Alphabet Sensory Bin; The ABC’s Of How To Make One

For 6 years now, I have taught Catholic ABC’s to my preschoolers where we cover 1 letter each week. For extra fun this year, we’ve added a letter sensory bin to our ABC repertoire . Given my weaving the faith theory, I like to mix religious items with non-religious items. Check it out!

alphabet sensory bin for preschoolers

In Catholic ABC’s, I go over how to use a “grab bag” during circle time. This happens each week when you introduce a new letter. The kids love this, and in my 5 years experience in doing this, the grab bag is almost always the favorite part of circle time!

It does take some time to round these objects up, and I wanted a little more “bang” for my time-input “buck”, so I started a letter sensory bin where we switch out the objects each week with the objects from our current grab bag. The girls absolutely love this tiny sensory bin! It’s very manageable because it just goes on a table top, and gets put away with a lid when we’re not using it. We use it the same as we do our rainbow drawer hands-on activities.

It makes my creative brain very happy to do adorable stuff, so I got actual letter shaped pasta to use as the filler for our alphabet sensory bin. You can get this stuff in the pasta aisle of regular grocery stores. It also has numbers mixed in. (Some plain white rice would work just as well.)

alphabet pasta

I got 4 bags of alphabet noodles for our bin, which is a little bigger than a shoe box. You only need filler in the bottom 2 inches or so.

How to make the noodles pretty colors: Fill a sandwich baggie about 1/2 full with the noodles. Add a few squirts of hand-sanitizer (or rubbing alcohol), just enough to make the noodles damp, and add a squirt of food coloring. Zip the bag shut and shake it until the noodles are all the same color.

how to dye alphabet pasta for sensory bin

Pour them into your sensory bin and allow them to dry.

letter sensory bin

I put the colored letter noodles in pretty rainbow stripes to start with. Why not?

rainbow striped letter noodle sensory bin

alphabet pasta sensory bin

alphabet sensory bin for preschoolers

It doesn’t last long in rainbow stripes, but the kids do get a kick out of mixing it up!

alphabet sensory bin letter a

The abc pasta is so pretty in rainbow colors! You can see how super tiny they are in this picture.

abc pasta alphabet sensory bin for preschoolers

Here is our well-loved sensory bin for the letter A:

letter a sensory bin

In The Bin:

Angel, alligator, A from magic alphabet set, alligator water gun, St. Anne (we laminated her before assembling, and she held up to the sensory bin very well! The kids use her as a scoop for the noodles), apple armor, alien head, angel.

Every once in awhile, some of the noodles spill and it’s a little bit of a mess. That’s what our small broom and dust pan is for. The kids clean it up on their own. If you’re looking for ideas to incorporate hands-on fun in your home without going crazy, I encourage you to take a peek of how this works at our house.

Be sure to check out my resource page for Catholic ABC’s here

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ABC Saints: Coloring Pages Turned Easy Catholic Craft

I’ve been working hard on something that I’m so excited to release to you today: A whole alphabet of Saints, ready for you and your kids to craft! The best part is, they’re printable, and ready-to-go in either black and white or in color. Your choice. :-) Also, they totally match the Saint of the week for Catholic ABC’s.

abc saints catholic craft w

This project was a joint effort! I commissioned my sister-in-law at Drawn To Be Creative drew these, and I tweaked and painted them with watercolors. She just started a “Color Through The Bible Series” for preschoolers that looks awesome, and she is also available for hire in drawing custom coloring pages, etc, so contact her if you have something you need! :-)

These are so cute and have so much personality! Each Saint is depicted with their letter, as well as imagery that tells part of the story of who they are. After completing this series, your children should be able to identify Saints in real life masterpieces!  You’ll love all the little details that went into these! Here are some close-ups:

Little girl Mary helps her mama, St. Anne, hold up the “A.”

saint anne craft wtih little mary

St. Catherine is holding lilies, and if you look closely, you can see a touch of stigmata.

saint catherine stigmata craft

Saint Faustina is holding her Divine Mercy image. So cute!

