Creative Sight Word Activities for New Readers

 
We’ve been doing a bunch of fun sight words in the past few months.  This is a collection of all of our sight word activities, perfect for beginner readers and Kindergarteners.  Learning and practicing sight words can be fun, creative, and NOT include just repetition with flash cards.  A little creativity and lot of fun are happening on this page.  Get ready to learn through play.  And have fun!
 
Lots of activities to practice Kindergarten sight words

{Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts.}

Creative Ways to Practice Kindergarten Sight Words

 

Use fun materials like ping pong balls like we did in  our Sight Words Ping Pong Bounce Game.  (That was an activity that Little Guy LOVED…and he’s not even learning sight words yet!  Use those ping pong balls again for Sight Word Scooping and incorporate fine motor skills into sentence building. 


Something that you find in the junk drawer can be a learning tool.  String!  We used string to review sight words in Creative Sight Word Practice with String

 
 

The senses are an essential part of daily life.  Incorporate the senses into learning with a few fun ideas; Try a Sight Word Sensory Bin.  Another fun idea is using a sensory bottle to engage new readers.  I Spy Sight Word Sensory Bottle is a great way to calmly practice new words.  You can also go with the mess-free version of sensory input with No-Mess Sensory Sight Word Spelling.

Work on fine motor skills while practicing beginner sight words with a letter match.  This one went along with the book Bears on Wheels
by Stan Berenstain.  S
ight Word Manipulatives  used the same sight word cards in a hands-on learning activity.


We got moving with our Sight Word Scavenger Hunt.  More movement based learning happened when we incorporated the easel in Sight Word Sticky Easel.

A few more creative ways to learn:  Does your Kindergartener love all things art?  Try some stamping with Sight Word Bottle Cap Stampers

We hope you’ve found some fun ways to learn and play with sight words with this list.  Stop back often, because we’re adding new activities all the time.  We’ll be sure to update this page with all of our latest sight word activities.

Need more sight word fun?  Stop by and follow along on our Sight Word and Beginning Reading Pinterest board for lots of fun ideas.  We can’t wait to try some of these ways to learn through play!

 

Granola Recipe with Super Food Ingredients

This mama has been on a granola kick recently.  We shared a picture on our Instagram feed not too long ago about a yummy pregnancy craving involving granola, peanut butter, and apples.  When the granola ran out, there was nothing to do but make a batch from scratch!
This granola recipe has some major super food ingredients and is one of the many batches I’ve been experimenting with.  I wanted to share this recipe because it is SO good, and the kids have been gobbling it up.  Every mom wants Healthy snacks for kids and this one hits the mark! They’ve even choosing it over all of the boxed cereals we’ve got for breakfast choices.
Granola recipe with super foods

 {Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts.}
This granola recipe includes super foods like almonds.
Almonds!  These little buggers were chopped up and one of the super foods in this recipe.  
I went with ingredients we had on hand.  The cool thing about granola recipes is that you can adjust so many ingredients based on what you’ve got handy or individual tastes, and you get totally different (YUMMY) results.
Kids will want to eat this granol recipe before it's even done!

There was some stealing happening.

Very healthy granola recipe you can make at home
Spread 2 cups of uncooked Oats (another super food!) on a large cookie sheet.  Mix in 3/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup cranberries (super food!), 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (super food!), 2 tablespoons. dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon,  and 1/2 teaspoons. Ground Nutmeg.
This granola recipe has healthy ingredients like bran and flax seed.
Now for the super super food part…I added 1/2 cup ground flax seed (super food!) and 1/2 cup wheat germ (super food!) to the mix.  How pretty does this look?  The flax seed will give your granola a nutty taste, but it’s not overpowering and goes well with the almonds. 
Toss all of these super foods together and drizzle 3 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 teaspoons of olive oil (super food!), and 1/2 cup honey (…super food on some lists, although not the link I shared above…).  Mix it all up and throw into the pre-heated oven set at 250 degrees F for 45 min.  Keep an eye on your granola and stir it all up at least 3 times.  Watch it towards the end of the 45 minutes. 

Easy homemade granola recipe

Yumminess.  Try not to eat it while it’s still hot.  Let the goodness sit on the cookie sheet until cooled and then scoop it up with a spatula into a container.

