Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms

Last fall we read Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson over and over again, loving every page. When I found out that Fletcher was back in a springtime book, I immediately put my name on the waiting list at the library. We finally brought the book home on Monday. Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms has already been read over a dozen times in our house and again we are loving every page.

Fletcher is a silly little fox who mistakenly believes the falling springtime blossoms are snowflakes. He rushes to tell all of his animal friends that there is more snow coming so that they can return to winter hibernation or find more food. The animals decide to play in the snow before settling back down and find a pleasant surprise. C and R love the illustrations, especially one of the pages that allows the reader to touch the "blossoms".

We have a beautiful tree (I have no idea what it is called) in our yard that leaves piles of pretty blossoms everywhere. C and R loved comparing our tree to the trees in the book.

C and R drew trees and used pink and white paint to make little blossoms with their fingertips.

R's springtime picture.

C's springtime picture.

C and R are already asking if we can keep this book. We may have to buy our own copy.


C is obsessed with volcanoes. He loves reading about volcanoes and watching clips of them erupting. After months of telling him we would make our own volcano, we finally did it!

We placed a water bottle in a foil pan (I got two of these for $1.00 from the dollar store) and created our volcano with Crayola Air-Dry Clay.
We molded the clay around the bottle until C and R were satisfied that it looked like a volcano.

Once the clay was dry, C and R painted the volcano brown. After the paint dried, we prepared for an eruption. There are plenty of directions on the internet for creating volcano eruptions; we followed the directions at Enchanted Learning. We used a funnel to pour 3 TBSP of baking soda, a few drops of dish detergent, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/2 tsp of red glitter into the volcano. We then mixed a few drops of red food coloring with 1/2 cup of vinegar. C is covering his nose because he does not like the smell of the vinegar. We added the vinegar mixture to the volcano and quickly pulled the funnel away.


C and R were thrilled and cannot wait to try this again. I told them we will do it again when T comes home from school.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tot school

Tot School

C and R were still suffering from ear infections the beginning of the week but R managed to participate in some Tot School activities.

She made this earth craft and listened to a few books about keeping our earth beautiful. R used dot markers to decorate a Love Your Planet printable.

We had a lot of fun with turtles this week.

R LOVED making this puppet and creating puppet shows.

Pom poms are great for counting practice and color review! Read this post to see how we used them this week.

Have a great week! We are happy to be ear infection free now and almost finished with antibiotics!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd

C and R love Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd and we read it often. It is the perfect book for counting practice and color recognition.
Dog is white with a black spot on his left ear. As Dog goes about his day, he gets splashed and marked with everything from jam to juice and ends up with ten different colored spots.

I drew Dog myself and then laminated the page. I then found clip art images of all of the items that splashed or marked Dog and laminated them. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the images to share because I laminated these months ago and I have no idea where I found them.

We used pom poms to represent the spots on Dog. I colored the black spot on, however, because that was a spot that Dog already had, not one that was splashed or marked on him.

As we read the book, C and R took turns finding the item that gave Dog the spot and the matching pom pom. They placed the pom poms on Dog and we counted the spots as we went along.

At the end of the book, Dog has a bath and we removed all of the spots! This was really intended as counting practice for R; she mastered these colors a long time ago but I think it is always good to review. This was too easy for C, but he still had fun playing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Recycled puppet craft

This is an easy way to use some of your recyclables on Earth Day.

1. Cut out eyes, a nose, and a mouth from old magazines. Just find any page that has colors that appeal to you and cut them in the shapes of eyes, a nose, a mouth, and you can even do eyebrows.

2. Glue them on to the front of a paper lunch bag. C insisted on gluing his on the top (flap) of his paper bag; that was fine. As long as they are having fun, right?

3. Stuff the paper bag with shredded newspaper. Stuff a lot in there to hold the shape.

4. Put a paper towel roll in the bag.

5. Wrap a rubber band around the bag and paper towel roll to make a handle for your puppet.

6. Glue some yarn or ribbon scraps on the top for hair.

7. Make a few and have a puppet show!

There are so many ways you can decorate these and it is a good way to reuse some of the scraps and recyclables in your home.

Turtle Splash by Cathryn Falwell

Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond by Cathryn Falwell is a wonderful counting book about a day in the life of ten Eastern Painted Turtles. One by one the turtles jump into the water after being startled by various animals. At the end of the story, the turtles settle down for the night making this a great bedtime story.

