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Learn with Play Year Round Learning Book

We are published in a book!  I am so excited to introduce our book that we've had the honor to collaborate and help author.  Introducing, Learn with Play: 150- Activities for Year Round Fun and Learning!

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for year-round fun and learning for kids.  An amazing resource for parents, teachers, grandparents, child care workers.  This would be a great gift idea for birthdays!



This book is sure to keep kids busy and free from boredom with 150+ activities for year-round learning through play.  With 94 co-authors, Learn with Play offers activities, crafts, learning for all stages of childhood from babies to kindergarten aged.  This is such an amazing resource for parents, educators, therapists, child care workers, and grandparents.  A book like this would make an amazing (and easy) gift idea for birthday presents to children of all ages.  

This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon affiliate links. 

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for year-round fun and learning for kids.  An amazing resource for parents, teachers, grandparents, child care workers.  This would be a great gift idea for birthdays!

Learn With Play Book

The pages of Learn with Play is such a resource with it's age-appropriate play and color coded activities.  Bloggers from all over the world have teamed up to bring you the best ideas for learning through play.  Each activity comes with age suggestions, abilities targeted, clear instructions, materials needed, author's name, and blog url. 

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for year-round fun and learning for kids.  An amazing resource for parents, teachers, grandparents, child care workers.  This would be a great gift idea for birthdays!


Included in this amazing resource:
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Sensory
  • DIY Toys
  • Play Recipes
  • Busy Bags
  • Math
  • Literacy
  • and much more!

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for year-round fun and learning for kids.  An amazing resource for parents, teachers, grandparents, child care workers.  This would be a great gift idea for birthdays!


Grab this book today by downloading the ebook version. We are offering the PDF for just $9.95 from July 7-14. So hurry and get your copy at this special discounted price by clicking on the button below:


Ready for your copy?  Purchase your Ebook, Kindle version, or Paperback version below: 

Ebook version (Special launch price of $9.95 from July 7-14.  After that, the price will be $14.95) Click here to purchase

Kindle version ($14.95) Click here to purchase

Paperback version ($29.99) Click here to purchase
Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for year-round fun and learning for kids.  An amazing resource for parents, teachers, grandparents, child care workers.  This would be a great gift idea for birthdays!

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Teach Fractions in the Kitchen

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Kids can learn fractions while cooking with kids in the kitchen using tools you already have.  We used measuring cups and measuring spoons to discuss parts, whole, and fractions while doing a little cooking with kids recently.

Teach kids fractions using kitchen utensils like measuring cups and measuring spoons.


We've been on a learning kick this month with our Learning with Free Materials series, part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

Teach fractions with measuring cups and kitchen tools:

This post contains affiliate links.  We used measuring cups and spoons that we already had, making our learning activity free.  There are many 
kid-friendly measuring cups out there that are plastic, large handled, and no-spill. I love the bright colors of these measuring cups and spoons, which are perfect for kids in the kitchen. While there are many kid-friendly cooking utensils out there, just grab whatever you've got in your kitchen for learning fractions with the kids for a free (or almost free) learning activity at home.

To practice fractions with kids, fill a large basin with water.  Using the measuring cups, show your child the one cup and half-cup measuring cup.  You can demonstrate how the half-cup utensil will fill up the one cup utensil with two scoops.  Then remove one half of the water by dumping the water back into the bin.  Ask your child how many scoops it took to remove the water from a one cup (whole) cup.  

Continue the process using the 1/3 and 1/4 measuring cups.  By adding scoops of water, kids can get a visual on how the parts make up a whole.  

Continue the fractions discussion by scooping and measuring with the tablespoon and 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoons and the teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoons.  

More playful math activities you will like: 




Love using regular every day items in learning and play?  Get our published book for 150+ activities for kids that can be done throughout the year:

Ebook version  Click here to purchase

Kindle version ($14.95) Click here to purchase

Paperback version ($29.99) Click here to purchase

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Lemon Bars Mason Jar Cookies

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Today in the Cooking with Kids A-Z series, we're sharing L is for Lemons and our Lemon Bars made in a mason jar.  These easy bars are fresh and sweet and perfect for summer baking, and even better for gifting in a cute and fun mason jar.  Kids love to eat them up right from the mason jar.

