Another fun playgroup…

January 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

Hello friends.

We had our first official playgroup for 2012 and I finally got to make the felt snake I have been eyeing.

I used 30 1 & 1/2 inch squares of felt, 1- 12 inch piece of ribbon, a button, and a 2 & 1/2 inch piece of felt to scrunch and make into the bow stopper.

Then all you have to do is attach the button to one end of the ribbon, wrap the ribbon around your bow and stich to secure, then use an exacto knife to cut 1/2 inch slits through each felt square.

McGily has already had alot of fun pulling them off and “practicing” getting them back on…yay!

We also had a hexnut word game on the agenda but I want to get together some teaching resources for those fun CVC {consonant vowel consonant} words before I share it.

The other resource I wanted to share with you is something the hubs and I are starting-to strengthen our faith and relationship- with couples scripture study.  I love structure and having a plan in this area so when I found the Red Headed Hostesses Spouse and Children study plans I was amazed as always and also ecstatic I don’t have to do all the work.  Check it out here.  I will let you know how it goes, topic for the month is the Godhead.

Love. Love.



Crafty Shmafty Playgroup | Paint Chips and Eric Carle

October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Courtesy of Miss Chavah and her cute craftiness.

Dear friend,

This Monday was our second Crafty Shmafty playgroup.  Here is what we made!

First we made paint chip matching games {on pinterest everywhere, originally from here}  this activity not only supports beginning sorting and classifying skills but strengthens fine motor skills.  Be careful with too young of children because the clothespins can be a little pinchy.  We got our idea from this tutorial but we made some adaptions to make them last longer.  The first change we made was to use contact paper to laminate the cards and then we used Modge Podge to seal strips of the color to the clothespins.  Also, I made an easier version with single colors instead of shades.  Hints: don’t go to  Walmart for your paint chips because there are 6 shades to a paint swatch and some are too close for an intermediate game.  We just cut the swatches down to 3 colors to make it a little easier.

 This next set is a print-cut-laminate craft.  I found these wonderful printables on the lovely 1+1+1=1 blog.  The first one is a set of matching cards for the animals in Eric Carles book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  I made the set and then added it to one of our pouches and included a small board book that we had and the sequencing activity on the same site.  The second activity is a counting activity that I added to a book I had by Eric Carle called, My Very First Book of Numbers.  The file did not show the numbers in my viewer it just had black smudges so I covered them with white stickers and I am planning on writing the numbers on the back with permanent marker  and letting McGilly write it on the front with a dry erase marker as a separate activity {of course this activity will come when she is a little older}.

The last activity was CD case mazes, I found the tutorial on the wonderful blog Giddy Giddy.  I made a few adaptions after my trial and error.  You have to make sure if you are using a clear CD case, the older kind with the plastic insert that holds the CD, you need to put the paper lining on the outside and not inside the case under the Wiki Stix-they do not stick very well to paper.  Also I tried the cheapy slim CD cases I had around the house next, and they were perfect because they didn’t have the open space between the bind of the CD and the front cover.  Also, they are just the right width for the ball so the ball can’t jump the maze walls.

I hope you enjoy making these for your kiddos and thank you to Rochelle, Jamie, and Chavah for the fun playgroup!  If downloaded our last crafty shmafty playgroup or invite for your own playgroup leave a comment and let me know how it went, I would love to hear from you!  Our warm fuzzy game was by far the most downloaded.

Here is the supply list for this activity, just click and print.


xo AshLee

Crafty Shmafty Playgroup DIY

October 4, 2011 § 8 Comments

Dear friend,

On Monday was the first meeting of the Crafty Shmafty Playgroup.  Organized by the lovely Andrea, we invited all of the ladies in our area who had children in Nursery to join us for a Craft/ Playgroup.  We will meet regularly to let our little ones play and to create Busy Bags for the kiddies.  I found these Busy Bags through my cousin Tiff’s Pinterest Board and we knew they were perfect.

So for this post I am going to share with you all you need to throw your own Crafty Shmafty playgroup.  Or you can participate in our long distance and just use the tutorials to make your own Busy Bags.  First I am going to show you the Busy Bags we created and then some I put together with gathered items from around the house.  Last I will share with you the invite and supply list for your first crafty shmafty playgroup and some resources for finding more busy bag ideas.

