Choosing Best Kids' Toys and Christmas Presents

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is buying gifts for kids. I love choosing toys, but I'm very picky. I demand that toy gifts I buy have some intrinsic educational value. And there are a lot of junk toys on the market. How do you wade through the chaff to find the best gifts for kids? Focus on interactive, active and hands-on. Avoid anything with a screen and battery! Here's the complete guide from a 25-year veteran teacher and 24-year mom of four.  Read more

Free Printable One Direction Coloring Pages, Games, Online Activities

"One Direction" is an uber-hot new boy band from the United Kingdom. The group consists of five young men: Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles. One Direction is best known for their songs: "One Thing","Live While We're Young" and "What Makes You Beautiful." Their dance-pop music and trendy, gangnam dress style makes them very popular with tweens and teens. Looking for free printable activities based on One Direction? Here are coloring pages, games, crafts and puzzles featuring the lads.  Read more

Free Printable Toddler Activities, Websites

Need to keep an energetic toddler occupied so you can get your holiday preparation underway? Here are 15 safe, school approved websites for young children. These sites are child-friendly, family-oriented and have lots of educational games and free printable activities for young learners. read more

Free Health Games, Printable Food Journals, Exercise Trackers

I don't know about you, but I find tracking my weight, counting calories and monitoring exercise boring. And I'm an adult. I feel sorry for kids trying to lose weight or improve fitness levels. But we're seeing the terrible toll that juvenile obesity is wreaking on our youth. Improved health, nutrition and exercise are crucial. What if we could address these health concerns in a fun, non-threatening way? How about about making them into games? Games make everything more fun (and less onerous!) Here are links for free online health activities written at kid level. They offer free printable food journals, online fitness trackers and nutrition planning tools. Websites are kid-friendly with games, quizzes, interactive activities and graphic cartoon novels. Geared for elementary to high school age kids, these programs teach self-sufficiency and basic life skills related to health.  read on

Free Thanksgiving Crafts for After Dinner Game Time

I've got admit--Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. Oh I love Christmas and maybe it's the anticipation of those winter holidays that's part of what I love. But Thanksgiving has a je ne ce quoi all it's own.

Why not celebrate this joyous time by making cut and paste Thanksgiving crafts? Use with seniors in nursing homes, in day care, in school, church groups and with kids at home. How about free printable holiday crafts? Print turkeys, pilgrims, harvest, pumpkins for Thanksgiving cut and paste crafts. Keep busy hands and minds active making decorations, coloring pages, place cards, Thanksgiving greeting cards and thank-you notes. Need a child-minder for game time? Bust out these crafts, plus some scissors glue and crayons. Then sit back and enjoy the Rose Bowl (or whatever that game is? I'm not a sports fan :) Here are Printable Thanksgiving Crafts

Free Printable Diwali Games, Hindu Games

Diwali is the Hindu new year "festival of lights." Diwali is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. Diwali honors the deities of Lakshmi (goddess of prosperity) and Ganesha, the elephant-headed goddess (shown left). For five days, prayers and meditation, called puja (or pooja) are said. Diwali 2012 will be observed on November 13-17 in the western calendar. In the Indian calendar, Diwali is celebrated in late Ashwin (September-October) and ends in early Kartika, around October-November. Diwali is a time of feasting and fun. Here printable games to enjoy during this most festive season. Free Printable Diwali Games, Hindu Activities 

Free Printable Thanksgiving Word Games

Thanksgiving reminds me of family and how richly blessed I am. I also remember past Thanksgiving celebrations homeschooling my kids and with students I've taught. From special needs, to Montessori, from preschool to adult education classrooms. I always connect curriculum to the current season or holiday. Around Thanksgiving, we study American history, exploration, settlement, world religions, native American cultures and early technology. At our holiday parties, we play seasonal themed games. In 26 years teaching, I've made loads of games, puzzles, word searches, crossword puzzles, matching games etc. I use these games to connect lessons and content. Word games and puzzles also make excellent non-traditional tests. Happily, the internet provides us with all the free printables we could want. Here are links for  Free Printable Thanksgiving Party Puzzles and Word Games

