Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Imagination Project: Christmas Tree!

We got another large box in the mail (something we get twice a month) and this one became a felt Christmas tree! Katie can decorate and redecorate the tree over and over again.

We cut out a Christmas tree shape from the cardboard box, reinforced it, covered it with green felt and glued it together. Then we spent about 20 minutes making Christmas lightbulbs, glittery balls and fun ornaments from felt.

I sewed together a "gift" looking envelope to put all the ornaments in when not in use.

Week 5

Week Five was a BIG week for our Homeschooling Wall, which Katie and I are customizing together.

We got loads of homeschooling supplies from my mother and hung up everything from new Weather signs, charts of the presidents, periodic table, planets, countries/continents, and the United States, to outer space cut outs.

I also completely redid our downstairs bookshelves. Now we have a Homeschooling shelf with all the books for me and her that we need, and a bottom shelf to house our new tote full of musical instruments that came from an elementary school (and are the same kind I played with in my elementary school!)

This is only the beginning of what I'm going to be getting from my mother's old homeschooling supplies, but it's really exciting to have! Katie loved helping to decorate - especially when I gave her some dinosaur cut outs to put up!

Here's what the wall is looking like now:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 4

Week 4 saw the rebirth of our printer! I've been eagerly awaiting our printer to work so I could get new stuff up on the walls.

First up: coins! Katie loves to put our change in jars. She sorts them out, counts them, then drops them in. So I figured she should know the names and the worth of each coin as well. Here's what I put up for her to start learning:

I also went ahead and added animals. While Katie knows most of them and their sounds, I wanted to get indepth with them. Each week I'd like to take an animal and learn everything about it. Here's the few I have up currently:

I also put up a new shape chart, but since she knows more than what's on here, I think I may print out a second chart to put beside it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Imagination Project: Pirate Ship!

Every two weeks, we have a major project that we build for our Imagination Time, which usually spans the length of that week. This began about a month and a half ago, when we began buying our diapers and wipes from an autoship site online. They come in a giant box - big enough for Katie, Will, myself and our small dog to sit inside all at once! Obviously, a box this grand needed something to be turned into instead of just throwing it out.

Our first box was very simple. Katie was obsessed with Puff the Magic Dragon, so we drew Puff on one flap, lyrics on two more, then climbed in and called it our ship to Honalee. It might not look like much, but it was enough to set our Imaginations sailing for that magical land!

The next box, combined with our old Honalee box, was turned into something that took a bit more time and creativity to make. Three hours of building and we had a car, complete with a steering wheel that spun (thanks to the top half of a gallon water jug that was hidden behind a cardboard panel dashboard), bumper stickers, license plate and gas petal that you could push down. Katie and Will spent many hours in it. They even enjoyed their first "drive in movie" in the living room!

The next box arrived yesterday. We said goodbye to the car, which had become a stuffed animal container in the nursery, and decided upon a project that would be our biggest yet - requiring all three of the boxes we had so far. Inspired by our choice to be pirates (and a toddler Tinkerbell) this Halloween, we set forth to make a pirate ship.

Not many people seem to make pirate ships out of cardboard boxes it seems, so all of our ideas came from us only. Two hours later, a box that we'd used to sail to Honalee, a car that we used for drive in movies, and our new box was a mighty pirate ship, complete with a compass, a steering wheel, a pirate flag, waves and portholes.

Once finished, the kids got dressed up and piled in. We researched a lot about pirates: about the parrots on the shoulders, sea monster legends, oceans and flags. We talked about parts of the ship, about the compass and it's directions, and how steering worked. We also turned our small dog into the sea monster, since she kept jumping up on the ship, and had lots of fun trying to "steer" away from the monster or distract the monster for our escape, Katie also enjoyed pretending to be sea sick and throw up overboard!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wall Addition: Emotions

We added emotions to the preschool wall yesterday. While I knew Katie knew them already (after all, her favorite episode of Blue's Clues for the last year has been "Body Language" in S5, which is all about telling emotions from expression.

However, I think Katie sometimes struggles to tell me what she's feeling accurately, and I know a few fun games for this, so up it went. As I assumed, Katie loves the new addition! She enjoys acting out each emotion on cue!

Since she knows these already, I plan to add more feelings to it in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blue Day

Katie has known her colors up, down, backwards and sideways for over a year. It was the first thing I taught her, the first thing she really enjoyed learning. She still loves to discuss colors. So after our standard preschool wall activities, we decided to have color days. Today is Blue Day.

For Blue Day, we scouted all over the house finding anything blue. Toys, papers, purses, movie box covers, food containers, even Will's little blue band aid from his shots...absolutely anything blue. Katie LOVED scouting out everything for any shade of blue!

We stayed in theme through lunch, having Blueberry pancakes, which we ate with blue utensils and her blue juice cup while watching Blue's Clues.

Katie had so much fun with this that I plan to do a new color at least once a week. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday of Week 2

Today we started school again. We didn't do it on Saturday or Sunday, so I wanted to see how much she retained of the wall after a break. She had no trouble doing everything today that she did on Friday.

We took her to a pumpkin patch yesterday, and decided to make a project out of her pumpkin. I opened the top and let her touch all the gooey "pumpkin guts". We talked about the seeds and how to make pumpkins grow. We saved some so we can plant a few in the yard when it stops raining. We'll be baking the rest of the pumpkin insides later.

We decided to make a pumpkin house for Tinkerbell, then drew shapes on the pumpkins (She told me what to do for the door and windows, and then I cut them out)

Of course, since we love getting girly, we added glitter swirls all over it as well.

Then we got really creative and started to imagine all the things that a house would need.

Then we moved in Tinkerbell!

And then moved the whole thing outside...after topping it with a crown!

Lessons Learned:
  • What the inside of a pumpkin looks like
  • What seeds are for and what they do
  • Shapes
  • Imaginative Play and Decorating