Free Printable Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Advent Word Games, Puzzles

December 8 is Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic Church. The Immaculate Conception is one of six recognized Holy Days in the liturgical calendar. Here are free printable activities and lessons to celebrate this feast day. Use these word games and puzzles to explore the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother. Free Printable 'Feast of the Immaculate Conception' Activities: Lessons and Crafts

Free Printable Jesse Tree Ornaments

'A root shall spring up from the stump of Jesse's lineage'. This Bible passage foretells the birth of the Messiah. During Advent, symbols are hung on the Jesse Tree to represent the story of Jesus. For free printable Jesse Tree devotional activities, I've listed internet links. Advent is the season of preparation for Christmas in the Church liturgical year. Catholics and many protestants observe and celebrate Advent in churches and homes, using the Advent Wreath and candles, an Advent Calendar and also the Jesse Tree.  Free Printable Jesse Tree Coloring, Ornaments and Activities

Packing Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box

I put together my Operation Christmas Child shoebox for Samaritan's Purse. Since 1993, these gift boxes have been shipped around the world to kids in need. We've been participating for about that long.
I was going to build a box online. It costs $30 and that includes a $7 handling fee (you have to pay that anyway). Normally I drop it off to our church but they're not participating nor is any in our city. I found one about 20 miles away which will cost gas money. But I'm going to Muskegon to take daughter to lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant (celebrating her doing so well in her AP history and advanced American literature and algebra II). Boxes are due 11/25 and you send one online. Read on Packing Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

Free Printable Thanksgiving Activity Booklet, Games, Puzzles

Thanksgiving Day in the US will soon be upon us. The point of Thanksgiving isn't just eating. It's about gratitude for our blessings. Here are free printable activities for kids to celebrate and express thanks. Games, puzzles, coloring pages, crafts.  Free Printable Thanksgiving Activity Book with Gratitude

Free Printable Secret Codes for Spy Games, Decoder Rings

Secret decoder rings are enjoying a new vogue. For years, spy stuff was a staple of childhood culture. Image is a vintage Captain Midnight spy decoder ring from the golden age.

Then it fell off to only a fringe following. Now online games are starting to feature secret codes and text-based activities. Adults are getting in on the the secret code fun. I've seen decoder marriage rings. It's Doctor Who and James Bond gone steampunk, oh frabjuous day! So here are free printable secret code patterns, spy kits, code games and activities. There's even a complete Backyardigans spy kit to print free. Secret Codes to Print for Decoder Rings

Apple-Themed Games and Hands-On Activities

Apples are the perfect theme for fall lessons. They fit with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Here are educational apple games in science, art, creative writing, math, social studies, practical life. I've added free printable apple-themed lesson plans and worksheets for activity extenders.  Preschool Apple Unit, Cross-Curricular Hands-on Crafts, Activities, Recipe

Free Printable Halloween Games, Toys for Trick or Treat

Okay, let's admit it parents and teachers, as Halloween approaches, kids are distracted. So how about mixing Halloween with games and calling it learning! Here's how. Print free Halloween games and crafts. Cut, paste, assemble and color for lesson plans, party fun or boredom busters. After work is done use as incentives. Or nix book work and play all day! Here's one of the neat-o-licious crafts Doctor Skelly's Magic X-Ray Machine. Read on for links to get it. Free Printable Halloween Crafts, Cards, Games, Toys

Free Halloween Pumpkin Carving Patterns to Print

Carving the traditional Halloween jack-o-lantern is a time-honored rite of trick-or-treat. I learned recently that in the UK, they use pumpkins for Thanksgiving. Want cool pumpkin carving stencils for your jack-o-lantern? Here are free printable pumpkin stencils. Hershey's, the candy people, pages of free printable Halloween coloring pages, and one webpage devoted to free printable pumpkin carving stencils. Pumpkin carving patterns include bats, cats, ghosts, witches, a bubbling cauldron, a spider, zombies, a haunted house, a mummy, a pirate Jolly Roger, fall leaves, Happy Halloween logos and more. Some sites have religious pumpkin carving templates. Free Printable Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Trick-or-Treat

Dress up Fun From Your Recycle Bin

Got rainy-day, can't go out to play bored kids? If you need a fun fix fast, I'm your go-to gal. My ideas cheap, easy and parent-friendly. Your recycle bin is your best ally. Today's boredom first-aid: homemade hats. With Halloween approaching, why not start those costumes? Use for school projects, too.  Rainy Day Recycle Bin Crafts for Kids--Homemade Hats 

Free Educational Games, Websites, Printables for Children

 Last week, the American Library Association observed Banned Books Week. Not celebrated--the ALA recognizes the impact to the reading public when books are challenged. And it hopes to educate people on the essence of allowing all books to have a place on the shelf.

