Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dinosaur Sensory Box

This month's sensory box theme is dinosaurs. With two boys in our house (and one girly girl that also enjoys the boy's toys) I decided to go with dinosaurs. The best part about this box is that I already had everything for it and did not have to buy anything, just decide which of our many dinosaurs to put in the box. It is a great theme and there is so much out there about dinosaurs so it is easy to throw together some quick lessons.

Here is what is in our box:
Rocks purchased from Hobby Lobby
Various dinosaurs
Plastic trees
Plastic rocks
Small metal scoop

Here are some quick links to others who have used dinosaurs in their lessons:

Two Teaching Mommies
Totally Tots
Meet the Dubiens

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fun Food Allergy Friendly Holiday Treats

So I have been feeling guilty about not making any special holiday treats that my little guy can enjoy with his siblings, so I decided to make a few treats everyone can enjoy. My little guy is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts and treenuts. Both of my older children grew out of their food allergies this year (with the exception of treenuts) so this year they have been able to enjoy a lot of treats they had never tried before. I have gotten so used to making non-allergy friendly treats and just giving my little guy a treat that is safe for him, but now he is realizing that what he has is different. So this week this is what I made:

Christmas cupcakes- Duncan Hines has several flavors of cake mixes that are milk, egg, peanut and treenut free (check the package) and Pillsbury has several varieties of frosting (please check each can of frosting). In substitute of the egg I used 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for each egg required. They taste exactly the same, but they tend to seperate from the cupcake liner. We chose to decorate them with red and green sprinkles and Christmas tree picks.

Yummy Edible Playdough- Now I was not even going to make a peanut friendly playdough, but then it occurred to me my little guy would have just as much fun playing, plus did I want to worry about cleaning it up and still worrying about him comng in contact with peanut butter. So I made edible peanut butter playdough with soynut butter instead. It was just as yummy and safe for our house.

Homemade Marshmellows- My favorite treat of the week! I was shocked that I was able to find a marshmellow recipe without eggs, but I found this one on the Food Network. It was fairly easy and they were so good, especially dipped in chocolate. I know that they are not going to last long in our house! Our next batch will have chocolate and red and green sprinkles! These would make a great homemade gift along with homemade cocoa mix!

I am linking to:

abc button

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Christmas Preschool Boxes

My preschooler is taking the next couple of weeks off from studying her letters (I will be reviewing her letters with her) so I have made her several Christmas activities to use for the rest of the month.

Christmas card kit

Button Christmas Tree (inspired by Counting Coconuts)

Decorating a Christmas tree (my printer is running out of yellow ink!)

"Cookie Dough" Playdough

Christmas Sensory Box

Felt Friends (inspired by Counting Coconuts)

Sorting Christmas Erasers (inspired by Counting Coconuts)

Tweezing and Tonging Bows (inspired by Counting Coconuts)

Gingerbread Man Counting Mats (printed from Along the Way)

Cutting Practice

Christmas Stickers and Paper

Beading red, green and white beads on gold pipe cleaners

Christmas letter recognition using Christmas erasers (printed from 1+1+1=1)

I am also giving her cookie cutters to trace around and color, which is not pictured.

I am linking to:

abc button

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This Week in School, Letter I and Christmas Theme

This week we were easing back into school after the Thanksgiving break. Everytime we have a break I find I have a hard time getting motivated. We have a few weeks until Christmas break so I am hoping that we can get a good start before Christmas break!

This week we studied the letter I. My daughter did not have quite as many letter associated activities as I would normally have for her. She did Do A Dot for the Letter I and Getting Ready for I from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

She also had many Christmas themed bins this week.

Sorting Christmas erasers

Tonging Christmas bows (from Counting Coconuts)

Matching Shapes to Flashcards and a Christmas peg in the hole game

"Felt Friends" (from Counting Counting Coconuts)

Beading Jingle Bells and a puzzle

Other Christmas Themed Activities

In addition to our Christmas themed bins we also started our Christmas sensory box and our Jesse Advent Tree. Please see the post for the sensory box here and the Advent Tree here.

Next week we will be studying the letter J and adding additional Christmas activities.

I am linking to:

Tot School

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Christmas Advent Activities

This year I decided to do a special advent activity every day with the kids (besides the chocolate) so we could talk about the real meaning of Christmas. I have replaced our normally daily Bible lessons with the How to Celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree ebook from Feels Like Home. I love the daily lessons since they are very appropriate for young children. Each day you have a verse, a song, a scripture and an ornament that corresponds to the daily theme. In order to use the book you need a tree and ornaments. I printed mine from A Holy Experience and glued them to red and green paper and then laminated them for durablity.

The kids have been enjoying this acitivity and I know that they are learning the true meaning behind Christmas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Allergy Friendly Advent Calendars

As a child I have great memories of using an advent calendar to countdown to Christmas. My mom would always buy both myself and my sister a chocolate advent calendar. All three of my children have food allergies so this is the first year I have done a chocolate advent calendar. I checked into food allergy friendly advent calendars last year for my oldest who was at that time still allergic to milk, but found them to be pretty expensive. This year my older son is no longer allergic to milk. So I purchased two advent calendars for my son and daughter, however my little guy T is still allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts and treenuts and is at the age where he realizes that they are getting something he is not. So I came up with a solution so everyone could enjoy an advent calendar. I saved an old advent calendar and carefully seperated the inner candy mold from the outer cardboard section.

I thoroughly cleaned the mold and dried it. Then I melted Enjoy Life Chocolate chips in a plastic bag and snipped the corner and filled each section with chocolate.

I stuck it in the refrigerator for about a half hour and then put it back in the outer section and taped it back together.

Now my little guy will not know that his advent calendar is any different and he can participate with everyone else!

I am linking to:
abc button

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Christmas Sensory Box

Our sensory box for the month of December is Christmas! I decided to use red and green shredded paper for the bottom, since it is safe for my little one and less messy than the last couple of boxes!

What is included in the box:
Plastic red and gold ornaments (The Dollar Store)
Tiny Trees (Hobby Lobby)
Candy Canes- I pulled these off garland (The Dollar Store)
Jingle Bells
Two stuffed snowmen

This has already been a hit, but have already found shredded paper on the floor. I am so excited that both my older kids are old enough to do fun Christmas activities. We have started doing other Christmas themed activities this week and I plan on sharing them every week.

Here is a look at last year's winter sensory box. The bottom of the box was regular rice, cotton balls, pom poms and a little bit of batting (think snow!) I also added several winter friends and buttons.

I am linking to:
abc button