Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flower Thank you cards


Got this idea from family fun Valentine. Cut out a flower shape, punch a hole, stick a lollipop dum dum inside.

I cut mine out with the Cricut, so I could do 50 in about 10 minutes.

Then we taped them on a cardstock card, drew grass, and wrote “Thanks a Bunch” on the inside.


And for the grandmas…Here’s little Leo waiting for me to get done brushing my teeth. I gave him the horse because he kept bopping himself in the nose with his spastic movements. So he’s clutching it tight.


Ocean Week

Hooray for the ocean! We took a very broad approach to oceans, letting it encompass beach animals.

On Monday, we read some non fiction books about ocean animals, and looked at all the different kinds of fish. We discussed how fish breathe under water and how dolphins and whales come up to the surface for air. Then we looked at different camouflage and protection techniques the sea animals have. We also made flower thank you cards. More on those in the next post.

On Tuesday we made and played with a new fishing game (cardstock cut and laminated, with a hole punch for the paper clip so it can be fished out with a magnet fishing pole) :

One with letters


And one with activities:

IMG_6261I had the girls fish for the letters. Natalie was supposed to name the letter. She doesn’t know but 2 of her letters…so we were telling them to her each time. Sophia was to tell me what sound the letter makes.

For the activity fish, whoever fished it out did the activity first, then the rest of us could join in. I did it that way to avoid contention and give the child a moment to think about the task.

The activities I came up with:

  1. Be a super slow snail
  2. Count your shark teeth
  3. Sing a song from “The Little Mermaid”
  4. Swim like a fish around the room
  5. Sway in the waves like a seaweed
  6. Tell me about one animal and it’s camouflage
  7. make an octopus with your friend
  8. Walk like a crab across the room
  9. Be a shark – only hug your friends with your big shark fins
  10. Give everyone fishy kisses
  11. Sing “Baby Beluga” or “Let’s go swimming”

On Wednesday we made Turtle Racers:


We tore up green and blue tissue paper and glued it onto paper plates. Taped on cardstock legs, arms, tail and head. Then punched a hole in the center of the turtle, and strung about 6 feet of yarn through it. Tied the other end of the yarn on the back of a chair.

You wiggle the thread back and forth, and jump up and down, and the turtle scoots along the thread. The girls had lots of fun with each of us racing each other and seeing who would win.

IMG_6267 attached to the chair. IMG_6266

Also on Wednesday we did a fish counting activity. I gave each girl a bowl of rainbow goldfish, that has 4 different colors. Then they sorted the fish, and had to count how many were in each color. Sophia then had to write the number of fish. She’s shaky on figuring out how to write numbers larger than 10, so it was good for her to look at the number chart and figure out how to write 20 and know which number comes first. You also could talk about least/ greatest and more/less than, as you compare colors of fish.


On Friday we made Jello and pudding. Vanilla pudding, with blue food coloring. Then we enjoyed it with some goldfish graham crackers. IMG_6282

And we did some color, cut and paste activities related to the book “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle


We colored some puppets from scholastic resources, and colored and matched shapes of sea animals, in this activity from And I blew up a picture of a hermit crab (above) and they decorated them, like the hermit crab in the book decorates his shell. I had all kinds of cool things for them to glue on their shell, but Natalie was all about the foam letters. Not the pipe cleaners that looked like anemones or snails, or foil stars. Nope, just the foam letters.

I also found a lesson idea exchange board for each of Eric Carle’s books here at Caterpillar Exchange. They had some great ideas for the Hermit crab book and Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Another good site is, an home school website with lap book (file folder) lessons centered on A House for Hermit Crab- with ideas and links for all of the themes in the book- sea animals, homes, even with a value lesson from the Bible!

Last but not least, on Saturday I went to a twin girl baby shower, where the Big Brother is in love with whales. So I made two purple whale hair clips, and a black and blue whale for him to clip on his shirt. And I put them on a card for the present.


That was our ocean week. There are TONS of Ocean ideas out there. TONS. No shortage of ideas.

The one idea I really wanted to do, but didn’t do, was make sandcastle clay, as seen in Family Fun magazine this month. I was so excited about it, but we have no sand near our house, so maybe the next time we go to the beach we’ll do it.

