Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sea Shell Count and Match!

I made up a fun counting and matching game for my little guy, just using our collection of sea shells and an old berry container! All 3 of my kids love to play with this, so I also made it a memory game too, by putting in twice as many shells!

Print out the numbered shell pages and laminate them, cut out each individual shell. Then mark up each shell with 1 number (numbers 1-12). I used a broad point sharpie and that works perfect!

For the original game, they pull a shell out of the box and match it to the same shell card. It's a simple card, but keeps them occupied for awhile. I also have them say the number out loud when they pull it. To play the memory game, they put the cards away and take out all the shells and then just turn them number side down and get playing!

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Adventures in the great Midwest! Part 7

We had a playdate yesterday right up the road from where we live! It was time for Monkey Joe's! (see, we don't always have education on the brain!! we know how to have fun! haha). We met up with 2 of their best friend's and had an absolute blast! Do you see how empty this place is?! We had it all to ourselves for the 5 hours we were there!!

They had all the video games on free play and the kids had so much fun! Isn't it amazing what having a few friends, an empty game room and 8 inflatables all to themselves will do! The smiles didn't stop and everyone had rosy cheeks!

They could each have a bounce house to themselves and there would still be empty ones! They liked hanging out boys in one and girls in the other! All in all, these inflatable places get a thumbs up when WELL CARED FOR and Empty!!!

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Missed my other posts?
WEEK 1 The Waterpark!
WEEK 2 The Zoo!
WEEK 3 Berry Picking
Week 4 Splash Park
Week 5 Children's Museum
Week 6 The Field Museum
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A told B and B told C...

Our favorite book come to life! We like to listen to this, while doing our letters on our tree at the same time!
Here it is again, a re-post from last month:
Today the kids and I hit the pool, but as the temperatures sky rocketed to the high 90s, I knew they had to get inside. I was hoping to push a nap, so I started reading a book. As they began to recite everything I read, I knew they were not going down. My gears got turning and a few foam pieces later, we had a working storyboard to go with our favorite book! Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! 

The older two loved taking turns reading the book, while the youngest would act it out with the letters! Everything is made of foam and completely removable, so that they can  anything they want to it! Best part is that it all stores in a freezer bag!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Parenting Tip!

I am in the process of putting together a compilation of tips and recipes for parents of preschoolers. It will have easy and fun ways with food and other things. The book will hopefully be available in my ETSY shop in time for Holiday giving!

Save all the socks that are too dingy after the wash in a gallon sized ziplock bag in your laundry room. As the bag fills dump it and pair them up and move this bag to your car. Now you have socks when the kids go to those play places that require them. After they play, toss the nasty little buggers in the trash and you don't bring home all those germs or dirty good socks!
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Friday Run Down!

Wow, the end of the week already? I'm not too happy with that! I feel like there is so much left to do. Do you all realize how close we are to the school year beginning? Where did Summer go?! One thing we discussed today, was collections. One of the things we enjoy collecting, are dice! We love dice of all kinds, textures, colors and sizes! We enjoy how pretty and fun they are and we love making up our own games too.
It was  National Milk Chocolate Day! We made up some Chocolate Scented Playdough and let your creativity lead the way!
Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup salt,1/2 Tbsp cream of tartar. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil, 1 cup boiling water. Stir it up, mix well as it begins to clump together. Cook over low heat until dough forms a ball. When cool , mix with your hands.
This has proven to be the most fun of everything we did this week! haha!
I also made up a fun sight word dice game, this has been proven to be a lot of fun for my son, but the other 2 kids also want in on it, since it involves rolling dice and using a do-a-dot marker! hahha!! 

I am trucking my way through this week's 40 bags in 40 days, so much so, that instead of garbage bags, I have filled BOXES! I find it so hard to believe that there was that much clutter in those rooms! In the LIST, the lines in yellow are the places I have already done.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Touch of India!

Our Virtual Vacation has taken us to India this week and we have been having an absolute blast! Today we worked on converting US dollars to Rupees. It's amazing to see all the different types of money on these trips and to learn that they don't equal the same amount as here. We always vote in the end that the other Country has much bolder and prettier money than we do.

We are in the process of setting up for our tea party with tea imported from India and plan on making it a tea house. I made up a pad of these fun guest checks, for the kids to keep track of what is ordered, then convert the total spent into rupees. It's a fun math lesson for all and we are still playing!

August 13th, many Indian Communities will celebrate Raksha Bandhan. This celebrates the bonds between a brother and sister. I found this so moving that we will have our very own little celebration here, on our virtual trip to India. Instead of silk, we will be using regular embroidery floss. I let each child pick out their own color.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Treasures...Recycled Fun

It's time for another day of fun with recyclables! Today, we realized that school is right around the corner and it was time to get organizing. I will have 2 kids in the same school this year, instead of 3 kids in 3 schools! For the 2 older kids, I wanted a way to organize their folders and school papers as soon as they walked in the door.
We went through our boxes and selected 2 cereal boxes and cut off the tops evenly. Then wrapped then in Kraft paper like a present, leaving the cut top completely open. My kids painted the Kraft paper first, but you don't have to. After I wrapped them all, I let the kids decorate the insides and outsides as they wished and then glued them together! All set and ready for school to start! Have you upcycled anything lately?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ice Cream You Scream, We All Scream for Math!

By now, many of you know that I am an out of the box thinker! I love to find new uses for so many things that I need to keep a notebook on me to keep my mind from just exploding. While shopping at our local teacher store, I came across some really cute Bulletin Board decorations that sent my brain into overdrive! At 4.99 each along with a 5.00 coupon, I was SOLD!

I printed up money amounts in a regular document (any assortment from .01 - 20.00) and then used a glue stick to pop them onto the ice cream scoops. The idea of this game is to give the children a certain amount of money and they will give you the ice cream cone that you can buy! You can see in this example that I gave my daughter 6.40. This is an awesome lesson in money recognition, math and imagination too, since we make up a whole ice cream parlor to go with it!
Of course it wouldn't be a regular post of mine without upcycling at least 1 thing and here you go! I store this game in a cleaned out Ice Cream container! How awesome is that?! The kids couldn't believe how 'REAL' this was! haha!
There they are, all tucked safely inside! Everything you need to play this game is right inside and ready to be used!
We are now ready to play ice cream store!

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Follow everything I do throughout the day with the little ones!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Virtual Destinations and Beyond!

Здравствуйте! (Hello!) What an incredibly busy week we have had! I apologize for not giving a mid-week update, it really just got away from me! We were welcomed this week to the largest Country in the World! Here are some fantastic facts we picked up on our travels:
Russia constitutes one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spans eight time zones. This expansive area allows it to neighbor more countries than anywhere else on earth, as well as touch twenty-two bodies of water and hold twelve seas within its borders.
This amazing Country provided us with so much information, we know we want to go back and learn more eventually! 

We had an absolute blast learning the History of Matryoshka Dolls and even decorating some of our own! I made up a fun worksheet with many Matryoshka facts and activities on it, that allowed us all to do our own work. 

 The Dot-to-Dot was a favorite activity of my youngest, who enjoyed coloring it in too! While going from each letter, we decided to do these all in Russian! This was quite an experience.
It was time to make our own Matryoshkas and this was by far the most fun lesson yet! We colored, we pasted, we cut, we glittered and came up with some awesome creations. Next we put them on popsicle sticks and created puppets! It was time for a puppet show, but tickets had to be sold first! No US dollars accepted here, they had to pay in Rubles! 

We made a quick stop in space, to study Sputnik and the Russian space program, which of course mesmerized my little ones and started an entire offshoot of this virtual vacation! haha! We will be taking on a more in-depth Space Theme Unit soon!
We have had an incredibly hot week here in the Midwest, but the learning must go on!! While on our way to the museums on Friday, we ran in super quick to the zoo (we are members) to read all about the Amur Tigers (formerly the Siberian Tigers). Did you know that there are only about 400 left in the WORLD? They are running out of space to live in their home land as well as being hunted for their beautiful coats. This was a great lesson in endangered animals as well as conservation.

 We combined this with our information on Siberia, too bad it was so hot, it didn't quite fit in with our studies that Verkhoyansk is one of the coldest places on EARTH!! We also took a minute to learn that temperatures can be as low as -90 degrees Farenheit there. On our way to the zoo, we stopped and took a look at the temperature as it was here and it was still early morning! A fantastic trip, that we have all agreed to repeat at another time, because there was just too much to do and see!
Namaste! We are in India this week! As this post has been incredibly wordy, I will try to keep the facts short!
We have flown in from Moscow to Delhi a distance of 2708 miles and the flight time was just about 5 hours and 40 minutes! Did you enjoy your Darjeeling Tea on the flight? It was absolutely delightful! Be sure to keep your eyes open while travelling throughout this amazing Country! Did you know that the Cow and Monkey are considered special animals? Because of this they are allowed to roam free! Be on alert to snap some amazing photos!

Here is our plan of attack:
1. Monkey Sighting! (I have hung monkey cut outs throughout the house with a number on it)
The kids are to take off on an adventure with their binoculars and look out for Monkeys! They must find all 10 and jot them down in their field journal as to where they were found and what they were doing.

2. Culinary Expedition. We will be making Curry Chicken over a bed of jasmine rice! YUM!

3. A tea party is of the highest importance, did you know that spices and teas are big business in India?

4. Rubber is a huge export, we will attempt to make our own rubber!

5. We will be making a Himalayan Mountainscape out of  playdough.

6. Decorating our own Taj Mahal while learning facts about it.

7.  Bell Dancing is sure to have us in a giggling fit!

There is so much more to come! Care to join us? Check out my worksheet HERE!


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Check out our new Project, as an offshoot to our Virtual Vacation:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New and Fun Buy!

How exciting! At our latest trip to the teacher store, I came across these awesome Bingo Boards! They are LARGE and Blank, perfect for creating our own games! I am in the process of making a fun game for grocery shopping. What is your latest find?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventures in the great Midwest! Part 6

It's time for another adventure! I hope your week was full of fun and excitement and of course learning. Isn't it amazing how quickly time flies? I am making it a point, that no matter how quickly life goes by, I want to savor moments. It is my goal to learn something new everyday and with that I love for my children to learn new things daily as well. We took this adventure to the Field Museum in Chicago, where we are of course members. There are plenty of things and exhibits to see here, but our priority was the dinosaurs, as we were ready to get into more detail on our dinosaur unit.
I arrived prepared and ready, with our fun dinosaur flashcards and fact book, so that the kids could read about any additional research needed and also play a fun game of Dino Hunt, by finding a dinosaur at the museum and looking through their cards or book to see which one it is. We would then move to one side and read what the exhibit said and read the information on our cards and book! 
They have an AWESOME 3-D movie that tells the story of the T-Rex SUE, which can be found at this museum. SUE is the most complete T-REX in the World. This is a FANTASTIC movie and even my youngest loved it.
There is a large hands-on play lab at this museum and their favorite part of course was digging for dinosaur bones! They absolutely loved this so much, that I just cannot wait to introduce them to the activity I have planned for our upcoming Dino Week!! Yay! We will be digging for our own fossils! 

How perfect is it, that they even had these AWESOME canvas totes for members yesterday?! It is so nice and sturdy, that it has become home to the books and items for our dinosaur study, so that we can transport it all to the library for our lesson!  All in all an awesome museum and we can't wait to go back to look at the new whale exhibit!!

Take a minute to visit the hostesses!
Your hosts are Michelle from Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life 
Bernadette from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Michelle from MichellesCharmWorld (YAY ME!)

Come on and join us! Snag our button and link up! Don't forget to put the button in your post and to also visit your hostesses! Enjoy the Summer!

Missed my other posts?
WEEK 1 The Waterpark!
WEEK 2 The Zoo!
WEEK 3 Berry Picking
Week 4 Splash Park
Week 5 Children's Museum

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