Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pet Themed I Spy Game {Free Printable for Kids}

Lately my kids have been trying to convince me that we should get a pet snake. That would be the last pet I would want, to be honest!

I much preferred J's phase of asking for a pet bunny because well, bunnies are freaking adorable. But then I remember my husband's evil pet rabbit, who was lovingly named Devil Bunny, that he had as a teenager and it's a hard no to a pet bunny too.

So maybe my kids will settle for this free printable pet themed I spy game for kids instead?

Yeah, I doubt it too...

They'll still be asking for that pet snake...shudder...

Free pet themed I Spy game for kids from And Next Comes L

The Benefits of I Spy Games for Kids

I Spy printables like this pet themed one are great for providing visual sensory input to kids, making them a great choice for visual sensory seekers. They also help develop a child's visual tracking ability and improve visual discrimination. This printable requires kids to visually scan through the objects and find ones that are the same.

Playing I Spy with your kids is also a great way to improve speech, language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. I've discussed how playing I Spy games with kids can improve comprehension in kids with autism and hyperlexia before.

These types of I Spy games also encourage math learning by asking kids to count how many of each object they find.

Download the Free Printable Pet Themed I Spy Game

This printable includes one I Spy game sheet and one answer sheet to record the number of objects found. The answer sheet uses the written word as well as an image of the object to search for to help improve comprehension - something kids with hyperlexia struggle with.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

BoxBoy! Perler Bead Crafts

I love video games, as does my husband. So naturally, my kids do too. We play a variety of games from a variety of platforms, but my kids also each have their own Nintendo 3DS. 

My youngest, K, has been particularly enamored of the BoyBoy! series of 3DS games. So these geeky perler bead crafts for kids is based on the characters from one of his current favorite video games to play.

Perler bead crafts for kids based off the Nintendo 3DS game BoxBoy! from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Geeky Perler Bead Crafts for Kids: Make the Characters from BoxBoy!

These little characters from the Nintendo 3DS game BoxBoy! are super easy to make and only require the following materials:

 Use the photos below as patterns to make your very own Qbby, Qucy, and Qudy characters.

Cute perler bead crafts for kids based on video game characters from And Next Comes L

Cute perler bead crafts for kids based on video game characters from And Next Comes L

Place a sheet of ironing paper over top of the completed design and run a warm iron over top of the paper until the beads start to melt and fuse together. Carefully flip the creation over and cover the backside with some ironing paper. Melt the backside with a warm iron.

Then when the beads are melted and still warm, I like to place a stack of textbooks on top to make sure the design stays flat. 

K requested to make these, with some help from my husband, and he LOVES them! We have taken them to so many different parks and playgrounds to play at. 

Cute perler bead crafts for kids based on video game characters from And Next Comes L


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Perler bead crafts for kids based off the Nintendo 3DS game BoxBoy! from And Next Comes L
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Music Notes Themed I Spy Game {Free Printable for Kids}

I have a couple new piano students this year and I have always incorporated fun music activities and games into the lessons. This year I am introducing some music theory themed I spy games to make theory a bit more interesting. This music notes themed I spy game for kids is perfect for reinforcing note names.

Free music themed I Spy game for kids from And Next Comes L

The Benefits of I Spy Games for Kids

I Spy printables like this music themed one are great for providing visual sensory input to kids, making them a great choice for visual sensory seekers. They also help develop a child's visual tracking ability and improve visual discrimination. This printable requires kids to visually scan through the objects and find ones that are the same.

Playing I Spy with your kids is also a great way to improve speech, language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. I've discussed how playing I Spy games with kids can improve comprehension in kids with autism and hyperlexia before.

These types of I Spy games also encourage math learning by asking kids to count how many of each object they find.

Download the Free Printable Music Notes Themed I Spy Game

This printable includes one I Spy game sheet and one answer sheet to record the number of objects found. The answer sheet uses the written word as well as an image of the object to search for to help improve comprehension - something kids with hyperlexia struggle with.


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Monday, September 18, 2017

Homemade Squirtle Costume

Halloween is going to be here before I know it and I'm really hoping my kids will want to wear their homemade Pokemon costumes from last year again. Both boys went as their favorite Pokemon characters. J had his Pikachu costume and K had this adorable homemade Squirtle costume.

How to make a homemade Squirtle Pokemon Halloween costume for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

How to Make a Squirtle Halloween Costume

For this costume, I used:

I created a pattern using existing clothes and followed the video tutorial found below to make the Squirtle costume, but thankfully, I already had the Pikachu costume under my belt at this point. Just like the Pikachu costume, I opted for using velcro instead of buttons or snaps and made it generous in size. I also had to wing it to make the yellow body of Squirtle, as well as its shell.


Our Finished Squirtle Costume

This costume turned out so incredibly cute, despite me sewing one of the arms in backwards and having to do copious amounts of seam ripping. Seriously, do not sew a costume at midnight right before Halloween. You will make lots of mistakes! I also ended up making the hood of this costume super huge, but whatever, K loved his finished costume!

For the mouth, nose, and eyebrows, I used a permanent marker to draw them and then sewed over them with black thread.

Cute homemade Pokemon costume for kids - how to make Squirtle from And Next Comes L

Cute homemade Pokemon costume for kids - how to make Squirtle from And Next Comes L

Cute homemade Pokemon costume for kids - how to make Squirtle from And Next Comes L

As for the shell, it is removable and attaches with velcro so that K could wear the costume in his car seat. To make the shell, I cut a large foam pad into an oval and wrapped it in brown fabric, hot gluing it along the edges, being sure to leave a 1" or so overhang to put the white cording. Fun fact, when I purchased the foam pad, K insisted that I buckle it up for safety in the car's passenger seat. So like a good mother does, I made sure the foam pad wore its seatbelt in the car.

I then created the lines on the shell by hot gluing brown ribbon in place. Then I wrapped and hot glued white cord numerous times around the edge of the shell, making sure to burn my fingers with hot glue multiple times along the way.

Homemade Pokemon Halloween costume from And Next Comes L

Homemade Pokemon Halloween costume from And Next Comes L

Overall, the Squirtle costume turned out amazing and was a perfect compliment to J's Pikachu costume.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Piano Keys Themed I Spy Game {Free Printable for Kids}

I'm officially back into the swing of things with my piano teaching schedule and I have a couple of new kiddos this year, which I'm really excited about. I created this free printable piano keys themed I spy game for kids with new piano students in mind. It's a different and unique way to practice finding and naming the keys on the piano. So I'm looking forward to trying this game out with my new beginners.

Free piano keys music themed I Spy game for kids from And Next Comes L

The Benefits of I Spy Games for Kids

I Spy printables like this music themed one are great for providing visual sensory input to kids, making them a great choice for visual sensory seekers. They also help develop a child's visual tracking ability and improve visual discrimination. This printable requires kids to visually scan through the objects and find ones that are the same.

Playing I Spy with your kids is also a great way to improve speech, language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. I've discussed how playing I Spy games with kids can improve comprehension in kids with autism and hyperlexia before.

These types of I Spy games also encourage math learning by asking kids to count how many of each object they find.

Download the Free Printable Piano Keys Themed I Spy Game

This printable includes one I Spy game sheet and one answer sheet to record the number of objects found. The answer sheet uses the written word as well as an image of the object to search for to help improve comprehension - something kids with hyperlexia struggle with.


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More Free Printable I Spy Games for Kids

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Homemade Pikachu Costume

I remember my mom making almost all of the Halloween costumes that I wore as a kid. It always made me feel incredibly special, knowing that no one else would have a costume like me. 

So even when my boys were babies, I wanted to make homemade costumes for them too. However, I skipped a few years of making them simply because we were given awesome hand-me-down costumes. 