Free Printable Doctor Who Coloring Pages, Crafts, Games, Activities

BBC's sci-fi show "Doctor Who" celebrates its 50th birthday in 2013. My youngest daughter discovered Doctor Who in 2005 when she was seven. The then-current Time Lord was the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston. The current Eleventh Doctor is Matt Smith. If you love galaxy hopping in the TARDIS, and battling Cybermen and Daleks here are free printable Doctor Who coloring pages to extend your adventures. Play online Doctor Who games. Use these free printable activities for a Doctor Who-themed party! There are also free printable Doctor Who masks for Halloween--the Weeping Angels, the Doppelganger Twins, Silence, Silurians, Peg the Doll and other enemies of the Doctor. Free Printable Doctor Who Coloring Pages, Crafts, Online Games, Activities 

Free Printable Animal Classification Bingo Game Lesson Plans

When homeschooled our kids, I invented this game to teach animal classification. I'm always looking for hands-on, interactive ways to teach concepts. To explore animal taxonomy,  habitats and life science and biology, we played animal bingo. My children had an impressive collection of stuffed animals, toy animals and plastic animals (Webkinz, Neopets, Beanie Babies, plus assorted other). I put that collection to use to teach KPCOFGS (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Genus, Species). I used it in preschool to teach animal kingdoms (mammal, bird, insect, fish, reptile, amphibian). I used it for other science sorting games (nocturnal/diurnal, egg-laying/live birth, predator/prey). We learned about habitats, biomes, biodiversity, adapation, body covering and lots more neat science stuf. Here's how.  Homemade Animal Classification Bingo Game

Free Printable Native American Lesson Plans, Games

Here is lesson one in a unit on American natives. In this lesson, we will explore the culture of  the eastern woodland 'Indians' from the eastern seaboard region. We will look at cultural patterns, history, geography, peoples and tribal relations of this region. This unit is multisensory, cross-curricular and can be used and adapted with many ages and grades. This unit addresses history, geography, culture, core democratic values, math, art, literature, science, music, reading, writing and media skills. I've included web resources, books, music and materials you'll need. You'll find free printable native American activities, games, lesson plans.

Free Printable Apple Activities, Apple Games for Fall Preschool Lesson Plans

Apples are a popular theme for fall lesson plans, especially for preschool lessons. Looking for apple activities? Have I got a great sweet treat for you--a plethora of free printable apple-themed fun. This booklet includes apple math activities, science puzzles, social studies lessons and history extensions. There are printable creative writing prompts, word games and more. Free Printable Apple Activities for Fall Preschool Lesson Plans 

Free Printable Hunger Games Book, Movie Activities

It's an understatement to say that "The Hunger Games" book trilogy, by Suzanne Collins, has taken the world by storm. "The Hunger Games" movie blasted to top spot when it came out in March. The saga continues in "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" which don't stay long on book shelves. Planning to teach a unit on "The Hunger Games" books or movie? Why not incorporate these free printable activities and host a Hunger Games party or simulation. Here are free printable lesson plans and activities for several different content areas. As for age level, the movie is acceptable for most ages, but the books are a bit graphic. I recommend using "The Hunger Games" series with kids over 12. Read on Free Printable Hunger Games Lesson Plans

Last-Minute kids Party Games, Activities Ideas

You've been planning this birthday party for months. It's her fifth birthday. All her friends are coming and you've got a great outdoor theme. Games and decorations are set to go. Suddenly, those big old clouds in the sky let down with a torrential rainstorm. Nothing about rain in the forecast. You've got no back up plan. And twelve little girls are coming over in a half an hour. What do you do? Here's my no-fail last minute party planner to bail you out.

First, don't panic. Your little girl is already tense and nervous about her party. She's probably crying right now watching those balloons and streamers getting soaked. Dry her tears and tell you that this is perfect because now you can have your "super-dooper, extra especially cool party" that you had saved to surprise her. Call the neighbor or grandma and tell them to take the birthday princess out for an ice cream cone. Meanwhile, you call all hands on deck for an emergency party game planning marathon in overdrive. Here are 12 party games and activities the little party goers will love. Last-Minute Birthday Party Activity Ideas 

Best Free Online Spelling, Vocabulary Games to Boost Reading Skills

Looking for free online reading games and spelling activities? I'll share links, but you have to promise not to tell anyone about my secret. See, I have a confession to make--I love online word games. For all the articles I write warning parents and kids about the dangers of obsessive game playing, I should be the last one to fall prey to online gaming. But I admit there are advantages. Playing word games helps boost my visual tracking, perceptual acuity and typing skills (or so I tell myself). Mostly, I use them as a brain break from writing and research. For  great reading games (for kids and adults) click here Best Free Online Spelling, Vocabulary Games to Boost Reading Skills

