Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I'm officially on vacation!
Our entire family is heading to Tampa, hopping on a 5 day cruise to Mexico.

My shops will reopen January 4th.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cute Rudolph! Rudolph! Book for You to Enjoy

Happy Holidays!
This month has flown by!  I've been really busy creating lots of fun hands on holiday and winter activities.

I had a request for a black/white version of my Rudolph! Rudolph! Book and I thought I would pass it on to you.  I put it on Scribd - just click here for Rudolph! Rudolph!

I've had so many requests for Bible Activities that I've decided to take the plunge.  I just finished my first unit:  Jesus is Born    My next unit will be Noah's Ark.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turkey Cupcakes

I saw this on the Today Show and thought they were really cute!

Photo courtesy of Sharon Bowers


Turkey Cupcakes

Packaged cookies, candy corn and a little frosting are the key to creating fun turkeys to top a cupcake. If you put the pupils down low on your marshmallow eyes, your turkey will look appropriately worried as any turkey would before he’s about to be eaten!

Get the recipe at       iVillage

I never realized the cute desserts you can make with Nutter Butter Cookies.  My Ghost Cookies were a big hit and I have enough leftover to make these!  
What are you making for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mr. Munchy Crunchy Gets a Face Lift!

I've had quite a few people ask me to create a seasonal Mr. Munchy Crunchy. Mr. Munchy Crunchy is very hungry and loves to eat beginning sounds!   Over the years, Mr. Munchy Crunchy has had quite a few different looks, but it has been awhile since I've created a new look.
After spending the day with my trusty glue gun, I came up with 4 new looks:

Scarecrow Mr. Munchy Crunchy

Hoot! Hoot! Mr. Munchy Crunchy

Mr. Gobble Gobble Munchy Crunchy

Mr. Rudolph Munchy Crunchy

Sooooooo - what do you think?  
Any ideas for future Mr. Munchy Crunchies?  
Maybe a snowman or penguin?  
Leave a comment (just click on the link at the end of this post that says comments)  and let me know what you think.

Another Great Giveaway from $5 Dinners

                        Land of Nod - Breakfast in Bed Play Set Giveaway

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up, snuggle with your little one for a bit, and then request a breakfast in bed????
With this adorable breakfast in bed play set from Land of Nod, you can do just that!  And maybe even catch another 2 or 3 minutes of sleep while little feet patter off to prepare your breakfast!
This week $5 Dinners is giving away 1 Breakfast in Bed Play Set from Land of Nod.  Entry details  HERE
Giveaway ends tonight, so don't delay and enter today!

Curious Chef Giveaway from $5 Dinners

 Check out this great giveaway - but hurry it ends today!

These Curious Chef products are perfect for little hands.  Easy to hold.  Easy to manipulate.  And easy to keep track of and organized (with their distinct design and colors!).  They have been a fantastic addition to our playroom kitchen and real kitchen too!

This week $5 Dinners is giving away the 27 piece Build-A-Kitchen Set and the 6 piece Cookie Set  to 1 lucky winner. Entry Details HERE

Good Luck!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Crafts

Here are some cute turkey crafts:

              Paper Bag Turkey from free kids crafts

                Paper Plate Turkey from Danielle's Place

Turkey Wreath from DLTK

Last but not least, this cute crow!

paper cup crow from free kids crafts
Remember, all it takes is a comment and you will receive my Mrs. Wishy Washy File Folder Game.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Goodies: Cute and Easy Recipes to Make

I was looking online for a cute easy Halloween recipe to make.  I found quite a few at Taste of Home.
I'm going to make these Ghost Cookies:

They look really easy to make and how can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate!

Ghost Cookies
1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped
1 package Nutter Butter Cookies
Miniature Chocolate Chips

Melt candy coating in microwave, stirring occasionally
Dip cookies into coating covering completely.  
Place on wax paper
Use a pastry brush to smooth out where your fingers touched.
While cookie is still warm, place 2 chips for eyes.
Allow to set and store in airtight container
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Here are a few other recipes I found:

Photos courtesy of Taste of Home

What Halloween goodies are you going to make?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mrs. Wishy Washy Extension Activities

I'm slowly going through my boxes and boxes of teaching material, I have accumulated over the years. This week, I found my Mrs. Wishy Washy Activities. It's funny, how every time I open a box, memories flood over me. Memories of past students, the funny things they would say, how their eyes lit up with joy over a particular activity or the occasional total flop. I always loved teaching Mrs. Wishy Washy - it was a guaranteed winner with the kids.

