Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Vanilla Surprise Cake Playdough (Celebrating Our First Year)

Today is our one year blogiversary. One year of writing, posting, picture taking, and more. One year of sharing things we love to do often, are just trying for the first time, and things that become new favorites. One year of learning, for both me and the kiddos as we all explore new things (including how to make this whole page work.) What started out as something fun has blossomed into something I hope we stick with. There is still so much more to learn but still a lot more we want to share too.

Looking back over this year to date we have had 10,442 views, 127 posts, and found 134 fans on facebook. A few popular posts over the year have included our Love Bugs, "Swimmy" Sponge Painting, and our Seed Exploration. A few of our personal favorites include our Alphabet Adventures, Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins, Rockin' Robin Footprints, and our New Year's Bags for the Whole Family.

I can't wait to see where we go in this next year . . .

In honor of the one year blogiversary today we created Vanilla Surprise Cake Playdough. And although I didn't tell the boys why we were pretending to make cakes, they loved the theme of the play for the afternoon.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Earth Day Collage and Brainstorm

We've continued to explore Earth Day this week and the idea of taking care of our Earth. 

We enjoyed creating this Earth Day collage and then brainstorming ideas for how to care for Earth. We used paper from our scrap paper collection to create a torn paper collage and silver permanent marker to write our ideas around the world. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Glowing Earth Lantern

Yesterday was Earth Day, but we've been thinking about Earth Day all week. We created this glowing balloon lantern Monday and have enjoyed it during the rest of the week.

My inspiration came from a project two coworkers did with all of the students in our school. They worked with every student in the school to create a  balloon lantern for an evening whole school parade. You can see some images of our school parade at Amy Donohue Photography's blog post on a Full Moon Lantern Parade

As I helped with my students in the art room I knew this was definitely something we would have to try at home at some point. I had envisioned creating a whole set of planets for Big Brother's Outer Space Birthday party, but later realized it would be a great project for Earth Day. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quick Pick & Project of the Week: "Tornadoes" Weather Jar

Last week we made our monthly trip to our local library and Big Brother picked out a copy of Gail Gibbon's book Tornadoes. We're big fans of Gail Gibbons as she presents nonfiction writing in a way that is approachable to all different age levels. We had never read this one before and as we read it I even learned some new things too!

I realized it would be a great fit for our next Quick Pick of the Week book. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tall, Tall Grass Sensory Basket

We've continued to explore books from this month's Virtual Book Club for Kids author Denise Fleming. I created this extension activity for In the Tall, Tall Grass so quickly and the boys enjoyed it so much I couldn't help but share it.

We've read the book a few times this week and liked reading about the different animals throughout the story. We knew we had some of the animals in our play animal and finger puppet collections. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rewriting a "Time to Sleep" for Spring

The author for this month's Virtual Book Club for Kids is Denise Fleming, and while we love her more spring and summer themed books we also really enjoy Time to Sleep which takes place in the fall.

When we reread the book this week we knew that the animals were no longer going to sleep for winter, but waking up from their long winter nap for spring!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Outer Space Birthday

As you already know from Little Brother's Construction Birthday party last month, we love themes for our birthday parties. When Big Brother asked for an Astronaut Outer Space Party I knew there were a lot of fun ideas we could use for that theme.

This was Big Brother's first "friend party" instead of a family party and it was really exciting for both of us to put together projects and games for a group of kids. We wound up with a bigger group than we originally expected but it all went really well!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Scrambled Spelling Words

It's that time of year when plastic eggs abound. There are lots of great ideas out there for using them as a learning material. This week I made a set of these for my students in my classroom to practice their spelling words. 

They enjoyed it so much, I made a set for Big Brother at home too. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quick Pick & Project of the Week: The Day the Crayons Quit Mural

The past week has been pretty busy with parent teacher conferences and a couple of other school meetings in the evenings. It's weeks like this that I am definitely aware of how many things parents (myself included) need to balance in order to keep things running smoothly. It reminded me that one of the reasons I started this blog is to give other people ideas on how to interact, connect, and create without too much fuss.

I also love discovering great kids books, and often create quick, easy to put together projects after we read something. This inspired me to create something new: The Quick Pick & Project of the Week. Each week I'll pick one great book and pair it with a no fuss extension project. I'll try to pick books which can be found at your library or easily bought online. Hopefully they inspire some of our readers to take a few moments, gather a couple of simple materials, and connect.

For our first one we used the book The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Dawalt and created a crayon mural.

We recently were given this great book by some family friends and already love it. Each color crayon writes a letter to young Duncan expressing their concern over how they're being used (or not used.) At the end he creates an amazing picture using all the colors in a variety of ways. We enjoy the humor of the story found in each letter and the Duncan's creative drawing at the end.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Stuffed Snake" Stromboli (Kids Cook!)

A few years ago we originally made this stromboli for one of our Halloween parties, it quickly became a family favorite for dinner, although we don't always turn it into a snake . . .

As Big Brother has gotten a little older, he can really help with the whole recipe which makes it even more family friendly. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Clean Mud" Soap Foam play

This past Sunday it was pretty rainy and chilly outside, which meant we were in need of something fun to do. I had seen this gorgeous rainbow soap foam pop up on my facebook wall earlier in the week and tucked it aside in my head as a must try.

This sensory play was super easy, fast to create, and fun for all!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Letter Match Race Car Village

We love playing with race cars, they are a continuous favorite toy for both boys. We also love creating our own raceways using large paper on the kitchen floor.

We've made ones with different themes, including winter, summer, a candy village, and more. A while back we even made an ABC Raceway. This time we took some inspiration from some other ideas we've seen on the inernet and created a Letter Match Racecar Village.