Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Future President of the United States of America

Joshua - Daddy, someday I am going to be President!
Daddy - Oh yeah? (sounding stunned and confused!)
Joshua - But right now I am just thinking about it.

....A few minutes later...

Joshua - Ya know Daddy, I do not think I want to be President...because you have to be good allllllll day!

Uncontrollable giggling from Mommy and Daddy!

I am not sure everyone is aware of that. Maybe someone should send out a memo!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Memories!

Hope you all had a Happy Easter, no matter how you celebrate, whether the bunny paid you a visit or you celebrated Jesus' sacrifices.

We are sort of a "mixed" family and do a little of everything. It works for least for now. Joshua and I did the Resurrection Eggs and read a great book that goes with them. It is called Benjamin's Box by Melody Carlson. It is a beautiful book that was great to read along while we opened the eggs. Joshua really enjoyed it, as a matter of fact he has spent all week opening empty plastic eggs, putting items in them and asking me what these items remind us of!? Hmmmm, lego's?

Anyway...we had a good Easter, although the after Holiday time for me is always exhausting. I love the planning...but the clean-up - I could do without!

And on that note, I must get the house back in order! Here are some pictures, enjoy!
Joshua thanking Daddy for the Easter gift!

Digging through the loot!

Joshua on his indoor egg hunt! We got MORE snow Friday! Aaaaah!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Flower Arrangement Work

Today I thought I would share a "work" we have been meaning to do for quite a while. Since yesterday was the first day of spring and our weather is forcasted to snow today, this seemed like a good activity to demonstrate today! So we finally did flower arranging!

I bought a nice sized bag of fake flowers at the thrift store for about $1. I attempted to find vases but could not find similar sized vases smaller enough but sturdy and just right for Josh to use. So finally, I grabbed some of our saved, cleaned, and delabeled smoothie containers. I put a handful of marbles in each to make them more stable.
First, I had Joshua sort the flowers by color on the floor. We had 3 different colors. He is very good at sorting so this took probably less than a minute!

Next, I had him pick a color and put one flower of that color in each "vase". Repeating until he used up all of that color. I reminded him that this was work that needed to be done gently to take care of our flowers because they are delicate.
Finally, we placed the arrangements on the dining room table. Sure makes for a lovely centerpiece for Easter dinner!

He really enjoyed this work and showed pretty good fine motor and concentration. Josh and I really look forward to using real flowers once spring really arrives!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Open Book

I've been tagged by Melissa at Chasing Cheerios to blog on an "Open Book Meme."

These are the instructions:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open it at page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence/ phrase.

4. Blog the next four sentences/ phrases together with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig your shelves for that very special or intellectual book.

6. Pass it forward to six friends

Here it is:

(from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld)

*2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

*1 clove garlic, chopped

*1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Not too interesting, but it was the book closest to me! Actually planning to blog about the book/theory later!

I tag: Oh, I do not know! I am going to be a slacker again and just let you do it if you would like! ...sorry about that!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Bit of a Brag

So...Sunday night we were getting Josh ready for bed. Andrew and Josh were in the bathroom and I was getting fresh Jammies from the bedroom. Anyway...Andrew sort of poked his head out and called down the hall, "Did you remember to do the t-r-a-p? (Spelling the word trap) You see, Josh was obssessed with the notion that he was going to catch a leprechaun. He was inspired by a book that we had read Friday about Ireland.

So anyway...I did not here him well and he had to spell the word again. T-r-a-p, in the mean time I am completely confused, not remembering what in the world we may need a trap for when Josh shouts out "hey, that spells trap!" "Momma we forgot to set up our leprechaun trap!"

Well, needless to say, we were stunned! He has known his sounds for a while now but has been very resistant to doing anything more with them. Which is fine...he is only 3.5!

I guess this is the beginning of the end of spelling words in front of him. I thought I would get in a few more years with that handy trick. So here is the you think we could get a way with a bit of pig latin for a while? atWha oda ouya inktha?

Shannon (Oh and by the way...he caught the leprechauns but they must have used their magic to escape. Leaving behind tiny green shamrock bits and teeny tiny skateboards.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Felt Snake!

Thanks to Montessori Mama, I was inspired to S-t-r-e-t-c-h my

sewing skills and actually sew a button on a ribbon and create this COOL button work cleverly disguised as a snake! (Don't mind the unmade bed and jammies, we have had a tough week!)

Today was basket day, so we had a lovely morning snuggled up reading a book and doing some fun activities about St Patrick's Day, which included the button snake. Josh really loved it and put all the felt squares on!

If you are interested in making your own please check out Montessori Mama's website because she has great instructions and tips!


Book Idea!

This is not my original idea, so I take no credit! However, I thought someone might be interested in a fun way to make a book.

All you need to do is grab some press to close bags (I used sandwich size). Staple them together at their bottom, and cover the stapled edge with tape.

My version is a book of colors. There are enough pages for each color. I wrote the color word on a bag sized piece of paper and slid it in a "page". Then, I sent Josh on a scavenger hunt to find one small red item. He then slid a pretend tomato into the correct page. We went on until the pages were all filled. Then he read through the book himself identifying the correct color.

