Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fiesta Birthday: Maraca Making

I don't know where the time went, but Sweet Pea turns 2 on Friday.... tomorrow.  Time is so precious, so fleeting.  I only get 16 more years.  It's not enough time.  So, I am going to relish each and every moment I can... well try to at least.  

We are hosting a little FIESTA themed birthday party for Sweet Pea on Saturday, and this past week, I have worked on her decorations and favors a little bit each day.  As I was looking at my to-do list, I realized there were things Sweet Pea could help with and making maracas was perfect!

I found these directions on Pinterest...where else?!  Perfect activity for kids to decorate at the birthday party, and a perfect thing for Sweet Pea to help create.

Break out the rice sensory bin, be sure to include all the farm creatures to add as an element of distraction :)  

Let your little one scoop some rice into the cups.  Great coordination and fine motor skills. 

Let your tot take control. "Momma I can." Look at that face! It just reads "Look at what I can do!"

Fill how ever many cups you need.  We did 25.

Hot glue another cup on top while your tot plays  with the animals and people in the rice sensory bin, and wrap some fun washi tape around the hot glue (not pictured).

Keep going until you have all your basic maracas made. 

Now all these shakers need is the touch of a child's artwork.  We will break out the permanent markers and crayons this Saturday, and I will take pics and post the finished ones in this post.

Have fun building memories making maracas! (love that alliteration!)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mother Goose Time: Christmas in July

Holy Moly!!! Am I excited to share this with y'all today!!!  I am REALLY excited to share it with Sweet Pea, but we are going to wait until August for me to show her... 
You should feel VERY SPECIAL! :)

So what is it?

A monthly box filled with daily activities based on a theme for that particular month.  This box that I purchased is for August and it is SCIENCE LAB. 
(As a former 6 year Science teacher, I am absolutely stoked!)

Why did I buy this when I am a former teacher and could probably make lesson plans myself?

Time my friends...Time.  Time is priceless and a hot commodity around here, so anything that can save me a little time, and help me plan fun and engaging experiences with my girl are what I am all about.  Plus, I don,t know about you, but do you ever try to get something planned and before you know it, you've been on the internet seeing a million awesome ideas! Unfortunately you're not sure which one you want to commit to, and then all of a sudden, you see you have just wasted 2 hours of that precious time, and you have nothing to show for it?!?!  
I hope it's not just me.

I met the Fed Ex guy at his truck... yes my girl was napping and I didn't want him knocking or ringing the bell... but I also could not wait to get my hands on this box!

It's totally ok if you "oooooooh" and "ahhhhh" when you open the box... I might have jumped around like it was Christmas.  I think it was the teacher in me coming out.

When you open the box, you will find your Getting Started Kit (Circle Time/Calendar pieces), your Teacher Toolbag (manipulatives, teacher guide, planning journal and so much more). I ordered the Little Goose Supplement for my little girl since she will have JUST turned 2 when we start
 Mother Goose Time.

There is also a Circle Time bag with the items you see below to help with beginning and closing the day.  There are even SONGS!  I would love to sing something other than The Itsy Bitsy Spider!  We sing that at least 20 times a day... minimum.  Tell me I am not the only one.  

Okay y'all... these manipulatives are SPOT ON.  From just a Science Teacher standpoint, I am so impressed!  Sweet Pea gets her own set of plastic beakers!  AND they use the METRIC system of measurement!  Seriously, that is one hard thing to teach American kids who ONLY see the Customary System, and when they start Science...wham! Only Metrics.  So I am so excited to see that these are Metric, and yes we will be using these again and again and again...

See those red and blue things? Giant plastic screws my friends.  Sweet Pea will be in my makeup in no time screwing all the lids off my foundation after practicing with these awesome manipulatives.  And y'all... this is just 2 items.  Within the entire box, each day just about comes with something for you to add to your stash of kid supplies!

It even comes with a book!  This is a Biography PRESCHOOL book! BIOGRAPHY y'all!!!  
For kids and TODDLERS!  
(I know this post has a lot of caps, but guys I am so excited!)
Not only that, the way this book is set up is absolutely stunning. The pictures are great, and the writers totally understand that this is for kids from 2 year old-6 year old.  That is a WIDE reading range my friends, but it is no problem for the Mother Goose Team!
  When the authors wrote the book, they made some words BOLD so that with a toddler you can just read the bold face type and the book makes just as much sense as if you read it word for word! See the picture below to get a full understanding of what I am talking about. 

So when I read this to Sweet Pea, I would say, "Isaac Newton loved learning, and especially loved going to school."  This book grows with the child... GENIUS!

So that's all I have for today.  Stay tuned, especially in August as Sweet Pea and I share our Adventures in the Science Lab with Mother Goose Time.

Until then, I will be making, decorating, and creating all things FIESTA themed for Sweet Pea's 2nd Birthday.  

Hope to see you back here! Oh, and if you have a Tot/Preschooler at home, I HIGHLY encourage you to take a look at Mother Goose Time

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere!

There is nothing like watching the world through the eyes of a child.  I am in complete awe that God has chosen me to be a mother to this little girl.  Watching her grow, learn, and experience life, is one of the biggest blessings I have had in my life.

I recently bought this at my local Walmart for no rhyme or reason except to see Sweet Pea play with it.  It was the best $20 I spent in a long time I think! She gasped, squealed, and said "Whoa, Momma!"

