12 Best Free Kindle Apps for Kids

Did someone at your house get a Kindle Fire recently? All of our boys have them and LOVE them!

There are tons of applications you can download instantly on Amazon. My boys have their devices full of awesome things to play and learn from.

Here is our list of the 12 best free kindle apps for kids! Many of these are educational, all of them are awesome!

a collection of the 12 best free kindle apps for kids!

 

12 Free Best Kindle Apps for Kids

 

  1. ABCMouse.com Early Learning Academy- over 5,000 apps that include games, songs, books, puzzles and more!
  2. Learn Languages Rosetta Stone- learning with their free mobile app is like having a personal language tutor. You’ll discover new vocabulary and grammar—and learn how to use your new language skills in conversation.
  3. Duolingo: Learn Languages Free- learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Totally fun and 100% free.
  4. Hooked On Phonics-  teaches reading skills to children of all ages.
  5. Preschool All-In-One Learning- developed by an award-winning education studio, 22learn, the creator of the best-selling Abby Basic Skills Preschool – a winner of Recommended Seal by Parents‘ Choice Awards 2012, in cooperation with educational specialists.
  6. Raz-Kids- leveled books for students to read with quizzes!
  7. Human Anatomy Atlas- 11 animations, 400+ 3D models of bones, ligaments, and teeth!
  8. BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week- get a different animated movie – and related quizzes – every week!
  9. Starfall FREE- numbers, addition, subtraction, songs, talking library and more!
  10. Abby Sight Words Games & Flash Cards- features over 300 SIGHT WORDS from the popular Dolch word list.
  11. ABC PreSchool Playground- learn the alphabet, numbers, colors and more!
  12. Phonics Island- easy-to-use, child-friendly interface. Easy way to learn letter sounds! 

These are all available for download now! Just click on the link and let your kiddos enjoy!

While you’re here, make sure you sign up for a FREE 30-Day Amazon Prime Trial HERE. Along with FREE shipping you will get access to thousands of movies, tv shows and books for FREE! We have been a Prime family for three years and LOVE it!

Hand Print Art: T is for Tree

Today’s hand print art is a craft to go along with the T is for Tree letter of the week theme. In the past, we have made all different kinds of hand print trees – apple, cherry blossom, Fall, Winter, Valentines-inspired, and so on. We’ve made them from paint, traced and cut from brown construction paper, traced and colored, decorated with homemade puffy paint, stickers, tissue paper, stamped…. the ideas are endless!

You can easily incorporate different preschool skills into this art activity. Have them count either while making them fingerprint leaves or count how many afterwards. Have them cut or tear pieces of paper instead of making fingerprints. This would also be a great way to have them practice making small drops of glue for the leaves.

Hand Print Art: T is for Tree

For our craft today, we chose to make a simple traced hand tree with fingerprint counting. I let my daughter decide how she wanted to finish decorating her artwork.

Supplies Needed:

t is for tree hand print

T is for Tree Hand Print Art Instructions:

Trace the child’s hand and part of the arm to create the tree trunk. We used a brown marker for tracing.

Color the inside of the tree truck. My daughter used a brown crayon for this part.

Ask the child to make green thumbprints or fingerprints using the green ink pad or paint so that they go over the top of the hand as well as around it.

Optional: My preschooler loves to draw suns on all her artwork and this time she wanted rainbow grass – too cute!

Write ‘T is for Tree’ across the top.

Incase you missed it, last week’s hand print alphabet craft was a snake!

T is for Tree Hand Print Art

Looking for more ideas for a letter T learning theme?

Letter of the Week Activities for Preschoolers (Letter T)

Preschool Do a Dot Printables: Valentine Hearts

Are you ready for some Valentine inspired preschool do a dot printables?

Last month we had lots of folks that loved the snowman packet. One reader even emailed me and told me that her husband used them in his classroom and all the teachers in his area loved them.

Score!

This month we have a couple of additional skills added in. We included math, matching, tracing lines and patterns. I hope your little ones enjoy it.

Preschool Do a Dot Printables: Valentine Hearts

You Will Need:

Print out the pages of the packet. Do not feel like you have to go through all of the pages in one sitting. We spread these out for Matthew (4) over a couple of days.

The first printable focuses on the letter Hh. I like to pull out my alphabet flip book (referenced above) and talk about the sound the letters make.

Use the Do a Dot markers to color the big H’s red and the little h’s blue.

h is for heart printables

In the next printable find the hearts.

Which things have a heart on them? Use the red Do a Dot maker where you see and heart and use the blue marker where you do not see a heart.

