Friday, January 28, 2011

Little Eyes Upon You..

I walked into the bathroom and this is what I saw:



There are little eyes upon you
and they're watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly
take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager
to do anything you do;
And a little girl who's dreaming
of the day she'll be like you.
-unknown



Wow!  What a good reminder!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Printable Refrigerator Magnets



Where are the blueberries Sophia?  

After our recent trip to the zoo Sophia has become even more enamored with animals and their sounds, so I decided to make some farm animal (and fruit) printables for our refrigerator. Of course you could also use the dishwasher and cookie sheet too! These are great for my 16 month old, but have also been adapted for my 3 1/2 year old since I included words to match the pictures.  In fact, Audrey spent more time with the magnets and had loads of fun sorting the animals (big/small, 4 legs/2 legs, in the house/in the barn).  Audrey knew some of the shorter words and we worked on initial sounds for the longer words, like strawberries.
Cost of making these magnets:
Printing $0.10
laminating $0.10,
18 magnets $0.54
Total Cost: $0.74    Now that is in my budget! :-)

Watching your children be excited about learning: priceless

Monday, January 24, 2011

Paint by Number Sight Words!!

NEW!  Corlor by number sight word printables link!
I am super excited about this idea because I know that Audrey LOVES to color by numbers.  So I thought...why not paint sight words by number?  This one was a grand slam in her book!  I plan to use the file folder to incorporate more sight word practice ideas.  She painted the word they since it is her sight word for the week.  I used a file folder because it is sturdy and can handle the tempra paint.  You could easily just color by number if you didn't want to use paint.  Also, if your child is still in the process of learning how to read their colors, you could write the numbers and words in their color.
Example: 1= orange, 2=blue, 3=red and 4=green.

Oh my!!! What happened to that 'e'?  Don't worry, I fixed it:)




Since the sight word paint by number was SO successful, she begged me to do another.  I didn't want to confuse or overwhelm her with words so I drew (to the best of my ability) a butterfly.  She was extremely proud of her accomplishments!!  
Check back soon for more sight word practice ideas.

Teething Treats

Toddlers go through so much pain when it comes to teething.  I'm sure glad I don't remember my teething experiences:)  In addition to healthy popsicles, frozen blueberries help to alleviate Sophia's 16 month old molar mouth.  Easy, healthy, delicious and a temporary pain reliever.  Both, Sophia and Audrey, gobble up frozen blueberries by the bowlful!  We have really enjoyed the book, I Can Eat a Rainbow by Annabel Karmel, which was given to us by a good friend.  Both of my girls really love to look at the creative pictures of vegetables and fruits turned into animals.  Sometimes we try to see if we ate all of the colors of the rainbow...today we covered blue with all of those delicious blueberries:)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sorting

I have added a new color task for Sophia.  Since she really enjoys putting her blocks into containers, I thought I would try to see if she could match the correct block to the correct container.  I only used two colors so as not to overwhelm her.  It is definitely a skill we are still working on, but something she really had fun with.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Applesauce

I love making homemade applesauce for my family.  It's fresh, healthy and delicious.  It all started when I had jaw surgery a couple of years ago.  I couldn't eat solids for 6 very LONG weeks!!! So a good  friend of mine, Leslee, made me homemade applesauce.  Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!   She told me how to make it and I was amazed at how easy it was!  Here is the recipe: (sort of)

Core, peel and cut apples into chunks. I used 8-10 medium/large Gala apples.  I'm not sure exactly because Audrey and Sophia eat a bunch while I am cutting.
 Add cinnamon to taste and a couple of tablespoons of water.  If the apples are bitter, you could add sugar, but I prefer them without.
Stir and simmer till fork tender.  Put them in a food processor.  You can make the applesauce as chunky or as smooth as you like.
Enjoy!  How easy was that?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Colors

I am in the process of teaching Sophia colors, in this case RED.  I got this idea from growing a godly girl.  Audrey and I had fun searching the house for red items to put in Sophia's box.  Next week we may try the color blue.  Sophia has had fun playing with the RED items even though she may or may not fully understand the concept.  

Sight Word Practice

Since I started incorporating sight words as part of our preschool "curriculum", Audrey has experienced great self confidence in her reading abilities.  I referred to the Dolch Sight Word List, which is available here.  I purchased a set of level 1 sight words from Lakeshore and an inexpensive pocket chart from the dollar section at target.  I put about 16 words in the pocket chart at a time and we practice, practice, practice.  Here are some ways we practice:
  1. I bought a set of bathtub crayons for Audrey to practice writing the words while bathing. 
  2. Paint by number sight word practice.
  3. Use colored salt -just pour a cup of salt into a plastic baggie with a few drops of food coloring and mix well.  Pour the colored salt into a container and allow your child to write the sight words with his/her finger.
  4. Write sight words in shaving cream
  5. Practice at starfall.com in the sight word section
  6. Spell out words with letter magnets.
  7. Print these sight word worksheet, put them in sleeve protectors and file them in a binder.  Pull out the sight word you want your child to practice and use a dry erase marker.  Be sure to erase when you're done or the marker will be difficult to get off.  Reuse again and again!  
  8. Make your own memory game with different sight words.
  9. Roll out playdough to form the letters for each word. 
  10. Print some sight word books for this site.
  11. Play my pile, your pile.  (Audrey LOVES this one!) Use a stack of sight words, turn over one card, if he/she get the word correct (quickly) then he/she keeps the card.  If not, the sight word goes in Mommy's pile.  At the end, we count to see who has the most.  

The Zoo


The Petting Zoo

Unfortunately, we did need to tell Audrey that the little round pellets left by the deer
SHOULD NOT BE PICKED UP!!

The imagination Station

Tracing animal tracks



The water area with no water

Sweet moments!



We decided to take a trip to the zoo last week. Audrey has always enjoyed going to the zoo, but this trip was especially exciting for Sophia, because at 16 months she is able to identify animals and better appreciate her experiences. However, I did notice that all two legged creatures are "birdy" and all four legged creatures are "doggie."
The girls had a terrific time and so did we!

Healthy Popsicles



Popsicles are a coveted commodity around here. We make tons of smoothies and use the leftovers to make popsicles. I feel good giving the girls these sweet treats because I know they are not loaded with tons of sugar and preservatives. These are simple and delicious! Just add your desired ingredients in a blender, pour into popsicle molds and enjoy!
Ingredients:
Frozen strawberries
Banana
Frozen Mangos
Mountain High Yogurt
A small squeeze of agave
Flaxseed
We use a variety of frozen fruit in our smoothies including, but not limited to, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, papaya and fresh squeezed orange juice.
These popsicles are especially good for teething toddlers:)

43 Months



This week we have been working on the letter W. She really enjoys using a toothpick to poke holes in the paper to form the shape of the letter. I found this resource here. This activity is great for building up those fine motor skills needed for writing.

Sorting is an activity that preschools really enjoy. Here we sorting different dried beans onto a bean mat. After sorting the various beans, we expanding the activity by counting them, talking about the differences and glueing them onto the paper.



Audrey is always rhyming words. I am sure that she picked it up from the PBS show Word Word, which she loves. She also likes to do Kumon activities. I usually put them in a sheet protector so she can use a dry erase and do them over and over. We have a large binder full of Kumon pages in sheet protectors. There are days in which she will spend 30-60 minutes working on them. Today she enjoyed rhyming words and writing words out. The step-by-step process provided by the Kumon worksheets allows a child to be successful by building confidence.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bob Books

Audrey has just about finished the first set of Bob Books. She is so proud of her accomplishments and is eager to have Daddy listen to her read one of the books. I have found a few resources that have made the Bob Book journey a little more exciting. First, these printable charts have been a helpful motivator while tracking her success. After completing a book, she puts a sticker next to the title. When she reads the same book a second time, she adds another sticker. In addition, the Bob Book website offers coloring pages under Fun Stuff For Kids.

Toddler Books


Both Sophia and Audrey love reading books. They will sit by themselves and read book after book. I have frequently seen Sophia in Audrey's lap as she reads some of her favorite books to her, but perhaps the most coveted reading spot is found in Daddy's or Mommy's lap.

 At 15 months, here is a list of Sophia's favorites:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
Jesus Loves You
Five Little Monkeys
Ten Apples Up On Top
That's Not My Lion
That's Not My Puppy

Preschool Math



Math has been an area that we have not really focused on until recently. Since I started introducing Audrey to more hands on math activities she has improved tremendously! This activity is with a penny graph. You simply take ten pennies and flip them or put them in a jar and pour them out. Next, you graph which ones are heads and which ones are tails. We counted each set and then used a paper representation to glue onto our chart.

This number wheel activity was download at homeschool share and was a huge hit with Audrey. You print the number wheel, laminate it, cut it out and write numbers 1-10 on clothes pins. She matched the numbers to the dots. I stored the activity in a large ziploc bag and filed it away in a folder.

15 months



I have been trying to focus on specific tasks for Sophia to enjoy while Audrey and I work on preschool "curriculum". Sophia is eager to join in the fun and especially likes to drop coins into her sister's piggy bank. This little activity will keep her busy for at least 15-20 minutes at a time. However, since I have been providing her coins from my own personal collection, Audrey seems to get richer while I am getting poorer!




Here is an inexpensive activity that Sophia loves! We used an old Parmesan jar to transfer dry penne pasta into the holes. Thin dry spaghetti would work with tiny holes too!

Pedicures

Audrey and Mommy had a wonderful time getting a pedicure at the nail salon. She was so proud or her bright pink toenails with flowers. Sophia wanted to get in on the action too by painting our toes with a paint brush:) Girls are so much FUN!

Painting













I recently got a Vitamix blender and I LOVE it! With all of our smoothie making, I was going through a blender every 10 months. Finally, I broke down and bought one. One of the recipes in the book was for finger paints. The recipe was simple and the girls loved exploring.

The Beginnings


The cliche, "It goes by so quickly!" rings true as we raise our girls. The moments turn into days, the days turn into weeks and before you know it they are 3 1/2 and 15 months! One day we will wake up and they will be headed to college or some other adventure. Where did the time go?

In order to capture the moments in time and cyberspace, I decided to start a blog. I want the girls to remember their childhood and see all the experiences they had each day. Admittedly, I want to remember their childhood too! At the end of the day I feel a little sad. I realize that I will never get this day back again! They will never be 3 years, 6 months and 13 days old. Therefore, it is my hope to capture their lives in chronological order and enjoy each day. I wish that I had a diary of my life growing up, or maybe not :) Nevertheless, here is our journey.
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