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My Mommy School Philosophy
Mommy School is all about constructive fun with developmentally appropriate learning!
My philosophy is that toddlers learn through experiences. I believe that toddlers learn by seeing and doing, so Mommy School is intended to be action-based. I believe that most 2- and 3-year-olds are not yet ready for pencil/paper activities simply because they don’t learn this way! My hope is to provide you with a few tools to help guide your toddler’s learning. For me, the most exciting part about teaching my toddler is seeing the world through his eyes. He is starting to understand the world for the very first time! Because this is the first time that our toddlers are exposed to many concepts, please don’t expect your toddler to catch on immediately. It can be difficult at times to gage your own success because toddlers can’t always communicate exactly what they are learning. You will see their progress later on as they continue to build connections to the world around them! I compile a variety of activities in my Mommy School units, but I don’t expect to do them all. Allow your child to experience letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and other thematic elements in their own unique way. You will quickly see that your child thrives with some learning methods and not others. Pick and choose activities that work best for you and your child. I am trained as an Early Childhood Educator, and I taught First Grade for 4 years. However, I am building my Mommy School units from a mother’s perspective. I am a Mom first, and a Teacher second. Remember that I have searched the web high and low seeking the very best toddler activities. I am not the genius behind all of them—I simply gather them all in one place. Be sure to look at the credits section for more great ideas! Most of all have fun! Children will see your attitude, and will respond similarly. Enjoy discovering the world with your child.

Good luck!

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USA Mommy School Unit
Letter: U Shape: Star Number: Nine Nursery Rhyme: Yankee Doodle

ACTIVITIES & GAMES
Patriotic pool balls Begin with a pile of red, white, and blue plastic balls. Sort balls into piles and throw them into a small kiddy pool. Let child play with the red, white, and blue balls in the pool! Poppers Use left over snappers/poppers to help recognize shapes. Use sidewalk chalk to draw large shapes on the sidewalk. Call out a shape and have child throw a popper on that circle. You could do the same thing using letters of the alphabet! Red, White, and Blue Bubbles Mix dish detergent, water, and tempura paint in a bowl for each color— red and blue. Have the children dip bubble blowing sticks into the paint and blow the blue and red bubbles onto a white sheet of paper. Bike Parade! Have your own bike parade with friends and family. Decorate your bikes using streamers, balloons, etc. Dress in festive colors, and ride around an assigned parade route. (This is perfect for a parking lot or on sidewalks!) Red, White, and Blue Fence If you have a chain link fence, help children thread red, white, and blue streamers through chain link to create a flag design.

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Pledge of Allegiance Practice reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. President Cards Mrs. Home Ec has made some adorable Presidents Cards that you can use as flashcards or for playing Memory. You can download your own set here: http://mrshomeec.blogspot.com/2011/02/few-things-for-presidentsday.html Red, White and Blue Poker Chip Games Play the following games using poker chips (or circles cut out from red, white, and blue paper) • Hide and Seek. Hide chips around the room and go on a hunt to find them. • Sorting Chips. Set out a pile of different colored chips. Let your children take turns sorting the pile into different colors. • Pattern Chips. Line up chips in a pattern for your child to follow such as red-white-blue, red-red-blue, etc. • Tossing Chips – Set out a large basket. Let each child have a turn tossing 5 chips into the basket. Have children count how many they got into the basket. Symbols of America Cards Play match or memory with the attached cards. You could also use these as flashcards. Classic Fourth of July Games The Fourth of July is a great time to play some classic Fourth of July games: Three-Legged Race Watermelon or Pie-Eating Contest Water Balloon Toss Hula Hoop Contest Wheel Barrow Race Horse Shoes Bean Bag Toss
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ART
Red, white, and blue marble painting Place paper in the bottom of a cake pan. Dip one marble in red paint and one in blue paint. Add just a few drops of water to make the paint thinner. Shake the pan so the marbles roll around! Koosh Ball Fireworks Let children drop Koosh balls in colored paint, and then drop the balls onto plain white paper. Add glitter and admire your fireworks! Cupcake liner fireworks Create fireworks by flattening cupcake liner papers. Color with markers. Cut in fourths and cut slits around the edges; then unfold. Add a little glitter to the liners and glue on a piece of black construction paper. Star Stamping Stamp a star-shaped cookie cutter in red and blue paint. Stamp on white paper, overlapping stars to create a collage. You could also cut out star shapes out of sponges and stamp these also. Puffy paint fireworks For this project, you will use puffy paint as “stampers” to create fireworks. Here’s how to do this… Cut out cardstock squares about 3x3 inches. Draw a firework pattern on each square (simple straight lines.) Use puffy paint (red and blue) to draw over the firework lines. Turn these over now (paint side down) and stamp on a black piece of construction paper. Do several layers for the best effect. Let dry and enjoy your fireworks! You can see detailed instructions in Toddler Approved’s post here. Hand- and Footprint Flag Have child dip finger in white paint and create dots all over a piece of blue construction paper. (This will be the blue part of the flag with the
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stars.) On a poster board, measure 5 fat stripes for the flag. Have child stamp feet in red paint and walk carefully on stripes 1, 3, and 5. Leave stripes 2 and 4 clean so they will be the white stripes. Glue the blue rectangle in the corner of the poster board, and you have a flag! Red, White, and Blue Collage Present children with a variety of red, white, and blue items to make a collage: Paper, cloth squares, paper stars or star stickers, crepe paper streamers, colored pasta, yarn etc. Sort by color and glue on construction paper in desired pattern. Make Your Own Firecrackers Paint a toilet paper tube red, white, and blue. Add stickers, glitter, or other decorations. After paint has dried, glue on crepe paper streamers to the ends of the tube. Now play patriotic songs and dance to the music!

