Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Loving Literature: Snow Books

To go along with our snow sensory bin and our snowy snowman craft, we've been reading a lot of books about winter and snow.

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We've been enjoying all the stories in Jan Brett's Snowy Treasury. It contains some of her "snowy" best stories, The Gingerbread Baby, The Mitten, The Hat, and The Three Snow Bears. If I'm not reading the stories, Lizzie is thumbing through the book enjoying the pictures.

Creative Christmas Countdown

Get ready, because starting tomorrow, a group of 24 fun and fabulous bloggers have teamed up to provide you with a activity a day to get ready to Christmas. It's being hosted by Creative With Kids, who has set up a wonderful interactive calendar to help you follow along.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Snowman in the Snow

 Since we were talking about snowy days with our snow sensory bin, I though it would be fun to do a snowman craft. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Snow Sensory and Small World Play

I've seen wonderful ideas for sensory play all over blogland, but up until now, I haven't set up a sensory bin for my girls. 

Last night, I decided it was time to do it, and I set up a small sensory bin for the girls. 

Instead of filling a large bin, I decided to put the items in a small basket and provide a piece of fabric for them to set up their own snow scene.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with love, laughter, and lots of yummy food!

I'll be taking the rest of the week off to enjoy this time with my family. I'll see you back here on Monday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Bucket List - Revisited

Now that Thanksgiving is almost here, it's time to look at our Fall Bucket List and see what we did and what we missed. 

I know Fall's not over quite yet, but now that the Holiday season is upon us, we'll be focusing more on Christmas and winter activities. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Trees

Our Fall Bucket List would not be complete this year without making Thankful Trees. When thinking about this project, I decided I wanted it to be more about thankfulness than about the artwork. 

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Hand Print Turkey Cards

One the items on our Fall Bucket List that we hadn't completed yet was "make hand print turkeys." Since Thanksgiving is coming up soon, it was time to do them.

This craft was much more adult-led than the other projects we've been doing, but the girls enjoyed it nonetheless. 

The first item of business, was painting the girls' hands. Make sure you use washable paint! I did each girl one at a time since I had nightmares of colorful hand prints all over my walls.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

Yesterday's 30 Days to Play Challenge was to go on a hunt. 

It was the perfect day to go on that scavenger hunt that I had been planning ever since I created our Fall Bucket List

I had been putting it off for no go reason whatsoever and yesterday's challenge was the kick in the pants I needed to head outside and send the girls on a hunt.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Craft Roundup

I've been gathering ideas for Thanksgiving crafts for the last couple of weeks and have found so many good ones. 

Since I know I'm not the only one looking for inspiration at this time of year, I thought I'd share some of my favorites.

The Chocolate Muffin Tree shows you how to make beautiful coffee filter turkey cards.
Kitchen Counter Chronicles shares adorable hand print turkey napkin rings.
The thankful tree from JDaniel4's Mom is a wonderful craft for teaching about gratitude.
Practice a little bit of origami and make these cute turkeys from Let's Explore.

In November: Book and Craft

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The minute I saw the book, In November by Cynthia Rylant, I knew it needed a great craft project to go along with it. 

The book is beautifully illustrated accompanied by a very poetic text  about the different things that happen in November. We heard about what the trees, animals and even families do in November. 

After we finished the book, it was crafting time!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Art Lessons: Watercolor Resist Circles

When we worked on our The Little House pictures, Lizzie told me that she wanted to learn to make pretty pictures. 

I took this as a personal challenge to come up with some "art lessons" for her to give her some of the tools needed to produce beautiful artwork. 

I'm not a trained art teacher. In fact, I haven't had an art class since high school. So, I'm just coming up with some ideas in the hopes that it helps her learn that art can come in many forms and also give her some opportunities to produce something pretty.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Loving Literature: Books About Dogs

We all know about Clifford, Biscuit and The Poky Little Puppy. 

But, there are many more fun books about dogs. So, for your puppy loving kids are are some favorites that we have found lately.

