Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tot School- Letter D week

Tot School

M&M is 36 months old

I had a lot of ideas that I had saved for the letter D that I wanted to do it this week. That's how I decide what letter to do. It just depends on how many ideas I have for a certain letter. :)

We did a lot with dinosaurs. Since my first child was a girl I never got any dinosaur figures for her to play with. Little did I know that it doesn't matter if you're a boy or a girl, kids are just fascinated with dinosaurs. I got a pack of three figures to do one of our activities and for her to play with.

This first activity doesn't apply to the letter D, but that's okay. I have seen several blogs with an open and close activity so I don't know who to accredit this to. I just went around and looked for little things that open and close. I put them all in a cute little suitcase that we got at the hotel we stayed at for our family reunion. I put fun little things in each of the containers for her to play with. I tried to get her to play with the things in free play, seeing how the different things could fit into different containers, etc. but it didn't work out so well.

I got some foam dinosaur models at Michaels that we put together. She played with these as well as the other dinosaur figures while I got the other activities ready. I'm still working on getting everything put together before we start school so that M&M doesn't have to wait.

We also made discovery bottles. I found this idea on the childcareland website. We made an ocean wave bottle and a slow motion confetti bottle. Honestly these were more fun to make then they are to play with. M&M wasn't that interested.

For a snack one day we dipped graham crackers in milk. This is a treat that my mom and I would do all the time while I was growing up. It was fun to do it with my own daughter.

We used the do-a-dot paint sticks to make dots on a dinosaur. The dinosaur template can be found here.
With the template linked above comes some smaller versions of the dinosaur which M&M painted and on a whim I decided that they need a home so I cut grass, tree and mountain out of construction paper.

With the dinosaur figures that I got M&M made dino footprints on the letter D. I got this idea from the Totally Tots, now I know my ABC's section. The letter D template can be found here.

I got this dino egg from the dollar store, but it took forever to hatch and M&M wasn't very patient. I found her many a time trying to help him out. The dinosaur inside actually felt pretty disgusting and slimy.

Daddy was a dinosaur doctor while he fixed the dino models. I don't have a picture, but we also played with M&M's doctor kit this week. She loves to do this switching between being the patient and the doctor.

I saw this activity on the Homeschool Creations blog about decorating donuts. I cut out a piece of brown paper in the shape of a donut and then I put some glue in a cup, put one drop of red food coloring in it and then mixed it up. This made pink "frosting" for M&M to put on the donut with a paintbrush and then sprinkle glitter on for sprinkles.

We also made semi-homemade donuts. This recipe just uses pillsbury biscuit dough fried in oil. They were okay for our first try at making donuts. I want to make some real donuts sometime, probably this fall. M&M enjoyed sprinkling the cinnamon and sugar on the donuts after they were cooked.

We played some dinosaur games on the Land Before Time website. Then I printed out this mask for her to play with.

Then just a few other activities that don't have to do with the letter D. Again I had so much more planned, but didn't get to it all.

M&M is really into writing her letters right now and so she asks me to tell her a name and then I spell it for her. Here is her writing of "mommy". I love it!!

I got this magnetic wand and balls at the education store the other day. They were suppose to be one of the discovery bottles, but M&M wanted to take them out and play with them. I think I will pull these out again because she had a lot of fun with them.

She saw these Martha Stewart puppets in the closet which I was saving for later. She really wanted to make it though so we did one of them. I got these on clearance at Walmart and will be a great addition to the puppet theater that I plan on making sometime in the future.

Next week we are going to do the letter F which will be for the Fourth of July, Fireworks, and Flags among other things. I'm excited for it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Picnic Table Talk - Dads

This weeks picnic table talk is all about dads and what we did for Father's Day. Well I'm ashamed to admit that we didn't do much for M&M's dad. M&M made him a card with markers and stickers which he loved because she wrote her name on it and that's the first he's seen her writing.