SCIENCE
Solids to Liquids Add a few drops of food coloring (red and blue) to some water in ice cube trays. (Star ice cube trays would be lovely!) Let your child use his/her 5 senses to describe the water in liquid form. What does it feel like? Taste like? Smell like? Look like? Sound like? Let ice cube trays set in the freezer until ice cubes are frozen. Use 5 senses again to describe the water in solid form. What is the same? What is different? Bubble Wrap Fireworks Talk to children about the sound that fireworks make. Tape large sheets of bubble wrap to the floor. Let children toll over bubble wrap on a scooter board. The noise it makes will sound just like fireworks!

MATH
Flag Graph Use attached flag graph. Drive around your neighborhood and ask your child to color one flag for each flag he/she sees. You could also go on a walk and place the graph on a clipboard as you go.
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Red, white, and blue sorting Give child a pile of red, white, and blue buttons or pompoms. Sort into piles by color. (I like to do this using a muffin tin.) Patterns Print attached star pattern page. Print one on white; one on red; one on blue. Cut out stars. Help your child to arrange the stars into simple patterns. Glue down your favorite pattern. Star Size Sequencing Print, laminate, and cut out attached stars. Ask child to arrange them in order by size from largest to smallest or smallest to largest. Flag Game Print and laminate the attached flag. Help child to roll a dice. Depending on the number rolled, count out that many paper stars and place them on the blue part of the flag. Repeat! (You could also use stickers, marbles, etc.) Use 2 dice for more advanced learners.

FLANNEL BOARD FUN
Flannel Board Flag Create a flannel board flag with 7 red stripes, 6 white stripes, 1 blue rectangle, and white stars. Read “I Am the Flag” to describe some traits of the American flag.

MOTOR SKILLS
Drums Decorate a can (coffee can, drink mix can, etc.) with red, white, and blue paint, sequins, glitter, etc. March to the beat of a march like Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Fourth of July Action Cards Use the attached Fourth of July Action Cards to play a game. Take turns drawing a card and performing the required action. (Blast off like a rocket, etc.)
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Marching Games Using masking tape, outline a trail for you to follow on your march. Add the outlines of several large shapes. (Circle, star, square, triangle, etc.) You could also try letters. Once you approach the shape on your path, make up a fun physical activity to do. For example, do 10 jumping jacks when you arrive at the square. Or do 2 push-ups when you arrive at the circle. You could also do jumping, hopping, skipping, etc. Take turns being the leader of the march and assigning the different activities. Blast Off Let your children pretend to be rockets and crouch down to the ground. Count backward from 10 to 1 and shout “Blast Off!” When they hear the words, “Blast Off”, have them jump as high as they can!