Why?  Check out this face :)

She ran, chased, reached, and did her very best to catch all the bubbles. Most fun workout ever! 


That picture with the bubble over her eye... I love it!  And look at all that sweat in her hair... she definitely got her sweatiness from her daddy.  It takes me forever to break a sweat, but she and her daddy break one in no time. 

In love with the bubbles.  

So this might not be technically Tot School, but here are somethings that she learned /experienced:
- a hard core workout running outside trying to catch the bubbles
- wind or blown air creates bubbles
- you can see through bubbles (transparent)
- they don't last long at all
- gentleness is key when playing with bubbles
-they are magical

Every time we go outside now she asks for the bubbles.  We now have bubble wands (Dollar Tree) to make our own big bubbles and I just love hearing her say, 
"Whoa, Momma!"

Isn't that what learning is all about?  The Whoa and Wow moments.

Hoping you and your little one get to have some "Whoa, Momma" moments this week! 

This post has been linked to 1+1+1=1

Friday, July 8, 2016

Getting Ready for a FIESTA: Invitations

Pinterest made me do it.  Do any of your sentences start out that way too? Well, Pinterest is helping me plan my little Sweet Pea's 2nd birthday... we are having an all out Fiesta before we Siesta!

So you have to start with cute invites for a party and I found this image on Pinterest...

I love the little fringe on the top and bottom right.  Super cute, right? and totally says Fiesta!
So I made some... not entirely as cute as the above pictures, but I love them and am proud of them... plus I used a sewing machine to sew on paper, and it cost me NADA since I had everything on hand! All you need is carstock, a printer, tissue paper, and a sewing machine with thread.  Here's how I made these:

 The front of the finished invitation.  I printed 2 invitations on 1 piece of 8.5x11 white carstock, and then trimmed them down to fit in an envelope I already had.
 The back of the invitation.  It was just too plain without the little fringe.  Yes, there is such a thing as too much fringe in my opinion, but not on these :)
 So here is how to attach the fringe.  Get some tissue paper colors you like- I used pink, orange, yellow, and blue to match the donkey pinata I found at Hobby Lobby.  One strip was about an inch wide, and the other was about 3 inches.  I did not do any specific measurements... no rulers on this one.
 Use a paper clip to keep the tissue paper in place.  Do you see what plagues me?! And I didn't even notice it until I started putting the invites into envelopes.... I didn't have the number 2 placed in the top of the invitation. Ugh.... that's what happens when you have an idea, change it, but forgot you already made some before the change...I digress....
 Borrow your BFF's sewing machine for over a year and then take it out of storage to make these invites.  I guess you could use glue, but I seriously think it would take longer and not look as good.  Maybe if you used a glue runner...definitely not white school glue.  Anyway, I used matching pink thread because that was what was in my machine. Praise the Lord!  I didn't know what I was going to do if I had to re-thread that bobbin. YouTube it, I guess.
 I even back-stitched at the top and bottom.  It just adds a little more security.  Then use your scissors, make little snips down the sides, and ruffle them up with your fingers.  So cute! And nothing says FIESTA like FRINGE!

 The finished product... I'm totally digging these :)

 Hope this helps you have a HAPPY FIESTA!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fun with Light: Overhead Projector

Sweet Pea is about to turn 2 later this month!  Where has the time gone?  As she continues to grow, I have been researching more and more about Reggio Emilia and Montessori methods of teaching. I taught public school for 8 years and that is what this blog has mainly been about.  But now as I have been stepping back from public school teaching and learning more and more about motherhood, I am getting just as excited as Sweet Pea in learning how to best approach teaching her.  

Some things I know about my girl... 
  • she is quite cautious- she won't really try anything new unless she's seen someone do it or someone is playing along side her
  • she is very neat- she likes to put everything back in its place.  It is very rare that she will just leave stuff out.  (she did NOT get this from me)  
  • she likes to stay clean- smash cake?! I think not... she just poked a hole with one finger in the same spot the entire time.  
I say all that because I thought playing with light would be right up her alley!  She can experiment without getting dirty, things aren't going to spring out of no where, and she has control of the play.  Anyone else have a little one like that?  So here's what I did...

Firtst, I cut some dividers I had just laying around in a binder.  I cut the pockets off so that I could cut shapes from them and use them on the projector.

I first set out the projector and let Sweet Pea explore the machine while it was still off.  I asked her if she knew what I should do with the plug and she walked over to the outlet.  After turning the projector on, she explored a little with being able to adjust where the light went, but she was all about putting something on the light.
I remembered that I had purchased some colorful circles for light play a while back, found those and placed them on the light.  Sweet Pea's response: "Whoa, Momma!" Gotta love it!

 She grabbed some of the circles, ran to the wall, and matched them to others!  So much fun!   But then she remembered that she could adjust where the light went, and then she really had some fun. Sweet Pea giggled as the colors were on the ceiling, crawled and danced with the colors on the floor, and played with them against the wall.  My heart melted the entire time.  

Hopefully, we will continue to explore playing with light throughout the rest of this week.  I can't wait!  What are some things you have done to play with light?

This post has been linked to The Gathering Place week 182 on 1+1+1=1 and amazing site for all things to do with Tots and Preschoolers!
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