I found that this website was different from others since it includes both printables and actual activities. All activities are age appropriate and come with instructions on how to facilitate the activities. She has provided clear, easy to follow instructions to replicate the activities. She also provides a list of materials needed for the activity as well as links to where the materials may be purchased so as a busy parent you don’t have to take the time to search for where to purchase the items. Most materials are often found around the house or easily accessible through the links she’s provided.
I like that none of the activities that I replicated took very long to prep so I was able to spend more time implementing them with the kids as opposed to making them.
I replicated 3 letter activities, 2 name activities and 3 math activities geared toward preschool aged children. What I liked about the particular activities I chose were that they used similar materials which kept the activities affordable and most of them were from printables provided from the Mom Inspired Life website.
|Letter Matching Caterpillars|
The first letter activity, Letter Matching Caterpillars, included a printable from the website which saved a lot of prep time. I had extra bottle caps lying around so I was glad I could recycle them for this activity. I laminated the paper so that I could reuse the activities without worry about wear and tear.
|Apple Tree Letter Matching|
The second letter activity, Apple Tree Letter Matching Activity, also included a printable. The printable is very cute and child-friendly. The only material I had to purchase was the stickers for the letters. Since I couldn’t find the red stickers at the dollar store I decided to make this into an orange/lime/lemon tree and used the orange/green/yellow dots stickers from the dollar store.
|Easter Egg Letter Matching|
The third letter activity, Easter Egg Letter Matching, included a black and white printable. Since it’s not a colored printable it allows the child to color the egg when they have completed the matching of the letters. The only expense I had was in purchasing the round stickers. Again, I purchased them at the dollar store because they were affordable and it doesn’t really matter if the stickers are high quality. If you’re unable to find the stickers, I would suggest using crayons to color the circles. If you choose to use crayons this will also allow the children to develop their fine motor skills.
The name activities even though they’re different they are each helpful in teaching children how to spell their name. I like the fact that parents are in control of how they choose to teach their children to spell and identify their names. Even though most children are taught how to spell their name with all capital letters, as someone who has taught at the primary grade level, when children learn to spell their names with all capitals they will have to relearn how to spell it with lowercase letters in Kinder and 1st. I prefer to teach them to spell their names by using capital and lowercase letters appropriately. It’s more helpful and beneficial for the kids. Both activities allow personalization of names and preference of capital and lowercase.
|Editable Name Printable|
The Editable Name Printables is extra neat because you can enter your child’s name into the one page that looks like a sheet of labels (after downloading) and it will automatically personalize the worksheet for you. It’s quite unique as I haven’t seen any other site that allows this type of personalization for free. Super clever and extremely helpful. She suggests using magnetic letters for the “build it” section of the worksheet but I didn’t have the magnetic letters so I used the foam sticker letters which was a great substitute. I chose not to remove the paper exposing the sticky part so I am able to reuse the letters again.
|Super Fun Name Search|
The Super Fun Name Search Activity is a very universal printable. It’s not only feasible to use for identifying a child’s name but it can also be used to identify letters, numbers, sight words and even shapes. Since the printable is universal it makes the activity possible to use again and again just focusing on different skills. I would print out extra copies to accommodate different skill sets you choose to develop. Such as if you’re wanting to focus on numbers then print out a sheet and input numbers into the circles and do the same for shapes, letters, etc. If you choose to laminate the sheet of paper then your child can use a dry erase marker to cross out the letters of their name otherwise you can use the bingo stamp markers I found at the dollar store to mark the letters in their name and then you can discard the paper when finished.
I love the 3 math activities that I replicated because they are each different, use different materials but each teaches the same concepts. I like that even if a child gets a little bored with one of them there is enough of a variety that they will continue to learn the concepts but in different ways. Two of the three I chose used manipulatives to help children who are visual and tactile learners to understand the concepts being taught.
|Teddy Bear Button Counting|
The Teddy Bear Button Counting Activity is extra cute and uses buttons to help children to count and identify numbers. I used actual buttons as opposed to the buttons that were included with the printable. Since I had actual buttons left over from a different activity I was able to utilize them with this one too!
|Heart Counting Game & Threading|
I chose to substitute the beads in the Heart Counting Game & Threading Activity since I was able to easily find the plain pony beads. Plus I’ll be able to use the leftover plain beads for another activity. This activity is useful to teach two different skills, one being visualizing & identifying numbers as well as counting beads and the other is developing a child’s fine motor skills by threading the beads onto the pipe cleaner. I love when I can find activities that help teach more than one skill.
The Mitten Math Activity even though it fits well with a winter theme, it can be used any time of the year. This one combines physical activity, rolling the dice, with counting. When little ones roll the dice it’s more of a throw so it gets them moving a bit when they have to run over and pick up the dice they threw. (Only one die pictured) It combines some movement with fine motor skills in the coloring of the mittens and of course helps to develop their math skills while counting the dots on the dice.
I have to include the Minions Cake Mix Cookies. Anyone that likes the Minions will love these cookies. They are super easy to make and the kids will have fun helping you mix the few ingredients together. If you know of a Minion fan, they will surely enjoy this sweet treat.
Danielle has created a great site full of a variety of activities that are both fun to replicate and implement. Kids are intrigued by the colors of the printables and there is a good balance of worksheet type activities and hands-on activities that peek the curiosity of kids. I love how clear she is with her description of the materials needed, and the step by step instructions she provides so the activities can easily be replicated and implemented. At the end of each of the activities, she also provides links to other websites that are complementary to the theme of that particular activity.
As great as the website is and how creative the activities are there are a couple aspects of the website that I found to be problematic and frankly a bit annoying. Her website is covered with automated advertisements, in fact, on average there’s 10-13 per page. I understand that ads are important to bring in revenue to a website but I don’t feel as though being bombarded by ads is the best way to keep the interest of busy parents. As much as I loved her ideas and activities I won’t be revisiting her site because of the overuse of the ads. Several times the abundance of ads slowed down my browser and computer even freezing it. The other annoyance is the ad near the bottom of the screen needed to be closed every time I maneuvered to a different page on her site since it blocks content that I was trying to read. It really detracts from the valuable content, it’s unfortunate because her ideas are great but it’s just too distracting. Each ad takes too long to load which slows down the browsing experience. Parents don’t have the time to waste waiting for their computer to respond or ads to load.
The activities and games are fun and practical however because of the bothersome ads I won’t be accessing the website again in the future. As much as I tried to look past the annoyance I just don’t have the time to spare to continuously close ads or wait for my browser to catch up because it’s being slowed down due to the overwhelming amount of automated ads. I tend to revisit other sites that are less time consuming and just as educational.