Free “Turkey Trouble”
Printable Activity Set
At our house, Thanksgiving gets its dues. We don’t do any of that Halloween-straight-to-Christmas nonsense, we make sure to give each Holiday its rightful turn. Part of not neglecting Thanksgiving includes reading themed children’s books about the holiday. One of my kids’ favorites is “Turkey Trouble,” written by Wendi Slivano and illustrated by Lee Harper. It’s a great little storybook about a turkey doing everything it can to avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Will he succeed? Well, you’ll have to read it yourself to find that out.
We are always looking for fun new titles. So if you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to share!
(Megan Alayne is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees (at no extra cost to you) by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)
These paper cutouts based on “Turkey Trouble” are a great way for your child to actively engage in the book as you read. I used my handy-dandy Silhouette to cut these out automatically with print and cut (.studio3 file download available below), and then I laminated the pieces so they can last through as many readings of the book as we need. Quite often, I find the kids playing with the parts without reading the book. Independent play and storytelling are important skills for a child to learn, so it makes me so happy to see this happening.
Why do we read so much?
Reading and storytelling are such a crucial part of child development. Stories inspire the imagination and provide language and communication skills. They make your kids more empathetic and understanding of the fact that other people may think differently than them. Stories also provide children with scenarios that may help them make decisions in real life situations where problem-solving skills are necessary. Stories expand a child’s horizons and shape his/her view of the world. A child who is read to often is more likely to succeed in literacy as well as in their academic and professional lives. Frequently being read to helps a child to concentrate and pay attention. Plus, reading to/with your child is a great way to strengthen your relationship. There are absolutely no downsides to lots of reading!
Here is some more great information about reading and child development. Click each link to read more about the benefits of reading with your children often.
“Why is storytelling Important to Children?”
“Reading and Storytelling with Babies and Children”
“Reading to Children Promotes Brain Development”
“This is your Child’s Brain on Reading”
Download PDF Printable Here
Download Silhouette File Here
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Free Printable Summer Electronics Checklist
Summer is here, and your kids will lose the whole break to screens if you aren’t prepared! Download this free printable summer electronics checklist to make sure they keep up with their daily chores and summer learning before they indulge in screen time. For simple day after day use, run it through a laminator or frame it behind glass. Then have your child use a dry erase marker to check off completed tasks. This way, you only have to print it once!
I created these for my own kids, and my six-year-old son was so excited that he had accomplished most of his list… only to be devastated when he realized he had to start from scratch the next day. So, be clear with your kids from the start that this is a list for them to complete daily.
Make it work for you
We had a few specific guidelines for our kids. I stipulated that the task of helping Mom or Dad with something gets to be the parents’ choice, not the child’s. They must help us out without complaining about the selected task. Also, their 20 minutes of art can be creating something out of Legos, they just have to show me their creation and tell me about it. I didn’t include a set time for outside play because (at our house at least) it’s never been a problem to get the kids to play outside for a reasonable amount of time.
This has been a great tool to get the kids to help around the house. It also helps limit screen time a ton because they don’t always want it bad enough to complete their list. And that is each child’s choice. They deal with the consequence of not getting to join in on a family movie night or whatever the case may be. They learn about the ramifications of their actions (or lack thereof) and are motivated to be prepared in the future by doing their chores.
The PDF download contains both the magenta and blue versions of the checklist. Hopefully, this simple list helps you and your children as much as it has helped our family get our summer started on the right foot. Best of luck!
Don't Forget!Don’t forget to check out related posts at the bottom of this page. You might really like the Summer Bucket List!
Download Checklist Here
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Free Christmas SVGs 2017
I’m happy to say that the 2017 Christmas designs are finally here! As with all of my seasonal designs, I create them with printable for wall galleries in mind, but I always share the SVG versions too. And when you have the vector versions, the possibilities for applications are endless!
One very popular crafting project right now that will work great for these types of files is farmhouse style signs. You can do these on wood or canvas, and they are pretty simple once you learn the process. There are oodles of tutorials on YouTube for these projects. I haven’t done many of these myself, but since my husband has a garage full of woodworking tools, I really should take advantage of that!
Other fun applications for these Christmas designs are pajamas, shirts, bags, mugs, cups, tumblers, magnets, cards, and ornaments. Please share with me any other creative ideas you might come up with. I love to see what others create using my designs!
8x10 printable versions are available too.Get the Printables
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Free Christmas Printables
Clearly, I was not at all on the ball for Thanksgiving and am a little later making a presence for the Christmas season than I should be. Then again, if you consider that commercial stores have their Christmas merchandise out in September, I am WAY late. We are just going to look on the bright side and celebrate the fact that I didn’t miss Christmas altogether!
Without further ado, here are the 2017 Christmas printables! I hope that you catch on to the references to two of my favorite Christmas movies. If not, those specific prints are probably not for you. But fear not, there are others!
