Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Farm Activities

Sponge Painting a Sheep Stencil

Littles Sweets was not as excited about this activity as I was. She painted for about 2 minutes and then was done. That's just how things go when you are working with tots.

Animal Cards

I made these animal cards a few weeks ago when Little Sweets was starting to show an interest in animal sounds. She likes to point to the card and identify the animal by it's name and the sound it makes. She enjoys this game and asks to play it when she finds the cards.

Trip to the Animal Farm

I really wanted Little Sweets to have the opportunity to see and touch farm animals so I took her to our zoo where they have a petting farm. Little Sweets liked seeing the animals up close. They had a display where the children could try milking a pretend cow. Little sweets enjoyed doing this.

Farm Activities

Little Sweets has a growing interest in animals so I thought it would be fun to study farm animals this week.

Farm Animal Stickers

Little Sweets just loves stickers!! She had a lot of fun with this activity. I pealed off the stickers and handed them to her to put on the farm page. Before I handed her the sticker I would ask her what the animal is and what sound it makes. She put the stickers on the page and later pealed all the stickers off and put them on her shirt.

Coloring Fun

Little Sweets asked to color so I printed out a farm picture for her to color.

I found some laminated animals that I had used when I taught kindergarten and thought I could use them for a sorting activity. I was surprised at how quickly Little Sweets caught on to what I was doing. With some assitance she was able to sort the animals. By the time daddy got home from work Little Sweets was able to sort the animals all by herself.

Looking at Some Fun Farm Books

I've decided that I am going to make a basket for the theme of the week and put books in it that go along with that weeks theme. Little Sweets and I went to the library and picked out some fun farm animal books to put in the basket. We also included some farm animal books we had lying around the house.

Painting with Water

I found some paint with water farm pictures and let Little Sweets paint the picture.
Farm Puzzles

We have 3 farm puzzles that Little Sweets got to play with. I sat next to her and asked her to find a paticular animal and to show me where it went. She also told me the sound that animal makes. Little Sweets loves puzzles so this was really fun for her.

Playing with her Farm Animal Set
This was the farm animal set my brother and sister had when they were little. Little Sweets loves playing with the farm set. She would tell me the animal sounds when she was playing with the different animals

Friday, February 26, 2010

Make Your Own Magnetic Story Board

I used a homemade magnet board and magnets to help tell the story I went walking by Sue Williams
To do this activity you will need the following materials.
self-stick magnetic strips
crayons or markers
cookie sheet
printed off coloring pages for the animals
contact paper

First, I took a cookie sheet and turned it over to use as a magnet board. Then I found coloring pictures online. I printed them off, colored them, covered them with contact paper, and stuck a magnet on the back of the picture. I used the magnets to help tell the story; I went walking by Sue Williams. As I read the story I asked Little Sweets to pick out the animal mentioned on the page and stick it to the magnet board.
You can also use the magnets to teach your child about colors, animal names, and animal sounds. For example; you can ask your child to place the yellow animal on the magnet board or place the animal that says; "quack" on the magnet board. There are so many possiblities.
Resource: Book- Story Stretchers for Infatnts, Toddlers, and Twos

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Review- Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy"

I recently got the opportunity to review the book Danny the Dragon “Meets Jimmy” written by Tina Turbin and illustrated by Aija Jasuna. I have always enjoyed reading children’s literature and was excited to review this book. This book is about a boy named Jimmy who finds a talking seashell at the beach. He takes the seashell home and later finds out that a dragon named Danny and a little critter named Skipper live inside the shell. Danny and Skipper join Jimmy and his family for dinner and play with Jimmy and his friends. Danny and Skipper later decide they are going to stay with Jimmy.

Overall, I thought this was a very cute book. The story was creative and the illustrations were bright and colorful. I wish the author would have given more background on Danny and his friend Skipper; however, I am sure the author’s purpose in leaving that out was to keep the readers interested and to provide an opportunity to write more books. As a parent I found the book appealing because the characters in the story demonstrated excellent manners and modeled great family values. The family ate a home cooked meal together, the children helped their parents, the children played outside instead of sitting in front of the television, and the characters in the story were polite and said, “please” and “thank you.” I enjoyed reading this charming book and look forward to reading more books by Tina Turbin.

I also got to review the audio book Dreams. The proceeds from this CD go to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. The first track on the CD is a narrator reading the story Danny the Dragon “Meets Jimmy.” The rest of the tracks are classical pieces.

