Safe Kids & Moral Dilemmas

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All of us want to keep our kids safe… all of us know in the back of our minds the potential threats to children in our world… but do all of us know how to prepare our kids to stay safe in this world?

When a friend posted recently that her kids had potentially been “tagged” at a Costco by potential abductors my “Mama Bear” instincts started causing stomach upset and emotional distress for days.  I talked to some trusted people about it, and was reminded of the idea to”role play” or imagine scenarios with our kids.  One even said, “Make it a game.”

So… being the “non-spontaneous” type, I knew I would struggle to come up with scenarios off the cuff.  So, I took her literally… and made a game!  It’s not all “Stranger Danger” scenarios, and it’s not all serious either, so as not to cause fear.  There are 48 unique cards in the deck including stranger danger topics, manners, kindness, obedience, and some thrown in just to lighten the mood.

Simply print the pdf (found here) on card stock and cut out the cards.

I hope you enjoy and benefit!  Here are some sample cards from the game.

 

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I Miss Writing & A Word Families Free Printable

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I Miss Writing & A Word Families Free Printable

Wow… it’s been a long time since I’ve written.  I do miss it, but we’ve gone through a move, are facing more moves in the near future, had a litter of puppies, and have been teaching a 7 year old, 5 1/2 year old, and a 4 year old to read at the same time!  Isn’t it incredible how different kids are “ready” at different times?  I was intending to teach the two older kids but the little guy just jumped right in and started learning by observation, surprising me one day by sounding out three letter words!  So, I added him to the syllabus!

I did want to hop on and post these printables I created that we have found totally useful and great addition to any reading curriculum.  I currently use Phonics Pathways for teaching reading, but I am known to supplement, go off curriculum and just wing it based on how my kid responds to the “norm”.  This is one of the things I developed to supplement and enrich the program 🙂  I hope you find it useful as well.  Please feel free to download each set & use in your own homeschool or school classroom.

Download 1 – Word Family Pages (Download Here: Word Families Binder Pages)

This set is 71 Pages total and is designed to fit in a binder for use in daily reading drills.  I have my children read as much as they are able … one child does half a full page, the other usually does the whole page.  They are in alphabetical order in the pdf, but I ordered them based on how I thought the child would best learn.  Feel free to order them to your particular style.

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Download 2 – Word Family Highlighting Worksheets

This set is all the word family pages condensed into 67 pages for the whole sheet style, and 34 pages for the half sheet style.  Every once in awhile I will have my kids take a sheet and highlight the word family part of the word.  This helps their brain begin to understand parts of words better the more practice they get.  I like to print it in the half sheet style to save paper.  I have included both styles for you to choose from.

(Download Whole Sheet version here: Word Families Highlighting Worksheets – Whole Page)

(Download Half-Sheet version here: Word Families Highlighting Worksheets – Half Page)

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I hope you enjoy these printables and find them useful in your school 🙂  I also have sight words and word families flash cards if there is interest.  Please comment if you’d like me to throw those up here sooner rather than later 😛

Thanks for stopping by.

JenA 🙂Shapes.jpg

 

Letter Roads Free Preschool Printable

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Letter roads

I developed these little Letter Roads to help my preschooler with fine motor skills & letter recognition.  She loved following the “roads” to help the characters get to their destinations.  Please feel free to use this free printable, for personal use only, in your homeschool classroom! 🙂

Download Free PDF Printable Here: One Line Letters

Making Jam – First Harvest

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On the hunt for Jam Recipes lately!  I need a way to use all that rhubarb that is coming up! 🙂  I love these adorable jelly jars!  Wouldn’t they make cute gifts?!

So, I tried three recipes yesterday.  The first is this reduced sugar recipe from Local Kitchen which is quite yummy, though I think I would decrease the lemon next time and add pectin.  It did not set up at all for me.  Maybe I can’t make jam, who knows!

Reduced Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

The second recipe I tried was this one from Rhubarb Central.  Rhubarb Conserves with Orange, Walnuts & Raisins.  It was AMAZINGLY delicious, but also needs pectin.

Rhubarb Orange Conserve

And the third, this one, also from Rhubarb Central.  Seriously an awesome site for all things rhubarb!  Again, didn’t set up for me.  Maybe I really can’t make jam.  Hmmm…

Rhubarb Orange Jam

I’m on a quest for jams with less sugar… any ideas?  The first one with all the lemon is decent on the sugar side, but the other two… yeah, too much sugar for me.  I know, it’s jam!  It’s supposed to have sugar, right!?  Well, I can’t have sugar but I still want Jam!!

All Recipe Nutrition Information calculated at CalorieCount!  Coolest thing ever!

If you have any links or recipe suggestions for reduced-sugar homemade jams, please do let me know!  I think for now I’ll be making the orangey ones with less sugar and added pectin.  We’ll see how that goes.  One reader suggested Pamona’s Universal Pectin found here… I have yet to try it.

