You’ll love these 7 Kids Books about Imagination

7 kids books about Imagination

I love kids picture books. There are SO many to choose from, it’s such a pleasure to browse the bookstore, online book titles and the local library. Great books are such a treat – beautifully written, gorgeous pictures  and great characters to fall in love with. A good book can also be a great way to explore ‘big ideas’ or concepts with kids. Kids happily relate to the stories and the characters in a book, and talk about the ideas within the book. As a teacher, a good book can help spark conversation and engagement about something we are studying in class. It can support and drive forward ideas and concepts that you are studying, and help kids understand it, as they relate to (often) imaginary characters and their adventures and ideas. I regularly spent many hours looking for the perfect books to read to my class, or add to the class library, that would help my kids understand or inspire my kids to talk about whatever we were learning about in class.

 

Here are 7 books that you are going to love about IMAGINATION. IF you are looking to spark imagination or conversation about curiosity with your kids, these books would be a definite bonus in your classroom.

1. Are We There Yet?

are we there yet

Hands up if you like long car journeys. This picture book really captures the mood of a long journey with an unhappy kid in the back of the car. I LOVE this book! It’s about the adventures that can happen once you get a little bit bored, and let your imagination take over!

This book would definitely spark conversations about long journeys, moments kids have been bored, and the ideas they have had or could have if they let their imaginations run free.

 

 

 

2. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Cow who climbed a tree

Tina is a very curious cow. She is full of ideas and constantly want to try new things. Her sisters think her ideas are ‘nonsense’ and prefer to stay in the farm and eat grass. One day they go looking for Tina, and discovered just how exciting it can be when you try the impossible.

This is a gorgeous book that would be a great springboard for a conversation about curiosity, asking questions and trying something new!

 

 

 

3. This is Sadie

this is sadie

Sadie is a little girl who is full of imagination. This story takes us on a journey through Sadie’s imaginative day as she sails the sea, lives under the sea, visits wonderland and is a hero in fairytales. The book shows Sadie using a giant box and different things in her bedroom before setting off on her adventures.

 

 

4. Use Your Imagination

use your imagination

This is a super cute book. When Rabbit is bored, Wolf suggests he uses his imagination to create a story. At first Rabbit suggests the story should be about ‘space rockets…..big explosions! And bananas.’ Wolf talks Rabbit through how to make a story with a bad guy, hero, setting….and before Rabbit knows it he is in a story about a Rabbit trying to escape from a Wolf! But he uses his imagination to solve the problem.

 

 

 

5. Henry’s Amazing Imagination

henrys amazing imagination

This is one of my new favorite books, and I’ll tell you why. This is a story about a little mouse who has a fantastic imagination. He uses his imagination during show and tell, to share ‘news’ with his class about his neighbor’s pet dinosaur and how aliens landed on his lawn. This book made me laugh a lot, because when I was in school my younger brother did exactly this! In fact his ideas were so creative that the teacher temporarily suspended show and tell because the kids’ stories were become more and more creative! Anyways, Henry’s teacher encourages him to use his imagination to write stories, and a little mouse writer is born 🙂IMG_2978

 

 

 

6. Not a stick

not a stick

This book is has  little text, simple line drawings, and yet the message of the book is SO strong. It has the reader eager to turn the page to see what the stick is. The stick ‘is not a stick’, but it’s a fishing rod, baton, paintbrush and horse! This is an adorable book, and is a great book to have in your classroom to spark conversation about imagination and creativity!

 

Watch where you point that stick.This is not a stick.

 

 

 

7. My Imagination Kit

my imagination kit

 

On a wet morning, a little boy’s mother hands him a box of crayons and tells him it’s an Imagination Kit. The little boy sends the day drawing his way through a jungle, the ocean and a desert island. By calling the crayons an ‘Imagination Kit’ the box of crayons is transformed into a tool to have a fantastic adventure. I love that description. If you ever have a kid who says they’re bored, this is a great book to read to them, right before you hand them their very own imagination kit!

