Letter J: Alphabet Activities for Kids

Letter J Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

Welcome to Letter J Day!

If you haven’t read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities, you should start there.

Don’t forget to check out the Letter J:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids, too!

Here are all the activities we did:

J is for Jellyfish Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

First, as always, we did our construction paper craft.  But instead of one big letter that we decorated, we did a bunch of little letters.

I had cut out a pile of Letter Js and a rounded top so that my kids could make their own jellyfish with the letters as tentacles.

And googly eyes.  I swear they get more excited about the letters that need eyes…

J is for Jack o Lanters Letter Sorting Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

Then for our Letter Sorting activity, where they needed to separate out the capital and lowercase letters, I went with jack o’ lanterns.

My kids were still kind of little at this point in out Alphabet Activities, so I had cut out the pumpkins and faces ahead of time and all they did was glue the finished jack o’ lantern to the paper before gluing on the letters.

Now that they’re older, I might still have cut out the face pieces but I would have let them make the faces themselves first, probably from a selection of eyes and mouths.

J is for Jump Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

Back to the chalk!

I love that my girls love being outdoors, so chalk letters are great way to get them moving.

I drew a bunch of big Letter Js to represent the word “jump.”  And then we did just that – jump from J to J.

J is for Jell-O Sensory Bin Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

This was a TON of fun for my girls.

The night before Letter J Day, I made a couple of boxes of Jell-O in a big plastic bin and I threw a bunch of toys into it that started with the Letter J.

I didn’t get all fancy with worrying about where the toys would stay once the Jell-O solidified.  I just tossed ’em in.  Most of the toys floated to the top, but they were still partially submerged and, thus, still had to be dug out by little fingers that were eager to get messy.

J is for Jello Sensory Bin Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

We did it outside to keep the mess out of the house, but I suppose you could do it on a tile floor somewhere if you covered it in a tarp or with a tablecloth.

We made a pile of the toys in another bin (the sand castle-shaped container you see at the bottom), and then we rinsed off everything with the hose when we were done.

The toys we used were probably ones I found in the dollar store, but here are some examples of the plastic Jet party favors, craft Jewels, and plastic Jacks that are similar to what is pictured above.

I would check the party sections of your local store for similar items that are sold as party favors, and the craft section for the jewels.

J is for Jelly Beans Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

We did a few worksheets, as always.  There were my typical letter searches and mazes and such, but the jelly bean ones were the favorites of the day.

I wonder why….. (nom, nom, nom)

You can find these jelly bean worksheets, along with others, on my Letter J:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids post.

J is also for Juggling!

So we watched the video above, which my girls love because they enjoy watching kids doing things (plus he’s really good), and then we tried juggling with some light balls we had around the house.

We weren’t terribly successful, except at producing lots of giggles.  :)

J is for Jelly Toast Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

Gotta love jelly toast!

I cut out the J shapes with our letter cookie cutters, then slathered the toast in some butter and strawberry jelly.

J is for Jamaican Jerk Chicken Alphabet Activities from Roaming Rosie

I didn’t want to make a big, complicated dinner in between our projects, so I kept things simple with this chicken.

I marinated a package of boneless thighs in some Jamaican Jerk Marinade that I picked up in the supermarket and threw them on a grill pan.  Easy Peasy.  (Don’t forget to have the Little Ones seek out the Letter J on the bottle of marinade!)

That’s it for Letter J!  Except for the free printable worksheets I made, which you can get here:

Letter J: Free Alphabet Worksheets

I’d love for you to share if you’ve done any of these projects with your little ones!

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest to see my latest posts.

Have fun!

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Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

These birdseed ornaments are a project I did with my kids around Christmastime, and so we used Christmas shaped cookie cutters, but it’s a project that can be done any time of the year.

There are a ton of options, but I let my girls pick and we used cutters shaped like a tree, snowflake, gingerbread man, candy can, shooting star, and an angel.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

There are a few recipes out there for birdseed ornaments that include flour and corn syrup.  These ingredients aren’t really healthy for birds and, besides, they are unnecessary.

Just the water and gelatin are sufficient.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Small birdseed works best.

