Apple Activities for Kids

Fall is the perfect time for apple crafts and activities with kids! Seems like every year we take a trip to the apple orchard, make homemade applesauce, and do some of our favorite fun apple activities for kids. Last week’s Good Tips Tuesday had quite a few fall activities for kids, including apples! We’ve rounded up some of the favorite apple activities for kids to feature this week.

Apple Activities for Kids

Apple Activities for Kids

9 Apple Recipes and Crafts | A Life in Balance

Apple Picking Math Felt Board | Munchkin and Bean

Apple Bet Match | Tiny Tots Adventure

Alphabet Learning with Apple Stamping | Growing Book By Book

Apple Stamping Craft | There’s Just One Mommy

Good Tips Tuesday

Now, let’s get to this week’s party!

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog.

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

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Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.


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We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!


Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

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5 Preschool Pinterest Boards You Don’t Want to Miss

I love Pinterest. There are lots of great ways to use Pinterest–wish lists, project ideas, menu planning, and more. I have found that I have a mixture of Pinterest boards, but some of my favorite to pin to are preschool focused. Today I’m sharing my Top 5 Preschool Pinterest Boards. Make sure to follow them!
5 Preschoool Pinterest Boards You don't want to miss from Fine Motor skills, Playdough, Sensory Bins, Math, and literacy


The Playdough Pinterest Board is where I gather unique ideas for playdough play, playdough recipes, and printable playdough mats. It’s a fun board to follow for hands-on fun for little hands. Oh, who am I kidding, I love to play with playdough, too!

Fine Motor Skills

The Fine Motor Skills Board is where I gather ideas for all things fine motor. You’ll find a little bit of everything over there–cutting skills, twisting skills, pinching skills, lacing skills and tearing skills.

Sensory Bins

The Sensory Bin Board is where I gather ideas for sensory experiences. I love scrolling through it to find ideas on what to add to my sensor bins and keep up with unique sensory bin ideas.

Literacy for Littles

My Literacy for Littles board is full of ideas to immerse kids in literacy activities–learning letters, sight words, and more!

Math for Littles

My Math for Littles board is full of ideas for helping kids learn numbers, patterns, number sense, and more!

Of course, there are plenty more Pinterest boards that I add to often. I have a board for each Kindergarten unit we did last year that coincides with My Father’s World Kindergarten. There are plenty of crafts, sewing, and home ideas as well. I’m also a member of a few group boards that are specific to preschool and printables. I hope you’ll follow these boards and more!

Want to find more amazing Pinterest boards? Some of the iHomeschool Network bloggers are sharing their best Pinterest Boards. I’m sure you’ll find something else you love!


Indoor Snow Play with a Snow Sensory Bin

It has snowed twice this month! Chattanooga, TN isn’t known for lots of snow, so we enjoyed the rare treat of sledding and throwing snowballs. The boys loved it! The temperature rose quickly and the snow started to melt….except on our back porch. Wanting to savor the last little bit of snow, I scooped up some of the snow and let the boys have some indoor snow play with a snow sensory bin.

Indoor Snow Play with a Snow Sensory Bin

It was simple. Besides the snow, I gave the boys some cups, spoons, and foam snowflakes. We looked for our polar bears and penguin toys, but they were somewhere in the abyss of the toy bins.

The snow sensory bin was great for talking about the vocabulary word “cold” with Asher. I also talked about the colors “white” and “blue” using our foam snowflakes. Eventually, the snow melted so we also talked about “melting” and “water”.

Indoor Snow Sensory Play

Asher enjoyed scooping, pouring, and squishing the snow. Then, he formed a small snowman. The snow play kept him occupied for quite a while, and I even had to refill the pan for him.

Making a snowman indoors with a Snow Sensory Bin

If we get snow again, this is on our to-do list! It’s the best of both worlds for this mommy–the kids play with snow and I get to stay warm!

Letter Tiles Spelling Mats

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.
Letter Tiles Spelling Mats free printable colors, numbers, and shapes

I’ve got a treat for you today! I’ve put together a printable pack of spelling mats to go with the our favorite letter tiles that are perfect for preschool or kindergarten kids.

What’s in the Letter Tiles Spelling Mats Pack?

Combined, this printable pack is 27 pages long. Inside you’ll find spelling mats for color words, number words, and shape words. Each set has letter matching (one-to-one correspondence), beginning letter matching, and blank templates. The blank templates can be used in a variety of ways: spelling practice, handwriting practice, stamping the letters, and anything else you can come up with!

Letter Tile Page (Color Words)

Spelling Mat Ideas

  • Print on cardstock and laminate them for durability
  • To avoid child frustration, gather the letter tiles needed ahead of time.
  • Hide letter tiles in rice,sand,beans,etc. and let your child hunt for them while spelling
  • Place letters in a “feely bag” for an element of surprise
  • Hide the letters needed around the room and let the kids hunt for them
  • For active kids, place letters in a bucket at the opposite side of the room. Let kids race to the bucket, choose a letter, and race back to find the match on the spelling mat.
  • Have kids tell you the name of the letter before they can place it on the mat.

Letter Tile Spelling Mats (Number Words)

Ready to get it?

The Letter Tiles Spelling Mats are FREE for blog subscribers. If you aren’t a subscriber yet, you can subscribe by email.  There are more Letter Tiles Spelling Mats in the works, so make sure you don’t miss out! (Note: if you are already a subscriber, you should see the download link in the bottom of the blog post emails/blog feed. If you can’t find it, let me know and I’ll help you out!)

Happy printing!

Thoughts on Play from Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers quote on play for children

This post is a part of the series, 31 Days of Open-Ended Play. Be sure to read all the posts in the series for more great ideas for encouraging learning and creativity through open-ended play.

 31 Days of Open-Ended Play

Throwing out the Script to Engage in Open-Ended Play

Throwing out the script to engage in open-ended play

Beep-Beep! Chugga-Chugga! Vroom-Vroom!

If my days had a soundtrack, those sounds would definitely dominate the playlist. If a toy has wheels, my boys love it. If the toy has sounds and batteries, I’m a tad bit more selective.

In these modern days with iPads, smart phones, and buttons at every turn, I find myself a bit old fashioned in my toy selections. Sure, we have electronics in our home, but we don’t go hog wild. Instead, we try to make sure that we are removing the biggest obstacle for open-ended play and providing toys to engage them.

When we choose toys that come with limited purposes and lots of bells and whistles, we essentially hand our kids a script and rob them of creativity. When we hand our kids a toy with only one purpose, they use it, get tired of it, and move on. Too often, we walk through the toy store and get blinded by all the lights and noises. If we’re being honest here, and we totally are, most of us regret these toys by the time the wrapping paper is cleaned up and the batteries are placed within.

wrapping paper

Providing open-ended toys with multiple uses allows children to write their own storyline and build their own stage. There isn’t a script written by someone else—they can make their own noises and decided how the toy should be used. With open-ended toys there isn’t a right or wrong way to play.

Are you ready to throw out the script?

This post is a part of the series, 31 Days of Open-Ended Play. Be sure to read all the posts in the series for more great ideas for encouraging learning and creativity through open-ended play.

31 Days of Open-Ended Play


The What & Why of Open-Ended Play

The What and Why of Open-ended Play

How many times have you given a child the latest, expensive toy only to have them unwrap it and find more pleasure in the wrapping paper and box than the toy inside? It happens all the time. Little did you know you just provided an open-ended play experience!

tissue paper play

What is Open-Ended Play?

Open-ended play is, quite literally, simple.

In open-ended play, seemingly simple toys or materials are transformed into creative, imaginative play by children. There are no “rules” when it comes to open-ended play—no sequence of events to follow, no right or wrong ways to play, no pressure to produce a specific product. Basically, a child engaged in open-ended play is going with the flow. It’s all about freedom—the freedom to invent and discover.

Why Open-Ended Play?

By nature, children are curious and creative. Hand them a box or a stick and they can come up with multiple ways to play. Open-ended materials don’t require batteries, wind up, or make noises. Sorry, Tickle Me Elmo. Open-ended play requires children to make decisions, problem solve, and think critically–traits most parents desire for their children.

While directed play has its place, open-ended play is, in my opinion, more important in the early years. Often, open-ended play experiences involve conversations—a chance to work on manners, speech, and personal interactions–all developing skills in the early years. Some of these activities help develop fine motor skills.

Simply put, open-ended play is the business of being a kid and allowing them to just…be.

Tell me: What other benefits can you see to open-ended play?

This post is a part of the series, 31 Days of Open-Ended Play. Be sure to read all the posts in the series for more great ideas for encouraging learning and creativity through open-ended play.


31 Days of Open-Ended Play