Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween - In Pictures


We have been singing the Halloween song:
H - A - Double L - O - W - Double E - N
Spells Halloween!

Cut between the pumpkins

Bat stamping

Witch and skeleton patterns - continue to pattern


Pumpkin one-to-one correspondence

Inserting roses into a vase

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Just when I have the "ah-ha" moment and I think I have come up with a brilliant plan, the little people in my house decide to throw me a curve ball.  This time it was the early rising, 2-1 nap transitioning, I am never going to sleep past 6 again Wee One who informed me, by screaming, that the activity wasn’t up to her liking.

Every time we are in the Learning Room, the Wee One puts crayons into the holes in the Ikea chairs.  This gave me the idea for her to put pencils into a tennis ball container.  Unfortunately, a tired toddler combined with a difficult fine motor skill task (the hole for the pencils wasn't very large) equals a failed activity.  I will, however, keep this on the shelf for when she is better rested.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Find It and Name It

We are enjoying our final days of being able to play at the park before we are blanketed in snow and by blanket I mean Mother Nature dumping an insane amount of snow that will last from November until May.  Last week, we jumped at the chance to play at the park on a sunny day and I had Mister and Ladybug collect things for an activity we would be doing later in the week.

When we arrived at the park, I told Mister and Ladybug that they needed to find eight different things to put in their paper bags for an activity.  My only stipulation was that it had to be already on the ground, except for the dead flower heads on the day lilies.

Mister and Ladybug rushed around collecting their things before playing on the playground.  It was a task to keep them focused on 8 things and I had to remind them that they probably wouldn't find much on the slide.

A few days later, we revisited their bags and taped the eight items onto a large piece of paper.  After they taped them down, which was a challenge for Mister, we identified and wrote the initial sound.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

One night Mister and Ladybug were sitting at dinner, it was getting dark out and Mister said, "Do you hear that?"  He looked at Ladybug with big eyes and she started to giggle and replied, "Maybe it's a bear!"  They continued playing this game through dinner and named all the nocturnal animals they knew. 

While they were playing the game, it reminded me of the last time I went camping many years ago.  First, we forgot the sleeping bags and my husband bought some that went down to 32 degrees.  That's great except it was 18 degrees that night.  When we sent up the tent we borrowed from my mother-in-law (our tent was missing a very important rod, like the one that holds up the top) we realized it was being held together by duct tape and it was so thin we could see right through it.  The last straw was I DID hear a bear.  That, my friends, was the end of my tent camping least out in the wild.

I decided to combine Mister and Ladybug's "hearing" nocturnal animals and my last camping trip and create an indoor campsite.

We took small pieces of wood, added crepe paper to make a fire.

Our tent

Ladybug looking for the bear
We spent all day pretending we were camping.  We read stories in our tent, went on a bear hunt, and ate smores.  Now, that is my idea of camping.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Starry, Starry Night

When I gave the Wee One her foil surprises, I realized that she loved the star the most.  I shouldn't be surprised since we read the star book multiple times a day, so I took her love of stars and her love for inserting objects into containers and created her Starry, Starry Night activity. 

I reached into my closet of empty containers and found the perfect size and I painted it black.  When it dried Mister and Ladybug helped me add star stickers.  The stickers were small, so it took a lot of fine motor skills to not only peel them off the page, but to get them on the container.  The Wee One took the small and medium stars from the Nocturnal Animal Sensory Bin and inserted them into the container.

This activity sits next to her favorite book on the shelf.

Twinkle, Twinkel star book - She has started to try to sing the song and she seems to have inherited my singing gene. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2-1 - It's Here

My mom brought Mister and Ladybug home from preschool today because we are the middle of the 2-1-nap transition and the Wee One's nap starts 20 minutes before the end of preschool.  When she walked in, I was just finishing cleaning the kitchen and had moved the bottle of wine.  She looked at the wine and said, "Starting a little early?"  Oh, how I wish because it might make this transition a little easier. 

In addition to pre-noon cocktails, I am considering throwing out my alarm clock or any clock in the house for that matter.  I don't want to know what time it is when there is the pre-5 am wake-up call from The Wee One's room.  There is something cruel about the pre-5 am wake-up.  It's dark so I could just pretend that it's a more reasonable time of say 6 am.  If I have no clock, then I won't know the difference, right?