Free Printable Winter Olympics Coloring Pages and Activities

The 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London, England. The Olympics is international, multicultural; studying the Olympics is an excellent lesson plan. Explore the Olympics with these free printable lesson plans.  There are activities, coloring pages and games based on the events, too. Read more at Free Printable Winter Olympics Coloring Pages and Activities

Free Printable Brave Games, Coloring Activities

Looking for a new Disney princess that's not quite as sugar-coated as the standard fare? Why not check out Merida from Disney's newest Pixar release "Brave?" Merida is definitely no Cinderella. She's more akin to Lady Macbeth (minus that nasty business of murder) that Sleeping Beauty. If you liked the movie "Brave," which premiered on June 10, 2012, you'll want these free printables, reading games and coloring pages and activities from the film.  Free Printable Brave Movie Games, Coloring Activities 

Free Printable Car Games, Activities, Puzzles

Are we there yet? This has to be the most oft-asked question from kids on car trips or vacations. When these questions start, it can make for a very long, tedious ride. That's why smart parents plan ahead in order to circumvent the complaints on car trips. Games make good boredom-busters and whining-stoppers. Here are free printable car games to stave off ennui and keep kids happily occupied on road trips. Free Printable Car Games, Activities, Puzzles

How Facebook dulls kids' communication skills

Kids and computers--this can be a really unhealthy combination, especially with social networks. Setting aside the cyberbullying and vulnerability concerns (and those are bad enough), excessive social interaction desensitizes children and adolescents. It dulls their face-to-face communication. It impinges on their ability to form real-life relationships.

I know, it's fun. I enjoy Facebook too. But digital interaction is a thing which should be enjoyed only in small quantities. It should never replace real-time social interaction. Virtual interaction is fraught with pitfalls (trumped up drama, stalking, emotional blackmail, to name a few). I don't say these things don't happen face-to-face, but they're easier to spot and avoid. Call me reactionary or out-of-touch, excessive Facebook is a dangerous and unhealthy. Read about more at  How Facebook dulls kids' communication skills

Free Printable Business Lessons, Marketing Games from The Apprentice

Multibillionaire Donald Trump has worn different hats. Most recently, as host of his NBC reality RPG/ survivor TV show, The Apprentice, Trump wears an unlikely hat as educator. Marketing, business and economics instructors show NBC's The Apprentice in class. In an elimination style competition with tasks set for them, participants compete to earn the title of apprentice to Donald Trump. On The Apprentice, Trump takes contestants one by one into 'the board room' to rake over, ream out and occasionally applaud their performance on marketing tasks. Despite Trump's lurid pumpkin-orange comb-over, Apprentice contestants hang on his every word, gambling on a chance to make a splash in business. Read more at  Donald Trump's 'The Apprentice' in Business Marketing Classroom with Free Lesson Plans

Free Printable Rango Coloring Pages and Desert Craft Activities

Rango is the pseudonym of Lars, a pet chameleon who gets lost in the Mojave Desert. "Rango" is also the name of a movie featuring the rambunctious lizard. From timid critter to terror of the west, Rango finds himself drawn into the problems of a thirsty townsfolk of Dirt. If you like the movie "Rango" here are free printable crafts and coloring pages from the film. I've also included links for desert habitat crafts, dioramas and lessons. Read more at Free Printable Rango Coloring Pages and Desert Craft Activities 

Free Printable American Girl Activities, Crafts, Games, Lessons

I just discovered a plethora of free printable American Girl activities, coloring, crafts, skits, literature-based lessons, writing prompts, games, puzzles and lesson plans. The Pleasant Company's American Girl characters each represent a different part of the country, time period and ethnic background. American Girl Publishing has created these free printables for the historical characters in their book series. Activities are added as new character is created.  Free Printable American Girl Activities, Crafts, Games, Lessons 

Free Printable Palm Sunday Crafts, Coloring, Activities

Palm Sunday, in the Christian faith, celebrates the Biblical triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem one week before His crucifixion. It begins Holy Week and the countdown to Easter. Palm Sunday is a floating holiday; linked as it is to Lent and Easter which fall at a different time each year. Here are crafts, coloring and activities for parents to use with children. Use as lessons in homeschool, Christian school, Sunday school or Catholic religious education. These printables provide inexpensive, hands-on ways to explore and celebrate the Palm Sunday. Read more at Free Printable Palm Sunday Crafts, Coloring, Activities 

Free Printable Jewish Passover games, activities for kids

Passover, or Pesach, is a seven-day Jewish holiday observance. It generally falls in April in the western calendar. In 2012, Passover will be celebrated beginning at sundown Saturday, April 6 and lasting through Friday, April 14. On the Hebrew lunisolar calendar (which is based on both moon phases and solar cycles), Passover is celebrated on Nissan 15-22. Here are resources for Jewish kids and parents to explore and celebrate Passover more fully. These activities and games can help non-Jewish families understand and experience Hebrew traditions, too. Read more at Jewish Passover lessons and activities for families

Facebook 'Gardens of Time' Best 2011 Social Network Game--I'll Second That!

