Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby Play Friday: Finger Paints

I realize I'm posting this at the very end of the day, but its still Friday so it counts! This week while the girls were busy with a project I entertained Bug with some finger painting.

One thing I learned working in the preschool was that just because the paint say "Washable" doesn't necessarily mean it will wash out of your clothes. So before I let Bug wipe paint all over himself and every thing around him, I added a squirt or two of baby soap in with the paint.

Bug loves any thing that he can squish so finger paint is an obvious winner. I didn't bother giving him paper. I just let him paint right on the tray. When he was all finished, I took a piece of paper and made a print of his masterpiece.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slap Art

It's not that I'm opposed to paint brushes or nice clean art, but you know...I have a reputation to maintain. When children come to MY house they expect to get messy. They expect to get crazy, so I have no choice but to deliver the mess, or hopes will be dashed and children will leave disappointed. And so, I introduce to you...

Slap Art.

Early this morning Birdy helped me fill two rubber gloves with dried beans. We tied the openings together and we were ready for our mess. When CC arrived we went to the front of the house where I attached two large pieces of paper to the garage door. The girls used their bean filled gloves to slap paint on to their papers. They started slow, unsure if they were really allowed to do what I said they could do, but once they got over their initial worry they really got in to it.

At first I thought about doing this on the easel, but I realized that the force of the blows might send the easel flying around the yard. Even on the garage door, the sound echoed up and down the street every time a slap was made.

Eventually CC gave up her glove and used her own hands. Birdy picked up both gloves and made a double handed assault on her paper.
By the time the girls were done, they had paint every where. We had to use the hose in the front yard to clean off because there was too much paint all over them to make it to the bathroom.
I shared this at...
The Play Academy
It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow

Simple Sorting

It has come to my attention that Birdy needs some help in the fine motor department so I came up with a super simple fine motor / sorting activity for her to practice. I gave her a basket of pom poms in three different sizes and a pair of tongs. I then gave her three different sized bowls. Using the tongs, Birdy picked up each of the pom poms and sorted them in to the small, medium, or large bowl. Super easy to pull together and a great way for Birdy to practice those skills.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monster Madness!

We had a monstrous good time today at casa de Sense of Wonder with a terrifying array of monster related fun! First, we practiced our gross motor skills with a game I like to call Monster Invaders. The girls were charged with the task of defending the house from the hideous monsters which had invaded. The girls were armed only with their trusty bean bags and the famous "point, aim, shoot" technique taught to me and my fellow classmates by Mr. Woods the gym coach at Highland Park Elementary. The girls did amazingly well, knocking each of the hideous beast to the floor.

Our next activity involved magnets. Lots and lots of magnets, which I used to make these monster face magnets for the girls to play with. They each had a set of eyes (made from googly eyes and poker chips) mouths, noses, ears, horns, and hair which they could arrange in all manner of different ways to create these creepy creatures.

The final monster related activity was monster goo, the recipe for which can be found here.
 This is of course assuming that you follow directions. Birdy and CC prefer a more experimental approach, mixing a little of this and a little of that, so our goo was probably not the right consistency. But it was gross all the same.

I gave the girls googly eyes and let them play. They loved it! They would laugh and squeal with a mixture of disgust and delight. I shall call our Monster Madness day a complete success!
I linked up with...
Rainbows Within Reach Monster Linky party

Classified: Mom

Friday, September 23, 2011

Baby play Friday #3: Golf Ball Chutes

I often write that when I am trying to come up with something fun and exciting for the girls to do, Bug often wants to join in the fun. Well this week we flipped it. I set up this fun easy baby play activity for Bug to do, only to find out that it was good times for the whole family.

Here is what we set up. We leaned these PVC pipes up on the arm of the sofa. You can see they curve right up over the arm, I'll talk more about that later.

On the other end of the sofa we set up a laundry basket for collecting.

And underneath the arm of the sofa we set up our basket full of golf balls, and then the fun began.

This is a great example of a "cause and effect" toy that babies love so much. Bug spent the whole morning popping golf balls in to the chutes and watching them zoom across the sofa and plop in to the laundry basket. Once all the golf balls were collected in the basket I would help him transfer them back to the first basket. He had so much fun, and soon Birdy was joining in. It became more than just a baby play activity, soon it was a fun indoor activity for both age groups

So more about the lovely curved pipes. This could easily be done with straight pipes, but I had originally been trying to create something else with the pipes and so had tried to shaped them. You can do this by placing them in your oven for about 10 minutes on a low temperature (around 250 or 300) then, using oven mitts, you can take the pipes and bend them in to all kinds of fun shapes. My husband told me that his friend made pull up rings for his garage this way. I'm still saving these curved pipes for our eventual project but they worked perfectly for this activity as well.

So now that you have all been armed with this information I would love to see what wonderful things you come up with to do with it! I bet it will be amazing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

B is for Beans

This week we are learning about the letter 'B'. For our letter B activity I decided to have the girls practice their fine motor skills with this oldie but goodie preschool activity, gluing beans on to the letter 'B'.

 Birdy doesn't always have the patience for this kind of thing!

Now the debate goes on about whether or not to use food as art items. I am on the fence when it comes to our own class. I understand that if you worked in a preschool with children who were in an environment where hunger was an issue, then of course you wouldn't want to have them gluing food on to paper. But I happen to know that both these girls are very well fed.

I also volunteer in a food pantry every week and so I know that the issue of hunger is one which is very real and very near to us. So I would like to take a moment to talk about these beans and food pantry donation items.

The food pantry that I volunteer at is operated out of Big Sissy's middle school. It serves as a way to help families of students at the school who are in need. We receive donations from churches, individuals from the community, and other area non profits. One of the jobs I do is to inspect the expiration dates of all the food which has been donated. We can not send items home which are expired. A lot of people don't realize that "non perishable" items actually do have a shelf life. Even things like pasta, beans and rice.

 This is an example of one of the food pantry cabinets. These shelves are stocked with kid friendly items like beef jerky, peanut butter and fruit cups. We have another section for "family" items like pasta, sauce, beans and rice.

 These beans are an example of a donation which we, unfortunately were unable to send home because they had expired. We couldn't send them home with a family and so they were to be thrown away. I felt no guilt at all taking them to our home and use them in our Letter B activity.
So the moral of the story is...
If you are donating to a food pantry, please check your expiration dates!
Classified: Mom

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Letter B Sensory Tub

Our homeschooling co-op has taught me a few things. For example, I have learned that Birdy has a very short attention span. No matter how many cool things I plan for her to do, she will grow tired of them much more quickly than her friend (who for the sake of this blog will now be called CC). I find my self struggling to keep things fresh and exciting for her, but still give CC enough time to explore what we have.

A good example of this is the sensory tub. I had originally planed to have one tub a month, but by week two, Birdy was ready for something new. So I have decided to have two tubs a month. I think this will give them both time to play, but will still keep it interesting. Our last tub was a "Back to School Eye Spy" tub, but this new tub will focus on our letter of the week, 'B'. In it, I have included birdseed, beans, buttons, beads, bottles, and brushes. I have also given them scoops and cups to help explore.

The girls loved it. They loved to find all the little beads hidden in the tub. Each new one was like a little treasure. They filled up the bottles and poured out the bottles and collected as many buttons as they could find. They even played with the brushes (which I wasn't too sure about.) I already have the next two tubs planned out. Hopefully I won't run out of ideas before the end of the year!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Light Box Color

 These are just some beautiful photos I had to share of Birdy 
and her friend and the light box we made last month.
 I found these color paddles at Teacher Heaven years ago. They are great because you can overlap the paddles to create new colors.
 You can see that when you mix blue and yellow you get green, and when you mix green and orange you get brown.
 Down here in the corner Birdy made her favorite color, aqua marine,
by mixing blue and green.
 One of my most favorite parts of painting is mixing the colors. It makes you feel so powerful to create something brand new out of two totally different things.
I hope this activity made the girls feel the same way.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

Do you love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as much as I do?  Because I LOVE Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! I have read it to every class I have ever taught and I have yet to find one who doesn't giggle with delight when we all shout out "BOOM, BOOM!" together as loud as we could. My nephew even dressed up as a coconut tree for Halloween this last year. He had real letters Velcroed on so they could all fall off when it got too heavy!

This week we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in story time and then we had an extra special treat. We made coconut tree cupcakes. The girls did a great job with this baking project.
Cooking with children is such a great opportunity to teach, because they can absorb so much with out ever knowing they are learning. It is a great way to teach math, science, nutrition, not to mention practical life skills.
To make the cupcakes, just take your favorite chocolate cake recipe and bake up your cupcakes as you would normally do. We made 12 big cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes. Then the girls spread chocolate icing on to the tops. They mixed green food coloring in to shredded coconut and sprinkled it on top of each cupcake, then added these adorable little candles.
I was looking for alphabet shaped gummy candies, which I heard they make, but was unable to find. The candles worked just fine. With the coconut and the chocolate they tasted like and Almond Joy candy bar. So yummy. If you have any ways that you love to celebrate your favorite books, I would love to hear them. Here at casa de Sense of Wonder, we don't need much of a reason to celebrate!
Thanks for stopping by!
I linked this post with...
I Can Teach My Child
Classified: Mom