Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Letter a Day...Ww!

We started this morning out with a walk around the neighborhood. It was too hot yet and it was a nice little exercise for us both. When we came back,  we ate waffles. As we ate, we talked about words that begin with W. Then I had my son go around the house and find things that begin with W. I thought this would be a bit difficult, so I made sure to set out a watch, wallet, and a few other things. Then he placed each thing he found into a little wagon.
We did color experiments with food coloring and water. We found that when you add blue to yellow you get green, red and yellow make orange, red and blue make purple, etc. Then we poured a small amount of water from the bowl into a measuring cup and determined which one weighed more. Then we poured a tiny amount from the measuring cup into a measuring spoon and determined which weighed less. We did this with several cups and bowls. My son LOVED pouring the water! We did this all in the kitchen sink.
After talking about water, I told my son about Jesus walking on water. I let him watch the cartoon video clip: and then we made a craft with Jesus walking on water towards the boat. The cloud in the picture says, "Keep you eyes on Jesus". You can find this craft at:
 After that we put our swimsuits on and played in the water outside. We have a water table so I brought out all the measuring cups, bowls, and spoons from our color experiment and let him play with them. While he played, I read a book and got some sun!
For snack we had watermelon and for lunch I made him Wagon Wheel pasta. Then, we went and visited Daddy at work! He even got to ride with Daddy on a tractor with giant wheels! What a great way to end the day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Letter a Day...Ll!

My son came tearing down the stairs this morning to discover today's letter, Ll! We had a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast and then got dressed and went to our local library. We participated in the story time activity in which we listened to a story, sang songs, and made a craft. Afterwards, we checked out some books that had the letter L in them. Ladybug, Ladybug by Ruth Brown, The Lamb and the Butterfly by Arnold Sundgaard, and Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson. Then, we had lunch at Logan's Roadhouse.
 Once we got home, it was time for nap. My son chose a book that we checked out and we read it before I put him to bed. While he napped, I got caught up on some laundry! After nap, we did our Do-A-Dot for letter L and then made a lady bug. I am including it in it's original size so you can print if you'd like! We used black dot paint for the spots, but you could draw them with marker or use stamp pad or paint and do your child's fingerprints. A great ladybug story is, The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. Then we made Lollipops with watercolors.
For an afternoon snack we made homemade lemonade to go along with our lemon cream cookies! I found the recipe here:

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Letter A Day...Bb!

Photo: Letter B....Band-Aid butterflies! 

My son woke up this morning and immediately said, "What letter are we doing today?!" I am so happy that this little 'game' has made him excited about learning. The letter Bb was taped to the door today. We ate blueberry waffles and bacon for breakfast as we brainstormed all the things we could think of that start with "b". We did our Do-a-Dot letter Bb and then made Band-Aid butterflies.
I have decided to print off a block letter of each letter that we do and create some sort of craft beginning with that letter on paper vertically or "portrait" (like the Band-Aid Butterflies) so that I can put each in a binder in page protectors that I can eventually have as an Alphabet book that my son created to review all the letters in the alphabet.

So, it was a rainy day today. We still blew bubbles on the porch, built buildings with blocks, turned up the radio and pretended we were in a band, and
 took a bubble bath. Later, for some fine motor
development, I had a bag of those small fuzzy
pom pom balls from the craft store and put a handful
in a small Dixie cup. I gave my son some graspers
(you could also use chopstix although that may be
more difficult) and had him pick up one ball at a time
from the Dixie cup and place it in a bowl. When he
put all of them in, he had to transfer them one at a
 time again back into the Dixie cup.

 For lunch we had Bunny Pasta and bananas! We took a little trip to Barnes and Noble this afternoon. We went on a hunt through the children's section for things that start with "B". My son found a book about bugs, babies, a Blues Clues dog, bath toys, and a stuffed animal bunny. We picked out three books and read them together. Then we had a "big" cookie at the coffee shop inside the store with "brown" milk (chocolate milk). Ha! I'm trying here! :)

After dinner, my son helped me make blueberry cobbler with all the blueberries we had left! It was delicious. Before I put him to bed, he wanted to know what letter would be next. He is having so much fun with this! Here is the recipe for the blueberry cobbler:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Letter A Day...Ss!

I made smiley face pancakes for breakfast and introduced the letter Ss to my son. The we did the Do-A-Dot letter S page. You can do a similar handwriting if you click here... We then went outside and played with sidewalk chalk. We made the letter S, drew a sun, a snake, etc and then I let him draw whatever he wanted. When we came inside, I gave my child a box with a lot of different animal pictures that I cut out. You can print and cut a few out from and click on other letters and print several more. You could also create a word document and choose clip art animals beginning with S. We pulled one picture out at a time and said the name of the animal. Then, I asked if it started with S. If it did we glued it on a piece of construction paper that I labeled with an Ss. If not, we set it aside. I let my son use a glue stick and had him glue them to the paper to build fine motor skills and get used to using a glue stick. I teach my kindergarteners to put glue on the back of the cutout they are gluing and not the main sheet. This way the page doesn't end up a sticky mess! We put our S Animal Collage' on the refrigerator.

For snack, we had "sushi". This was not real sushi but a fun way to make fake sushi using Rice Crispy cereal, marshmallows, fruit roll-ups, and gummy worms. You can find the recipe at
                                       Mock Sushi

I had to run some errands today and while in the car, I handed my son a car ride "Scavenger Hunt" on a clipboard. While we drove around town, he had to find the different things on his page.

 For lunch we grabbed a kids meal at Sonic along with a Strawberry Fruit Slush! Yum! When we got home we made suncatchers. I bought the kit at Michaels. Then, we played outside in the sprinkler!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Letter a Day...Ff

Letter Ff was the letter of the day! We started with the book, Firefighters to the Rescue by Kersten Hamilton. We followed the book with a fun craft. I printed out a fire hydrant for the boys to paint red. For the one I used, click here: While waiting for our fire hydrants to dry, we painted fire by using red and yellow on a sheet of white construction paper. We found that mixing those colors makes orange! Then, we set that aside to dry and painted a small square of foil (that starts with F!) blue to make the water. We glued the fire hydrant on the white paper with the fire, then cut the foil to look like water. Next, I taped a piece of pipe cleaner next to the fire hydrant to look like a hose and then glued the blue foil we cut out to look like water spraying out! So fun! We used crayola tempera paint.
View full image   

With the paint still out, we used a sheet of blue construction paper and put drops of red and yellow paint on it. Then, the kids used straws to blow the paint in different directions. This made it look like fire! You could also use liquid glue and have them blow it and then add glitter for Fireworks! I had planned to take a trip to the local fire station for the kids to meet the firemen and learn about fire safety. Unfortunately, things came up and they couldn't accommodate our visit today. We'll try again another time!
For snack today, we had Fruit Loops and grapes (fruit). You could also have goldfish. Then, we made the letter F with the Do-A-Dot markers. We will do this each day with each new letter. We also practiced writing the capital F on lined handwriting paper. I like Zaner-Bloser block style writing the best for teaching children to make letters.
We headed out to the local fish store to check out the fish and the frogs. The kids LOVED this. We saw all kinds of fish and some really interesting frogs!
When we got home, I read a Zootles magazine about Frogs. It was fascinating. These magazines are fabulous for children ages 2-5. The one I read today incorporated the letter F and fun facts about frogs and their habitats. After reading a bit, these two kiddos were ready for a nap!
We made a frog as well! I cut out a green circle, traced my child's hands and then ovals for the eyes on black and white paper. So cute!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Letter a Day...Aa!

 Quality Do-a-dot Markers 4 Asst by Do-a-dot Art
You may be wondering why I didn't just start with A. My son knows the alphabet song backwards and forwards. I started to think that he may guess what letter was next if I did it sequentially and the anticipation would be lost. So, I'm doing it at random. Today was the letter Aa. Once again, I had the letter taped on the door for my son to see as he came downstairs this morning. I made Apple Bread the night before. Here is the recipe: After breakfast, we played on the starfall website: under the first category "ABC's". Then we read the book Apple Farmer Annie  by Monica Wellington. I printed off Uppercase Do-A-Dot Letters and had my son stamp dots inside the letter. You can print these off at and purchase dot markers from Amazon or a local parent/teacher store. Above is pic of what the markers look like. We then made alligators out of a capital A (and talked about triangles for the teeth).  We also made an apple craft. I painted the palm of my child's hand red and stamped it on a sheet of construction paper. Then he dipped his finger in black paint and we made little ants around the apple. I drew a stem and leaf and the apple , and legs and antenna for the ants after they dried.For morning snack time we made Ants on a log. I cut up celery sticks, spread peanut butter over them (use soy butter for substitute) and then put raisins on top! For our afternoon snack we made Apple Carousels. You simple cut the middle out of an apple, spread peanut butter on the top and bottom halves, push in pretzel sticks to reconnect top and bottom slices, then add in animal crackers!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Letter A Day....Pp!

Today is the letter P! I printed out each letter of the alphabet on paper (Upper and lowercase together on each page). 
I put a new letter each morning on our front door. This morning when my son woke up he found the letter on the door. I told him the letter and what sound it makes. Then he traced over the letters with his finger. 
For breakfast he had Cherry Pomegran Pop-tarts (made by Nature's Path organic) with pineapples and peach yogurt. We talked about each food and I really stressed the 'p' sound on each one. 
After breakfast, I told him that we were going on a treasure hunt. The first "clue" was a picture I took on my phone of the playground in our neighborhood. I told my son that we had to get dressed and go to the playground.  Inside my shorts pocket is a small pack of purple kool-aid. That will be for later. I grabbed a bottle of water and we were off!
When we reached the playground, there was a pirate costume on the bench. I bought this at Target on the dollar aisle and put it at the park before he woke up this morning. We talked about how "pirate" starts with "p" and so does "playground". Then we played pirates together for a while.

Underneath the playground slide I taped a picture and the word "park". I told him that was our next clue. Our neighborhood park is within walking distance from our home so this was all very easy. 
On our walk to the park, I told my son to look for things that started with the letter "p". He found a puddle, puppy, princess bicycle, and of course the park. We even found the letter "p" on a sign. 
After playing at the park for a while, we set off back home. We stopped at a bench to rest and heard my phone alarm go off (of course I planned this). I told him it was our next clue and I showed him a picture on my phone of a "pocket". We thought about what this clue would mean and I suggested that we check our pockets. Inside mine was the purple kool-aid. We mixed it into our bottle of water and had a nice little drink. My alarm went off again 5 minutes later with another clue. I told him it was a video. I opened up a short 5 min video of Peppa Pig on You Tube. So we sat on the bench and watched Peppa Pig and drank kool-aid. So fun!

When we got back to the house, we made a cheese pizza together for lunch. Some other ideas would be to go on a picnic or a restaurant that starts with the letter P. After lunch we went to the pool and swam. 

It is now nap time and I can get caught up on some laundry while my little smarty pants snoozes!
Here are a few other things I have planned for today: Play-doh, paper-plate pig craft, and popcorn and the movie Peter Pan before bedtime tonight. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fine Motor Skills

Many parents don't think about building fine motor skills in their children. These are skills that build your child's small muscles (mostly in the hands) that are needed for writing, using a computer, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. Boys tend to have more difficulty in this area than girls. 
Here are some ideas for helping your child build fine motor skills at home. You can draw a circle with liquid glue on construction paper. Give your child a small cup filled with fruit loops or cheerios. Have him/her pick one out at a time and press into the glue on the paper to complete the circle. To make it even more challenging have them do this with chopsticks or plastic tongs (you can find these on Oriental Trading along with a great motor skills game called "Feed the Animals"). Playdoh is another good way to build motor skills. Rolling, cutting, and creating different objects with the doh is fun for kids! Lacing beads and cards are helpful. A fun little game for older toddlers is the old wind-up fishing game. I just bought "Shark Fenzy" which is a new form of the game. I've also seen them at Walgreens. For the computer there is a fabulous mouse for practice. I bought it on Amazon and its called "CTMO Computer Mouse".  There are some great websites for building mouse skills as well:    

8428 Shark Frenzy! Wind Up Fishing Game by Toysmith

 Hog Wild Fish Sticks One Piece Chopstick Tongs - Set of 12

Friday, June 1, 2012

Scavenger Hunts

I found a simple scavenger hunt online and printed it off. It was mostly objects found outside around the neighborhood (a stop sign, squirrel, fire hydrant, mailbox, and a bicycle). I put the checklist of pictures on a clipboard and off we went. This was just a fun way to entertain my child as well as introduce some new vocabulary for everyday objects and explain what they are. He loved this activity. Since then, we have done all kinds of fun scavenger hunts. This is a great link with different kinds of scavenger hunt ideas for you to do with your child.