EASY Patriotic Pattern Block Painted Flag Craft for Preschool

Pattern Block Flag Printing and Design

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Our preschoolers have been using pattern blocks for most everything lately:  to make buildings/towers, as “food” in our kitchen, to make domino runs, and to create intricate designs on their own.   As with most of our classroom materials, our kids often find the most creative suggestions when left to explore on their own.  Our newest creations:  PATTERN BLOCK PRINTED FLAGS!

Pattern Block Painted Flags 002Materials needed:  Pattern blocks, paint trays or paper plates, tempera paint (blue/red/white or other colors if outside of the U.S.), and paint smocks or an old T-shirt.

Pattern Block Painted Flags 003Invite the children to make flags by dipping the pattern blocks into the paint trays and printing on a plain sheet of paper.  We set out an American Flag so the children could copy the design when printing.  For the younger children, we penciled in the flag’s square and the stripes as visual guide for the pattern block prints.   Some of our children are not fond of messy play (it’s true)! :)  We improvised by using a Wikki Stix attached to only the sides of a pattern block.  The twisted end formed a  pattern block “painting tool” the kids could hold on to (see photos).

Pattern Block Painted Flags 005The flags not only make great crafts for ANY Patriotic holiday, but the printing enhances fine motor skills and awareness of various shapes!

After printing, allow time for the children to explore flag designs with the pattern blocks on a table or the floor!  Kids never cease to amaze me!

Pattern Block Painted Flags 006

 For MORE Patriotic Ideas for Kids, see our Patriotic board on Pinterest!

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Fairy Tales Theme for #Preschool + $1500 Total CASH #Giveaway


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For full description, see the ABOUT US/DISCLAIMERS/OFFICIAL RULES page on this blog.

Today, over 80 participating bloggers from the Kid Blogger Network have combined efforts to bring YOU the largest collection of playful learning activities for kids EVER in one event!   We have the pleasure of offering EVERYTHING needed for a FAIRY TALES THEME in Preschool or Kindergarten.  The other activity round-ups will be linked below to provide great resources centered around many important themes for kids.  In addition to all the round-ups, we are offering a MEGA CASH GIVEAWAY with THREE $500 CASH PRIZES!   We hope you’ll find a wealth of inspiration to use at home or in the classroom (and take a chance to win some CASH along the way)!

The following post consists of 3 main sections:

  1. Fairy Tales Theme Activities for Preschool (includes:  3 Little Pigs on the Sticky Table PLUS an AMAZING round-up of literacy, science, math, sensory play, dramatic play/large motor games, and book suggestions).
  2. Links to all participating round-ups from the Kid Blogger Network.



The 3 Little Pigs on the Sticky Table

Sensory and Science Explorations with The 3 Little Pigs

Sensory and Science Explorations with The 3 Little Pigs

Fairy tales are stories with imaginary characters that usually have a teachable lesson.  Read the story of The 3 Little Pigs to the children.  Role play with the children to help them understand the morals/values embedded in the fairy tale.

The underlying message behind The 3 Little Pigs – those who work hard,  plan well, and use materials and resources wisely, will often be successful.

 We set up a sticky table to explore why some of the materials the pigs chose to build their houses were not as sturdy as others.

Materials needed:  Clear Contact Paper, Duct Tape (to hold the contact paper in place),  yellow tissue paper – straw (cut into small squares), brown lightweight construction paper – sticks (cut into squares), red heavyweight paper – bricks (cut into squares), and a permanent marker.

Cover a table with clear contact paper (sticky side up) and duct tape to hold the contact paper in place.  Draw 3 simple houses on the sticky side of the paper.   Ask the children to hold and examine the 3 colors of paper squares.  Which paper feels the lightest?  Does one kind of paper feel heavier or stronger than the other two?  Allow time for the children to explore the different kinds of paper squares.

Invite the children to re-tell the events of the story by using the various paper squares to decorate the 3 houses on the sticky table.

3 Little Pigs ScienceScience Extension Activity:  Give the children a straw and ask them to try to blow each of the paper squares across a table or the floor.  Which paper square was easiest to move?  Which paper square was more difficult to move across the table?  It is a fun experiment to follow the sticky table creations!

Change the items used:  real straw, sticks from outside, and Lego bricks are great for explorations!

Change the items used: real straw, sticks from outside, and Lego bricks are great for explorations!

Alternate Activity:  Use straw, sticks, and Lego/Duplo bricks on the sticky table and for sensory/science discoveries.