Make sure you stir the mixture so that the gelatine covers all of the birdseed.  The gelatin is what holds the ornaments together.

But if there is still a little puddle in the bottom of the pan after you mix the birdseed in, then go ahead and add a little more birdseed.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Place your cookie cutters upon some waxed paper and fill them with the birdseed.

We used little milkshake spoons because the smaller size fit better into the spaces.  But I guess you could use your fingers, too.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Add a piece of string or twine once the cookie cutter is half full.  Then scoop more birdseed on top of the string and press it all firmly in the cutter.

I knotted the middle of my sting and stuck that knot inside the ornament for greater support, leaving the other end of the string open so that I could tie it over the larger tree branches in our yard.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Allow them to sit overnight.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Then remove them from the molds by very gently pressing them out.

Try to press them out evenly:  putting too much pressure in one area will break them apart.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Above you can see our angel and below our snowflake.

There were little bits and pieces that fell off because there wasn’t enough gelatine in a certain spot, but they mostly held their shapes.

Until the birds and squirrels got a hold of them … but then, that was kind of the point.  :)

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Ingredients:

1/2 cup birdseed
2 packages (.25 ounce each) Knox gelatin
1/2 cup water
Thin rope or twine

Simmer the water in a saucepot. Add the gelatin and stir until fully dissolved.

Remove from heat and stir in the birdseed until all seed is fully coated. If the mixture is still wet after stirring well, add more birdseed.

Place medium to large cookie cutters on top of waxed paper. Scoop birdseed mixture into cookie cutters and fill halfway.

Place a piece of string into the cookie cutter and scoop more birdseed mixture on top of the string, making sure that part of the string is buried into the center of the ornament (I knotted the twine here for support) and part is hanging out. Use a spoon to press the birdseed down firmly.

Allow to sit overnight. Very gently push birdseed ornaments out of cookie cutters and hang where desired. Makes about 6 large shapes.

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To print the instructions, click here for the PDF copy:  Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

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Pretend Play: Raking Autumn Leaves

Pretend Play:  Raking Autumn Leaves ...... a fun fall activity for kids!

This is such a wonderful fall activity!

My girls have had – and are still having – so much fun with this Pretend Play activity of Raking Leaves.

And it’s so simple, too!

I bought 3 bags of 50 leaves each at the dollar store, and we already had the rakes – although I think we bought them at the dollar store in the spring.

Pretend Play:  Raking Autumn Leaves ...... a fun fall activity for kids!

I do suggest using plastic rakes because they’re safer for indoors.  We also have metal and wooden rakes, but plastic worked best for this.

Also, I prefer doing this activity on the carpet, but it does work on the tile and wood floors.  To be honest, though, I found raking the leaves up on carpet with the plastic rake to be somewhat soothing.  Meditative, even.

To store the leave we use a basket that we already had, but you could also use a plastic baggy.  {That’s what I plan to store them in at the end of fall.}

Pretend Play:  Raking Autumn Leaves ...... a fun fall activity for kids!

Another thing these leaves are perfect for is throwing.

Rake up a pile and toss them into the air!

Seriously:  these are made of fabric, so they kind of flutter down gently.  The whole reason I decided to do this with my kids is because they adore the Elefun Game so much.  And, really, the Elefun game isn’t perfect.  The butterflies/fireflies come out too quickly and there aren’t enough of them, but my girls still love catching them AND collecting them afterwards.

But that’s why I bought 150 leaves for this activity – so there would be enough to entertain both of them.  Plenty to keep them busy with raking and throwing.

And organizing.

My 4yo would make piles of the leaves, sorting them by color and counting them.  And my 2yo made piles that were her “birds nests.”

The options are limitless.

Pretend Play:  Raking Autumn Leaves ...... a fun fall activity for kids!

And, like I said, this activity can be extremely affordable.  I already had the rakes and the basket, and I bought the 3 bags of leaves for a buck a piece at the Dollar Tree.  The plastic rakes can also be found in the outdoor toy section or garden section of places like Target or Kmart even Walgreens – at certain times of the year.

