10 Math Books 9-11 Year Olds Will Love

math books your 9-11 year old will love

Math isn’t all worksheets and flashcards.  It can be a lot of fun, too!  Reading is a great way to learn together and reinforce concepts.  The following 10 books are a perfect place to start when you’re looking for math books for your 9-11 year old.

10 math books 9-11 years old will love

1. The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang

A book of riddles with tried and true, creative methods for solving math problems by the author.  The vibrant illustrations and fun games will be a hit with kids.  Using effective and simple methods to solve the riddles will give your child confidence.

2. A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn

One morning, Ethan awakes to find an unusual cat – Odds, stuck on his head.  To get rid of the cat, Ethan must win a game of probability, such as pick out two matching socks from his drawer or pull a dime from his coin collection, or some other equally improbable feat.  If he can’t beat the odds, Odds won’t budge, and there’s a 100% chance that Ethan will miss his soccer game!  With this fun plot, entertaining characters and engaging illustrations, this is book is a surefire hit with kids.  It teaches a difficult to grasp concept in a fun way.

3. Math for all Seasons by Greg Tang

More fun riddles and problems to solve in mind-stretching ways.  Great for building Math vocabulary, creativity, and confidence.

4. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka

Do you ever have one of those days where everything is a problem??  This book follows a girl throughout a day filled with “problems” – MATH problems!  A fun look at everyday math.  Charming illustrations with a fun and engaging plot line will have kids begging you to read it.

5. Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dods

Whimsical illustrations and a cast of hilarious characters flow through this book of rhyming text.  Miss Bloom runs the Strawberry Inn and loves to have visitors.  One night, she finds herself with a full house.  Sensing something is amiss, she discovers her guests hungry for a midnight snack.  Will there be enough cake for everyone?  A very inviting read for kids.

6. Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander

The Zills family is summoned to Egypt to aid in finding the burial chamber of an ancient pharaoh.  When the kids get trapped in a hidden tomb, they must use the geometric hieroglyphics and their knowledge of math to find the burial chamber and escape the tomb.  Will they make it out?  Do they know their stuff?  With a riddle, a mystery and plenty of opportunity for flexing math muscles, kids are sure to find this adventure fun, time and time again.

7. A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes

When a queen demands that her bugs march in even lines, it’s up to Private Joe to divide and conquer.  Can he split the ants into lines evenly, so he will not be left out?  How many lines will it take?  Fun little drawings will invite young readers in, while the story line engages and teaches a valuable lesson in division.

8. How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

The king wants to give the queen something special for her birthday — not easy when the queen has EVERYTHING.  Except…a bed.  You see, beds hadn’t yet been invented.  The king must figure out “how big is a bed?” – but no one knows!  A cute, fun story with quirky illustrations that will have kids guessing and estimating in measurements.

9. Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin by Pam Calvert

Follow Peter as he tries to stop Rumpelstiltskin and his multiplying stick.  Can he unlock the secret and rescue the kingdom from Rumpelstiltskin and his mischief?  A fun look at multiplication using familiar characters that kids are sure to love.

10. The Best of Times by Greg Tang

A fun take on the times table.  The author teaches innovative ways to derive solutions to multiplication problems without rote memorization.  The rhyming patterns are easy to remember and the cute illustrations are delightful.

(all photos and links via Amazon)

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Homework Station Inspiration: 32 Ideas for Organization and Order

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As the school year kicks into high gear, you’re bound to be inundated with homework, calendars, newsletters, flyers and all manner of miscellaneous supplies.  It can be hard to keep track of it all, especially while keeping schedules, activities, due dates and big days straight!  Keeping yourself and your kids on track all year long can see a monumental task: what you need is a homework station!  A homework station can be as simple or elaborate as you wish and should include all the items you and your kids need to stay focused on school.  If you’ve got the space, you can add hooks for backpacks, a calendar or a cork board so you never have to miss another important date!  Whatever your specific needs, there’s a station on this awesome list for you!  So take a look at our homework station inspiration and create a space that suits your family.

 

1. Desk Built-in with Hanging Storage from Better Homes and Gardens

This space is everything you could want in your home: clean lines, lots of storage, tucked into a little built-in.  If you’ve got the space for a built-in desk, you can’t beat it for homework management!

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2. Mini Homework Station in a Tray from House of Smiths

You can pick this tray up and take it with you!  Tucked inside the drawers and boxes are all the supplies your children could possibly need. This is perfect if you haven’t got a designated homework desk, or if your space is limited.  Plus, it’s motivational!

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3. Rolling Cart Station from Smashed Peas and Carrots

The small kitchen cart from Ikea is cute, compact, and totally functional!  Cram it full of supplies for school and still have space left on the bottom to stack homework, worksheets, and books.  Then you can tuck it away and roll it out when you need it.

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4. Magnetic Back to School Station from The 36th Avenue

This magnetic back to school area can hang right on the side of your fridge!  You’ve got everything you need to stay organized right at arms length – including a handy dry erase/magnetic calendar, supplies, and “accountability clipboards.”

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5. Seat Sacks and Curtain Rod Storage from Scissors and Spatulas

If you’ve got a table or desk area, sew up some seat sacks to hang on the back of your chairs!  Kids can slip in all of their homework, books, and papers.  Add a curtain rod with hooks to store supplies they’ll need.

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6. Chalkboard Organization Station from Design Dining Diapers

This little chalkboard is a cute addition to a homework organization center!  The trendy baskets keep supplies within reach and you can write notes, reminders, and to-do’s on the chalkboard.  Get supplies and note clutter off the tables and counters and up on the wall.

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7. Tabletop Homework Station from Polka Dot Chair

This tabletop homework station can sit front and center on a desk or table and be removed during mealtimes since it’s so portable.  No need for a ton of space in order to keep everything looking crisp and neat – and readily available.

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8. Repurposed Crib from A Little Learning for Two

If you’ve got an old crib from your kid’s babyhood, repurpose it into a chalkboard desk!  The great part about it is that there’s a ton of built in space to hang supplies and needed items.  There’s room to spare on all the old crib slats and the desktop provides ample room to work.

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More great homework spaces on the next page — >

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De-Mystifying Math: 8 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (Ages 9-11)

8 Tips for Supplementing Your Child's Math Education - Tipsaholic

 

Math.  It’s necessary, requires higher thought processes, and can be completely intimidating for elementary school-aged kids.  If you have the right approach, attitude and mindset as a parent, you can help your child gain not only an understanding and appreciation for math, but perhaps even a fondness.  In any case, supplementing your child’s education is crucial to help them feel at ease with abstract math concepts.  Here are 8 super helpful tips to help your 9-11 year old with math concepts and learning.

8 tips for de-mystifying math

1. Always consider the individual. 

All kids learn best in different ways — be it visually, orally, verbally, physically, etc.  You can find out more information about each different category at Learning Styles Online.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.  By this age, a “one size fits all” mentality towards education could hinder your child rather than help them.

Kids have started approaching schoolwork in a more individual way at this point in their development.  Worksheets (many which can be found online) might work best for a logical or solitary learner, while active games involving kinesthetics and math concepts would work better for a physical learner.

If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child.  The following quiz from Edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information for each style: Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz.

Also keep in mind your child’s interests and try to fit their math education accordingly.  If they love cars, for instance, use games, activities and story problems involving cars.  If they love animals, use this as a theme for supplemental materials.

2. Do it together.

Chances are your child will be more appreciative of a unified learning approach, so do math together!  Sitting your child down at the computer to play games all by himself won’t have the same impact as learning together and discussing the concepts as you go.  So whatever the learning style, whatever the activity, be present.  If you find that you yourself are unfamiliar with a concept, look it up together and figure it out.  Oxford Owls Jargon Buster is a good place to start if you need help refreshing your memory about math terms.

3. Use a variety of tools, resources and methods.

Even if you’ve recognized your child’s preferred learning style, using the same method or activity repeatedly can cause boredom and disinterest — the exact opposite of our supplemental learning goals.  No matter how much your child loves timed tests or flashcards or dominoes, they’ll still appreciate a little variety.  Some ideas you can do with the whole family (even older or younger siblings), include: planning and budgeting for family outings, baking, planning a schedule, gardening, crafts that involve measuring and cutting shapes, weighing items, grocery shopping, charting growth with tables and graphs, online math games, video games, iPhone or iPad apps and board games.

4. Focus on key concepts appropriate for age and grade.   

Not sure what they are?  Email your child’s teacher and ask!  Talk with other teachers and parents you know.  Here’s a short list for kids ages 9-11 year-olds:  telling time (including adding and subtracting times), measurements (inches, yards, feet, miles, grams, pounds, etc. and converting between metric and imperial measurements), calculating with larger or more complex numbers (including up to three digits, decimals, percentages and fractions), understanding shapes (including 3-dimensional shapes and angles), and using different types of charts, tables and graphs.

5. Watch your own attitude. 

If you don’t approach supplemental education as a chore to be completed, neither will your kids!  Your attitude, more than anything else, shows them what their attitude should be.  Keep your comments, actions and reactions to math homework and any math activities you plan positive.  If your child doesn’t respond positively to a certain planned activity, take it in stride.  Don’t force it, but do come back to it later.  Say something like: “It’s ok.  We don’t have to do this now.  Would you rather help me cut out some shapes for a project I’m working on?” or something similar.  Wait a few days before trying again.  Whatever you do, don’t give up!  And don’t make it “work” but rather “math fun time” or “project time” — something your child can relate to and have desire to do.

6. Make it fun!  

It’ll be easier to accomplish tip number five if you’re focusing on making your supplemental activities fun for your child.  Play games.  Read fun math books.  Laugh while you learn.

7. Establish math as regular and routine.

How many times did you ask “When am I ever  going to use this in my life?” when you were in a math class?  Show your kids that math is a regular, everyday occurrence.  You can do this by not only having some type of supplemental activity every day (and it doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out activity – simple is better!), but also by pointing out instances when your child is using math skills when they may not even notice, such as when they are paying someone at the store and counting out money or when they are figuring out how many hours until bedtime.

8. Include the teacher.  

Whoever that might be — if they’re home-schooled, this is an easy one, just be sure to include your spouse!  Email the teacher for more information about what your child is learning.  Ask the teacher for extra worksheets or ideas for activities.  Use the teacher as a sounding board if you’re having issues approaching math with your child. He or she might have lots of ideas for engaging students that you haven’t thought of.  Your child’s teacher could also have access to or ideas about resources, books, websites, math nights, etc. that they can share with you.  If you’re a homeschooling parent, connect with other homeschooling parents for ideas.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 3-6)

 

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Most preschool and kindergarten aged children are tactile, kinesthetic and visual learners.  Activities that engage these learning styles are the most effective way to supplement your child’s education at home.  Whether playing games, using flashcards, singing rhymes and songs or drawing pictures, using a variety of activities will engage your child so you keep their interest and have fun while learning.  Need some ideas for age and developmentally appropriate activities for your preschooler?  Here are  10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 3-6.

 

1. Online Games – Playing games on the computer has a general appeal for kids.  Using these resources teaches them technology skills, hand-eye coordination, gets their brain moving.  Check out these cool literacy building online games: Funbrain Reading and VocabThe Magic School Bus Gets An Earful Sound GameScholastic Building Language Game (Naming, Letters and Rhyming), pbs kids: Super Why Rhyme ‘n Roll Game

2. Board Games –  Board games can get the whole family involved!  Teach your kids valuable life lessons while learning about literacy – like taking turns, cooperation, being a good sport, supporting others, and social interactions/communication.  Try these board games: Alphabet Squiggle Game, Grandma’S Trunk Alphabet Game, ABC Cookies, Alphabet Memory, Spot It! AlphabetAlphabet Go Fish

3. Puzzles – Puzzles come in tons of variations, and get small motor skills going as well as improving cognitive skills.  Here are a few ideas:  Melissa & Doug Alphabet Letter Puzzles, Giant ABC & 123 Train Floor Puzzle, Spelling Puzzle Game, See & Spell

4. Flashcards - You can buy alphabet and phonics flashcards at many stores, even the dollar store.  Try Speakaboos online interactive alphabet flashcards.  OR, Course Hero is an awesome online source for creating your very own personalized flashcards!  It’s mainly used by older students as a study tool, but you can make them for your child and print them out or use them in conjunction with the free app.

5. Manipulatives – Manipulative are small items your kids can use in a ton of different ways to learn things from counting to upper and lowercase letters while developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  They usually come in fun, bright colors which are appealing to kids and teach preschoolers colors as well!  You can find manipulatives in lots of stores, and here are a few kits to try out: Alphabet Soup SortersAlpha Pops, Letter Construction SetABC Lacing Sweets

6. Colorful Catapult – Alter this catapult game from Spoonful by writing letters on plates instead of numbers.

7. Fly Swatter LettersDelia Creates shares really fun ideas for learning while playing outside.  In addition to the fly swatter game, she also shows how to play the letter game with squirt guns, how to write letters with a spray bottle, and how to play Number and Letter Twister!

8.  DIY Salt Tray – Check out This Mummas Life for directions on making this salt tray, a fun way for kids to trace letters and practice writing.

9. Letter Walk – This fun take on a scavenger hunt uses super simple, everyday items to teach kids letters and starting sounds, while getting them up and moving around!  Check it out on Learning and Playing in 2 Bedrooms or Less.

10. Flashlight Alphabet Game – If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll go nuts over this fun hide and seek game – played in the dark with the aid of an alphabet puzzle and a flashlight.  It’s super easy to set up – go get the details on Happily Ever After Mom.

 

Playing with kids is a great way for them to learn without even realizing it!  Are you looking for more fun learning activities for 3-6 year old kids? Try these 8 Hands-On Science Activities!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

De-Mystifying Math: 5 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (Ages 6-9)

5 Tips for Supplementing Your Child's Math Education - Tipsaholic


Math can be a daunting subject, particularly when learning complicated concepts for the first time. Reinforcing math education at home is clearly important — whether your child is home-schooled, attends public or private school, goes to a charter school or does school online.  Helping your child develop good habits — not to mention a good attitude — toward math early on is key to success. Here are five tips to help your first through fourth grader get off on the right foot mathematically.

