The ideas are great!  If you haven't visited My Bright Firefly yet, please do!

When accepting the Liebster Award, I'm asked to link back to the nominating blog, nominate at least 5 other new and upcoming blogs, share eleven random facts about myself, answer 11 questions Laura has prepared for me, create 11 questions for my nominees to answer, and contact my nominees to congratulate them and let them know they've been nominated.

I hope it's okay that I made my random facts a little more entertaining than expected.  Yes, I'm a Mommy to four special needs kiddos. Yes, I'm an educational blogger.  But, there's so much more to me than that, and it's fun to remember what life was like before all this. I hope you enjoy!  And in case you're wondering, I do have witnesses to verify every single one of these facts. ;)

11 Random Facts about Renae
1.  I obtained a boater's license and my first boat at age 11.
2.  My passion for computers and Microsoft Publisher (where I make all of my printables) started in 7th grade when I was nominated to be editor and chief of our middle school newspaper and taught by my technology teacher, Mr. Freitag, my mentor for years afterward.
3.  While in middle school, my family ran an ice business.  Each night, after dinner, during the Spring, Summer, and Fall,  I would head to the ice house to help my dad bag blocks and bars of ice.  We'd then bale 60 lb. bags of cubes, and stack them in the freezer.
4.  In high school, I was president of my class, president of our student council, and took AP courses. Yes, I was that type of girl.
5.  In my ninth grade year of high school, a classmate committed suicide in an effort to escape bullying.  As president of the class at the time, I was asked by my principal, to write a letter of condolence to the classmate's parents and hand deliver it to them, in their home, along with the American flag from the school, they'd requested, before the funeral.  I don't think I'll ever forget that experience.
6.  My high school class was known as the "Cursed Class of 2000."  Each year of our high school career classmates died.  Three of them died in car accidents.  Two of them died in car accidents in the same location.  The last to die was a surviving passenger of the second car accident just a month or two before.  The first to die in a car accident was one of my dearest friends.
7.  At 19, my best friend and I hitch hiked while in Las Vegas, Nevada.  This is one of those "What was I thinking?" memories, but still a fun one.
8.  While in college, I worked at a funeral home helping with removals, visitations/calling hours, funerals and more.  I LOVED this experience!
9.  While I was on a cruise ship to the Bahamas with a friend during my college years, the first mate of the ship, who happened to be from Greece, fell madly in love with me.  So much that he continued to call me, write me, and later propose marriage to me.  (In case you're wondering, I didn't marry him.)
10.  My husband and I eloped.
11.  I am addicted to popcorn.

Laura's Questions to Me:
1.  What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
Success.  My blog is documentation of all that I've taught my children.  When I look at each post and picture, I see my kiddos being successful in their learning.  The activities I create are specifically for them, to help them grow, learn, and develop into the most successful people they can be.

2.  What is the story behind your blog's name?
Every Star Is Different is the name of one of my favorite children's songs.  The words were written by John C. Cameron.  The music was written by K. Newell Dayley.  The piece was arranged by K. Newell Dayley.  I couldn't think of a better name for the documentation of my four very different shining stars. When I started blogging, I did not anticipate others following my units and activities. When I realized that my blog was becoming popular, and decided to make it a professional endeavor, I was able to contact the correct people and obtain permission to keep the name.

If you'd like to listen to the song, click HERE.

3.  What post have you written are you most proud of?
It may sound silly, I'm most proud of my Free Printables page.  The post took months to put together, as I had to go back and create collages, and update printable links for every unit I'd done with the kiddos.  When it was finished, I had a page that included every single unit I'd ever put together.  It was amazing to see all I had created and taught.  Looking at the pictures while making collages, brought back so many enjoyable memories I have with my children.

4.  What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
I love connecting with people from all over the world.  In my eyes it helps make the world a better place, where we're all working towards the same goals, share the same love, and want what's best for each other.  After all, this is how I started working with Anastasia from Montessori Nature.  Who would have thought I'd have a partner, who lives on a completely different continent?  I can't imagine life without her now.

5.  What is your favorite way to treat yourself?
On Friday nights, I take time to myself, and watch the newest episodes of my favorite shows, Parenthood and Grey's Anatomy.  More often than not, I'm eating popcorn too.

6.  What do you like most about the area you live at?
There are two things I absolutely love about where we live.  One, we are blessed to have amazing doctors and specialists for our kiddos all within an hour radius of our home.  I don't know what we'd do without them.  Second, behind our home is the most beautiful and well cared for cemetery.  Some may think that it's freaky to live so close to a cemetery.  Others may joke about our quiet neighbors, but I LOVE having the cemetery so close.  The kiddos and I take walks there almost daily.  There is so much history there.  And on a personal note, I find cemeteries to be such spiritual places.