SONGS
You’re a Grand Old Flag My Country Tis of Thee God Bless the USA This Is My Country God Bless America I’ve Been Working on the Railroad Stars and Stripes Forever March National Anthem Military Themes Hail to the Chief March Yankee Doodle

Edible sparklers Create your own edible sparklers by dipping pretzel rods into white chocolate or coat with white frosting. Before it sets, sprinkle with red and blue frosting. Red, White, and Blue Yogurt Give each child a cup of vanilla yogurt. Have them mix in strawberries and blueberries to create their own red, white, and blue yogurt!
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SNACKS

Star Treats Make sugar cookies and decorate with red, white, and blue frosting and sprinkles! You could also make Rice Krispies treats, use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out, and place onto popsicle sticks. Red, White, and Blue Strawberries Dip a strawberry into white chocolate. Before it sets, quickly dip the end into blue sprinkles. Enjoy! Graham Cracker Flag Use a graham cracker or rectangular cookie as a flag. Decorate with frosting tips to create red and white stripes, plus the blue square and a star in the corner. Birthday Cake Make a birthday cake for America. Light some red and blue candles. Sing “Happy Birthday” to America before eating! Fruit Pancakes Make blueberry or strawberry pancakes for breakfast. Red, White, and Blue Kabobs Use coffee stirrers as kabobs. Set out blueberries, raspberries, and minimarshmallows. Show your children how to slide the fruit onto the sticks (in a pattern, if desired.) Eat as snacks!

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BOOKS
A is for America – Devin Scillian Across America, I Love You! – Christine Loomis America Is… - Louise Borden and Stacy Schuett American the Beautiful - Scholastic Apple Pie Fourth of July - Janet S. Wong Arthur Meets the President - Marc Brown By the Dawn’s Early Light – Steven Kroll Celebrate the 50 States! – Loreen Leedy Clifford Goes to Washington - Norman Bridwell Duck for President - Doreen Cronin F is for Flag - Wendy Cheyette Lewison Fourth of July Mice - Bethany Roberts Happy Fourth of July, Jenny Sweeney! – Leslie Kimmelman Hats Off for the Fourth of July – Harriet Ziefert Hurray for the Fourth of July – Wendy Watson How to Bake an American Pie – Karma Wilson I am America - Charles R. Smith Jr. Snickerdoodle’s Star-Spangled Fourth of July! – Clare Ham Grosgebauer The Pledge of Allegiance - Scholastic The Scrambled States of America - Laurie Keller The Star-Spangled Banner - Francis Scott Key This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen Wow! America - Robert Neubecker

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Songs & Finger plays
Flags Are Flying (Tune: Frere Jacques) Flags are flying, flags are flying Oh so high, oh so high. Flying for our country, Red and white and blue, Flying high, in the sky.

Fourth Day of July (Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) Today is special, do you know why? It’s the 4th day of July. See the flags passing by. See the fireworks in the sky. It’s a special celebration. It’s the birthday of our nation.

Red, White, and Blue (Tune: 3 Blind Mice) Red, white, and blue. Red, white, and blue. Stars and stripes too. Stars and stripes too. We celebrate Independence Day Each July 4th, the American Way. With red, white, and blue.

Way Up in the Sky (Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat) Wave, wave, wave the flag, Hold it very high. Watch the colors gently wave, Way up in the sky. March, march, march around. Hold the flag up high. Wave, wave, wave the flag. Way up in the sky.

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If You Have a Little Flag (Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It) If you have a little flag, hold it high. If you have a little flag, hold it high. If you hold it way up high, you can wave it in the sky. If you have a little flag, hold it high. Flag Song (Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb) Our flag is red, white and blue Red, white, and blue; red, white, and blue. Our flag is red, white, and blue in the U.S.A. Our flag has 50 stars, 50 stars, 50 stars, Our flag has 50 stars in the U.S.A. Our flag has 13 strips, 13 stripes; 13 stripes, Our flag has 13 stripes in the U.S.A. Stars and Stripes (Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat) Wave, wave, wave the flag, As we march around. Hold it high to show our pride, It must not touch the ground. Wave, wave, wave the flag, Dear red, white, and blue. Stars and stripes forever bright, America to you! I’m a Little Firework (Tune: I’m a Little Teapot) I’m a little firework Up in the sky. I dance and shimmer. Way up high. Sometimes I’m red. Sometimes I’m blue. But I always sparkle Just for you!