Just another tip… I love these lids (wide mouth) or these (regular mouth) for my mason jars so I don’t have to mess with the rings when a jar is in use in the fridge.

Wheat Free Buckwheat & Oat Pancakes

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So, we recently found out my husband has to eat wheat free.  We’ve been on a 4 month journey to finding replacements for all our wheat-y foods!  Sheesh, it’s been a trip for sure.  But we’ve found some favorites… like this Buckwheat & oat pancake recipe my husband invented after getting so fed up with all the nastyness of Gluten-Free “bread” stuffs.  Seriously, rice flour!?  Eeew.  Besides, it’s not whole grain, and I wasn’t willing to start using white flours.  So… we invented this pancake recipe!  I hope you enjoy… we actually prefer it over the whole wheat pancakes we used to eat!

UPDATE : Feel free to use whatever combination of flours you want… Sometimes I don’t use the buckwheat at all and just do barley and oat, or just plain oat!

Buckwheat & Barley Pancakes

Also feel free to check out my pin boards for other Wheat Free Recipies!

Wheat Free Snacks/Sides

Wheat Free Breakfast

Wheat Free Desserts

Wheat Free Main Dishes/Sides

Wheat Free Buckwheat & Barley Pancakes or Waffle Recipie

DIY Unique Built-In Bunk Beds!

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DIY Unique Built-In Bunk Beds!

Pregnant with #4 in a three bedroom house, we find it’s time to start stacking kids!  So, this weekend, we built one of two bunks! 🙂  Here’s the process… not tutorial, sorry.  We had to jump through some pretty unique hoops to build these beds, but if you have a handy husband, maybe you can figure it out too!

The inspiration for this project came from Pinterest – where else!?! Here’s some photos.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit – not sure where the photo is on this site… it’s where Pinterst brought me.

For our “Blueprints” we used Microsoft Publisher.  Did you know that you can zoom waaaaay out in Publisher and create actual life-size to scale “blueprints” of sorts?  You’ll get all your measurements just the way you want them!

Here’s a shot of the empty closet.  I have the top section of a desk stuck up on the shelf for extra shelving.  It’s screwed to the wall.

The kids a re fairly excited for this project to begin!  We’ve been collecting supplies for quite a while & they are more than ready for their “bunk beds”!

Phase 1

Demolition.  The closet was 4 inches too short for the toddler mattresses, so we dug into the wall for the extra space.  On the other side of this wall is a tiny hall coat closet.  We (“we” being my husband with the power tools, and me behind the camera!)… we had to cut through the first layer of drywall, remove the studs, rebuild the wall’s structure, and build the bunks.  Thank God I have a handy husband!

The completed “hole in the wall”… now to remove the studs and rebuild the structure of the wall.

Phase 2:

Construction!  Here’s the bottom bunk frame… about 12″ off the floor to make room for some “drawers” and other storage underneath.

Measuring for the top frame

Installing the top bunk platform… about 30″ from the bottom one.

And then Gramma showed up for a visit and was more than excited to help!  Yeah!

Phase 3:

Shelving

We scavenged these headboard style shelves out of another shelf I’d found in the thrift store free pile!  This wasn’t in the original “plans” but I’m glad we added them!

Phase 4:

Ladder & Railing

While I was at the store buying some “Hot Mud” (Fast drying drywall mud for all the dents in the wall from the demo part), Jesse built all this for the ladder & railing!

Finished Ladder & Railing

A view of the shelves

Phase 5:

Sanding.  Thankfully a neighbor had an electric sander we could borrow!

Phase 6:

Painting… Almost done!!!

Color #1 Finished

Color #2

Color #2 Done… That means the painting is done!!!!

Phase 7:

Toyboxes… we had two but they were too tall, so Jesse cut them down about 4 inches allowing them to be “drawers” under the bottom bed.

Phase 8:

Bedding and a final photo shoot… and two proud parents! 🙂  Yeah.

Here’s a view with the entertainment center turned play kitchen (which a friend of mine blogged about in case you’re interested).

BTW:  Test subject #1 says the beds turned out perfect!

We don’t yet have a toddler mattress or bedding set (I love this frog one and this train one!) for the bottom bunk (working on that), so I stole a patio chair cushion from the back yard.  It’ll do as a “reading nook” space until we get a mattress & move LaLa in here! 🙂

Sequencing File Folder Games: Button Sequencing & Number Sequencing

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Number Sequencing File Folder Game – FREE Printable

Object of the game: Place number tiles (use the printable ones or purchase these plastic ones here!) in numerical order on the numbered or blank playing boards.

FREE Printable Here: NumberSequencing :: TheyCallMeGranola :: File Folder Game :: FREE Printable

Button Lacing Sequencing File Folder Game – FREE Printable

Object of the game:  Lace buttons in the order shown on the file folder (purchase buttons & laces here!)… color & shape orders shown.

