Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two Things She Loves

The Wee One loves the play food and the food cards from the red-light, green-light activity, so it would only be natural to put the two together.

And she thought

Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yes, I Can!

Mister and Ladybug are working their way through the pre prime sight words and I put together a sight word and gross motor activity for us. 

I had Mister and Ladybug meet me on the floor and I showed them the words "I" and "can."  They knew the word I, and we sounded out can.  Ladybug realized that can was also in our new word family.  I put down each of the cards and we made sentences with each.  Together we read, "I can jump (run, play, go)."  Mister and Ladybug each had an opportunity to pick a card and make a sentence.

Then, we went into the kitchen and played the "Yes, I can!" game. 

We reviewed the sight words before we played our game.

Mister and Ladybug took turns picking a sight word card.

We read the sentence together pointing to each word.

Mister and Ladybug completed the sentence by doing the action.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's in the Fridge?

You can't have a nutrition month without vegetable stamping and painting.  So, when I found out Ladybug was confusing her shapes, I took the opportunity to make shape prints from vegetables.  Also, Mister  loved mixing colors and he tried out a variety of combinations.

The carrot was rolled and a circle stamped.  The potato and onion were also circles.  The celery leaves was a paint brush and the end was half-moon stamps.  The rutabegas were a rectangle, a square, and a triangle stamp. 

Even the Wee One was able to make prints.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Pilgrims

History is a difficult concept for little ones because, well, they have a hard time remembering yesterday.  I love when we can make connections from history to our life and that was my goal for this activity.

First we read Pilgrims of Plymouth and we talked about how the Pilgrims were the same and different from us.  I was hoping they would notice that the Pilgrims learned to grow corn and they did.  Mister and Ladybug love to talk about how and where corn grows as evidence when we are driving and every cornfield is pointed out to me.

Mister and Ladybug attend leaves to the corn and then glued on popcorn.  We used Modge Podge for the popcorn.

I gave them the sentence starter, "The Pilgrims learned..." 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Green Means Go

I am putting aside my thoughts about Dr. Sears to tell you that his book Eat Healthy, Feel Great is one of the best books we have read this month.  It is an easy to understand book about eating healthy and how it makes our bodies feel good.  He uses green-light foods, yellow-light foods, and red-light foods, which made it easy for Mister and Ladybug to know what foods to eat and which foods to avoid.  Now at every meal they go through their plate telling using the green-light or red-light. 

After reading the book, I put a red-light, green-light activity on their shelf.

I believe the cards are from Lakeshore Learning, but were purchased about ten year ago.

We also did this activity, which is very similar to the above, but reinforced the idea of green-light and red-light foods. 

I asked Mister and Ladybug to choose at least five green-light foods and five red-light foods.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Newest Family Member!

Mister and Ladybug love to rhyme...who am I kidding I love to rhyme too.  Now that they have their letter sounds down we are putting them together, so I put their our love of rhyming together with letter sounds and we have our newest family the -at family.  They have officially moved into our household. I bet you were expecting something different.

I started by sitting with Mister and Ladybug and showing them a blank house with the word -at written on the roof.  Here is a fancy Lakeshore Learning example of a word family house since I failed to take a picture.  I wrote the word cat and asked them if they could think of any words that rhymed with cat.  As they gave me the words, I wrote them down. 

The following day I presented this activity and put it on the shelf.

I realized after I put the cards on the shelf, that the colors were wrong...rushing my work.

A few days later, I introduced the moveable alphabet with the activity.

 Then I took away the cards and gave them the moveable alphabet and miniatures.

Because I wanted them to feel successful, I used a lot of scaffolding. When it came time to spell the words without the help of the cards, I was impressed how easy they found the work.  There were smiles from Mister and Ladybug when they completed the activity.  They are now picking out the -at family in print! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Like You

The Wee One has started mimicking her brother and sister.  If they run, she runs.  If they scream, she screams.  If they are using stickers, then she is trying to get at the stickers.  We have a very loud and active house.

