Saturday, July 31, 2010

Favorite Books of the Week

We have enjoyed so many good books this week.  I have so much trouble writing these posts because I would love to feature all of the books we read, but that might be the longest post ever and no one would read it!  So, here are just a few of our favorite books from this week:

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina is one of our favorite books and we had a lot of fun playing and learning with it this week.  I still have one more post to finish about our Caps for Sale snacks!  Just in case you are unaware, the book is about a peddler who falls asleep against a tree with his wares (caps) on his head.  He wakes up to find his caps missing and realizes they have been taken by monkeys.  C and R love the monkey see-monkey do humor in the book!

We read some great ocean/beach themed books for our coffee shop story hour.  The book that C and R enjoyed most from the bunch is Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman and Jacky Davis.  C and R always enjoy the adventures of Ladybug Girl.  In this book, she goes to the beach for the first time and is frightened by the vastness and noisiness of the ocean.  This is my favorite of the Ladybug Girl books.

C and R both adored all three of the books in The Paper Princess series, but their favorite of the three is the original.  The Paper Princess by Elisa Kleven is a sweet story about a paper doll created by a young girl, and the journey taken by that paper doll. 

Finally, we read Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Once a year, the main character enjoys a day when the answer to every question and request is "YES!".  You can imagine the fun he has!  C and R are both pleading for their very own "Yes Day".  I'm considering it, but I'm nervous, very nervous.

I am linking this post to What My Child Is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.  Hop on over there to find out what other children are reading!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Carousel

C and R visited a local carousel this week with their adorable one year old cousin who has been visiting from Florida.  They rode the carousel seven times, and because they are not yet four feet tall, an adult had to be on the carousel with them.  I went around and around and around five of the times.  I felt a little queasy all day long; I have no idea how kids can stand spinning over and over again.

In case you were wondering, this carousel was built in 1920 and it was a featured attraction of Lincoln Amusement Park in Dartmouth, Massachusetts for seventy years.  It is now located at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beach Books and Art

I recently hosted another coffee shop story hour, and we had a beach/ocean theme.  These are the books I read:

All You Need for a Beach by Alice Schertle,

On the Seashore by Anna Milbourne and Erica-Jane Waters,

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry, and

Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman and Jacky Davis.

After we read and discussed the books, the children all had fun creating their art.  I purchased sandpaper from Dollar Tree (12 sheets for $1.00!) and each child got one sheet.  I told them the sandpaper represented the sand at the beach and they were going to finger paint the ocean over part of the sand.  I gave them each a drop of dark blue paint and a drop of light blue paint and they mixed the two together to create the ocean.  Finger painting on sandpaper is a fantastic sensory activity for children of all ages.

Then, they added ocean stickers and used markers to add details like the sun, beach blankets, umbrellas, sand castles, etc. 

Thank you to Michelle from A Mommy's Adventures for inspiring this art project and for telling me where to buy the sandpaper!  Also, in case you were wondering, the super cute aprons the children are all wearing are also from Dollar Tree.  Thank you to the Moms who gave me permission to photograph and post pictures of their children. 

I am linking this post to stArt (story + art = a great start) at A Mommy's Adventures.

Monkey Craft

We have spent the last week enjoying the book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.  It only seemed fitting that we do some kind of craft to go along with the book, so C and R made monkeys.

First, they painted paper plates brown.

Then, I drew a crazy looking face shape on yellow construction paper and cut it out.  C and R added googly eyes, and drew a nose and mouth on each face.  They glued the face onto the plate once the paint dried, and they glued on construction paper circles for ears.  They came out cute.

I am linking this post to stArt (story+art = a great start) at A Mommy's Adventures.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cleaning Pennies

C and R were sorting coins recently, and I realized how dirty the coins were.  I knew there was a science experiment that involved cleaning pennies so we gave it a whirl.  I found directions at the Science Bob website.

First, C separated the pennies from the other coins in our pile.

Then, R added 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt to our container.  We put five dirty pennies in the container and counted slowly to ten.

Then we placed the pennies in a bowl of water and dried them with a towel.

Our dull, dirty pennies were much shinier after the acid in the vinegar reacted with the salt to remove what chemists call copper oxide which was making the pennies dull.  Our pennies were not perfect and shiny, but they were pretty disgusting before so they shined up quite a bit. 

We also decided to remove a few pennies from the vinegar and NOT rinse them with water.  Instead, we left the vinegar covered pennies on a paper towel and let them sit for a while.  In time the pennies turned greenish-blue as a chemical called malachite formed on the pennies.

Who knew you could have so much fun with vinegar and a few pennies?


Someday, I will hang hand towels in the bathroom and they will stay neat and clean for more than a few minutes.

Someday, I will not find globs of toothpaste in the sink.

Someday, there will be no whining in my house.

Someday, there will be no toys strewn about for me to trip over.

Someday, my house will stay clean.

Someday, there will be no fingerprints on the appliances or crayon marks on the walls.

Someday, I will not have mountains of laundry.

Someday, I will sleep through the night with only my husband beside me.

Some days I complain about the messes, but today I am trying to remember that someday I will miss these days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Caps for Sale - Day 2

We are currently enjoying Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.  Day 1 with this book involved reading and retelling the story in various ways.  On day 2, we did some book related learning.

I found a great printable that has a page from the book and asks how many of several different things are on the page.  I also used this printable to reinforce the new vocabulary words.  For example, they had to answer how many peddlers are on the page, so we talked about what a peddler is and what the peddler in the book is selling.

You don't really need the printable because you could just open to the page in the book and ask the child to count specific things, but I thought it was something my kids would enjoy so I printed it. 

We also played Monkey Math.  The banana pieces are weighted so I would have R pick a number and place the correct banana piece on one side of the monkey.  C then had to find two banana pieces to equal the number R selected.  Once both sides were full, we worked on subtraction by removing equal numbers on both sides. 

In the book, the peddler is selling his caps for fifty cents each.  I figured this was a great opportunity for a coin review.

We named each of the coins and then talked about different ways to make fifty cents.  Then, the three of us sat together and figured out how much money the peddler would have if he sold all sixteen of his caps.

Finally, we figured out how much money we had and how many caps we could buy with that money.
I plan on spending some more time on coin identification and addition this summer.

Stay tuned for Day 3 of our Caps for Sale fun!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ocean Crafts

C, R, and their friend, A, each made two fun ocean crafts while we were visiting the Ocean Explorium

First they made hand print crabs.  Paint both hands and press them down on the paper with the fingers spread out to the sides and the thumbs touching in the middle (see finished product below for a clear picture about how to place hands).

Glue googly eyes above the thumbs and the crab is complete.

They also made jellyfish using markers, a coffee filter, one Dixie cup, ribbon, and tape.

First, color the coffee filter with markers

Then tape a Dixie cup to the bottom side of the coffee filter as shown

Tape ribbons around the edge of the coffee filter (or you can attach them to the rim of the cup), and tape one ribbon to the center of the top side of the coffee filter (this one allows you to hold the jellyfish and make it move).

*Thank you Robin for allowing me to include pictures of A in this post (and yesterday's post)! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Ocean Explorium

 A few days ago, I took C, R, and their friend, A, to visit the Ocean Explorium.  The Explorium houses a variety of marine animals (the seahorses and jellyfish were wildly popular with my group), and a community touch tank.  There is also an activity center for crafts, dramatic play, and more.

We spent most of our visit at the touch tank.  Luckily, we had the place to ourselves and had all the time we wanted to learn about the marine life in the tank.  Here are a few things we learned:

a starfish has an eye at the tip of each arm,
 if you hum while holding periwinkles, they will come out of the shell (I asked the marine specialist {not sure of her real title} for an explanation and she said the vibrations supposedly bring them out of their shells, but she wondered if it was really just a way to have patience while waiting for them to decide to come out. 

The uglier the crab, the nicer it is.  The prettier crabs tend to pinch more.  The crab in this picture is a spider crab, and the pinchers are way too small to actually hurt anyone, but neither C, R nor A would hold it.  They did touch the shell though.

C, R, and A had a great time learning about the living things in the touch tank.  Tomorrow, I will post the fun ocean crafts they made at the Ocean Explorium.

I am linking this to Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom!