Finish the Monster Drawing – Free Sample

What child doesn’t love friendly, lovable monsters? Combine monster love with children’s love of art plus my love for helping kids build better brain power and we’ve got a fun, brain boosting art activity for kids: Finish the Monster Drawing.


Kids finish the drawing of a friendly printable monster, add their own creative twist, and build visual processing skills while enjoying this fun art activity.


This printable freebie is a single-page sample of a larger activity pack. It’s best suited for kids in early to middle elementary and those with special needs.


Finish the Monster Drawing is an easy and fun way for kids to engage their brains, strengthening visual processing skills and even more learning essentials along the way.


Once the monster drawing is complete, don’t stop there! Keep the art activity going. Kids can add their own embellishments, draw their own backgrounds, then color their finished monster masterpieces any way they wish.


If you’re new here, please sign up in the sidebar to the right. Subscriber privileges include access to this free printable plus many more. Already subscribed? Please sign in.



What Hiking Has To Do With Cognitive Strength Training in Kids

My sister, crazy ambitious woman that she is, is planning to hike the John Muir trail with her husband next year. It’s a massive 220 mile trek to the top of Mt. Whitney. Max elevation, 14,496 feet.  Yikes!


Since my sister considers herself a casual hiker she’ll have to do a fair amount of strength training between now and then.


She’ll begin with building muscle strength in her legs.


Muscle strength alone won’t get her to the top, so she must also build up her endurance, starting slow and gradually increasing the length and difficulty of her hikes.


Will she stop there? Not at all. Hiking at sea level is one thing. Conditioning her body for the extreme effort of hiking in the clouds, well, that’s just smart planning.


What does all of this have to do with building and strengthening learning abilities?


What hiking and cognitive strength training have in common, and how this helps parents and teachers raise confident learners.


We can look at cognitive strength training in much the same way.


Let’s imagine that you really really REALLY hope your children become strong, confident learners, not ones who end up figuratively huffing and puffing and gasping their way through their academic journeys.


You recognize that hope is not a strategy, so you set a worthy goal: help optimize their ability to learn, preparing them as much as possible for academic challenges ahead.


If you help your children develop efficient visual memory skills and strengthen their spatial awareness, can you take a pass on other important foundation skills like auditory memory?


Can you just look past their tendency to lose their place when they read? Can you ignore their habit of inattention and still expect them to learn and process new information with relative ease?


My sister knows that if she really wants to go the distance and to actually enjoy the journey while she’s on it, she must prepare her whole body. She probably has a bit of hope in there as well, but strength training in ALL areas will elevate her chances significantly.


Not only that, but she needs the proper tools with her, like ultralight hiking gear, great shoes, nutritious, packable food and water, plus the knowledge she’s gained from the experiences of those who’ve gone before her.


If your child is in the early primary grades or even just starting school, consider cognitive strength training as an important first step to going the distance.


And if your child is already starting to show signs of weakness or academic fatigue, please don’t let them struggle all the way to the end of the journey. Gather your research, grab the proper tools, and help them build a foundation that will support them all the way to the top.


The Book of Visual Memory Activities for Kids

LaHelp kids build visual memory skills with 5 different categories of fun, therapeutic learning activities.tely I’ve focused my cognitive development discussions around one skill in particular, visual memory.


If you’re new here, this post will explain why being proactive about children’s visual memory development is so important:

The Importance of Visual Sequential Memory


If you’ve been with me for awhile (bless you) then you’ll be happy to learn that Building Visual Memory Skills THE BOOK is finally complete!


Why is that such good news?

 For starters, tools that help students build visual memory skills also help improve academics. And improved academic skills = happier, more confident kids! (We love that.)


• Having a complete book of visual memory skill-building activities adds variety to any educational environment. (We love that, too.)


 Maybe the best news for you, I’ll finally start talking about something OTHER than visual memory around here for a change. Heck, I could benefit from a little variety myself.


The Book

Building Visual Memory Skills THE BOOK includes 5 separate categories. Learn more about each one by clicking the following (internal) links:



You may purchase each of the categories separately ($4) or grab them all at once and save with the complete book ($15).


Who’s it for?

If you work with kids in a therapeutic educational setting or if you are a parent / homeschool parent of a struggling student, you’ll find the exercises in this book especially helpful.