Recently Mister and Ladybug were doing a sticker activity and the Wee One spent fifteen minutes trying to get a sticker.  She tried to go under, over, and around while I tried to lure her in with activities.  Finally, I gave up and gave her a sheet of stickers of her own.  She spent the next twenty minutes focused on putting stickers on the top of a lid.  Even today, she asked me to "open" her stickers.

This turned into a great activity for her fine motor skills.  It took her a lot of concentration to transfer the stickers from her hand to the lid.  After she was finished, I removed the stickers and it was ready for another day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nutrition - Part 1

We love to eat and we love to cook, so this month has been especially enjoyable for all of us.  Here is what we have done so far:

Practical Life

I have seen pumpkin cleaning on a variety of sites and planned on putting this on their shelf this month, but I love that Chasing Cheerios took it one step farther.  She had her girls decorate and clean the pumpkin. 

Mister was so intense on his coloring and cleaning.  After he decorated his pumpkin, he was methodical in getting all the marker off.


I wasn't able to find an English version of this series, but I am able to read Spanish (see my year in Spain didn't go to waste).  The pictures are fun and real.

We skipped over the final sets of letter sounds because I realized they were bored and knew all the sounds.  As an assessment, I made a complete sound to letter matching activity.  Mister felt overwhelmed by the amount of work, so he only completed a portion of it.


Mister and Ladybug have sorting down, but since I bought these on clearance last year I figured they could do one more.  Surprisingly the Wee One has tried to do her own sorting.


We are still working on counting by 2s and then looking for the continuing pattern on the calendar.  This banana paper was found at JoAnn Fabrics in the dollar section.  I put contact paper over them before punching a hole, so the paper wouldn't rip.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Basket Of Fruits

Last week on the Wee One's shelf, I put a basket of fruits for her to explore.  She also picked the coffee can on the shelf to put her fruits in and dump them back into the basket.  While she was playing with them, I described the pineapple as rough, the apple as smooth and red, the strawberries as small, etc.  After she had played with the fruits, I chose the banana, orange, and apple to do short and modified 3-period lesson

This basket has been used from ages one through eight with each group finding their own way to play with them. 

When the Wee One abandoned her fruits, Mister and Ladybug played eye spy with me.  I put out all the fruit and said something like, "I spy a fruit that is rough."  Mister and Ladybug each had a change to give clues for their fruit.

We did fruit sorting. 
  • Peels vs. No peels
  • Skin I eat vs. Skin I don't eat
  • Small vs. Large
  • Fruit I like vs. Fruit I don't like
  • Colors
Finally, we put them from smallest to largest and largest to smallest. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Prickly Berry Forest

When I put pinecones, a coffee can, and an egg carton on the shelf I expected the Wee One to fall in love, but she didn't.  She played it for 10 minutes and abandoned it for a doll. 

Now, Mister and Ladybug had been eyeing the pinecones on her shelf since I put it there. When they had a chance to play with the pinecones, they played for over an hour.  Ladybug created the prickly berry forest and together they created scenarios with alligators, the girl, and other animals.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All Washed Up

Tuesday and Thursdays mornings are the Wee One and my mornings because Mister and Ladybug are at preschool.  It gives me an opportunity to really focus on her and she enjoys it because there are other hands to get in the way.  For one of our Tuesday mornings we washed miniature pumpkins. I first saw this activity  under practical life activities on Montessori Mom and tucked it away until this month.  The Wee One played with this for an hour!  Mister and Ladybug caught sight of it and insisted that they have a chance too.

The water play set up.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I put the towel under the tub.  As if that would soak up puddles and puddles.

Half way through I got smart.  When the mess became a little too big, I gave it a quick mop and she was back to playing.

After 30 minutes I added more warm water, bubbles, and orange food coloring. 

I must have a little psychic power because water play was today's activity on 30 Days to Hands On Play.  If you haven't checked this out, you really  need to.  We play all day here, but sometimes it feels good to have more direction because I am all thought out some mornings.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My First Award!

