Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Free Winter Maze Printable and 3 ways to use it

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use my link, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, thank you for your support.

Cozy up this winter with a fun winter maze! Be sure to check out for more fun educational activities.  I've had so much fun looking around their website.  My kids love the online games and I'm excited about the lesson plan section.  There are so many useful and educational ideas and downloads on this site for preschool through 5th grade. has kindly offered my readers this fun winter maze that you can download free at the end of this post.  My kids love mazes and I love that it goes perfect with our winter theme and one of our favorite books "The Mitten." 

I like to place my worksheets in to these dry erase pockets (sheet protector or laminate works well too) so we can use them over and over.

I love to make things work for more then one activity so here are a couple another ways we used our maze

add stickers and write letters on each one.  Follow the alphabet to reach the end of the maze.  You can use also use numbers, or any skill you are working on.  

I placed the stickers on top of the dry erase pocket.

We used a little toy figure to hop to each correct letter.  You can also drive a car through the maze.

Use dot markers to find the way through the maze-not reusable but fun!  Want to make it more challenging have your child create a pattern with the dot markers.

You can download a copy of the winter maze here.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Come Follow Me: Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3 (January 28-February 3)

I have some fun lesson helps for this weeks Come Follow Me Lesson.  These work great for families and primary classes.  You can find all the lesson helps in the downloads at the end of this post.  This week I did include a few links to activities I created and shared in the past and those have the links next to their picture in the post.  As I read through these chapters and studies the manuals I decided to cover Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Ghost this week. These lesson helps were created with my family and primary class in mind.  I hope there are a few things that will work for you too!

We are going to watch the video about John in the lesson
"The mission of John the Baptist was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Savior and become more like Him. How did he do it? He proclaimed, 'Repent ye'.(Individual and Family)  This would be a great time to talk about repentance.

Thomas Learns to Repent Activity: Print Thomas and page of scenarios.  Cut the scenarios, title (I can repent), and circles out.  Fold scenarios and place in a bowl.
Ask how do you feel when you do something wrong? Explain that we often feel sad and have kind of a yucky feeling.  This is Thomas and he didn't have a very good day.  Lets find out why.  Take turns drawing and reading the scenario cards.  After each card add a red spot to Thomas (I used tape).  Once you are done talk about how Thomas looks and probably feels.  Do we sometimes make mistakes like Thomas?  Yes and we don't feel very good do we. Lets see if we can help Thomas.  Briefly go over each scenario and ask what should he do now?  Explain that this is part of repenting!  Take this discussion in whatever direction you feel would be best for your family or class.
*another idea-instead of using the spots you can laminate Thomas and have the kids draw spots on him with a dry erase marker.

I thought this lesson from from last year went well with this topic.  There are some stories and fun games that teach repentance.  You can find the details and free printables Here

Update:The Friend has the story of John the Baptist with pictures and coloring page in the junior section. Find it here

Baptism Jeopardy-I tried to make everything easy and color coordinated for a quick set up.  Print and cut.  Glue the questions to the back of the number.  Each question card has 100-500 written in the corner so you know which number to glue it to.  Also there is an answer key for quick reference. You can check out our Articles of Faith Jeopardy post for more details on set up.

Color by Number page Goes with the Song "When I am Baptized"  I love this video with the song playing in background.  It would be great to watch while you color.

Baptismal Covenant Match game-This is a great way to review the covenants we make at baptism.  
You can find the matching game Here.
For this week I'm going to switch it up a little and continue with the rainbow theme.  This match games up with a cute craft for you to display through out the week.  You can play two ways-Use the color board and create one together or print a black and white one and let each person create their own.  Set up the match game like normal (you do not need the I promise/God promises cards).  As you find a match decide who promises.  Find the correct cloud and glue a cotton ball inside the cloud.  Continue until all matches are found.  Once you are done you will have a cute rainbow with fluffy clouds to remind you of the covenants you made or will make at baptism.  If using the black and white option let the children color.

I included some coloring worksheet pages.  For the younger kids they can write or draw a picture of how they can prepare to be baptized one day.  for the older kids they can write the covenants made at baptism. You can use this page with the match game instead of the rainbow activity above.

This would be a good week to reflect on our baptism.  Print and hole punch to add to a book or you can cut around the frame and glue in a notebook if you are creating a journal like we are.  If you need them smaller print 2 to a page.