FREE Printable Here: ButtonSequencing :: TheyCallMeGranola :: File Folder Game :: FREE Printable

I find my plain manila file folders here and the fun colored ones here.

More File Folder Games: Owl Counting, Emotion Matching, Leaf Matching & Rainbow Shades

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Here are some more FREE Printable File Folder Games for Tots & Preschoolers!  Had so much fun making these!  Enjoy! 🙂

Owl Counting is a game that includes 12 Owls with numbers on them.

The Playing Board (inside the folder) has 12 tiles with flowers on them.

The Object is to place the Owls in number sequence on the game board either by counting the flowers on each tile or placing the numbers in order by memory.

Click Here for Free Printable:  OwlCounting.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG

Emotion Matching is a game of facial recognition.

The Playing Pieces are pictures of people making Sad, Happy, or Goofy Faces.

The playing board is divided into those three sections.

The object is to sort the faces onto the correct page.

Make this game even more fun by printing pictures of your own family members to include in the mix!

Click Here for Free Printable: Emotion Matching . FREE Printable . TheyCallMeGranola

Leaf Matching is a “Puzzle Game”.

The pieces are various types of colored leaves.

The game board consists of two pages of grayscale leaves.

The object is to place the colored leaves on the matching grayscale leaf.

Click Here for Free Printable:  Leaf Matching Printable.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG

Rainbow Shades is a color identification & matching game.  You’ll need to gather some supplies of your own for this one or purchase a set of small items like this  or this or go to your local Home Depot, Walmart or other paint supply store & collect free paint chips in the colors represented in the printable.

The game pieces are the paint chips or small colored items.

The playing board is a grid with select colors represented at the top.

The object of the game is to sort the various shades of items into the appropriate color column.

Click Here for Free Printable: Rainbow Shades (Paint Chips) – They Call Me Granola.FFG

I purchase my plain manila file folders here and my fun colored file folders here.

I hope you enjoy these printables.  If you would like me to keep creating these & uploading them to share, please encourage me by letting me know in the comments! 🙂  Thanks for hanging out! 🙂

Again, please respect the “freeness” of these printables by not using them for profit.  Print for personal use only!  Thanks.

File Folder Games for Tots & Preschoolers: Color Matching & Shape Matching

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So, my last post was about my clothesline which makes you feel all warm & sunny… However… A quick glance at the calendar reminds me that winter is fast approaching around here!  Colder days are coming.  Days when the kids won’t be able to comfortably play outside… Days when all the doors & windows will be closed, the heater running.  Days of being cooped up, snowed in, all covered in clothes from your toes to your nose.  Sigh… Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant & nesting comes earlier and earlier with each Nut we add to this bowl of Granola.  But, I’ve started storing up for the long winter months.  Not just food in the freezer… not collecting the seeds my garden’s produced… though I’ve been doing that as well.  What I’m busy with now is building a stash of activities for those little Nuts who will be going mad during the winter if I don’t provide interesting things to do occasionally to get their imaginations working.

I found a whole passel of “File Folder Game” ideas on Pinterest (here’s a link to my File Folder Game Pin Board) … gosh, I could spend a whole day perusing that site!  I came up with A LOT of ideas & printables which I’ll send with my Mr. to his office to print.  But I’ve been making a few of my own as well and it’s totally been fun!  Today I got the kids involved making a Paper Doll one.  It’s my favorite one so far!  I don’t have a printable for you (should I work on that?) because I just cut everything out of scrapbook paper, thanks to a good friend of mine who bequeathed to me her entire scrapbooking collection last year!  If you don’t have paper you can get some construction paper here, or various pretty papers here, here or here!

I also made a color matching one (Free Printable Here : Color Matching.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG)… For extra fun use these fun rocks to match colors or these glass beads which would be fun to use for all sorts of color and counting practice!

And a Shape “Puzzle” one (Free Printable Here : Shape Matching.TheyCallMeGranola.FFG)

They were totally easy & quick to make and my oldest absolutely loves them.  I think in order for Monster (2 1/2 year old boy!) to use these I’ll need to laminate things for him (or cover with packing tape since I don’t have a laminator).

UPDATE: I now own this laminator and can I just say – I LOVE IT!  So easy to use!  it makes stickers too which I could totally become addicted to!

FYI… the printables look a little different as I just made them on the computer.  Same idea though.  Feel free to share freely, but do not use the printables for profit please.  I hope that you can use these to keep your kids occupied this winter.

I purchase my plain manila file folders here and my fun colored file folders here!

Do you have any free File Folder Game Printables you made that you’d be willing to share?

Also, please comment below if you’d like me to work on a Paper Doll Printable.  I’d be happy to do it if there is interest!