Saturday, June 30, 2012

Croc Garden

Simply decided to make an outside garden that Little Mister was able to water, tend and watch grow.
 Our last few times going to the creek, we have found several lone Crocs. Now I know why I picked them up and brought them home. (I think my husband gets embarrassed... until he sees the outcome! He has learned not to ask questions anymore ... HeeHee!) In my book, any time I get to use a power tool, I'm in.

Objective- Awareness of living and non-living things (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Scientific Development 3.1.1)

Materials- old crocs several small plants, potting soil, cordless drill and screws

1. Buy several small plants and potting soil.
2. Use your own old Croc or buy them from a thrift store (or luck out like we did and find one here and there left at the creek).
3. Attach them to a surface outside. We screwed them to our front porch banister.
4. Fill with dirt and add your plants!
5. Water and watch grow!

I made sure to place them low enough to the floor that Little Mister could water them! He loves it and has to sniff them every time we go in or out the front door!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lightening Bugs from Band-Aids

I have so many fond memories of chasing lightening bugs when I was a child. My Granny would give us some canning jars and we would run around the yard, just at dusk, to collect as many as we could. Then we would sit on the front porch and bask in the warm glow illuminating from our jars until Momma's from all around the neighborhood starting calling their children home from their open back doors! The sky would then become an amazing display of fireworks as all the jars were opened and those jewels-of-the-night set free!

Sadly, we don't see many lightening bugs at our house. If we go out at dusk, we are eaten up by mosquitoes! So we made some lightening bugs of our own to enjoy in the comfort of our dining room which is, after all, mosquito free!

Materials- Black construction paper, glue, glitter, colored band-aids, google eyes

1. Make moon and star shapes with the glue on the black construction paper.
2. Sprinkle glitter on the glue.
3. Stick band-aids criss-crossed for wings and then one straight across them for the body.
4. Glue on eyes and make glitter antenna.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Counting Dragonfly Game

It's National Insect Week and Little Mister and I have truly gone bug-E! Since he seems to still have some counting issues to overcome (counting backwards), I thought we could count-on-bugs for help! Pun intended!

Objective- Understands concept of 1, 2, and 3 (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: mathematical Development 2.1.6)

Materials- Large popsicle stick, 4 clothes pins, acrylic paints, brushes, google eyes, glue, sequins

1. Paint popsicle stick.
2. Paint the clothes pins. we used different colors for each.
3. Allow to dry.
4. Glue eyes onto stick.
5. Glue sequins onto clothes pins.

Attach clothes pins to the stick to make the 4 wings of the dragonfly!
Now the game can begin. You can do so many different variations:
*Ask the child to count the wings as they put them on or take the off.
*Have them attach a specific number of wings.
*Have them add the wing with 2 sequins on it.
*You can also review colors if you painted them all different.
***You get the idea***

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Painting with Insects

OK... Guess what Little Mister found in the Den this morning? A long horn beetle! How convenient that in the middle of National Insect Week a really cool beetle should find its way into our house! After we looked it over and discussed it's characteristics, we decided to have some fun! Entomology and math all rolled into one!

Materials- Watered down paints (acrylics or tempra work best), white card stock, plastic insects, twisers   

1. Using the twisers, gently pick up the insect from above and drip their legs in some paint (careful not to let the body get in the paint).
2. Place the insect in the middle of the paper and let them do their thing.
3. Repeat with several colors!
4. Gently wash the insect with clean water and release outside.

After the beetle made a really neat painting, I gave Little Mister a toy ant and let him make his own masterpiece. We counted legs (6), body segments (3), and antenna (2). You get the idea. It was a great entomology and math lesson!
***No insect was hurt in the making of this painting!*** LOL

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Size Sort Caterpillar

As you may have noticed, this week has had a theme! After all, it is National Insect Week! My passion for bugs can be unleashed, all be it temporarily, without causing to much uproar! 

