Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Magnets- Pumpkins

This week, I made Boogie alphabet pumpkin magnets. I printed out 26 plain pumpkins, wrote the uppercase and lowercase letter I wanted on each one in black permanent marker, colored them different shades of orange while he was coloring his own pumpkins, laminated them, then stuck magnet tape on the back. I got my magnet tape from Michaels.

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What's on the Tray? Pumpkins!!

Boogie has been very interested in pumpkins since our first trip to the pumpkin patch on his birthday early this month. I decided that the week before Halloween we would take a break from going through the alphabet in order and do a "P is for Pumpkin" themed week.

I went a bit crazy :)

This first tray hits a ton of skills. Color sorting (orange, green and purple pom poms) and counting (there are 10 pom poms in each pumpkin). Fine motor skills with the tongs and the spoons for picking up the pom poms. One-to-one correspondence with putting one pom pom in each of the openings in the pumpkin ice cube tray. Originally I just had the tongs on the tray but I took a new picture when I added the spoons. Boogie still struggles with tongs. This tray was inspired by Counting Coconuts and Little Hands, Big Work. I combined their ideas.

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For those of you who want to recreate this tray, the pumpkins were in a 12 pack from Party City (But I have also seen smaller packs at the Dollar Zone), the tongs were in the Target dollar spot over the summer, and the pumpkin ice cube tray was at the Dollar Tree. Pom poms can be found in giant bags at Michaels and if you have a toddler believe me when I tell you that you want to invest in a large bag! The spoons are just regular toddler spoons. The trays are from Oriental Trading.

This idea came from Counting Coconuts. Boogie can polish his pumpkin. He loves water and he loves this pumpkin that came from my BFFs wedding.

I knew I wanted to do some kind of counting activity with the mini acrylic pumpkins (Target dollar spot) Boogie has been enjoying so much in his Halloween sensory bin. I saw ideas at Little Hands, Big Work and The Adventures of Bear. I found the foam pumpkins at the Dollar Tree and decided to use those for one-to-one correspondence (like Little Hands, Big Work) and counting. This was one of the last activities I got ready before going to bed so the circles are kind of all over the place. He's two, he doesn't care :P I traced pennies, to give you an idea of the size of the pumpkins.

 I wanted to do something like this next tray as soon as I saw the Halloween post on Little Hands, Big Work. I completely fell in love with the peg game and was happy that she said she got it from a dollar store. So you do not waste time browsing dollar stores, it is at the Dollar Tree :) Before I found the game, however, I came up with a similar idea, using cupcake toppers and little Styrofoam circles (both from Party City). I knew Boogie would love poking the pumpkins in the Styrofoam. I drew dots with an orange permanent marker on one side and the number on the back of each circle. This is a great fine motor skills and one-to-one correspondence activity.

This tray is a dumping and throwing kind of tray. Boogie has to exercise his gross motor skills too :) There is a shape recognition aspect with the ping pong pumpkins, which I saw at Motherhood Moments. I used a sponge brush and acrylic paint because I didn't have spray paint. I made the faces with a permanent marker. I fell in love with the yarn pumpkins as soon as I saw them at Counting Coconuts, but they originated at Make and Takes. He has 3 different sized pumpkin containers for us to talk about small, medium and large and he can dump the pumpkins between the 3. The smallest is a tin container from the Target dollar spot. The middle is from this year's McDonald's happy meals, and my mom gave Boogie the biggest one. I think it might be from a dollar store. The little pumpkin man was also from my mom and it was mine when I was little.

And on the last tray, as always, is play dough. This is the pumpkin scented play dough I made him for October. He has some pumpkin cookie cutters, a P and the number 5, as well as pipe cleaners (leftover from the yarn pumpkins) to make stems if he makes pumpkin balls. That idea came from Moments of Mommyhood.

Want to see more fun pumpkin crafts and activities? Follow me on pinterest!

Want to see more fun Montessori-inspired activities?

Montessori Monday

Want to find other kid-friendly ideas and activities?

