Getting to the Core

1-2-3 Come Do Some Pussy Willow Activities With Me

Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint crafts"Fun With Pussy Willows" is another "From my Heart to your Hands" FREEBIE.

Spring is such a fun time to be outside, breathing in the beauty of nature, as things start to bud, bloom and grow.

Pussy willows are one of the first signs of spring here in Michigan, so I like to gather a bunch and bring them into the classroom for my kiddos to touch.

They exclaim at the softness of the little puffs, and can certainly understand how these lovely branches got their name.

With that in mind, I designed this "Fun With Pussy Willows" packet. I hope you enjoy the activities, as much as I did creating them.

The packet includes:

  • 2 real photographs of pussy willows, in case they don’t grow near you. Use them to introduce your lesson, then later as part of your bulletin board display. 

     . 2, intersting legends about how the pussy willow got its name. You can read these as part of your introduction as well.

     . A pussy willow craft.  

pussy willow picture made with cotton ball, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsStudents can draw a few “twig” branches on their paper and create their own pussy willow pattern, or for younger kiddos, who need a bit of guidance, you can run off my pattern on construction paper.

A bright blue or gray blue color looks like a spring sky, but to add variety to your display, you could give children a color choice.

So the "branches" of the pussy willow stand out, have children trace a thick, brown line over them using a brown crayon.

Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsThere are two options for making a pussy willow picture, and both look stunning.

One is made by pulling a pinch of cotton from a cotton ball, then balling it up a bit, and gluing it to the oval sections on the branches. 

For less mess, I squirted a dollop of Elmers glue on a paper plate.

pussy willows made from a cotton ball, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsChildren then dip their Q-tip into the glue and put a dab on the oval sections of their paper, then press the cotton in place.   Older students can simply use the glue bottle. 

I filled in the entire paper using just half of a cotton ball.  As you can see by the photographs, the wonderful 3D results are quite realistic.

fingerprint pussy willows, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsThe other option is to have children make a "keepsake" picture, by dipping their pointer finger into a dollop of white, acrylic paint, then pressing their "print" onto the oval sections.

fingerprint keepsake pussy willow craft, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsFor this picture, I added a 3D effect by gluing a real twig to the center branch of my pussy willows.

While the paint is still wet, sprinkling on a bit of opalescent glitter really adds a lovely finishing touch to the picture. 

keepsake fingerprint pussy willows, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint crafts I've included a little poem, inside of a heart, which children can cut & glue to the bottom left corner of their picture:

This pussy willow's special, as you can plainly see.  I made it with my fingerprints, with lots of TLC.  It's bringing springtime wishes, with love to you from me.

The packet also includes...

    pusssy willows poster, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint crafts. Letters that spell “Pussy Willows” to use as a caption for your spring bulletin board or hallway display.

I made the letters using background paper featuring various pussy willow branches.

       Pussy willow poem, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint crafts. Since April is Poetry Month, I thought it fitting to include a pussy willow poem, which you can use as the center of your display. 

I love the stanza "...and I'll rub spring across your cheek."  which provides th perfect opportunity to teach about metaphor.

Students can also try their hand at writing poetry,  by coloring, and filling in the acrostic poem worksheet.

pussy willow acrostic poem, acrostic poems, Pussy willow poem, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsAn acrostic is a poem where the first letter of each line is used to describe that word.

Acrostics provide wonderful practice for descriptive writing and learning about adjectives & synonyms, as well as being a nice vocabulary builder.

Students can use just one word as I did (especially because the S & L letters are used twice), or they can use several words or even a partial sentence or phrase.

The letter I proved a bit challenging, so you might tell students that they can use the I as a pronoun, as in "I like pussy willows." However, the word Interesting also works.

Here’s an example of another acrostic for the word spring, where I used phrases rather than single words.
Splashing in puddles
Plants are blooming
Rainbows in a sunny sky
I see buds sprouting
Nests are being built
Gray clouds threaten rain.

No matter what grade I taught, all of my students really enjoyed writing acrostic poems. 

       Pussy willows kittens a Venn diagram worksheet, Pussy willow poem, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint crafts.There are also 3 additional worksheets, which include a Venn diagram comparing pussy willows to kittens.

pussy willow craft with pussy willow acrositic poem, Pussy willow poem, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsAny of these worksheets, as well as the acrostic poems, can be added to your bulletin board display, and look really nice hung with the pussy willow craft, topped off with the "Pussy Willows" lettering.

Pussy willow poem, Pussy willow crafts, pussy willow poems, legend of the pussy willow, pussy willow activities, spring crafts for kids, keepsake crafts, fingerprint craftsWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

I'm wishing you a fun-filled spring, touched by many soft & tender moments.

For more springtime activities click this LINK.

"Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be."

1-2-3 Come Zap Some Germs With Me!

personal hygiene, germ fighting activities, germ poster, germ word find, germ word search, germ puzzles, germ centersFrom my heart to your hands, here are some FREE, quick & easy Germ Zapping activities that I think your kiddos will have a lot of fun with.

Whether you’re a classroom teacher, or a homeschooling mama, I hope you find something useful here. (Sanity saving?)

Great for “Distance Learning” too: Help practice, graphing, counting, sequencing, tally marks & a bit of word work fun.

The packet includes:

* “Germs Beware! A germ-zapping family lives here!” Color me poster for home, as well as a…

“Germs Beware! Germ-zapping students learn here!” poster for your classroom.

personal hygiene, germ fighting activities, germ poster, germ word find, germ word search, germ puzzles, germ centersFour, “Be a germ buster!” color-me necklace patterns.

“Color, Count & Zap!” germ graphing worksheets.

* “ Germ Zapper” certificate of praise.

personal hygiene, germ fighting activities, germ poster, germ word find, germ word search, germ puzzles, germ centers*  Super-fun “Tally Ho I Spy” worksheet. Children spy, then zap (X out the germ-themed items) as they count & make tally marks.

*  Two, word zapping word finds.

“Be Alert! Give a Squirt!” number puzzle with 3 options.

There's a simple one, featuring numbers 1-5, as well as one that reinforces counting from 1-10, plus another, that helps practice those "toughie teen" numbers. 

personal hygiene, germ fighting activities, germ poster, germ word find, germ word search, germ puzzles, germ centersAfter students color their puzzle, they cut the strips on the dashed line.

Children mix up the pieces then see how fast they can put the puzzle together. 

Afterwards, to add to the fun, students can pick a partner & take turns rolling a dice.

Whatever number they roll, they place that matching numbered puzzle piece on their work space. 

You can play that if they roll a six they lose their turn, or make the six wild. Children can then choose any numbered puzzle piece that they need.

The first to complete their puzzle is the winner.  Simply use more dice & add for the other numbered puzzles.

personal hygiene, germ fighting activities, germ poster, germ word find, germ word search, germ puzzles, germ centersWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

If you’re asking yourself, “Who ya gonna call?” the answer is “Germ Busters!” cuz...

“We ain’t afraid of no germs!” 

Wishing you health and peace of mind, as you navigate this crazy time.

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." -Henry Ford

1-2-3 Come Do A Pepper "Germs" Experiment With Me

Here's a quick, easy & super-fun little experiment you can do with your kiddos.

It's sure to have them saying, "Can we do it again!"

pepper germs and soap experiment about surface tensionI've compiled this activity in a FREE packet, so that you can easily duplicate and extend the lesson.

As parents and teachers we are constantly reminding children to wash their hands, especially now since the Corona virus crisis.

Children look at their hands and don’t really “see” any germs, so if they can’t see anything on their hands, they naturally conclude that their hands must not really be dirty, so why bother washing.

pepper germs & soap experiment, personal hygiene activitiesExplaining to youngsters, that unlike dirt, germs are invisible helps; but when you give kiddos a “visual” of how germs literally flee when they come into contact with soap, you're zeroing in on the importance of hand washing in a dramatic way.

When I was in school, “surface tension” was explained to us with a “pepper experiment”. The result of the demonstration is truly amazing, and provides the perfect illustration for “germs fleeing soap”.

This experiment has the “Wow!” factor, while still being super-simple, plus you have all of the ingredients at home.

Pepper Experiment IngredientsYou’ll need:

  * ground pepper
  * a bowl or plate
  * a cup of water,
  * a paper plate,
  * a tissue and
  * some dish soap.

You can also use a measuring cup instead of a plastic cup to hold your water. Because a measuring cup has a handle, this could be easier for little ones to hold on to.

pepper soap experiment pixI used a 1/2 cup of water to spill onto an 8" paper plate, then when I switched to a glass bowl to see if the container made any difference, (it didn't) I used 1 cup of water to pour into the bowl.

Watch my VIDEO for specifics, then use the FREE packet for your finishing touches.

Video LINK: https://youtu.be/fDWp6z1woBU

I’ve included my "script" plus the poster, so you can use it in your own demonstration. There’s a black & white version for children to color as well.

germ blasting soap postersFor younger kiddos, end with the “poster summary” of the importance of washing your hands; leaving it at that.