 

What other books do you read your to your class to spark conversation and ideas about imagination? I’d love to add to the list I have already.

 

Happy Reading!

Roisin

 

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3 Free Online Storytelling Resources for Kids

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Hands up if you like storytime! I know I do……and so do my kids! Who doesn’t enjoy the chance to just sit back and listen to a story being read to you, take some time out and use your imagination. Recently we have been listening to some great podcasts for kids while we are out an about in the car, or just home and relaxing, and the pure pleasure of just listening to a story, or watching as someone tells you something new you haven’t heard of before, just never grows old.

 

It’s always nice to find new ways to share stories and storytime with your kids, at home and in school. So I wanted to share a few FREE resources that I found, that could be a great addition to your storytime sessions.

 

 

Storyline Online

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Fancy having storytime read to your kids by Christian Slater, Kevin Costner, Betty White or Elijah Woods? If you haven’t yet discovered Storyline Online yet, you really should check it out. It is a FREE resource online, and it is great! Imagine sitting down and listening to some great storybooks being read by some very well-known actors, while watching an illustrated version of the book. This website gives kids access to some great titles and storytelling.

I have used this for many years, both in the classroom, and also as a parent. And the kids always love it. It’s a great way to give kids a different storytelling experience, watching someone who clearly loves to read and tell stories.

 

 

Storynory

storyory

Storynory is another storytelling resource online that is FREE. I came across this resource recently and it is another great find! It has a large collection of audio stories for kids including poems and music, myths and world stories, classics, fairytales, educational and original stories. The stories are really enjoyable to listen to, and you can download the stories too! This is another great way to get kids listening to stories in class and at home in another medium. Audio books are great for improving listening skills, imagination, extending vocabulary and just giving the kids a great experience of listening to a story.

 

 

Magic Keys

maguc keys

Magic Keys is the final website I’m suggesting you should try. It also has a wide of books that are available for free. Not all of these books have audio, but you can click through the book page, by page on their site, and the books have some cute illustrations and stories. Another handy site to check out.

 

Happy reading with your class with these FREE online resources!

What other online resources do you use to share stories with your kids?

 

Roisin

 

 

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Help your kids become Leprechaun Experts For St. Patrick’s Day

Good MorningSunshine!

St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! If you’re looking for some ideas for your class, or just simply to find out more about the day and how to explain it your kids, I’ve got some ideas for you!

Turn your students into Leprechaun Experts for the day! Teach your kids some facts from Irish folklore, so when they write a story, or plan a leprechaun trap, they can use the facts that you’ve shared with them, to support their ideas. By using facts from Irish folklore, you’ll also be helping them to understand, in more depth, about these famous characters from Irish tales, and the stories surrounding them.

Growing up in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day was always such a giant celebration, and I still get excited about it! Every every year my own kids wear Irish shirts (posted to us from Ireland), and some green necklaces, bowties, or something that is just the right shade of green! I love thinking of fun ways to celebrate Irish culture for St Patrick’s Day, and one very fun part of Irish culture is our folk tales – especially the stories about Leprechauns!

So, if you want to add a little Leprechaun-themed excitement to your classroom,…..here are 7 great leprechaun facts that will elevate your Leprechaun Expert status in your classroom in no time!

1. Leprechauns have been part of Irish folklore for over 1,000 years! Leprechauns are fairy folk that come from Ireland. In fact, stories about fairies in Ireland still exist. When my grandmother was a child, they had a tree at the bottom of the garden that they weren’t allowed to touch, because people believed it was a fairy tree. Fairies and fairy trees are still part of Irish tradition and culture.

2. Leprechauns often look like old men, with a beard, and wearing a coat and a hat. They are never bigger than a small child, and the Irish word for a leprechaun comes from the old Irish word luchorpán, which means – small body. There are no stories about girl leprechauns, but we can’t be sure that that they don’t exist.

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3. Leprechauns aren’t quite as cute and loveable as they look in many of the pictures we see of them today. They are actually pretty grumpy and get up to quite a lot of mischief. If you try to trick a leprechaun they often use their magic on you!

