Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Egg Carton Shamrocks


Sweet P's a wee bit obsessed with St. Patrick's Day. We checked out a book from the library last week and we've read it every day this week. At least 4 times. Not kidding. The other night we read it before dinner and when she was picking out books to read after dinner she said, "How 'bout this one again?" She LOVES it! All that to say that she's been loving shamrock activities as well.

We created this simple activity out of an egg carton. I did the cutting and Sweet P did the painting.

I don't have any pictures of the painting process, but the end result speaks for itself (right?). They sat to dry for, oh, 4 days, before we got around to finishing them! I hot glued felt on bottoms for the stems, and glued a loop of pipe cleaner to the top as a hanger.

Sweet P chose glittery green St. Patrick's Day scatter to put on each one. I put the glue on (we used hot glue) and then she placed it where she wanted it.

I ran a bit of yarn through the loop and hung them up in our living room. I love how the glittery parts shimmer in the sun!

A super simple shamrock craft for St. Patrick's Day! And I bet you have everything you need around the house! Don't have felt? Use paper. Don't have pipe cleaners? Just poke a hole in the top and string the yarn through. Don't have yarn? Use string! The options are endless.


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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Sunday Showcase: Colors



1. How fun is this simple color sorting activity from Living at the Whitehead Zoo?
2. Happy Hooligans created these fabulous ice sculptures and the colors are amazing!
3. Lovin' this adorable color and gross motor skills activity from Sugar Aunts!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Preschool Book Club: Dr. Seuss

This month, our Preschool Book Club was hosted by our friend Brooke - who I'm thrilled to present as our guest poster today! The kids had a blast this week and it was full of fabulous ideas. Brooke has two super fun (and adorable!) kiddos and a twin sister who's also a part of our book club! Can I just say these 2 gals make me miss my sisters big time - and as cheesy as it sounds, it's really fun knowing identical twins as an adult! Read more about Brooke in her bio at the bottom of this post!

With Dr. Seuss's birthday just around the corner and no shortage on books or activities, this months book club theme was easy and fun!

We started our time reading Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! by Dr Seuss (Google Affiliate Ad). While reading I had uppercase and lowercase sets of magnetic letters spread out on the carpet. On each page, the kids took turns finding the corresponding letter in both the uppercase and lowercase versions. It made the reading longer than usual, but they seemed very engaged when finding their letters or watching their friends look. It was great visual discrimination and letter identification practice as well!

I then mixed up a set of ABC flashcards and they worked together to get them put back in order. More letter identification practice as well as sequencing and working together.

After all that hard work, they were ready for a Seuss snack. We layered strawberry and vanilla yogurt in fancy plastic cups to resemble the Cat in the Hat's hat. We also stacked sliced strawberries and bananas on a graham cracker to make a fruit version of his hat. I tricked them into some patterning and fine motor practice while eating!

During snack, I read aloud One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr Seuss/ Ring (Google Affiliate Ad). Then they each got a fishing pole and went fishing in our pond for colored fish. The fish were cut out of cardstock with numbers written on one side and a paperclip attached to the tail. The fishing poles were made out of a popsicle stick, yarn, and a round magnet. Our pond was a blue plastic disposable tablecloth. Once each kiddo caught 4 fish, they worked together to order them 1-20.


We didn't have time to read A Wocket in My Pocket as I had hoped for the next activity, but we had discussed Dr. Seuss's silly rhymes with the other books. I spread out a set of large word family picture cards on the carpet and had the kids wait for their turn on the couch. I told each kiddo a word, and they had to stand on the picture that rhymed with that word. Example: one kid was told the word "mall" and had to go stand on the "ball". They loved finding the rhyming pictures so we played several rounds of this game!

Our hour was nearly up, so we ended with some sensory fun. I re-capped the Dr. Seuss story of Bartholomew and the Ooblek since the book is more advanced than our age. We talked about the funny feeling of ooblek, and then they explored (some more than others)! They each had their own container of Ooblek, along with a set of plastic silverware and cups.

Ooblek:
2 c cornstarch
1 c water
food coloring

Despite our busy morning, we could have filled an entire day with Dr. Seuss activities. The books lend themselves so well to early literacy skills and fun! So go check out some Dr. Seuss books from the library and come up with activities your own kids will love as well. Afterall....

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!" ~Dr. Seuss in Oh The Thinks You Can Think


{Brooke Vaske is a former kindergarten teacher/reading specialist turned stay at home mommy. Lucky for her, she has 2 eager students (ages 4 and almost 2) at home and a 3rd on the way to participate in her crazy lessons! Together they love to spending their days reading, playing, visiting parks, doing puzzles, cooking, and cleaning (ooblek is not usually part of their daily routine!).}

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Coffee Filter Shamrocks

I know shamrocks really only have 3 sides, but for some reason when I think of St. Patrick's Day I think of Four-Leaf Clovers so that's what we make around here.

Sweet P LOVES coffee filter crafts - we've made the Earth, pumpkins, trees, umbrellas, snowmen and Valentine snowflakes this year! So, of course, we had to have a St. Paddy's Day Coffee Filter craft as well.

We use a dropper to distribute the colored water, but it could also be painted on. I used 2 different types of green food coloring - neon and regular, and also did a blend of yellow/blue for variety. You can see how the two colors separated on some of the coffee filters.

