Thursday, June 30, 2011

Once There Was a Crayon...

Once there was crayon
Who lived in a store
All the crayons didn't like him
He was to ignore.
They thought he was dull
And plain and rude.
Poor litle crayon,
He will not be my dude.

Written by Peanut (age 7)

Peanut loves, loves, loves to write.  It can be lists, stories, non-fiction.  It doesn't matter.  As long as paper and a pencil are around- she is happy.  Recently, she has been interested in writing poems.  Here is one of here lastest works that made me chuckle.  I was impressed by some of the vocabulary as well-words like ignore and dull.

Here are just a few suggestions on ways to encourage writing...
-Be sure to have writing supplies readily available.
-For beginning writers, encourage inventing spelling.  They will learn proper spelling later.  The goal is to get them writing and to get ideas on paper!  :)
-Publish your child's work- type for them if needed and bind in a book.  Let them illustrate the pages.  (Binding can be as simple as tying together with string or putting in a binder with plastic sheets.)
-Have a little writing center in your house that includes story starter pages, colorful paper, lined paper, blank paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc. 
-You can find story starters and cute writing paper online.  I actually found a cute story starter book at the dollar store! (If you need any suggestions, just email me.)
-Be sure to talk about the author and illustrator of the books that you read.
-Enter writing contests such as PBS's young writers contest.
-Read silly poetry and write poems together.
-Let your children help you write your grocery or to do list, etc.

Enjoy your day being CREATIVE!!!
Jen

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mum's Glasses

That's my little man.  One cool dude!


Happy Wordless Wednesday,
Jen

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Toddler Times: 3rd Edition-Starfall


Good Morning! For today's Toddler Times, I wanted to share a great website that I used with my girls when they were preschoolers.  Many of you may already be familiar with it, but what surprised me was that my little man, aged 18 months enjoys it.  It is called Starfall.com

Little Man loves the ABC section.  Once you click on the ABC's, you will see ABC blocks.  Click on one of the blocks for an animated video that focuses on the letter and sound.  I think because it is a short video, it holds his attention span.  He tries to say the letter and the sound as they say it.  If you've never been to this site, you'll have to check it out and let me know what you think!! 

Enjoy your Tuesday!
           Jen

Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY Kids!

D.I.Y.: KidsJust sharing one of our fun finds from the library this week! 
DIY KIDS by Ellen and Julia Lupton is packed with ideas to keep your crafty kids busy.  The book includes instructions for kids to design thier own characters, lettering, patterns, invitations, pop-up cards, stuffed animals, magnets, fashions and more! 

The girls' favorite part of the book so far is the sketching fashions section.  I keep finding designs around the house.  A sketch book would come in handy for this project to keep designs in one place.  We still have a lot to explore in this book, so I'll probably be checking it out of the library again. :) 





What are you doing creative today?  My kiddos are making sock puppets at the moment.  Love the creative energy going on in his house this morning!!



Enjoy your Monday,
Jen

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Alive!!

clipart
You never know what my kids are going to be interested in... Well, recently Peanut discovered carnivorous plants in a book that she was reading and thought they were the coolest!  With excitement, she read about each plant and it's unsuspecting prey.  So when I recently came across a carnivorous growing plant kit, you know I had to buy it.  (and at 1/2 off- I thought it was steal!)  I found my kit at CVS, but they do have them online as well. 


"This deluxe edition has seeds from over ten kinds of carnivorous plants - including Venus Fly Trap, Sundew Plant, Hooded Pitcher Plant, Purple Pitcher Plant and many others. Watch as these fascinating plants grow into bug-eating monsters right before your very eyes."

 Here are just a few of the plants that we will have fun growing.................

The Pitcher Plant

Watch out for this guy, he has a pitfall trap!








This Sundew Plant may look like pretty fireworks to us, but to flying insect that come near- probably not so pretty!









Venus Fly Trap

Waits just for the right moment to get his meal! Chomp!










The above photos and more fun facts can be found at http://www.carnivorous--plants.com/index.html

Well, Sunshine is a little anxious to feed her new friends!

