Friday, July 21, 2017

The Four Seasons

To help my children understand and learn about the four seasons, we created different Seasons Bottles together.

Materials




Winter

My son helped put the items in for winter included snowflake ribbon and red and green pom-poms.





Autumn

My daughter helped with the Autumn bottle putting in orange raffia, leaf ribbon, and orange and brown pom-poms.



Spring 

This one is still waiting to be completed as we gather materials for it. 

Summer 

We placed small sea shells in this bottle and when we get sand from our next trip the shore, we will put some of that in the bottle as well. 



If your children are older, you can have them collect the various items from your home, the store, and neighborhood for your seasons bottles. 

After they are completed, I would recommend gluing the lids onto the bottles.  

Resources 
Mama. Papa, Bubba. Season Sensory Bottles
Sun Hats and Wellie Boots Discovery Bottles: Four Seasons 





Friday, July 7, 2017

Veggie Tales Toilet Paper Rolls


For my son's fourth birthday party, we held a Veggie Tales themed party.  As there are not many options for decorations, I created a lot on my own.

These toilet paper and paper towel roll Veggie Tales characters can be made with or without your children's help.  I painted them all myself but your child could easily do the painting and even the decorating depending upon their age.

Materials

Laura, Mr. Nezzer, Mr. Lunt, and Madame Blueberry 



Steps
1. Gather your materials.
2. Paint your rolls (depending on which characters you want to create, you will need different colors).
Green: Larry, Peas, Mr. Nezzer, Pa Grape, Archibald, Petunia, Junior, the scallions
Red: Bob
Orange: Laura, Jimmy, Scooter, the Peach
Blue: Madame Blueberry
Yellow: Mr. Lunt and Jerry
3. After your rolls are dry, draw faces on your characters.
4. Cut out needed materials for your characters and attach them to the dry, painted rolls.

Larry, Bob, and the French Peas 


We used our characters as decorations and after the party the children have been playing with them.  After almost two weeks, they are still in pretty good shape considering they are just cardboard.

Jimmy and Jerry Gourd
Pa Grape and Archibald 
Petunia and Scooter 


Resources

I saw this image on Pinterest and thought, hey I can make those!
My Party Ideas - Veggie Tales Pinterest Board.
Official Veggie Tales Webpage

We have enjoyed all these movies together as a family.  (Affiliate links are including for products on this page.)


Monday, July 3, 2017

Veggie Tales Balloons

We celebrated my son's fourth birthday with a Veggie Tales themed party.  Since their party items are a bit harder to find and those I did find, were a little too expensive for our budget, I made a lot of decorations for his party myself.

These are our Veggie Tales Balloons.  I used 7 inch and 9 inch balloons.  We also made others for the porch including Jimmy and Jerry Gourd.


Larry Cucumber 

Bob the Tomato 

French Peas 


close-up of Mr. Nezzer 
Pa Grape and Mr. Nezzer 

Scooter and Archibald Asparagus 

close-up of Archibald Asparagus
Mr. Lunt
Junior Asparagus 


The characters who wear hats (like Mr. Lunt and Pa Grape) as well as the asparagus were a little more complicated to draw.  Mr. Lunt was especially difficult as he doesn't have any eyes because they are always covered up by his hat, hair, or something else in the cartoon.


Resources 

Little Lamb Gallery Inspiration's Veggie Tale Party 
Crafty Geek Mom's Veggie Tale Party 
My Pinterest Party Ideas - Veggie Tales 

Here are some Veggie Tales items for your little one.  (P.S. I really liked Celery Night Fever.  Very funny.)


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What does it take to be a good student?

Advice from a teacher and educator


Daily routine

Following a daily routine is a good first step into being a good student.  
  • Be punctual
  • Have all necessary materials at hand (ask your teacher ahead of time what is required for each class)
  • Be aware of what is required each day - read instructions on board, listen to verbal directions, or begin a daily activity
  • If applicable…have homework ready to be turned in or checked by your teacher. If you need to turn it in via an online system, make sure you click that 'button' that turns it in for you. 

Class Rules 
Almost all teachers have the same rules:

1.     Respect each other and your teacher.
2.     One person speaks at a time.
3.     Be prepared to contribute to class each day.
4.     Plagiarism is not tolerated.
5.     Unacceptable language and discriminatory or threatening remarks are not tolerated.
6.     Raise your hand and remain seated.
7.     All rules and polices are as laid out in your school's student handbook. 

