For Valentine's Day, I put together this amazing heart popper for my son's class. They loved popping through for a prize. I found the original heart on pinterest. You can see the original in the photo below. You can find the full directions on the blog Balancing Home. It really is such a fun idea!
After spending so much time making it and realizing that it is such a hit with the kids, I wanted to find a way to use it all year long. Here's my heart. Not quite as perfect as Balancing Home's, but the kid's didn't mind :)
I took my Valentine heart and filled it with these adorable duckies (from Oriental Trading). Each duck is dressed in a costume to match each letter of the alphabet. I only have 24 cups in my heart, so I left out X and Y.
Next, I covered each cup with 1/4 of a paper napkin. I bought those at the dollar store.
I put each napkin over the top of each cup and attached it with a rubber band.
Next, I laid out the letters of the alphabet in order on the floor.
I am using the letters of the alphabet from my Amazing Animals pack. I hot glued a capital letter to the front of a popsicle stick and the animal that begins with that letter to the back. I use these all the time in many different ways.
Here are some of the animals.
After all the animals were laid out, we got to pop out the ducks!
Then, the student would identify the letter written on the duck and we would try and figure out what the duck costume the duck was wearing. We would identify and isolate the beginning sound. This was a dog.
After identifying the letter and sound, students matched the duck to the correct letter.
We also used the feet from my Put Your Best Foot Forward pack. I love the feet with letters on them! I use these for learning the alphabet, spelling student's names, sight words, word families. The possibilities are endless. They are one of my go-to language arts manipulatives.
A little management trick- I store my feet in a boxed organizer.
It's easy for me (and the kids) to store and find the letters.
I also have a binder that contains all my feet in plastic sheet protectors. This is even easier for kids to find and store the letters. I used a copy of my alphabet posters to help organize the letters.
Each letter has a upper and lowercase letter, as well as, pictures of words with the beginning sounds.
With some of my older students, I filled the cups with even and odd numbers from my freebie Arctic: Even and Odd Number Sort. I put the sorting mats in front of the popping heart.
After students pop a number, they place it on the sorting mat.
There are also extension activities included in the freebie. Kids can use bingo dabbers to identify, if a number is even or odd. They can also cut and paste numbers under even and odd.
You can use your heart popper for anything! I just wanted to share a few ideas that I have used so far. How would you use the popper?? Leave me a message and let me know. I would love to try it out!