About Me

I'm a teacher turned stay at home mama. I love finding things to make and do!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Free Art

When I taught kindergarten, the most popular free play area in my room was the art area. Kids would spend their entire free play time constructing impressive projects with simple tools.  I've been wanting to give A the same opportunity, so the other week I set out some art/craft tools to see what would happen.  

This is the before picture of our toy shelf in our main living area (note the lovely wedding photo of Mama and Daddy :)):

This is our after picture!

I placed a magazine holder with coloring books and different types of paper in the first cube.  (Disregard the whole, "my name is P.M." thing.  This is from my afternoon K class and I never peeled the sticker off!) I also added colored pencils and two types of crayons for easy access.
In the second cube, I put a drawer organizer. You can see a tape dispenser and pencil case on top.  The pencil case has a pencil, glue stick and scissors in it (easy for my 4 year-old to get to, but not for my 2 year-old)
The first drawer has popsicle sticks and stampers

The second drawer has stencils and rubbing plates

The third drawer has stickers and a pencil box with markers. I wanted A to have the option to use markers without having them out in the open where little sis could get to them.
This has worked so well, and A has made some really great drawings and popsicle stick creations.  I've since added a bunch of supplies to this shelf and I'll be updating with another post soon.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September Mom and Me Book Club: Chicka Chicka 123!

We are participating in the monthly book club series hosted by The Educators' Spin On It
This month's author is Bill Martin Jr.  I chose the book, Chicka Chicka 123.   It is one of A's current favorites!

I printed off a drawing of an apple tree, added number stickers (0-9) and laminated the pages.  The kids took turns digging for numbers and matching them to their sheet.

I found this cute little bumblebee craft on Pinterest. (original source here) It is made with a tiny pine cone, yarn and a small piece of grocery bag.  Super easy and cute! 

They loved making (but  mostly eating) their Honey-Comb cereal necklaces.

Everyone had a chance to sample a red, yellow and green apple, fill out a sheet (also found on Pinterest..original source here) and cast their vote.

I also had a few other Bill Martin Jr. books out for everyone to look through.  I forgot to take a photo of the take-home activity, but here is a photo of one we did after everyone went home.  Each child got a baggie with a sheet of apple stickers and four trees with numbers on them.  They needed to count and stick the correct number of stickers on each tree.
This was fun!  We are excited for next month's book club!

Monday, July 15, 2013

2013 Summer Book Exchange!

We recently participated in the "Love Books" Summer Book Exchange.  It was so much fun!  Check out our last year's exchange here.  This year we were paired up with Lauren from Tutus & Tea Parties.  We received one of our favorite books, Mouse Paint!

We began by reading the book, then we used the puppets she sent us to retell the story.  There were mice puppets, paint jar puppets, paint puddle puppets and then there were mouse bottom puppets to show what color each mouse turned.  These were the highlight of the package.  My girls still play with these!

Next we had some fun with color mixing in baggies. 

I added a little printable I found on Pinterest. :)

Here A is getting ready to do some paint mixing on a cute little handmade painter's palette.

Finally, the girls went on a color hunt.  They found toys and put them on the correct color paint puddle.

This was so much fun!  Check out all of the other book projects over at The Educators' Spin on it!  Thanks again, Lauren and "Bug!"

The Educators' Spin On It

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back to Bentos

I have been having the hardest time getting little miss A to eat breakfast.  I wouldn't fret, but she becomes the grouchiest of creatures if she has nothing in her little tummy.  This makes for a "no-fun morning" for all involved.  I've decided to go back to the pre-packed Bento box.  
Mealtimes are already a struggle, and when you add the fact that A is gluten-free and dairy-free, it just becomes an even bigger obstacle when Mama is als0 tired and hungry.  I'm also thinking I may go back to themed breakfasts just to be sure they aren't seeing the same breakfasts day after day.  Here's the plan:

Muffin Monday
Oatmeal Tuesday
Waffle Wednesday
Cereal Thursday
French Toast Friday

Saturday/Sunday I'm going to see if I can get her to start drinking smoothies and maybe eating g/f pancakes again.  Baby steps, right?

*Recipe for the chocolate quinoa muffins here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Picking flowers

The girls and I are on a little mini-vacation at my parents' house.  They are loving it.  The weather has been beautiful, and they've been able to run through a sprinkler (A calls it a water fountain) and splash in a tiny baby pool every afternoon.  At home, we have a small patch of grass for the girls to play on. Here, they have a field to pick flowers (dandelions) in, and they go on adventures in between the pine trees and lilac bushes.  They need few toys if any to keep themselves entertained. Today we make the trip back home.  It will be sad to leave, but we are excited to see Daddy again!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sister snack

I was recently pinning some ideas for morning and bedtime routines on Pinterest.  I wanted to make a chart for A, to help her get herself ready for both transition times.  I saw a picture of two kids eating cereal as their bedtime routine on this blog and a light bulb flickered on in my head.  We needed a bedtime snack in our routine!

When A was a baby, we'd feed her baby oatmeal and a bottle of milk before bed.  Why weren't we doing something similar now?  (a lot of our bedtime battles revolve around being hungry...for both girls)

We now have a "sister snack" box
I keep this box on the top shelf of A's closet.  (Her room doubles as the girls' playroom)  Every night, unless we've had a late supper, the girls put their jammies on and have a sister snack together before bed. There is a little table with two chairs they can sit on. Sometimes I'll read them a story or two while they munch.

Our snack box is packed with two types of applesauce (I figured they sort of doubled as drinks) and then some dry snacks packed in snack bags (duplicates of everything).  There are bowls to put the snacks in, a spoon for applesauce as well as a refillable pouch to put baby sister's applesauce in.
So far this has been a nice transition to get the girls ready for bed.  I'm happy that it also helps fill their little tummies for the evening, too!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Travel Binders

We went on a four hour road trip last weekend.  With the way I prepared, you'd think it was a 16 hour ordeal, but we were only in the car for 4 hours.  I had a few friends ask for details, so here they are.  There is more to come!
 (be sure to scroll over the words, I've provided links to the activities)

Big Sister's Binder
1. Highlights magazine, Laminated Kumon activity pages, pencil case with crayons and paper, Wooly Willy, ISpy book with magnifying glass
2.  lacing animals, envelope with plain paper and stickers
3.  Color Wonder coloring pages, We Choose Virtues coloring pages
5.  Tracing page I had from teaching, Kumon coloring pages
6.  Name writing practice (using letter boxes),  cutting practice sheets  
8.  Butterfly sticker page, Alphabet match-up with abc stickers
9. Hello Kitty/My Little Pony sticker sort, 1-10sticker sheets 

1.sticker activity page ,happy face/sad face sticker sorting
2.sticker shapes,  Color sorting with stickers
3.  Poking shapes with a golf tee (Montessori Print Shop), Letter search (Living Life Intentionally) 
4. Blank reindeer face (I found this on Pinterest and a Google search)
5.  Blank boy and girl (Pinterest and Google search) girl face here
6.letter tracing    
7.  Tracing from Musings of Me (no longer available),laminated Doc McStuffins Tot Pack
8. (more Doc)

Baby sister's binder
1. Highlights magazine, laminated Kumon pages (with dry-erase crayons), pencil case with paper and crayons, envelope with paper, coloring pages and stickers
2.  Color Wonder pages
3. Velcro Mitten Match (no longer available)
4.  Velcro Animal silhouette match (can't find the link!)
5. Blank faces

I'll update soon with what was in our TRAVEL BOX!