June’s Frugal Teacher Tip

You likely receive lots of junk mail; why not put it to good use?  Grocery inserts are great for children to cut, perfect in a dramatic play home center or grocery store.  You can go a step further and create a matching game or a picture grocery list.

Another thing that comes in the mail is credit cards.  These pretend cards are great to bring in to the children.  Children will have fun playing with them in dramatic play or if you have an abundance you can have them for sorting.  They also can be used for stencils or rubbings in the art area.




Sensational Sensory Recipes

Last week I spent the morning prepping for class by making several different play dough’s to share with my students.  Below are some pictures and recipes

1.  Slime






One of the most simple ones!  Only 2 ingredients,  equal parts Liquid Starch and White or Clear School Glue.  You can also add some liquid water color. It starts off a little stringy, let it sit for a little while and then you will get some great slime!  This doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but can be used over and over for several days as long as you place it in an airtight container.

2.  Skin Therapy Play Dough AKA Oatmeal Goodness




1 Cup (plus a few TBSP) All Purpose Flour

1 Cup Water

2 Cups Quick Oats

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Olive Oil

1 tsp Vanilla (opt)

1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (opt)


Mix 1 cup flour, quick oats, cocoa powder and vanilla.  Add water and stir until the play dough forms a ball.  Knead in the coconut oil one tablespoon at a time.  If play dough is too sticky add flour a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.  Knead for 3-4 minutes.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

3. Super Soft No Flour Play dough

image image



2 Cups Baking Soda (1 box)

1 Cup Cornstarch

1 1/2 Cups Water

Color–Paint or liquid water color

Scents-Vanilla, Orange, Lemon, etc.


Add scent and color to water.  Combine baking soda and cornstarch in pot, then add water to powdered mixture.  Cook on medium heat until a ball of dough forms.  Stir constantly, this part takes a little while.  Once the dough has formed you can dump out the ball onto a cutting board and let cool.  Once it is cool enough knead.  Store in airtight container.

4. Spice Play Dough (in the middle)



5/8 Cups Flour

1/8 Cup Spice (we did cinnamon)

1/8 Cup Salt

1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tarter

1/4 Cup plus 2 teaspoons Boiling Water

2 teaspoons Canola or Vegetable Oil


Mix all dry ingredients before adding wet.  Stir to combine well.  When cool enough, knead with hands until smooth.

5. Whole Wheat Flour Dough (the red one above)

3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/8 Cup Salt

1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1/4 Cup Boiling Water (add color if wanted)

2 teaspoons Canola or Vegetable Oil

Follow directions for Spice Play Dough above.

6. Bubble Dough



1 Cup Cornstarch

Approx. 1/4 cup Dish soap


Add soap slowly while mashing together until you get a nice consistency.



Super Slime AKA Flubber

This just may have been my best batch of Flubber yet!

Flubber 2

Flubber is a great sensory material for kids!  For me it has always been a hit or miss when making it.  Sometime it comes out perfect, other times it is just a hard flaky ball.  I think I finally figured out the secret. when pouring in the borax mixture (recipe below, step 4) you must not only add very slowly, but pick up the ball that is forming and add mixture only to the liquid that is left NOT the already formed ball!  Try a batch today and let me know if you have any questions!

Flubber Recipe:
1. Mix 2 cups water and 1 cup glue in a big bowl.
2. Add a squirt of liquid water color and then stir it up.
3. In a separate small bowl mix together: 2 cups water and 4 TBS Borax.
4.  After it’s completely dissolved, pour the Borax mixture slowly and a little at a time into the glue and water mixture. Pour a little, mix it a little, pour a little, mix a little. Mix with your hands or a sturdy wooden spoon. As you mix, it will become a flubber ball!
NOTE: You might NOT need to use all of this Borax and water solution!!!!!

Dr. Seuss Family Literacy Night


For the third year in a row I organized our Dr. Suess Family Night.  The event is primarily geared for preschool age children but we had children from infants to 4th grade in attendance.  This year we had 38 children and their parents attend.  It was another successful event!  We had 3 stations set up with readers reading Dr. Seuss books and three rooms full of Dr. Seuss activities.  We had art, science/sensory, graphs, games and more for children to explore with their parents.  Below are a few pictures of how the event was set up:

1. Shoe Prints

2.Foot Book Feet painting station

3.Fish Bowls and Cat in the Hat Hats

4. Crazy Critters









Highlights from the CAEYC Conference: New Books

Last weekend I attended the California Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference in San Jose.  My favorite session was Read Aloud Wow: Best New Books and Voices.  Everyone that knows me knows I am obsessed with childrens books!  I have been collecting for over 15 years and have a great collection.  I will be posting some of my favorites under the Book Lists page.  There were a few that stood out to me this past weekend that I just had to run home and buy!  More to come.  The following books can all be purchased through Amazon.com

1.  Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World by Jacqueline K. Ogburn

Little Treasures: Endearments From Around The World

This is a great multicultural book about what parents call their children in different cultures.

2. One Special Day by Lola M. Shaefer

One Special Day (A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters)

A wonderful predictable book about a little boy who is compared to diffent animals and then becomes quiet and gentle when he is introduced to his new sibling.  Great pictures!

3. Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

I can’t believe I didn’t know about Pete the Cat!  Fun, positive book about colors.  There are a few more in the series as well, I also purchased Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons a math/counting book.