Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Homeschooler -

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Make Your Own Santa

I've been feeling very holly-jolly this week and so I decided to make a little printable Christmas craft to share.  I'll be trying it out with my niece this weekend.  Hope you enjoy it!

These cut n' glue Santas would be perfect for ornaments.  You could also use craft brads to attach their arms and legs and have a paper doll with moving parts.

Little kids (3- to 4-year-olds) will need a hand with scissors.  5- to 6-year-olds should be able to complete this activity on their own.  

There are two versions in the PDF: a traditional red and black color version which  only needs a face drawn on, and a blank version which you can color however you like.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Continents and Oceans Free Printable

Woo hoo!  I just finished a series of crosswords about geography.  Here is a freebie covering the continents and oceans.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Printable Planet Crossword

Here is a printable freebie for you guys,  you can print the PDF with answer sheet here.
Hope you enjoy it!

Animal Crossword

Here is a new crossword about animals for you!

  This puzzle can be used to explore vocabulary such as: mammal, reptile, bird, fish, amphibian, predator, prey, mate, primate, limb, and flightless.
I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Printable Animal Card Game!

I collected some of my Crossword Critters  and turned them into a set of cards.  Just print, color, and play!
You can print them from here.

 These are perfect for playing Memory.  You probably know this game already.  The cards are placed face down and players take turns turning over two at a time.  If the two match then the player keeps the pair, if not then the next player goes.  The goal is to remember the placement of the cards as well as you can and end the game with the most pairs.  

I have also used these cards for a version of Go Fish based on animal classes.  Start with three cards each if you have four players or four cards each if you have two or three players.  The remainder of the cards go in the center (the "fish pond").  Take turns asking any one other player if they have a mammal/reptile/etc.  If it's a perfect match you place the pair face up in front of you.  If they have the right class of animal but it's not a perfect match then you keep it and the next player goes.  If they don't have any animals in the class you are looking for then the next player goes.  The game is over when there are no cards left in the fish pond.  The winner is the player with the most pairs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tundra Teaching Activities

PBS has some ideas for activities to teach about the tundra.

As does Scholastic, for example this nifty tundra animal wheel.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Spot the International Space Station

I got to wave hello to some astronauts last night.  Not sure if they saw me but it's the thought that counts I guess.  A few weeks ago I signed up for NASA's Spot the Station alerts and now I get an e-mail giving me a heads up anytime the International Space Station will be visible in my area.  

I wasn't sure what it would look like and was nervous that I would miss it altogether.  I actually stared at a point of light for about a minute and a half ("Is that moving? Maybe it's moving. No, I'M moving.  Stop pacing around self!") before remembering that anything twinkling is a star (see astronomical scintillation).  Once I stopped fixating on the wrong thing I immediately saw a very bright, fast-moving light flying overhead.  It was like a shooting star on steroids- unmistakable and very, very cool. 

NASA has a 79-page printable packet of lesson plans and activities all about the Space Station.

There are also some fun ideas for talking about life in space on Discovery Education's website.

Friday, May 29, 2015

DIY Printable House

Just found this cute tiny printable house.
Thanks Enchanted Learning!
It's just the right size for the itty-bitty people from Made by Joel's Travel Size Paper City Paris.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Fossil Activities

Okay, this one is close to my heart.  
I have always harbored a deep desire to go out into the wilderness and dig for bones.  Unfortunately my fear of student loans outweigh my interest in getting a second degree in paleontology and so I'll have to settle for being a B-grade rock hound and fossil hunter.  
This beautiful camarasaurus skeleton lives (dies? continues to be dead?) at the amazing Dinosaur National Monument.  If you're ever near Dinosaur, Montana (real place) definitely check it out.  They have so many dinosaur fossils that they literally don't care if you touch them.  A park ranger actually went out of her way to make us take pictures of ourselves feeling this enormous femur.
HomeGrownFun has nice, simple directions for making your own fossils with Plaster of Paris.
The National Park Service also has a special site full of resources for National Fossil Day- which I just discovered is a real thing that happens!  
I am a little bummed that I've been missing out on Fossil Day festivities all these years.  But you better believe I'm going to make up for lost time this October 14th!  I think I'll go to Fossil, Oregon pop. 473 (also a real place) and do it up Fossil style.

And of course, check out my awesome worksheet with crossword at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Desert Activities

Springtime in Utah!  Seeing wildflowers in full bloom in the desert was amazing.  

My crossword about desert ecosystems is up on my TeachersPayTeachers store.

More fun desert stuff:

 Meerkats: The Movie is a fantastic documentary about these desert-dwelling critters.  
 What's cuter than baby meerkats?  Nothing!  Nothing is cuter!  This documentary will make you feel like you are in an underground burrow snuggled up with a family of meerkats.  That may sound claustrophobic and/or unsanitary to some of you but trust me, it is a very endearing film.
  If you really want to get into it, you can follow up watching the film with a printable card game called "Meerkats Survive!" from National Geographic.  

  The idea of the card game is to catch prey and protect your pups from predators.  Whoever has the most pups once all the card are drawn wins.  It's a good way to help kids think about the interdependence of animals in a food web.  A lot more endearing than a card game with, say, millipedes as the hero.

Planet Lesson Plans and Activities

Well, I'm just finishing up a set of crosswords about the planets.  