The author also includes two pages of information about pond life and a page of directions for making leaf prints!

There are so many things to love about this book. The countdown is fun; C and R enjoyed counting the turtles on each page. Also, there are clues on each page as to which animal will create the next disturbance. We had fun finding the clues and guessing how the animal would disturb the turtles. The artwork is beautiful and very realistic. This book is a perfect mix of science, art, literature, and mathematics.

After reading this book, we made our own turtles. This idea came from the book Alphabet Art by Judy Press.

1. Cut away the ridged rim of a paper plate,

2. Make a single cut from the outside edge of the plate into the center,

3. Paint the plate to look like a turtle shell,

4. Once the plate is dry, overlap the edges and staple to form a peak in the center,

5. Cut out the turtle's head, tail, and legs (we used green foam sheets because I have so many sheets of it left over from Christmas decorations, but you can use construction paper or cardboard),
6. Staple the head, tail, and legs to the shell, and

7. Add eyes and a mouth.
C's turtles
R's turtlesAren't they adorable?
Turtle race: Place the turtles on a hard, flat surface. Stand or sit behind your turtle and blow under the turtle's shell to make it move. The first turtle to cross the finish line wins the race!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day reading

We try to do our part to keep our planet healthy every day but this week we are talking about why we recycle, reuse, and reduce as much as possible in celebration of Earth Day. We are enjoying these great books:

What a Wonderful World

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Wonder Pets Save the Tree

I had every intention of making a trip to the library for more books, but we have four little infected ears that have kept us home the past few days. Hopefully, we will make it to the library for the special Earth Day story hour on Wednesday!

A Super Award for me!

I am so happy about receiving this really cool award from Sandy at Just for Fun. She has a great blog and I get so many ideas from her. Thank you so much!Here are the rules for this award:Tape it up on your blog somewhere.Pass it along to 5 fellow super bloggers, and comment on their blog to let them know how lucky they are today!When you present your Super Blogger awards, link back to the super blogger who gave it to you.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there but today I am recognizing these super bloggers:

My Two Happy Homeschoolers

Painted Rainbows and Chamomile Tea

The Whipples

Living and Learning

Adventures in Mommydom

I am so happy to have found your blogs and I appreciate the time you take to post about all of the wonderful ideas you have. Thank you!

Earth Day craft

To celebrate our beautiful planet, we did a coffee filter craft. C and R had fun with this simple project.

First, flatten a coffee filter and color it with blue and green washable markers. Don't color the entire surface, just scribble across the filter. Also, try to avoid coloring too much in one spot because the filter will tear. Then, using a spray bottle, lightly spray the coffee filter. I let C and R spray the filters 3 or 4 times. If you spray too much, the filter will take forever to dry and will probably fall apart.
C and R loved the spray bottles I bought for them at the dollar store.

The colors will spread and blend together.

Glue the dry Earth onto a black piece of paper and use a white crayon to make stars in space.

The final product is neat and really does look like Earth in space.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Button Box

The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid is a book about an imaginative boy who likes to play with the buttons in his grandmother's special box. He sorts the buttons, makes things with them, and plays button games. There is also a page in the book dedicated to the history of buttons.

C and R enjoyed the book, and they also enjoyed playing with and sorting our buttons. Unfortunately, our buttons are not as wonderful as the buttons described in the book, but they still provided some learning fun.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tot school

Tot School
We had a lot of fun this week, but now R has a cold and is so miserable. She does not like to rest either!

R enjoyed reading Stuck in the Mud by Jane Clarke and playing with farm animals in clean mud. The Counting at the Pond cards got a lot of use this week. R used pom poms to count the pond animals on the cards.

Our letters and numbers mat gets a lot of use; we play a lot of games with it. On this day, R and C would run to the letters I called out for them.

R also used her counting bears on the numbers. I was very happy with her counting.

We also practiced counting with the book Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh and some homemade mice and a snake.

R completed this puzzle and the uppercase version.

She loved looking for the items in her I Spy bottle.

She practiced beading.

And, she built with her stacking pegs. This didn't last very long though. She gets bored with these really fast. C loves to build with them though, so maybe she will come around.

See you next week!