Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Sunday Showcase: Felt Fun



Ya'll know how much this mama loves felt so I couldn't pass up this adorable felt activity as my feature this week. Only one feature this week because I had surgery on my right hand and typing too much at once is tough!

I am so making this adorable felt jack o' lantern activity from Simple Little Home as soon as we get back from TK's wedding (and I have doctor's clearance to cut with scissors - shhh don't tell anyone that I've been using scissors anyway!). Love those vampire teeth!



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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making Memories: Apple Orchard


Monday, September 24, 2012

Coffee Filter Fall Trees


We've been working on Letter T for 2 weeks since there are SO many awesome activities to do with trees! A few weeks ago we went to a playdate at a friend's house and did a coffee filter Earth project. Sweet P loved using the dropper with the dye to create so I thought she'd enjoy making trees.

Ummm, let's just say we've got 12 fall trees hanging up around the house! I'd say she enjoyed it! Each time I asked, "Are you done or do you want to do more?" She'd say, "Do more!" So we did it until she was done.

I laid them out on cookie sheets with the windows open and they dried in about 30 minutes. When they were dry Sweet P rubbed glue on the trunks and created a forest of trees. We put them up on the windows because I LOVE the way they look with the light behind them! I also love the abstract nature of the trees. Can you tell I think they're stinkin' adorable? I'm thinking of turning a few into a canvas to hang year round.

By the way, don't look out the window. Then you'll see that it doesn't quite look like fall and we've still got green leaves attached to trees. Oh well! It may not look like fall outside, but it does inside!


Here's what we used:
coffee filters
water mixed with red, yellow and orange food coloring
medicine dropper
brown construction paper
glue stick

Super simple and you probably have everything you need at home!

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Sunday Showcase: Handprint Art



Loved the handprint art this week! Here are 3 of my favorites: 

Handprint Fall Trees from Sugar Snips.

Handprint Apple Tree from Moments of Mommyhood.


And last but certainly not least!
Handprint Walruses from Red Ted Art.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baby Bear Preschool: Letter S


Look at me, already behind in my posts for Baby Bear Preschool (BBP). 2 weeks ago we started our homeschool preschool with Letter S. Why letter S? Because we've been working our way through the alphabet since last September and I'm not one who can just abandon the rest of the letters!

I took a different approach and decided that the letters would be the underlying theme instead of the main focus. Everything would still correspond with letter S, but we'd simply be doing activities that started with letter S instead of only doing the S itself (makes sense right?). So since a friend was having a Solar System/Space playdate that week I decided we'd do a Solar System/Space theme for the week!

Sweet P had a lot of fun and so did I! We did 2 days of preschool, went on a field trip to Living History Farms and then had a playdate that also corresponded with our theme. I'd say it was a successful first week back at preschool.

To explain a bit: we'll be doing preschool 2-3 days a week depending on what other stuff we have planned that week. We have frequent playdates and try to incorporate those into our school stuff as well to make it a learning experience. For example: last week (Letter T) we went to the apple orchard and spent most of the week talking about trees...specifically apple trees. That's what works for us right now so that's what we're doing! BBP takes roughly 1 hour. Sprout sleeps for most of the tray portion of preschool and when he wakes up she has free play (which usually involves an extension of her tray activities). I'll try to explain this better as I go. If you're reading this and don't care, just move on to the activities. I'm writing all of this out so that I can look back and see what we did when Sprout is ready for BBP.

So here we go with our Letter S activities.

We use 2 devotional books, a children's Bible and a regular Bible for our Bible breakfast time. I decided to do it in the morning instead of at night so that Sprout could hear it, too (that boy won't sit still for a book to save his life, but he will eat and listen!).

Verse: Sing to the Lord with thankful hearts. ~Colossians 3:16
Song: Put On Love based on Colossians 3:12 & 14 from Seeds of Character

This week we read S is for Singing in Big Thoughts for Little People, Seek the Lord in My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts , and Samson's story in A Child's First Bible .

    



First Day Trays:


Sweet P and I talked about the structure of Baby Bear Preschool and what it would be like. I explained that we'd do our days (calendar time, Our Father, Pledge of Allegiance, Bible Verse), a song (dancing time) and then our trays. She chooses the order of the trays and does them one at a time. We do free play after trays. If a tray happens to lead to another activity we play it out and then return to the trays. If she doesn't make it through all the trays within an hour (some activities can hold her attention longer than others), we move on to free play and save the activities for next time.

Star Wars Printables: I got them last year from Preschool Printables when they were free, but I don't even see them on the website now so you'd probably have to email her if you want them!  Sweet P loves Yoda and Chewbacca (she calls him Chewbacc-ie). The pack has puzzles, prewriting practice, which one is different and shadow matching.

Cutting practice: 1+1+1 has a Solar System pack and we used several pieces of it for our unit this week. We used the mini book for cutting practice and she made her own book. She LOVES to cut and she was so proud of the end result.

Planet matching: I cut these out and then she glued. The Planets - Not Planets activity is also from 1+1+1's Solar System pack. This was a challenge as she was learning about planets and didn't really understand what was and wasn't a planet. She just liked gluing!

Marble painting: We used black construction paper with white and silver paint to make it look like shooting stars and galaxies. Instead of putting the marbles in paint and then putting them in the box, she poured the paint onto the paper in the box so it was a bit globby, but it ended up looking like a galaxy! I think I was a bit more into the shaking of the box then she was, she just wanted to see the end result!


