Blog Archive

Penny Activities for Kids

In a world where we use debit cards and gift cards most of the time, we often forget the importance of teaching children about money. 

The thing is, if any of our children decide to have a job where they use a cash register, money skills are needed. Those who run their own business or become bankers are also working with money all of the time. There are many other jobs that require a solid base knowledge of money!

Learning about money teaches so many mathematical skills that children may not have interest in or understand without the use of money. So even if you still feel learning about money isn't that important, it may not be about the money at all!

Still, teaching about money can feel extremely overwhelming. There are SO MANY STEPS! 

This is why I've created the Money Bundle for Beginners.  It starts with the most basic concepts and progresses from there. No step is skipped to ensure every child develops a solid understanding of every concept.(Intermediate and Advanced Money Bundles will be coming in the future!)

Here is a look at all of the fabulous penny activities for kids included!

Penny Activities for Kids

Learning about money initiates such excitement in children. It's like treasure to them. They feel so grown up as they work with money, no matter how little the amount is.

Money is used in so many play scenarios. I remember playing store with my sisters growing up on a regular basis. Sunshine has forever wanted a cash register! 

There wasn't a time that I wasn't trying to save every coin I had for something special as a child. Now, each of my children have piggy banks in their room. They do the same thing.

Before family vacations my mother would break open the piggy bank full of coins she'd collected doing laundry. We'd all sit around the table and count coins until there were no more.  That was our spending money for our trip.

U.S. Coins: Pennies Printable Pack

Montessori-inspired U.S. Coins: Pennies Printable Pack

All activities in this post are from the Montessori-inspired U.S. Coins: Pennies Printable Pack. This pack includes 108 pages of printables that help children master using the penny in every situation. 

Penny Activities for Kids

Learning about money, even the penny, starts with identification and language skills. What does a penny look like? What is it called? How do you write the name?  All of these concepts are presented in each part of the Money Bundle for Beginners and can be combined if you'd like.

Let's take a look at all that's included!

Penny Writing Strips
Penny Writing Strips

There are some kids that absolutely LOVE to write. To attract those children to money activities, I have included a set of writing strips. Besides penny writing strips, there are also ones that say one cent, and so much more!

P is for Penny Do-a-dot Page

P is for Penny Activity

For those that struggle to write and are still working on developing fine motor skills strong enough to write, there are beautiful do-a-dot pages included.  Both uppercase and lowercase options are available, as well as the front and back of the penny. The dot sizes are created to match the size of a penny.

Penny vs. Not a Penny
Penny vs. Not a Penny Sort

Once a child feels confident in knowing what a penny is, this sorting activity can be introduced to challenge those skills. Cards in the green container include multiple coins to sort into two columns: penny and not a penny.

Which Coin is the Same?
Find the Coin that's the Same

To further challenge identification skills, kids can enjoy this activity. Which coin is the same as the one on the far left? Once identified the kids will place a penny on it.

This activity can be tricky as it includes coins that look similar from other countries. I grew up on the Canadian border. Canadian pennies were constantly mixed in with American ones.  Lol.

Counting with Pennies
Counting with Pennies

This activity was created to introduce counting with pennies and relating it back to counting in general. Each card includes a number and then the money amount associated with that number while working with pennies. 

The object of the activity is to count out the number of pennies specified and place them in order in the boxes. Boxes were designed to fit each and every penny.

Counting Pennies Nomenclature Cards
Counting Pennies Nomenclature Cards

Once a child knows how to count pennies and understands how to read cents or dollar signs with decimals, this activity provides even more practice.

These nomenclature cards can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of your child. The pennies on the cards are life size, so a child can place real pennies over top of them while counting to keep their place.

Counting Pennies Clip Cards
Counting Pennies Clip Cards

These cards are designed just like the Counting Pennies Nomenclature Cards, but with answer choices at the bottom. The nomenclature cards are a great control for this activity if needed. The child counts the coins and then places a penny on the answer at the bottom.

Money and Decimals Penny Clip Cards
Money and Decimals Penny Counting Clip Cards

At some point, teaching decimals when learning about money is necessary. This activity helps with that concept. There is a beautiful money and decimals control provided, as well as a second set of clip cards focusing on decimal placement.

