Show-and-Share Saturday Link Up!

There were lots of great ideas shared last week.  Here are just a few:

Color Sorting Velcro Tower

School Time Snippets shares this Color Sorting Velcro Tower.  What a fun idea!




Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with these Magic Leprechaun Rocks from Gift of Curiosity.



1 Easy to make Cardboard Roll Ipod speakers

Pink Stripey Socks shows you how to create a speaker for your iPod/iPhone using a cardboard roll and plastic cups.  This would be a fun “craft” for little kids and a great opportunity to talk about the science of sound with big kids!

Have an idea or activity to share??? Link up below! Next week I’ll be sharing my favorites from the ones you submit!


Feel free to add the button to the post you’re submitting if you would like!  Just save the image below and add a link to the homepage (


*By linking up, you are granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your blog.

Can’t see the link-up?  Go here.

Kid-Made Kite: Craft for a Windy Day

Kid-Made Kite

Guest Post by Danya of Danya Banya

One particularly blustery day, my three year old daughter JJ was inspired to make a kite. I love it when she initiates craft! So I gathered up a few materials, and helped her make one.

We used:

  • a paper bag with string handles
  • long strips of crepe paper (or you could use streamers)
  • masking tape
  • a coloured marker
  • scissors
  • kitchen twine (optional)
To begin, JJ drew on both sides of the paper bag with a marker. She chose teal on this occasion, which I think looks quite lovely! A rainbow of colours would also look fabulous. Either way, drawing like this is great pre-writing practice. As you can see, JJ is still learning how to hold her marker, however at this age the important thing is that she enjoys drawing, and therefore wants to practice, just like she is here.
Drawing on a paper bag

While she was working on her decorations, I set out pre-cut strips of crepe paper and pre-torn strips of masking tape along the side of the table for easy access. Then when she was ready, she attached the crepe strips along the bottom of the bag.

It would have been easier and neater for me to do this step for her, but that would have robbed her of the opportunity to do it herself. JJ spent a long time considering where each new crepe strip would go, and it was quite fiddly work for her to attach each one. Working with sticky masking tape like this is great for developing her fine motor skills; exercising all those small muscles and tendons in her hand and fingers that she will need later on.


Attaching the kite tail




And because JJ insisted that a kite needed to have a string, I tied a section of kitchen twine though the handles of the bag. (For toddlers, you might want to skip this step as it is easier to fly the kite by holding onto the handles directly.)

And of course then we had to give it a whirl! The idea is that the child holds onto the twine (or handles) and sways the kite from side to side, feeling the wind tug on the kite and watching all the crepe strips flap around in the breeze.

It’s a great way to enjoy the change in weather. And they get to enjoy that sense of accomplishment of having made something themselves.

Later that afternoon we chatted about the various shapes of kites and JJ asked if we could make a diamond shaped one. Yay for the second child-initiated craft of the day! JJ decorated some cardboard with markers, which I then cut into a diamond shape, and drew on horizontal and vertical lines. I then attached a tail of kitchen twine, twisting on some crepe paper to add embellishments to the tail. This kite doesn’t fly, but it was still lots of fun to make on a windy afternoon.

Make a Kite

What do you like to do when it’s windy?

Danya Banya Head Shot (150)Danya is a fun mum to daughters JJ and Bee. Together they play, create, laugh and love. You can read about their antics on Danya Banya, and you can connect with Danya on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Can Watching Television Improve Your Child’s Reading Ability?

Guest Post by Kristen of Busy Kids = Happy Mom

Hello I Can Teach My Child friends! It’s so good to be back! I’m an elementary Reading Specialist and blogger over at Busy Kids = Happy Mom.

So, the big question today is “Can watching television really improve my child’s reading ability?” Before I even answer it, let me start by saying the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child have no more than 2 hours of technology time per day. This includes all technology: educational games on your iPad, videos on your phone, Baby Einstein on a DVD or your DVR, Phineas and Ferb on your TV…. you get the picture.

Can TV Watching Improve Reading

The truth is, we all let our children watch television. As hands on as I’d like to be, sometimes we all need some down time. What if there was a way to make television time more educational?

The Answer: Closed Captioning! (see above)


“While watching captioned television, readers simultaneously absorbed both the spoken word and the printed text that flows across the screen.”

Readers are supported by listening to the same text they are reading.

Research from Koskinen, et al., 1993; Postlehwait & Ross, 1992 in The Fluent Reader by Timothy Rasinksi

Personal Story:

My friend Angie (mom and teacher) was the first to tell me about the benefits of Closed Captioning. Here are her thoughts:

“CC was used for my family when I was growing up because my sister is deaf. I never thought of it as a reading aid because it was a necessity for my family. Through the years and as I began to have my own kids I realized out of habit I always had it on. As my children have become readers we have all seen the benefit of having the CC on while we are watching a movie or TV show. The way Adeline refers to it is “CC is like having someone reading to you while you watch TV – I love it!” The funny thing is my husband wishes he had started watching TV with closed captioning earlier. It’s a way to keep you brain going while vegging out to TV.”

