Arts & Crafts

Tracing Great Art

Here’s a simple, short lesson plan from the terrific Practical Pages website that is full of neat ideas to make great works of art come alive for your kids — by tracing them!

Why would you want to have your student trace some famous artwork? Nadene shares a few ideas:


  • Create a reference to a famous work and add it to written biographies and narrations.
  • Apply techniques famous artists use
  • Learn to mix colours, do colour washes and paint in layers with details last
  • Make the art work “your own”
  • Focus on the original for clues and details
  • Use the original for some more contemporary art techniques (like a collage/ a mural/ coasters/place mats/ quilt designs/ build a 3D landscape, etc.)
  • Although many adults consider this just “colouring in”,  I encourage them to give it a try!  It is MUCH more difficult than it seems!

This is a great idea… give it a try.  CLICK HERE to go to the website!


Arts & Crafts

The Mother Goose Coloring Book

Today’s resource is this lovely collection of vintage illustrated Mother Goose rhymes, taken from various books from the late 1800s & early 1900s.

Great for coloring and for learning or re-visiting these classic childhood rhymes. Enjoy!

To download this PDF coloring book, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click the link and save to your mac.

Arts & Crafts

The Critter Construction Book

The Critter Construction Book by Rebecca Hargrave Malamud & Nathan Malamud (PDF ebook)

This little book was originally produced by the author and her son for a group of preschool HeadStart children and was designed specifically so the kids could cut out a set of basic shapes and then create the “critters” herein with their parents. New designs have been added to the originals over the years until now there is an entire menagerie of critters to create. See if your little ones can put together the ones here… and perhaps create some new ones on their own!

To download this PDF ebook, CLICK HERE!

Arts & Crafts, Nature Studies

The Common Birds coloring book

The Common Birds Coloring Book from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology contains terrific line drawings of over 50 common feeder birds. You can download the coloring book and print out pages as you need them, and let your students color the images using a field guide. There are also identification questions on each page to help your students learn to spot these birds in the field.

Most of the pictures in this coloring book were drawn by the noted bird artist and ornithologist, Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1872-1927). Fuertes, a native of Ithaca, New York and a Cornell University graduate, is known for his realistic bird art. Look for his signature initials: L. A. F. The other drawings are by William Montagna, signature initials: W. M. All are gorgeous!

To download the PDF coloring book, CLICK HERE

Arts & Crafts, Just for Fun, Nature Studies, Physics, Science

Projects, Experiments & Hands-On Fun has a great collection of almost 100 hands-on projects, crafts and experiments especially for homeschoolers, on all sorts of interesting topics, including:

Turkey Feather Science
Testing for Starch
Milk Fireworks
The Physics of the Trapeze
Fun Ways to Improve Writing Skills
Buoyancy Experiments
…and dozens more.

CLICK HERE Take a look and browse through the collection yourself!

Arts & Crafts, Holidays

Santa’s Christmas Village – Paper Doll Project


Want a fun “hands on” decoration project for your kids for the Christmas season? This is it! Print, cut out and assemble your own vintage “paper doll” Christmas village scene. Great fun!

Click here to go to the download page!

Tip: Be sure to use the link in the red text near the bottom of the page to download the .zip archive file to get the whole thing in one download. Otherwise, you’ll have to download each individual page.

Arts & Crafts, Sewing

When Mother Lets Us Sew

When Mother Lets Us Sew, by Virginia Ralston (PDF ebook)

Here’s a delightfully written and eminently practical little guide to basic hand sewing written back in 1910. This is filled with sweet illustrations and very well done step by step instructions for teaching basic stitches and sewing skills to little learners. This is a keeper, and is super-handy for teaching hand sewing basics!

From the introduction:

Think how nice it would be, when mother is busy with her sewing and mending, to sit beside her on a little low chair and help her with that big sewing basket over-flowing with work! One could learn how to sew a button on brother Tom’s shirt, mend a tear neatly in little sister’s apron, thread mother’s needles… or even to cut out, sew and make all your own doll baby’s clothes! … Just to think of being able to dress and undress your little doll family as often as you like! One could even make little night gowns for them to sleep in and best of all, everything they wore would be made by your own busy little hands….

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key, then click the link and save to your mac.

Arts & Crafts, Carpentry, Crafts, Design, Toymaking

Mother Nature’s Toy Shop

Here’s another wonderful vintage book from by Lina and Adelia Beard. In it, the authors show how to make all sorts of toys, jewelry and ornaments with wildflowers, leaves, grasses, pods, seeds and other things found outdoors. Great hands-on, skill expanding projects, if you’re game to try your hand at some classic toys, which could easily be “modernized” for the 21st century kid. It only takes some imagination.

from the introduction:

Mother Nature is every bit as fond of the little folks in her human family as of the grown-ups, and while she prepares untold joys for lovers of the outdoors among men and women and larger boys and girls, she never forgets the little ones.

For their benefit she keeps an open toy-shop full of marvelous playthings, all free to any child who wants them, and instead of the children paying her for what they take she pays them for coming to her by giving them rosier cheeks, brighter eyes, and stronger bodies. She puts more glee into their laughter and greater happiness into their trustful little hearts.

As in the large department stores in big cities, the goods in Mother Nature’s shop are changed for each season of the year; so the little shoppers have constant variety and hail every new season with fresh delight. This book is written to call attention to the beautiful and wonderful things to be found in Mother Nature’s toy-shop and to tell what to do with them, for one must know how to use the amusing material that is furnished.

After really getting into this most enchanting of all toy-shops with eyes open to see its wonders, we found that the difficulty to be met was not how to write about them, but how to stop writing. The display was so varied and so inviting, it seemed that we must tell the children about everything we saw, but if we had gone on seeing more and telling more there is no saying what size this book would have been.

There are dozens of illustrations by the authors showing exactly how to make your creations. This is a genuine, old-fashioned and almost magical guide for children who love the outdoors and who are imaginative enough to play with their own toy creations.

This ebook is available in kindle and EPUB formats, and is also viewable online.

Click here to go to the page, then choose the format you wish to view/download.

Arts & Crafts, Just for Fun

10 Week LEGO Class

Mary (and her son) at put together this fun 10 week class all about LEGOs! The full 10 session lesson plan is a PDF freebie on her site. Here’s what she says about it:

“This is for the oodles of moms out there dealing with LEGO crazed kids. I am one of those moms, and when my little boy asked me to teach a LEGO class at our homeschool co-op, how could I refuse? My son and I spent a lot of time brainstorming and planning this class TOGETHER, and I wanted to share my plans with you.”

This is a fun class any young LEGO fans would love to be a part of, whether with a group of fellow homeschoolers or just at home. (Tip: the download link to the PDF is near the bottom of the page.)

CLICK HERE to go to the download page