Free printable Advent wreath crafts, Catholic activities, Bible Christmas art projects

Advent is celebrated the month before Christmas, by Catholic, Orthodox and some protestant Christian denominations. Many people think of it as a time for Advent calendars with candies and treats. But that, like a commercial Christmas, is miles from the real purpose. Here are free printable Advent crafts for a religious Christmas. Make an Advent wreath, Advent calendar, Jesse Tree and more. Free printable Advent wreath crafts, Catholic activities, Bible Christmas art projects
Trick-or-treat is all about dressing up in Halloween costumes, right? So how about free printable Halloween masks for kids to color, cut and paste? Perfect for preschool, special education and school Halloween parties. For families who don't do Halloween, I included links for generic masks so kids can still enjoy craft fun. Masks are grouped by theme and exclude creepy ones for little children. 

* Various: Colorbook Masks free printable Halloween masks in dozens of themes and styles. There are tribal masks from Africa, Bali, Native American, Aztec, Mayan, Inuit, Asian and more. Print animal, Mardi Gras, Harlequin, Tiki, calavera (skull) masks for Day of the Dead. To find the masks, you have to create a free account and log in. Click each mask image to get to different mask design pages.

* Animals: Activity Village has lots of free printable animals masks.

* Disney: Check Disney Family for free printable Disney Halloween masks. Print 3D masks of Winnie the Pooh, Ironman, Disney princesses, Hulk, Captain America, Frankenweenie and more.

* Samhain and fantasy: Phee Mcfaddel has free printable fairy masks plus other Wiccan-inspired designs. Some are rather eerie and some quite pretty and floral.

* Day of the Dead: How about free printable calavera masks? Happy Thoughts will email you free 3D skull mask printables if you submit your email. Here's another printable skull mask pattern from Instructables.

Many of the masks print in black and white so children can color them. Making homemade Halloween costume crafts means you keep antsy kids occupied productively as they await trick-or-treat.

Shocking news about kids left in hot cars that you need to read!

 A Dallas boy's death makes the 21st child to die after being left locked in a hot car. The preschooler died after being left behind when his parents attended Bible study at Rehoboth Praise Assembly church and forgot him. The 3-year-old was found dead after being abandoned in the mercilessly hot 90-degree weather Sunday. The parents had forgotten to take the toddler along with their other four children into the worship center. This is the second child to die in a hot car this week. A 4-year-old girl is dead in Williamsport, Pennsylvania when her caregiver left her all day in a parking lot. These deaths doubled the number of children who died in cars in 2016, compared to last year.   Dallas boy dies in hot car at Rehoboth Praise Assembly church

Science activities for children, recycled trash crafts for kids: pet tornado

Summer is a great time to explore hands-on science activities for children. The best science activities are interactive, multi-sensory and hands-on. Here are favorite recycled trash crafts for kids that I started making with children decades ago: baby pet tornado. With a name like that, can you see why these recycled trash crafts for kids are so intriguing. Another cool thing about these recycled trash crafts for kids is that they double as science activities for children. Making recycled trash crafts teaches ecology and environmental science too.   Science activities for children, recycled trash crafts for kids: pet tornado | Examiner.com

Cinco de Mayo party activities, crafts, games for Mexican cultural festival | Examiner.com

 Cinco de Mayo translates to "fifth of May" in Spanish. It celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Pueblo. It's not the Mexican independence day though it sounds like the U.S. 4th of July. My Latino friends tell me Cinco de Mayo is bigger in the U.S. than in Mexico. And what do Americans do with a holiday? Throw a party! Or in this case, fiesta. Here's a kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo fiesta with games, crafts, lesson plans, cultural activities and food! Cinco de Mayo party activities, crafts, games for Mexican cultural festival | Examiner.com

Repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs: Homemade bird feeders, bird seed crafts

Do plastic milk jugs overflow your recycling bin? Would you like simple homemade crafts to repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs? Here are homemade bird feeders made from recycled milk jugs. These homemade bird feeders are great National Bird Day or Earth Day crafts for kids. Homemade bird feeders from recycled milk jugs help the environment in three ways: when you repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs you reduce the number that go into landfills. Homemade bird feeders support wildlife and the ecosystem. Making bird seed recipes from recycled kitchen scraps cuts waste.  Repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs: Homemade bird feeders, bird seed crafts | Examiner.com

Montessori preschool learning centers: DIY practical life cardboard playhouse

 Preschool children are wonderfully imaginative. If you give them an old box and tell them to pretend it's a car, they will enjoy hours of fun in their Maserati. Kids don't need expensive playhouse to have fun. You can make a recycled cardboard playhouse easily. In fact, teachers and parents, you can create entire Montessori preschool practical life learning centers for home or school, with just a refrigerator box, available in dumpsters behind appliance stores.  Montessori preschool learning centers: DIY practical life cardboard playhouse | Examiner.com

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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