Valentine candy hearts cookie recipe, math lesson, craft, preschool counting games

Looking for ways to use up leftover valentine candy hearts? Here's a cute Valentine craft and snack that teaches math using Valentine's Day Necco Sweetheart conversation hearts. They're an edible flashcards to help children practice counting and other mathematics skills.

Counting Hearts Cookies

You'll need 55 candy hearts per child and a roll of sugar cookie dough (enough for 10 cookies per child). Let children slice their dough logs into circles. This provides fine motor practice and eye-hand coordination. Talk about shapes as they cut; discuss geometry, circles, cylinders. Have children think of other round and tube-shaped objects. Make a list. Children can write it down in math journals or illustrate later.

Next have children divide candies per circle. Place 1-10 candy hearts per cookie, so each cookie has a different number of hearts. Count as you go. You might have to spread the 10-heart cookie thinner to get them all on.
When baked, use cookies as flashcards. Play counting and adding games. Say "show me three hearts." Or how many is "two hearts plus five hearts?" Let kids eat number cookies on the hour. Eat the 1 cookie at 1 pm, 2 at 2 pm. You can use these Valentine counting heart cookies in any number of ways.

For more free educational activities visit my blog Free Lesson Plans 4U. For specifically preschool lesson plans visit Preschool Child Activities. For more leftover use-up recipes, visit Great Food 4U.

Free printable Advent calendar crafts, Advent wreath activities, Christian Christmas crafts

Advent is the Catholic Christian season leading up to Christmas. For four weeks, prior to #Christmas, Catholics practice Advent values prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Each week focuses on hope, expectation and joy. Here are free printable advent calendars for kids to make, to guide Christmas devotions Free printable Catholic Christian Advent calendars, Advent wreaths, Christmas crafts
Looking for Halloween or Day of the Dead printables to use as lesson plans? Count down the days to Trick or Treat with dozens of free printable Halloween activities, coloring pages and crafts from Making Print free craft projects for all sorts themes. Making Friends has a really holiday activities, coloring pages, cut and paste, paper dolls, Trick or treat wrappers, worksheets, Halloween puzzles and mazes. Print word searches, crossword puzzles and word games, perfect for Halloween language arts lessons. Print Halloween card games, flash cards, dioramas, masks and pumpkin carving patterns and stencils.
Here free printable Halloween lesson plans, worksheets, games, coloring pages, activities and puzzles. Use for Trick or Treat themed math, reading, writing, literature, science, language, social studies and crafts. All Free Printables has free Halloween crafts, greeting cards, party invitations, decorations, cut-outs, coloring pages, masks, party invitations, name tags, treat bags, pumpkin cut-outs, book marks, picture frames and lots more. Puzzlemaker lets you create templates for printable Halloween worksheets, puzzles, mazes, jigsaws, dot to dot, Soduku, crosswords and activities galore.

Print Activities is another mega site for all your school and family activity printing needs. Look for units, printable worksheets and lessons focused around Halloween and trick-or-treat. Disney Family offers a plethora of free printable Halloween Disney activities, crafts and coloring pages. Coolest Holiday Parties has free printable Halloween party supplies. You'll find cards, invitations, treat and punch bowl printables, banners, place cards, name tags, wall hangings for a ghoulish party.

