Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Homemade Halloween Costumes

Well, Halloween is 6 days away. Do you have the kid's costumes planned and purchased yet? If you answered no, then check out these website for some great homemade ideas.

First up is Quick and Simple with 17 great ideas. My favorite is the jellyfish! It cracks me up every time I look at it.

Next up is Burda Style with some very original ideas. I love the Lucky Ducky. Very easy and inexpensive.

If you have a dentist or a future dentist in the family, check out Whitening on Wheels for some very funny dental hygiene costumes.

Last but not least is Bargain Hunter with some super easy and cheap ideas. The cheapest one that I saw was only about $.90 to make. Now that is a bargain. By the way, the $.90 costume was to make a child into a giant Jack O Lantern.

If you make your child's costumes, be sure to post your great ideas. I bought a costume for my son this year (still handmade) as he is going to be a dinosaur and that is out of my skill level, but last year I sewed his costume and he was a very cool cowboy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Math with the Letter R

I decided that we needed more math skills in our home so as a way to continue the letter R lesson, I made us a Rabbit game.

Construction Paper
Laminator (optional)

I cut out a large circle for the rabbits head and then I cut out pieces for the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. When I made the ears, I glued pink inside the white ears. I have regular dice in our home but they are a little small for my three year old. I decided to make a die that was a little bigger for him. We have some cube manipulatives that I purchased in the Target Dollar Spot so I used one of the cubes and a black marker to make the dots on the sides.

The last thing I made for the game was a sheet showing the die values next to the rabbit part that you get to put on for the game.

Now to play the game. Lay the rabbit's head on the table and Then child rolls the die. The child then counts the number that came up on the die and finds the same number on the sheet and then puts on the corresponding face part.

My son loved this game and we have played it numerous times. I am even going to make some more games up with different faces.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trying New Foods

As we all know, kids can be fickle. One week they love green beans and the next week you could not get them to eat a green bean even if you offered cash. It is very hard to cook for someone who’s diet/desires change on a daily basis.

Here are some guidelines when trying to expand the diet of a kid.

Take them with you to the grocery store or farmer’s market and let them choose one new fruit or vegetable for the whole family to try. If they feel like they are not the only ones that have to try new foods they may be willing to compromise.

Let them be involved in the cooking. If they are too young to operate a stove, they can still help by measuring and mixing foods.

Let them go through a healthy cookbook and find new recipes that they will be willing to try.

If you are cooking something new for them to try; be sure you are also fixing an old favorite for them. They may be willing to try a new taste if they know there is something they want also. If the new food is spinach and you know he loves mac and cheese, have both at the table.

Do not threaten them. Don’t tell them that they can not have dessert if they do not eat all of the vegetables. It will just cause hostility.

Do not make them clean their plate. This is just a way to set a child up for obesity. A child needs to learn to eat until they are satisfied, not until the food is gone.

Do not take it personally. Just because he does not like your green beans does not mean that he doesn’t love you or appreciate you. It just means he does not want green beans.

My son does not have to eat what I cook but I also do not cook a separate meal for him. If he does not like what is served for dinner, he can eat something else as long as it does not require me to cook something else. That usually leaves cereal, peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers and fruit. He does not turn down dinner every night so the occasional cheese and cracker dinner is not going to harm him. Since enacting this rule in our house, dinner time is much more peaceful.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Teachings - The Letter R

Another week, another fun letter of the alphabet. This week we will focus on the letter R. You can download the letter R here.

Words that start with R: Run, Race, Read, Racket, Robin, Rose, Rip, Rice and Road

For our activities we focused on Rose, Rabbit and Red.

First, we went out and picked some of the last miniature Roses off of our rose bush and glued them onto a letter R.

Next, we colored a letter R Red and then we glued it to a Red piece of construction paper.

Our last craft was my favorite. We turned the letter R upside down and turned it into a Rabbit by gluing ears, a nose and an eye to it.

For our snack we decided to follow the Rabbit theme and make Rabbit cookies.

We used a roll of sugar cookie dough and cut it into slices about 1/2" thick.

The slice was then cut into half. We then took one of those slices and cut it onto half also. We now have three sections for each slice.

The biggest section was rolled into a ball to use as the Rabbit's head and then each of the smaller sections were rolled into ear shapes. We baked the cookies based on the package directions.

Once they were removed from the oven, we put chocolate chips on the head for eyes and a nose. The cookies spread more than I thought they would but they still resemble Rabbits and they were tasty.

Have a great week.

The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft Collection

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Acorn Art

My Mom brought us a big container of acorns this weekend so I looked around for some great acorn crafts that were suitable for the younger set. These are some of the great ideas I found and will be using soon at our home!

First up is Teach Preschool with a fall edition of marble painting using acorns. I love this craft! If you have not checked out Deborah's pages, go do that now! She has some great ideas and lots of great links to other ideas.

Next up is Family Fun Magazine with some toddler sized pumpkins. These would be so cute filling a little bucket and setting out on a table. I am absolutley making some of these.

Last but not least is another activity from Family Fun and before you say it, I know this is not a craft per se, but they look delicious!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tissue Paper Leaves

At out office we have a die cut machine and one morning when I came in, there were several leaves and the left over stencils in one of our training rooms that someone teaching a class the prior night had left. I grabbed some of the stencils and took them home for my son & I to use.

We cut out some clear contact paper and laid it sticky side up. We then paid the square with the leaf cut out on top of the contact paper. We ripped fall colors of tissue paper and sprinkled it on the open leaf shape and then laid another piece of contact paper over the top.

It was a quick and easy activity especially since some one else did half of the work for us. The leaves could easily be cut out by hand though.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spider Webs

Back on September 14th I posted about our marble paintings that we worked on for the letter M. I really liked the looks of those as they reminded me of spider webs.

Since Halloween will be here soon we decided to make some spider webs. We bought a package of spider rings and cut the ring part off. We then used black paper in the bottom of a box lid and dropped our marble into white paint and then onto the black paper to roll around.

Once the paint dried, we glued the spiders on our paper and web. This was a great concept for my son as we have been watching a big garden spider in the day lily stalks on the side of our house. He has enjoyed watching him get bigger and bigger over the summer.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Teachings - The Letter Q

Another week, another letter. You can print your letter Q here.

I was very nervous about this week as the letter Q seems like a difficult letter to do a craft with but things turned out pretty cute.

Words that start with Q: Quiet, Quit, Quest & Queen.

For our activities we focused on: Questions, Quarters, Quail & Quilt

First we printed out the Q and my son glued papers that I had drawn different colors of Question marks on. We also discussed his great Questioning skills. He loves to ask "Why?"

Next my son glued different colors of construction paper to a page and once it dried, I cut out a letter Q. Once our Quilt was complete, we went through the house looking at the Quilts his Great Grandmother had made for us.

The next activity involves Quarters. We slid a Quarter under the Q printout and used crayons to make a rubbing of the Quarter with different colors all over the Q. We also did a Quarter Toss by trying to toss the Quarter into cups. My son is only three so he was not very successful at this game but he did enjoy playing.

Our last craft was a Quail. We painted the Q with brown paint using Q-tips. He really enjoyed using the Q-tips to paint. Once the Quail was dry, we glued on the legs and the head.

The snack was very difficult for me. I could not think of a single food that start with Q, I just froze up! Finally, I decided to make Quesadillas to redeem myself.

The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft Collection

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Meandersing - Halloween Crafts

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and therefore I usually go overbaord. Here are some great crafts to do with your kids to celebrate Halloween.

The Go Green Blog has some great crafts using recycled items. I love the milk jug Jack O Lanterns.

Next up is Diary of a Competitive Mum with how to turn a wooden spoon into a black cat.

The Party Animal Blog has some very cute ideas, including these bat pumpkins.

Hope you have a great time crafting with the kids to celebrate Halloween. If you make anything that you would like to brag about, please leave us a comment! You may be featured in the next Monday Meanderings!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Colored Rice - Part Two

Well, the colored rice from September 9th was pretty and fun to play with but I quickly grew tired of walking on little pieces of rice. I then decided to take matters into my own hands.

I had been in Hobby Lobby and they had several charms on clearance so I had purchased them not knowing what I would do with them. I decided the rice would make a perfect I Spy bottle.

I tore the label off of an empty water bottle, poured in the rice and then added the charms, after I had taken a picture of them. My son can not read yet so this is his picture code of what needs to be found in the bottle.

He plays with this quite often and I am happy to report I have not stepped on the first piece of rice since sealing the bottle. It is win-win for both of us!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Grouchy Ladybug

We recently read The Grouchy Ladybug and decided to do an activity with the book. Once we read the book, I used the Cricut machine to cut out twelve ladybugs. I then proceeded to put the same number of dots on each ladybug as their order. The first ladybug got one dot, the second ladybug got two dots, etc.

Once they all had the appropriate number of dots, I laminated them for durability. We then re-read the book and used the appropriate ladybug for each page. We have also used the ladybugs for just general math/counting practice and it has worked out great.

