“Don’t” isn’t a word that children understand.

When you tell a child, “Don’t touch the stove.”, all they hear is, “Touch the stove.”

It is better to say what you want them to do such as: “Stand back!  It is hot.” or “Stop!  The stove is hot”.  This is hard to do, but instructions or rules given in a positive manner, always works best.


“Keep your hands to yourself.”

“Keep all four legs of your chair on the floor.”

Good luck on making directions more positive!

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Applesauce     20140821_141933

  • Peel, core and slice one apple per person.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until apples are soft.
  • Mash with a potato masher.
  • Add sugar and cinnamon to taste.
  • Eat and enjoy!

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Teach About Manners

Teach About Mannersscan0001

Objective: Children will learn what types of behavior (manners) are expected at school. (Best taught in the first few days of school.) (You are a role model! Your polite example is the best way to teach manners.) 

Preparation:  Gather the following materials:
  • watercolors
  • paper
  • water cup  (Yoplait cups work great without spilling.)
  • paint shirts to protect their clothes.
  • Decide on a book to read: 
    • Suggested books:
      • Big Black Bear by Wong Herbert Ye 
      • Clifford’s Manners by Norman Bridwell

Lesson: Read the book(s) then discuss:

  • Explain to the children we want EVERYONE to enjoy school.  Good manners help everyone to be have a good day.  
  • When we play nicely together and are polite to each other, we are using good manners.  When we use good manners children want to play with you. 
  • At snack time, we wait for our turn as the teacher passes out the snack. When she asks if we want something, we either say “Yes, please” or “No, thank you”.  If we want something, we just raise our hands or our cups.   (Spend time during snack time reviewing the manners for snacks.)
Possible Discussion Questions: 
  • What should you say if you walk in front of someone or bump into someone? “Excuse me.”
  • What should you say when you ask for something?  “Please.”
  • What should you say when someone gives you something?  “Thank You.”
  • What should you say if you hurt someone’s feelings? “I’m Sorry.”
  • Is it polite to interrupt someone who is trying to talk? No! If you want to talk, you raise your hand and wait for your turn.
  • Is it polite to whisper?  No, it might hurt their feelings.
  • At snack time what do we say if we don’t want the snack?  Simply say; “No, Thank you.”
Have the children watercolor a picture of themselves using manners.   
(This activity can be used to teach children how to watercolor while keeping 
the area and paint colors clean.) 
Here are some suggested guidelines: 
  •  Have the children get a piece of paper, their paints, a cup of water, and place them on a tray.
  •  Have them put on a paint shirt to protect their clothes.
  •  Explain that we need to keep from mixing the colors together so we:  Dip the brush in the water… in the paint color….paint on the paper.  Repeat with each new color.  Possibly use this chant:  WATER… COLOR… PAPER.  Have them repeat the chant several times as they paint.

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Math Lesson Ideas for the Number 1 (One)

Math Lesson for the Number 1 (One)

ObjectiveHelp children recognize the number 1, the word “one”, numbers are used for counting, count 1 object, and learn to write “l” and “one”.


  • Find an art print or picture from a calendar or magazine with good examples of “ONE”.
  • Optional:  Make some die cuts of apples or something else in two different colors and 3 different sizes.
  • Have some stickers.
  • Write the number “l” and the word, “one” on a word card.
  • Have examples of the different fonts of the printed form of 1.
  • Decide on a simple book, poem or nursery rhyme that has good examples of “one”.  Possibly use, “There Was a Crooked Man”.  (Included at the end.)
  • Have paper and pencil for each child.


  • Display the word card with “l one”.  Discuss the difference between the number “1” and the word “one”.  What are words made of?  (letters)  What are numbers used for?  (counting)
  • Read  a book, poem or the Nursery Rhyme.  Then discuss the examples of one thing in the reading. Discuss different body parts to see how many they have.  Do you have 1 eye?  1 nose? Etc.
  • Show the picture and have each child pick out one thing in the picture.
  • Show the children examples of different fonts for the number one.  Encourage them to write their l’s with a straight line like an “l”.  Have them make them in the air with their finger.
  • Give each child a paper and pencil.  Have or help them write their name.  Show the word card again for “l one”.  Have them write a number “l” and a word “one”.  (If a child has a hard time writing their letters, write the word “one” with a yellow pencil and have them trace it.)  Put out stickers and have them select 1 for their paper.

