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Is it possible that the first day of school is upon us already?!  Oh my this summer did fly by!  While parents and teachers have so much on their minds in preparation for the big day, our little ones have a whole other set of worries inside of them…those first day jitters! This Jitter Juice Recipe is sure to help!

One of my most favorite ways to get those first day of school jitters out is to read the hilariously funny and unpredictable children’s book called, “First Day Jitters,” and then create the most delicious Jitter Juice Recipe to take away those butterflies in our bellies!

Pair this with our Back to School Centers!

Jitter Juice Recipe

If you haven’t read this storybook yet, it is a must!  I don’t want to spoil the ending for you but I will tell you that there’s a BIG surprise at the end.  A surprise that will, without a doubt, help the little ones in your life through those first day jitters.

After you’ve read, “First Day Jitters” to your children, then you must make them this delicious Jitter Juice Recipe! It won’t disappoint!

Whether you are making this tasty drink at home with your own kids or in the classroom, we have all the tips and tricks you need to make it an awesome experience for your kids, including a printable of the ingredients and a fun poem.

So, once you mix your delicious Jitter Juice, add the adorable Jitter Juice label (with the recipe below) and pour! (We colored in the label with some fun markers, but you could also print the design on colored paper)

The kids LOVED making the Jitter Juice. Plus, did you know it’s a well known fact that adding a “special ingredient” of sprinkles helps to get those jitters out?  😉

As we dump our special ingredient inside our tasty treat, we also recite our Jitter Juice Poem!

Jitter Juice Recipe:

1 part Sprite

1 part Hawaiian Punch

Sprinkles

Optional: 1 scoop of Sorbet

Serve in a plastic cup with a silly straw!

Now it’s time to enjoy! (Remember, you can print these out below with our poem, too)

Here is our version of a Jitter Juice poem – we have even put it in a downloadable pdf for you via the yellow button at the end of the post-  we’ve also included the recipe AND label!

This is perfect to print and color at school on the first day, and send home in case parents want to make it too!

Grab Your Download

Ready to tell those jitters goodbye? Grab your label, poem, and printable recipe by clicking the yellow button below.

Then, hop over and snag your set of print and play Back to School Centers! 

The post Jitter Juice Recipe appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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This Lemonade Summer Craft is a festive way to celebrate summer and encourage plenty of imaginative playtime fun! This would be a simple art project for introducing kids to color terms such as “hue” and “value.” This pretend lemonade craft is such a creative way to recycle those empty cardboard rolls from paper towels or wrapping paper!

Lemonade Summer Craft Supplies How to Make Lemonade Summer Craft

Adult (optional): Before you begin, use a paintbrush to cover the outside of the cardboard tube with a base coat layer of white gesso. This will help the light yellow and pink paint to look better.

Add some yellow and pink paint to an empty plastic egg carton. Add a little white paint to create an ombre effect as shown.

Invite your child to use a craft stick to mix up the paint. You should have about three different color values of each hue.

Invite your child to paint the cardboard tube in a single hue going from the lightest to the darkest color value.

Allow the paint to dry completely. Invite your child to add a bendy straw and an umbrella toothpick to complete the look of their Lemonade Summer Craft!

More Fun Ways to Use this Craft:
  • Create several of these lemonade crafts and arrange onto a large paper plate for a festive table center piece!
  • Serve this pretend lemonade to your favorite stuffed animal friends.
  • Use as a prop for a pretend lemonade stand as a fun way to teach kids about counting and money math.
  • For party favors or place setting cards, use a black marker to write the name of each guest along the cardboard tube. Roll up a small zipper sandwich bag filled with buttermints and place inside each tube.

Then hop on over and check out our CD Tissue Paper Sun Craft!

The post Lemonade Summer Craft appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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No matter the time of year, alphabet activities are always in season. These Beach Bucket Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Activities are just what you need this summer (or right before that summer break) to help your kids prepare for the upcoming year. Whether you’re using them at the end of the year, during summer school, or for your own kids at home, these letter cards will help your little ones maintain their letter identification progress.

*Pair this with our Kindergarten Summer Homework to keep minds sharp!

Beach Bucket Letter Activity Cards What’s Included: 

-26 Uppercase Letter cards on beach buckets

-26 Lowercase Letter cards on beach shovels

How to Use FREE Letter Cards

One of the reasons I love using letter cards in the classroom is because they’re simple to prepare but there are so many ways you can use them! Below you’ll find several ideas for ways to use the free beach bucket themed cards.

TIP: Before choosing an activity, I recommend printing the letter cards on card stock and laminating for durability!

Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching 

This activity is simple and great for practicing letter identification!

Start by setting out the letter cards, face up. Students search for the uppercase and lowercase letter matches. When they find a match, they lay them out together.

Tip: for more focused practice, set out only the letters that the student knows and a few that they are working on mastering.

Letter Go Fish

Go Fish is such a classic! And this activity is great because you only need the free letter cards from this blog post!

The goal of the game is for students to get the most uppercase and lowercase letter matches. Start by shuffling the letter cards. Then, pass out 7 cards to each child playing and put the remaining cards in the middle of the group, face down.

Students start by checking to see if they have any matches. They place these matches down in front of them. After that, students take turns asking another player if they have a certain letter. Students will have to specify if it’s an uppercase letter or a lowercase letter.

It would sound something like this: “(Name), do you have an uppercase A?”. The student would reply with either “Yes”, while handing over the card or by saying “Go Fish.” At this point, the first child who was looking for the letter, would take the next card from the top of the pile. This is repeated until someone gets rid of all of their cards.

Sand Tracing Supplies:
  • Sand (salt will work too, if sand is not available!)
  • A small Tray
  • Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Cards

Gather the materials. Pour sand (or salt) in the tray and set out the letter cards. Students choose a card and write that letter in the sand with their finger. I love this activity because it’s a fun way to tie in a sensory piece with letter identification practice.

Linking Letters

I love using links in the classroom! They’re such a fun hands-on manipulative, and great for fine motor too!

In order to do this activity, you’ll need to punch a hole into the tops of all of your letter cards and set them out with the links. Students will then find an uppercase and lowercase letter match to link together.

However you decide to use these Uppercase and Lowercase Beach Bucket Letter Cards, I hope that your students enjoy them and get lots of letter practice before the new school year begins!

To grab your copy of these letter cards, click the large, yellow button below.

Then, hop on over to see our Beach Beginning Sound Puzzles!

The post Beach Bucket Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Activities appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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One of the best parts about summer is that it’s the perfect time to go camping! Even if you aren’t going camping or dislike the outdoors, your students will love this camping themed activity. This Camping Syllable Sort activity focuses on counting syllables and sorting words by the number of syllables.

*Pair this with our Read, Find and Color Bundle for more word work fun!

Camping Syllable Sort Phonemic Awareness

Counting syllables is one of the main components of phonological awareness that are taught in Kindergarten. This will help students be able to break apart long words into smaller chunks, which will help them when they are learning how to read and spell longer words.

To practice counting syllables, I teach my students how to clap out a word. I say a word, such as “butterfly”, and my students repeat the word. Then, we break the word into chunks, like this- “but-ter-fly”, while clapping each part. Last, they hold up how many syllables they counted using their fingers.

Picture sorts are a fun way to practice syllables by sorting them into how many syllables each word has. It fits nicely in a pocket chart, but you can do this activity anywhere- at a table, on the floor, or on the board. This would be a great way to practice syllables as a whole group activity, reading center, or a quick informal assessment.

To prep:
  1. Print out the Camping Syllable Sort activity.
  2. Cut out the syllable headings and picture cards.
  3. Laminate for durability.

To play:
  1. Place each of the syllable headings at the top of the pocket chart or lay flat.
  2. Place the picture cards in a pile.
  3. Have a student come up and pick up the top picture card.
  4. The student says the word on the picture card, then claps it out, counting how many syllables.
  5. They place the picture card under the correct heading.
  6. Continue taking turns until all the picture cards have been sorted.

Each picture card is labeled at the bottom. If your students are doing this independently, I suggest going over all of the words with them, or telling them to use their best guess with what the picture is.

My students put the “campfire” picture under the 2 syllables sign, because they used it as the word “fire” instead. Both options are correct! These picture cards are also a opportunity to learn some new vocabulary or to discuss camping activities.

Have fun camping with this syllable sort!

Are you ready to grab this FREE Camping Syllable Sort activity? Click on the large, yellow button below!

Then, hop on over to see our Summer Word Searches for more summer word fun!

The post Camping Syllable Sort appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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We are knee deep in summer fun around here but have had a few rainy days. On those afternoons we are searching for fun, seasonal activities to keep us busy! Although it is hard to say, this activity is perfect for a little back-to-school prep. In the essence of keeping things festive, we are working on this Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity! Practicing 1:1 correspondence and counting just got a lot more fun, and tasty!

*Pair this with our Roll and Color Math Games!

Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity How to Use our FREE Printable

This free printable would be perfect as an independent activity for a summer quiet time. It would also be really fun for a tutoring group or a math center activity for back-to-school.