BUT, if you’re having trouble finding the items you need, here are some Decorative Fall Leaves and a Gardening Tool Set from Amazon:

Decorative Fabric Fall LeavesPlastic Gardening Tool Set for Kids

And please let me know if your Little Ones enjoy it – and if they come up with any games of their own!

And check out these other Pretend Play ideas, too:

Pretend Play:  Makeup

Pretend Play:  Post Office and Mail Carrier

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DIY Fine Motor Skills Craft for Toddlers with Pipe Cleaners

DIY Fine Motor Skills Craft for Toddlers with Pipe Cleaners at RoamingRosie.com

I like to make homemade activities for my girls by recycling things we have around the house.

We use pipe cleaners {or chenille sticks} fairly often, so we’ve always got those on hand.  I usually get them at the dollar store.

For this project, I used 4 pipe cleaners and cut them into inch-long pieces with a pair of strong scissors.

Then, the goal was simply to put them into an old spice container.

This is the type of spice container that holds dried herbs, like parsley or oregano.  You’ll notice the top has only 6 large holes.

It’s a great way to work on fine motor skills and helps with prewriting skills.

The only drawback to this is that the metal inside the pipe cleaners can be a little sharp.  There are a couple of ways around this.  One:  ignore it.  And two:  use pliers to curve over the very ends of the metal pieces, making sure that the sticks still fit through the holes in the spice container.

We chose option one.

Really, it’s not terribly sharp and you can insert them without pushing the ends anyway if you manipulate the pieces by holding them on the fuzzy part.  Or pushing gently, which is what I showed my girls.

Or, if you’re really worried about it, you could just use pieces of yarn instead.

My favorite part is that all the little pieces fit inside the container, and, thus, it is self-contained and easy to store.

For more kid activities using items around the house, check out:

Practice Measuring with Rice

Painting With Chalk

Our Colorful Backyard: Color Matching Activity for Kids

Blustery Day Water Play

Free Kid Activity: Developing Fine Motor Skills with Crayons

Pretend Play: Makeup

Free Kid Activity: Chalk on Construction Paper

Free Kid Activity: Painting Newspaper

Make Your Own Color Shadows

Dirt Soup: In Contact With Creation

Have fun!

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U is for Up, Underground, and Underwater

U is for Up, Underground, and Underwater {Letter Activities for Kids}

We do a lot of Alphabet Activities in our house.

My girls love to do projects, and I love that they enjoy projects that help them with letter recognition, pre-reading skills, and a whole handful of other useful exercises.

The main problem is that I haven’t gotten around to posting about all of the activities yet.  Or all of the worksheets that I’ve made for the girls.  But I’m getting to it.

Today, for example, I’m sharing one of the Letter U activities that we did… even though I haven’t yet officially posted ALL of the Letter U activities and worksheets yet.  But with summer ending, I wanted to get this one out there.  It’s a great way to get the kids outdoors.

I cut two letters from a piece of purple foam and gave a U to each of my girls.

I showed them a letter U worksheet with the words Up, Underground, and Underwater.  We talked about what each word meant, then we used the foam letters to demonstrate each concept.

They held the letters over their heads, then buried them in the dirt, and, finally, submerged them in the pool.

It was a lot of fun for them, and certainly memorable.

Here is the free printable PDF of the worksheet I made for this activity:  U is for Up Underground and Underwater

{The worksheet is free for personal and classroom use.  Please do not sell or redistribute it.}

We colored in the words after we finished swimming.  Can’t just put the letters in the pool and not ourselves, right?

I’ll be uploading more worksheets and activities soon!

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Lemon Scented Play Dough

Lemon Scented Play Dough

I came up with this recipe because my 4yo was asking to make play dough and I’d just found an extra lemon hanging out in our kitchen.

So:  lemon scented play dough.

Because scented sensory play is fun for everyone, including moms.

Seriously.  I love playing with this stuff.

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Anyway, the ingredients are pretty basic.

And it’s easy to put together – you just throw everything in a pot:

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Then you keep stirring it over medium heat until it looks like this:

Lemon Scented Play Dough

And then you knead it to make it smooth.

As you can see in the blurry photo below, my daughter was already grabbing pieces of it to play with before I had a chance to knead it.  :)

Just be careful, because it will be hot.  I kinda like digging my hands into the warm dough, tho.