5 Tips fo De-Mystifying Math

1.  Always consider the individual:

Everyone learns in different ways.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.

Learning styles quizzes

If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child.  The following quiz from Edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information for each style: Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz

2. Use all available resources:

In general, kids ages six to nine learn best visually.  There are so many different ways to make math appeal to your child. Technology is used in amazing ways in public schools, and you can take advantage of it too.

iPhone and iPad apps

Visual math 2 is a great option for first through third graders.  It uses pictures, sounds and lots of fun bonus activities that will make math more like a game.

Websites and blogs

Try the website Math is FUN.  There’s tons of information on different levels of math (i.e. geometry, algebra),  as well as different everyday math concepts (i.e. numbers, money, measurements).  Plus, there are puzzles, games, activities, and printable worksheets.  Do a search on Google and Pinterest and tons of blogs and websites will flood your search engine.

Books

There are tons of math workbooks or mind-teaser type books (like Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang) but there are also a ton of great picture books out there that can make math concepts easy to understand and much less frightening (like Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!  by Marilyn Burns).

3. Make it an everyday thing:

Practice number operations with household objects

Find things that come in groups and talk about how they can be grouped in different ways — for instance, a dozen eggs can be grouped in fours, in threes or in two groups of six.  Look for arrays (rows and columns) around the house, like floor tiles, a bookshelf with cubbies, or checkerboards. Have your child split them into smaller arrays — for instance a carton of eggs is an array of 2×6, but if you split it in half it’s two arrays of 2×3.

When you go to the store, have your child calculate how much you save by buying the cheaper of two brands of the same item.  Have him or her total as many items as possible on the receipt.  If your child likes sports, introduce them to statistics.

Find ways to collect, sort and organize information

Create a chart to track your child’s progress as they conquer math concepts.  Have them sort change into separate funds — tell them to put equal amounts of money in each fund but use different coins.

4. Make it a family thing:

Everyone can get in on the action

Make up story problems together.  Point out different opportunities to count, add, subtract or sort.  Play games together, such as board games, computer games, and riddles.  Get siblings in on the action!

5. Play:

Play lots of games

There are many different board games that use logic and strategic thinking: Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, and Clue are just a few examples.  Games that use flat manipulatives help develop deep logic as well as spatial reasoning – Tangrams, Logix, Blockus, or Shapes Up are all good options.

There are also a wide selection of video games that teach math:

  • For Nintendo DS: Junior Brain Trainer, Math Play, Challenge Me Math Workout, Brain Quest
  • For Nintendo Wii: Reader Rabbit, Smartypants, Think Smart
  • For a PC: Knowledge Adventure – Math Blaster

You can also find many free games online.  Playing lots of games as a family not only makes math tons of fun, but learning together reinforces the importance of math and gives your child confidence.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

7 Simple Meals Kids Can Make Themselves

7 Simple Meals Kids Can Make Themselves ~ Tipsaholic.com #kidfood #kidscooking #kidrecipes

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Evenings are often full of homework, extra-curriculars, laundry, and a whole lot of busy. Is it any wonder that it can be difficult to find time to make a meal? Give yourself a break this week! With a little bit of planning and preparation on the weekends, your home can be stocked full of ingredients for simple meals kids can make all on their own.

 

Chef Salad

Prepare salad ingredients for the week and store them in plastic containers in the fridge. Whenever the kids need a quick meal, they can pull everything out, build a salad, add a bit of dressing, and voila! Instant dinner.

 

Simple Sandwiches

Everyone has to start somewhere, and putting together a good old-fashioned PB&J is a great way to learn. Using a butter knife to spread ingredients over bread is a fabulous fine motor skill that even the smallest children can develop. And hey, the kids can get even more creative trying new combinations like peanut butter and bananas, hazelnut spread and sliced strawberries, or even something new like cream cheese and veggies. And don’t forget old favorites like ham and cheese; pre-sliced ingredients make for even easier prep!

 

Microwaved Bagel Pizzas

The microwave is usually an appliance older kids don’t need to be afraid of. Teach your children how to use your particular model and leave sticky notes with heating directions whenever necessary. Keep a few simple pizza ingredients in the refrigerator – sauce, pepperoni, shredded cheese, and bagels – and kids can make their own bagel pizzas and heat them in the microwave for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.

 

Quesadillas or Nachos

Plain cheese is nice, but if you plan ahead, you can provide the kids with shredded chicken, peppers, and other tasty additions they can place between a couple of tortillas (or layer on chips) and warm up in the microwave. Don’t forget to keep a bit of salsa and sour cream around for dipping!

 

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

It doesn’t get much easier than this – a little frozen fruit, yogurt, and some granola to top it off make a tasty parfait. Kids will love layering the ingredients and won’t need to come running to mom and dad for help!

 

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Purchase a simple Caesar salad kit from the grocery store, then spend a little time cooking chicken breasts and slicing them lengthwise. Kids can make a wrap in minutes with a tortilla, chicken from the fridge, and lettuces and dressings from the salad kit.

 

French Toast Skewers

Cut your next batch of French toast into cubes and store them in the freezer. When you’re busy and the kids get hungry, they can take some out, warm them in the microwave, layer them on a skewer with fruit, and drizzle with syrup. Yum!

 

Sometimes a busy parent just has to let the kids feed themselves! Try these ideas for no-cook breakfasts if your mornings need to be simplified.

 

 Featured image via 

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

5 Kid-Friendly Papier Mache Projects You Can Decorate With!

5 kid-friendly papier mache projects to decorate with - tipsajolic, #papiermache, #crafts, #kids #decor, #DIY

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Who remembers making a papier mache art project back in school?  It’s such a fun craft and popular with kids, but there are only so many papier mache bowls you can make before you run out of reasons to use them in your home!  Try these 5 papier mache projects with your kids and you’ll be able to decorate your house in style.

 

1. Papier Mache Alphabet Letters

Large alphabet letters are a popular decor item in kids’ rooms, but use them in nearly any room of the house.  Spell out your child’s name, a catchy, room appropriate word or make a simple monogram by doing this papier mache project that makes letters out of cereal boxes!  You can use any font you’d like to make them.

 

2. Papier Mache Mounted Animal Heads

Faux taxidermy mounted heads are all the rage right now.  Check out this really great looking papier mache zebra head mount! If your kid loves zebras, they’ll love making this… and you can mount it over their bed or dresser in their room. But you can do this papier mache project even if your kids aren’t that fond of zebras – simply modify it to turn it into another animal, like a rhino, a horse, an unicorn, or a lion. Use your imagination… or your kid’s!

 

3. Papier Mache Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons are always enthralling for kids to see in the air, so why not put one up in their bedroom for them to stare at every night as they drift off to sleep? This really cute papier mache project is even sweeter with the addition of hearts all over it. Instead of paint, this project uses blue and green colored tissue paper, but you can use any color tissue you’d like to match your decor.

 

4. Papier Mache Pumpkins

Buying seasonal decor can be a drag because they cost so much money and are then displayed for such a short time. For most of the year, your seasonal decor items are stuck in a box in the garage or attic.  Why not make your own seasonal decor and turn it into a fun activity with the kids? Since fall is fast approaching, make a couple of papier mache pumpkins and paint them! Put them up in your home before Halloween and leave them out until Thanksgiving.

