Monday, January 31, 2011

Week(s) in a Glance - M is 34m & R is 14m

School around here has been a little bit....lacking.  I'm not quite sure why, but I just have not felt motivated to get any activities set up for the kids.  I've had alot on my plate with MOMS Club stuff, and planning my husbands surprise 30th birthday (which turned out awesome!), and just life in general.  Next week we are doing a big Valentine's Day week, which I am hoping will get us back into the groove of things, but for now I am going to take one more lazy week as I get things ready!

The kids have been playing quite a bit on the ipad these past couple of weeks.  I know, not the greatest, but since it's mostly educational, it's ok right?  Right? :)  Seriously though, M taught herself how to play the game memory using the Dino Match game, which was really neat to see.

I set up this little activity for M while I was cleaning my office.  I found some bubble wrap, so wrote some letters & numbers on it and had her pop the correct bubble as I called out a letter or number.

She's done a few pages in a few workbooks we got from Walmart & The Dollar Store.  Alot of the activities are review activities for her such as matching colors and letters.

Both kids enjoyed playing with their water with color books.  R spent more time painting his face with water, and M had an impromptu lesson on cleaning up water with paper towls, but they still had fun!

And.....that's pretty much it.  I know it's pathetic, but they've been just enjoying time together playing and being kids!

We'll be linking up to Preschool Corner as well as Tot School.  Visit their websites to find some more great learning activities!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snowmen & Snowflake Week in a Glance - M is 34 months, R is 13 months

Preschool Skills
I did something a little bit different this week, and set up all our Preschool Skills type activities in various stations around the kitchen table and her little work tables while M was napping one afternoon.  When she woke up, she moved around the various stations at her own pace and followed her interest.  I liked it because we didn't feel rushed, and everything was already set out and ready to go.
 We played this Snowman Grid Game (I can't remember where I printed this from; if you recognize it, please let me know so that I can post a credit!)
 M sorted snowflakes based on size with this Snowflake Sorting Mat.
 She matched the scarves to the correct color of hat using this Snowman Color Matching Sheet.
 M counted the number of snowflakes using this neat Snowflake Counting Mat.
 She sorted the snowmen based on size using this printable.
 She sorted buttons according to color and shape using Buttons for the Snowman from this Winter Fun Tot Pack, then matched Snowflake Halves from the same pack.

Sensory/Messy Play
The kids both had a great time playing with their Snow Sensory Tub throughout the week!

I also let M get a little bit crazy with some shaving cream "snow".  She was a little unsure at first (she's always afraid she'll get in trouble if she makes a mess!) but she ended up having tons of fun!

Family Night
We painted a wintry scene and caught flying snowflakes during our fun family night last Sunday.

That's it for this week!  Next week we are taking a break from themes so that I can get to all the cool random learning activities I've been saving up!

We'll be linking up to Preschool Corner as well as Tot School.  Visit their websites to find some more great learning activities!

Snow Sensory Tub

This was a super easy and cheap tub to put together!  I found the snowflakes on sale for 20 cent each at Michaels earlier this week, and everything else we already had on hand.  It was a nice, safe tub for R to enjoy as well.
Snow Sensory Tub

Theme: Sensory/Messy Play

Materials: Cottonballs, blue pom poms, wooden snowflakes, foam snowflakes, scoop

How to: Play and have fun!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowmen & Snowflake Family Night

We ate snowmen & snowflake shaped french toast!  Yay for fun cookie cutters!

We made a snowy picture, using "Snow Paint" - which was basically a mixture of equal parts flour, salt, and water.  It becomes a little bit sparkly when it dries and has a great texture!  We used this awesome snowman sponge that I got from Michaels yesterday for 20 cents!

We made snowflakes out of paper.  Well, my husband and I made snowflakes out of paper and M practiced her cutting skills with her little scissors by cutting one piece of paper into the tiniest pieces she could.

...and Rafael spent his time playing with colored popsicle sticks and a yogurt container!

We had a snowstorm in the living room!  We used our little snowflakes and threw them up into the air for M & R to catch.  This was easily their favorite part of the night!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Religious Christmas Weeks in a Glance - M is 34 months, R is 13 months

The past couple of weeks were fairly laid back as we enjoyed the extra time with my hubby (who is a teacher and gets a nice long winter break).  He goes back to work tomorrow, so I guess we'll be getting back into a regular schedule again as well!

Preschool Skills
We colored the 3 Wise Men from these Roll a Die Coloring Sheets

We worked on the Christmas Spelling Book, Nativity Shadow Match, Roll & Build Nativity, and Measure with Stars from this awesome Nativity Packet.

We worked on the Beginning Sound Cards, Christmas Counting, and Nativity Size Sort from this Nativity Preschool Pack.

We worked on How Many Animals are in the Stable, and Christmas Pre-Writing Cards from this set of printables.

My husband worked on quite a few fun lego and block activities with M.  At one point he was helping her build towers by adding up numbers of blocks.  Another time they were counting legos as they knocked them down, and adding a new lego each time.  I never think to do these things so it was really great having him home and watching him think up this sort of stuff!

Field Trip
We went to the local children's science museum one morning.  M always has a great time, but this was the first time that R has really interacted with the exhibits.  It is crazy how big he is getting!

The kids enjoyed playing dress up together.

M played WAY too much on the iPad, but we are always a bit lax when daddy's home!  She learned to play Fruit Ninja, which I found hilarious for some reason.  It's just funny to see her understanding technology so well at such a young age!

That's it for now!  We have an awesome snowman and snowflake themed week ahead!

We'll be linking up to Preschool Corner as well as Tot School.  Visit their websites to find some more great learning activities!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Library Corner - Religious Christmas Books

Christmas is officially over today as we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.  We've really enjoyed being able to spend the extra time focusing on Jesus' birth, especially reading all these great religious Christmas stories!
Room for a Little One: A Christmas TaleRoom for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell - I love this book. The illustrations are beautiful, the text is simple, and the message of peace and love is perfect. This is a great book to help introduce little ones to the message of Jesus.

Little StarLittle Star by Anthony DeStefano - I was sent this book by the author and asked to review it.  At first I was worried that it would be a little too advanced for M's age, but she was completely captivated by the story.  It tells the story of a little star who gives his whole self to shine for the baby Jesus, even after all the other stars decided that Jesus was not important enough to shine for.  I knew this was a winner for our family when M said "That was a good book!"  I'm so happy we are able to add this to our Christmas book collection!

B Is for Bethlehem (Picture Puffins)B is for Bethlehem: A Christmas Alphabet by Isabel Wilner - A nice little alphabet book with each letter referring to a different part of the Christmas Story. The illustrations are great as well. I think this is the perfect addition to our library and have already added it to our Amazon wish list!

Small Camel Follows the StarSmall Camel Follows the Star by Rachel Brown - This was the perfect book to read on Epiphany.  I love that the smallest camel was given the most important job of carrying the gifts for Jesus, just as Jesus, who gave us the greatest gift of all, was born as a child of the poor.

We also enjoyed these books: