Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The porch light is off.

The candy bowl is empty.

The kids are in bed.

Halloween is over.

My little bear and my little witch had a great time wandering the neighborhood with Daddy while I stayed behind to hand out candy.

By the time they got home, their excitement had gave way to exhaustion. 

Tomorrow is November and all the Halloween fun gets put away until next year.

It was a blast and we made many good memories. Hope your Halloween was fun!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Card Making Basket

I recently set out a little basket of card-making supplies for the girls to make Halloween cards.

I kept it simple with pre-folded card stock and a variety of stickers.

Sticking stickers is always a popular activity with my girls, so I knew they would be excited to see the basket.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Painting on Wet Paper

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I was recently inspired to pick up a copy of the book Science Arts: Discovering Science Through Art Experiences (Bright Ideas for Learning) by MaryAnn Kohl at the library. It was a well-used copy and it's no wonder. The book is full of fun, interesting and creative activities designed to combine science concepts with art. There are projects for all ages of kids. In fact, I don't think you could be too old to have fun with this book. 

The project we decided to tackle first was painting on wet paper, which was designed to demonstrate the concept of diffusion.

I waited until AJ was napping before starting the project. On hindsight, even at 2, she could have had fun with this project.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feeding the Birds...

We had a beautiful autumn day yesterday and we decided it was the perfect day to tackle #19 on our Fall Bucket List, feed the birds.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fun With a Circle...

We went outside with the intention of creating another driveway obstacle course.

But, this time, we only got as far as the circle... the one large circle. The girls started running and giggling and decided all they needed was a circle to have fun.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Little Pumpkins...

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Can you believe we've never read the Five Little Pumpkins before?

I decided not to let another year pass without reading this book and added it to our story time this week.

Of course, we needed to have a little bit of fun with it. So, I made jack-o-lantern finger puppets.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Making Monsters...

They're googly-eyed, wiggly-armed and just about the cutest monsters I've ever seen! After seeing these Purple People Eaters on Toddler Approved, I knew Lizzie and AJ would have fun making their own monsters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leaf Garland...

Remember the leaves we gathered on our leaf collecting trip?

After being pressed under heavy books for a few days, we got them out to do rubbings and turn them into a pretty fall garland.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Bucket List - Revisited...

We've been working hard on our fall bucket list the last couple of weeks. Work is not quite the right word for what we've been doing, maybe I should say play hard instead!

We made pumpkin bread using this recipe from Everyday Food. Yum!

We went leaf collecting and did some apple stamping.

We made apple pie play dough using this recipe from Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas and we played with it for days. It smelled heavenly!

And last, but not least, we made our spooky spider masks!

What's next? 

We're going to do our leaf rubbings and turn them into our fall garland. We'll feed the birds this week and make our crock pot apple sauce. And of course, anything else that suits our fancy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Leaf Collecting...

We've been working on our fall bucket list a lot this week and decided yesterday was the perfect day for leaf collecting. But first, we needed something to put those leaves in.

I took brown paper lunch bags and cut them in half. We were only going to use the bottom half.
I used a pair of my craft scissors to get the zig-zag pattern on the top. Then, we got out the markers and the girls started decorating.

When they were finished, I opened up the bags, punched a hole in each side and added a long length of yarn. It was a windy day, so I wanted the girls to be able to wear them messenger-bag style.

And then, we were off!

We went to one of our local parks. It is full of trees and has several walking paths. I knew it would be perfect for leaf collecting.

We walked and picked up leaves, then walked and picked up leaves some more. Most were already brown and on the ground, but we found a few treasured yellow and red leaves while we were out.

We also stopped and examined the mossy wall. AJ loved touching it!

After a lengthy playground stop, we brought our treasures home. They're now being pressed under heavy books, just waiting for us to have more fun with them!

Have you been doing any fall activities? What sort of fall fun have you been having?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Stamping...

We did another item from our Fall Bucket List recently - apple stamping.

I set up the project by cutting a couple of apples in half. I cut one lengthwise, so we could get the apple shape. The other I cut crosswise, so we could have circles with the pretty star shape in the middle.

I grabbed a few of our craft sticks and stuck them in the apples to make the stamps easier to handle. After pouring out a couple of colors of paint, we were ready to go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Simple Peacock Feathers...

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We finished up our exploration of India by learning about their national bird, the peacock.

We began by reading the book Meet the Peacock by Suzanne Buckingham. We learned all sorts of fun facts about the peacock. One of our favorite facts was learning that only the male bird is called the peacock, the females are peahens.

After reading the book, we did a simple craft - making peacock feathers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Owl Craft Roundup...

One of the items on our Fall Bucket List is to make an owl craft. I went searching for some fun ideas and came away with so many good ones that I can't keep them to myself.

Meet the Dubiens made adorable hand print owls

Monday, October 10, 2011

Loving Literature - A New Halloween Favorite...

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We found a new favorite Halloween book this year! The 13 Days of Halloween by Carol Greene is a fun and silly read that is perfect for celebrating the season. It's a Halloween book written in the style of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Perfect for a read-aloud and sure to solicit many, many giggles.

The book follows this lovely, green lady and her gentleman friend as he attempts to give her a new gift for every day. He starts with a vulture in a dead tree and the gifts get sillier each day ending on the thirteenth day when the lady gives her gentleman friend a gift.

Grab the kids for a fun read-aloud, or even better, sing the book! Pretty soon the kids will be joining along... if they can stop giggling. I know we'll be reading this book many more times before Halloween.

If you're looking for other good Halloween reads, check these out:
The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown
Which Witch's Wand Works? by Poly Bernatene
Who's There on Halloween? by Susan Hagan Nipp and Pamela Conn Beall

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Googly-Eye Spider Masks...

Watch out! The spider's gonna get you!!

Number 13 on our Fall Bucket List was to make spider masks.

We've already began checking things off our list and recently decided that spider masks would be fun to do for craft time.

And what would make spider masks even more perfect? Why googly eyes, of course!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Indian Art - Rangoli Designs

We're still talking about India and we recently learned a little about a traditional form of Indian art, Rangoli. 

These designs are typically done on floors, but we needed something a bit more small scale! I opted for recycling a cereal box instead.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Preschool Corner

It's been awhile since I posted about our preschool corner. It's a small cubby and I place a variety of learning activities in it. Lizzie does not attend preschool so it's up to me to get her ready for kindergarten next year. I've been gathering and using quite a lengthy list of activities, so I thought I'd share a few that we've been working on lately.

1. Sorting - Lizzie loves to sort, so it's been a challenge for me to come up with ways for her to sort. This is a recent idea. I found clip art examples of different items that were hot or cold, punched them out and made two simple sorting mats. Her job is to decide if it's hot or cold. Lizzie is a whiz at this sort of activity, but she enjoys doing it, so we keep it up. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Painting

In case you ever wondered where my artsy/crafty side came from, I'd have to say I come by it naturally. My mom loves to come up with wonderful projects for the girls too!

When we were visiting my parents recently, my mom had everything needed for the girls to paint a few pumpkins. We took them outside, geared up for a mess and set the girls to painting.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mini Notebooks

Remember the mini notebooks I made the girls for our long car trip?

They were definitely a hit and now that we're home, I'm going to show you how I made them.

It's an easy process and doesn't require any special supplies. In fact, I had everything I needed already in my craft supply stash.