Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birdwatching

This Bird and Egg Unit is my favorite so far this year yall.
If you've been keeping up with us, you will know that I blogged about how Sweet Pea and I built a Bird Sanctuary the other day outside our dining room window so we could become birdwatchers.  

We continued our transformation by reading the book The Birdwatchers, making binoculars from paper cups (provided by Mother Goose Time), and then patiently staring out the window observing quietly our bird sanctuary.


We started our day by reading The Birdwatchers.  In that book the girl and her grandpa use binoculars.  I showed Sweet Pea the Daily Poster of the Birdwatcher and she noticed the binoculars.  I asked her to look at the thematic poster and find someone using binoculars.  I love these little posters... so much packed into an image.
"Two be-oc-lars" 
What do you think they are observing, I asked.
"Ducks."


I informed Sweet Pea that we were going to become birdwatchers too.  First, we needed some binoculars, so we were going to make some!
Mother Goose Time provided us with the paper cups and Sweet Pea decided to use markers to color them.



After coloring them, I used an exacto blade to cut circles out of the bottom of the cups for the eye holes.  Add a little washi tape to make the division line between the lens and the tube, staple them together, staple some ribbon to the cups for a neck strap, and you have binoculars! 



While I did all that, I gave Sweet Pea the Birdwatcher coloring page that is part of the





Once I finished with the binoculars, we went straight to the dining room window to look at our 
bird sanctuary. 


LOOK WHO SHOWED UP!!!!



Sweet Pea was able to use her binoculars to see that little bird eat from her birdfeeder craft!
This little fella was super fast darting here and there... grabbing a seed and flying away.
It was perfect!



These little moments make me so happy that I am able to stay at home with her. 
I could have missed this!


Happy Birdwatching!!








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Building a Bird Sanctuary

I've been so inspired this past month by our Birds and Eggs unit by Mother Goose Time.
We built our own nest that my girl loves, which you can read about here.  In fact, she convinced Daddy to sit in it with her and read together yesterday.  Wish I had grabbed a picture. 

Yesterday, I taught the 2-4 year old crafts at our local co-op and I had the kids make birdfeeders from toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, and birdseed.

When we came home, Sweet Pea and I decided we needed to build a bird sanctuary. 
I hope the birds feel that way.

I dug out our old chiminea that has not been used in 9 years out of the shed and hosed it off hoping it would be a great bird bath.


I either need to fill it more, or put something in the center so the birds can easily reach the water.  
We placed it outside our dining room windows so we can easily watch the birds.  


My husband built this bird feeder last year out of some scraps of wood and left over gutters he used to build bookshelves in Sweet Pea's playroom.  My girl scooped out the seeds and placed them in the feeder.  "I help too, Momma." 


Mother Goose Time had us build a bird feeder once before out of pinecones, which you can read about here.  I wish I had done that instead of the toilet paper tube.  The minute it gets wet, it will fall apart.... lesson learned.
However, she was so proud of her work!  How could I not put it up?
2 toilet paper tube birdfeeders placed on a garden hook and outside our window provides the perfect spot to watch. 


Our completed bird sanctuary.
At least that's what I'm calling it.  
I bet it becomes more of a squirrel sanctuary though.


Now to read our book The Birdwatchers 


and make some binoculars from our Mother Goose Time unit!

You can read about us becoming birdwatchers here.



Happy Birdwatching!











Friday, April 14, 2017

Shaving Cream Paper Eggs

Easter is around the corner, and you know what that means...
EGG DECORATING.

This month our Birds and Eggs unit came with a 
"Who's in the Nest?" attendance tracker. Since it is just me and Sweet Pea, I decided to modify the nest to become a "How many are in the Nest? daily game for Sweet Pea. 


First we had some Egg decorating to do.
The supplies you need are:

-shaving cream
-food coloring or liquid watercolors
-flat bottom pan
-popsicle stick (2 minimum)
-paper egg cutouts
- paper towels


Place a layer of shaving cream into your pan, and add a few drops of food coloring.  Stir it all together.  The colors will begin to look marbleized. 



Place your paper egg cut-out, one at a time into the colorful cream.  Press the paper down a little to make sure the whole surface is covered.


Pull it out and scrape off the surface using the edge of a popsicle stick or other straight edged surface.  I couldnt take a picture of that step due to shaving cream hands.  Here's a pic of the finished product:


I added numbers 1-6 to our cube from Mother Goose Time, and now each morning Sweet Pea tosses the cube and then adds that many eggs to the nest practicing her counting.
You can see she rolled a four, added the eggs, and then tried to show me four fingers.  
We are still working on that :)  




I love how we can adjust this to work for us.  

On top of making pieces for an awesome game, Sweet Pea loved making shaving cream eggs so much, she even made a ton more to decorate the house for Easter. Love it.
If you love it too, be sure to pin the image below!


Happy Egg Decorating! 

Want more ideas?  Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.







Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Building a Reading Nest


The month of April we are studying Birds and Eggs
I have to admit, when I first heard the name of the unit, I thought it wouldn't be that much fun, but boy was I wrong.
It's only Day 1 and Sweet Pea is LOVING IT!  
Maybe it's the fact that her vocabulary is blowing up,
 or that she's been much better playing by herself,
 but whatever it is, she is absolutely loving this theme!