 

 

find the hearts

Next, let’s count.

Count out loud as you mark the number of circles.  1,2,3,4,5!

 

 

count hearts

Now, let’s add.

Use whatever color Do a Dot marker you want to add the hearts, the birds and the frogs.

 

 

adding hearts

I love this page for patterns.

Patterns are perfect for building math skills.

We even give them a place to create their own pattern.

pattern

Tracing lines is important for learning writing skills, which we need for writing our alphabet.

Draw lines and draw shapes.

trace the lines

What goes with what?

Match the birds, the cards, the girls, etc.

Draw a line to match them up.

matching shapes

And this last printable is one of Matthew’s favorite.

Use markers, crayons or watercolors to to color all the hearts.

Count them as you  color them.

heart color sheetAnd there you have it.

A super fun pack you can use while homeschooling, for supplemental learning at home and for your Valentine play date or party.

Hand Print Art: S is for Snake

Looking for a fun craft to go with the letter S? How about an S is for Snake hand print art craft?! You may also like this letter of the week snake craft to make along with this one. Plus, at the end of the post there will be a snack suggestion, free printables, book suggestions, and more.

Hand Print Art S is for Snake

My preschooler loved making this snake craft! Besides learning about the letter S, it also gives them practice with gluing and the added sequins give them fine motor practice. She tends to squeeze way too much out so I let her know before making the glue dots to try to make them the same size as the sequins or smaller.

Supplies Needed:

S is for Snake Hand Print Art Instructions:

Hand Print Snake

Start by having the child paint their hands orange. My daughter painted her left hand and then rubbed the two together. Make 5+ handprint in a curvy snake shape. The handprints should all be touching each other. Let dry.

Glue on 2 small, white pom poms for the eyes (or googly eyes). Add black dots to centers.

Hand Print Snake Letter S Craft

Have the child make dots of glue all over the snakes body, as many as they’d like. Add sequins to the glue dots. We used green and gold in 3 different sizes. Instead of add sequins, you could add buttons or gems. Fingerprints would also be fun!

Draw on a tongue with red marker. Write “S is for Snake” across the top.

Hand Print Snake

Looking for more activities to go with your hand print art? Check out all of our letter of the week activities for kids below!

Letter of the Week Activities for Preschoolers (Letter S)

Do You Believe Homeschooled Kids are NOT Socialized?

We started our homeschool journey almost four years ago. Some of the questions along the way from outsiders have surprised me. Some of the questions I have really become used to answering.

One of the first things people say when they find out we homeschool is ….”But, what about socialization? How will your children socialize if they are being homeschooled?”.

I am always shocked  when people ask this, although I shouldn’t be.

 

you really believe homeschooled kids are not socialized? From 2003 until 2011, I spent many, many hours volunteering at our two bigger kids elementary school. This is in a very sought after and highly accredited school district here in North Texas.

I was part of the executive board for seven years. I was PTA President for two years. I gave over 1,000 hours every single school year. I knew many of the kids by name. I watched them grow up with our two boys.

I would tote my twin babies (who eventually became toddlers and preschoolers) in a stroller and read to kids after lunch. I organized and planned events. I connected with the less fortunate kids and wanted to make a difference in their lives. Many of them were from broken and financially suppressed homes with odds against them. Parents could not make meetings or conferences. The free breakfast and free lunch some of these kids received were the only meals they had each day. They went hungry on the weekends. I watched it. Before my eyes. Devastating.

I served on committees in our elementary school among teachers and administration. I helped in the workroom, made flyers, planned events with administration. My point is, I was in that school day in and day out.

You know what I quickly realized? School is not intended for socialization. It’s not.

homeschool myths about socializing

Let me ask you this. How many times has your child “changed their color” or  received a “card mark” or received a conduct remark for not talking at appropriate times?

This occurred weekly, sometimes daily, for one of our boys.

Children are not allowed to talk in the bathroom, they are not allowed to talk in the classroom unless instructed to do so, they are not allowed to talk in the hall, they are not allowed to talk in the cafeteria until the designated time, the list goes on and on. Someone always has their eye on you WAITING for the moment that you speak out of turn to remind you that you’ve broken a rule and to “mark your card”. This started in Kindergarten at our school.

Here in our school distract, the kids were given 20-30 minutes of recess from Kindergarten through third grade.

After third grade (through sixth grade) students were given 20-30 minutes of recess ONCE A WEEK as long there had not been any behavior issues or missing work that needed to be completed.

In our school, from fourth grade on, the kids had to all go into the cafeteria and all sit quietly at the table until the entire grade level was SILENT. Once everyone was silent they could get in the lunch line. This means if one student wasted 15 minutes talking these kids had 10 minutes left to make it through the line, grab their food and eat.

