Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving and Letter J Preschool

For Thanksgiving we had a great little preschool.

We read “Thanks for Thanksgiving,” reviewed the story of the Pilgrims and Indians, and learned the song “Thanks to our Father” from the LDS Children’s songbook. The link is for a list of Thanksgiving songs, the blog author, Tiffany, has Scribd files for flipcharts. I used the one for Thanks to our Father.


We made turkeys out of Apples, toothpicks and fruit loops. Marshmallows are essential as end caps to keep the fruit loops on for longer than 2 seconds. A marshmallow head could also be added.


We did some counting with turkey feathers. I had the kids put eyes and a beak on their turkey body, then I would call out “Put two yellow feathers behind the turkey. Put one orange feather…take any two off…etc.”

Then I had them glue the turkey feathers behind, and they listed off what they were grateful for to write on each feather. Some kids rattled off their blessings, others just said “Mom.Dad. That’s it.” The best was one little girl said “Santa”- she’s thinking ahead!

We also did some Thanksgiving tracing and letters from this Thanksgiving Preschool Pack, and had some yummy freshly popped popcorn for a snack.


Letter J- for Jelly! And Baby Jesus! And Jumping!

For letter J we talked about jelly- we spread jelly on bread (good skill I think preschoolers should learn)


We colored in our favorite jelly onto the bread for our journal.And sang the “Peanut Butter and Jelly” song. First you take the peanuts and you smash em, you smash em…


We copied the letter J and colored in a picture of Jesus (from Friend coloring pages). We read a storybook retelling Christ’s birth.


For wiggles time we did actions relating to jumping and Christmas. I copied off action cards from Oopsey Daisy’s Christmas advent activities. I sent home a copy with all the kids so they can do it at home too. And a copy of Christmas jokes.


Last but not least, we made some simple beaded jewelry. Which I forgot to take a picure of. Whoops.

Hooray for Thanksgiving and the letter J!

Over the highway and through the air…to the Daleys house we go…

Over Thanksgiving our family Holly, Braden and Lydia came to visit.


Lydia loved all the excess of toys we’ve got around here….


And the crazy kids that believe they really are dogs in people’s bodies…


Holly and Braden were given lots of time to read as their holiday gift.


And all the cousins had fun coloring together…


And posing for pictures. Lydia is a natural in front of the camera- no crawling away, just a pretty smile and laugh at my not so great duck impression.


And my hair and clothes looked kinda cute on Thanksgiving, so I had Holly document it for my posterity- See kids! Your mom was cute back in the day!



These kids begged me for a “silly picture.” Much more their natural state then their posed pics I usually get.


What a touching photo, with some of my favorite people and my favorite sippy cups (why didn’t I see that when I took the picture!!??!)


Jonah took immediately to playing with their new nativity set.


And Leo took immediately to watching Braden demonstrate Angry Bird for us.


There was lots of rock paper scissors…but no lizard or spock games unfortunately.


Evie is becoming quite a little goofball.


That face pretty much sums up our whole holiday. Love you Daleys!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art Party!

Sophia is all about the ART- she’s always spent a lot of time drawing, but lately she draws for stories, she is able to draw “what I see in my head” and has been able to paint and absolutely LOVES all the extra credit art projects she can do each week at school.


So the theme of her 7th birthday party was a no-brainer: ART PARTY!


We printed out letter envelope sized invitations that the girls and I painted a few weeks before the party.

Then we got started on the d├ęcor. I bought two packs of rainbow bold colored cardstock at Michael’s, and cut it into 1 inch by 8 inch strips- which I used to make the loop banner seen below hanging


I just kept stapling and stapling, and ended up with a few long strips- enough to go around my living room and kitchen and the above entryway.


I also used those strips to make hanging strip mobiles ala Oh Happy Day’s instructions.




I also bought some popsicle sticks at the dollar store, and made 2 dozen popsicle stick easels. So cute. I found pictures of famous paintings I love to put on the easels, to display on the table. I came up with the black and white frame idea while looking for scrolly frame clipart. Having found nothing that made me happy, I saw a simple frame and thought- I could do that easy. I drew it with lines on MS publisher and carried that theme of white and black frame/colored art to the rest of the party.




I used some packing newsprint to draw up this entryway sign. I freehanded the font based on a font from the computer, but my printer doesn’t print over 11 inches, so I did my best. I colored it in with colored pencils. (Love me a new pack of colored pencils all lined up like the rainbow!)


We hung balloons from string over the table, and I found a valentine heart tablecloth in my dish cupboard, I bought it last year on Target clearance after valentine’s day, it worked great for the table cloth- so colorful, and looks like something Sophia would draw.


I also found coloring pages for famous paintings online. I thought about printing one for each kid, then remembered my friend who has a large scale printer for her carpet business. A phone call and a few emails later, and we had huge paintings to color.




For the food I made Jello Popcorn in every color but red, then did Red Hot Cinnamon Popcorn for the red kernels. The popcorn cups are from the Boxes, Bags, Tags, and More cartridge for Cricut.


Each color of popcorn makes 8 cups. So I spent a few hours making this popcorn in the separate colors, then mixed in a freshly washed and dried rubbermaid bin.


We ate only about 1/3 of the popcorn, so I’m using the rest for a Young Women’s event at my church next week.

Chocolate covered pretzels, posing as paintbrushes…


M&M cookies (I made these for me more than anyone else!). And tie dye cupcakes- I’d recommend the gel colors or thinned out icing in piping bags to create the stripes and circles. I was using a spoon and it was not working so well. Luckily the kids could care less.


We made blending punch- the kids could pick two of the primary colors of kool-aid to drop in their lemon lime soda to see what colors it made. It ended up really really sour. If I do this again I’ll make up 3 pitchers of kool-aid and have them mix in their glass with normal amounts, rather than little sprinkles of kool-aid.


Last but not least, the favors:

Oil Pastels- I bought 2 packs of oil pastels at Michaels (love the 40 percent off coupons!). They’re usually only 5 dollars for 48 to begin with, so not expensive. I divided up the pastels into sets of 5, mixing up the colors to get one blue, one green, one citrus, one black or brown, etc. I cut out crayon boxes from the Boxes, Bags, Tags and More cartridge (had to play around with it to find the perfect size to fit them in). I assembled with scotch tape and glued on the labels I’d made in Publisher.


Sketch Books: One day the week before I spent an afternoon making boy and girl themed doodles on a white piece of paper. I then scanned it in and printed multiple copies on cardstock. I put a good amount of white paper in the book and bound it with my bind-it-all.





Last but not least, I made Art Portfolio labels to go on simple file folders. I put a 5 inch or so strip of tape on each side to make it into a pocket folder. The kids took home their artwork, sketchbook, pastels and halloween sized playdoh for their favors.


Now onto the party itself…

The guests arrived and we colored some paintings on the walls. At the beginning they were asking which color was “right” so I suggested they pick a color they think was right, and maybe do something silly…which is how Mona Lisa ended up green with a rainbow behind her.


Next they colored the front of their “Art Portfolio”- aka goody bag to take home artwork and supplies in.



Our only real game was Pictionary. I had a few ideas on paper, or they could come up with their own secret to draw. Because most of the kids are in the same class at school, it was hilarious to hear them speak in first grade terms- one girl drew a “Landscape” for everyone to guess. At another point in the party everyone was discussing “statements” vs. “questions” and “exclamations.” First graders are so sophisticated these days!

Next we drew with crayons and then painted over with watercolors. This was a backup activity after Sophia vetoed a game the morning of the party- but it ended up being the quietest and most popular. Guess there’s no substitute for painting!


I gave the kids straws too to blow on the watercolors for a cool effect- but nobody really caught on.

Next we sang to the birthday girl and had some food.


And had some balloon fights to get off some energy:


Then we went back to the table for sculpting.


We opened presents and had some more balloon fights- and then it was time to go!

Overall the party went swimmingly well, considering there were over a dozen kids and just me and John. The main things I learned from the party is to have some activities kids can do if they don’t like the one we’re focusing on. In this case, they were always welcome to go play with balloons, draw on the easel or color more on the walls. I’m thankful for all the fun kids that made Sophia’s day so great and most of all, thankful for my little Sophia sunshine and the love she has for creating.


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