Enchanted Mommy

Learning the Letter “Z”

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the alphabet, and now it’s time to learn the letter “Z”. There are so many cool words connected to this letter such as zip, zero, and zig-zag. Today, we’re going to focus on the word “zoom”! Relax parents, this is not about the Zoom calls you have to join on a daily basis. We’re talking about “zoom” for cars. 

Remember, growing up when you would race cars, and say “zoom zoom”. We were associating a sound with an object and word. For example, “mooo” and “cow” or “quack” and “duck”. Sounds can often help us identify things without even seeing them. In this case, going “zoom” with cars is a fun and creative way for children of all ages to express themselves. These types of activities encourage children to tap into their imagination while helping them build cognitive and social skills. 

So, without further adieu! We’re learning how to create a painting by using cars and going “zoom”. This is a fairly simple craft and requires mild cleanup. 

What you’ll need: 

  • A large sheet of plain paper
  • A plastic sheet or oilcloth (or a lot of newspaper, depending on how much paint your kids decide to use!)
  • A black felt tip pen
  • Some paper plates
  • Some thicker paint (i.e. acrylic paint)
  • Some toy cars that are not precious (i.e. it doesn’t matter if they change colour permanently)!

How to set up this activity: 

  • First, make sure all your surfaces and kids’ clothes are covered (i.e. overalls or aprons)
  • Layout a large sheet of plain paper and use your black felt tip pen to draw large outlines of the letter Z and add dashed lines for ‘road’ markings
  • Squirt a good dollop of paint into each of your trays or paper plates.  
  • Add a toy car to each paint tray or plate
  • Let your kids roll the car back and forth in the paint to coat the wheels
  • Once the wheels are loaded with paint, your kids can drive their cars along the Z ‘road’, following its shape.

You can also find more details on how to make a “zoom” painting here

By the end of the activity, you’ll have an awesome, colorful painting of the letter “Z”. After this activity, have some more creative fun with this coloring illustration. You can download and print, and let your preschoolers’ imagination run wild! 

Letter Z Activity for Preschool Children

Learning the Letter “Y”

The letter “Y” is close to the end of the alphabet, which means we’ve worked together to teach almost 26 letters. Great job, parents! We are nearing the end of the alphabet, and also nearing the end of our shelter-in-place orders. It will be fun to take your kindergartener or preschooler out into the world with their new ability to identify and write all these letters. 

To learn many of the letters of the alphabet, crafts are a fun and creative way to teach your child. We’ve made all kinds of fun projects over the last few weeks, like a rainstick for the letter “R”, and Tic-Tac-Taco for the letter “T”. But today, we’ll be doing something a little bit different than the other crafts and activities. 

The letter “Y” is for YOU and this activity is all about YOU! There are no printouts needed here. Just the items listed below and YOUrself:

  • A plain piece of paper
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • A photograph or a mirror 

To learn the letter “Y” and discover the beauty of their individuality, have your children draw themselves! It might be helpful to offer them a mirror or a photograph of themselves to use as reference. 

Once your self portraits are complete, share the finished product with us in the comments below! It will be so fun to see all of the diversity in how we see ourselves! 

Other words that start with “Y”

  • Yoga
  • Yarn
  • Yawn
  • Yum
  • Yellow

Learning the Letter “W”

In our world, there are so many words that start with the letter “w”, like water, wet, waffle, witch, watermelon, wolf, and of course the animal we are going to be learning about today, wolf.

Want to get started learning about wolves? Wonderful!

Wolves can seem like big scary animals, but on paper and in pictures they look like cute fluffy dogs. Here are five interesting facts about our furry wolf friends:

  • Wolves are the largest members of the dog family.
  • Wolves are legendary because of their howl, which they use to communicate.
  • The largest wolves are said to weigh upwards of 175 pounds, although most weigh in the neighborhood of 100 to 125 pounds. 
  • Wolves travel and hunt in packs of up to seven animals.
  • Wolves are extremely social animals that develop very close social bonds with family members and their pack.

While you take the time to learn about wolves with your preschooler, have them spot the differences in the pictures below:

Do you have any fun facts about wolves? Share them in the comments below. We can’t wait to continue learning!