Holy Ghost
For the Holy Ghost its all about object lessons this week.  All the details are in the download for you.  You can use one, two, or all three idea.  
Blindfold-Discuss how the Holy Ghost helps guide our choices
Story-following the promptings of the Spirit saved President Woodruff and his families life
Going on a trip activity-You've probably seen something similar to this.  The idea is to have different items to represent different things the Holy Ghost does.  I've used this one for Sharing Time and FHE and it was hit.  Have one person volunteer to help make sure you "packed" everything.  Have the other kids pull out one item at a time and hand or place on your volunteer.  They get pretty loaded up and the kids thought it was hilarious.  I included a list of suggested items but use what you have and feel free to add additional items as well.  I'd love to know what ideas you come up with.
That's it for this week.  I hope you found something that will work for your family or primary class :)  I'll try and add a few pictures of our activities in action later this week (rainbow craft and Holy Ghost FHE).  If there are any problems with the download please let me know.

Download lesson helps here and here

Friday, January 18, 2019

Come Follow Me: John 1 (January 21-27)

I have some really fun and as always FREE lesson helps for you today that go along with the next Come Follow Me Lesson (John 1 for January 21-27).  Oh my goodness there is so much in this chapter.  I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do this week so if it looks like a jumbled mess that's because my brain was going a hundred different ways :)  I wanted to to focus on 3 things this week: Jesus created all things, growing our testimonies of the Savior, and sharing the gospel.  Again I pulled ideas from all 3 manuals in case you are wondering how I came up with these topics (individual & family, primary, and Sunday school).  If you have any trouble downloading or have questions about the activities please let me know!  Also I wanted to thank all of you that have taken the time to stop by, those that have left comments, and those that have shared my site.  I've seen so much growth in the past month and I know its because of all of you so thank you thank you :)

Jesus Created all things (John 1:3):
1. For the little ones: Nature Scavenger hunt you can use this page and check off items as you see them.  Another fun thing I've done in the past was to give each of my kids a paper bag and let them gather different items from outside.  We brought them in and made a collage with their collections.

2. Older kids (or younger kids on teams): Play this quick ABC Creation game.  Instructions are on the page.

3. Make play-dough creations.  Have everyone think of one of their favorite creation and make it out of play-dough.  If you aren't a big fan of play-dough you can always draw or paint a picture instead.

I can grow my testimony of the Savior:  I really loved the into to the lesson in the individual and family manual.  I plan to read that as I use the flower visual below.

Before the lesson Print the flower pot, and flower-cardstock works best.  Cut out the flower, leaves and stem.  Use scissors or preferably and exacto knife and cut across the top line of the flower pot.  You are going to slide your flower into the pot-the flower and a little bit of stem will be showing but it should sit as low as it can without the stem being longer then the flowerpot page.
As you read the paragraph and get to the part where is say " " You will begin to pull your flower up revealing each leaf with the coordinating words.  After discuss how your testimony is like a flower and as you do these things (maybe list some other thing you can do as well) your testimony will grow just like this flower.

roll a flower game-this can be just for fun to go with the flower theme or you can have them share something they know about Jesus or a way they can strengthen their testimonies each time they add a piece to their flower.
If you have never played a "roll the ______" game here's a quick how to.   There are 2 options
Option 1: The first is very printer friendly.  Just print the page with the dice.  You can do one for each player or just share the main page and use your own blank paper.  The first player will roll a dice.  If they get a 2 they will draw a flower pot.  Then then their turn is over.  If they already have rolled the number they do nothing and it moves to the next person.  Continue taking turns until someone has finished their flower.
Option 2: Use the pieces in the download to build a flower.  You will need to print off the dice page (for reference but do not need the bottom part of the page.)  You only need one.  Print off the pages with the flower pieces.  There are enough for 4 players.  If you need more print additional copies. I would recommend cardstock.  Cut the pieces apart.  Each player should have 6 petals, a flower pot, stem, leaf, and center circle.  Play like above but use the pieces to build your flower instead of drawing.  Its fun but does require more ink and prep work.

Extra idea: I found some small flower pots and seeds at the dollar store.  You can have them paint a pot and plant their "testimony seed."

Testimony page: I love the testimony of John in this chapter as well as the apostles as they realized that Jesus is the Christ.  After you read through these testimonies take some time to write your own testimony of the Savior.  There is space to write or draw :)

Share the gospel:  I love the phrase "Come and See." I have included the quote from the Sunday School Manual from Elder Anderson. Point out the chain reaction as one person realized that Jesus was the Christ they rushed to tell someone they cared about and in turn that person gained a testimony and told another. 
This video (Good things to share-find it at the end of the lesson) is great especially for kids that are a little older.  It shows how easily we share things we love with other and that the gospel can be the same way. 
Talk about some ways you can share the gospel now-even if you are small :)  Make these cute "I can be a missionary now" badge or necklace.  Cut and have them color.  For the badge take or pin to their shirt.  For a necklace hole punch and add string or yarn.  For a little extra fun string some fruit loops or beads on their necklace.

Additional idea: Read John 1:4-10 with a flashlight.  Talk about how Jesus is a light in our life and the world.  How can we be a light to the world?

I think that's everything for this week :)  Hopefully you find something that will work for your family or primary class. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Frozen Water Bead Science

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use my link, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, thank you for your support.

We've been learning about snow and ice this week.  For this experiment we explored how different temperatures of water melt ice.
You'll need:
Water -hot, cold, warm
turkey baster, eye dropper, or something similar
We also used a toy shovel (optional)

 If you have never tried water beads before you should!  My daughter came home with some a couple weeks ago and they are so fun.  Super weird to touch but you can't help but play with them.  They come super tiny and you let them sit in water and they grow!  Then I like to add them to sensory bins or just let your little one play (scoop, shovel, etc).  I took a couple handfuls of beads (full sized from being in water) and froze them in a bowl. I should tell you once they are frozen they will break and can not be used again.  Good thing they are inexpensive :)
 Once they were completely frozen we used our turkey baster to squeeze different temperatures of water on the beads and observed how fast the ice seemed to melt.  Our goal was to find the best and fasted way to separate the beads.  We made observation and tested different theories.  During experiments like this I like to let her take take the lead.  I ask some questions to expand her thinking but let her work on it and figure things out. The shovel was her idea-she used it to gently tap the bead apart once the ice started melting.  If was a fun experiment and fun to see her little mind work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Hot Cocoa Fun (preschool activities)

What's better in the winter then a cup of hot chocolate?!?!  One of the great things about teaching preschool at home is we are not on a schedule and learning can happen any time!  The little ones wanted hot cocoa and it reminded me of a fun experiment I saw here.  Our quiet night quickly turned into a fun experience and with a couple ingredients you can do this too!

Magic Hot Cocoa Science Experiment

Fist up we made some magic hot cocoa!  While they were at the table I added some baking soda to the mug and then covered it with layer of cocoa mix.  They suspected nothing :)  I then gave them a cup of magic water (vinegar) and we said some magic words.  I let the little ones help with the words and I think it went something like "bibbity bobbity boo make this cocoa boil and brew."  Haha  let me know if you come up with some something :)
 Carefully pour in your magic water water and watch the magic happen
 His face haha! He was not sure about this magic cocoa
 This little girl was delighted and loved every second of it.
 We experimented a little more by using some of our 5 senses: seeing, smelling, touching, and I think at one point she tasted one of the bubbles.  We forgot hearing.  We talked about our observations
 We tried adding more magic water at different was pretty exciting!
 We even stirred it with a straw to see if anything would happen.
I think it was a successful experiment

Marshmallow Name Activity
We used mini marshmallows for some fine motor and name practice.
 Write their name on a piece of construction paper.  Using a glue bottle go over a letter or 2.  Have your little one follow the line of glue with marshmallows.

 Let them dry over night.

Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Counting Mat 
Finally we pulled out or hot chocolate and marshmallow counting mat.  I love making a counting mat for each theme.  This is my favorite style of mat of counting mat because it is low prep, easily adjust to their skill level by adding or take away numbers and you are only printing one page in color instead of individual cards for each number.
 To create print the pages in the download below.  Laminate. Cut number cards apart.  If you have used any of our other number mats you already have the numbers and don't worry about printing them again.
Place your number cards in the box-order doesn't matter.  Use tongs, fine motor tools (like this one), or fingers to add the correct number of marshmallows to the board.  Then clear the board and remove the card.  Continue through the stack of cards.  You can also do some simple addition or subtraction using two cards.  Place two numbers on top.  Add or take away the correct number of marshmallows.  count how many marshmallows are in the cup.

I love how a  few simple, low prep activities are packed with learning.  The best part is they are having so much fun they don't even realize its happening.

Snow & Letter Sensory Bin

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use my link, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As always, thank you for your support.

I'm not sure why I've never done a sensory bin before but after reading about some of the benefits I decided to give it a try.  Here's our snow bin!

What's in the box:
cotton balls
stuffing (sewing)
foam letters (dollar store puzzle)
ping pong ball

Let me tell you it was a big hit!  It was played with for an hour and they came back multiple times during the day to play some more. 
 I added some foam letters for them to find and then we used a tracking sheet to identify the ones we found.  (I used this printable from Letters of Literacy) and placed them in these dry erase pockets.

 Great letter recognition, writing practice, and I was right there to work on letter sounds as well. The whole box is great for fine motor skills as well-the yellow one was a favorite for this activity.

 You may have noticed ping pong ball mentioned in the list.  I had a plan to add several and write the letters on them instead of the foam puzzle pieces.  However when I went to grab them I only had one left.  So I tossed it in as a mystery snowball for them to find.

 I think my favorite moment was when this little guy pulled out a bell and announced he found a "jingle."

Watch for more sensory bin ideas!