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Tot School October 17 to October 23- D is still for ducks, dogs and dinos

*Boogie is 24.5 months old**

After my best friend's wedding last weekend, I just didn't have the time to properly plan what I wanted to do for tot school with Boogie. So, we left the D activities out another week. And it was a good thing because a) we were busy and b) Boogie and Bam Bam have both been incredibly off this week. Not sleeping well, being cranky during the day, short naps...Mama is losing her mind over here!! I think part of it was due to their check ups and shots. Boogie also had blood work done for his 2 year allergy profile. So that might be the whole problem and maybe we will recover next week. I have tons of fun pumpkin things planned so hopefully we will get to them.

If you are wondering how their check ups went, Boogie is almost 29 pounds and Bam Bam is 16.5 pounds. They're both above average for weight, under average for height, and Boogie has a large head (for his large brain).

Besides the fact that we didn't get to calendar time at all this past week, which disappointed me, Boogie did show a renewed interest in tot school activities I planned, despite his continued fascination with his train table and cars.

Tot School

Boogie finally tried out his pumpkin play dough and enjoyed all the D cookie cutters, as well as the pumpkin ones, and the number 4.

Boogie enjoyed matching his bottle cap letters a lot more this week. He repeated after me when I told him what the letters were and tried matching the bottle caps to the right letter on the dinosaur page (from Confessions of a Homeschooler).

We played and played and played with the Halloween sensory bin this week. He went into his tupperware/play food/empty containers cabinet and got some yogurt containers to scoop up the beans. Guess the cauldrons weren't cutting it! The pez dispensers continue to be a big hit.

We worked on a "D is for Dog" printable from Homeschool Creations in our Crayola Dry Erase Center.

I put the D do-a-dot page (from Confessions of a Homeschooler) on a cookie sheet and Boogie used his magnets to cover the circles (The magnets were from IKEA a long time ago).

"Drip Drop on a Duck" continued to be a popular activity. Boogie figured out how to take apart the droppers from the vitamin containers so he had a lot of fun doing that too.

Boogie dumped out "dino bones" and put them back in the container.

D is also for destroy. As in, take everything out of the cabinet so no one can walk in the kitchen.

And D is for drive and dirty (the cars were being cleaned with a baby wipe).

Boogie enjoyed playing with his brother in the exersaucer this week, and showing him how the different toys work. 

Through Mamasource, we got a discounted subscription to National Geographic Little Kids a couple months ago. Boogie just got his second one in the mail and we have been enjoying looking at it during breakfast. He especially loves the "I spy" pages, which surprised me because I thought that would be a tricky concept. 

The Cars felt pieces became interesting again recently. 

We had a couple field trips this weekend, too. We went to a local farm to see the animals and take a hayride. It was all a bit much for Bam Bam.

We also celebrated my brother's birthday at an indoor football field. Boogie had so much fun!

And I have a whole separate post dedicated to the leaf rubbings we spontaneously did.

What have you been doing to enjoy the fall?
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Felt Board- Jack O Lantern

After scouring the web for Jack O Lantern templates so I wouldn't have to do all the thinking myself and cutting free hand, I found almost exactly what I wanted over at DLTK. I still browsed the web for pictures to help me think of other ideas. I wanted a nice round number of eyes, noses, and mouths. I settled on 10 of each and wasn't wholly inspired by DLTK's offerings. So, some of the other ideas either came from my head or sites I found through google images.

Except for some time you need to put into this for the cutting, this is incredibly easy! And if you are a football fan, just curl up on the couch this weekend with your scissors and a couple pieces of felt (orange for the pumpkin, brown or green for the stem, black for the face). And some imagination and patience :) Felt is very easy to work with because it doesn't shread or tear, but I suggest using tape if you are drawing a template and not just doing it free hand. I do a little of each (templates and free hand). He's only two, after all. It doesn't have to be perfect!

I took the picture on our couch this time because I didn't think all the black would show up well against the green felt board. Didn't notice until just now that one of the noses was trying to escape. Oops!

If I have the time to get to the store before Monday, I would really like to do this game from The Crafting Chicks with Boogie.

