Friday, March 30, 2012

Introducing.....The Messy Nest!

Ugg...Clutter!  I often get lost in books, toys, clothes, mail etc. that is strewn throughout the house.  Enough is enough! I've been fighting it for years, making slow progress.  Blaming my lack of progress on homeschooling, work, the kids, chronic disorganization, etc. 

I am ready for change- so very ready!

So with that being said... I decided to create a place for me to log my progress,  share ideas, and hopefully inspire others.  A place for some accountability.

Introducing.....

The Messy Nest

Come and join me over at my new blog!  I can't promise you that I will be posting daily, because I'll be too busy getting my house together! But I do want to check in bi-weekly.  Today I even showed a couple of before and after pics.  Yes, I'm letting you be a fly on my wall. 


Do you struggle with clutter and organization? If so, don't be afraid to share with me. I hope that you will join me in this endeavor. 

I just shared my weakness with the world! 

Jen

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chick-fil-A Active Games for the Family and Giveaway

My children adore Chick-fil-A! Even little man asked to go the other day after seeing the famous cow on television, which made me giggle.


"Chick-fil-A momma- I go."

Another thing that my kids adore is family night- whether it be a game or a movie. I'm always looking for new ideas to make these times together fun.  Well, Chick-fil-A shares some fun ways to get active with your family. 






Now for the giveaway!  Win a free kids meal! (I have 3 to give away to my readers) Just leave a comment sharing your favorite activity from the Old School Board above and a way for me to contact you. Easy peasy! (be sure to comment before 4/6/2012)

What other ideas do you have for family fun?

Enjoy,
Jen

Disclaimer- I didn't receive any compensation for this post.  Just the opportunity to give away a few kids' meals and share ideas! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Robin Activities

During a beautiful Spring walk last week, we were pleased to get a close up view of a robin.  We even started singing Raffi's song- Robin in the rain, such a saucy fellow....

As we sang and admired the bird- our song ended with ewwwww and many kid giggles.  Mr. Robin decided to entertain us by pooping on the lawn.  Little man started cracking up- only 2 and he sees humor in this.  So much for Spring beauty...well, at least the kids got a good laugh. 

It might have been funnier if you were there, but I thought I'd share anyways. 

And speaking of sharing- how about some cute Spring Robin activities....

DLTK bible
If I were a Robin in a tree... craft and song

Adventures in Reading With Kids
shares an adorable robin themed book and craft.


KidZone
Research/Coloring printable



*Resource for Research: Bird facts and bird call from
All About Birds
NutureStore
has a tutorial on how to make this sweet pom pom robin.



   And I leave you with the song we were singing when the "incident" occurred!


Spring Blessings,
Jen

The clip art at the top of the page can be found at

Friday, March 23, 2012

EGG-napped!

Peanut(age7) and I snuck away to read a book together today.  Egg-napped, written by Marisa Montes, was our book of choice.  We laughed at the humor and enjoyed the rhymes throughout the story. 

Oh no! What happened to the Gabblers' egg?? Here's a sneak peek...

While the others were dancing
And feasting that day,
The Egg tipped and tottered
And tumbled away.


It rolled past the pond
And rolled on down the hill,
And nobody noticed....
No, no one, until --


EGG-napped is a delightful, springtime read.  After discussing the plot and sequencing the events of the story, we enjoyed pointing out the rhyming words and the author's vocabulary usage.  Peanut is very interested in writing, so when she reads, she pays close attention to how the author uses figurative language or if the vocabulary is interesting and new. We also enjoyed Marsha Winborn's whimsical illustrations.

Ideas to connect fun with literature...
1.Have an egg hunt. Have your child hide the egg. Pretend it was taken.
2.Act out the story with stuffed animals.
3.Study ducks. Write facts on a large egg.
4. Act out being a duck in an egg.  The egg is cracking and the baby duck pops out of the egg!

More ideas...


A fun find from Mrs. Hegna's Storyroom- story time about eggs with many activities






Make an Easter duck sitting on eggs- printable










Happy Spring,
Jen

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring Activities




Happy Spring!! 

What are you doing today to celebrate Spring?  We will be spending as much time as possible outside.  It is a BEAUTIFUL Spring day in our neck of the woods.  Little man just asked me for bubbles- so I guess that's #1 on our list! 
#2 picnic lunch
#3 bike riding- the girls are sporting early birthday presents- brand, spankin' new bikes.  They are so excited!!  They've always had hand-me down bikes from cousins, so this is a big deal to have something of their own. 

Well, if we make it indoors today, maybe we'll try out a couple of these Spring activities.....





Flower Mask from DLTK










Egg Shell Plant Pots 
from Enchanted Learning



Enjoy your day and thanks for reading!
Jen

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Letter Ss Activites: Part 2

Sensory fun with Snakes with a Sssss sound and letter focus!
And now the reveal from our Ss painting project....


And one more surprise.....

A poem that I wrote for our little ones to enjoy!

           Five Silly Snakes 
Five silly snakes sliver by the shore,
Out jumps a bear and then there are... four.
Four silly snakes sliver by a tree,
Our jumps a skunk and then there are... three.
Three silly snakes don't know what to do,
One slithers away and then there are... two.
Two silly snakes laugh and have some fun,
Out jumps a fox and then there is... one.
One silly snake is feeling all alone,
Until he sees the other snakes
Have slithered...
All the way home!

Have a SUPER day!
Jen




Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Letter Ss Activities: Part 1


Little man and I had fun searching for the letter S in newspaper ads. I cut out the large S and then he glued all of his finds on.

Finger painting the Swirly letter S was fun! Find out in our next post what we made with his painting.  Hint: It's an animal that begins with the letter S.

S is also for St. Patrick's Day, so I hope you have a good one! 

Unfortunately it is also for the word sick :(- we've been oh so sick this week.  It has passed one by one though the five of us- not fun. Momma held on strong until the end. 

Here's to looking forward to a better, healthier week! 

Take Care!
Jen

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St.Patrick's Day Sensory Bin

Yesterday, I had fun throwing together this bin for little man.  Actually, his big sisters often enjoy them as well. 


Materials
split peas
small green Easter eggs
beaded necklaces
little leprechauns
green foam shapes
green toys
shamrocks
green coffee stirrers




Little man goes away to be silly, so big sissy gets a chance to play in the bin, too!
Fun for all ages!

Have a GREAT day,
Jen

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Learning Center




These adorable Leprechaun hats jumped out at me at the $ store and I knew I had to create some learning fun for the kids with them. 


I created these 5 activities.....
1. Match the colored pom poms to the colors in the hats.

2.Hide one or more leprechauns under the hats.  
Have your child try to find it and then give
them a chance to hide the leprechaun.
Leprechauns from FamilyFun.

3.Use a pom pom or a gold coin
and ask your child to find the letter.


4. Count the shamrocks. 
(laminated shamrocks glued to small straws)

5.  Or just let your little one pretend to be a 
 leprechaun! 

Okay, I fibbed, I have one last activity for older kiddos.  Line up the hats in a row.  Put the number 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 inside the hats. They are going to be like targets.  Next, toss a ping pong ball or pom pom into the hats.  The smaller number will be closer and the highest number will be farther away.  Have your child toss the ball three times and add up the score.  The person with the higher number wins!

What ideas do you have for these cute little hats?


Jen

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time to Make Our Leprechaun Traps

Every year we are tricked by those sneaky buggers.  Maybe this year will be the year that my kids will finally trap a leprechaun.  They need to get on the ball and start building their traps, being St. Patrick's Day Eve is right around the corner.   



Here are a couple of past posts with our experiences and fun pics...

2009 ideas- leprechaun came, but the kids didn't build traps- felt it was cruel. Leprechauns on the Loose


2010- changed their minds and created cruelty free traps. (I guess?)  Fun project. Leprechaun Linky Party


Are your kids planning on trapping any leprechauns this year? After the traps are set, be sure to read..


Enjoy this beautiful day!
Jen

Monday, March 12, 2012

Create a 3D Shape Creature



Using recycled materials, Peanut created a shape creature.  She had to use both plain shapes and 3D shapes in her design. 

She used the following shapes:
circle
sphere
cylinder
cube
rectangle
Can you find the different shapes? She used a cool glue gun to attach her shapes.  Not the best pic (she took it with a webcam)- but it still gives you the idea. 

Shape books we enjoy....



For more shape fun for little ones, visit my Rr is for robot post.

What a creative and fun way to learn about shapes!

Jen

Friday, March 9, 2012

Roller Coaster Physics for Kids!

                                        
Roller coasters are fast, fun, and exciting! They also involve a lot of Science-potential energy, kinetic energy, velocity, speed, friction, forces, gravity.....  Kids can learn about physics by building and testing  their own roller coaster. 

Materials needed
-foam insulating tubes (cut in half to make track)
-duct tape
-marble
-other recycled materials such as paper towel rolls for tunnels
-paper and pencil for planning


Sunshine (age9) adjusting her coaster so that her marble stays on
the track and makes the loop!
After designing and testing her rollercoaster, Sunshine wrote two paragraphs explaining how physics is involved in relation to her overall model and coasters in general.  She used her Science book, as well as information from websites to guide her with the writing component of this project.
                                         
Little man had to get in on the action as well!  I don't know what's cuter- the red long-johns or his attempt at getting that marble on the coaster? 




Resources:
How Roller Coasters Work
Hands-on Activity: Amusement Park Ride: Ups and Downs in Design
Roller Coaster Marbles: How Much Height to Loop the Loop?



Enjoy your weekend!

Jen

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Featuring...The Activity Mom

Photobucket
The Activity Mom is a wonderful site filled with many hands-on ideas and activities!  Nicole, the founder, is a former Elementary Educator and a mom to a 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter. She enjoys sharing fun activities with her kids and sharing her activity ideas with other moms. 


I've been reading The Activity Mom for years and have been inspired by Nicole.  Therefore, I am so honored to be a part of her site.  Recently, I started contributing weekly and am very excited about this endeavor. 


Here are a couple of my most recent posts that you might enjoy...






 Story Starters (Printable)







St. Patrick's Day Activities












Pizza Math







I'd also like to introduce to you, Jill, another featured writer for The Activity Mom!  Jill also has experience in the area of Elementary Eduction.  She is a mom to a 5 year old daughter and a 9 month old son.  Reading, writing and early learning are her passions. You can find Jill over at The Shafer Family

Be sure to stop by and explore The Activity Mom and all this site has to offer to moms and educators!

Jen



Picnic Fun

Our first picnic of 2012

Yesterday was beautiful in our neck of the woods
- a little windy perhaps, but warm enough for our first picnic. 

Does this mean Spring is on the way? 

Time for walks
Looking for bugs
Birdwatching
Flower planting
Early Mornings
Mr. Sun 

I guess, we'll see.  It did just snow a few days ago!

Enjoy your day,
Jen

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