Do you have an idea that you would like to share with the readers? If you have a craft, project, or something preschool related that you would like to share, please email me at I love sharing fresh new ideas. Click here for full details.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Great Run

(photo courtesy of Microsoft Clipart)

Hello to everyone.  I think the time has come to let Preschool Playbook take a bow.  I have been writing since 2008.  I have shared with everyone ideas, crafts, tips, values, etc., that I thought were so much fun, or of such importance.

Through the years I have taken readers through our years at school.  You have played with us, you have created with us, you have learned with us.  But, I have shared everything I have.  You now know everything I know--not too much huh? :)

I am leaving Preschool Playbook out there in cyberspace because I truly believe that it contains so much  helpful information for parents and teachers alike.  I hope there are still many that can find usefulness in the material here.  I love everything on this site.  I myself visit to remind me of certain activities, or even to find something for a special day.  You may hear from me occasionally, if a great new idea comes along, but for the most part I have already shared it all.

I humbly thank each and every reader I have ever had.  So many of you have brightened my days with your fun comments and even helpful suggestions.  I wish you all joy, luck, and great happiness.  May God Bless you always.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Who Are We?

Our past week the children at our school spent time getting to know themselves and their friends.  We had a wonderful week full of exciting activities.

The Pre-K class spent the first couple of weeks reviewing colors and shapes, next week we start our Alphabet Books.

 Some of the activities we did included a friendship wreath and a class mural for the three-year-olds.  We paint a mural every year and I am always trying to figure out the best way to set it up so that the three's can reach everywhere to paint the paper.  This year I think I finally came up with a decent idea.  I turned a table on its' side, then taped the paper to it so it was like an easel.  This way the children could reach the middle of the paper as well as the edges.

The Pre-K was also very busy.  We read the story "The Crayon Box That Talked," and created crayons to decorate the room.  Then we read "Elmer," and water colored a picture of Elmer to celebrate our differences.  We drew a bust of ourselves, colored them, and added hand prints to decorate our classroom for the year.  Finally, we talked about friendship and what words describe friends.  We wrote those words on index cards and decorated people shapes to represent ourselves.  It was a busy week, but very enjoyable.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The New Year is Here--School Year That is!

(photo courtesy of Microsoft Clipart)

Hi everyone.  I just wanted to wish everyone out there a wonderful, happy, exciting, magical, and thrilling new year.

This week we are meeting all of our families and the children we will be with this year.  Everyone is just so excited.  Yes there is still a few that aren't quite sure, but I know by the end of the next couple weeks, they will never want to leave.

All of our teachers have been working hard, as I am sure you have, to get the room spic and span and full of life.  We have plans together, patterns cut out, crayons, scissors, and glue at the ready, just geared up to go!

Have fun and I wish you much success and joy.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

MPM Shopping with 10% Off

We have heard from our winners, lucky Janice and Sharon.  I sent their information over to MPM School Supplies and they can soon have some fun shopping.

I don't want to leave everyone out in the cold though, because who doesn't like shopping?  If you would like to purchase some school supplies here is a code from MPM that will give you 10% off:

This code is only good for one week, so it will expire on Sunday, August 25.

Thanks again to all who participated and Happy Shopping.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

And The Winners Are.....

I know we didn't get a lot of entries, but we were still able to pick two winners for the $25 gift cards from MPM School Supplies.

The winners are:

Sharon   and     Janice.

Congratulations to them.  Sharon and Janice if you could please send your email address to that would be great.  I have to send your emails to MPM and then they will send a digital gift card.

After I get the emails, I will also post a 10% discount code to MPM for the winners and anyone else that wishes to use it.  The code is good for one week.

Congratulations again to Janice and Sharon, can't wait to hear from you.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School Supply Giveaway

As we all know, that time of year is just around the corner.  Everyone is sprucing up and purchasing items to help them through the new school year.

This we we are doing two $25.00 digital gift card giveaways to MPM School Supplies.  If you are a regular reader, you may remember that I had dealt with MPM School Supplies last year with very positive results.  This is a wonderful site with supplies galore.  It was very easy to order online, and I received the items very promptly in wonderful condition.

