Saturday, February 28, 2009

March 2-6: Dr. Seuss

As some of you may know, Dr. Seuss' birthday falls on March 2nd. In honor of this great children's writer we will be doing activities based off of Dr. Seuss' books and characters this week.

Books: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; 10 Apples Up on Top; Green Eggs and Ham; The Cat in the Hat; The Lorax

Song: 1-2-3-4-5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive

Art Projects:

1 Fish, 2 Fish project

10 Apples Up on top

Cat in the hat craft

Hand print truffula tree

Other projects/activities:
Make our own cat in the hat themed shape book
Eat green eggs and ham
Play games at Seussville
Dr. Seuss color game

If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who Lives At My House

This is one of my favorite project to do with young children. Family themed projects never fail to delight young children, because family is the most important thing in their lives. They love doing activities involving their family and this project is a chance to show who is in your family. I absolutely always love the way this project turns out.

Materials: Paper to make your house out of (I used white cardstock, but you can use construction paper or a recycled
grocery bag or any type of paper you'd like), paint/markers/crayons, sharpie, photos of people who live in your home, glue stick

Activity: You can cut a house shape out of your paper or cut a rectangle and triangle (one for the body of the house and one for the roof). Use your sharpie to write "Who Lives In My House?" at the top on the roof and to draw a door (and windows if you want- I used white paper to create window frames). Allow your child to paint or color the house. My son just did tons of paint colors, but older children might want to make it look more like their real home. Once it is dry cut out the photos of your family and put them in the windows (or create window frames using brown or white paper). Allow to dry. This is another project that I laminated, because I plan on keeping it forever so I want it to last! :)

Family Handprints

Materials: All your family members, a photo of each of you, paint, white construction paper or cardstock (or any color you'd like as long as the hand print will show up), sharpie or pen

Activity: Create a hand print of each of your family members. Once dry glue the photo fo the family member in the center of their palm and write "mommy's handprint" at the bottom (or whoever the hand print belongs t0). I laminated them for durability and put a hole punch at the top of each. I then put them on a binder ring, so Elliot could have them to look at whenever he wants. Another idea is to line them up the way I have in the photo and hole bunch the top and bottom. Connect the pieces with yarn or ribbon and hang. :) This is a fun project because the entire family gets involved!!

Lamination: I use a Scotch Thermal Laminator for laminating my projects. I bought it at Walmart for under $25 and the lamination sheets come in packs of 20- 5x7 sheet for $5 and 8.5x11 for $7. I just wanted to let everyone know about this product because I find it extremely helpful and use it on many projects. It's really useful in book making, flashcard making and making games for your kids. (The laminating sheets also come in smaller sizes like 4x6, and business card size, but I'm unsure of the cost of those sizes because I usually stick to the above mentioned sizes.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Homemade Teddy Bear book

This is a book I created off the rhyme that was posted for the teddy bear theme. I typed (double spaced) the words to the rhyme and printed it. I then cut them into strips to be glued onto the pages. I then cut out teddy bears (5 different patterns is what I used, but you can do that however you want). All you need to do is put the words on the page and the number of teddy beards that go with that page. To create the pages I just used construction paper cut in half length wise. I hole punched and laminated the pages and bound them together with binder rings. Viola! You're own teddy bear book.

Teddy Bear Crafts

(On the left) This was my replacement for the Coffee Teddy Bear (if you remember I said we don't have coffee grounds, because we don't use a coffee maker). I just cut out the bear shape (out of a brown bag) and then my son painted it with brown paint. I cut out a heart and glued it in the middle and wrote "I love you beary much!" on it. (On the right) This was my improvised paper plate teddy bear. I gave Elliot a paper plate and brown marker and had him color it. He also used some crayons, too. Then I just cut the middle circle out of the plate and added the details. My origional plan was to have him paint a large paper plate and then a paper bowl. You would use the bowl as the bear's muzzle and add features using marker or wiggly eyes, etc. Well, I had no paper bowls, and it was a day where I was not about to go out and get them. So we just had to improvise.

Monday, February 23, 2009

brown bear story pieces

I made these magnet pieces for the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear? I printed the pieces, colored cut and laminated them. Then I added magnets to the backs. You can use them on a magnet board, cookie sheet or the bottom of your fridge. I got these pieces from kidzclub. They have several story pieces available, but you can do this with any of your favorite stories. This is definitely one of my son's favorite books, and as you can see he can't wait to get his hands on the pieces!!

February 23-27: My Family

*Books: What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best


We're a Happy Family
(to the tune of “Barney theme song)
I love Mommy, she loves me
We love Daddy, yes siree
He loves us and so you see
We're a Happy Family
Repeat using brother, sister, grandma etc

*Art Projects:

Family Tree

Family Handprints

People in my home

*Other activities:

Goodnight book

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Paper Bag Puppet- Teddy Bear

Here is the paper bag puppet (found at first school's website).