Clockwise from top left:
S is for Snake: Sweet P was really excited about this snake and his tongue. She glued on the eyes, tongue and she had stars for scales.

Letter S collage with stickers and magazine cut outs

Sticker Letter S

DIY Constellation: The night before she did this activity she'd been doing connect the dot pictures in an activity book. She caught on pretty quick so I gave her some stickers to make a constellation. After she'd put them on, I gave her a white crayon to connect the stars. I asked her what it looked like and she said, "A sock!" The Sock Constellation (and how perfect was it that it started with S?!). She also said "White won't show up." when I handed her the white crayon since she's used to coloring on white drawing paper. She was pretty impressed when it did!


Left side: Shooting star activity from Making Learning Fun. This was so simple and SO fun!

Felt Planet Sequencing and Matching: I made felt planets for her and we used the Solar System pack planets for matching and sequencing. We watched a planets video to learn the order of the planets.

Other Activities:
Making baked sandwiches for the family: Sweet P spread the pesto, cut mushrooms and olives, arranged the toppings and helped grate the cheese on top.

Solar System lunch: I saw this Solar System snack on Pinterest and knew we had to make a lunch, too! My orbits aren't very straight, but you get the idea! The white rings are plain yogurt.
Sun: Grilled cheese
Mercury: blueberry
Venus: large carrot
Earth: banana
Mars: tomato
Jupiter: plum
Saturn: almond butter on bread with almonds for the rings
Uranus: green olive
Neptune: string cheese

Ok, I think that's it! What I can remember anyway! I better do letter T soon so I don't forget!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taking Time to Play Guest Post




I'm guest posting today as part of the Taking Time to Play series at JDaniel4's Mom! Head over to check out the fun we had jumping in puddles one rainy afternoon!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Sunday Showcase: Apples



You know what I love about fall?? APPLES!!! There were so many great apple posts this week! Here are 8 apples ideas we can't wait to try!


Clockwise from top left:
Apple Books & Activities from KC Edventures
Apple Tree Sight Words from The Educators' Spin On It
Apple Cinnamon Play Dough from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Paper Plate Apple Tree from Reading Confetti
Torn Paper Apple Trees from 3 Dinosaurs
Ten Red Apples Activities from Mommy & Me Book Club
Wormy Apples from TippyToe Crafts
A is for Apple Ideas from Living Life Intentionally

Aren't those great?! I can't wait to try the play dough! I bet it smells DIVINE! What have you been up to this week? Please show us by linking up below!

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Monday, September 10, 2012

3 Homemade Granola Recipes


As I've mentioned, oh, several times before, we LOVE granola. If you don't make your own granola, start! It's easy, inexpensive and AWESOME. Making it is fun and eating it is even better. It's something Sweet P and I make together on a weekly basis and our favorite part is when we mix all the ingredients by hand! Nothing like playing with your food! For more ways to play with food check out my post: 5 Ways to Play with Your Food on Let's Lasso the Moon!

Here are 3 tried and true recipes to get you started.







Make it. I promise you won't regret and if you have kiddos, I promise they'll ask for more. Mix it with soy milk, cow's milk, coconut milk (carton, not canned!), almond milk, rice milk, yogurt and if you're up for a treat, ice cream! And the add-ins are endless (raisins, craisins, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.).


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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Sunday Showcase: Mermaids



LOVED last week's showcase! SO many great posts and activities, but this week 2 really stood out to me and they were both about Mermaids! 

The first is from Reading Confetti and I have to admit I am a bit obsessed with this activity and am in the process of making a set for Sweet for our next roadtrip. Can you say LOVE?! 

The other is from the Queen of TP Crafts, Miss Red Ted Art! Super stinkin' cute, right?! I just love the real shells for her top and the sequins for her tail! Can't wait to do this with Sweet P, too! 


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Monday, September 3, 2012

1st Day of Baby Bear Preschool

Today (yep, on a holiday) was our first day of preschool at home. I started off by calling it homeschool preschool and that just did NOT have a nice ring to it so I asked Sweet P what she wanted to call it. She came up with "Baby Bear Preschool." Fitting since the girl is seriously attached to a white bear named "Beary."
I wanted it to be super special for her so I talked it up all day yesterday and she was super excited when she went to bed.

I went up to her room singing "This is the Day that the Lord has Made" and she started singing right along with me (that's when I knew she got up on the right side of the bed!).

She got dressed like we were going somewhere, I took pictures and then we had a super special first day of preschool breakfast: PANCAKES!!! In fact, she walked downstairs and said, "I smell pancakes." I said, "It is PANCAKES!!" And the excitement began.
After breakfast and some devotional time, we did some family contributions (I learned to call them that instead of chores from 1+1+1=1), got some star stickers, put a certain brother boy down for a nap and off we went to the school room.

We started with calendar time, singing, prayer time, verse and a song/dance. We danced together as we sang a song from Seeds of Worship and as I twirled around the room with her in my arms I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be. Not to say I couldn't do those things if she went to regular preschool, but in that moment I knew that homeschooling is right for us. I held her a little bit longer before we went off to do our trays.

After trays and reading, she played with tiny red pom poms for 30 minutes and I thanked God for Sprout's long nap so that I could devote my full attention to her on her first day of homeschool preschool.

"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14