I am really pleased with the final product and know that Boogie will enjoy it next week when we break out all the pumpkin stuff. He has been loving his potato heads and we have been naming eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and accessories a lot recently. I will probably spread them out something like this when I introduce it to him so he knows which are the eyes, noses, and mouths. After that, I am not sure how I am going to keep them separate in the felt pieces drawer he has access to all week. Maybe 3 envelopes, one with a picture of human eyes, one with noses and one with mouths. The pumpkin will stay on the felt board.

Hope this helps someone out there who is looking for a cheap, non-scary Halloween activity to do with a tot!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just for Fun- Leaf Rubbings

Next year especially, but even starting now, I am going to not be such a stickler for going through the alphabet in order. I think Boogie would have had a lot of fun doing 4 weeks of fall and seasonal activities. Not that he isn't enjoying what we are doing, but some things are best in season. I think next fall we will do a week of apples (which we did this year already), a week of leaves, a week of pumpkins (this upcoming week), and a week of Halloween-themed fun.

Today, because Bam Bam was sleeping and Boogie was restless, we went outside and collected some leaves to do leaf rubbings!

Step 1: Choose the perfect leaves.

Step 2:  Take the paper off fall colored crayons. Color on leaves. Put leaves on top of paper. Put leaves under paper. Break crayons. Use multiple crayons at once. Make piles of leaves. Drop crayons on floor. Eventually get around to rubbing the leaves with Mama's help and realize it is pretty cool!

Step 3: I wanted to keep Boogie's first leaves as a special memory, so to the laminator we went!

Step 4: Check out our finished work.

Boogie used it as a place mat when he had lunch and really enjoyed looking at it while he was eating :)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tot School October 11 to October 16- D is for ducks, dogs and dinosaurs

**Boogie is 24 months old**

After Boogie's birthday, which featured this homemade cake (can you tell I'm proud of how it turned out?!):

it was hard to get back into the swing of things. Especially because this was all the stuff we unloaded from the car when his party was over.

So Boogie has been very busy exploring the new goodies. And thankfully wearing the new clothes because if you follow my blog you know he favors a few shirts and I do way too much laundry.

We have found time for some letter D fun even with all the free play fun going on here :)

Tot School

This week's Bible story was the Tower of Babel, so we have been enjoying building and knocking down towers, especially using his new Melissa and Doug stacking alphabet blocks.

We have also been playing with his new alphabet puzzle, naming letters and the pictures underneath, as well as spelling things with the letters.

Boogie and Bam Bam have also been reading a lot recently. Boogie got a lot of fun new books.

We have been identifying body parts and accessories with his new potato heads.

Boogie has been enjoying his letter D trays (from Oriental Trading) this week too!

Here he is drip dropping on the duck, using his finger pinching muscles and loving making a mess with colored water. The eye dropper came from either Walmart or the dollar store. I also have been saving and cleaning out ones from their empty vitamins containers or medicine bottles to give Boogie more choice. There are tons of eye dropper and water activities for toddlers. To make the water colored but not staining, I put a drop of blue dye into a glass, then diluted it until my finger and a paper towel were not turning blue.

A tray that focuses on dropping and dumping? Yes, please! (The q-tips are supposed to be bones to go with dogs or dinos. The idea came from Peaceful Parenting.)

He enjoys digging for dinos then matching them up. This idea is all over the web in relation to dinosaur activities.

His duck magnets have seen some action this week as well. And d is also for diaper :P

We practiced using our bottle top letters to spell dinosaur (worksheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler), or really to match letters more than to spell. And even that didn't last very long.

We grew a dinosaur, which took MUCH longer than the few hours advertised. I got this picture right before the bowl flooded our kitchen.

And, of course, the beloved cars came out. Boogie got a bunch of new cars for his birthday, and he loves to play with them on the train table or line them up. When he lines them up, we count them and talk about their colors.

We've also had playdates with friends and cousins, which are always good lessons in sharing and patience (for both of us since I have to remember to be patient when he doesn't share!) as well as being fun for Boogie and Mama :) AND Boogie was in my best friend's wedding on Saturday- his first appearance as a ring bearer. He was adorable.

In Bam Bam news, besides reading at a very young age, he has also gotten very good at grabbing toys when he is having independent playtime.

He looks surprised at his own brilliance!

Hope everyone else is having a lovely fall so far!
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