Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Reveal - Kid's Art Center

My husband has always told me not to set the bar too high or I will never be able to match it again, but since I am not great at taking advice I set the bar high.  For a little over 2 months, with my dad's help, we designed  and built an art station and a playhouse and now I need a vacation.  I take solace that I have until September to start another huge project and maintain my status as awesome mommy with the kiddos.

I posted a sneak peak of the center in early December and here is the finished product.  The inspiration came from here, here, and here all thanks to Pinterest (can you believe I actually did something I pinned?).  

Ladybug doing her first art project on Christmas morning.  

When I retrieve my point and shoot camera from my parent's house, I will blog the entire process.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY Wreath Ornament

I have a friend who is an amazing baker and decorator of all things sweet.  Her creations leave me thinking I can do the same thing and well I can't.  So, when I drew her name for an ornament exchange I knew what I wanted to do.  She needed a little of me (the wreath) and a little of her (the baking) on her tree.  Behold the cookie cutter wreath ornament!

Supplies from Michaels

  • Unopened floral tape ($1.99 full price)
  • Yarn
  • Small cookie cutters
  • Christmas card stock

You make it the same way as a regular wreath.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Felt Naked

because my door didn't have any adornment for about a month.  It was nekkid and crying for some attention, so I thought I would make this new thing called a book pages wreath.  New and innovative about 3 years ago, but I am always running a few years behind.  I love this wreath so very much and it cost less than $5 and the mister thought that was the best part.

The back of the wreath is a 9"x9" square with a small circle cut out in the middle.  I added a few pages on the outside and now I can see I need to add a few more.  No craft is complete without herpes, er glitter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's a Winter Wonderland - December Sensory Bin

One of the thing I love about living in the tundra is the four seasons.  Sadly we are stuck in 3.5 season since the last three years have been disappointing for snow.  My husband isn't complaining, but it's hard to get in the season when it's cold and there is no snow.  I put together a sensory bin of what I think it should look like around here minus the penguins.

What's Inside:
  • Clear pony beads
  • Pom-poms (green, white, and red for Rudolf's nose)
  • Evergreen trees
  • Snowpeople
  • Penguins
  • Christmas balls
  • Horn pick
  • Lights
  • Santa
  • Kids playing in the snow

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Sneak Peak

So...what's new?  

The Two Steps house has been busy for the past month learning new skills and getting ready for Christmas. My dad has been teaching me how to wood work and we made a console table as my first project. If I would have known how empowering power tools were, I would have started long ago.  

Now, I am busy making Christmas gifts for the kiddos.  We are having a no electronics or battery Christmas because it's already loud over here.  As a side not my husband told me two years ago while we were enjoying our morning coffee that it couldn't possible get any louder here.  Should I ask him how he feels now?  Anyway, here is a sneak peak of Ladybug's big gift.  


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween - A Few More

Here are a few more activities on the shelves for Halloween.


Frankenstein example
Mister's Frankenstein

Literacy - Ladybug loves to make cards for people, so I put a Halloween card template on the shelf.  I asked them to practice writing the first part of the sentence "It is a" and stamp Barnyard Boogie.

The stamp is from the #1 spot at Joann.
Practical Life - We have put a lot of effort into our cutting this month after I saw some less than stellar preschool cutting projects.  These shapes range from easy to a little harder.  After they cut the ghosts were glued onto black paper, shredded cotton balls were added and the words "Boo" and "Halloween" were added.  The Wee One glued shredded and glued cotton balls on her ghost.

Ghost cutting

Math - Draw a card and match the number on the hundreds chart.  The pumpkins are erasers I have had for years.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

T is for Teeth - What's on those teeth?

I have been lagging on posting this month because I have been so busy wood working (a new thing for me) and sewing Halloween costumes.  The kiddos and I have been over at my parent's house almost everyday, so that has left little school time.  We have been able to fit some in and the Wee One and I are on the letter T.  No, I didn't miss on posting the letters between A and T, but we are doing them out of order in one of the different suggested ways.

Before we carved our pumpkins, I drew a face including teeth.  On the teeth I put gross black that needed to be brushed.  I included a toothbrush and some water.  The first time the Wee One did it I threw it together to see if she would like it and that's the only picture I have.  I found that yellow paint worked a little better than dry erase marker.  Mister and Ladybug enjoyed brushing the jack-o-lantern's teeth also.

Happy Brushing!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Candy Corn and Holiday Cards

We are still struggling with sorting out the Wee One's activities from Mister and Ladybug's activities.  Te Wee One wants to do Mister and Ladybug's activities and they want to do her activities.  Of course what child would pass up the opportunity to work with candy corn?

Simple activity for practicing transferring and a lot of smelling, and probably some tasting too.

Another quick activity:

The kiddos like to put together picture puzzles rather than greeting card puzzles, but we have an abundance of greeting cards.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

What's On the Shelf - October

I love October because there is so much fun to be had and so much to do!  Here's the first activities on the shelves:

Practical Life

These chopsticks have a tendency to overlap, so just the right pressure has to be applied.

I have cringed at the cutting work  Mister and Ladybug have brought home from preschool, so  for some fun practice they can make a jack-o-lantern and cut it out.


