Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Wrap-Up

As is our tradition, my very-talented mother made the kids the costumes of their choice - Belle for Miss M

and an owl (my choice) for Baby B, who refused to stay still for a photo!

For the first time since he was born, she didn't make J's costume - he made his own Texas Ranger baseball costume out of duct tape this year.

Before we went trick or treating, the little ones painted their pumpkins (and themselves in Baby B's case).

We hope you had a Happy Halloween today!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

stART: Raccoon on His Own

Fall has finally reached our area of the south, and we have been studying fall-related themes.  For stART (story+art) this week, we read Raccoon On His Own by Jim Arnosky.  The book follows baby raccoon as he travels through the swamp in a dugout canoe.

We made a raccoon to go along with the story.  I just free-hand cut the parts out of paper and Miss M glued them on.  Miss M traced her hands to make the raccoon's eye mask.  The stripes on the tail were just colored with black marker. 

This post is linked up to stART at A Mommy's Adventures and Kids Get Crafty at Red Ted Art.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


J is working on his American Cultures badge for Boy Scouts, and needed to attend a festival for one of the countries he is researching, so we headed to a nearby city this weekend for their WorldFest celebration. 

The kids got to try out a Japanese abacus,

watch a Moroccan wedding,

and see dancers from many different countries.

It was a fun way to experience many different cultures in one afternoon.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lots of Fun

One of our friends has started a playgroup for homeschooling families in our area.  We had our first get together Thursday, where we took a nature walk, played at the park, and then decorated cookies for Halloween.  It was fun for Miss M to meet other kids her age who are being homeschooled for Preschool/Kindergarten as well, and she is looking forward to future outings (we have a boat float day coming up soon she is particularly excited about!)

This weekend was also our neighborhood's annual block party. We have a party every year before Halloween when we close down the street for one evening and have food, a bounce house, face painters and balloon artists, train rides, fire trucks, and all the kids wear their costumes. It is a lot of fun and my kids look forward to it every year.

We hosted the bounce house this year, so the kids got to try it out by themselves first.  (This is not Miss M's halloween costume, Grandma is still hard at work sewing for this year.)

The boys both enjoyed the fire truck...

It was a busy, busy weekend, but one the kids thoroughly enjoyed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stringing Necklaces

I few weeks ago, my mother sent the kids a package which included a little necklace kit for Miss M. She wanted to work on it when I was making dinner the other day, so I told her to lay the pieces out in a pattern.  After a few tries she discovered one that worked. 

Then, she worked on stringing the necklace.  It took her about fifteen minutes of work to get it all strung, but when she was done she was so proud that she had made it herself. 

She had no idea she got both patterning and fine motor practice while doing it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Washing Pumpkins

This is an activity we have done in years past, but it is always a favorite.  This year, since Baby B is still so little, I set this activity up in our bathroom to help minimize clean-up.  All you need is some small pumpkins, a tub full of soapy water, and a few washcloths or dish brushes.

 This is messy but lots of fun!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Seed Mosaics

I made pumpkin soup for dinner last night and remembered to save the seeds. (None of my kids like the goo, so Daddy had the task of cleaning the pumpkins and the seeds.) After they were dry, I colored them using food coloring and this morning were ready for our art project: mosaics using pumpkin seeds.

 Miss M greatly enjoyed this project and made many rainbows, flowers, suns and pumpkins.

I found this idea on Pinterest, but the original idea belongs to Our Little Nature Nest.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Art

Baby B saw his sister using her bingo daubers today and insisted he get to try them, too! To say he had fun is an understatement! (Yes, he appears to be a lefty.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Monsters

This was one of those weeks where Baby B was sick and Miss M wasn't that interested in her workboxes, so we only did them one day this week. We did read together every day and do math journals every day, and in our house that counts as a day of school.

2 Teaching Mommies has a really cute Monsters unit, and we did several of their activities including rolling and graphing monsters (I laminated the sheet so we just used dry erase markers):

Then an alphabet monster mash. Since Miss M knows the names of the letters, I called out the phonetic sounds and she had to swat the proper letter with the fly swatter. She only missed five, so this was a good review of what letters we still need to work with, as well.

Despite being sick, Baby B thought this looked like fun and spent quite a bit of his own time mashing the letter cards with the fly swatter.

We glued the parts of the leaf into our science journals, and discussed what each part did in the growth of the leaf.

We did some writing about apples using a modified bubble map we made together. I am starting to use bubble maps more with Miss M because they are easy to do and help her to organize the information she knows on each subject in a fun way.

That was basically our week. Next week we plan to delve into our Woodland Forest theme since everyone is now feeling better.

I am linking this to Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations and to the Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Stop by to see what others did with their week!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Writing Miss M's Way

I have been trying to get Miss M interested in writing lately.  I have found that she despises doing handwriting practice, but will happily write "real words" as she calls them.

Sometimes I write the word for her, and then she copies it:

Other times she just asks me how to spell it and I tell her letter by letter. 

I know we still need to work on letter formation, but for now she is enjoying writing this way so we will go with it for a while.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tot School: Bear Hunt

Tot School
~16 months old~

It has been a few weeks since we did a Tot School post, but we have been busy working on activities.  Baby B has been into the book We're Going On A Bear Hunt, so I did some activities with him related to the book.

We practiced color words using our counting bears:

We collected a variety of bears we had into one bin for him to play with:

I printed pictures from the Bear Hunt printables at Stay and Play and put them into Baby B's Education Cube.  We worked on vocabulary for bear, grass, water, tree, mud and house.

I have continued to change out the six toys on Baby B's school shelves, and this has greatly increased his interest in playing by himself.  He loves seeing what new toys there are out each week.

I made felt board pieces to go along with Bear Hunt, and Baby B held them up to me as we told each part of the story.

We have done some painting this week (both finger and using a brush) and spent quite a lot of time outside enjoying the gorgeous weather as well.