Thursday, February 28, 2013

Otis the Tractor book activities

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after we read the book, Bear {4 yrs} retold the story to me with the plastic characters.  this is a book that we've read eleventy-billion times, so he knows it well.
 
we also did an Otis the Tractor math activity using the following items:
equal number of red and yellow craft pom poms
tree made out of foam
two plastic cups to act as buckets
yellow & red dice
{only one dice required... we just did this because we had them}
 
the rules were simple:
  • each player gets their own color apple {craft pom poms}
  • roll the dice
  • take that number of your apples off of the tree and put them in your bucket
  • other player takes turn
  • the first one to get all their apples in their bucket wins

 
the Otis cooking activity was Bear's favorite.  to mimic the mud in the story, we made chocolate pudding.  i'm a horrible from-scratch cook, so originally, i bought two boxes of chocolate pudding mix.  but in reading the mix, i noticed that it had red dye #40 in it, so we couldn't use it. {more on that soon}  so we had to make our own.  from scratch. great. 
 
after finding out i could substitute flour for cornstartch with the correct adjustments, i finally settled on this one from SmittenKitchen.com.  Bear was able to help mix the ingredients, but then had to stay far away from the stove after i created my own makeshift double boiler.
 
some time later, our pudding was done.  and quite yummy i might add.



other Otis the Tractor ideas:
beginning vocabulary words: tree, mud, red, cow
 

  
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm a Quirky Momma... you might have missed these posts

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i got the awesome opportunity to become a contributor over at the Kids Activities Blog last year.  the experience has been awesome and i've been able to share even more ideas with others. 

i just wanted to share the posts i've written for them so far in case you've missed them...{i'll update this as i have more}
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

more Little Blue Truck activities

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a few weeks ago, i shared activities for The Little Blue Truck Leads the Way.  since then, Bear {4 yrs} wanted to do an activity with the original Little Blue Truck big book.

we dug through all of our plastic animals and found one to represent each animal in the book.  we used our blue truck from the other activity and were lucky enough that one of our 8 dumptrucks was yellow.  as we read the book, Bear lined up the animals behind the trucks just like in the book.

then we moved onto a phonics activity.  these milk caps and flash cards are one of Bear's favorite activities to do.  so i try to use them in ways that relate to what we're talking about.  this time, i pulled out flashcards that corresponded with the book.  they were the hen, pig, and farm cards.
 
 
then Bear did some sensory play with coffee (to represent the mud in the book).  this is another sensory activity that he enjoys, though we don't do it often.  i generally use coffee from the dollar store so that it's not too costly.  a bonus of this is that the kitchen/dining/living rooms smell good afterward. 

it would be fun to do these activities in conjunction with the activities for the book The Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, sort of like a book double feature...  we just might need to try that one day. 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Kids Spell it Out: Mommy's & Daddy's Jobs

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. 

this week's question is: 
What is your mommy/daddy's job?
 
Daddy works in the Army.  Mommy loves me and keeps me learning in preschool.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

Play! {for mom}
Sleep. {for dad}
Honor {3.5} Play Dr. Hutch

Class. {about mom}
To teach with a friend. {about dad}
Sweet Pea {3.5} The Iowa Farmer's Wife

To keep me safe.
Champ {3} Making Boys Men

To do math problems and program a computer.
Emma {6} MamaSmiles
 
Daddy's job is to fix cars, trucks, and vans. Mommy's job is to sit at the computer
Sammie {4.5} Two Big, Two Little

Papa goes to the office. Maman stays home because I love it when she does.
 
If you tell him something, he listens. {about dad}
Nothin’ {about mom}
Aiden {4}

 
Mama's job is to take care of me, and dad's job is to build houses.
 

Take me places. {mom's job}
See Uncle Nate in the Big Apple.  {dad commutes into NYC}

Changing my diaper! When I was a baby anyway.
Sawyer {6} B-Inspired Mama

He works but it will be good if Daddy can't work all day long. He works and works and works all day long, even on Wednesdays AND Tuesdays. Mommy's job is to work and to look after the kids, of course!