Objective- Understand concept of big or little. (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Mathematical Development 2.3.2)

Materials- Card stock, glue stick, google eyes, markers, sticker letters, colored construction paper, scissors

1. Cut different size circles from the colored construction paper.
2. Lay them in front of the child and let them sort the size from big to small giving help if needed. Mix them up and say sort from small to big. Repeat this several times.
3. Apply glue to one side of the biggest circle and attach it to the paper.
4. Repeat with the next size circle until they are all glued to the paper.
5. Add a google eye to the caterpillars head.
6. Draw legs on the caterpillar with the markers.
7. Add stickers to spell the words Small and Big on the paper!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dragonfly Nymph and Spoons

At the creek again today! Wouldn't ya know it ... this whole big creek and Little Mister finds a dragonfly nymph's moulted skin! Well, being an entomologist, I seized this teachable moment with great joy! We talked about a dragonflies life-cycle in simple terms. When we got home, we looked up some pictures of dragonflies and discussed them a little more. After which, we just had to paint some! 

Materials- Plastic spoons and knives, popsicle sticks, acrylic paints, brushes, glue, google eyes, jewels

1. Hot glue the knives in a criss-cross pattern to the spoon. (adults only!)
2. Paint your dragonfly.
3. Glue on eyes.
4. Add jewels to the wings.
5. Glue a small twisty-tie to the back of the head if you want to hang it (optional).

spoon with knives attached

painting another one

adding jewels

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Making and Racing Wooden Boats

Pawpaw made us some wooden boats which Little Mister couldn't wait to try out! They float, even on rocks. I told you MY daddy could do anything!

We took them home and painted them. Little Mister's boat is lovingly christened The Boat of Many Colors!
Once they dried, daddy took us to the creek for a race.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bubbles, Boxes and a Bucket

What do bubbles, boxes and buckets have in common? 
They are all Bare Necessities for a 2 year old Little Mister! They can bring joy and happiness on a level unparalleled by plastic toys or paper money! Make today a simple pleasure day! Be in the moment and take every opportunity to laugh and make a cherished memory for your little one and yourself! It's alright for a grown-up to play; so, bust out the bubbles, build castles from a box and throw water from a bucket! Just have fun!

Chasing bubble at the park

buckets of water

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Happy for the Mail Lady

In this world today, it can be extremely hard to SHOW your child how we are to treat others! Especially when you have already had a stressing day, your nerves are raw, and then someone rear ends you at a red light and you have to get out in the pouring rain all the while your son is having a melt down in the back seat because his juice cup is empty... and on your way home you stop for gas and realize you have left your wallet somewhere...... Need I go on? Sometimes it's just a down right chore to smile and be friendly! I have to constantly remind myself that I am shaping my Little Mister's outlook on so many things by HOW I handle these situations! Would I want HIM to loose his temper and yell at some old man at the gas station? No! Lord, help me to be a good example of how we should treat others!

Little Mister loves to go to the "Box" everyday and check the mail. So, today we decided to leave something in the box for our mail lady!

Materials- Lid from a water bottle, large pom-pom, google eyes, 4 small pieces of pipe cleaner, glue, magnetic strip, pretty box and ribbon

1. Glue the magnetic strip to the back of the lid (the flay side).
2. Glue the big pom-pom inside the lid.
3. Add google eyes to the pom-pom.
4. Dab glue on one end of all the pipe cleaners and place them between the pom-pom and the edge of the lid to make arms and legs.
5. Let dry.
We then placed it in a cute little box along with a note saying that we appreciate her bringing our mail everyday and then added a few pieces of individually wrapped candy. (Nothing that would melt because, well, it is summer!). Then we tied it with a pretty bow and placed it in the mailbox with the flag up!
The next day she left Little Mister a sweet little note of thanks!

Putting some glue in the lid

Don't forget the eyes

Cute Little Man made by a Cute little Mister

A Surprise for the Mail Lady

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Glue and Salt Painting

This was pretty neat. When you touched the paint brush to the salt, the color would run down the line. little Mister was real intent about watching it every time. When two different colors "collided", I would hear an audible gasp! I love this sweet inquisitive guy!

Objective- Notices differences in colors (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Scientific Development 3.3.3)

Materials- Salt, glue, card stock, acrylic paints (watered down) or watercolors, paint brushes, large shallow dish.

1. Place card stock in a shallow dish.
2. Squeeze glue onto paper. Make designs or simple scribbles.
3. Pour salt on the paper and move the pan around until all the glue is covered. Discard the used salt. We saved it in a ziploc bag to use for another day.
4. Dip your paint brush in some paint and lightly touch it to some salt.
5. Watch in amazement.
6. Repeat!

