Hello Sun {eBook}

Hello Sun Picture Book by Rosemary Lynn

Hello Sun is my newest picture book, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

This is a simple text with words that flow and rhyme as you journey from the morning to the night.  With your Little Ones on your lap, you can greet the morning sun, the flowers and bugs and birds, and the stars and moon together.

It’s a great book for bedtime because of the soothing rhythmic text and the bold, striking illustrations.  It’s something I enjoy sharing with my toddler and preschooler, and it’s fun for them, too.  They can interact with the text {like by waving goodnight to the sun} but it’s meant to be read slowly, to help induce a calm before bedtime.  It’s also great to read to babies, who will especially appreciate the bold colors.

I had some fun with paper textures while making the artwork, and the words themselves were inspired by my kids.  My 4yo and 2yo always greet the moon and sun {“Hello, Moon!!!”}, and so this was a story that mimics our own daily paths through life.

You can get the ebook on Amazon and you can see all of my picture books there, too.

I’ve also posted about my picture book Alice’s African Alphabet Adventure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for updates on my books, but also to see our latest glitter-covered crafts and sprinkle-covered food!  :)

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When I Love You At Christmas {a book review}

When I Love You At Christmas:  a book review at RoamingRosie.com

Really, to be perfectly honest, I could talk about books every day.  But today I wanted to share with you a Christmas book that we’ve been reading quite a bit, because, you know … it’s Christmas!  :)

The picture book When I Love You At Christmas, written by David Bedford and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie, with its brief but charming text and adorable paintings is a delightful read for young children.

It’s a cute story narrated by a stuffed lamb telling us about how much he loves his little girl.  He goes through all of the activities that the little girl engages in around Christmastime, such as when she is wrapping presents, baking cookies, writing out Christmas cards, acting in a nativity play, and getting excited about Christmas day.

The double-page spreads are decorated with bright watercolor artwork and the text itself if very simple, but also very sweet.

One of the aspects I love about the story is how the girl gets so excited about Christmas, but she’s always thinking of others.  The book demonstrates things that are sharing activities, like wrapping presents, baking cookies, and sending out Christmas cards.  Things that emphasize a spirit of love and giving.

Even though the girl has trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve because she’s anticipating the big day, and even though she rushes quickly to find her own presents on Christmas morning, she takes the time to share a present with her stuffed lamb, too.

The lyrical text is short enough to hold the attention of toddlers and preschoolers, the illustrations are detailed enough to give their eyes plenty to explore, and the underlying message is subtle but lovely.

My girls, who are about 2-1/2 and 4-1/2-years-old, love it … but so do I!  This is definitely going to be a regular for us around Christmas, but is still worth a read throughout the rest of the year, too.

*Update:  I know the picture says you can get the book from my Usborne site, but it has been discontinued.  There are, however, sometimes copies available on Amazon.

Merry Christmas!!!

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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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Felt Lacing Pumpkins

Felt Lacing Pumpkin Pillow Craft for Fall / Halloween / Thanksgiving

These Felt Lacing Pumpkin Pillows are so cute, and my girls really enjoy them.

And I say “enjoy them” in the present tense instead of “enjoyed making them” in the past tense, because they’re still playing with them.

They make pretty nice Fall decorations, too… except that they keep walking off and getting lost in the baby doll’s beds…

Anyway, this is a great project to do with kids in autumn.  I made a step-by-step photo of how we made them {see below}.  I didn’t post any patterns or anything, since I did it all by hand.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 sheet of orange felt per pumpkin
brown yarn
hole punch

To make the pumpkin pillow:

1.  Fold the felt in half and cut it along the crease to make two pieces.  With the two felt sheets together, cut out a shape resembling a pumpkin.  Sort of an oval with a stem on top.

2.  Use a hole punch to make holes around the edge.  This may take a few minutes if you {like me} don’t own an ergonomic hole puncher with a cushioned grip.  Place the pumpkin with the holes on top of the pumpkin without the holes, and using a pen or marker, mark where each hole is, so that when you cut out the holes on the second pumpkin, they will line up with the first.

3.  Cut a piece of yarn about a yard long for each pumpkin.  Wrap some clear tape around one end of the yarn to make it sturdy enough to thread through the felt.

[I did steps 1 through 3 the night before, while my kids slept.  If your kids are a little older – and you have an easier-to-use hole punch than me – you may want to let your kids help with those steps.]

4.  Let your kids sew together the pumpkins, just like a lacing card, leaving a few holes {about a 1/4 of the pumpkin} open.  See the 4th photo below.