4. Leprechauns are very hard working. They are shoemakers who make a lot of their gold from fixing fairies’ shoes. One of the ways you can tell if a leprechaun is nearby, is if you hear the tapping of his cobbler hammer as he fixes shoes nearby. Leprechauns like to store the gold that they earn in a giant pot.

5. Leprechauns often like to store their gold at the end of a rainbow, but we can’t really be sure because people are rarely successful in capturing leprechauns. If you do happen to be lucky enough to catch one, be sure to keep your eyes on him, because as soon as you look away from a leprechaun they can escape!

6. Leprechauns are solitary creatures, so they like to live alone and away from people. They like to live in a hole in the ground, and the best time to see them is after dusk and before dawn.

7 . Leprechauns LOVE to play music and dance!

Once your mini experts filled with excitement about Leprechauns, here are some questions to get them feeling like they really know their stuff!

  • How long have there been tales about leprechauns in Ireland?
  • What does a leprechaun look like?
  • Where do leprechauns like to live?
  • What do leprechauns like to do?
  • How might you know if a leprechaun is nearby?
  • What is the best time to see a leprechaun?

When your students feel like true Leprechaun Experts, it’s time to put their skills to work! Here are some ideas that your students could do:

  • Design a leprechaun trap using what you know about leprechauns
  • Create your own leprechaun character: What does he look like? What are his interests? Where does he live?

 

You room should be filled with mini Leprechaun loving experts in no time!

 

Do you have any fun ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with your class?

 

If you’d like to inspire your mini Leprechaun Experts with no-prep, the Leprechaun Fact Files are available in my TpT store here:

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9 Books for St. Patrick’s Day

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St Patrick’s Day is just 2 weeks away, and shamrock’s and green decorations are starting to fill my house. Having grown up in Ireland, this time of year is always such a fun time! Shamrocks, rainbows, gold themed stories and decorations were always part of the tradition. As was going to mass on the morning of St Patrick’s day, with some shamrock or a green, white and orange rosetta, pinned to your jacket, before heading off to see the parade.

We are all a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re starting to look for some Irish inspiration, and thinking about how to add a little bit of leprechaun magic to our day, I have rounded up some books that will help you do just that! You can find these at your local library.

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The Night Before St Patrick’s Day

night before st patricks day

Written in the style of ‘The Night before Christmas’ this is the story of two children who spend the night before St Patrick’s day setting traps to catch a leprechaun. With some cute rhymes, this is a story that could be used to spark conversations about catching leprechauns and creating traps. The ending reflects a few well known stories about leprechauns and just how tricky they can be, even when you catch them.

As a side note, in the book the father plays bagpipes on the morning of St Patrick’s day. Bagpipes that you blow in to are more traditionally Scottish. In Ireland the uileann pipes (‘uileann’ means elbow), are more traditional. The bag of the uileann pipes is filled when the player uses their arm to move the bellows that are underneath their arm. An uileann pipes player can sing while playing. Here is a clip of a young 10 year old boy playing the uileann pipes.

Green Shamrocks

green shamrocks

This is a super cute picture book. Rabbit is busy growing shamrocks in a  yellow pot for St Patrick’s day so that he can wear them to the parade. But one morning when he wakes up, his shamrocks are missing. He goes searching for them, hoping that he will find his ;yellow pot of green shamrocks’ before the parade. –he’s getting them ready for St. Patrick’s Day so he can wear them for the parade!

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover

old lady swallowed clover

There was an old lady who liked to swallow lots of things – including a clover! In this St Patrick’s day version of this rhyme, the old lady swallows lots of things (including a clover, a pot and some gold), and when she dances with a leprechaun it makes a ……..perfect rainbow!

Fiona’s Luck

fionas luck

When all the luck in Ireland is locked away by the Leprechaun King, all of Ireland despairs. No on knows why the plants have stopped growing and no on is having any luck. Fiona is the only one who realizes that the leprechauns have taken all of the luck. She sets out to bring back luck to Ireland. This is a really lovely book, that young and older students will enjoy.