The kids gobbled up this banana-peanut butter-granola snack! 
We’ve been loving our granola over Greek yogurt, with apples and peanut butter, and with milk as cereal.  I love all of the healthy foods that the kids are getting with this snack/breakfast. 
What other alternatives can you think of to add or substitute to your granola recipe?
We’ve also done some of these substitutes and are definitely going to try some others:
raisins
chopped walnuts
without quinoa
without brown sugar
coconut oil
maple syrup
agave syrup
puffed rice
sunflower seeds
chopped pecans
peanut butter
chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
dark chocolate chips
dried fruit
Looking for more kid-friendly foods?  Stop by and follow along on our

Follow Sugar Aunts’ board Food for Kids on Pinterest.

DIY Shape Stamps

These DIY Shape stampers were part of a craft we made waaaaaay back at the beginning of the month before Valentine’s Day. (HOW did February fly by so fast???)  We cut heart shapes from Styrofoam packaging sheets and stamped hearts.  The hearts decorated our front window for a few weeks.  While we stamped the hearts, I cut out a few other shapes from the Styrofoam sheet and had a little fun with shapes!

Shape Stamps

Creative painting with styrofoam shape stamps

This was a simple craft and creative way to paint while learning about shapes.  baby Girl is only just learning her shapes and calls everything a triangle.  Little Guy is happy to help her out with the correct shape name…calling out the shape before she even has a chance to answer!

A few shapes cut from Styrofoam sheets were all we needed to get started.  We stamped the shapes in red paint but adding more colors in there would made a fun creative painting art project.

Some of the shapes didn’t turn out exactly like they should have…but it was fun!

Stamping with these palm-sized stamps is a fun way to cross midline (reaching across the middle of the body) as Baby Girl reached to dip the shape in paint and then to stamp the shape onto the paper.  Crossing midline is an important skill for little ones.  This activity would be great for kids with special needs or difficulty using one hand/arm. 

Baby Girl wanted to paint some of her stamps too.  She is big-time into all things painting!

Our DIY stamps turned out to be a lot of fun and a great way to decorate our window for a holiday.  We re-used our hearts and made a fun spring flower with the prints.  Watch this space to see more crafty fun and see where this project went!
We’ve been having fun with our Styrofoam activities this month.  Lots of fun activities are linked up and if you’ve got any fun Styrofoam blog posts, be sure to stop by and share them with us! 

Penguin Themed Math Counting Activity

We had a little Penguin theme going on for a while around here.  Penguin activities are so much fun for learning and play!  This Penguin themed math activity was a fun way to explore numbers and tie into our penguin fun.  We did this learning and counting activity one day after we made our penguin themed snacks. 
This Penguin Themed Math Activity  used Styrofoam fish for counting and ordering.  Check it out:


Kids love counting fish in a penguin themed math activity.

{Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts.}

Penguin Themed Math Counting for Kids

Scoop fish in a penguin themed counting activity for preschoolers.

We used a sheet of Styrofoam to make fish shapes and a large sheet of krafting paper
to make a pond.  I wrote numbers on the fish so Little Guy could count them out.  This was a fun way to re-use some recycled materials.  He used our
Bug Net
to scoop up the fish like a penguin would.  We scooped them in numerical order and then in random order too. 


We were planning to put our fish in a bin of water for more penguin scooping fun, but someone (cough, Baby Girl, cough) broke them up into little Styrofoam fish bits…how fun would this be to read a few fun penguin books and then do some fishy counting to continue the penguin theme?

Have you done any fun penguin activities this winter? Stop by and share them on our Facebook page.  We would love to see them!

Colorful ways to learn and play

After months of wintery gray skies and freezing temps, we are ready to play with some rainbows and sunshine!  It may still be cold and the snow is still out there, but we can play with color to brighten our day! These features from Share It Saturday have colorful ways to learn and play.  Look out colors, here we come!





Try the celery experiment with every color of the rainbow. (P is for Preschooler)
Set up an invitation to create and play with colorful parts, play dough, pieces, and manipulatives.  The learning is non-stop! (Laughing Kids Learn)
Prepare a St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Sink with rainbows galore. (Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails)
Match colors in a color matching water bin. (Sugar Aunts)
Dye pasta in a rainbow of colors for sensory play, crafts, activities, counting, and exploring. (The Connection We Share)
Encourage fine motor skills with rainbow fine motor play. (Sugar Aunts)
Create colorful magnetic art with a bunch of different colored pipe cleaners. (Munchkins and Moms)
Build sculptures with colored ice sculptures outside in the snow, or bring the fun inside for colorful art. (Happy Hooligans)
Build a pom pom catapult and toss all colors across the room. (3 Dinosaurs)

More colorful play ideas:
Make your own colored sand.  It’s simple, I promise!
Paint a rainbow with a recycled egg carton.
Create a few rainbow sensory bins for hours of colorful play.
Use lots of different colored tissue paper to play with tissue paper and work on fine motor skills.
Paint snow.  Indoors or outside!

Snowman Craft Fine Motor Winter Craft for Kids

Winter crafts are one of our favorites!  When it’s so cold outside and the snow is blowing around, it’s so much fun to just create a fun craft with a pile of paint, glitter, and STUFF!  We’ve done quite a few winter crafts around here and this cute little snowman craft is a fun one to add to the list.
Spring seems to be a long way off with all of the snow outside, and this snowman has been happily hanging out on our dining room wall as we wait for any signs of spring. 

 

Snowman Craft for Kids

 {Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts.}

We started out with a few supplies: black pony beads, orange felt, white paper condiment cups, glue, and markers.

Baby Girl glued three of the condiment cups on a sheet of paper with a. lot. of glue.  But isn’t a ton of glue always involved in crafts with two year olds 😉

This dried. Eventually.

We cut a little triangle from the orange felt and glued that on.  We drew a cute little smile and arms with the marker and then decided to draw buttons on too.  You could totally use the pony beads, but that didn’t happen with this cute snowman.

What fun winter crafts have you done?  Stop by our Facebook page and share the pictures or links with us. And be sure to “like” if you’re not already.  We would love to have you join us!

Visual Motor Activity for Learning and Scanning, Eye-hand Coordination


We shared a great bubble wrap activity yesterday and are continuing again today with another fun learning through play activity with the awesomeness of bubble wrap!   This time we did some visual scanning to work on letters of Little Guy’s name, letter sounds (a great pre-reading activity!), color awareness with Baby Girl, and eye-hand coordination as we popped the bubbles.  Sounds like a super fun way to play and learn, right?!?
Visual Motor activities are very important to the pre-hand writer…and new handwrites, too.  Learning to place those letters on the lines and be aware of how much space is left on the page is part of visual-motor skills.  So is line awareness when cutting.  And even, moving with large muscles as we carry items in the home or classroom.  We have to be aware of how much space is around us and this is where visual-motor awareness comes into play.  
Visual scanning (scanning with the eyes across a page, for example) and hand-eye coordination (using the hands in a coordinated manner based on what the eyes are telling us) are both part of Visual Motor Skills.  Visual Motor activities are a fun way to play while working on these important skills.


This visual motor activity is a great way to work on visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, and letter and color awareness.

 

Visual Motor Activity to work on visual scanning and hand-eye coordination

We started our fun with these funny faces stickers from www.craftprojectideas.com/.  We received them free of charge and have been loving the silly faces in our crafts.  The colors were perfect for this activity.  Baby GIrl stuck the stickers onto a piece of paper and together we worked on colors.  She can tell me some of the colors, but most of the time, needs help.  These stickers were a fun way to practice!
Kids can work on color awareness with colored stickers in this visual motor activity.
{Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.  As always, we thank you for your support and community here at Sugar Aunts.}
Once the stickers were in place, I taped a piece of bubble wrap on top of the stickers.  Now we were ready to get to popping!
Preschoolers will love locating and identifying letters in their name as they visually scan.
Little Guy used a Window Marker
to dot the colored stickers as I called out a color.
 

  

Use window markers and scan for colors, letters

He had to visually can the paper to locate the color he needed.  Pushing hard enough with the marker provided a nice “pop” when he dabbed the bubble.  Using his hands in a coordinated way to dab the correct bubble worked on hand-eye coordination.  Because of the bubble wrap on top of the stickers, he had to make sure it was aligned correctly.