Hundred Board Using Pennies
Hundred Board Using Pennies

For the ultimate counting activity, this hundred board is provided. It's a great way to practice counting to 100 with pennies and then teach that 100 pennies is equal to a dollar. Pennies do fit in each of the boxes.

Adding with Pennies Clip Cards
Adding with Pennies Clip Cards

Counting pennies is one thing, but learning to add with them is a completely different skill. These cards are designed to help with that.

Sunshine absolutely loved this activity. She chose to use the pennies provided, laying them out on the table, exactly the way they looked on the card and then added them up. Your child may choose to do things differently.  Once Sunshine had decided on an answer, she used the pennies to mark her card.

Subtracting with Pennies Clip Cards
Subtracting with Pennies Clip Cards

I just love this subtraction activity! The child reads the problem and then covers the coins subtracted with the white glass beads to reveal the answer. The answer is then marked using a penny.

Multiplying Pennies Clip Cards
Multiplying with Pennies Clip Cards

This activity is a basic multiplication clip card, but uses pennies for counters. The child uses pennies as counters to solve the problem and then marks answers using the green glass beads.

In printable packs that include the nickel, dime, and quarter, money values using cents and dollar signs are used to provide more challenge with the activity.

Dividing Pennies Clip Cards
Penny Activities for Kids

Like the multiplication cards, the division cards are created simply to introduce division concepts using pennies as counters.

In the nickel, dime, and quarter printable packs, money values are added to this activity to provide more of a challenge.

And there you have it! 

There are so many wonderful resources in the U.S. Coins: Pennies Printable Pack

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

U.S. Pennies Printable Pack U.S. Nickels Printable Pack U.S. Dimes Printable Pack U.S. Quarters Printable Pack
Read More »

FREE Hanukkah Counting Candles Printable Pack

Hanukkah is coming!  My kids are so excited.  We have celebrated Hanukkah in our home for several years now after discovering through DNA testing that some of Princess' ancestors are Jewish straight from Israel.

Celebrating this holiday is a way for her to feel connected to her birth family, even though she does not know who her birth father is.

This year the last two nights of Hanukkah will be spent in a hotel visiting Sunshine during her residential treatment stay.  Since I try to make sure our learning reflects the holidays we're celebrating, I created this new FREE Hanukkah Counting Candles Printable Pack to use with her.

Sunshine really struggles with her reading. I'm hoping that by using the nomenclature cards and clip cards with words on them she can practice reading numbers one through eight.

For those who are just learning how to count and identify numbers, this printable pack is equally fantastic!

Hanukkah Counting Candles Printable Pack

Hanukkah Counting Candles Printable Pack

The Hanukkah Counting Printable Pack includes three activities:
  • Counting Candles Nomenclature Cards with Numbers and Words
  • Counting Candles Clip Cards with Numbers
  • Counting Candles Clip Cards with Words

Each card includes candles from a menorah for each night of Hanukkah. The candles are arranged in the order they are lit as the numbers grow.

I debated back and forth about including the shammash or helper candle. In the end I decided it would be too confusing for little ones if I did include it. I also wanted to be sure to keep the focus on the eight nights of Hanukkah.

I encourage you to explain how the candles are lit to ensure there is a an understanding of the shammash or helper candle before presenting this activity.

The Hanukkah Counting Candles Printable Pack is Subscriber's Only Freebie. To obtain your free copy, follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Montessori-inspired Hanukkah Printable Pack II

The FREE Hanukkah Counting Candles Printable Pack goes beautiful with our Montessori-inspired Hanukkah Printable Pack II. If you have not seen this paid product in our shop, you are missing out!

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 in your e-mail, 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 e-mail 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 voila!

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.

Read More »

Gift Ideas for 6 Year Old Girls

Sunshine is technically ten years old, but cognitively and developmentally, she is six years old. Emotionally, at times she's even younger than that. 

For some this may be sad news, but for me, it's the opposite. I LOVE that she's not growing up as fast as her siblings, as it gives me more time to enjoy the phases I love most. Ages four to six are some of my absolute favorites.

This year Sunshine is all about mermaids, dragons, unicorns and more. I asked her for a wish list during our last video chat. She definitely had a list of ideas ready. Lol. 

