Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the painted globe

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i found this gLoBE at target awhile back and immediately liked it. 


but i didn't like its $24.99 price tag.  good things come to those who wait, though... a few  months later, i found it on an end cap with some cLeaRaNCe items.

you know that i bought it at that price!!!

although it's not used for educational purposes, we've used it several to look at where other cities or countries in relation to where we live.  one day i looked at it and the stark black and white-ness, looked so bad to me.  so i decided to paint it. 

Bear is even more excited to use it now!  right now, we are participating in a postcard exchange through Teach Preschool{more info in our Homemade Postcard post}  i also solicted help from all of my friends on facebook to send us postcards too. the next mail project we will be participating in is a sticker exchange!  so excited!

everytime we get mail, we put a sticker on our United States or World map. 



so far we have received mail from
6 countries, 18 states, and 27 cities!
 
 
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

dot com

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well... i finally made the jump!  i am officially a DOT COM!!!  this makes it so much easier for you to find me! 


i know that i said i wasn't going to post this weekend, but i needed a little piCK mE uP!  and blogger makes it so easy.  one click of a button and $10 a year and i'm set!

i love you all!  thank you to all of you who gave me support in my post yesterday!  i will be emailing you alll tonight :)

here's praying for better days {and nights}
 
 
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sleep problems

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forgive me, all you lovelies...

i'm taking the weekend off because i can't focus.  pardon my pity party, but here's why... 

bear is having some major sleep issues...
he has always been a difficult sleeper, but never like this.

it takes sooo long to get him to go to sleep. 
it's rarely without tears (his and mine)... 
and then a few hours later, he wakes up screaming.
he's upset about odd things, like his blanket or his pillow.
it can take up to an hour to get him back to sleep.
i'm tired.  so tired.

i don't know what to do. 
i don't know how to fix this problem.
i don't know what i've done wrong.
i feel helpless.
i feel frustrated.
i feel like a bad parent.

 
 
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Friday, February 24, 2012

construction worker dramatic play

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Bear's loves anything construction related.  he has a crate in his room full of
 construction worker dress-up and pretend play props.
gotta love that bedhead, right?

some of the items in the crate are:
safety vests and glasses
paint rollers and brushes
a toolbox
random styrofoam and foam cubes from packages
plastic toy tools (screwdrivers, drills, saws, etc)


 Bear also likes to use his tools on playdough.



what are some dress-up themes in your house or center?
 
 
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

rainbow size sorting and art

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as you might remember from our rainbow homemade crayon post, right now Bear and i are covering colors and rainbows as part of a Noah's Ark unit.  the other day, we did a rainbow size sorting math activity that turned into an art project.

to prepare, i cut out circles for each color of the rainbow (minus indigo) in staggered sizes, yellow being the smallest and purple being the biggest.  i put them in a pile and asked Bear if he could put them in order from biGGeST to sMaLLesT


after he was done sorting them...he wanted to do it about 10 times.... i gave him the materials to create a rainbow out of the circles.  i haD pLaNNeD for him to put them in color order again with the biggest on top, smallest on the bottom and then cut the whole piece in half to create 2 rainbows.

Bear hAd aNoTHeR iDea.  he wanted to split the circles first, then assemble them.  so, i took the backseat and watched him finish how he wanted to.

you can see an almost finished product here..


h a v   a   c o l o r f u  d a y  !
 
 
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

our preschool area

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i've been wanting to show you our preschool area for a while now.  but i just got around to having time to take pictures when it wasn't a meSS.  this area is actually the back of the dining room.  the little wall on the left helps to separate from the kitchen.

the shelf houses activity bins for 
playdough, magnetix, alphabet milk caps, writing tools, etc.
 

a bin of homemade playdough and tools to use with it.

above the shelf, i hung three nails with clips on them.  that way Bear can put up whatever projects he's pRoUD of... like his valentines, moose and Press Here book.  we found this old watering can at a garage sale for 10 cents and he loved it.  so i figured we'd put it to work as a pen/pencil/marker holder.

this little container holds Bear's special things, or "pRiZEs", as he calls them.  they make me smile.  the digital camera works and he takes pictures alot.  i'm planning a post on it once i figure out the wording.

this cabinet houses all of our homeschooling and crafting supplies

on top is where i keep our extra markers, momma's scissors and paintbrushes,
and supplies for the day's activities.

on the file cabinet is our felt board and books that we're currently eXpLoRiNG

the file cabinet also holds our stash of paper...color-coded, of course!

this is the area where we do our focused work or where i set things out to explore.  lots of time is also spend in Bear's room and our soon to be decorated playroom

what does your home learning space look like?
 