"What is in your hand?"
"Food for our plants?"  
"What plants?"
"Our carnivorous plants,Mom."
"You have a fly in your hand, don't you? Let it go."
"Mom, they'll need to eat."
"Honey, first they need to grow. Then we will worry about food. Let the fly go and wash your hands, please!"

Can you believe she caught that fly with her bare hands? Pretty cool, but ..Yuck! 
This project should be... well, interesting in the least! 

More resources for learning:
Chomp! Meat- Eating Plants(National Geographic)
Botanical Society of America



If you want to join in on some carnivorous fun or if you already are the proud owner of one of these plants, I'd love to hear from you!
Take Care,
Jen








Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gummy Bears


Image courtesy of
Dailyclipart.net
I always thought that gummy bears were just cute little candies.  Apparently they are not....

ABCDEFG, Gummy Bears are after me.
One is red, one is blue,
One is peeing on my shoe.
Now I'm running for my life,
Because the green one had a knife.

This is the song that Peanut came home with from camp today!  She thinks it's the funniest thing in the world.   Have you heard of this song or the horrible Barney song kid's sing? Poor Barney.  I've always kind of liked the big purple guy and I can't imagine a gummy bear being violent. 

Hope you got a chuckle today.  Have a good one!

Jen

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: No More Training Wheels!

If Duck can do it, so can you!!
Duck on a Bike
One of our favorites!!
 

Happy Wordless Wednesday!!  For more W.W. be sure to visit 

Take Care!
Jen


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Toddler Times! 2nd Edition

Welcome back to The Toddler Times! This week, I'm going to share another simple sensory activity.  Sometimes the activities are thrown together at the last minute, like this one.  See below.





What did I find lying around the house? Easter grass!  I thought that it would be interesting to see what he would do with a pile of it.

Pulling the strands one by one and then moving it to different areas on the tray was fun for a bit.







Until.... He wanted out of his seat so he could explore elsewhere!




So, this is Mom's idea of sensory play.  Would you like to see Little Man's idea?


Hmmm.  Be sure to see what is going on when it gets just a little too quiet in the house!  





Sisters- watching TV instead of little brother. 
Little brother- sitting on the floor pulling a tape apart.
  
Was I angry at the sight of this- of course not- he was trying to figure things out- what happens if I turn this, what if I pull this, how much of this awesome stuff is in here?  He was exploring and discovering. He was doing science? How could I be mad?  

Why sensory play?  Be sure to read this awesome article written by Amanda Morgan at  www.notjustcute.com.


Have a wonderful day with your little ones!  I'm off to camp to do puppet shows for a bunch of enthusiastic campers!


Jen

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day...

to one heck of a Daddy!  

We love you!


Happy Father's Day to all of the Daddys in your life!
Jen

Friday, June 17, 2011

Shoe Bop!!

What girl doesn't love shoes?  I knew right away when I saw the title to this book, that my girls would go ga ga over it, especially Peanut!  
When the main character's  purple tennis shoes fall apart, she has a very big decision to make. What shoes shall she buy today? Cowboy boots, or rain boots, ballet slippers, or saddle shoes?  This delightful story is written in poetry form with such delightful illustrations.
"This winning read-aloud offers adorable candy-colored illustrations and splendidly catchy poems, from odes to haikus to rhyming couplets, celebrating young fans of fabulous footwear." 
Shoe Bop is written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. Such a clever book- love it!

Literature Links/Fun Activities
1. Study the history of Shoes!
Egyptian Shoes, About.com-The History of Shoes,SHOE INFO NET
2. Design your own shoes: High Top , Shoe Coloring Pages
3. Flip Flop Fun: Family Fun-Fluffy Flip Flops (that's a whole lot of f's- a tongue twister for ya!) and Fancy Footwear
4. Match the Shoes: Print out shoe clip art (2 of each) and create a matching game
5. Hide the Shoes: hide pictures of shoes or actual shoes and go on a shoe hunt- silly, but fun!

Okay, I'm all Shoed out!  Be sure to share your Shoe related ideas! Love hearing from my readers and followers.


Below- the shoes that I put on to clean the house. 
He, He!  Sorry I had to post these when I came across them in my hunt for shoe activities.  Too funny.  How does a woman actually walk in a pair of shoes like this? No way- not this Momma!

