Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is your Mama a Llama?

If you haven't heard of this book - where have you been? I got the book on CD from the library (the books on CD are a great way to get some variety in reading books, so they don't always
have to hear my boring voice)

Anyways, the llama is looking for his mama, and asks all the other animals, "Is your mama a llama?" They all say no, then descibe (with really good adjectives) what their mama looks like.

After we read the book, we pulled out all the stuffed animals, threw them all on a blanket. Then began sorting.

I would ask who can find a duck? Who can find another? I went through, until all the animals were matched up.
During this, I also asked the kids to describe details about each animal, for example:
What color is the penguins tummy?
What does the duck say?
How many bears are there?
So on and so forth.

And of course they put them ALL away before we finished.
(this activity is very similer to my other animal sort, I just used a book to help)

Go to Target!!

I love it! Everything on here was 1$ (Educational puzzles, workbooks for pre-k, letter bingo, and whiteboards with lines for writing, I could have bought more, but I kept picturing my husband shaking his head at me)
Before the school year starts, they have so many educational materials. They are great if you're doing some teaching at home. Or they are great for church, car rides, or general boredom during the summer months. So head over to your 1$ spot at Target asap!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We try to take walks about 3 times a week with the girls. Its burns some calories for Mama after dinner, and it gets that last bit of energy out so they crash at bedtime.

Well our walk time has turned into Riley's collection time of rocks, leaves, sticks, acorns, flowers, you name it.

I was getting tired of finding them all around the house and the washer from putting them in her pockets, hence " My Nature Collection"

She can dump everything in there. She tried to get me to keep it in her room. No way. It stays in the backyard.

I used a big giant empty can, but you could use a shoebox or a jar or something. Get some craft paper, write some words and easy peasy. All that nature stuff is out of your hair.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do as I'm Doing

Our church has been doing this song since I was a kid. Its one of those songs to fill the time and get the wiggles out. Its really cute, and the kids never get sick of it.

I let each child take a turn being the leader and picking an action, The actions of this morning were:

Spinning in a circle
Twirling our arms
Tapping our heads

Here's the song:

Do as I'm doing
Follow, follow me
Do as I'm doing
Follow, follow me

If I do it high or low (the kids do their motions high and low while singing)
If I do it fast or slow( the kids do it Fast and slow while singing)

Do as I'm doing
Follow, Follow me
Do as I'm doing
Follow, follow me

Ri being the leader (jumping)

Chloe being the leader (marching)

Click here to hear the songs melody

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Water Paint

I first saw his a the Childrens Discovery Museum, then At my friend Melissa's house. And this was almost 3 years ago! I can't believe its taken me this long. Anyways, its simple!


Paint brushes
I got these paintbrushes for $4.97 at Walmart
Fill up a container with water and have them paint on the cement!

Its cool because there really is no clean up and the kids can get their paint on!
My 4 year old liked this for maybe 5 minutes, but my 2 year old and our 3 year old friend played for almost a half hour. So its pretty much geared towards the younger toddler.

Buttons in a Can

Old Buttons
A big can (or small, if you want to make it hard)
Tape (optional)
1. Put a can somewhere in or out of the house
2. Put some tape on the ground, so the kids know where to stand

3. Make them line up and take turns, take a button, and have them try to toss it into the can.
( I gave them 3 tries)
4. Leave it up all day, they liked just throwing things in there all day

**This is a really good opportunity to teach the skill of "standing in line and waiting their turn." I'm often amazed at how much these kids DON'T understand how to do this!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Paper Plate Feelings

You gotta love paper plates. So many art projects come home from school , made from paper plates.

Well, here's another!
1. Draw some faces with different facial expressions on paper plates. You don't have to be an artist - look at mine.
2. Read a book about feelings. I had this one:
(I wish I had this book : The Way I Feel by Janan Cain, I thought I did, but I didn't)
3. Show the kids each paper plate, and ask what the feeling is, then ask them what makes them feel that way. Have them make their own faces too!
For example: What is something that makes you happy? Her answer: Horses
What is something that makes you sad? Her answer: Time Outs
(My 2 year old just copied everything Ri said, but no worries, she'll get there one day)
4. Then, let them pick a plate and put it on their face, and have them act out the feeling.

We really liked this activity, we all laughed when everyone was making their "feelings faces"

Q-Tip Painting

If you don't want to buy really nice paint brushes, then have your kids destroy them -
Try this:

Cut up your egg carton, get out your q-tips, and cotton balls

Decorate this cute (giant) can to put all you paints in, and put it somewhere high, so your kids can't get to it!

Tape a piece of paper to the table - if you have kids like mine, this is a must!

Let them go to town!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Color bags

Learning colors and learning how to sort objects are pretty important for kids. This activity can accomplish both.

Clearing out toys and having kids keep busy on their own are pretty important to parents. This activity can accomplish both!

Go find random toys that are at the bottom of the toy basket, if you have flash cards, throw some of those in too. Make some "color labels" and throw them all into a Ziploc bag, 2 colors to a bag. Give a bag to your kid, and have them sort away.

My 2 year old only had the attention span to so one bag. My 4 yr old did all 3 in one sitting. They've asked to do it again too!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All About Hands

This takes about 5-10 minutes, and my kids loved it, I was surprised at how attentive they were.
I started by singing a little song we heard at the library:

I have ten little fingers and they all belong to me
I can make them do things, just you watch and see!
I can open them wide, I can shut them up tight
I can put them together, I can make them hide!
I can raise them up high, I can bring them down low
I can fold them together and place them just so. (in their lap)
(you could also do, where is thumbkin)

Then I had them count all their fingers.
Then I asked them questions about what kinds of things they do with their hands. It was really cute to hear their answers!

Next,get into your stash of colored construction paper (if you don't have any, go buy some, in BULK!)

Let them choose a color, trace their hands, then let them color them in.
Don"t forget to have them write their name at the top, or use this opportunity to teach them.

On another day do the same thing, but: All About Feet

I hung them up on the door out to our garage, and they loved putting their hands up on them and talking about who's hands were bigger or smaller.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mini Corn Dogs

The kids loved this one! It was so easy, and the batter was REALLY yummy! I like that I can make sure to use chicken hot dogs, and I know what is going into the batter too. (I know, they're still deep fried, but we can indulge ourselves a little right)

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
2 (16 ounce) packages beef or chicken frankfurters
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk.
Preheat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Cut hot dogs in thirds and roll in flour. Roll frankfurters in batter until well coated.
Fry 2 or 3 corn dogs at a time until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels

Free Choice Friday

I've heard that the more choices you give a child, the more likely he'll listen, when you ask him to do things. Its from a book called Love and Logic

Often times dinner is a fight for my kids, especially when I try something new, or when something I make has too many veggies!

So, Friday night is my new "free choice for dinner night" I'm sure many of you do this already, but I just thought about doing it last week. Basically, everyone gets to eat whatever they want! ... From, chicken nuggets to yogurt, to cereal, whatever they choose!

I love it, it means I don't have to create another completely crowd pleasing dinner!

And hopefully, they'll be more likely to EAT during the week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Library

Do you take your kids to the library? We do! Every week!

My kids love going there, being in a large city we have tons of locations to choose from. Each library has a huge, beautiful kids area, with little chairs and little computers, that are easy for the kids to use.

Check the Internet because most libraries in any town offer toddler story times with songs, finger plays, and darling little books. My little one was just singing one of the songs while she was waking up this morning!

The best part is that we come home with new books every week. I love that I don't have to spend the money on new books, and yet we get to have new book adventures every time we come home!

The story time is also a great opportunity to teach your child to sit still and listen to an adult, you know, getting them ready for those school days in a few years!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Flash Cards

Flash cards are great to build vocabulary in toddlers as well as learning colors and shapes. This is the first time I've worked with Chloe on these cards. I tried 2 things:
First, I layed out 3 cards and asked her what they were, I could either ask : Chloe where's the picture of the fish, or I could point to one and ask whats this? (don't have a pic of us doing this activity)

Next, I got 2 cards that labeled just colors, then found 2 other cards that had that color. We then began a "talk and question" conversation about those colors. I talked about the colors, then I asked her to match the colors together. She didn't get it right at first, but after a few times, she'll pick it up. Pictured:
We of course, sang the clean-up song when we were done, and oh yes, I made sure she helped!

I got my cards at the Lakeshore Learning Center (which is pretty pricey sometimes). I got them with the intent to teach colors and shapes. They have lots of different kinds to teach whatever you choose. Target had some great ones this year around September that I got for $1 a box. So, next fall pick some up! My kids love them, and I enjoy watching them learn!