Friday, April 30, 2010

Outdoor Friday Fun!!

Take a look at what we did on this Beautiful Day!!!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today's Fun

Today was another great day... Although my camera is getting touchy lately. The battery is only holding a charge for a short time. I have a beautiful new camera, just to lazy to install the software on the computer. Will have to do it this weekend.

We started our day checking our Potato Heads. They are drying out very quickly, so we have taken to spraying them about 3 to 4 times a day. Fun, Fun!!! We also checked on our beans we planted in our new Greenhouses. Wow... we were surprised to see that Miss Michelle's bean popped out of the wet napkin and is growing very fast. It was all the talk, and lots of anticipation about when theirs will "POP."

We had some more review on shapes today, focusing on Triangle. We learned that Triangles have 3 sides, but that those sides don't always have to be the same size. So... triangles can look different from each other. We learned that other shapes, Square, Rectangle, Star, etc... all pretty much look the same ALL the time. They only get bigger or smaller. We went on a Triangle Hunt, then compared all the triangles we found to see if they all looked the same... Nope, they didn't. Yet, they all had 3 sides and you could tell they were each a triangle.

We also talked about numbers... We explore numbers by looking at, drawing, stamping, painting, comparing, reading books about numbers, and just about anything else you can think of. We make numbers part of our day, everyday. Counting, number hunts, memory games, calendar, sharing, sorting, and dividing our food/toys. The more we talk about, hear, or see numbers the easier it is for kids when they get to school. Learning in the form of play and daily life makes it even better, they don't know they are learning and kids can remember better when numbers are associated with everyday things.

Getting outside is the best part of the day. Sometimes they start asking at 8:30 in the morning... "Can we go outside yet??" and not everyone has even arrived yet... love it. The swings, racing cars, sandpit, and climbing the play structure were some of our favorites today. The boys wanted to see how high they could swing, then how fast a small truck would go down the slide compared to a big truck. Hmmm... we found that getting out of the way of the big truck was harder than it looked :)

Our toddlers had fun in the sand pit, making mud pies and filling and dumping the sand from one bowl to another. They also spent time going in the little house, coming out, opening and closing the door, and sitting at the little table attached to the house. It is interesting to watch, they go in, walk around a little in the house (all the while chattering to themselves), come back out (making sure to open the door, close it, and ring the bell), then sit down at the little table. The two of them did this about 4 or 5 times each. They just followed each other... of course until someone held the door closed and wouldn't let the other in :) But it was fun while it lasted. They moved to different areas after that... Cozy Coupe for 1 and the sandbox for the other... but they seek each other out to play most of the time. I love to watch them.

We had snack outside today... it was a beautiful morning. Not to hot, not to chilly. One of those days I wish I could figure out how to do everything outside... I am looking for some outdoor storage containers, that are water proof and not gonna break the bank buying. I want to have art supplies for outside, blocks, little animals or people, things that won't necessarily get ruined in the elements, but need to be stored. I will keep dreaming and one day I will get it done.

Tomorrow is Friday... Where did the time go???

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What We Did Wednesday!!

Just a glimpse of our day...

This Lock Box is a toy from the local lending library... I am so happy to have found it, and that our community has it. To buy this box would be $50 or $60... something I can't afford. The kids loved it. They kept hiding little things in there for each other to find. Ry found Kitty's... what a surprise :)

Our Hairy Potatoes needed some watering today... I am hoping they are getting enough sunshine... it seems my house has overhangs that help shield the windows from direct sunlight... we might have to move them outside each day for a Sun Bath :)

We finally got to make our Greenhouses. The kids enjoyed making them. We began at Circle Time talking about how plants grow... in soil, with water and sun. Then we talked about what would happen if we planted a seed without soil. I showed them the Greenhouse Ms Dana made for us and we took some guesses on if the bean was going to grow in the paper towel of not.
(and yes, those are Snowmen still in my window :) They are draft protectors and I am to lazy to put them up)

Some patterning fun, while we pick out our cool greenhouse decorations
bug, flower, bug, flower, bug, flower... to cute


This is what they look like on the back door... I just hope the sun gets to them or they will have to be moved too... I may just have to send them home, we will have to see.

I put the finger paints out today... sometimes it is fun to just spread, squish, splat, and explore paint. No need for paper, just explore, swipe it away and do it again... the messy hands are just a bonus :)

You know what, I was thinking today that I have hardly any Spring or Summer books. I looked for a book to go with our Greenhouse activity but in all my books, I couldn't find one. So, if anyone has any ideas or a link to a good list of books I should get for a Spring (growing, plants, roots) Theme, I would greatly appreciate it. For someone who has a ton of books, I can't seem to find this section (which means it is probably stashed away somewhere all together, or I accidentally lost a box of books in our move). So, I need to get some more. Thanks to all!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I love Tuesdays!!!

It was a Smart Start day!! I think Tuesdays could be my new favorite day!! We headed out the door after a breakfast of Bagels, Cream Cheese and Strawberries and as always it was an exciting morning with our new friends at Smart Start. The kids just love Miss Missy and playing in the "cool" playroom. (hum... what am I missing in our playroom) They got to play in colored sand, on the loft, and a real bonus, BALLS... INSIDE!!! How will I ever live up to that?? :)

When we got home we had our snack (playroom fun always makes us hungry) and went outside. The rain has held off and we got to play and run. Our sandbox and sand pit are still a focal point, today we managed to shovel and dump probably 1/2 the sand out of the sandbox and onto various parts of the yard. The sand pit NOT being one of those places. The kids made hills, ramps, and blockades for their Monster Trucks. That consumed a lot of time. I love that the sand is there, and they can freely move about the yard with it, but... pretty soon there will be no more sand in the box!! So, today we had to set some limits around the sand... it can be used in, around, and next to the sandbox or sand pit. Which includes the outdoor kitchen area. So, mud pies can still be made, and mud tea parties can still be had :)

How do you deal with sand in your yards?? I was thinking maybe my box was to small... but, I just think they like to transport it, build with it, and move it.

At Circle Time today we read our new homemade book... Kozy Kids "Who Do You See" Book. Basically, it is just like Eric Carle's "What Do You See" books but with our faces and names. Most people make one at the beginning of the year to get to know each other, but we decided to make ours at the end of the year... I am crazy like that :)

We also had a shape hunt, calendar, and some review on positional words. It is so hard at this time of the year to "work." We love being outside, playing, running and exploring. We have just 2 more letters to finish and then it will be just review for our preschoolers... then we will be on to our Summer Fun themes!!! I can't wait.

We were supposed to make our Greenhouses today, but I realized we had 4 boys and only 3 white frames... the rest were pink. So, I will be heading to the store tonight to purchase 1 more "boy" colored frame so we can get these greenhouses up!! I can't wait to see them, they sprout faster than our Hairy Potato... which the kids were frustrated today when there was no hair on the potatoes head!! :) So, we talked about growing.... how it has taken them 5 long years to get as big as they are. We found pictures of Little Miss M when she first started and then one from now and took guesses on how old she was when she started. They got the idea that the "hair" would take a while longer, sun, water, and our love to grow bigger. So, I hope they grow :)

I'll post some pictures tomorrow... dead battery in the camera today :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hairy Potato, Stunts, & Swings

Today we started our Plant Theme... Hairy the Potato, was our project today. The kids were so excited to complete this activity. We started out with a baking potato, cut the top (or bottom, whichever way you look at it) off, then dug out a hole (adult help needed here!!!). We then glued on eye, nose and a mouth (I used a hot glue gun for this, they told me where and they placed their pieces on the potato). We talked about what Hairy might be missing... hum... "Hair!!" someone yelled out. So we brainstormed on how we could get hair to grow in the hole... "Yarn," "Crazy Paper," (the paper we used on our kites) and " Spaghetti" were all great ideas :) Then I offered to let them take some of the grass seed that we used on the lawn this weekend to see if we could grow some hair. "Like our own hair!!" Princess Girl said, "My hair grew after I cut it with the scissors, see."

(Don't you just love the stage when they forget how to smile)

We thought they came out pretty neat... I thought Hairy was a good name, but each of the kids came up with their own name... like, Grassy, Tater, & Henry (ok, who knows where that came from???)

It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so we decided to spend our morning outside enjoying the beautiful weather. The kids loved the new sand pit... they spent a lot of time transferring sand from the box to the pit. Then they decided that the pit was high enough to use as a Stunt Pad. So, Stunts were being performed for a very long time. I always find it amazing that jumping, off anything, can be so satisfying to children. They jumped, got back in line, waited their turn, jumped again, over and over, for the better part of a hour. Amazing...

Little Miss M showed us how she could "swing" on the big kids swing today. I am not sure if this is something she learned over the weekend or she just "got" it today. She has been experimenting, practicing and playing on the big swings for awhile now. She has wanted to move the swing, while on her belly, since she can't actually get herself on the swing yet. The kids have been showing her how to do it, going as far as manipulating her feet to push off with. But, she just hadn't made the connection until today. I will have to ask Mom & Dad if they practiced over the weekend.

Despite how this photo looks, she was very proud of herself!!! I just caught her as she looked up from her work, so I think she was a little perturbed with me for bothering her.

The big girls were cheering her on!!!

We will be making our Greenhouses tomorrow, another activity the kids are excited about. I decided not to tell them what the seeds were... we are going to plant some in a cup and some in the "Greenhouses" and see what happens. It should be a lot of fun around here for the next couple of weeks... watching everything at their different stages of growth.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kindergarten & Bubbles!!!

Today was a big day for 2 of our preschoolers!! Today was Kindergarten Screening Day!!! The kids had such a great time (while I sat in a Parent Meeting). At lunch today the two boys went over what they did, how they did it, and why they thought they were made to do it. The one thing that stuck me (in a really happy way) was that they both KNEW they did a great job!! There was no doubt in their mind, voices or body language that they didn't do a great job. Not that they thought they were being "tested," everything was done in a playful way or in game format. I knew they would do great, but it was great that they came out of there with a feeling of success! That even if they didn't know something, the tester made sure that they still felt success and not failure!!! If we HAVE to have these silly things, I am glad the kids left feeling good about themselves!!!

When we got home, we had some pretty hungry kids, so snack was underway immediately!!! Then outside to run off some of that penned up energy!! We ran and played tag for a little while, then the kids began to go in separate directions. Some to the sandbox, some to the swings....
Then I got out the BUBBLES!!! We LOVE bubbles!!!!

Look at the way this little one puckers up those lips!!! She's got the the technique down pat!!!

Sharing... not always an easy task!!!

Waving bubble wands takes skill!! I don't know if you can tell, Ms Princess is down in the lower left corner, ducking to get out of the way!!!

Oh No... "Out, Shell??"

I have a tiny bubble container I got somewhere, just the right size for little hands (and we don't lose to much when they spill).

No big deal... there's more in there!!!

We moved the rest of the sand near our stumps, yesterday. The kids had the dinosaurs out and were playing the "Land of the Lost" (for those of you who don't know this show... it is a VERY old show about Time Travel. My husband got the DVD, of long lost episodes, out of the library to watch with the big boys, but Ry loved it too, so we let him watch. No problem... a very family friendly show. So, even though the others didn't know what it was about, Ry let them in on it and tried to tell them in his little 5 yr old way)

A new trend... off with the shoes!!! Now the problem is remembering to bring them back inside.

Love the purple toes!!! The feel of bare feet in the sand... Priceless!!!

This weekend I will go and purchase the flowers and veggies that the kids decided on for our garden. The want to try squash, tomatoes (I think we will try one of those upside down thingies) marigolds, and something purple (Ms Princess's vote!!). Next week will bring us to our "Green House" Activity (Another Shout Out to Ms Dana for that one), planting, and Hairy Potato Heads!!! I think it will be another fun week!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Litter Munchers!!!

Happy Earth Day!!!

Today we read "If I Ran a Rain Forest" by Bonnie Worth. We love this book and today really thought about the impact of chopping all those trees down will have on our Earth. We had another discussion about how to keep the Earth healthy... and I taught the kids about "Litter Bugs." I grew up knowing that if you threw your garbage or trash on the ground, out the window, etc... you were a LITTER BUG!!! Is that a northern thing or a 1980's thing??? Or maybe we don't have as many Litter Bug's now as we did back when I was growing up. Who knows... but the kids really got a kick out of it.

Little Miss M's Mom, Dana, thought of us yesterday, and brought us a great project... "Trash Munchers." A Sock Puppet that EATS all the trash it finds!! You take a white tube sock, add eyes to the top of the sock (near the toe, but not to close). Then take some fabric markers and decorate... anyway they want. We had some Monster Munchers, Dragon Munchers, & Kitty Munchers.

Having fun talking and coloring... What are we learning you ask?? How about Friendship, Communication/Language skills, Taking Turns, Problem Solving (at least 2 people wanted red at the same time) and Fine Motor Skills. They thought they were just talking and coloring :)

"Hi Muncher..."

"Munch, Munch"

"We love our Munchers!!"

"I got Shell!!"

Hey... Litter!!! A Litter Bug!!
(They thought the Litter was the Bug)

"Munch, Munch, Munch... I got it!!!"

Every Little Bit Helps
Walking on the Safety Rope!! Little Miss M... Loves it!!!

Our Neighborhood Nature Area is great... the kids called it the Rain Forest today.
Hmmmm.... what's that??

Not sure, but I think I got one too!!!

Running through the "Rain Forest"
(As you can tell, some of us didn't want to take our Munchers off)

Walking Home

All Our Litter Munchers!!!

What a Great Day!! We even got a beautiful, warm, sunny day to celebrate...
We also get to have a Birthday Party for Luke today... So, off I go to prepare :)