***FAIRY TALES THEME ROUND-UP – be sure to check out all of the AMAZING ACTIVITIES from members of  the Kid Blogger Network below!***

Fairy Tales Theme Literacy/Writing Activities for Preschool

Fairy Tales Theme Literacy/Writing Activities for Preschool

Fairy Tales Literacy Activities

Fairy Tale Emergent Readers – The Measured Mom

Jack and the Beanstalk Roll, Say, Write Pre-K Pages

Little Red Riding Hood Storytelling/MusicLet’s Play Music

Goldilocks and 3 BearsLet’s Play Music 

Royal Names: Creating Names Prince and Princess Style  – Fun-a-Day

The 3 Little Pigs Story Sequencing Cards – The Preschool Toolbox

Han Christian Andersen Fairy Tales Lesson Ideas – Teach Beside Me

Fairy Tales Math Collage_1

Fairy Tales Theme Math Activities for Preschool

 Jack and the Beanstalk More/Less Math Pre-K Pages

The 3 Bears Math – Counting, Grouping, Role Play and MORE! – Learn with Play at Home

Bejeweled Bingo PLUS more free activities ALL for a Fairy Tales Theme – PreKinders

Fairy Tales “The Three Little Pigs” Number Path – The Preschool Toolbox

Jack and the Beanstalk Craft and Math Activity – Fantastic Fun and Learning

The Ugly Duckling Eggs and Number Order – The Preschool Toolbox

Fairy Tales Theme Science Activities for Preschool

Fairy Tales Theme Science Activities for Preschool

Fairy Tales Theme Science Activities for Preschool

Jack and the Beanstalk Bean Activity – Meaningful Mama

 Pumpkin Boats Sink or Float? – The Preschool Toolbox

Growing Beans with Kids – Craftulate

Dissolving Gingerbread Man Experiment- The Preschool Toolbox

Fairy Tales Theme Sensory Activities for Preschool

Fairy Tales Theme Sensory Activities for Preschool

Fairy Tales Theme Sensory Activities for Preschool

Three Billy Goats Gruff Sensory Bin – Growing Book by Book

Gingerbread Man Storytelling Play Dough – Nuturestore

Jack and Beanstalk Sensory Bin and Story Retelling – Fantastic Fun and Learning

Glitter Playdough – Craftulate

Princess Pies – Growing a Jeweled Rose

Princess Slime -  Craftulate

Fairy Tales Arts and Crafts CollageFairy Tales Theme Crafts for Preschool

Cardboard Castles – Fun-a-Day

Princess Halos – The Preschool Toolbox

Paper Bag Princess Dresses – Mom 2 Two Posh Lil Divas

The 3 Bears Printable Craft Set – Learn Create Love

Super Simple Fairy Wands – Schooling a Monkey

Fairy Tales Frig Magnets – Nuturestore

Fun with Fairy Tales – 40 Crafts – Red Ted Art

Fairy Tales Dramatic Play Collage_1Fairy Tales Theme Dramatic Play/Large Motor Games

Billy Goats Gruff Fairy Tale and Block Play in Preschool – Teach Preschool

Simple Suggestions for Playing with the 3 Little Pigs – Powerful Mothering

Cinderella Tea Party and Pumpkin Donuts – Three Foot Cooks

FE, FI, FO, FUM – Move to the Drum – The Preschool Toolbox

Outdoor Game for Kids Who Love Fairy Tales – I Can Teach My Child

Pumpkin House Imaginary Play – Nuturestore


The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales Every Kid Should Know

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm

Classic Fairy Tales

fractured-fairy-tales-book-list-14 Fractured Fairy Tales – No Time For Flashcards


Participating Bloggers from the Kid Blogger Network and Other Round-Ups Designed for Kids!

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Details:  Win one of three $500 cash prizes directly sent to your PayPal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below  for more info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Dreamcatcher Crafts for Kids: No More Bad Dreams!

Dream Catcher Poem

Disclosure: The following post and others within this blog contain affiliate links. The Preschool Toolbox receives income from your purchases to help support this blog.

Kids are often afraid of the dark and sometimes have bad dreams.  The Wikki Stix dreamcatcher craft for kids is a tangible way to help ease bedtime anxieties!

Dreamcatchers are an ancient Chippewa tradition.  Legend says that since dreams never end, the dreamcatcher will hold all bad dreams and release only the good ones.  When hung over a child’s bed at night, the dreamcatchers are a tangible way to help kids sleep peacefully through the night!  DREAM ON sweet child!


Materials needed to create a dreamcatcher:  Assorted colors of Wikki Stix, mounting paper, craft feathers, and assorted colors of pony beads.

Invite the children to create by placing all supplies out on a table.

To make the outer ring for the dreamcatcher, have the children put two Wikki Stix strands together and form a large circle.  Give the children one piece of mounting paper and have the children press the circle on top of the mounting paper.  The inner circle is made from Wikki Stix wrapped around itself to form a large and small spiral.

  Kids can create any shapes they wish to connect the inner and outer circles:  straight lines, ovals, circles, etc.  The idea is to make a “net” that will catch all bad dreams.  In the photo below, our kids cut one Wikki Stix in half, folded the strand, and then pinched the top to form a point.

WS Dream Catcher Craft 004The children then used their shapes to connect the small inner circle to the outer ring.  When all of the shapes are added to the center, have the children cut the circle away from the mounting paper (see photo below).