Looking back at a decade of dresses

This June is my 10th anniversary, so I wanted to share what I’ve seen over the years. This is what has changed in wedding dress popularity since I was married.

What seems crazy to me is that most couples are only together for 4.9 years before they get married, regardless of how old the partners in the relationship are. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been together with your significant other, anniversaries are exciting. Especially when they’re your wedding anniversary. 

Anniversaries are special days, especially when you’re celebrating your 10th wedding anniversary. I still can’t believe I’ve been married for almost ten years, and with my now-husband for 15 years! We met towards the end of my college career and began our relationship after I graduated from Appalachian State University. 

We used to celebrate our dating anniversary. But over the years we have had several other special occasions crop up, such as our wedding, the birth of our children, the day we bought our house, and more. As we get closer and closer to June, I’m finding myself more and more nostalgic for our wedding day. So many things have changed since then! 

Among the million things that change over the years such as style and taste, trends come in and out of popularity. When you’re planning your wedding, some brides find they don’t care about trends because they want to look more unique on their special day. For some people, they’ve thought about this day since they were little, and that kind of day-dreaming yields lots of opinions.

In my experience, I wanted to know what kinds of things were popular as we were planning our wedding. The most important things to be unique, to me, were the cut of my ring and the accompanying wedding band as well as the style of my dress. When I was getting married, the most popular dress style was a strapless mermaid gown. 

Of course, that’s different these days. My husband and I got married just outside of Atlanta where we live now. The most popular wedding dress style in Georgia is the princess style, which is beautiful, but definitely something that has become more popular in recent years. 

I’m fortunate enough to have had an engagement ring in my family that I had my eye on for years. And fortunately, my then-fiance knew about it and was able to acquire it before he asked me to marry him. My family ring had a beautiful, clear, large center diamond with baguettes on either side. This was a popular style in the ‘50s when the ring came into my family. We were able to create a beautiful custom-made wedding band that was unique to fit the engagement ring, satisfying the daydreams I had when I was little. I hope that one day my daughter can have this ring when it’s her time.

A decade changes so much – from wedding dress styles to the dates in your life you find important. When you’re looking back at your own wedding, you’ll be astonished to see all of the differences between then and now. 

Enjoy the nostalgia!   

Learning the Letter “V”

Letter V is an easy one to draw, but it can be awfully tough mastering how to say it. In fact, most kids won’t learn to properly pronounce this sound until they are 4-5 years old! That being said, you and your little one can still have plenty of fun with letter V.

You can use the included printable to play two simple games that focus on that tricky letter V sound. Download and print the sheet, then carefully cut apart the vegetable cards. Be sure to keep them in a resealable plastic bag in between play sessions so they won’t get lost.

Letter V Activities for preschool children

Game #1: Matching

  • Separate the vegetable cards into two equal sets – one for you, one for your preschooler.
  • Lay your preschooler’s vegetables in a row on the table or floor in front of them.
  • One by one, show a card to your preschooler and ask, “Where is this vegetable?”
  • If they can point to the match, you declare “Victory! V is for Vegetable!”

Game #2: Making Soup

  • Get a small cooking pot and wooden spoon from the kitchen.
  • Explain that you are going to make Letter V soup together. Only things that start with v can be added to the soup!
  • Move through the room together, proposing different items for your soup. First, ask your preschooler about some items that definitely don’t qualify. For example, “Pepper! I like pepper. Does pepper start with v?” (Little people love to call out silly grownups when they get something wrong, so expect some very energetic no’s!)
  • Every few letters, circle back to your pile of vegetable cards. “How about vegetable? Does vegetable start with V?” Add one or two of your cards to the pot.
  • Once you’ve gone through a few rounds of this, stir up your soup and take some pretend bites together.
  • If you have other V-items around, turn them into soup too! A small bottle of vanilla, a toy van, paper valentines, and wild-growing violets from the yard are all great choices.

After playing hard, you may both need a snack. You can learn the shape of letter V by shaping it out of real vegetables. Carrot sticks, celery, and strips of cucumber are all nice, straight shapes that are suitable for making V’s.

Don’t be vexed – verily, a valiant effort will vanquish your troubles with vicious, villainous Letter V!

