There's Just One Mommy Sat, 20 Jan 2018 01:50:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 There's Just One Mommy 32 32 Make Learning about Fractions Fun with This Hands-On Activity for Equivalent Fractions Thu, 18 Jan 2018 05:53:59 +0000 Fractions can be confusing.

We’ve talked about fractions while talking about measuring cups and working on money, but the kids were struggling with understanding how different fractions could be put together.

The homemade math manipulatives we made to work on adding and subtracting double digits were a huge hit, so I decided it was time for us to make our own fraction manipulatives that we could use in different hands-on activities for equivalent fractions.

Looking for a fun hands-on math activity to teach fractions? This paper plate fractions activity is perfect for teaching equivalent fractions and how to add fractions with like denominators.

My kids had fun decorating our paper plate fraction pieces with colorful sprinkles and turning them into cookies.

You could also leave the plates plain or turn them into pepperoni pizzas.  Letting your child decide how to decorate them will make it more meaningful for them.

No matter how they decorate them, you will cut and label the plates following the directions below.

Hands-On Activity for Equivalent Fractions

Use a black permanent marker to label one paper plate 1 whole.

Fold another paper plate in half, making sure the edges match.  Crease the fold and then carefully cut along it.  Label each portion 1/2.

To make your fourths, fold and cut another plate into halves.  Then fold those half portions in half again and cut them apart.  Label these each as 1/4.

Do the same thing to make the eighths, and then fold the fourths in half again, making sure the edges line up.  After cutting on the fold lines, label each portion as 1/8.

If desired, you could follow this method to make slices that are each 1/16.

hands-on math activity for fractionsBy placing all the corresponding pieces together on top of the 1 whole plate, you can easily show your child how they add up to one whole.   This makes it easy for your student to see that eight 1/8 pieces equal a whole and four 1/4 pieces equal a whole.

You can also make 1/3 and 1/6 pieces for your child to work with.

To make 1/3 pieces and 1/6 pieces, start by folding a paper plate in half and cutting along the fold. Then fold one side of each half over 1/3 of the way and fold the other side over. Carefully line up the edges, crease the folds, and cut along the folded lines. Label these as 1/6.

To make 1/3 pieces, use one of your 1/6 pieces and line the edge up along the edge of a blank paper plate. Use a pencil to draw a line along one side of this piece, then lay a second 1/6 piece right next to it and use the pencil to draw a line on the other side of it, creating a piece that is 1/3 of your paper plate. Do this again to equally divide the plate into three pieces. Label these as 1/3.

hands-on activity to teach fractions

The paper plate fractions are great for learning how to create a whole using all the symmetrical pieces, like all the 1/8 and all the 1/3 pieces.

They are also good for working on equivalent fractions.

By placing 1/4 pieces onto the halves, your child can see that it take two fourths to equal one half.  They can also use these pieces together to find new ways to create a whole.

You can continue this with other fractions.

How many 1/6 pieces does it take to equal 1/2?

paper plate fractions activity

After working through several together, allow your child to explore the fractions on their own.  Remind them that pieces must fit side by side without overlapping.

How many different ways can they use the fractions to create a whole?

simple fractions activity

You can also use the paper plate pieces to work on adding fractions with common denominators.

Line up several fractions with the same denominator (number on the bottom).  Show your child how 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 = 3/8.     Demonstrate a few other problems before letting them explore further on their own.

These simple DIY fraction manipulatives are perfect for hands-on activities for equivalent fractions.  Being able to put the smaller fractions together to form larger fractions allows kids to really see how the fractions are related and makes a tricky math skill easier to learn.

Looking for other fraction ideas?  Check out the printable Fraction Flowers from Teach Beside Me.

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Printable Girl Scout Cookie Mad Libs Sat, 06 Jan 2018 02:09:11 +0000 Being part of a group, working towards badges, and camping activities are just some of the things kids in scouting programs enjoy.  If you have a daughter in scouts, then the start of the new year also means Girl Scout cookie time!

Whether you are a Girl Scout leader, or the awesome parent of a daughter in scouts, this simple Girl Scout cookie activity will help get the girls excited about cookie season.

Looking for a fun Girl Scout cookie activity to get your troop excited to sell cookies? Check out these printable Girl Scout cookie mad libs.

This year I’ve become the head leader of my daughter’s troop.  That means planning more badge requirement activities and making sure I never run out of snacks.

