Rainbows and Pots of Gold in Preschool!

There is nothing like an upcoming holiday to get Preschoolers over the moon excited.  One of my favorite ones is St. Patrick’s Day.  Even if you don’t celebrate holidays at your school, or in your home, there are so many awesome themes that can be incorporated into a March curriculum.  The first round up I did was on Rainbows and Pots of Gold.  Enjoy!

slide_405688_5064572_free
One Artsy Momma’s fruit loop Rainbow

One Artsy Momma creates a super simple but really fun Fruit Loop Rainbow!  I’m sure kids would love snacking away as they create, but this is also a great way to practice sorting colors, following the order of the rainbow, and strengthening those fine motor skills.

DSC_0187edit_zps8e33800f
Shamrock Necklace by Mamas Like Me

Still have fruit loops left over?  Try making these awesome personalized Shamrock Necklaces by Mamas Like Me.   Your children will definitely strengthen their fine motor skills as they work to string fruit loops on a necklace.  And what a fun necklace it is!

slide_405688_5064566_free
Q-tip painting with Make and Takes

I love this adorable and, relatively, mess free Q-tip rainbow painting!  Make and Take taped together q-tips and added paint for a simple way to create the rainbow.  You could use q-tips individually to, but this is a neat way to swipe just like a paintbrush.  And think of how mess free it can be compared to finger painting!

slide_405688_5064554_free
Pot of Gold from B-inspired Mama`

This is a great little Hand Print Pot of Gold from B-inspired Mama.  Definitely starts to get messy when you add in painting hands, but kids love to see their handprints turn into art work.  If you don’t have the foil wrappers it would be super easy to make the gold coins out of something else as well.

slide_405688_5064586_free
Pot of Gold from Babble

Here is another, less messy, take on a Pot of Gold from Babble.  Using pre-cut pieces of tissue paper is a super simple way to create the rainbow.  Children will again have the opportunity to sort by colors and follow the pattern of the rainbow.  Instant art!

slide_405688_5064548_free
St. Patrick’s Day Book Mark from Teaching my Friends!

This is such a simple but adorable bookmark!  Paint chips that you can find at any Hardware store are great for projects.  Children will also get to see the various shades of a color and how the all come from the same family.  You could use hole punches, stickers, stamps, or anything you want really to decorate.  And then a little rainbow ribbon flare at the top, ta-da!  Children would love creating book marks to use!

end-of-the-rainbow-pot-of-gold-st-patricks-day-craft-for-kids
End of the Rainbow Twirler by Crafty Morning

There are so many things you can create from paper plates, and this one is great!  Crafty Morning painted a paper plate rainbow style first, and then cut it in a spiral.  Children can have a blast painting, and when it dries, you can help with the cutting.  It would look awesome hanging from the ceiling!

slide_405688_5064550_free
Streamer Rainbows by Happiness is Homemade

Another great project to hang from the ceiling or windows!  Happiness is Homemade uses half a paper plate, streamers and cotton balls.  Almost all of the materials you probably have hanging around the house!  It’s a simple project with a great end result!  Children of all ages will love the 3D effect and the moveable streamers.

Our Debt Snowball – February

In January we began our Debt Snowball, per Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  Check out the beginning of our Journey HERE.

In January we started to tackle one of our student loans, which had a total balance of $2,993.52.  Through lots of budgeting and scrimping we were able to pay off $1,520, leaving us with a balance of $1,485.16 after interest was added.  Our student loan had a monthly payment of $127, which we paid, and then added in every extra dollar we could spare.  I was pretty impressed that we were able to scrounge up that extra $1,520!

So for February we got that snowball rolling.  We were able to pay off the balance of that student loan, and start in on our next debt!  It was so satisfying being able to make the final payment on our first debt!  Cross one off of the list!

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 4.01.04 PM
So satisfying to see a $0 balance on our first debt!

Now, we take that $127, that we were paying on the loan, and roll it into the next on the list…a credit card balance.  Our second debt, a credit card that started with a balance of $1,895.52 is up to bat.  This has a monthly payment of around $60, but we are now able to add in the $127 from our previous loan, and automatically we can now pay $187 without changing anything in our budget.  But who wants to pay the minimum?  We want our snowball flying down the hill!

In addition to the saving and budgeting techniques that we used  in January we had a few extra income opportunities that were able to really help us pay down our debt this month.  My husband coaches two high school sports, and he received both stipends this month.  We generally take his stipend and spend it on a vacation, this year we divided it into quarters.  One quarter went into the vacation fund, one quarter into his spending money, one quarter into savings, and one quarter right into the debt snowball.  For the month of January this was an extra $1,500 that we applied straight into debt.  It helped take a huge chunk out!  I also received a bonus at work, since that was surprise income we applied it right to the debt as well.  These aren’t typical incomes, so we won’t be able to pay off this much at a time on a regular basis each month, but getting the momentum going and seeing our debt really start to lower has been so rewarding.

At the beginning of February we still had $1,485.16 left on a student loan…gone!  Then we moved onto a credit card with $1,895 which is now down to $315.52!

So far in 2016 we have paid a total of $4,593 in debt!  And it’s only been two months!  In March I know that we will be able to finish off that credit card, which now means when we move onto our 3rd debt we will be paying the $172+$60+the minimum payment.  That’s an extra $182 a month that we are adding to our snowball.

We are still continuing to add to our house savings account, but paying off our outstanding debt is really getting fun.  My husband starts a new job in a week, and his first month on the job will be a real pay cut, so I am definitely glad we completed the first step of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, which was setting up a $1,000 emergency fund.  Hopefully we don’t need it, but if we do, we know it’s there.

And then in a few weeks I start my new job, I received a promotion at work, so they extra income will help with the decrease my husband will be seeing.  And then as his salary starts to increase we can take the extra and roll it into our snowball.

I’m excited to see if we can keep the momentum up.  What budgeting techniques do you use?

Check out a copy of Dave’s book here, I highly recommend it!