MPM School Supplies offers a newsletter which you can sign up to get.  The sign up for the newsletter is at the bottom of their homepage.  You can also follow them on facebook: or with their Twitter feed:

To be entered into the raffle for the $25.00 gift card, just leave a comment.  On Friday, August 16, we will have a drawing for 2 winners.  I will announce the winners in a post, along with a link for a 10% discount good for one week.

Good luck!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Names Everywhere

If you read my last post, you know that I was sending parent information out for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.  While I was doing that I started to feel like I needed to get going.  Well, that feeling wouldn't go away.  Yesterday I spent the day getting names ready.

I have 36 students next year.  We make name markers for backpacks, reading circle, leaders, opening, and finally the Pre-K also has names to use when learning to write theirs.  I spent yesterday afternoon making all of these.

The names in glitter glue are the names I give to the Pre-K class to help them with writing their name.  We begin the year working only on first names.  I make the names with the glitter glue for tactile purposes.  We spend the first couple of weeks tracing the  names with our fingers, then tracing them on our papers.  We then graduate to tracing it with our fingers and writing it on the papers without tracing.  Finally I just have the names on the tables for them to find their "spots" and to guide them with the letters.  After we are comfortable with the first names we go on to the last names and follow the same procedure.  By the end of the year they write their first and last names.

Oh, I also got the number lines ready for the Pre-K class.  I guess I'm ahead of the game a bit.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thoughts of School?

(photo courtesy of Microsoft Clipart)

Here we are just really getting immersed in the dog days of summer, and we're thinking of school? This past week, yes.  I have spent this week completing two tasks.   First getting the order for the 2013/2014 school year organized, ordered, and taken to the school.  This is always quite an undertaking, but for the most part it is finished.

Also, on Monday, the 15th, our parent letters are due to go out.  So I also worked typing up the letter, addresses, and putting together all the paperwork, stuffing the envelopes, and getting them all ready to mail on Monday.  Lots of school stuff.  The problem with doing all these things?  Now I think I have to be in school mode all the time.  My head starts thinking of planning, getting names prepared, and the room ready.  I have to pull back on those reins and just relax.  We still have a little over a month.

I hope that your summer is going well and you are having fun with your little ones.

Here are some articles that people have sent me that you may enjoy:

24 Blogs Letting You in on the Secrets of How to Keep Your Kids Smart this Summer”

27 Blogs Featuring Easy 4th of July Crafts You Can Do with Your Kids

18 Blogs Exploring Methods for Teaching State Capitals to Kids

“24 Blogs Sharing First Day of School Traditions

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Free Fun! — Keep the Kids Busy This Summer

Looking for some more ideas for summer activities?  Here are a few from a guest writer.

The last bell finally rings and students rush out the school door toward summer. Excited for the warm weather and the illusion of freedom, they grab their bicycles and head for the sprinklers, but sadly, after a week or two, they're riddled with boredom. Solving summertime boredom doesn't have to be difficult or expensive when you try some of these simple, inexpensive ways to make sure kids have a well-rounded summer that primes them for a successful school year. Read on for some simple ways to help kids beat the summer blues.

Keeping Minds Active

A big complaint schools have with summer break is that too many kids return to their desks in the fall having forgotten much of what they learned the year before. Keeping your child's brain active during the summer months helps to ensure they can return to school ready to learn, and it doesn't require kids to sit and study in July or flip through flashcards at the swimming pool.

Parents can stimulate children by doing a few small and simple exercises with them, citing an article from Fox News Denver. Activities that combine back-and-forth motions and balancing can promote spatial awareness in children and give both the right and the left sides of their brains a workout.

Watching documentaries is another great way to keep your child learning during the summer, and there are plenty to choose from through programming provided by Cable-TV. Cozy up on the couch after a hot day to watch a nature documentary or even an episode of “MythBusters” is a fun way to learn.

