Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Bucket List

Even though we didn't accomplish everything on our summer bucket list, we still loved having it. But, a new season deserves a new list, so here's our Fall Bucket List. Everything is simple and most can be accomplished at home or close to home. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Story Time: The Ghost Catcher

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

One of the books I found to go along with our study of India was The Ghost Catcher by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss. It is a wonderful retelling of a traditional Indian folktale of a barber from Bengal who is so kindhearted that he does not want to charge anyone for his services. He and his wife are very poor and she becomes angry and tells him that he must start charging for his services. He goes to a neighboring town so as not to have to ask his current customers for money. While there he encounters a ghost. The barber is able to outwit the ghost and find a solution to all his problems. The story is fast-paced and witty and captured Lizzie's attention immediately. The illustrations are bold and colorful and beautifully capture the colors and artwork of India.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Coin Matching Game

I can't take credit for this game, but I did want to share it with you since it is such a great idea. I found the original idea at this post from Sun Scholars. (When you're done reading this post, you really need to check out the post at Sun Scholars, it's full of great preschool tray ideas!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tiger Masks


Since our exploration of Japan was such a success, I decided we'd continue on with our trip around the world and stop off in India. Since India is one of the few places in the world that tigers live in the wild, I knew the girls would enjoy learning about them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Travel Activity Bags

As you're reading this post, I'm probably off on an epic road trip with my girls. To say I'm a bit nervous is an understatement. I've never traveled this far alone with the two of them, so I've been preparing and preparing and preparing to make sure I have plenty of stuff to keep them occupied. The girls are 4 and 2, so I tried to come up with activities that were mess-free and they could do without any help.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Bingo

Lizzie has a tendency to not want to try new things, whether it be food, clothes or books. She'll latch on to a specific book and want to hear it over and over. Or, she'll want to wear the same outfit day in and day out, all the while refusing to wear a new shirt we just bought. Now, I know this is very normal for a 4-year-old, but I'd still like her to branch out a little and be more willing to try new things. That's where Book Bingo is (hopefully) going to help.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Girl and a Glue Gun

Yes, I did hand Lizzie a glue gun and no, I was not insane at the time. I had been thinking about the idea ever since I read this post by Teacher Tom. I knew Lizzie was capable and I also knew she was careful enough to handle it. I also knew that this activity would work best if we tried it while AJ was napping. I'm definitely not ready to help a 2-year-old with a glue gun!

This book contains Amazon Affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Driveway Obstacle Course

I've been toying with the idea of making an obstacle course for the girls all summer. But, for one reason or the other, it never happened. Perhaps it was a lack of ideas or maybe just a bit of summer laziness, but nonetheless, it never happened. That is, until inspiration struck and I realized "hey, I can make an obstacle course with just a bit of sidewalk chalk!"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tape Resist Painting

To be quite honest, I debated whether or not to post this project because as you'll see, it didn't quite turn out for us. But, as had been the overriding theme during our art week, it was all about the process and not the end product. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sidewalk Painting

Today, we took our art outside! The girls have been wanting to spend as much time outside as possible since the weather has been absolutely perfect. I had planned on doing sidewalk painting during our art week anyways and this was the perfect day for it. This is one of those projects that everyone is doing. Of course, everyone is doing it because it's tons of fun and easy to prepare too! I used this post by Pink and Green Momma for inspiration and to find out how to make the paint. The combination that worked well for me was one part cornstarch to one part water. I was also very generous with the food coloring. Keep in mind when making sidewalk paint, it will dry lighter and will also look chalky, thanks to the cornstarch.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cardboard Roll Stamping

I've been hoarding empty toilet paper rolls lately (yes, an embarrassing admission). So to avoid ending up on an episode of Hoarders and also to make my husband happy, I decided it was time to use up some of them. I had recently ran across the idea of toilet paper roll stamping on Tot School and decided to give it a go. I squished the rolls into shapes at one end and set out a few colors of tempura paint (I loosened the paint up a bit with water because it seemed a bit too thick for this project).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Window Art

Art doesn't have to always be confined to paper or even clay. After bookmarking this wonderful post by You'll Thank Me One Day and arming myself with the revolutionary idea that wet craft foam sticks to windows, I set the girls to work. They each had a bowl of water, a paint brush and a bowl of craft foam shapes. The original concept was to paint the back of the shapes, then stick them on the window. Well, evidently that wasn't a satisfactory way to do this. The girls immediately started painting the water directly on the window then sticking the pieces on. Well, that works too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Making Masks

Lizzie loves to find a project waiting for her when she wakes up in the morning. This morning, to go along with our art week, I put out several elements the girls could use to make masks. I cut out simple mask shapes from paper plates, added crayons, a small basket of star stickers, glue sticks and the paper plate scraps I had cut off the masks. It didn't take her long this morning to get to work. AJ soon joined the fun.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coffee Filter Butterflies

This week is going to be all about art! I have tons of projects for us to do and we're going to create, create, create. Our first project was coffee filter butterflies. My original inspiration came from this post by Naturally Educational (although I know I've seen many other wonderful versions.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Japanese Garden Trip

I was very delighted to find a small Japanese garden close to home. It was the perfect field trip for our Japan theme week. We talked a bit about the garden before we got there. I wanted the girls to understand that it was not a place to go running and yelling through. They understood quite well and seemed to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the garden.