Monday, April 6, 2015



We borrowed the following from the library this week. The kids' favorites were Easter Cat (super funny!) and Clifford's Happy Easter. For younger kids I would also suggest one that we enjoyed during both this year and last year's Easter theme, Hippity Skippity Easter. Love the flowing text and sweet message.

Tin Foil Art

I borrowed this idea from Paging Fun Mums. Theirs are pretty awesome, and we will have to try this again. First I drew simple egg designs onto cardboard, and traced over them with a hot glue gun.

Then I covered each in foil, pressing around the glue.

The kids grabbed some Sharpie markers and colored them as they pleased. This was a real treat, as we don't use permanent markers often!

And they came out cute, and shiny!

Carrot Craft

This printable triangle carrot and idea comes from this site. I love finding new items to paint with, and this was perfect for our Easter theme. We printed out the carrot template, and reviewed what the shape is called. Then we grabbed some fresh carrots and orange paint. Little M&M took an interesting approach, and first stamped along the outline.

Honey Pot, by contrast, decided to stamp right in the middle first.

In the end though, both carrots were completely covered!

When they had dried, I cut them out and hung them up. Lovely!

Size Sorting and Which is Different?

This is a quick activity, mainly for Little M&M. This printable and the other shown below come from Gift of Curiosity

First I asked him to sort the chicks from largest to smallest...

then Honey Pot wanted a turn, so she sorted them from smallest to largest.

Then Little M&M tried a Which is Different worksheet. He found the first one right away, but the others were a real challenge!

Sticker Stories

Honey Pot loves telling sticker stories! We've done this activity a number of times. I pulled out some cute Easter stickers, and she got right to work. She'd peel off stickers and place them on her sheet, while simultaneously telling me the story aloud.

Here is her final product, and the story is transcribed below:

"How Wonderful is Easter in Bunny World
Once there was a chick and she was excited for Easter. But first she was in an egg. So the mother rabbit sitted on her eggs, and then soon the two eggs hatched. First the blue one hatched and then the pink one hatched on the next day. They were older by now, and the sister chick, who was the oldest, played while her mother got some carrots in her wheelbarrow. But it was almost Easter so she gave her a flower. The sister was so happy. Then the Easter Bunny came while everyone was asleep. She wanted to give them lots of eggs, 'cause they were all good. She had to hide them but the children awoke. So she hided one here, and hided one here. And she hided one right here. And the thing she wanted most of all was to wake up her friends and give one to her mom on top of the flower. When it was morning they did find the eggs. Two of them in the garden and two up in the trees. And the most fun of all was their surprise! The Easter bunny woke up her mom and found the egg on the flower that she gave to them. And they had a happy day. The end."

Little M&M didn't wish to tell a story, but he did enjoy peeling and placing his set of stickers.

Scissor Skills

Honey Pot worked on some scissor skills with this worksheet, also from Gift of Curiosity.

Pom Pom Transfer

Little M&M worked on his fine motor skills as well, with this pom pom transfer using egg trays.

First he used the pink tongs to transfer them from the blue bunny to the pink...

and then he used the orange tongs to transfer them from the pink bunny to the blue!

Counting and Patterns

These printables come from Gift of Curiosity's Easter do-a-dot pack. First he worked on counting with one-to-one correspondence, as well as number recognition.

Then he worked on ABAB patterns.

Easter Playdough

To make our playdough activity a little different this week, we used two Easter cookie cutters as well as some plastic eggs. The kids really enjoyed making egg molds with the latter!

Bunny Hop[scotch], Alphabet Review

To review the letters Little M&M has learned so far, as well as introduce the one coming next week, we had a bunny hop game. I printed bunny paw prints from the internet and colored them to match our bunny ears. Then I taped them to the floor in a zigzag motion, the way bunnies hop.

The kids had to roll the die, and say which letter landed face-up. Then they would hop to that letter and back again!

It was a terrific review! And Little M&M is already recognizing next week's letter with confidence!

Marshmallow Science Experiment

We did the classic microwave experiment with Peeps this week! First we put two Peeps side-by-side, to observe them with our senses. We felt their texture and consistency, noted their color and the fact that they were sticky. We smelled them. Then we made a hypothesis about what would happen if we put it in the microwave.

We started with 15 seconds. Immediately they noticed that it got bigger!