Make lemon bar cookies in a mason jar for gifting or a sweet and tart summery treat.  Kids will love to make these in a cooking with kids activity!




This post contains affiliate links.

Mason Jar Lemon Bar Cookies

Make lemon bar cookies in a mason jar for gifting or a sweet and tart summery treat.  Kids will love to make these in a cooking with kids activity!

To make Lemon Cookies in a Mason Jar, you'll need a few ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
Cooking spray
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Measure the flour by sifting.  Blend the flour, butter, confectioners sugar thoroughly.  Drop 2-3 Tablespoons into the bottom of mason jars which have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Using a Tart Tamper, press the dough until flat on the bottom of the mason jars .  Place the jars on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Beat the remaining ingredients together.  Pour over the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes more.

Recipe makes 6 mason jar treats.  You can also omit the mason jars and bake in a 8x8 inch square pan.

Make lemon bar cookies in a mason jar for gifting or a sweet and tart summery treat.  Kids will love to make these in a cooking with kids activity!

Enjoy these lemon bar mason jar treats right from the jar!

Make lemon bar cookies in a mason jar for gifting or a sweet and tart summery treat.  Kids will love to make these in a cooking with kids activity!

Make lemon bar cookies in a mason jar for gifting or a sweet and tart summery treat.  Kids will love to make these in a cooking with kids activity!

Make lemon bar cookies in a mason jar for gifting or a sweet and tart summery treat.  Kids will love to make these in a cooking with kids activity!

Read the rest of the Lemon Recipes from the Cooking with Kids A-Z team:
Lemon recipe from Rainy Day Mum
Maderia Cake from Mum in the Mad House
Lemon Ginger Ice Cubes from Still Playing School

Check out some other Cooking With Kids Recipes we've made: 


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Letter Formation Resistive Surface

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Today I am SO excited to share our new favorite way to practice letter formation, handwriting, tripod grasp, strengthening, and up-cycling.  (Yep, up-cycling at it's finest, here!)  We have been using foam vegetable trays for handwriting and letter practice a lot.  If you purchase any fruits or vegetables in foam trays, SAVE them!  They will come in handy for a fun handwriting activity! 

Work on handwriting and letter formation with a tripod grasp and hand strengthening with this activity.  A foam tray and a chop stick make a great handwriting activity for kids working on writing their name and letters.



Teach letter formation and handwriting with a foam tray!

We are including affiliate links in this post, however you can find these items for free (well, after you purchase food).  We're sharing this post as part of our 31 Days of Learning with Free (or almost Free) Materials series and joining 25 other bloggers in homeschooling and learning at home ideas and tips with the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips series.

Work on handwriting and letter formation with a tripod grasp and hand strengthening with this activity.  A foam tray and a chop stick make a great handwriting activity for kids working on writing their name and letters.

Save those foam trays from fruits or vegetables.  These foam trays are primarily found holding meats, but even after a thorough washing, I would feel nervous about allowing my kiddo to write and play with a foam tray that held raw meat. You can purchase the foam trays here if you are having trouble finding them in the produce department of your grocery store. SIDE NOTE- You can also use take-out containers. Wash and dry the lid and cut the flat part. You're now ready to practice letter formation and handwriting. 

We asked for an extra set of chop sticks after a recent dinner of Chinese food take-out.  Use the chopsticks as a writing utensil on the foam tray.  You can have the child write their name and letters for handwriting practice.  ENcourage appropriate letter formation by starting at the top and forming the letter appropriately.  The resistive surface of the foam tray will provide feedback through the hand as the child writes the letters. 

 This is a great name writing activity for young kids.  For younger kids, I would write the name or letters first lightly on the foam.  Because of the surface of the foam tray, it can be easy for the chopstick to go off course when writing.  A "track" for them to trace would help with appropriate letter formation.