5.  Crumple up a sheet of tissue paper and stuff it inside the pumpkin.  Alternately, use cotton balls or a some cotton batting.

6.  Finish sewing up the pumpkin and tie off the yarn.

Felt Lacing Pumpkin Pillows

It’s a pretty easy project, and the best part is if you don’t have any felt, you could always substitute construction paper!

Plus, we made ours before Halloween, but if that’s already passed, these look great for Thanksgiving, too!

Have fun!

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Halloween Sensory Bath

Halloween Sensory Bath {RoamingRosie.com}

I wanted to do something special for Halloween, and settled on a sensory bath with orange, green, and purple noodles that would be mixed with black, creepy toys.

It was a hit.  But then, I knew it would be.

How could kids NOT love a sensory bin that you let them climb inside of?

Earlier this year we did an Ocean Sensory Play Bath.  My girls really enjoyed it and requested it again and again.

But this time we did a “creepy” version.

Seemed a good way to get into the Halloween spirit.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

I had the food coloring on hand, but the rest of the supplies I picked up at the dollar store.

You’ll need:

4 lbs. of spaghetti
Food coloring in orange, green, and purple
Various toy bugs

I got a package of 8 rubbery mice, 8 rubbery spiders, and a dozen plastic centipedes.

I thought about sticking with the traditional colors of orange and black, but eventually decided to throw in the green and purple, too.  They added a nice dimension to it.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

You need to cook the spaghetti ahead of time, but it can sit for awhile.  This is helpful, for example, if you want to take care of this part while your kids are sleeping or at school.

I put most of the 4 lbs. into one large pot with a big scoop of orange food color.  Then I put green and purple into two smaller pots with smaller amounts of spaghetti.

I cooked them according to the package directions, then took the pots off the heat and allowed the noodles to sit in the colored water for 20 or 30 minutes.

You could also cook all the noodles in one big pot and then separate them into plastic baggies.  You can add the food color to the baggies and mix it all around to dye the noodles this way.

Sometimes I have issues with that method, so I used the dye-them-on-the-stove technique.  It takes very little time to wash the pots afterwards, and if you don’t have that many pots, you can always reuse the same one or make fewer colors.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

Once you’re ready to drain the pasta, make sure you rinse the noodles with cool water, too.

Rinse until the water that’s draining from the bottom of the colander runs clear.

Some of the food color that is in the spaghetti will still leak into the tub as the noodles steep, but rinsing helps eliminate as much color as possible beforehand.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

Here is a photo of the dyes spaghetti in one big bucket and all the creepy, crawly critters in a little dish.

I put these on the bathroom counter until we were ready to play.

As I mentioned, the spaghetti can sit for awhile.  We waited at least an hour, because my youngest was still napping.

And if you don’t have a bathtub {or just can’t imagine putting food in your tub}, you could always use something else.  For example, a kiddie pool.  Or, if you don’t want your kids sitting in the spaghetti, you could put it in a water table or large plastic bin instead, and let them play with it that way.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

Fill up the tub with just a few inches of water.

Then dump in the spaghetti and any toys.  Here you can see me and my daughter tossing in all the creepy vermin.

Swirl everything together with your hand or a small strainer.

We used the small mesh strainers to clean up afterwards, but also to play.  The girls used them to scoop up the toys.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

The orange faded from the spaghetti rather quickly.

Next time I would use more color and perhaps let it sit a little longer, since orange is such a light color.

And, as you can see, the green and purple did seep into the bathwater.  This makes it even creepier, though, and more of a challenge to find all the toys.  So not a total negative.

Plus, in case you’re wondering, my kids did not turn green and purple.

Halloween Sensory Bath  {RoamingRosie.com}

To clean up, we took out all the toys and scooped all of the noodles back into the bin.

We used both our hands and the mesh strainers to remove the pasta.  My kids have nearly as much fun with this part as they do with playing in the spaghetti.

Once all {or as much as I can find} of the noodles are out of the tub, I drain the water.  Then I make sure there’s no food coloring left in the tub and my kids get a real bath.

When the bath is over, I sprinkle a bunch of baking soda over the drain and rinse it down with white vinegar.  {This is my normal method of cleaning bathtub/sink drains.}  It is inevitable that some noodles will escape down the drain, and certainly some starch, so this extra step is important.

Have fun!

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Alice’s African Alphabet Adventure {eBook}

Alice's African Alphabet Adventure by Rosemary Lynn {ebook for kids at RoamingRosie.com}

Introducing Alice’s African Alphabet Adventure!