saint faustina craft for kids- printable

Saint John Bosco has 2 little helpers holding up his “J.”

saint john bosco craft for catholic kids

Saint Kateri is holding lilies.

saint kateri craft for catholic kids- printable

Saint Lucy is wearing her wreath with candles, and carrying lucia buns.

saint lucy lucia craft- printable

Saint Michael is the only one who’s tricky to cut out,

but he’s so awesome that it’s totally worth it!

saint michael craft for kids- printable

St. Nicholas has his Bishop hat, crosier, and a bag of coins.

saint nicholas craft for catholic kids- printable

St. Patrick makes his appearance with a shamrock, of course.

saint patrick craft for catholic kids- printable

St. Rose is holding a bottle of pepper, which she has used to destroy her complexion.

saint rose craft for catholic kids- printable

St. Therese holds her traditional roses.

saint therese printable craft

St. Zita holds out her cloak, which by a miracle reveals flowers rather than bread.

saint zita craft for catholic kids- printable

The download includes: 26 printable Saint crafts in black and white, and then all 26 again in full color. You just print them, color them, cut them out, and assemble into tubes. There are several options for assembling them once you have them colored and cut out:

printable saint craft

  • Option 1: print them on regular copy paper, and glue them around toliet paper tubes using a glue stick.
  • Option 2: print them onto card stock. When you cut them out, just turn them into a tube and attach with tape or staples.
  • Option 3: print them onto card stock, and laminate them. Turn them into tubes and attach with tape or staples. Let me tell you- this really makes them strong and long-lasting! My kids have been playing with my beta Saint Anne I did this way for weeks!
  • Option 4: print them on regular copy paper, and decoupage them around a wooden dowel about the size of a toilet paper tube. Then you’ll end up with your own set of wooden Saints, no artistic skills needed. ;-)

how to make saint craft

printable saint craft for catholic kids

I made this entire set in less than an hour, printing, cutting, and stapling included. If kids are making them, I recommend just doing 1 at a time, and letting the kids do the coloring themselves. These are very fast and fun to craft. They are all very easy to cut out, with the 1 exception of St. Michael.

Watch your children fall in love with the Saints as they make and play with these fun characters. Each and every one of these alphabet Saints puts a smile on my face. They are ready to come marching in… just as soon as you download them. :-)

This download is $8, but for the first week I’m having it on sale for just $6! Remember, you can use these as crafts one per week, so they’ll last you the entire year. :-)

Buy It Now!

When you purchase this download, you will receive an email within minutes containing the file. It is in pdf format, so you will need Adobe Reader to open it. Your link will expire after it has been clicked 5 times, so you need to save this file onto your own computer.

catholic icing's abc saints

I have our Alphabet Saints displayed on the preschool shelf in our homeschool room. They are sitting on spice shelves that I got at Wal-Mart (similar here.)

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Printable Angel Handprint Craft For Kids

The feast day of guardian angels is coming up on October 2! At our house, we are working our way through Catholic ABC’s, and A was for Angel.

printable angel handprint craft catholic icing

 

Usually when I do Catholic ABC’s, I do the handprint angel craft on a canvas bag with all of my preschoolers for the first class. That way, they have a bag to carry their preschool stuff in for the year. However, this year we’re doing Catholic ABC’s only at home, so we don’t “bring” things. Also, I have like a million of those bags floating around our house now- lol.

For this craft, you just print the angel page. She is missing her wings. Color her before adding wings.

angel coloring page

You can just trace around your child’s hand with a blue crayons if you’re not feeling particularly energetic. Otherwise, break out the blue paint to make wing handprints!

handprint angel craft

Stamp on the “wings,” and watch your child’s face light up with joy. :-) While the paint is still wet, you can sprinkle glitter directly onto the paint. I know, I know, you think glitter is messy, but you remember what i think about glitter, right?

preschooler with glitter

printable angel handprint craft

Also optional: Add a ring of gold glitter glue around the halos.

halo on angel craft

Everybody loves this craft, from my 2 year old to my 8 year old. Even though literally all of them have made it before. :-)

FREE ANGEL DOWNLOAD PAGE HERE

printable angel handprint craft for kids

BONUS TIP: I usually just stamp the same hand twice to keep from having to clean paint off of both hands, which looks just fine.