To make the dreamcatcher tails:  Invite the children to use assorted colors of pony beads and thread them onto stands of Wikki Stix.  Craft feathers will adhere to the Wikki Stix so no glue is necessary.  When the tails are finished, simply adhere the Wikki Stix strands to the back side of the large circle.

WS Dream Catcher Craft for Kids

For more great ways to help children relieve stress and anxiety at night, see all the wonderful resources from Lori Lite and Stress Free Kids!  

Lori Lite, founder of Stress Free Kids, provides fun parenting solutions to reduce stress and bring wellness to daily living. Her accessible tips, stories, and parent’s guide show families how to integrate relaxation exercises and activities effortlessly throughout the day.

Indigo Dreams is a 60 minute bedtime relaxation CD/audio book designed to entertain your child while introducing them to relaxation and stress-management techniques. Four unique bedtime stories incorporate breathing, visualizations, muscular relaxation and affirmations.


Posted in Family Friendly Businesses and Resources, Feelings, Fine Motor Skills for Tiny Fingers, Parenting and Values, PreK, Preschool and Kindergarten Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

EASY Patriotic Cardboard Tube Bracelet or Band Craft for Kids!

Patriotic Bands

Disclosure: The post below contains affiliate links. This blog receives income from purchases made from those links.


The Patriotic Bracelet Craft is an EASY project for any Patriotic holiday!  If you reside outside of the United States, the bracelets can be customized with any colors and decorations desired.  The bands are not only fun to make, but even young children can create (almost) independently!

Materials needed:  Acrylic or Tempera Paint, Empty Cardboard Tubes, Scissors, Paint Smocks (or old T-Shirts), Paint Trays, Paper Plates, Paintbrushes, Assorted Patriotic Decorations (stickers, stars, stamps, etc.), a hole punch, poster putty, and yarn/ribbon.

Invite the children to create by placing all the supplies out on a table or a large tray.  Have the children begin at the top of an empty cardboard tube and cut strips (going around the tube) of cardboard that are approximately one inch wide (younger children will need assistance with cutting).   One cardboard tube will make 2-3 bracelets/bands.

Patriotic Cardboard Tube Bracelets and Bands 007Have the children place two pieces of poster putty or tape under the ends of the cardboard strip and press onto a paper plate (it will keep the cardboard strips flat while painting).

Place small amounts of the desired paint on a paper plate or paint tray.  If using non-washable paint, make sure the children wear an old T-Shirt or paint smock to protect their clothing.  Have the children paint the entire cardboard strip and allow to thoroughly dry.

Patriotic Cardboard Tube Bracelets and Bands 009When the painted cardboard strips are dry, have the children hole punch each end and thread a piece of yarn or Patriotic ribbon through the hole.  The ribbon/yarn will tie the bands to their wrists.  The children can decorate their bands with assorted flag stickers, stamps, stars, or other Patriotic items.

The bracelets are also a great “make and take” craft for summer camps!

Your children might also enjoy reading:

Extra Patriotic Crafts and Learning Resources for Kids!

Patriotic Pony Bead Bracelets

Patriotic Pre-Writing Free Printable

“Fireworks” Paintings and No-Candy Treat Bags

Playdough Mats Free Printable and Firecracker Template

Patriotic Math and Literacy Idea for Preschool and Kindergarten

Craft Stick Flags and a Patriotic “Roll and Cover” Math Game

Patriotic Snack Idea, FREE FLAG TEMPLATE, and Free Stars Patterning Printable


Posted in 4th of July, Patriotic, PreK | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Patriotic Monster Cookie Recipe

Patriotic Monster CookiesThere are few things in our family that hold memories of cookouts and holiday celebrations more than MONSTER COOKIES.  Each holiday, my grandmother would make cookies, put them in a shoe box, and hand-deliver to all the kids (young or old).  My grandmother is no longer with us, but her cookie tradition lives on.   The recipe below makes a LOT of cookies!  It’s perfect for the 4th of July (or ANY holiday/celebration)!


2 c. sugar

2 ¼ c. brown sugar

1 c.  butter-flavored shortening

24 oz. peanut butter

6 eggs

1 Tbls. vanilla

1 Tbls. white Karo syrup

4 tsp. baking soda

9 c. oatmeal

½ lb. red/blue chocolate candies or Patriotic M & M’s

½ lb. chocolate chips

½ c. pecans (opt.)

Patriotic Monster Cookies_Blog 001

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend sugars, shortening, and peanut butter.  Add eggs, vanilla, syrup, and baking soda.  Stir in oatmeal, candies, chocolate chips, and pecans (if desired).  For the BEST cookie: refrigerate dough at least 12 hours. Drop cookies onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  EAT & ENJOY!

What traditions will you pass on to your children and grandchildren?  We’ll be making cookies at holidays for many years to come!

For MORE Patriotic Ideas for families with Kids, visit our Patriotic Board on Pinterest!

Posted in 4th of July, Math, Patriotic, PreK | Leave a comment