It also means I’ve taken on the role of “cookie mother.”  The responsibility of handling hundreds of boxes of everybody’s favorite cookies is a bit overwhelming to say the least.

To get the girls, and myself, psyched up for the months ahead I’ve prepared some printable Girl Scout Cookie Mad Libs to play at our next meeting.

Girl Scout Cookie Activity

Girl Scouts love to share, so I’m sharing our  Girl Scout Cookie Mad Libs  with you.

Just print them out and get ready to celebrate Girl Scout cookie time.

Just like the usual mad libs, it’s more fun to play with a partner.

Grab a pencil and ask your partner for the words needed to fill in the blanks.  Don’t let them see the sheet while you are filling it in!  Once the blanks are completed, read it aloud for a few chuckles.

Girl Scout cookie activity

Just click the words in blue to get your free copy of the Girl Scout Cookie Mad Libs.


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Straw Rocket Valentine Thu, 04 Jan 2018 21:13:30 +0000  


We love homemade Valentines.  In the past my daughter has made  Silly Valentine’s Day cards, complete with wiggly arms and legs, and Butterfly Valentines.   

We needed a fun homemade Valentine for boys, and decided to use the craft from our R is for Rocket activities to make awesome Rocket Valentines!

Homemade Valentine for Boys -- Make this straw rocket Valentine that really flies!


Straw Rocket Valentine

Materials Needed:

  • 1 rectangle (6X2 inches) of thick construction paper or cardstock
  • 1 large triangle (with a 3 inch base)
  • 2 small triangles (approximately an inch or so high)
  • 1 bendable drinking straw
  • 1 two inch long piece of drinking straw that is wider (think fast food restaurant straws)
  • small piece of orange tissue paper


Glue the small triangles to the bottom of the rectangle.  These will form the rocket’s wings.

Glue the big triangle to the top of the rectangle to form the rocket’s top.

Using scissors, give the orange tissue paper some fringe and glue it to the back of the rocket’s base.  This will be the flames.

Use clear tape to secure the 2 inch piece of straw to the back of the rocket, as shown in the picture below.   Also use a piece of tape to flatten the top of the straw and keep it closed.


how to make a straw rocket


If you are only making one, you could hand write the message.

We made them for a homeschool class party, so I printed copies of our Valentine’s message to glue to each rocket.

We went with the message: Valentine, you’re out of this world!   You could also use, Blast off for Valentine’s Day,  or another witty rocket pun.

Once your homemade Valentine is finished, you will insert one bendable straw into the piece of straw that is taped to the rocket.

Now you have a rocket Valentine that will really fly!  Simply blow into the end of the bendable straw.  Blast off!

homemade rocket Valentine -- kids homemade Valentine that really flies

These rocket Valentines are so much fun for kids to make and receive.   They are definitely our favorite homemade Valentine for boys.

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Originally posted: Feb 4, 2015

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Super Simple New Year’s Game for Kids Wed, 27 Dec 2017 00:32:33 +0000 Staying up to greet the New Year hasn’t been our thing for years now.  Instead we celebrate with the kids at noon on New Year’s Day.

Each year we play games and have fun with some fizzy science as we count down the minutes until 12:00.

This year we are adding a few New Year’s games like these pom-pom races.

Looking for Kids New Years activities? This simple New Years game is fun for kids of all ages.

Affiliate links have been provided below.

Kids New Years Game

To give your pom-pom races a festive feel you will need a Party Blowout for each participant.  These are easy to find at local party supply stores or even the dollar store.

You will also need pom-poms.   These Sparkly Pom-Poms  are perfect!

kids New Year's game -- pom-pom races

Decide where your race will be held.

The length of a table is great if adults will be playing, too.  Or, you might choose to race on the floor.

Use a piece of tape to mark your starting point and your finish line.  If you are racing on a table you could make the finish line the edge of the table, with the first pom-pom off the end winning.

The rules are simple: using only your party blower, blow the pom-pom across the finish line.  The first one to cross the line wins!

This game is perfect for working on breath control and sensory integration.  

Want to make the New Year’s game a bit harder?  Have older kids and adults keep their hands behind their backs.


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20 Cute Snowman Crafts for Kids of All Ages Fri, 22 Dec 2017 19:25:03 +0000 Wintertime is perfect for gathering the kids and doing some fun crafts.  Snowflake crafts  and snowmen are always popular choices this time of year.

There is just something about snowmen that makes everyone smile and brings back happy childhood memories.