Tripod grasp and strengthening during handwriting

Using the chopsticks on the foam tray is excellent for fine motor strength and tripod grasp.  The small diameter of the chopstick requires a close and tight grip.  It may be easy for a child to assume an ineffective grasp on the chopsticks, but encourage then to hold the tip of the chopstick with the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger with an open thumb web space as they write.  Maintaining this grasp while forming letters on the resistive foam will strengthen and encourage a memory of a motor plan as they form the letters.  
Work on handwriting and letter formation with a tripod grasp and hand strengthening with this activity.  A foam tray and a chop stick make a great handwriting activity for kids working on writing their name and letters.

Need more handwriting ideas? Follow our Handwriting Pinterest board.
Or try these ideas:

Fun ways to work on Letter Formation:

Tripod Grasp Activities for Kids:


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Upper Lower Case Letter Seek and Find

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Learning letters and matching upper and lower case letters is a Kindergarten skill that can be tricky for some kids.  We made this easy prep letter identification activity using items you probably already have in the house.  If you've seen our blog posts over the last few days, you've noticed we're on a learning theme using free (or mostly free) items you probably already have.  We're sharing 31 days of learning at home with free materials this month along with 25 other bloggers in the 31 days of homeschooling tips series.  Today's easy letter learning activity can use any letters you have around the house or magnetic letters and coffee filters.  

Matching upper and lower case letters and alphabet letter identification can be difficult for kindergarteners.  Use this letter matching game to prepare for kindergarten skills and gross motor play along with visual scanning. Uses magnetic letters and coffee filters for easy prep and set-up.  Great letter matching ideas and activities here!


Upper case and lower case letter matching activity for Kindergartners:

While this activity is almost free if you've got the items at home already, we're sharing the affiliate links for the items in this post.

Matching upper and lower case letters and alphabet letter identification can be difficult for kindergarteners.  Use this letter matching game to prepare for kindergarten skills and gross motor play along with visual scanning. Uses magnetic letters and coffee filters for easy prep and set-up.  Great letter matching ideas and activities here!

Grab the magnetic letters from the fridge and 26 coffee filters. Use a permanent marker to write one lower case letter of the alphabet on each coffee filter.


Matching upper and lower case letters and alphabet letter identification can be difficult for kindergarteners.  Use this letter matching game to prepare for kindergarten skills and gross motor play along with visual scanning. Uses magnetic letters and coffee filters for easy prep and set-up.  Great letter matching ideas and activities here!

With your child, first match up each lower case coffee filter letter to the upper case magnetic letter.  You can spread the filters out to encourage visual scanning and involve movement in the activity, OR you can stack the coffee filters in a pile and one by one match up the letters.  This technique requires the child to visually scan for the upper case magnet letters.  Try both ways for more upper/lower case letter practice!

We then wrapped the coffee filters around the magnets in a little bundle.  There are so many games you can play with these upper and lower case letters:
  • Hide the bundled up letters around the room while your child hides his eyes.  Send him off to find the letters and ask him to open the bundle and identify the letter.
  • Toss the coffee filter bundles into a bucket or bin.  Any letters that make it into the bin are winners!
  • Unwrap the bundles and name the letters.  Spread the coffee filters out around the room.  Toss magnetic letters onto the matching lower case letter.  
  • Toss a bean bag onto the coffee filters.  The child can identify the lower case letter, then go to the pile of magnetic letters and find the matching upper case letter.  
Matching upper and lower case letters and alphabet letter identification can be difficult for kindergarteners.  Use this letter matching game to prepare for kindergarten skills and gross motor play along with visual scanning. Uses magnetic letters and coffee filters for easy prep and set-up.  Great letter matching ideas and activities here!

Can you think of any more ways to work on upper and lower case letter matching with coffee filters and magnetic letters? 

Let us know on Facebook.  You can follow our Alphabet Play Pinterest board for more upper and lower case letter matching ideas.