Here are some of my favorite resources online:

Virtual Vine has lots of great ideas and this printable

More fun printables from LoveTwoTeach

Online Game: Barnyard Match Up

Free Lapbook from HomeschoolShare

Cute reenactment video from Kindergarten Tales

Here are some pics of my activities:

I'm listing all of my Wishy Washy activities on Ebay for the low start price of .99, so if you want to purchase some ready made materials along with a Wishy Washy book, now is a good time.

Mrs. Wishy Washy's Tub

Mrs. Wishy Washy

Wishy Washy Day

All of these activities are available via email in my Artfire Shop. I still have another box of Mrs. Wishy Washy material to go through and will be listing it later this week, so check back.
As a special treat, leave a comment about Mrs. Wishy Washy along with your email and I will send you my Wishy Washy Barnyard Fun File Folder Game pictured above free!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hi all,

My father passed away several years ago after a fierce battle with Cancer. I was able to care for him in my home and the experience left no doubt of what a horrific disease Cancer is.

In June, my cousin Eric, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He was 55 years old and had never missed a day of work. Eric fought long and hard, but Cancer won. We held his service Saturday.

Here is his story: Eric Emshoff


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Giveaway: My Huge 700 Page Literacy Cd

Hi all,

I've decided to have a great summer giveaway - my huge literacy Cd containing over 700 pages of hands on learning fun activities! These activities range in level from preschool - first grade, with the majority Kindergarten level.

It's easy to enter: Comments - Comments - Comments! Every comment earns you one entry. Blog about my giveaway and earn 3 entries!!!! Leave a comment with the link. If you don't have a blog - send a email to your friends and copy me -

Visit one or all of my shops - just click on the shops in the left sidebar and comment on what you like. Comment on what you would like to see, share some of your great teaching ideas, comment on topics you would like for me to talk about - following me will also earn you one entry. I will announce the winner of my giveaway on August 15th.
Here are the units on my CD:
ABC Beginning Sound Wheels
5 Little Apples
5 Red Apples
26 Blend Sound Wheels
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Unit
Commotion in the Ocean Unit
Cookie's Week
Counting Math Boards -
Dental Unit
Farm Unit
Frog Unit
Gingerbread Unit
Goodnight Gorilla
Groundhog Day Unit
Jacket in the Snow
Ladybug Unit
Mitten Unit
Mouse Cookie Unit
Fall Unit
Old Lady Who Swallowed... Unit
Pig a Pancake
President's Day Unit
Rumble in the Jungle Unit
Thanksgiving Unit
Winter Unit
Winter Bingo
Good Luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Literacy Bag: Letter Treasures

Hi all!
I've been busy organizing a huge garage sale I'm having Saturday, so I haven't listed as many new items as I had originally planned. Life has a way of getting in the way of Ebay!

I am really happy with my new Letter Treasures Bag. This set contains over 175 objects and a CD containing 26 sorting mats, large letters with pictures to sort, 1/2 page letters to put in centers with objects beginning with each letter - list included - kids love pasting the objects on the letters! and sorting cards for each object!

It's a great way to teach letter recognition and beginning sounds. Perfect for parents, homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, autism and special ed - any hands on visual multisensory learner!

Today is the first Friday of the month and for all of you wonderful followers, I will send a cute freebie later today. Tomorrow, I am announcing a new giveaway, I think it will be my Literacy Cd - over 700 pages of activities!!!!!! Remember, your comments are your entries for my giveaways.

Well, back to the garage for me - have a great day!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy 4th of July! Free Ebook and Lapbook Ideas

Hi all!

Can you believe the 4th of July is right around the corner? Summer is flying by!
Here is a neat ebook from FAVECRAFTS . Just click on the download and you are set!