The Friday before Father's Day my hubby decided he wanted to take M&M golfing for the first time. He took her out on search of a real small golf club. He went to one store and didn't have any luck and he was ready to give up. M&M persisted and said, "Let's go to another store." They went to a specialty store for golf and found one. It was only $5 so he wanted to get her another one. He found a putter, but it was too big so they told him they could cut it down and put a new grip on it so that's what they did. They went to the driving range and had a fun time spending quality time together.

Sundays are nap days for us and if the kids wake up early my husband is the one that usually gets up with them and lets me sleep some more. On Father's Day I let him sleep and I think he appreciated that more than any gift I could have given him. He asked me not to give him any gifts and I know that when he says stuff like that he means it. So even though it was some pretty simple stuff that is how we honored our daddy/hubby on Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The times we live in...

Before starting this blog I knew I didn't want to put my children's names on here or any other identifying information. I also try not to take pictures of their faces. Because of what I read here I have gone through and taken out several photos that still reveal too much of M&M's face. This blog and another blog had pictures taken from them and posted on another website without their knowledge. As much as I like showing off my adorable children I will resist and only take pictures of M&M's hands doing her activities. That will be hard as she will put her face near anything I am taking a picture of. For those of you who don't know me personally: If you have noticed anything that I have revealed about where I live or anything of that sort please inform me of it so that I can delete it. I don't have near as many followers or readers as the blogs that had photos taken from them, but I am going to be overly cautious about this. Our family had a family reunion a couple of years ago at a certain vacation cabin. Just recently one of our family members has found pictures of our reunion at the cabin on this cabin's blog. They were taken from their personal blog. They had no idea and are trying to get them removed.

While we are on this subject I would like to address the issue of copyrights as well. I've made it a priority to make sure I give credit to those that I have gotten ideas from. I try to link back to their blogs and websites as much as possible. If there is anything that anyone has noticed on my blog that would violate any copyright laws please let me know.

I would ask a few favors of my readers. Would you please leave a comment on this post so that my mind can be put at ease about who is reading my blog? Anything will do, even a simple hello. (There is an exception for those of you that I know personally. Please do not leave a comment as that leaves a link to your own blog, etc.)

And lastly if you get an idea from my blog and post it on your blog please leave a link back to my post as a courtesy that I would really appreciate.

I really hate to write all this, but find it necessary if I am going to continue this blog the way it is. I hate that we have to worry about those out there that do stupid things to hurt others.

Thank you to those that read and follow this blog. It means a lot that people would want to read my ramblings about my everyday life. I'm just your average mother trying to improve the life of her children so that they can somehow make a difference to the world or someone else's life for the better when they grow up.

Hopefully this is the first and last of this kind of post.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mahalo giveaway

Over at ABC and 123 there is another giveaway going on. This time it is for the Etsy shop Mahalo.
They make really cute felt puppets. I am planning on making a puppet theater for M&M and this would be a perfect fit to give with it. I would love to win this, but I've never won anything in my life so here's to hoping!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tot School June 15-19

Tot School

M&M is 36 months old

Tot School was very random and short this week with not a lot of thought put into it. That's what happens when I don't have a weekend to prepare. I found a Dollar Tree near us that wasn't in a scary part of town so I went crazy! I got a lot of fun things. I think I got this foam letter puzzle there, but it might have come from Target or Michaels. Anyway, I saw the idea of pounding the letters in with a toy hammer on 1+1+1=1. (I can't find the exact post, but I know it came from here.) We have a littler one of these puzzle things and M&M lost interest a while ago with it. This one is bigger and using the hammer renewed her interest in it.

We got some princess puzzles at the Dollar Tree as well. These are for 5+ years, but it was fun doing them together and being amazed at what she actually could figure out. She's never done a puzzle like this before and she did pretty good I think for her first try.