Those in the midst of the 2-1-nap transition, how are you doing?  If you just finished the 2-1, how did it go?  I think I just need to commiserate.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I see the...

This week I introduced three sight words to Mister and Ladybug.  We did a Three Period Lesson to for the sight words:  the, see, and I.  After I felt had a good grasp of the words we made sentences using the flash cards and felt cvc words. 

You have to love doing work in your pajamas.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foil Surprises

When the Wee One came into the learning room recently, she found a basket with tin foil surprises waiting for her - Hello Christmas morning.  She spent the next 45 minutes opening and having me re-wrap the shapes.   

After she opened a shaped, I would say, "This is a ____."

She moved from the floor to the table and back to the floor with  her basket. 

The Wee One practiced crumpling, ripping, waving, and wrapping her own shapes when she became tired of opening her tin foil shapes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nocturnal Animals - Part One

Well, the printer had it's final print last week.  Mister did a little too much tinkering with it trying to figure out how it worked and it's done.  It's a drag because I had a few things things to add to my shelf that needed to be printed off.  At least he finally figured out how it full.


I introduced skip counting with this activity.  Next week I will have them join me on the rug to look for a pattern in this activity using the calendar.


Rhyming Boxes - This is a pill box with pictures taped to the top.  Mister and Ladybug must match the rhyming words from the miniatures in the basket.  It's a two-fold activity since they must open the each compartment too.

 Practical Life

This fun activity is a carryover from our Sports Spectacular month.  I love that this activity takes concentration to keep the balls from rolling off.  Thanks to A Bit of This and A Bit of That for this neat activity. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Nocturnal Animals - Raccoons

One of my favorite exhibits at the zoo is the raccoons because have it set up as a house with knocked over trash cans.  At first I thought it was a joke until I saw a raccoon ontop of one of the garbage cans. 

Anyway this is our first art project for nocturnal animals.  We started off by reading Raccoons.  I really liked that it presented small bits of information about raccoons with great photos.  After we read the book, we talked about some things we learned.  Ladybug was so excited to tell me that they have big eyes that glow.  Then, we made our own raccoon masks. 

The mask are their hands on black paper and Ladybug had the idea to use pom poms for glowing eyes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween Transfer

The Wee One is all about transferring, so I put this activity on her shelf. 

Rather than scooping the pom poms, she would put a few on her ice cream scoop.

The ice cream scoop was successful because the pom poms
After each one, she could smile, laugh, and clap.  I would say that means she likes it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Summer's Last Stand

I am sad that I cut off her arm and her leg.  If I had more than a second, I would have been happier.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Treasure Basket - Halloween

Ah the Wee One's first real Halloween, so here is her October Treasure Basket (Discovery Basket). 
  • Wooden skeleton
  • Wood door sign with springy bat
  • Squishy toad
  • Spider web
  • Spider
  • Black cat
  • Pumpkin
  • Jack-o-lantern purse with small bats
  • Sparkly bat
  • Halloween cookie cutters
  • Metal skeleton head
  • Black lace
  • Glass jack-o-lantern candle holder

The Imagination Tree refers to Treasure Baskets for older babies and toddlers as Discovery Boxes.  Her blog is a wealth of good ideas and it so happens her first idea for Discovery Box was the Wee One's Treasure Basket for September.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Sensory Box - Nocturnal Animals

Last year we did a classic Halloween Sensory Box and it was a huge hit, but since we have been there, done that, I wanted to do something different.  This year we have our Nocturnal Animal Sensory Box.  They are in love with this one.
  • Spoon
  • Tongs
  • Black dish (cave)
  • Black beans (night sky)
  • Yellow pom-poms (moons)
  • Stars
  • Deciduous trees
  • Leaves
  • Coniferous trees
  • Bear
  • Bear cub
  • Raccoon
  • Red fox
  • Badger
  • Wolf
  • Rat

When I introduced this box we discussed how all these animals are nocturnal or awake at night.  I also told them that all of them could be found in the deciduous forest in our state.  We went outside and found deciduous and coniferous trees and talked about how they were different and the same.