Thursday, October 29, 2009

Open-Ended Art: Pumpkins

The theme this week for open-ended art was pumpkins. Open-ended art means just what it says: Give the kiddos the supplies and let them go at it. It is purposefully unstructured.

We did two different pumpkin art projects this morning. (Yes we did both of them this morning, E just loves to paint!)

First, we painted a small pumpkin. We mixed our colors so we had a whole palate to choose from, and then I turned E loose with the paintbrush. Our pumpkin ended up seeming rather large to a 1 1/2 year old, so we compromised. Mommy painted one side of the pumpkin and E painted the other. I was trying to show her different ways to paint with her brush: spreading on the color, stripes, but once I got to the poka dots, it was all over. She LOVES to paint polka dots.

The second pumpkin art project we did was pumpkin prints. I guess they had leftover pumpkins from the Halloween festival at work, so I picked up a few. I cut one in half and showed E how to dip it in paint and make prints on the paper. We didn't get around to apple printing this fall, so it was something new for her.

And here are our finished projects! To see more open-ended art visit Mommies Wise Little Bookworms.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Craft Corner: Embellished T-Shirts

Yes, these were a project for yet another swap over on Craftster! 10 tees for a cute cute little boy. And even more exciting, he and his mommy and family live only a few miles from me! Usually with these swaps, I'm mailing things across the country or even to another country entirely! It was so nice to be able to meet the little cutie that I made these for. We met up at McDonalds last Friday for chicken nuggets, playtime, and t-shirt trading.

Here they are!

First, the stenciled shirts:
dump truck, Level 1 Human (from Warcraft), the Black Pearl
Jack Skellington, NES controller

And the appliqued shirts:
squirrel, elephant, rocket
Mom tattoo, robot

And a closeup of the cute robot monster guy - I had to simplify this pattern a lot, the original used 23 different pieces! No way was I going to do that!
And now I am done with swapping for a while! I need to get going on Christmas gifts, and I have a stack of fabric to make jumpers for E. And I want to knit some socks, and E needs another pair of longies. And my sister needs help with a window seat cushion. And . . . . :P

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tot School - Pumpkin Theme

Tot School
E is 21 months

This week's Tot School went really well! We have been working hard at setting aside some time to work on things this week. It seems to be working, and E has been requesting some of our Tot School toys at other times of the day, too!

Learning Toys:
We got a new toy this week, tower blocks! At first E just wanted to carry them around the house, but I showed her how to stack them up to make a tower and she thought that was pretty cool, too. By the end of the week, she was able to stack up 4 or 5 of them by herself.
We worked with our matching cards this week, as well. I changed them up and pulled out the body part ones. She's getting really good at this game!

E practiced her pouring skills with our rainbow rice box. Then we made our own shaker eggs with some old Easter eggs we still had lying around. She thought those were pretty neat, and kept opening them to dump out the rice, then asking me to refill them. Thank goodness it was all over the rice box!

I found some counting flashcards at Dollar Tree, and we started working on those this week. E can count very well from one to eleven, but she doesn't understand what those words mean yet. She loves to count to three and will often count her hands or feet and tell me she has three of them. So we worked on numbers one to five, and counted them by putting stones on top of each animal.

I pulled out her lacing set this week and she had fun stringing up all the animals. And then taking them for a walk again, as usual.

We also tried some sorting of shapes. I pulled out heart and star buttons and had her sort them into the heart and star bowls. She's been used to sorting colors, and I think the different colors and shapes made it difficult for her. I'll try this again, but with shapes that are all the same color.

This week we've been working on Letter P. You can read my post about our letter of the week here.

I got the LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD the other day and I am amazed at what E is picking up from it! She'll talk to her magnet letters on the fridge and have them say their sounds, and she is correct at least 95% of the time! Her favorites are the kicking K and the W that raps and says "wuh, wuh, wuh!"

Reading Basket:
Our theme this week was pumpkins! We read a LOT of pumpkin books:

Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino
The Pumpkin Fair by Eve Bunting
From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
Where is Baby's Pumpkin by Karen Katz
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson and Shmuel Thaler
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

E's favorite book of the week was The Biggest Pumpkin Ever. She kept asking for the mousie pumpkin book. My favorite was Pumpkin Circle. The photographs in this book are great and it's a wonderful nonfiction option. We're going to focus on it more this coming week as we gear up for Halloween!