This is a display table that we set up in our office lending library. If you are in the Lexington, KY area, come on by and see.

Essential Art Supplies

My son is three and we seem to have enough art supplies for a small army. There are some things that I have found to be essential to our household. Most of these are not brand specific but the ones that are have not reimbursed me in any way. These products were all purchased with my personal funds and I have not been paid to endorse any products.

Crayon Rocks – If you have not tried these yet, I recommend giving them a try soon. They are crayons that are shaped just like rocks and they are the perfect grip size for toddlers. We love our Crayon Rocks to do rubbings with.

Watercolors – My son loves watercolors! It is one of his very favorite mediums to work with. He does not have a perfect grip yet so I use a fatter handled brush than the one that comes in the package. It helps him to grip.

Paper – Construction, Printer, Card stock, Watercolor and Lined Writing Paper for Beginners

Markers – We have a huge selection on markers and are not specific about a brand. He loves all of them and they all dry out when he leaves the cap off.

Crayons – Due to his age and lack of a strong grip, I prefer the fatter crayons. It is easier to show him a proper grip when using something with some substance to it.

Tempera Paint – I bought some large blocks of paint and he loves to use them for any project.

Glues – White school glue, Glue sticks, Gel school glue and glue dots. We also use a glue gun sometimes but he does not operate it.

Crayola Modeling Clay – I love the way this air dries, it feels really great and is lightweight.

Play Doh

Salad Spinner – This is perfect item to use in making spin art. Put your paper in the bottom of the salad spinner, put in a few drops of watered down paint, put on the lid and spin, spin, spin.

Ice Cube Trays – These are perfect for mixing up new paint colors. Each section can be a new color. This is a tiny cube tray but any tray can be used. We also have decorative silicone trays that we use for sorting colors and manipulatives in.

Misc. Items – Feathers, Chenille Sticks (Pipe Cleaners), Popsicle sticks, Paint Chips, Seashells, Stickers, Pom Poms, Coffee filters, Clothespins, Scrap Material and Sheets, Spray bottles and squirt bottles.

These are but a small sample of the art supplies that we keep in our stash. They all stay on a bookshelf in the playroom so he has access any time. Because he has free access, I also keep a vinyl place mat spread out on the floor of the guestroom. What kind of supplies are essentials in your home?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Recall of Similac Baby Powder

Similac has voluntarily recalled some containers of powdered baby formula. If you use Similac please check their website to see if your purchase has been recalled.

Tuesday Teachings - The Letter P

Another week, another letter. Download your Letter P by clicking on the link.

Some words that start with P: Princess, Pout, Push, Pack, Part, Play, Pop, Postal, Power, Pull, Pray, Piranha and Picture.

For our P activities we focused on Paper, Pasta and Pumpkins.

First we cut up squares of paper and glued them onto our letter P. Since it is Fall, we focused on Fall colors.

For our next project we made a stencil with a wooden candle holder from the craft section and dipped the bottom in orange paint and stamped Pumpkin shapes on letter P. Once that paint had dried, I went back and drew the stems on to the pumpkins.

Our next project was again Pumpkins but this time we tried using our finger dipped in paint. It was going well until he realized it would be more fun to have all of his hand in the paint at the same time. I just want to keep it real and let you know everything does not go as planned in out household.

Our final project was gluing colored Penne Pasta onto a letter P. I colored the Pasta the same way I did the rice on September 9th.

Foods that start with P: Pancakes, Peaches, Peanuts, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Plantains and Pork.

We decide to make two P foods, Pizza and Pigs in a Blanket.

They were both delicious. Since most people know how to make pizza, I will not post on that but for our Pigs in Blankets, I just used Crescent Roll dough with each triangle cut in half and rolled them around cocktail wieners with cheese and baked by the package of Crescent Roll directions. My son loved both foods.

The Attached Mama's Alphabet Craft Collection

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Meanderings - Fall Crafts

Well, Fall is upon us and I am not sure what the weather is like in your area but it has been cooler weather here. With cooler weather, I thought I would meander around the web and find some great fall crafts.

First up is this great Fall Finger Print Tree from All Kids Network. This is a great craft and could actually be done for all season to see the size change of your child's hand/arm.

Next we have a great Leaf Mobile from Shirley's Preschools Activities. You could do as many or as few leaves as you can find.

Last is one of our favorite activities, Bubble Print Indian Corn from No Time For Flash Cards.

Hope you enjoy these fall crafts!