However, to extend the lesson for older students, have them look up the definition of surface tension, then for writing practice, as well as some data analysis, have students fill in the “Here’s What Happened” worksheet, keeping in mind their findings about surface tension.

heres what happened data analysis worksheetThe worksheet could also be done as a whole group activity.
I’ve included a surface tension explanation, which you can also share with them.

If your students are like mine, they are extremely interested, and excited about doing hands-on science, so run with it. For added fun, and further exploration you can use the “Does It Make a Difference?” extension activity

For example, “Does it make a difference if you use another spice other than pepper; hot or cold water; or a different container?” etc.

I’ve done all these additional “extras” & include my findings, along with photographs in the FREE packet.

germ fighter doorknob craft boyFinally, just for fun, there’s also an “I’m a germ-blasting super soaper!” craftivity.

Children color, cut & hang on their doorknob.

germ fighter girl doorknob hangerThere is a set of "doorknobbers" for superhero boys, as well as a set for superhero girls.

pepper germs experiment, explaining surface tension with a pepper experiment, personal hygiene activities, doorknob hanger craftWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

I sincerely hope you find these activities useful.

Wishing you a safe & healthy week.

"Always remember: You are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think, and LOVED more than you know." - A. A. Milne

1-2-3 Come Do Some Hand Washing Activities With Me

this is the way we wash our hands activities, proper hand washing techniques, personal hygiene activities, hand washing song, hand washing puzzle, germ fighting activities, hand washing poster, hand washing puzzle, hand washing centersAre you looking for something to easily explain hand washing to your students/children?

Then I think you'll find my fun-filled "Hand Washing" packet helpful, and it's FREE!

5 steps of handwashing posterI've included a poster of the CDC's, 5-step recommendations for correct hand washing, it comes in both color for teachers, as well as black & white for students to color & take home.

when should you wash your hands posterThere are also two posters which list important times when you should wash your hands.

Before you share the list with your students, see how many they can come up with, during your discussion.

As a fun way to further reinforce the lesson, I've also included a 5-piece puzzle for these hygiene rules.

Teachers can print, laminate & trim the colorful puzzle to use for a center activity.

I've also included a #5 base for the puzzle, which will help preschoolers assemble the pieces..

Keep each of your puzzles in a large ZipLock Baggie. 

proper hand washing techniques, personal hygiene activities, hand washing song, hand washing puzzle, germ fighting activities, hand washing poster, hand washing puzzle, hand washing centersAs always, there are black & white patterns, so that students can color and cut apart, to create their own puzzle. 

hand washing puzzle pieces, proper hand washing techniques, personal hygiene activities, hand washing song, hand washing puzzle, germ fighting activities, hand washing poster, personal hygiene activities, hand washing puzzle, hand washing centers Demonstrate how to cut out the number 5 and then snip each section off.

When everyone has completed their puzzle, reinforce the rules as a whole group. 

Hang the base #5 pattern on your white board.  Stick magnetic dots on the back of your 5 puzzle pieces and hold them in numerical order.

You show the #1 puzzle piece and read it, then stick it to the matching #1 section on the base. 

dice game for how to wash your hands, proper hand washing techniques, personal hygiene activities, hand washing song, hand washing puzzle, germ fighting activities, hand washing poster, hand washing puzzle, hand washing centersChildren follow your "monkey-see, monkey-do" directions & do the same with their puzzle piece. 

After everyone has placed that piece down, read the rule again, then have children "read" it with you.

For added fun, and more reinforcement, have children pick a partner & take turns rolling a dice. 

If they roll a 1 they place the matching #1 puzzle piece on the puzzle base, and so on.

If they roll a 6 you can decide if they lose a turn, or if the 6 is wild & they can choose any numbered puzzle piece that they need. The first one to complete their puzzle is the winner.

this is the way we wash our hands song poster, proper hand washing techniques, personal hygiene activities, hand washing song, hand washing puzzle, germ fighting activities, hand washing poster, hand washing puzzle, hand washing centersBecause children love to sing, I've also included a song in the packet.

The CDC recommends 20 seconds, as the minimum amount of time for effective hand washing. They say that humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice will do the 20-second job.

However, I wanted children to have a more appropriate song to specifically go along with hand washing.

here we go round the mulberry bush songSo I took the tune from the nursery rhyme/song “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”, ( public domain) and changed the words to “This is the way we wash our hands”.

When I was a little girl we also sang “This is the way we wash our clothes” to that same tune, as we pretended to scrub away on grama’s old washboard.  

Online timerAs you sing the song, with my “wash your hands” lyrics, demonstrate lathering the hands with pretend soap, showing how you rub over & under the hands, as well as in-between the fingers, plus scrubbing the nails. Singing, while “washing”, will take the desired 20 seconds.

You can practice with this online timer: LINK

video of how to wash your handsTo show you the correct hand washing technique, check out this  video, (46-seconds) then do those movements as you sing the two verses.

I for one, discovered via this video that I was missing the “nails” step. I think that many others will find room for improvement too. Hopefully, the entire world will now do a better job of hand washing.

I’ve made a poster-poem of the “This Is The Way We Wash Our Hands” words, which you can share with your students.

germs germs germs videoChildren may wonder, “What’s the big deal about hand washing?”, so it’s a good idea to introduce your lesson with WHY hand washing is so important.

I like this 3-minute video entitled "Germs, Germs, Germs" because my students also say, “…but my hands don’t look dirty.” 

Finally, I've also included a little certificate of praise your kiddos can color.

There are two, on-a-one-page pattern, for quick printing.

One template features a colorful frame, the other one has a black & white one. 

free germ fighting activitiesWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Stay tuned for more "Germ Fighting" FREEBIES, that you can do with your own children or with your students. 

Wishing you a safe & virus free day.

"Did you sneeze? Did you cough? Be sure and wash those nasty germs off!" -Unknown

 

1-2-3 Come Do Some Sequencing & Retelling a Story Activities With Me

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsDo you read "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover" by Lucille Colandro?

My students absolutely love this collection of stories, and they are perfect for practicing the “sequencing and retelling a story” standards.

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsWith that in mind, I designed these quick, easy & fun storytelling slider craftivities that will help your students retell the "Granny Clover" story in the proper order.

This simple craft is a great addition to your St. Patrick’s Day activities too.

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsThere are 5 “cover” options available. Pick your favorite or give children a choice.

All of them are easy-peasy to cut, as they are in a box shape; however, you can also choose to cut around the patterns as well.

Check out the photo to the left to see which style you like best.

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsI’ve also provided two smaller patterns with a shorter slider for little ones.

You decide what’s best for your students’ abilities. I personally like the cut out covers, which I do for all of my teacher samples.

As always, both color, as well as black & white patterns are included.

Children color, cut & glue their slider strips together, then insert it into the “slits” of their cover.

Since it only takes me about 8 minutes, to pre-cut the slits for my students, I do this prep with an X-acto knife, which saves me classroom time, by doing this step for my kiddos.

As they pull on the end of their “slider” the various pictures go through the “window”, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner.

I introduce the lesson by reading "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover" , then share my sample with the children.

We retell the tale together, using the picture prompts on the slider.

My students now know what’s expected of them, and are very excited to transition to making a “Granny Clover” slider of their own. 

When they complete the craftivity, they pick a partner & take turns retelling the tale.

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsFor an easy & interesting way to assess comprehension, I’ve also included a “Let’s sequence the story” worksheet, where students color and trim the picture tiles then glue them in the correct order on their worksheet.

Use the teacher’s colorful copy as a whole group activity, sequencing the story as you read it, then again as a review afterwards. Grab that teachable moment to practice ordinal numbers as well.

For writing practice, there’s also a “Here’s What Happened…” writing prompt worksheet, as another way to check comprehension, plus practice sequential writing.

Use the colorful template to do this as a whole group activity with younger kiddos, discussing beginning, middle & end

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsIf you aren't familiar with the book, you can click on the LINK & check out a reading of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover" on YouTube.  It's less than 3 minutes long. 

I like to show a quick video at the end of our day, which reinforces the lesson.

I also encourage my students to share their slider & storytelling skills with their family when they get home.

St Patrick's Day activities, shamrock 10 frames, March math activities, St. Patrick's Day gamesSince St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, today's FREEBIE is a shamrock-themed set of 10 frames, which includes some quick, easy & fun math activities.

There was an old lady who swallowed a clover activities, retelling & sequencing a story activities, St. Patrick's Day books, St. Patrick's Day stories, St. Patrick's Day craftsWell that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

The sun is endeavoring to peek out from behind the clouds, so I think I'll venture out with my pup Chloe, to breathe in some nice fresh air. 

Wishing you a wonderful week, and a happy-go-lucky St. Paddy's Day.

"May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true, and the kindness you spread, keep returning to you."

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