Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Bucket List 2012

Anyone who has been on Pinterest recently has seen one version of this or another. I think it is a great idea! I wanted to keep mine simple, since Honey Pot and Little M&M are too young to participate in the list making and design. So I went to a site called Wordle, where you can create the most wonderful word clouds! After refreshing the design and tweaking the color scheme to my liking, I placed the word cloud into Photoshop Elements to add a title and bucket clip art. This is what I came up with.


I am so excited to get started!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day

Theme: Memorial Day
Honey Pot is 2 years old

Star Cookie Cutter Prints

Memorial Day is coming up! We kicked off the return to our Tot School adventures with a fun craft that I discovered on No Time For Flash Cards. It had been so long since we put on her smock and had some messy fun. She was so excited to go to her craft table! First I squirt out a little bit of red and blue paint onto a paper plate – she told me what the colors were. I then asked which cookie cutter she wanted to start with, as we have multiple sizes. I was so pleased when she said “the big one,” and then later, “the small one.” She has grown so much even over the course of two months! I showed her how to press the cookie cutter into the paint, and then press it onto the paper. She quickly caught on, and she really enjoyed this project.


We used her magnetic pom poms on our homemade chalkboard for the first time. I created a simple pattern, and asked her if she could create the same pattern on the line below.

 She started off well!

For the second pattern, I just asked her to sort the pom poms by color.

Shaving Cream Sensory Bin

For our new and improved Tot School, I want to include more sensory experiences. (The water beads were such a HUGE hit during our purple theme!) But Honey Pot doesn’t like a mess…so I wasn’t sure how she would handle this activity. She asked me to go first, so I did. Then she hesitantly dipped one hand in.

I encouraged her to dig in with both hands, to squish it around. We discussed its properties, and swirled it around with a rubber spatula. I added a few drops of red and blue paint as well, to tie it in (however minimally) with our Memorial Day theme. Then we kicked it up a notch and squirted water into it (…this was her favorite part).

 After she had had enough, I began to clean up our station. (I also threw in an impromptu load of laundry!) Then I patted some of the shaving cream mixture onto paper, folded the paper in half, and opened it up for her. I didn’t expect it to look like anything in particular. But it did, and she helped point it out. “Butterfly!”

Red, White and Blue Jello Stars

Honey Pot and I made Jello for the holiday as well. (I found the recipe and idea here.) She helped me mix ingredients together. We discussed the hot water and the cold water as we used them. And she even helped me to cut the stars out. They came out very pretty…and were tasty too!

American Flag Craft

We also made a simple American Flag. I provided Honey Pot with strips of paper from my scrap stash, as well as her star stickers and some glue. She placed a couple of the stripes on herself, but lost interest after that. So I finished them and then directed her to the stickers!

Alphabet Review

I know we have only covered letters ‘A’ through ‘G’ individually, but I thought it would be nice to incorporate some alphabet review into this week’s theme. I wrote down some words related to the holiday and asked her to point out particular letters. She did great – even with letters we haven’t covered yet. I read the words to her, but didn’t go into much discussion about what they mean or how they relate to the holiday. She is only two after all!

Then she decided to draw freely on the chalkboard. Apparently this is a picture of a girl. Sure…I can see that.

Magnetic Pom Poms

We concluded our theme this week by placing magnetic pom poms on a picture of the American Flag. It is always such a simple and fun way to extend our activities, and practice fine motor skills. The free printable came from Making Learning Fun.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Handprint Family Craft

Honey Pot is 2 years old
Little M&M is 2 months old

I had seen this idea on Pinterest (originating from this blog) and decided that, while on hiatus from Tot School, we needed some creative fun. For a while, Little M&M kept his hands clenched in we waited until he was a little older. Finally, on Mother's Day, the timing was right!

We traced all of our hands on bright cardstock, cut them out, and glued them in size order. Then I matted it on a piece of cardstock that matched the smallest hand.

I am so in love with it. I may make it an annual Mother's Day tradition.

Because it's my holiday...and why not? :)