Eggucational Activities

A quick Pinterest search for educational Easter activities for my son opened my eyes to a whole world of incredible, eggucational ideas involving plastic Easter eggs!  (You can buy them here or here.   Stock up after Easter for even better deals!)

The teacher/organizer in me decided to help you out by categorizing them by developmental level. Keep in mind, all kids learn at different rates and these are just general guidelines. Simply click on any image to link to the original source for information on each activity.

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Note, all of these can be modified to meet the needs of your learner. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make it easier by matching the top and bottom colors of the egg. Make it more challenging by using different colors for the top and bottom.
  • All of the language activities can be made more difficult by adding more complex vocabulary, longer words, irregular patterns, etc.
  • Math can be modified by using larger numbers, adding more complex skills, incorporating more than one operation into problems, higher level problem solving.

Before we get started, here is one more tip:  If it is something you only want for a one-time activity, use a dry-erase marker and wipe clean after use to do another activity. However, many of them make for great playroom activities year round- my son LOVED matching numbers and practicing upper and lower case letters with his eggs last year.

Babies

For babies, sensory bins are where it’s at. Seeing, touching, feeling, listening, exploring (and yes, tasting, so be careful) is their primary mode of learning. You can also begin working on colors, emotions, and animal sounds.

     tool for teaching emotions in kids of all ages     Easter Sensory Bin Texture Eggs Tactile Sensory Play Activity   Easter Sensory Bin for Toddlers | www.GoldenReflectionsBlog.com  water play with plastic Easter eggsIMG_2563

Put construction paper in shredder to make grass - then let students sort eggs into proper container.Easter Egg Washing Set Up

Toddlers

There is a vast range of abilities at this stage. Focus on number and letter recognition, beginning letter sounds, counting, shapes, colors, and patterns.

   Number Snake with Plastic Eggs         Find the Chick Easter 1-20 Number Recognition Game Egg Activity Easter Egg Shape Hunt! A fun and educational Egg Hunt without candy.      IMG_2559Easter holiday kids activity game idea. Mix and Match your plastic eggs for a fun preschool game!! Could also be cute Easter basket gift idea.   IMG_2561

Eggciting Beginnings  

Preschoolers (ages 3-5)

Again, there are huge developmental differences in this age range. Focus on early literacy skills, sight words, word families, patterns, number correspondence, basic addition and subtraction (precursors to multiplication and division), classification, and experimentation.

Egg Word Families 2  TheHappyTeacher: 8 Educational Easter Egg Activities!      Basket of rhymes   You searched for contraction easter egg - Teaching with Nancy | Teaching with Nancy Counting Coins - love the versatility of plastic eggs for centers at Easter!preschool science lesson sink or float  IMG_2531  IMG_2572

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Plastic Egg Duck and Bunny Craft for Kids 

Primary Grades K-2

Expanding on a strong foundation, primary grade students are ready to work on fact families, place value, phonemic awareness, antonyms, synonyms, telling time, and building words.

 

  

Basket of Antonyms  Short and long vowel sort landscape Reading Two-Syllable Words with Easter Eggs {free printable included} | This Reading Mama

 

  

Intermediate Grades 3-5

Turn things up a notch in the intermediate grades. Combine several different operations at once, use larger numbers,  focus on fractions, percentages, and decimals. Study contractions, figures of speech, state capitols, the arts.

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 Contractions with plastic eggs ~ easy to match and then write on paper to show your work (Or, have an adult quickly check the eggs for accuracy before pulling apart and scrambling for the next center visitor.) 

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Middle And High School

This could easily continue with older kids too, but they might be too cool for it. Periodic table elements and symbols, anyone?!IMG_2571

Here are some other ideas:

  • Balancing chemical equations
  • Inventors and inventions
  • Famous literary quotes
  • Bible Verses
  • Sports teams and mascots
  • Metric Conversions
  • Foreign Language Vocabulary Terms

Adults

Oh no, I didn’t forget you!  Time for some EGGSERCISE!

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 Please share any other eggcellent eggucational ideas you have tried!

 

Some More Eggucational Activities

Compiling the eggceptional list  of eggucational activities really got me brainstorming. Here are the descriptions of my personal additions!

Babies:

Pick an egg, say the animal sound and have the child choose the picture of the animal that says that sound.

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Toddlers:

Match the beginning letter sound with the picture.

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Preschoolers:

Match the geometric shape with the number of sides.

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Match the picture with the word.

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Work on division skills by sharing eggs equally amongst a specified number of people. Work on classification by sorting eggs by color and graphing the results.

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Find rhyming words and put them together. Extend this activity by asking them to add another rhyming word to the pair. IMG_2531

Primary Grades K-2

Match the shape with the correct name. Incorporate a variety of geometry terms such as acute angle, line, vertices, etc.

