Felt ABC Mat

Just this once, I'm skipping my weekly Wednesday's Wowzers.  Consider yesterday's roundup of gratitude projects my wowzers!  Instead, I wanted to share the ABC mat I shared at Brown Paper Packages a few months back.

Alright, my friends.

As far as I'm concerned, this is go-time for Christmas.  This year, my husband and I are saving up to buy our very own home!  So I am attempting to create a more meaningful, handmade Christmas this year.  I am hoping that I can whip up some fun handmade gifts for Little Man and Mr. Oopsey Daisy (although I must say that the hubs is much more difficult to create gifts for!)

A while back, I created this ABC mat to help Little Man practice his ABC's.

Even though I created this months ago, wouldn't this make a fun handmade gift?

We are enjoying our ABC mat so much!

In fact, Little Man begs to get it out each and every day.  We play all kinds of games so that he can stretch, run, hop, and jump all over the alphabet!  (Think hopscotch mat for ABC's!)

I whipped up this ABC mat in one afternoon.  Want to make your very own?

Let's get started!

Last year, I made a quiet book, and I still have plenty of felt to go around!  So I picked out some of my favorite colors to highlight each letter.

I wanted the mat to be bright and colorful.

 

I purchased 2 yards of turquoise felt on sale at JoAnn's.  I cut out a large rectangle that was approximately 43" x 73".

This would be the main base of the mat.

 

To cut out the circles, I traced several tupperware lids that were all different sizes.  I used disappearing ink to trace them.  I wanted a variety of colors and sizes to make it interesting.

 

Here is my stack of 26 circles (one for each letter of the alphabet), ready to go!

I wanted to space out all of the circles in an interesting way, so I pinned them roughly where I wanted them before sewing.  I was also careful not to pin them too close to the edge so I could add a border later on.

Then I got to work sewing all those circles on!  It became a little cumbersome to sew circles in the middle of a lot of fabric.  I was careful not to let the felt bunch up as I was sewing along!

I love polk-a-dots!  So I hot glued this polk-a-dot ribbon as a border all the way around the entire mat.

 

Now for the letters!!

I cut the letters out of fabric using my Cricut.  To make the cutting process easier, I had already ironed on Heat 'N Bond and peeled away the paper layer.

 

Then I ironed each letter on a circle.  Because I had already ironed on the Heat 'N Bond, they ironed on very easily.  I was sure to spend plenty of time ironing the letters on.  I wanted these to stand the test of time!

I really love that I didn't have to sew these on.  They have held up just beautifully!

And that's it!  Fold it up, roll it up like a sleeping bag, and you can store it away and pull it out for special occasions.

Here are a few ways that we have used our ABC mat:

* Ask your child to find a letter and perform an action.  (Hop on the letter "J")

* Ask your child to put a different body part on a specific letter.  This ends up looking a lot like Twister! (Put your nose on the letter "N")

* Play a "Simon Says" game.  (Simon says to hop to the letter "B")

* Play music and let your child hop from letter to letter to the music.  Stop the music and ask child to identify what letter he/she is standing on.

* For more advanced children, hop from letter to letter to spell out entire words.

Little Man loved playing, and putting his hand/foot/nose, etc. on different letters!  Here he is with his ear on the Letter J!

TIP:  If you prefer a no-sew version of this project, no problem!  I used a shower curtain liner as a teacher.  I drew the letters and circles on the mat with a sharpie.  The children in my class could slip off their shoes and spell out their spelling words on this spelling "mat."  It was one of their favorite activities.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like my felt car mat.

What are you up to this week?

Gospel ABC Scrapbook

I am not a scrapbooker.  
Let's just get that out of the way right now.  I have no idea what I'm doing, and I made this scrapbook with ZERO scrapbooking supplies.  