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SHAPE: Star
Nine Star Snacks Make star sugar cookies, and spread frosting on star cookie. Ask child to decorate with 9 chocolate chips. Count them as you go! Twinkling Stars Show your child a paper star and count the 5 points. Show your child how your head, arms, and legs are like the 5 points of a star. While singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, lie on the floor and stretch arms and legs, representing the 5 points of a star with your bodies. Star Books Wemberly’s Ice-Cream Star – Kevin Henkes Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Jeanette Winter A Star Named Little One – Amanda J. Dukovich Star, Little Star – Lonnie George Who Made the Stars? – Joan Marie Joseph A Star in My Orange: Looking for Nature’s Shapes – Dana Meachen Rau Star Song Display a large paper star so that one point is at the top. Ask your child to notice the shape’s 5 points and 5 indentations. As you sing the song that follows, trace the star’s points and indentations: The Points Go In and Out (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell) The points go in and out, The points go in and out. In and out and in and out, The points go in and out. Play-Doh Shape Mats You can download your own play-doh shape mats (including a star) from Confessions of a Homeschooler. (Also check out the shape puzzles offered here!) Here is the direct link: http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/2009/11/myprintables.html
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NUMBER: Nine
Yankee Doodle Noodle necklaces Dye elbow macaroni red and blue (leave some plain for white). Dye noodles by using a cup of hot water, a splash of vinegar, and several drops of food coloring. Have children count out 9 pieces of macaroni. String them onto string to create their own necklaces! Number 9 Pattern Print the attached number 9 pattern. Decorate it with 9 patriotic stickers or stamps. Practice counting them. Nine Toothpick Pictures Set out some wooden tongue depressers or popsicle sticks and have your child count out 9. Let the children make different pictures using the 9 sticks. Glue down if desired. Clothesline Fun Tie a clothesline between 2 chairs. Clip 9 clothespins to the clothesline. Collect a variety of fabric squares, socks, mittens, or other clothing items. Practice counting clothes items as you clip them on. Nine Pins Set up a bowling game using 9 empty water bottles. Let your children take turns rolling a small ball toward the bottles. Practice counting how many pins were knocked down. Writing Rhyme While practicing writing the number nine, say this rhyme to help form the numeral: A loop and a line – That makes nine! Nine Planets This is a great time to teach that our Solar System has 9 planets that orbit the sun. Show a picture of the Solar System. Name and count the 9 planets.

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Tactile Learning Cut the numeral 9 out of sand paper. Have child trace with his/her finger. You could also do a rubbing of the numeral by placing paper on the top and coloring over it. (I do this every week because Little Man loves it!) Nine Little Fireworks (Sung to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”) One little, two little, three little fireworks. Four little, five little, six little fireworks. Seven little, eight little, nine little fireworks. Lighting up the sky.

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LETTER U
U is for USA! Cut a U out of white construction paper. Add red stripes, a blue rectangle in the corner, and some stars. U Formation Create a “U” using pipe cleaner. U Flashcards Follow this link to print your own U flashcards on cardstock. Bind with a book ring and laminate if desired. Practice daily.
http://kizclub.com/flashcards1.htm

U exercises Climb UP something. Crawl “UP-side down.” Put your finger “under” your foot. Pretend to ride a unicycle. Put your head “under” your arms. Put your arms “up.” You might also want to use this chance to teach your child how to bounce a ball UP and down. Make Your Own U book Make the attached U book by coloring the 4 pictures, cut them apart, and use them as your very own “U” book or flashcards. Review daily. Creative Writing I like to practice writing in finger paint, shaving cream, sand, or using Crayola’s window crayons. Sidewalk chalk is fun, too! Box Ukulele Create a box ukulele using a long tissue box and empty paper towel tube. Remove the plastic found around the hole of the tissue box. Wrap large rubber bands around the box. In the top of the box, cut a circular hole to fit the paper towel tube. Help your child slip the tube into the box halfway to represent the ukulele’s handle.
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U Horseshoes Cut our 4-5 large U’s out of cardboard. Mount a wooden spoon upright in a pot of dirt. Let your child try to throw the U’s to they ring around the spoon’s handle. Up Game Blow up a balloon for your child. Write a letter “U” on the balloon. Have them “bat” the balloon up in the air and continue to tap it so it doesn’t fall down. The person who can keep their balloon up in the air the longest is the winner. U Hokey Pokey Sing to the tune of Hokey Pokey. You put your right foot “up”, you put your right foot “down” You put your right foot “up”, and you shake it up and down. You do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about. Continue with other body parts. You could also do “Under” movements. U is for… Coloring Pages Use the 2 attached “U is for…” coloring pages to practice tracing and writing capital U’s. Color the attached pictures.

