Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Letter K/M/N preschool activities

For Letter K this month we did some fun things and some lame things.

We made kangaroo pouches and jumped around picking up letter K leaves.





We made Rice Krispies.

We made key rubbings.

We tried to make a newspaper kite- and it failed, miserably.

We read books about Kangaroos- I love the book “BOING”

We did shape tangram puzzles.



Letter M and N were much better.



We played with our marble run toy.




We sorted, counted and graphed mini mm’s. I made M&m cookies for the kids the night before.

We sorted letter M and N’s, then identified beginning sounds of M and N words. Pretty hard for the kids to do, but once we broke down the task they did it well.

I made marble cereal box mazes (From Family Fun magazine) with straws and hot glue. Natalie got frustrated really easily with it.

We sang “Shake the Mango tree” from Sesame Street and “Who built the Ark? “ by Raffi

We read “5 Little Monkeys sitting in a Tree” and a nursery rhymes books.

We did Monster Truck printable math activities. We rolled a marble over the sheet with numbers to 20 on it, then whatever number it landed on, they traced and said the number. Kept their attention a lot longer than tracing the whole page of numbers in one go.



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On a wintry morning last week…


As I dashed out the door to take Natalie to preschool, the snow all around was an afterthought- oh shoot! Get your boots on, kids, and get your heavy coat.


As I rode to preschool, I was in awe of the snow- a white highlighter on every branch and twig, making grim gloomy Indiana bright and crispy again.



The snow on the trees and grass, contrasting with the bark and roads was so dramatic. The world was black and white over night. I decided to ditch my to-do list of laundry and cleaning up. I was going to take some pictures.



Leo was so excited to get all his winter gear on. He kept saying over and over pointing out the window- no! no! no!


We drove to our favorite park, got out the stroller, and went on a hike in the snow.  We were the second creatures to pad around in the snow.



Leo was the best little buddy to take out on this trip. He points, he walks around in circles, he lets me put his hat on.



This winter has felt like a weight dragging on my shoulders.By the end of our walk we were a little cold but refreshed. Being outside in the cold air helped my spirits come back up.



Somehow a blanket of snow, a little man in a big puffy coat, and stomping in the woods following squirrel tracks, listening to birds,  has lifted that weight ever so slightly.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whoopie Pie Visiting Teaching Treat

In my church we’re asked to watch over a few sisters in our congregation- it’s called “Visiting Teaching.” I’m assigned to visit a few sisters with a partner, and two ladies are assigned to visit me. We try to visit once a month, keep in contact with the sisters and know what’s going on with them and their families. This weekend I was already making treats for my Sunday school class, (rice krispie treats) but I wanted something chocolately. A few minutes on the internet later, and I knew I wanted to make whoopie pies. I settled on Martha Stewart’s “classic” recipe with marshmallow fluff filling instead. The complete recipe I used is from Annie’s Eats . I gave some to my visiting teachees and my visiting teacher today. The married sisters received theirs with a note attached:
whoopie cover
“This Valentine’s Day, I hope you find time with your sweetie for some whoopie…”
Inside it says:

whoopie inside
“Pies! Whoopie Pies! Happy Valentines Day"!”
I must admit, I thought I was pretty clever making this treat. It didn’t hurt that the pies turned out delicious. I punched a hole in the card and tied it around the bags.

I didn’t have a whoopie pie pan, I just put parchment on baking sheets, scooped the filling out into a heart shape, various sizes so some were kid sized. The recipe from Annie’s Eat’s says it makes 24, mine made 36 of various sizes.
Hooray for Whoopie! Pies, Whoopie Pies!

If you're visiting from Skip to my Lou, thanks for stopping over!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Parenthood isn’t for sissies

Any random magazine article on motherhood is likely to acknowledge and bemoan the fact that motherhood involves being a cook, a chauffeur, a preschool teacher, a laundress and a maid. You might remember my post on the athletic and balance skills needed to be a parent, when I discussed “Minute to Win It”.  I’ve recently been pondering how many duties of being a parent require skills from professions totally unrelated.

To be a parent, you’ll need….
To take the heat like a Frying Pan- Your children’s tantrums and threats must slide off your back, even though you’re in the middle of church and everyone is staring. Not to mention well meaning family member’s humble suggestions on how you can be a better mother or father.
To keep on trucking like a snow shovel- Cleaning up toys while kids are at home is like shoveling the sidewalk while it’s still snowing. Many days a week it’s like a blizzard around my house. You still have to do it. And get your children to clean up.
A SWAT team skill set-  at some point in your parenting career, you’ll talk down a child from running to the table with a steak knife, have little sister put the scissors down away from her brother’s hair, talk down a toddler stranded at the top level of the playground with dozens of kids behind him, and teach a child how to unlock the door from the other side of the locked door. Just keep your voice calm and keep your hands where I can see them, kids…
An internal time that rivals the Swiss- Children have no sense of internal time. By their 5th birthday, they know your counting means business, that mom says “5 minutes to go”, twenty minutes before she’s done talking to her friends, and that  “I’ll be back in five minutes” is not exactly counting to 60 five times.
A Gardener’s skill set- Being a parent means planting new ideas in your child’s mind, plucking out ideas before they develop, and giving lots of sunshine and open air to let their imaginations run wild. Pruning and redirecting become second nature as your children grow up.
A Shepherd’s eye- only it’s not sheep, it’s cats. Kids have the amazing ability to go in twice as many directions as there are children.
What do you think, readers? What skills have you developed since becoming a parent?
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