But I created this book 2 years ago because I felt strongly about the idea.  So let's just ignore the skills and focus on the idea of this book.  Long before I had Photoshop and created this printable Sunday ABC's book, I created this "Gospel ABC's" book in scrapbook style.  I wanted to capture as many gospel principles as I could inside one book, and I think that the ABC's would be a fun way to organize it! I also plan to incorporate this into Family Home Evenings, too, once Little Man is older!
For each letter of the alphabet...
* I chose 1 corresponding gospel principle.
* I selected a scripture and quote to highlight that principle.
* I used pictures from Sugardoodle (my favorite!) to illustrate the principle.
I compiled the pages in a simple scrapbook. 
I used some chipboard letters, adhered to scrapbook paper, and a bit of vinyl (for the "Gospel" word) to make the cover on the title.
I know these pages may not look like much, but this was a tremendous labor of love!  We were living in our third floor apartment, and our printer sat in a detached garage.  Every day, I would print out my elements, and run down to the garage when Little Man was asleep and print them, little by little.  This was one of those projects that just felt AMAZING to finally finish!
If you would like to see all of the pages, you can see my slideshow below.  I don't know how I missed the letter "O" page ("O" is for oopsey daisy! Ha!), but I'll have to add that in later! Click on the arrow picture in the corner to have a full view of the pages.
PS  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and it is an integral part of who I am!  I know that we all share many, many different religious beliefs.  This project is meant to show you one way that I like to teach my Little Man about our faith.   

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom File Folder Game

I should have declared this week "Ideas for Kids Week."  As I scroll through this week's posts, I am realizing that I featured tons of ideas for kids!!  But with summer in full swing and our pursuit of keeping our kids happily entertained, I think that's appropriate.  But just to keep myself balanced, I have several decor crafts prepared for next week.


I am slightly enraptured with file folder games.  I had oodles of them as a teacher.  And I am proud to say that I just finished Little Man's first file folder game.  I can hardly wait for him to wake up and see it!  I am also excited to share it with you today!  

One of my favorite books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. I think that this a fun way to introduce the ABC's. This book was my inspiration!  Portrayed by my all-time favorite DJ Inker'sclip art, I created this little beauty:


The goal of this file folder game is simply exposure to the ABC's.  Using velcro, the coconuts can be affixed to the coconut tree.  They can be pulled on and off and creep their way to the top of the coconut tree!  And chicka chicka boom boom--those letters can come off, too!

I created a beach scene with the iconic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom coconut tree that I downloaded at DJ Inker's.  I made one for each side of the folder to hold all 26 letters of the alphabet!  I can't stop singing "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts..." when I look at these happy little ABC coconuts!  

See why I needed TWO coconut trees to fit all 26 letters??

Aren't those coconuts so happy and fun?!


For easy storage, all of the coconuts can be stashed in a ziplock bag and adhered (also with velcro!) to the back of the file folder game. If you laminate everything, this little goody will last you a lifetime! 





And yes, I am willing to share!  To assemble your very own file folder game...
* Download the ABC coconuts, available here.  I printed my coconuts on cardstock to give them a bit more stability.  But that's up to you!
* Download the palm tree page here.  Print two--one for each side of the folder and paste the entire pages on.  Thanks for the beautiful clips and fonts, DJ Inker's!  Clip art designs &/or fonts copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers.  
* With the folder opened up, laminate the folder and the coconut page for extra durability.  (If you live near a Lakeshore Learning Center, they offer cheap laminating!)
* Cut out the coconuts.
* Adhere velcro on the backs of the coconuts.  I like to use the heavy-duty velcro because it adheres easily and won't come off!  Trust me.  Adhere coordinating velcro onto the coconut trees.  You will need 13 velcro spots on each tree.
* Adhere velcro to a ziplock bag.  Place coconuts inside and adhere coordinating velcro to back of file folder.
* Enjoy!

This little coconut tree is just waiting to be filled up with more letters! :)

Printable Gospel ABC Book



Do you remember this post where I shared my Sunday ABC's Book?  Well, Little Man is loving it!!  And so am I!  I am enjoying a bit (and every bit counts!) more peace on Sundays than usual. 


