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!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

School Week 4, Letter D

This week my 19 month old played with:

Baby Einstein Neighborhood Animals, a soft fabric book about Bible animals, Fisher Price Noah's Ark and some sensory blocks.


Here are our preschool bins:

Fishing game, Scooping beads (both are from here but the fishing pole is an old toy I repurposed)

Sorting Fall leaves (Dollar Store), Pushin pins into foam

Letter D objects, Double Trouble Shape Match (from here)

She also did some pages from an old preschool book my son did not finish last year.

The letter D:

"Dirt Cups" (AKA pudding, crushed oreos and gummy worms)

We also made daffodils out of muffin liners and pipe cleaners and read the following books:

Go Dog Go (Eastman)

Daisy Head Mayzie (Seuss)

Dragon Pizzeria (Mary Morgan)

Dog Breath (Dav Pilkey)

Dogs Don't Do Ballet (Anna Kemp)


This week we finished up our fall theme. We did the following crafts:

Fall Mobile (courtesy of the library)

Leaf Rubbings

Yarn Pumpkins

Fall Trees

We read the following fall books:

Fall Leaves Fall (Zoe Hall)

The Scarecrows Hat (Ken Brown)

The Apple Pie Tree (Zoe Hall)

In Bible we memorized Psalms 37:4: Depart from evil and do good.

We studied Noah's Ark and made a collage (I did not realize how big these animals were!)

We also used Mama Jenn's color wheel when we talked about the rainbow.

I am linking this post here:

Tot School

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun Reading Pointer

My oldest son is just beginning to read. Reading is not one of his favorite subjects and is easily distracted. I had been using flashcards to cover the other words he is not reading but he was still distracted so I saw someone using a popsicle stick with google eyes. I knew the google eyes would not be interesting to him so I took him to Michaels and let him pick his own shape (a pirate ship) and glued it onto a popsicle stick.

So for less than a dollar he has a pointer he loves!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

School Week 3, the Letter C


Here are this week's boxes:

Transferring jingle bells (a favorite!), Matching the letter

Fall Leaf Sort (all items from the Dollar Store)

Letter "C" Items, puzzle

These are the crafts we did this week:

Cotton ball "clouds" on the letter "C" (printable from here

We made cupcake crayons (250 degrees for 15 minutes, let set until cool remove the paper and then freeze until set up).

Pom Pom catepillar (my three year old got crazy with the pom-poms!), Do A Dot Caterpillars

We read the following books for the letter C:

Curious George- H.A. Rey

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Eric Carle

Chicken Soup with Rice- Maurice Sendak (one of my favorite stories from my days in First Grade!)

Caps for Sale- Esphyr Slobokina

Harold and the Purple Crayon- Crockett Johnson



Our Bible Lesson this week was Adam and Eve disobeyed God. I did not have any crafts for the children, but we read through the lessons in Ken Hamm's A is for Adam.

At the end of the week we used the magnets from So Simple So Sweet to have the children re-tell the lesson.


We did two fall activities this week. First we made apples from yarn. They were adorable the directions can be found here.

We also made a fall pumpkin scene. The first day we sprinkled the seeds (spices), the second day our vine grew (ribbon), the third day our green pumpkins emerged (little green pom-poms) and the fourth and final day our pumpkins turned big and orange (pom-poms). The original idea can be found here. We used our gnomes instead of Calico Critters (we don't own any but own Maple Towns from the 80's but I am not ready to give them to my kids yet!)

We read books about apples and pumpkins as well as:

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?- Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

Leaf Man- Lois Ehert


We did a couple of reinforcing activities:

Pumpkin Poke Cards

Sight Word Cookie Flip

We had a crazy week. We started our week on Sunday (I would never do this, but my husband came home for a couple days and I did not want to have to worry about school while he was here). It was a good week overall and we accomplished pretty much everything we needed to. We were also able to attend a preschool song and storytime at the library (something that we have not done for a couple years, and the kids really enjoyed it!)

I am linking to:

Tot School

abc button

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun Letter and Number Tiles

The kids and I made a trip to Michaels yesterday to use my 50% off coupon on a set of Toob farm animals. After searching through every set I discovered they did not have any, but I found a great ancient Egypt set that will be used for an upcoming study on Egypt and a sensory box! On our way out I discovered that some of their dollar items had been reduced 50% and I found this scrapbooking sticker set. It contains four sheets, two of the alphabet, one of numbers and one of punctuation. I realized that maybe they would be great for word building (because I don't have enough letter yet- ha ha!).

I first cut out the sheets (they did not have perforation which made it difficult to tear out)

Then I laminated them, since if I just cut them I knew I would find these stickers stuck to items all over the house!

Then I cut them out!

I love that they included punctuation so they are very versatile and can be used for building sentences and math equations!

Friday, September 2, 2011

School Week Two, Letter B

This week I created a new bin of toys for T (18 months old). Unfortunately I just took the picture, and I should have taken the picture prior to giving him the bin, not at the end of the week since a few pieces are missing. Here is what is in his bin:
Winnie the Pooh stacking toy (the Pooh bear for the top is MIA- I saw him this morning but when I need him, he is nowhere to be found!)
Small metal bucket with pom-poms to dump
Plastic car
Eric Carl wooden magnet puzzle
Fabric book
Crayola toys (there is at least one and maybe two pieces missing)


Week two was a bit more challenging- I think that the novelty of school wore off for my three year old. We studied the letter B this week. To reinforce the letter we read a book every day. We read Brown Bear (I made the Heads and Tails puzzle from 1+1+1=1), Babar, Babar loses His Crown, The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor, and Bess and Bill (a book that is focuses on the letter B).

For our snack time we ate bear cookies (Teddy Grahams), bear candy (gummy bears), blueberries, bananas and made brownies.

To reinforce the letter B our crafts were butterflies made from tissue paper and pipe cleaners, made binoculars, did do-a-dot paint on the letter B (from Confessions of a Homeschooler), glued buttons on the letter B and made brownies.

These are the trays that I created for my princess this week:

Coloring book and Shape Hunt and Sort

Measure it and Counting/Matching (Gummy) Bears

Play-Doh Mat and writing on a dry erase board

My old Quiet Book (made by my Grandma) and Pom-pom Patterns

Letter B items and A-Z Spoon Match-up (she was definately overwhelmed and next time I think I would only do 4-5 at a time)

Stencils and Practicing folding

We continued on with days 4-7 of creation. For day 4 we created the ocean with foam pieces on blue paper, day 5 we made sun masks, day 6 (not shown) we "named" the animals with our huge collection of little animals, day 7 (not shown) we reviewed with our creation magnets from So Simple So Sweet, and then created the Days of Creation mini book.

We are still working in our Singapore math book but I had J do an acitvity with manipulatives (number magnets and mega blocks) I think it was too easy for him so next week I am hoping to come up with harder activities for him.

Food Group Mini Unit
We continued studying healthy eating by making a healthy snack tray for our refrigerator (it currenly has string cheese, yogurt, and carrots and it also had watermelon, strawberries and grapes but the kids demolished those off very quickly!). We watched a DVD about healthy eating made by Scholastic and made a lap book from Learning 4 Fun.

I am linking this post to:

Tot School