Monday, January 17, 2022

Valentine's Day Round-Up for Preschoolers!

Valentine's has ALWAYS been my favorite holiday. Even though I no longer have tiny littles anymore (my baby is 8!), I still love creating for the preschool and kindergarten aged crowd. They're just so fun! 

Below is a round-up of all the free activity ideas right here on Mothering with Creativity, as well as all the paid Valentine's items I sell in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Enjoy!

1. Celery Stamped Roses. Aren't these the cutest? All you need is celery, paint, and paper! 

2. 20 Things to do with Candy Hearts. This is the perfect compilation of activities to do with candy hearts (my fave candy!). You'll find math, science, sorting, and more! Totally free! 

3. Jell-o Sensory Play. I love making these Jell-O bins in Valentine's colors (pink, red, purple). Or, they can be for table-top sensory bin play-just add heart shaped cookie cutters! 

4. "I Have, Who Has...?" Card Game. This is a great game to play with a group of any size! If you have a smaller group of kids, pass out a couple cards to each participant. These are excellent for encouraging descriptive word usage.

5. CVC Themed Worksheet Set. If you have students working on vowel sounds or CVC words, these Valentine's themed worksheets are a cute way to practice.

6. Full Week Curriculum. Whether a teacher or a homeschooler, this set will get you ready for the entire week, all with a Valentine's theme! 

7. Activity Pack. If you are looking for variety, this pack is a great one! It has all sorts of preschool skills.

If you love Valentine's Day as much as I do, I hope some of these resources will help you to have a ton of fun with your little ones!  

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Book Review: "You're Going to Be a Dad"

You’re Going to be a Dad! is quite possibly one of the best modern day “soon to be dad” books. Full of practical information, it’s served with a side of humor and insight into all areas of becoming a dad. Where past books have put the burden primarily on the mother knowing what’s going on, making all the appointments, setting up the registry, and remembering all the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy, this book takes the more modern approach of “…[focussing] on the two of you as a team,” and being present in the process alongside mom. It’s a breath of fresh air to read a book that encourages dads to be as involved as possible.

You’ll find that this book is easy for anyone to follow. It’s broken into trimesters, months, and weeks, making it easy to see what is going on with the pregnancy, what mom might physically be experiencing at any point in time, how you can best support her, and any practical tasks that might need to be taken care of during that week. This book will leave you feeling prepared, well-informed, and excited for your new role as dad.

Each chapter begins with a “Terms to Know” section, providing a list of technical and medical terms that might either be used throughout chapter or heard while at the doctor’s office, ensuring that you aren’t left having to google new or unfamiliar terms. This section is followed up by a portion dedicated to “Mother and Baby,” providing insight into the “science and psychology of gestation and motherhood.” Chapters wrap up with a “Weekly Checklist,” as well as a “Reflections From Our Dads,” section, bringing in real feedback on each topic from other dads. With over 50 new or soon-to-be dads interviewed for this book, you are bound to find a plethora of feedback and experience to help encourage, equip, and affirm you along in the process. 

This book is designed to be “your go-to guide for everything you need to know during pregnancy and the first year of your baby’s life,” and it does just that! This book is the perfect gift for a soon-to-be-dad looking to be as understanding and involved in the pregnancy process as possible. Not only will you feel ready to navigate through pregnancy with your partner, but you will better be able to ease the burden that is so often placed on moms to take care of everything. This book offers insight into paternity leave, packing your own hospital bag (as well as a list of things to bring), reminders that you can “try out different places” until you find a provider that best fits your needs, gift ideas for mom at different stages of the pregnancy to help ease her discomforts, and big purchases you’ll need to consider for your budget. 

If you are looking for the perfect gift for a soon-to-be-dad wanting to be involved in the process of pregnancy, look no further that You’re Going to be a Dad. 

*Book was provided for me but all thoughts are my own. This is going to be my new go-to gift for new dads in my life! 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Back to School Activity Packs/Resources for Kinder/Preschool/Homeschool

 If you are a preschool or kindergarten teacher, homeschooler, or person who works with littles in the 4-6 age range, this post is for you! I've been busy at work creating some new, inexpensive resources that are simply print and go for Back to School and the fall season! Check out some of the new products below!

Perfect for little ones learning their letters, this "I Have, Who Has" A-Z letter card game is perfect! If you don't have a classroom full of students to share the cards with, you can pass out multiple cards to each child! Find it HERE.

These ABC recognition coloring pages will carry you throughout all your letter introduction learning! This set has 31 pages (includes short and long vowels). Find it HERE.

Fall is my favorite! I love all things orange and brown and pumpkin! This 9 page pack includes cutting, adding, matching, size comparisons, and more! Find it HERE.

This A is for Apple activity pack is 8 pages of cutting, comparisons, tracing, letter recognition, and more! Find it HERE

If you love the back to school and autumn season as much as I do, I hope you enjoy these resources with your little people! 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Valentine's Day FULL Preschool or Kindergarten Curriculum Set


Valentine's has ALWAYS been my favorite my favorite holiday. When I was in the classroom teaching, I absolutely LOVED Valentine's week. I still love it! 