Family Sports Night

One way to get children active is to show you have fun exercising, as well, by playing with them. Citing a 2012 study by JAMA Pediatrics, academic performance is positively related to physical activity in children.

Although your child may not want to admit it, they probably love to play games with you, as well. Organizing a sports night is a great way to pass the summer evenings while getting together with family and friends. Most city parks have soccer fields or baseball fields that are perfect for a casual game of soccer or kickball. To ensure the fields will be free, contact the parks and recreation department in your city first.

Take Advantage of Summer Freebies

Businesses tend to offer free products and services for children during the summer. Bowling alleys usually offer free games if you rent shoes while movie theaters might show older movies for just a buck or two. Contact your local zoos and museums to see if they're hosting any free days during the summer months, suggests AARP. If your kids like to be outside, you may want to take them fishing. For the cost of a simple rod and reel, your child can enjoy a summer's worth of fishing, and in most areas, children don't even need to have a fishing license.

Although some boredom can be an invitation to creativity, too much boredom can make kids unbearably whiny. How do you keep your kids entertained on a budget during the summer months?

Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Image by Josh Engroff pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Healthy Snacks for Preschoolers

Here is an article by a guest writer who has some ideas for healthy snacks for preschoolers. Maybe you can find some your little one will like. Maybe you can even have some fun in the kitchen making them together!
(photo courtesy of Microsoft Clipart)
Healthy Snacks for Preschoolers
When it comes to feeding preschool kids, healthy is always on the top of your list of priorities. Preschool age children typically have strong reactions to additives like sugar and fat and can get quite worked up. Avoiding sugary snacks like candy and full of fat foods like chips can mean calmer and better behaved children. With that in mind here are some healthy snacks that preschool age children enjoy:
  1. Ants on a Log – This classic children’s snack has been a childhood favorite for as long as I can remember. It is very simple. Just take a stalk of celery and cut it into child sized segments. Fill the center with creamy peanut butter and add a few sweet raisins to the top as ‘ants’. There you have it, a tasty and protein filled snack that kids will gobble up. If your child is allergic to peanut butter, you can always fill the celery with cream cheese.

  2. Frozen Grapes – In the heat of summer there is nothing better than eating something cool. When I was young I remember my father sticking a bunch of grapes in the freezer and I could not figure out why. A few hours later he took them out and I bit into a frozen grape for the first time. From then on I was hooked. Now it has become a summer staple in my house and a great way to encourage kids to eat more fruit.

  3. Trail Mix – When I am on the go and do not have time to stop for a snack I find that a bag of trail mix will hit the spot. You can purchase trail mix with healthy ingredients like unsalted nuts and dried fruit at the grocery store or you can mix up your own. My preschoolers love pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, and pecans. You can add a few chocolate chips in there for sweetness if you would like but I prefer to avoid that. Dried coconut flakes and banana chips are also a fun addition for kids to crunch on.

  4. Dried Fruit – I know it may seem a bit strange to some people but my kids loved dried fruit. There is just something so appealing to the tiny bits of fruit. For the older kids I buy large fruit slices. Dried pears and peaches are my all-time favorites, though the peaches can be a bit stinky. Even little kids can nibble on soft apple rings and dried bananas.

  5. Dry Cereal – Another go to snack on the go is dry cereal. Many children’ cereals are loaded in sugar, so try to pick more natural varieties like Cheerios and Kix. You can even blend different cereals together for a variety of shapes and textures. You can also make a simple Chex Mix type of snack by adding cinnamon or other spices that kids enjoy.

  6. Goldfish Crackers – What else needs to be said? These tasty fish shaped cheese crackers are baked and much better for you than fried potato chips. However you can also make your own cheese crackers with a few simple and natural ingredients that are just as tasty and even better for your kids. Look up a recipe online and you are sure to find one that will work for you.

  7. Graham Crackers – Sweet and tasty, graham crackers are a favorite snack just by themselves. I usually buy the low-fat version that does not taste any different. They come in a variety of flavors from cinnamon to honey and even chocolate. My kids also like the Teddy Grahams, but they are usually too expensive for me to purchase.