I have received e-mails from several of you who have been interested in downloading all of the pictures and title pages for the entire book.  Hey, I don't blame you!  It takes a while to download all those pictures, save them, etc.  This is why I offer downloads... no need to reinvent the wheel, right?!  Here is a quick reminder of what some of the pages look like:

So I have uploaded a PDF version of MY Sunday ABC book that you will be able to download!  Happy day!!  But there are some important details that you will need to know, so be sure to read on:
* You will need a 52-page (or more) 4 x 6 photo album for this book.  
* Each picture is formatted to be 4 x 6.  
* I combined my "U" and "V" pages so that the title and picture fit on the page.  You will see what I mean.  To have a title page, I had to combine a few pages!
* You will need your own pictures for the some letters.  Trust me, you don't want pictures of MY family in there!!  Here are the pics you will need:

I - I Am a Child of God - Picture of your own little man or little lady.
G - Grandparents - Picture of both sets of grandparents.
F - Family - Picture of your family.



As far as producing your book, you have two choices:
1.  If you just want to print this out on paper, just download and print.  Easy, breezy!  
2.  If you are looking to print this out as pictures like I did, here is the dealio.  The only way I know how to do this is...Open up the PDF file in Photoshop, and save them as .jpg files.  Then you can upload them to print at Costco or wherever you do your photo printing!  Or maybe you know someone more tech-savvy who has a better solution!


You can download the 48-page PDF file here  or here.  Have a fabulous weekend, my friends!!


**For this project, the fonts are copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers.**

Sunday ABC Book

Happy Friday, my friends!!
I am so ready for the weekend! And how about some warm weather?! We had snow in Colorado this week. Blah! The Little Man and I are pretty stir crazy right about now, and I think the hubs would appreciate us staying out of the stores.

Sundays are a real problem for us. Still. It's just so hard for Little Man to sit and be quiet. I am counting down the days until he starts nursery! I really wish my quiet book wasn't taking so long!! But he loves books. That's a good thing. Lately, I have been putting together little photo books of things he loves. For example, I downloaded tons of pictures of puppy dogs, and had them printed to make his own little "puppy dog" book. He loves it!

Then I had a light bulb moment--I should make a Sunday ABC book. I love all things ABC--must be the teacher in me. I had to search for a little brag book photo album that would hold 52 photos (2 for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet). I finally found this album at Target.
On each page, I created an image in Photoshop that said "E is for..." Each letter had a different color background. I wanted this to be very colorful! Then I downloaded clip art from Sugardoodle to illustrate each letter of the alphabet. I had all of these pictures printed and inserted them into the book!
Here are a few more examples of some of the pages:

You can download my full list of ideas for every letter here. Some of those letters like "X" and "U" got a little tricky... so you can see what I did if that helps.


This was a quick and easy project, and I think Little Man will like this! And I am going to be sure to keep it as a Sunday-only item so it seems extra special! I will let you know how it goes!!

PS This is the last day to enter the CSN Stores giveaway! A winner will be drawn tonight!!

ABC Marble Magnets

I think I have a magnet obsession. It goes back to my teaching days when I applied magnetic tape to just about everything so it would display nicely on my magnetic white board.  Magical stuff.  I also have a passion for all things "ABC"... so this little project was a perfect blend of both.   I am having too much fun leaving love notes on my refrigerator!
I think we've all seen the magnets you make with clear marbles such as these:

I have several sets that I made using cute scrapbook paper, and love them  But it's just so stinkin' fun to create messages!  So I found these cute stickers:

So I just used colored paper, punched a bunch of circles, and applied stickers like crazy.  The most important thing is finding glue that dries clear.  Don't use too much or it will show when it dries... just a dab will do!  I used a paint brush to help ensure a smooth finish.  Then I attached my handy-dandy magnet tape to the back of each marble.

What fun, bright, happy letters.  Wouldn't these be fun to help teaching your kiddos the ABC's??  I am imagining my son's little fingers sliding these around on a magnetic cookie sheet.  


Here's a message for you--dear readers!

Another fun set of magnets.  For now.  I love switching things up!

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