M&M got the Melissa and Doug magnetic chalkboard/whiteboard with magnet letters from her grandma for her birthday. She like playing with this and attempting to spell her name. She's getting pretty good at knowing which letters are in her name. (Don't worry her name is not MEFKTY.) I will be using the magnetic letters to make another activity for her which I hope will be ready to use next week.

I posted this picture earlier, but showed it here as well because she is practicing a life skill of pouring water from one cup to another. She did this on her own.

When I was helping my SIL earlier this week she made pudding and Jell-o while we were there. I've never made either one for M&M and decided it was about time. I tried giving both of them to her before from the store, but she didn't want anything to do with them. My SIL learned a fun way to make instant pudding and I wanted to share it with you on here.

Put the pudding mix in a gallon size ziploc bag. Make sure there are no holes in the bag. Then add the milk.

Close it tightly and have kids squish it all around to mix it up.

After it's well mixed, cut off a bottom corner.

Squeeze it out into individual cups and refrigerate.
This was fun to do and this time M&M loved the pudding.

I can't say the same for the Jell-0 though. Even with marshmallows in it she didn't want anything to do with it. She loves to help stir though!

I found the idea for spray painting on the No Time for Flashcards site. We only had one spray bottle so I used only one color. I put in a little bit of paint then some water and mixed it up. I taped some paper onto our house and let her go.

I got a Mickey Mouse artist set for M&M back in January when all of the Christmas toys were on clearance. She got it for her birthday and wanted to paint with the watercolors.

She also wanted to use the glue stick and so I had to think fast of what she could glue on paper. Luckily I've organized all of my craft supplies and found these little paper punched bears. I've had these for, I don't know, 10 years. My sister gave them to me from her old scrapbooking days. This is when cutting out strips of colored paper and framing the pictures while embellishing with some stickers was the scrapbooking trend. Scrapbooking has come a long way since then.

We did some other repeat activities like the rice sensory tub because she asked for it. Other than that the week was mostly spent swimming and potty training.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Super Summer Swap

If you want to "meet" new people this summer for you and your kids and do a fun swap click on the link above for the Super Summer Swap.

Picnic Table Talk- On the Go

picnic button

I wasn't able to participate in last weeks picnic table talk because I was out of town, but I'm excited for this weeks topic: On the Go. This topic covers activities while traveling with children to things to do while waiting in line or doctor's office to quiet activities for worship services. I'm excited to see what others will post because I need some new ideas for when we take a trip in a couple of weeks on an airplane.

Last summer I traveled alone on an airplane with M&M while I was 4 months pregnant with Bubba. I was really nervous about this, but what I did was get a little Dora backpack and fill it with small, cheap new toys and treats that she had never seen before. I find that when something is brand new it is a novelty and little ones will stick with playing with it for longer. For example I have been gathering items up to $3 that I hope will entertain M&M on our next trip.

Right now I have gathered a little notebook, some mini markers, and mini gel pens, new beads that we've never used before, and small paperback I Spy Book, silly putty (I got this idea from here), a Jacob's ladder, an Early Learning sticker activity ABC book with coloring pages, a foam princess story scenes sticker kit, and a package of Fisher-Price Go Anywhere Girls. I got all of these things from Wal-mart, the dollar sections of Target and Michael's and the Dollar Tree.

A DVD player is a must for us, but I'm hoping to only use it if I really really have to, my husband may say otherwise. I don't know if M&M will want to wear earphones since we will be on a plane.

We don't travel much in the car, but when we do around town we listen to music. I need to get some new ones because we've been listening to the same two for a while now. The other day M&M said, "Mommy, these are boring, can we listen to your music?" That is a big clue that we need to switch things up a bit. A new game that she likes to play now and is old enough to understand is I Spy.

I haven't tried this yet, but I made an I Spy bottle a while ago, and that would be good to play with in the car, AFTER I glue the top on. Since M&M can't read yet I took a picture with all of the little things on it before I put them in the bottle. This way she can just look at the picture and find them.

Another thing I think I will be putting in her Dora bag is the Aquadoodle Travel-n-doodle that we got her for her birthday. She can practice writing letters, etc. with it. She loves anything to do with water so this was a great hit around here.

When we go to church we bring books and coloring books, but in the past we have also brought File Folder games. The ones that I have I copied from a book, colored them, laminated them then cut them out again and put velcro dots on them. To eliminate some of the work I probably would have used the free ones on the File Folder Fun website if I had known about it earlier. I haven't used any from here yet, but they look really cute.

One final thing that M&M has done recently is when we are in the car on the way somewhere she will ask lots of questions like, "where are we going" "who is going to be there" "what are we going to do when we get there." This keeps us talking and it passes the time quickly as I try to answer her questions in ways that she will understand. If we are going somewhere new I explain what will happen and what I expect of her before we even get there so she knows how she needs to act. I find it easier to prevent things from happening than having to calm down an uncontrollable toddler who wants to do something that is not appropriate for the setting we are in.

To find out more great ideas head on over to ABC and 123!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Prize Picnic Giveaway

picnic button

Out of all of the giveaways that I've seen on blogs this one is the one I really want to win, but it's not likely with 70+ entries already, so I might just have to buy one anyway. The give-away is from Baby Love Blankies and it specializes in I Spy Bags. I've been wanting to get one of these for a while now. I love the Sweet Strawberry I Spy Bag. We'll see what happens.

Why is it.....

....that we can buy all sorts of toys and games for our children like these:

and they won't play with them but one minute?

But give them two cups, water and ice and they will stay busy for quite a while?
It's the simple things in life I guess. This also kept her cool with the 95+ degrees we've been having around here. Summer came with a bang! You'll have to excuse the no pants in this picture. We are in the middle of potty training right now. (It's going pretty well, I'm really excited about the thought of not having two kids in diapers!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

M&M's Birthday

Go on over to Totally Tots to see the celebration of birthdays this month including M&M's!! Thanks to the gals at Totally Tots for doing this!

(More about her birthday in upcoming posts.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tot School June 8-12

Tot School

M&M is 36 months old

M&M did these first two activities on her own. Her Leapfrog phonics bus and nesting dolls, which she stayed with for a while.

I didn't get to finish all of our letter R/Rainbow activities last week so I took the opportunity of a short week to do some more of them. We did a rainbow in a jar using colored sand and a jar. We actually used a salt shaker because that's all I had available. I cut up a plastic bag to put over the top and then I screwed the lid on so that the sand wouldn't spill out.

I thought this idea was really cute and used simple materials. Using pipe cleaners, beads, and styrofoam M&M matched the beads to the color of pipe cleaner. Then bent them over to make an arch for a rainbow. I found this idea at My Montessori Journey.

R is also for rocks. We gathered some rocks at the park the day before and then we washed them in a tub of water with dishsoap in it. Then we dried them and examined them with a magnifying glass. We also used our fingernail, a coin and a nail to do a scratch test to see how hard the rock was. I can't find where I got this idea from, sorry. It was a great outdoor activity.

M&M started her first day of Mother's Day Out, otherwise known as "school" to M&M. She did great and is excited to go again this week. She had to wear her Dora backpack everywhere after school.
Half of the week was spent with family at a reunion.

I was really excited about this first activity that we were able to do as a family. We went to the aquarium where we saw all of these animals/fish. It was a great experience for M&M and she just soaked it all in. I think her favorite was the jaguar. I don't know why there was a jaguar at an aquarium, but it was there. She loves Go Diego Go with baby jaguar.

We celebrated M&M's 3rd birthday with all 18 of her cousins sitting around the table to eat her birthday cake. (My in-laws have 20 grandchildren with two more on the way.)

We spent A LOT of time in the water which M&M loved. I was amazed that she went down some really big slides all by herself because where we were didn't allow two people to go down at one time.

Not a normal week for Tot School, but a very fun one nonetheless.


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