Friday, July 29, 2011

Get a Free Bulletin Board Ebook Now!

Go LIKE Really Good Stuff over on Facebook now to get this free PDF downloadable ebook.  If you've already liked them, unlike and relike.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Design a T-shirt

Have your child design and create their own t-shirt.

This activity really works well with inexpensive white t-shirts you can buy pre-packaged. Just make sure they're 100% cotton.

If you use markers, be sure they're the permanent kind. If you choose those, the child will draw directly on the shirt.

Note: Be sure you place a piece of cardboard or some plastic directly inside the shirt to prevent bleeding to the back of the shirt.

Another idea is to have your child use fabric crayons. This way, your child draws directly onto a piece of white paper. Laying the t-shirt on an ironing board or flat surface, and placing the finished drawing face-down on top of the front of the t-shirt, you would use a hot iron to press the picture into the fabric.

Note: Be careful. If you use this method, and the picture includes words or numbers, the drawing will be backwards from the original.

Monday, July 25, 2011

See the World Through Your Child's Eyes

Let your child have one of those old cameras you no longer use or want, or care if it gets a ding or a scratch on it. Let them explore their world inside the house and out in the yard (or wherever you want to take them.) When they're done, upload the photos on the computer and see the world through your child's eyes.

You might be surprised at what you discover.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Landmarks and Your Town's History

I am often surprised when talking to people who live in a town or city that's rich with local history, to find out they personally have never been to those locations. For instance, I would bet that only 1 out of 10 people who live in San Antonio have ever been to the Alamo. (If you're not a Texan, you may not be familiar with the pivotal role this mission had in our history.)

If you live near a historical monument, a museum, or any site that has a lot of local history attached to it, take your child there and let them share in this enriching experience.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Life for an Old Deck of Cards

Got an old deck of cards that you're thinking of throwing away because it's missing a card or two?  Give it new life by letting your kids play WAR.  But not the usual version of the game. I've simplified it to make it easier for them to remember and play.

1. Shuffle deck.
2. Place deck face down in middle of table.
3. Each child takes a card off the top.
4. Child with "highest number" card gets all the other children's cards. (Have them put those cards to the side in a pile.)
5. Jack is "Junior", the prince, and the King and Queen's son. The King is over the Queen, who is over Junior.  A is for the Angel, who is over Everyone!
6. If there is a tie for the highest cards, just those children who tie pick one more card off the top of the pile.
7. Game ends when there aren't enough cards left for everyone to draw.
8. Winner is the person who has the most cards in their "put aside" pile.

Note: If the children want to use the Joker, the person who draws him loses all their cards in their "put aside" pile. (Those cards don't go back in the center pile.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let Them Get Away From It All - With an Indoor Fort!

Pull out those blankets and sheets you've been meaning to wash, and the ones that have been sitting up in the closet all winter and now smell musty, and let the children build themselves an indoor fort. They can use a table, the sofa, or even their bedrooms to create this "hideaway slash club house". 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Make Your Own Puzzles!

Kindergarteners love to put together puzzles. They also love to make their own.

There are several ways to get pictures:
- coloring books
- coloring sheets off the internet
- pages out of old books
- a hand-drawn picture made by the child

Once the picture is ready, just glue it to a nice study backing like a piece of cardboard or posterboard. Once it dries, cut the puzzle into simple blocks. Store puzzles in plastic bags or a plastic container.

Note: I've taken pictures of the finished puzzle before it was cut apart to include in with the pieces, to give the kids an idea of which puzzle it was, and how it's supposed to look when done.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Recommended Site: Max's Math Adventures

If it's from Scholastic, you know it has to be good. Very interactive. This site may be a bit too difficult for the pre-Kinder going into Kindergarten, but (to quote Goldilocks) it's "juuust right" for the Kinder going into 1st grade.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Played a Good Folder Game Lately?

Nothing makes a child happier than when he or she can run up to a parent and say, "Look what I made!"  Folder games are just the thing to encourage a child's creativity, as well as get them to review math facts, science, reading, etc. All you need are plain manila folders (Used ones work well, too. Just black out the tab.)  If you don't have any folders, pieces of folded tag (poster) board work great.

You can use markers, paints, crayons, stickers, and whatever else would be fun to incorporate. You might need to guide them on how to draw simple "trails" (see below). Or they can come up with their own game rules.

If you don't have dice, a penny works. Ex: heads = 1 step forward, tails = stay in place.

For place markers, anything goes: rocks, buttons, little toys, bottle caps, etc.

(Photos courtesy of

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cook Something Together

It can be cupcakes, cookies, or a cake.  Anything.  Share this experience with your children.  Show them how to follow directions.  How to mix and measure.  How to decorate with icing and other items like sprinkles and sugar beads.

And once your baking is finished, don't forget to lick the bowl!