It contains over 60 pages of crafts and recipes.

My students and I had so much fun making our Whale Lapbook, that we are working on a 4th of July one.

Here are some links:

Lapbook Lessons has some great ideas

ScrapbookScrapbook WOW! I'm in scrapbook heaven! This site has tons of free printables. Perfect for scrapbooking or lapbooking!

and last but not least Homeschooloing4Free has some great links for 4th of July!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Literacy Bag

I've been busy reopening my Ebay Shop and adding new items. I recently added There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed...Literacy Bag. These books are always a hit with children and I made story cards and props to go with 9 books. Here is a picture of my hand painted canvas bag - I wasn't sure if I would be able to paint the Old Lady, but I'm happy with how it turned out:

The literacy bag includes a CD with all of the activities. My kids love "feeding" the old lady. I made objects from each of the books to go with my Old Lady. The Old Lady is really cute and the graphic is from Original Country Clipart by Lisa. Here's a picture of my Old Lady:

Awhile back I stumbled on a great deal on Amazon. They priced some great Child's Play Storysacks at a steal. I bought 10 of them before they raised the price back to $65. I've got a few left and you can buy them for $25 in my Ebay shop if you get it with the opening bid. The set comes with a really cute stuffed old lady and bean filled objects to feed her from the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly book - the book and everything pictured is included too! Here is a picture:

I'd love to hear your teaching ideas for the Old Lady Books - feel free to comment away!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Creating Lapbooks: Killer Whales Unit

Hi all!
I've had a great couple of weeks, getting used to the idea that I'm actually retired! I traveled for a few weeks and then I tackled my workroom and garage! I've got so much teaching material - my garage was full of boxes - that I felt I needed to get organized before I start working.

I will be listing lots of teaching materials over the next few weeks, so be sure and check out my
Ebay Shop. I'm also weeding out my cookbooks, so if you like to cook I've got Southern Living and Taste of Home Annual Cookbooks up for auction.

Now to my latest find. I recently discovered Lapbooks and I absolutely love them! What a great way to teach a unit! I tutor and I'm always looking for ways to keep my students excited and happy to see me. I often tutor 2 hours at a time and I really have to keep creative to keep my 6 year old students on task.

Last week, I decided to see if a lapbook would be interesting. WOW!!!! Talk about success.
In fact, she was so excited about her Killer Whale Lapbook, that her mom scheduled extra sessions, so that we could complete it! One of our favorite activities was measuring string the
length of assorted whales. We had so much fun estimating how much 80 feet looked like then actually measuring! As a added plus - I was excited and engaged and looking forward to tutoring!

There are several great websites that offer free lapbooks and some great pictures of the finished product, so that you can figure out what you're doing!

Here is a great video of a Whale Lapbook:

Here are some great links for Whale Lapbooks:
Killer Whale Lapbook by Lapbook Lessons - you have to register but it's free!
Simple Lapbooks Blog - great pictures of a completed Whale Lapbook
Dolphin Lapbook by Homeschool Share = wonderful website
Whale Lapbook by 1+1+1=1
Great list of lapbook links from 1+1+1=1

I'd love your comments. Anyone lapbook? Have pictures to share?
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Vacation! Friday Freebie Info

School's out and I'm officially on vacation! I'm heading to the beach for a week so I'm sending my Friday Freebie out today, since I will be on the road early tomorrow. I'm hanging out with my daughter and we're going to Charleston, SC for a few days visiting family then heading to Hunting Island to camp and finally spending a few days in Beaufort, SC. I am really looking forward to spending time with my family!

I will be back June 13th and plan to jump right in creating new literacy units.
I have several in the works:

The Kissing Hand

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka 1 2 3

Back to School


Fall Fun

My next giveaway will begin when I return.
Remember, you earn entries by leaving comments.

This month's freebie is a cute butterfly puzzle matching uppercase/lowercase letters.
If you are following and do not receive my freebie, please email me at and let me know the name you are following under and I will add you to my mailing list.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Hi all,
Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I always forget how hectic the end of the school year is.
I should be back on track in a week or two.
Now for the important news:
We have a winner!
Clemencia you have won my Apple Literacy Bag!
Please email me with your address and I will drop it in the mail for you.