You’ve probably noticed by now that I like to throw in some minimalist typography prints. I am a sucker for these. This time around, Santa’s reindeer won the slot for that print. Most people know reindeer number seven and eight as Donner and Blitzen, but did you know that the original names are Dunder and Blixem? I went old school with this print and used those original names even though the print includes the youngest and most fantastic reindeer of all. It’s subtle, but there is an homage to that big red nose in this print.
Three of the prints will work as is, but I created them with the intention of foiling them. These prints include “You serious, Clark?,” “NOEL,” and an “O Holy Night” print that is in the PDF file but isn’t displayed here. Now, if you don’t know what foiling is, you are missing out! It’s the most wonderful way to bling up a print and make it shiny and dazzling. And that is something that most Christmas decorations need, right?
To foil a design at home, you will need a toner printer or purchased toner copies, transfer foil, and a home laminator with a 3mm setting. I use Deco Foil because of their large selection of colors, and I purchased an AmazonBasics laminator for under $20. (Please note: I am no longer an Amazon affiliate, so I don’t get anything for linking you to products.) Place the transfer foil (foil side down) on your toner copy, lay a plain sheet of printer paper over the top to keep everything sandwiched in place and to keep your laminator clean, and then run it through your laminator on the 3mm setting. Peel off the foil transfer sheet and voila! Easy, right?
Because paper has some porous irregularities, it is not unusual for the foil not to adhere perfectly. That is part of the charm though. Just use the smoothest paper you can and it will generally apply pretty evenly. Also, BEWARE, foiling can be addicting. Once you do it and realize how easy it really is, you will want to put foil on everything possible! Whether you choose to foil any of these or not, I hope they will add some joy and Christmas cheer to your home. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Learn how to Foil
Foiling isn’t always foolproof
Foiling isn’t always foolproof. I had this brilliant idea to print my “O Holy Night” design on black paper then foil it in silver so that it looked like shining stars. In theory, this was a great idea, but the only black paper I own is a package of scrapbooking paper. I was thrilled that I had this on hand, but when I ran it through the laminator, almost NO foil stuck to it. I realized that this paper is extremely porous. It has a much rougher texture than the regular white cardstock I usually use and sadly, is useless for this particular application. I tried again with gold foil on a white sheet, and that didn’t work very well either. I’m not sure if it was that particular piece of paper or foil, or if my printer didn’t lay down enough toner, or what. I already had my two perfect prints for my frames, so I quit fiddling with it and moved on. My point is that sometimes you just have to make some mistakes before you get the ideal outcome. So, don’t be afraid to try, because every mistake is a lesson learned!
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Free Halloween SVG Files
Usually, when I release new seasonal printables, I also share them as SVG files. I love the versatility of SVG files, and I love seeing what you, the creative people of the internet, can come up with to do with them! Vector graphics are great for invitations, t-shirts, cups and mugs, bags, notebooks, and on and on. They are easy to edit and personalize, so the possibilities for variations on one file are really endless. That said, here are the 2017 Halloween printables in SVG versions. I hope you enjoy and I hope you’ll share your creations too! Share with me on Facebook @meganalaynecreates and Instagram @megan.alayne
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Fry’s First Fidget Challenge
Fry’s First Fidget Challenge takes a new spin on helping children master Fry’s first 1000 sight words. If you aren’t familiar with Fry’s Instant Words, it is a list of 1000 commonly used words compiled by Dr. Edward B. Fry. It is similar to the Dolch list, but includes more words and is a more modern compilation. These words comprise up to 90% of everyday reading material. Many schools have students master these words to make their reading experiences more smooth as they progress into higher level reading.
Since this list of words is so useful to learn, I decided to take those blasted fidget spinners and make them functional in this endeavor. The idea is to have the child set the fidget spinner down at the top of the page, spin it as hard and fast as they can and then read as many of the words on the page as possible before the fidget spinner stops. Ideally, you’ll use a clean and smoothly moving spinner for this so that they can read more than just a few words. Our little people don’t keep them very clean, so we have a designated reading spinner. My son learned the hard way with his Batman spinner that they don’t react well when left on the lawn overnight to be watered. It hasn’t spun the same since!
Free “Turkey Trouble” Printable Activity SetNovember 15, 2018
Free Printable Summer Electronics ChecklistMay 30, 2018
Free Christmas SVGs 2017December 11, 2017
So, make that fidget spinner do more! Have your child practice reading their sight words with these fun and free pages! Place the fidget spinner on the circle, spin it, and read! It usually takes my son a few flicks of the spinner to complete a page, though this is unique to the quality of the spinner and the reader’s level. Mix it up by reading the list backward, or only reading odd or even numbered words. Or maybe color code the words. Get creative and have fun!
I’m With Her!
