Monday, October 31, 2011

Creative Fun with Candy

Oh, I could just cringe looking at the amount of candy that has entered our home this week.  I know- I was a kid once who loved Halloween, but it is so hard for me not to think about the amount of sugar going in their little bodies and also their poor, poor teeth. 

Anyways, I was thinking about all of this candy and how I could turn it into learning.  As a kid, I loved sorting out my candy.  For little ones this is a great activity for categorizing and counting.  Also, they can count their Hershey bars by twos, their tootsie pops by fives, and so on. How about patterns- tootsie, lolly pop, tootsie, lolly pop.  For older kids, I thought it would be fun to make a candy graph.  They can make a bar graph, tally chart, and/or pictograph and compare their data. 

How about creative sundaes?  Crumble and freeze extra chocolate/candy and use later to make your own sundaes.  Have the kids set up their own ice cream shop and serve.  What a great way to tie in learning about money with something yummy!

What ideas do you have for all of that candy that will be arriving any minute now???  Please share and Happy Halloween!  Time and go and light my lanterns!

Jen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monsters Galore!


Clip art- Source



I must admit, I have a bit of affection for monsters.  Not scary, spooky monsters, but furry and cute monsters like Elmo and Cookie.  Therefore, I just had to make a MoNsTeR learning center for my little guy.  I found the most wonderful free resources online....


1+1+1=1 has a Happy Monsters Tot Pack. My favorite activity has little monster cards that are different colors with different amounts of eyes.  I'm going to use it for counting with googly eyes and for color recognition.  So cute!

Source: 1+1+1=1

2 Teaching Mommies also has an adorable Monster Unit.
 I love the alphabet Monster Mash Game.
Source: 2 Teaching Mommies


I'm still in the process of putting the center together.  I'd like to get some of the games laminated.  I didn't use everything from each unit- just the activities that I thought would be appropriate for little man at this stage.  (22 months)

I decided to make a mini-book to put inside. I illustrated the following poem.
Five Little Monsters
This little monster has a big red nose

This little monster has purple toes.
This little monster plays all night.
This little monster is such a fright.
And this little monster goes:
"Tee-hee-hee"
"I'm not scary, I'm just silly me."
Source: http://www.preschooleducation.com/smonster.shtml

I'll post little man and his new center once I get it all together! Thank you to these wonderful teachers/mommies who provide these resources.  What a blessing!


Happy Monster Fun,
Jen


















Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Cocoa, Anyone?


happy wordless wednesday....
Jen

For more W.W., be sure to stop by 5 Minutes for Mom and Pinke Post!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spoooky Sensory Bin! (on a budget)


I was so excited to find this Halloween pack at the $ tree!  For one dollar, beans and mixed rice at home, I was able to put together this economical and fun Spoooky bin!  All of my kiddos love it- as you can see. 

And where do I get my inspiration...(my 7 year old typed in 'my kids' when I wasn't looking- too cute)  what I was going to type before I got distracted was....

Pink and Green Mama 
She has an awesome post titled Sensory Boxes 101: Tips and Inspiration.

Enjoy your Friday!
Jen

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spooooky Story Starters!

Spend some time with the family being creative by sharing in the fun of writing.  Here are just a few fun story starters that we used this evening during a group writing activity....


I couldn't believe my eyes....


It was a spooky night...


Oh no, my new neighbor is a .....

I wrote down the starters on paper and folded them.
Next, we each picked one. (Participants- Sunshine(9), Peanut(7), and Mom)

This was the story that we would start.
 
-Write for 5 minutes and then pass the page to the person on your right. 
-Read what the person wrote, then write for 3 minutes.
-Continue passing and writing until the paper gets back to the original writer.  They will finish the story. 
-Lastly, read each story out loud to see how the stories turned out! 

Even my daughter who complains about writing, loved this activity! And my little writer was in her glory. 

More scary starters from Scholastic

Have a spooktacular evening....
Jen

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cookie Monster Count and Crunch Giveaway

Who doesn't love Cookie Monster? Well, I'm throwing little man a cookie monster/sesame party this December, so I'm hoping to win this toy over at Our Ordinary Life.  If you have a little one at home that loves Cookie Monster, be sure to stop on over and enter to win Sesame Street Playskool Count ‘N Crunch Cookie Monster !

Good luck,
Jen

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beware of the Little Monster!

A sneak peak of little man's costume!


He was such a good model for me today!  What a cute little monster.

Are you making a fun costume for your little one?  If so, what creative ideas do you have up your sleeve? 

Jen

Friday, October 14, 2011

Press Here

Our awesome library find this week!  So clever and so much fun.

PRESS HERE

By Hervé Tullet

"Press here. That's right. Just press the yellow dot, and turn the page. The single touch of a finger sparks a whimsical dance of color and motion in this joyful celebration of the power of imagination."

I'm not going to give away anymore so that you can be surprised.

For activities, Press here!


What gem did you find at the library this week?
Jen

Disclosure: I wasn't compensated for reviewing the above book.  It was a library find that we loved, which is our opinion.  Others may disagree.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Sensory Play....


Just the other day, I blogged about what we call scoop, scoop!  Well, I found this box lid and threw his beans in there.  Eventually, I added rice,too.  It causes a great mess, but easily vacuumed.  He must of played for hours yesterday!
There are so many things that you can do with a sensory box. There are a lot of wonderful learning and themed sensory boxes that you can find online. Here are just a few....


Pink and Green Mama- apple sensory bin



Play Create Explore - Ocean Sensory Bin

Time For Tots- sells wonderful sensory activities!
 I'd like to make some of these next. I just threw this together with what I had around the house.


If you leave an almost two year old for just a couple of seconds, you may find them in the sensory box when you get back!  Silly goose! What was I thinking? I'm lucky there weren't beans strewn all over the floor- a supervised activity for sure!

Do you  have a great idea for a sensory bin or activity? Please comment and share! 

Enjoy your Thursday,
Jen

Monday, October 10, 2011

Scoop, Scoop!

Little Man had so much fun today playing his new game- Scoop, scoop!  Actually, it more of a sensory activity than a game.  What do you need to play scoop, scoop?


Dry beans(love the colorful one's pictured; we only had one color)
Little scoops, spoon, small medicine cup
A small cake pan to hold the beans
Another small container for transferring beans back and forth
Little toys or cars

Wallah- kept him occupied for the longest time and great for fine motor skills and sensory development!

Take Care,
Jen

(note- this is a supervised activity.  Some children may try to put the dry beans in their mouths depending on the age of the child.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dear America...

image source
Reading has been at an all time high lately, which makes Mom really smile!  Sunshine girl has been obsessed with the Dear America series and can't seem to put them down.  She even begs me for extra reading time in the evening. 


Recently,she started reading the Royal Diaries which she enjoys as well, but said were a little violent. For example, she read Cleopatra and told me how the father wanted to kill his other daughter and have her head put on a plate. Yeesh.  I felt bad letting my 9 year old read such, not knowing that this would be present in the book.  She seemed to handle it well and it opened up discussion about brutality in history and barbaric times. 





The Dear America books do have tough topics in them as well.  There is a lot of death due to disease, etc. but we discuss the time period and how times have changed medically due to vaccinations etc. Sunshine said that it doesn't bother her as much due to the fact that it is natural, although sad. 

I wanted to share these books with my readers if you have older kids, because I think it is a fun way to learn about history.  But just be aware that there are topics that may not be appropriate for younger children and should be based on the maturity of the child.

Enjoy your day!  
Jen 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cc is for Cookie!

For our Cc week, little man and I enjoyed a Cookie Monster Day!  He calls him "Cook Cook".  Funny thing is, I've exposed him to A, B, and C so far, but the letter that he recognizes is Oo.  It is so cute- he keeps pointing out the Os that he sees in books and tries to draw one with his little scribbles.  I've always let the kids guide me when they were little with their learning based on their interests- I'll need to remember this with little man, too.


Here are a few of the activities that we enjoyed together........


Cookie Monster Bingo Marker Page
from Making Learning Fun








Cookie Monster Toilet Roll Craft from DKLT





Thank you, lil Mop Top for the awesome cookie monster game!
Cookie Monster Game


And you can't have Cookie Monster Day without hearing Cookie Monster sing....



Enjoy your day... Cooookies!!! Yum, yum, yum!!!!!
Jen

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Runaway Pumpkin

Watch out for a runaway pumpkin!  I've never seen a pumpkin quite this big, but I have been surprised by a few that I've seen in the media.  This fun story by Kevin Lewis is about a very huge pumpkin that is on the loose.   


And just for fun, I searched on line for record breaking pumpkins.  Something fun to share with the kids as well after reading the story.  Below are a couple of my finds.....


Okay, maybe the story is realistic fiction.  That is one big pumpkin!

Oh my- yummy!


More pumpkin book fun...

or maybe just some Halloween fun...

Enjoy this wonderful Autumn day!

Jen

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