Based off of her wish list, I am sharing our recommendations for Gift Ideas for 6 Year Old Girls.

I hope you are able to find some great ideas here and cross off a little girl on your Christmas shopping list!

Gift Ideas for 6 Year Old Girls

Gift Ideas for 6 Year Old Girls

I have to admit I have such a hard time not buying each and every thing on this list for Sunshine as I love it all so much. Already I'm figuring out exactly how many of these items will fit in her stocking versus under the tree so I can make it work.  Lol.

1. Melissa and Doug Ballet Recital Jigsaw Puzzle

Sunshine absolutely loves puzzles and is quite good at them so long as they don't exceed 100 pieces. She is also very much into ballet and wants to be a dancer when she grows up.  I couldn't resist pairing these two things together with this beautiful ballet puzzle.

2. LEGO Disney Raya and Sisu Dragon 43184

Over the summer while living in a hotel, Sunshine and I watched the movie Raya and The Last Dragon. Sunshine absolutely LOVED Sisu. When she saw this LEGO set, she just had to have it. The fact that Sisu is a dragon makes her all the more loveable, as dragons are one of Sunshine's favorite things right now.  

For those who don't know, Sunshine absolutely loves playing LEGO. It soothes her and provides such great sensory input. Sunshine loves putting things together and taking things apart. She also stims on fine motor tasks like putting LEGO bricks in place.

3. Barbie Dreamtopia Brush n' Sparkle Unicorn with Lights and Sounds

Sunshine has wanted a horse for her Barbie dolls ever since she gave her sister one for her birthday a couple years back.  When she saw that there was a Barbie unicorn, she decided that having a unicorn would be even more amazing than a horse. Alas, this unicorn HAD to be on her wish list.  Lol.

4. Peaceable Kingdom Mermaid Island Cooperative Game

Sunshine still struggles playing games where she's playing against others, but thoroughly enjoys cooperative board games. She has the fairy game in this same series and adores it.  Knowing how much Sunshine loves mermaids right now, this is the perfect fit for her!

5. Schleich Bayala Dragon 2-Piece Set

Sunshine is very passionate about dragons right now and has decided she needs to have some. I was so excited to see this set from Schleich in colors that Sunshine will love.  She is always about creating families with her animals, so the fact that this set comes with a mother and child dragon is perfect!

6. Douglas Starsky Appaloosa Horse Plush Stuffed Animal

A long time ago, Princess gave Sunshine a large horse stuffed animal for Christmas. As Sunshine and I were chatting last week, she remembered that horse and said she wanted another. This time she wanted a white one.  Well, I searched all of Amazon for a large white horse with no luck. This was the closest thing. It's not as large as the last one, but it's as large as I could find.  I'm sure she'll love it!


7. Disney's Descendants 3: Audrey's Diary

Sunshine loves Disney's Descendants. She particularly admires the character Audrey. I have already purchased Audrey's costume and wig for Sunshine for Christmas.  This will go perfectly with those items.

For those that don't know, Sunshine stims off of flipping pages in a book. Though she can't read, she loves carrying around books and looking through them. It soothes her. I suspect just carrying a book also provides her sensory input she needs.

8. Happy Birthday Barbie Doll

Sunshine loves playing with Barbie dolls. This year she has asked for a Barbie in a fancy dress.  She has already chosen to give her sister the holiday Barbie from this year, so I decided this would be the next best thing. I love that the dress is modest, shimmery and pink!

9. Klee Kids Water-based Peelable Nail Polish Set

During our chat about Christmas, Sunshine asked if she could have nail polish.  (She has a history of getting into mine and destroying furniture with it.) I said I would think about it and started to look for a solution that would make us both happy.

I am so excited to have found this water-based nail polish that's non-toxic and perfect for little girls! It looks like so much fun!

10. Klee Kids Astro Star 4-Piece Make Up Kit

Along with Sunshine's request for nail polish was one for make up. When I realized that Klee Kids makes nail polish and make up kits that are non-toxic and gentle, I was hooked!  This is the perfect solution for Sunshine. The best part is I won't have to worry about her skin reacting harshly to it.

11. Gladdon Cat Purse
Sunshine loves to accessorize and carry as many things as possible with her where ever she goes.  She is also very passionate about cats.  When I saw this purse and how large it is, I knew it would work perfectly for her. It's quite adorable, I must say!

