Free Printable School Holiday Planner

Here in Western Australia it has been a long 11 week term for us and my kids and I are ready for a break!  Our friends in other parts of Australia started their school holidays nearly 2 weeks ago and as they plan to go back for Term 3, we are just starting to plan for 2 weeks off. 
With the winter July school holidays, kids are generally more housebound with the weather.  Even though we try to take every opportunity to go outside when the sun comes out, we need a few tricks and activities up our sleeve to help keep the kids entertained.  
I thought I would share with you a free printable holiday planner that I use when planning ideas and activities to keep the kids entertained and stimulated.  Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Join sheets of paper together with sticky tape to form a large canvas to lay out on the floor for drawing.  Leave the paper out for days and watch as the drawings become more elaborate.  Read more…..  
Have fun drawing, writing and creating endless pictures with a Rainbow Salt Tray.  When you’ve finish, shake it and start again!  Read more……..
Create a sticky canvas with clear contact stuck up on a window to create colourful pieces of art.  Read more…….  
Camp out in the lounge room!  Set up a tent, lay out some sleeping bags or even make a pretend fire to eat marshmallows off twigs.  Read more……  
This game is an oldie but a goodie replacing the hessian sacks with a pillow case providing hours of fun.  Read more……  
Kids love to cook and making Homemade Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins will provide them with a fun and meaningful task that they can eat and enjoy.  This recipe is super simple for kids where the ingredients can be thrown in the bowl at the same time.  Read more…. 
To find more activity ideas for the school holidays head over to What’s On 4 School Kids?
To download and print the School Holiday Planner click here: Printable School Holidays Planner L4K
The planner consists of 2 pages! 
Happy holidays!
Learning 4 kids

Make your own Bottle Top Money

Play/toy money just does not last; it either gets damaged or lost as the coins are normally quite small!  My kids love to play with pretend money and use it in their imaginative play games, so we made our very own money using milk bottle tops and printable coins which are available below. 
Playing with pretend money is a great way to introduce and learn about concepts relating to money and value.
You can make these in any currency!
What you will need?
You will need grey/silver and yellow paper, 24 bottle tops (different sizes) and the free printable.  I used the smaller bottle tops for the smaller coins, larger ones for larger coins and also colour coded all the coins for future grouping and sorting activities.  Such as all the ten cent coins were red and dollar coins were orange. 
We printed the silver coins on the grey paper and gold coins onto yellow paper to try and make them as real-like as possible.  Then we laminated them, cut them out and sticky taped them onto the bottle tops with double sided sticky tape.
To download and print the coins, click here:Printable Australian Coins – Bottle Top Money
My girls have placed their bottle top money into a bag ready for play.  I look forward to sharing our imaginative play ideas using the coins really soon!

Learning 4 kids

Printable Number Tracing Cards

This is a great way for kids to practise writing their numbers!!
The Number Tracing Cards are a free printable that can be laminated to allow kids to draw on with a white board marker as it wipes away easily with a tissue.  Kids can practise writing their numbers correctly and wipe it away and try again.
What you will need?
You will need paper, white board markers, the printable tracing cards (available to download and print below), laminating sheets and key ring hoop.  You could alternatively use a shower curtain hoop or a curtain hoop as well. 
It is totally up to you how you want to use these free printable tracing cards but to save on numerous printing, paper and ink then you may like to laminate the sheets of paper.  By laminating the sheets of paper you can then punch a small hole in the corner and bind them together with a hoop ring.  This will keep the booklet together and help to easily turn the pages. 
Also by laminating you can draw on it with a white board marker and then easily rubs it off with a tissue.
Tip:  To give the laminated sheets a really good clean, use nail polish remover.
Developing a good pencil grip is one component of good handwriting skills as it helps with writing legibly, speed and comfort.  Most children naturally develop a pencil grip that is comfortable for them but it is also important in the early development stages to encourage good writing habits – pencil grip. The photo will give you a bit of an idea on a good pencil grip but do keep in mind that the whiteboard marker is a thicker pen.
Here is a bit of a guide:   
  • The index finger and thumb ‘pinch’ the pencil about 1-2cm from the tip forming an open space where the pencil will rest slightly on the hand.
  • The middle, ring and little finger are bent and rest on the table.  The pencil may also rest on the middle finger.
  • The pencil is held in a stable position between the thumb, index and middle fingers.
  • Resting the other hand on the table or paper is also good for control and stability.
Pencil grips are easier to change in the early childhood years than trying to change an awkward grip pattern later.
The Laminated Tracing Number Cards has a few options for practising writing numbers.  To start, begin drawing the number inside the bubble shape number starting at the small dot and following the arrow.  Then practise writing the number by tracing over the number that is written on the dotted lines and then have a go writing the number repeatedly on your own on the lines provided.  You will also notice that there is a written version of the number; kids can learn the written form at the same time by tracing over the letters.
Number Rhymes can help:
Number 1: A straight line one, it is fun.
Number 2: Around and back on the railway track makes, two, two, two.
Number 3:  Around the tree and around the tree, that’s the way you make a three.
Number 4:  Down and across and down some more, that’s the way you make a four.
Number 5:  Short neck, big round tummy, hat on top…..five looks funny.
Number 6:  Down to a loop, six rolls a hoop.
Number 7:  Across the sky and down from heaven, that’s the way you make a seven.
Number 8:  Make an “S” do not wait, go back up and make an eight.
Number 9:  A loop and a line makes number nine.
Print your own copy here:
You can print a copy in colour or in black & white.  The black and white copy can be coloured in by the kids to help personalise their very own tracing card booklet. 
After printing, with a black fine liner draw on a small dot and arrow for the starting point on each number and also draw an example of the number on the lines.
Click on the below links to download and print:
Printable Tracing Number Cards in Colour
Printable Tracing Number Cards in Black & White
Key things to remember:
  • Be patient it takes time to develop.
  • Form numbers by beginning at the correct starting point.
  • Encourage good pencil grip.
Learning 4 kids

