Rainbow Bead Coasters & Sun Catchers

This is such a fun and simple craft for children (and adults!) that also incorporates fine motor skills.

All you need is:

1. Pony Beads in any variety of colors (the clear colored ones make good sun catchers)

2. Small Cake Pans (4 inch diameter for coasters)

Here are links to products like I used on Amazon:


Here's the steps.  They're simple to follow.

First, place beads inside the mini cake pans.  You can either place them in a pattern, or just put them all in and fill the bottom.  Either way will work just fine.

Once the mini cake pans are filled (only the bottom layer), then place them in the oven.  I used a toaster oven and it did not need to be preheated.  You could also use a conventional oven.  The temperature is 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.  

Here's what they looked like when I first took them out of the toaster oven.

Once they cool, you can just flip the mini cake pans over and they pop right out.  They are then hard as plastic again and will make excellent coasters or sun catchers, depending on what type of beads you used.

Fine Motor Fun

Fine Motor Fun!

Fine motor or small muscle work is extremely important to build in children. It involves coordinating the finger and hand muscles with the eyes.  Developing fine motor skills can help improve strength in hand muscles, which helps prevent children from fatigue when writing and can also help improve handwriting.

I love using toys, games and other fun activities to incorporate fine motor skills.  You will find that when you use the "fun stuff" that your students (or your own children) will love it too!  I've gathered together a few of my favorite things to work on fine motor skills.  I don't have them in a particular order, but I love them all!  I've also included things that would work well for a variety of ages.

Here's a little info for everything.  They're in no particular order...I like them all equally lol.  You can click the link/pictures to read more info or to purchase on Amazon.

1. Super Duper, Inc. Fine Motor Box - has ideas and activities for fine motor work.

2. Therapy Putty is GREAT for all ages.  It's like play dough and slime combined and comes in a variety of firmness levels.

3. Cat's Cradle Kit - Great for your older kiddos that need some fine motor work.  I remember playing with this as a kid and it is sooo much fun!  Who knew I'd grow up and use it as a tool to help children!

4. Mosaic Pegs- These are reusable. Great for younger students.  The pegs pop into the matching color and you can pop them out when you're done.

5. String and Beads - Great for younger children.  Students lace the beads onto the string.  This one is also reusable.  If you want to adapt this for older students, you can get string and pony beads from the craft store and have them make bracelets.  My daughter loves doing this!

6. Magnetic Puzzles - They come with a magnetic wand/pend that is attached to a string. They also come in a variety of learning activities, such as the alphabet, numbers, color sorting, etc. Great for younger students.

7. Sensory and Fine Motor Combined!! - Water beads with scissor style scoopers.  Fun for most ages!

8. Lite Brite - Fun fine motor activities created by making pictures that light up!  Fun for most ages, but the pieces are very small so younger children will require supervision.

9. Elephant Stretchy - This cute little elephant stretches and strengthens hand muscles.

10. Sticker Mosaics - Similar to the peg mosaics above, but these aren't reusable.  However, they make a cute little craft to keep!  Fun for most ages, but better for a little older students vs. the pegs which are best for younger kiddos.

11. Loom Bands - These are super popular with my 9-year old daughter and her friends.  They make bracelets like crazy!  They best part is that they're working on fine motor as they create!

12. Learning Resources Tweezers - I love these! I like to use them in sensory bins and when having students count objects. They are great for most ages.

Thanks for reading all the way through!  I know it was a longer post than usual, but I wanted to be thorough!  I hope you've learned a little more about fine motor skills and some fun activities that you can do with your students or your own children to build these important skills.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

This little summer activity packs loads of fun!  There are three sections for your students (or your own children) to fill out.  They get to list 5 things that they want to do over the summer, 5 places they want to go, and something that they want to learn.  


I did realize, after letting them color it that it makes the pencil a little hard to read.  So, either have them color lightly near the words or have them write (or trace over) in black colored pencil or marker so that it shows through.  I love the way it turned out though!  Now we're all set to accomplish my kiddos' summer bucket lists!  At the end of the summer, we'll look at our lists and see if we can check everything off of our lists.  You may even want to do one for yourself...I'm going to go do one now that I think about it.  I'll post mine later!

