Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Terrific Tuesday- Organizing for Educational Fun

Hello everyone! My name is Tonii and I blog over at Blue Skies Ahead. I am a wife to one handsome husband, mother of 4 loud and crazy adorable kiddos, lover of crafting and teaching, and perfect at none of it :) My blog is my way of striving to embrace all the little moments with my family...some good and some NOT so good. I am passionate about a lot of things including Family Home Evening, striving to be a little healthier, a fantastic pair of shoes, teaching and enjoying my children and curling up with a great book. I try every day to not only remind my children, but mostly myself, that I can CHOOSE today to be happy and embrace the life I have been given, and that there are ALWAYS blue skies ahead. I am SO excited to be here today, not only sharing some great activities to do with yoru kids...but also a way to cut down on chaos and get a little organized!
One thing I am passionate about is doing fun, educational activities with my kids. It helps me get more involved with them, I love to see them learn something new, and I feel great anytime the screens are OFF and we are spending quality time together.
Theres only one problem with this...it takes a LOT of work to put all these activities together. I have come up with a few ways to simplify and make sure I am making the most of the time I have with my littles :) First, I always try to have a weekly theme, this helps focus me and better plan things for my kids. Some weeks I am SO on top of it, not many...but some :) Other weeks we hardly do anything and thats ok too. That's reality. But instead of being all or nothing, I tried to come up with a way that will really simplify and Cut the Chaos so I can enjoy this time with my kids. Here we go! :)

I put this together last night and am thrilled with it so far! I grabbed a towel holder thing I had laying around in the basement that has 3 spots on it. In the first holder I placed a framed print that says Letter of the Week. Every Sunday night before I go to bed I can quickly use a dry erase marker to write what letter we will be focusing on that upcoming week.

In the bottom holder I placed another framed print that says This week we are learning all about...and then I write our theme for the week.

In the middle spot I place a book that we either have or borrowed from the library that we will read throughout the week that spotlights our theme and reinforces it.
In case anyone is interested, here are the printables I made. It took about 5 seconds to stick them in frames I already had and instantly my kids will know what we are learning for the week and will be reminded every time they sit at the table.

SO simple...right?!
The next part is my favorite though :) There are SO many great educational resources on different websites and blogs, you really can just click and print to provide your kids with fun, themed, educational activities. This takes a little bit of time, but know that I have my system down it is under one hour and I have a weeks full of activities ready to go!
I simply got binders for each of my children. Then I stuck in them a bunch of page protectors. All of the worksheets I print off go in a page protector and the kids use dry erase markers on them. Then when our week is over I just take out the worksheets, file them under the theme of that week, and I have them FOREVER!! Now when my youngest is older and can do the Kindergarten worksheets that my 4 year old is doing this year I will just have to pull them out of my file. Love it! I don't mind the work half as much when I know I will have it forever :)
So here is how I set up my binders:
In the front pocket I place any coloring pages the kids can use throughout the week.

If there are any games, shape sorts, or anything else with small pieces I laminate them and place them in the pencil holder. It takes a little while to laminate them but once again...once you do it you have them forever!!

Every week I print out a tracer page for the letter of the week. Its great practice for the older kids and good for the little ones to become familiar with the alphabet.

Finally I place all the different worksheets in their own page protector to be used again and again!

I know it probably seems like such a little thing, but the amount of Chaos this Cut is amazing!! Now even on those weeks that seem to get away from me, when my kids are bored instead of always turning on the tv they can pull out their binders, color some pages, play some matching game, work on the alphabet etc! And on those rare weeks that I AM on top of things, these binders are a great addition to any fun things we have planned.
Now that we are done with all that organizing...lets get to the FUN part!!
Maybe you want to focus your week on teaching your kids the importance of taking care of those beautiful little smiles
Dental Health Activities
Or maybe you are feeling a little more tropical...and want to do some fun Hawaiian activities with your kids
Homemade Leis
Perhaps your theme of the week is Apples...here are some great apple activities
Whatever your theme of the week is...you are sure to teach your children, create precious memories with them, and rediscover the FUN in being a mom!
Thank you SO much for this opportunity Dee Dee!
I hope you will all stop by Blue Skies Ahead whenever you get the chance. This week we are learning all about flowers and plants with crafts, science experiments and maybe even a yummy treat or two ;)

Other printables in this post can be found at 2 Teaching Mommies or DLTK's Kids

If you would like to guest post in the Terrific Tuesdays series email me.


  1. Great idea Tonii! Some of my kids need help focusing and this would be perfect.

  2. Love your ideas! I have got to get more organized.

  3. I just love Tonii and her great ideas!! Everytime I stop by her blog I leave with a smile on my face and lots of motivation.


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