Bottom Line:

If you’re going to watch TV, why not turn on the closed captioning? It’s a WIN – WIN!

Have you also thought about, AUDIO books? Reading and listening at the same time. Another great way to get kids reading! This link contains great age appropriate resources. Another great way to improve reading!


Kristen is a Reading Specialist who currently works with children in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade.  She is the blogger behind Busy Kids = Happy Mom, a site dedicated to fun, practical, and purposeful activities to do with your kids.  Follow Kristen on FacebookPinterest, and Busy Kids = Happy Mom.


Show-and-Share Saturday Link Up

Happy first day of March!  Here are some of our favorite rainbow activities:

Rainbows for Little Hands

  There were lots of great ideas shared last week.  Here are just a few:

caterpillar necklace


Spring is just around the corner…which makes it the perfect time to learn about caterpillars and butterflies.  Buggy and Buddy shares this cute idea for creating a caterpillar necklace.


Mardi Gras Masks


JDaniel4′s Mom shares this post for Mardi Gras masks.


 St. Patrick's Day Printables


Print out this fun St. Patrick’s Day Unit from The Pinay Homeschooler.


Have an idea or activity to share??? Link up below! Next week I’ll be sharing my favorites from the ones you submit!


Feel free to add the button to the post you’re submitting if you would like!  Just save the image below and add a link to the homepage (


*By linking up, you are granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your blog.


Can’t see the link-up?  Go here.



Bambini at the Car Wash

Guest Post by Erin of Bambini Travel


At Bambini Travel, we believe in providing young children with real life experiences and building on these experiences through books, songs, and activities at home. Together adventures and hands-on activities help young children make sense of the world and build connections. Here is how we used the Car Wash to build further understand about one of our favorite forms of transportation.


Before Our Adventure:

We usually start with a few books. Our absolute favorite before this adventure was Car Wash by Sandra Steen & Susan Steen. After we read the book a couple of times, we talked about what to expect at the car wash. (The procedure, the darkness, the loud noises, the bubbles, etc).


Tips for Visiting a Car Wash with Children:

  1. State any expectations – ex. staying in their seats with their seat belts fastened.
  2. Scope out your car before the car wash and afterwards with your child. Helps if your car is particularly dirty!
  3. Be prepared that your child may feel nervous. Model calm enthusiasm, but realize that the darkness or noises might freak them out a little. If they do get upset, stay calm and offer to hold their hand while you explain again what is happening. Bringing a stuffed animal along to see the car wash might also be a comfort if the need arises.
  4. Plan your car wash for a less busy time. Especially avoid the first warm day of winter.
  5. Talk to your child while you are waiting in line and if they get nervous, but otherwise allow them the time and space to process what they are seeing. You can have lots of conversations afterwards.


After Your Adventure:

The key to making your adventures – big or small – meaningful is what you do after. Indeed, conversations that practice new vocabulary and verbally process what you heard and saw is important. We also plan a couple of hands-on activities for home that will further expand on their knowledge.


Here are two quick activities for after the Car Wash…


Toddler Car Wash:

Repetition and dramatic play are two of the best ways for toddlers to learn. Relive your exciting adventure with your own car wash.


Bambini Car Wash



Car (Yours is obviously sparkling clean, but maybe you have another car or there’s a neighbor/grandparent willing to donate their muddy car to a worthy cause?)

Swim Suits


Soapy Water






Get your swimsuits on, fill your bowls with soapy water, and carry your supplies out to the car. Encourage them to wash the whole car. Focus on naming parts of the car. For example, “I see you are washing the bumper” or “That handle is looking very clean, what could you wash next?” This will not be a perfect car wash, but it is good soapy fun that develops gross motor skills, builds vocabulary, and further cements understanding.


Gluing Shape Cars

This activity is another chance to talk about the parts of a car.


Car Wash Craft


Copy of Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia
Construction Paper


Scissors (for adult use)



Beforehand, cut out basic car shapes, circles for wheels, rectangles for windows.
This activity could be done without the book, but it is the perfect book for any car loving toddler. Garcia combines the toddler love of cars and car noises with an introduction to a wide range of transportation, color, and size vocabulary. After reading this book many, many, times, we made our own cars based on the simple illustrations in this book.


Focus on supporting fine motor skills and practicing vocabulary words (window, tire, circle, etc.), don’t worry about them looking like cars.  Proudly display your child’s creations!

I hope you are feeling inspired to get out and experience the world through little, curious eyes!


 Erin Buhr is the co-creator of Bambini Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and worked with young children for 10 years before deciding to stay home with her own children. She currently spends her days exploring and creating with her two year old twins.