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Friday, August 31, 2012

Kid's Co-op: Sensory Fun



It's Friday and that means it's Kid's Co-op time. Link up your favorite kid-related posts and then check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers.

There were so many fun ideas shared last week from crafts to fun lunch ideas. This week I'd like to share a few fun ideas for sensory play.

Making Boys Men made some super-messy chalk mud.



The Good Long Road made lavender play dough. I'm sure it smelled wonderful!


Creative Kidlets 101 played in a fabulous rolled-oats sensory bin. Looks like fun!


Now it's time for you to share all the fun you've been having! Please join up and share your favorite post. (And, we'd love you forever if you'd link back to us!) Your link will show up on all of the hosts' blogs. It's time to link up, visit some new blogs, and have a lot of fun!



If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Books = Fun: The Little Engine That Could


We have a train lover in our house. AJ (age 3) has loved trains for some time now, so we've accumulated quite a collection of train toys and books. One of our favorite books is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. We decided to expand on the story by making our own Little Engines.


Supplies Needed:
Construction paper (several colors)
Glue sticks
Scissors
Old magazines
Markers


The girls started by assembling some pre-cut shapes to form the train. We used several sizes of squares and rectangles for our trains. Once they had glued their pieces down, they started looking for toys to fill it up. They searched through a few old magazines and catalogs to find toys for their train. They then cut and glued their pictures into the train car. 


After our trains were full, we used markers to add the details. Lizzie (age 5) added wheels, a window, smoke, and even a smiley face.



AJ (age 3) filled her train so full of toys that it could barely move! We had fun exploring one of our favorite books and hope to explore many more of our favorites this way.

We're always on the lookout for more books about trains. Do you have any recommendations?

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*Disclosure - Amazon links are affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kid's Co-op: Back to School


It's Friday and that means it's Kid's Co-op time. Link up your favorite kid-related posts and then check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers.

There were so many fun ideas shared last week and it seems a lot of us are busy getting ready to go back to school. Today, I'd like to share three posts that celebrate back-to-school time.

Adventures in Reading With Kids shared a great idea for a special "Night Before 1st Grade" pillowcase. Wouldn't this be a fun tradition to start?



Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons is helping you pack fun lunches with this roundup of 30 Back to School Fun Food & Gift Ideas.


And Inspired By Family Magazine shared these fun printable Dr. Seuss lunch notes.


Now it's time for you to share all the fun you've been having! Please join up and share your favorite post. (And, we'd love you forever if you'd link back to us!) Your link will show up on all of the hosts' blogs. It's time to link up, visit some new blogs, and have a lot of fun!




If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Love of Books


How do you promote a love of books with your kids?

Give me your best advice in the comments. I'll compile them and share your advice in an upcoming post about encouraging a love of books. (If you have your own blog, leave me the link so I can include it as well.)

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Monday, August 20, 2012

A New Rhythm to Our Week


Our days and weeks are about to get different. Lizzie starts Kindergarten soon, so five days a week every afternoon, she'll be enjoying the big, wonderful world of school. No longer will the three of us be spending all day, every day together. While Lizzie is at school, AJ will be doing preschool at home with me. I'm planning a fun Letter of the Week program with her that should be fun for both of us. And don't worry, I plan on sharing our fun with all of you!

I'm also planning a loose weekly schedule for Lizzie when she's not in school. She'll be learning a lot in Kindergarten, but I would like to continue on with some of the subjects we've been learning. I've picked subjects that Lizzie loves as well as some that are often neglected in public schools due to funding and standardized testing. If they can't get it at school, I'll make sure that they get it at home!


Monday will be all about art. We'll do a lot of process art, we'll learn new techniques, and we'll even learn about some of the great artists. But, most of all we'll use this time to be creative. Lizzie loves art and I want to make sure we make time for it every week.

Tuesday is for music. Sadly, music education is often one of the first things cut in schools. There is so much to learn about music. When you learn about music, you learn about math, literature, history, and physical movement. I plan on having a lot of fun with music. We'll sing and dance. We'll learn about different genres of music and dance. We'll learn about music from around the world. And, we'll also learn about different musical instruments.


Wednesdays, we'll explore world culture. World culture is sorely neglected in our public schools. Yet, I think an understanding of world culture is one of the best ways to teach tolerance and to show my girls that there is much more to the world than their own small town. Plus, it's fun! We'll be learning about world culture through cooking, crafts, games, and stories.


Thursdays are for science. Lizzie loves science and as long as she loves it, I will nurture this love. I know she'll be receiving an ample science education at school, but I still want to have fun with science at home. We'll continue learning about nature and animals. We'll do fun science experiments. We'll also work on creating nature journals.

Fridays are all about literature. We love doing projects based on books. We'll have fun reading and exploring fun books. We'll make crafts, play games, and explore dramatic play. We'll be learning that books are fun!

Even though school doesn't start for another couple of weeks, we're going to try out our new weekly schedule this week. It will give us time to start getting in a routine before school starts and it will give me time to tweak the schedule if it's not working. I'm sure you've noticed that it's been quiet around here. That's because I've been planning and planning. I can't wait to share with you all of our new fun and experiences!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

BabbaCo Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone that entered the BabbaCo giveaway! Rafflecopter picked a winner and the winner is...

Pamela H. who said her favorite arctic animal was the penguin.

Congratulations Pamela! Check your e-mail for details.


If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Math Play: Circle Hunt


Circles, circles every where! We still had several craft foam circles left after making our sewing basket, so we decided to do an easy hide and seek game with the circles. This idea is so simple that there's not much to write about, so I'll just leave you with these pictures of some of our hiding spots. 







You can adapt this idea for any shape. I found that the craft foam was easy to hide and held up well to all sorts of pulling and tugging. If you don't have craft foam, cut up an old cereal box instead.

The next time you're looking for some easy indoor fun, try an easy hide and seek game with shapes!


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Monday, August 13, 2012

Explore Nature: Forest Treasure Jars


Earlier this summer we spent a wonderful week at Lake Catherine State Park. We spent the week camping with my parents, hiking, swimming, and impressing the park rangers with our knowledge of bird skulls. Instead of the usual souvenirs, such as t-shirts or small trinkets, we brought back several nature treasures we found on walks around the park.


After a few week of these treasures sitting around in our nature bags, I knew it was time to do something with them. I wanted to do a version of these nature jars I had been seeing all over Pinterest. I rounded up a few jars and vases I had that were sitting around and gathering dust. We then gathered up our jars and nature treasures and got to work.


We worked carefully adding our treasures. We had gumballs, feathers, rocks, pine needles, and pine cones. The girls arranged them carefully, adding and subtracting until they were pleased with the results. We had a great time talking about all the treasures we had found on our trip.


When we were all done, we artfully arranged them on our table. Now we have a beautiful centerpiece and wonderful memories of our trip every time we sit down to eat.

What is your favorite vacation souvenir?

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kid's Co-op: In the Kitchen


It's Friday and that means it's Kid's Co-op time. Link up your favorite kid-related posts and then check out all the fun that has been linked up from other bloggers.

There were 185 fabulous ideas shared last week such as sensory play ideas, baby play ideas, book recommendations, outside fun and more. Today, I'd like to share three posts that will get you in the kitchen.

Mama Miss shared this fun beach-themed lunch idea. What kid wouldn't like this?



School Time Snippets shared this fun snack that the kids can help you make.


And Caminen Plegats shared a yummy lemon ice recipe.


Now it's time for you to share all the fun you've been having! Please join up and share your favorite post. (And, we'd love you forever if you'd link back to us!) Your link will show up on all of the hosts blogs. It's time to link up, visit some new blogs, and have a lot of fun!


If you liked what you read, I would love it if you would join me on Facebook and Pinterest!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BabbaBox Review and Giveaway - Closed


I've got a special treat for you that I hope you'll enjoy. Recently I was contacted by BabbaCo to do a review of their fabulous kid's activities boxes. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. The BabbaBox is a monthly theme-based activities box designed for kids ages 3-6. Inside, you'll find everything needed to Create, Explore, Story Tell, and Connect. Our BabbaBox was based around the theme Polar Explorers. 


The very first thing the girls wanted to make were these adorable penguin pouches. We had everything we needed: pre-cut felt pieces, tacky glue, googly eyes, and velcro. We even found a set of arctic animal cards that we could color and keep in our pouches. These were easy to make and fun! The girls are still carrying their pouches around everywhere.


We also found a compass to help us explore. We learned to find north and south, so just in case we wanted to walk to the north pole, we could find the way! This is definitely going to make a new home in our nature explorers kit.


The most eagerly awaited project in our box was ice painting. BabbaCo provided us with the ice cube tray, the sticks, food coloring, and thick paper for painting. It was hard waiting for our ice to freeze! We had so much fun painting and making a huge mess. Thanks BabbaCo for all the fun.

In addition to these projects, we also received a copy of Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, a pair of scissors, access code for a fun polar animals storybook app, coloring pages, and an ice pop mold with recipe. BabbaCo thought of everything. The BabbaBox was also packed full of information. The penguin pouch instructions also came with fun facts and trivia about penguins. 

BabbaBoxes are perfect for rainy days, vacations, babysitters, and just fun, quality time with your kids without having to plan. A subscription would make a great gift!

Would you like to try BabbaBox? BabbaCo has generously provided a discount code for 20% off your first box. Just type the code: CFF20OFF at the checkout. Please click here to order.

But wait, there's more! I'm also giving away one fun-filled BabbaBox to a lucky reader! All you have to do is answer a simple question: What is your favorite arctic animal. The giveaway will run until midnight CST August 16th. That's one week to enter! On August 17th, a winner will be picked via random number.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Disclosure: I have been compensated and provided with a free BabbaBox from BabbaCo. But, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bloggers Go Olympics: Move Like a Gymnast


Have you been watching as much Olympics as we have? We have it on every night and are so inspired by all the swimmers, divers, runners, soccer players, and every other athlete. The girls have been running races, pretending to dive... synchronized diving nonetheless... and learning how to run relays. But, by far, our favorite events have been the gymnastic events. While admittedly, we're not able to turn flips on a balance beam or go launching ourselves off of a vault, we still had fun moving like a gymnast.



There are many simple ways your kids can get moving in the style of a gymnast. Here are a few we tried.

Balance Beam: I found a couple of scrap boards and set them out in the grass for a balance beam. We practiced walking forward and backward and turning around. We tried balancing one foot and doing small hops. We even tried carrying our hula hoops over our heads.



Balancing: Can you balance on one foot? Can you stretch your leg out behind you and balance that way? How can your arms help you balance? Balancing is an integral skill in gymnastics and an easy and important skill that your kids can practice in their own backyard.



Floor Exercise: Design your own floor exercise routines. Tumble, leap, balance. Combine it with music and try adding your own choreography. Can you get a perfect score?



Rhythmic Gymnastics: Create a routine using a hula hoop or ball. Can you balance with a hula hoop held over your head? Can you spin the hula hoop on your arms? Can you twirl with a ball held over our head? Wow your family with your rhythmic gymnastics routines!



And when you're done, throw your arms in the air and wait for the applause. You deserve it!

Have fun with the Olympics and use them to help promote movement and fun. Almost any event can be used as inspiration for your own movement games.
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Stay tuned tomorrow because I'm passing the torch!


Do you have an Olympic-themed post you would like to share? Please add your link here.



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