Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY textured alphabet placemat

This is so easy and simple that I cannot believe I didn't think of it! It was actually Hubby-Man's idea and I just tweaked it.

We have been working hard at learning letters this school year, and are trying to put the alphabet everywhere. Boogie is really into it and will ask what letter words start with or make the beginning sound of a word and try to figure out the letter. We are continuing with a letter of the week approach, but with a lot of holistic activities as well. It seems to be working for Boogie, he knows the sounds of a few letters, he can recognize all the letters of his name and about 5 others, I think, at this point. He does not write any of them yet, but that will come.

So, the idea. Our latest way of encouraging Boogie to recognize letters is to make him a textured alphabet placemat.

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I bought a $2 plain(ish) placemat at Walmart and a $5 giant bag of glittered, foam, uppercase alphabet stickers in primary colors (and white, which it didn't say on the bag). 

I played with the colors (I wanted to do it Montessori style and have the consonants blue and the vowels red, but there weren't enough blue consonants. I kept all the vowels red, though, and didn't use red for any consonants. So the groundwork is there.) and arrangements until I settled on a layout I liked, then I peeled them and stuck them. That's all! The fact that they are raised and a bit textured from the glitter will help Boogie make connections between seeing the letters and recognizing them or writing them.  

Because the letters are all a uniform height, it absolutely works as a placemat! I imagine that Boogie will mostly play with it after he eats, though, and is waiting for his brother to finish. We have a rule that he has to stay at the table while Bam Bam, Hubby-Man or I am still eating, and he is allowed to color, look at a book, or do schoolwork if he is antsy. This will go on the list of "Keep Boogie at the table" tricks. 

This idea actually stemmed from the geography and history placemats that Rachel uses over at Grasping for Objectivity in my Subjective Life.  We plan on buying those placemats and using her reward method of memorization for the alphabet as well as the geography/history facts. Basically, she puts a treat on a state, president's photo, or country and asks her daughter to identify what is under the treat. If she does, she gets the treat (nut, raisin, marshmallow). If she does not correctly identify it, Rachel corrects her, moves the treat, and her daughter tries again. By 3.5 or 4, her daughter knew all the presidents, the 50 states, and something like 60 countries! Sign Boogie and Bam Bam up! We will start with the alphabet and maybe alternate with one other placemat since we are going through the alphabet so slowly (one letter a week) and there is a lot more to the alphabet than memorization.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Snow of the Season Memory Photo

I always mean to take pictures of our family's footprints when we go to the beach, but I always forget. That thought popped into my head today though, so I did the next best thing- took a picture of the boys' shoe prints in the first snow of the season.

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Boogie LOVED the snow, but poor Bam Bam had a lot of trouble maneuvering in all his layers. And he couldn't play with the sand toys because of his mittens. So he kept trying to run away and find someone who would take off his mittens. I got a couple cute pictures of them individually, but it is very hard to get them to both cooperate and smile for a brothers shot these days, so this will have to do :)
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Monday, November 5, 2012

FREE Bible Verse Printable- 1 Corinthians 10:26

We are teaching Boogie Bible verses that address certain undesirable behaviors. I hope to post a lot more about this at some point, but for now I wanted to share a freebie.

With two little ones less than 2 years apart, we are constantly talking about sharing. I looked around the blogosphere to see if I could find a verse that got to the heart of the issue, but finally settled on creating my own. The concept that I am trying to teach our boys is that nothing is theirs. Everything we have is a gift from God, and all of it belongs to Him or comes from His goodness. I decided that 1 Corinthians 10:26 was a wonderful and simple verse to use to illustrate that fact.

To download this Bible verse printable, just click on the picture below. Once you open the PDF, you can choose color or black and white. 

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