Enjoy. :)

Teddy Bear Picnic and Bear Cave

Teddy bear picnic is pretty self explanatory. We had a picnic with a couple of teddy bears. Elliot thought this was so funny. I guess the whole concept of "picnic" was new to him as a whole. We had our picnic in our living room (since we live in WI outside is not really an option). We had some of our teddy bear trail mix and peanut butter sandwiches (hold the jelly, please! we are close to carpet!!).

Bear Cave: If you have a new appliance box (like a fridge box) that works great! We did not have one, so I used a tall/deep laundry basket for ours and covered it with a blanket. Elliot loves getting into laundry baskets (and boxes- what kid doesn't??) so he was totally into this activity.

Both activities were fun and easy to do. They helped us pass by yet another day stuck inside!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bear Hunt Trail Mix

This morning we are making our bear hunt trail mix. For older kids they can munch on this as you go on a "bear hunt". There are several versions of the chant, and you can even add your own steps into it. Here are the words if you aren't familiar with the chant.

Bear Hunt Trail Mix
Your favorite flavor of Teddy Grahams (or more than one kind if you want)
Pretzel goldfish

Scoop each ingredient into your bag. Shake and Enjoy!

Another fun take on "bear hunt" for the younger crowd is hiding the bear and having the kids hunt for it. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Penguin Foot Print

Sorry this is so late, but I finally got a chance to hunt this guy down, photograph him and upload him. :) This is our footprint penguin from the polar bear and penguin theme. As you can see it's his footprint upside down, and a white oval cut out of the scrap paper as his belly. On the belly I wrote the poem, which I listed in the lesson plan for the theme. He turned out cute, so I thought I'd share.

Build a Bear

Today we are taking a "field trip" to Build a Bear workshop. Even if you just visit and don't build a bear, it's a fun way to see the makings of a bear! Pictures to come!

ETA: We weren't able to go, due to my friend having a change of plans. Hopefully we will get a chance sometime this week/weekend.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coffee Teddy Bear

Materials: Brown construction paper or brown grocery bag cut to a teddy bear shape, dried coffee grounds, glue, paint brush

Activity: Have the child paint the bear with glue. Next sprinkle the coffee grounds onto the bear. Allow time to dry. You can replace coffee grounds with cinnamon, also.

TIP: Wash paint brush immediately off or glue can ruin it.

These turn out really cute, and smell yummy. I don't know if we will do this one because we don't drink coffee on a regular basis. But if someone does it and wants to send me a pic, please leave me a comment. :) I've done this many years in my classroom and they always turn out great.

For a teddy bear coloring sheet that you could use for a pattern: Click here.

Also a cute link to lots of different types of teddy bears with their own style: Click here.

Teddy bear shape book that could also be used as a pattern: Click here.

February 17-20: Teddy Bear

*Books: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Michael Hague; Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle; Corduroy stories (for the older kids)


Teddy Bear

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky
Teddy bear, teddy bear, bend down low
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your toes
Teddy bear, teddy bear, go upstairs
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say your prayers
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say goodnight

One Little Teddy Bear

One little teddy bear smiling for you,
Here comes another bear, and that makes two.
Two little teddy bears just for you and me,
Here comes another bear, and that makes three.
Three little teddy bears sitting on the floor,
Here comes another bear, and that makes four.
Four little teddy bears looking so alive,
Here comes another bear, and that makes five.
Five little teddy bears all in a row,
Watch them dance and twirl around as off they go!

*Art Activites:

Coffee Ground Teddy Bear

Paper Plate Teddy Bear Craft

Bear Puppet

*Other Activities:

visit to build a bear workshop

teddy bear picnic

bear cave

bear hunt

bear toast

bear hunt trail mix

*Links to helpful items:

Brown Bear matching activity

Brown Bear Printables

6 Little Bears Online Story

Happy Tuesday!!

We had a fun and lazy 4 day weekend around our house, so sorry for the lack of posting!! Whenever daddy is home we get off schedule, kwim?? Haha. I'm planning out this week (which is going to be short, just Wednesday to Friday) once my wonderful son decides he's going to take a nap. He's currently squealing and giggling in his crib. I should be back later today with a game plan. Hope you are all having a wonderful beginning of the week.

The theme is going to be teddy bears, so if anyone has any ideas to add please leave me some in the comments. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's day magnets

Materials: Small Wooden hearts (or hearts cut out of cardboard), paint (red, white, or pink), sharpie, glitter, magnet (usually you can buy this in a roll at Michaels by kids craft stuff)

Directions: Have your child paint the wooden heart. Allow heart to dry and then decorate as you wish. Use your sharpie to write message on the heart. Attach magnet to the back.

Spinoff idea: You could also make these into conversation hearts and use different pastel paints to paint them. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love bugs

Materials: White construction paper, black construction paper, sharpie, wiggle eyes, red marker crayon or paint
Directions. Cut 2 heart shapes- 1 out of white paper, 1 smaller heart out of black paper. Cut 6 legs out of black construction paper. Have your child either paint or color the white heart red. Glue pieces together as shown above (or have your child glue them if it is age appropriate). Using your sharpie add heart shaped spots to your love bug. I wrote the message "Happy Valentine's Day! You're my lovebug!"

Elliot made this one pictured for his "lovebug" Ruby. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Homemade Valentines

One of the things we will definitely be doing starting tomorrow is making our own valentines. My plan is to cut heart shaped valentines for my son to paint or color. Older kids can get very creative making them! You can use sequins, stickers, glitter, stamps and tons of other things!! Another really fun idea is to have your child help you write a message to a loved one. Here is a link to a writing sheet that says "I love you because...". It's a heart shape, so you could have your child make their creative valentine and then cut this heart shaped stationary page out and glue it to the back. What a great thing for a grandma, grandpa, daddy or friend! And what a great way to teach your child to appreciate their family and friends and learn to express that love in words!!

February 9-13: Valentines, Hearts and Love

This week is all about L-O-V-E. :) As Valentines comes this weekend, we will be talking all about love and valentines day. Obviously a great time to also add emphasis to the heart shape and color red (or pink!).

Books: Where Is Baby's Valentine by Karen Katz, Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boyton, How Do I Love You by Leslie Kimmelman, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Froggy's First Kiss by Jonathan London

Song: Although I actually very much dislike the big purple dinosaur (and my son has never seen this show) my selection is the Barney Song. Because it's lyrics are simple, and kids seem to love it and I think it conveys the idea of "love", especially from a family perspective (which is what we want to teach our children on valentine's day!).
I love you
You love me
We're a happy family
With a great big hug
And a kiss from me to you
Won't you say you love me too?

Art/Craft Activities this week:
Heart Collage, Handprint heart, Making Valentine's Cards, Heart Wreath, Love Bugs, Plaster Hand print

Helpful sites:

Heart Shaped Pattern
Chocolate Play-doh recipe
Valentines Matching Flip Book- really cute make at home book that helps your child with matching skills and colors
Valentines Numbers-This is intended to be used for making a card. But I thought you could creatively use the numbers for different activities. One thing I thought of for older kids would be cutting the nubers out and having the kids count out and put that number of conversation hearts onto the correct cards. At the end they could have them for a treat. :)

If anyone has other ideas about this theme or any theme or if you did something differently, please always feel free to leave a comment! Any other ideas are welcomed!

Polar Bear Craft

Materials: Brown paper bag, sharpie, wiggle eyes, felt, pom pom, white paint
Directions: Cut out a bear face shape. Have your child paint it white. Add the details of your bears face or have your older child do it themself. You can use the items I listed or whatever you have around. :)

Ps... I will try to post pictures of my penguin crafts tomorrow. My husband went out of town on short notice, so I haven't had as much posting time. I promise I'll be better this week!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Create your own snack mix

This morning I decided we would make a snack mix. We use to do this a lot in my classroom (either based on our theme or just to have fun and get rid of odds and ends). This morning I used cinnamon chex, cheerios, pretzel sticks, raisins, bunny graham crackers, and chocolate peanutbutter swirled chips. You can use anything you have around. Ideas: goldfish crackers, puffs, marshmallows, m&ms, cereal of any kind, craisins, etc. Basically any bite sized muchy you have around your house. This is really fun for kids, because they can use a 1 cup or 1/2 cup to scoop out the ingredients and put them into a big ziplock. Seal, shake and enjoy. Yum, yum!

Ps... Also a good way to teach older kids about measuring tools if you use measuring cups!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Elmo!

Today is our furry red friend's birthday! I planned on using this coloring page (Elmo Coloring page) of Elmo's face to make a paint project for my little guy! I was going to cut it out and use it to trace Elmo's face onto a paper bag and have my guy paint it red. Then make the eyes out of white paper. However, I've been sick for a few days now so we haven't done much project wise. We might do this one tomorrow if I feel better. If so I'll add photos. Let me know if any of you do it. Comment or email me a photo. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mitten Matching Game

This is a simple and easy to make game that will help your child with color identification and one to one correspondence (which is an important early math skill). You can make many versions of this game to go with different themes. I went with mittens since it goes with the themes we've been exploring in our house.

Materials: Construction paper of various colors, sharpie, glue stick, and contact paper (optional)

Directions: Cut out 2 mittens for each color. Glue one mitten down to the "mat" (which I used black construction paper for). Write the color name on the other mitten. It's really good for young kids to have things labeled with print, even if they cannot read it yet. I would recommend laminating this or using contact paper to cover it. It will protect your pieces from getting ruined.

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Toilet Paper Roll Groundhog
Groundhog coloring page
Create your own groundhog report

This is a fun day for older kids. Take your child's prediction of whether or not the groundhog will see its shadow. It's also a great day to explore shadows!

Shadow Activity: Use a flashlight to cast your child's shadow on the wall. Have them sit with so you can cast a shadow of their profile onto a piece of white paper. Trace the profile shadow. Attach to a black piece of black construction paper to cut out the "shadow" (basically you are just using your traced profile as a stencil). Here is another method from Wondertime that doesn't require a lot of involvement from your child (you could make as a keepsake of your toddler). But I'd recommend the first method for older kids to help them learn more about shadows.