Toilet Roll Alphabet

Alphabet activities for kids 
We have found a new and fun way to re-use and recycle our toilet rolls and bottle tops and create them into a wonderful toy to help promote learning about alphabet letters, CVC words and sight words.  We are always discovering new ways to use our Toilet Roll Alphabet.
What you will need?
You will need 26 bottle tops, 26 toilet rolls (we’ve been collecting for while), paint, scissors, paint brushes, sticky tape and a copy of the alphabet letters and pictures.  You can download and print this here: Printable Toilet Roll Alphabet Letters
Tip: to fit the toilet roll into the bottle top, I made a small snip with the scissors at the bottle of the roll and folded it slightly to slide into the bottle tops. 
To make our toilet rolls a little bit more fun and colourful, we painted them.  Any excuse to get the paints out!
Once the toilet rolls were dry we cut out the printable alphabet letters and pictures and sticky tape them onto the roll.  We have laminated our printable letters and pictures but you could alternatively contact them to help make them last longer.  
Activities for Our Toilet Roll Alphabet 
Sequencing the alphabet letters into correct order and using the song to assist them.  This is great for becoming familiar with alphabet letters, knowing what they look like and their shape, the name of the letter and what sound it makes.  It is important for kids to understand and know what sound a letter makes for successful reading and writing.  Teaching your child the letter sound first then the letter name is a great place to start.  Use the pictures as a cue to help develop an understanding and memory for these sounds, ‘a’ is for apple and ‘b’ is for banana.  You can also do this during every day activities around the home such as taking a bath and brushing your teeth, ‘b’ is for bath and ‘t’ is for teeth. 
The toilet roll alphabet can be used to make CVC words, words that can be sounded out and contain a consonant, vowel and then a consonant.  This is great for beginning readers and writers as it provides an opportunity for kids to confidently practise the skill of sounding out without any tricky letter blends or diagraphs.
Great for learning sight words or also known as high frequency words.  Miss 5 has been learning her sight words at school and has a small amount of homework to help support this learning.  The toilet roll alphabet makes learning these sight words and homework more fun!
We have put our Toilet Roll Alphabet in our playroom on a low shelf  for my kids to play with them and it also acts as banner or a wall freeze display.  The bottle tops help make the toilet roll more sturdy to stay standing up right on hard surfaces.
I would love to extend this activity with my kids and use pegs to clip the toilet roll alphabet onto a length of string to display the correct  sequence of alphabet letters.
Learning 4 kids

Printable Letter Blends Puzzle

Printable Blends Puzzle
The Printable Letter Blends Puzzle is a hands on activity to reinforce or revise the learning of some letter blends.  It is a fun activity that encourages kids to listen to the sounds in words and match them with the correct picture. 
There are 44 pieces altogether with 22 complete matches
Instructions: Match the blend sound in a word with the picture that it belongs to. For example:  Cl matches with the picture of a clock and Fl matches with the picture of a flower.
Free Printable Letter Blends Puzzle
The puzzle set includes these combinations for matching.
dr – drill, sh- shoe, sh-sheep, dr-drum, sn-snowman, tr-train, fl-flag, fl-flower, cl-clown, cl-clock, sp-spider, sp-spoon, sn-snail, tr-truck, gl-glove, gl-glasses, fr-frog, cr-crown, cr-crab, gr-grasshopper, st-star, sl, slide.
Click here to downlaod and print: Phonetic Blends Puzzle – Leaf Shape
Thanks for reading!
Learning 4 kids
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