7.  Your dream vacation, mountain hideaway or a beach house?
I would prefer a mountain hideaway any day.

8.  What's your favorite book?
Such a hard question...  As much as I LOVE to read, the only time I get a chance to read much of anything is when I'm in the bathroom.  Lol.  Since my kiddos have been born, this is pretty much limited to magazine articles, as they're short and quick.  But other than that, I'd have to say my scriptures are my all time favorite books.  They're the only books I've read more than a few times, and make time to read and study on a daily basis.

9.  Hot chocolate or coffee?
Neither.  I'm a hot apple cider kind of girl.

10.  Early bird or night owl?
Definitely a night owl and always have been.

11.  Which project or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?
I'm all about fine motor and sensory activities.  I love the picture of your Halloween Fine Motor Activities, and also your Halloween Sensory Bin Round Up.

Thank you again to Laura for nominating me for this award.  I'll be nominating five other new and upcoming blogs and asking them 11 questions I've prepared.

1.  Why did you start your blog?
2.  What are some of your favorite blogs to read and follow?
3.  What do you listen to when you're blogging?
4.  What's the story behind your blog name?
5.  What do you do to take care of yourself on a regular basis?
6.  What do you like to do in your spare time (besides blogging)?
7.  What makes you smile?
8.  What have you done today to show someone you love them?
9.  Who inspires you to be the best person you can be?
10.  What makes you laugh?
11.  What makes blogging worth it?

More details about the nominees coming soon!
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Beginning Phonics Activities & Printables (KLP Linky Party)

This post may contain affiliate links.

Bulldozer struggles with reading, writing, and spelling.  I admit, I'm struggling to find ways to teach him these things in ways that are effective. It's amazing how every kiddo is so different.  Today, I took some time researching ideas, and I must say, I'm super excited with what I found.  So much, that I couldn't resist sharing with you!  If you have other fabulous ideas, please be sure to link them up to the linky at the bottom of this post!

The Cookie Sheet Challenge from Make, Take & Teach

Preschool Letter J from In My World

Q-Tip Fine Motor CVC Words from 3 Dinosaurs

Super CVC Practice from Miss Kindergarten

LEGO Word Family Sorting from This Reading Mama

Water Balloon Phonics from Mess for Less

Word Family Sort from Creative Family Fun

CVC Matching Puzzle Cards from Mama's Learning Corner

Pink Series Reading from Making Montessori Ours

Montessori Wrap Up from Pinay Homeschooler

Spinning Straw Spellers from Still Playing School

20 Outdoor Phonics Activities from Living Montessori Now

10 CVC Word Activities from Study at Home Mama

Books & Cards for Early Readers-Suitable for Montessori Classrooms from Montessori Nature 

Welcome to the Kids Learning Printables Linky Party!

My apologies, there are no features this week.  Next time I promise!

Here's how this works!

1.  Link up to 3 educational printables for kiddos.  Free, paid, and giveaway printables are welcome.
2.  Add our Kids Learning Printables Linky Party Button to your post or blog.
3.  Support your fellow educators by commenting, pinning, and/or sharing the post published before yours.
4.  If you're not already doing so, follow me on FacebookPinterest, Twitter, and/or through my blog.
5.  You give me permission to use and repost images from your blog.

1.  Visit all posts.
2.  Share and pin as many links as possible throughout the week.
2.  Feature my favorite posts in next week's link up.
3.  Get to know you, your blog, and your printables for future use.

Let's get this party started!
Every Star Is Different
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North America Unit with Free Printables

It's time to study our home continent!  Take a look at this North America Unit with free printables!  There are activities in almost every subject area and then some to help the kiddos learn all they can.

Whether you're looking for syllable counting country cards or our fifty North American animal cards, they're all here!

North America Unit with Free Printables

Here's what's on our shelves!


North America Country & Flag Match Up
North America Country and Flag Match Up (Free Printable)
The kiddos will match up country cards with flag cards.  Bulldozer really enjoys memory games. I've designed this to be used as such, requiring him to read the words on the cards to identify the matches.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my North America Activity Printable Pack 1.  This is a subscriber's only freebie. See directions at the bottom of this post on how to access your free copy.

North America Country First Letter Sound Cards
North America Country First Letter Sounds Cards (Free Printable)
The kiddos will mark the correct first letter of each country using glass beads.  A set of flag cards will be provided as a control if needed.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my North America Activity Printable Pack 1.  This is a subscriber's only freebie. See directions at the bottom of this post on how to access your free copy.

North America Country Syllable Cards
North America Country Syllable Cards (Free Printable)
The kiddos will practice pronouncing each country name, counting syllables as they go, marking the correct number of syllables using glass beads.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my North America Activity Printable Pack 1.  This is a subscriber's only freebie. See directions at the bottom of this post on how to access your free copy.