In praise of Peanuts--culture cues and life lessons from Charlie Brown

The Peanuts Movie 65 years after Peanuts cartoons appeared, "The Peanuts Movie" came out. It opened November, 2015 and eight months later, its popularity continues to escalate. Multiple theater and Broadway versions of Peanuts-based stories have been done and reprised in the comic's long and illustrious career. One of the most famous is "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." The off-Broadway production opened in 1967 and had many revivals. The most recent is the York Theatre Company 2016 revival, nearly 50 years later.
What is it that has drawn fans to the Peanuts gang for seven decades? Peanuts has a kryptonite appeal for adults and children alike. '60s and '70s kids were surely powerless over the addiction. They read Peanuts comics in the paper, bought paperbacks of Snoopy comics, rushed home to watch Charlie Brown specials on TV (back when they came on once a year and if you missed them, sucks to you.)
Back in the day, all kids knew of culture came from Charlie Brown and Looney Tunes. If it weren't for them, baby boomers would have been a bunch of ignorami. Who knew, for example, what "psychiatric help" was till Lucy VanPelt opened her booth and charged five cents for it? (Don't judge, a nickel was a lot of money back then!) Who'd ever heard of VanGogh till Snoopy decorated his doghouse in it? Snoopy also taught history-deprived kids about WWI flying aces, Sopwith Camels and the Red Baron.
Kids knew the name Pavlov thanks to dog-dish-wielding Snoopy, if they didn't get the reference. From Schroeder, kids got music appreciation of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff--though how he got "Prelude in C-sharp minor" out of that toy piano, no one ever figured out.  And blanket-toting Linus's philosophical lectures were head and shoulders above most adults let alone kids.
Kids learned life lessons from and with the Peanuts gang. Raise your hand if you yelled "no, Charlie Brown, don't do it!" when P.I.T.A Lucy tries to lure him into kicking that blasted football, again? A generation learned how to avoid kite-eating trees, thanks to Peanuts comics. And who didn't feel just a little bit better about limited athletic skills compared to Charlie Brown? Having said that, this author can't be the only one annoyed that pitcher Charlie Brown took all the flak when the whole team screwed up. Even Snoopy--his own pet--was a bit of a douche-dog to Charlie Brown. Snoopy definitely had better friends and a cooler social life.
But Charlie Brown took it with Zen. As Lucy so aptly put it, "of all the Charlie Browns, Charlie Brown, you're the Charlie Browniest." Why does Peanuts continue to resonate? Je ne sais quoi--but it probably has to do with that wonderful Tao plus chutzpah of Charlie Brown!  

Poetry party: Teen poetry writing prompts, poems, creative writing activities

Looking for teen party activities for safe, fun (not wild) teen birthdays? How about a teen poetry party with creative writing activities? Young people love expressing themselves in poems, Those who say they don't like poetry or creative writing activities just think they don't. They just don't know how much fun teen poetry and creative writing activities can be. You can use these teen poetry writing prompts and creative writing activities for an April poetry party. (April is National Poetry Month) Or you can use teen poetry writing prompts a teen birthday party. Or throw a poetry party World Poetry Day! Use teen poetry writing prompts in school, homeschool or any group. Adults will enjoy these poetry party creative writing activities too. Help kids access their inner poet laureate.   Poetry party: Teen poetry writing prompts, poems, creative writing activities

Educational movies on May Day, labor unions, Labor Day American history lessons |

 Labor Day, the first Monday in September, was designated to celebrate the achievements of organized labor unions in protecting workers' rights. Labor Day is about more than just BBQs and the last summer holiday. Here are educational movies on labor unions to watch for Labor Day or May Day on May 1. May Day is the actual Labor Day that unions recognize. May Day commemorates the May 4, 1886 Haymarket Riot (also called Haymarket affair) in Haymarket Square in Chicago. Use the educational movies for May Day American history lessons and to celebrate Worker Memorial Day on April 28. Educational movies on May Day, labor unions, Labor Day American history lessons

Cinco de Mayo party activities, crafts, games for Mexican cultural festival |

Cinco de Mayo translates to "fifth of May" in Spanish. It celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Pueblo. It's not the Mexican independence day though it sounds like the U.S. 4th of July. My Latino friends tell me Cinco de Mayo is bigger in the U.S. than in Mexico. And what do Americans do with a holiday? Throw a party! Or in this case, fiesta. Here's a kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo fiesta with games, crafts, lesson plans, cultural activities and food!  Cinco de Mayo party activities, crafts, games for Mexican cultural festival |

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