Counting Activity

To prepare the counting activity, simply print it out, laminate for durability and cut out the numbered cones and assorted ice cream scoops.

For my child, I set out each cone, one through ten, and laid out all the assorted ice cream scoops. We worked together to count the scoops for each cone and she was able to complete it independently.

Her favorite part was picking out which flavors to add to each cone!

Sensory Add-On

One of my favorite ways to extend a learning activity is to include a sensory piece. We used cool whip in a plastic serving tray to work on number writing as we counted. It was such a fun and tasty way to add more engagement to the ice cream scoop counting.

This was definitely messy, but really tied into the ice cream theme. I recently saw a sensory writing activity using sprinkles, which would be just as fun!

Once we were finished, I froze the tray and was able to thaw the cool whip to play again later. It was a huge hit!

Grab Your Copy

Are you ready for some sweet counting fun with this Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity?!

You can add it to your summer learning activities or back-to-school math centers by clicking the large, yellow button at the very bottom of this post.

Then, hop on over and grab our Ice Cream Addition and Subtraction Math Mats for more summertime fun with math!

The post Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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Keep the kids cool this summer with this Paper Fan Watermelon Craft for Kids! This paper fan craft is easy to make using only a few common materials you probably already have in your home or classroom. Don’t you just love frugal, crafting fun?!

Paper Fan Watermelon Craft for Kids Summertime Crafting

These watermelon paper fans would be a great activity for the kids to do on a rainy day, or as part of a summer party or outdoor picnic!

Gather for a good book and a fun craft and read the book, The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli together!

With just a few frugal supplies, it’s time to get started!

Supplies: Assembly:

Begin by flipping the paper plate over so the bottom is facing up.

Invite your child to paint the center of the paper plate with pink tempera paint as shown. Painting is a great way for kids to work on developing fine-motor skills!

Next, kids can paint the rim of the paper plate with green tempera paint. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Once the paint has dried, invite your child to use a cotton swab dipped in black tempera paint to add the seeds!

*Optional – Sneak in a little early math skills practice by asking your child to count the number of seeds as they paint.

Once the black tempera paint has completely dried, fold the paper plate in half as shown.

Open the plate and use masking tape to attach a large craft stick for the handle of the fan.

Adults can use a stapler around the outer rim of the plate to seal the edges of the plate shut.

You’re ready to cool down this summer with this Paper Fan Watermelon Craft for Kids!

Have fun!

You might also like to try our Paper Plate Sun Craft!

The post Paper Fan Watermelon Craft for Kids appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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It is starting to feel a lot like summer where we are! We are ready for sun, ice cream and of course a little alphabet work to keep up on our skills.  These Summer Alphabet Printables includes a variety of activities.

*Pair this with our Kindergarten Summer Printable Pack!

Summer Alphabet Printables

Whether you are a parent trying to maintain your child’s skills, help them get ahead, or even a tutor for the summer, this printable pack is for you! A fun summer spin on letter work to get you through until fall!

What’s Included

The first activity in the pack is an upper and lowercase letter match game.

Children can match the uppercase suns with the lowercase popsicles.

My daughter is young, so I only set out a few uppercase letters at a time and hand her the lowercase letters to match. This would work as a center literacy activity or pair children up for a game!

Another option for differentiated teaching would be to give each set one at a time and have the child put them in alphabetical order.

The next activity in the Summer Alphabet Printables pack is the uppercase letter fill-in-the-blank worksheet. We like to use a page protectors for these sheets so we can reuse them!

Tip: For a more durable option, we like to laminate our pages for use over and over again!

The first page has missing spots to fill in the blanks and the second page is completely blank!

The last activity in the summer fun letter pack is the same as the uppercase letter worksheets but includes lowercase letters instead.

After we filled in the missing spaces, my daughter used it to help fill in the completely blank worksheet. I really loved using page protectors for these worksheets. This way, as my daughter became more confident, she didn’t need the help of the first page!

Grab Your Copy

Ready for some out-of-school fun? You can add these activities to your summer bucket list by clicking the large, yellow button below. 

Then, hop on over and see our Summer Beach Beginning Sound Puzzles!

The post Summer Alphabet Printables appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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Ocean, sun, and sandcastles! A few elements reminding me of Summer! What do you like most about Summer? I bet your students like sandcastles, so here is an idea to make DIY Sandcastle Shape Puzzles.

*Pair this with our Cut and Paste Shape Sorts!

DIY Sandcastle Shape Puzzles Gather Supplies

I used a piece of cardboard out of our recycling bin. Which means we are being “green” by reusing recyclables!

