A friend of mine showed me a folder she put together for her daughter that had some activities and fun things for her to do to keep her busy. I really liked that everything was protected with lamination. I asked her where she went to get everything laminated and I was SHOCKED to hear that they have personal laminating machines now. Now, I'm sure personal laminating machines are not a new thing, but I often don't catch the obvious. Anyway, not only did I find out that there are such things as personal lamination machines, but also that they are CHEAP!! I bought one (immediately) at Walmart for under $30 and it came with 20 laminating sheets. I bought 50 extra sheets for about $15 with tax. I wanted to put together a felt board for the boys for an Easter present, but after reading about how to make one myself I realized that felt boards are almost obsolete and magnet boards are the new "thing". I just bought 2 metal cookie sheets at Walmart for about $10 and found a lot of cute ideas online for the new magnet board. Here are all my creations that I've made recently with my fancy-shmancy personal laminating machine for our magnet board.
Decorate a Butterfly- I found this activity here. I made this one for Austin mostly, but Jackson likes it too. It's good for fine motor skills and you can play over and over again. I just cut out the butterflies (there's several colors) and stuck pom-poms on to magnets, and let the fun begin! PS I found all of these pom-poms at Dollar Tree. I LOVE the Dollar Tree for craft pieces!
5 Little Pumpkins- You can find this activity here. I bought this book for Jackson during his first Halloween and he LOVES this book. We read it ALL the time, especially around Halloween. I just printed off the pictures, cut them out, laminated them, re-cut them, and stuck magnets on the back. And voila!
5 Little Monkeys- You can find this activity here. This is a rendition with an alligator that I hadn't heard before, but it's fun. The kids will love the SNAP part. The words were with the pictures.
5 Little Apples- You can find this activity here. I hadn't heard this little poem either, but the words are included on the website.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly- You can find the pictures here, but I had to google to find the poem. I LOVED this book when I was little and I found this pinned on Pinterest.
I See a Dinosaur Looking At Me- You can find this activity here. This is the same format as Eric Carle's Brown Bear Brown Bear except using dinosaurs. I fun way to learn/review colors!
Beginning Math Skills- You can find this activity here. This is found on the same webpage as the dinosaur activity. This lady has some super great activities for toddlers and preschoolers. It's a really great resource for moms! Anyway, I printed this activity for Jackson because he's ready for basic math skills. I ran out of magnets, but you get the jist. She supplied all the numbers and the equation bars for learning basic math squares. She also provides circles to use as manipulatives until they get the idea of using their fingers. Jackson loves to mix colors to see what they make, so I'm going to put the colors in the equation lines. For example: yellow + blue = ?. Anyway, just another use/idea.
Tangrams Folder- You can find the Tangram shapes here and the puzzles here. Tangrams is an ancient Chinese puzzle that my mom introduced to Jackson. We ALL have a Tangrams app on our phones (this includes not only Jim and me, but also Grandma Marlow and Great Grandpa Marlow per Jackson's request) so that Jackson can play them on our phones. Anyway, I found these puzzles of different animals and letters for Jackson to play with and I put them together in a folder. I made to seperate Tangram puzzle pieces, on set for each boy, and I stuck the puzzles in clear paper protectors. Warning: I laminated the Tangram puzzle pieces to help protect them during use, but this makes them easily slide on the page protector, so Jackson gets frustrated. I need to find a way to help them stick and not slide so much. Here's the folder and an example of one of the animals and one of the letters.
Dice Game- You can find this activity here. This is simple and fun! You have cards numbered 2-12 and you roll the dice and add up what's rolled and then flip over the corresponding number. The first person to turn over the last number wins. I found these foam dice at Dollar Tree. They're quiet so they won't wake up Austin if he's napping. And big dice are fun!
This is all I've done so far, but I hope I've sparked some ideas for any moms reading this. Have fun playing with your kids!