Here’s how you can involve kids in your workouts so you don’t have to sacrifice exercise right now

With the kids home from school and daycare, many parents are struggling to find a balance between work-life, mom-life, and self-care. Staying on your health and fitness grind during quarantine is hard and there’s no beating around that bush – but there are ways for it to be a little easier. 

Let’s face it. Kids need our undivided attention right now. If they’re old enough, they are most like confused about what is going on. 

“Why is mommy home so much?”

“Why is mommy ignoring me while she’s on her laptop every day?” 

These are valid questions that shouldn’t go unanswered. It’s important to explain to our children that while things might look a little different right now, schedules and guidelines within the home need to be followed. Whether it’s quiet time during meetings or TV time with dad during a quick jog, things that are of higher priority to you shouldn’t fall by the wayside. 

Working out is so essential to our health, especially during a pandemic, because it boosts our immune systems to keep us healthy. And if you’re like thousands of mom’s out there wondering how to keep up with your workouts during a time like this, you aren’t alone. Here are some of the best workouts you can do at home that allows the kids to get involved while still getting your sweat in.  

Riding Bikes

If your family owns bikes, this is a fantastic (and fun) way to get active outside. With car traffic down 75% right now, there really is no better time to get outside and start riding. Kids typically don’t view bike riding as exercise, so this is a sly way to get in your exercise without any objections from the little ones. If you don’t own a bike yourself, let the kids ride while you jog beside them. 

Yoga

Kids have an affinity for stretching, bending over, doing flips, and contorting their body in multiple different ways – because well, they can. You can find thousands of free yoga videos on the internet, like YouTube, some of which are kid-oriented. Lay down a blanket or yoga mats if you have them in the living room and start practicing. The kids will find this exercise challenging but fun at the same time as it requires concentration and coordination

HIIT 

You might be wondering, what is HIIT? HIIT is high-intensity interval training and one of the top exercises in the United States right now. It’s a cardio exercise that involves short bursts of intense exercise, like jumping backs, high-knees, and burpees. HIIT is amazing to do with kids because there are no props or weights required. Kids also have terrific stamina and will surely challenge themselves and you to keep at it. This workout is especially is fun for mom because this will surely tire your kids out for the rest of the day. 

Let us know in the comments if you tried any of these exercises with the kids! 

Hiccup Costume DIY: How to Train Your Dragon Costume

One of our boys favorite dragon movies and book series is How to Train Your Dragon!  Our oldest wanted to be Hiccup for Halloween but the costumes on Amazon for Hiccup were expensive and just didn’t seem to match the character.  So, I sought out to create our very own DIY Hiccup Costume!

Casey’s teacher had really encouraged them to dress like a book character they have been reading about.  He is really into the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell.  If your looking for a good book serious for your little guy, this one is great.  Casey’s 4th grade cousin recommended them to him over the summer and he is now on book 9.

So here is our DIY Hiccup costume to go with his book.  It was very easy to make and very inexpensive.  I made the vest and boot fur using some corse brown felt from the fabric store.  It was quick and easy despite the fact that I had to sew the sides of the vest by hand since my sewing machine wasn’t available.  The belt was made out of the $1 scrap fabric at the fabric store.  I used iron on velcro to secure the belt and the fur around the top of the boots.

DIY Hiccup Costume

Pretty dang cute Hiccup Costume if I say so myself!

He borrowed the boots from his cousin and is wearing his own pair of cargo pants.  If you don’t have a green shirt you can cut, try the $3 rack at Walmart or Target.  I just cute a “V” in the neck and used a simple slip stitch to secure the string on the shirt.  I reinforced the string using a heat gun.  I also cut a slit up the side of the shirt to replicate the real “Hiccup.”  You can probably find the viking hat at the dollar store, but I ordered this one on Amazon for a few dollars.  I don’t really remember Hiccup in armor a lot in the movies so figured the viking helmet was perfect.

A DIY How To Train Your Dragon Halloween Costume

He sort of wants to spray his hair red to match the Hiccup in the book too. We’ll see.  By the way, that is rain on his shirt… it was just starting to sprinkle when I took this.

You could also have them bring along a toothless doll as part of the costume if you want them to go into full character.

Here is the book series that started the fascination with Hiccup.  It is really a great little series, especially for boys.  I it is really easy to get into and I even enjoy listening to him read it aloud.

