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Updated: Feb 10, 2020

Homemade headbands games are GREAT for vocabulary, phonological awareness, and comprehension! Students (or teachers/speech language pathologists/families) can give clues about rhyming words, sounds, descriptions to make inferences, define the words, or tell synonyms/antonyms. Honestly, the sky is the limit.


I made this headbands game for my younger son's Valentine's party at school, but since it's also an engaging way to practice a variety of literacy skills, I think it is appropriate to do at home or school any day this week!


Click the link below to download the word cards I created to use for the Valentine's Headhands Game. You can also have kids create their own!

Valentine's Word Card Set 1

Valentine's Word Card Set 2


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If those three words don't make you curious (and smile a little bit) you are in the wrong place. In this blog I'm sharing a modified wonder workshop from Inspiring Innovation. TOGETHER you and your little (or not-so-little) will learn about the amazing twice-exceptional innovator, Temple Grandin, and then explore aeronautical engineering! I know, I know, it sounds like a really big word for a little, but I promise give this one a try and you and your little are sure to smile and learn together.

Wonder Workshop: Flying Toys from Inspiring Innovation

1. Who is Temple Grandin

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures is a WONDERFUL way to introduce Ms. Grandin and her bio to your littles. If you don't have access to the book at home or from your library, check out her website, you can even send her a letter. Temple grew up to be an inspiring innovator and advocate for Autism, but when she was a little learner she loved to create and fly bird kites! Wondering and being curious about how those kites flew, not only was super fun, but it helped Ms. Grandin learn to think like an innovator. This is the hook for this wonder workshop.


2. Create your flyer!

In the photo above my son, Jonah, is holding the paper flyer we created together. All you need is a 1" x 6" and 1" by 10" strip of cardstock (you can just cut an old card, if you don't have cardstock paper) and a straw. Tape the strips into circles and then tape the circles to the balloon.


3. Explore and PLAY!

This step is critical... Ready for it... Play with your flyer TOGETHER!

Laugh, Smile, Fly It, Crash It and Laugh again.

Rinse and Repeat.


4. What do you notice?


Together discuss what your little (or not-so-little) what you noticed? Use the sentence starter, and model what you observe for your little.

"I noticed it flies higher when I throw it like..."

"I notice it flies like a football if..."

"I see that it crashes if I..."


5. Hmmm.... I wonder!


You may think you've finished this exploration... but the truth is, you've only just begun! What do you wonder now? Do you wonder if it would fly higher if you held it a different way? Do you wonder how far it would fly if you threw it outside vs inside? What ever you wonder say that aloud to your little! And then test it. Ask them to say, "I wonder" and then test their wondering! You can even pull out a couple more strips of paper and some straws and wonder about creating a different design! (i.e., I wonder if I created a flyer using 3 straws if it would move farther). The sky (and beyond) is the limit here.



*This Tribe 5 was adapted from my book, Inspiring Innovation and Creativity in Young Learners, published through Prufrock Press.







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Make the world a little more beautiful today by keeping kindness at the front of your thoughts and actions! Did you know that by modeling and some simple ideas to make kindness visual, we can encourage empathy and kindness in our littles? Check out our list below for simple ideas to use with your children.

Kindness Bouquets from Judy Ged's class taken from Inspiring Innovation and Creativity.

1. Kindness Bouquets

I first saw this idea in Judy Ged's classroom and I had to include it in Inspiring Innovation. Each time the child does or sees an act an act of kindness, they add a flower to their kindness bouquet. In the end they have a beautiful bouquet of kind needs and actions. She learned of this idea from the amazing evidence-based, Conscious Discipline.


2. Kindness Chain

Kindness chains are similar to kindness bouquets. The difference is they can be created with large groups over time. I first saw a kindness chain at Drakes Creek Middle School and it was truly amazing. Each link the chain represents an act of kindness done by a child in the school.


3. Empathy Reflection Sentence Starters

We can teach children, even young children, to reflect on the experiences of others by teaching them skills for empathy. A great sentence starter for littles (and not-so-littles) is "It bothers me when I see..." Kids may say, "It bothers me when I see a dog in the cold." or "It bothers me when I see a child alone at recess." These sentence starters help begin the conversation to discuss empathy and would naturally flow into how they could use those emotions to do an act of kindness to help solve the problem.


4. A Web of Kindness


In the words of Mr. Rogers, "Won't you be my neighbor?" Gather your class, or family, or friends. Grab a ball of yarn or string and sit in a circle together. Wrap one end of the yarn around your wrist, or hold it tightly in your hand. *Leave plenty of slack so it isn't too tight. Then share a time a neighbor did something kind to you, or something you have done for a neighbor. Then you will toss the yarn to another friend and they repeat the process. In the end you see how a web of kindness, helping your littles or not-so-littles to realize that how we are all connected... how we are all neighbors.


5. Kindness Reads


There are so, so, so many wonderful books about kindness. Some of our favorites are The Invisible Boy, Each Kindness, The Kindness Book, and Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon.









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