Honey Pot continued to make observations about how it felt as compared to the original.

Finally we took a third Peep and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. It was huge! Honey Pot even noted that it started to change color, as on the bottom it had started to brown.

Measuring with Marshmallows

I printed out clipart in three sizes, and provided Honey Pot with some marshmallows to use as manipulatives. For each egg, she had to first guess how many marshmallows she would need to fill it and then compare that number to how many she actually needed.

For the first egg she guessed 16. The actual amount was ten. So I asked her to write both numbers, and tell me which number was more/less.

For the middle sized egg, she guessed 21 and the actual amount was 22! Great guessing! Finally, she guessed 40 for the largest egg. Then she worked carefully to fill it up with marshmallows.

The actual count was 46. This turned out to be a great lesson in counting, estimation, fine motor skills, number writing, comparison words such as more/less...and it was even a tasty snack to boot!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Race Car / Cars Birthday Party!

Little M&M had a super successful birthday party! This year he chose Cars as his party theme. Check out the decorations, as well as what went on during party time!

First, the invitation! I created this in Photoshop Elements. I took out his name, address and phone number but you can get a good idea of how it looked:

On the way in party guests walked by our cars, which had been turned into Cars characters using poster board and crayons.

We mostly use the side entrance to our house instead of the front door. So I printed out a street sign to help guide people in the right way!

And here is the poster I taped to that door.

Birthday printable template comes from this blog!

Here are some other street signs that were hung throughout the house. The "Do Not Enter" sign was taped to a door in our house that leads to a few rooms we didn't want the kids to wander through. We wanted to contain the party. The "Speed Limit 21 and over!" sign was hanging above the stairs to the basement, where adults would find alcoholic beverages and could do some gambling after the scheduled party events. And the "Yield" sign was hanging where a few rooms met, just for fun!

Here is a glimpse of the dining room, all set for the ten kids to eat their lunch. Little M&M had a giant Lightning McQueen balloon taped to the back of his!

Close-up of each individual table setting: the cups and forks came from Walmart. The plates, napkins and checkered tablecloth came from Oriental Trading!

Here is the buffet table, where we had most of the food. The checkered banner is also from Oriental Trading.

Now onto my favorite part...the food! We had all of Little M&M's favorites!

Fillmore's Organic Fuel (water) and Dinoco Fuel (apple juice).

Sally's Cozy Cones (Bugles).

Doc's Dipsticks (Veggie Straws).

Race Cars (apples and grapes). I saw these on Pinterest, and had to try them!

Mater's Tater Chips and Salsa.

The Piston (fruit) Cup!

Traffic Lights (Rice Krispies Treats).

Luigi's Casa della Tires (chocolate donuts, with a skewer to hold the tower up).

Lightning's Hot Rods (hot dogs). Buns and condiments were on the table beside this.

Sarge's Subs (assorted heroes).

Mack's Mac & Cheese.

And here were our cupcakes. Vanilla and chocolate were offered. Checkered flag toothpicks are from Oriental Trading. The cupcake liners and candles were also black and white striped, purchased just at our local grocery store.

Here's the birthday boy, in a Lightning McQueen shirt, of course!

We also printed out this picture from our recent Disney World vacation, and set it up in a frame near the party food. Certainly not an elaborate photo display, like last year's Paw Patrol party, but still cute!

We always like to have a fun craft during our parties. As guests arrived, we lead the kids right over to the little picnic table where they could decorate their very own race car! The wooden race cars are from Oriental Trading. We just used markers of assorted colors, self-adhesive acrylic shapes and googly eyes. They all worked really hard on these!

As they finished, the kids were able to test out their cars on the roads I made using free printables from Picklebums. How awesome are these?! I put a piece of brown craft paper across their train table, and it worked out really well. Notice Little M&M's car (red like Lightning McQueen) and Honey Pot's car (with the adorable smiley face)!

Later, after lunch, we raced their cars! My husband created this awesome race track for us. The kids had a blast!! And look at all those fancy cars!

Party Favors are always fun to put together. We had these set up on a table beside the door. The label that I added to each says "[Child's Name] thank you for coming!" I used the free printable labels from this site to create these.

Here's a close-up of the sign above them:

And inside the paper bags were:

- Cars Stickers
- Cars easy return  yo-yo
- Cars Bubbles
- Cars Jellybeans

This party was so much fun to put together!