NASA has tons of information for parents and teachers on their website.  You can search their lesson plans and activities by grade and length of time to complete.  Also, all of their photos and images are released into the public domain so they are usable for pretty much any purpose.  I like the idea of printing out actual photos of the planets and making them into a mobile.  If I get around to it I'll report back with pictures.

You can check out my Planet Earth crossword at my TeachersPayTeachers store.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ocean Notions

Turns out "The Ocean" is much too big of a topic for one crossword.  I thought I might as well start at the beginning with how the oceans got full of water in the first place (spoiler alert* it was volcanoes!).  So here is part one of the "Ocean Notions" series.  You can get the whole thing at my TeachersPayTeachers store.
Here are some companion printables showing the current positions of the tectonic plates.
This one is from the National Park Service.  They also have some good pages showing geological faults, folds, and subduction zones. 
This one from the United States Geological Survey is better for printing and coloring.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Bingo!

Many thanks to Amber at for this adorable printable Easter bingo!

Should be just right for a mellow afternoon of egg dying and Easter festivities with my niece.
Hope you all have a great holiday!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Here is my latest informational text for 3rd to 5th graders.  You can get the best printable version along with crossword at my TeachersPayTeachers store. 

Also, National Geographic has some excellent coloring pages of rainforest animals here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Adorable Printable Bingo

Everybody loves bingo, right?  This free, printable bingo from  BoyMama TeacherMama was a home run at my niece's fourth birthday party.  

We played it noncompetitively.  Kids took turns turning over a bingo token with an animal on it.  The oldest kid then helped the little ones find the matching animal on their cards.  The game was over when everybody's card was full.  Which, surprise, surprise happened on the same turn!  That way everyone won at the same time and got a prize all together.  Nice way to avoid any hurt feelings about losing or winning last.  You can find this and other fun stuff at her site,

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Butterfly Printable with Crossword

We here in the Pacific Northwest have been enjoying record-setting warm, sunny days.  I even saw my first spring butterfly yesterday and thought I'd celebrate by sharing this printable coloring page- with crossword of course. 

For the best printable version, CLICK HERE.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Twee Phee

Who is Phee McFaddell? Judging from her website, she is a diminutive good witch who lives with her cat in a fairyland of elaborate costumes and fantastical puppets.  Oh, and she's also a prolific artist who generously shares her work with the world for free.  

And she is prolific! There are literally hundreds of printable coloring pages and articulated puppets on her site. All of them detailed, whimsical, and lovely.  I made this fairy and unicorn with my niece and it was great. Thanks Phee!

Check her out at

Sunday, February 22, 2015

More fun With Printers- Calendars!

Okay, okay, I know it's almost March, but I just got around to checking out printable calendars for 2015 and I thought I'd pass along a couple cute ones to any fellow procrastinators out there.  Printing your own calendar is more fun (and frugal) than buying new and because you don't have to print the whole year at once you can mix it up and have a different style every month if you want.

Thanks to Tina at for this stand-up, tri-fold calendar.  I printed this to use at work and it's really sweet.  Be aware that they're pretty small, maybe three or four inches on each side but it's perfect for a desk or counter.  I highly recommend card stock so it doesn't just blow away anytime someone opens a door.  

If you want something bigger that you can write on then check out this one from Craftaholics Anonymous.  The fonts are nice and the layout looks clean.  

Something Fishy

Fish make great first pets, they're quiet, tidy, and not so lovable that the house will be thrown into mourning for weeks when they inevitably kick the bucket.  That being said, I was pretty fond of my fish as a kid.  One even got a headstone when it departed into the watery hereafter- "RSVP Angel."  I got a useful lesson on acronyms that day but the paint had already dried and so we kept it.  
This is my niece having a staring competition with Herman the Sturgeon, a ten-foot-long, 425 lb behemoth.  Sturgeons are a prehistoric type of bottom feeder who prefer to eat dead things and have no bones, only cartilage, presumable making them not only huge and filthy but squishy too. 

Also, there are many good coloring pages of fish online but I'm partial to the realistic-yet-freaky ones like this one.:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

This book is the children's novel equivalent of an action film that leaves you feeling entertained but still wondering what exactly you just saw.  So how did the bad guys all know each other?  What was the deal with that monster that lived underground?  Why were they trying to kill the good guy?  Don't get me wrong, it's good escapist fantasy and a fun read.  But just be prepared to suspend your disbelief and not get answers to everything at the end.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Miniature Romantic Getaway

Well, it's Valentine's Day and what could be more romantic than taking your sweetie to the City of Light for a kiss under the Eiffel Tower?  But if flying to Paris is not in the cards for you this year you can do the next best thing and print your own Parisian get-away compliments of Made by Joel.  Stick a candle in there and you have an adorable centerpiece for dinner in for two.  Just don't set the Arch De Triomph on fire.
I printed this on card stock and it came out really nicely.  He has lots of other great free printables, for example this cute circus that is just crying out for some glitter glue.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fun with Printers- Paper Dolls and Finger Puppets!

Oh my goodness!  It made my day when I discovered Mr. Printables.  He has so many adorable craft templates that you can print for free from his site.
I made these cone paper dolls with my niece the other day and they were a big hit.
We also made some pretty cool finger puppets

He has some good ideas for upcycling your garbage into toys as well.

Check him out at