Other ways to be respectful:
1)    If you have a textbook or other course books, bring them to class and maintain them. Bringing your books is important because they are good references and having them covered helps protect it for the future and against any fines you might incur.
2)    Please do not bring food or drinks into the classroom.  Most schools do not allow you to have these items in your classroom.  Plus if it spills, your room might attract insects or other pests which are no fun to be around.
3)    Please leave cell phones in your lockers or have them switched off during class unless your teacher is asking you to use them for class. Every phone has a silent option and I recommend you leave yours silent.  If your teacher asks you to use your cellphone for an assignment, use it for the assignment and not to check social media, sports news or to text your friend or family member. In almost all cases, you will be able to wait 40 minutes until the end of class to see what your best friend wanted to tell you.
4)    Please do not open or put on lotion, perfume, cologne or hair spray in the classroom. This is just a respectful way to show your classmates and your teachers that you see the classroom as a place to learn and not a place to beautify yourself.  Plus some of your classmates or teachers may be allergic to certain scents.  

Plagiarism
Do NOT plagiarize. Do NOT copy from another student, website, or book.  Your work must be original.  All projects should be accompanied by a work cited page or bibliography. If you think someone might accuse you of copying, create a work cited page even if it is not needed. 


Class Requirements
What you do you need for class?  Listen to your teacher and buy what they request. They often have reasons why they like certain things like a three-ring binder to a 5-subject notebook. For example, when I taught World History, I required my students to have a three-ring binder because we had lots of worksheets to include in our unit studies.  

If you can't afford the class requirement, ask for help.  Your teacher may have extra materials.  

Organization is a must when it comes to wanting to get good grades or just passing that class.  Find a system that works for you (and that doesn’t mean leaving everything on the bottom of your backpack or locker). 


Being a Good Student Contract

Most teachers require you to sign a class contract or keep a copy of the class rules in your folder or notebook. These are some basic guidelines that will help you excel as a student if you follow them daily. 

1)      I will be in class and seated when the bell rings.
2)      I will be ready to work.
3)      I will follow directions the first time they are given.
4)      I will bring all necessary materials to class including:
a.    a pen or pencil
b.    my three-ring binder, notebook, loose-leaf paper, etc
c.    my homework
d.    my textbook covered
e.    other materials as requested. 
5)      I will raise my hand for permission to speak or leave my seat unless:  I am going to be ill or there is another emergency.
6)      I will always try.
7)      If I am absent, it is my responsibility to:
a.      get the notes from a classmate or my teacher before/after school.
b.      turn in homework from the date of my absence(s).
c.      schedule a quiz or test make up.
d.      pick up new homework or worksheets.
8)      I will not plagiarize or copy for anyone (including my classmates, siblings, friends, books, or the Internet).




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Weather Bottles

In order to help my children learn about weather, we created different weather bottles together.


Materials 



Snow

My daughter put cotton balls, snowflake sequins and beads into this bottle to represent a snowy day.
This is a great craft for helping your little ones develop their fine motor skills.




Rain

We placed torn up tissue paper and blue beads to represent clouds and rain.


Sunny Day

We placed torn up blue tissue paper for the sky and a yellow pom-pom for the sun into this bottle. 


You could also make ones for cloudy days, hail storms, hurricanes, clear sunny days among others.  If your children are older, they could help you collect materials from craft drawers and boxes.

Once complete, you can glue the lids onto the bottles to prevent your little ones from opening them.

Resources 

Kids DIYS' Weather Bottles
Teacher 2 and 3 Year Old's Weather Bottles 
Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds Weather Station 

Some weather related times that might interest you or your children.  (affiliate links)


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Veggie Tales: Stained Glass

Since our toddlers are really enjoying the Veggies Tales series, we decided to create both Bob and Larry as stained glass art for the windows.

There are several examples online (please see my resources at the end of this post) but I wanted to use the materials we had in the house so our creations are modified.  



Materials

Steps 

1. Draw or trace your characters onto one sheet of the transparency paper. (I recommend just tracing them all in black.  The tissue paper will add the necessary color to your creations.) 