 

5. Papier Mache Pinata

A pinata isn’t exactly a decor item, but it can certainly be used to decorate a party! Make a papier mache pinata with your kids for their next birthday party. You could have a lot of fun with a completely customizable piñata. Maybe you could make a beloved cartoon character, a favorite animal, or something else that fits into the birthday party’s theme. Fill the pinata with your kids’ preferred candies or skip the sweets and use small toys instead!  Then watch all the children smash away at your hard work… it’ll be worth it.

 

Hopefully, these papier mache projects have sparked a few ideas of your own!  A moon and a few stars to hang in your child’s nursery? A papier mache Earth to spin around in the playroom?  The possibilities are endless!

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

10 Hands-On Math Activities for Ages 6-9

10 Hands-On Math Activities (for Ages 6-9) - Tipsaholic.com

 

As your child advances through elementary education, math concepts–even the basics–can become confusing, even frustrating to some.  At ages 6-9, kids are not only fine-tuning basic addition and subtraction and continuing with multiplication and division, they are also learning time, measurements, fractions and more.  It’s not merely important to supplement their math learning at this point in their education, it’s crucial.  Here are some excellent math activities from around the web for making math fun and exciting!

10 Hands-On Math Activities

Computer Games:

Math Lines – at different levels this teacher’s basic math equations, but in a cool, fun way.  You shoot a canon with a specific number ball at the number balls moving around the canon in a line, making sure the balls add up to the target number.

Lemonade Stand – helps teach number recognition, addition and counting money.  You create the lemonade based on reading a recipe, set up and manage your stand, and sell lemonade for a profit.  Come to think of it, you could just set up a real lemonade stand!

Fraction Beach – use your knowledge of fractions to build awesome sandcastles at the beach.

Do a Google search to find many more free computer games that are age appropriate for your child.  Try pbs.orgcoolmath.com or topmarks.

Active Games:

Chalk Clock – use the kids as the hands of the giant clock to work on telling time.

Skip Counting by Hand Outlines – hand outlines are perfect for teaching how to count by 5′s, plus they make for wonderful turkey-themed math activities around Thanksgiving time.

Water Balloon Number Target Practice – learn number recognition through play with water balloons and a chalk target board.

Props and Manipulative Ideas:

Golf Tee Math – use golf tees and play dough to work on creating and solving addition and subtraction equations

Addition Number Family Eggs – put leftover plastic Easter eggs to use by building numbers and solving equations

Coin Value File Folder Games – these file folder games are quick, easy, and cost nothing to make.

Free Printables:

Fraction Bars – practice fractions with these color-coded strips.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Hands-On Science Activities (for 3-6 year olds)

8 Hands-On Science Activities for 3-6 Year Olds - tipsaholic, #scienceactivities, #scienceexperiments, #scienceforkids, #kids, #science

 

 

science title

 

Take the dreaded work out of learning science concepts!  Science doesn’t have to be dull and boring or difficult to grasp, even for young kids.  Cultivate a love for learning early on! Interested in teaching your kids all about science?  These 8 hands-on science activities are a great place to start.

 

1. Water Science Activities – The Measured Mom

Very young children will love these activities with water (they’d even be appropriate to do with toddlers)  Water play is great for tactile learners.  Not only will they learn about sinking vs. floating, repelling vs. absorbing, dissolution and various scientific properties/effects of water, they’ll also work on motor skills (large and small), develop critical thinking and learn to make hypothesis and test theories.  Plus, they’ll have a blast splashing around!

 

2. Bubble Science – Scholastic

Making your own bubbles can be a great learning experience in Science (and math too!)  The link has tons of great ideas for science-related topics to cover as you measure, pour and mix up your own solutions and then try them out in different ways!  Even babies love bubbles!  Another plus?  Your kids will get all their wiggles out chasing bubbles around the yard!

 

3. Bug Watch - kidspot

This old classic is still a hit with young kids!  Find instructions for creating your own bug sanctuary out of a plastic bottle… then let your little ones find some critters to place inside and watch for a while.  Check on the bugs at intervals and record findings.  Be sure to talk about their natural habitats and that bugs and insects (along with all animals) belong in the wild, then have a celebration for the grand release into the backyard!

 

4. Fossil Cookies – Martha Stewart

For help explaining paleontology and fossil records, make these awesome cookies with your kids!  The link includes a recipe and the full instructions for making fossil imprints.  When your done with the learning, your kids can have fun chowing down for snack time!

 

5. Borax Snowflakes – Delia Creates

Make your own sparkly, white crystals in the shape of snowflakes!  Delia Creates gives you the recipe for this super fun craft to do with your kids.  While you’re waiting for the crystals to form, you can explain why and how they do so.  Check out the science behind the craft here.

 

6. Carnation Colors – Spell Out Loud

Your kids can have a ton of fun making a rainbow of flowers!  All you need are plain white carnations, some jars, water and food coloring!  Place freshly cut flowers in the mix of water and food coloring and watch what happens!  Kids will love watching the transformation happen right before their eyes.  Have your kids guess what will happen to your flowers ahead of time and compare their findings to their hypotheses.  Have a discussion about how flowers and other plants “drink” in order to survive.

 

7. Balloon Blow – My Kids Guide

Did you know you can inflate a balloon using a water bottle and some simple household items – no breath needed?!  It’s true!  Show your little ones how to blow up a balloon the “normal way” before doing the experiment.  Then use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda in an empty water bottle, stretch the balloon around the opening and watch it expand!  No kid can resist the fun factor of balloons!

 

8. Primary Science Kit

Get started with some easy Science projects with this primary science kit!  The kit includes all the tools you’ll need for some groundbreaking experiments – tweezers, beaker, test tubes, flask, funnel, magnifying glass and more!  There are several sturdy activity cards included and an activity guide for parents.  The pieces are durable plastic, brightly colored and created with little hands in mind – making it not only appealing but perfectly designed for preschool kids.

 

For tons more science ideas and activities for little kids, check out the Activity Corner on Kid Spot.

 

If you want some ideas about hands-on Math activities for your preschooler, we’ve got you covered.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Find more fun for kids here:

pool pic        tipsaholic-frozen-water-beads-play-ice-activities-mess-for-less         tipsaholic-8-hands-on-math-activities-for-preschool-and-kindergartners-pinterest-pic

Pool Activities for Kids         Ice Activities for Kids            Hands on Math Activities

30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts -  via tipsaholic, #chorechart, #chores

 30 Kid-Approved DIY Chore Charts

If the word “chores” has your kids groaning, it might be time to switch up the routine!  A chore chart can be both engaging and rewarding for your child, and give them just the incentive they need to get working and stop complaining.  If you need some ideas for chore charts that you can make yourself, we’ve got you covered!  Whether you’re looking for something simple to make and easy for kids to follow, or you want something more elaborate and effective for your tweens, these 30 kid-approved DIY chore charts are sure to be a hit at your house.