12. Set of 3 Books: How to Catch a Unicorn, How to Catch a Mermaid, and How to Catch a Dragon

Sunshine has always loved picture books. She loves looking through them. She loves being read to. She loves learning the words and reading them to us. The issue is that we've already read so many books, it's hard finding new ones for her. 

I was so excited to see these three books in the How to Catch series. She will love all three. I've grouped them together, because they are incredibly inexpensive. But if you're short on funds, even just one will be great!

Oh how I love shopping for little girts. It is so much fun! I hope your shopping is just as enjoyable!

Read More »

FREE Pleasantries BINGO Printable Pack in English, Spanish, French, and German

Last year the kids requested that they start pursuing a foreign language. Dinomite wanted to learn German. Bulldozer wanted to learn French. Princess wants to learn every language, but decided that Spanish would work for now, since neither of her brothers were pursuing that language.

I purchased some books and materials in each language. The kids dabbled with it last year to determine if they were sure about their pursuit and language of choice. This year they're quite serious about moving forward.

Learning a foreign language can be quite challenging. It's requiring the kids to study, which is a new concept. There are no tests in Montessori school through elementary, unless they're required by the state.

The first part of the school year has been all about understanding and developing study habits that work. One method the kids have tried is studying with this FREE Pleasantries BINGO Printable Pack in English, Spanish, French and German.

Pleasantries Bingo Printable Pack in English, French, Spanish, & German

 How to Use the Pleasantries BINGO Printable Pack in English, Spanish, French and German

This printable pack comes with three cards in English, one in Spanish, one in French, and one in German.

Each card includes present tense conjugations of the verb to speak as well as vocabulary from the Pleasantries: Hellos and Goodbyes section of the kids' phrase books.

The kids used glass beads to mark their BINGO cards as we played.

We've played BINGO in two different ways.

Option 1:
I call out the phrases and verbs in each foreign language and the kids mark the English definitions on their cards.

Option 2:
I call out the phrases and verbs in English and the kids mark their foreign language cards.

The FREE Pleasantries BINGO Printable Pack in English, Spanish, French, and German is  Subscriber's Only Freebie. Be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post to obtain your free copy.

What Phrase Books Do You Use in the Classroom?

Foreign language is a passion of mine. In high school and college I studied Spanish and French. There was a time when I was fluent in Spanish and pursued career paths that required me to speak it at all times.

As a classical music student in college focusing on vocal studies, I was required to sing in Italian, French, and German. Part of that process was taking diction classes where I was trained in pronunciation.

When I went looking for resources for my kids, I wanted to find books that would be of value to them. They're not fans of workbooks. Textbooks are somewhat foreign to them as we've pursued a Montessori education for so long.

What I did want to find was a way to encourage independence in learning in as many ways as possible. The Rick Steves series has done that perfectly. 

All phrases come with an English translation and a pronunciation guide. If I'm not around, the kids can learn to pronounce words themselves.

The other pro to using the Rick Steves series was that a book in each language the kids were learning was available with the same layout. This allows us to learn together, even though everyone is learning a different language.

My kids love the pocket size of the books as well as they can take them anywhere with ease!

To ensure that the kids are understanding the speaking and pronunciation aspect of their foreign language of choice, each week they have the assignment of watching a Disney+ movie in their foreign language with subtitles also in their foreign language.  

As they watch the movie they are to write down ten new words or phrases they learn in English and in their foreign language.

This is one of their favorite assignments each week. They've had so much fun with it. There are some movies they now prefer in their foreign language of choice rather than in English.

My guess is that you're not teaching English, Spanish, French and German all at once, but it's my hope that you can use some of the resources provided here.


The FREE Pleasantries BINGO Printable Pack in English, Spanish, French and German is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. Be sure to follow the directions below to obtain your free copy today!

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 voila!

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 resources below.
Spanish Activities: Numbers, Colors, & Shapes Christmas Vocabulary in Spanish Day of the Dead Grammar Activities Day of the Dead Mini Bundle Valentine's Day in ParisCanada Printable Pack
Read More »

Gift Ideas for 13 Year Old Boys

Bulldozer is growing up so fast. It seems that I blinked and he's become a young man. My cuddle bug is now a teenager! I still can't believe it.

