About Me

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


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Special breakfast

Since baby sister has arrived, Daddy is usually up early on Saturday mornings with A, allowing the baby and me some extra rest.  A has learned to look forward to her letter pancakes.  Daddy will usually spell words for her; her name, friends, or just the entire alphabet.  She never eats a better breakfast than on Saturday mornings!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

(names are blurred)

I finally finished baby sister's stocking!  It joins A's on the wall near our front door.  Happy travels to all who are traveling and Best wishes for the new year!

Merry Christmas!!
For the Kids Friday
Pin It

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Action Cards!

I printed these Christmas Action Cards over at Oopsey Daisy and they are terrific!
The first time we used them, we probably went through each card at least five times.  A would say, "can we do the cards again?"  She loved them.

Here she is spreading her branches like a tree:
 We just put all of the cards in a bowl and pick one out at a time.  This activity is fun and great for getting some energy out when it's too cold outside, or if you have a few spare minutes you don't know what to do with (like before naptime, which is when we first tried them out!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas book bin

I'd thought about doing the "wrap a book for every day leading up until Christmas, open it, read it and do a craft to go along with it" Advent thing, but really didn't want to focus on opening gifts. I also didn't have the energy to throw myself into making a craft to go with each one.  I decided instead to just put all of the books into a special book basket and let A look through them whenever she wanted.  I also thought we could read a new one each day.  We actually end up reading several together each day and she looks at several on her own.  I'm quite pleased with my decision and will probably do this again next year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The reason for my lack of posts...

We've gone from a family of three to a family of four and it's wonderful.  I've been soaking up all the yumminess of having a sweet newborn again and watching A be the best big sister there ever was.  As we slowly move into our new routine of toddler activities with a new baby around, I'll be posting more and more often again.  Thanks for sticking around!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snowman letter match

I pulled out my letter matching snowman and tried it out with A for the first time.  Lowercase letters are written all over the snowman and uppercase letters are written on little "snowballs".  You need to match the uppercase and lowercase letters together.  It was a bit challenging for A, which is good.  I think I'll have to sit with her and do this so she won't get frustrated.  After a few times, I think she'll get the hang of it.

To make:
Draw a snowman on a sheet of posterboard with Permanent marker(color)
Trace circles all over the snowman
Trace circles all over another sheet of posterboard
Write lowercase letters on the circles on the snowman
Write uppercase circles on the other circles
Cut and laminate
Add small pieces of velcro to the circles if you will be hanging it up to use (it can also be used on the floor without Velcro)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gingerbread Playing Cards

I found these playing cards at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago and used them with my students.  I came across them the other day and lined them all up 2-Ace and A chose one card at a time from a bowl and matched the number (or letter).

This was a great activity and it took a nice amount of time.  I like that she had enough concentration and it kept her interest. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

What are we doing for Advent?

For Advent this year we are simply following along with this book, Countdown to Christmas.  I've been embracing the idea of simplifying things, and this little book is a perfect fit for us.  Each day there is a short reading, prayer, Bible verse and activity.  

Our first activity was to make a paper chain to count down the days until Jesus' birthday.  (we are just using ours as a decoration)  Notice the tape dispenser?   It's one of those hands-free gift wrapping tape dispensers.  We used to use them at the preschool I used to teach at.  So easy for little hands to use!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Felt Christmas Tree

Last night I went to a "Mama's night in" and we made these cute felt trees and ornaments for our kiddos.  It was really simple and we all enjoyed admiring everyone's creativity.  I showed A right away this morning and she had fun putting her ornaments onto the tree.  We used templates from these sources:
My Fantastic Toys
Homemade by Jill
Juicy Bits
Skip to my Lou
Bugs and Fishes
I found all of the templates on Pinterest.  I'll add my Pinterest button soon!
*spray adhesive was applied to the back of the felt tree to make it stick to the wall, but I needed to use painter's tape to really keep it stuck to the wall. (I love my painter's tape!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homemade sticker pages

A is LOVING stickers and sticker books right now.  I have a bunch of foam stickers laying around, and we are usually just making foam sticker collages.  Today, I decided to trace around the stickers and have A match the stickers to the outlines.

I think we'll be doing this all day long.  The nice thing about this is that she has to do a series of steps:

-peel off the back
-put the peeled paper in a trash pile
-find the matching shape
-place the sticker in the correct spot

I don't know what we'll be doing with dozens of sticker pages around here, but it's all about the process, not the product.  We'll hang them up all over for a while since she's so proud of her work!

I also plan to make pattern strips  where she not only has to match the stickers, but then continue the pattern with no outline to help her (I'll post that when we do it!), as well as cards where she sees what is on the top and she needs to duplicate it on the bottom (we can cut them and turn them into memory cards)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Alphabet girl!

A has always been interested in letters...letter names, letter sounds, letter songs!  It comes as no surprise that one of her favorite things to do with play dough is to sit with Daddy and have him make letters with it.  He'll make a letter and she'll tell him the name and the sound.  They do this with pancakes too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Artist Books

I love these books!  Each one focuses on an artist and their paintings.  My favorite part about the book is that it reads like a picture book.  A really likes them too.  She actually saw one of the paintings somewhere and said, "Van Gogh!"  Yes, honey, that is a Van Gogh. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

best sensory bin ever

I saw this sensory bin on someone's blog...I can't remember where!  You put popcorn kernels, magnetic refrigerator letters and a scoop in a shoebox.  I used alphabet stickers and put them on three separate pieces of paper and laminated them.  A scoops the letters out and matches them to the letter on the paper.

