With many families home this week making dinner using simple pantry items, I thought I would share quick ideas on how to create dinners using pantry items.
Oatmeal: Cook according to package. Mix in ideas: nuts, Chocolate chips, or even jelly to sweeten if you are out of sugar.
Granola: Bake 1 cup oats, 1 cup nuts, 1 cup coconut, 1/2 Cup honey at 350 or until the mixture is golden brown. Great with fruit or yogurt!
Black Bean Nachos: Rinse and drain a can of black beans. Heat on the stove until a low boil starts. Remove from heat and pour over tortilla chips. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 until the cheese has melted.
Black Bean Soup: Heat 1 can of black beans (rinsed) and 1 can of rotel. Add taco seasoning to taste. Top with sour cream, cheese, etc.
White Bean Soup: Heat two cans of white beans with 1 cup chicken broth. and 1 can chicken (shredded). Season with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream or cheddar cheese.
Simple Alfredo: This recipe is made with heavy cream, butter and cheese. You can find the full recipe here.
5 Can Taco Soup: All it takes is five cans to make this creamy soup! Check out the recipe here.
I love Tex-Mex food. Give me all the tacos and enchiladas…better yet, give it to me in soup form! This chicken enchilada soup recipe is so easy, anyone can make it! It’s creamy and can easily be adjusted for heat preference…we love our spice around here!
5 Can Chicken Enchilada Soup
1 Can Chicken, Shredded
1 Can Rotel or Diced Tomatos, drained
1 Can of Pinto Beans or White Beans, drained
1 Can Chicken Broth
1 Can Corn, drained**
3 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, heat ingredients until boiling. Reduce heat and let it simmer until the broth has reduced. About 10 to 15 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls with 1 tsp of sour cream. Stir the cream into your soup until creamy. Add cheese, corn chips, avacados…even a dash of hot sauce!
**For a thicker soup, use half the broth.
If you like your soup with added kick: Add 1 teaspoon of chili powder or lime chili powder. We love to top ours with jalapenos!
I love teaching preschool activities to my kids. When we were foster parents, I also had the privilege to teach preschool at home for a few months. Scouring resources and coming up with learning activities are my wheelhouse! You don’t have to have special curriculum to get started either-you can just use items around your house!
Teach Preschoolers Responsibility
Preschool aged children love being trusted and being given responsibility. It helps satisfy their new taste for independence and keeps them busy. A few easy ways to teach responsibility through preschool activities:
Give them a rag to help dust furniture.
Let them hand wash any of your plastic dishes.
Teach them the basics of making their bed (they will need help!)
Let them sweep or swiffer the floors
Set a timer to let them pick up toys when it’s time to go to bed.
Preschool Development with Sensory Activities
Sensory learning is crucial for preschool development! It helps them with fine motor skills, building confidence and so much more. You don’t need the latest wooden toys, either. You can use items around the house!
Fill a bowl with black beans or rice. Hide small age appropriate toys for the kids to find! Kind of like the game “I Spy” but with sensory bins!
Fill a bucket with water and let them wash some of their plastic toys
Fill a bowl with shaving cream or whipped cream and let them play in it for a few minutes. Will it make a mess? Yep! But, they will remember it for years to come.
Try making homemade play dough or slime. There are tons of recipes out there!
Fill a bow with ice cubes. Let the kids touch the ice cubes. Ask them how it feels. Can they name the appropriate term “Cold”?
Have the kids count a bag of cotton balls or pom poms!
Preschool Activities For Art
Art in preschool is the best! There are so many creative ways to teach kids the importance of art. It boosts morale, gives them a creative outlet among other things!
Take a piece of paper to a tree and let the kids slide the color back and forth. It will make a unique design, plus it doubles as sensory learning!
Try painting with cotton balls to make polka dots!
Watercolor painting is a great calming activity.
Drawing with chalk outside is always a great art project!
Utilize the plethora of Art Classes hosted online! A quick google search should give you tons of ideas!
Other things to Teach Preschool Kids
Storytelling (Ask them to tell you a story based on a word: Pig, Cow, Etc.
Difference between night and day
Lyrics To Kids Songs (BIBLE, Old MacDonald, etc)
Read To Your Preschooler
Many teachers and education experts agree that reading to your children is a huge benefit and one of the most important things you can do for your child’s education. Here’s a few ideas:
Read while they eat breakfast
Listen to audio books while going for a drive
Listen to audio books while cleaning
Read to Them Before Quiet Time
Read to Them Before Bedtime
Free Printables For Preschoolers
Take advantage of free printables for preschoolers! It’s a great boredom buster and kids feel accomplished when they complete them! Types of printables you can look for:
Self care is so important! We all need it to stay positive and sane.
Between rainy weather (it has been endless around here!) and many in self-isolation, it’s important to take care of yourself. As moms, we are often running to and fro and need time to settle down and take care of ourselves.
Free coloring page alert! Looking for boredom busters for your little ones? Download this fun coloring page for your kids!
I love learning how to create free printables for other families to enjoy. I have been creating them for my own kids to use in our homechool journey.
Today, this printable focuses on an easy heart coloring page while encouraging kids to practice counting 1 through 4! Simple and fun! You could create multiple pages and have the kids focusing on different colors. One page full of green hearts for St. Patrick’s Day, one page full of rainbow colors, etc. Have fun with it!
Free Coloring Page Printable
Download your free preschool math heart printable for your kids right here!
We also have other free printables geared towards the early years! Check them out here. For more free learning resources, check out our post on 11 free resources for your family!
This information is intended for information purposes only!
If you have made the decision to homeschool in Arkansas, you may be wondering where to start.
Check Out The Education Alliance
Thankfully, we have the incredible Education Alliance that will help you to get started on the right path. The EA has information on how to start homeschooling, keeping up with high school transcripts and information on homeschool graduations held throughout the state. It is crucial to make sure you are following state guidelines and they provide this information free of charge!
Start here to learn more about filling out an intent to homeschool which is required by Arkansas law!
Check Out Arkansas State Laws Through HSLDA
You can read more information regarding the state laws in Arkansas. They are another great resource for homeschool families that are just starting their journey.
Check Out Homeschool Groups
There is no shortage of homeschool groups in the state of Arkansas. Homeschool groups are a great way to meet other homeschool families, participate in field trips, etc. To find these groups, check on facebook by typing in your city plus homeschool group. You can also ask local online community groups for direction.
Even our state parks provide homeschool classes and activities throughout the year. You can check them out here.
More Thoughts Homeschooling in Arkansas
I’ve created a list of FREE resources for homeschool families that include curriculum options and free printables. You may also want to check my article on How to Homeschool on A Budget!
My best advice to you is to first learn the legal aspects of homeschooling and then ask a few trusted friends what curriculum that they love. This will help you to start narrowing down your style and curriculum choices.
There are also tons of homeschool curriculum reviews on YouTube!
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