Monday, January 21, 2013

Celebrating Peace

Since today was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, I wanted to be sure to do some activities to celebrate.  However, Miss M and The Bug are only 5 and 2, so whatever we did had to be simple.

First, I read Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Adler.  Both picture books are simply written but cover the important aspects of his life.

The Boyscout was home from school today, and agreed to help me out with a simple discussion with Miss M.  Somehow it seems more important when big brother participates!

We wrapped up our discussion by doing a handprint peace dove craft from over at Handprint and Footprint Arts & Crafts.

 Sometimes simple and fun can still be an important lesson.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simple Snowflakes

We woke up Tuesday to some unexpected snowfall.  It melted by lunchtime, but I took the opportunity to do a few snowflake themed crafts with the kids.

Miss M and The Bug had a great time making beaded snowflakes.

They were both able to do this project on their own (I just had to twist the pipe cleaners together to start his.)

I also printed the template from here and Miss M spent the day cutting out paper snowflakes and making snowflake ballerinas.  She hung them along the fireplace mantel for a decoration.  Since she loves paperdolls, this was a perfect craft for her.

Of course, they did go play outside while the snow lasted!

Just a fun (and rare) wintery day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tot School: Pets

Tot School 
The Bug is 31 months old

I am going to be introducing the letters of the alphabet to The Bug via theme weeks, using the order of introducing the letters that worked with Miss M.  First up is the letter C.  Since The Bug loves to pretend to be a puppy dog or a kitty cat, doing a pets theme made sense for his first week.

I set everything up on the fireplace.  We had two pet themed puzzles; a box full of letter C related puzzles, letter blocks and books; our Handwriting Without Tears Letter C materials; a box full of our stuffed dogs, cats, fish and turtles and our pet costumes; and all of our pet-themed books.  Curious George and the Bunny turned out to be his favorite book this week.  I also put all of our letter C-related magnets on the dishwasher.

We made a letter C cat project.  I saw a cat birthday card here and knew we could amend it to be a letter C craft.  Obviously, I let The Bug put the pieces on as he saw fit.

My mother had made Miss M The Poky Little Puppy unit when she was about this age, and I was able to use several of the pieces.  Every day we did a matching or memory game using the puppy dog disks she made.  The Bug LOVES matching games.

We counted to ten using puppy dog pictures that we laminated.  We also discussed the similarities and differences between the dogs, and laid them out in size order.

 We used some wooden pieces (kitty cats, puppy dogs and dog houses) to do some simple patterning.  (Miss M was doing an online math class at the time, that's her hand on the mouse!)

The Bug made a paper bag puppet of a puppy dog.  (The book I got the pattern from is out-of-print so I didn't link it.)

He also colored some letter C is for Cat worksheets from Carisa at 1+1+1=1.

He spent almost an hour one day playing with our homemade Geoboard.  (And making a mess from our shelves).

He spent a lot of time working on his Melissa and Doug Pet's Puzzle.  He would solve the puzzle five or six times in a row each time he took it out.  Puzzles are BIG for him right now.

We had a lot of rain this week, but we did spend the one sunny day we had at the park! You can see more pet-related ideas we did not get time to do on my Pet Board on Pinterest.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chihuly Glass Exhibit

When my parents were visiting, we took a field trip to the Dallas Arboretum to see the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit.  Tony and I had gone one night in July, but this was the first time the kids got to see it. The Arboretum took some of the artist's most well-known and iconic sculptures and set them up outside throughout the gardens.

Miss M catching a ride with Daddy.
My Mom and The Boyscout.
The Bug catching a nap with Papa (my Dad).
Everyone had a favorite piece.  Miss M loved the Purple "Neodymium Reeds" which appeared in several water exhibits.

 The Boyscout loved "The Sun" exhibit.  (This is 14 feet in diameter.)

The Bug liked the "Dallas Star" which he kept calling "Superman's Spaceship".

Tony liked the "Blue Polyvitro Crystals" that were in a stream.

My favorite were the "Carnival Boat" and the "Float Boat."

There were many more pieces on exhibit.  It was a nice way to view art outside of a museum, and a good way to expose the kids to glass as an art medium.

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Sewing Stitches

One of the presents for Miss M this year was her own sewing kit.  She not only got the supplies needed to do some hand sewing, and a number of cute patterns to practice on, but she got some one-on-one lessons from my Mom.  (Who also taught The Boyscout how to sew a few years ago).

Miss M's first project was a small stuffed bird.  She learned how to thread a needle, start her stitches, do a whip stitch, and to end with a lock stitch.

She lost her interest about halfway through the project (it is a lot for a 5-year-old not blessed with a lot of patience to begin with) but persevered with some help from Grandma and completed her first project!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ho-Ho-Hip Hop

This week, Miss M and her best friend attended a one-day hip hop class at her dance studio.  It was a fun holiday-themed class, with crafts, games and a new dance learned.

The girls performed for us at the end of the day, and Miss M loved it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

White Holidays

We have enjoyed the last few weeks of Advent and Christmas.  My parents came to visit for a week, and we had a lot of fun together as a family.  One of the highlights was the fact that we had snow at Christmas. This is the first time the kids have seen snow in two years, and the first time The Bug was old enough to play in it.

We did not get much, but it lasted for two days.  It was cold enough to get bundled up, 

And there was enough snow for making snow angels, having a snowball fight, and even for making a little snowman.

That might very well be all the snow we see this year, but the kids won't forget it!