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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Construction Sensory Box

I know that November is almost over, but I never got a chance to post this earlier since my camera cord was missing until a couple days ago! Our theme this month was construction. Here are pictures of inside the box and all the contents:

What is included in the box:

The bottom is oatmeal (safe for my toddler- he won't put it in his mouth like the rocks)
Construction vehicles (five in a pack from Wal-Mart)
Large cone from The Dollar Store
Small misc signs and orange cement mixer from The Dollar Store
Medium sized cone and sign from miscellaneous toys

The kids loved this but unfortunately like most sensory boxes the bottom part ended up on the floor (but the oatmeal is very easy to clean-up since it can be vacuumed!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homeschool Revamp

After a couple of months into homeschooling I realized I have taken on a undetaking and have decided (out of necessity) to scale it back. I was preparing a new snack every day for our letter theme, a new book, a new craft, an activity for our theme and a Bible activity. It got to be too much since everything that I was doing was ideas I was coming up with or ideas I found on other blogs that I researched for hours. So while I am trying to still do fun activities I am trying not to put so much pressure on myself. I have bought a Bible cirriculum that so far (one lesson into it!) I am very happy with it. It has activities that are already there to go along with the theme. We are using Favorite Bible Heroes by Rainbow Publishers.

I am trying to use fun activities for preschool that go along with the letter theme, but instead of spending hours coming up with them or researching them I have decided to go with the activities from three of my favorite blogs: 1+1+1=1, Confessions of a Homeschooler, and Mama Jenn. They have awesome printables and fun activities. Carissa at 1+1+1=1 also has new kindergarden printables (Angry Birds is already a favorite) and great sight word printables. I would encourage anyone homeschooling young children to check-out these blogs. I am hoping to start-up my weekly re-cap again soon (I am going to have to find my camera first- as it was lost in the move).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Button Sorting Busy Activity

My three year old daughter absolutely loves this activity! It was so easy to put together and occupies her for a while (aren't those the best type of busy ideas??) I had a bunch of leftover buttons from my hairbow making days and the tray is from her Melissa and Doug bead set. She can sort the buttons by color, size and shape. The tray is really fun to use since it has a lot of sections that are different sizes and keeps the buttons (mostly) contained.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Back

After a few weeks away I am back! Things have been totally crazy we bought a new house, I made a trip with the kids to see my husand, then we found out we were going to close on the house in less than two weeks so I went back early from my trip to pack-up our house and tie up all the loose ends. Then my mom had surgery and we ended-up taking an unplanned "fall break" because of moving everything and all the craziness. We still need to sell the other house and I still have a bunch of things to settle but hopefully most of the craziness is over.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Farm Sensory Box

Our sensory box for October is the farm. We will be doing a mini unit on the farm later this month so I decided to make a farm sensory bin to go along with the unit. The bottom of the box is filled with cracked corn (this idea is from Counting Coconuts). I wanted to fill it with corn kernels, since they are less messy but I figured they would be more of a choking hazard for my 20 month old.

The rest of the box contains:
Felt Barn (Target Dollar Spot last year)
John Deere Tractor
Toob Animals- Petting Zoo set (Michaels)
Farm Animals (Target)

The kids are already enjoying it, but it is definately not mess free!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun Busy Activities

My husband was relocated a few months ago and is currently living 8 hours away from us, so we travel to see him about every couple of weeks. Since we spend a lot of time in the car (the trip is 8 hours for my husband to drive, but I have not been able to drive it in less than 9 1/2 hours with the kids- most trips are well over 10 hours). My children are 18 months, 3 1/2 and 5 so they cannot occupy themselves! I hate having them watch hours of movies on the trip so every time we travel I try to put together new busy activities for them (when we are finally moved down with him and do not have to make such frequent trips the activities will be homeschooling busy bags!) Here are our activity bags from our last trip:

All the bags neatly in a large storage bag (they did not look like this after we arrived!)

Two large superheroes from a garage sale

Barrette and hair band matching from My Montessori Journey

Markers, crayons, construction paper and foam stickers

Laminated paper dolls (they have velcro on the back of the clothes and on the front of the dolls), they also have magnets on the back of the dolls to stick to metal cookie sheets.

My little gnome dolls (you can see my post here)
Clip art pictures printed and lamintated with magnets on the back

Homemade lacing cards (you can find the printables here and here)

Pasta lacing on pipe cleaners

Easy reader books for my son

My children really enjoyed these acitivities, but I will admit whenever I bring them a bunch of activities in the car all they want to do is watch television but whenever I only bring a few they want more- I can never win!!