When we started this, I kept the letters in three separate bags and we only did one page/bag at a time.  Now A has enough interest and attention to do all three pages at once!

*TIP* When doing a small sensory bin like this, place it on top of a blanket.  That way, when the little pieces (popcorn kernels here) fall out, all you need to do to clean up is roll the blanket and pour the pieces back in!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin ABC Hunt

Last week, I set up a pumpkin alphabet scavenger hunt for A.  I took laminated pumpkins with letters on them that I had from teaching (I'm pretty sure I got them from Making Learning Fun ), put painter's tape on the back, and stuck them around the house.  A took her pink pumpkin pail and walked around looking for the pumpkin letters. 

After a few rounds, she decided that she would hide the letters herself and then look for them.  We had a lot of fun with this and did it again and again!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Animal Crackers

This was a fun baking project A and I did this summer.  I got the cookie cutters off of ebay since Williams-Sonoma stopped selling them.  You can get the recipe right off of their website.  The cookies were yummy and we had a great time making them!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Breakfast picnic

A loves picnics.  We can get her to sit down for almost any meal as long as we call it a picnic.  Here she is eating some breakfast on a blanket in our living room.  She calls it having a "micnic"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just like Dziadzia

My girl loves her dzia dzia (grandpa).  Last time he visited, the two of them shared a snack together.  Every time he took a drink, A had to take one too.  She watched out of the corner of her eyes to see when he'd put his glass down so she'd know when to put hers down.  Too precious!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mama's helper

Before little sister was born, we got a few baby items out of storage.  This travel swing was one of them.  A would put a doll in it and pile blankets and pillows on top to "help."  We knew once the baby came, we'd have to keep an eye on our helper.  Sure enough, she brings her little sister blankets and toys and piles them on top of her.  We make sure she doesn't cover baby's face, and then we take the items off once A looks away.  I'm happy to have such a willing helper who does things without being asked!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Freezer box fort

We got a new deep freezer this summer.  A had fun using the box as a fort.  She would bring all of her toys and blankets from her bed to the fort and hang out in there.  Gotta love cheap, creative play!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Magnet puzzle

I got this Melissa and Doug magnet fishing puzzle on sale and A has really enjoyed it more than I thought she would!  We play with it, taking turns.  We tell each other which fish we caught or which fish we are going to try and catch.  I'm going to keep my eyes open for other magnet fishing puzzles.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big Sister!!

Sorry we've been off the grid lately.  A became a big sister and we've been enjoying time at home with Daddy.  Today we are back to reality...just Mama and the girls.
A is a wonderful big sister.  She is always bringing Baby blankets and toys.  She'll run to her every time she hears a squeak to make sure Baby is okay.  She also loves to give hugs and kisses. 
I'm looking forward to watching these girls grow up and to seeing their sweet relationship blossom.

Monday, September 19, 2011

great game

This is a great game I found at a thrift store recently.  It has several ways of playing.  It comes with a set of dice (one colors and one shapes.).  You can play with or without the dice.  You can play with one or both.  It works with shape and color recognition, identification and taking turns. 

A has a lot of fun with this game and will play it alone or with one of us.  I'd never heard of it before, but I really like it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Apple and Celery Prints

Yesterday while I was cutting up some celery, I was reminded of a project we did in my kindergarten class for Mother's Day.  We took the bottom of the celery stalk, and made rose prints with it.  I asked A if she would like to try.

After our celery prints, I cut an apple in half (horizontally) and A made star prints with the apple.  I know there is a story/book that goes along with finding a star inside of an apple, but can't remember the title.

This was a really quick art project and A had fun making flowers and stars.  She enjoyed showing her prints off and telling others how she had made them!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Made by Mama: Big Sister shirt!

In preparation for little sister to arrive, I made this Big Sister shirt for A.  I was going to buy one from Etsy (there are SO many options on there!) but a friend convinced me I could make my own.  I knew I could, but didn't think I had the energy. 

I'm so glad I  made this myself.  The shirt was $2.50 at a consignment store and I had the scrap fabric and "Steam a Stitch."  All I did to make this was:
 -print the words out on computer paper
-iron the Steam a stitch onto the scrap fabric
-cut out the letters
-iron letters to shirt
I'm also stitching around the letters so the shirt will last a bit longer.  I'll post the final product when it's completely finished!

*I'd be happy to share the file I used for the words.  Just email me and I'll get it to you!*

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Using what you've got

A hadn't painted in a while, so I thought I'd get out the paints and let her enjoy them.  I couldn't find my painter's palette, but did see an empty egg carton in our craft supplies.  I decided to use part of one to hold the paints and it was perfect!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Building set

I scored this building set from a consignment store and A has been having a lot of fun with it.  Her favorite thing to do is build towers.  Actually, her favorite thing to do is dump everything onto the ground...her second favorite thing is building towers!

Friday, September 2, 2011

More chores

A has been helping Mama out around the house more lately.  Here she is dusting our living room.  It doesn't last too long, and I have to re-do whatever task I give her, but she's excited to help and it keeps her busy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Simple Art

On this day, I really needed to get some pots and pans cleaned and A really wanted to be by Mama.  I decided to find her a little project to do near me.
Our simple art project included the Crayola Color Explosion paper/markers and a sheet of colorful reinforcement labels.

It took just the right amount of time and turned out very colorful!