Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity

With the book as a guide, I found items in our school stuff that served as food for the caterpillar. I was able to find several stickers, we used pompoms for all the fruit and things I couldn't find I cut out of construction paper (hence the orange salami).

What we used:
1 apple: red pompom
2 pears: pear sticker
3 plums: blue pompoms
4 oranges: orange pompoms
5 strawberries: pink pompoms
1 piece of chocolate cake: sticker
1 ice cream cone: foam sticker
1 pickle: green construction paper
1 piece of cheese: yellow construction paper
1 piece of salami: orange construction paper
1 lollipop: foam sticker
1 slice of pie: sticker
1 piece of sausage: orange construction paper
1 cupcake: sticker
1 watermelon: a piece of watermelon that used to be attached to a melon baller
leaf: green piece of felt

(this is the pic of our original, our new looked exactly the same minus a few legs)

We made another caterpillar like the one here (you can find directions for the caterpillar in that post) and then read the book. While we read the book, I took off the caterpillar's face (which sounds terrible, but he had to eat!) and she dropped the food into the paper towel roll as I read. He was a FULL caterpillar by the end! After he ate the leaf, I replaced his face and we wrapped him in a blanket (his chrysalis). We put him on a shelf and I told her we'd check on him after her nap.

Of course, I forgot to turn him into a butterfly while she slept so I ran to do it while the Farmer watched her for a few minutes (let's just say those few minutes turned into a disaster after she cut her heel on the dishwasher). Eventually he made the switch to a butterfly and I brought it out to show her. She loved it and likes to fly him around.
Such a simple activity to show the process of caterpillar to butterfly.

Oatmeal Scotchies

You might call these Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies, but around here Oatmeal Scotchies is a much better name. I have a recipe for these, but they often come out crunchy and I was looking for a softer cookie. I found one, tweaked it and fell in love with this cookie all over again.

I made these for our babysitter since last night was her last night for the time being (since Auntie RoRo gets here TOMORROW! and she turns into our babysitter, hehe). Little did I know it was going to make 5 dozen (yes, 60!) cookies. So I made the Farmer take some to his girls soccer practice and I toted the rest with me to class (and forced them on my students).

I came home with 6 cookies. Clearly they tasted terrible. Anyway, I was able to snap a quick photo of the last 3 and am now going to stop rambling and share this amazing cookie recipe with you.

The Recipe: Oatmeal Scotchies

What you need:
1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1.5 cups white flour
.5 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups oats
1 pkg butterscotch chips
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place sugars, honey and butter in your mixer (use paddle attachment) and beat for about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat 3 more minutes. Pour in flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and oats. Beat for another minute. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in butterscotch chips and pecans.
Roll into balls and place on well greased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to wire rack. Do not overbake! 8 minutes is plenty of time!

Makes approximately 5 dozen cookies.

I didn't use pecans, but thought these cookies needed some nuts. I love that I only used 1 bowl (I'm not big on mixing dry ingredients separately), which made clean up MUCH easier. These cookies are so soft and so yummy (and completely unhealthy).

Tot Preschool: Letter Bb

Sweet P is 28.5 mos old
I really should write these to go alongside the week we do them because I'm having a hard time (I blame mommy brain) remembering exactly what we did last week! A lot has happened since then. Here goes nothin'.

Several of our activities were the same at letter Aa, just focused on letter Bb. I also forgot to mention that we watch the letter the corresponds with ours on Starfall each morning and she really enjoys it. We also do the sign language portion and it has been so neat to watch her sign A, B and C.

I also wrote Letter Bb on our chalkboard wall this week and she was fascinated by this!

B is for Butterfly from COAH: I was going to have her color this and then laminate it, but it didn't go like I thought. So we talked about letter B and she dotted the white dots with marker.

Ball Bb doadot from 1+1+1: I always ask her what colors she wanted to use (she uses one color for capital letters and another for lowercase) and she has been picking yellow and pink each time. She does great with this and then likes to dot all over the page.

B collage: I found several more B stickers this week and her collage was much bigger than her A collage. She and the Farmer did this one morning while I was at a meeting.

B dot page from COAH: We did this with stickers again, but used another set of smiley face stickers from Auntie RoRo. Before she did stickers, she dotted each circle with a dry erase marker.
Bumblebee B: She used watered down glue and a q-tip for this project.

Beaver coloring page: This is from a coloring book and I think she did an awesome job dotting the beaver's face! This was mixed media art! She used crayons, markers, doadots and oil pastels (they came in art pack and aren't REAL oil pastels).