You will enjoy more alphabet posts from our archives:








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Learning with Recycled Plastic Containers

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Sometimes finding materials at home for learning and play is as easy as grabbing a plastic container from the recycle bin!  We put together this list of creative learning ideas using recycled plastic containers.  Who knew you could use an old plastic bottle or food container in so many ways!  This post is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips series where we are joining 25 bloggers in creative learning and ideas for homeschooling and learning at home.  We're sharing 31 Days of learning with free (or almost free) materials so today's plastic container learning ideas fits the bill!

Ideas for using recycled plastic containers in learning activities for kids: science, math, sensory, crafts.

Learning with Recycled Plastic Containers Ideas for Kids:


Picklebums explored colors and created print art with plastic containers.
Learn with Play at Home mixed colors in a container.
grated cheese container is great for fine motor work, sorting, math, and color identification.
For more fine motor work, use a recycled container for sorting like Mama OT.
Practice math concepts with recycled snack containers. (This Reading Mama featured on Kids Activities Blog)
Use yogurt containers for Counting Games like Teaching Mama.
For more math concepts, try this measuring activity from Learn with Play at Home.
Can Do Mama shares baby container play ideas.
Use spice containers to explore counting, observing, stacking, problem solving and more like Toddler Approved.
Or use spice containers for baby sensory play like we did.
Plastic containers are great means for conducting science experiements like this water fountain from Learn with Play at Home.
This water filter science experiment from Planet Smarty Pants uses a recycled tennis ball container.
Try this wave in a bottle from Imagination Tree.

How do you play with recycled plastic containers?  There is a lot of learning that can happen with trash!  Visit our Trash Turned Kids Crafts Pinterest board for recycled material fun and learning.

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Fine Motor Color Math

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You may have noticed that we like to share easy and (mostly) free activities for kids here on our blog. This Fine Motor Count and Color Match Activity is no exception.   Moms and Aunts are always looking for simple prep and low cost when it comes to learning at home.  We made this counting math activity using a few materials we had on hand.  You could cheaply re-create this activity using supplies in your home while working on preschool math and color recognition.

Fine motor color math with push pins and a foam cup. This is great and a simple activity for preschoolers to do at home! Work on counting, addition, subtraction, and color recognition with materials you already have at home (free or almost free materials for homeschool or learning extension activities at home!)


This post contains affiliate links.  

This post is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips.  You can find homeschooling and learning at home tips from 25 other bloggers this month.  We'll be sharing 31 days of learning at home in the series. 

Math and Fine Motor Color Match with Foam Cups:


Fine motor color math with push pins and a foam cup. This is great and a simple activity for preschoolers to do at home! Work on counting, addition, subtraction, and color recognition with materials you already have at home (free or almost free materials for homeschool or learning extension activities at home!)

This is such a simple activity and one we did after having so much fun with our rainbow order color stacking cups.  We used foam cups and plastic push pins along with the colored strips from our stacking cups post.  This is such a simple and fun activity that my 5 year old son really got into.  We worked on the tripod grasp needed for handwriting by pushing the pins into the resistive surface.

I had my preschooler work on matching the colored push pins with the colored band at the bottom of the cups.  We kept the foam cups positioned so the opening of the cup was flat on the table to avoid any pinches to hands.  We added wadded up paper towels to the inside of the cups to prevent any scratches as well.  This is an activity that will require supervision with younger kids.

Fine motor color math with push pins and a foam cup. This is great and a simple activity for preschoolers to do at home! Work on counting, addition, subtraction, and color recognition with materials you already have at home (free or almost free materials for homeschool or learning extension activities at home!)

Math with push pins:

To work on beginning math skills with my preschoolers, we counted the pins as they pushed them into the cups.  We then counted any pins that were grouped together and counted the total number of pins.  Extend this activity further by adding a dice to add and subtract push pins.  Roll the dice and push in the rolled number of push pins.  When all of the pins are added to the cup, remove pins by rolling the dice and removing the rolled number of pins.   

More Math activities you will enjoy:


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