 
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

grow in water capsules

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when i was younger, i used to love these grow capsules!  if you haven't seen them before, i'll explain.  they are plastic coated (like a pill) sponge animals.  when they are put in hot water, the plastic melts and the animals "gROw".  i found them at our local dollar store and picked them up... partially for Bear to enjoy and a little bit for mYseLF, too.


Bear got a kick out of seeing them open up.  ((we used the fork to push them down and keep them submerged))

see the plastic coating melting off?

i'll show you the animal results and what we used
them for next week!
 
 
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Rainbow Fish book activities

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you might remember that right now, we are exploring colors.  so it's only natural that we would read a favorite book, The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  i love this book because it teaches friendship, kindness, and sharing with others.

i just went through a bunch of old data cds and combined several onto one disc.  after i did that i saved them in the craft cabinet for another time.  well, that time has come!  we used them to make CD Rainbow Fish!

first we painted them.
after the paint dried, we went to glue the fins on and the paint started to crumble off.  so i used a clear self-laminate sheet to cover Bear's fish. 
rainbow fish cd

i didn't have enough self-laminate, so i used frosted contact paper on mine.  ((i actually think that i like it better because it gives a scaley look))


the final CD Rainbow Fish products

the other thing that we did was a Rainbow Fish math activity.  we used round iridescent sequins, a Chutes and Ladders spinner, and the foam fish that we made for our creation story display

here's how it worked: we took turns getting a number with the spinner.  i had Bear practice identifying numbers by telling me what number the arrow landed on.  then that number of sequins was put on the fish to practice one-to-one correspondence
as you can tell, Bear had fun and we played a long game!
for the record, the pacifier in the picture isn't actually Bear's. 
he's never used a pacifier. 
it belongs to the baby giraffe it's attached to :)

rainbow fish math activity

do you love The Rainbow Fish book as much as we do?
 
 
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

homemade recycled crayons

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i've wanted to make recycled crayons for soooooooooo long. it's not a new idea, but was something that we'd never tried.  the unit we're doing right now is eXPLoRinG cOLoRs and how they mix.  so, this activity was perfect!

in preparation for it, i started peeling crayons.  this was tedious work.  then i got smart and soaked them in lukewarm water and the papers came right off!

we used a small silicone mini-muffin pan to make them.  they popped out of it easily.



i put the silicone muffin tin on a baking sheet since it was going to be melty when i took it out of the oven.  we baked them at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes.  i kept checking them every 5 minutes or so.  i wanted the crayons to melt, but still stay separated a bit.  it took a bit longer because we had some of the cheap crayons in there and they took a bit longer to melt.  and the result was these:

what other "old school" projects have you done?
 
 
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Press Here book activities

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At the library the other day, Bear and I stumbled upon the book Press Here by Herve Tullet.  it looked familiar and intriguing so we checked it out.  It's already become one of our favorite books! since Bear was so into it, we decided to do some Press Here activities!

Post contains affiliate links. More info here.
 
Press Here is a fun book that encourages interaction of the reader to push the dots or turn the book different ways, which results in the dots moving.  Bear got the help of a little Lego man when we read the book (for about the 5th time in 2 days!)
 

I pulled out some of our craft pom-poms in red, yellow, and blue (just like the book) to practice patterns for math.  After I created the patterns, Bear's task was to repeat the patterns.  I also started basic patterns like red blue red blue and then had him complete the pattern.
 

Then we sorted by colors.
 

For art, I provided materials for Bear to make a Press Here suncatcher using the main colors of the books.  I had hoped that the outcome would look similar to one of the pictures in the book where the primary color dots overlap to create secondary colors.  I didn't have clear contact paper, so I gave him a laminating sleeve.  It held the tissue paper circles in place surprisingly well... due to static electricity, I'm guessing.
 
 
Laminating it worked quite well.  iId actually probably lean more towards this approach than the contact paper because of the clarity of the end result.  Do you see how the colors blended?
 

As we were reading the book for the first time, I realized where I had recognized the book from.  Awhile back I had read a Press Here book activity on Teach Preschool.  So I popped over there and got the inspiration for this last activity... book-making!  I prepared a blank book made out of 4 pieces of blank white paper folded in half and stapled together.  Then I set out the do-a-dots and bingo markers and let him create his book. 
 

 
After he was done, stamping, I let him dictate the captions on each page.  Most of the pages were along the same lines as the book "press the dots" etc.  except for the page shown above.  Bear got a bit distracted and told me to write "the tv is on.  the other one is on too.  where is the purple dot?'  I got quite a kick out of it.  And he loves being read it! 

Now run to your library or bookstore and buy this book, because it is that. good.
 





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