Archive of ‘Freebie’ category

Teach Your Kids the 10 Commandments with a Matching Game

Recently I had an eye-opening conversation with a friend as we were bemoaning what appears to be a deterioration in society’s morals, and how teaching our kids values can feel like an uphill battle.  We live in a predominantly Christian community deep in the Bible belt where religion is interpreted in as many different ways as there are street corners.

Though I haven’t studied each denomination, and I recognize each one differs in interpretation, I thought there were some basics most churches had in common–like the 10 Commandments. And so (probably judgingly), I expressed to my friend that my moral expectations were higher for people who claimed to be church-goers and I was disappointed that the “top 10” seemed to be commonly dismissed as merely good suggestions.

Her confusion surprised me–and was the eye-opener–as she told me the church she grew up attending had taught that the 10 commandments were outdated, and except for the “big ones” like killing and stealing, they no longer applied today.

Teach Your Kids the 10 Commandments with FREE Matching Game

The point of this post isn’t to debate whether the commandments still apply today. It’s my belief that they do, and that it’s important to teach our kids HOW they apply in the world today–not just thousands of years ago when Moses received them on stone tablets.

Although the commandments may seem irrelevant or outdated to our children–particularly based on the examples we see all around us–we owe it to them teach the deeper meanings behind each commandment.

There are many ways to begin this discussion, but one way I love to teach and “keep life creative” is through games. This colorful 10 commandment match-up game is simple for young kids, but can easily be adapted into deeper discussions for older kids. Follow the directions below to create your own commandment cards.

10 commandments matchup game by Keeping Life Creative

10 Commandment Match-Up Supplies

Print the match-up game pieces.

10 commandments matchup

Laminate for durability.

10 commandments matchup laminate

Have you invested in a personal laminator for teaching and craft projects? It’s one of my most frequently used “supplies,” and I highly recommend owning one! They’re inexpensive, and if taking the time to make games like this, you’ll likely want them to last more than one use (or child!). I’ve found Sam’s Club/Costco to have the best price on refill lamination sheets.

Cut out game pieces.

10 commandments matchup cut

(Notice the patterned paper side. Here’s a fun tip! If you print on the white side of heavy patterned paper, you can play a memory matching game, and because of the pattern, kids can’t see through the back of the cards!)

10 commandments print on patterned paper

Play the game!

Match the numbers to the coordinating images representing the commandments.

If matching pictures to numbers is too hard for younger kids, skip the game and just use the colorful image cards to introduce the meanings behind each commandment.

10 commandments matchup game

The 10 Commandment Match-up Printable was e-mailed as an exclusive subscriber freebie to those who’ve previously signed up to receive scripture story teaching inspiration and new product notices. If you’d like to to be added to the list and receive this free printable (along with other fun freebies), you can join here.

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

This post is sponsored by Blue Bunny. Opinions are my own.

doodled border

Do have a favorite children’s author you cling to, collecting everything he/she writes?

I’m obsessed with Mo Willems.

My kids love his books too, especially the ones about Elephant and Piggie. The stories are simple in dialog and illustration, but have a way of sucking them in with the silly characters’ animated facial expressions. From a reading teacher perspective, these books are perfect for teaching the comprehension strategy of inferring feelings.

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Should I Share My Ice Cream? is about the (sometimes difficult) decision to share with someone else. I love that the book shows Gerald the Elephant’s very relatable thought process as analyzes, rationalizes, and justifies different scenarios in his decision to share (or not to share!) his ice cream with his best friend, Piggie.

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

This story has a surprising ending, and sparked some great discussion in our family. “Would YOU share something you love?”Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Thankfully, Blue Bunny makes sharing easy! Keep the good times rolling this summer with signature Bunny Tracks ice cream, classic Simply Vanilla ice cream sandwiches or irresistibly fun Mini Swirls.

On Sunday, August 2, ice cream lovers throughout all 50 states can check the local newspaper for a special coupon offer on tantalizing tasty Blue Bunny ice cream flavors, cones, sandwiches and bars which are made in Le Mars, Iowa–from fresh milk sourced from local dairy farms. For more information, visit

ice cream sharing

Another thing that makes sharing easy is YOU. I’m continually humbled and grateful for the support you show me and my little store. And for that, I say thank you with a new clip art freebie!

ice cream clip art preview

Those who’ve previously signed up to receive clip art inspiration, tips and tricks, and new product notices have already received this exclusive Build-Your-Own-Ice-Cream-Sundae subscriber freebie. If you’d like to to be added to the list and receive your own summertime treat, you can join here.

What’s your favorite ice cream indulgence?


Interactively Comparing the Arctic and Antarctic

arctic and antarctic venn diagram

My wiser-than-me mother-in-law always reminds, “It’s great to have a plan, but know, things probably won’t go according to plan.” And that’s exactly how things played out as we dove into a recent multi-elementary-age science unit.

