Tag Archives: homeschool

Dry Èrase Crayons + Plastic = Mess-Free Hands

A friend told me the other day that her preschoolers were using china markers to trace letters on laminated worksheets.

How brilliant is that? Writing from china markers, a.k.a. grease pencils, has the uncanny ability to stay put until you very purposefully wipe it off.

No more smeared writing, no more dry erase marker all over the side of my children’s hands from resting them on top of their writing.

My only problem was figuring out where to buy china markers. I looked all over Wal-Mart. No luck, but I didn’t want to spend my Saturday Solitude searching all over Austin for a silly china marker. Surely, I thought, I could find something at Wal-Mart that I could substitute in. That’s how I came up with the dry-erase crayons. The fact they come 8 colors to a box was a nice bonus.

dry erase crayons

In just a few days’ time, we’ve discovered not only do they work well on laminated worksheets; they also work on windows, glass, binders, and just about any plastic surface. Oh, and of course they work brilliantly on white boards! We’re using them to label the spines of our school binders. When we’re finished with the binder, we can wipe off the writing and use it for something else.

Shopping for a new year’s worth of school supplies is so much fun for homeschoolers because we Mommies get to stock up too. What’s new in your stash?

O is For Olives – Eating Our Way Through the ABCs

In these days of sensory awareness, I’ve noticed that one medium for learning and sensory experience we often overlook is our taste buds.

Did you know that O tastes salty (olives), and sweet (oranges, Oreos), and mushy (oatmeal) and spicy (onions)?

We worked a bit with food last week while studying the letter O, and we had great fun with olives.


A pretty simple supply list – wooden skewer, styrofoam bowl or Play-Doh, can of whole black olives, and a can of whole Manzanilla (green) olives.

Bella HATES olives, so she wasn’t having any of her taste buds tantalized with these, but I got Noah to at least lick one of the black olives.  He wasn’t too impressed, but he was happy to play with them.  Olives do have a unique feel to them, slick and wet and easy to crush.  We turned this session into patterning practice.

Just take a wooden skewer and poke it through an overturned styrofoam bowl (or you can stick it in a clump of Play-Doh).  Then start the pattern off by skewering a green olive followed by a black one and have your child continue the pattern.  Change this up with more difficult patterns if your child seems ready.

Ah love this (said in my best Southern drawl)!  (Get it – olive this)?

Pergo, Painter’s Tape and a Plan



Oh, actually this was on my vinyl kitchen floor, not Pergo.

Anyway. . .

I recently saw a more complicated version of this activity on Pinterest.  I simplified it into a spiral maze and used a black marker to ink the letters in alphabetical order on the tape.  If you do this, be sure to change the direction of the letters after every new angle so that they will be facing the right direction as your child follows the tape.  Show your child how to drive on the tape – he’ll get it right away.  I also had the children walk the tape and say the letters as they stepped on them.

Don’t forget to get your tape up after 10 days or so and use painter’s tape, NOT masking tape.  Otherwise you’ll have a much harder time.