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I Am the Flag
Ruth Apperson Rous

I am the flag of the United States of America. I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia. There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes as the national flag. My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue, represented a new constellation, a new nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind. Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known. My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country. My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and daughters. My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all. My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith. I represent these eternal principles: Liberty, justice, and humanity. I embody American freedom: Freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home. I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers - the Pilgrims, Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth. I am as old as my nation. I am a living symbol of my nation's law: The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

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I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the people, by the people, for the people." I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism. I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard has a flagpole for my display. Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their allegiance to me and my country. I have my own law—Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" - which definitely states my correct use and display for all occasions and situations. I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my birth. Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow. I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity. If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and despots. Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom. As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are no more, no less. Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth. Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human liberty. God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of the free and the home of the brave" and that I shall ever be known as "Old Glory," the flag of the United States of America.
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Flag Game
Print and laminate the attached flag. Help child to roll a dice. Depending on the number rolled, count out that many paper stars and place them on the blue part of the flag. Repeat! (You could also use stickers, marbles, etc.) Use 2 dice for more advanced learners.

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Star Pattern Page
Print one pattern page on white paper; one on red paper; one on blue paper. Cut out stars. Help your child to arrange the stars into simple patterns. Glue down your favorite pattern.

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Patriotic Action Cards
Instructions Print the attached action cards on cardstock and laminate for durability. Cut apart. Take turns drawing a card and performing the required action.

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Star ABC’s
Instructions Print the attached stars on cardstock. Laminate for durability. Cut apart. You can use these stars for a variety of games: 1. Hide stars around the room and gather them up. 2. Practice letter identification. 3. Print double copies and play match. 4. Put the stars in ABC order.

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Flag Picture Graph
Use attached flag graph. Drive around your neighborhood and ask your child to color one flag for each flag he/she sees. You could also go on a walk and place the graph on a clipboard to color as you go.

How many flags did you see?

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Symbols of America Cards
Instructions Print the attached cards on cardstock. Laminate for durability. Cut apart. You can use these cards for a variety of games: 1. Use as flashcards to teach about the symbols of America. 2. Play match/memory with the cards.

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U Pattern

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Print this pattern on white cardstock. Decorate the numeral with nine patriotic stickers or stamps.

9 Pattern

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Yankee Doodle
Yankee Doodle went to town A-riding on a pony Stuck a feather in his hat And called it macaroni. Yankee Doodle, keep it up Yankee Doodle dandy Mind the music and the step And with the girls be handy.

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You can find more fun learning ideas here: Toddler Approved - http://toddlerapproved.blogspot.com/ Prekinders - http://prekinders.com/ Anne LaBoon’s Kindergarten Camp - http://www.alaboon.com/ Preschool Express - http://www.preschoolexpress.com/ Teaching Two - http://www.teachingtwo.com/ I Can Teach My Child - http://www.icanteachmychild.com/ Little Learners Lounge - http://littlelearnerslounge.blogspot.com/ Counting Coconuts - http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/ Mommy Teacher 123 - http://www.mommyteacher123.com/ Perpetual Preschool - http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/ Mrs. Home Ec - http://mrshomeec.blogspot.com/ Step By Step - http://stepbystepcc.com/ Preschool By Stormie - http://www.preschoolbystormie.com/ Many of the cute fonts and clip art comes from www.djinkers.com Used with permission of DJ Inkers. Thanks to Phillip Martin for offering his clip art for educational purposes!

Credits

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