Friday, July 19, 2019

Crafty Classroom - USA Activity Bundle Pack ~~ A New TOS Review!!

We were thinking about doing some fun school over the summer, you know - change up the norm. So when we had an opportunity to review the USA Activity Bundle Pack by Crafty Classroom, I jumped at the chance. Who doesn't want to have fun while still learning? Not me! I like to switch things up and give a different focus over the summer months and sometimes just review some previously learned facts. The cool thing about this bundle it is really all about geography and the states and it comingles in some logic building with the mazes. It's a win - win for parents and children. Now let me tell you a little bit more about our pdf bundle pack.

Included in the USA Activity Bundle Pack are THREE PDF ebooks. We used all three over the course of the last few weeks and they were used by all three of my children (10, 13, and 15). I don't think any of them minded adding them in to their school week (we school year round and take breaks for vacations or long weekends or on VBS or camp weeks.) My favorite was the USA State Bird Art Cards, but my son loved this one as much as I did. We also received USA 50 State Mazes AND USA State-by-State Activity Notebook. All 3 are just $15.00 and since they are ebooks they are downloaded instantaneously. And you as a homeschool parent have a licence to print them for all the children in your household.

First let's talk about the USA 50 State Mazes. Each maze is built within the outline of one of the 50 states. The PDF has the states in alphabetic order, but you could use them in any way you wanted - alphabetically, as you come to them in your American history or in books you are reading, from the dates they became states, the possibilities are endless. I printed a few out for my middle daughter and mailed them to her since she was on vacation in SC at the beginning of this review. Here is one of hers.

When she returned she wanted a few more so I printed the ones she wanted to work on.
We are HUGE Alabama football fans so this was a fav for all 3 kiddos.

For my son I also printed just  a few from the beginning. He actually has done over half of the states and every day he asks for some more. He really loves mazes. They are great for dexterity, hand eye coordination, logic building, and fine motor control so I think these would be great for any age really. I think younger than 8 to 10 some of the mazes might feel too difficult for the child. I always suggest going through the maze first with your finger, then again, and THEN use a pencil or colored pencil. If you have trouble you can try to start at the end and work backwards too.

My eldest daughter loves mazes as well and I know she worked on quite a few of the states before she left at the beginning of July for her vacation in SC (they are each going for a few weeks -  but also working on science and math intensively with their grandmother and great-grandmother who happen to be a science professor and a retired high school math teacher). I just can't find any of the pictures I took of her. :(

Next I'm going to talk to you about the USA State-by-State Activity Notebook. This would be perfect to go along with State history, American History, Geography, or just a fun summer unit, like we are doing.  Each week we print out 1 to 3 pages and focus on a few states. It will take about 20 weeks to cover ALL the states doing this, but I think it's necessary to go slow if you really want to retain information ABOUT the states.
My son in the middle of working on it - see told you they are fans of AL!
Each page has the same format. The top is the state name and to the right a map of the US and the student can locate the state on the map and color it in. Next is the state flag and a bigger version of the state outline where you can mark the capital, big cities, lakes, rivers, monuments, whatever you want to focus on. And since they are printable you can do a different focus each time! Under the state flag there are 3 boxes for the state initial, the number of state it was (in what order it became a state), and the state nickname. At the front of this pack there is a book listed that would work great with this e-book. We did not find it at our library so we use wikipedia, but I'm going to request we get this book at our library for sure!

The state flower and the state bird are also on the page as well as some space for your child to write down some facts about the state. I told my kiddos to find something that was interesting to them. That encouraged them to do a little more reading on each state. These would also be fun to do at half-size on long car rides and to work on them once you find a matching license plate or as you drive through each state.

At the end of this ebook there are 2 games - USA Bingo with 8 cards AND USA Roll Across America - a dice game that helps children really learn their states by their shape (no names included on the game board).
USA Bingo game
Roll Across America game

The USA Bingo would be another fun game to play in the car on long trips, which I have planned to play tomorrow as we travel to GA so my son can have his vacation in SC. They have it so you can call out states or capitals and when you get 5 in a row you win, but doing it in the car we can just look for cars license plates and once you reach 5 in a row you win. If you laminate them they can be used with dry erase markers and be used again and again!

The last PDF ebook in the USA Activity Bundle Pack is the USA State Bird Art Cards and as I mentioned it was my favorite. My son also really liked these as he has had a new interest in birding. Over the last few months we've been on a few birding expeditions and he's been very attentative to birds coming to our feeders in the front yard.  For these art cards I had each of my children pick the birds that they wanted to color and learn about. This pack only has 27 cards, but that is because a lot of states use the same bird as their state bird.
This pelican reminded him of a bird he saw in SC.
Each art card is formatted the same and include a fully colored bird with lines for your child to add some facts about the bird. Then there is a bigger bird that is outlined in black for your child to color in themselves. Lastly there are 2 little rectangles - one of the bird (colored in) and the name of the bird so you can play a matching game. You can also cut out the bird your child colors in and make a booklet. My son did not want to cut them out so we've kept his all together. I may print a whole new set so I can cut the matching cards out and then laminate them so we can have the game ready. He's been focusing on birds he has seen here now that we are in Indiana as well as some that he remembered from South Carolina.
Writing down some interesting facts.

He added some details to his card like a sky and a tree.
My 13yo daughter also enjoyed these art cards, it spoke to her as an artist. She was trying to match her birds exactly with blending of her colored pencils to make the picture look more realistic. This ebook also includes a book suggestion which we also could not find at our local library, but I think I may buy this one for our own home library since we are really into birding.
Audrie blending colors
Book suggestion to go with the state birds.
I have loved this USA Activity Bundle Pack from Crafty Classroom and know that we will be using this often as we go through American history and continue with learning about birding. I hope they do more bird cards, maybe geographically ... that would be awesome! You can find Crafty Classroom also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They also have a slew of other products like Bible Letter of the Week Curriculum Notebook and Alphabet Letter of the Week Curriculum Notebook and many others so you will want to check out ALL the Crew Reviews since we were all reviewing different products - just click the link below to get to those reviews!
Hands-on, Low-prep and Ready to Go Learning - Tots to 3rd Grade {Crafty Classroom Reviews}

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