Jen

Disclaimer: I wasn't compensated for the above review in any way- my opinion- yours may differ. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothes....

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear ClothingToday we read a silly and fun book titled Animals should definitely not wear clothing.  It is written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. We loved the illustrations of the animals trying to wear different types of clothing.  


One of our favorite was a hen trying to wear pants and she lays an egg! Funny-huh?  

After reading, I thought it would be fun for the kids to come up with their own page for this book.  Here's their creative ideas....

Reindeer can't wear hats, because their antlers will pop out!
Created by Sunshine Girl, age 9
Animals couldn't wear clothes because a bird couldn't eat worms!
Created by Peanut, age 9
 Animals  should definitely not wear clothing, because there wouldn't be enough holes for an octopus!
Created by Little Man, age 1 1/2 - he, he!
Okay, created by Momma!


If you decide to read this cute book and do this simple activity with your little ones, I'd love to hear what they create! 

Interested in more books focusing on animals and clothing... 



What Do You Suppose?

And a suggestion from Brimful Curiosities...



Note: I haven't read any of the above books.  Just books relating to animals and clothes!
I would like to check them out, though.


I hope you have a great day being creative and curious with your kids!

Jen







Disclaimer: I wasn't compensated in any way for sharing the above book, we just like it, but our opinions may differ from others.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Reading


Nothing like reading a good book on a beautiful Summer day!


 For more Wordless Wednesday, be sure to visit...
Pinke Post
5 Minutes for Mom

Enjoy your Wednesday!
Jen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Toddler Times! 1st Edition




The Baby Times has now become The Toddler Times!  Why?.... because my baby is a toddler now...sob, sob.  Every Tuesday I am going to try to post toddler related themes and ways that we can enrich our toddler's lives together. This week's issue focuses on a simple and inexpensive sensory activity.




During our last Target trip,Sunshine girl asked me to buy pom poms for her for her crafts, well little man thought they were for him!

I thought- okay as long as I'm here and he doesn't try to eat them, why not let him play. What a great tactile activity. So I got two containers and filled one with the pom poms.  He then started transferring them from one container to the other.  Next, I sorted them by color.  Little Man only tried to put them in his mouth once. So colorful and round- he probably wondered if it was candy in the bowl!   I called them balls, which he understands is a toy and he didn't try to eat them again.  


More Awesome Ideas on the Web...

Activity Mom
Pom Pom Activities
Baby's First Sensory Tub
Magnetic Pom Poms

Child Care Land
Alphabet and Counting with Pom Poms

What ideas do you have for play with Pom Poms?

Take Care,
Jen

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Recipe!

Little Man's new recipe...

1 chopped roma tomato
1/4 cup of shredded chz

top with nerds!

Okay- not so nutritionally sound, but pretty funny.  Little man got into Peanut's nerds and sprinkled it on his snack.  he, he!  Pretty creative, huh?

Enjoy your Monday!  
Jen

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Activity Board


To keep organized and to motivate the kids, I created a summer activity board.  It is divided into three parts: Summer Reading, Boredom Busters, and Things to Do.


SUMMER BUCKET LIST







Things to do....

-Summer Bucket List
-Calendar of Events
-Math Practice Area- reward charts













BOREDOM BUSTERS


Boredom Busters...

-Enrichment and Thinking Activities
Example: Create riddles about zoo animals or Create a wanted poster for a character in a fairy tale. 
-Summer Fun worksheets(mazes, word searches etc. from funschool)














Summer Reading...


-Barnes and Noble Reading Journal
-Borders Double Dog Dare Challenge
-Chuck E Cheese Reward Calendar
-Scholastic Family Reading List










For more ideas on planning your family summer fun, be sure to visit these sites:
Quirky Momma: DIY Chalk Calendar
Casa Camacho: Summer Bucket List
Little Wonders' Days: Summer Bucket List Party
Living Montessori Now: How to Create a Summer Bucket List

HAPPY SUMMER!! 

Jen

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Important: Prayers and Donor Needed!

Please visit my other blog to learn about how you can help this young girl named Haley. 
 
God's Shining Stars



Thank you!
Jen

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