Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A new way to Do-A-Dot

We've used the dot pages in several different ways over the past couple of years. Bobo struggles with the Do-A-Dot painters. He doesn't like to use them. I think it may be the squeezing and dotting at the same time.  I have lots of these stampers from Oriental Trading left from last year. They have the ink already in them, so it's a super simple activity. They are the perfect size for the dots and come in many different themes.

Bobo also wanted to use the stampers for a book activity. He stamped the characters as they were introduced in There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat. I printed all of these wonderful activities from 3 Dinosaurs.

Monday, October 29, 2012

365 Days Outdoors: Costume Day

Yarrr, mateys! This weekend, we had lots of dress-up fun with indoor trick-or-treating and a movie at the local college. 

Earlier in the day, we searched for buried letters on the sand table. Bobo said to call him captain!

Then, we visited Guffey Acres for the second time this year for Costume Day. Bobo dressed like Robin.

And Momo dressed like Elmo. They pretended to be popcorn on the Corn Popper.

They both wanted to ride in the only Pig barrel. Thank you, Corn Policeman, for saying YES!

The giant corn box was lots of fun, as always. After dinner, we bundled up and headed to the haunted trail at  a park close-by. I'm grateful I wore my cape, so the kids could hide under it when they got spooked! Fall is my favorite time to be outdoors.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flannel Friday: The Perfect Pumpkin

Snow White and the Poison Apple
Each year, I have a special Trick-or-Treat storytime. I dress up and coordinate my costume with my son, Bobo. This was his first Halloween! So this story is an oldie, 2008, at least for him.

The Perfect Pumpkin
By Susan Dailey & adapted by Miss Courtney
From A Storytime Year

It was late in October and I wanted my pumpkin to be perfect. I found the biggest pumpkin in the patch and brought it home. Then, I began to decorate.

I put all the pieces up on the board and ask the children which would make the best eyes, nose and mouth. Each year is a different combination as I leave it up to them.

What? You don't think the perfect pumpkin would have fish eyes? Okay, I guess we can use stars. Oh, you think a crescent nose is better than a triangle? Alright, but what will we use for the mouth, then? A heart? Yeah, you're right. It really is the perfect pumpkin, now!

The End.

The patterns are available in A Storytime Year. Check out the rest of the round-up this week.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sensory Bin: Fall-o-ween

What's in the Bin?
Fabric leaves
Wooden Fall food
Foam pumpkins and ghosts
Squishy eyeballs
Stretchy skeletons
Skull erasers
Jewel acorns and leaves
Test tubes with cinnamon and pumpkin spice
Red hots

When talking with co-workers about decorating this past week, I brought up our sensory bin (for the leaves). NG didn't know what a sensory bin was, so EC explained that it's a learning tool using the five senses. That statement got me thinking! In the past, I haven't focused on taste or smell within the bin so I added a couple of new things this year.

I added smell by covering cotton balls with Fall scents like cinnamon and pumpkin spice and putting them in test tubes in the bin. I added a layer of red hots for taste. YUM!

Sensory bins are always a favorite activity during school. He sorts, builds and uses his imagination to have epic battles. We also snacked on some delicious candy and made silly faces!

Happy Fall-o-ween!
Sharing at the Kids Co-Op.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WMCIR: Minerva Louise

How much do you love Minerva Louise? She is so adorably clueless. These are books that are best shared with preschoolers because they will understand the humorous misconceptions in the books. 

Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy are best friends. This book reminds me so much of Bobo and Momo. They are definitely soul mates.

This little monster is on the hunt. Could it be for a little boy? What is he going to do to the little boy? Gobble him up? I love the surprise ending, which had Bobo saying, "EWWW" and laughing hysterically.

You can put the kid in time-out, but you can't stop the imagination from coming along. Timeout for Monsters! is a great book to share with a group. You may need to hide the crayons for awhile, though.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tot School: Counting

Bobo is working his way through his magnet set's experiments. I set out magnets of different size and strength. He thought the blue one would pick up the most chips and so did Daddy. I went with the yellow wand.

Textures tray. I put out Glow-in-the-dark slime and silly putty. The silly putty has mysteriously disappeared, which is why I do not have a photo. I better check the seats of all our pants!

Balloons and spooky foam stickers. We each made one balloon and played lots of large motor games that Bobo made up.

Scholastic's Let's Count Critters and counting cards.

Pumpkin observation with a mini pumpkin from 2 Teaching Mommies.

Bobo is still in love with Ladybug Girl. This year's read for the record book was Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. These Ladybug Dominoes are adorable. We've matched them and played a domino game. I've been reassured in the past week that Bobo does indeed know how to count.

I shared this at TGIFRead, Learn, Explore and Tot School.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monster Door

The Pin
I saw this pin on Play Dr Mom's pinterest board a few weeks ago. It's so cute and simple, so we did it!

Our version of the monster door
What they used(I think):
Streamers (green)
Masking tape (thick)
Paper plates (white)
Construction paper (black)

I say "I think" because the pin doesn't link back directly to the post about the door. Bobo wasn't willing to wait for me to scroll through all the posts until I found it, so we improvised.

