Saturday, June 28, 2014

Busy Bags for School Aged Children

This week we've been participating in the Virtual Busy Bag Exchange. Big Cousin was at our house for a few days this week and as the all the kiddos would be partaking in quiet time, I created a few busy bags for her as well.

Big Cousin is headed into second grade in the fall so her bags needed to work on different skill sets than the ones I usually create for Big Brother. I know she is enjoying to learn how to sew with her grandmother, so the first bag I created encouraged her to practice her sewing skills.

Sewing also helps kids develop fine motor skills, and in her case, strengthen her fine motor muscles even more so as she already is an active writer and used to manipulating small objects. 

ABCs of Nature: M is for Meadow

We're excited to be participating in the ABC's of Nature which is hosted by School Time Snippets. 26 bloggers are sharing a nature themed post for each different letter of the alphabet. Already so many amazing nature activities and resources have been shared.

We were lucky to have the letter M, as there were so many different nature themed ideas (mountain, moon, morning, mist . . .) But in the end we settled on "M is for Meadow."

I've mentioned before that we're pretty blessed to live in an area where opportunities to engage with nature are just a step outside our door. For this exploration, we walked a little farther down the road to a large meadow. We talked a little about what a meadow is and what we might find there before we left the house.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Foolish Tortoise Painted Rocks

This month the Virtual Book Club for Kids author was Eric Carle. We love Eric Carle, and own many of his books. We read several all month, but choosing one for our project and post was hard. In the end, we went with The Foolish Tortoise because it was one we didn't know as well.

Big Brother has been asking for a while to paint rocks, and this seemed like a perfect extension project. The book tells of a tortoise who takes off his shell, only to learn how much it needs it for protection. We painted the rocks to look like the shells and added felt bodies. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baby Faces Busy Bag (For a One Year Old)

We're really excited to be participating in a Virtual Busy Bag Exchange sponsored by Teach Me Mommy.

Today we're swapping ideas with Life Over C's and Adventure in a Box to share busy bag ideas for one year olds. I've created Busy Bags and Boxes for Big Brother a couple of different times before, check out this post or this one for some of those ideas, but this was the first time I've made a busy bag for Little Brother. I found it an interesting challenge to think of what might interest a one year old in a bag. 

We've started to encourage Little Brother to work on identifying parts of the face which inspired me to create a "baby faces" busy bag. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Alphabet Adventure: W is for Waterfall

We could not have asked for a better weather day a few weekends ago when we went on this Alphabet Adventure. As we get closer to the end of the alphabet, and are nearing the one year mark since we began, we're getting excited about the idea of wrapping up these adventures. Big Brother was pretty excited to discover we were headed on an adventure; he reminded us it has been a while.

The Adventure

For this adventure we headed to a local recreation area known for its large waterfall. I hadn't been to this site in almost 15 years, and none of the guys had ever been there. The waterfall is at the bottom of a big hill, and was a quick walk down.

At the bottom we walked up as close as we could get to the falls. This meant climbing over the rocks, which we helped the boys to do. At first we stopped at one edge of the waterfall. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Solstice Slime

This week we've been enjoying looking at all the great ideas from Fun at Home with Kids during their really fun Slime Week! On their facebook page you can find even more great ideas shared by other bloggers too.

We were inspired to try our own version of slime. In honor of this weekend's summer solstice we created Solstice Slime!

For our slime play, we used a traditional borax and white glue recipe. In my years of teaching I've seen this recipe also referred to as "space mud" or the other type of "Oobleck." 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Quick Pick & Project of the Week: Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin

This week I'm wrapping up the current school year, which means many of our projects are quick and easy to set up. We love the book Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. The Little Blue Truck teaches the Big Dump Truck a good lesson about being kind to others in return for a helping hand.

Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin
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We had a fun idea for an easy sensory bin set up to go with the book. A little over a month ago we created a sensory bin to go with the book In the Tall, Tall Grass and it lead to some fun play. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Quick Pick & Project of the Week: "Bring on the Birds" Feather Painting

It's been a while since we posted a Quick Pick & Project of the Week. We were inspired this week to get back to sharing a few ideas.

A couple of weeks ago we picked up this book, Bring On the Birds, from our local library. The book uses crisp illustrations and simple and engaging text to describe a variety of birds. We especially love all the verbs the book uses to describe the different birds and their actions. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Teacher Thank You Tree Bookmarks (Free Printable)

This week marks Big Brother's last week of preschool before summer vacation. (He'll be headed back to the same program in the fall.) We wanted to find a way to say thank you to the teachers he has had this year. Preschool has been one of his favorite places ever, and it is his teachers who really make the place special for all of the kids. When we were brainstorming things we can make for people he started talking a lot about bookmarks, and it inspired me to help him create bookmarks for the teachers.

I had spotted many cute ideas on Pinterest for either plant or tree themed gifts, including several cute fingerprint tree ideas.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Alphabet Adventure: V is for Vultures at VINS

It's been quite a while since we posted an Alphabet Adventure, and it's actually been quite a while since we went on this adventure.

The Adventure
For our V adventure we headed to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) in Woodstock, VT. VINS is a great place to see rescued raptors of many kinds, in a beautiful location. We knew we could see Turkey Vultures on our visit, which would fit our V theme, but we were also eager to see some of the other birds too.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kids Cook: Chocolate Chip Craisin Oatmeal Cookies

It's been a while since we posted a recipe, and I can't believe we haven't posted this recipe yet. This has been our "go to" cookie recipe for almost a year now.

We love the yummy goodness of the mix of the craisin, chocolate, and oatmeal flavors. They mix together and bake up easily. And they always disappear quickly. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Soap Foam Car Wash Bins

If you've been reading our posts for a while you know we love transportation play. The other day we were looking for a new way to play with our matchbox cars. Lately many of them have been spending some time in our sand and water table and getting a little dirty. This has been inspiring Big Brother to pretend to wash them. I decided it would be fun to set up some car wash sensory play.

In the earlier stages of spring we discovered soap foam play from Fun at Home With Kids. We turned it into some really fun clean mud. It's such a cool, easy way to create a different sensory experience for kids.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Ultimate Art Skills Activity Pack Review

We're excited to be doing our first ever review at Kitchen Floor Crafts. A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to download and try out the Ultimate Art Skills Pack from Totschooling.

This pack covers five different art skills: cutting, pasting, tracing, drawing, and coloring. The graphics are colorful and fun, and very kid friendly. All of these are skills we use on a regular basis during our crafting, playing and learning, but it's not often we focus on the skills specifically on their own.