Tuesday, December 25, 2012

the empty stocking

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Friday, December 21, 2012

quick friday fun: painting with toys

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

frosty writing practice

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Bear {4 yrs} loves to practice writing the alphabet, but sometimes the traditional approach of paper and pencil gets dull and unexciting.  so i've tried to find other materials that we can use for him to practice with.  on a cold night not too long ago, it hit me...  this easy and cheap way to add some winter excitement to his letter writing. 
 
i bought a can of spray snow at the craft store for $3.50.  i sprayed it on the outside of the window.  after it dried, i used gloved hands to write the alphabet in it.  because i was on the outside, i had to write all the letters backwards {that's why my handwriting is a bit off in the picture}
 


by spraying the fake snow on the outside of the window, it allows Bear to practice writing his letters by tracing them on the window.  in this instance, he used Crayola window markers {which we love because of how easily they clean off of the windows}.  and when he's done, all he has to do is wipe them off with a handi-wipe and he's all set to go again.
notice the left-handed grasp?  find out more about teaching a left-handed child



i plan to clean the spray snow off in a about a week so that he can practice writing his name and numbers.  this would even work for practice in drawing shapes. 

here are some other ways that we've explored writing and the alphabet:
 
 
 
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day of Silence

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Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05
Rachel Davino, 7/17/83
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06
Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65
Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06
 Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05
Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06
James Mattioli , 3/22/06
Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60
Emilie Parker, 5/12/06
Jack Pinto, 5/06/06
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06
Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06
Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06
Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982
Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06
Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06
 
 
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

quick friday fun: rain in a glass

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

a homemade Christmas

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so many people love handmade or personalized gifts.  but not everyone is crafty enough or has enough time to create presents for everyone on their list.  that's where etsy comes in.  there are so many talented crafters on there that offer gifts for everyone you have to shop for.  here are a few items that would make great gifts for your little ones...
 


 
 
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Exploring the Sun, Moon, & Stars with Babbabox

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We recently got to review the Sun, Moon, and Stars activity box from Babbabox.    In the box, there was a book, a paper mache kit to make a nightlight, sunlight-sensitive paper to make a constellation, and a chart with binoculars to observe the moon's cycle.  Here's an image of all that was included in the box from the Babbabox website:
 
 

In it, we got the book Twinkle: Star of the Week that Bear (4 1/2) just loves. We've read it several times already.

The paper mache kit was included to make a moon nightlight.  After it is complete, there is a little battery powered light to place inside.  Just the simple act of tearing the paper strips gave some great small-motor practice.  Bear decided that since we were talking about the sun, the moon, and the stars that there should be an Earth to go along with them.  So, after the 3 layers of paper mache had hardened, we removed the balloon, and Bear painted it to resemble Earth.  I think that the resulting project looks really cool.  It also casts a really soft glow in the bedroom in the dark.
 
The was a kit to create your own constellation using sunlight sensitive paper and stickers.  I found this project just as incredible as Bear did.  The stickers go on the light blue paper, which fades in the sun.  But then when it's exposed in water, it turns a deep blue as seen below.  It was quite amazing to watch it change.  The circle on Bear's constellation was made from a soup can that he wanted to add to create a moon in his paper sky.
The real star (no pun intended) of the box was the collapsible binoculars that were included.  They can be used to look at the moon and chart its cycle on the supplied booklet.  Bear has been interested in the way that the moon changes shape since he was little, so this was a perfect addition to the project for us. 

I'm so glad that we got a chance to review this product.  Bear really enjoyed all of the activities.  There are so many more Babbaboxes that we'd love to try out.  Which one looks most interesting to you?
 
 
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Babbabox is a theme-based box delivered to your door that allows you to enjoy a little convenience and inspiration! As any parent can attest, the most important thing you can give to your child is quality time. Babbabox makes this possible by helping you to save time, money, and mindspace.
 
Just think! Fantastic monthly activities with ALL the materials for kids ages 3-6. Included in the box are 3 projects + 1 bestselling book + digital download + parent surprise gift!    
                                     
The best part? Babbabox makes a GREAT unique gift during the holiday season. Act now! Get 50% off a monthly membership or 50% off the one month only box when you use the code, SWAY100. Offer expires December 31, 2012.
 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Babbabox. The opinions and text are all mine.
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

a boy and his dad

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

our homemade {kleenex} box car

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recently Pip (my 16 yr old) got an assignment for her science class to make a box car that could be powered by a balloon.  while we were brainstorming, i can up with a great idea that she didn't think would work.  {moms never know, right?}  Bear thought it sounded like a super-fun idea, so the next day, we made our own box car using the items below:
 
to create the axle, we got the placement for the CD wheels marked on the sides and cut an x in the side of the box using a knife. {obviously i did this step} then Bear stuck a thin marker in each hole.  it was secured on the inside and outside with a rubber band.  
 
then it was time to put the wheels on.  Bear's dad is away for work, so the dollhouse dad helped.  i thought this was pretty precious.  after they were on, we secured the outside with more rubber bands.   

here is the final product:  
 
 
 
 
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

developing literacy and math skills through play

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Bear {4 yrs} is often resistant to learning activities if i call them "learning activities".  therefore, i have to creatively disguise learning as a game.  don't get me wrong, i believe that learning activities should be fun.  but had i even mentioned the word "learn" before we started playing this, he wouldn't have wanted to play it.
 
we have these colored phonics tiles that i bought at the dollar store before i was even pregnant.  for some reason, i never used them in my pre-K classroom.  they've been a favorite toy for Bear for quite some time.  mostly they are pretend bricks or dirt that he uses in truck play.  so i took that premise and added a bit of math skills (color matching) and literacy (letter identification). 
 
we actually had started out just playing with the tiles, loading and unloading them into the dumptruck. 
 
but after a while, it occured to me that i could turn it into a learning activity.  so we started sorting out all of the tiles by color and dumping them in something that was a corresponding color.  Bear placed them in a pile, i scooped them up with the front-end loader, and he helped dump them out.
 
blue tiles in a blue dumptruck
  
green tiles in a green basket
as we worked, i randomly found tiles that went together to create words.  examples are z + oo = zoo, b + in = bin. 

overall it was a really fun activity, and he never knew that he was learning :)

 
 
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