Saint Patrick and the Peddler

st patrick and the peddler

This is the story of a poor peddler, a porridge pot, the ghost of Saint Patrick and a journey.  The peddler was generous and kind and shared what little he had with others. When he is visited by the ghost of Saint Patrick, the peddler sets off on a journey. This book has beautiful illustrations throughout of Ireland, and is written as a more traditional story both with the language and with the storyline (with 3 dreams and a journey).

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day

a fine st patrick's day

The towns of Tralee and Tralah hold an annual St Patrick’s Day decorating contest. Every year Tralee is beaten by Tralah, but this year a little girl has a great idea to paint the entire town of Tralee green. They are sure they will win, but when a stranger comes looking for help, they must decide whether to help, or get ready for the competition. This is a sweet book about community and helping others, and what really counts on St Patrick’s Day (or any day).

The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever

the luckiest st patrick's day ever

This is a super cute story about a leprechaun family and their friend who celebrate St Patrick’s Day on their favorite day of the year – March 17th. It’s full of bright and appealing illustrations about the leprechauns as they celebrate with a parade and with family, friends and food! A cute story for little learners.

The Leprechaun’s Gold

the leprechauns gold

This is the story of Old Pat,  who is generous and kind and a great harp player, and Young Tom, who is self-centered and mean harp player. When a Harp Competition is announced by the king, both men set off on a journey together. When Tom realises that Old Pat may win the competition, he breaks a string on his harp. But, when Old Tom helps a leprechaun who is in trouble, a little bit of magic is added to the story. This is a fun story that also highlights how being generous and kind is important. The magic and mischief of the leprechauns is also seen in the story. And if you look really closely with your students you might be able to find all of the clovers that are hidden in the illustrations.

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

patrick patron saint of ireland

This book tells the story of Saint Patrick. How he was captured from his home in the United Kingdom, lived in slavery in Ireland until he escaped, and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary. If you are looking for a book to tell the historical story of Saint Patrick, this is a good book for you. It also includes some of the myths about Saint Patrick in the book.

I hope this post has given you some St. Patrick’s Day book-spiration for your storytime and class library. What other books do you read for St Patrick’s Day?

If you’d like a FREE St Patrick’s Day resource, click on the picture below to download my free mini book, the story of St Patrick and the snakes and a wordserch!

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Roisin

Roll A Valentine’s Day Story

It’s hard to ignore the endless amount of pink and red hearted cuddly toys and candy filling the stores this past week! Valentine’s day is most definitely almost upon us! One thing I love about Valentine’s day now, compared to when I was growing up, is the focus upon friendship and everyone in the class getting a valentine. It’s a lot more about community building. I love when my excited kids come home with a bag full of tiny cards from their classmates and they are SO excited and spend a long time looking at every one of those cards.

If you’re looking to add some Valentine writing fun for the young writers in your class this week, this Roll a Valentine Story activity has lots of ideas! Roll A Story is a fun way to get your students to create their own story starters, and will have them having fun with their story before they even begin writing. Valentine Roll-A-Story gives beginner writers some basic elements (Character, Setting, and Problem), to create a story. With the roll of a dice they mix and match these story elements and can create a new story every time! For those writers who want something extra there’s also a ‘Extra Element’ that can be included in the story.

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What you need:
A die, a roll a valentine story sheet, an extra element sheet (optional) and a recording sheet.

  1. Take a story sheet (with / without images)  and roll a die to choose:
    (a) a character, (b) a setting and (c) a problem.roll-a-story

 

  1. Add an extra element to the story (optional)
  1. Record what you rolled, and add any extra ideas that you have, before writing your story!

Happy Rolling and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Roisin

The Christmas Addition Machine

I just love this time of year. Everywhere you look people are full of the holiday spirit. Ever since I was a small child this has been my favorite of the year! The lights around the neighborhood and in the main streets of the city just made it look so magical .