Talk in the lunch line? End of the line.

Talking was aloud in the cafeteria once the teachers decided everyone could have permission to talk.

Bad behavior? SILENT TABLE at lunch.

 

are homeschool kids denied socialization?

 

Talking and socializing are NOT ENCOURAGED in schools. Think about it folks.

My children are home with people who genuinely love them all day long every day. My children are building life long relationships with the people who matter most- their family. The siblings who will be there the day they spread their wings and move to their first home. The siblings who will celebrate marriage and babies with them. The siblings who will love them for the rest of their life.

Our children are around other people every day. At the grocery store, at the post office, at church, in our neighborhood, our many friends who homeschool, our extended family and more! Believe me, my children socialize and they will carry on an amazing conversation with you. As a matter of fact, they will probably teach you something you did not know!

And when we are at a birthday party and they pull back and decide not to hangout with the kid out in the bounce house who is bullying and kicking kids, it is not because we homeschool and he is unsocial. It is because he can clearly observe what he should steer clear of when something or someone is dangerous. And what do ya know, he learned that from being home with is parents who are 100% invested in him for the rest of his life.

Concentrating on our family nucleus and nurturing and fostering these relationships is far more important to me then my children being scolded at school for socializing, being influenced by others who are morally compromised and being another number in a large school district with learning that is not customized for them and our beliefs.

I am not saying that we are anti-public school. Our choice is to keep our boys at home and pour every ounce we can into their education and nurture their loving spirits. This is a very short season.

Don’t believe the stereotypes when you are considering, or feel called to homeschool. We are raising a houseful of boys who are not weird, who are not lonely, who know how to communicate with others and who love their family deeply.

Just know that lacking socialization skills has nothing to do with where you are educated.

Hand Print Art: R is for Rainbow

We’re back with another hand print art for the alphabet post! Our last post was a quilt for the letter Q. This week, we are sharing R is for Rainbow. Besides a letter of the week theme, it’s a great way to brighten the dreary Winter months with color. The hand print rainbow also fits into a Spring unit, St Patrick’s Day theme, and for preschoolers to learn their colors.

Hand Print Art: R is for Rainbow

Over the years, we have made hand print and fingerprint rainbows many different ways. You could make a print in all the different colors (so six hand prints total), paint stripes on the hand or foot, or even paint each finger and the palm area one of the six rainbow colors.

Don’t forget, at the end of the post will be more letter R activities including crafts, worksheets, and book suggestions!

Supplies Needed:

R is for Rainbow Hand Print Art Instructions:

Start by having the child paint their hands a gray or light blue color. Ask them to rub their hands together so both are completely covered on the palm side. Make the right hand print on the left side – this way the thumb is on the bottom of your cloud instead of the top. Make the left hand print on the right side.

hand print rainbow

My daughter likes to draw rainbows with straight lines when she is doing open-ended activities, for this rainbow I wanted her to try to draw a curved lines. I used a pencil to draw the rainbow’s arch. She traced over it with her red marker. I wanted her to draw the rest of the colors by herself but she insisted that I draw the lines in pencil first. When she had finished with the red, she was super excited about it (tracing carefully) exclaiming, “I did it!” I’m thinking that’s why she wanted all of them drawn in pencil first. She also insisted that her rainbow have pink in it so she snuck it on when I wasn’t looking… tee, hee!

Rainbow Hand Print Art

Finish by writing, “R is for Rainbow.”

Variations: Instead of drawing lines, they could paint them or use fingerprints. When my son was younger, I made him a colored line template for him to make his fingerprints on.

See you next week for a hand print animal craft that begins with the letter S!

 

Letter of the Week Activities for Preschoolers (Letter R)

 

20 Q Preschool Books

Are you working on the letter Q with your preschooler?

Here is an awesome list of books that are perfect to read with your preschooler!

Make sure you check out all of my books children must read while you’re here.

20 Preschool Q Books collage

 

20 Books Children Must Read for the Letter Q

1.Little Quack
2.Giggle, Giggle, Quack
3.Quack!
4.Quack and Count
5.The Quilt
6.Cassie’s Word Quilt
7.Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
8.Quick Duck!
9.Quick! Turn the Page!
10.Quest
11.The Day the Crayons Quit
12.Winners Never Quit!
13.The Very Quiet Cricket
14.Quit Waking Us Up, We’re Trying to Sleep!
15.The Quiet Book
16.Mr. Quiet
17.Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy
18.Be Quiet, Mike!
19.Quiet!
20.Quiet, Please

 

What is your favorite book to read with your little one when they’re  learning the letter Q?