 Going to work and making money, phone calls, and I think that’s it. {about dad}
To make us happy and to keep us happy. {about mom}
Carter {6}
 
Talk to people, see how they are doing with their family, play games with them. {for mom}
He works on the computer and talks with the people next to him. {for dad}
Henry {6.5} Play Dr. Hutch

To protect me and take care of me and my brothers {about mom}
To take care of me the same as my mom {about dad}
Chrysanna {6}

He makes money by working and being happy. {about dad}
Helping us and loving us. {about mom}
Savannah {8}
 
To make light sabers light up on the computer. {about dad}
Johnny {5} MamaSmiles

Clean the house, make food, make smoothies. {about mom} 
Do school work and go to his office and making popcorn.{about dad}
Aidan {5} Little Moments to Embrace

Taking care of Baby Brother {about mom}
To go to work. {about dad}
Big Brother {4} Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails {FSPDT}

To give me food every day. {about mom}
I don't know what his job is at work. Ummm...cooking? {about dad}
D {5} The Usual Mayhem

To keep us safe.
Priscilla {4} B-Inspired Mama

To take care of me and feed me. {about mom}
To go to work and get money. Teaches people about Jesus and his job is to take care of me. {about dad}
Dominic {5}

Daddy's job is to go to work and get money.  Your {said to mom} job is to make yummy food, nice healthy soup.
Tristan {5}

Doing nothing.
Lily {3} MamaSmiles

Daddy: Working.
Mommy: Helping me.
Aaron {3} Random Handprints

Mom's job is "to teach me school." Dad's job is "being a (police) sergeant."
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits
Looking after us
Bud {4} Making Boys Men 
 
Going to work, but (pause) I don’t know what he could be doing there ALL day.
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

preschool Bible activities: Boaz & Ruth

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in our preschool Sunday school class, we recently talked about the story of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi.  the main point that we covered was that God is made happy when we show kindness to others. 
 
Boaz & Ruth craft
we made loving heart suncatcher.  prep was pretty straightforward, i cut a heart shape outside of a piece of construction paper, squares out of tissue paper, and a cross out of white paper for each child.  i also cut out two pieces of clear contact paper for each child that were the same size as the construction paper.
 
our class has kiddos ages 2-3 in this, so this served as a great project to teach about sharing God's love with others for all of them.  contact paper collages can be tricky because little hands can get stuck to it and pull it off the table.  to help with this, i tape the bottom page down on the table sticky side up.  then they were able to put their paper on the sticky side without it moving all around.
 
 on the finished product, i gave each child a small slip of paper that said
"Boaz and Ruth were kind to others.  I please God when I am kind."
 
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sometimes I Pee When I Laugh: The Truth About the Post-Baby Body

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Sorry if this is TMI....
But due to a recent pinterest post laugh-induced kegel failure, I had to find comfort in my fellow mommas who also sometimes have little leaks when they laugh.   

In case you're wondering, you can see the pin here... It's on auto-correct blunders **be forewarned, there are naughty words and references**
 
So yes, I'm publicly admitting that sometimes I pee when I laugh,
but I also wanted to ask fellow bloggers and readers about this:
What's something that no one told you
would happen to your post-baby body?

Here are the answers:

About Kegels/Pelvic floor
You will never cough or sneeze again without fear.   

After having three children, I cannot sneeze or jump without peeing my pants!! I HAVE to cross my legs to sneeze... and my sister and I both laugh (she has had 4 kids) about how we have to work out before we've had much to drink, or forget it! We'd be pausing to run to the washroom every time we had to do jumping jacks. At least we can laugh about it together!  But they are worth it right?  The kids...not the jumping jacks.

I thought my pelvic floor muscles were ok until a recent play date at a trampoline park! I guess carrying twins has lasting effects, even if you had a c-section! Next time I'm bringing a diaper bag...for myself

That I [would] still wake up nightly to pee. Evidently a post baby bladder cannot hold at all.

 
Mommy Boobs
I lost weight, but I also lost 3 cup sizes from pre-pregnancy to now!
 
Although your breasts are the same size, and your old bras fit, they are definitely NOT the same when it's off!
 
Your boobs will never be the same, especially if you breastfeed....shrunk and deflated.


The Pooch
That squishy belly that never quite goes away! 

If you have a c section, the little pouch that is formed by the scar tucking your belly in will never go away, you will always look like your belly is hanging over your trousers. (The Monko)

And my tummy looks just amazing after the stretch marks and 2 c-sections.

After my third baby, things must have shifted a bit inside... odd as that may sound, I actually like my stomach more NOW that I've had three kids than I did before... when I always had more of a pooch tummy below my belly button!

So true on the belly thing from above...and very annoying, keep getting rashes there! (Valerie) 


Hair: Here, There, Everywhere
My already thin hair became thinner.