This tongue twisting romp through Africa’s wildlife is a tale that I wrote for my oldest daughter when I was pregnant with my youngest.

My daughter LOVED animals and was showing an interest in learning the alphabet, but I was getting tired of reading about cats and dogs and x-ray fish.  There had to be more out there.

Plus, my daughter responded with curiosity and amusement at larger, more complicated words – even if it took a few tries for me to pronounce them.  That just led to even more giggles.

We certainly found what we were looking for with Dr. Seuss and his Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz, but I also wanted to present real animals to her.

So I went on a quest to find animals that represented every letter of the alphabet, and I was delighted to find such a colorful plethora across the beautiful African continent.  Thus was born Alice’s African Alphabet Adventure.

Here are a couple of example pages:

Alice's African Alphabet Adventure by Rosemary Lynn {ebook for kids at RoamingRosie.com}

Alice's African Alphabet Adventure by Rosemary Lynn {ebook for kids at RoamingRosie.com}

There is – obviously – a great deal of alliteration, which is part of what makes this tale a tongue twister.  It also rhymes, since that helps lend a soothing rhythm to the text {which is always a plus at bedtime!}.

For the illustrations, I chose actual photographs of each of the animals, altering them slightly to give them a softer feel, and displaying them atop bright pops of color.

I also added the names of the animals to the picture, to make them easier to identify, and to help with letter recognition.  My girls like to point out the animals as we read the story.

You can find the eBook on Amazon in the Kindle Store.

If you don’t have a Kindle – don’t worry!  You can download the free Kindle app for your smartphones, tablets, and computers.

And if you like the book, please rate it on Amazon.  Many thanks in advance!

Happy Reading!

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Letter E: Alphabet Activities for Kids

Letter E:  Alphabet Activities for Kids at RoamingRosie.com

Welcome to Letter E Day!

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

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

Letter Sorting:  E is for Easter Eggs {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

For our letter sorting activity, I cut out two egg shapes and added some paper patterns that made them look like Easter eggs.

E is for Electric Eels  {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

For our next Letter E project, I cut out the letter for Eel in squiggly lines that were supposed to represent the animal.

Then my daughter glued them on the water-colored paper and drizzled on some glow-in-the-dark paint.

The glowing version didn’t photograph well, but it was a big hit in person.

E is for Elephants  {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

We made some elephants with grey paint.

My daughter dipped her hands in the paint, then made hand prints on paper.

While the paint was still wet, we added googly eyes and a paper oval ear.

E is for Eyes {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

This is one of the worksheets I made that’s available on my Letter E:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids post.

We spread glue all over the letters and added googly eyes.

E is for Earth  {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

Our next project was a coffee filter craft:  E is for Earth.

The coffee filters were pretty big, so I cut it to fit the construction paper.  Then I outlined some shapes in green to roughly represent the continents.

Next, my daughter and I colored the continents and water with washable markers.  I helped a little because she hadn’t filled them all in completely and it looks best with a lot of color.

We took a spray bottle filled with water and squirted the coffee filter.  Make sure you have something underneath it {like newspaper} to soak up any colors that bleed through.  Don’t be afraid to squirt a lot of water of it, so that the colors will run.

Once it dried, we glued it to a piece of black construction paper with glitter to represent outer space and stars.

E is for Electric Eggs Hunt {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

My girls LOVED this.  And it’s very easy to do.

To set up an Electric Egg Hunt {which is also a great Easter activity}, you put bracelet-sized glow sticks inside of plastic Easter eggs.  Then hide them around the room and turn off the lights.

Below you can see my girls finding all the eggs.  One used a basket and the other just made a pile.

We hid them over and over again, so the activity lasted for quite awhile.

And has been requested many times since.

E is for Electric Eggs Hunt {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

E is for Electric Egg Hunt {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

E is for Scrambled Eggs {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

These are scrambled egg Es.  I made some scrambled eggs in a pan and added in some cheese.  I let it sit near the end of cooking it, so that it had the consistency of an omelet instead of scrambled eggs {stuck together instead of falling apart.}

Then I slid it onto a plate and cut out letter Es with a cookie cutter.

E is for Chocolate Eggs {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

These are really cute.

For these miniature eggs, I melted some white candy melts in a little baggy, snipped off the corner, and squeezed out the chocolate in oval shapes onto waxed paper.  Before the chocolate set, I put a yellow M&M on top.

It cools and sets in a few minutes, but they also stay fresh so you can make them days ahead of time, if you want.

