Thursday, September 9, 2010

B is for a BUNCH of things

I hope you girls don't mind me posting these things here, but I feel like it fits this blog better than my others...

So, today was my second and final day of teaching preschool this month.

B is for: (and yes, if it has a bold, I did really point out that each of those words were B words)

  1. The first station was Baking Banana Bread.  I had a gallon sized Bag at each kid's place at the table.  I gave each child a Banana to put in their bag. I sealed it up tight and let them go to town squishing their bananas. I had one little boy pulverize his banana. The rest did pretty well too.  Once their bananas were  sufficiently squished, I cut a hole in the corner of their bag and let them squeeze it down into the bowl. I'd pre-measured all of the other ingredients so I could have them easily take turns and dump them into the bowl. We mixed, divided it up into 4 mini pans, and set them to Bake.
  2. Next we Bowled in my kitchen. I put a line of Blue painter's tape on my floor for them to stand on, and a blue triangle to help guide the cups set up.  I ended up moving the line up because they were having a harder time with it than I expected. After that they had lots of knock downs.
  3. We headed outside and played on the playset for a little Break.
  4. Next we had the Bean Bag station. (Last night I busted out 2/child with a pattern and game ideas from Create, each with a B themed fabric. We had bugs, lady bugs, butterflies, and birds. I forgot to take pics of the others before I gave them to the kids. I cut one set of bean bags out smaller, though at 5X8 instead of the 5X9 and liked the size better for little hands.)  
    • For the first game I had them stand behind my coffee table and throw them into Blue Bowls. We cheered and screamed for pretty much any contact. If they tipped the bowl over, we cheered. If they made it into the bowl, we cheered. They seemed to enjoy it.
    • The second game was "Teacher says" put the bean bag help with body part identification and balance.
  5. The kids were getting a little rowdy by this point, so I got out a towel for each of them and told them that they were Beds and that we were going to read a Bedtime Book (The B book). Two of the kids really got into the bed thing; the other two didn't want to pretend they were sleeping.
  6. By that time our bread finished baking, so we stopped for a little snack.
  7. Last we made some bumblebees. I got the idea from a friend who has a tuition preschool here in town. She has lots of great preschool ideas on her blog. I put a packet for each kid together the night before in a ziplock that had the body, wings, antenna, eyes, and black stripes. They glued everything on with a little help. Dean's eyes don't match because he "borrowed Susie's eye" because his fell on the ground. He put a nice big glob of elmer's for the eyes. I wanted to sing the bumblebee song, but I was a bit to busy to think about it so I sang it with Dean later.
 It was a tiring, but fun and successful 2 hours!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A is for apple and acorn

I'm doing a co-op preschool with 3 other moms. I'll teach one week a month (two days that week). We don't have a curriculum, but we're going to try and focus on a letter for the day.  I started, and today was the first day, so A it was.

A is for Apple and acorn:

  1. We started with a generic coloring sheet with an apple and Aa on it.
  2.  I got out three real apples to compare and eat: yellow, green, and braeburn (for the red since I think red delicious are disgusting).  We talked about the colors, decided that they were cold, crunchy, and that they had seeds. I gave them each a "plan toy" wooden fruit or veggie and a butter knife to cut them apart (they have velcro in the middle) while I was cutting the real apples. They really enjoyed that and most tried to cut their real apple with the knife as well. I had them taste a slice of each one and tell me if it was sour or sweet. One of the boys kept talking about having to water apples so they can grow. 
  3. After snack, we read the book Ten Red Apples.  I made a cardboard tree with numbered apples stuck to it with clothes pins to go with the book.  As the animals in the book ate an apple, one of the kids got to take an apple off our tree.  At the end I let them put them back. The clothes pins are really good for fine motor skills. It was kind of Montessori inspired. I didn't do anything with the numbers with the big group. Too crazy. But in the afternoon, Dean wanted to play with this again and we put the apples on in order from 1 to 10. He really liked the tree.
  4. We sang "Apples, apple, apples" to the tune of  Peanut butter and Jelly. They all did the actions. (First you climb the ladder and you pick it, then wash it, then cut it. chorus. Then you take the apple and you bite it, chew it, and swallow it.
  5. We had an apples and acorns sensory tub inspired by this fall sensory tub by No Time for Flash Cards.  I had two tubs so it would be 2 to a tub (though the 3 boys ended up playing in one with the girl having her own), and each kid had their own bowl to sort the apples and acorns into. This was a HIT. All of the kids loved it. Dean got bored of it first (though he did want to play with it again later that afternoon), but I swear the other kids could have played there another half hour or hour!  They hid the acorns under the beans, dug them out with their hands, spoons, tongs, etc.  I had one little boy hording acorns like a little squirrel.  One liked burying his hands and elbows under.  They were very cute.
  6. I tried reading 10 Apples Up on Top, but Dean had a major melt down when he started putting the apples from our tree activity on his head and they wouldn't stay up there.
  7. Last for the activities, we did the lowercase apple a activity from NTFFC. I would have had them play outside to change it up a bit, but it was POURING today.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Challenge

