Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dot Paint Math

This afternoon I asked K if she wanted to practice her sight words. I was not surprised when she said no. I was surpised when she asked if we could do math instead. Of course!!!!! K loves math so far and is catching on really well. I wanted to make it fun, so she didn't feel like it was work. When she does her math homework I noticed she does really well when she has images to relate the numbers to. So I thought of using dot paint. I used large construction paper and folded it into 6 sections. I created a different addition problem in each of the 6 squares. I then lined up all of her dot paints and a pencil for her to use.

Kailyn requested to work on the floor, so I used her big cork board to put all of the items on. Then she got to work. The first problem she was so excited she got a little dab crazy and put too many dots. We easily fixed it and moved on the next ones.


Doing math is hard work you know. So we of course needed to take a break to make some popcorn to re-energize!
K had a lot of fun and she asked me to give her "harder" problems next time. Here is her finished work. (she would not let me get a picture of her face)
This was all that remained after she was done. She was done and moved on to the next acitivity.
This was a lot of fun. It was a great way for her to practice her math skills and master her number recognition skills, all while having fun!!

This post is linked to Teach Preschool

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sorting Station

Last week we received our package from Discount School Supply. We had an item missing so I called up customer service and they were awesome. They apologized and sent out a replacement right away. The package was here in two days! It came in on Friday but we were camping at the beach all weekend so we didn't get to open it until Sunday. The item was an assortment of buttons. K was so excited and immediately ripped them open and began scoping them out. I told her if she spread them out it would be easier for her to see them all. She she grabbed a cookie sheet on her own and poured all he buttons on it. She started looking through them all and decided to pick out certain buttons and put them into her "cool" pile haha.

Her sorting gave me an idea for an activitiy for her. Right before she went to bed I set up a sorting station for her.

She didn't know before hand what I was setting up, but I asked her where she wanted to do an activity at and she chose her light table. We have tile in her playroom so I bought a small rug for under $2 for her to sit/kneel on when playing at the table. Her poor knees were so red every time she would be done playing.
In the station I included buttons, translucent shape tiles, and dyed pasta wheels. I also set out 6 clear cups. When she came in I told her I set up a sorting station and she can use any/all of the materials to sort into any category she wanted. Since she is 5 I am very vague with suggestions, I like to watch her explore and create on her own. If she was a toddler or preschool age, I would have categorized the sorting cups into colors and then have the child sort all of the items by color. This way they are still working and playing on their own but with a little guidence/direction from me.
Right away she asked me to turn on the light table. I LOVE her light table so I was very excited that she asked me to do so.

She starting exploring the items and thought about how she was going to sort everything. She immediately went for the dyed pasta wheels. She started to add a few of them to the clear cup by color.
She was putting them in one by one and counting them at the same time. To my surprise she started doing subtraction with them all on her own!!
In this picture she was saying "I have 6 in the cup, if I take out 1, then that leave 5!" This little girl loves math so far and has been really good at it. This continued on for a while, subtracting and adding pasta wheels.
By the way, she is in a dance leotard. In an earlier post I talked about how much she LOVES dress up. Here is another example of her always wanting to wear dress up clothes no matter what she is doing!

She eventually sorted all the pasta wheels by color then evenly distributed the translucent shape tiles into the cups. Then she decided that was too orderly and she mixed everything together into mass chaos haha. I was too busy catching flying pasta wheels to take a picture. I guess we all deserve to let lose every now and then and create chaos!! Shortly after she was tired and asked to lay down, but she did ask to do a sorting game again after school the next day. I would say that activity was a success! I love that sorting can be so versatile. It can be real structured and you can have your child sort by color, numbers, shapes, texture and more. Or you can be very vague and let the child explore and sort however they see fit. This activity helps develop both cognitive and fine motor skills.

My little Rock Star

I would have to say one of K's all time favorite thing to do is play dress up. Second and third to that is sing and dance. She is always dancing and singing to music. She also likes to copy the songs and dance moves from her favorite movies and shows. I love watching my little rock star in the making. The other day I was getting the baby dressed, when I was finished I came downstairs and walked into the kitchen to find this:
Little smarty pants here thought of the idea to use the vacuum as her microphone stand. I was laughing so hard, it was so creative. Then she said, "watch mom". She turned on the fan, that she has strategically placed and went back to the microphone to sing. She said the fan gives her hair a "blowing in the wind" effect. Haha where does she come up with this stuff?
Like I said earlier she LOVES dressing up. She had been eyeing a wig set for a LONG time. Every time we went to the store she had to go look at it. Well yesterday her Mimi was very generous and bought it for her. I was ok with it, she got an award at school on Friday so she deserved it. Everyone I would like to introduce you to Lady K Gaga:
She loved it! She stood in front of her mirror singing and dancing forever. This is her dress up corner, all of her dress up clothes/shoes/accessories are in boxes and bin easily accessible to her. Of course a dress up corner is not complete without a mirror to admire your amazing self. Here are a few more pictures of Lady K Gaga rockin' out.