These are McGilly’s Busy Bags all piled into our take a long bag, so colorful!

This is Busy Bag 1 from our first Playgroup called Warm Fuzzy play & sort.

The Warm Fuzzy game came with sorting cards.  It is really quite easy to put togther-


1 canister with a plastic lid {I used a baking soda container}

Pom Poms

Contact paper

These downloads {Pattern paper}  {Sorting Cards A}   {Sorting Cards B}  {Tags}

How to:

  1. Cut the piece of patterned paper lengthwise to the size of your canister so that it can wrap around it.
  2. Cut out a label.
  3. Cut our a piece of contact paper that is just longer lengthwise and the same hiegth as your pattern paper.
  4. lay your contact paper down sticky side up and position the label face down in the center, next carefully lay the pattern paper over the label.
  5. You should have a piece of contact paper hanging over the edge so, wrap the label around the canister and secure with the extra contact paper.
  6. Cut shapes in the lid, cut and laminate your cards, add pom poms and you have a fun game that can increase in difficulty as your child is ready.

This is the best part, for a young child just learning how to use their fine motor skills it is great and then as they begin recognizing color add in two sorting cards and just use the two colors of pom poms, next as they are ready add another sorting card and so on and so on until they can sort with all eight.  Also, the cards are great for color flashcards, color word spelling, or for playing Slap Yellow or Slap Red with two sets of cards {just like slap jack but choose a color wild card-for bonus learning make sure kiddos say the color as they lay it down}, really the possibilities are endless.

 This is the Busy Bag 2: Snapshot Puzzles-   Check out this tutorial, the only difference for us was that we used modge podge for the glue.  And Kathryn found out that if you pull the sticks up after they dry and bend the creased, the exacto knife cuts alot better.

Next I have some busy bags made of fun stuff from around the house, no craftiness, just throw it in and go.  Sidenote: I was shooting these with McGilly’s help and it took a lot longer than it should of because as soon as I pulled the trinkets out of one of the bags she wanted to be right in the middle of it.  I can tell already we are going to get a lot of miles out of these.

 This bag has McGilly’s crayon pouch, notebook, and a handful of stickers.  I want to get some stencil to add to it too and perhaps some colored pencils.

 For this one I put in some pipe cleaners and a soap holder full of beads.  This bag is open ended-the kiddies could shape things out of the pipe cleaners, string beads, or like McGilly today just play with the bead box-she rolled the beads down the driveway and then went and picked them up.

 This is a simple one that I have just added small books to.  Most of the books are little dime readers and those books that came on the Cherrios boxes for a while.

  This one is full of pint-size puppets about half are missing because what you can’t see is McGilly off to the left with a parrot and a monkey on her fingers and a handful in her lap.  These little guys are from Ikea and the feelings faces are just laminated circles with velcro on them and a simple puppet made from felt.

 This is a mini magna doodle and some magnetic numbers.  The magnet numbers leave their shape when pressed on the magnadoodle.

 This bag is full of containers to open and little trinkets to play with-the paperclips can be sorted or just to improve fine motor skills.  McGilly loves this one too especially putting the paperclips in the little hole in the clear container.  The clear container was $1 at Wal-mart and the soap holder was less than that.

 This bag has texture forms you can buy at a teacher supply, rubbing crayons, and post its.  The post its are nice because it is still hard for McGilly to hold the paper and rub at the same time.  If you don’t want to buy forms {I had these from teaching Kindergarten} use a piece of sandpaper cut into small shapes glued to another piece of sandpaper or use Elmer’s glue and make designs on a cardboard square-let dry-and voila you have texture forms.

And of course tucked in my bag is a good old bottle of bubbles.  I love them, McGilly loves them, it’s a win win.

Resources: {Google result for Busy Bags}  {Rigneys} Note: Rigney blog explains a busy bag swap which would be a speedy version of our playgroup.

Last, I wanted to share the invite- if you are so inspire- you can start a crafty shmafty playgroup.  If you want to do the same two we did {the warm fuzzy canister and the snapshot puzzles}  here is the supply list too.  Just click on the supply list and print the JPEG.

Invite {download here}

Sweet little invite.

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