Have some Christmas fun with your students , with this FREEBIE Christmas Addition Machine. This is a fun and hands-on way for your students to explore number bonds up to 10.

 

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Click HERE to download this activity.

In this ‘Christmas Addition Machine’ game, your students explore number bonds from 1-10, by using the ten frame and recording their answers on the Addition Machine and the recording sheet.

To play:

  1. Students pick an Addition Machine Card. blog pic 1

2. They use the Ten Frame to find a number bond that makes 5.

blog pic 23. Finally students fill in the numbers in the Addition Machine, and record it on their recording sheet.

Christmas Addition Machine Christmas Addition Machine - Recording Sheet

 

I hope you have some addition fun with your class with this game! If you are looking for more addition fun you can check out Making 10 for Christmas HERE.

 

Roisin

The Power of Nursery Rhymes

The Power Of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are a fantastic tool in the early years classroom. They give children exposure to rhyme and rhythm, and teach phonemic awareness in a fun and repetitive way. The Guardian paper in the UK polled 2,500 people and asked them what their all time favorite nursery rhymes were. The top ten nursery rhymes included: Hickory Dickory Dock, Little Miss Muffet, Incey Wincey Spider (Itsy Bitsy Spider), Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jack and Jill, Twinkle Twinkle and Humpty Dumpty. These nursery rhymes have been shared with young children by their parents for hundreds of years. What makes nursery rhymes such appealing rhymes for young children and why are they such a good learning tool in the early years?

Rhyme

As young children grow as language learners they become aware that some words sound the same even if they are spelt differently. Through nursery rhymes children are exposed to fun and memorable rhymes and word families like diddle/fiddle, stream/dream and dock/clock. Not all of the rhymes in the nursery rhymes make sense like ‘hickory dickory dock’ or ‘hey diddle diddle’, but I think this adds to the fun of nursery rhymes, and inspires the young creative mind to think of limitless rhyming words. From a very young age children can begin joining in with nursery rhymes. Even very young children can begin joining in the rhyming fun by finishing sentences ‘Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you ______?’

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Rhythm and Phonics

I remember very clearly singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ with my daughter when she was a baby. To begin with she always sang ‘star’ at the end of every sentence, but even in the early days, her sense of rhythmic patterns and the structure of language were beginning to develop.  Nursery rhymes are full of fun rhythm which make it easy for children to join in and follow. Exposing children to this rich culture of words and rhythm in language is a fantastically enriching experience for them. The best thing is that nursery rhymes are so much fun, children don’t even realise they are learning such important elements as assonance, alliteration, rhythm, etc.

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Fun with the printed text

Even before children can read they can have exposure to how a books work and engage with text on a page. As simple as looking at a page of a poem that is read by an adult, or ‘reading’ a book by themselves as they turn the pages and observe the pages filled with both text, and also visual prompts,  illustrations or key words in the rhyme.mini books small2

There are several products in my store which you might find useful as you explore Nursery Rhymes with your class.

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5 Things to know for St Patrick’s Day!

Having grown up in Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is still a day that fills me with great excitement! St. Patrick’s Day was always a holiday and a guaranteed day off school or work, a trip to see the parade and wearing green was always a must! Even now the anticipation of the arrival of Paddy’s Day, fills me with that giddy excitement of that younger excited schoolgirl.

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5 Things to Know for St Patrick’s Day

 

St Patrick wasn't Irish, he was born in Britain. St Patrick wasn’t born in Ireland. That’s right! Ireland’s most famous and celebrated saint, St Patrick, wasn’t actually born in Ireland, in fact he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave! Historians aren’t exactly sure where he came from, but they believe it is either Wales or England.

St Patrick is the Patron Saint of IrelandWhen Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland, he was sold to a farmer who put him to work minding his animals. Saint Patrick lived and worked with the animals. After several years he managed to escape by stowing away on a boat which set sail to France. While he was in France, he trained to become a priest. After many years he began having dreams about the people of Ireland calling to him to come back to them. He returned to Ireland as a missionary and is now Ireland’s patron saint.

