Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Open-Ended Art: Eggshell or Tissue Paper Mosaics

This week's theme for Open Ended Art was Eggshell or Tissue mosaics. I decided eggshells were too complicated for M, so we made some tissue paper mosaics instead.

We had some leaf shapes left over from our fall wreath. I cut M small squares of tissue paper in fall colors, and gave her the bottle of glue.

She loved doing this project, and I thought they turned out very well!

Go to Growing and Learning by Leaps and Bounds to see what others did for their open-ended art this week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Playdough

In honor of fall we made Pumpkin Pie Playdough today. It smells wonderful, but is NOT edible.

The recipe calls for:
5 1/2 cups flour
2 cups salt
8 teaspoons cream of tartar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (1 1/2 ounce) container pumpkin pie spice
Orange food coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
4 cups water

Mix all of the ingredients together. Cook and stir over medium heat until all the lumps disappear. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container.

I didn't add enough food coloring, so ours is more brown than orange, but it still smelled divine and M loved playing with it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Leaf Wreath

M made a fun fall leaf for a craft project today. To prepare, I spent some time last night cutting leaf shapes out of red, orange, yellow and brown construction paper. Today, we cut a circle out of the middle of a paper plate and painted the plate yellow, in case M left blank spots in her gluing.

Next, I gave M the glue and piles of leaves, and she glued them down in the order of her choice. I tried to encourage her to have some overhang both inside and outside, but mainly let her put them wherever she chose.

When it was dry we added a cord and hung it on the pantry door.

This was a simple project, but a fun way for M to start off our week studying leaves and acorns.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tot School: Weather

This week's Tot School theme was weather. Mother Nature cooperated by giving us a mix of rain, thunder, lightning and sunshine this week!

To study wind, M blew bubbles and played with pinwheels. She was so proud that she could blow the bubbles herself!

We made sun and umbrella puppets, using patterns from our Alphabet Puzzles and More book.

After watching a lightening storm, we painted our own lightning using yellow and white paint on black paper.

We used M's magnetic wooden dolls and took turn dressing them according to the weather. The only one's M really gets are the rain coat and boots, but we still had fun playing with the dolls.

We participated in Open-Ended Art by making clay mosaics.

Mid-week we celebrated J's birthday, and M helped him blow out his candles.

That was all for our weather week in Tot School. This was a pretty light week for us, as I just wasn't up to doing too many activities this week. I had plans to do an Umbrella U for our letter wall, and a counting and sorting activity using paper drink umbrellas, and we may still do those today while the boys are off golfing.

Please be sure you stop by 1+1+1=1 to see what everyone else did in Tot School this week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Open-Ended Art: Clay Mosaics

This week's open-ended art over at Growing and Learning By Leaps and Bounds was clay or playdough mosaics. I wanted something that would last, so we used salt dough and baked the completed projects.

Both kids had star shaped bases and a variety of colored squares to use for their mosaics.

J went with a checkerboard pattern of Christmas colors to make an ornament.

M went with some pastels.

Don't forget to go see what others did for this week's theme.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is J's birthday. It's hard to believe my little boy is already 10!

We started a tradition a few years ago where he gets age-shaped pancakes for his birthday breakfast. T is the much better pancake maker at our house, so he got up early and made these before work today.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tot School: Week 2 of Apples

It has rained here every day for more than a week now. That has really limited our outside playtime and is giving M and I both cabin fever!

This was week two of our apple theme. First, we did a sensory activity where I placed an apple, an orange, a ball and a potato inside a bag. M had to try and draw the apple (or whatever I asked for that turn) out without looking. At first, she was selecting based on shape and had trouble getting the right one. Gradually she learned how each one felt and was able to get them all by the end!

We also filled M's water table with fall leaves for a fun sensory activity this week.

We finished several projects we had started last week. Our handprint apple tree (similar to the one we did for Chicka Chicka week) was fun as M always love painting her hands. We made the apples by dipping a pencil eraser in our paint and dabbing with it.

Next, we cut open an apple crosswise, looked at the star inside, and then made apple prints.

We made a paper bag apple (this idea came from Cider and Faun via The Crafty Crow). M loved painting the bag on this one, and took a long time to try and get it all red. (I did give her a wide brush to use.)

We also counted apple seeds, bobbed for apple slices, and taste tested three different types of apples, but I didn't get photos of those activities this week.

M and Daddy made some playdough shapes this week.

J took M onto the laptop to play on Starfall for the first time. She loved it!

That was our week in Tot School. To see what other's are doing in Tot School, go to 1+1+1=1.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Apples

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This week's theme at Muffin Tin Monday is Apples. This is perfect, since it ties into the Apple theme we are working on in Tot School as well.

We did a very simple snack tin this week with Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Gala apples and caramel and cream cheese dipping sauces. To add a bit of creativity, I made a green apple frog to go along with everything. Nothing fancy, but still fun since both my kids love to "dip" their food.

Visit Michelle at Her Cup Overfloweth for more Muffin Tin Monday ideas from this week.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tot School: Apples

Our theme this week in Tot School was apples. We read several books, including the Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall and Ten Apples on Top by Dr. Seuss. We did a go-along activity where M glued ten apples on photos of her and her brother's heads.

Next, we sorted apples into color groups and made ABAB patterns with them. Since apples are a favorite treat at our house, we used real apples to do these activities.

M made a paper bag puppet using a pattern from our Amazing Alphabet Puppets and More book.

We also made apple tree letter A's (this idea came from ABC and 123). We painted the bottoms brown, and used a carrot dipped in red paint to make the apples on top.

The whole family joined in our next activity one evening. We used M's parachute with an apple placed in the center. The goal was to see how long we could bounce the apple without it flying out. This was a LOT of fun!

M participated in open-ended art this week and made a red paper collage.

Since Monday was a holiday and Daddy was home, we all went to the zoo. We have been to the zoo several times before, but this was the first time M recognized the animals on her own and was very into seeing them. Her favorites were the giraffes, monkeys, elephants (who were playing with a ball), and penguins.

Here J, M and I are wearing our antlers just like the elk we saw.

J and M got to pet a rooster.
Finally, M played with her new shape stacker. She needs a lot of help to get them stacked properly, but really loves playing with it!

That was our week in Tot School. You can see what other's have done in Tot School by going to 1+1+1=1. Next week we will continue with our apple theme, including finishing several crafts we started this week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Paper Collages

This week's Open-Ended Art hosted by Teaching My Little Bookworm was paper collages or mosaics.

Rather than giving M a lot of different colors to work with, I gave her all red papers in various textures. She had construction paper, floral paper, crepe paper, mulberry paper, velvet, tissue paper and textured cardstock.

M chose both glue and a glue stick to work with on her project. Then she asked to add red fingerpaint, and since it's open-ended art, I let her.

Paper collages are definitely a favorite project for M, and something we'll do again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Outer Space

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

There is no theme this week at Muffin Tin Monday, so we decided to do a space theme.

Our tin this week had:
Alien Juice (7-up with green food coloring ice cubes)
Moon & Star Sugar Cookies
Saturn Fruit (kiwi surrounded by cantaloupe rings)
UFO (greek pita sandwiches)
Planets & Sky (blue jello with blueberries)
Falafel Moon Balls

This week's decorations were made by J, who hung stars from our dining room chandelier.

Visit Michelle at Her Cup Overfloweth for more Muffin Tin Monday ideas from this week.