Easter | Spring Sensory Bins in a DIY Sand & Water Table

Easter/Spring sensory bins in a DIY sand/water table @ jaxinthebox.com I think spring has finally sprung. Not only is Easter around the corner, but the snow has melted here in Southern Wisconsin and green blades of grass are trying to muscle their way through the hay-like mat of sod in my backyard. My head is swimming with visions of fun outdoor summer activities. While it’s still too cold to put our DIY sand & water table to use, I’ve prepped some sweet Easter and spring-themed sensory bins (more…)

Teaching Pre-Kindergarten Skills: No Flashcards Required | Part 3. Handwriting

Preschool handwriting activities @ blog.jaxinthebox.com with extension activities.This is the third post in a 3-part series on early learning activities. See Part 1: Reading for three pre-reading activities and my thoughts on how to use these learning games. See Part 2: Math for two hands-on math activities great for kids ages 2-4.

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Teaching Pre-Kindergarten Skills: No Flashcards Required | Part 1. Reading

Hands on early reading activities @ blog.jaxinthebox.comI recently attended a school board meeting where a gentleman in the gallery stood up and proclaimed that children under the age of five are too young too learn. He believed they don’t have the attention span to sit, listen and take in “academic” information. I just about spit out my mouthful of water (I’m pregnant, so my bottle of water goes with me everywhere). What does he think, that to teach toddlers and preschoolers, we sit them in rowed desks where  they listen to lengthy lectures? (more…)

Rainbow Rice: Make colored rice without stinky alcohol.

Rainbow Rice without rubbing alcohol. blog.jaxinthebox.comRice is a great addition to sensory play. White rice is fun, but colored rice is definitely better!

I’ve been wanting to color our rice for a long time, but wasn’t sure I could stomach the stinky rubbing alcohol smell most recipes require. So when I saw that Jackie of Happy Hooligans (you know I love her!) had tried an alcohol-free method, I had to try it.

I used her recipe, but I’ll share some best practices I discovered while spicing up my rice. (more…)

It’s Not Too Late! Easy Peasy Christmas Craft

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We woke up on this past Friday morning to ice-covered roads and closed schools. My school-aged twins were bummed, because the school day, whose agenda included a Christmas gift exchange and gingerbread house making,  promised to be super fun. I vowed to make our stay-at-home agenda rival the excitement of their lost school day.

We made hot chocolate and watched a marathon of Christmas movies. In a lull during the day, I recalled a Christmas craft idea I saw on Pinterest that looked relatively easy. (more…)