We also sang “Angels We Have Heard On High” while the kids colored (which they loved) and read some angel books. My favorite angel book is the Treasure Box book number 18. Highly highly highly recommend this angel book! It goes through the creation of the angels, the fall of the bad angels, St. Michael’s story, etc. Very charmingly illustrated as well. I think it’s my favorite Treasure Box book if you want to try starting with just one.

angel books for catholic kids

Also pictured above is The Angels: God’s Messengers and Our Helpers. This is a Fr. Lovasik book, and it has pretty much every angel story ever, but these books are too lengthy for children to sit through. You could choose a few choice stories to read from this one if you wanted. We also read The The Guardian Angel Prayer. It just goes through the Guardian Angel Prayer line by line, but it makes my 4 year old feel like she’s reading. :-)

guardian angel book for kids

We also made some simple angel cookies, which I already posted about. The cookies were a change from the angel snack I made with Lydia back in the day. ;-)

easy angel cookie decorating

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How To Decorate Easy Angel Cookies: Letter A Snack

Apparently, I love to have alphabet series going on this blog. First I did Catholic alphabet crafts (which turned into Catholic ABC’s), then I moved onto a Bible alphabet craft series, and this year I’m doing Bible themed snacks. So here we go, A is for easy Angel cookies!

angel cookies recipe

I decided to do the alphabet snack thing with Violet this year because I wanted a 1 on 1 activity we could do together each week. In a larger family, sometimes things like this have to be fit in purposely as they don’t always happen organically. So my 4 year old Violet made these (almost) entirely on her own.

We started with my great grandmother’s secret sugar cookie recipe a bag mix and an angel-shaped cookie cutter. (I’m a real-life, homeschooling, business running, housekeeping mom, so yes, cutting corners around here is what keeps our world turning.)

how to make easy angel cookies

We mixed the dough, and began rolling out the cookies right away. I let Violet do most of the rolling, and all of the cutting.

kids making angel cookies

Bake according to package directions (or your great grandmother’s handwritten recipe card- whatev)

how to bake angel cookies

While they’re cooling, mix your icing. This is where I actually am sharing an old family recipe. It’s basically the best cookie icing you’ll ever meet. There’s no need to go around the edges and come back to fill, there’s also no swipes from icing with a knife, and there aren’t even any annoying icing bags that have to be filled or washed. Also, my kids have a lot of trouble icing from bags, and it’s impossible to get them to stop licking their fingers while they do it. Yuck.

easy cookie decorating icing for kids

Easy to make, easy to use cookie icing recipe for kids:

  • 1 Tbs heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 1 drop of food color

I mix this in several small bowls (or tea cups, or muffin tins) and we use q-tips to paint it onto the cookies. It coats the top of the cookies well, dries hard and shiny (so you can stack the cookies) and it’s yummy. No need to refrigerate the final cookie. Best part is, even the smallest kids are capable of decorating cookies this way.

easy cookie decorating for kids

We made pink, yellow and blue icing, and left one of the cups white. To decorate your EASY angel cookies, first paint the wings white, then paint the triangle of their dress the desired color. Leave the heads cookie colored. Viola- you’re done!

easy angel cookie decorating

I wanted to share this because all the angel cookies I found online were super complicated, and I don’t have any advanced cookie decorating skills. Even the kids were easily able to paint the angels like this.

angel cookies kids can make

In the picture below, children painted the 3 angel cookies on the left, and I painted the 3 on the right.

angel cookies

So there you have it- sugar cookie making and decorating with kids that doesn’t leave you wanting to pull your hair out. Another sanity thing: we just made one bag of them. Yes, we’re a big family, and yes, everyone just got a few cookies, and no, they didn’t last long, but a very large batch would have been time consuming and stressful to make. I chose sanity. :-)

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