TP bee: Look for a guest feature on Sun Scholars for this activity.

Tot Trays:
Jingle bells: I started her out with just the ice cube tray and bowl, but added several other elements as she played. She really had fun with these and we kept them out for letter C because she liked them so much. She added them to a large container of bouncy balls, put them in small containers, scooped them with a spoon and sang Jingle Bells while shaking them in her hand.

Melissa & Doug Lacing Bear: Lacing the bear's clothes is still difficult for her so I help out, but she likes to place the clothes on top of her bear.

ABC matching puzzles: These are from Target and I place them in a tent pocket chart. I do some capital and some lowercase and she finds the matches based on the ones in her pile. It helps that the colors match the letters.

Bananagrams Spelling: This was similar to the Scrabble Apple activity we did last week. I wrote a word on a dry erase board and she placed the appropriate letter tiles on the word. I did one word at a time this week and it went much smoother.
Pretty Bugs Lapbook from 1+1+1=1: This was our first real lapbook. I've made a few simple ones in the past, but this one had several activities for her. I only printed the activities I thought were age appropriate and she had a difficult time with "Which one is different?", but did great with the rest of the activities. Her favorite was the letter cards. You're supposed to use clothes pins, but I gave her a dry erase marker. We said the name of the item on the card (ex. Leaf) and then I'd tell her "Leaf started with L." and she'd mark the letter L with her marker. Sometimes I'd say the item and have her guess what it started with. She got the B items right!

Upstairs Shelves:
Body Parts Puzzle: From Target $1 spot last year. She does a pretty good job with these puzzles. We're still working on doing corner and edge pieces first. Sweet P LOVES puzzles.

Melissa & Doug Emotions Bear: I love this toy. Gammie got it for her for Christmas last year and it's such a great option for teaching her emotions.

Circo ABC puzzle: I kept this from Letter Aa week, but it didn't see much playing time (when it was competing with the other 2 puzzles)

Magnetic Animal Bingo: From Target during the holiday season. This is BY FAR Sweet P's favorite game. "Wanna play bingo?" is asked a lot at our house. I'm not sure she understands the concept of bingo, but she understands how to play. We spin the arrow and she places a magnet piece on the animal. She and the Farmer have a great time with this and she loves to poke the magnet pieces out of their holder.


Butterfly Birthday
Butterfly Birthday by Harriet Ziefert: This was a great book and also great for Letter Cc when we talked about caterpillars/chrysalises.

Bible stories: the story about Balaam in A Child's First Bible and Two "Brave" Soldiers in our Baby Bible book (I LOVE this book and we got it at the Farmer's Market in Indianola for 50 cents!).

Sheesh, I can't remember our other B books (ask me about our C books).

Other Activities:

Apple Orchard: We joined some friends at a super fun apple orchard and played in the houses of the 3 little pigs, a corn pool (yep, that's all corn), rode on mini tractors, milked a fake cow, looked at turkeys, pigs, horses, goats and ducks, jumped on a jumping pillow (she did anyway!) and took a tractor ride!

Library Story Time and Mommy & Me Music: We do these each week and she really enjoys these activities

Whatcha Eatin' Wednesday?

Pretend it's Wednesday just for a minute, k? I meant to post this yesterday and the day got away from me. I woke up at 5:30am (which does NOT happen in this house unless we're goin' on a road trip) and couldn't go back to sleep. I got movin', but lost all my gusto about 1pm when Sweet P went down for a nap. That's when I was going to post this and it didn't happen so pretend it did. K? Thanks.

Since we're on letter C this week I decided to make her a caterpillar lunch yesterday. I think it came out just as cute as can be! And check out the after pic. I had one very hungry caterpillar!

Caterpillar body: cheese toast (or grilled cheese without the tops)
Caterpillar face: raisin eyes and a fruit strip mouth, antenna are made out of crust
Leaves: spinach
Flower/Sun (whatever you want it to be): oranges and a small tomato
She went for the tomato first.
All done!

Muffin Tin Monday: Letter B

Muffin Tin Monday at

Since we did Letter B last week, we made a muffin tin full of foods that start with letter B. Sweet P help cut up the bananas and was excited about the soy"beans" in her tin!
From Left: Sippy of water, bagel with almond "butter", banana, soy"beans", bagel with almond "butter" and Trader Joe's boysenberry fruit strip cut into butterflies.
The After shot. She scarfed down the soybeans and made short work of everything except her bagel. I guess we should have only made half!