My body wooden puzzle
Human body x-rays

This is a challenge because the pieces are small.


Halloween card making
After we played with this, I changed some of the verbs for more variety.  DK should have included blank pieces.

For Fun

JoAnn $1 section
Usborne cards 
Potato Head family

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Skeleton Sort

When I ran across multi-colored skeletons at Michaels, it was a no-brainer what I would do with them - sorting!  This was the Wee One's first experience with sorting more than 2 things, so I put a skeleton in each tray section to get her started.

After she sorted, she stretched

and lined them up to count.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mummy, I'm Scared!

Here's the thing about wreaths: I can start and finish one during nap time and I feel so accomplished.  I am so in love with this wreath. My inspiration wreath was way out of the budget, but I really, really wanted one.

The wreath form is an insulation foam pipe from the hardware store and make sure you read this tutorial before you make the circle.  I reinforced it with white duct tape and covered in cheese cloth.  Two skeletons hanging from the middle for a little scare factor and finished - Nap time crafting.

Mister and Ladybug helped me attach magnets to the spiders and arrange the spiders to give it a little more creep.  I think the arranging took longer than the wreath.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Sensory Bin - What's Inside?

The spark and bang are still haunting me, so this photo is brought to you by Blackberry.  I know, it's nothing compared to the new generation of phones, but considering my husband and I are considering returning to a landline, it's what ya get.

This month is all about the inside of our bodies.  

  • Elbow macaroni (clever) dyed orange and black
  • Black and orange pom-poms
  • Googly eyes
  • Skeleton parts (wooden and plastic)
  • Skeleton rings
  • Cauldron
  • Spoons
  • Strawberry hauler

My word it's worse than I thought.

I hope to update when I get a camera.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A is for...

My husband is really good at fixing large manly type of things, like a motor or a bathroom.  What he isn't so good at is fixing delicate things, like Mister's glasses (hello warranty) and my camera.  Two things you  never want from your camera is a flash and a boom and those two things I have heard.  The good news is that I have a few things I haven't posted from last month, but I have a really cool sensory bin that I am itching to get to.  In the meantime, here are some of the Wee One's letter "a" activities.

Math - Scented apple stickers on dots to work on one-to-one correspondence.

Literacy - Letter A recognition and beginning sounds Letter Book

Apple stamping - she chose to use make yellow apples

Stickers - fine motor

Finally, we did a lot of dancing to Animal Actions.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We All Fall - Word Family

I know everyone has certain book your kid(s) insist you read over and over and over...until they remind you when you accidentally skip a page (and by accidentally I mean let's get this book over).  Our latest book like that is We All Fall for Apples.  Since they love this book, even the Wee One has it memorized, I took the word family -all and made an activity.

I cut out a tree and some fall leaves to put on the tree.  In the middle of the tree I wrote -all and asked them to think of words that had -all in them.  When they found one, I wrote it and they glued it on.  When it was finished, I put the tree on our wall for reference.

Then, on the shelf was the materials to make their own tree. 

Ladybug is writing her -all words.
I hung up their trees for our -all family wall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Other Than The Kids

I have interests outside of my children.  No really I do.  My husband and I like to remodel, but like most things it never fully gets finished.  There is still a piece of tile that needs to be grouted in the kid bath and that was finished 3 years ago.  It's those little things that we will do tomorrow, but I can say that this project is finished.  Really finished.



As Ladybug would say, "Are you proud of yourself mommy?"  Yes, yes I am.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Love Birds - Canvas

I feel like I am a crafty DIY person, but I am a lot better in my head.  Ask my family and they will tell you that I think I can build furniture, paint pictures, landscape, and make clothes.  Then ask them what I really can do.  Vastly different.  My lofty ideas usually take more effort and more money to create than paying somebody else to do it for me.  So, when this only took me two tries I had to share it.

It's a 10x10 canvas from Michaels and since they never have coupons (like Kohl's never has a sale), it was around $7.00.  I painted the canvas using leftover paint from the walls and I first attempted to cover it with pretty paper.  Modpodge and I battled a few times and clearly I wasn't the winner.  The "love" is from the Cricut on 4".  The birds are hand cut from clip art on white paper with a hint of a pattern.  The branch is drawn and hand cut from the webs.  Finally the leaves were cut from silver paper to add some shine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Down Came an Apple

Yesterday, I wrote about the apple subtraction rhyme we have been singing and now the activity.

We started off my sitting on the rug and each person had a chance to shake some apples off the tree.  We talked about how many apples we had, how many fell off, and how many were left.  I like to think of it as a verbal word problem and for many kids word problems are a big thumbs down.

On the shelf was the same kind of activity, but in written as a word problem.

___ red apples handing in the tree
Looking red and delicious as can be!
I shook that tree as hard as I could
Down came ____ apple(s)
Mmm it was good.

How many apples are left in the tree?

Ladybug adding the apples to her tree.
Ladybug giving the apple tree a shake.
This is a self-checking activity with the correct answer on the back.  I hope it was a stress free introduction to word problems.  Happy apple shaking and subtracting.