Monday, February 21, 2011

Library Corner - Valentine's Day

Here's a list of the fun Valentine's Day books that we read the last couple of weeks.  We kind of got the library leftovers; I've discovered that the Preschool teachers around town check out all of the relevant books well in advance (like 3 weeks) of the holiday itself.  If I don't remember a month ahead of time to check books out, I don't have many options!
If You'll Be My ValentineIf You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant - We didn't celebrate Valentine's Day last year (it's never been a big holiday for us since it used to be the week after our "dating" anniversary.).  Since M had never heard of the holiday before, this was the perfect book to introduce her to the concept of writing Valentines and showing the people that you love a little extra attention.

Mousie LoveMousie Love by Dori Chaconas - A cute little book about the courtship of two kitchen mice.  I loved how simple and sweet the story was, and how true to character the male mouse was in his nervous overcompensation!

I Love You, SleepyheadI Love You, Sleepyhead by Claire Freedman - I wanted to make sure to include a book about the love between a mommy and her babies.  This was a cute little book about various animal mommies getting their babies ready for bed.

The Valentine BearsThe Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting - A cute story about a bear who wakes up from hibernation a few weeks early to surprise her husband for Valentine's Day.  Little does she know that there is a surprise for her as well!

Saint ValentineSaint Valentine by Ann Tompert - A non-fiction about who Saint Valentine really was and why we celebrate Valentine's Day.  This book was a little bit advanced for M, but next year or the year after it will be perfect.  It is so hard to find a simple, non-fiction picture book!


Sorry if you read a half finished post.  My lovely son decided it would be fun to hit publish before I was even halfway done!  It's all updated now. :)

Valentine's Day Weeks In a Glance - M is 35 months, R is 14 months.

We spent the past couple of weeks doing Valentine's themed activities.  We had so much fun and wished we had more time!

Preschool Skills
M sorted foam stickers based on color and size, and then graphed a handful using this printable.

She also worked on her cutting skills, followed a letter maze, and worked on this Roll & Color Puppy.

Then she spelled out words with these spelling mats.  She's getting really good at sounding out words!

Motor Skills
We also tried to do this lacing activity, but Michaela really wasn't in the mood.

I put some painters tape down on the carpet in the shape of a heart and let the kids go crazy using it as a road for their cars.

We went on a fun scavenger hunt at Target, looking for Valentine's Day objects.  Make sure to check out the printable if you want to use this next year.

We went to a Valentine's Day party for my MOMS Club and the kids had a great time coloring, making Valentine bags, listening to a story, eating goodies and playing with their friends!

We had a Valentines Sensory tub out for them to play with.

The kids made Valentine's for our MOMS club party.  I found a cute graphic online that reminded me of my kids, so I added some words using Microsoft Publisher, then printed them out and folded them in half.  M helped me tape a heart sticker over the edge and then used her thumbprints and an inkstamp to make hearts.  I had a few other small Valentine stamps from a dollar bin somewhere so she used those as well to help decorate.

I also watched a friends son for a little bit this week so him and M had a blast using those Valentines stamps to make bookmarks.

M was playing with blocks one day when she decided to sort them based on shape.  I love it when she does this type of stuff on her own!

R meanwhile had a great time figuring out how to put the screws into the holes in his toolbox toy.

R also had a great time dropping all of the goldfish into the hole in the top of one of his stacking bowls.  Great motor skills practice!

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

*We will be taking a week off.  I had wanted to do a Healthy Bodies unit, but ironically we are all sick!  We'll be lying low and recuperating this week.*

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentines Day Sensory Tub

I love Sensory Tubs!  They are so quick and easy to pull together and the kids always love them, no matter how similar they are.  There is just something so fun about being able to make a mess!

Valentines Day Sensory Tub
Theme: Sensory/Messy Play

Materials: fake Flower petals, foam hearts

How to: Play!

Heart Road

I thought this would be an easy, fun little Valentines themed activity, and I was right!  The kids loved running their cars all over this makeshift road.  We were planning to do a few of the extension activities that were in the comments, but R quickly turned this into a game of, "How Fast Can I Pull the Tape Off The Carpet Without My Sister or Mom Stopping Me".  Then M made an extension of that into the activity "How Small Can I Get These Pieces of Tape If I Sit Here and Tear to My Hearts Desire?"  Fun games, I assure you. ;P

Heart Road
Theme: Boredom Buster

Materials: Painters tape, cars

How to: Make a heart on the floor out of painters tape, and have your kid go crazy driving all over their new road!

Source: Little Family Fun

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week in a Glance - M is 35 months, R is 14 months

We were snowed/iced in this week and instead of being super-productive, my poor kiddos watched a ridiculous amount of TV.  We did manage to sneak a few educational activities in between the endless episodes of Pingu!

M decided to play with a large bag of sweet peppers one day.  She took them all out of the bag and started counting them.

Then we also made patterns, grouped by color, and sorted by size.

Daddy brought an icicle in from outside and the kids had a great time playing with it.  M kept pounding it until it broke, while R kept trying to eat it!

I spent some time playing Hi Ho Cherry-O with M.  She is just now learning the concept of taking turn, but she did really well, especially with the counting, and surprisingly with the following of the rules.

She reviewed her letters & beginning letter sounds with this cardboard tube letter matching game.

That's it!  It was another slow week, but we'll get back into it this week and next with 2 weeks of fun Valentine's activities.

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

Cardboard Tube Letter Matching

This was sort of a review activity for M, but when it came to being snowed in for 3 days, my brain turned to mush and I needed a quick activity that I didn't need alot of thought to put together.  We also reviewed beginner letter sounds as she put the stickers on. 

Cardboard Tube Letter Matching
Theme: Preschool Skills

Materials: Cardboard tube, letter stickers

How to: Place stickers all over the cardboard tube and have your child match up the remaining stickers to the correct letter.

Source:  The Activity Mom