I am glad that Tina Turbin made a CD to go along with her book. I found the CD to be peaceful and soothing and I really like the fact that the first track is a narrator reading the story. I have always enjoyed having children’s stories on CD, especially when I was a teacher. Overall, I enjoyed this CD and am really impressed with the fact that all the profits from the audio book go to benefit the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Here are some links to learn more about Tina Turbin , Danny the Dragon, and Gluten Free Information .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I want to thank Sarah from the blog Cars, Trucks, and Teething Rings for giving me this award. I am new to the blogging world and have been slow at giving out awards that I have recieved.

Here are the rules:

-Thank and link the person who gave you the award.
- Pass the award onto 15 bloggers you've found and think are fantastic.
-Contact said bloggers and let them know they've won.
-State 7 things about yourself.

Beautiful Blogger Winners- I love following these blog!!!!

1. 1+1+1=1
2.1,2,3...Come Homeschool With Me
3. 3 Little Ones
4. A House on Fire
5. Adventures in Diapering and Beyond
6. Adventures in Tot school
7. Counting Coconuts
8. Crazy For Cloth Diapers!!
9. Home Grown Families
10. Just An All American Girl
11. Monkeyin' Around
12. One Hook Wonder
13.Small Burst
14. Preparing For Our Children's Future -
15. Our Country Road

7 Things about Me

1. I am a follower of Christ
2. I am a wife.
3. I am a mother.
4. I enjoy running.
5. I have completed 2 triathalons.
6. I love staying at home with my beautiful daughter.
7. I enjoy reading and writing poetry.

Ribbon for $1 at Target-Great for Making Bows

Another Fun Frugal Find: Ribbon for $1

I was at Target this week and found some cute ribbon in the $1 section. This ribbon is perfect for making small bows. To learn more about bow making check out this post.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bathtub Finger Paints Made From Free Hand Soap

This Weeks Fun Frugal Find-Free Softsoap Hand Soap

This week I was able to get soft soap for free at Publix thanks to the Southern Savers website. You can see how here. When you get to the bottom of the page under the subtitle home you will see where you can get the coupon for free soft soap. Remember Publix doubles coupons. So if you don’t have the 50 cent coupon, you can use the 40 cent coupon and the bottle will only cost you 20 cents. I can always use soap, especially with having a little one who likes to get messy. But as I was researching ideas for upcoming activities I came across a neat recipe that I wanted to share that uses liquid soap. The recipe is for homemade bathtub finger paints. The ingredients you need to make the finger paint is 2 tablespoons of liquid soap, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and a drop of food coloring. Mix all the ingredients together and it’s ready to use for bathroom finger painting. The finger paints can be stored for several weeks. Your child can paint on his or her body or on the bathtub wall. The paint will rinse off easily. This activity can used to teach children about colors and color mixing.

Finger Paint Recipe Resource:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bible Activity-Jesus loves the little children

Jesus loves the little children collage.

I decided to continue with the love theme I started last week. So this week's Bible Verse was Mathew 19:14 Jesus said, " Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." I read the story to little sweets out of her children's Bible. Then we listened to the song Jesus loves the little children. Later on in the day we made a collage. I wrote the words Jesus loves the little children on construction paper. I glued a printed out copy of the Bible verse. Then I had Little Sweets glue pictures of children she knew on the collage. We talked about how Jesus loves the children.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rejoicing in God's Blessings

Today was quite an interesting day. My daughter, husband, and I were all sick with the stomach flu. It is a terrible feeling when your child is sick and you are sick at the same time. We spent most of the day in bed. Little Sweets was in between us playing with her puzzle, looking at books, or cuddling with daddy. I am not much of cuddler when I am feeling sick. Sometime late in the morning I got worried that Little Sweets might be dehydrateed. I called the nurse and she told me I needed to get a few things from the store for Little Sweets. Neither I nor my husband was in any condition to go to the store. I could barely stand without having to run to the bathroom and my husband wasn't feeling much better. We live hundreds of miles from our family so calling them was not an option. I knew when we moved that things might difficult like this, but I have always trusted that God would provide. One of the things He provided us with was a family of believers. We may live hundereds of miles from our biological family, but God had given us many amazing brothers and sisters in Christ. I called one of my friends and she was willing to give us everything we needed. I rejoice in God's faithfulness. There have been so many times since we moved that our brothers and sisters in Christ have stepped up to serve us in a time of need. A friend from church came and held my hand and encouraged my husband as I gave birth to my first child. She was there to teach me how to nurse for the first time. Brothers and sisters babysit for us so that we can go out on date nights. Other families encourage us as we raise our daughter. The list can go on and on. I am so greatful for God's provisions and that includes His people. Many years ago I wasn't so appreciative. I figured I could do things on my own. I didn't need anyone I had God. Things have changed and I am so glad that God has changed my heart. Let us rejoice in the provisions of God!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Egg Shakers and Sound Matching Game

Egg Shakers
This week we used shakers. I made the shakers out of Easter Eggs. I filled each egg with a different material. Then I hot glued the egg shut. Some of things you can fill the eggs with are coins, noodles, popcorn kernels, rice, beads, buttons, beans, and rocks. The eggs will make different sounds depending on what is inside them. Little sweets has enjoyed shaking them and making noises.

Egg Matching Game for Older Toddlers

With older children you may want to make a make a matching game out the eggs. Fill pairs of eggs with the same material and have the child shake the eggs to find the match. The two eggs that share the same sound will have the same materials inside.

Note: Please supervise children while doing this activity, it may be a choking hazard if they try to eat the materials found inside the eggs.


Keeping a Beat

Yesterday we made a drum out of a coffee container. Little Sweets colored on a piece of paper and we taped it around the coffee container. Then I gave her a spoon and she started beating on the container like it was a drum. I was impressed at how well she could keep a beat. Maybe we will have to buy her a real drum set when she gets older. On second thought I don’t think that would be such a great idea. I don’t even like it when my husband plugs his electric guitar into his amp and plays. It just gets so loud. I think a drum set might be just as loud. But I bet daddy would enjoy playing with someone if little sweets did learn how to play the drums.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dance Ribbon

Ribbon for Dancing

This week I thought we would focus on music activities. Little Sweets had a wonderful time at her music and movement class at the library. Now that it is over I thought we could try some activities at home. Little Sweets enjoyed dancing with scarves at the library so I decided to make a dance ribbon for her. I took the plastic ring off of the top of my olive oil bottle and tied long pieces of ribbon to the ring. Little Sweetsholds onto the ring and twirls it around and dances with it. This was so simple to make and Little Sweets absolutely loves dancing around with it. I used the ring from the olive oil bottle because that was all I had. You can substitute the ring with a key ring, shower curtain ring, plastic bracelet or anything else around the house that you might think would be appropriate.

Note: Please supervise children when doing this activity. I am always cautious with ribbons, yarn, and string. Little Sweets use to like to wrap thing around her neck when she was little so I try to be careful when doing activities likes these. I supervise her when she uses her dance ribbon; please supervise your children I don’t want anyone getting hurt.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Bloghop Week 2 Family

Our World Wide Classroom is hosting a bloghop. For more information please go here.
This week's theme is family.

I met my husband, Dan, ten years ago as he was getting off the elevator in our freshman dorm. We became friends that year, but didn't hang out much until our senior year of college. It was then that we reconnected and became more than just friends. We began dating in November of 2003 and got married July 29th 2005. Our marriage has been a wonderful journey and I am so blessed to be married to such an amazing man.

Not only is Dan an amazing husband, but he is a great father. Little Sweets just adores her daddy. She is blowing him kisses before he goes to work in the morning and running to the door when he comes home. Dan is always trying to spend time with us, even when he has to study many hours for his actuary exams. I am very appreciative of his love for his family.

Dan works as an actuary, which is a great job for him because he loves math. He enjoys playing golf, softball, and hockey. Dan also loves playing electric and acoustic guitar. He plays in the worship band at our church.

We have one daughter. She is a sweet little red head who always keeps me on my toes. She is 19 months old. She loves animals and babies. She is a very social little girl. She is not afraid blow kisses to other kids as we are out and about. She loves to perform and enjoys being the center of attention.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Snow Sensory Activity

Snow Much Fun!!!
When I taught in Ohio we would have days when it was too cold to go out and play in the snow. On those days we would bring the snow inside. We would fill the sensory table with snow and let the children play with it. I never thought I would have the opportunity to do this with Little sweets because we live in South Carolina. We were so excited to get snow over the weekend. We got to do so many new fun activities, including putting snow in our sensory table. Little Sweets made snowballs out of it. She used measuring cups and her tea cups to scoop the snow. She also noticed her tea cups changed color when she put them in the cold snow. They also changes color when you pour cold water into them. Overall, this was a fun learning experience for Little Sweets . If it's too cold to go play in the snow where you live try bringing the snow inside. Just make sure you put towels around the sensory table. The floor can get very slippery.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Snowy Adventure

This past week we were visiting family in Alabama. We were very surprised and excited when it started to snow. Little Sweets enjoyed running after the snowflakes falling from the sky. She also enjoyed picking up the snow from the ground. We had lots of fun playing in the snow with family.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More fun with contact paper

Little Sweets loves to feel things with her feet. One of her favorite books is a book called Little Feet Like…. As you read the book your child is suppose to touch the pages with their feet. Because Little Sweets loves to feel things with her feet, I thought she might like to walk on the sticky side of contact paper. I put the piece of contact paper on the floor for her to walk on and instead she laid down on top of it and rolled around. She thought it was great fun. She may not have done what I had wanted her to do, but it was still a great sensory experience for her.

Foam Letters and Contact Paper

Foam Letters and Contact Paper

I found a tub of foam letters in my old teaching stuff and thought I might put it to good use. So I brought out the letters and encouraged little sweets to put the letters on the sticky side of some contact paper. Her interest didn’t last too long. She put a few letters on the contact paper and then got bored. She decided it was more fun to poke out the middles of the letters and hand them to daddy. Well at least the activity wasn’t a complete failure. She was working on her fine motor skills as she poked out the middle of the foam letters. : )

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heart Shaped Pancakes

Heart Shaped Pancakes

This is a fun breakfast to make on valentine's day. I made this for my family last year. I used Bisquick mix to make the pancake mix. ( I have a recipe to make my own pancakes, but had a ton of Bisquick that I bought on sale.) I added a few drops of red food coloring to the mix. Then I put a heart-shaped pancake mold on the griddle and added the mix. After the first side was cooked I took off the mold and flipped the pancake and cooked the other side. It is super easy to make and a fun treat for the kids.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Easy Valentine Snack

Heart Shaped Bread Sticks
This was so fun and simple to make.
To make this treat:
  • Open one can of Pillsbury bread sticks
  • Pull apart the breadsticks and use two to make the shape of a heart
  • Melt 1 T. of butter
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the butter
  • Brush the butter onto the heart shaped breadsticks
  • Place the heart shape bread sticks on nonstick pan and follow cooking instructions on the package.
Money Saving Idea: I bought Pillsbury bread sticks when they were on sale and I had a coupon. You can still print a .40 off two from the pillsbury website. This doesn't seem like much, but it is a great deal if your store is having a sale and doubles coupons.

Bible Story for the Week

As I was reading other homeschooling blogs I realized there was something I was missing in my curriculum. That something was teaching from the Bible. My husband and I pray with our daughter and try to teach her about Jesus everyday as we live our lives. When she was little I would read her a Bible story everyday. As she got older she got less interested and so I stopped. I have decided to be more proactive about reading Bible stories again. The book that I use was given as a gift when Little sweets was born and I really like it. It is called 100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs. We listen to the songs 3 -4 times over during the day. Gracie is to the point that she contiually asks for it. Now I am going to start to try to read a Bible Story to her and then listen to the song that goes with it. Since Valentine's Day is coming up I thought we could focus on God's Love for His Children.

Story for this week is Jesus Loves You, Bible Verse is John 3:16, Bible Song is For God So Loved the World

Friday, February 5, 2010

Valentine Math Activities 3

Valentine Foam Stickers from the Dollar Store

Graphing Activity

First have your child sort the hearts by color. Then have them place them on a graph. After you check their work you can have your child actually stick the sticker side of the heart on the graph. To further extend this lesson ask questions like which color heart do we have the most of. How many pinks do we have. How many more pinks are there than purple. How many less pinks are there than reds etc.

I must admit Little Sweets is too young for these older preschool/kindergarten activities, but you have to remember that I taught these two grade levels and absolutely loved it. I am still trying to retrain my brain so that I can think of more developmentally appropriate activities for Little Sweets. While I still have these ideas popping in my head I thought I would share them with you so that you might be able to do the activity with your child.

Valentine Math Activities 2

Valentine Foam Stickers from the Dollar Store
Patterning Activity

I used the stickers to make 2 different kinds of patterns, an ab pattern and an abc pattern. There are a variety of shapes and colors in the package so your child can make many different kinds of patterns.

Valentine Math Activities

Valentine Foam Stickers from the Dollars Store

Example of Sorting Foam Stickers by Shape

There were many different shapes and colors in the package. You could have your child sort by shape or by color. I would have them show you how they've sorted then take the backs off and stick the stickers to the paper.

Dollar Store Adventure

I love going to the dollar store. They have such fun items that can be turned into fun, educational, activities. Sometimes it feels like my brain is in overdrive as I walk through the store. The more aisles I walk down the more ideas pop into my head. Anyways, yesterday I decided to go to the dollar store to pick up a few crafty items. I knew I didn't want to spend too much money because we're on a budget. I can go a little crazy in a store where everything is a dollar so I decided not to get a cart or a basket. By the end of the trip my hands were full of items. I even had little sweets toddling behind me carrying some items. She was even dragging a balloon behind her that she had found in one of aisles. Needless to say we looked ridiculous. The guy in front of me at the register let me go ahead of him because he felt bad for me. I guess my no cart policy didn't work out so well. But I guess I could have bought a lot more if I had used a cart. Well I can't wait to share all the new ideas and crafts I thought of while at the dollar store. : ) I hope you keep visiting my blog so I can share those ideas with you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bubble Wrap Hearts

The first step is to cut a heart shape out of the bubble wrap.
Then paint the bubble wrap with a paintbrush.
Press the heart onto another piece of paper.

Afterwards Gracie smeared hers around a bit. : )

Here is an example of a finished product.
This activity was a little more difficult for Little Sweets. She enjoyed it, but I think I'll wait until she's a little older to do it again.

Homemade Valentine's Cards

This year I decided that Little Sweets could make her own valentine's cards for family. I always appreciate something homemade over store bought items anyways. Little Sweets is only 19 months so I had a difficult time coming up with something she could do by herself. I decided to cut out a card so that when you opened it up it looked like a heart. Then I let her decorate it with glitter glue. It turned out just as I expected it would for a 19 month old artist, beautiful.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Goop

Make your own Goop

Goop has an interesting consistency. When you hold it in your hands it slides out. When you put it on the table it is a solid. Little Sweets had a lot of fun with this goop.

Here are instructions on how to make goop. Mix 1C. cornstarch h and ½ C. of cold water and a few drops of food coloring together in a bowl. Then pick it up with your hands or pound it on the table.
Goop recipe resource was the book: Miserly Moms

Homemade Book Making

It was a very busy weekend. I will update you with some of the activities we did throughout the week. Today I am going to share about book making. While I was reading a story to Little Sweets I got the brilliant idea to make my own book. The book we were reading was Who’s at the door? Little Sweets absolutely loves this book. She walks around the house saying knock, knock when she wants to hear it. Since she likes the book so much I decided to make my own knock, knock book.

These are the materials I used to make my own book
Card Stock (I used white)
Hole Puncher
Construction Paper
Contact Paper
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Stick

Instructions to make your own book
Fold your card stock in half so it looks like a card.
Use a hole puncher to punch 3 holes in the folded card
Line your next piece of card stock up with the piece that already has the holes in it and repeat step 2
After you have finished punching holes in the cardstock put the pieces inside each other so they look like pages in a book.
Cut a 3 pieces of yarn about 4 inches long
Thread the yarn through the holes and tie them in bows.

You can write your own story or have your child write their own story in the book. I found that making books out cardstock last longer then simply stapling paper together.

The book I wrote is quite simple to read. On one page I wrote the words; knock, knock and who is at the door. There is a door on the other page. When you open the door you see a picture of a family member and their name. I use this book in helping with learning extended family members names. It has worked out well. Gracie enjoys looking through the books. (I had to make 3 different books because she has so many relatives)

The doors I made inside the book were very simple to make. I printed off pictures of family members from the computer and pasted them onto construction paper. Then I pasted a picture of a door on the other side. Next I covered the construction paper with contact paper and cut out the door and picture. I folded the construction paper and used hot glue to attach it to the book.

Just as a side note if you are making anything out of paper that you want to save, cover it in clear contact paper. It’s similar to laminating just not quite as durable.