Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Katie loves this book, it's not uncommon to hear her saying skit skat skoodle doot flip flop flee at random. So I decided it was time to make a story board for it. It has too many pieces for DJ, but Katie enjoys it :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cozy corners

Every child ( and adult) should have a cozy corner to curl up and read a book in. Each of my kids have reading space in their bedrooms, but until today they didn't have one elsewhere. We fixed that problem with a little inspiration from Ana White and I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. Check it out :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lunch Inspired

Our latest activity was inspired by my husband's lunch. He came home from work, announcing that he had something cool to show me. When he bit into his apple at lunch, he found that a couple of the seeds had started to sprout. One thing led to another, and we ended up with this:

Elijah cut up the apple core and removed the seeds

The kids and I each painted a clay pot and filled them with soil. Elijah didn't want to paint, so they're are two unpainted pots.

The next day, we went to the Library for a playdate with a friend, and to borrow some books about apples.

The librarian found six books for us, each with different learning subjects all relating to apples.

Apple countdown is a book about a school field trip to an apple orchard. They countdown from 20 to 0. Katie has been showing a bit of interest in counting lately, so this was a good book for us. 20 items was a little much though, so we stopped counting after a few pages, and just read the book.

Curious George Apple Harvest walks you through the process of making apple cider.

Johnny Appleseed is a quick book, which introduces you to John Chapman. I think we may branch off of this one a little bit.

The Apple Pie Tree shows you how the apples grow throughout the seasons, as well as some wildlife that benefits from an apple tree. It also gives you a recipe for apple pie. We made apple pie last week, or else it would have been a good project.

Apple Sauce Season talks about the different kinds of Apples found at this boy's farmers market, and how different varieties ripen at different times. He talks about how his family makes apple sauce, and provides you with his own recipe. We make apple sauce differently then they do in the book, but Katie has been involved in the process before.

Once Upon a Golden Apple, had absolutely nothing to do with apples. It is a cute mixed up fairy tale, by Jean Little. Who, like Robert Munsch and myself, is from Guelph Ontario.

Homeschooling with a two year old :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Today has been full of activities so far. We started our day early with breakfast and clean up, then moved into the living room. I haven't used my felt board lately, because DJ was to young to use it before. It's been sitting on top of one of the toy shelves, looking ever so lonely. I decided it was time to give it a try.

I pulled out my first attempt at a felt story board, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. You're most likely familiar with one of his books. The illustrations in them are beautiful and very eye appealing. So far, we only own this book by him, but I'll likely pick up more in the future. Both kids sat on the couch and played/placed the pieces are I read the book. It went much smoother than I anticipated. Typically DJ won't sit still for a book, so this was a fun interactive way to do story time and have both kids involved.

Yes, they're still in jammies, and yes, DJ is half naked.




After we put away the felt board, Friends came over for a play date. We decided to try the DIY moon sand ( 8 cups flour + 1 cup baby oil). We tripled the batch and placed it in one of those under the bed storage totes. It was large enough for three kids and two adults to play around. It was a messy activity, but the clean up was easy and bath time was fun. The kids played with it for a good 45 minutes or so. Talk about a successful activity.

I think my next felt board will be Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Or I may make it larger and stick it on my wall. We will see :)  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Play at home Mom

Today I would just like you to take a few minutes and visit my favorite blog; Play at home mom. I promise you will be hooked. If you're looking for a fun story time activity, start here and make your own story jars.

One of their ideas that we've tried, was this one :

Christmas lights and a box, so simple. We put two boxes together, and made a window between the two. We did this activity quite some time ago, yet when we pulled the box out to make our puppet theater this week, Katie was asking me to turn the lights on. Children amaze me.

Have a good Thursday!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Frog Prince

Katie is going through a phase where anything that remotely fits on her fingers, becomes a finger puppet. She will turn anything from marker lids to megablocks into a " PUPPETSHOW" ( She gets very excited when she says that word). For Christmas we bought the kids a few Fairy Tale books. One of the stories is The Frog Prince by the Grimm Brothers. Mix that story, with Finger puppets from IKEA and a cardboard box, and Voila! you have your very own puppet show.

Our theater includes three different sceneries; mountains, a river and a forest. The kids had a blast colouring it with us. DJ didn't realize that he was colouring with the lid on, and Katie was enjoying helping to colour in my tree with a pink marker :) I think it looks beautiful. It has since been flipped on it's side and used as a boat, and then folded in half and became a fort. Imagination is wonderful.

Do you read Fairy tales with your kids? Have you come across any that you didn't know from your childhood?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pizza Party

Another level reader book that I remember well, is Pizza Party by Grace Maccarone. We found a stack of level reader books at a baby consignment sale, and I was delighted to find a copy in that stack. It quickly became one of Katie's favorite books. At two and a half, she has most of it memorized. She will typically repeat each phrase after you've read it, but if you delay long enough, she'll often say it first.

My daughter is just starting to enjoy matching items, so after she's done her nap, I'm going to bring out one of our busy bags from the swap in December. Click on over to Second Story Window for a tutorial on how to make a pizza factory busy bag.  We scoop, we pour...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood

Today is my first guest post, by my sister, about our daughters first Theater experience:

Hi, this is Kathryn here sneaking in a guest post before I have my baby :)

Since Jess is visiting until then we've been taking the kids to just about every kid-friendly activity we could think of. On Saturday we chose the Guelph symphony orchestra's retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.  All it was was 6 members of the orchestra, the conductor and the storyteller. They had little theme songs for each character, musical animal sounds for the birds and animals, and even sinister background music when the wolf was up to no good. The kids (my little music lover especially) were entranced. They kept it short enough to keep the kids attention and then had each member of the orchestra show off their instrument and make some music to show what each one could do. Then out came some boxes of toy instruments for the patient little munchkins to play with.  There was some free play with the instruments, then some pretend orchestra activities before it was time to go.  On the way out the kids were invited to take a closer look at the instruments and talk to the musicians up front. It was really sweet and well done.  I really liked how they used a story that most children already know to teach them something new about music :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Audio Books

Now that the holidays are over, I'm going to try to blog a little more consistently then I was before the break. I'm still at my parents house with my kids, while my husband and dog hold down the fort back home.

I've decided to begin a project while I'm here. My project? To have important people in mine and my kids lives make audio books for my kids. I started by taking a trip to Value Village, where they sell good condition used kids books for 1$ each. Instead of reading through them all, I just grabbed a whole stack of non liscenced books (I hate liscenced products like Caillou, Dora and Barbie) and bought them all. We ended up with 22 books in total, not all were great, but I really didn't have time to read them all in the store. Even with two other adults chasing my kids around.

The next step is to figure out how to record them... any ideas on programs?

After that, I'll burn them onto individual CD's, and place matching alphabet stickers on the CD and book that go together. The CD's will be kept in a small fabric CD case with a zipper, which will be kept in a basket with a discman and the books.

My two year old loves headphones, or "ears" as she calls them, so I think this should be a hit!

Post Script, Happy New Year! What goals have you set for the next 12 months?