Friday, December 21, 2012

Activity Binders

I wanted to think of something creative to make for my kids and my daycare kids this year for their Christmas party.  It was important to me to give them gifts that I made myself, but that they would genuinely enjoy and be able to enjoy for a long time.  I found this amazing idea for road trip binders.  If you click the link, you will find the blog I read about this idea, along with many activities to go into the binders.  I made my own activities, as I had a diverse group of ages to work with, and I wanted to give them each age appropriate fun activities.  The idea is to put the activity sheets inside sheet protectors and include dry erase markers so they can do the activities over and over.  Or, include "game pieces" with Velcro on the back so their pieces don't scatter and get lost, and so they can play in the car or in waiting rooms.

One of the activities was a color matching game.  I have included a free printable that I made, please enjoy it.  I got a selection of paint samples at Walmart for free.  Cut them into small squares.  Insert this included chart into a page protector, put a piece of Velcro in each blank square, and on the back of your small paint chip squares.  Help the kids arrange the paint sample shades under the appropriate color.

Another activity was the money matching game, also included for your enjoyment.  I have included the chart you insert into page protector, and also the corresponding money pieces you will need to cut out and affix with Velcro.  You will see on the chart, currency names, written three ways, in order from once cent up to one hundred dollars.  Teach the kids to arrange the currency in the appropriate column.  This activity teaches them what each currency looks like, and the three different ways the currency is referred to.   It will also help them with some new sight words!

I also included two simple activities pertaining to the days of the weeks, and the months of the year.  Here are those for you to use as well!  They are self explanatory, and the instructions for each activity are on the sheet.

Another activity I included here for you to use is a time telling activity.  It involves matching regular and digital clock faces to several different ways of notating the time.  It also teaches the similarity and difference between noon and midnight, along with teaching more new sight words!

Some of the younger kids received Popsicle stick puzzles.  I used foam craft sticks that I found at the Dollar Tree.  Simply print out a picture that you like, line up your sticks, and mod podge them on!  When they are dry, cut them!  The kids particularly loved these. 

I also included some other things for imaginative play, and to stretch the minds of the older children.  I gave them each a white sheet with a small partial picture on each, such as a hand snapping it's fingers.  They were then able to draw the rest of the picture themselves with dry erase markers.  Additionally, I included blank faces for the kids to decorate in the binders for every age and they ALL loved that.  I did use some random blank face templates I found online, so I didn't include those here.  I put some graph paper and some regular lined paper in the binders for the older children, which they liked.  Each binder had a pouch for their dry erase markers, pieces for their games, and a pencil.  Last but not least, I made a fun cover for each of them my own art and their name!

These were so fun to make and luckily, all my babies LOVED them!  I was thrilled.  Once I had them all made and wrapped, I was a little afraid they wouldn't like them, but they were a smash hit.  I will definitely make more of these in the future with new activities.  As I said, you're more than welcome to use my images and activities, but I also have it all in an Excel document for easier printing and so that you could change them to suit you so please feel free to leave me your email and I can share the file with you!  I'd love to hear if anybody tries these out and how your kids like them!