Tot Preschool: Letter Aa

Sweet P is 28 mos old

We started off our year of tot preschool last week with Letter Aa. I talked to Sweet P a lot about tot school the week before so she was ready to play lots of new "games."

About a month before we started, we began a new morning routine that involved our "days" as we call it. So we normally tell her "let's go do our days" and head down to the school room in the basement. I have a simple calendar with perpetual calendar tiles (she puts the number in each day), yesterday, today and tomorrow cards and weather cards that all hang on the wall. I found a great song to sing with the days and we just started that this week (Letter Bb). After our days we pray, say the Our Father and the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm glad I started this before we started tot school because now she is prepared to do that first when we go downstairs.

Our verse for Letter Aa didn't start with A, but our verses will begin with the letter we are doing that week in a few weeks.

"Jesus said, "If you love me, obey me." John 14:15

We started with Letter Aa and plan to work our way through the alphabet. We spend about an hour each morning doing "school." We do other activities that start with the letter throughout the day, but the time in the basement is considered school time. I don't have the camera while we do school because I don't want it to be a distraction so I took pictures of the "after" or activity. I tend to grab the camera for activities we do upstairs. Here are a few of the activities we did last week:

From left:
Letter A collage: I cut out pictures from magazines that start with letter A and gathered up a few stickers that had A items on them and she made a collage. We used water down glue and a q-tip for this and it works really well! Much better for her than a gluestick.

Letter A alligator: I've seen this several different places. I used watered down glue for this too and she really enjoyed putting all his teeth on. He only had 1 eye at first, but she was adamant about adding a 2nd!

Alligator with eyes: This coloring sheet is from a book Gammie bought Sweet P for Christmas. There are several different types of animals (we did Alligator and Antelope) in the book and eye stickers to place on the animals eyes. She loves picking out the eyes and if sunglasses are an option, she usually goes for them!

From Left:
A is for apple printables from 1+1+1=1: With these, I tell her to dot capital A and she does all of them, then lowercase a and she does those. She used pink for capital A and purple for lowercase a. On the other A printable from 1+1+1 I tell her to dot each item one at a time. There's not a close up of the Aa items.

DoaDot A page from COAH: I laminated this page and planned to use pompoms, but she isn't very fond of doing it with pompoms so when I saw someone use stickers on a doadot page I thought it was genius! We have plenty of smiley face circular stickers from Auntie RoRo. She LOVED doing this and did a great job putting them in the circles!

The antelope is the same as the alligator in the top pic.

Other activities:
Scrabble Apple Tiles: I wrote out A words on a dry erase board and she matched the tiles to the appropriate letter.

Felt Apple Tree Game: See the blog post for more details.

Shaving Cream Sensory: She LOVED this and I can't wait to do it with her again. She sat at the kitchen table and I squirted shaving cream in a pile. She went to town playing with it and drawing in it, then we added cars and other tools.
Paper Car Mat: See the blog post for more details.

Flat Marble Sorting: She sorted flat marbles from a small plate into a ice cube tray with a scoop. She got tired of the scoop pretty quickly and just used her hands.

A is for Apple Magnet page: This is also from COAH. We used red pompoms instead of magnets. She doesn't love this activity, but we'll see how she does with other letters (we don't have one for B).

Apple sequencing: From COAH's prek curriculum CD. Sweet P does great with biggest to smallest, but has trouble with smallest to biggest.

Letter A puzzle: From COAH's prek curriculum CD. Sweet P loves puzzles and this was no exception!

Animal Sorting: This summer I found several preschool laminated activities at a garage sale and this is one of them. It's a classification game/activity that involves placing the animals in categories of land, water or air. The Farmer was with us when we did this and I can't believe how many of them she knew. A few of the animals were unfamiliar (hedgehog) so we learned some new animals, too!

Apple Stamping: I cut an apple in half and gave her some paint, the apple and paintbrush. She had a fun time painting, stamping and drawing apples when we did this.
On our shelves: I rotate activities for her on the book shelf upstairs in the living room. Here's what we had during A week.

Circo Alphabet Animal Puzzle
Alphabet Puzzle (from the 1$ spot last year)
Noah's Ark Memory Game (pretty sure she didn't open this at all this week)

A few of the books we read:

Amanda and her Alligator: Mo Willems
Alberto the Alligator: Richard Waring

ABC, I Like Me: Nancy L. Carlson

Big Thoughts for Little People: Kenneth Taylor