You can grab this fun FREEBIE in my TpT Store by clicking on any of the images above.  Enjoy!

Puffy Paint Snowmen (with freebie!)

Puffy Paint Snowmen!

Today I'm going to share with you a fun winter craft.  These puffy paint snowmen are fun to make and come out looking so cute when they are finished.

The first step is to either draw a snowman on a sheet of paper.  Cardstock or construction paper works best because they are thick and the puffy paint is wet until it dries.  You can download a template for free by clicking HERE.

Here's the puffy paint.  You make it by combining equal parts of white school glue and shaving cream and mixing it up well.  You can see which kinds I used in the picture, but brands don't matter.  I've used all different brands for this activity.

This is what it will look like when it is mixed.  I added in glitter to make it extra sparkly.  

Then you are ready to have your students (or your own children) paint the puffy paint onto the snowman template.  


This is what it looks like when it is painted.  I sprinkle more glitter on when it is still wet.  It will take at least 24 hours to fully dry.  

For the nose, I used the foam sheets to cut out a carrot shaped nose. I used sequins for the buttons.  For the eyes, I used google eyes and for the mouth, I used black paint. 

Here's what the snowman looks like when it is finished!  I glued it on blue construction paper.  The "falling snowflakes" are fingerprints that each student made.  Then we used a circle sponge and white paint to put the snow at the base of the snowman.

I hope you enjoy making this craft!

End of the Year Handprints

I love making handprint crafts with my students.  Here are a few ways I've made handprint crafts for the end of the year for each of my students to keep.  

We made handprint t-shirts.  I had students put their handprints all around and my assistant and I put ours on too!  When the paint dried, we wrote each student's name on top of their handprint.  I used fabric paint for the handprints, fabric markers for the names, and puffy paint for the year.

We made the tote bags the same way.  I ordered a variety of different colors of the tote bags on Amazon and let students pick the color they wanted for their tote bags.  They also were able to choose the color puffy paint and handprint paint they used.

I hope you enjoy these ideas and are able to use them with your students.  :)

Sugar Baby Scrub {with Free Printable}

Sugar Baby Scrub

This is a simple DIY recipe that your students can make for Mothers Day...it's so good that you'll want to make some for yourself too!!  

Here's what you'll need:

-Baby Oil
-Baby Lotion or Baby Wash


-Mix 2 1/2 cups of sugar (granulated, any brand), 1/4 cup baby oil, and 1/4 cup baby lotion (or baby wash) together in a bowl.  I prefer baby lotion because of the added moisture/softness that it gives to your skin.  When you're done mixing, scoop it into a jar, tie a ribbon around and add your tag...voila!  

I love that it's so simple and provides your students with the opportunity to measure and mix...you can also let them touch it, which provides a bonus sensory opportunity!

Mother's Day Card & Craft

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Today I want to share a Mother's Day card and craft idea that I had my students make for their mothers.

To make the card, I painted my student's hand in their choice of colors.  When that dried, I painted one finger red to make the cherry.  Then, I cut a piece of a cupcake wrapper and let them glue it on so that their handprint would look like a cupcake.  Students who could write independently wrote the words and others traced my writing.  Inside, they signed their name.

Here's a picture of the inside.  I also attached their finished necklace craft to the inside of the card.  Here's the steps to create the necklace:

Step 1: Using nail polish, have students paint the metal jewelry piece.  You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.  You can find the necklace here.

Step 2:  After the nail polish dries, have students apply small dots of another color (or more than one color)  Do NOT let the nail polish dry this time.  Instead, apply jewelry glue over top.  You can get it here.  Then lay the glass jewel on top.  These steps combined create a unique design for each necklace.  You can get the jewels here.  Let them dry for 1-2 days.

Once they are dry, you are ready for your students to give them to their moms.  

Happy Mother's Day!