However, since adapting the activities to suit most skill levels and most educational environments is relatively easy, these therapeutic exercises are just as appropriate for teachers in the primary school classroom as well. In fact, I highly recommend incorporating cognitive strength training in the classroom as soon as possible!


Start the first 3 categories as early as K-1 (and up). I recommend the last two categories for students in at least grade 2, but don’t be surprised if your 5th and 6th graders enjoy them the most.


Cognitive strength training is funny that way. Activities are primarily skill-building for some, and for others, well, they’re just plain fun.


If you’re ready to add this resource to your arsenal of educational tools, or if you just want to learn more, this link will take you to my Teachers Pay Teachers store:

Building Visual Memory Skills THE BOOK.


Not ready to leave yet? (Aw, shucks, I like you too.) In that case, I’ve picked out some more reading material for you:

How to Help Children Strengthen Visual Tracking Skills, and Why


Quick Quote: Ziggy on Optimism

Ziggy quote on optimism


Draw What You Saw, A Visual Memory Art Activity for Kids

Kids love art. Parents and teachers love helping children boost learning power. Draw What You Saw is a printable activity that combines the best of both, offering a fun way to incorporate art and creativity with activities that strengthen visual memory.


I had a lot of fun creating this one, and think the kids will love it, too! While the complete activity pack is now available in the store, I thought you might enjoy a free sample.


Draw What You Saw printable sample


This Draw What You Saw sample gives you the first of 10 different animal and insect themed activities, each with 3 skill-building steps: Remember It, Repeat It, Create It.


How it Works

Students first memorize a card with simple lines and shapes, then draw what they saw onto a separate page. They memorize 3 cards per activity. (Cut out or cover the cards not in use.)


Once finished, students get to see an illustration created from all of the lines and shapes they just drew. In the final step kids reassemble their work and draw the illustration, a fun reward for a job well done.


Draw What You Saw helps children reinforce important foundation learning skills, including:


  • visual memory
  • visual discrimination
  • visual figure ground
  • fine motor
  • attention


I recommend this activity for grades 2 and above. It’s a great resource for educational therapists and specialty educators focused on strengthening visual memory, but just as fun for upper elementary students in traditional classrooms and homeschool settings.


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The Big Back to School Sale

So there I was, enjoying a long overdue virtual vacation. You know, the kind where you don’t actually go anywhere but just relax and unplug for awhile.


Well, I sort of kind of cheated and plugged back in for a moment when surprise, surprise! Teachers Pay Teachers announced the date of their big Back to School Sale.


And you know what that means? THAT means…

it’s sale time at Inner Pieces Gallery, too.


And THAT means…

you can now save 28% on everything in my store. Yep, even the items I just added.


Back to School Sale


If you’re a proactive parent or educator and you happen to like boosting your child’s ability to learn, now is the perfect time to stock up on specialty education materials, even if you’re not a specialist.


Use your new learning power printables throughout the year to strengthen visual memory skills, visual tracking skills and more.


But don’t wait! Sale is August 4th and 5th only. Click here to shop. You save 20% automatically. See the additional 8% at checkout with coupon code BTS14.


Hint: Early birds, you may add your favorites to a wish list, then return when the sale begins.


Here’s that link again:


Finish the Symmetrical Drawing SUN DESIGNS

Finish the drawing activities, also called finish the picture or complete the image, help children reinforce a number of important cognitive skills.


When I introduced an earlier Finish the Drawing freebie I spoke about the significance of some of these learning skills, visual closure, spatial awareness, pattern recognition, and fine motor skills.


Finish the Symmetrical Drawing SUN DESIGNS


Now I introduce Finish the Symmetrical Drawing SUN DESIGNS, a slightly more advanced version with a Summer theme. I recommend this one for grades 2 and up, though you know your child’s skill level best.


Children finish each of the four sun patterns. (Careful, circles can be tricky!) Then they add a splash of creativity to the mix by coloring their finished drawings however they wish.


Ready to sneak a little more cognitive skill building into your child’s day? Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store and download Finish the Symmetrical Drawing SUN DESIGNS free.


Heads up, if you don’t already have a TPT account you’ll need one in order to access this free printable.  No worries, the sign-up process is simple and available to everyone, not just teachers.  Plus, membership grants you access to a craaaazy amount of freebies just like this one. Creating road trip binders? TPT is the perfect place to start. Here’s where to sign up.