Even if you don’t have snow, you can still make a snowman with the kids with a few of these kids snowman crafts.

Looking for kids winter craft ideas? Try one of these 20 snowman crafts!

Kids Snowman Crafts

Have you ever made your own puffy paint?  It’s super simple and so much fun.  Use it to make a cute puffy paint snowman you can decorate. (pictured above)

Kids will love making a collection of adorable 3-dimensional  Pom-Pom Snowmen, perfect for pretend play once they are dry. (pictured above)

It’s fun to paint with things other than your usual paintbrush.  Let your child explore different techniques to create these cute pom-pom painted snowmen.

This simple coffee filter snowman is perfect for younger crafters.

Older crafters will enjoy making these cute no-sew sock snowmen.  (pictured below)

This melted snowman craft and printable poem is super adorable for kids to make.

Little ones love the feel of cotton balls and they are perfect for a fluffy 3-D snowman picture that turns out adorable.

You’ll love the mosaic look of this snowman made of circles.  (pictured above)

These rocking paper plate snowmen are super simple and fun for preschoolers to make.

Kids of all ages will love crafting a snowman you can eat with this sweet idea.

Cardboard tubes are an inexpensive crafting material people always have on hand.  Use them to make these simple snowmen.  (pictured above)

Have a child that loves glitter glue?  This swirly and sparkly snowman craft is perfect for elementary kids that love a bit of glitz.   (pictured above)

Let the kids craft these cute tin-can snowmen and then use them to organize colored pencils and other craft materials.  (pictured below)

Who can resist tiny footprints?  You’ll love these footprint snowmen.  They make cute keepsakes, too!  (pictured above)

Q-tip painting is always fun.  Use those cotton swabs to make a polka dotted snowman.

Craft everyone’s favorite snowman with this paper plate Frosty.

Flip one over and decorate your own Styrofoam cup snowman.  (pictured below)

It will seem like it’s really snowing when the kids make this snowflake snowman.  (pictured below)

Hit the recycling box to make a recycled newspaper snowman.

Older kids will love making this 3-D yarn snowman.  Perfect for decorating the house this winter.

kids snowman crafts

These cute snowman crafts are perfect for days when the weather has the kids stuck indoors.  Which one will you try first?

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Mix-Up Some DIY Snowflake Slime & Beat Cabin Fever Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:39:03 +0000 There is one sure way to get my daughter smiling:  make some amazing homemade slime!

There is just something about the stretchy, slightly sticky substance that kids love.  And since liquid starch slime is so easy and quick to make, you can make a batch in just about any theme, like this snowflake slime, in just minutes.

Snowflake Slime -- simple liquid starch slime recipe for winter sensory play

You can make this ahead of time, or get the kids involved in making their own homemade slime.  They’ll have a fun, ooey, gooey slime to play with in just 5 minutes.

Snowflake Slime

Affiliate links provided below. 


  • 5 oz. Bottle Clear Elmer’s Glue 
  • 5 oz. Liquid Starch 
  • Snowflake Confetti
  • 5 oz. Warm Water
  • Measuring Cup
  • Bowl and Spoon

homemade snowflake slime recipe

Make Your Own Snowflake Liquid Starch Slime:

Pour your clear glue into your bowl.

Then add in the same amount of warm water.  Mix until the two are thoroughly combined.  (I find using warm water helps it mix better.)

To make snowflake slime, add in a generous helping of plastic snowflake confetti pieces.   We also tried adding artificial snow, but it wasn’t as noticeable in the finished slime.

winter slime

Now for a bit of science!

Slowly pour in your 5 oz. of liquid starch and stir it with your spoon.

recipe for snowflake slime

The mixture will immediately thicken. This is because glue is a polymer and the liquid starch is changing the structure of that polymer as the two come together. Head over to Little Bins for Little Hands to find out more about the science of slime.

Pretty soon it will become too thick to stir with a spoon.  It’s time to pick it up and finish mixing in the liquid by hand.  This is a great step for kids!

homemade liquid starch slime recipe

The slime gets better the more it is played with.

We had fun pairing this winter-themed liquid starch slime with some polar animals.

DIY snow slime recipe for kids

This snowflake slime also makes a fun DIY gift idea for kids.

Put the slime in a clear container with a screw on lid and add a polar animal or two for lots of sensory play fun.

Looking for a fun DIY gift for a child this winter? Make homemade snowflake slime!

The slime should keep for at least 2 weeks, and then you can mix up another batch in a whole new theme!


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