My freebie is available at my TpT Store
This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

Ireland has a female patron saintIreland has a female Patron Saint too. In fact Ireland has three patron saints – Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Columba. Saint Patrick is by far the most famous. The female patron saint of Ireland is Saint Brigid. She has her own feast day on February 1st and she even has her own cross. Saint Brigid was a nun and there is a story that tells how she went to visit the King of Leinster (one of the 4 provinces of Ireland) for some land to build a convent. When the king refused, she asked would he let her have however much land her cloak she was wearing would cover. Then king wanted to get rid of Brigid, and so he agreed. When Saint Brigid began to lay her cloak out, the corners of the cloak continued to stretch until it covered huge parts of the land. The king began to panic when he saw this and promised Saint Brigid a nice plot of land for her convent.

There are no snakes in Ireland - St Patrick banished them It’s true! There really are no snakes in Ireland! The legend says that St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland by driving them off a cliff and into the sea. There is a story about the last snake in Ireland. There was a snake who did not want to be banished. St Patrick tricked the snake into climbing into a box, and then threw the box into the sea. This, the legend goes, is why there are no snakes in Ireland. It is because of this legend that St Patrick is often pictured with snakes by his feet.

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This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

Shamrocks have 3 heart Shaped LeavesA shamrock has 3 heart shaped leaves. It really is very simple to draw a shamrock once you know this. It might seem simple, but if you ever find yourself needing to draw a quick shamrock for an activity, this little observation can be a lifesaver. Trust me!

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This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

One thing I really enjoying for St Patrick’s Day is making Potato Print pictures. It’s simple and is lots of hands on fun!

All you need is:

  •  A potato, A knife (to cut the potato), Paper, Green Paint & a container for the paint

1. Cut the potato in half. Carve a heart shape into the top of the potato and cut away the potato until it looks like thisMake a potato print for St Patrick's Day

 

2. Using the heart shaped potato print, create shamrocks by placing 3 heart shaped prints beside each other. I love little finger prints, I just think they look so cute and encourage hands on play with the paint. So, using finger tips you could add a stem to the shamrock.

Potato Printing Shamrocks for St Patrick's DayPotato Printing Shamrocks for St Patrick's Day

If you are looking for more st Patrick’s Day ideas check out:

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Graphics © Krista Wallden (Creative Clips)

 

Yippee – newsletter and a Sale!

Hello long forgotten blog! My resolution to post regularly hasn’t really worked out, but I’m going to get better about posting – New Year’s Resolution (Again!)

I was SO excited to find out that one of my Freebies is featured in today’s TpT newsletter! I really like this product – I created it to reinforce Fact Families, as I had a little boy who was struggling with them. I found that it really helped!

Addition Fact Families

 

Directions-OwlNumberFun

How to Play:

The game includes Owl Nest Cards, Egg Number Cards and a Student Recording Sheet. Place the Owl Nest Cards & Egg number cards on the table. Players choose a nest.They find two egg cards that they can add together to make the number on the nest. They record their number work on the recording sheet.

 

To celebrate I am throwing a One Day Flash Sale Today with 20% off in my store!

Giant Sale on TpT! 3 Million Strong!

Wow – 3 million teacher members! TpT is having a huge site wide sale to celebrate hitting this milestone on February 27th-28th this week. I have loved my TpT journey so far, and am delighted to be celebrating this giant milestone with them – reaching my one year anniversary with TpT this month seems teeny compared to their milestone!

The majority of stores will be offering 20% off for the duration of the sale. If you add the TpT Promo Code TPT3 at the checkout, you will receive a MASSIVE 28% off all of your purchases! That’s a great deal! My ENTIRE STORE will be 28% off for Thursday and Friday. If you are a TpT fan (or are curious about the site) you should head over to TpT and get your wishlists ready – I know I am!

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I am linking up with  Mrs Beattie’s Linky Party to spread the news about the sale! Check out the links below to find more fantastic sellers who are on sale!

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