E is for Green Eggs {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

And since we also read Green Eggs and Ham for Letter E Day, I added green M&Ms to some of the chocolate eggs.  :)

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

E is for Easy Eclairs {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

These were my take on eclairs.  I wanted to bake something, but something that would be really easy to make.

I didn’t post a printable recipe because I just combined a few things to make them.  I DID post a step-by-step photo below, though, to help explain it.

We started with some store-bought pie crust dough.  You can usually find this in the frozen or refrigerated section of the grocery store.  We cut out flower circles with a 2-inch cookie cutter and pressed the small circles of dough into greased mini cupcake pans.  After baking them according to the package directions and letting them fully cool, we spooned in some instant vanilla pudding.  Once that set, we drizzled chocolate fudge ice cream topping over them.

And to review, a list of the ingredients:  pie crust dough, vanilla pudding, fudge ice cream topping.

They might not exactly be eclairs in the traditional sense, but they still tasted pretty good.

E is for Easy Eclairs {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

And here are some of the supplies I’ve mentioned in this post, including glow-in-the-dark paint, googly eyes, plastic eggs, glow sticks for the electric eggs, the cookie cutter set that I used for the scrambled eggs Es and the easy eclairs, and the fudge topping for the eclairs:

Glow in the Dark Paint Plastic Eggs

Glow Stick Bracelets Cookie Cutters Fudge Ice Cream Topping

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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Letter D: Alphabet Activities for Kids

Letter D:  Alphabet Activities for Kids at RoamingRosie.com

Welcome to Letter D Day!

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

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

Letter Sorting:  D is for Dolphins {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

For our letter sorting activity, I cut out two dolphin shapes.

After gluing down the dolphins, my daughter sorted the lowercase and capital Ds and glued one onto one dolphin and the others onto the second dolphin.

D is for Dragons {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

To make some letter Ds into Dragons, I had precut the big and little D, the dragon’s heads, a wing and tale for each, plus a breath of fire for each.

D is for Daisies {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

When we did this project, my daughter was still struggling with cutting straight lines, so I precut these shapes as well.

Now that she’s a little older, I’d let her at least cut out the stems, and try to do the leaves and petals as well.

D is for Dogs Eating Doughnuts File Folder Game {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

This is another file folder game I designed and, yes, we still play this one, too.

On one sheet are the dogs and their dog dishes.  On another sheet are the piles of doughnuts.  You cut out the doughnuts so your kids can match them to the dogs and dishes, largest to smallest.

My daughter loves to tease me by pretending to put the wrong doughnut pile on the wrong dish and watching for my reaction.  :)

You can find this free printable on my Letter D: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids post.

D is for Dots  {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

Dot markers {or Dot a Dot Markers} are something we use now and again.

For this worksheet, I made letter Ds from bubble shapes that can be filled with dots from the markers.

You can find this free printable on my Letter D: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids post.

D is for Driving  {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

This was loads of fun.  My younger daughter, who was still crawling at the time, even got into it.

I made a capital and lowercase D on the floor with painters tape, adding small dashes inside the letter to replicate a road.

We drove the Hot Wheels through the letters like we were writing them.

You can also use the painters tape on tile or linoleum floors.  Sometimes it sticks to wooden decks or concrete, if you’d prefer to do this outdoors, though I’ve had trouble when dirt gets under the tape.

D is for Dog and Dolphin {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

This was really just a fun craft that we did because my daughter loves painting so much, but we picked two animals that started with the letter D and I wrote their names on the paper to accentuate the letter.

These things are still hanging from her bathroom mirror with little suction cups.

D is for Dragon Drums {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

We also made Dragon Drums.

For the drum, I used old formula cans with the labels peeled off, but just about any type of can will work.  The small one was green beans, I think.  I had picked the formula can because it was large, but using two different sizes also allowed us to compare the different sounds they made.

As you can see below, we filled the cans with rice, so that they also functioned as shaker drums.

The top of the can was covered with the top half of a green balloon which I’d cut in two and secured with a rubber band.

We had cut wings and heads from green construction paper and I folded the ends up to make it easy to slide the paper under the rubber band as well.

D is for Dragon Drums {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

I let the girls beat on the drums with the ends of wooden spoons, and we shook them, too.

These dragon drums lasted a long time, even with the rough play of two young kids.  And we got a lot of enjoyment out of them.

D is for Dinosaur Pizzas {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

These are seriously fun pizzas to make.

I had intended for them to be “deep dish” when I made them, but they didn’t turn out that way.  I can’t remember why I still labeled them as such on the picture.