Music that’s great for this theme:

  • Baby beluga by Raffi
  • Let’s go swimming by laurie berkener
  • Octopus Garden- the Beatles
  • Little Mermaid music

Books: (All our ocean books happen to be Eric Carle ones)

House for Hermit Crab (a hermit crab decorates his shell and meets lots of sea animals)

Mister Seahorse (a pregnant male sea horse swims and meets sea animals that are also taking care of their young)

10 Little Rubber Ducklings (10 rubber ducks get lost at sea and meet 10 ocean animals)

That was our week. Next week: Family and the Human Body.

Testing, Testing

I downloaded Windows live writer a  long time ago, but thought it only worked with windows live blogs.

I was wrong. It works with blogger. Add photos with ease from your hard drive. Watermark it in about  seconds. Add a table. quotes. bing map. Quickly. And as I’m typing, the screen looks like my blog- same font color, width, etc. Hate that about blogger’s interface- I never know what it will look like. And I can compose without being on the internet.

I’m excited. Have you tried Live Writer? Do you like it?


Now some testing, testing, randomness…

a watermarked picture in quotes


St Patricks Day Memory


a table 2 by 2

A Table  


A map of my hometown

Map picture

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Maps and Directions...and Dancing

This week was supposed to be maps and directions week. We did about one day of it and I realized it was boring. Well, redundant mainly- each activity I had seemed to be about the same thing, so we did one maps thing a day, and one dancing thing each day.

Here's what we did for Maps and Directions:

  • We looked at a globe and a U.S. map, and talked about how we live in a continent, then a country (that has the same goverment) and a state, then a town. My kids already knew the words- United States, Indiana, Avon, Virginia, etc, but weren't sure which was state, town etc. So we discussed where we live and what countries, states and towns our family members live in.
  • We talked about how a map is a drawing of what something looks like from above- but is not always colored in that way (I.e. Indiana is not orange even though it is colored orange on a map)
  • We drew a map of our playroom on butcher paper (See above). This was great for Sophia, to figure out where things were and thing figure out where they would go on the map. A simpler idea would be to have pre cut shapes for the couches, bookshelves, etc, and make a map of your house that they glue.
  • The next day I made a large red X on a notecard, then taped it on the playroom map, and placed a necklace there. The girls had to look at the map and figure out where it was. Then they switched off and hid it for each other.
  • We also read " A Special Birthday Message" by Eric Carle. In the book a boy finds his birthday present by following shape clues around the house. I made our own to lead them to a toy in the bathroom.
  • When we went grocery shopping this week they pushed around the mini carts. I let them go ahead of me and I told them directions- left/right to get them to the right aisles.
  • We did the Hokie Pokie and I made sure they were using the correct side to sing to the song.

Other Ideas we did not do-

  • geogaching
  • treasure hunt in a park
  • measuring distances on a map
  • mapping out routes on old maps from one place to another following roads
  • draw maps and road on driveway
  • Play Hullaballo- it's like a cross between simon says and musical chairs. My kids love it.
  • Make a pretend map of a fantasy town- cut out houses from scrapbook paper, glue in pictures of family members,cut out things you like from magazines. (Disneyland street? Candy and Donut lane?)

Now...onto Dancing!
First, we made dancing ladies from The Toymaker. Check out her site of printables. Tons of things to do with the kiddos. Print and cut and glue!
And we got out this VHS, Baby Ballet, from the library. It was simple and great for my kids ages (3 and 5). The girls knew most of the moves already because it had the same moves as their dance class they just finished.
If you want to do dancing but aren't into ballet, I'd just do some wiggles movies. They're funner anyways.
We also made some dancing ribbons. 3 feet of ribbon, taped or hot glued onto a popsicle stick or dowel rod. 5 minutes of work and then it entertains them for a good while.
Our favorite shapes to make- circle in air, on the ground, rainbow over your head, spinning around you, waves up and down.
We also watched some footage of ballet companies performing Swan Lake and the Nutcracker on youtube. That was the girls favorite part. They wanted the Baby Ballet movie to be "real" ballerinas.
Other ideas-
  • Act out stories through dance, like 3 bears or Cinderella.
  • Go to a dance performance- many dance studios are having end of year recitals.
  • Make up dance moves to go along with animals
  • Do races outside doing dance moves- leaps, on tiptoes, sideways run, etc.
Next week: Ocean Animals!
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