Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Family Night

We had a really busy day with a family Halloween party this morning.  For our family night tonight we kept it simple and fun!

We just ate mini pizzas that I made using sandwich thins.  I thought it would be better to keep it simple.

Craft & Activity
We used some Halloween themed foam stickers to decorate empty baby puffs containers and then used them to do some bowling! 

R even got in on the action, enjoying the feel of the stickers (while closely supervised) and then throwing the ball at the bowling pins!

Trick or Treat!
Abby Cadabby and Elmo had an awesome time trick or treating today! 
We only went to about 10 houses so M's candy haul was very tiny and manageable.  She got about 20 pieces of candy and the majority of them were choking risks, so I went ahead and let her eat all of the "ok" candies.  She was so happy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Week In a Glance - M is 31 Months Old

It's been sort of a crazy week around here.  I've had so much going on that school was sort of put on the back burner.  We didn't get to many of the activities in our Preschool Pack, but that's ok.  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow!

Official School
All of the activities in this section have instructions and/or printables in earlier posts from this week.
Spider Web Counting

Ghost Writing Practice from our Halloween Preschool Pack

Spider Grid Game from our Halloween Preschool Pack
 Halloween Sensory Tub 

Extra Learning
M played a lot with her puzzles this week and her brother joined in the fun!
 Nap schedules are still being figured out.  R gave up both his morning and his evening nap, so now he goes to bed much earlier for his afternoon nap.  Unfortunately M isn't sleepy when he is, so she goes down for her nap about an hour after him.  We've been using that time to do special things, like having picnics out on the front lawn.
 I pulled out the Halloween box to start decorating and found these erasers that I had bought a few weeks ago.  We decided to make little patterns out of them.

Teacher Lessons
I don't really have a lesson this week.  I do want to share something I found out though!  A friend of mine learned that by the end of Kindergarten in our local public school system, the children are expected to know the letters, their sounds, and how to count to 10.  By the END of Kindergarten!  Michaela is 2 1/2 and she is already there!  I just can't accept that in 3 1/2 years she will be in exactly the same place!  Sigh.  It looks like homeschooling might be in our future after all.

Since our activities are starting more and more to reflect a preschool level, we are now linking up to Preschool Corner as well as Tot School.  Visit their websites to find some more great learning activities!

Spider Web Counting

I thought this would be a fun activity for M, but I think it was a bit too advanced for her.  She still gets confused on numbers 11 and up, and then numbers were just too close together on the plate.  It was hard for her to distinguish what was a 1 next to a 5 and what was a 15.  I think if we were to do this again, we would use less numbers and space them out farther along the plate from each other.

Spider Web Counting

Theme: Preschool Skills
Materials: Black plate w/ numbers marked, white string
How to: Have your child wrap the string around the plate, going in order from number to number.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Sensory Tub

 M's been having a good time playing with her Halloween sensory tub this week.  I just set this out on the kitchen floor, and she can play as much as she wants with it.  The only rule is that she can only play with it when Rafael is napping or in a different room, because he will definitely try to eat it!

Halloween Sensory Tub
Theme: Sensory/Messy Play

Materials: Black beans, white beans, split green peas, scoops, dollar store Halloween items, mini broom and dustpan to clean up afterwards.

How to: Play and have fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Preschool Skills Pack

Included in this pack are:
Ghost Writing Practice
Bat and Mummy Uppercase/Lowercase Match
Spider Grid Game
Halloween Lacing Cards
Ghost Size Order
Candy Counting Cards
Uppercase/Lowercase Sort
Halloween Patterns
Bat Number Sequencing

Halloween Preschool Skills Pack

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Family Night

To finish off our Pumpkin Week, we had our very first Family Night today!  I have been wanting to find a way for us all to take time off from the TV, work, and various projects to spend an entire afternoon/evening together as a family without any distractions.  So now, every Sunday night, our focus will be each other and having fun in our own little family.

We ate Pumpkin Chili & Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins.  These were so yummy! 

We played Pin the Nose on the Jack O' Lantern and Pumpkin Hide and Seek (basically hiding a small pumpkin and trying to find it).  Neither of these were a huge success.  M was more interested in just sticking her stickers on all the various "body" parts of the pumpkin for the first game and she didn't quite understand the concept of hide and seek.

