Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Printable Flash Cards for Preschoolers

Over the past few months Andrew and I have been working really hard on his reading. We have been using lessons from this book, along with other activities and seeing some great progress! The book suggests to work through one lesson everyday. This pace is starting to be a bit fast for Andrew, so we often do other activities to reinforce what he's learned before moving onto the next lesson.

Flash Cards have been very helpful when working on sight words and letter sounds. I like to make my own flash cards using PicMonkey, so that I can add graphics or phonetic notation.

This week I decided to spice things up a bit for Andrew, and threw in some of his favourite Super Heroes and Villains. I made two sets of these cards, one with a small image and one without. These words are a bit difficult for Andrew, but once he practises enough with the image I will bring out the others and he should be fine. After all, he sees these words in many places!

We use our flash cards in a variety of ways. Andrew's favourite is to read the word and then smack it with an object from my utensil drawer (odd, but whatever motivates him!). We also like to turn them all upside down and take turns flipping them over and reading the word. 

I thought that some of you might be interested in printing these off for your little one, so below are the first five lists of common sight words, a blank template, and our first set of Super Heroess. Just right click on the image and save it to your computer, and then print the JPEG!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A party planning journal...

Today, I wanted to share a simple party planning idea that I use whenever I am getting organized for a party. I have been using a Party Planning Journal for years, for parties big and small!

party planning journal

The idea is simple (and probably used by many), grab a notebook and give it the job of housing all of your lists when getting organized for entertaining. For dinner parties I usually just jot down the menu, but for birthday parties I include the guest list, games and decoration ideas.

party planning journal

What I find most useful about having this information all in one place is that I can look back to see what  I served at previous parties. That way I can make sure I'm not always serving the same food to our guests! It's also helpful when brainstorming a menu to see whats worked well in the past.

party planning journal

I recently filled my original party planning journal and had to start a new one. I chose this pretty Martha Stewart journal and added a festive touch with some silhouette vinyl cut outs. It's a great size to take along to the grocery store and looks super cute sitting out on my desk!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Superhero Birthday Party!!

This past month we celebrated Andrew's 4th birthday. If you know my little man, you know that there was absolutely no question of what the theme would be! I was so excited to get started on this party, there are so many amazing ideas out there and it was really hard to restrain myself from attempting them all!

superhero party

I wanted to keep the decorations as "DIY" as possible, there are many items that can be purchased, but the cost can really add up. I have a large supply of card stock on hand and lots of ribbon. I only had to purchase the balloons and two comic books! I think I spent less than $20!

superhero party
Our new place has a great big mantle which is fabulous for decorating for events. I used Andrew's giant batman, some balloons and the cake and cupcakes to decorate this space. I always try to put the birthday cake front and centre... after all they take a lot of effort! I used rolled fondant for the buildings and Superman logo getting my inspiration here and the cupcake toppers were found online (here). 

superhero party

superhero party

I used a couple of comic books to make some colourful banners by cutting each page into triangle and stringing them on ribbon. When selecting the comics I looked for bright pictures with appropriate content (some can be pretty gruesome!). I strung these banners around the mantle, across some mirrors and along the counter. They added a lot of colour to the party!

super hero party

We snapped some priceless photos of Andrew modeling his new superhero underwear, on Christmas morning. I couldn't resist printing a bunch and adding them to the decor. His friends thought they were pretty awesome (probably not an option for future parties!!). I also used one to make this little sign that his friends could sign and had it ready with some markers for their arrival. 

superhero party

We gathered all of our Superhero toys and books and had them ready for the little ones to play as they entered. I always find this to be a chaotic time and having an activity that kids can join whenever they arrive is very helpful. 
superhero party
We also had a Superhero Snack bar ready for munching and a little cape for every little Superhero (this little sweetie was the only girl at the party but that didn't slow her down)! I used fabric from a previous project for the capes and this pattern. The fabric was actually taken from inexpensive flat sheets that I bought at target for $5.00. 

We kept the kids busy with lots of fun Superhero games! We decorated Superhero masks, used "Silly String" to get some Super villains (pictures on the back of a door), practised jumping over skyscrapers and raced to change into superhero costumes.

superhero party

After lunch everyone sang to Andrew and many little buddies helped him to blow out his candles. This is always my favourite part of the celebration. His big smile makes all of the party prep more than worth the effort!

superhero party

superhero party

It was so nice to see all of Andrew's new friends come together to celebrate his birthday. It's hard to believe that just a few short months ago we knew nobody in this city! I think he will be wanting to take a few back to Canada with him!

**please grab a printable for your little superhero's big celebration!**