  8. Animal Crackers – Although I personally do not like the bland flavor of animal crackers there are many who do, including my kids. They love to bite the heads off of the animals and play zoo with their food as well. Paired with apple juice, you can make kids happy all snack time with just a few crackers.

  9. Lunchables – Crackers, cheese and meat, what more could you want? I usually make up my own version of this quick and tasty snack. With low-fat whole grain crackers, low fat cheese slices, and lean turkey lunch meat it only takes me a few minutes to cut the meat and cheese up into nice little squares and give everyone a ‘sandwich building kit’ of their own. Kids love to put these together or eat them separately, as one of my kids is wont to do.

  10. Frozen Banana Pops – Another summer treat is the frozen banana pop. All you have to do to make it is slice a banana in half and poke in a stick. Put it in the freezer until it is hard and then serve. To jazz it up a bit you can also dip it in melted chocolate chips. Yum!

  11. Apple Sandwiches – An apple sandwich is a fun treat for kids because you are replacing bread with apple slices. First core the apple. Then slice it with the hollow core in the center of each slice. Then take one slice and spread on a thick layer of peanut butter and sprinkle on some raisins if you desire. Top with another slice of apple and your sandwich is done. You can also use a thick slice of cheese between the apple slices.

  12. Baby Veggies – Getting preschool children to eat their vegetables is sometimes hard. However I have found out that it is much easier to get them excited about their veggies if you buy baby veggies. Baby carrots, tiny bunches of broccoli, and cherry tomatoes all make them smile and want to eat. For picky eaters I also offer small amounts of low fat ranch dressing to dip it in.

  13. Pretzels – Although I am not a fan of pretzels many people really like them. Large pretzels are often soft and great for smaller kids. They can be flavored with a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of grated cheese or a dash of sugar and cinnamon. They can also be dipped in mustard or peanut butter for a fun addition. Crunchy, small pretzels are a hit with kids when they are paired with cheese or peanut butter. My kids love to eat a slice of banana with peanut butter and a pretzel on top. It doesn’t sound good to me, but if it makes them happy who am I to argue?

  14. Oatmeal Cookies – Last but not least is another long lived childhood favorite. Whoever came up with the idea of making oatmeal into a dessert was a genius. Kids who won’t normally touch the stuff gobble up the cookies. I substitute low fat and low sugar ingredients in my homemade oatmeal cookies. Adding things like applesauce helps to cut down on the sugar without messing up the taste of the treat. I also like to add raisins or dried cranberries and nuts to my oatmeal cookies for added nutritional value.
There are tons of easy to make healthy snacks that preschoolers will love. These are just a few of my kids’ favorites. Try out some new ideas and stick with the tried and true for your next snack time conundrum. You are sure to make the kids happy whatever you do.
Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to @

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer is Here!

We are finished our school year--yes already!  These years just fly by, it's amazing.  We had a wonderful year with our new teachers, and our seasoned teachers.  It was really enjoyable.

I know I didn't post much this past year, that is mostly because you already know everything about me and what I do.  If I come across something new that I love I am always happy to let you know about it.

Anyway I am planning to chill out for the summer, not even doing camps this year.  I hope you have a wonderful summer with your families and friends.  Enjoy your days.  If you get stuck there are always some fun ideas in the summer section of the blog.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vacation Time is on it's Way!

Photo Credit: kennymatic via Compfight cc

Summer vacation will soon be upon us.  I hope you can find some helpful tips from a Mom who has done her share of traveling.

Going the Distance with Kids: Family Vacation Tips from a Traveling Mom

It's the little things that pile up on a vacation. You start out with all the excitement while planning but somewhere in between the 10th bathroom break and flying ketchup packets, you realize that something went wrong with your family vacation. Never fear! All family vacations go a little haywire at some point, but getting away is so worth the trouble. You also don't have to be an expert planner or experienced vacationer to have something go wrong. However, you can lessen the effects of chaos and gain a better handle on your kids without going to your angry place. It's all in how you how you travel, pack your stuff and set up your travel kit.