Then last year, the boys requested Pokemon costumes. 

And I don't know about you, but the store bought costumes look so cheap and utterly terrible sometimes. Besides, trying to find specific Pokemon characters, such as Squirtle, which K requested (tutorial here), would prove to be quite difficult. Especially on short notice.

A quick Google and YouTube search lead me to an amazing Pikachu onesie tutorial that I knew would work perfect for making virtually any Pokemon character. So with that inspiration in mind, I dashed to the fabric store to spend a good hour or two perusing and touching all the different fabrics, just hoping to find a decently priced fabric that would work. Fabric is so expensive here in Canada!

Then I found the perfect bright yellow material in the clearance racks and I was officially ready to whip up this homemade Pikachu Halloween costume just days before Halloween. 

And it turned out faaaaaabulous!

How to make a homemade Pikachu Halloween costume for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

How to Make a Pikachu Halloween Costume

For this costume, I used:

  • Yellow fabric (fleece was too darn expensive!)
  • Brown fabric
  • Velcro
  • Hot glue gun
  • Felt: black, white, and red
  • Elastic (for wrists and ankles)
  • Paper, tape, and pencil to create the patterns
  • Pillow stuffing
I created a pattern using existing clothes and followed the video tutorial found below to make the Pikachu costume. Instead of using buttons or snaps though, I opted for velcro because buttons and snaps can be tricky for J to manipulate.

I also made the costume generous in size for two reasons. One, if I am going to make a costume like this, then I want to get at least a couple of years out of it. Two, we live in Saskatchewan where some Halloweens can be mild and others can require a full snowsuit to be worn underneath. So it's best to be prepared for all weather conditions!


Our Finished Pikachu Costume!

The hood of this Pikachu costume turned out so ridiculously cute! With a little bit of felt and some hot glue, it was easy to put the finishing touches on.

Homemade Pikachu costume for kids from And Next Comes L

Adorable Pikachu costume for kids from And Next Comes L

Most importantly, J thought it was the best costume ever and happily wore it to show off at school. It was also plenty warm with a small jacket and fleece pants underneath to go trick-or-treating in. It also looked fantastic next to our two Pokemon themed jack-o-lanterns, don't you think?

Tutorial for making a Pikachu Halloween costume for kids from And Next Comes L

Another change I made was to make the tail larger. I thought the tail was much too small in the video tutorial. Since the tail was large, it meant it could drag on the ground. So I added some velcro to the tip of the tail so that it could be velcroed up between the shoulders. It also meant I could unvelcro it and J could still sit comfortably and safely in his car seat with the costume on.

Tutorial for making a Pikachu Halloween costume for kids from And Next Comes L


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pokeball Perler Bead Craft

At our house, Pokemon is life.

We read a lot of Pokemon books. We play a lot of Pokemon Go. We make a lot of Pokemon crafts. I even just made two Pokemon birthday cakes, one for each boy, this past weekend.

My kids have also really gotten into perler bead crafts. 

In fact, one of the first perler bead crafts my kids made was this pokeball. This pokeball perler bead craft for kids is super easy to make and can be turned into a keychain or magnet for your child to proudly display wherever they please.

Easy Pokemon craft for kids - make a pokeball out of perler beads from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Pokemon Craft for Kids: Make a Pokeball Perler Bead Project!

To make your own pokeball perler bead craft, you'll need the following items:

Use the photo below as a pattern to make your own pokeball on the pegboard.

Pokeball perler bead craft for kids from And Next Comes L

Place a sheet of ironing paper over top of the completed design and run a warm iron over top of the paper until the beads start to melt and fuse together. Carefully flip the creation over and cover the backside with some ironing paper. Melt the backside with a warm iron.

Then when the beads are melted and still warm, I like to place a stack of textbooks on top to make sure the design stays flat. 

That's it!

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Easy Pokemon craft for kids - make a pokeball out of perler beads from And Next Comes L
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