Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tot School: Cowgirls

Tot School
(M is 34 months old)
This week in Tot School we did a western theme. M is having so much fun with this, and I have so many ideas left, that we will do this theme again next week as well.

We read Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett, then M decorated her own pair of boots. I gave her the choice of mediums, and she chose glitter glue.

We did a cow branding game I found on Making Learning Fun. I would call out the letter, and M would find it and "brand" the cow with her dot markers.
She also colored a cowgirl with her dot markers (also from Making Learning Fun) and played a dice-rolling game from pre-k pages. We rolled the dice, then she had to find the appropriately numbered Texas outline and stamp it. She chose to use her dot markers rather than stamping them.

She also decorated a cactus, using pink tissue paper for flowers and uncooked spaghetti pieces for the spines. She used so much glue it still isn't dry several days later!

Finally, I wrote her name on a piece of paper and M traced it first in glue and then with twine. She did such a great job tracing her name, I was very proud of her.

Here is my favorite picture from this week.

Don't forget to visit 1+1+1=1 to see what other's have done in Tot School this week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Patriotic Sensory Bin

When I saw the patriotic sensory bin from Christy at Superheroes and Princesses, I was reminded that we have not done one in quite some time. So, I took the opportunity to make one for M. It has colored rice, beads, buttons, giant pompoms and felt stars. Of course, everything is red, white and blue.
M has had a great time playing with her "rice box" as she calls it. She has spent literally hours hunting up treasures and sorting what she finds.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Sun Craft

While we have had triple digit weather for a month now, today is the official start of Summer. To celebrate, we made our own sun. M painted her fingers with orange fingerpaint to make the rays.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tot School: All Aboard

Tot School
(M is 34 months old)

We are certainly NOT back in our normal routine yet, but we did manage to do some Tot School activities this week. Originally I did not have a theme planned, but after we took M to family story time at the library, she was all about trains this week, so we did a few activities around that.

Here she is wearing her engineers hat that she made.

Sticking stickers to a train engine shape.

I made a train out of construction paper with the letters of M's name on them,and we practiced her name while riding the train.

We have a large number of Thomas trains left over from when J was little, so I pulled a few out for M to play with.

And my favorite photo from this week:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Last Two Weeks

It's hard to believe Baby B is already two weeks old. He is such a sweet, mellow baby and we are enjoying every minute with him. Here are some pictures of our last two weeks.

Baby B had jaundice, and so spent several days of his first week home under the phototherapy lights. He is much better now, but still spends part of each day sunbathing.

J and M are both enjoying being big siblings, and often ask to hold the baby. M calls him "My Baby Boy" all the time.

We took our first trip to the park this past weeek. Baby B slept through the whole thing, but M had a great time playing.

Grandma taught M how to hula dance, it was soo cute.

Of course, most of our time is spent sleeping! Here are a few of my favorite photos of Baby B at two weeks old.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Free Summer Activities

Friday was the first official day of summer for J. My mother and I had decorated with a sign and balloons for when he got home from school, which he just loved.

He will be spending the next two weeks with my parents, but when he returns I will have the task of keeping him and M both occupied this summer. We will be doing a mini-unit study on World War II (his topic choice) but will be spending most of our time just having fun. Given that we've already been over 100 degrees, we do have to limit outside time and swimming time to early morning or evenings. I have, however, compiled a list of free or relatively inexpensive activities we will be doing this summer.

Bowling: If you go to you can register your kids to bowl for free this summer. It gives them a pass good for 2 free games of bowling every day all summer long. You can check to see if there is a bowling center near you participating.
Movies: One of our local cinemas offers free matinees every Tuesday all summer long. The movies shown are older classics, but still favorites. Also, Regal Cinemas is offering a free family film festival during the summer where G or PG movies are shown free at 10 a.m. on Tuesday or Wednesdays. You can go to to see the list of theaters participating, and the movies being shown.

Reading: Our local library offers a summer reading program for kids that includes weekly shows (magicians, puppets, singers, etc). J is also signed up for the Barnes & Noble reading program, where kids in grades 1-5 can win a free book for reading eight books this summer. The program also includes some online activity ideas as well.

Crafts: JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels both have free or low-cost craft clinics/camps you can sign your children up for this summer. J is learning how to sew from his Grandmother, and will be taking a sewing clinic later this summer as well as participating in Michael's free make-and-take weekend events.
Our local Lowes and Home Depot stores also offer free Saturday building clinics. J is to old for many of these, but they'll be perfect for M to participate in.
We have many local businesses that offer fun activities all summer long as well, including: pet stores that give tours, a pizza restaurant that let the kids make their own pizzas for $2, a local nursery that offers kids' gardening classes, and fire station and police station tours. Our town and several neighboring cities also have free community events planned around the Fourth of July including parades and free swimming.

Hopefully these ideas can help us keep busy and cool this summer!