How many of you remember the Sally Fields Oscar speech?  Well I gave my own little "somebody really likes me" speech to my husband when Lisa over at Wee Wonderings  passed the Liebster Blog award to me.  I might have called him at work because I was so happy.  This is the first award of any kind given to me since I was in 2nd grade when I won for my sunflowers drawing...if you read about my art skills you will find they are pretty nonexistent. 

Anyway, I want to give a big THANK YOU to Lisa!

The Liebster Blog is for up-and-coming blogs with fewer than 200 followers. 

The rules of the Liebster Blog Award are:
1. Thank the person who awarded it, and link back to their blog.
2. Choose five up-and-coming bloggers and pass the award to them, notifying them on their blog
3. Post the award on your blog
4. Hope the people you passed the award to will pass it on even further!

Here are my 5 picks - Happy reading!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Let's Find It!

Yesterday I wrote that the Nutrition Sensory Bin included identification cards for finding words, vegetables, and fruits, but did not include a picture.  I wanted to give you an idea of our card, so here are a few of the identification cards for our November sensory bin.

I think they felt a little overwhelmed by the small letters, fruits and vegetables hidden in the bin because they gave up rather quickly. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Sensory Bin - Nutrition

This month Mister and Ladybug are working on Health and Nutrition at preschool, so I decided to carry the theme over at home. 

  • Corn
  • Buttons (Varies fruits and vegetables)
  • Felt vegetables (carrot, green bean, potato)
  • Plastic fruits (pear, apple, orange, cherry, grapes lime, lemon)
  • Banana stickers
  • Letters for FRUIT
  • Letters for VEGETABLE
  • Letters for EAT
  • Bowl
  • Pan
  • Tongs
  • Ladle
Attached (not pictured) are identification cards for finding the words, fruits, and vegetables.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who Goes There?

Mister and Ladybug love to make fingerprints, so I thought they would enjoy a series of  "Who Goes There" activities as much as making fingerprints.  They did love all of these activities and I see footprints happening with all of our play animals.

We started out by reading Big Tracks, Little Tracks Following Animal Prints.  This book is part of the Stage 1 series of science books that are for preschool and kindergarten and Mister and Ladybug were captivated.  The book had a lot of our nocturnal animals and if it was actually nice weather, we would have went outside to look for nocturnal animal footprints.

We started out by making footprints using blue ink (kids' choice) and the nocturnal animals from the Nocturnal Animal Sensory Bin.

After they were satisfied with their ink footprints, they made muddy prints in the night.  They especially loved this activity and worked on it for over 30 minutes.  The footprints were hard to distinguish, but it was fun to listen to them make up stories about where their animals were going in the night.

A few days later, we made playclay for footprint matching.

Playclay - Art for Toddlers and Twos
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups warm water
Knead for 5-10 minutes

You can either let dry for a few days or bake for 1 hour at 325.

Don't leave the animals in like I have done for the picture.  We had to re-do the set because the animals stuck and there weren't any footprints.  The Wee One also made foot prints in some playclay.  She was skeptical about touching it at first, but realized it was a lot of fun.

While the playlay was baking we did a nocturnal and diurnal sort.  Mister and Ladybug worked together to sort animals they knew were nocturnal and animals they had to use clues (provided by me) to decide if they were nocturnal or diurnal.  The pictures were from an animal book I found for a few dollars at Half Priced Books.  It was above their reading level, but the pictures were great. 

When the playclay was cool Mister and Ladybug matched the footprints to the animals.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's a Baby Train

The Wee One loves to push the stroller around the kitchen, but she can only take one baby at a time, which makes her a little angry.  I remembered seeing a box train in one of my toddler play books, and thought she would love something similar.  I tied a scarf through the handle and gave her a blanket with her babies and bear. She had a great time putting her babies and bear in the train, taking them out, and pulling them around the kitchen while saying, "Choo choo!"