This book idea could easily be adapted for several different types of books. For example, how fun would this be to use on a nature hike to fill with different types (shapes) of leaves. And if it ever gets warm enough to grow any (boohoo) that is just what we will do!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sick again!

I had the flu this past weekend and now Josh does. I would so rather have it myself rather than Andrew or Josh! Honestly, it is easier to be sick then to watch them suffer.

I do not have much time but thought I would share a cute idea from another Montessori Momma at chasing cheerios. So here are Joshua's favorites!

Favorite foods- fish sticks, cheese, meatballs, crackers, fruit leather.
Library book (this week)- I really can not narrow this one! He has tons of books and we read a lot. We are currently reading the Nate the Great Series! So funny!
Clothing- Hats in general but his fave is still his Boston hat!
Toy- Lego's!
Work- stringing beads (he especially likes to make bead snakes)
Drink- water and milk
Rhyme- Josh rhymes everything...ALL THE TIME. So I would say his own silly rhymes are his favorite.
Outside activity- digging in the dirt and/or snow. Mowing the lawn was last years outside activity of choice. It will be interesting to see if it still is!
Nighttime activity- reading stories
Well...I am off to fetch some Pedia-lite and the thermometer. Feel free to share your Children's favorites as well!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Art Crisis!

Crisis? Well...maybe just confusion. Because, frankly, I am clueless! So if there is anyone out there who can help PLEASE do!

1. Beeswax - ya know...the clay like material. I can not find it anywhere and honestly am not exactly even sure of what I am searching for! I am trying to find something calming for Josh to do with his hands during circle time. We have not done it in months because it was such a NIGHTMARE! But I really feel like he is missing out on a ton of activities that he could be doing, calendar math, weather, nursery rhymes, etc... So what and where is beeswax????

2. Watercolor paper - Is this necessary and why????????

3. Mixing watercolors - HOW???? Am I using the wrong type? I just have the little dried tray (classroom style!) We are not quite ready for this yet but I want to be when he is!

4. Any art for complete idiot sites you can recommend? I am completely lost with this! (Funny cause I was the craft director at a summer camp for 3 summers!)

Shannon the artless

Friday, March 07, 2008

Okay...But How Do You Do it?

Had an email recently asking how I plan the Basket Mondays and other activities we do. So here it goes...
First, I decide on a subject. I try to focus on something of interest at the time. Or on a book I have wanted to share/focus on.
Next, I check my favorite preschool/kindergarten websites. (If not specified then it is likely a Teachers website where you will be able to download many free items they have created!) Some items members only!
Green Gables Kindergarten New favorite! Many free items! Many free items You won't believe all the great stuff here! Many free items! Another New Favorite!
I know this list is crazy long but you will find so much stuff you will not likely check every site every week!
If I am being crazy and still think something is missing then I just do a google search. This is mainly used when I have something specific in mind that I am not finding. (Google Search - go to put specifically what you want in the box. E.g. Preschool spider craft using paper plates.)

I also try to find activities to span different subject areas. Right now I am working on a Basket for the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. So I have found a counting book using a palm tree and coconuts for Math. A cute painting activity for Art. Letter tile cards for Language Arts. get the idea. I will try and find a cultural activity as well.

Hope this helps with planning! Hope you enjoy all those great sites!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Friday is Basket Day!

Our cozy Friday has now been named Basket Day. It is fitting for us since I put all of the planned activities in a basket and pull them out on Friday morning.

I thought that someone might be interested in last weeks basket day study of Jan Brett's
The Mitten. So here is what my basket contained...

Of course...the book! Which we read through several times that morning.

These cool print outs from Jan Brett's own website. 2 complete sets
*One pair of mittens on colored construction paper and set of animals to reenact the book.
*One pair of mittens used separately! The first I glued to a piece of construction paper for strength and covered with clear contact paper. Hole punched around the edge and Joshy "sewed it" with yarn to practice his lacing skills.
*The other half of the pair I just printed on plain paper and he decorated it as his art activity. I gave him scraps, markers, crayons, glue, scissors and yarn and he was able to do whatever he wanted.
*One more set of animals I colored and glued to cards. I also created 2 sets of labels (badger, rabbit, bear, hedgehog, etc...) and glued one set to the back. The other set he matched to the picture by using the beginning sound as a clue. He really liked this and it was great for him to have to figure out bear vs badger. (Sort of like Montessori 3 part cards!)

I also printed out a snowflake matching worksheet from half way down this page. I was shocked at how easy this was for him. He did the 1-10 match and counted those snowflakes right up and drew lines directly to the numbers.

The next activity we did was a sheet from I chose the circle the starting sound of words from the mitten story page but it is members only. However there are several choices for non-members, so check here!

Our final work was matching Uppercase letters to Lowercase. I used these mitten letters but any would do!

All this work took about and hour and a half so we snuggles up on the couch and watched Little Bear Winter Tales a movie I have been saving for a "snowy day". All in all, we had a great morning. We both had fun and got to spend time being sweet and cozy but it was still active enough that he was kept involved. Which can be a feat with those active boys, ya know?!