The ALA is a celebrating a milestone in children's literature too. It's the 75th anniversary of the prestigious Caldecott Award for best illustrations in kids' lit. And the ALA in its Association for Library Service to Children, has compiled a comprehensive collection of educational websites for kids. Games, crafts, reference, coloring, puzzles and more.  Free Educational Websites, Printable Learning Games For Kids

Best Childrens Charities for Holiday Toy Drives Operation Christmas Child

Back to School sales are a great time to stock up on stocking stuffers for Christmas. They're a great place to find cheap gifts for holiday toy donations. Looking for a good children's charity to give to this holiday season? Try Operation Christmas Child from Samaritans Purse. This group collects Christmas shoeboxes with gifts for needy kids around the world. To participate, fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, articles of clothing, personal care products, candy, books. The website lists suggestions and what to avoid (breakables, liquids, war toys). Print a shipping label from website and indicate age and gender the box is for. Include $7 donation for shipping (a pretty fair deal considering weight and goods shipped). Boxes are due Nov. 18-25 and drop-off locations listed on the website.  This makes a great lesson in building empathy. I forgot to add that little portable car games make great box stuffers. Best Childrens Charities for Holiday Toy Drives Operation Christmas Child

Organize, Host Your Own Events, Festivals, Games

We've been married 26 years and raised four kids. From first-hand experience, I can say, the disconnected family falls apart, but the family does things together stays together. I've been writing a daily relationship glue recipe and Family glue recipe with bonding activities for all ages.

A favorite is hosting my own events and festivals. I got the idea from the old Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Carnival. You could buy a kit and host your own backyard carnival. I never did but wanted to as a kid, so I reprised it as an adult.   Family Glue Recipes: Organize, Host Your Own Events, Festivals

Throw a back-to-school bash with games, crafts for kids

Labor Day is a bittersweet holiday. It's a time of summer endings and fall beginnings. Why not start the school year off on a fun note with a back-to-school party? Here's an easy and cheap kids' party plan for students in preschool to middle elementary.

* Choose a positive theme. This gets kids excited about school. Make it a shoe theme with the slogan "We're putting our best foot forward." Or do a football theme--"Kicking off a great year." Get your creative groove going and involve kids. Here's more on crafts, food, activities and games. Perfect for home-school and public school and parochial school kids! Throw a back-to-school bash for your kids

Cheap Summer Family Fun: DIY Slip and Slide

Having raised four kids in a single-wide mobile home, I know about living simply. I redefine frugalista, tightwad mama. Are you in need of cheap summer family fun? Here's an idea that kids of all ages can enjoy: DIY Slip and Slide. It's made from recycled stuff, too! Very green. You get double bang from this toy--it's a bathtub, too. So when kids are done playing, no need fight the battle of the bath! Here's how:  Cheap Summer Family Fun: DIY Slip and Slide

Free Summer Reading Activities, Book Crafts, Literature Games

Summertime and da livin' is easy! Kids rejoice when released from school for vacation. But what about learning lags from too much time away from books? Here are reading activities and book-based crafts and literature response lessons. Use these games and activities for back-to-school kickoff events, too! Free Reading Activities, Book Crafts, Literature Games

Hands-On Homemade Reading Crafts, Book Activities, Literature Games

Homeschoolers, need cheap, homemade language arts lesson plans? Special needs teachers, want interactive reading games? Here are hands-on reading activities for preschool to high school. Use cheap, recycled materials. Lessons are based on HOTS (Higher-Order Thinking Skills): analysis, application, synthesis and evaluation. Games, interactive lessons, multisensory activities--perfect for ages preschool through high school with modifications. Hands-On Homemade Reading Crafts, Book Activities, Literature Games

Homemade Reading Crafts, Book Activities, Literature Games

Homeschoolers, need cheap, homemade language arts lesson plans? Special needs teachers, want interactive reading games? Here are hands-on reading activities for preschool to high school. Use cheap, recycled materials. Lessons are based on HOTS (Higher-Order Thinking Skills): analysis, application, synthesis and evaluation.
Hands-On Homemade Reading Crafts, Book Activities, Literature Games

Reading Language Arts Games Using Cartoons and Graphic Novels

Years ago, I made a file folder game that has traveled with me to elementary, middle school, special education, adult education and homeschool classrooms. This language arts- reading game uses cartoons, comic strips and graphic novels. I call this game Cartoon Cut-Ups.  Laminate colored comics from Sunday newspaper cartoon section, then cut comic strip into individual frames (usually six to eight).  Write cartoon name number order on the back of each piece in permanent marker. Place frame pieces in envelope (label envelope with name). The object of the game is to reassemble the mixed-up cartoon frames back in their original order so that the cartoon makes sense. Graphic novels work well also, but generally have more frames. Assembling a graphic novel cartoon will be more challenging. Here's more on this game. Reading Language Arts Games Using Cartoons and Graphic Novels

Free Printable Father's Day Greeting Cards and Craft Activities

When Father's Day rolls around, it's sometimes hard to know what to get dad. Children may find themselves with little cash to buy something. Here are free printable Father's Day crafts and greeting cards that you can make at home. Dad will love your creativity and thoughtfulness. Sprout is a children's website based on the hit television shows from PBS. There are free printable Father's Day cards from Chica, Caillou and Fireman Sam. There are free printable sports, music and fishing Father's Day cards, too. Just click the "Card Creator" link to design your own personalized Father's Day message.   Free Printable Father's Day Greeting Cards and Craft Activities

Cheap Homemade Memorial Day Party Fun for Toddler to Grandparent

 Holiday party planning is easy when dealing with one age group. Planning for young and old is more challenging. Easily-bored kids want to romp while grandparents want to sit (quietly!) and visit. Here's a patriotic Memorial Day party--crafts, food, parade, activities--everyone from toddlers to seniors, yes even parents, will love!Cheap Homemade Memorial Day Party Fun for Toddler to Grandparent

Free Printable Memorial Day Worksheets, Crafts, Games

Memorial Day, celebrated the last Monday in May, isn't just the first summer holiday. As Remembrance Day, we honor veterans and those lost in U.S. wars. It's also Decoration Day, when we commemorate loved ones lost by putting flowers on graves. Teachers and homeschool parents, here are free printable lesson plans, worksheets, crafts and games to teach kids about this national holiday. Great for patriotic holiday parties, too.  Free Printable Memorial Day Worksheets, Crafts, Games

Free Printable Eric Carle Activities from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle, beloved childrens' illustrator and author, frequently characterizes insects and animals. His first and most famous kids' book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is a preschool standard. Here are free printable cut and paste crafts, games, activities, lessons, puzzles and coloring pages from Eric Carle's book. In the story, a little caterpillar eats his way through different foods each day of the week. It teaches preschool and kindergarten concepts of metamorphosis  caterpillars to butterflies, patterns, life science, math, sequencing and days of the week in colorful illustration and interactive, 3D pages. Free Printable Eric Carle Activities from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Free Mother's Day Crafts, Activities to Print

Mother's Day is just around the corner and children are thinking about what to give mom. Kids, do you find yourself short of cash this Mother's Day? No worries; if you have a computer with a printer, you've got it made. Here are a bunch of free printable Mother's Day crafts and cards. I'll link you to websites with free printable greeting cards that you can color, 3-D crafts, paper crafts, games, decorations and goodies. Some are cut and paste and may require some help and simple supplies, scissors, glue. Others only need to be folded and colored.  Free Mother's Day Crafts for Kids to Print

Free Printable Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Activities

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a whimsical kids' story from husband and wife duo Judi and Ron Barrett, 1982. It's a modern tall tale, set in the town of ChewandSwallow. In this idyllic city, the weather brings all the food residents need. Instead of rain and snow, pie, hotdogs, spaghetti and fried eggs shower townspeople with meals (appropriate to lunch, dinner, etc.) It's a great thing, until the weather turns stormy. The food turns weird and morphs to sci-fi portions. The school is covered with a giant pancake. Homes are ruined by over-sized pickles. Businesses closed due to snowdrifts of cream cheese and jelly sandwiches. Happily, cartoonists and filmmakers have elected to create a feature length cartoon based on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The story has been added and developed to fill a movie. I'm pleased to note that Ron Barrett's original illustrations have been faithfully used in the cartoon. It's classic tall tale with a gentle moral: don't take a good thing for granted. Here are free printable crafts, coloring pages, worksheets, puzzles and lesson plans from the book and movie  Read more

Free Printable Preschool Story Starters, Picture Cue Writing Prompts, Word Games

March 21 is World Poetry Day and April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. Teachers, why not celebrate in school by hosting creative writer workshops with students? Parents, you can do with kids at home or make activities part of a homeschool lessons. Here are free printable preschool story starters and picture cue writing prompts to get the ideas flowing. Read more