I love how dress up and role play brings out her imagination. She can go from a princess, to a rock star, to a fireman, all in a matter of an hour of play.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chalk board fun

Today we had a lot of fun with two new activities. First was the insta snow which I posted about earlier. The second one was playing with her new chalk board. I had been seeing so many ideas/projects of people usinf chalk board paint. I saw one project where the person painted a huge rectangle on their kid's playroom wall and framed it really cute. I really loved it, but it was not realistic for us to do the same thing. So I was trying to think of a few ideas that would give us a huge chalk board for Kailyn to play with. The idea to use her old train table clicked in my head. We had it stored at my in laws house since we didn't have a ton of room for it and she had lost interest in it. I was so excited to do this for her. We picked up the train table, stopped at home depot for some paint and went home to get to work. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of this process. But K did help me with all of the painting and cleaning up. This was a few weeks back. I waited so long to use it because for a while I was going to do one more coat. It says to wait at least 4 hours before adding a new coat. Well it was early evening when we started so it would have to wait until the next day, then it rained for a few days, etc, etc. I finally decided it didn't need another coat and here we are today finally able to enjoy it. Before you can use it, you have to "prep" it. Basically you take the side of chalk and rub it all over the board until it is covered. You then wipe it off and it is ready to go. K of course wanted to help, so I let her have some fun.
She was moving so fast the pic is blurry! After she was done she got down to drawing business!

While she was drawing, daddy mentioned the word "pool", and before you know it the chalk was down and K was upstairs looking for her bathing suit. Poor chalk table, you were abandoned so quickly. We will be back though.

It's snowing!!!

Kailyn has been so excited to play with her insta snow, she could hardly stand it. We bought ours from Discount School Supply, and it came this week. It's so simple and quick to make. Just mix 2 oz of water for every scoop of snow. We wanted a lot of snow to fill her bin, so we used 15 scoops of snow and 30 oz of water. It was so easy Kailyn was able to do it all on her own.

After it was done she said "I wonder what it would look like on the light table"? Well of course we had to check it out.
Then she decided to pull out her plastic sea animals. "They are at the North Pole mom" is what she told me. We then added a plastic tube (I don't know what else to call it)and it became their slide.

Of course baby brother had to get in on the action too!
We decided to add straws and blow the snow around. "Mommy it's blizzard" Such a creative girl.
She was having so much fun with the straws so I made up a game for her. I buried all of her animals with the snow and told her a big storm had hit the "North Pole". I told her the animals needed her help finding them and getting them out. Her job was to use the straw to blow away all the snow and rescue the animals. This was her favorite part of the activity.

Playing with the snow was so much fun. I know I, I mean she can't wait t play with it again. She only stopped because she was so anxious to play with her new chalk board.

Where is dinner?

I had a new recipe that I found on Pinterest (surprise surprise) that I wanted to try out. So I went to the store the night before and got everything I needed. The chicken needed to un thaw just a little bit more so I put it in the sink with warm water. We took the kids to the park and on a walk for a little bit since we had a little time before I needed to start cooking. We come back and I go in the kitchen to start dinner. I look in the sink to get the chicken and I realize a bag is missing!!!!! For a split second I think it's my fault and maybe I just thought I put two bags in. To explain the bags a bit, we buy chicken in bulk and split it up into two pieces a bag then freeze it. I "thought" I pulled out two bags so we would have 4 pieces of chicken breast. So I am looking around the kitchen like the chicken is going to pop up out of nowhere and say "here I am".  Then I spotted it, a ripped up, empty plastic bag laying on the floor. I looked a little more to the left, and a guilty looking dog was staring at me wondering if I have guessed that she was the culprit. BUSTED!!!! Ugh the dog ate our dinner!!! I was soooooo mad and the worse part was, I did not have a back up. We had no choice but to eat out. Now I know that my lab can now get food off EVERY inch of our counter AND the kitchen sink. Bad dog Bailey!!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Light table sneak peak

I am still working on getting a post up on how we built our light table. Kailyn and Colton are loving it so far. So are mommy and daddy!! Until then, here are a few pictures of the kids having fun with the light table!!

Rainbow Rice

I made rainbow rice for K awhile ago and she loved it!! She was playing with it outside and left it out there overnight. Well the next morning it rained unexpectedly, and of course the rice was ruined. So the other day she asked me if we could make more. My answer was of course!!! I love rainbow rice and love watching her play with it even more. I got all of the items needed the night before. Since she is in Kindergarten, she had to go to school that morning. Surprisingly she asked me to make the rice without her so it would be ready when she got home. It took all of 10 minutes to make. It's super fast, easy, and cheap. Great deal since it provides hours of entertainment and imaginative play.
Ingredients needed:

-Package of white rice. The amount needed depends on how much you want to make.
-Rubbing Alcohol
       *side note: You can use vinegar for this as well, I used it before and it turned out fine. Someone had mentioned that they use alcohol so I thought I would give it a try since I already had some in the house.
-Measuring spoon
- Quart size zip lock bag  (one for each color you choose to use)
Add desired amount of rice to each zip lock bag.
Add 1tbs of alcohol to the rice
Add food coloring. The more drops you use the more vibrant your colors will be. I usually use about 15-20 drops. We used neon colors. Perfect colors since it's almost Spring/Easter time.
Secure bag and start mixing the rice until the food coloring is distributed evenly.
The rice will need to dry before you let the kiddos play. It dries very quick so they won't have to wait that long.
The Results:

Now they sit untouched on her playroom shelf because it was "too pretty" to play with yesterday. Haha this girl cracks me up. She did ask me this morning if she could play with it after school. So hopefully she remembers.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moon Dough.....

Or cloud dough, or whatever you would like to call it, we made some! The directions have been floating through blogs and Pinterst for months now. I had been wanting to make some with K for a while but just never got around to it. Friday night I decided to go head and make it since I had all the ingredients for it. I am so glad I did because Kailyn LOVES it. She has played with it non stop since Friday. We had a great time making it as well. It was so much fun getting to do this together. The baby was already asleep so I was able to focus all my attention on her. Which she needs and deserves. So here we go, our adventure with moon dough.
8 cups of flour
1 cup of baby oil
Yep, that is it. Two ingredients!! Easy and simple, just my style. We ended up using 16 cups of flour and 2 cups of baby oil because we wanted to make a lot for her sensory bin. Here are some pictures of our process for your viewing pleasure.
*K pouring in the flour
*Measuring and pouring the baby oil

*After measuring and pouring the ingredients mix it together with your hands. You will want to keep mixing until all the baby oil is mixed in well and you can mold the mixture.
*When you are done, it's time to play!!!

Simple as that! Hope your little one enjoys it as much as mine did.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Baby Food

A few days ago I made my first small batch of home made baby food. C is 5 1/2 months and is VERY ready for food. I have given him small amounts of Earth's best cereal here and there already. Mainly to see if he was ready for solids. Before this he was always watching us intently while we ate and reaching for our food or drinks when we were near him. His Ped said they look for 3 things to determine if they are ready.
1. Neck control-they need to be able to hold their head up steadily to maintain an open airway while eating.
2. Show interest in eating/food
3. Out grown the tongue thrust reflex
*obviously only confirmed by trying, which we did...check!!
C is ready for solids!! He did really well with the cereal. He loved it and even grabbed constantly for the spoon to "feed himself". I still was not ready to move on to veggies, or even make solids consistently yet.  I really wanted to wait as close to 6 months as possible. Well C ended up getting sick and that took care of the problem for us. He was too grumpy and congested to deal with any eating but nursing. Plus I did not want to wonder if he was having a reaction to food or if it was his cold symptoms. So we waited another 2 weeks. C will be 6 months on the 28th, so I figured it was a good time to slowly start. I am starting him off with green veggies. I really want to get him use to these first, and get into a good eating routine before I introduce the sweeter foods. To this day K is still very picky with veggies and I don't think we were strict enough with them when she was younger.
I chose green beans as my starting veggie. Very easy to make, and definitely not too sweet. Here is what I did.
Fist I washed and cut off the ends of the green beans

Then I steams them for a few minutes until tender.
They then went into the blender to puree. I added about an ounce of breastmilk to help with this process. I found by experimenting with cereal, he did not like it when I used water. But he would he it all up when I used breaskmilk. Makes sense, he is use to the taste and it is sweet.

When this was done I then poured the puree into an ice cube tray. Each slot makes about 1oz, or one serving for his age.

I then put it into the freezer until frozen. I popped the frozen cubes out and put them into a baggie with the date on it and put it back into the freezer(didn't get a pic of this sorry). I can now grab an individual serving as needed. This whole process took about 15 min. I didn't make too  much this go around. I wanted to make sure he liked it and didn't have a reaction to it. Next time I will make a larger batch to last a week.  I am introducing him to one veggie a week. This makes it easier to tell if he has a reaction to the food and we will know for sure instead of having to guess between multiple foods. Next week we will try peas!