Remember, to enter my giveaways you need to leave comments and/or spread the news.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Manic Monday Giveaway: Apple Literacy Bag!!!!

You will receive:
Apples Literacy Bag
Hand Painted Canvas Bag
with CD containing over a dozen activities:

Sample of Activities:

Apple Tree Counting Mats 1 - 10
Five Little Apples - interactive book
How to Eat a Apple Sequence Cards
From Seed to Apple Sequence Cards
Apple Sorting Mat - Beginning Sounds
Blacklines for letter A recognition
and more!

How to Enter:
First, you need to follow my blog
Your comments will earn you entries!
Every comment will earn you one entry - you may comment on any or all of my posts during May 4 - 16
Visit any of my shops (links are on the left sidebar) and comment on a favorite item - 2 entries
Add my Etsy shop to your favorites - 2 entries
Blog about my giveaway and leave a comment with link - 3 entries
Send a email to your friends telling them about my giveaway and copy me - 3 entries
Giveaway will run from today - May 4th - May 16th
Winner announced on Sunday, May 17th
Have fun!

Great Sites to Save $$$$$ On Groceries

I recently found a great blog: $5 Dinners
I never realized there was so much great information on saving money.

When my kids were small, I clipped coupons and often made meals a week at a time to save money. One of my favorite cookbooks was: Monday to Friday Cookbook.

As they grew older, I slowly grew out of the habit.

Now, I have 2 kids in college and am once again looking for ways to save money.

Living as Mom is based in Atlanta and has great advice on how to save money. I never knew you could save so much at CVS!

Here are some great coupon sites:

Cellfire you can load coupons directly to your kroger card - I love it!

I try to eat as much unprocessed organic food as possible. Here is a site for organic coupons:

Once a Month Mom has an entire month's worth of meals planned for you - everything you need!

Mommy Snacks - has great ways to save at Target, Kroger, and Walmart
Anyone else looking for ways to save money?
I'd love to hear how you have save!

Hands On Learning Fun Blog Updates


I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to make my blog more interactive. I want to keep it fresh and up to date, without posting just to be posting. I've enjoyed getting the hang of blogging and thank goodness - I'm getting quicker!

So, I'm going to tweak a few things, keeping it fun and making sure it's not tooooo time consuming for me!

Most of my posts follow some sort of theme and I will continue following that format.

Instead of posting every day, I will introduce a topic with my ideas and hopefully your comments will help guide my future posts - keeping the topics fresh and fun.

I would love to hear your ideas on current topics as well as ideas for future ones. What you've done in the past, favorite books, educational activities, etc. Have a great craft? Email me a picture and I will be happy to post it.

Have a funny to share? Kids can say the funniest things. We all need a laugh - let's share them!

Looking for a great recipe? Or ways to save money? Leave a comment.

Looking for ideas? Leave a comment and we can all share our ideas and expertise.

It's really easy to leave a comment. At the end of every post, you will see comments. Just click on it and a new box will open up and type away! Find a really great coupon or giveaway? Leave a comment and let us know!

Later today, I will post my new giveaway. The guidelines have changed (remember it's work in progress!), so be sure and read the entry rules.

I've also stumbled across some great blogs that help me save money with coupons and groceries. I will share them later this evening.

To make it easy to remember, you can sign up for email updates. You will receive via email new posts and you can click on the link and comment away!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Week: What is a Teacher?

A teacher is someone
who sees each child
as a unique person
and encourages individual
talents and strengths.
A teacher looks beyond
each child's face
and sees inside their souls.
A teacher is someone
with a special touch
and a ready smile,
who takes the time to listen
to both sides
and always tries to be fair.
A teacher has a caring heart
that respects and understands.
A teacher is someone
who can look past disruption
and rebellion,
and recognize hurt and pain.
A teacher teaches the entire child,
and helps to build confidence
and raise self-esteem.
A teacher makes a difference
in each child's life,
and affects each family
and the future of us all.
by Barbara Cage

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week
I am offering a gift certificate good in any of my shops.
Certificates can be in any amount and personalized.