The best part of the evening was painting.  I had a few crafts lined up but we just ended up painting some pumpkins I printed out.  We also talked about color mixing and how red and yellow make orange. 
After we painted our paper pumpkins, M decided to paint her real pumpkin!  Orange!  So silly. 

We also got out a pumkin cookie cutter and did some stamp painting. 

I knew this was going to be a messy afternoon, so we stripped the kids down!  I wasn't really brave enough to have R paint, but he didn't mind.  He happily munched away on some cornbread muffins.

Overall our first night was a success!  Thank you to 2 Teaching Mommies for the inspiration for this night!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Library Corner

Every other week we go to the library and fill our big library bag with as many books as can fit. There's no rhyme or reason to what books we pick, we just make sure to grab some that look relatively age appropriate. Enjoy our reviews of our favorites from each trip!

The EndThe End by David LaRochelle - This was my favorite from the week, which is funny considering that I picked it up absentmindedly as we were about to check out from the library.  It basically tells a fairy tale, starting at the end with "And they lived happily ever after.   Because..." Such a clever idea!

Wow! Said the OwlWow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood - This is a great book about colors that actually incorporates colors into a storyline rather than just naming a color and an object that matches that color.

Over in the HollowOver in the Hollow by Rebecca Dickinson - This was a truly great find!  A cute little Halloween counting book with vintage style illustrations.  All of the ghosts, witches, etc. are very cute and friendly looking so you don't have to worry about scaring your little ones!

AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went FirstAlphaOoops! The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis - This starts off with the traditional "A is for app-" before Z interrupts!  He's tired of going last and wants to go first this time!  Suddenly all the letters have something to complain about!  M and I both loved the silliness of this book, and it was a nice reminder that knowing our letters is more than just knowing their order!  There is a Halloween book in this series, but it wasn't available at our library. 

Mouse TV by Matt Novak - This is the story about what happens to the TV addicted mouse family when their TV breaks!  We are having our first Family Night on Sunday to spend more time together as a family and get away from the TV, so I can definitely relate to this book!

I Spy Shapes in ArtI Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait - This takes fine works of art and has the child find the various shapes within each one.  I loved the concept and might try to work an extension activity into our week sometime!

Boo, Bunny!Boo, Bunny! by Kathryn O Galbraith - A cute Halloween story about two easily frightened bunnies who find out how fun Halloween can be!  I'm not sure M remembers her last two Halloweens, so this was a good book to explain to her the process of dressing up, ringing doorbells, and getting candy.

Cleo's Counting Book (Cleo Series)Cleo's Counting Book by Caroline Mockford - A simple counting book.  What I really loved about it was that it counted backwards from 10 also.  I haven't worked much on this with M, and so as she was "reading" this, she mixed up a few numbers when going backwards.  Definitely something to work on!

Some other library books we enjoyed this week:
This post is being linked up to What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns and Kid Konnection at Booking Mama
Disclosure: The links for the books are connected through Amazon Associates and I may earn a small revenue if you click through and purchase any book listed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week in a Glance - M is 31 Months Old

Official School
All of the activities in this section have instructions and/or printables in earlier posts from this week.

Pattern Matching File Folder Game

Chopstick Transfer

Pumpkin Drop

Jack O Lantern File Folder Game

Uppercase/Lowercase Word Match

Pumpkin Grid Game

Jack O Lantern Patterns

Pumpkin Size Order

Pumpkin Counting Cards

Pumpkin Lacing Card

Extra Learning
She helped me make Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Teacher Lessons
Change is good.  I've been resistant to doing "themes" or letters of the week because I didn't want to restrict M's learning in any way.  After doing 2 months of Tot School though, I realized that we needed a little more structure to our set up.  M is insatiable when it comes to school time, so it's nice to have all the printables from our new "Preschool Packs" printed and on hand for when she wants to do extra school.  It also gives me the freedom to continue supplementing with other fun activites outside of the theme.  We are starting a weekly "Family Night" as well, so stay tuned on Sunday night for a recap of our activities!

Since our activities are starting more and more to reflect a preschool level, we are now linking up to Preschool Corner as well as Tot School.  Visit their websites to find some more great learning activities!

  Tot School