2. Tear or cut the tissue paper into small pieces.  Your children can help you with this step if you wish. 

3. Spread glue onto the reverse side of the transparencies.  (You want your image to be opposite.) 

4. Attach the appropriate color tissue paper onto the transparency. 


5. After it is dry, you can cut it out. Trim it to cut off the excess paper. 

6.  Attach a second blank sheet onto the back to create more stability. 



Resources 

I Can Teach My Child's Bob and Larry (Stained Glass)
 (image from I Can Teach My Child) 

Veggie Tale's Official page has a link to templates on their page (I used their stained glass activity and their coloring pages as templates) 





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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Farm Themed Birthday Party


For my daughter's second birthday, we planned a Farm Themed Party to celebrate her big day. A lot of my inspiration came from not only farm related items but also Easter related treats and decorations.

Here is a link to my Pinterest Board: Party Ideas - Farm.

Food
  



Pulled Pork Sandwiches
We boiled our pork for about 8 hours, shredded it, and then the next day heated it in the slow cooker with BBQ Sauce.
Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
We used McCormick's Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix to season our chicken in the crock-pot.


Roast Beef Sandwiches 
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law brought a crock pot full of yummy roast beef for sandwiches. My 3 year old really enjoyed having these as leftover sandwiches for dinner. 

Deviled Eggs Spread & Crackers
I used Blessed Beyond a Doubt's recipe for Best Deviled Egg Spread.

Cheese and Crackers
Presented in a washed egg carton. The crackers were a huge hit with my two littles.





Cupcakes

Steps
1. After baking, I separated some of the white icing to dye it pink for the pigs.
2. After icing the cupcakes, we decorated them with a variety of materials.

3. Pigs:
We used pink jellybeans, candy eyes, brown Reese's pieces, and pink mini-marshmallows for the pigs.


4. Chickens:
We used brown Reese's pieces, red and orange jellybeans, and candy eyes for the chickens.


5. Cows:
We used black jellybeans, pink mini-marshmallows, candy eyes, and brown Reese's pieces for the cows.

6: Sheep:
We use pink and white mini-marshmallows, candy eyes, pink jellybeans, and brown Reese's pieces for the sheep.


Cake

I used an example I had seen for Easter as a starting point to make our own lamb cake.

1. After baking the cake, we iced it.
2. We used a little red food dye to color two marshmallows cut in half for ears.


3.  We used a variety of jelly beans for the eyes and mouth.


Peeps and Corn 

Steps
1. After cleaning an egg carton, I put white jelly beans in the bottom for eggs and placed edible grass on the top as hay.
2.  Then I placed peeps and worms in the container.




 3. For the corn, we made individual baggies of popped corn and attached green tissue paper on the outside to give the appearance of the leaves and stalks.




Games and Crafts 


I created several barnyard animals from milk, juice, and soda bottles to allow the kids to bowl.

I also painted a box to imitate a cow's hide so they could play toss.  I used bulletin board milk glasses (left over from a milk and cookie set in which I used the cookies for my son's Sesame Street Party) to create an item they would toss into the box.  I simply traced the glasses onto cardboard and then cut out the shapes.  After they were glued on, they had just enough weight to make it easy for the kids (5 and under) to toss into the box.






Chicken Craft

I made the sample (on the top) before the party using my daughter's hand.  At the party, my son and his two cousins made their roosters to take home.





Decorations

To decorate our door, I used bulletin board conversation bubbles from the dollar store to write down animal sounds.  I also had animal pictures that the children could match up to the correct sound as a game.


I made several barnyard animals to hang in our house.  My daughter called this one "the sad cow."

 

The chicken and pig were in the kitchen. 


The sheep was in the dining room.

I also made four animals out of construction paper to decorate our kitchen and dining room: cow, lamb, horse, and pig.





We made these before the party. They look a little more like bunnies but that is okay. 


My daughter and her 'baby' cousin.

My toddlers made this hand-print chicken art to help decorate as well as the other crafts below.

  

Resources 

Buggy and Buddy's Farm Animal Windsocks 
Teachers Pay Teachers' Farm Cut and Paste Set
Danya Banya's Paper Plate Sheep Mask
Craft Ideas' Paper Hen 
My Party Ideas - Farm Pinterest Board for more ideas.
A Mom's Quest to Teach Pig Paper Plate Craft 
A Mom's Quest to Teach Toilet Paper Roll Chicks