Hi! It's Maren here and I am going to post our challenges for this month. I can't believe it is September already!!

I am so glad that Celia included LeAnne's Trick or Treat Tote in the challenge last month because that is on my list to do before Halloween. I was scrolling through some of her tutorials and remembered that she also had a cute felt Halloween banner which would be another fun Haloweeny thing to whip up for a decoration this Halloween season.

Since I have girls I am going to post a few links of some girly things that I have been working on or that I have been thinking about working on. They are great for either the little girls in your life or for yourself.

First: Fabric Hair Rollers from Life with Monkey. Have you ever tried those pink foam ones. Well check out this little girl's hair using rollers from this tutorial. WAAAY better results. I think I will be wearing these to bed.

Second: Shirring. I have been hit by the shirring bug. And I have LeAnne to thank for this! She did a tutorial for a cute little summer dress and tipped me off on some patterns that were for sale on etsy. I manged to snag a few patterns before the shop closed forever and I really have enjoyed them. I'll post more about them later. I think that LeAnne did a great job with her dress tutorial and the great thing about shirring is it is so easy and so cute and so versatile. You can add wide hems of coordinating fabric, ruffles, different types of sleeves. wider strips for cap sleeves, ribbons, spaghetti straps etc. You can even make a top for yourself as well!

 LeAnne also did a great tutorial on shirring. I am so glad that she included a picture of what the elastic thread should look like. Months before I started shirring I picked up some elastic thread at JoAnns because I knew at some point I wanted to give it a try. My thread was on a plastic spool. I kept hearing that it has to be on a cardboard one. I went back to JoAnns to find the stuff that I needed and could NOT find it. I even asked someone and they were pretty clueless as to what I was even talking about. The label on the thread I got said it was meant for shirring so I used it. And it worked. However, The first day my daughter wore her dress I noticed that some of the thread broke and now I will have to go back and do it again! Not Fun. So I will be finding another way to get the proper elastic thread. Just a word to the wise.

Third: I have really been wanting to make my oldest daughter some cute flower hairclips/headbands to wear to preschool. I love these kinds of projects because they don't take a lot of time and you can make a whole bunch in one sitting. Here are a few tutorials. These flowers can be used for anything - brooch, clip for a purse or bag, gift topper etc. No sewing machine necessary! (sorry I was not able to get any of the pictures up - but go ahead and click. You won't be sorry)

Felt Peony
Felt Flower - the scalloped roll method
Felt Flower - the glue method (love the button center)
Satin Flowers - the candle method - I soooo want to do this one
Rolled Fabric Flower
Fabric and Paper flower roudup from Little birdie secrets -I love the painted newspaper flowers. It would be a fun one to do with  kids to give away to someone special (Mother's day, Valentines day, birthdays etc)

 Recipe: Triple Layer Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love fall desserts and I love this one. I made this on a couple of different occasions. Once for my son's first birthday and now that I have an October birthday I think I am going to make it for my baby's first birthday next month. It is very yummy. I have done it with three layers, but it would also be yummy as cupcakes or made in a regular old cakepan. Delish!