Friday, July 30, 2010

How to Make a Stitched Handwriting Practice Dry Erase Board

This dry erase board is easy and inexpensive to make. It is a fun way to help learners both see and feel the writing lines as they are learning to write. It can be used for print and cursive.

Supplies Needed:
Heavy Weight Sheet Protectors
Colored Cardstock Paper
Sewing Machine
Dry Erase Markers

Step 1:
Download this PDF file, and print it on 2 sheets of colored cardstock paper.

Step 2,
Put the two pages backsides together. Straight stitch with large stitches onto the paper. I used size 4 stitches. Just follow the printed lines.

Step 3.
Insert the sewn cardstock paper into the sheet protector.
Your Handwriting Practice Board is ready to begin writing!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Meatless Lunch Box Ideas to Rock the New School Year

This post is for me as much as it is for you. The secret to getting a rockin' start to the new school year lunches is to have a system. This is my system. I hope it gives you some fresh new ideas.

I have four kids, so I often get confused about who likes what. To counter my forgetfulness, I have made a chart to help remind me. I check off each kid's preferences so when I am making lunches in a hurry, I don't have to think about it.

Here is what I included on my chart:

(Keep these warm in a thermos):
Tortellini with Butter Sauce
Veggie Nuggets
Butter Noodles
Mac and Cheese

(No heat required):
Chips with Queso
Pita Chips with Hummus
Bean Burrito
Baked Potato with Cheese
Hard Boiled Egg
Breakfast Burrito (Egg, Potato and Cheese)
Baked Pretzel with Cheese Dipping Sauce

(Keep cool with an ice pack):
Bagel with Cream Cheese and Jelly
Bagel with Lox and Cream Cheese
Cheese and Crackers
Tuna Sandwich

Toss in a Thermos with milk or a milk box to boost the protein power of a meal.

I include a fruit and/or veggie in each lunch as a side item. Make a list of your child's favorites and rotate these often to prevent boredom.

Fruits and Veggies:
Golden Raspberries
Bell Pepper

*I had a Planet of the Apes lunch box when I was a kid, but the one I really wanted was a Shaun Cassidy. What kind of lunch box did you have?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Home Activities to Make Handwriting Fun

Handwriting Rocks

Here are some of my favorite ways to sharpen up those handwriting skills that you can do at home.

To make handwriting fun and effective it is important to keep in mind the four learning modalities that educators use.

1. Auditory:
Use verbal cues as the strokes for each letter are made. Such as, "Slanted line with a scoop down." Feel free to make these up as you go along. The more interesting you can make these the better. Try to keep it consistent, and use them with each of the activities below.

2. Tactile:
Write one letter at a time on the Stitched Handwriting Practice Dry Erase Board from the project found here. This project shows you how to make raised handwriting lines so that learners can feel the lines and become more aware of the letters placement within the lines.

Another fun tactile writing activity is writing in shaving cream. Just spray a glob on the counter, smooth it out and begin writing with your finger tip.
3. Kinesthetic:
Air Writing gets kids moving as they practice writing. Have your child stand up and use a pointer, such as a fairy wand, lightsaber, sword, etc., to draw in the air one letter at a time.

You can also do this while balancing on one leg for more of a challenging kinesthetic activity.

4. Visual:
Try Air Writing with your eyes closed. It will help with visual memory of the letter shapes.

Here are some more resources you can use to make handwriting fun:

Lined Paper Generator You can design your own lined paper, big, small, seasonal, etc.

Print Handwriting Printables There are tons of fun worksheets you can print out at this website. This is geared toward Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Cursive Handwriting Worksheet Generator Type in the words you want on a worksheet and it will make it for you. Try to incorporate things that get your child excited. I like to use Pokemon character names, Princess names, and my kids' new favorite toys.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's Giveaway Time!

And the winner is ...A and R Design Studio. Thank you to all who entered and
Congrats to A and R Design Studio!

You could win this Fortune in the Sun Flower Clip Brooch from my Etsy shop. These Flower Clips are the perfect way to brighten up your day. They can be worn in so many different ways. They are a great way to add color as a hairclip, on a necklace, your collar, a totebag, a hat; I could go on and on. You get the idea.

Easy Peasy Entry Requirements:

*Follow this blog (1 entry)
*Tweet this Giveaway with this premade tweet: RT this to WIN a Fortune in the Sun Flower Clip Brooch from @RegalCottage (1 entry per day)
*View my shop and leave a comment on this post. Tell me your favorite item in my shop. (1 entry)

Contest lasts until July 31st. Winner will be announced August 2nd. So hurry up and enter!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Regal Baby Balls are in!

I just adore these fabric baby balls, and lots of new styles are in stock. They are made from upcycled fluffy vintage chenille and modern designer fabrics.
The textures and colors are fantastic for stimulating babies and toddlers.
They are available in three sizes. Small (5 inches), Medium (6 inches), and Large (9 inches).
You can see the complete collection at Regal Cottage.


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