Thursday, March 9, 2017

Celebrating Read Across America Week

Nothing cooler than reading right? I love Read Across America Day! 

I love books and I cannot lie and so I kind of want everyone to love them too.  At some point, I will get where I can actually sit down alone and read an adult book.  However, for now, I just celebrate with the kids.  Besides, I like celebrating anything. 
I'm throwing it back here to about 3 years ago where I dressed the littles up for Dr. Seuss Day.  You can check out the posts for these outfits here and here and here.  

One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish! Here's a fun Dr. Seuss themed lunch for the kids.  This is one from last year when Caleb was in prek.  The fish were made with a cookie cutter on bread.  Then, I spread cream cheese on top, berries and candy eyes.  Add some goldfish, cubed ham, carrots and I drew on a Cat in the Hat cheese stick. Caleb loves opening his lunchbox to little "fun with food" surprises.

Another activity we did was building the cat's hat with addition facts. This was an "I need to keep you occupied so you don't get distracted and miss the school bus morning activity." lol We've also done this activity with numbers (putting them in the correct order) when he was in prek.

We did more fishy math afterschool.  We worked on graphing the colors, writing the numbers, tally marks, and answering a few questions.

This was on Friday.  The kids got to dress up like superheroes for Read Across America week.  Readers are definitely superheroes and get more and more super powers from reading.  I absolutely loved the school's superhero idea. 

We did some simple green eggs and ham with cat in the Hat skewers for breakfast.  Did you know that you can dye eggs naturally without using food coloring?  I just used a little of the juice from some thawed blueberries. You only have to use a little and it doesn't taste funny either.  Then we just have strawberries and bananas to make the cat's hat and a grape for his head.

Here's another throwback from last year when we had our Seuss mini party.  We watched The Lorax and traced hands to make that lovely mustache.   I just had to get the twins in there too. Lol.  Aj backed out of the pic at the last minute.  He remembered that this was not "cool." Haha! Teenagers! This is cool!  You can find some other Dr. Seuss crafts here.

Isn't that a cute little Lorax and what 5 year old wouldn't want edible cars?  The cars are put together using toothpicks that are attached to the grape wheels. This was his afterschool lunch with a "read together" book.  However, Caleb managed to read this book almost entirely on his own.

Remember in the last post, I mentioned I look for excuses to make big, pretty, party messes? Well, Dr. Seuss also fits the bill.  We've been having mini Dr. Seuss parties for a couple of years now.  I always do a book display, sometimes the food is themed, and we watch one of the Dr. Seuss movies. The kids always get really excited about it. Even the twins got a mini food platter for the party this year. 

Dr. Seuss parties of the past

Remember to make learning fun!


Monday, March 6, 2017

Simple Valentine's Day Fun

I love holidays and pretty much any of them.  It gives me a special reason to be creative, not that I don't take advantage of most days anyway (when there's time).  However, holidays give me a reason to justify making huge pretty messes because there's usually a mess somewhere.

Here are some simple, but fun ways we celebrated Valentine's Day this year.  

Of course there was fun food.  We all love to eat.  We had fresh fruit bowls with whipped cream and mini muffins for breakfast one day.

Heart waffles with syrup, whipped cream and fruit was another breakfast idea.  The twins had heart shaped waffles and fruit too without the syrup and cream.  And do you know what?  Even the teenager came out of the room and was like, "Ma, I want heart shaped waffles."  What?! Did my eyes deceive me?  He doesn't even eat breakfast at home anymore because he likes to eat at school with his friends.  However, he got heart shaped waffles today too and I was happy.

Now these are fun to make and fun to eat. Heart pancakes and strawberries that are cut in half and put on skewers.  We had little bowls of syrup and whipped cream nearby for dipping.

Some Activities

I made this heart number matching set a while back.  We initially used these to match the correct number of dots with the correct number.  Then we added the number words to identify and match to the correct numbers.  Now we use them for adding, subtracting and less than, greater than, and equal to.  These aren't laminated, but I need to if I want them to last.

We used colored pom poms for math and learning too.  Caleb was learning measuring at school this week so here's one "Valentine" activity we did.  I took two jars and had him guess how many he thought would fit into each jar and write the number down.  Then he put them in, counted them and wrote the number down to compare his guess and answer.  He also asked everyone in the house for their guesses too.

This is a cute little story book that we read together.  It subs in pictures for some of the words in the poem. 

Hershey kisses became a fun game of tic tac toe.  All the kids played against each other.  Caleb even earned bragging rights when he beat big brother AJ.

To incorporate some science activity in, I decided that they'll make "love boats" to see if they would sink or float.  I put lots of different items on the porch to see that they would build with.  They did have a friend to come over while they were making these and they were trying to hurry and finish.  They couldn't get off that porch fast enough.  They were like, "See ya!"

Here's an activity that I came up with to teach in Children's church, but you could use it anytime.  We certainly need reminders all the time.

First, I thought of 3 categories - God's love for us, Our love for Others, and Our love for God.  Then, I looked up scriptures to go along with each one.  With the help of Cate, we made two sets of these.  The class worked in groups to read each scripture to discuss and decide which category it fell under.  Afterwards, we discussed the scriptures and talked about ways to apply them in our lives and the lives of others.

Now, this is my kind of crooked crossword!  I was in a hurry and didn't realize how off it was, but it worked.  The kids enjoyed trying to find the words.  I'll be making sure they are lined up better next time, though.

Yall, I love this tablecloth.  I found it at Walmart one year.  It's thicker and has a soft back and you just wipe it off and reuse it.  I so prefer this than buying a countless number of the thin plastic tablecloths that get thrown away.
So for Vday we had heart waffles again and a really poor attempt at making bacon hearts.  Do you see a heart?  I tried. lol  Please note that Christmas clearance bag being decorated with paper hearts to carry school treats in.  I improvise like that!

We had a mini VDay treat that night as well.  I love these cute polka dot cups and napkins from Walmart.

We made some simple Vday lunches, not too much, because I couldn't get myself together.  Check out that heart muffin, though.  I found the silicone muffin pan at Walmart.

The twins got in on some Vday fun with some sensory play with rose petals.  These rose petals are so old that they were actually used in our wedding 10 years ago.  I may be a bit of a craft/education hoarder.  However, they loved making a mess with these and putting them in each container.

And when I say mess, here is the reality.  This is a different day and the big kids were playing with them too.  However, this is how it looks after everybody has gotten into them.  It's like something exploded.  Spread the love. lol

Don't they look like little big boys here? GOSH!

And then Valentines isn't the same without grandmas!

Hope you enjoyed this post and hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!