1. Know Before You Go
Purchasing a vacation package seems simple enough. You shop online, find a great deal and bam, you're done. However, did you look at the fine print? What kind of hotel deal are you really getting? Sometimes it’s better to forgo the vacation package. In many cases, you won't really know the hotel that you're paying for until much later, and it may cost you more in the long run. Pick a hotel that's specifically geared towards families. The best hotels offer activities and entertainment areas like kiddie pools, water slides and arcades. You also want to find a hotel that has free breakfast, so you can fuel up before heading out on your getaway adventures.  When my family of five decided to visit Hawaii, we knew we were interested in a family friendly resort.  After a little research and some advice from other parents, we were able to find the best family friendly hotel in Honolulu for our bunch.

2. Pack It Up
Kids need stuff to keep them occupied, particularly on long drives. If you have movie players set up in your car, then you already have won half the battle. However, you can pack up games and snacks for the car that will make the drive less tedious. For snacks, think about dry goods such as pretzels and trail mix. You also want to keep a few sweets around like gummy bears or cookies as a reward for good traveling behavior.

When packing up your car or preparing for a flight, bring something small yet comfortable to help kids take naps. The ultimate paradise is a car ride with sleeping children. If you pack up blankets, pillows and stuffed animals to help make the ride more comfortable, you'll be a happier traveler indeed.  If you’re traveling during the day, think about a sunshade to encourage naptime.

3. Safety First
With all the excitement surrounding vacations, it’s easy to overlook the more mundane aspects of your trip.  But safety really is key, especially when traveling with your most precious cargo.  Create your own first-aid kit with all the traditional essentials in addition to items geared to your family’s needs.  Vacations often call for a great deal of walking, so make sure to bring blister Band-Aids in addition to the traditional kind.  You will want plenty of ibuprofen, Benadryl and Tylenol in addition to any other medications your child may need, such as an EpiPen.  Make extra copies of your insurance cards in case you take your original one swimming. 
Finally, summer vacations invite many opportunities to cool down at the pool or surf the waves at the beach.  It’s a great idea to register your children for swimming lessons prior to your trip, to make sure you’re all well versed in water safety. 

I hope you have a safe, happy and memorable adventure this summer.

Photo Credit: peasap via Compfight cc

Bio: Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Space Week

Hi everyone. I hope you all have been doing well and enjoying your time with your children.  Our school days are flying by and we are almost done.

I was excited this past week we had some new experiences I wanted to share with you.  Last week, we had a fun space week.  Mrs. D put it together and the kids had a great time.  We talked about the planets, the sun, the moon, astronauts, and even aliens.  The kids loves the aliens the best.

Our first craft was a moon picture with some fun aliens.  The children got a black piece of paper,  they painted a moon on the paper with puffy paint.  We made the puffy paint with 1/4 cup glue, 3/4 cup shaving cream, and some white paint.

After the moons dried we added some cute aliens, drawn by Mrs. D and colored by the children.  The pictures were great.

This day also involved the children making rockets.  Mrs. D drew a rocket that they colored and cut out.  Then she had taken two Solo cups one was the rocket, and one was the launch pad.  The rocket cup had two rubber bands attached--Mrs. D did this.  The children attached the rocket to the cup, then the rocket cup was pushed down on the launch pad and they "shot" it into the air.

The second day was alien/astronaut day.  The children came to school dressed as either an alien or astronaut and we had fun with this all day.  Mrs. D had bought everyone a glow stick.  Then we pushed some tables together, threw the parachute over it--to darken the area--then we blasted off to space, they thought it was great.

We painted a styrofoam ball that day to which was the beginning of an alien we would finish on Friday.

Our experiment that day was to string a string across the room with a straw on it.  Then we blew up a balloon, attached it to the string and blasted it off across the room.

For Friday, we finished out alien with lots of goodies--eyes, pipe cleaners, feathers, etc.  They turned out so cute.

