Thursday, September 27, 2012


Theme: Beach Vacation
Honey Pot is 2 years and 4 months old
Little M&M is 6 months old

(To view even more beach ideas, please click here!)

We are going on vacation next week! I avoided a beach theme all summer so that we could use it as a way to psych up for our trip. I think it was a huge success! I tried to keep to a “beach” theme and not an “ocean” theme, because then we could have gone on forever. We’ll save that one for another time! Take a look at what we did!


We checked out almost a dozen beach-related books from the library this week. Some of our favorites include Just Grandma and Me, by Mercer Mayer; Curious George Goes to the Beach, by Margret & H.A. Rey; Stella: Star of the Sea, by Marie-Louise Gay and Clifford The Big Red Dog: The Missing Beach Ball, by Sonali Fry. They were great fun to read, and helped reintroduce Honey Pot to the beach, as she was only seventeen months old when we last went!

Beach Countdown

I wanted Honey Pot to get some counting practice this week, and what better way than a daily ritual that gets us looking ahead to our trip! This is her first chain craft at all, and as you’ll see, it involves so many different fine motor skills from taping to gluing to using scissors. First I cut strips of construction paper, and had her help me tape them together to form a chain.

Then I used a craft punch to make circles, and Honey Pot helped me glue the smaller ones to the bigger ones.

I added numbers to each one. We identified each of the numbers and counted them up. Then she helped me glue one to each chain. The chain by itself was quite plain still, so I printed out a beach-themed coloring page to add to the top.

She, her Daddy and I took turns coloring in parts of the page.

Here it is!

And each day before breakfast, in the week leading up to our vacation, Honey Pot grabbed her scissors and snipped off the bottom chain. We counted the remaining links, looked at the number and that was how many days we had left till departure. What fun!

Painting Seashells

I had purchased a set of seashells from the Dollar Tree. Not the prettiest of shells, but we actually got a lot of use out of them! First up, we gathered our paints in some pretty, beachy colors, and painted them.

And, for the first time, we used GLITTER! Honey Pot was very excited to spoon it out herself. She did a great job at sprinkling it over each of the still-wet shells.

Here is our finished work. The photos really do not do them justice – they really sparkle! I just love how they came out! They are on display (in their original basket from the Dollar Tree!) on our kitchen table.

Sensory Bag

I wanted Little M&M to enjoy some seashells too! So I filled a freezer bag with water, tinted it blue with food coloring, and added a handful of seashells. Then I sealed it and put that bag into another bag for durability! I set him up on a beach towel and gave it to him. He had so much fun squishing the bag. I tried to take it away for a moment for a picture before he ruined it, but he got so upset! That’s how much he was enjoying it, lol! So, sorry…no picture. But here he is playing with it!

Even Honey Pot wanted to play with it!

And she’s so silly…

Beach Scrapbooks

This will be our fourth annual trip to the beach, Honey Pot’s third. So I pulled out our scrapbooks from the ones she has attended and let her peruse them. She loved looking at the pictures of a younger her, and all the fun she had had at the beach during vacations past.

Crab Hand-print Craft

I found this idea on Pinterest. There were so many versions but I particularly loved the one originating from the blog called Daily Dose of Sugar Mama. So we used that as inspiration! First I tore a piece of beige paper for Honey Pot to glue onto a blue piece, resembling sand.

Then I painted her hands red, and pressed them down onto the page in the shape of a crab. Honey Pot glued on some small seashells…

And some googly eyes.

Then some cotton ball clouds in the sky.

It came out so cute! And I love how tactile this craft is – cotton, shells and googly eyes. Adorable. We may just bring this on vacation with us and post it on the fridge, lol!

Beach Small World

This is our second small world sensory bin. (Check out the first froggy one we did here!) I decided to use Cheerios as sand, so I enlisted in Honey Pot’s help smashing them up. We used her mini rolling pin and toy hammer.

It took quite some effort with her small tools, so we didn't wait for it to be a fine powder. We were in a hurry to create the rest of the beach and play! So I grabbed a spare piece of Tupperware for our beach. Then we added some shells (still leftover from that one batch from the Dollar Tree), two cocktail umbrellas, a blue piece of paper (laminated) and small pieces of felt as beach towels.

Then it was time to play! She grabbed her Minnie and Mickey right away! They lied on their beach towels, splashed in the ocean, built sand castles, buried their feet in sand, sat in the shade of their umbrellas, dried off with their towels, looked at seashells…all kinds of things we’re going to be doing next week. It was a great preview! And Honey Pot just loves this type of pretend play!

Letter Recognition and Matching

I wanted to add a little bit of alphabet review to this theme as well, so I created a simple worksheet in Photoshop Elements. On it were three common words: beach, sun and shell. I made them into sunshine shapes, and used my circle punch for the corresponding letters. She did awesome matching them up! When she picked up a letter, if she didn't say what it was, I asked her. She knew just about all of these, and matched them up without difficulty. A quick add-on activity, and a wonderful letter review!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Theme: Apples
Age: Honey Pot is 2 years and 4 months old

Apple Book

We pulled out one apple-themed book from our library this week. It’s called Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, and is about a family that takes a trip to the orchard to go apple-picking. The text was quite easy for her to understand in most parts. But this book does go into great detail about apple varieties, parts of an apple, etc., so we just skipped over those pages. She seemed to enjoy it, and I love that there were several aspects of the story that we could relate to throughout our apple week (i.e. apple-picking, stamping and making applesauce)!


We had such a wonderful time picking apples at the orchards! Honey Pot was a huge help, and loved munching on them as we picked. Yum, yum!

Apple Stamping and Snack

I had seen this craft frequently on Pinterest, and thought we’d give it a try. Looking back, I should have used red, yellow and green paint (as those are the colors of apples) but for some reason I was thinking of autumn. So we used orange instead of green, and it looked very festive!

We had picked three varieties of apples at the orchard. So I sliced one of each in half, and stuck a corn skewer onto it as a handle. (This worked so well!) Then I demonstrated how to dip the apple into the paint and onto the paper. She quickly got the hang of it, and really enjoyed it!

As we continued on, I noticed that less paint is more effective. The prints look so much better!

Then we sliced up each of the three remaining apple halves, and had a sweet snack!

Making Applesauce

Honey Pot and her Daddy made applesauce this week! She was such a great little helper. We had her move all the sliced apples from the cutting board to the bowl. Then later, she helped as we cranked the food mill that we borrowed from  her Grammy. We may just have to invest in one of those because this turned out just delicious!

Apples and Shapes

This activity, as well as the next two, came from the blog 1+1+1=1, a great homeschooling website with tons of ideas and free printables. Honey Pot had to match up the apple halves with the same shape. I helped her get started…

“It’s a tent!” she exclaimed, after bending the piece up a bit.

And then she really got the hang of it.

Apple Size Sequencing

Honey Pot loved this activity! I asked her if she wanted to start with the biggest or the smallest. She decided on the biggest, and worked her way backward from there. She did an awesome job! When she finished, she even asked to do it again.

Do-A-Dot Apple Tree

I had meant for Honey Pot to use her magnetic pom-poms for this worksheet. But, well… we couldn’t find it anywhere! So I improvised and pulled out her Do-A-Dot markers instead. Ah, well.

What a fun week, and we are so excited for the upcoming season. We’ll be doing a beach theme over the next two weeks to prepare for our vacation. But stay tuned beyond that for some fun autumn and Halloween themes!