A few times my Little Mister scrubbed the brush on the paper. It's alright! It made some interesting textures! Let them play and be their own master of their page. After all, it is their picture! =o)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mini Beaded Suncatcher

We have been catching so much sun lately, we thought we should let something do it for us today. Recently, we inherited a big box of beads and we decided it was time to put them to use. Little Mister enjoyed all the bright colors. Every time he put a bead on the string he joyfully exclaimed, "WOW, Boo-tea-ful!" I just love his sense of wonder and enthusiasm for life! I am crazy blessed!

Materials- Large juice bottle lid, 2 pieces of ribbon or yarn, beads

1. Poke 4 holes in the lid (form a square).
2. Thread yarn through two opposite holes. Leave enough yarn to tie into a looped knot for hanging.
3. Add beads to all 4 strands and knot at the bottom using a large bead, bells or some other trinket of your choice.
4. Hang in a sunny window and enjoy!

Thomas the Train Helped by Delivering the Beads

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Creek Keepsake Hands

Today we went to the creek with Pawpaw! Little Mister had a great time. He chased after minnows, collected some rocks and followed Pawpaw like a like puppy. We found some petrified wood and some crazy looking driftwood. Pawpaw even taught us how to select just the right rocks to skip across the water. I guess every girl, no matter how old they are, thinks their daddy is the best. I mean my daddy knows everything and can do anything! (Yeah, he can beat up your daddy!) I have to say that my daddy is amazing and has oodles to teach my Little Mister.

We decided to make a keepsake from the things we collected that day. 
We made one to keep and one for Pawpaw.

Materials- Wheat flour, salt, water, baking pan, cookie cutter, straw, string, items from creek

1. Make dough: 2 parts flour, 1 part salt, 1 part water
2. Flatten and cut shapes with cookie cutter.
3. Use straw to poke holes so you can add string later for hanging.
4. Press in your items.
5. Let air dry OR bake at 200 degrees F until hard.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hand Fish on National Go Fishing Day

In honor of National Go Fishing Day, we went to the creek and "played" with some fish! Strictly catch and release! LOL! We then came home and made some Hand Fish paintings! It was a great day! Happy Fishing Y'all!

caught some minnows in a net

 Materials- card stock paper, acrylic paints, glue, blue beads, google eyes, paint brushes.

1.We painted Little Mister's hand and pressed it onto the paper. (We made two)
2. Then , we painted Daddy's hand and pressed it on one of the pages while Mommy's painted hand went on the second paper.
3. Paint green grass across the bottom on each page.
4. Glue eyes on each fish.
5. Glue beads to look like bubbles coming from each fish.
6. Lay flat to dry.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sink or Float - Pirate Style

Little Mister has recently become fascinated with pirates! Thanks to Veggie Tales Jonah and the Pirates Who Don't do Anything! He found a pirate hat in the thrift store and wore it while we looked around. Every time someone got close to the buggy he said, "Arg... I'm a pirate!" We got many laughs and one strange look! This new pirate fascination got me thinking about boats, which eventually led me around to our investigation today! Yeah, my mind works in strange ways. Don't try to figure it out, just go with it!

Objective- Uses senses to explore the environment (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Scientific Development 3.3.4)

Materials- Large fish tank or pan of water, several different objects (optional: we glued small masts and construction paper flags on our objects)

1. Discuss each object before you place it in the water. (Is it heavy? Is it round? etc...)
2. Place it in the water.
3. Talk about what made it sink or float. (It has holes that let the water in. It is heavy. etc...)

Whether an object sinks or float in a liquid depends mainly on two factors: density and buoyancy. However, at this level, children do not need to explain why objects sink or float. Just make simple observations!

All our pirate ships

the foam shark floats

Bet you've never seen a boat like this before! It sank!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wind Chimes for Nonnie

It's almost Nonnie's birthday and we have been scratching our heads trying to figure out what to make. Finally. like a light from above, we got it. Little Mister noticed that one of the chimes on her porch had lost the clacker ... not exactly sure what to call it ... So, off we go!


Materials- Several cans of different sizes, one can lid, acrylic paints, brushes, glitter, yarn, washers. nail, hammer

1. Poke a hole in the top of each can, and the lid, using a nail and hammer.
2. Paint the cans. We added glitter to a few while they were still wet.
3. Let them dry.
4. Run yarn through the holes and attach a washer to the end inside the can (clacker)! LOL
5. Grab all the strings and knot them together at the length you want them to hang.
6. Use a large washer as a hanger or simply use the loops from the knot.