I finally took some time and compiled all of my Valentine's themed lesson plans into a full weekly thematic learning unit, and have it listed for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers

This resource contains 5 days worth of Valentine's activities, with 22 activities in total. Activities include:
-Creative Writing
-Gift Making
-Fine Motor
-All needed printable worksheets, recipes, etc.
Activities are spread out throughout 5 days, but you can, of course, utilize them in any order you wish! Add in a Valentine's book each day and you are all set!

If you are a preschool or kindergarten teacher, or a homeschool teacher to these ages, this set will have everything you need for a really fun week of learning with your littles! Check it out in my store HERE.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

New Products for Teachers and Homeschoolers!

 I've been adding some new products to my Teachers Pay Teachers store this week, and have quite a few more planned throughout the month of December. Most all are for preschool aged students, though some are for older students or for teachers and their classrooms, as well! Check out the new ones so far: 

ABC Recognition coloring pages/worksheets. Contains letters A-Z, as well as long vowel pages! Perfect for preschool, pre-k, and kinder students!

Nativity Bingo. I am SO excited about this product. Levi (my 7 year old) keeps asking to play, so this is on my agenda for today with ALL my kids (ages 7-13). I mean, who doesn't love Bingo?!? Contains 9 pages with beautiful nativity and winter pictures. 

What's Missing? This set contains 24 pages for preschool and kindergarten aged students. Various pages with missing beginning letters, missing vowels, or missing ending letters. 

Monkeys Classroom. This resource is for preschool teachers or preschool centers. Thematic posters, letters, signs, home notes, and more for teachers using a "Monkey" theme in their classroom. 34 pages. This set will soon be duplicated for many more of the common animal classroom themes used in preschools and childcare centers! If you have particular animal themes at your center that you would like me to produce, send me a note!

I've been having so much fun creating these resources, and I hope you enjoy them too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

"No" Is An Okay Option

"No" is an okay option. I work really hard to encourage confidence in my online classes, and regularly give my students a chance to "show off" their ninja skills to everyone in class. Before I give this opportunity (which happens once or twice per 30 minute class), I ALWAYS say, "when I come to your camera, if you don't want to share, you can shake your head 'no' or even try using your words to say, 'no thank you'. Either is a completely fine option." My hope is that WHEREVER a child is at in their development, that they will be able to grow in their own way...and that might look different from child to child. 

Today, a student was hesitant. He ran off camera and I hear mom tell him, "just say 'no thank you'". As the boy comes back on screen, I see another child sit closer to the camera and say to the first boy, "no is an okay option." The first boy says, "no thank you", I say "okay", and we move on.

"No" is an okay option. All children should know this. All adults should honor this. Confidence grows at different levels and rates. Encourage, yes, but always allow children to grow at their own pace and as they are ready.

The picture above is of a review from the parent of the child who used his words today to say, "no thank you" when he wasn't quite ready to show off his ninja moves to the class. It reminded me how the little things make the biggest differences. I want ALL children to be able to participate in my classes, whether they are outgoing, shy, nervous, or excited. They should all feel welcome and encouraged.

Today, I realized the importance of this little mantra I tell my students each week. I hope that you will also see its significance as you interact with and teach children, as well!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Update: Teaching on Outschool

 So it's been five months since I first started teaching on Outschool. Since then, I've answered tons of questions from people interested or curious about teaching on Outschool, too. I figured I'd throw up a super honest review and insight into exactly how it's gone for me.

As far as flexibility, this "job" is the best. It is an independent contractor position, so you can schedule your own classes whenever you want. Need a break? Don't schedule any classes. Simple as that.  As I've gotten deeper into it, I am refining when I like to work and for how long. I'm finding what my limit is (read: at what point do I feel like dying?), and am learning to schedule myself for the perfect amount of time.

While many older students started to head back to school in August/September, I found (along with other teachers) that classes geared for older students came to an almost stand-still. My typically full coffee shop classes for older kids were hearing crickets. Fortunately, the younger groups, and in particular, my "ninja" niche, are alive and thriving. So, I back-burnered the older kid classes until later, and upped my ninja classes. These classes have continued to be in high demand, and I'm unable to keep up with the demand that I'm currently seeing. I'm already getting booked into January 2021 for classes. So, that being said, Outschool can flow up and down with age groups and needs. Be prepared to not have all your eggs in one basket, and plan to have things that do well at different times during the year. 

Ok, so the thing everyone always really wants to know...can you actually make money on Outschool? The answer is YES, you definitely can, and especially if you find the age groups and classes that are successful for you (understand, this may take some tinkering and you may not find your niche right away). I am averaging about 20 classes/week, which works out to about 10 live hours of teaching/week. I have minimal prep work as I primarily teach the same, already planned sessions over and over and over. My best month (also the month where I thought I would die of exhaustion...remember, I teach physical/movement classes), I made $5100 working 10ish hours/week. This is after Outschool's portion (they take 30% for the platform, advertising, teacher support, etc.), but before taxes (which I have to pay on my own since it's a 1099 position). This week, almost exactly five months in, I hit the $20,000 mark. My teacher stats page says I've taught 176.3 hours, making this work out to $113/hour (pre-tax). That's some dang good money. Plus, I've taught 1,315 different students from all over the world, which I absolutely LOVE. 

If you have something you are passionate about, and if you love teaching, I definitely recommend teaching on Outschool. It's fun, flexible, and is a great way to supplement your income while staying at home with your kiddos! If you have questions, ask me! I'd love to help you out and answer any questions you might have!


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