I’d planned to keep things simple by lumping the Arctic and Antarctic together while teaching my preschooler, kindergartner, 2nd grader, and 4th grader about polar habitats. But more organically than I could have planned they began asking questions.

But why don’t polar bears and penguins live in the same place?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I truly knew the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic myself. And so searching for a way for the kids to differentiate helped fill-in the gaps of my own learning and gave me renewed perspective about this amazing world we get to live in. The love for learning I’ve discovered during this homeschooling journey has been one of my favorite parts of teaching.

arctic and antarctic Venn diagram

To see how we discovered the differences and similarities between the Arctic and Antarctic, and download FREE printables, read the rest in my contributing post at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

arctic and antarctic venn diagram3

Printable Gingerbread House Craftivity

Printable Gingerbread House Craft Template

Building gingerbread houses is one of my family’s favorite Christmastime traditions–the more elaborate and candy-laden, the better. It’s one of those activities we plan for in our Christmas budget, but since purchasing all the supplies can get quite pricey, it remains a once-a-year activity, even though my kids ask for it several times throughout the year.

The kids’ love for building gingerbread houses inspired this simple Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template–adaptable for the beginning or experienced gingerbread house builder, and loaded with plenty of non-sticky sweets.

Build Your Own Printable Gingerbread House Craft

You’ll need:

Download and Print the Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Download the Gingerbread House template and print on white paper or cardstock. We prefer cardstock as it makes the craft sturdier, especially when using markers or paint.

Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Color or Paint the Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Then color or paint the Gingerbread House craftivity pieces. Most of the time we prefer to paint our printable template crafts, but my kids chose crayons this time.

Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Cut the Gingerbread House Printable Craft Pieces

Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Assemble the Gingerbread House Printable Craft Pieces

Begin assembling the house with the structural pieces first.

Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Then, for the best part: decorating! I included several pieces in the printable so the kids could decorate to their imagination’s content. Some will want to go all out, while others may keep it simple. That’s the fun part of building gingerbread houses, and of this craft–no right way to assemble them.

Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

Mount Your Gingerbread Man for Display

When finished, mount your house on a piece of colored card stock or patterned paper, if desired, and display all season long.

Gingerbread House Printable Craft Template

This Gingerbread House Printable Template is available at Teachers Pay Teachers, or included in the Craft Template ARCHIVE along with many more free craftivity templates available to subscribers. Simply add your email to the list and you’re in!


Gingerbread House Craft Printable Template

Printable School Bus Craft Template

Create a School Bus Feltie for flannel or felt board using a FREE Printable School Bus Craft Template.

A few months back my totally-on-top-of-things-newlywed sister messaged and said, “I love your printable felties, but I want you to teach me how to make the real thing so I can get a head start on a set for my future kids.”

I loved the idea of sitting and crafting felt sets together, but we live almost 2,000 miles apart– so “teaching” the craft in person wasn’t in our near future. This conversation got my mind going though, and after putting out interest feelers during an impromptu survey on Facebook–and receiving an enthusiastic response–I thought I’d share a little creative process as we make this fun little school bus feltie.

(Little trade secret–typically when I sit down to create I’ll freehand a sketch or just freehand cut with my scissors to create the shapes. But, to make this tutorial process easier, I created a template pattern for you!)

Create a School Bus Feltie using a Printable Craft Template

Supplies You’ll Need:

Create a School Bus Feltie for flannel or felt board using a FREE Printable School Bus Craft Template.

Download and Print School Bus Craft Template

Download and print the template, and gather scraps of felt for your project.

Create a School Bus Feltie for flannel or felt board using a FREE Printable School Bus Craft Template.

Cut Out Felt Shapes

Lay the pattern on your felt, and cut the shapes from the pattern.

Create a School Bus Feltie for flannel or felt board using a FREE Printable School Bus Craft Template.

Glue Felt Shapes

It’s kind of a sneaky shortcut, but my adhesive best friend is the hot glue gun. Obviously be careful, especially if you’re crafting with kiddos (in this case, you may want to go with a fabric glue).

Create a School Bus Feltie for flannel or felt board using a FREE Printable School Bus Craft Template.

You could also adhere your pieces by hand stitching with thread or embroidery floss to add a whimsical, handmade feel to your pieces.

A few more ideas for using the printable school bus craft template:

  • Assemble buses of all colors!
  • Use as a fun prop for singing “The Wheels on the Bus” with the kiddos
  • Play with on the flannel board
  • Make a paper-pieced bus using your favorite card stock
  • Place as a gift topper (extra fun for a teacher or favorite bus driver!)
  • Decorate a bulletin board
  • Paint with tempera paint (or color with crayons) for a fun cut-and-paste kids’ art project (like this)

Create a School Bus Feltie for flannel or felt board using a FREE Printable School Bus Craft Template.


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