Anyway, as you can see in the step-by-step photo below, we started with my Easy Pizza Dough.

I rolled out the dough and used our Dinosaur Cutter to cut out dinosaur-shaped crusts.  I carefully transferred these to a parchment lined baking pan, trying to retain the shape of the dinosaur, but making sure to leave some room between them.

I also used the dinosaur cutter to cut out pieces of cheese from slices of mozzarella cheese {the kind meant for sandwiches}.

D is for Dinosaur Pizza {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

To assemble the pizzas, we added tomato sauce to them, then sprinkled them with Parmesan cheese.  I also like to add some salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but that’s optional.  We topped them with the cheese slices and with a letter D that I had cut out of pepperoni.

I made the meaty letters by cutting slices of pepperoni in half and carefully using a small paring knife to carve out the center.

The cheese spread a bit when they cooked, but we didn’t mind that at all.  :)

D is for Dulce De Leche Doughnuts {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

These Dulce de Leche Doughnuts were surprising good and relatively simple {although time-consuming} to make.

I’ve posted the step-by-step photo below, so you can see the process.  And actually, when I say it’s time consuming, it’s only because of cutting out the letter Ds and dipping each finished D into the caramel.  Not hard, but it does take a few minutes.  My daughter enjoyed the process, though, so – at least to me – it was worth it.

The doughnuts themselves are pretty easy to make since they’re baked, and the caramel has only one ingredient.  We topped them with nonpareil sprinkles for decoration, and though the caramel was a tad sticky, these were thoroughly enjoyed.

D is for Dulce De Leche Doughnuts {Alphabet Activities at RoamingRosie.com}

Normally I would add the entire recipe right here but this post is already pretty long, so I’m just going to post the printable recipe instead.  To print out the PDF copy of the recipe, click here:  Dulce de Leche Doughnuts

And here are some of the supplies I’ve mentioned in this post, including dot markers, painters tape, dinosaur cutter, and cookie cutters {for the letter D}.

Dot a Dot Markers Painters Tape Dinosaur Sandwich Cutter Cookie Cutters

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.

And don’t forget to check out the Easy Pizza Dough recipe I used for the Dinosaur Pizzas:

Easy Pizza Dough Recipe {And How to Proof Yeast} at RoamingRosie.com

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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The Katie Books by James Mayhew

Katie Books by James Mayhew a book review

When I first found Katie, I was very excited.

A colorful book that is fun to read AND teaches kids about art history?


Now, I may not be all that familiar with the specifics of art history, even being an artist myself, but I have at least a basic knowledge.  Enough to pronounce the names correctly when I read the books – but that isn’t an issue anyway since there are pronunciation guides in the back.

The point is, I was delighted that there existed this spirited little girl to introduce my kids to a culture I was desperate to try to share with them.  Then I found that she didn’t just explore the paintings of Monet and Van Gogh and Goya, but she travels to different countries and travels back in time to run around with dinosaurs, too.

It just kept getting better and better.

Now, honestly, my favorites are where she visits the dinosaurs and travels to Scotland for an adventure with Nessie.  But, honestly, my 4-year-old seems to request the Impressionists and Spanish Princess more often.  My 2-year-old likes them all.

Here are a couple of pages from Katie and the Dinosaurs: 

Katie and the Dinosaurs by James Mayhew

Katie and the Dinosaurs by James Mayhew

I love the brilliant colors in the fun artwork, but also the story.

The stories are very easy to read and great at bedtime because words flow.

Katie often jumps in and out of paintings in the stories, joining Degas’ dancers on stage or learning to paint with Jean, the son of Monet.

The interaction with the paintings in the museum is wonderful.  Below is a page from Katie and the Spanish Princess, where you can see a painting come alive.

Katie and the Spanish Princess by James Mayhew

Overall, even though I mentioned which are my favorites, I highly recommend all of the books.  We only own about half of them right now, but I plan to finish our collection this upcoming Christmas.

The books are all very well done and a joy both for my children and for myself.  The stories are entertaining, often exciting and amusing.  My girls have laughed out loud at the tales.  As have I.

Here is a list of Katie books:

Katie and the Starry Night

Katie Meets The Impressionists

Katie and the Spanish Princess

Katie and the Mona Lisa

Katie and the British Artists

Katie and the Dinosaurs

Katie in London

Katie in Scotland

Katie’s Picture Show

Katie and the Sunflowers

Katie and the Waterlily Pond

Katie’s London Christmas

Happy Reading!

Roaming Rosie Signature