Saturday, March 28, 2015

Jelly Bean Math (3 Preschool Play Invitations)

Big Brother was under the weather this week, and looking for a pick me up, which meant it was the perfect time to introduce some of the jelly bean math play invitations I'd had up my sleeve.

In the past we've enjoyed using candy hearts at Valentine's Day to practice early math skills. So with Easter coming up jelly beans made lots of sense for more candy math play invitations. For our play invitations we used Teenee Beanee American Medley Jelly Beans , which comes in six colors. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Magnetic Marble Painting

This is a fun combination of science and art which I used to enjoy doing with my primary grade students. It was definitely time to try it with the boys.

The fun involves using magnetic tools, the power of magnets, and the messiness of painting to create art. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easy Easter Egg Pop-Up Card

I woke up the other day thinking about spring and what we could do to get ready and bring a little spring into our lives. Which of course made me think of Easter being right around the corner.

We love making pop-up cards for different occasions. Check out our Easy Christmas Pop-Up Cards and our Easy Flower Pop-Up Cards. This method worked a little differently.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Homemade Race Car Coloring Mat

It's great to have a handful of go-to activities that you know your kiddos enjoy no matter the circumstance. Creating a homemade race car coloring mat is definitely one of ours. We've been creating them for quite a while now; they're great for rainy days, cold weather days, multiage groups, and just any time you need a simple, quiet ongoing craft for kids.

What makes this project great is the materials are simple and something we often have in the house. It can take as long or as little time as needed. Kiddos can take it in any direction they want on their own or get as much adult help as they need to create what they have in mind. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

20+ Ways to Play and Explore MUD!

We've been excited about the warmer temps lately because it means spring is on the way. And as the snow melts and the ground thaws, the MUD arrives. Now on one hand mud can drive a mama crazy; living on a dirt road means it tracks its way into the house no matter what we do. But on the other hand, it's only here for a short while, although long enough in New England to be considered the fifth season, so why not embrace it?

Here are 20+ ways to play and explore with mud, including creating your own mud sensory play even when there isn't any mud.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pigs in the Mud (Pretend Sensory Play)

Spring is almost here, but before we get there we need to get through our fifth season here in our part of New England: Mud Season. With the warmer temps this week we're getting closer to "mud season," but we're still not there quite yet. So we created some pretend mud to help us as we wait a little longer for the real thing.

And of course, where there is mud it's always fun to include PIGS!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Fast and Easy Fire Truck Play

The other week we had a friend over to play. With three little boys in the house, the play quickly turned to our extensive collection of vehicles. All three boys especially became focused on using our well loved fire trucks. (We have two fire trucks which were one of our favorite yard sale finds last year, two for $2!)
They kept trying to find things "to put out" which led to this fast and easy fire truck play set up. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Windsock

With a few more weeks until St. Patrick's Day we're having fun creating colorful crafts to brighten up our house a little. Color means lots of green and rainbows! We settled on one craft where we could combine both of them: a St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Windsock.

This windsock is a decoration windsock for inside and is very similar to the one we made for the 4th of July this summer. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lorax Small World Play

March 2 is Read Across America Day, planned by the National Educator's Association in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday. Today, to celebrate both occasions a group of bloggers has joined together to come up with Read + Play ideas with favorite Dr. Seuss books.

We decided to celebrate with the Lorax, which we've read several times lately. We've read it enough we decided to try creating our own small world play.

Small world play is something we don't explore often but something we're interested in creating more often. Originally I had planned to have the boys help me create the small world, but the timing worked better for me to create it first and for the boys to explore it afterwards. 

Monthly Goals: March 2015

Wow, February just flew by! Hard to even know where the month went. It definitely snuck up on me that the month was over and I was still working away on my February goals. But here we are, a few days into March.

Looking Back

January Goals: Declutter and Reorganize
These have become year long goals. Each week I'm constantly looking around at how I might remove more clutter from our daily lives. Slowly but surely I'm chipping away at getting extra things out of the house or back into their actual places. And the more I declutter, the easier it's getting to let things go.

February Goals: Pause and Prioritize
1. I tried a new decluttering strategy with a "bag a week," although it didn't amount to that much each week. Keeping a constant bag ready to fill did help however and I'll be keeping one near the basement stairs from here forwards as a steady reminder to keep decluttering.
2. A "To-Do" list for my transitions home are still evolving, but it was helping me prioritize each day. to at least get a few things written down. I also changed how I write my lesson plans each week which made the priorities more clear.
3. My "pause" moments were the best parts of my month. I tried each day to find a time, even if it was truly just a moment, to just take in what was happening and enjoy it. When a camera is nearby I've started trying to capture the moments. You can see them on Instagram. (And when a camera is not nearby, I don't run and grab one as that would ruin the effect of the moment too.)
4. Prioritizing was definitely a goal that was maybe a little too vague and a little too big for one month, still thinking this one through . . .

Looking Ahead
My March Goal: Connect