Hand Print Art: Q is for Quilt

Today’s handprint art for the alphabet is actually a fingerprint and thumbprint craft. The letter theme we are sharing today is Q is for Quilt. Originally I was going to have my preschoolers use handprint to make this craft until I saw a really simple (and free!) quilt template and knew she would love to fill in the little squares.

At the end of the post there will also be more activities to go along with the letter Q including do-a-dot printables, a quilt craft, and book suggestions.

Hand Print Art: Q is for Quilt

Supplies Needed:

  • white paper
  • kids ink pad – various colors
  • quilt template
  • black marker

Instructions for making the Fingerprint Quilt:

Print the quilt template (see supplies list).

Set out ink in various colors or use paints.

Have the child make fingerprints and thumbprints inside each of the quilt squares.

Write ‘Q is for Quilt’ next to it. We made the ‘Q’ a bubble letter so my daughter could make fingerprints inside it.

Q is for Quilt Hand Print Art

Quilt template via MyCuteGraphics.com

Would you make something different for this letter? My son always chooses quail while my daughter would choose queen. Neither one of them knew what a quilt was before this!

Up next is a rainbow!

Letter of the Week Activities for Preschoolers (Letter Q)

Hand Print Art: P is for Penguin

We’re back with another hand print art for the alphabet craft! Today we are sharing a letter P craft to make with preschoolers: P is for Penguin. This would be fun to make along with the letter of the week penguin craft! It would also be perfect for a winter themed craft for kids.

Hand Print Art: P is for Penguin

At the end of the post you will find even more Letter P activities including a do-a-dot printable and a fun snack idea.

Supplies Needed:

How to make the Hand Print Art P is for Penguin:

Set out 2 paintbrushes plus black and white paint.

Hand Print Art Penguin - Letter P

Paint the middle two fingers and the center of the palm using the white paint. Paint the rest of the palm, the other two fingers, and the thumb with the black paint. Make a hand print on the construction paper with the fingers touching each other. The fingertips will be where the feet go.

Hand Print Art P is for Penguin Craft

Paint just the thumb on the opposite hand. Make a print next to the pinky finger. The thumbs create the penguin’s wings.

Dip the index finger in orange paint and make a fingerprint beak and feet.

Let Dry.

Glue on googly eyes.

Penguin Hand Print Art for the Letter P

Add glue to the bottom of the page under the penguin to create a snowy hill.

Have the child tear the cotton balls/spread them apart then place them on the glue (P is for Puffy!).

Write, ‘P is for Penguin’ across the top.

Hand Print Art - P is for Penguin

More Penguin Crafts

My son is obsessed with penguins and it has been his favorite animal since he was age 2. We have tons of penguin crafts on our blogs. Our most recent is this cute pom pom penguin that goes along with a Christmas book. My all-time favorite is our footprint penguin canvas art that I made with both Big Brother and Little Sister.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series if you haven’t done so already. See you next week for a hand print quilt craft for the letter Q!

 

25 Kids Christmas Books

Looking for some great books for the Christmas season? I have the perfect list for you!

Here is a collection of 25 amazing books children must read that are all about Christmas and the holiday spirit. These books are perfect for homeschool reading, bedtime, independent reading and family read alouds.

Make a list and take it along with you for your next library visit!

You can click on each link and check out the author and story details for each book. Or, you can order any of them over on Amazon and get free shipping and two day delivery for a Prime account.

25 Christmas book children must read

25 Christmas Books Children Must Read

  1. God Gave Us Christmas
  2. The Christmas Owl
  3. The Christmas Wish
  4. The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas
  5. Christmas Day in the Morning
  6. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition
  7. Legend of the Christmas Stocking
  8. Children’s Book: Christmas Stories Children
  9. Humphrey’s First Christmas
  10. Disney Christmas Storybook Collection
  11. Children Book : Christmas around the world
  12. The Deep and Snowy Wood
  13. Christmas ABC’s: An Amazing Festive Alphabet Book!
  14. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas
  15. Christmas is a Time For…
  16. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  17. One Little Christmas Tree: A Children’s Christmas Picture Book
  18. The Little Christmas Elf
  19. Christmas Stories: Short Stories for Kids
  20. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  21. Cock-a-doodle Christmas!
  22. Christmas Carols
  23. Merry Christmas, Stinky Face
  24. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad
  25. The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever

What are your favorite Christmas books to read with your kids this time of year? I would love to hear about them.

 

MORE CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS