I cannot tell you how much we love this book! We have read it dozens of times and never get tired of it. The illustrations are beautiful and colorful, and the story is creative and fun. Cowgirl and Princess had it memorized and would recite their favorite parts before they learned to read. They would give advice to the mouse, and pretend to eat the strawberry. The Big Hungry Bear has become a favorite in our home library.
We love pattern blocks! Before I had the space or money to buy a traditional set of pattern blocks, I made some paper pattern blocks for my girls. I printed the outlines on colored cardstock and then cut them out (this was a little time consuming). This was several years ago, so Cowgirl and Princess were about two and a half at the time and they loved these! I was worried that the paper would be too thin for little hands to handle, but it wasn’t an issue at all, my girls were able to handle the pieces just fine. We have found several uses for these paper pattern blocks over the past few years, and even though we now have a set of pattern blocks similar to this one
, and this magnetic set
, we keep finding new fun things to do with our paper ones.
The first time we used them I printed out some pattern mats for the girls to lay the pieces on. I recommend putting the pattern mats in sheet protectors or laminating them to make them more durable. I organized all the paper pieces in a dollar store muffin tin. This was a very popular activity for several months.
For Cowgirl’s and Princess’s fifth birthday party I used masking tape to attach clear contact paper to the wall with the sticky side facing out. Then I put the muffin tin with the paper pieces on the floor underneath. I used this as an activity for the kids to do while we were waiting for the rest of our guests. They had so much fun! Most of the pattern pieces came off of the contact paper neatly so the kids could rearrange things if they wanted, and we were able to save the pieces for another activity.
We have also glued our pattern pieces to construction paper to make collages and to decorate drawings, worksheets, plain wrapping paper, and coloring pages.
Want to make some?
- Printable blocks from Jessica’s Corner of Cyberspace – she has several different templates including traditional colors, black and white outlines to be printed on colored paper and several other colors and patterns.
How about some free printable mats and inspiration cards to go with them?
- Pattern block mats from Jessica’s Corner of Cyberspace – animals, vehicles, numbers, transportation, shapes, holidays and more
- Christmas from PreKinders
- Transportation from PreKinders
- Snowflakes from PreKinders
- Animals and games from PreKinders
- Alphabet mats from Confessions of a Homeschooler
- 1-20 mats from Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Inspiration cards from Mamas Learning Corner
Here are more ideas for using pattern blocks
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This book is amazing! There are 26 stories, told from the perspective of the kids in the story, a perspective that is not found in the Book of Mormon. I love how it brings the story to life and the kids have been able to relate better to the stories and add another layer to their understanding. I have been reading one of the stories to my kids every night at bedtime. After each story are some activity suggestions, including Family Home Evening suggestions, and some facts about things in the story. We really have been loving it!
I discovered the most amazing website yesterday!! “Libraries of Hope is dedicated to restoring the lost arts of educating hearts of children.”
I’ve listened to the audio and watched the video on the Training page, and watched “History of the Well-Educated Heart: Part 1 Roots” and begun watching “Part 2 Stems” on the Archived Training page. I’ve loved everything that I’ve heard so far. I love the education philosophy that the founder of the page Marlene Peterson teaches: that it is more important to educate a child’s heart in the early years and educating the heart will lead to a well-educated mind. (She explains it much better than I do, I’m very new to the concept). I also love the concept of teaching in layers, that an education looks more like a spiral that slowly builds on itself rather than a straight line. Marlene explains this concept in the video on the training page, and the entire website seems to be built upon this concept.
There are links, also, to a ton of free online content, sorted by age group and subject. I haven’t explored these very much yet, but it seems as though it will be very easy to navigate and find exactly what I need for each topic.
All of the information and resources can be a bit overwhelming, so start by watching the videos on the main page, then do the Introductory Course, then jump right in! Learn as you go and your kids can learn with you.
I’ve been wanting to make elderberry syrup for a while, I though it would be fun to make some gummies for an easy way to give the kiddos (and myself) a dose a few times a week when we are trying to prevent illness and a couple of times a day when we are fighting something off.
We tried this recipe from Wellness Mama. It was too spicy for us. The kids wouldn’t even eat the gummies that I made because they didn’t like the flavor. I might try reducing some of the spices and see how we like it.
I also want to make some regular gummies, just for fun 🙂