Free Printable Preschool Board Games, Learning Activities

As a certified special needs teacher for CI (cognitively impaired) students, I always write interactive lesson plans. Hands-on activities, like games, make content relevant, approachable and understandable for both general and special education students. Preschool kids particularly need multisensory learning activities. Happily, there are many free printable preschool games available online. Free Printable Preschool Board Games, Learning Activities

Free Educational Board Games to Print

I've got a thing about making learning fun. My heart goes out to kids when homework is boring and worksheets rote and repetitive. It's become my magnum opus to find or make activities that students will learn from and enjoy. I guarantee, that when concepts are made interesting and lessons interactive and hands-on, teachers have fewer discipline problems. I began teaching in 1985 and homeschooling in 1995. We didn't have the wealth of materials available online. Oh ye of the internet generation, take advantage of those resources. Here are links for free printable games to teach just about any content imaginable, from alphabet to zoology! These games are suited to preschool, kindergarten, early elementary and special education. My CI students adored bingo, matching, and file folder games like these! Get double fun making craft-games. Print and let kids cut, color, paste and assemble. Two lessons in one! To get them, click  Free Printable Preschool Board Games, Learning Activities

Free Printable Oceanography, Sea Creatures Worksheets

Animal habitats and earth biomes are popular subjects in school curriculum. Depending on your school's science program, kids will study different habitats in various grades of their school career. In high school, wildlife biology classes look in-depth at earth biomes. Oceans are a favorite biome with kids. If you're studying oceanography or marine biology in school, here are free printable lesson plans and science worksheets. Homeschool parents, you can use these too. Free Printable Oceanography, Sea Creatures Worksheets 

Free Printable Dinosaurs Worksheets, Crafts, Games

Dinosaur science is a common preschool and elementary school theme. Young kids will love this free printable dinosaur coloring book. It's reprinted from the American Museum of Natural History. Kids can color dinosaur skeletons of Velociraptor, Protoceratops, Redondasaurus, Seismosaurus, Oviraptor and Tarbosaurus. These dinos are less well-known in this animal kingdom and fewer image are available.  Free Printable Dinosaurs Alive Lesson Plans, Coloring Pages

Free Printable Valentine Party Games, Puzzles Crafts

Hosting a Valentine's Day party? Why not print free crafts and games from your computer? The Internet is a veritable candy heart mine for free Valentine (heck, any holiday) printables! You can print greeting cards, coloring pages, craft projects, cut and paste tosy, 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. Spread the joy! I'm using these for a bridal shower I'm hosting! Free Printable Valentine's Day Cards, Coloring Pages, Crafts, Games and Puzzles

Activities for Bored, Snowbound Kids: Winter Games Festival

As a Michigan mom of four and former homeschooler, I know firsthand how winter doldrums affect kids. We kept our children busy outdoors as much as possible. But there were still periods when it was too cold or unsafe to play outside. Cooped up kids get cranky and quarrelsome. Here are winter fun activities to warm their spirits. Host a winter fest. Bundle kids up warm and try these fun games. When the games are over, warm everyone up with hot cocoa and let them color free printable coloring pages found on this blog. Activities for Bored, Snowbound Kids: Winter Games Festival

Free Printable Valentine Crafts, Lessons for Preschoolers

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 games, for my fellow fru-gals and guys. Lots of cute printables preschool kids will love. Free Preschool Valentine Printables

Free Printable Robotics, Physics Activities

Robotics and technology are popular themes in elementary and middle school science classes. Some schools have a robotics lab where kids can create inventions. It's part of their enrichment classes. If your school doesn't have that or if you're homeschooling, here are free printable robotics games, simulations, experiments, inventions, lessons plans. Most activities show kids how to design inventions using only basic household materials.  Free Robotics Activities

Free Printable Rainbow Magic Fairy Crafts, Games

"Rainbow Magic" is a series of books from the UK, about fairies, created by a collection of authors writing under the pseudonym "Daisy Meadows." Rainbow Magic is illustrated by Georgie Ripper. There are several dozens stories. Here are free printable fairy crafts from Rainbow Magic. Rainbow Fairies Crafts, Printables

Free Printable Star Charts, Constellation Maps for Astronomy, Earth Science

Astronomy is one of the most fascinating sciences to share with kids. Stars are only visible at night, but kids can enjoy star-gazing each night mostly anywhere and it costs nothing. Looking for free printable star charts and constellation patterns to teach kids about space science? Here's a galaxy of printables that are free for educators, homeschoolers and families to use.  Throw a star-gazing party! Use for family game night! Great for long winter evenings. Lots of interactive fun for kids. Read more

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The Free Games Lady

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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.