Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Starting our first year of Preschool next week!

I don't even know who reads this anymore. I'm going to start blogging again, now that we are getting ready to kick off our school year. I will start by blogging for my benefit, and pray that as people stumble across it, that they will benefit from it to. I have been doing a lot of reading lately on some other blogs, about getting the year started off. I was a little discouraged when I didn't find a single blogger that was starting preschool with no older children in the house. I wanted to read how everything went with them, and try to implement into my system.

With no bigger children at home, my day looks VERY different. We still have a lot of playtime, and both my children still nap in the afternoon (which is how I have the time to sit here and type all of this out.) We still have diapers, and sippy cups, blankies, and pacifiers. they dont help with house cleaning, well other than making the constant mess for me to clean up. There are no long books being read, or extensive projects that are going on all the time. No legos to be swallowed, no free for all paper to be ripped up. There are meltdowns, and screams, and "I declare a park day" kind of days. So where do I begin?

We are going to take our first year very slowly. Sparkle was gifted a preschool workbook from her grandma. I plan on going through that with her throughout the year. She is also starting AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed) at our church this week. There is a book that she has to work though with lots of scripture memorization. Along with those two things we are going to focus on number and letter recognition. Of course there will be art projects (we LOVE to do art in t his house.), and LOTS of PLAY. I beleive that children learn best through play. For example, yesterday we threw a big green ball back and forth, and every time she threw the ball I would have her say b-b-b-BALL, b-b-b-BOOK and so on. She now knows the sound that the letter "B" makes. :)

Since my kids are so small (3yr and 17m) we are only going to do school 3 days a week. I'm not sure which days we are going to do, we might change it up each week and do different days each time. I'm just not sure yet.

So, here we go! Official start day is next Tuesday! I hope you all enjoy the ride as we go through our first year of school. I will share here, the things that I find online that help me, and also share the things that didn't work quite the way I thought they would. I hope you all have as much fun as we will!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pillow Pit

My kids tend to get a little antsy when they have a lot of energy and no where to get it out. A lot of times I will see this in the evening right before bed time. They want to run, or jump. They LOVE to wrestle with daddy in the evenings. I also know they need BIG play when they are leaning on the coffee table and swinging their little feet, or hanging between the coffee table and desk!

So the other night, I went and gathered all of our pillows, blankets and even the toddler mattress off the floor, and piled them all in the living room. They then get to jump off the couch into the big pile. This is HUGE treat, because it's the only time we let them stand on the couch.

They both slept really good that night!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sensory Bottles

I thought I would write up a quick post about our sensory bottles. My kids LOVE them! (I kind of like to play with them too.) I just used small plastic Pepsi bottles with the labels removed. You can either glue the lids on or screw them on tightly. I chose not to glue. Below are the bottles that I made.

 Water and spikey balls. The balls sink when you flip the bottle over. 

 Rainbow rice "I Spy" I put several small items in with the rice. Sparkle loves to turn the bottle to find different things. 

 Green water and Oil. I could have used more oil and less water. But it still works just fine. 

 Water and soap. Shake to make bubbles or "snow"
 Beans and pipe cleaners. This one was simply for the noise factor. I just put the pipe cleaners in to give it some color. 

 Cut up straws. At first this one was really neat. I was just putting straws in to make a softer noise. After I did it I realized that if you shale the bottle up the straws stick to the side from static. *Note: after awhile this will stop happening."

 Hair gel and glass stones. 

Piper cleaners. I don't have the magnet yet, but this one uses a magnet on the outside, to make the pipe cleaners stick to the inside of the bottle. 

The possibilities are truly endless.  I also have some bigger ones filled with water and other random things. Ribbon, beads, pom poms, pipe cleaners, buttons. Those are fun b/c some things sink and some float. I made those ones with bigger bottles though, and they are a little heavy, so they don't get played with much.

Even though my kids play with them a lot, I just realized that I don't have any pictures. 

I hope this was helpful, for you to make your own. If you have some that you have that are different than mine, please leave a comment about them. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Sensory Bins

I think this in my favorite set of bins so far. My idea was to make two bins, one for each child. One more messy for my older tot, and one filled with safer things for younger tot. Little did I know that they would have their own plans, and actually prefer to play with the other persons bin.

What's in the bins?
  • Easter grass
  • rainbow slinky
  • plastic eggs
  • cookie cutters
  • small baskets
  • small pink cups with flower base
  • paper eggs cut from paint chips
  • bendable bunnies
  • a wind up chick
  • wind up car
  • pastel pom poms
  • pastel rainbow rice

 He loved the grass

 But loved the rice a whole lot more. 

They really enjoy them and ask to play with them several times.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring eggs

I set up the stuff last night, so that we could do our spring eggs this morning. Our family doesn't do the traditional Easter stuff that the world does. We celebrate Resurrection Sunday and the Rising of our Lord Jesus Christ, for our salvation. However, I still enjoy the fun things that offered around this time of the year. We choose to call them Spring things, instead of Easter, and do them either week before, or the week after.