 

Work For Hire Board, The Chic Family – This simple yet ingenious bulletin board style chore chart is perfect for your tween or even teen looking to earn some extra spending money.  If you’ve got extra chores your willing to shell out some allowance for, this board is a great way to get kids involved in making their own decisions about the work they do around the house.TheChic_work-for-hire-board

 

Reclaimed Wood Chores and Rewards, The Winthrop Chronicles – This chore/reward system works great for kids who are a little older, around 5-10.  Their weekly chore list is clipped to the top and they earn points, or small pebbles, as they complete things.  Pebbles are removed when they don’t do what they’re supposed to.  When the pebble jar is full, they pick a fun treat, like an ice cream outing.  It’s effective because it clearly displays expectations, has an instant consequence for behaviors and offers relevant incentive.  Plus, it’s super stylish – who wouldn’t want this hanging in their home?IMG_1080-b


Framed Magnetic Charts, A Lemon Squeezy Home – These charts look clean and bright hung on the wall and are a very easy system for kids to tackle.  The magnets are made with wooden circles and computer-printed stickers and are completely customizable.  If you’re not big into giving out an allowance for chores, or simply don’t want the visual reminder of money right by the chores, this is a great option.  It’s easy to make and easy to use, and the kids will get a kick out of moving their own magnets around.  Plus, there’s a nice list of chores kids can accomplish on their own!chore charts_thumb[1]


 Washi Tape Chore Sticks, Simply Kierste – If you’re looking for something super easy to make and use, you can’t get much more perfect than this!  Simply write the chores on a craft stick, decorate with a strip of washi tape and place in a cute jar!  Little hands will love the surprise of picking the chores out blindly.  Plus it looks cute on display and doesn’t take up any wall space!

chore-6-title-and-logo

 

White Board and Magnet Pictures, Vanilla Joy – If you’ve got a pre-reader who’s ready to tackle some work around the house, this is a great chore chart for you!  The chores are designated with pictures glued to wooden tokens with magnets on the back.  It’s simple to make with a small white board and a few other materials and doesn’t take up a lot of space.  Little ones will love “playing” with the magnets and moving their chores to the right side!

cricut-craft-chore-chart

Easy Chore Board, Gingersnap Crafts – This cute and easy chore board is a cinch to make, small enough to fit nearly anywhere, and super stylish to boot!  All it takes is a board or plaque, some vinyl, a strip of metal and magnetic chore circles.  Not only is it easy to make, but it’s easy to read and understand for your young kids.  The little stick figures make it that much more adorable!chores

 

Chore Box, Just another Day in Paradise – This “Uh-Oh” box is simply genius!  Sick of kids leaving a trail of messes in their wake?  Got some mini tornados kicking toys around the house?  Teach your kids responsibility with this cute poem stuck to the side of a rubbermaid tote.  When they leave their things out, place them in the box.  All they have to do to get an item back is pick a chore!DSC_0018

 

Burlap and Clothespin Chore Chart, Simply Kierste – This charming burlap chore chart is a cute way to get chores done and encourage your kids!  On one side of the clothespin there are chores printed.  When the chore is completed, flip the clothespin over to reveal praise and encouragement for a job well done!  Make a row with ribbon for each child and clip their chores on, then have them flip the clothespins themselves!  This is a great way to help them take pride in their work.burlap chore chart--finished project front copy

 

Baking Sheet Chore Chart, A Spotted Pony – It doesn’t take much to make these cute little magnetic charts – just a baking sheet from the dollar store, some spray paint and some magnets!  With minimal investment, you can make some to match any decor.  With the cute printed pictures on magnets, this is the perfect first chore chart for young kids who aren’t reading yet.chorechart1-300x200

 

Job Chart, Martha Stewart –  This sweet and simple job chart is fairly minimalist in design – so it’ll go with any kind of decor.  It’s easy to make too – All you need are magnets and a computer/printer!  The columns are headed with a photograph of each child, adding to the charm.  The chores are simply colored magnetic strips – you can color code them according to day or difficulty level.  Simply hang on the fridge and let your tweens at it!0206_kids_gtjobchart_l

 

Dry Erase Chore Chart, Moss Moments – This is a really easy idea to pull together.  Just make a list of chores (and possibly the daily to-do’s) leaving boxes for check marks and print it out.  Frame it with any frame that matches your decor.  Each morning, write the day at the top.  The kids can check off the items as they do them.  Why it’s great?  Ease of use and simple to make.  Also, as you think of new things that need to be done that day, you can simply write them on the glass.  It’s super customizable, can be made as fancy and colorful as you’d like, and the kids will love writing all over the glass!Sofa and jellybean jars 025

 

Printable Sticker Chore Chart, The Vintage Mother – You can’t get any easier than simply printing off some charts and hanging them within easy reach!  The truly fun part is putting stickers next to the chores that are completed!  Let your little ones pick which stickers they want to use and watch them turn into cleaning machines!VRW-Chore-Chart-2

 

Big Helper Board, Grey House Harbor - With a magnetic dry erase board and some washi tape and magnets, you can create a super cute, perfectly personalized big helper board for your kids!  Create your own magnets for kids to move to separate columns and rows for each day of the week and chore.  Make it organized and cute by making lines with washi tape.  The best part about this chore chart is that it’s completely reusable as something new once the novelty wears off – and for young kids, you know that won’t take too long!  Washi tape is removable and all the writing on the chart is in dry erase marker.  580x384xwpid2209-magnetic-dry-erase-chore-chart.jpg.pagespeed.ic.YI6bbp4jJh

 

Reusable Chore Card Checklists, Our Story – You can break each room in your house down by listing the chores that need to be down on one convenient, laminated card.  Assign the kids a room to clean and give them the card.  They can check off each item as they go with a dry erase marker.  Rotate the rooms among your kids so they get a chance to do everything.  This is a great system for tweens and teens who are ready for more independence with their work, but still need a bit of a reminder as they go.  They can earn points for the entire room and cash their points in for rewards.  Wipe each card down when they’re completed and store them all together on a binder clip or in a folder or envelope._DSC9941

 

Coloring Page Chore Chart, And We Play – Even the littlest of helpers can keep track of their chores on a handy chart.  This cute little coloring page is just the ticket for the youngest in your brood!  You can download a pre-made chore coloring page from the link, or create your own personalized one.  Every time your child completes a task that’s pictured, they get to color it in!  So break out the crayons and colored pencils because preschool aged kids are going to love cleaning up now!IMG_5150

 

Framed Clothespin Chore Chart, A Turtle’s Life For Me – Upcycle some of your old, unused frames into a totally usable chore chart!  By gluing clothespins down the side of the frame and adding the child’s name inside, you’ve got yourself a cute and personalized chore tracker.  Simply print out some chores, cut them into strips and laminate them.  When the chore is completed, it comes down off the clothespin and back in the envelope.  This is super easy to make and super easy to use.  Kids will love getting to “play with” the clips, but this is great for older kids or teens as well because of its simplicity.chore chart emma

 

Clipboard Chore Charts, The 36th Avenue – These clipboards are so super cute, you’ll want to hang them just for decoration!  They serve a useful purpose, too, though.  There are chores listed on one side and spots to check off down the other side – in dry erase vinyl!  Along the bottom, there are dry erase spots to keep track of days, so at the end of the week the kids (or you) can clip a reward card to the clipboard if they’ve gotten everything done.  This is really a great idea for young school aged children up through tweens to keep them on track, independently responsible for their work, and give them extra incentive.15554116713

 

Clipboard Checklists, Stacy Julian –  These checklists are simple, easy to make and very straightforward.  Clip the checklist to the clipboard and have your tween or teen check things off as they go throughout their routine.  If everything is finished at the designated time, you clip a dollar to the clipboard for them to find next time.  This is a great instant incentive for older kids who don’t need or want a lot of fuss, and still helps everyone keep track of responsibilities.  IMG_0785

 

Family Chore Board, Our Prairie Home – Here’s a fun and easy way to keep track of daily chores for everyone in the family – and it doesn’t take up a ton of space!  It’s a simple board with the names of the family written across and hooks above and below each name.  Chores are printed on small laminated tags.  Daily tasks are places on the top hook at the beginning of the day and each person moves them down to the bottom hook as they complete them.  You can personalize this idea as much as you want, use pictures for pre-readers, offer a point and reward system, or fancy it up as much as you want!Chore 3

 

Chore Tags, A Pretty Life - This system works really well for keeping track of those extra chores that pile up.  The tags are magnetic, so you can keep them on the fridge or a magnet board.  Each tag has an extra chore and a price.  The kids get to pick with chores they want to do, and when finished, move the chore to their designated hook (Which could be magnetic or not, your choice.)  At the end of the week, just pull the tags from the hook, count up all the prices listed, pay the allowance, and move the tags back to the fridge.  Voila!  This will work best with older kids and teens who know the value of a dollar!Chores1

 

Ice Cream Cone Chart, Child Made – Little kids will love this colorful, fun, ice cream themed chore chart!  Every part of the ice cream cone is sewn separately and has a magnet on the back.  Start your child with the empty cone.  Each scoop of ice cream has a chore listed on the back.  When they complete a chore, they get to add the scoop to their cone!  They’re going to flip over making ice cream cones every day and will race to clean to see who can build their cone higher!ice_cream_19

 

Folder Chore Charts, Moritz Line Designs – These couldn’t be easier (or cheaper!) to make and are exceptionally easy to use.  The days of the week are listed across the inside pockets and the daily chore check list is stapled under each day.  A dollar bill is placed in the pocket above each day.  The kids check things off the list and when the whole list for the day is completed, move the money to the envelope on the front of the folder.  It’s instant gratification, teaches the value of earning and saving, and places the responsibility and consequences for chores on the kids.  This is a great motivational chore “chart” for older kids and tweens!chorechart_inside

 

Photo Chore Chart, A Mom’s Take – This chart turns chores into a game!  Everything is magnetic and can go on a magnet board or on the fridge.  The chart itself is simply “before” photographs of each chore in a grid, all of them taken before the chore was completed – so messy shelves, unmade bed, etc.  The kid’s look at the photos and when a chore is complete, find the matching “after” photo – obviously taken when the chores are completed and therefore clean – in the container or envelope.  They place this photo OVER the the messy photo.  When all the photos are clean, the kids are done!  What a fun way to show them what to do and engage them by turning work into a game!DSCF2194-750x499

 

Clothespin Chore Tracker, The Wid Kids – A super easy chart to make, and a fun way to keep kids on track all throughout the day.  Simply make a single row of chores for your child (you can write them, draw them or print them out, then put them on poster board for durability) with your child’s name at the beginning of the row.  Start the clothespin on their name at the beginning of the day and have them move it along as they complete each task.DSC_0619

 

Post-It Note Chore Chart, Tatertots and Jello – Brilliant!  This chart uses post-it notes with chores printed on, color-coded for each child!  Every chore has 7 checkboxes for the week.  Every day, the kids check off the chores that are complete.  When they’re totally checked, they place them in the post-it folder.  There’s even a “for hire” category with bigger chores printed and a dollar amount if the kids want to do bonus work.  What’s great about this system is that it’s so easy to alter.  Add chores, take them away, switch them around, whatever!  Tweens and teens will like the trendy, fun colors, and mom will like all the work getting done!post-it-note-chore-chart-system-at-tatertts-and-jello

 

Magnetic Photo Chart, My Sister’s Suitcase – Use all those photos you take with your phone throughout the day!  Create chore photos with your smartphone and add text with various photo editing apps.  Print them out on magnetic sheets and make magnet board separated into columns and the name of each child at the top.  Put a small box or envelope under the columns.  Place the chores with the appropriate child, and have them move the photos into the box once they are completed.  Simple enough for preschoolers, fun enough for older kids!kids-chore-chart-DIY

 

Responsibility Station, Organizing Junkie – This station has absolutely everything you could want in a chore chart.  There’s a checklist for daily chores, a bucket of chore sticks for extra chores or  responsibilities, a pay check tear pad where the kids tally up how much they make per day and total it at the end of the week, and even zipper pouches separated into spend it, save it and give it.  This system is a little more detailed as far as understanding and using it, but it also reinforces lots of great lessons – math, addition, percentages, charity, responsibility, among others.  School-aged kids would love watching their “pay check” add up over the week!responsibility-station-2

 

Magnetic Flip Chart, Miss Information – With very little effort and supplies, you can make a cute chart for your fridge that your preschooler will get really excited about!  Just use some poster board or heavy card stock and fold it in half.  On the top, write, draw or print out pictures of chores all across.  On the bottom half, simply cut up to the fold – making the strips you cut as wide as the chores on top.  Glue magnets on top and bottom.  When your kids complete the chores, they flip the bottom up to the top to reveal a secret message!  Just write “all done,” “good job,” etc. on each flap.  Kids will love flipping the paper, and encouraged by all the positive reinforcement!flip chart

 

Job Chart Slider, Spoonful – It may look a little complicated at first, but this job chart slider is actually pretty easy to make!  You just need paper, cardboard, wooden skewers, straws and glue!  In no time you’ll craft up something the little kids will absolutely love to use!  List the charts down the first column (you can even divide them into daily and weekly) and on the top write “to do” on one side and “done” on the other.  The kids slide the straws from “to do” to “done” – it’s like a game!make-a-job-chart-craft-photo-420x420-FF0911CREAT_A11

Wheel of Responsibility, How Does She – This chore wheel will take virtually no time and effort to make and will save you from lots of arguments!  All you need is sturdy card stock, a brad and a pen.  Just make concentric circles of colored paper or card stock and divide them up – each tier is for something specific to your own family, with the top or center tier being the names of family members.  You can rotate the wheel whenever you see fit, though weekly makes the most sense.  This is fun for young kids, but great as they get older too since it’s a simple and indisputable visual of who does what.IMG_2008

 

From dry erase to magnetic, flip charts, spinners, sliders, stickers and clips, simple checklists to photos and pictures, this list has it all!  There’s a chore chart here for everyone – whatever your needs!

 

Featured image via And We Play.