Children can visually scan for letters and develop eye-hand coordination to locate letters.
Next, we tried this with the letters in his name.  I had extra letters, plus the letters in his name and asked him to dab all of the ones that he needed for his name.  Scanning across the page in all directions was fun way to explore letter identification as he visually scanned top to bottom and side to side.  He again worked on those hand-eye coordination skills as he popped the correct bubbles.
More playful ways to practice hand-eye coordination and visual scanning :


Finger Dexterity Exercise Game for Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills in kids are so important for independence in self care tasks.  Children need to develop the ability to manipulate their fingers in a coordinated manner in order to skillfully maneuver buttons, zippers, shoe laces, pencils…and the tools of learning and play…TOYS! 
We’ve got lots of posts dedicated to fine motor skills.  Finger Dexterity is a necessary step in development of fine motor skills.  This exercise game is a great one for development of precision in those little muscles of the hands, isolating fingers, and separating the two sides of the hand…all SO important in independence and play.
Try this activity to work on separating the two sides of the hand with a fun activity for kids. 


Kids will love to play this finger dexterity activity to work on fine motor skills.

What is Finger Dexterity?

Children develop their hand skills from infancy.  There are developmental milestones for fine motor development that are necessary for independence each stage of childhood.  Children also need to demonstrate dexterity in order to manipulate objects.  They need to maneuver their fingers independently of one another (this is called finger isolation) and with separation of the two sides of the hand.  Without these skills, modifications or adjustments are often made by the child.


 Separation of the two sides of the hand

When using the small muscles of the hands in dexterity tasks, one uses the side of the thumb-side of the hand.  The precision side of the hand is the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger.  These are the fingers needed for dexterity tasks and fine motor skills.  The ring finger and pinkie finger are involved in providing stability during precision tasks.  When the index and thumb are involved in a small motor activity, the ring finger and pinkie finger are tucked into the palm and proved a support during handwriting and shoe tying.  They also provide power during grip and the force behind a gross grasp. 
So when will you see the two sides of the hand separated during activities?? Tying shoes, pulling a zipper, fastening a button, and manipulating small pegs into a pegboard are some examples of separation of the two sides of the hand.


Finger Isolation

Finger isolation is a key part of finer dexterity and begins when an infant begins to point at objects with one finger.  Using the fingers independent of one another is needed for tasks like turning a page in a book, typing, molding dough, sign language, and finger plays (“where is Thumbkin” is a great way to practice finger isolation!) 
Kids can identify colors by playing this fine motor game.


{Note: This post contains affiliate links.  In other words, this blog will receive monetary compensation when any purchases are made through the links in this post.  Our opinions and ideas are in no way affected.  You can read our full disclosure policy here. }

Our finger dexterity activity began with a little prep work.  We received these acrylic paints from craftprojectideas.com for free and were so excited to use them in a fun painting project. 

Kids will explore colors in this finger dexterity game.

I painted the back side of large bubble wrap with different colors.   We let these dry (and it was slightly difficult to remain patient!!)

Kids will love to play "Twister" in this fine motor exercise.

Once our paints were dry, we got our fingers ready to play some finger dexterity games!  I had Little Guy get his fingers ready by making “legs”.  This is a great way to encourage use of the two sides of the hand.  He tucked his pinkie and ring fingers into the palm of his hand and got his pointer and middle finger busy as they “walked” around.

Fun fine motor game for kids.

We played a color matching game with the colored bubbles.  I called out a color and he had to “walk” his fingers to the color and pop the color.  He was working on color awareness at the same time as we practiced finger dexterity.

kids can work on fine motor skills needed for independence in many tasks.

As I called out defferent colors, he had to “walk” his fingers around to the dffernet colors.  He really workied on those finger isolation skills as he searched for a bubble that was not yet popped.  Other ways to work on finger isolation and separation of the two sides of the hand include using small objects in manipulation like crafting pom poms.

The index, middle finger, and thumb are needed to manipulate items in fine motor tasks. This activity is a great way to encourage dexterity in kids.

Even Baby Girl wanted to get in on the fun!  This finger dexterity exercise is a great way to “warm up” the hands before a handwriting or typing task for older children.  When there is weakness in the small muscles of the hands, it is often times, difficult for children to write, color, or type with appropriate grasp and positioning of the fingers and wrist.  A dexterity exercise like this one is a fun way to play and get those muscles of the hand moving and strengthened in order to improve endurance and positioning.


Looking for more fun ways to practice finger dexterity?  These are some fun games and activities you may want to try:
Beach Play Dough
Itsy Bitsy Spider and other finger play games
gears building set


Shadow puppets
Clay Rocks activity
Tricky Fingers
tweezers
eye droppers
Operation Game

You can find more fine motor activities on our Fine Motor Play Pinterest board: