Saturday, February 27, 2016

Letter N: N is for Nuts, Nut Sorting, Help the Squirrel, Fall Math Game (Day 5)

1) N is for Nuts: Have your child glue nuts onto a letter N.

2) Sort Nuts from The Measured Mom: We only sorted three different kinds of nuts - peanuts, almonds and walnuts. He didn't last long, but it was a good start on sorting and nut vocabulary.

3) Help the Squirrel: Easton loves to help "feed" animals, so this was a good activity for him. He was 20 months when we did this activity, so we only used numbers 1-3. He identified the number for me, and I helped him count three peanuts to place on the mat. "Look! You just fed the squirrel three, two, three." Click the link to print Free Counting Mats from The Measured Mom.

4) Fall Math Game from the measured mom blog: Again, Easton was very little when we did the Letter N. These cards come in three different levels, so we only did the beginning level.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Letter N: Noodles Track Painting, Noodle Shapes, Noodle Sensory Bin, Noodle Play Dough Stamping (Day 4)

1) Noodle Track Painting: Easton did a few lines and was done - I found out he doesn't like the texture of a single noodle strand. Great. The entire day is focused on noodles. ;)

  • Dip a noodle in washable paint and use it to paint a piece of paper.
  • Optional: Cut out  a letter N from your paper and hang it on the fridge.

2) Noodle Shapes: Easton wasn't up for this activity today - he didn't like the texture of a single noodle. Instead, I just had him identify the shapes - which was my main purpose in doing this activity. However, I enjoyed doing some of the shapes! Laminate or place the following options in a plastic sleeve.

  • Noodle Shapes Printable from School Time Snippets (first picture below). 
  • Multiple Shapes on one page from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business (second picture below). 
  • Draw them yourself. I printed these and accidentally left them at my mom's house. I drew shapes on a piece of paper instead (third picture below).

3) Noodle Sensory Bin from The Measured Mom: Sensory bins are always a favorite of the week! This took a little bit of preparation, but was a lot of fun.

  • Cook four boxes of spaghetti noodles and separate the noodles into four gallon-sized zip lock bags. 
  • Add a little bit of vegetable oil (so the noodles don't stick together) and gel food coloring (gel works better than liquid) to each bag. 
  • Mix the food coloring and noodles together with your hands until they are completely covered.
  • Add toy kitchen items, toy animals or Letter N's to enhance this sensory activity.

4) Stamping Noodles in Play Dough from Kids Activity Blog: If we had extra time this week, it would have been fun to do different kinds of noodle stamping in play dough.

Letter N: N is for Night Sky, Night Sky Mirror Painting, Night Sky Play Dough (Day 3)

1) N is for Night Sky from Funtastic Fun and Learning: This is a beautiful craft and a great way to review the Letter N!

  • Paint sparkly glitter glue onto a Letter N 
  • Stick on star stickers and glue on a paper moon.

2) Night Sky Mirror Painting: This was Easton's favorite activity this week! I've been wanting to try mirror painting for a while, however, large mirrors are expensive! We used a cookie sheet instead.

  • Read "There was an Old Man who Painted the Sky" from our Letter N Booklist.
  • Use a paintbrush to paint the cookie sheet colors of the night sky. We used shades of blue and purple.
  • Optional: We used a moon and star sponge stamp to dip and stamp on our canvas

3) Night Sky Play Dough from Two-daloo: I've never made home made play dough until now! It was  something I thought seemed like a lot of work, but I was proved wrong. This took no more than ten minutes to make and was ready to be used. Afterward, I put the play dough in a plastic baggie for later use in the week. You'll need:

  • 1 Cup of Water
  • Black Liquid Water Color
  • 1 Teaspoon Knox Unflavored Gelatin (half a package)
  • 2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
  • 1/3 Cup of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • Lots of Glitter!
  1. Add 1 cup of water and black liquid watercolor to a medium saucepan. The original post says to fill up a measuring cup 7/8 full of water, and fill the remaining 1/8 with black liquid watercolor.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin powder over the top. Turn the burner on high and stir the liquid for a few minutes until the gelatin is dissolved.
  3. Turn the heat down and add the rest of the ingredients (except the glitter) and then crank the heat back up to medium.
  4. Stir constantly until the dough thickens and begins to form a large clump around the spoon. (This should only take about a minute).
  5. Remove from heat and put your dough on a plate or wax paper to cool. Once the dough is cooled, knead in your glitter.

Letter N: N is for Nest, Build a Nest Pretend Play, Feed the Baby Birds (Day 2)

1) N is for Nest from The Measured Mom: I cut out all the pieces from construction paper and Easton glued them all on. Review a few colors and shapes - oval, circle, rectangle, triangle.

2) Build a Nest Pretend Play from Craftulate: Easton loves to pretend play, so I knew he would love this activity!

  • Watch a youtube video of a mother bird building a nest. 
  • Set up four stations, each with items to build bird nests. We used craft sticks, sticks, train tracks and scrunched paper.
  • Add plastic eggs from the dollar store and Safari Birds TOOB from amazon. 

3) Feed the Birds in a Nest from Powerful Mothering: I love this idea working with fine motor skills. Did you notice the worms are in the shape of an N?

  • Make baby birds by hot gluing googly eyes and an orange felt beak onto large pom poms.
  • Place the baby birds into plastic eggs and then into a "nest" (an empty egg carton).
  • After the baby birds hatch, have your child pretend to be the mother or father bird. Use tweezers to feed the baby birds their dinner, "worms" - cute pipe cleaners shaped into an N shape.. The nest is an empty egg carton. Once the eggs "hatched" it was Easton's job was to feed the baby birds "worms" - pipe cleaners shaped to also review the letter N.
  • Let your child use his/her imagination!

Letter N: Nail the Letter, Letter N Book, Letter N Alphabet Handprint Art (Nest), Number Booklet, Letter N Music (Day 1)

Nail the Letter: To review the alphabet as a whole today, I wrote upper case letters with permanent marker on Floral Foam (bought at the dollar store). I also bought a set of "nails" or golf tees online and pulled out our hammer from our kid tool set. I like this activity, because it can be used if toddlers know one letter, multiple letters or the entire alphabet. It could also be used as a shape or number review. As a reminder, don't have high expectations with toddlers. In my mind, I was thinking Easton would use the hammer and hammer the nails into place. However, he liked poking the letters with the golf tee instead. We still accomplished the same goal of reviewing all the letters, but did it his way.

2) Letter N Book from The Measured Mom: Read this short book together. Point out the Big Letter N's and talk about the pictures together.

(picture to come)

3) Letter N Handprint Art (Nest): When I asked my husband if he knew what this was, he looked really confused. We had fun making a "nest" though!
  • Paint your child's hand brown and have him/her stamp it onto a paper.
  • Dip your child's finger in blue paint and hive him/her stamp three eggs onto the nest.

4) N is for Numbers Book from Mess for Less: You can print this counting activity from the link provided OR draw your own. Place the same amount of office stickers as the number on the paper.

5) Letter N Music Time:
  • N is for Nest by Jean Warren: Do actions while you sing this song.
Two little blue birds in a tree,
(hold up two fingers and place them on your other arm)
Built a nest for all to see.
(put your hands in a bowl shape in front of you)
Along came the babies.. one, two three.
(rock a baby, hold up fingers one, two three)
Now they're a happy family!
(point fingers to your mouth and smile)
This is the way we pound our nails,
pound our nails, pound our nails.
This is the way we pound our nails,
So early in the morning.

Tune: Mulberry Bush

  • N is for Nose from The Measured Mom: Act this one out to the words of the song.
On my face, I have a nose.
And way down here I have ten toes.
I have two eyes that help me blink.
I have a head to help me think.
I have a chin and very near
I have two ears so I can hear.
And here are my arms to hold up high.
And here is my hand to wave goodbye.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day - Silly Mcgilly Activities

Silly Mcgilly is a Saint Patrick's Day Leprechaun - similar to Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time. Our Silly Mcgilly is a nice elf and will surprise the kids with colored food, hands on learning activities, and Saint Patrick's Day Books. Click the link to Purchase Silly Mcgilly and Book.

1) Color Food: Each year Silly Mcgilly will color our breakfasts green - milk, pancakes, french toast, eggs, etc. I also thought these rainbow waffles were so creative and could be fun to do this year (pictured below)!

2) Saint Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt: Silly Mcgilly will set up a scavenger hunt to find a pot of gold. Click the link to find already made Saint Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt Cards from Love Grow Wild (pictured below). 

3) Saint Patrick's Day Treasure Hunt from Mess for Less (picture below): This would be another fun idea to do. I think it would be fun to write letters on the coins before hiding them around the yard/house to make this into an alphabet review activity.

4) I've posted other Saint Patrick's Day ideas on my blog that Silly Mcgilly could be apart of - sensory bins & tubs, science activities, or crafts. For instance, Silly Mcgilly could bring the Gold Dig Sensory Bin a day or set up the Leprechaun Bath. He could hide the rocks around the yard for the Magic Leprechaun Rocks or bring Magic Leprechaun Spray for our science activities. He could even bring a pepper to use for four leaf clover prints.

5) Saint Patrick's Day Books: I'm planning on buying a few Saint Patrick's Day Books this year for Silly Mcgilly to bring - he'll bring these book each year during the week before Saint Patrick's Day. 

Saint Patrick's Day Sensory Activities

Here's a short list of sensory activities to do with little ones for Saint Patrick's Day:

  • Saint Patrick's Day Gold Dig from the Pleasantest Things. Mix green food coloring and shaving cream in a large bowl. Hide gold coins inside for your child to find.

  • Sensory Bin Ideas from Living Montessori: A huge list of sensory bin ideas to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

  • Glowing Shamrock Bath. We love themed tubs and they are actually a great sensory activity for kids. We bought these foam shamrocks (they stick to the tub wall when they're wet) and green glow sticks from the Dollar Store. You could also throw in a pot and some plastic gold coins.

RAINBOW TREASURE SLIME- an epic play time your kids will LOVE!

  • Play Dough Sensory Play: Make green play dough with a sorting tray from Fantastic Fun & Learning OR play with these play dough mats from Gift of Curiosity. 

  • Rainbow Themed Fillers for a Sensory Bin. Try out these rainbow colored noodles or Rainbow Sand from Growing a Jeweled Rose. Add in gold coins, plastic mini pots, shamrocks, tweezers or anything else you'd like.

Saint Patrick's Day Science

  • Magic Leprechaun Rocks. This is one of our very favorite science experiments on our blog! Make these amazingly colored rocks and hide them around the yard. They make leprechaun water bubble leaving an exciting surprise. Click the link for a tutorial - idea from Gift of Curiosity.

  • Bubbling Colored Pots. Another amazing science experiment to do with kids. My boys (ages 3 & 1) loved watching each pot bubble a different color. Click the link for a tutorial - idea from Little Bins for Little Hands.

  • Saint Patrick's Day Coin Hunt from Little Bins for Little Hands. Another baking soda and vinegar science experiment. This one looks like a lot of fun. 

  • Magic Shamrocks from Growing a Jeweled Rose. Another baking soda and vinegar science option. Hide coins inside these shamrocks and watch them bubble to reveal a surprise.
MAGIC Shamrocks with treasures hidden inside- getting the treasures out is all the fun!

RAINBOW TREASURE SLIME- an epic play time your kids will LOVE!

  • Rainbow Milk from Playdough to Plato. My two loved watching the colors in milk explode! Click the link for a tutorial.