Facebook launched a new game last year called "Gardens of Time" and recently, it won "Best 2011 Social Network Game from Game Developers Choice Online Awards. As a former eschewer of online gaming, it's with some chagrin that I admit to being one of the first Gardens of Time players and addicts. Read more at Facebook 'Gardens of Time' Best 2011 Social Network Game--I'll Second That!

Free Printable Lenten Games, Puzzles, Lessons and Activities

Lent begins each year with the Imposition of the Ashes on Ash Wednesday, which in the western calendar for 2012 will begin on February 22. Lent begins a 40 day journey of fasting, acts of mercy and spiritual pilgrimage. We try to live, in our poor humble human way, in solidarity with Our Lord as he fasted in the desert for 40 days and made his final pilgrimage to Jerusalem. A Roman cross, torture and crucifixion awaited Him. But so did the glory of Easter, the Resurrection. Lent is a season for intense and deep personal and spiritual reflection. Here are games, puzzles and lessons to help kids focus on Lent. Read more at Free Printable Lenten Lessons, Games, Activities

Free Printable Valentine Learning Games for Preschool

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, my email box is full of nifty craft, treat and card ideas to celebrate. Alas, many are also costly. As a penny-pinching teacher and homeschool mom of four, I don't spend big. Here are free printable preschool valentine crafts, lesson plans, learning activities and games, for my fellow fru-gals and guys. Letter games, counting, sequencing, puzzles and other goodies. Read more at Free Printable Valentine Crafts, Lessons for Preschoolers

Free Printable Valentines Day Cards, Coloring Pages, Crafts, Games and Puzzles

Valentines Day is a great time for making crafts and greeting cards. The Internet is gold mine for free printable crafts for Valentine's Day. You can print greeting cards, coloring pages, craft projects, cut and paste, games and puzzles for all ages. Perfect for homeschoolers, classroom activities, preschool, after school programs, day care facilities, Sunday School and scout troops. Remember our disabled, homebound and senior citizen friends this Valentine's Day. Senior care facility directors will be delighted if you call ahead and schedule a time to bring some craft projects for the seniors to enjoy. Free Printable Valentines Day Games and Puzzles

Free Printable File Folder Games

Free Printable File Folder Games for All Grades File folder games are a teacher's best friend in classroom resources. If you teach special needs students or like to use hands-on, interactive resources, make some file folder games. Here are free printable math games that can be easily made into file folder games. You can print these games and glue the game board to a file folder. Cut out the pieces and laminate game board and pieces. Place game pieces in a Ziploc bag and attach bag to game file folder. The websites listed have free printable file folder games for number recognition, counting, skip counting, money math, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, math facts, fractions, decimals, story problems and other math concepts. Read on...

Free Printable Super Bowl Coloring Pages, Football Crafts

Free Printable Super Bowl and Football Coloring Pages Guys, picture this: Super Bowl XLVI Sunday rolls around and you have invited a house full of friends. The food is ready and the remote at hand. One problem: your wife decides to leave the children with you and go shopping. Argh! How to keep the little ones quiet so you can enjoy the game? Never fear, Aunt Mar is here with a Dad's DIY Kid-Minder Guide. Here are free printable Super Bowl coloring pages, games, word puzzles and crafts, to entertain the kiddies. All you need to bring is the crayons and printer. If your kids love the Super Bowl like you but can't last for the whole shebang, these free printable activities will keep them out of mischief when they get restless. You might even use these with your friends if the half-time activities get boring or the commercials are dumb (who wants to look at the Old Spice guy for hours, anyway?) Read on...

Need Adobe Shockwave Player?

Need Adobe Shockwave Player?
Click here

Need Adobe Flash Player?

Need Adobe Flash Player?
Click here

Follow by Email

Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Total Pageviews

The Free Games Lady

My photo

Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.