Help, the monster is eating my brains!
What we used:
Streamers (red and yellow)
Paper plates (black- iris and eyebrow)
Styrofoam plates (white)
Wall tape (I think you use it for the corners of walls)
Band-aids (neon green, orange and purple)

Bobo loves the monster door. It reminds him of one of his favorite spooky movies, Monster House, which is on our Not-so-Scary movie marathon list. Check!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flannel Friday: Little Mouse and the Big Leaf

Little Mouse and the Big Leaf
by Miss Courtney

Once upon a time there was a little mouse who lived in a small cave.

Little mouse scurried around in the grass, like he did every day when a leaf suddenly landed on his head.

Little mouse knew what this meant. It is Fall. Fall is the time before winter when all the animals and plants get ready for the cold days ahead.

Little mouse already had a safe house. But, he still needed food to eat for the whole winter. He began searching. He found:

A few corn kernels nestled under a yellow leaf
A little piece of broccoli peeking out of a red leaf
A fragrant piece of cheese buried under an orange leaf
And a warm sunflower seed hiding under a brown leaf.

Little mouse took everything back to his house. He thought he might find one more thing and went searching again. He spied a large leaf and thought he might find a great treasure trove of food hiding. But when he lifted the largest leaf, "SSSSSssssss," it was a SNAKE!

Little mouse raced back to his house, snuggled in and waited for a new day. He used a leaf to keep warm and to hide from any snakes who might be lurking nearby.

The End.

Flannel Friday, it happens every week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WMCIR: Thank you

Teaching children manners is important. Luckily my hubby is super polite and my little guy picked it up through example. We just happened to pick up a few books with the theme of thanks.

Karma Wilson's Bear is a favorite character in our home. He snores, gets sick and makes new friends. In this book, Bear's friends all contribute something to a party. Bear gets anxious that he has nothing to bring.

The three little monsters compete to see who can be the meanest and scariest. Finally, they work together to create the biggest, baddest monster ever. But, he doesn't act like a monster should act. Read this book with your little monster for a laugh and don't forget to say, "Dank You!"

Bobo also chose Mouse Mess from the library. A little mouse gets into the kitchen and has an enormous meal. He forgets to say thank you. I love the cut paper illustrations, which have inspired many velcro board pieces.

Sharing with the Children's Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tot School: Happy Halloween

We hit Target's dollar spot, finally!

Top to Bottom and Left to Right
Monster making craft
Monster Bingo
Gel window clings- Decorating
Teddy Bear Counting
Monster pre-writing
Monster magnetic puzzles

The Pin
We pinned it and did it!

So you know how I've been waffling with the counting bears? There's a book for that! We used the counting bears to place on the pages for this math activity. Bobo's favorite part was making a rainbow with the bears. As always, decorating is a fun activity for Bobo. He loves making our house spooky.

Read Learn Explore
Tot School

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ocean Sensory Bin

This should be called the Super Simple Sensory Box, but you may get tongue-tied. 

What's in the Box?
Starfish ice- yellow, blue and green
Gems- green and blue
Glow-in-the-dark sea creatures
Water- tinted green with food coloring
Squirt gun

Linked with Tuesday Tots.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What We're Watching: The Gruffalo's Child

Unlike many of the fabulous families out there in the blogging world, my family is not a no or low media family. In fact, we are probably a moderate to high media family. I love television and my husband loves video games. We are both way too invested in the Internet. We lead by example, so Bobo is pretty media happy as well. I'm not bragging, but I don't want to be ashamed of it, either. Plus, I'd like to share great finds I make in the media world.

When I'm home with Bobo, we have about an hour of quiet time in the afternoon. We close the blinds, snuggle on the couch and watch a movie or listen to music. I picked up The Gruffalo's Child on DVD at the library this week. I hadn't heard of this story before seeing it on several blogs this past year.

After popping it in, Bobo and I had afternoon tea. I had my favorite, Vanilla Truffle Black Tea with a splash of milk. Bobo had a harvest cookie and milk. The beautiful, lilting language relaxed us as the drifting snow created a magical world where a mama squirrel tells the story of the gruffalo's child.

After watching this through twice in one sitting, I'm purchasing both books! Bobo loved the scary story of the Big Bad Mouse. He just loves to be scared. I don't know where he gets it from...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flannel Friday: Community Helpers

Does everyone have the community helpers flannel puppets? 

They stick to the board, too! Our community helpers storytime was very interactive with guessing games and books, the firefighter pokey and tool matching. This is one of my favorite themes. For these flannel pieces, I put up the instrument or object for each puppet one at a time and asked who would use it. For the younger children, I just put both pieces on the board and we sing a verse from this song.

"Community Helpers in Our Town"
Sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"
The chef makes our food,
The chef makes our food,
Hei-ho, what do you know?
The chef makes our food.
Additional verses: doctor makes us well, dentist cleans our teeth, fireman fights fires, mailman carries mail, teacher says ABCs, worker builds a house

Check out the rest of the round-up.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kitchen Time

When I was setting up Bobo's school activities and generally moving things around, I set up his kitchen right across from our kitchen. It's easy to create an activity at the moment when I'm cooking, or more likely cleaning, and he isn't interested in helping me.

I must have been cleaning, because he imitated my dish gloves.
Bobo set out to make the family a meal with lemon-scented play dough. His favorite activity, though, is filling those little pitchers and cups with water from the fridge.

Yum, mashed potatoes and ice cream for dessert! He even called us to the table.

Linking to Kids Co Op