We used shape playdough cutters to make our DIY sandcastle shape puzzle pieces. You can either use your own cutters or the free templates provided below.

Want more shapes? Add to it with your own stencils or cutters!

Easy DIY Assembly

First, I cut the sandcastle shapes out of cardboard.

Then, I used the cutters to trace the shapes.

Lastly, a craft knife was used to cut the shapes out, carefully so that the cutout can be used as the “puzzle piece.”

Hint: Make sure you don’t cut apart the “inside piece” since this will function as your puzzle piece that the shape will fit inside of later on for the activity.

Build Language Development

Add the names of the shapes on the front of the sandcastle shape cards. This will help build up students’ knowledge of naming shapes!

As an added bonus, you can write the names in different languages, on both the front or back to really enhance language development!

There you go! A fun, frugal, hands-on activity to add to your summer theme!

Grab the Sandcastle Shape Puzzles Template below by clicking the large, yellow “Download Here” button below!

Looking for more fun shape learning ideas? Check these out:

The post DIY Sandcastle Shape Puzzles appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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Does your kindergartner love the beach? Playing in the sand and building sand castles. Not to mention playing in the water itself! Well if your student loves these things then these beach beginning sound puzzles are the perfect way to prevent the summer slide.

*Pair this with our Kindergarten Summer Review to prevent the summer slide!

Beach Beginning Sound Puzzles

Do you know one of the best thing about these puzzles? They are perfect for developing fine motor skills! And if that wasn’t enough, if your kids are not fans of worksheets- these puzzles are a perfect fit.

How to Assemble Puzzles

First, print the cards on either card stock or regular printing paper. Laminate for durability, and then cut the puzzles out with either scissors or a paper trimmer.

You can even have your students cut the puzzles for some extra fine motor skills.

Place the pieces with the images in one basket and the pieces with the letters in another.

Have your child choose a few pieces from either basket and place them on a flat surface such as a table or even the floor.

Next, have them fish for the matching pieces in the other basket.

Have them continue until they have matched all the puzzles.

Other Ways to Use The Beach Beginning Sound Puzzles

Suggestion 1: Instead of using the second half of the puzzle (the portion with the letter sound), use the first half and either magnetic letters or letter tiles to match the sounds.

Suggestion 2: If your student is already proficient in identifying beginning sounds, simply use the first half of the puzzle (the portion with the picture) and have them identify the ending sounds. All they need are letter tiles, or even give them a blank sheet of paper and stamps and have them stamp the ending sounds.

Suggestion 3: You can even try this with the middle sounds. Just pick a few cards and have them identify the middle sounds.

Grab Your Copy

Ready for some beach-themed beginning sound fun? Grab your copy of the beach beginning sound puzzles by clicking the yellow button below. 

Then, hop on over to see our Sand Pail and Shovel Alphabet Match Game!

The post Beach Beginning Sound Puzzles appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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Warmer days are on the horizon and I cannot wait to get my mouth on a nice, juicy piece of watermelon. How about you? I might have started drooling just thinking about it. With watermelon and picnics on my mind, I created these fun watermelon counting cards that can be used in many different ways to practice counting and number identification.

Pair this with our Counting Centers and Activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten!

Watermelon Counting Cards How to Prepare the Watermelon Counting Cards

These watermelon counting cards are perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade and are super easy to prep.

Simply print out the cards and laminate them.

To use the cards, you will provide some sort of seed manipulative for students to use. This can be actual seeds, playdough, markers, beans etc.

How to Use the Watermelon Counting Cards

Children will pick a card, identify the number on the card, and then add that many seeds to the card.

I chose to use playdough with ours to get some added fine motor practice in. Pinching off the playdough and rolling it into seeds is perfect for working those muscles in their hands.

Once the children have added their seeds to the cards, they can go back through and count each of the seeds to ensure they have added the correct number of seeds to each watermelon card.

If you don’t want to get out the playdough or the manipulatives, students can simply use a dry erase marker to draw the seeds onto the each watermelon.

Extension Activities

You can extend this activity in many ways depending on your goals and your group size.

  1. Print out two sets of the watermelon cards and use it as a matching game.
  2. Before laminating the cards, draw on the seeds and then laminate. Use a manipulative (pom poms, seeds, beans, playdough) to add seeds to each of the predrawn seeds to work on 1:1 correspondence.
  3. Use the cards to put them in numerical order.
Grab Your Printables

Grab your copy of the watermelon count cards by clicking on the large, yellow button below.

Then, hop on over to see our Watermelon Counting Fine Motor Activity!

The post Watermelon Counting Cards Numbers 0-20 appeared first on The Kindergarten Connection.

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