Lemon Scented Play Dough

My girls like to roll it out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, or cut it using a small angled spatula.

Here are a few pics of them playing with the deliciously scented dough:

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Oh – and playing with it on their easy-to-clean Jake placemats, of course!

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Ingredients:

1 cup lemon juice (or water added to squeezed lemon juice to equal 1 cup)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
Zest from one lemon
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. lemon extract
Yellow food coloring

Begin by zesting and juicing one lemon.

Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a glass measuring cup. If it is less than one cup, add water until it reaches the 1 cup line.

Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, adding enough food coloring to reach your desired color.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes together into a ball.

Remove from heat and knead until smooth.

Store covered.  Will keep for about two weeks.

[Note: even though all of the ingredients are technically edible, please don’t let your kids ingest this. Also, if your child is going to help with the kneading, please remember that the dough will still be hot when you first remove it from the pan. If stored in a sealed container, this will last many months.]

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To print the free PDF of this recipe, click here:

Lemon Scented Play Dough

Happy Crafting!

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Letter A: Alphabet Activities for Kids

Letter A: Alphabet Activities for Kids at RoamingRosie.com

Letter A Day was our first Alphabet Activities day.

My OCD really wouldn’t have let it happen any other way.  :)

Anyway, if you haven’t read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities, you should really start there.

And don’t forget to check out the Letter A:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids, too!

A is for American Flag {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

One of the first letter projects we ever did was an American flag.

And it really stuck with her.

To this day, my daughter points out the flags, excitedly shouting, “An American flag!”

The project itself was simple:  I cut out red stripes, a blue rectangle, and punched out some white stars ahead of time.  Then I showed my daughter a flag and she copied it in paper.

There are plenty of other flags you could do, too.  Just to name a few:  Austria, Australia, Argentina, and Afghanistan.  Also, Alabama, Arizona, Alaska, and Arkansas.

Letter Sorting: A is for Apple Trees {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

I always do a letter sorting project where I print out both capital and lowercase letters ahead of time.

These letters were cut into apple shapes.  {Don’t laugh at my apple trees!}

You could easily hand write the letters instead.  Honestly, my printer gives me more trouble with construction paper…

Letter A Apple Slices {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

This was a fun snack.

I cut some thin slices in an apple and used an A cookie cutter to make little apple ‘A’s.

And I ate all the scraps, too.  :)

Letter A is for Mini Apple Pies {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

I’ve made these a bunch of times, usually for potlucks.

I’m not posting a recipe since it was all ready-made supplies {or you could substitute with your favorite homemade recipes}.

Check out the step-by-step photos:

Letter A is for Mini Apple Pies {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

I used a 2-inch flower shaped cookie cutter to cut pieces out of store bought pie crust.  I placed the flower crusts in greased muffin tins.  Then I scooped a few apples from a can of apple pie filling into the crust.  I topped it with a generous sprinkle of my Cinnamon and Sugar Mix, and baked them according to the pie crust directions.

These little pies are always a hit.

Letter A is for Chocolate Acorns {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

Chocolate is a favorite in our house, so these chocolate acorns, it should go without saying, were also a hit.

The great thing is that they also work well for autumn-themed projects.  I’m thinking of making them again around Thanksgiving.

Letter A is for Chocolate Acorns {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

As you can see in the photos, the ingredients are Hershey’s Kisses, mini Fudge Stripe cookies, and miniature chocolate chips.

I melted some chocolate chips in a baggy to act as the “glue” to hold it all together.  Then we stuck the flat end of the Kisses onto the bottom of the cookies and let them sit for a minute to set.  Then I put a drop of melted chocolate on the top of the cookies, and my daughter attached the kiss to the top.

Store covered… if you have any left.

Click here to get the free printable Letter A:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids.

And here are some of the supplies I’ve mentioned in this post, including the star punch, letter A cookie cutter, and fudge stripe cookies:

Star Craft Punch 101 Cookie Cutters Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies Mini

I’d love for you to share if you’ve done any of these projects with your little ones!

Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to see my latest posts.

Have fun!

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