Thankfully Bulldozer is one who wants to remain as young as possible for as long as he can. His wish list this Christmas reflects that which I absolutely love.

I couldn't resist sharing his list, just in case others are looking for gift ideas for 13 year old boys in their lives, especially those who aren't in such a rush to grow up.

Gift Ideas for 13 Year Old Boys

Gift Ideas for 13 Year Old Boys

Bulldozer is always my hardest and most difficult to buy for during the holiday season. He likes what he likes, and is so very specific about what he wants. I'd be so lost without his list each year. 

When I saw this year's wish list I was so excited. Not only is everything under $50, but he wants some pretty awesome items!

1. Marvel Studios Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Blu-ray

Bulldozer LOVES all things Marvel. We own every single Marvel movie rated PG-13 or lower, except this one. It will be a wonderful addition to our  collection. I can't wait to watch it with him!

2. BENGOO Gaming Headset in Purple

Dinomite has owned a gaming headset for quite some time.  Bulldozer has admired it and expressed a desire to have his own.  When he realized he could choose a headset with lights and one that would come in purple (his favorite color), he was all in.

I'm excited that if both of the boys have gaming headsets with microphones, they won't be so loud as they play.  Lol.

3. 2021 Score NFL Football Collection 4 Pack

Dinomite's passion for football has rubbed off on Bulldozer. Not only does Bulldozer enjoy playing the sport, but he also loves to collect football cards. Apparently these cards are exactly what he needs.

4. Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy

The only thing I know Bulldozer loves as much as Marvel is Star Wars. He has collected so many books over the years, but when a new one comes out, he HAS to have it.  Battles are particularly interesting and fun for Bulldozer as he craves visual stimulation.  

I foresee a lot of reenactments with LEGO characters as Bulldozer goes through this book.

5. LEGO Minecraft: The Ruined Portal 21172

Bulldozer's wish list wouldn't be complete without at least one LEGO set on it. This year his top pick is a Minecraft set. Minecraft is something that Bulldozer thoroughly enjoys and loves to talk about with friends.

6. The 50 Most Unique Roller Coasters Ever Built

One thing many may not know about Bulldozer is that he is very passionate about rollercoasters.  Yes, he rides some, but it's not riding them that he loves so much. It's learning about what makes a rollercoaster a rollercoaster, for better or for worse. When Bulldozer saw this book, he just HAD to have it. 

7. Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts Cookbook

Bulldozer has the biggest sweet tooth in the house. He knows that every Sunday I bake a special treat and always wants to be prepared with new recipes to try. 

Already Bulldozer has Martha Stewart's cookie and cake books. It makes perfect sense that he'd also want the pie and tart recipe book.

8. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: The Lost Stories Collection

Bulldozer's favorite book series from this past year is The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. He's read all six books in the series and still craving more. 

When he saw this lost stories collection, he was so excited.  It looks like a fabulous addition to his collection.

9. Disney's Jungle Cruise Blu-ray

Bulldozer is my movie buff. When he sees a movie come out with at least one of his favorite actors/actresses, he has to watch it. This is the case with Jungle Cruise and Dwayne Johnson. I'm hoping he'll thoroughly enjoy it.

10. LEGO Marvel Black Panther Dragon Flyer 76186

When making this wish list I tried to limit Bulldozer to only one LEGO set, but when he showed me this one, I couldn't not say no.  I mean, come on! We're talking about Black Panther here! You can't go wrong.

11. Minnesota Vikings Men's Slippers Size 9-10

Bulldozer has extra wide feet that tend to get very cold in the winter.  We've tried different styles of slippers, but he always feels they're too tight. This is why we're now going with the slide on appeal. 

Add the Minnesota Vikings to any apparel and Bulldozer is in love. Not only do the slippers have his favorite NFL logo on them, but they're also his favorite color!

12. Nerf SurgeFire Elite Blaster

One can never have enough Nerf guns according to Adam, especially when going against his big brother Dinomite. This is the latest one he wants to add to his collection.  I love that it takes the smallest size bullets.

If you have a fun loving kid like Bulldozer, I hope these gift ideas for 13 year old boys are helpful. I am very much looking forward to doing some shopping using this wish list!

Read More »