Arts and Crafts/Pumpkin Theme:
We used our pumpkin theme for art time this week, making two different pumpkin pictures. The first one we made with some leftover colored rice. E helped paint the pumpkin with glue and then we sprinkled on the rice.
Later in the week we also made a torn paper pumpkin. I tore up the paper and painted the paper plate with glue, E stuck the pieces down on the plate. We're going to continue this craft and make it into a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Here's what I saw after returning to my bedroom the other night. The cat:
E standing beside the closet:
E said "I catch the cat"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Craft Corner: felt shish kabob sets

I'm so excited to show off my recently finished felt shish kabob sets! I made these for the Play Food Sweat Shop Swap over on Craftster. The kabobs have onions, green peper, hot red pepper, chicken, and pineapple. They all have a hole in the center to slide onto the stick. I did purchase a pattern from a shop on etsy for these, but I ended up kind of doing my own thing, I don't like how she puts things together.

For this swap, we were also supposed to make a side dish, so I chose baked potatoes.

The pattern for the potatoes is from etsy as well. It's the Bountiful Harvest set from Gulf Coast Cottage. I like this set a lot. I've actually made all the veggies in this set except the green beans and mushrooms, and those are on my to-make list for E for Christmas.

I can't wait to see what I get from the other gals in the swap! We're supposed to be receiving mac and cheese, a quesadilla, a pizza, lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken nuggets. All of which will be put away for Christmas gifts with the kitchen we are getting for E.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Letter P is for Pasta

Today E and I worked on our Letter P for the fridge in preparation for the playdate we're hosting on Thursday. We will be painting pumpkins! What fun! I have pumpkin activities planned for the whole week, and lots of pumpkin stories, so I decided to do something a little different for today. We did our Letter P for Pasta!

We are still recovering from last week's colds, please excuse the jammies!

First, E colored the pink letter P with markers.

Then she colored the background paper (because she just wasn't done coloring yet!)

Then we glued pasta onto our letter P. I get triple points for this one. The pasta is Piccolini Penne Pasta!!

And finally, I cut out the letter P and glued it onto the background paper. E helped me press it down.

We also went on a scavenger hunt this morning to look for things that start with P to put in our P box for the week. We found:penguin
the P from our floor puzzle
another P puzzle piece
pig finger puppet
P block
pig puzzle piece

We found/talked about these other things that start with P, but didn't put them in the box (they wouldn't fit, for the most part!)
pumpkin books

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tot School: Farm Theme

Tot School
E is 21 months

This week of Tot School started off great. But it fizzled pretty fast due to teething and some nasty colds going around our house. We did manage to get some things accomplished at the beginning of the week.

Field Trip:
We took a "field trip" on Monday to a local pumpkin patch/farm. I love this farm because along with all the fall festival kind of activities, they also had farm animals to look at and old antique steam tractors, old hay balers, and other farm equipment to look at, and informational signs to help you learn about everything!

Learning Toys:
Emily played with her Parent's Puzzle Cube this week. She knows all the letters and numbers that go into it, she just has a hard time matching up the shapes to make them slide in!

With the success of the pasta game we played with last week, I picked up a parmesan cheese shaker at the dollar store and we worked with longer pasta and smaller holes this week. Once again, it was a hit!
E practiced sorting colors with some marble stones. We're still working with only two colors, more than that seems to overwhelm her and she looses interest.

I put together a rainbow rice sensory tub for E to practice scooping and pouring. You can see my post about it here.

We worked on finding animal matches with the matching cards in our farm totbook. She's getting so much better at this!


We got some magnetic alphabet letters for the fridge this week. E had so much fun with them! She kept bringing me letters to name for her. She can consistently find A, B, C, E, and M. We're still working on D for Daddy.

Reading Basket:
Alphabet Books were our theme for this week!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book by Brian P. Cleary
Michael Rosen's ABC
Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood

Our favorite book of the week was Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes. If you haven't checked this book out, you have to try it! It has a cute rhyme and awesome illustrations. There is a letter to find on every page and all sorts of things that start with the letter to find as well. The letter E page has evergreens, Elvis, and eleven eggs, just to name a few!

Arts and Crafts:
We did fingerpainting for the first time this week! E had a lot of fun, once she got over the idea that she was going to have to have messy hands.

Favorite Photo:
E kissing her pumpkin