DIY Card Templates

Inspire your kids to write with these fun and colorful cards!

Print off a fold & go template below and they can create special cards for people they care about, send a personalized note to a penpal, or let someone know they’re thinking of them.

Note: P = Portrait, L = Landscape

The 4 C’s Collection

Order ready-made cards at Extraschooling’s Zazzle storefront

Little Green Hill

Grab the kids and enjoy a free read-aloud of Nye In February, now available on Anchor, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

The Little Green Hill series is a new project that is near and dear to my heart.

This nature-based, year-long picture book series celebrates our little piece of earth, our love of reading, and the connections we have made over the years. Most of the characters are based on actual animals we have gotten to know.

The stories focus on one new piece of Nye’s environment each month, but touch on other topics along the way. For instance, food production and seasons are discussed along with wood frogs in the first book, while finding ways to compromise and get along are featured in the second.

These are picture books with substance, meant to appeal to a wide range of ages, and the downloadable PDF that comes with the book includes projects, activities, and resources for the whole family. Reading aloud is a wonderful way to experience a story, so it was important to me for families to be able to share both the story and the supplementary materials and gain from everyone’s input.

The companion packet for each book will explore the main topic further, through projects, activities, and resources, as well as other related themes. There are multiple areas of study covered, including science projects, art, health, language arts and more.

Come join in the adventures at Little Green Hill!

Book #1

In February, Nye learns about wood frogs – extremophiles who can survive harsh environments no other frog can.

Available on Amazon

Paperback $9.95

eBook $6.95 (free with Kindle Unlimited)

Book #2

In March Nye explores the gentle giant of spring, and one of my favorite creatures – the carpenter bee, while Bounder and Tennyson try to find some common ground.

Available on Amazon

Paperback $9.95

eBook $6.95 (free with Kindle Unlimited)

Do you already have the series? Don’t forget to submit the code at the end of each book to claim the accompanying packet.

Check out the other Extraschooling titles in the Bookstore.


Download these free PDFs for a ready-made activity

Let’s Get Environmental: A Rainbow of Ways to Help Our Planet: Activities and resources to encourage and support kids in protecting the earth.

Take It Outside! A Nature Expedition Packet: Head off for a day of exploration, from planning to observing to answering questions about the surrounding environment

The Art of Nature: A small take-along packet with pencil sketches to add art or observations to on a day out exploring

Animal Packet: Research native and invasive animal species in your area and learn how local populations are doing, how they live, and what they need

Plant Packet: Now go off to explore your local flora (and fungi!) in a similar way

Roll With It: A quick art game for the whole family when you need a break from bookwork

Word Medley: Use words in Mad Libs-style learning games and exercises

Story Prompts: A page of beginning sentences to get the creative juices going

Style That Sentence!: Begin with a simple sentence and then craft increasingly elaborate versions to play with tone and style

The Extraschooling 7-Day Four C’s Challenge: Take a little time to roll a few of these questions and ideas around and see where they lead you

Personalized Learning Map: A simple planning packet for you and your child to use when looking forward for the week, month, or season

Find colorful fold-&-go card designs here for kids to print and personalize!

Want more? Don’t forget that the Little Green Hill series comes with a 30-page download as well – and is currently free with Kindle Unlimited!

My First Book of Explorations – Sample Pages

This is the book form of how my son likes to learn best: to get a nudge that inspires open-ended learning. There are a few ways to do this presented here:

  • We loved the Letterboard Challenge activity, where we brainstormed people, places, animals, food, and other topics that began with the same letter and then spent a week or so exploring them. Every letter gets a 2-page spread here, with over 30 ideas to get started with, or room to come up with your own.
  • Over a dozen topics, from life skills to charities and math to careers, are presented with a few questions to think about and space to write or draw anything that makes an impression.
  • Another handful of subjects, such as animals and space, are even more open-ended, with one page for documenting what’s been learned and another with which to get creative.
  • Sprinkled throughout the book are pages to consider people they know that inspire them or have outstanding traits and what can be learned from them.
  • Lastly, there are four pages for kids to explore and express themselves and what makes them wonderfully unique.

See it on Amazon

Extraschooling’s Experimental Kitchen – Sample Pages

This is no step-by-step recipe book; it is an adventure into the culinary world. The recipes are recognizable and accessible so that kids can focus on ingredients, flavor, texture, color, and creativity. It encourages exploration and variation, with room for them to write their own versions or create entirely new dishes of their own.

Along the way they will find questions to get them thinking and research prompts for deeper learning, as well as kitchen experiments to expand their knowledge of the science of cooking.

The book also has areas for them to fill in as they go, such as a glossary, substitutions, and conversions, plus room to collect recipes that catch their eye.

If you have a budding chef with a sense of adventure, get cooking in your own experimental kitchen with this latest addition to the Eclectic Kids series – and keep scrolling down the page to let them try their hand with a recipe from my childhood that has been experimented on across the decades!

See it on Amazon

An egg-less muffin that relies only on its mix-ins for sweetness, this is a favorite breakfast food and perfect snack to pack along on a hike.

From Our Kitchen to Yours…

Enjoy this healthed-up version of an old family recipe that we put to use any time we have overly ripe bananas!

90-Day Seasonal Planners – Sample Pages

What will you find in the seasonal planners? Here’s a preview with samples from the Winter 90-Day Planner & Idea Book of some of the features of these books.

Quick tips and games with room for notes
More involved projects
5×7 grids for lesson planning
Monthly areas for planning ahead
Space to reflect back on the season
An assortment of scrapbooking pages for the family to fill out

Find them on Amazon

Find more great titles on the Bookstore page

All About Horses – Sample Pages

Have you been wanting to peek inside some of the Extraschooling books? Some pages are available through the “Look inside” feature on Amazon, but for a better idea of what to expect, enjoy this sample from Extraschooling’s Eclectic Kids All About Horses: An Activity Book & Riding Journal.