Writing Numbers Practice
Writing Numbers Practice
I've noticed Princess and Bulldozer are forgetting how to write some of their numbers, so I thought I'd bring out these practice cards to review.  The kiddos will write the numbers on each of the cards provided.

Source:  The free cards for this activity can be found at Homeschool Creations.

Decimal Place Activity
Decimal Place Activity
The kiddos will practice making numbers all the way up to 9,999, remembering ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands place values in the set up of their numbers, and also the pronouncing of the numbers.

 Source:  The free printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Print Shop.

Addition Wheel & Clothespin Activity
Addition Wheel and Clothespin Activity
The kiddos will practice their math facts, marking their answers with the correctly numbered clothespins.  Glass beads have been provided as counters if needed.  When asked about favorite activities, Princess mentioned this one.  She'll be delighted I pulled it out and put it back on the shelves.

Source: The free printable for this activity can be found at Montessori for Everyone.

Culture & Science

Parts of An Eagle Book Activity
Parts of an Eagle Book Activity
The kiddos will learn the body parts of an eagle, using the cards provided, and create their own book.  The red crayon they'll use to color in the body parts, is missing from the photo. My apologies.

 Source:  The printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Nature.

North America Map Coloring Activity
North America Map Coloring Activity
The kiddos will color in their own map of North America using the Montessori colors and the control provided.

Source:  The printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Nature.

50 North America Animal Cards
50 North America Animal Cards (free printable)
As requested by Dinomite, Jason has put together 50 animal cards of North America.  There are very few if any from the United States, as he's already made 50 animal cards of the United States of America in a previous unit.  

Feel free to use both sets for a total of 100 animal cards!  Dinomite mentioned his favorite learning time activities are those that involve animal cards.

50 Animals of the United States of America
50 Animals of the United States of America (free printable)
Source:  Jason created the printable for this activity as part of my North America Activity Printable Pack 1.   This is a subscriber's only freebie. See directions at the bottom of this post on how to access your free copy.

For the second set of 50 Animal Cards of the United States of America, created by me, click HERE.


Musical Instruments of North America
Musical Instruments of North America
The kiddos will match up the musical instruments, most likely playing a memory game to do so.  This worked very well for our South America Unit.  Bulldozer mentioned his favorite activities, besides sensory bins, water activities, and invitations to play are matching cards, that he can play memory with.

Source: The printable for this activity can be found at Montessori Nature.

Visual Arts

Artists and Artwork from North America
The kiddos will study the artwork of artists from North America using the cards provided.  For additional cards with artists from the United States of America, I have added cards created and used in a previous unit.

Artists and Artwork from the United States of America
Artists and Artwork from the United States of America (free printable)
Source:  Jason created the printable for this activity as part of my North America Activity Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of the post.  For the second set of artist and artwork cards, created by Jason, click HERE.

How to Draw an Eagle
How to Draw an Eagle Activity for Kids
Dinomite and Princess always do so well with drawing activities.  Hopefully Bulldozer will start to enjoy them soon.  The kiddos will practice drawing an eagle using the step by step cards provided.

Source:  The step by step drawing instructions for this activity can be found at How to Draw Animals.

Practical Life/Sensorial

Rubber Band Activity
Rubber Band Activity for Kids
I've been noticing lately that the kiddos, Princess in particular, are lacking finger strength.  When I saw this idea on one of my favorite blogs, I couldn't resist adding it to our shelves.

The kiddos will practice putting rubber bands around the block provided.  They can choose to put on as many as they'd like, as long as they take them off when they're finished.

Source:  This activity was inspired by one I saw at To the Lesson!.

North America Flag Pin Poking Activity
North America Flag Pin Poking Activity (free printable)
This is my favorite activity on our shelves right now.  The kiddos will use tacks to create flags of North America. I've only included country flags that are possible to create using push pins.  A control has been provided for them.

If you are interested in using this activity idea, and can't seem to find all of the colored tacks needed for flags, paint them.  Any type of enamel paint (used for glass etc.) will work beautifully.

I wish I would have known this before going to five different stores, looking for the right colored tacks.  Lol.  It would have saved me a lot of time and money!  I ended up having to paint my black tacks.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity as part of my North America Activity Printable Pack 1.  This is a subscriber's only freebie. See directions at the bottom of this post on how to access your free copy.

For those of you interested in the North America Activity Printable, follow the directions below.

Directions on How to Obtain Subscriber Only Freebies

1. Click on the Subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.
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3. Open the thank you message you receive after subscribing. (Be sure to check your spam folder, as sometimes it ends up there.)
4. Locate the link to our Subscriber Only Freebies page as well as password to access it in the "Thank You" message.
5. Click on link and type in password.
6. 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.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
An All American Summer Unit North America Unit Continent and Country Activities
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