Pre-K Homeschooling: Advanced Dinosaur Unit

I took a brief hiatus from blogging for the summer, but now that we’re settled back into a routine, I’m back! My little guy started half-day preschool a couple of weeks ago, so we’ve been adjusting our schedule and trying to figure out what works best for us. Even though he’s in school now, he’s already far beyond anything he’s learning while he’s there, so I decided to continue our program at home as well…especially since he’s been asking to do it anyway!

wpid-imag2038.jpgRight now he is OBSESSED with dinosaurs, so I’m using that to my advantage and creating a unit focused on dinosaurs. He especially loves learning the dinosaur’s technical names and scientific facts related to them so I’m trying to work that stuff into the basic preschool-type worksheets we’re used to.

I created an uppercase/lowercase matching printable with dinosaur graphics, as well as a set of printable outlines that we used in our fossil hunt. To use the outlines like we did, just print two sets (one on white cardstock and one on a colored paper). Then, cut along the outline of the cardstock dinosaurs, and cut each dinosaur into pieces (head, tail, spikes, feet, etc.). I buried these pieces in a pan of unpopped popcorn because you know how much my little guy loves digging in that stuff(!), but you can just lay them out on the table as well. Ask your child to match the cut out pieces with the pictures printed on colored paper and tell them they’re piecing together dinosaur fossils!

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You can download the letter matching activity here.

And the dinosaur outlines here.

I also found a ton of fun activities online. Here are some of the things we did this week:

Bat Pumpkin Dinosaur letter matching (distinguishing between lowercase b, p and d)

Dinosaur emergent reader

Dinosaur Make Ten (addition activity)

Dinosaur letter tile cards 

Dinosaur three-part cards 

Dinosaur printable pack (from 3 Dinosaurs)

We also used this great book from National Geographic to learn more about the different species of dinosaurs.

Preschool Road Trip Activities

We’re gearing up for vacation, and since we have a 10-hour drive to Destin coming up, I’ve been searching the internet for activities that will keep my four-year-old engaged during the trip. I found tons of great ideas (thanks to Pinterest!), so I thought I’d share a few of there here.

Printable Car Games from 123Homeschool4Me

Road Trip Binder from Glue Stick Blog

Disney Printables from Spoonful

I Spy Printable from All Our Days

Portable Travel Kit Ideas from Fun At Home With Kids

Mater’s Highway Bingo from Disney Family

Marvel Printables at Marvel Kids

Ocean Mazes from Kids Activity Blog

Beach Printable Pack from Gift of Curiosity

Beach I Spy Printable from The Pleasantest Thing

I Spy Games from Preschool Printable Activities

Gluten Free Menu Planning: Chicken Tacos, Red Lobster Biscuits and Porcupines

I’ve been gluten free for a few months now, but I’m the only one in my family who can’t eat gluten. I’ve found a few basic dinner meals that we can all eat together (tacos, burgers, steaks, etc.), but most of the time I find myself making two separate meals or just going without myself. I’m tired of this!

So, I decided to scour Pinterest for some new dinner ideas that we can all eat together. Each week I’ll post a link to a few recipes I’m going to try based on stuff my family likes, as well as what’s on sale at my local grocery store (Kroger). I might even include some deal ideas if I’m feeling generous!

Then, at the end of the week, I’ll post a follow-up discussing the hits and misses from that week’s recipes.

This week, I’ve chosen to try these three dishes (in addition to some regular staple dinners):

slow cooker chicken

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken: I plan to use this recipe from Running to the Kitchen for tacos or maybe nachos.

Porcupine meatballs

Porcupines: I plan on making a few changes to the Allrecipes recipe, including subbing half the ground beef with ground turkey, so I’ll post my updated version later this week. I’ll serve this with some homemade mashed potatoes and zucchini.

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits: I haven’t found a gluten-free bread that I like, but I miss these delicious biscuits, so I’m going to give this one a try. I’ll probably serve these on pasta night. I just ordered a veggie spiralizer, and can’t wait to use it to make some zucchini spaghetti!

I’m easing into this plan with only three recipes this week. Keep an eye out for the results at the end of the week! And feel free to let me know if you have any gluten-free recipes that your whole family loves in the comment section!

Summer Travel with the Family: Kansas City

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Kansas City, Missouri, is a great place to take your family this summer.  There are so many family-friendly options all over the city, but we spent most of our time downtown…mainly in two places. One of the great things about things about the area we stayed in was the air-conditioned tunnel system that connected our hotel, The Westin, to the Crown Center and Union Station.  Although we spent most of our time here, we had plenty to do!

Crown Center

This place is a must with the kids.  It’s filled with an endless array of fun options, including an aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center and the Hallmark Kaleidoscope center. The center also has rotating free exhibits centered on fun activities for kids.  When we visited, Curious George was the focus. The Crown Center also has a ton of fun dining options.  Our favorite was Fritz’s Railroad, where you order is delivered via train! The Crayola Café also looked like a fun option. We spent a couple days perusing the Crown Center because there was so much to do there. Check out everything the Crown Center offers here.

Union Station

This was another great space to spend some time. Since the building was originally a train station, built in 1914, the architecture alone is something to behold. But that’s not all this place has to offer! Inside is Science City http://www.unionstation.org/sciencecity, one of the more fun science centers we’ve seen (and if you haven’t noticed from my past posts, we’ve seen a lot!). The exhibits are very unique and offer something for every age. The KC Rail Experience is another fun activity that my little one rally enjoyed. In addition to a detailed model train exhibit, the train museum also has an exhibit on the history of the railway and full-sized engines and train cars to climb in and enjoy. Union Station also has a very nice IMAX theater showing the latest 3D movies. Learn more about Union Station here.

Dining

We venture away from the hotel to eat, and every place we went was great!  First was Grinders. Featured on Drive-ins, Diners and Dives, Grinders is a pizza place known for its New-York-style pizzas and authentic Philly cheesesteaks.  We ordered a pizza and it did not disappoint.  A visit to KC isn’t complete without barbeque so we picked Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue and it was ah-maz-ing.  And finally, for the little guy, we traveled to Kansas to eat at T-Rex, and he LOVED it.

About Me

Emily Hunsaker roundHi! Welcome to my little slice of the Internet. I’m Emily. I’m a craft-loving, project-seeking, Pinterest obsessed Mom. In addition to spending my spare time creating and shopping for unique vintage finds, I work from home as a writer and graphic designer, who is currently homeschooling my 3-year-old and taking online classes to earn my MBA.

Needless to say, I’m a little busy. I hope to use this blog to talk about everything I’m involved in…from the items listed in my Etsy shop, to my homeschooling curriculum, and especially my craft and sewing projects. I might even throw in some of my penny-pinching tips…if I’m feeling generous!