Thursday, September 29, 2011

Art Walk

Now that the weather is so lovely we are taking so many more walks. Sometimes we go out looking for something specific and other times with nothing in mind. Today we were searching for butterflies and luckily we found a few. The girls made these when we returned home.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moon Week

Mobile day was really exciting, mostly because it involved sequins- the fancy sister to glitter.

This print out was great because it showed the full and crescent moons together.

Sponge painting was so much fun, but also helped show that the moon has a rocky/crater surface. Hard to explain to pre-schoolers when you can't take a field trip there. All of the children's favorite stories become even more exciting when you look for all the moons that once went ignored.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Indoor Obstacle course

Crawl under the table, over pillow mountain, hop on carpets, roll the cart the the food station and load it with something from each food group!

Great for those hot days when you feel stranded inside.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1st Day of Autumn - 97 degrees

We welcomed autumn with leaf rubbings and collage. But we did it in the air conditioned indoors. It was scorching outside!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pirate Week

The children ALWAYS love coloring and laminating masks. With some thin elastic from the notions aisle, they slip on and off so easily.

These silhouettes turned out well. The girls used water colors on coffee filters to make a sunset type sky. I found this silhouette print out online.

The felt boats were fun to personalize with different color sails and monogramed flags. But they took forever to cut out.

I am so tardy in posting the last few theme weeks. I have a few pictures of things we did, but I know there was more! We made toilet paper roll periscopes and I had plans to make plastic spoon catapults, but those never made past the drawing board. Don't forget the Pirate's Booty for snack time! That was a huge hit and the kids are always asking for more.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Corn Dog Muffins

I have been trying to find a few more kid friendly recipes to add to our usual rotation. I never liked corn dogs as a kid so those never really crossed my mind. BUT then I saw a recipe for corn dog muffins and knew it would be a winner. Because I have failed miserably in every attempt at homemade cornbread, I stick with the Marie Calendar's mix from Costco. It is always perfect.

I followed the recipe for 12 muffins, adding about 3/4 of a cup of Trader Joe's frozen organic corn (thawed) to the mix.

Filling greased (or pam) muffin pans a little over 1/2 way leaves room for a few small pieces of hot dog. Today I used Applegate's organic all beef hot dogs (from Trader Joe's). I grilled them lightly on all sides in a hot pan before cutting them into small bites and adding them to the tops of the muffins.

The muffins cooked in about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homemade Watercolors

I came across this recipe for making homemade watercolors. It seemed like a fun art project for the kids to both make then use. Luckily, we had all of the supplies on hand, and even an empty plastic egg carton (though in the future I would buy little individual toss away tupperware with lids.)

Watching the vinegar and baking soda mix.

Each of the girls picked an individual color to make, then with the leftover mix I made a few other colors.

The paint we mixed in the small tupperware containers and left uncovered became very dry. It was difficult to use and the children were sort of frustrated with it. The colors we mixed and kept covered in the egg carton remained somewhat runny after 2 days. The colors were bright and vibrant.

Watercolor Art

Here are all of the colors we made.

I tried to let the children explore on their own how to use the paints. The few pointers I would give out were to
- avoid pushing on the brushes, but to glide them gently (same with markers- it seems like children have a very natural inclination to jab pointy things as hard as possible) and
- to paint all over the paper instead of in one small (water logged) place.

Product Recommendation: Foam Blocks

Costco succeeded: they put the holiday toys out early and I couldn't wait. The bag contains over 200 pieces, including lettered blocks, in tons of shapes and colors. Great because big tall towers fall without hurting innocent bystanders or making too much noise during quiet time. AND they are made out of some sort of rad antimicrobial material (swoon).

I have over three months and many trips to Costco planned (and unplanned). I don't think the playroom is big enough for my love of new toys.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Flower Press

We were the lucky recipient of a new flower press a few weeks back. I have always wanted to try one but never had anything better than phone books. Miss A was REALLY excited to use it. The waiting part, the drying- not so excited about that. But after a week, we opened our press...

This little white flower was the only one to make it.

We had a pile of not so good. And a few that were moldy- boooo!

So we laminated it to keep it nice for as long as possible. And started the press again.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome Seashell and Mikuni!

We finally brought home 2 neon tetras!

I was so disappointed to learn that Capitol Aquarium closed down a few months ago. Mr. E and I would go down there a few times a year, before he started school full time, and roam the aisles of tanks and gawk at the amazing species (especially that electric eel!).

A little internet search revealed that not too far away is Tropical Aquarium Specialties on Mather Field Road. The store is quite a bit smaller but large enough to hear many "ooooohssss" and "aaahhhhhhs" from the children. The store has a few baby eels, a large cat shark and quite a few Nemo and Dori imitators. But what is really impressive are the live coral plants for sale. Really beautiful.

Whenever we pass the store, the children are quick to point it out and ask to go back again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fish Theme Week

This week was exciting for the children. We were building the anticipation of welcoming our fish to their new house. We learned a few fish facts, read some lovely books from the library (lots of Rainbow fish books- I had no idea there was a collection!), and had fun with a few fishy crafts.

First were the Koi windsocks. They were a little more challenging for the little ones, but turned out sort of elegant (for a kids craft!).

I lightly traced straight lines on the construction paper for the kids to follow. The "scales" were tissue paper rectangles, rounded on one end.

Glue down 5 or 6 rows then add a black strip to even the top. Add two eyes then add a string for hanging.

The handprint fish tanks were much easier and fun to personalize (with a little inspiration).

I cut out "rock" shapes for the kids to chose from. They picked any color paper for the fish. Assemble with "breathing bubbles."

This cute book by Lucy Cousins illustrates a fun, creative, colorful group of fish. I love it.

I found a printable mask online. My older non-napper and I colored the masks together during quiet time, then laminated them. I finished them off with a thin piece of elastic cording.