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Check out these other great kid friendly ideas:

tipsaholic-5-tips-to-start-dinnertime-conversation-with-kids                     How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning - Tipsaholic.com                 5 Great Potty Training Books via Tipsaholic.com

Starting Dinner Conversations       Raising Kids who Love Learning    5 of the Best Potty Books

Loving Literacy: 6 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Literacy Education (ages 6-9)

6 Tips for supplementing your child's literacy education (ages 6-9) ~ Tipsaholic.com #education #literacy #kids

 

literacy6-9years

Your child can learn to love literacy with a little help from you!  No matter what stage your child is at in their education, using techniques to supplement their schooling while at home is a key component in their educational success.  By building on their language and literacy education, you are equipping your children with the skills they will need not only for their education, but also in social situations, higher educational opportunities, future workplace and community involvement.  Literacy education is essential for personal growth and success, and the building blocks you lay while they’re in elementary school are crucial.  Ages 6-9 are critical when setting solid habits and foundations.  Here are 6 tips for supplementing your child’s literacy education at home.

 

1. Be aware of critical milestones.

Not only can a missed milestone or two be a sign of issues you don’t want to ignore, but they’re also a great guide for you as a parent.  It’s impossible to understand how to approach education with your child when you have no idea of age and developmental norms.  Read up, study, do some research.  You’ll feel more comfortable, and it’ll take any unnecessary pressure off of you and your child.  For instance, by 6-9 your child generally has increased attention and comprehension, is more comfortable with longer texts, becomes more fluent in common words and sounds, mimics reading habits, has greater phonemic awareness, an expanded vocabulary, and has developed visual literacy skills.  They can also usually begin to monitor themselves while reading.

2. Give them time. 

While reading with your child, make sure to allow them to set the pace.  Give them the time they need to work through words on their own.  If they are struggling, offer clues, but do not read for them.  Clues can be key phrases such as: “What’s the first sound?” “Go through each sound in order.” “What happens when you put [insert letters here] together?” “Look at the words around this one.”  Help them put the unfamiliar words in context by guiding them to skip the word and fill it in by looking at other words or pictures.  Don’t hurry them through a book or tell them to move faster.  Comprehension is just as important as making the sounds, and comprehension takes time.

3. Heap on the praise.

At every step along the way, make sure you are congratulating your child for their hard work.  Correctly identifying sounds that letters make together, figuring out an unfamiliar word, successfully reading a phrase, sentence or book are all reasons to praise your child.  You don’t need to go overboard, but a simple, “I knew you could do it!  Great job!”  Or “You worked so hard on that, that was awesome!” is enough to make your 6-9 year old continue on.  It’s a simple and easy thing to do that will build the kind of confidence in your child that they need.

4. Be consistent.

Make literacy practice a daily thing.  Read to your child, have your child read favorite books to you, point out signs while you drive and have your child read them, play rhyming games by picking a word and taking turns coming up with rhymes, sing songs with rhyming words, talk about alliteration/symbolism/metaphors/synonyms/antonyms/opposites/etc while you’re together on a bike ride, during dinner come up with word families together, on a walk have your child point out everything they see that starts with a certain letter, make games out of the parts of speech that you can play while waiting in lines, etc.  All of these things reinforce learning, make it a common and expected activity, turn it into games and fun and require nothing special from you at all except for your own brain.

5. Use variety.

Don’t stick to only one game or toy to reinforce concepts.  Children can grow bored easily.  If you switch up the games, flash cards, activities, songs and discussions and tweak them to pertain to your child’s specific interests, they’ll retain more information and continue to find the fun in literacy.

6. Model good habits.

Especially at this age, children are learning by mimicking.  That means that what you do is often much more important than what you say.  So make sure your child sees you reading.  Make sure they know you enjoy reading to them.  Keep a public, shared bookcase easily accessible to all members of the family.  Make it something they see, expect and understand so you can pass your good habits on by example.

 

Looking for more great ideas to encourage your child’s literacy skills? Try this list of 10 Language and Literacy Books 6-9 Year Olds Will Love!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Language and Literacy Books 6-9 Year Olds Will Love

literacy books 6-9

 

What better way to help your children learn about language and supplement their literacy education than by reading to them?  Kids love bold, colorful picture books which makes them the perfect educational tool.  They’re easily accessible, engaging, and can help create life-long readers.  There are many entertaining and clever books that introduce several beginning building blocks of language, including alphabet identification, parts of speech, rhyming and poetry, storytelling and imagination, idioms and more!  Here is our list of top 10 language and literacy books 6-9 year olds will love.

tipsaholic title divider - 10 literacy books

1. Ox, House, Stick: The History of Our Alphabet by Don Robb

Do you know how our current alphabet was developed?  This picture book traces the origins of the Roman Alphabet from the proto-Sinaitic peoples, through the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans.  It also includes information about punctuation, writing materials, technology of printing and more!  This non-fiction book is engaging, with its clear prose and bold illustrations using collage.

2. Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke

In this endearing tale, a little mouse named Penelope and her Aunt Isabel make up an exciting bedtime story all about Prince Augustine and Lady Penelope.  An adorably attractive story for children, this book will emphasize the importance of imagination and introduce kids to storytelling.

3. My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits by Hanoch Piven

This book is one creative alternative to your average family portrait!  Piven uses everyday objects which represent personality traits to create fun portraits of each member in one girl’s family.  The dog, for instance, is created from socks, a clothespin, garlic bulbs, a can of tuna… and each object tells a fun, metaphorical story.  For instance, dad is “as jumpy as a spring, as playful as a top, as fun as a party favor…”  combine each object and the metaphors and you get one ingenious portrait!  Introduce your kids to metaphors through art and text with this clever, quirky story.

4. Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by  J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian

This amazing picture book about cars is told in poem-form.  These cars aren’t your average automobiles though, they’re crazy, kooky, inventive little machines; like the “Sloppy-Floppy-Nonstop-Jalopy.”  The quirky poetry and fun-filled illustrations will delight young readers while introducing them to rhyming schemes and poetic elements.

5. The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman

This entertaining alphabet book is like no other!  Each letter is part of a grand, adventurous tale all about two kids, their pet gazelle, and a treasure map who sneak out of their house past their father and embark on a fantastical journey.  There are monsters, pirates, and all manner of alphabetical dangers.  Will the children make it out alive?

6. A Zeal of Zebras: An Alphabet of Collective Nouns by Woop Studios

Is it a gaggle of geese or a galaxy?  A galaxy of starfish or a pod?  In this book, readers discover the world of collective nouns while learning the alphabet.  The colorful graphics and fun language is accessible to kids.  But parents will love the clever word play and design-styled, gorgeous pictures.  It can be a centerpiece of your coffee table AND your playroom!

7. A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun?  (and the entire Words Are Categorical series) by Brian P. Cleary

This fun picture book explores elements of English grammar in a very accessible and engaging way.  The playful and clever rhymes throughout the series will help children understand and remember different parts of language.  In What is a Noun? kids are introduced to one of the main building blocks of literacy.  With quirky, colorful pictures and fun text, this book (and the rest of the series) is a fun way to learn.

8.  Many Luscious Lollipops by Ruth Heller

Kids will be drawn into this boldly illustrated book all about adjectives and how to use them.  The brilliant, colorful photos and illustrations grab attention and help give punch to the more technical elements of this book.  The descriptions are a perfect introduction for young kids that will help them understand and explore language.

9. More Parts by Tedd Arnold

This laugh out loud sequel to the book Parts combines catchy, rhyming text with silly, intriguing illustrations to explore the world of idioms.  Introduce an abstract literary element to your kids through this clever, funny book about how to survive broken hearts, jumping out of your skin, and giving someone a helping hand.  Make sure you and your kids don’t come unglued!

10. Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko

This adorable picture book with whimsical illustrations introduces young readers to the world of poetry in a cute, embraceable way.  The very short poems prove that it only takes a few well-selected words to paint a very vivid picture.  While it helps kids understand rhyming, cadence, and other poetry ideas, and it also captures their interest through colorful pictures.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

20 Clever Ways to Recycle Bleach Bottles

20 Clever Ways to Recycle Bleach Bottles - Tipsaholic.com #bleach #crafts #recycle #green


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Have you got an overabundance of empty bleach bottles in your laundry room?  It’s hard to know what to do with them once you’ve scrubbed and cleaned your way through the bleach.  Fortunately, there are plenty of uses for empty bottles, from simple and utilitarian to cutesy and kid-friendly.  Whether you’re looking for merely functional projects or crafts and home decor, here’s a complete list of things you can make.  Reuse your bottles in style with our 20 clever ways to recycle bleach bottles!

 

Portable Paint Tray - Martha Stewart: With a few clever cuts and some stacking together, you can create custom, portable paint canisters that are perfect when you need to climb up the ladder!a100744_gt05_paintcaddy_l

 

Multi-purpose Scoop - Graham56 on Instructables: All you need is a scissors for this recycled idea; simply cut part of the container away, leaving the handle behind, to make a useful scoop for everything from kitty litter to ice melt.FBRU4N7GD2JKH7Q.LARGE

 

Hair Dryer Caddy - Hometalk: If you’ve got limited drawer space in your bathroom, chances are the counter is a tangled mess of cords!  Create a hair dryer caddy from a bleach bottle and hang it in the cabinet.  Instant organization with just a few very basic steps!ybas952fe564051f5e

 

Berry Picking Basket - Blue Viola Farm: A bleach bottle is perfect for creating light weight berry picking baskets!  The photo instructions are clear and easy to follow to create some simple baskets you can use out in the garden.Blog August 19, 2012 marmalade & bottle basket 032

 

Birdfeeder - Indiana Ivy Nature Photography: Here’s a super cute way to re-use an old bottle; cut some strategic holes and start feeding the neighborhood birds!3651b3343f0d56b840fc9822b2c42caf

 

Pig Planter - Cut Out and Keep: Looking for a cute way to display your plants, indoors or out?  Create a pig planter!  A bleach bottle is the perfect shape, all you need to do is some cutting and painting!full_PigPlanters2_1300490500

 

Crocheted Bleach Bottle BagExaminer: This is a clever way to create a sturdy, hard-bottomed tote!  Cut a bleach bottle apart, punch some holes and start crocheting!  The tutorial includes a crochet pattern.b1ed44d74bc176fa6dd2937ca2cbd281

 

Woven Bleach Bottle Basket - Creative Jewish Mom: Bleach bottle baskets aren’t really a new idea, but here’s a fun new way to fancy them up!  Cut slits and slip yarn around for a woven basket look!6a011570601a80970b016300ead6f2970d-800wi

 

Fruit Basket - OhOh Blog: Here’s another idea for a basket!  Create a slipcover for the bottom of your bleach bottle out of felt!  It looks so chic you could use it just about anywhere in your home!Feld basket 1

 

Recycled Caddy - Decoracao e Invencao: This caddy is oh, so clever!  Cut the bottle into a square for the bottom of the caddy, and create long, skinny handles. Decorate with ribbons and beads.  You could use this caddy for tons of different storage needs!
caddy

Click here to see 10 more great uses for recycled bleach bottles –>

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7 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Science Education (Ages 3-6)

 

7 Tips for Supplementing Your Child's Science Education (ages 3-6) | Tipsaholic.com #education #teach #kids #science

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Formal education, while an important part of your child’s learning and growth, isn’t capable of teaching everything kids need to know.  It’s rare that a school setting, whether public or private, can accommodate every learning style which is why it’s so important to supplement education during your child’s formative years.  Science can be a difficult subject matter for some kids, but you can help!  And more importantly, you can your kids can have fun while you learn!  If you’re ready to tackle science education at home with your kids, read on for  important tips for supplementing your child’s Science education for ages 3-6 at home.

 

1.  Use their natural curiosity.  

Even though you may cringe when you hear “why?” for the six hundredth time in one day, that natural curiosity is a great jumping off point when it comes to science education!  Kids, especially small ones who are just starting to discover their world, will have a thousand questions – and we may not always have the answers!  Make it a goal to always answer every question – even if it means waiting until you can look it up later.  Better yet, look for the answer together with your child.  This will teach needed skills as well as answer their curiosity.  Remember to keep explanations as simple and clear for your kid’s sake, but don’t dumb things down either.

 

2.   Don’t just talk.  Do.

In general, very young children will always learn more quickly and develop a more thorough grasp on subjects if they approach them hands-on.  This goes for Science, too.  You may want to off lengthy explanations when your kids ask questions, and that’s great, but it likely won’t pack much punch unless you also offer a visual or tactile example for your kids as well.  Plan on using all of your senses to experience science.

 

3.   Play to your child’s strengths.

Every child has a preferred learning style.  They excel in some areas and are weak in others.  Know how you child best learns new concepts and really focus on that.  Make sure to give them plenty of options for learning, though, since they are still developing and at this young age their brains are continually changing.  If you’d like more information about learning styles and determining your child’s strengths, take a look at this article from Scholastic.

 

4.  Try it all.  

Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to understand a subject or concept.  Don’t brush off hard or abstract ideas because of their age or other factors.  It’s true that Science deals with many abstractions that can be difficult for young children, but be sure to expose them to all different ideas and concepts so they’ll gain experience.  Be sure to encourage growth in many areas, not just the ones you assume your child is interested in.  They may surprise you!

 

5.  Keep it simple.

Don’t overcomplicate science for your young children or they’re bound to be frustrated.  You can introduce or further explore a topic without convoluting the subject and it doesn’t take a detailed plan and formal lesson to do it.  With your 3-6 year old, a science discussion, experiment or hands-on activity should take 15 minutes or less.  If you need ideas, try this book: Bite-Sized Science.  Or take a look at this list of Science activities from PBS Kids online.

 

6.  Daily doses.

Make science an everyday thing.  More structured science time is great, but you can foster a love of science by helping your kids recognize its significance in daily life.  When you go for a walk, point out the differences among the animals you see.  Try to classify animals by different traits.  If your child is afraid of thunder, discuss the root cause and have them make a list of why rain is important.  While you play at the park, help your child recognize seeds and describe the life cycle of a tree.  Help them to see science all around them, from cars and machinery to animals and plants, to common molecules found everywhere.

 

7.  Have fun!

Above all, kids will be much more likely to love learning if you keep things light and fun.  Rote memorization or holding up flashcards aren’t going to cut it at this age.  Don’t overthink it.

 

Don’t let Science scare you or your child!  You can learn and grow along with your kids in a fun and entertaining way with just a little bit of effort.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com