I was asking Sparkle the other day why we colored eggs. She wasn't able to tell me a reason. I didn't think she would have one, being only 2.5, but it's always fun to ask anyways to see what she will come up with. Here is my explanation, if you would like to use something like it while coloring eggs with your children. And it's not going to be word for word what I actually said, (because I don't remember), but it will give you an idea.

I talked about how all winter long everything is, dark, and grey, and brown. There are no leaves, or pretty flowers. All the pretty birds and bugs are sleeping. But then Spring comes, and all the colors come back out. The grass grows, and the tress have leaves again. The butterflies, bugs and birds are outside again. So we take the white boring eggs, and make them colorful like Spring.

She really enjoyed doing the eggs this year. This year, we just used store bought dye. Next year, we are planning on using natural dye.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bird Feeders

It has been so nice here lately. Sparkle loves the birds and asks me many times a week to feed them. She loved making this bird feeder. 

Things needed:
Peanut butter (or crisco)
Shaped box (or pine cone)
bird seed

 Spread peanut butter on your shape. 

 Sprinkle with bird seed

Hang in the tree

Really simple and easy for a tot to do. I helped spread the peanut butter a little bit, but she was doing a very good job by herself. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Play dough

Play dough

1 C. Flour
1/2 C. Salt
1 T. cream of tartar
1 T. cooking oil
1 C. Water

Food coloring of your choice.

Add all dry ingredients to your sauce pan. Stir well. Add oil, and water. Stir together before turning on your heat. Heat over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY. Once the play dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and all the wet parts look dry, you can dump it out on the counter. Knead it into a soft ball. Let cool and enjoy. :)

Tips: When adding a color, just put the food coloring in your cup of water, and stir in at the same time time. This ensures a nice even color (and no mess on your hands). You can also add fun things to your play dough. Like glitter. Just add it to your dry ingredients.

Seal in an airtight container.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Sensory Bin

Moon sand

8 C. flour
2 C. baby oil

Dump it all into a bin and mix it all together. Add some toys, and you're set for loads of fun!

It can be a little messy. If using iver carpet, put a tarp on the floor to catch most of the mess. It sweeps up easy off of tile. :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

New School Zone Set Up

I finally got our calendar from Oriental Trading. I also made our "calendar time" board, and bought some new shelves from a yard sale. I like the finished look of everything.

 Our new ABC floor puzzle

 I love these new shelves. They are pretty tall. I like that I can put all the "Calendar Time" stuff on the top and the kids can't reach it. I can also putting Sparkle's Tot Trays on the next shelf down and Buddy can't reach those. The bottom two shelves have Buddy's trays, and free toys. 

 The smaller white shelving unit. It has a tot tray and then free toys. The calendar is hanging over it. 

 The "Calendar Time" board I made.  We sing the songs each morning, and she sticks the corresponding card in it's spot. 

 Sparkle's new cork board, for her weekly work. 

The cups with all the calendar cards in them. 

I am hoping this set up with help us move through our morning more efficiently. So far so good. :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Week in Review

We had a really busy week. The Girl is really enjoying her schooling.She played with her valentine's sensory bin a lot. It is definitely a HUGE hit around here. I'm really looking forward to putting together some other ones for them to play with. She did really well with her school book this week.

 A shot of all her pages. You can see in the firs tone that she did really well drawing the small "b". She's also doing great with her line drawing. :)

 I finally brought out the stamps that I got awhile back. She doesn't quite understand that she has to keep the stamp flat for the letter to fully show, but she really likes to try. Oh and she used her heart crayons again. BIG HIT!

 She wanted me to help her draw a "B". So I held her hand and we drew two together. Then she kept drawing the lines over and over. She's getting pretty good at them. 

 Gluing buttons to a letter "B". I saw a post where the mom put the glue in a small paper cup and gave the child a Q-tip to dab the glue with. It worked perfect. Now she can do the whole thing by herself.

 One day at nap time I got some one on one time with my sweet boy. We played with the blocks for quite awhile. He thought ti was so much fun to knock over my tower. Of course he also loves to hit the together. 

 My cousin was over one evening. My kids adore her! She sat on the floor and helped them put together the Melissa and Doug ABC floor puzzle that we just got. Of the Little Guy just liked to take it apart. It was fun to watch her try and race him and see if she could put the whole thing together before he could start taking it apart. She never did succeed in that. 

 Story time. The kids love to be read to. 

The many fashions of my daughter!
 See the bandaid hanging off her leg?

 Gotta love the baby legs!

 Fun at a friend's 1st birthday party. 

 He just slept through most of it!

Every Saturday we have been taking the kids to the library. It gives me a chance to get the new books for the next school week, and the kids get to play. We have an awesome new vision center for visually impaired children. It also has a ton of great learning puzzles and games. The Girl loves to sit at a table with Daddy and work the puzzles.