The first thing we did was build our nest.
I hung up a dead stem part from our hydrangeas from outside above the window. It'll be a great way to display all our bird learning... and even a nest we make later on today. 
Thanks Stacy for the great idea!


The nest idea was not mine, but Jennie's at Wonders Early Learning Center.
Once I saw her nest, I knew Sweet Pea and I would have to make one!
First dig out that kiddie pool from the shed and wash it out. (yuck)


Grab your kiddos and play pretend. 
Be birds and bring pillows to your new nest.  


Smile at the adorableness of your kid flapping his or her wings.


Put a sheet on it- flat or fitted.  We used a full size fitted, but a twin would definitely work.
After all those pillows were stuffed into that nest, Sweet Pea still asked for more.  
Girl takes after her momma about these pillows.


Now I am pretty crafty, but since Sweet Pea has been giving up her naps lately, I just haven't had the time to make her some wings.  I really want to though!  Seriously, check out Jennie's blog for the how to on making beautiful, easy felt wings for several types of birds! 
I had these angel wings stored (and never used) so Sweet Pea can now become a white dove.  
Once she put on those wings, she ran all through the house with her hands in the air "flapping."  I had to chase her to get a picture! She finally flew back to her nest.


The nest ready with her bird wings, and this spot is the perfect place for Sweet Pea to do one of her favorite things, READ.
She's obsessed with books.
As part of the Member Resources, each month Mother Goose Time sends a list of 20 books that go along with the theme and the daily learning activity. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  It allows me to find books that normally we would never read!  In fact we have found some of Sweet Pea's most favorite books because of these lists each month.  (Fiddle-I-Fee is one I had to keep checking out).

I used my same method of planning that I did last month using our Planning Journal.  Once I knew what days we were definitely doing, I highlighted the above list of what books I wanted to try to find at my local library.  I went to their website and was able to use the card catalog to find what books they had available that I could add to our reading nest this month.  
Today is Library Wednesday where we  head to the local library for Story Time and crafts.  Because I did all the prep work at home, I could quickly and easily find the books we needed to complete our Reading Nest.



These books will stay in our home until the end of the month, where we will return them and get the next batch for the next unit we study.  
If you have not taken advantage of your local library, I encourage you to do so! 
I have been completely amazed and blessed by what all our local library has to offer.  

I'd love to hear about your library adventures in the comments below, or your favorite book to read with your kiddos!


Happy Nesting and Reading!




Friday, March 31, 2017

A Trip to the Pond

When I moved to this town 17 years ago, I hated it! 
It is a small college town halfway between 2 major cities.
"There's nothing here!  There's nothing to do!"
   I was from "the city" when I first arrived in this town, and I didn't know all the gems this new area  had to offer.  Frankly when I first moved here, I didn't care much for even learning what this town had to offer. 

But this small sleepy suburb hidden in the woods, with "nothing to do," worked its magic on me, and now it is home.  It took me becoming a mother to really understand what all this place I now call home had to provide.
Where else can we go on a nature walk, visit a pond, go out for frozen yogurt, stop at Walmart for a few quick items, all in an a couple of hours in the afternoon?  
Not in the city, that's for sure! 

That's what our Tuesday afternoon looked like this week.
The perfect ending to our March Pond Unit with Mother Goose Time.


The University in town has a duck pond on campus.  We've been several times this month, usually with friends, but on this day, we explored and looked for the things we learned about over the month with our pond unit.

Sweet Pea knows which animals are geese and which are ducks!  I couldn't believe my ears when I heard her call the goose a goose and not a duck!


New baby ducklings! 


Fish gobbling our bread!  Sweet Pea made her fish face when she saw the bread being dragged beneath the surface of the water. 


Of course we saw ducks!  Mostly sleeping on what is commonly known as "duck island," but a few acted interested in the bread we brought to share with them.  One even flew across the pond which inspired Sweet Pea to fly like a duck.



I caught this picture of a dragonfly (I think) taking a break and Sweet Pea was scared of it. 
 "Bee!" She's scared of flying insects just like her momma.  


We also saw a smashed turtle, but I didn't take a picture of that.  Sweet Pea did crouch down, inspect the turtle, and said it's name; but, we didn't linger long.  I had called Daddy on our way to the pond, and he took a quick break to meet us and watch Sweet Pea have fun!  
This is one of those perks of living in a small town... Daddy can come by for a little visit or come home for lunch.  The size of this town truly is a blessing.
 

Sweet Pea even found some feathers on the ground.  She spent a lot of time throwing them, watching them float on the wind, and gracefully land in the water.  I wish I had better pictures of her doing this.


Can you see the feather underneath the stadium sign?  It is right above the water line.


 Sweet Pea would have stayed all night, but I knew we had to go to the store.  A quick trip to the frozen yogurt stand sounded so good.
Bye ducks! Time for some frozen yogurt and a quick trip to Walmart.


Being a mom has really opened my eyes to so many things I have taken for granted.  
Things I may have thought were curses, truly are blessings.
Much of my perspective has changed through the eyes of motherhood.
The Lord teaches me so many new things through Sweet Pea.
I hope I never stop learning.







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