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Intermediate Grades 3-5

Match Equivalent Fractions

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Match a mixture of decimals, percentages and fractions. This is an incredibly valuable skill in the “real world”!

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Really challenge them by doing this mixed math activity. It can be adapted to any academic level and really gets them thinking in different ways.IMG_2570

Help reinforce memorization of states and capitals.  IMG_2522

Make big numbers by placing varying digits on each egg half. Have students grab any 2 halves and put the egg together to create a new number.  Have them write the number out, emphasizing proper comma placement and then read the number aloud. You can even make it into a game by seeing who can make the highest number.

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Middle And High School

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Here is a list of ideas for middle and high schoolers:

  • Balancing chemical equations
  • Inventors and inventions
  • Famous literary quotes
  • Bible Verses
  • Sports teams and mascots
  • metric conversions (cm, mm, dm)
  • foreign language vocabulary

Please add any other eggcellent ideas you come across. Be sure to #strollersavvy!

Why Children Should Color Outside the Lines

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A dear cousin gave Jake this beautiful piece of art when he was born. We promptly hung it in his room.

Fast forward 4 years to this St. Patrick’s Day craft we were doing.  Jake spent a lot of time working on his project, putting the colors in rainbow order. He would add a few dots in different spots “for creativity”, and I was cool with that.

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Then I ran upstairs to get the babies, came back down and found this:

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At first I was very upset.  His picture looked so good and now he had ruined it. (Shamefully, in the back of my mind I was thinking “ugggh, I was planning to post this picture on the blog!”)  I started to yell at him, then I looked at his face. Full of wide-eyed innocence he said “I was seeing what happens when I mixed it all up” with such pride in his voice.  After all, we do LOVE the book Mix It Up!

I took a step back and the words “color outside the lines” kept flashing in my mind.  I had a choice- berate him because his art didn’t look like the cookie-cutter example, while squashing his creativity, diminishing his confidence (he is a perfectionist, so this risk he took was HUGE), and quelling his curiosity OR smile, tell him I loved all of the colors he used and proceed with a science experiment on how long it will take to dry. (For the record, he immediately deduced that we should put it outside to dry faster. Furthermore, I neglected to put paper under it, left it in the rain, and now have a green-stained deck, but that’s beside the point.)

This simple project meant as a holiday decoration reminded me of all of the the things I want for my son.

I want him to take risks and be unafraid of failure.

I want him to to express his creativity and individuality without pressure to conform.

I want him to think outside the box without repercussion.

I want him to be spontaneous and have fun without holding back.

I want him to try new things without the constraints of perfectionism.

I want him to act with passion not restriction.

In the end, it was a lesson learned for all. He gained valuable art, science, fine motor, and personal growth experience, and I learned to let go of preconceived notions and just let him be.

Life doesn’t have to fit neatly between the lines. Color it any way you want!

P.S.   I still despise paint and did not enjoy the mess, but it is so very worth it.

Put Your Heart Into It

This Valentine’s Day, save your money, spare your waistline and give a truly priceless gift- the gift of love and memories for the entire family. (Note, this works just as well whether you are single and dating or have a huge family). This idea is so simple, that even the artistically challenged like myself can quickly and easily execute it. What it lacks in difficulty it makes up for in its substantial benefits.

I plan to start this on February 1st, so that everyone will get a warm fuzzy each day leading up to Valentine’s Day. If this seems too daunting, you could always shorten the time frame to one week or even just a few days.

“Everybody likes a compliment.”   -Abraham Lincoln

1) Cut out 14 hearts for each family member. If you don’t remember how to cut out a symmetrical heart, channel your inner grade school self and take a trip down memory lane:

Valentine Blog Post

2) Write the person’s name on the bottom corner or back. You can assign a color to each family member or do it at random. I chose to color-code so it will be easier for the kids to hone in on their own hearts on the wall.

3) Put the hearts into a bin.      IMG_0824

4) Each day, have each person close their eyes and pull out a heart. (We plan to draw in the morning to give us the day to think about it and work on it as time permits.)

5) Write something on the heart that you love about that person. Try to be specific. Instead of “you are a great father”, say “when J needs help you patiently give him your undivided attention.” Obviously you will have to help younger children write, but let them provide the ideas. For the non-talkers, put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would say. (Daddy, I love when you hold me high in the air and make me feel so special. Sister, I love when we play blocks together. Brother, I love that sometimes you hug me in the middle of playing. )

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” ~Mark Twain

4) Display it. I plan to post them after the kids go to sleep so they can wake up to see their new heart each morning. I chose to display it on a wall by the kitchen table where everyone is sure to see it at least three times per day. It doubles as an adorable seasonal decoration!

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Many simply do the project and stop at that. Have you ever considered what really goes into these seemingly basic ideas? This simple project benefits each person in so many ways. Not only do the warm fuzzies boost our egos and strengthen our love, but they also provide myriad other benefits. Here is a sampling:

Children:

Children thrive on positive reinforcement. They beam with pride upon receiving a compliment and it motivates them to keep doing those great things. Each day they will wake up in eager anticipation to see what compliment their new heart holds. Making the hearts for family members teaches them selflessness and thoughtfulness while further developing their writing, drawing, literacy, creativity, language development, and fine motor skills. The notes from siblings will validate them as big(little) brother(sister).
Today I asked my 4-year-old what he loved most about his little brother. As he pondered it, a slow smile crossed his face, and he emphatically drawled out, “everything!” <3

Babies:

Okay, I’m a realist, they will have no clue what is going on and will most likely try to eat it. But I promise, this WILL benefit them too. It will serve as a great memory source providing a glimpse back to what they were like at this moment in time. This is a great way to record the minutiae that may not get recorded in a journal or baby book. Instead of writing “you are sweet” to my baby girl, I am going to write “I love that you say ‘tank oooo’ when you hand us something”. When I look back years later, I will vividly remember her waddling up to us with a toy, handing it to us and saying “thank you”. It is also an opportunity for their older siblings to really look at them as people on the inside rather than just playmates. If they are able, let them hold a crayon and scribble on their heart to work on their grip, fine motor skills, focus, hand-eye coordination, and self-expression. Remember, they are little sponges at this age. They are just taking it all in, so continue to set good examples!

Adults:

Let’s face it, being parents is a pretty thankless job sometimes. And when you are caught up in the daily insanity of raising young children, the compliments don’t always roll off the tongue. (Can I get a ‘holla’ from anyone who has ever said “mmm, this dinner is good, isn’t it?” or “Did you see that I cleaned the house today?”) The sad truth for adults is that if you don’t ask for it, you don’t always get it. But a compliment is a compliment, so fish away! This will be a great way to show each other that we DO notice the little things and that we appreciate those just as much as the big ones. It will be insightful to hear how the kids see us and a great opportunity to share the unseen with one another (like how happy C looks when he is atop Daddy’s shoulders.) Perhaps this little project will rekindle something between us, as compliments and acknowledgements are something we desperately need to work on. Just the other day we were discussing how authentic our four-year-old’s compliments are (“Wow, you look AMAZING”) and how forced ours often seem. It will make us slow down and reflect on all of our blessings. It will warm our hearts to see the appreciation on our children’s faces. It will provide a creative outlet.

If done well, this project will capture a moment in time. It will provide memories that can’t be seen in a picture. I never want to forget that Tink makes a purring gurgling noise when we rock in the glider, that Cubbie stops whatever he is doing to run up to us with a huge hug and smile when we enter the room, or that Jake’s quick-witted comments crack us up daily.

When you finish them, and are ready to take down your Valentine decorations, remove them from the wall, and make them into a keepsake book.

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I feel like it is Christmas Eve. I am so excited to hear what they say about each other. I can hardly wait to get started on this tomorrow morning!

Seems much better than over-priced roses and chocolates, doesn’t it?

Just Do It

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I am doing it. No more excuses. I just have to get this first article out there so that I can move forward with the millions of other articles and ideas I have stockpiled for years. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be insightful or life changing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to say everything I want to say all at once.

It doesn’t have to tell you that I am a mother to three young children who recently up and moved across the country seeking new adventures and a fresh start on things.

It doesn’t have to tell you I have always loved writing and am making the commitment to carve time out for myself to do what I love. That I am writing just to write and if I inspire others along the way that is even better.

It doesn’t have to go into the details of why I have let fear, laziness, technological ineptitude, lack of time, etc. get in my way.

It doesn’t have to tell you that I want this blog to represent the things that consume me and that I hope to inspire you through my passions. That I consider parenting an umbrella term for just about anything (healthy eating and exercise, crafting ideas, play group minutiae, toddler truths, education, travel, home, finances, marriage, etc.). Or how being a mommy has impacted me emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.

It doesn’t have to tell you I’m a slight Pinterest addict who rarely actually does the projects… and that when I do they are mostly epic failures. That I get carried away with thoughts and ideas, but find it challenging to sit down and implement them.

It doesn’t have to tell you that I am a positive person who didn’t really start out that way.

It doesn’t have to tell you how far I am stepping out of my comfort zone to write on a public forum. How it took me about 9 years to warm up to the idea of Facebook or even a smart phone.

It just has to be written. No more excuses. So here it is, my first blog post. Maybe it will never look exactly how I want it. Maybe that’s the point. I am stroller savvy, not tech savvy. I need to just roll with life. I’m excited to get into the real writing, to see where this adventure leads. So here we go… I am pressing the publish button. I am also pressing the share and “like” buttons. If you want to join me on this journey and see where it takes us, please do the same.

Oh, and one more thing… I DID IT, now it is your turn! What is your thing? What have you been holding back for whatever reason? Just let go and fly.