We left the filters out to dry and then later, I showed Sweet P how to fold them and cut them so they'd look like shamrocks (or four-leaf clovers). I drew a line with a crayon and she cut along the line. I love how different each of her shamrocks turned out! We also created one large shamrock by cutting out four hearts and taping them together.

They're the perfect decoration for our window and make neat patterns on the wall when the sun hits just right!

Check out this collaborative Pinterest Board for more St. Paddy's Day fun! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Sunday Showcase: Pretend Play


We're all about Pretend Play and I found some fun, new ideas this week on the Sunday Showcase. How fun do these look?!

1. Worm Playground by My Nearest and Dearest
2. Hair Salon Pretend Play by Life with Moore Babies
3. Hibernation by Maureen's Strong Start - Sweet P would LOVE this!

Happening on the Blog:
Check out the Winter Wonderland Blog Hop if you haven't already! Full of awesome winter ideas to help beat the doldrums and cabin fever!


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby Bear Preschool: Letter V


I was searching through pictures today and realized I hadn't finished up our Alphabet posts! Even if no one wants to read them, I want them on the blog as archives for Sprout! Here's what we did for Letter V:

I'm not going to pretend I remember the verse or word of the week from that week, but we like used her AWANA verse since that's what we've been doing lately.

Build a Van:
I cut shapes out and laid them on a tray next to a sheet of construction paper and gave Sweet P instruction to "Build a Van". This is how her van turned out. It looks a bit like a house on wheels, but I love that her mind works in a completely unique way!

V is for Vase: The blue V was on a tray with the flowers, stems and a glue stick. I explained what a vase was (we don't have too many!) and she set to work. If you look closely, you can also see that she traced the V and added centers to the flowers.

Letter V dot page and writing practice from DLTK:

We covered letter V close to election day so I made this coloring sheet in Word and printed it out for her. I put a variety of red and blue markers on the tray and she set to work!

V is for Volcano: I made a super simple volcano out of a cup and a paper bag (easiest volcano EVER!). I used baking soda, vinegar and red food coloring for the lava. Since it was a cup, I could dump it out when it got full and let her play over and over again. I added dinosaurs (because hey! all volcanoes have dinosaurs, right?!) and she loved that! Seeing it fizz up made her light up over and over again! 



 Eventually all the dinos got dumped into the volcano...so THAT'S what happened!!!

This was also close to Halloween so we did several Halloween activities, workbook pages (with Letter V), counting pumpkins and letter V with our geoboard. There was also a violin coloring page, but I'm not sure what happened to the picture.

Our Coffee Filter Pumpkins were also a huge hit that week!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Sunday Showcase: Science


1. Snowball Science from The Pleasantest Thing
2. 18 Float or Sink Experiments from Mums Make Lists
3. Icicle Craft & Science Project from Gift of Curiosity

Happening on the Blog:
Check out the Winter Wonderland Blog Hop if you haven't already! Full of awesome winter ideas to help beat the doldrums and cabin fever!


Were you featured today? Don't forget to grab a button!

Now it's your turn to link-up! If this is your first time, please read this informational post for details.

This is a fun and relaxed linky with a few guidelines:
  • You can link as many kid friendly or child-centered posts as you'd like, however, links for giveaways, shops, or downloads for purchase, etc. will be deleted. 
  • Please try to visit a few other posts if you are linking up. Everyone loves comments, feed-back, pins and shares!
  • I'll share some posts via Facebook, Twitter and Google +, while commenting on and pinning others.
Please NOTE: By linking up you are giving us permission to use a photo (with proper link to you!) in our featured section! If you prefer not to be featured comment below or e-mail me.

Thanks for joining us and I look forward to seeing what you've been doing this week! Don't forget to visit my co-hosts for additional features this week!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Post: May I Give You A Valentine Reader

Today I'm thrilled to have Jill from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom guest posting about her Valentine Reader. Her site is full of fabulous resources for the homeschooling (or not-so homeschooling) mom! Enjoy today's post and I encourage you to head over to her blog for more inspiring ideas. 


For those of you who may not know me, I am Jill and I share the ins and outs of my family’s homeschooling journey on my blog at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. I am the happy mom and teacher to Beck and Elizabeth, my two wonderful children, wife to my husband, and friend/mom to my three dogs and all the animals around our rural home. I try to take in everything that makes our homeschooling journey magical and pass it on to my readers by sharing my thoughts, my ideas, my printables, my trials, and my errors. I am thrilled to be doing a guest post on the Iowa Farmer’s Wife since I have been a fan of her site for quite a while.


With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I created this Valentine’s Day themed reader for younger readers. The idea behind this reader is that if your student does not realize that they are learning to read the story and can interact with it by coloring the bears then they will have a magical learning experience learning to read the words. You can have them color the bears before or after you read (or they read) the story. As with any reader, I have tried to make this one cute, unique, and fun so that your reader will not know that they are learning to read, but rather they will focus on reading a fun story about Valentine’s Day.

Photobucket

I do hope that you will pop over to my blog Enchanted Homeschooling Mom and take a peek around! Click HERE to download my free May I Give You a Valentine reader.

Make it a magical homeschooling day.