Extension ideas: Possibly include some comparison or patterning activities with the die cut apples.  (small, medium, large, same, different, ABAB pattern, etc.)   Can also do a food activity with several 1 items.

Nursery Rhyme

There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile;

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile:
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

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Objective:  Help children discover and learn about apples.
  • Find drawings or pictures of apples and apple trees from books, magazines or old calendars.
  • Gather the following materials; Apples, Knife, Paper, Paint: red; yellow and green, Paper plate. 
  • Decide on a book to read.     Suggested books: The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall ,The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons,Ten Apples Up On Top! By Theo LeSieg.,
  • Read a book. 
  • Discuss apples while showing apples, pictures and/or books.  Apples are a fruit, plant, have seeds.
  • Discuss the changes through the seasons in apple trees.  Can be discussed with seasons
  • Fruits are a healthy food. 
  • It is fun to cut an apple in half horizontally to show the children the star pattern created by the core and seeds.  Use this apple to do the apple stamping in the activity below.

Discussion Questions:

  • What color are apples?  Red, yellow, green or a combination of colors.
  • How do they grow?  On apple trees.
  • How do they taste?  Sweet, crunchy, juicy.
  • What can we make with apples?  applesauce, apple juice, apple pie, apple cake, etc.

Activity: Apple Stamping  (It is fun to use red, yellow and green paint and make a stamping of each color.  Keep an apple in each color of paint and don’t mix colors.  Use paint shirts.  Do with one child at a time.)  

  • Cut your apple in half( for an apple-shaped stamp cut the apple vertically – cutting it horizontally makes a circular shaped stamp.)
  • Pour paint onto a pie tin or plastic plate.
  • Dip your apple into the paint.
  • Stamp your apples on the paper.  If the apples are carefully stamped, the star may be visible.  
  • Set aside to dry.

Making Applesauce is a fun activity with children.  Applesauce blog to be posted soon.

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Teach about Summer–The Season


Objective: Help children see and experience summer and how it is different to other seasons.


  • Find drawings or pictures from books, magazines or old calendars of summer activities, food, and sun protection items.
  • Print the attached worksheet. Downloadable PDF link: summer vs. winter worksheet
  • A world globe and lamp.
  • Decide on a book to read.  Suggested books: The Wonderful Tree, by Adelaide Holl,  Wake Up, Jeremiah, by Ann Himler,   The Sky Dog, by Brinton Turkle,   Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons


Read a book(s) then discuss while showing pictures:

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do we have summer?  Summer is the time when our part of the earth tilts towards the sun.  This can be demonstrated by holding the lamp next to the globe and explaining how the Earth is tilted on its axis.  Put a sticker on the globe where you live.  Rotate the globe around the lamp showing when their part of the Earth is tilted more toward the Sun it causes the sun to rise higher in the sky it causes longer days.  The rays of the sun hit the earth more directly causing hotter weather.  When their part of the  Earth is tilted away from the Sun it is winter.  The Sun rises low in the sky, and causes shorter days.  The rays of the sun strike the ground indirectly causing colder weather.
  • What is the weather/temperature like in the summer?  It is the warmest season of the year.
  • What are some ways to protect ourselves from heat and sunburn?  Protect yourself by using sunscreen, wearing a hat, wearing sunglasses, drinking a lot of water, etc.
  • What kind of things do we do in the summer?  We play in the water. go on vacations/camping. celebrate the fourth of July, ride bikes, have picnics, play summer sports like baseball and soccer, etc.
  • What kind of foods are fun to eat or drink in the summer?  We eat ice cream, Popsicles, watermelon, etc.
  • How is summer different from winter?  We wear lighter clothes.  It is hot outside.  

Activity: Worksheet 

How do we dress differently in the summer than in the winter?  Have the children do the attached worksheet. Discuss with them what each picture is and to which column it belongs. Ask why each article of clothing would be appropriate for that season.

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What do you remember because of a song?

We remember best what we learn through music.

Simple and catchy works best.  Take simple tunes and put anything you want to learn or teach children to those tunes.  I teach the months of the year to the tune of Ten Little IndiansNo special music talent is needed to teach with music.  Have fun with musical learning.

Phonics By Spelling has fun, simple music and pictures for learning all 44 phonetic sounds.

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