Ready to get this started

We made 2 because we had so many cans!

Bubble Capture

We were outside today playing with bubbles. Unfortunately, it was very windy day so the bubbles quickly floated away. Little Mister got upset because he was not able to capture any bubbles. Super Mommy to the rescue! Inside we went and raided the craft cabinets!
This is a very hands on for mommy craft. Therefore, I didn't get many good pictures. Note: Save this one for when you have lots of time on your hands because there will be lots of clean up involved!

Materials- Large shallow baking dish, dish soap, acrylic paints, card stock, straws, water, glue, jars with lids

1. In a small jar with a lid (we used a baby food jar), add just enough paint to cover the bottom.
2. Squirt in dish soap to double the volume of the paint.
3. Add a small squirt of glue.
4. Pour in water until you have doubled your volume in the jar. (It does not have to be precise). Shake it up well.
5. Make several jars with different colors if you want to.
6. Place one jar in the center of the baking dish and insert a straw.
7. Blow through the straw until the bubbles spill over the jar into the baking dish. Let enough accumilate until the bottom of the baking dish is covered.
8. Remove the jar and set aside. Make sure to place it on paper so you don't end up with an even bigger mess later!
9. Take a piece of card stock and holding the corners with both hands, lower the paper on the bubbles in the dish making sure not to let it touch the bottom.
10. You may have to do it a couple of times to cover the whole page.

Also, try dipping your paper in several different colors! It was fun but VERY hands on for Mommy!

Making some bubbles

Love this one!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stick People Puppets

We had a really bad storm the other night! In our back yard, a tree topple over and would have hit the house if it had not gotten tangled up in the power lines! We were very fortunate that the power lines did not break!! Thank you Jesus! Today we ventured around back and selected a few choice sticks from the Near-Miss Tree! This activity was great fun! My Little Mister has a VERY active imagination and needed no prompting for the puppet interaction! I wish I had it on video! I laughed until I hurt!

 Objective- Acts out stories using dramatic play (MS Early learning guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Language, Vocabulary and Literacy Development 1.4.8)

Materials- Sticks, glue, google eyes, scrap materials, pizza box or other card board.

1. Collect suitable sticks from yard.
2. Glue on scrap material for clothes.
3. Add eyes.
4. Decorate box or other form of card board for a theater. We used an old bread stick box which already had a slot in the front!
5. Let the imagination take control!

The Near-Miss Tree

He loved it so much that I went back and decorated the box (and tweaked it a little)!! We play with it often!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Filter Fun

 Little Mister enjoyed this one very much! We did it over and over and over again!

Objective- Notices differences in colors (MS Early learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Scientific Development 3.3.3)

Materials- Coffee filters, Crayola Markers, Small spray bottle, water, card stock

1. Color on a filter with markers (make colorful pictures or just scribbles). We started out with just scribbles but after we did a few then he wanted to start trying it with pictures!
2. Place the decorated filter on a piece of card stock.
3. Mist the filter until the colors begin to bleed together.
4. Carefully lift the filter to see the beautiful design which appears on the card stock.

Alternate activity-
Let the filters dry flat on wax or foil and they can be used later for other crafts. We plan to use ours as tissue for a stain glass project.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Painting with the Wind

Living in the South, we are constantly talking about or complaining about the weather! We can have warm gentle summer breezes in the morning and, by noon, run for shelter from mighty gusts bringing in a storm! Today we were outside and some leaves decided to “run” across the driveway! Which lead to the following activity.

Objective- Notices and names characteristics of seasons and weather (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Scientific Development 3.2.1)

Materials- Card stock, straw, liquid watercolors or thinned acrylic paint, eye dropper

1. Drop some paint on the card stock.
2. Blow through the straw to move the paint on the paper.
3. Drop different colors on the paper and blow it around. Moving the paper around while blowing through the straw will make more interesting patterns.
4. Try variations on how hard you blow through the straw. After all, we don't always have tornado weather! In the South, we have gentle summer breezes along with gusts before a storm! LOL
5. Lay the card stock flat to dry.

Look Mommy! No Hands!

This is how the Elephants do it!

It was VERY windy today!