To see what other books might also interest you, visit the Bookstore.

Space at the beginning for stable information, then five fully customizable calendar pages.

There are 25 of these 4-page spreads to record lessons.

The Horse Sense section has many prompts to research and learn.

The final section, Horse Play, reimagines activities from Eclectic Kids Activity & Hobby Portfolio…
…and adds in new elements as well.

5 Fast, Fun Early Learning Games

Learning should be fun – especially for the young crowd. Here are a few quick and easy ways to explore concepts like telling time and language (with tips on how to include older kids – and some tweaks for ways some can work for any age). All you will need are some scissors, crayons/markers, index cards, and dominoes – or, in lieu of the last item, make your own out of the first three on the list!

  1. Domino Math — Lay out dominoes face down. Each player picks an equal amount (we did 5) and flips one at a time. Add (or subtract – older kids could certainly multiply) the dots. If the results are even, keep it; if odd, discard. Whoever has the most at the end wins the round (ties can go into sudden-death overtime, one domino at a time). If you have an abacus handy, it can help with this game. For older kids there are other versions you can try: Do division and only keep whole-number answers. Do a version of the War card game – try using the domino as a fraction; biggest wins.
  2. Match Time — Cut index cards in half. On the front halves, show a matching time on a clock face and in digital form. On the back halves use a crayon to draw matching colored symbols (a red circle, for example) – just be sure to use different colors/symbols on subsequent cards (so 9:00 may have red circles, 10:30 may have blue squares, etc.). Place the cards in a grid, Memory-game style, time-side up. Have them take turns trying to find matches (they will know they are correct if they flip the cards and find the matching symbols). With an only child or one with an older sibling, you can alternate picking a clock or digital time and then ask the child “Can you find the other one that says ‘___ o’clock?'”
  3. Word Treasure Hunt — Write down two matching sets of simple words (bike, car, green, soft, etc) on index cards and then hide one of the sets in appropriate locations (“soft” might be on a blanket, for instance). Give the other stack over to your child, help identify the letters and sound them out, and then let them go try to find the match with the clue word. Older kids can practice their penmanship by helping create the cards.
  4. Bilingual Match Game — Create a bilingual word list you would like to learn. On index cards draw a simple picture. Write the English word on one side of the picture and the foreign equivalent on the other. Cut the cards in half, turn them over, arrange them in a grid, and play them as you would Memory, saying the words when you flip each card. Coloring the words will help young ones better recognize a match – you may want to also draw the picture in the same color.
  5. Numbered Story — Write your own or pick a favorite, but divide a tale into segments and write it on index cards (however many you want). Write the number 1 on the back of the first card; on the story side, write a math problem incorporating it – for instance, “Add three to me to find the next part of the story: 1 + 3 = ?” Write the answer on the back of the second part of the story, and continue on in this manner. Spread the cards out story-side down and have them find the cards in order as they solve the problems. Depending on the math skills of the child try addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, mixed numbers, algebraic equations, you name it!

Go Global

If we could all travel the world, it would be such an amazing learning experience for our families. Unfortunately, many of us can only travel from our living room and bring the world to us – but we can still make it fun. There are so many ways to explore different cultures and countries. Here’s an assortment of ideas to give you some inspiration:

  • Find where you are off to on a map, a globe, a computer – or all of these. Which direction is it from where you are? What time is it there? What season? How long would it take to travel there?
  • What is the land like physically? Is it mountainous, forested, a desert? Find an artistic way to represent the landscape. You could sculpt it, draw/paint, go outside and make nature art to represent it.
  • What is the predominant language? Try learning to count to 10 and say a few common phrases, or even dig deeper with the Language Immersion Challenge.
  • Get into the culture – make a traditional craft, cook a common dish, explore their music through listening, dancing, or creating homemade instruments and playing along.
  • Explore the society. Who are a few key figures, past and present? How did they help shape the area? What sorts of events have defined the region? What is the current social climate?
  • What are some indigenous animals? Read books or watch nature videos pertaining to them
  • Create their flag and write a few key facts about how it came into being.
  • Visit a relevant restaurant.
  • What would your life look like if you lived there? Consider clothing, housing, transportation, work, climate, school, family dynamics, economic factors, etc.
  • Design a travel brochure, make postcards, or create a collage poster (National Geographic magazines often abound at thrift stores and make excellent sources for photos).
  • Consider finding a global penpal program.
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Language Immersion Challenge

If you want to help your child gain some familiarity with a language, have a chance to practice their speaking of one, or just make it more fun, here’s a simple way to add it to your daily life. All you need is a pen and some sticky notes!

Take about a week for this project, and invite the whole family to join. The object is to start replacing English words with that of your chosen language of study, but you can set it up in different ways. You could focus on a certain set of words/phrases for the duration, or try different areas every day. You could start by labeling various things in your house; rooms, if you like, or items such as beds, chairs, tables, etc. As everyone goes through their regular day, they get 1 point every time they use the foreign word rather than the English one. Another day you could move it outside, label food, have a list of common expressions (maybe 10 phrases, like greetings and such), replace numbers, and so on. At the end of the week tally up points and let the winner have a reward, like picking dinner or choosing a family outing.

Extra Credit ideas:

  • Go to a restaurant that corresponds with the language being studied, bring a dictionary, and challenge each other to use the most words. Winner picks dessert!
  • Try a foreign language version of the game where you have to come up with a word that starts with the last letter of the word said before it until no one can think of one.
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