A positive one for me (and my twin) loss of armpit hair (alas it was only temporary, but still

When I breastfed both kids I lost tons of hair. No one told me that could happen and it was a shock with the first baby. I almost had little bald patches in places that's how much hair I lost. It's still growing back so I have all these short bits around my face etc. So annoying!

And, maybe this is just growing older but I feel like I started growing more body hair after having my 2 kids. Like it grows faster now or something?


And All the Rest
No one tells you your body will never be just yours again! It starts with nursing and goes to being used as a ramp for toy trucks. Kids basically see your body as their property!

Here's one, but a good one-after my 2nd baby my eyesight actually improved! My optometrist told me to put my glasses in a drawer and leave them there! It's been 2 years glasses free, long may it last!
 
You will look more like your mother than you can possibly imagine.

My eye sight changed. I had perfect vision before, but now I have to have glasses to read pretty much anything, especially at night.
My feet grew a half size. My doctor told me they don't actually grown. It is more about the ligaments stretching.
 
I have Diastasis Recti from my 2nd pregnancy and after two more babies, it ain't pretty. No amount of exercise will make it go away, only surgery...major surgery.

My feet also grew half a size and now the majority of my shoes are too tight. most annoying!

That it might take you days to poop after you give birth.

Night sweats!!

After 2.5 years I still cannot lie on my right side in bed without feeling that I'm going to pass out-will ever go away?

Post c-section scar overhang! I've had three c-sections now and have my own little cliff! What with cliffs, undulations, sagging mounds, forests and unintended waterfalls I am my own little (or not so little now) environmental habitat! I actually did a post about nasal hair here.

I don't know who's body this is anymore - "it's certainly not mine"

Pelvis never went back into position so I can't lie on my belly for more than 3 minutes before the pain kicks in.  Rib cage didn't fuse back into position so there's a finger width gap there now... forever!!
 
That a pregnancy can actually throw off your thyroid gland so that you will need to take meds the rest of your life. 

Are you sure we should really share all this with yet-to-be moms -- they may never want to have kids.



So what about you?
What's something that no one told you
would happen to your post-baby body?

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

gender cliches debunked: Gender Bias Blog Carnival

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This post was written as a contribution to the Boys vs. Girls Blog Carnival.  The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences, ideas, and opinions on why gender roles should be avoided in parenting and teaching practices.
 
i catch flak from a lot of people because Bear {4 yrs} has long hair.  and because i let him wear what he chooses and accessorize as he sees fit.  and because we play with dolls, shopping carts and a dollhouse.  and because.... you get the picture.
 
i used to get angry and defensive.  but now, i just chuckle inside my head.  in the past, i've allowed criticism from others to actually make me question my parenting choices.  the choices that i make based on gut and heart.  one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to conversations about boys and girls is the antiquated cliches that get thrown out.  here are some examples...
 
the knight in shining armor.
we read books that show empowered girls as the lead characters, not weaklings whose skills and strength are minimal or under-appreciated.  i want my son to be "his brother's keeper" and help those who are in trouble, regardless of their gender or age.  having an over-romanticized and hollywood-esque view of relationships will only breed heartache and turbulence in his future relationships.
 
throw like a girl.
i want him to throw like a girl.  maybe that means he'll have an arm like Alabama's Jackie Traina.  maybe that means he'll have a weak lob like me.   all that matters though, is that if he chooses to play sports, he has fun and does his best.
 
pink is for girls.
when was pink designated for solely girls anyway? {see the answer here} Bear doesn't have any pink clothes for the simple fact that he hasn't asked for any. but he does have a ballerina costume and carries a purse to the store when he feels so inclined.


gentlemen open doors for women.
i don't want him to open doors for women.  just because someone has the same bits as him, should that mean that he be any less considerate or generous with his actions?  by using phrases like "ladies first" or teaching him to "be a gentleman", all i'm doing is teaching him that he has the power to gift his benevolence on others as he sees fit.  instead, shouldn't i teach him to show kindness to others at all times?
 
boys will be boys.
seriously... what the crap does this mean?

trucks are for boys and dolls are for girls.
we have a variety of toys in our house. from the get go, i've provided my son with toys that are stereotypically made for just boys or just girls. why should his gender limit what he uses to explore dramatic play or use his imagination?


boys are rough and tumble.
sure i want my son to be able to run wild and release energy.  and it's good to take a tumble every now and then.  how else do we learn to get up, dust ourselves off, and go on?  but he also needs the ability to know when to be gentle and nurturing; to show compassion through his actions.  brute force and aggression shouldn't be accepted just because of his gender.
 
only girls have long hair.
really?  tell that to Johnny Depp, Bret Michaels, a host of other men. this topic is a source of contention between me and many people.  but it's Bear's choice and i honor it.  i shared my views on this at the Boys Have Long Hair, Too blog carnival

  

don't be a girl about it.

as in, don't be emotionally sensitive to situations?  wrong.  i want Bear to respond honestly and deeply to happenings in his life.  i want him to be connected to the people and experiences around him.  if he's disturbed, let him cry.  if he's offended, let him speak his mind.  emotionally stifling children just because their emotions don't fit within the perameters that society dictates only teaches them to detach and suppress their true feelings.
 
so, yeah... those are my thoughts.  they aren't for everyone. 
what's your take on the boys vs. girls debate? 



 

Look here to read submissions by the other carnival bloggers

Gender Cliches Debunked
Andie Jaye of Crayon Freckles is a momma to a preschool boy and teen girl, looks at cliches held about genders and offers an alternate view to them. 

Parenting and Gender Biases
Maggy, mum of a boy (5) and girl (3) discusses on Life At The Zoo her observations about how each of her children do have many characteristics associated with their gender. However stresses that children should be given equal opportunities to explore, play and discover and is frequently surprised by each child really enjoys non gender specific activities – this is particularly noticeable during the arts and crafts activities they do over on Red Ted Art.

The Monko at Taming the Goblin asks "What is the difference between girls and boys at the age of three? And why do we care?"

Boys, Barbies, and Broken Necks
Erin from Royal Baloo writes on why ignoring gender stereotypes will give your child a leg up.
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hands-On Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

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Over the past two years, we've done quite a few hands-on literacy activities.  It's so important that children get the opportunity to explore through learning activities, not just memorize or fill out worksheets. Here are my favorite hands on literacy activities for kids compiled into one post.
 

  To access these activities, all you have to do is click on the image and you'll be led to the post.
 
     
 
     
 
     
 
     

<a href="http://www.crayonfreckles.com/2014/01/going-on-alphabet-hunt-exploring-first.html"_blank">    http://www.crayonfreckles.com/2014/01/writing-in-snow-small-motor-and.html   http://www.crayonfreckles.com/2013/08/practicing-reading-writing-first-letter.html
 
I hope you all have fun exploring these great hands on literacy activities! Find more on my ABCs: Reading and Writing Pinterest Board!




Follow Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kids Spell it Out: Pets Talk

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welcome to the Kids Spell It Out series! every monday will be a post filled with funny and adorable answers that kidlets give to questions. this week's question is:

If your pet could talk, what what it say?
 
He would tell me if it was too cold or warm, or if he'd want some belly rubs.
Aikman {6} Montessori Tidbits

I want to catch a firefighter jeep so I can have lots of fun at kitty parties in Lego City.
Bear {4} Crayon Freckles

I love you.  Okay, goodbye.
Aiden {4} True Aim Education

Can I have more food, please? I haven’t eaten for days!
Savannah {8}

Hello! Bloop, bloop...  (about his fish)
Sawyer {6} B-Inspired Mama

Welcome home! I love you! I like that bag! Did you have a good day? I had a good day! Now pet me!
D {5} The Usual Mayhem

I want chips, please!
Aiden {4} The Chirping Moms

He would say, "Meow!".
Sweet Pea {3.5} The Iowa Farmer's Wife

Hi.  Play with me.
Sammie {4.5} Two Big, Two Little

If he could talk when he first came, he would say "hello!" And when I play with him, he would say "play, play play!" And when he wanted food, he would say "Feed me! Feed me!"
R {5} Childhood Beckons

Bark.
Jossi {2} True Aim Education

Ooh! I like fish food, but will you pweese clean my water so I can drink it?
Aiden {4}

I want food.
Aidan {5} Little Moments to Embrace

When I go to Nana's house she (our dog) would say " miss Maddie."
Maddie {4} Learn With Play at Home 
 
He [the dog] would say to the chickens "I will eat you".
Dominic {5}

Hello.
Audrey {5} True Aim Education

I want some food.
Tristan {5}

Hello! Welcome to the dog land!
Priscilla {4} B-Inspired Mama

I want a sunflower seed. {about a bird}
Nico {3} Glittering Muffins

Can I be your friend?
Lexi {4} True Aim Education

I don’t know. Fish can’t speak.
Carter {6}


 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.
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