Internet friends, my three-year-old is OBSESSED with the Statue of Liberty. He carts around a small replica of her all over the place. We went to a playgroup at the park today and once we got there, guess what I found stashed away in the basket of his little sister’s stroller. Yup, he had helped Lovely Lady Liberty stow away. And yes, he was indeed wearing his new shirt featuring his favorite woman, a.k.a. “The Liberty of Statue.”
When your kid is this obsessed with something, and you have a body full of crafting bones, it is only natural to create a useable item featuring said obsession. I see it all the time in my favorite crafting groups on Facebook. (Click here to see one of them.) Moms just love to make things they know their kids will love!
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This shirt was supposed to be for his birthday in a few weeks, but with Independence Day coming up, I had to give it to him now. (Instead of the shirt, he’ll be getting a bunch of Statue of Liberty kids’ books. Shhh…don’t tell him!) The moment I showed it to him, he ripped off the shirt he was already wearing and held out his hands for his new one. I’m starting to think maybe I should have just made several of these since he is going to want to wear it 24/7. Alas, small child, all things in moderation.
I hope that a random three-year-old’s present fixation has worked to your benefit and that this free file will come in handy for you! I mean who doesn’t love the Statue of Liberty? She represents so many great values and ideals. And that copper patina, yowza! She has been working on that lovely shade of green for 131 years! This little tribute to her doesn’t do her justice, but I hope you (or your child) will appreciate it nonetheless. Happy Independence Day!
Share or save Lady Liberty
Get the PDF and PNG Here
What's the difference?An SVG is a vector file. Most people using this are going to use it with a vinyl cutting machine.
A PDF is great if you just want to print it out to display as is.
A PNG is similar to a JPEG file, but it features a transparent background around the image so you can easily add it to an invitation , digital scrapbook page, etc.
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Free Patriotic Printables
It is just about time for us to celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. That means it’s time for me to temporarily switch out those framed summer printables for more relevant ones. I have one patriotic print that I’ve used for the last few years, but it was a subway art style print that I didn’t love much. So, I came up with a couple of original designs to remind us about the liberty and privileges we enjoy in our country.
One print features the iconic Liberty Bell. Did you know that makers of the first Liberty Bell melted it down shortly after it was made because it cracked on its first test ring? Read more about the bell’s history here. In addition to the bell, this print also includes the phrase, “Let Freedom Ring” from the song “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.”
The second print displays the continental United States with the phrase, “Land that I Love.” My grade school memory was better than my current one, so if you are like me and struggle to keep your patriotic songs straight, this line is from “God Bless America.”
My hope in sharing these prints with you is that you’ll have a little something in your home to remind you of those who came before us. They lived in such a different world than we know today and had to fight for rights that we now take for granted every day. So, download, print, and hang these freebies and remember all the hard work and sacrifice that delivered your freedoms to you.
(Keep an eye out for a Statue of Liberty file coming soon too. My three year old is obsessed with her and his birthday is coming up soon, so I have a fun t-shirt in mind to make for him. Naturally, I’ll share the file with you too!)
This summer I will and not be bored.
THE ESSENTIAL SUMMER BUCKET LIST TO AVOID BOREDOM IN 2017
I don’t know about you guys, but for me, the initial excitement of summer break has already worn off. The kids are home all the time (and fighting) and I find myself kicking them into the backyard while I Netflix and fold laundry. Then I struggle to turn off the t.v. and get back up off the couch. But, no more! It’s time to kick the cycle and soak up this beautiful summer!
One of my friends posted their family bucket list for the summer on Facebook and I thought it was awesome. It’s a great way to visually organize the activities we want to do and the perfect thing to remind me that we have a lot of options for how to spend our summer days. Even though I did not include Netflix or laundry on our list, realistically I can’t avoid either of them for very long. So, maybe it would be wise of me to hang this up next to the t.v. so that it is staring me in the face when I start wasting time.
Anyhow, obviously everyone has different items to go on their bucket list. This list is our summer to-dos for this year only so it includes really specific things like going to the Blue Angels airshow on July 22nd and watching the complete solar eclipse on the 21st of August. Since these things are particular to our area, they might not be applicable to you.
Good news though! You can personalize the text on this summer list if you have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (instructions are below). If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC you can get a free trial of it here. And if you don’t have it and don’t want to get the free trial, you can just hop on YouTube and watch some videos of those specific events and then cross those things off your list. Or just cross them off right away, whatever you want to do since it will now be your list. There are also some blank lines so you can add items to make your list even more awesome as the summer progresses.
I hope you are as pumped to embrace all that summer has to offer as I am. As busy as this list will keep us, I’m really hoping that the brotherly fighting at our house will slow down quite a bit. If not I’m sending them to Grandma’s in one of those “get along t-shirts” and going to the nearest amusement park for some mom time!