Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lacing Buttons Giveaway!!

Just discovered another great giveaway opportunity. Really cool Lacing Buttons. Head on over to Delightful Learning to enter.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Penguins galore! Plus...

Wow! What a busy week we had. Besides getting ready for and throwing our picnic party, we were quite productive trying to finish up our Pp lessons. We focused on penguins (cold enough out there to make it quite appropriate). Let's see, we made potato print penguins,

an idea out of The Mailbox magazine. Same great issue (Dec/Jan 2009-10) I got the "Goodnight Moon" and "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" craft ideas from when we were doing Mm. On a side note, I was so thankful when I went to the library to get the magazine out again. The librarian was getting ready to take the past year's issues home and burn them! I got all of them and didn't have to pay a dime!!! Praise God! Anyhow, the girls liked being able to paint, but Amelia really had a blast when I let her continue painting with her fingers after I took the penguins away to dry.

She prefers the freedom of open ended art projects. Didn't really care for me holding her hand to create the penguin. Then I cut up sponges into geometrical shapes and let them sponge paint. One of the books we are reading with the penguin theme is "Baby Penguin Learn Shapes With Me." Tabitha got the hang of placing the shapes down and lifting them up carefully. Amelia on the other hand thought it would be fun to paint with the sponge shapes.

We also made shape penguins.

And they glued snowflakes to an icy (foil) background

I wanted something else where Amelia could work on her own.

We also talked a bit about where penguins live and what they eat. I found a really cool website that shows a map of the area around the south pole. You can click on an area to find out what penguins live there and all about them. We have also been creating a penguin habitat.

We glued on some batting type material for snow and placed our potato print penguins on it and the shape penguins we made.

And of course the penguins needed some water to slide into and go fishing for their lunch.

Toward the end of the week I decided we would make Penguin Lapbooks. So we will definitely be working on Pp next week as well. I'll share the lapbook in it's entirety next week.

Another activity that Tabitha really enjoyed was a Penguin Fishy Subtraction game that I first discovered while browsing the One Mom, Five Boys blog. She had found it at Making Learning Fun.

I printed out the penguin and attached it to a cereal box. I left the top on so we could store the pieces in the box without worry of them falling out. I printed out the fish, they recommend 15 fish per player, so I printed 3 sheets. And I printed out the number cards. In the first picture (which you probably can't tell as it is small) Tabitha tried to feed the penguin the number card instead of how many fish the number card showed. She wanted to play this 3 or 4 times that night and then again a couple of days later. Amelia played for a while the second time, she lasted longer than I thought she would, but she had a hard time waiting her turn. Mommy usually plays. I tried to emphasize how many fish Tabitha had and then how many she was taking away and how many she had left. A little over her head until we got below 5, then she could answer me correctly.

I also introduced some new Montessori type work:

And I let Amelia work on it too, though I omitted the tongs.

She insisted on putting two in each compartment

And they worked well on her fingers

She showed me when they were all gone

And another fine motor activity (Amelia hasn't done this yet, but Tabitha did it over and over again while Amelia looked on longingly):

Not sure who's blog I saw this activity at. Sorry. If I figure out who's blog it came from I will add the link. I thought it was a neat idea. Putting toothpicks through the holes of a shaker jar. Tabitha actually was putting two in separate holes at the same time with one hand. I wouldn't let her try three.

Yesterday we had a lesson on making lunch. I showed the girls how to make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I gave all of us our own bowl which contained a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoonful of jelly. I brought the bread in on one plate and let the girls pick out 2 slices of bread. They had their own utensils to spread with. I took them through it step by step.

Then Tabitha cut the cheese into pieces for everyone.

To see what others are doing with their little ones go to Homeschool Creations and check out the others linking up to Preschool Corner.

And for the little ones:

Tot School

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yummy Felts Blog Giveaway

What a cool giveaway! I was on A Mommy's Adventures blog and followed the link to her and her mom's Yummy Felts blog. Check it out! They are having a give away of the cutest little "Sugar Cookie Dough" set.

Picnic Pizza Party!!

Today instead of going to playgroup, playgroup came to us. Last week I started planning a picnic party. Today all those plans came together and it was so exciting to see the children having fun. Now for the details:

Last week daddy suggested that the girls make a pinata for one of their projects. (So when the planning of the party was going through my head I realized this would go together so well.) The girls helped me shred the newspaper (1 inch by 6-8 inch strips, or whatever the girls were able to tear):

(Just a side note: Lately Amelia loves turning to the camera and saying cheese as soon as she hears it come on )

Then we made the paste. The recipe called for 1 part flour, 2 parts water and 1 tbs salt to prevent mold. I oopsed, and put 1 part water, 2 parts flour. Obviously, it was a little thick. We added more water to make it: 2 cups flour, 3 cups water (approximately). Which is actually the recipe found at this website.

Amelia wanted nothing to do with putting the newspaper shreds into the paste, so Tabitha and I worked on it. First we sprayed the balloon with vegetable oil spray to help the balloon come off easier after it is popped. A tip found at this website.

We let the first layer dry for 24 hours, the time frame suggested by the instructions at the last website linked to above. The next day Tabitha wanted to help shred the newspaper again:

And yes she enjoyed getting all messy once again. And Amelia still didn't want to help. The third layer was composed of shredded computer paper instead of newspaper, once again a tip from the above website. It sure helped us identify which parts of the balloon still needed covered. Finally, on day four, yesterday actually, we were able to paint the pinata. We had help from brother and sister because school was cancelled due to no electricity and flooding roads.

Yes we used pink and purple!

Last night, when it was dry, I filled it with candy and stickers. Once again trying to stick with the Pp theme we purchased Winnie the Pooh and Disney Princess stickers (but also got Spiderman for the older boy) and peanut butter cups. We also got Smarties and chocolate hearts because we couldn't think of anything else that would be appropriate to stick inside a pinata.

That was about all we did in preparation. I had seen two activity ideas on other blogs, but we just didn't have time for them. While I did prepare these activities I will wait until a later post to share them.

After the children arrived they played for a while. Then I called them over separately to make the own personal pepperoni pizzas. The children applied their own sauce (1 tbs), cheese (1 handful) and pepperoni (2 pieces, except for Tabitha who only wanted 1). We had enough dough left over for the mommies to have a mini pizza to share. Here are pictures of some of the children making the pizzas:

Along with the pizzas we had:
popcorn, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips and punch. The other mommies kindly provided all but the punch.

And our dining room transformed into a picnic area:

When they were done eating we tried valiantly to smash the pinata. Younger children went first just to make sure they would get a chance. We didn't need to worry. The pinata stood up to all the children's attempts to smash it, plus my dropping/throwing it on the floor. It took quite a few beatings on the floor before it finally opened enough for us to pour the contents out for the children to scrounge for. And here are the pictures of trying to smash the pinata:

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