The best part of the day though was the experiments.  The kids LOVED them.  First we took a bottle of diet soda and added four pack of Alka Seltzer to watch the blast off of soda.  The best one though was shooting off our rocket.  Mrs. D's husband had made rocket out of a soda bottle, and some balsa wood.  He then made a a fuselage for us to add "rocket fuel."  We put vinegar in the soda bottle, we filled a little more than about 1/4 of the bottle.  Then we filled the fuselage 1/2 way with baking soda.  We carefully put the fuselage into the rocket and waited for the two substances to mix.  My first try, I wasn't quick enough and the rocket shot sideways while I was talking to the kids.  When we tried it a second time I was quicker and we shot it in the air.  I wish we had someone recording it, it was great!

Take care and I was so happy I had some new fun to share with you.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Easter. Take care

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring is Almost Here!

Hi everyone.  I just wanted to check in to let you know I am still here plugging away.  My days are filled with preschool fun and play.  I haven't posted as we haven't really done anything that I haven't already told you about.

The children are all doing fine.  Number books have gone home for the Pre-K, they are writing their first and last names, and we have a few more letters for the alphabet book.

The 3yr. old class has finished they color and shape books and we are practicing becoming pros with the scissors.

We have celebrated Valentine's Day, President's Day, did some winter activities and enjoyed a day at the bowling alley.  Of course there is so much more.  We are all doing fine and growing by leaps and bounds!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Senses

The Pre-K class finished up with the five senses last week.  I did pretty much the same things that we did last year for all of the senses:  binoculars for sight, tambourines for soundfinger painting with and without salt for touch, our smelling station, and our taste day.

I just wanted to share the smelling station and taste day with you as they enjoyed them so much.

For smell I set up different smells on our "rainbow" table.  The children took turns smelling the items and deciding which smell was their favorite.  The smells I included were:  Dr. Pepper soap, deodorant soap, perfume, chocolate, a candle, bay leaves, rosemary, coffee, syrup, cinnamon, garlic, and vanilla.  To my surprise they all hated the deodorant soap!

For taste day I have parents send in a "special family recipe" to share with the class and we have a tasting party.  We got some great stuff this year:  pizza, quesadillas, zucchini bread, banana bread, chocolate chip bread, chocolate chip cookies, humus with carrots, green pasta, cantaloupe, potatoes, and a fruit and veggie dish.  They were really good about trying the different things and boy were we stuffed!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Fun With Shadows

Hi everyone.  I know it's past Groundhog's Day, but we still love enjoying all the fun things one can do for this day.

I know I have posted these before, so I just wanted to put a link to the past fun things we did on this day.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Beautiful Snowflakes....?

I wanted to do a new project with my three's, so I thought I would do a snowflake print.  I had actually seen this in The Mailbox magazine and they made it look so easy.

The idea was to cut out some snowflakes from tag board  tape them to a piece of construction paper, then paint over them with white paper.  Then remove the snowflake patterns.  My first three paintings went okay, then problems ensued.  The snowflakes got way too damp and then the tape would no longer stick to the snowflake, or the paper.  I tried different kinds of tape and even tacky--no luck.

So I decided I would cut the snowflake pattern out of foam and stick that to the paper.  Here the problem was the foam was too thick and the paint made the snowflake would flip, or the paint just seeped in too thickly.

Finally--when I only had about 5 paintings left to do, I came up with a brainstorm.  I continued to use my foam shapes, but what I did was to paint the foam shapes.  Then I had the children press them on their paper.  I think they came out much better.

The Pre-K class also did snowflakes.  Last year was my first experience with giving the children a folded piece of paper and letting them cut it.  It didn't go too well for me, so I was a bit apprehensive   about the project this year.  Thankfully Mrs. D was there this year.  She had the children use a small circle instead of a large square like I used last year.  This went much better.

After the  children cut out their pieces, they glued the snowflake to a piece of blue paper and put some "snow" glitter on them.  They look beautiful hanging on the wall.

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