The Great Gracie Chase: Stop that Dog! by Cynthia Rylant is a fun romp around town led by Gracie, who's usually a quiet little dog. When the painters come and put her outside, she decides to run off and soon has the whole town chasing after her. She runs and runs until no one can keep up with her. My girls loved Gracie's spunk and Mark Teague's illustrations are well suited to the action in the book. It is a great read aloud choice!

Fergus is a little guy who can be just a bit naughty. But, like all dogs, we love him anyway! Good Boy, Fergus! by David Shannon is a fun story. Through the illustrations, we see Fergus's day and through the words we hear what Fergus must hear as he goes about his day getting in all sorts of trouble. This has long been a favorite at our house and has been sitting in the bookshelf since my oldest was a baby.

Some Dog! by Mary Casanova is the story of George, a basset hound, who is well-loved and lives a quiet life. Then one day, Zippity, a stray dog, shows up and just like his name, jumps, bounces, runs around and is quite loud. Zippity disrupts George's life and George even grows a bit jealous of the attention Zippity gets. Then one day, Zippity runs off in the middle of a thunderstorm and it's time for George to save the day. George is a very lovable fellow and we enjoyed reading about his feelings and his loyalty as well as watching him learn to be friends with Zippity.

Sit, Truman! by Dan Harper is perfect for even the youngest dog lover. The words are few, but the story is in the illustrations of Truman, a big, lovable Mastiff. My girls fell in love instantly with Truman while they watched him go about his day. Pick this one up and when you're done, you'll want to find a dog to hug!

These are just a few of the great dog books we have found recently. Do your kids have a dog book they love?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Zoo In My Living Room

Yesterday we worked hard. 

We decided that we really needed our own zoo and the living room was the perfect place for it. 

It was a day long project to put it all together... and boy, did we have fun!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Collage Owls

After gathering a lot of inspiration for owl crafts, I combined bits of all the ideas and came up with an owl craft of my own. 

I had a pile of old magazines that needed to head to the recycling bin, and they became the inspiration behind our magazine collage owls. 

Before we recycled the magazines, the girls and I spent an evening around the dining room table cutting out scrap pieces from the pages. 

We talked about owls and what colors they were, so decided to look for brown, black, white, and grey in the magazines. 

It didn't take long for use to have quite a big pile of  paper. Once we had our magazine scraps, it was time to craft.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Water Play for Toddlers

Over the weekend, I set up a water play station for AJ. 

I laid out a bowl full of water, a few empty containers, and  scoops, spoons and dippers. I placed the containers in a baking dish in the hope to contain some of the water. 

Yes, I did set out glass containers for my toddler. I planned on sitting with her the entire time, so I knew that wouldn't cause a problem. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Little House Book & Craft

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The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton has always been a favorite of mine. 

It's the story of a house, built well and with a lot of love. The little house watches the days go by and then the years go by until eventually a city has grown up around her. Eventually the great-granddaughter of the couple who built the house see her and decides to move the little house back out to the country. 

The whimsical illustration have always drawn me in, even at a young age. So, I wanted to do a art project with the girls inspired by the book.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Farm Animal Charades

Things get a bit silly when you start imitating farm animals!

We played a game of farm animal charades recently and had a blast.

I found several clip art images of farm animals, then printed, laminated and cut them out. We borrowed a pot from the play kitchen and put all the pictures in.

The rules were simple. We took turns drawing a picture and then had to act like that animal while the others tried to guess.

Yes, the guessing part was easy, but pretending to be the animals was a whole lot of fun!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hiking With Young Children

Does the thought of hiking with two young children send shivers down your spine?

It shouldn't.

I recently took my two girls out for a fall hike and we had a blast.

The key: keep it simple.

You don't need to hike up a mountain or go deep in the woods to experience all the fun of a hike.

For our hike we stayed local and chose a paved path in a wooded area.

We also kept it short, stopping and turning around when the girls requested it. A long hike for a young child may not necessarily seem long to you.