Email or convo me and mention you are a blog follower and you will receive a 10% discount for gift certificates up to $50
All gift certificates $50 or greater will receive
20% savings!
Just print certificate and you are set!
Each certificate has a code and can only be redeemed once.
This offer is only good during Teacher Appreciation Week

Here are some links for other ideas:
Volunteer Spot free ebook of ideas
All Star Activities Creative Teacher Gifts
Cute door decoration ideas from Skip to My Lou

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Freebie

I took a personal day today and I was all excited. I was going to get caught up on my blog, vamp my shops, add new products..... instead I woke up feeling really really yucky!

So instead of having a productive day, I went to the doctor, got my prescriptions filled and collapsed on the couch! I will send Friday's Freebie tomorrow.

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so I will be posting some ideas.
If anyone has a great idea of how to show your appreciation, leave a comment.
I'd love to hear your ideas both from teachers and parents.

Monday, April 27, 2009


We have a winner!
sandy from The Adams Family Blog in PA
You have won Shawna's awesome giveaway!
Please email me with your mailing address at

Special thanks to Shawna of The Student Corner for providing such a wonderful giveaway.

The end of school is rapidly approaching and I'm a bit swamped, so I've decided to wait one week before announcing my next giveaway. I'm sponsoring it and I promise it will be worth the wait!
Happy Monday,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lois Ehlert Activities for Planting a Rainbow & Growing Vegetable Soup

Here are some great resources for Lois Ehlert's Planting a Rainbow:

I found this Groovy Rainbow Cupcake from Flickr: breeleed
I made a yellow cake mix (white also works, too) and then divided the batter into four bowls. Using Wilton icing colors, I dyed each bowl of batter with my favorite color. Just spoon each color into a lined cupcake tin and you're all set!

Makes and Takes has a great activity: planting a rainbow

Virtual Vine has a neat rainbow unit

Growing Vegetable Soup Activities:

First School's Vegetable Basket Craft

Cute video from Gardentime: Kids Seed Planting Projects

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Freebie

Woohoo! It's Friday!
I just sent this week's Freebie, so be sure and check your email.
If you are following and did not receive it, please send me a email with the name you are following under at and I will add you to my mailing list.

It's a really cute Animal Opposites Game.

Saturday, I will catch up on my posts. The end of school is rapidly approaching and keeping me very busy during the week.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Planting & Gardening: My Favorite Books - Planting a Rainbow, Growing Vegetable Soup & The Tiny Seed Plus Activities

Here are some of my favorite Planting and Gardening Activities:
My Favorite Books to Read:

The Tiny Seed By Eric Carle
Planting a Rainbow By Lois Ehlert
Growing Vegetable Soup By Lois Ehlert

If you haven't discovered
Lois Ehlert, be sure and check her books out - she's awesome!

Tomorrow, I will list my favorite websites with fabulous activities to go along with these great books!

Cute Crafts:

Coffee Filter Flowers by Family Corner

Make a beautiful flower bouquet. These flowers are quick, easy, inexpensive and fun for all ages. Use your imagination to come up with your own varieties! For each flower you will need:
2 basket style drip coffee filters

Food coloring (2 colors)
Wooden skewer
Green construction paper
Clear tape
White glue
Green paint or marker

Scrunchy Blossoms By Kids Craft Weekly

Our scrunchy blossoms turned out so nicely that we have decided to keep them in a vase on the kitchen table. These blossoms are easy to make – younger kids with good fine motor skills should be able to manage quite easily. You will need• pink or white crepe paper• scissors• twigs• kids pvc glue and paintbrush1. Cut crepe paper into small pieces – we cut ours into roughly one inch squares.2. Scrunch a piece of crepe paper into a small tight ball. Dip it in glue and stick it to your twig. Keep going until your stick is in full bloom.

Build a Terrarium By Kids Gardening

Be sure and visit this great website:

a guide to the world of fun and clever gardening
Have Fun Planting!