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I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. All opinions of the products are my own. Thank you for your support.
If you pay attention at all to what is going on in education today, you have probably heard a lot about STEM. In an effort to make students more competitive in today's world, a lot of emphasis is being placed on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Those are the jobs that will provide the best income today and in the future and those are the areas where jobs will be available.
STEM is a interdisciplinary and applied approach to learning these subjects. In other words, these subjects are taught all mixed together, with hands-on learning. I feel that this is the most sensible and effective approach to teaching and learning. I have found as I look at STEM activities, they actually include things that we have always seen children play, but now we can see that these activities have practical purposes.
My daughter, Alicia is a Science Teacher and she also has two very young children of her own. She is already trying to make sure that they are starting out with STEM activities to get their minds working at a young age. Recently, she and her family were visiting us in Phoenix and we took a trip to Dollar Tree where we shopped for STEM activities for my grandchildren's Easter Baskets. Dollar Tree has great products that help kids develop STEM skills. They’re perfect for an Easter basket because although they’re educational, they’re fun! And, BONUS, everything only costs $1.00! We put together two Easter Baskets full of Dollar Tree goodies! One geared toward younger kids (from toddler age). And one for older kids (upper elementary age).
I actually filmed a video of my daughter explaining how our choices fit into the STEM categories. But, before I show you that, let me show you a few of my favorite choices here:
I love these question and answer science books available at Dollar Tree! They come in various subjects and are full of information. Not only are there science books, but also history books. There are a total of 6 different books. My oldest grandson loves non-fiction science books and these are perfect for him. The whole set would be perfect for a classroom and you can't beat the price. If you order them online, they come in a case of 36 books, so that is enough to share among a few classrooms.
Even your Easter Candy can be STEM related with these Jurassic World Dino Eggs filled with candy! My grandson who just turned 3 has been able to name almost all of the different types of dinosaurs for awhile. I am so impressed with him. Now he will be able to name them and eat them!
There are a couple of varieties of these Growing Crystals kits that are so fascinating for the whole family to watch! Science in action! Once again, if you order them online, you get 24 in a case, so an entire classroom could do this project.
Of course, not everything has to be STEM! We loved the Easter Egg shaped baskets and the Chocolate Scented Plush Bunnies available at Dollar Tree as well!
There are so many more choices, so watch the video and Alicia will explain them all to you! At the beginning she will show the basket for younger ages and then the older elementary one comes after that, so stay tuned.
So, there you go! Expand your children's minds, get them excited about fun "toys" and it is all at an affordable price! That is one full Easter Basket! The great thing is that you can either order them online or go to the store and see all of the fun Easter things on Dollar Tree's shelves now!
I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links
One of our favorite affiliate partners is Dollar Tree! Who doesn't love to go to Dollar Tree and find cute little things for decorating, baby showers and weddings, all for just a dollar?
Well, now that the holidays are upon us,Dollar Tree has you everything you need to make special, personalized Christmas ornaments. I was looking at their online site and in the toy section and I was inspired to make some ornaments and/or package tie-ons for my family's Christmas packages this year! We decided it would be great to make a video showing just how I made them. They are easy and super cute. Here are a few photos of what I started with. Clicking the pictures will take you to the link. Remember, if you want to buy in bulk, you can have your order shipped for free to the store nearest you.
Now, here is the video showing you what I did with them. I hope you enjoy it and please like our YouTube Channel when you get the chance!
Here is a list of other products, besides the figurines, that I purchased from Dollar Tree to make these ornaments:
Of course, I also used a glue gun, a little paint, and other supplies I have in my stash. For example, I had little wooden snowflakes already, but if you don't have any, Dollar Tree does have some little cute, stick on snowflakes or Christmas stickers that you could substitute that would work great! Just look around the store or online site and you are bound to find just what you need to personalize your ornaments.
Here is kind of a funny personal story. I told my son that I was teaming up with Dollar Tree and making Ornaments out of toys. He looked at me with skepticism, but when I pulled out the Polar Bear ornament and showed it to him, his eyes got wide and he said, "Oh wow! I want that one!" Then I pulled out the reindeer and he said, "Wait, I want that one, or Spencer does (my grandson)." Soon, he had decided which ornaments should be for himself, his wife and son. I call that a stamp of approval! I have to say that the polar bear is my personal favorite! I'll end with a few more photos of the finished products. I hope that you enjoy them and head over to Dollar Tree and give them a try yourself. Or, if you have a lot of ornaments to make, order online! These would be great at a Christmas Craft sale! Have Fun!
This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated for purchases made through our links. Thank you for your support!
Have you ever known a child who just didn't enjoy reading and perhaps struggled a little with it. Maybe getting them to practice was difficult, yet you knew that if they would practice, their reading would improve. I gave you this DIY last year, but I feel it is a timely subject at this time in the school year. If you didn't get a chance to see it last year, I hope it is of benefit to you now. Now that school has been in for a little over a month, perhaps you are looking for a way to keep the fun in reading after the newness has worn off. Here is a reading phone that you can make that will help make reading fun for emerging readers. I have seen them used in classrooms, and you can even purchase them ready made, (and here) but they are simple and inexpensive to make and I will also list some tips about how to use them.
Supplies Needed And Reading Phone Assembly:
To make the reading phone, you will need the following supplies from your building supply store:
1/2" pvc pipe cut 5 3/4" long
1/2" pvc pipe cut 1" long
2-1" x 1/2" elbows (check your local home store)
a pipe cutter to cut the lengths
a tape measure
Decorative duct tape or washi tape.
Here are the pieces arranged the way they go together:
We just shoved them together without any glue. They fit nice and tight. I had my husband pull this one apart so that we could photograph it, it was a difficult task because they fit so snugly. I guess if you want to glue them, you can, but if they come apart, you can just stick them back together.
Now, of course, you have to beautify your phone. I used colorful duct tape and/or washi tape on ours. You can get all kinds of colorful duct tape from Dollar Tree. They also have this colorful tape that I just found!
Here is a little slide show showing how our reading phones turned out.
How to Use the Reading Phone and Encourage Reading:
You really can hear your own voice well when you speak into these phones. Your kids will love that and will be able to read to themselves without feeling distracted by what else is going on around them. If you have a classroom of kids, the reading phone helps each child be able to focus on what they are reading instead of hearing everyone else. Here are more tips for using reading phones and encouraging reading:
*Use reading phones to improve fluency in your reader. Set a timer for 1 minute and have them read into the phone when you say "Go!" See how far they can get in that 1 minute. Have them read the same passage again and see if they can improve their score. Fluency helps with comprehension. So, it is important to improve fluency in young readers. Kids will love "racing" against the timer (not against each other) and seeing themselves improve.
*Use the phone to read to each other. If you have two children, they can pretend they are having a conversation on the phone, but are actually reading. If you only have one child, you can get in on the act and model fluent reading. You can trade one page at a time, or one paragraph or even a sentence. This is also a good way for your child to learn to define what a sentence or a paragraph is.
*Encourage your child to read in a silly voice. They will love hearing themselves read like a robot or a monster. As I said before, you can really hear your own voice well through the reading phone, so it will be very funny for them.
*If your child also is working on their speech, these phones can help them hear how they are pronouncing words and then make corrections.
*Most of my grandchildren live far away from me. I enjoy talking to them on Google Hangout. I am going to ask them to hold this phone to their ears and read to me over the internet. I think that they will like that since I am giving them these phones, they will be able to show me how they can use them!
*Remember to let your kids read what they enjoy! The main idea is to get them reading! Also, read to them. Nothing encourages a love of reading more than being able to spend one on one time snuggling with Mom or Dad and reading and talking together about what you read. Make reading a pleasant experience for them and let them see you reading and enjoying it.
*Take them to the library! Kids love an outing and libraries are so much fun. They can take their phones with them and read quietly but still hear themselves.
I hope these tips are helpful to you! I love helping kids gain a love of reading! If you think of more uses for these little phones, let me know! (Clonking each other on the head with them doesn't count!)
Here are some other posts about reading and books that we love that may help you to encourage a love of reading in your kids!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to nearly nine and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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