This series is recommended for grades 3 and up, but you can start them as early as first grade if you have a strong reader (or if you plan to read it with your child).

Maybe next year I’ll make a Toothless costume for his brother and they can trick or treat together.

Learning the Letter “U”

The letter “U” is one of the most unique letters in the alphabet. While not many words start with the letter “U” in the English language as others do, there are tons of fun words that begin with this letter – from umbrella to unicorn to ukulele. 

Perhaps one of the most exciting words that start with the letter “U” is (u)nderwater. From oceans to lakes to pools, being underwater is such a fun activity, especially when it’s hot and sunny out. Not only is being underwater a nice and refreshing place to be to escape from the heat, but swimming fantastic physical activity to keep you healthy and strong. 

Underwater Coloring Page

While you might not live close to an ocean or pool or not know how to swim yet, this underwater activity is something you can do in your own home. Not to mention, you can stay dry while doing so! 

This coloring book page features the beautiful underwater scenery of the ocean. Many of the things illustrated on this page you might have never seen before! For instance, coral reefs, octopus, jellyfish, and starfish are hard to see underwater unless you dive really deep. This coloring book page gives you an awesome window into a whole other world in the deep blue sea. 

Here is what you’ll need for this activity: 

  • Printer
  • Crayons, Colored Pencils, or Markers 

Check it out below! 

Once you’re done with your coloring page, hang it up on a window and see how the sunlight reflects through the ocean water, just like how it does with real ocean water. If you have any sea creature stickers at home, add them to the page for a unique touch!

Do you have a favorite sea creature? A fish? Or maybe a shark? Let us know in the comments below and snap a picture of how your underwater coloring book page turned out!

Learning the Letter “T”

Terrific, tremendous, and tasty are all words that start with the letter “T”, and they also describe today’s special “T”-themed activity: Tic-Tac-Taco! 

This fun and re-usable activity includes a printable game board and pieces that kids can color however they want before cutting them out to use as moveable game pieces. All you need to get started is a printer and some crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

The first step to this activity is to print out the following game board:

Letter T Activities for preschool children

While the board comes pre-colored, you can always choose to print it in black and white to let your kids have complete control over how it looks after they have decorated it.

Once you have the game board ready, it’s time to print out your tic-tac-taco pieces. What sets this game apart from regular tic-tac-toe is that instead of playing with Xs and Os, this version of the game uses two different foods that start with the letter T: tacos and tortilla chips. Even better, these game pieces can be cleared off the board and re-used time and again so you aren’t using an entirely new sheet of paper every time you play!  

To get your game pieces, print out the following sheet and have your kids color in the tacos and tortilla chips however they want. Once they have been brought to vibrant life, it’s time to play! 

Letter T Activities for preschool children

Learning the Letter “S”

If you’re making your way through the alphabet with your preschooler, it’s easy to get stuck on what seems to be the simplest letters! In trying to find inspiration for the later letters in the alphabet, I realized that so many activities for learning the letter “s” are about snakes. Yikes! I know I hate snakes, and maybe you and your kid do too. What if you want something a little more fun and seasonal? 

For this activity, we’re going to be focused on one of my favorite flowers, and one of my favorite “s” words: sunflowers! This activity is perfect for the spring and summer, which are also great seasons to get your preschooler familiar with the letter “s”. Today, we’re making paper plate sunflowers! This craft is simple, inexpensive, and uses materials you’re likely to already have around your house! 

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1 paper plate
  • 1 craft stick
  • 1 piece of green foam paper
  • Yellow paint
  • Green paint
  • Handful of sunflower seeds
  • Scissors
  • Glue

First, cut small triangles out of the rim of your paper plate. Show your child how to cut on an angle so the gaps look like flower petals. Cut all the way around the plate. Then, paint the craft stick green and the paper plate yellow. Let the paint dry and then begin to glue the sunflower seeds to the middle of the plate. 

At this point you can also cut two small leaves from the green foam paper and glue them to the craft stick. Now you’re ready to glue the craft stick to the back of the paper plate to act as your stem, and your paper plate sunflower is complete! 

Looking for more ways to teach your child the letter “s”? Check out the printable coloring page of a beautiful sunflower field below! 

Letter S Activity for Preschool Children