Penny Pinching Peach

For the semi crunchy, homeschool friendly and totally frugal!


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My Reader Rewards

Tyndale Book Rewards

I am so excited to tell y’all about a points reward program for earning free books online called My Reader Rewards (part of Tyndale Publishing)!

I was able to order a book using 90 points I racked up on my first day actually utilizing the site! I was given 25 points right away for following a referral link. The first day I was active on the site, I earned points doing the following: A survey about bibles gave me 15 points, and a short survey about E-readers earned 10 points. Signing up for a newsletter got me 10 points. Signing up to get a free gift through the birthday club earned me 15 points. I also joined their Focus Group, for 25 points now and 25 points for each survey I participate in. This took hardly any time at all, and I’d already earned enough points to get a free book!! 🙂 You can also earn points through referrals, sharing links, asking questions and doing reviews.

This is a super easy way to earn some wonderful free books for your family!

I’ve ordered several books from them so far, and have never been disappointed. The most recent book I received is the one pictured, and will be a beautiful Christmas present for one of my children. I have been pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of the program, and the quality of the books available to buy with my points.  I definitely recommend this program for anyone with readers in the household (which I’m guessing includes most folks who read blogs…LOL).

If you use my referral link, you will automatically be rewarded with 25 points, and I will receive 10 points for the referral. https://www.myreaderrewardsclub.com/login?pc=qtvn-isyl-1im2-8bc4

Let me know how you like it, and what book you order first! 🙂

Need free or cheap clothing? Check out this fantastic site for cheap clothes online!


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The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster

Halloween book

Halloween book

We were given a few of the best Halloween books from my mother in law’s expansive collection of all things autumn.

Halloween was her favorite holiday, by far. We lost her recently, so even though I don’t generally go all out for this particular holiday, I decided to do a Halloween themed story time with my munchkins in her honor, complete with a craft, game and treat. She also loved all things crafty, and was a retired Head Start teacher, so I know that she would have enjoyed it.

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I chose the book  The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster by Kay Winters for our fun Halloween themed activity time.

It’s quite the cute little book, and not the least bit scary. My little girl is strongly opposed to all things “creeeeepyyyyy”, as she says, so that was a must. 🙂 This book and activity would be fun any time of the year, but especially for fall and Halloween. I love that it fits the season without being too scary for little kids.

Pipe cleaner arms and legs

Pipe cleaner arms and legs

First on our agenda are ghost and monster puppets!

To make these, you just need craft sticks like Loew Cornell 1021254 Woodsies Craft Sticks, 1000-Piece (or popsicle sticks),  Crayola Construction Paper, Assorted Colors, 240 Sheet (99-3200)or cardstock, pipe cleaners like these Creativity Street Stetems/Pipe Cleaners 12″ X 4mm 100-Piece Assorted Colors, tape and something to color with. I sketched the requested outlines for their ghosts and monsters, but if you don’t have a knack for drawing, just print or trace the outlines. While I let my five and two year olds loose to decorate their respective puppets, I grabbed a couple of pipe cleaners and snipped them into four pieces each for the monsters’ legs and arms. You need one pipe cleaner per monster.  I just twisted loops at one end of each to make hands and feet. Once they were finished coloring, I cut out their creepy (bahaha!) creations and helped them tape the arms and legs on the monsters and the craft sticks on all of the puppets. See? Super simple, easy peasy!! As I mentioned, even my two year old could participate in this activity.

If you don’t want to bother making your own puppets, this set of teeny tiny finger puppets is super inexpensive and awfully cute  Monster Finger Puppets – Collect all 8!

Halloween Monster Back

Halloween Monster Back

Below you see my munchkins proudly displaying their one-of-a-kind ghosties and monsters. Quite the colorful creatures, aren’t they? 🙂 They get all the credit, since Mommy literally left them to it while she finished the legs and arms and worked on dishes.

Monster and Ghost Puppets

Monster and Ghost Puppets

Now for the next part of our freaky fall fun fest!! Halloween storytime, with a game!

I settled them down in our oversized chair, and instructed them to hold up their ghost puppets when they heard the word “ghost” and their monster puppets when they heard the word “monster”. As you can see, they had to concentrate to hear those key words, but they did really well and thought it was the neatest way to read a book together.

Halloween Game

Halloween Game

We weren’t ready to be finished with that, so the kiddos put on a Halloween puppet show for me using their new monster puppets.

While I won’t pretend that the script was riveting, they were pretty doggone cute in their attempts at a story line. My two year old really didn’t get it, and wound up watching his sister’s puppets more than doing anything with his own, but they had a blast, anyway. Puppet time is great for creative children!

Monster and Ghost Puppet Show

Monster and Ghost Puppet Show

For the grand finale, I brought out their trick or treat buckets from the fall festivals we attended the other day and let them both pick out a sweet treat. As you can see, they were quite pleased with that finish! 🙂

Do your little ones enjoy books and puppets? What are your favorite books for autumn? For a fun pumpkin activity to do with your little ones, try No Carving Pumpkin Family!

Story Time Trick or Treat

Story Time Trick or Treat


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Getting Artsy With D, E, and F

Tracing "D" With Pompoms

Tracing “D” With Pompoms

My newly turned five year old and I are continuing our fun journey into reviewing the

Tracing E With Pompoms
Tracing E With Pompoms

alphabet and adding in the phonics side of things as we go.

She looks at school time as one of her favorite games, since Mommy is playing it with her and she is actually learning. I’m lucky that my kiddo inherited my odd fascination with learning new things, so it makes homeschooling her (thus far) more of a joyful journey than a chore.

This lesson is one we did several weeks ago, and is all about the letters D, E, and F. We did all of the activities over the course of a couple of days, along with other things we were working on. My little peachy princess really enjoyed all of the things I came up with for these letters! 🙂 I’m not going to list these alphabetically as much as by activity, to keep it from being too befuddling.

Tracing F With Pompoms

Tracing F With Pompoms

My little girl loves colorful pompoms and art projects, so it was easy to dream up this first activity! I filled an empty wipe box with multi colored pompoms Pepperell Craft Making Assorted Pom Poms, Standard Colors, 750 Per Package and wrote the letters D, E, and F in large print on three pieces of paper. I had her trace each letter using the pompoms, talking about the sounds each letter made as she traced it. She was very pleased with the results, and wanted to glue them to show off later, but we didn’t have enough pompoms for all that. 🙂

D is for Dog and Disguise

D is for Dog and Disguise

Next, we talked about what words started with each sound. She was delighted to realize how

E is for Elephant

E is for Elephant

many words she could come up with beginning with each sound. From there I asked her to draw or color a picture of something she really liked starting with each letter sound. She chose to wear a “disguise” while coloring a picture of “dog” biscuits for the “D” sound, to draw a picture of an “elephant” for the “E” sound, and to draw a picture of her daddy, the firefighter, for the “F” sound. She was so proud of her artistic abilities, and learned to write some new words. 🙂

F is for Firefighter

F is for Firefighter

For some outdoor educational fun, we went on a hunt for flowers to go along with the “F” sound. Since we were still enjoying ourselves so much, we created a beautiful letter “F” on our back deck using some of our flower finds. My peachy princess was fascinated with her floral creation! 🙂

How have you been having fun with your alphabet lately? Here are some fun activities for ABCs!

F is for Flower

F is for Flower

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ABC Fun, Find and Food

Amazing A Sound Hunt

Amazing A Sound Hunt

I am always looking for ways to make learning fun for my munchkins. Lately, one of the things I am doing with my daughter is reviewing the alphabet, making sure she can write each letter well and knows the phonetic sound that goes with each one. She’s not crazy about repetitive copy work, so I am having her do that part first so she can get to whatever fun game or activity I have planned with it.

Here is my lesson plan, if you can call it that, for the “Fun, Find and Food” theme for the letters A, B and C…

Letter A:

  1. Color the A page in her book, then fill in the practice page for writing the letter A.
  2. Attach the coloring page to the lid of a shoebox, as shown.
  3. Have her make the long A and short a sounds, and tell her to search the house for anything starting with those sounds.
  4. Watch as she runs excitedly around the house hollering out words for items to see if they start with the letter A.
  5. Give her a snack starting with an A, in this case, an apple.

Additional snack suggestions: Apricot, Apple Pie, Almonds.

In the above picture, she found: ape, apple, apron, antlers, animal, alligator, angel.

A is for Apple

A is for Apple

Letter B:

Repeat steps 1-5, just for the letter B.

Snack suggestions: Banana, Berries, Burrito, Blueberry Muffins.

Letter C:

Repeat steps 1-5, just for the letter C.

Snack suggestions: Carrots, Cookies, Crackers, Cucumbers, Craisins.

If you want to do all three letters in one day, you could have them collecting the ingredients for their snacks over the course of the three letters, then eat the snack at the end. For example, you could do a fruit salad with chopped apples and/or apricots, sliced bananas and shredded carrots or some craisins. You could also do a fruit trail mix with a mixture of any or all of the following: dried apples or apricots, almonds, dried bananas or berries, and craisins.

Here is an adorable Alphabetimals coloring book that would work well with this activity, if you need a new one: Alphabetimals Coloring Book (Dover Coloring Books)“>

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Egg Carton Flowers

Egg carton flowers

Egg carton flowers


I had a stack of egg cartons piling up, waiting on some inspiration, and my daughter brought them to me wanting to do a project. I came up with egg carton flowers. She was thrilled! Since my little princess enjoyed her new project, I thought I’d share it with other folks who might want something new to do to keep their munchkins happy. 🙂

We gathered together our supplies: An egg carton (of course! 🙂 ), then some scissors, markers, marker stampers and some stickers that aren’t pictured below.

Egg carton flower supplies

Egg carton flower supplies

First, I cut the top off of the egg carton, then cut between the cups. Next, I cut the cups into a smoother rounded shape around the top. Last, I went snippety snip around the cup to make the petals. The different stages of development in the picture should help fill in any confuzzlement left by my description. 🙂

From there, it was up to Princess Peachy to finish up. She smashed the petals flat with her little hand, then got to work decorating. She had a good ol’ time being creative with decorating them all sorts of different ways with the supplies we had on hand. When she was finished, we arranged them in a flower shape on a green piece of construction paper. You could glue them on, if you want, but my little one enjoyed rearranging them too much to let me glue them on.

What household item do you have overflowing, but don’t want to throw out because you think you can find some nifty way to upcycle it? Maybe I can come up with something. 🙂


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Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2, we decided to read his whimsical books in a nook with a look for ideas to cook up for activities to do that go along with the stories. Today we read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”. That is one of my munchkins ‘ favorites! I didn’t want to do a bunch of printing and searching activities yesterday, so I just free styled it. Maybe it will give someone else some inspiration.

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One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a favorite read at our house!

One fish, two fish was simple. I drew a large one and a large two on each side of the picture with the word fish, and let her draw. She decided to go rogue on that one, so I’ll skip a picture, but she did understand the concept. LOL

Red fish, Blue fish

Red fish, Blue fish

For red fish, blue fish, it was pretty easy, too. I grabbed some red and blue markers, using the appropriate colors to title and illustrate a coloring page. My little artist colored them opposite colors, but she enjoyed herself. 🙂

So that it wasn’t just about the fish on the cover, I chose another of my daughter’s favorite parts of the book for the closing activity.

By the light of a star, by the light of the moon...

By the light of a star, by the light of the moon…

I drew a moon and star, sketched a rudimentary sheep, grabbed a bunch of cotton balls, rolled pieces of tape and stuck them to each, and turned my little princess loose. Glue would be easier, but we have issues with glue, curls and an independent streak. 😉 My kiddo was pretty tickled with the results of her project!

Is anyone else doing any fun activities in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday? Am I the only lifelong fan of his books? I was actually excited to read them to my babies, since I enjoyed them so much growing up! 🙂 If you want to get your own copy to do these fun activities with, just head on over here: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish


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Newspaper ABCs

Hunting and Clipping

Hunting and Clipping

With the holiday season over, and the Christmas themed crafts no longer an anchor for our preschool activities, it’s back to ordinary projects for us. I decided to have my 4 year old review her alphabet a little differently, using random things from around the house, to make sure she really recognizes and can write each upper and lower case letter well.We’re a few letters in now, but I’m sharing what we did for the letter A, as well as what Baby Boy did for “baby school” while she was hard at work. 🙂

My hubby had brought home a newspaper with all those lovely coupon inserts, and there were some advertisements in there with large, classic block letters. I got out Princess Peach’s current preschool book and had her look at the letter A pages she had done previously. She then filled her dry erase board with as many upper and lower case (also known as mommy and baby) letter As as she could. After that, it was on to her fun project, with her book and dry erase board as her guide…

I gave her the advertisement page, and told her to find and cut out as many of the letter A as she could find. For every five letters, she would get a sticker. She had a blast hunting for and cutting out her letters and cashing them in for her stickers! 🙂

Of course, little brother wanted in on the fun as well, so Mommy pulled out some extra large animal flash cards for

Animal Identification and Sounds

Animal Identification and Sounds

him once sister was to the cutting stage. I set him up in the high chair next to her, gave him the flash cards and had him hold each one up and I’d tell him the animal and animal sound. He’d repeat them to me with interest, and sometimes tell me what sounds they made before he even held them up to show me. This kept him stimulated and happily learning with sister instead of trying to steal all of her letters. 🙂

All of this took place in our kitchen while I was doing dishes, by the way. I can’t get anything done if I can’t multi task at least part of the time! 🙂

Does anyone else use random household items for educational activities? It definitely appeals to the penny pinching, hate-to-waste-anything side of me, I have to admit! 🙂


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Christmas Bead Ornaments

Bead Ornaments

 Bead Ornaments

My 4 year old loves crafts and Christmas, so I’ve had to come up with alot of random crafty things for her to do that are Christmas related. One thing she has especially enjoyed is beading. She’s done ornaments, as well as making bracelets and necklaces galore. We even made a camo bracelet for her baby brother.  I also had to come up with a way to include her 19 month old brother in her new favorite activity, which I’ll share in a second. 🙂

Concentrating on beading

Concentrating on beading

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She made a few candy canes and a wreath to hang on our little Christmas tree. I just twirl one end of a Creativity Street Stetems/Pipe Cleaners 12″ X 4mm 100-Piece Assorted Colors
to hold the Pony Beads Multi Color 9mm 1000 Pcs in Bag
on and shape the finished beads into whatever we are making. She enjoys making a pattern by laying out beads in the color scheme we are going to use,  and then using that to remind her of the order her colors should go on her pipe cleaner.

Her brother was jealous after she’d made bracelets for herself and me, so I came up with a camo themed bracelet idea. He wears it proudly, and Daddy isn’t the least bit bothered by his son wearing a camo bracelet like he might be of Princess Peach’s suggestion of purple and pink for her brother’s bracelet. 😉

 

Camo bracelet

Camo bracelet

 

Of course, I couldn’t leave the little guy out of all of this Christmas fun! I was looking at his little face, which he would’ve stuffed with all of the pretty candy colored beads, and had an AHA!! moment. I strapped him in his highchair, handed him a pipe cleaner and dumped a handful of multigrain Cheerios on his tray. Tada! Edible beads for baby! He was thrilled to be doing what big sister was doing, and I was happy that both of my children were safely entertained. 🙂

Baby beading Cheerios

Baby beading Cheerios

This is a super cheap and easy activity that will keep Princess Peach busy for hours, and my little squirt happily engaged for as long as 20 or 30 minutes. Anyone who has ever cared for small children 24/7 knows that a fun activity like that is priceless!

What are you keeping the little ones in your life busy with during the holiday season? Need another idea? Check out my popular Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments!